We had our year-end event with families this week. It was the first time in two years that families, children, and teachers were all together. It was wonderful. Children called it the ‘Donut Party’, because they knew doughnuts would be served for snack.
They had no idea what was to come.
What we did was different from all the other classes. They had a singing program, followed by award certificates and ice cream. We had children and parents interacting with pillowcases. Really. All of the research pinpoints that the last words a child hears before they go to sleep are what they remember. What if those words, the ones that mean the world to children, are written on a pillowcase? What if those words are read aloud every night to a child?
Yes, it makes all the difference in the world.
This was our event, and families were deeply engaged with their children, writing words on pillowcases. Teachers walked by, looking along. Families didn’t notice.
This was powerful, important, and a wonderful family event. We also presented families with children’s portfolios, a year-long collection of art, writing, photos, and much more. Oh boy, the tears flowed, in the best of ways.
Here is an email from a parent about their child’s excitement over the ‘Donut Party’:
Early this week we learned from Kiansh that there will be a “Donut Party” next week and he feels excited for it.
Your email communication early this week did confirm the same!
So yesterday he decided to write it down on his calendar so we don’t miss out!
And below is a picture of what he note down on his calendar for June 13th 😊. I just thought to share with you 😊
A 2 week long donut party sounds great to me! 🙂
What a great Donut party! I love how the student wrote the event on his calendar. So sweet. The pillow case idea was very good.
It was both fun and heartfelt. There is a consultant who works with the most troubled children and families, and the pillowcase idea started with her. It has changed lives. When the parent sent us a picture of the calendar, it meant so much. Thanks, Darlene!
oh, I love this idea and love the calendar writing!
I knew you would love this, Beth. One of the top consultants and educators who works with troubled kids and families has had them do pillowcases, and it has changed lives. Really. And the calendar…priceless!
It’s an inspired idea. I totally love it and can believe it has changed lives. Such a good reminder for parents…
Oh, how lovely!
Thank you, Ritu!
LOL! I love the idea of the pillowcase message, and a two week donut party WOOT! That calendar entry is so cute!
Haha! Yes, that calendar was very cute.
I remember the pillowcase activity from one of your previous posts! How wonderful that it was able to return this year.
The last time we did this was pre-Covid, and we combined it with pajama day. I was thrilled to do it again!
That’s right! I’d forgotten about pajama day.
Always a favorite with children.🙂
What a wonderful idea! Pillow prose. It is always exciting to see parents interacting with their children in their world. That is a bond that should never be broken.
You’re so right, Pam. That interaction is priceless. Pillow prose…love it!
You just keep astounding me, Jennie, with your posts about these cool things I never heard.
That’s so nice, Don. Thank you.
Another great thing to do. Lovely to write on pillowcases. For any age a good idea. Thank you Jennie.
Thank you, Sandra.
How cute. The pillowcase idea is a great one.
Thank you, John. 🙂
Wow, I love your donut party (I must say that I enjoy donuts regardless of whether there’s a party or not 😉 )
The pillowcase idea is really wonderful! I bet the children and families had lots of fun.
Thanks so much. They had lots of fun!
Kiansh knows how to celebrate! Lol. A wonderful way to end the year, Jennie. I hope you got a donut too to acknowledge another year of wonderful learning.
Haha! He does! Thank you, Diana. It was a perfect year-end event. 🙂
What a wonderful, wonderful idea, Jennie! I think so many young parents aren’t fully aware of just how important it is to constantly tell their children how much they love them. If I could go back and change one thing about my own parenting – it would be to tell them just how much I loved and admired them…
Like you, I would do exactly the same thing with my children. I wish I’d had pillowcases with words back then, too. Best to you, Sarah.
One of the things you do better than most other teachers I know is involving the parents in meaningful ways. These connections between the school and the home are everything! A parent would not have shared that calendar with you unless she respected what you do for children. What a fabulous end to the year!
Thank you, Pete. Why did every other teacher have a staged singing performance for their year end event- especially this particular year when parents couldn’t come into classrooms? All that parents wanted and needed was to be with other parents and children and teachers. I’m so glad I took the other path. It was a wonderful end to the school year. And yes, the parent who shared the calendar…a big wow to making those important connections.
What a brilliant idea about the pillow cases Jennie, inspired and they will be kept for years and probably passed along to another generation along with the bedtime ritual. Loved the calendar, that is what you can joyful anticipation.. Lovely post thank you. ♥
Thank you, Sally. I wish I had those pillowcases when our children were young. The educator who did this with a troubled child told us another story: years later at the child’s high school graduation, the parent gave her a follow-up story. Not only did reading the pillowcase work for the child, the parent made more pillowcases over the years. Yes, what a brilliant idea. And the calendar melted my heart!
I think all schools should honour International Pillow Case day… in the blogger weekly tomorrow anyway and I hope others come across to read..♥
What a great idea! If this were a ‘thing’ it would change lives. Thank you, Sally!
What a wonderful way to wrap up the year, Jennie. I’m so glad you’re getting back closer to normal. The pillowcases is a great idea.
It was wonderful to have everyone together- at last. Yes, the pillowcase event was terrific. Remember our wonderful fall parent event, where we have a pizza party and carve jack-o-lanterns? That hasn’t happened in years. Fingers crossed we can be back to normal and do that this coming year. Thank you, Dan.
I hope you can
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Thank you, Michael!
Thank you as well for the amazing news, Jennie! Enjoy your weekend! xx Michael
Best to you!
You are a great entertainer, Jennie! During the holidays you and your team should make a little holiday park offer. 😉 Best wishes, Michael – P.S.: Have you read: A company in New Hampshire is going to produce whiskey out of green crabs: https://formuchdeliberation.wordpress.com/2022/06/18/unusual-news-new-hampshire-distillery-turns-invasive-crabs-into-whiskey/
I wish you could have been there as I talked with parents and told them the story behind the pillowcases. You could have heard a pin drop. Your idea is a good one! And, who would think of crabs in whiskey? Those New Englanders don’t throw anything away and use everything. 😀
To the last one first: New Englanders are strong to their origin on isles. 😉 Don’t waste what the sea wouldn’t give back a second time. 🙂 I also think so, the idea with the pillowcases is great. But you need to have such ideas first, and this comes from your heartfelt love to teach, Jennie! xx Michael
Thank you, Michael! And you make some good points.
I want to go to a doughnut party! They are my favourite cakes! 🙂
Best wishes, Pete.
Oh, the doughnuts were a huge hit. We served doughnut holes, or munchkins.
Here in America we have Dunkin’ Donuts, which is now simply Dunkin’. They are only on the east coast, and people here who move to California freak out when they discover there is no Dunkin’. It’s far better and more popular than Starbucks. Pete, now you’re ‘in the know’.
We had the chain of Dunkin Donuts here in the 1980s. They all closed down before 2000 though, because they charged too much for their doughnuts. 🙂
I didn’t know there was a chain in your neck of the woods.
I want to do this for the kids I nanny now! One of them in particular could use some words of encouragement! ❤️
I hope you do!!
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Thank you, Sally!
So adorable Jennie. And I love the pillowcase idea! ❤
Thank you, Debby! 💕
Donuts and pillowcases – a fabulous way to end the year – sweet dreams!
Thank you, Norah! 💕
You’re welcome, Jennie. 💖
What a beautiful idea. Very true about the last words before bed, that is why I take a moment to give my children a little blessing to close down the day. Thank you for sharing and I look forward to reading more of your work!
Thank you, and I’m so glad you do the same thing. It makes all the difference in the world.
Hahaha I can feel Kiansh’s excitement on that calendar 🙂 how sweet – I’d be the same!!! 🙂 Charlotte had an ice cream party at daycare last summer and every day leading up to ice cream day she mentioned it just about a million times lol I was so excited for her I asked the teachers to remember to take pictures!!!💕 So adorable!
Those moments and parties are the things children will never forget. You have no idea how many times the children asked, “When is the donut party?” Ha! I’m so glad Kiansh’s mom sent me his calendar photo. I hope Charlotte’s teacher got some good pics of the ice cream party. 💕
Hi Jennie, this sounds wonderful. Writing on a pillow case is a marvelous idea.
Hi Robbie, all the records and proof show this is a great success. I have done the pillowcase event three times, and some families tell me they are still reading those words to their child every night. Isn’t that wonderful?
It is wonderful, Jennie. I made pillowcases for the two grannies with the hand and footprints of the grandchildren.
That’s so nice. Best to you, Robbie.
Who wouldn’t love a donut party. I love that pillow case idea. I think that will be a summer project for my grandkids and me.
I hope you do this with your grandkids. Those last words a child hears makes a big difference. Best to you, Carla.