July 2016
University Child 
Development Center

635 Clyde Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15260
(P) 412.383.2100
(F) 412.383.2120

Director's Corner

Dear Families,

You might have noticed that this is quite a busy time at UCDC.  We have a lot of children leaving us for kindergarten and summer programs, children on vacation and children making transitions in and out of classrooms.  It's very exciting, a little scary and in many ways, quite sad when we have to say goodbye. 

If you have a child who will going to kindergarten, I want to share an informative website with you called Cruise into Kindergarten.

On this interactive website you can choose a book from the book list which includes many genres.  There are also great parenting resources available.  The website provides research-based tips and guidelines on how to interact with young children when using screens.  And the fun for the whole family section allows children to click on different squares on the "cruise" road map to bring up videos and interactive games that promote math skills, literacy, eye-hand coordination, language and direction skills and much more!  This joint program of the Institute of Museum and Library Services with the Office of Commonwealth Libraries and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is now available online at www.pacruisetok.org. You can also visit www.papromiseforchildren.com for activities and resources to help prepare your child for kindergarten.

Speaking of screen time, it's important for all parents to remember that in 2013 the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended that you should establish "screen free" zones at home by making sure there are no televisions, computers or video games in your child's bedroom and by turning off the TV during dinner.

Children and teens should engage with entertainment media for no more than one or two hours per day, and that should be high-quality content. It is important for your kids to spend time playing outside, reading, exploring hobbies and using their imaginations in free play.  Television and other entertainment media should be avoided for infants and children under age two.  Your child's brain develops rapidly during these first years and young children learn best by interacting with people, not screens.

During the summer months, plan to take a calmer and slower approach to your days. Below are a few things that you can do to include learning opportunities throughout your day:

  • Read a lot - outside, in a tent, on a swing, anywhere!
  • Have fun with numbers- count, predict, itemize, group and sort.  All good ways to play with math concepts.  
  • Turn off the TV- turn off the screens (and this means your phone too!)
  • Make art - inside and outside.  Get the whole family involved in spraying water colors on a large sheet and then use it as your tent to read in.
  • Experiment and do science- nature provides a lot of natural opportunities to explore science concepts in a natural setting.  Take the time to look at nature and explore things that you otherwise might not have.
  • Eat smart. Eat healthy.  Go to the farmers market and let your child help you prepare a dish or a meal.
  • Get outside.  Take a hike. Play in the sun and water. Go for a bike ride. Visit a park. 
  • Go to sleep.  Keep a bedtime routine.  It makes the day much more manageable and enjoyable when the whole family gets enough rest.
Enjoy these long summer days and extra special times before your little one heads off to kindergarten.  Be safe and have fun!
Mary Beth

Spotlight on Staff

What is the first band that you saw in concert?
  • Yikes- that was a very long time ago. I had to check with my best friend of 40 years and she told me that it might have been Styx and Journey.  Quintessential 80's rock. - Mary Beth McCulloch, Director
  • My first concert was The Beach Boys. - Michelle Mattys, Preschool Four
  • My first concert was at Star Lake Pavilion. The headliners were Smash Mouth and Sugar Ray. The openers were Edwin McCain, Lou Bega who sang "Mambo Number 5" and Christina Aguilera. - Jenna Holsing, Preschool Two
  • My first concert was Tom Petty with my best friend (who I can still call my best friend 25 years later). - Jamie Wincovitch, Education Coordinator
  • The first concert I remember was Pete Seeger, we went every year when I was a child. I had the pleasure of attending a concert he gave in Boston while I was in college. The first concert I chose to attend as a teen was Arlo Guthrie and I still attend his concerts when I can, we saw him this past winter. The first band would have to be Renaissance, that I saw in concert when I was at Brandeis. - Wendy Colbert, Toddler Two
  • The first band I went to see in concert was The Beach Boys on a reunion tour. - Nikki Miller, Substitute Teacher
  • My first concert was definitely as a very young kid, (both of my parents are musicians) I think it was probably the River City Brass Band to see my dad play his trumpet.  The first concert I went to on my own with just my friends was probably either Def Leppard or Megadeth. - Emily Marsh, Preschool Two
  • Led Zeppelin - Maureen Sahr, Toddler Two

UCDC Art Gallery
"Fancy Dress Up Shop"

by Stella, Preschool Two
Yarn painting, by Kamden, Infant Three

By Wilder, Preschool Four
By Emma, Preschool Three


for Scrubs

nurses.jpg Does anyone have any scrubs at home that they wish to get rid of? We are looking for six sets of scrubs to keep here at UCDC for teachers/students when they are in need of a change of clothes for various reasons. If you have any that you wish to donate, we're looking for two of each size (small, medium and large) to keep here at UCDC.

New Substitute Teacher

We are so happy to announce that we have a new substitute teacher on our staff here at UCDC. Nikki Miller has joined our teaching team as a morning substitute. Substitute teachers in our building are very valued members of everyone's classroom team and their work is irreplaceable. In order to be a substitute, you not only have the ability to work with all age groups, but you must have a ton of patience and flexibility!

Hi, my name is Nikki Miller.  I started June 6th working as a floater at UCDC from 8 am to 1 pm.  If I haven't met you, I hope I soon will.  I earned a Bachelors degree in 1992 from Penn State.  I worked with children from six months to five years (12 years at Carriage House Children's Center then 10 years at the YMCA preschool).  I live in Penn Hills with my husband, two daughters and five pets.

Did You Know?


Did you know that you could continue to receive the "UCDC Weekend Events" email even after your child isn't at UCDC anymore? If your child is leaving UCDC for Kindergarten or another reason and you'd still like to receive this weekly email, let the front office know and they will make sure you're added to the list.

Nutrition Update: Added Sugars
By Amanda Maiello

Sugar reduction was one of the top recommendations in the new 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Added sugars can add calories without contributing essential nutrients. Naturally occurring sugars, such as those in fruit and milk, are not added sugars. Healthy eating patterns should limit added sugars to less than 10% of calories per day. Reading the ingredient portion of nutrition labels can help you realize when you are consuming added sugars.  Specific examples of added sugars that can be listed as an ingredient include brown sugar, corn sweetener, corn syrup, dextrose, fructose, glucose, high-fructose corn syrup, honey, invert sugar, lactose, malt syrup, maltose, molasses, raw sugar, sucrose, trehalose, and turbinado sugar. Try looking at your labels more closely to avoid added sugar in excess, or choosing a fresh fruit or vegetable snack to help you and your family stay on track for a healthy lifestyle! 
Preschool Wisdoms
"Always use soap." - Ruby

Listen earnestly to anything your children want to tell you, no matter what. If you don't listen eagerly to the little stuff when they are little, they won't tell you the big stuff when they are big, because to them all of it has always been big stuff.

-Catherine M. Wallace

With this quote in mind, we thought we'd listen to the children and find out what the children in Preschool Four believe to be "the most important rules." The answers are worth reading!

  • You shouldn't make people sad. -Tumaris
  • No yelling. - Jack
  • Put your seat belt on. - Christopher
  • Police and God's rules. - Sasha
  • No climbing on the tables. You'll just climb on the tables and that's silly, but not fun. - Jerry
  • Don't run inside and just run on the grass. - Sully
  • Wash your hands after snack. - Ava
  • Stay with my parents so I don't get lost. - Finn
  • Listening in group time! - Emerson
  • Brush your teeth after you take a bath. - Alice
  • Drive safe. Eyes on the teacher. - Fiona
  • Be nice - Kate
  • Listen to the teacher's words always. - Zoey
  • Don't get out of bed at night. - Tudor
  • Be nice because we don't want people to be mean. - Rishi
  • No fighting. - Joe
  • Not throwing garbage out at people. - Maeve
  • Don't throw hard things off of my bed. - Sam
  • Always use soap. - Ruby
  • Don't wander off. - Wilder

The University Child Development Center | 635 Clyde Street | Pittsburgh | PA | 15260