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Spring is in the Air.jpg 

Dates to Remember

Mar 3rd: Southwest Florida Reading Festival

Mar 11th: Daylight Savings Time Begins

Mar 16th-23rd: Lee County Schools Spring Break. Center open

Mar 17th: St. Patrick's Day

Mar 30th: Good Friday. Center CLOSED

 Parent Reminders

1. Please let the office staff know if you are not bringing your children in for the Summer.
2. Please bring in any shorts or pants your children have outgrown, as we would like extra clothing on campus for children who are soiled and have no extra clothes.
3. Please shut all gates securely for the safety of all the children.
4. Update your Emergency Information if any changes occur.
5. Bring in all Physical and Shot Records prior to expiration date.

Be Sure to check out our Facebook page!  


Joseph H. Messina Children's Center News


valentine's day 2018.jpg4-H MAVERICKS FRIENDSHIP DAY

School Agers celebrated Valentine’s day with their friends from the Mavericks 4-H group.  4-H’ers brought in materials to make cards, and hearts.  They decorated their classroom with the hearts they made. The Mavericks brought in goody bags and cookies for all of the children.  Following their activity and snack they played outside games.  The day was full of fun and friendship.


Sanibel Sea School will be partnering with Messina.  The school age and the VPK program children will participate in monthly activities in the classroom and monthly field trips to the Gulf.  We are so privileged to have this opportunity.

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Saturday, March 3rd SWFL Reading Festival (FREE event located at Fort Myers Regional Library Campus 1651 Lee St, Fort Myers, FL from 10am –4pm)

Spend the day meeting authors, enjoy activities for the kids, get a free book.  For more information visit

sabrina.jpgBEST WISHES

We would like to say good bye to Ms. Sabrina Perez as she moves into her new position at Creative World.  Ms. Sabrina has been teaching at Joseph H. Messina in the VPK classroom for 11 years. Her last day is on March 2nd. She will be missed!




Irish Potato Soup

3 ribs of celery
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 medium onion
1 tbsp fresh parsley
4 large potatoes
3 cups chicken stock
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp Kosher salt
2 tbsp unsalted butter


Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the celery and onions and sauté for about 5-6 minutes until they are tender.

Add the potatoes, garlic powder, salt and pepper and chicken stock. If your chicken stock is reduced salt you may need a little more salt; if it is regular chicken stock, you might not need any salt. Season to your family’s taste. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 20-25 minutes or until the potatoes are completely done. They should break apart easily.

Use an immersion blender and blend until the potato mixture is smooth and creamy. If you do not have an immersion blender, you can blend them in a food processor or blender, but you will have to do this in batches.

When the mixture is smooth and creamy add two cups of whole milk or 1-1/2 cup of milk and 1/2 cup of half and half. Taste and add additional salt and pepper if needed. 

Transitioning from VPK to Kindergarten
By Sarah Kinnunen
Kindergarten Teacher, Six Mile Charter Academy

Is your child starting kindergarten in August? Are you wondering if they are ready, what will the transition be like? Kindergarten can be an overwhelming experience for parents as well as, children. Your child may be coming from a 3 hour VPK day, to now a full day of kindergarten. What will my child’s day look like, what are they expected to know on the first day? How can I be sure that my child is ready, and will be successful in kindergarten? These are questions all parents are asking themselves as they get ready to enroll their child in kindergarten for the first time!

Kindergarten teachers recognize that this is a big transition for the whole family. Part of their job is to make you feel comfortable leaving your child at school for such a long period of time. If your school offers special kindergarten open houses, stop in and check them out! This is an opportunity for you to get to know the teachers, see the culture of the school and learn about what a day in the life of a kindergartener looks like. Many teachers at these events would be happy to give you their contact information. We understand that questions come up all the time. The teachers would be happy to answer your questions and help ease your concerns.

Most kindergarten programs offer screenings during the summer. Find out when your school will be holding theirs, and sign up. A teacher will be working with your child one-on-one evaluating if your child can write their name, identify upper and lower case letters, letter sounds, numerals and shapes. The teacher will talk with you after the evaluation and tell you about what your child did really well with and areas they could use some practice. The teacher will give you a copy of the evaluation, as well as, some resources to practice with over the summer.

Kindergarten.jpgAttending open house in August is a chance to connect with your child’s teacher. Introduce yourself, take a look around the classroom, she will be going over your child’s schedule, kindergarten includes a snack, and at the beginning of the year we do have rest time. The teachers recognize the length of the school day, and the need for a rest. Volunteer opportunities are addressed at open house! Helping out within the classroom is a great way to help feel connected with your child and a part of their kindergarten experience. Teachers love volunteers and always have something you can help with! 

When the first day finally arrives, this is what a kindergarten teacher is really hoping your child knows how to do when they enter the classroom for the first time; can they follow simple multi step directions, can they sit during circle time, can they walk quietly in a line, can they get along with others, can they ask for help when needed. We are also looking to see if you child can write their name, identify upper and lower case letters, letter sounds, numerals and shapes. If your child is still working on these skills, remember, kindergarten spends the first few months reviewing these skills. If your child is able to do these things, chances are they will be successful in kindergarten.

Kindergarten is an exciting year in your child’s life! It is the foundational block for your child’s educational career. You want your child to have a fun, successful first year. Your child’s teacher will be with you every step of the way offering guidance and support to you and your child!

I wish you and your child a fantastic Kindergarten year!

"Everything we do improves the lives of children.”  

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