What’s New OCP?

 General Information  Comments Off on What’s New OCP?
Aug 172015

Written by Kelly Miller


It’s hard to believe, but in a few short weeks we’ll be returning to OCP for a new school year. We’ll exchange stories of travel and adventure from the summer. We’ll notice how everyone has grown over the last few months. We may even go into the wrong classroom on the first day. It’ll be fun to see all the smiling faces and unique personalities come together in new ways, building friendships as we change classes, volunteering with different committees and sharing workdays with families we may have only seen in the hall. We might even miss a friend or two that’s graduated and moved on to kindergarten. As we look forward to these exciting days ahead, some of you might wonder what’s been going on at OCP.

Well, we started the summer off with the latest edition of our newsletter. From the Nest 2014-2015 made its debut in the beginning of the summer. If you haven’t seen it, check it out. We also hired a new teacher assistant for the Lark’s class, Melissa Bower. Let’s give her a big warm OCP welcome!

We’ve been very busy over the last few months with exciting camp sessions. A big thanks to our wonderful camp director, the creative teachers, and all the parent volunteers that made camp so special. The different themed weeks were filled with creative, hands on activities. The classes pretended to camp indoors and roast marshmallows over a fire. One week, there was a dinosaur dig and the next, there was a robot built from cardboard and recycled materials. During green invention week, campers created a marble run. And during farm to table week, classes made bread from scratch. Regardless of theme, the campers shared experiences and discoveries while having a blast. They played outside, created a slip n’ slide and enjoyed towering vegetables in the garden that were planted in the spring. New and old friends came together over the summer as a reminder of what we share during the year at OCP.

Making a robot

Towering sunflowers

With camp coming to a close, we’re reminded school is quickly approaching. So we’re back at it, getting OCP ready for the big first day of the 2105/16 school year. OCP families are coming together to make yet another wonderful year. We have teacher home visits, classroom visits and play dates coming up, which means numerous opportunities for families to become familiar with our teachers and classmates. We’ll have a parent mixer the week before school starts, so go ahead and book babysitters. And of course, orientation day followed by a playgarden picnic.

It’s exciting to have so much on the horizon. Looking forward, we have the start of a new school year. The change of the seasons is approaching as summer slips away, the days getting a little shorter. Maybe you’ve noticed a few leaves falling already or turning yellow? September brings the Decatur Book Festival over Labor Day weekend. Volunteers will be participating in reading activities with children and sharing our experiences from OCP. Don’t forget, we start day trips to the Wylde Center and the Fall Hootenanny in October. So when we ask, “What’s New OCP?” The answer is, there’s always something new happening at OCP.

Presently, we’re all grateful and eager to share new experiences with such wonderful families and friends. Here’s to remembering the special moments we’ve shared and celebrating the adventures yet to come.

We Appreciate our OCP Teachers!

 Community, Events  Comments Off on We Appreciate our OCP Teachers!
May 282015

by Erynn Mathews-Davis

People in the United States started celebrating Teacher Appreciation Day in 1953 when Eleanor Roosevelt persuaded Congress to set aside a day to recognize educators. The origins of the idea are unclear, but it is rumored that a teacher wrote to Eleanor Roosevelt, urging her to take up the cause.

It didn’t become a national day until March 7, 1980 after lobbing by the National Educational Association (NEA) and other state affiliates. In 1984 the NEA designated the first full week of May National Teacher Appreciation Week, and Tuesday of that week National Teacher Appreciation Day!

At OCP we celebrate our Teachers with class gifts, a staff luncheon, a meal train for each teacher (a favorite), sweet notes, and gifts created by the children. As a community we enjoy coming together to acknowledge the amazing gifts and talents our OCP Teachers offer our children.

We love our OCP teachers!

The Chickadees and Ms. Tova make music together!

Ms. Susan reads a book with her Sparrows

Ms. Michelle helping an Owl across the finish line on Transportation Day










Ms. Margie congratulating some of her Larks after the Tot Trot!

Ms. CJ listening intently to some serious thoughts from a Wren

Happy Earth Day and Welcome Spring!

 Education, Green  Comments Off on Happy Earth Day and Welcome Spring!
Apr 222015

By Amy Gearheard

Spring brings so many fresh new beginnings. There are many opportunities to explore, get outside, and learn about our natural world. One of the ways we celebrate Spring at OCP is the second field trip to the Wylde Center. Each classroom gets to spend the whole school day learning and playing outside – and visiting the chickens of course! The field trips to the Wylde Center are always a favorite day for kids and parents alike.

Spring is happening in the classroom and in our play garden as well. Our play garden offers a wonderful opportunity to teach the kids about where some of our foods come from. They get to see how fun it can be to sow, tend, and grow plants. And who doesn’t like to get a little dirty sometimes? The Green Committee has been hard at work planning the OCP community beds for the Spring and Summer months. Each classroom gets to help as well. Over the next few weeks, the kids will plant seeds inside for the play garden beds. The Larks, Sparrows & Owls will be creating milk jug greenhouses for tomatoes & basil. The Chickadees & Wrens will be sowing beans for the bamboo poles that frame the community beds. The beds will also contain herbs, wild flowers and lettuces.

We are especially excited to announce that OCP will be donating a Garden Loom (or Earth Loom) to the Wylde Center in honor of Earth Day 2015! The loom has been generously constructed by Ben Monroe, one of our own Lark dads, and we couldn’t be more thrilled. A Garden Loom is a collective, interactive, and beautiful art project that will have a permanent home in the Children’s Area of the Wylde Center’s Oakhurst Garden after spending this “Earth Week” in OCP’s play garden. The Garden Loom is a representation of OCP’s green values and community-building efforts, as well as our longstanding partnership with the Wylde Center and Oakhurst neighborhood. In the hands-on experience of weaving a Garden Loom, a community comes together using natural materials found around the garden (flowers, grasses, branches, etc.) and fibers like cloth and wool to create a seasonal canvas: a continually evolving picture of how we relate to each other and our planet.  We can’t wait to see the “living weaving” our OCP kids, teachers, and members create this week!

Happy Spring! Merry Planting!

Spring is Here: Let’s Get Outside & Run with Pete!

 Events  Comments Off on Spring is Here: Let’s Get Outside & Run with Pete!
Apr 172015

by Runa Gokhale

Spring is here! If the pollen didn’t clue you in, then the muddy boots joyfully tramping home from the Wylde Center I’m sure did. When the sun is out and flowers are blooming it’s tough to stay inside (just ask our kids!), and with the vibrant community of Oakhurst at our doorstep why would we? A few historical facts about Oakhurst that you may not have known:

  • Oakhurst originally developed as a streetcar suburb of Atlanta. The Atlanta City Street Railway Company built the North Decatur trolley line in 1892. This line crossed the South Decatur trolley line at the center of the Oakhurst business district – the intersection of East Lake Drive, Oakview Road and Mead Road.
  • In 1910 the Georgia Legislature approved the incorporation of Oakhurst. Oakhurst’s population was approximately 100 people at the time of incorporation, mostly located around the railroad tracks near College Avenue and the present MARTA station.
  • A fire in 1916 at Oakhurst’s City Hall/Schoolhouse destroyed all of the town records, so little is known about the old Town of Oakhurst.

Oakhurst offers endless opportunities to take advantage of Atlanta’s famously beautiful Spring weather, including:

One more opportunity to explore our Oakhurst community? Run, stroll or trot your way through the neighborhood as a participant in the 8th Annual Beat the Street for Little Feet 5K!

This year’s race will take place on Saturday, May 2nd and features, as always, a 5K with a jogging stroller division, a 1-mile Fun Run, and a tot trot for the littlest ones. “Pete the Cat” t-shirts designed exclusively for the race by nationally known Decatur artist James Dean will be provided with registration to all racers, and are available for purchase as well. The race will be followed by a celebration and awards ceremony, with awards presented to winners of each age division and a “Pete the Cat” medal to all tot trot participants. There will also be a children’s party with activities and music. Please register for the race (or for your t-shirt!) at www.ocprace.com. If you are interested in sponsoring the race, please email OCP parent Sarah Toth at smtoth2@hotmail.com.

So spread the word and come out yourselves to celebrate OCP, Oakhurst, Spring, and “Pete the Cat” – we hope to see you there!

Celebrating the Seasons at OCP

 Events, General Information, Green  Comments Off on Celebrating the Seasons at OCP
Feb 232015

By Nancy Rinehart

One of the core values at OCP is our Green Curriculum, where our children are encouraged to connect with nature in their everyday lives, and to be curious and respectful of nature. In keeping with these values, we also incorporate the Green Curriculum when it’s time to have fun with our families! OCP hosts several events throughout the year for our families, all with a component of celebrating the season.

When the leaves begin to color and the air gets crisp in early October, OCP hosts our annual Bonfire (and Hootenanny) for current and past members at the Wylde Center. We celebrate fall with a big family picnic, a bright fire, s’mores, and lots of music. The kids have a blast running through the gardens, checking out the frog pond and the chicken coop, and toasting marshmallows. Grownups have a chance to relax and socialize, and if they don’t mind drinking out of one of our reusable kiddie cups, toasting the new school year with a more adult beverage.

Next up is our Harvest Celebration. This celebration epitomizes the connection with nature and community that we hope to foster at OCP. Earlier in the school year the children helped plant and tend vegetables in the garden beds in the play garden, and just before the celebration they harvest these vegetables. Working together, they make invitations for their families, create beautiful autumn table settings, and prepare soup with their harvest. Family members can join each class for lunch to share the soups, salads, and bread and butter that their children have created.

In wintertime, we celebrate our community with Festivus. (Yes, that’s a Seinfeld reference.) While we have specifically opted not to celebrate religious holidays or holidays that have become overly commercial, every culture has some form of celebration for the return of light in the dark of winter. We gather with our members, old and new, for a magnificent pot luck dinner. We appreciate our teachers and auction handmade items and services created by our members. It’s a great way to get to know the skills and artistry of our own community.

We show love for our families again in early February with Grandparents and Special Friends Day. The children invite their grandparents or other adult friends and relatives to join them in their classrooms for snacks, activities, and outside play. This year we had over 50 visitors, some even flying in from across the country!

We also celebrate the coming of Spring with a Lunar New Year Day and a mini-Holi Festival. The children learn about the traditions of these holidays from the Chinese and Indian cultures, respectively. They love trying the long noodles for a long life, and if you’ve never seen Holi at a preschool – it’s a blast! The kids enthusiastically throw brightly colored powders onto big white sheets strung up in the play garden, with much of it ending up on children and adults alike. It’s grand, messy, spring-time fun!

We round out the year by sending off our Larks (the 4 year olds) with a Fiesta in the park. We welcome summer and wish our graduates the best of luck in kindergarten with yummy Mexican food and lots of playtime.

There is much to celebrate in the turning of the seasons, and at OCP we have a great time observing nature both in school and out all year long!