Faith Formation for Preschool

Religion at Home

This week’s Bible Byte: Lord, when did we see you…?  This week’s gospel is a challenge to really see Jesus in our everyday when we help each other and also during special times, like the holidays.  It is easy to think about the hungry and homeless at Thanksgiving, but do we think about them at other times when we are living life in the ordinary days?  How can we help each other daily?  Enjoy this week’s At Home with the Word attached.  The following week begins ADVENT!!!


At Home with the Good News

Week 33 Living the Good News




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Great Date Nights

Great Date Nights: Friendship – Fuel for Romance


Join us for our monthly date nights to support your marriage at 6:35 PM in Founder’s Room!
October 10
November 14
January 9
March 13
April 10

Why focus on Friendship this year? Couples with deep friendships have mutual respect and enjoyment of each other’s company. They tend to know each other intimately – they are well versed in each other’s likes, dislikes, personality quirks, hopes and dreams. They have an abiding regard for each other and express this fondness not just in the big ways but in little ways day in and day out.

That sounds like the kind of marriage I want – how about you?

Each date night begins at 6:35 with a 15-20 minute reflection on marriage by our ministry team on one of the “7 Principles for Making Marriage Work” by John Gottman. We’ll send you out for a date night with your partner with a small handout that might help guide your conversation on your date with your partner.

We hope that these evenings will be a chance for you and your spouse to really connect with one another by asking questions (good, helpful, non-confronation-minded questions) and telling stories (how you fell in love, or what your hopes and dreams are in your relationship). By sharing these things, you’ll grow closer to your spouse!

Limited childcare available for children ages 2-12 between 6:30 and 9:00 PM on Date Nights. Call Jason Lillis at 919-847-8205 x244 for more information on childcare, or any other questions you have.

Childcare will be held in room 204 of Clare Hall – click the map below to show the location:


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Feed The Need Ministry

Did you know that St. Francis has a Feed the Need Ministry?   Our mission is to provide meals for parishioners who have recently undergone a significant transition in their lives.  This may be due to a loved one being hospitalized, the birth of a new baby or a family member dealing with rehabilitation after surgery.  We hope a nice hot meal will help them during their difficult time and remind them that their parish family is there to help them.

How Does Feed the Need Work?

  •  Parishioners in need of meals contact Kathleen Owen, Coordinator of Care & Wellness, who will determine which days the family needs meals.
  • These dates, along with other information about the family, will then be added to our Feed the Need calendar and volunteers will be emailed so they know there is a new family in need of assistance.
  • Volunteers can log onto our Feed the Need LotsA Helping Hands site, check the calendar and  pick a day they would like to prepare a meal
  • Dinners may be dropped off between 8:00 and 4:00 and placed in the new Feed the Need refrigerator located in Clare Hall.  As you enter St. Francis from Leesville Rd., continue up the driveway and turn left into the main parking lot.   Clare Hall is the first building from the parking lot.  The Feed the Need refrigerator is located in a small room in the hallway marked with the restroom signs (It’s the 2nd hallway to the left as you enter from the parking lot).  The refrigerator room is right next to the Women’s restroom and there should be a Feed the Need sign on the door.

How Can You Volunteer?

It’s easy to sign up for the Feed the Need Ministry.  Simply go to our LotsA Helping Hands website and click on “Join This Community”.  Fill out the information, click the “Send Email” button and your request to join will be sent to us.  Once we’ve added you to our community, you will receive an email with more information about how to get started.
If you have any questions, feel free to contact us Donna Mariani 919-326-3768

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Action Based Learning

Our students will discover when arriving at the preschool, the stations of Action Based Learning. By moving through our stations, we give young minds the opportunity to develop and activate their kinesthetic learning.

Brain science strongly supports the link of movement to learning. The brain and body’s movement and learning systems are interdependent and interactive. For example, motor development provides the framework that the brain uses to sequence the patterns needed for academic concepts. The body’s vestibular system controls balance and spatial awareness and facilitates the students ability to place words and letters on a page.

The preschool has incorporated the ABC Pathways Stencil into the surface as you enter the playground. Based on our Action Based Learning concepts, this is an excellent way to reinforce letter recognition and proper formation. This will be incorporated into our playground time and/or added as an activity at anytime during the preschool day.


When a student walks or crawls on the ABC Pathway in specific patterns, the brain’s ability to encode symbols is increased. The four visuals fields needed for eye tracking is strengthened. Proper development and remediation of these systems are critical to a childs’ ability to learn.
To learn more about Action Based Learning and the benefits of Movement to Brain Development at the earliest of ages, please visit

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Back to School 2014

Our Back To School forms have been posted online.  Be sure to check out our newly revised Parent Handbook and Snack Policy as there are major changes this school year.  We appreciate the effort all of our parents make to keep our children safe and healthy, and look forward to a great year of learning and fun!

2014 Student Forms (for our registered students)

This year, we are asking parents to supply children with a reusable water bottle for use at the school.  Something like this bottle pictured below would be helpful, with a clip to attach it to the bags.   Of course, we won’t let any one go thirsty, but are trying to minimize thousands of paper cups per year.

Tranz 16 Oz Narrow Mouth-1

Another change this year is that we are asking parents to pack an individual healthy snack for their child in a separate container than their lunch labeled with their name.   This will ease confusion and stress associated with providing a snack for the entire class, however, when packing the lunch and snack we ask you to adhere to the snack policy for approved foods.   No peanut and tree nut products are allowed in the classroom.


Thanks for your willingness to help us safe and reduce waste here at the preschool!


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Summer Adventures Camps at St Francis Preschool

orientation 2013 (1)

This exciting program uses a different fun theme each week with age appropriate activities for children during the summer.  These camps are open to all children ages 3 – rising Kindergarten.  Register now at  All camps are held in Elizabeth Hall, from  9am-12pm.  The Camp Fee is $120 parishioners $135 non-parishioners weekly.

June 16 – 20 Digging for Dinosaurs

Find your inner explorer this summer at a camp that lets you discover science first hand. Whether you’re digging for dino fossils or getting up close and personal with wild animals, it’s sure to be a summer you won’t forget.

July 7-11  Pirates & Princesses

Set sail for the land of make believe. Young buccaneers and princesses take in tall tales and create a fantastical world of treasures and tiaras.

July 14 – 18 Going Buggy

Come and learn about many different bugs such as caterpillars, beetles and ants…oh my! Explore the world of bugs and other creepy crawly critters!

 July 21 – 25 Underwater Adventures

Put on an imaginary snorkel and explore life under-the-sea. Learn about sea creatures that swim, slither, sway, and crawl. Don’t forget about underwater plants and seashells, too! Splash your way through art, and science activities.

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Thank You!

We offer our thanks and sincerest gratitude to all who planned and attended our recent Harvest Moon Festival. This annual event raises money to support the Fr. Dan Kenna, O.F.M. and
Nancy Bourke Endowment Funds and other programs at the Preschool. It also provides an opportunity for fellowship among the families and children. In addition to fun games and great food, our young children also stuffed 175 Halloween treat bags for the children at Duke Hospital. It was such a beautiful Fall day to spend together as a community! Thanks to all who
donated their time, talent, and treasures to make this year’s Harvest Moon Festival the best one yet!


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Chores for all ages…

Here is a helpful list of chores that are age appropriate. Chore

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Cathy’s Corner – End of School Year – May 2013

Cathy’s Corner
Dear Parents,
As I reflect on my year at St. Francis of Assisi Preschool, I am overwhelmed by the
blessing this community has been in my life. From the joy of seeing your little ones
come bouncing in each morning; to the admiration I feel for each of you as you make the
long trek from the parking lot to the door in all types of weather, lugging bags and
siblings; to the utmost respect I have for the fabulous staff I have the pleasure to work
with each day – I am overwhelmed. I am humbled by the all the extra time and energy
you all invested to make our Harvest Moon, Advent Retreat and International Day so
successful; by the generosity we experience in all the wonderful food and gifts you have
given us though out the year; by the quality of education you help provide through
Science Sparks, Little Chefs and Helping Hands; by the artistic touch you add to our
school through the Stewardship bulletin board and outdoor beautification; and last but
not least, by the fabulous writing and editing that Jennifer Trabulsi has done on this
monthly Preschool Press newsletter that we all enjoy! You and your children have
radiated the light of Christ to me in your hospitable welcome and acceptance. I look
forward to working with many of you again next year as we strive to continually improve
the quality of education we provide. I wish those who are sending children off to various
kindergartens a safe and successful year. In the words of Ms. Mary Lou, “How do you
say goodbye to them at the end of the year?” My hope is that we don’t! We really hope
that you will keep us posted and come back to visit often. You ALL are what make The
Catholic Community of St. Francis of Assisi so very special.
May God bless you,
Cathy Ashton

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Cathy’s Corner – March Nutrition Awareness

March is National Nutrition Month. The National Nutrition Month® 2013 theme, “Eat Right, Your Way, Every Day,”
encourages personalized healthy eating styles (Based on 2010 Dietary Guidelines recommendations and MyPlate messages and recognizes that food preferences, lifestyle, cultural and ethnic
traditions and health concerns all impact individual food choices. Registered dietitians play a critical role in helping people
eat right, their way, everyday.
National Nutrition Month® is a nutrition education and information campaign created annually in March by the Academy of
Nutrition and Dietetics. The campaign focuses attention on the importance of making informed food choices and developing
sound eating and physical activity habits. This year is the 40th anniversary of National Nutrition Month®.
With our Little Chefs and Action Based Learning Curriculums, we are hoping to help children learn how important nutrition
and exercise are to, not only their health, but also their ability to learn. More and more research is being done that supports the
link between healthy eating, learning and behavior in children. If you are interested in reading more, the following links share
some interesting information.

Additionally, I hear more and more personal stories from parents attesting to the fact that when they have changed their
child’s diet to eating less processed foods and more fruits, vegetables, and healthy grains, they have seen improvements in
language development and behavior; and in some cases even medical conditions.
This month in Little Chefs we learned about the benefits of “rainbow” foods and enjoyed an “Eating of the Greens” Party.
Children were encouraged to taste a variety of green fruits and vegetables. We were amazed at how many enjoyed eating raw
green peppers! Hopefully, if the children can develop a taste for these foods at this young age, they will have fewer struggles
with their weight and health in the future.

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