First Light Early Education Program

A Community of Healthy Families

August Virtue: Caring
“Showing others they are important!”
Caring: Caring is showing concern for others and using your words and actions to help others.

Caring in the Classroom includes:
– Caring means you remember to share with others.
– Caring means we use our words and actions to help others.
– Caring means we work hard to solve problems because we care about our friends.
I will…
– Remember to use my words when I am upset.
– Offer to help others.
– Stop doing what I am doing when someone says “No thank you” or asks me to stop.
Practical Application: 3 Tips for Encouraging Caring
1) Practice Caring at home. If you have pets, allowing your child to get the pet fresh water or to pet them gently or help you feed the pet. If your child has siblings, they can practice caring by doing something to help their sibling.
2) Talk about all of the community workers who help to take care of us and keep us safe (police, firefighters, teachers, people at the grocery store who make sure our food isn’t rotten, park workers who keep the parks clean, lifeguards at the pool, etc).
3) Be intentional about your use of technology. Put down your phone when your child talks to you, turn off the television, leave the phone in the car when you go to the park. Model how important your children are to you by giving them your full attention.

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July Virtue: Sharing

“Giving some of what I have to someone else!”

Sharing: Sharing is letting someone use what you have

Sharing  in the Classroom includes:

  • Sharing means you remember to say, “Please” and “Thank you.”
  • Sharing means we include others in our games or activities.
  • Sharing means we wait our turn to use materials and making sure that others have a chance to use them as well.

I will…

  • Remember to use “please” and “thank you.”
  • Offer to let others join me when I am playing, reading or working.
  • Wait for my friend to share with me and not take it away.

Practical Application: 3 Tips for Encouraging Sharing

  • Practice Sharing at the dinner table. Encourage thinking of others and using words like “would you like some of this?”
  • Prior to playdates, give children an opportunity to put one “special” item away. This is something that doesn’t have to be shared. This also gives children an opportunity to choose to share the rest of their toys or books.
  • Think of things that you can do for neighbors or friends. Do you have time to bake cookies and talk about how you will share some of what you’ve made with others? This is a good way for children to see you modeling sharing as an adult.


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June Virtue: Respect

“I know how to treat others!”

Respect:   Respect is caring enough about others’ feelings to think before you act


Respect in the Classroom includes:

  • Respect means you remember to say, “Please” and “Thank you.”
  • Respect means we listen when others speak.
  • Respect means we take good care of our classroom materials.

I will…

  • Remember to use “please” and “thank you.”
  • Put things back where they belong so that others can find them.
  • Use kind words when I am talking to others.

Practical Application: 3 Tips for Encouraging Respect

  • Practice respect at the dinner table. Encourage good manners (saying “thank you”, asking for food to be passed instead of reaching across the table, put only “bunny sized” bites in your mouth, offering to split the last portion of food).
  • Give opportunities for kids to help you out and then use phrases like “When you   (name of task) _ you are showing respect by thinking about ways to help me.”
  • When you are in the community and notice ways for your children to perform an act of service, suggest it to them and then reinforce it by letting them know how they showed respect to others (holding the door, helping to pick up dropped items, picking up litter, etc.).


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May Virtue: Honesty

“I am a truth-teller!”

Honesty: Honesty is when you speak the truth and act truthfully.

Honesty in the Classroom includes:

  • Honesty means you say things that are true.
  • Honesty means you admit when you have made a mistake.
  • Honesty means that you tell how things really happen.

I will…

  • Follow the rules even if nobody is watching
  • Tell what really happened when someone asks me
  • Not take what isn’t mine

Practical Application: 3 Tips for Encouraging Honesty

  • Keep calm. If your kids worry about being yelled at or punished when they mess up, they won’t want to come to you with the truth. Focus on using a calm voice – yes, it can be tough, but it’s possible. That doesn’t mean kids are off the hook for lying. But instead of getting angry and assigning blame, discuss solutions to the problem with your child.
  • Emphasize ways to solve the problem. If you know your child has tracked mud into the house ask him, “What can we do to clean this up and make sure it doesn’t happen next time?” instead of asking “How did all this mud get on the carpet?” This can help head off a power struggle and allows your child to focus on a plan of action instead of fabricating an excuse. It also teaches a lesson of what they can do next time –taking off their shoes in the mudroom instead of the living room – to avoid problems.
  • Celebrate honesty.Even if you’re upset that there’s a sea of water on the floor because your daughter tried to give her dolls a bath in the sink, commend her for coming to you and telling the truth. Tell her, “I really appreciate you telling me what really happened.  I really appreciate you telling the truth and taking responsibility.”


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April Virtue: Teamwork

Working Together. Helping Each Other.

Teamwork: Working together as a group to achieve a common goal.

Teamwork in the Classroom includes:

  • Taking turns and waiting patiently
  • Listening to each others’ ideas
  • Working together to make a job easier
  • Making sure that nobody is left out
  • Encouraging everyone to do their best
  • Helping out cheerfully

I will…

  • Offer to help others
  • Make sure that everyone has a turn
  • Cheerfully do something even if it isn’t my idea
  • Say “Please” and “Thank You” when I need help
  • Find ways to play together
  • Work together to solve problems

Practical Application: 3 Tips for Encouraging Teamwork

  • Involve children in common tasks and let them know how their job is important to the final goal. (“We need to be a team at the grocery store. Will you please remember milk? We won’t be able to have cereal if we don’t have milk.”)
  • Turn household tasks into a game and suggest that you work as a team. (“Let’s see how quickly we can put clothes in the dryer if we work together. Wow! When you helped me, we finished so much faster than when I do it alone!”)
  • When you are in the community, talk about how thankful you are that everyone works together to make Sheridan a nice place to live.
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Children & Families Community Resource Event

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March Virtue

March Virtue: Self Control
“I will do the right thing”

Self Control: a friendly feeling or attitude: kindness or help given to someone

Self Control in the Classroom includes:
– Telling my teacher I want to go to the comfort cave* when I am sad.
– Being gentle with my hands, my feet, and my words.
– Using bubble lips when I am in the hallway.

I will…
– Use my words to tell others how I feel.
– Ask a teacher if I need help solving a problem.
– Use listening ears when other people are talking to me.
Practical Application: 3 Tips for Encouraging Self Control
1. Play games with your child. Taking turns and following rules are good opportunities to practice self control. Active games like Red Light/Green Light, Freeze Tag and Follow the Leader give children practice being intentional about calming their bodies.
2. Help children understand how long they will have to wait for something and suggest activities to do while they wait. Say to your child, “Grandma and Grandpa are coming over before dinner. Would you like to draw some pictures to give them?” or “As soon as I put your sister to bed, I will read you some stories. You can choose three books for us to read together.”
3. Do activities together that require following directions. For example, put together a model, play follow the leader, or cook or bake: “I’m going to read the recipe aloud. Listen carefully so we will both know what to do. I’ll read them again as we do each step.”

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February Virtue: Friendship

“I will help and care about others”


Friendship:  a friendly feeling or attitude: kindness or help given to someone


Friendship in the Classroom includes:

  • Taking turns choosing what to play.
  • Inviting others to play with you.
  • Listening to others and working together to solve problems.


I will…

  • Offer to help my friends if I see they are sad.
  • Greet others with their name and a smile.
  • Use gentle hands and words when I talk to my friends.

Practical Application: 3 Tips for Encouraging Friendship

  1. Talk to your children about characteristics that you see in them that would make them a good friend to others. Point out specific times that you see them being kind to others.
  2. Ask your children about who they enjoy playing with at First Light. Ask what they like to do when they play together. Help them to learn the names of their classmates and teachers.
  3. Children need to see that you value friendship as well. If you need to make a call to a friend, use the word “friend”.  Talk about what makes that person a good friend to you and ways that you are a good friend to others.
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January Virtue: Joyfulness
“Keep a bubble in your heart and a smile on your face”

Joyful: feeling, causing, or showing great happiness: full of joy
Joyfulness in the Classroom includes:
– Greeting your teacher and friends with a big smile
– Helping others to feel happy and welcome in the classroom
– Learning with enthusiasm
I will…
– Have a cheerful attitude
– Greet others with a big smile
– Be excited about learning
Practical Application: 3 Tips for Encouraging Joyfulness
1. Taking joy in your children can take many forms – finding creative things to do together, going on special little outings, or even just including them in your own activities, like making dinner or planting your garden.
2. Intentionally find ways to encourage your children as they try new things. Be specific in what character traits you have seen them demonstrate.
3. Children love to laugh and love to share laughter with the adults in their lives. Whether it’s a quick game of hide and seek, a silly knock-knock joke or a book full of funny words; take the time to laugh together.

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December Virtue


December Virtue: Generosity


I’m happy to give or share what I have with others.


Generosity Generosity is demonstrated in a willingness to give more than what is expected with a cheerful heart.

Generosity in the Classroom includes:

  • Waiting patiently for others to put their food on their plate before grabbing it myself.
  • Drawing or coloring a picture for my family or my teacher.
  • Taking turns on the playground so that everyone can have an opportunity to play.
  • Sharing my smile with friends who might feel sad.

I will…

  • Do something challenging every day.
  • Have a cheerful attitude even when things are hard.
  • Continue trying new ways and not give up.

Practical Application: 3 Tips for Encouraging Generosity

  1. Children can, and should, learn that they have the capacity to make a difference and change the world right now. Whether it is holding the door for someone, giving a gift or sharing their smile, it’s our job as the adults around them to inspire and encourage their generous spirits to blossom.
  2. Making cookies, cards or gifts for your neighbors or helping to shovel the sidewalk reinforces the generosity principle.
  3. Children have great memories.  Talk about the experience being generous right afterwards, but also bring it up periodically in the weeks that follow.  This can also create great opportunities for future acts of generosity.  They learn best by watching what we do!
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