Let Them Play!

This is a wonderful article that appeared in our local newspaper. Children need to PLAY– that is the work of childhood! It makes me so sad that children in other schools miss out on the play of early childhood.
Both our Preschool & Kindergarten classrooms have a sensory table and dramatic play area. Each session gets a 30 minute recess and they participate in Art & Science Projects. Guess what… even with all that “play” our Kindergarteners are still reading, writing, and doing math at the end of the school year! #advocateforplay

Ballerinas, Zoo Animals, & Fire Trucks… Oh My!

March is the only month in our school year that the children don’t have a day off. It is often a month that has a lot of indoor recess due to crazy changing weather in Utah. For this reason I try to plan as many special activities as possible to keep the children happy.

This March we had Cache Valley Civic Ballet come during Fine Arts week and do a special presentation. The children adored their ballerina– she read them a story and taught them some basic ballet moves.

We also had Willow Park Zoo come and bring some different animals for the children to learn about. They were fascinated with it all and it was so fun to try to see the world through their eyes.

Lastly, we took our annual field trip to the Fire Station that is just down the block from our school. Our local firemen are so wonderful and patient with our student’s many questions. We had awesome parent volunteers come with us and that made it even more fun! It was the perfect addition to Community Helpers Week! turtle shell 20170314_085535 20170314_085911 20170314_125531 120170328_091410 20170328_091650 20170328_093626 20170328_095842 20170307_091503 20170307_090850 20170307_090925 20170307_091039 20170307_091421

2016 Random Acts of Kindness

Every year in December, Morningside School does a Food Drive for our local Food Pantry. This year we are doing our Annual Food Drive, but we want to extend a bigger challenge as well to show kindness! No better time than now to teach our children about love and kindness! Take the challenge– we dare you!

50 Random of Acts of Kindness for Christmas

1. Go through your toys and donate ones you don’t play with to charity or local children’s hospital

2. Donate food to your food bank- either purchase food or go through your pantry.

3. Donate pet supplies to the shelter and go pet some of the animals.

4. Help a sibling to do a chore or other job.

5. Donate books you no longer read or volunteer at a school to read to children.

6. Put money in the Salvation Army bucket.

7. Bring breakfast to your school teacher.

8. Leave a little treat in the mailbox for the mailman.

9. Take a treat to the local fire or police station.

10. Fulfill an angel tree request.

11. Go to a nursing home and visit – take around candy canes and wish them a Merry Christmas.

12. Write grandparents a letter / draw a picture and mail it to them.

13. Leave an extra large tip for a server/waiter along with a note wishing them a Merry Christmas.

14. Leave one dollar bills around a dollar store (especially in the toy section!).

15. Pay for the person behind you in a fast food drive-through.

16. Make a treat and a Christmas card for the school bus driver or crossing guard.

17. Donate to a Non-profit organization or find one to volunteer for.

18. Offer to take the neighbors dog for a walk.

19. Hold the door open for people behind you (this is great if you are out Christmas shopping- and it teaches great manners).

20. Smile at every single person you see for one whole day (makes a great family challenge!).

21. Write a thank you note for a teacher or coach or someone who has influenced you and mail it to them.

22. Take a treat or note to a neighbor or friend who could use a pick-me-up.

23. Write thank you notes or put together care packages for those who are serving our country in the military.

24. Have a bake sale or fundraiser and donate all the earnings to a local charity.

25. Go buy inexpensive socks, beanies, and mittens (the dollar store has lots of great ones!) and deliver them to a homeless shelter or keep them in your purse and hand them out if you come across any homeless people.

26. Leave some extra money in the vending machine (or even tape it to the outside with a note that says “This treat’s on me!).

27. Buy a little treat or give a thank you note for the cashier at the grocery store.

28. Tape some money to the gas pump for the next person who gets gas.

29. Babysit for a single parent so they can have some alone time or even get some Christmas shopping done.

30. Clean out your garage or storage area and give stuff away for free on Craigslist.

31. Donate blood or volunteer at a Blood Drive.

32. Invite someone who lives alone over for dinner.

33. For one day, try to pick up at least three pieces of trash wherever you are.

34. Send unexpected flowers to someone you appreciate.

35. Run errands for elderly/widows/widowers in your area.

36. Take a treat and/or thank you note to the janitors at your school.

37. Double the dinner you are preparing and deliver it to someone who could use it.

38. Put together a full Christmas dinner (turkey, potatoes, gravy, rolls, etc) and drop it off at someone’s house who could use it. Ring the doorbell and run away so it’s anonymous (and so much more exciting!).

39. Sit with someone at lunch that looks lonely or that doesn’t have very many friends (a good challenge for your kids!).

40. Compliment at least 5 people in one day (this is also a great challenge for kids!).

41. Ask the Hospital to let you pay on a stranger’s past due medical bills

42. Help someone in your area wrap Christmas gifts.

43. Take a treat and/or thank you card to the school librarian.

44. Do an extra household chore without being asked.

45. Make a homemade bird feeder and hang it outside (like a pine cone rolled in peanut butter and birdseed).

46. Donate diapers and wipes to a local women’s/family shelter.

47. Buy some new coloring books and crayons and leave in a hospital waiting room.

48. Decorate some pillowcases and take them to a local children’s hospital.

49. Collect jackets, blankets, and shoes and take them to a homeless shelter.

50. Shovel snow for a neighbor.

Fine Arts Week!

This week was enriched by having Miss Andrea, a local Ceramics Teacher, come and show the children how to work with clay. We also had a special ballerina visitor from the Cache Valley Civic Ballet come and introduce the children to the world of dance! The children learned a lot about many different types of art in the world! clay 1

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MSS Welcomes Award Winning Leslie Black!

20160122_131312 (1) 20160122_130326 20160122_130409 20160122_130632 20160122_130855We are incredibly thrilled to announce that the amazing, Leslie Black will be joining us every Friday at 11:00 and 1:00 for an interactive story session involving: music, puppets, and most importantly character development!

Leslie Black was a kindergarten teacher at Bay Vista Fundamental Elementary School in St. Petersburg, Florida. In her 38 years of teaching she has had a broad range of experiences, from full year Head Start teacher, Migrant Education Program classroom teacher, then Oral Language specialist and consultant, Creative Arts teacher for a university early childhood program (focusing on integrating the arts and language skills), taught sixth grade, first grade and Montessori preschool, then, finally Kindergarten for over 20 years. For 8 years she served on a resource team of teachers in Pinellas County Schools, FL. researching, developing and presenting training in the field of character education.


Leslie was selected Alabama State Elementary Teacher of the Year in 1992, and in 1993 she was one of 5 teachers nationally to be inducted into the National Teachers Hall of Fame. She was a state finalist for the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics Teaching (sponsored by the National Science Foundation) and received several civic awards in her community. She is a 1967 elementary education graduate of Miami University in Oxford, Ohio and received her masters degree from Utah State University in 1984 with a focus in emergent literacy and creativity.


She has also produced a CD of songs for young children titled, Connecting Hearts and Minds, words and music by Leslie Black. This CD of music intends to help young children think about important issues encompassing character development and various literacy skills. The first 12 songs are for character building, (connecting the heart). The other 8 songs are for curricular learning in the areas of reading, writing, math science and geography, (connecting the mind). The songs are full of energy, and deliver a spirited message the children delight in singing and using in their play. The simplicity of the melodies and text makes the songs easy to learn and remember.


We are so grateful to have Leslie be a part of Morningside School!

Welcome Teacher Jessica and Teacher Morgan!

We are so excited to welcome two wonderful Teachers to our Morningside Family! Teacher Jessica will be our new Full-Time Head Preschool Teacher and Teacher Morgan will be our new Assistant Preschool Teacher in our AM classes. We are so grateful to have them with us and know that they will do great things for our school!


Teacher Jessica Tenny graduated with a degree in Human Development from BYU, where she truly enjoyed learning about how to help children reach their full emotional, social, and mental potential.  She was a stay at home mom for 12 years, where she spent many happy hours teaching her children their ABC’s, writing, reading, and just generally learning about the amazing world around us!  She has an incredible love for reading, and she reads daily with her children believes reading is the “key” to learning.  She also worked as a Preschool Movement Instructor, where they taught children how to skip, hop on one foot, dance, learn rhythm, and enjoy moving their bodies.  She has also spent many hours volunteering in her children’s classes in elementary school. Outside of the classroom, she enjoys hiking with her husband and four boys, running, reading, journaling and creating photo books, and she loves to unwind with her family with a good movie and some popcorn.


Morgan Stout

Teacher Morgan will be graduating from Utah State University in the Spring of 2016 with a degree in Family, Consumer and Human Development. Morgan has worked as an After School Club Teacher and a Nanny and loves helping children learn. She only has two younger siblings, but her husband, Ben, has four siblings and thirteen nieces and nephews! Morgan loves playing games and sledding with all the nieces and nephews when they come to visit. When she and her husband have breaks in school, they love to go dancing and watch movies together. Morgan loves to be with children and cannot wait to start this new year at Morningside!

Remembering Marie Merrell Morgan 11/15/1956-11/08/2015

For 20 years Morningside School was blessed to have Teacher Marie Merrell Morgan with us. Many children and staff came and went in those 20 years, and they are all better having been influenced by Marie. She was the ultimate example of fun, joy, music, service, and most of all love. Her students knew that she cared about them and they adored her for it. We are so grateful for the love she had for the children and staff of Morningside and for the spark of energy she had with them for all of those years.

She has been courageously battling cancer since 2012. Although our hearts are so heavy that she has passed, we are at peace that she is no longer in pain. Our hearts ache for her family and all those who love her. Marie, your memory and songs will live on as long as there are children to sing at Morningside.Thank you for all that you taught us and shared with us! We miss you and WE LOVE YOU!

To apply for the Teacher Marie Merrell Morgan Kindergarten scholarship email the director at director.morningside@gmail.com