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John I. Dawes Early Learning Center February Highlights

Students learned to be kind, celebrated the 100th day of school, and were taught how to properly care for their teeth!

The following highlights are submitted by Irene Policastro, the Secretary to Superintendent John J. Marciante of the Manalapan-Englishtown Regional School District.

Character Education
The ELC continued its “Paws-itive Behavior Program.” Mrs. Young, the guidance counselor, held mini-assemblies to introduce the kindergarten students to the ELC’s fourth character critter. The students met Carrie the Caring Cat and listened to a story about her. The children learned that being caring includes the following:

  • Being kind to people
  • Show your friends and family that you care
  • Say please and thank you
  • Help people


Posters of Carrie the Caring Cat and the list of responsible traits are hung around the school. All staff members are reinforcing this trait, and the students are so excited to wear the paw print stickers they receive when they are caught being responsible. We will introduce the next character critter in March.

Dental Health Month
On February 7th, Dr. Gallagher, a pediatric dentist, visited the ELC. She and her two dental assistants met with all preschool and kindergarten classes in small groups and discussed the importance of taking care of your teeth. The children got to hold and touch real dental instruments! With puppets, rhymes, and games, the dentist captured the children’s attention. All children left with a goody bag filled with a toothbrush and stickers. It was a terrific visit by one
of our community helpers!

February Festivities
We celebrated Valentine’s Day by wearing red and pink, and the classes celebrated by having healthy heart parties. The PTA sponsored “Have a Heart” for Valentine’s Day. The students purchased hearts and decorated them. The festive hearts were hung all around the building for the month of February. Half of the proceeds were donated to the Foundation for Manalapan-Englishtown Regional Schools. In addition, we celebrated the 100th Day of School with special rotations and activities. The PTA sponsored an assembly by Dennis the Magician. The children learned many facts about the presidents and our country while being amazed by exciting magic tricks.

Staff Awards
I would like to congratulate Susan Burgess, preschool instructional assistant, for being selected as the Support Staff Member of the Year. In addition, Robin Slobotsky, kindergarten teacher, was named the Teacher of the Year. Both individuals are extremely deserving of their awards. The ELC is fortunate to have such outstanding professionals!

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