Upcoming News & Events:
Dr. Housman will give a webinar on bullying prevention with Early Childhood Investigations on June 5th at 2pm.
The end of the year picnic will be held on Wed. June 5th.
The last day of school is Thursday June 20th & the first day of the summer program is Monday June 24th.
Beginnings recently unveiled an exciting new addition to the school's facilities: the STEM (Science-Technology-Engineering-Math) Room!
Past News & Events:
• May 1st 2013
Dr. Housman spoke in a Symposium entitled "The Intersect of Social and Emotional Learning with Academic Achievement: Perspectives from Research and Practice" at the American Educational Research Association(AERA) Annual Meeting in San Francisco. She spoke about the importance of teaching emotional intelligence to young children.
• April 6th 2013
Jr. K Moon Room Parents James & Kristine Hammond organized a fun Parents' Night Out Event at the Galerie d'Orsay. Beginnings children worked hard creating 7 masterpieces that were displayed at the gallery, nestled between works by (other) great masters such as Picasso, Matisse, and Renoir.
• April 1st 2013
Beginnings Parent Association organized a used book, cd, & dvd drive with items to going to More Than Words.
• March 10th 2013
Beginnings held a special weekend Open House.
• March 2nd 2013
Beginnings hosted their 2nd Annual Winter Festival with close to 100 families attending. There were exotic animal presentations, ice sculpting, drumming, and fun science activities led by Beginnings' teachers.
• February 27th 2013
Dr. Housman gave a parenting talk entitled "When Our Heads Say 'No' But Our Hearts Say 'Yes': Setting Limits with Our Children" at the school to an audience of interested parents. Click here to view the video.
• January 31th, 2013
The Boston Globe published a letter to the editor written by Beginnings Founder Dr. Donna Housman: "Recess Is not a Luxury". In the letter, Dr. Housman applauded the attention the article "The Power of Play" gave to the social and emotional benefits of play and recess for children.
• January 16th, 2013
The new Mandarin Chinese classes kicked off at Beginnings. Children from the Star preschool, Moon Pre-K, and SPARK Kindergarten classes learned their first words in Mandarin.
• January 15th, 2013
Dr. Housman gave a seminar entitled "Stop Bullying by Arming Our Children with Emotional Intelligence" with the LexFun Seminars at Youville Place in Lexington. Click here to view the video.
• January 7th, 2013
Beginnings Founder Dr. Donna Housman spoke to WBZ Radio journalist Laurie Kirby after the Newtown shootings with advice about how parents can speak to their children about the incident. The interview was posted on Women's Watch on the WBZ website.
• December 20th, 2012
The Weston Town Crier published Dr. Housman's article entitled "Protect Children" as a guest column. Dr. Housman wrote the piece following the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings in hopes of helping provide parents with some guidelines and advice about speaking to their children about the tragic event.
• December 12th, 2012
Beginnings Founder Dr. Donna Housman comments in this article on the popular parenting website Mom.me concerning recommendations for the best holiday books for children.
• November 14th, 2012
Beginnings held parent teacher conferences.
• November 7th, 2012
The Beginnings Parent Association presented this year's Annual Book Fair. Thanks to all our parents for making it a success!
• October 27, 2012
Beginnings held its annual Fall Festival for friends and families. Kids and parents came in costumes for a parade, magic show, pumpkin bowling, and this year a new activity was added for our parents: a pumpkin and apple pie contest. Thanks to all who attended and made it such a fun event!
• October 15, 2012
The popular parenting website All Parenting.com posted an article entitled "Keeping the Peace During a Playdate", quoting Dr. Donna Housman as an early education expert.
• October 8, 2012
Beginnings School Founder Dr. Donna Housman was recently featured in the Metro newspaper commenting on emotional intelligence and its importance in mitigating against bullying. The article was published online as well as in the Boston, New York, and Philadelphia print editions.
• October 4, 2012
Dr. Donna Housman's Op-ed entitled "Life Lessons: Emotional Intelligence and Communication" was published in the Boston Globe's Global Business Hub Blog.
Beginnings held an Open House for the SPARK Sr. Kindergarten Program on Tuesday, October 2nd.
• September 6, 2012
Beginnings was featured on the cover of the Weston Town Crier "Back to School at Beginnings" and on the Weston Patch: "Training Week Held at Beginnings School".
Tuesday, September 4th was the first day of school.
• August 22 & 24, 2012
Dr. Donna Housman gave talks in the Children's Friend Summer 2012 Training Series at Bryant University entitled "Why Teaching Emotional Intelligence Early Makes the Difference". She gave the session to a diverse group of teachers, nurses, social workers, nutritionists, and clinicians.
•July 31, 2012
Dr. Housman's op-ed entitled "Season for Learning and Play" was published in The MetroWest Daily News.
Beginnings held an Open House on Tuesday July 17 from 9-11am and Wednesday July 18th from 9-11am & 7-8pm.
June 14th was the last day of the school year. Beginnings Summer Explorations Program kicked off Monday, June 18th.
•June 13, 2012
A special graduation ceremony was held for the children in the Pre-K Moon class. Many will make up next year's Sr. Kindergarten SPARK class. Congratulations to all of you! Click here to find out more about SPARK!
•June 7, 2012 -
Beginnings held its End of the Year Picnic for in-house parents and students on Thursday, June 6. Kids were entertained dashing between games in the playground and sandwiches and homemade cookies while parents mingled and munched. The end of the year is here in a flash and we are sad to see it end but we are excited to get our summer program started. Thanks to our parents for such a great year!
•May 14, 2012 -
Dr. Housman's op-ed on bullying prevention, "How to Stop Bullying Before it Starts" was published in the Weston Town Crier and the Weston Patch.
•April 26, 2012 -
The New York Times published Dr. Donna Housman's Letter to the Editor entitled "The Antisocial Effects of Social Media".
•April 23, 2012 -
Beginnings School hosted an Open House from Monday, April 23rd through Thursday, April 26th, from 9-11am. Interested parents visited the school, met the staff, and toured the facility.
•April 12, 2012 -
Dr. Housman was a guest on WGBH's Greater Boston news program where she was interviewed by Emily Rooney concerning the documentary "Bully" and bullying prevention.
•April 11, 2012 -
On Wednesday, April 11th at 7:00pm, Dr. Housman hosted an open discussion on bullying prevention at the school: Stop Bullying Before it Starts: Arming Children with Emotional Intelligence.
•April 9, 2012 -
Fox 25 Morning News anchor Gene Lavanchy interviewed Dr. Donna Housman concerning the release of "Bully" and early bullying prevention. Dr. Housman argued that the seeds of bullying can begin within the first three years of life. She also discussed the need for parents to know how to properly communicate with their children and how adults can best help their children in bullying situations.
•April 2,2012 -
Dr. Donna Housman was interviewed by the Weston Patch Editor Abby Brown, concerning bullying prevention in relation to the advance screening of the "Bully" documentary she hosted at the Coolidge Corner Theatre. The interview was published in the Weston Patch and the Brookline Patch on April 2nd. In addition an article about the “Bully” screening event was news on the Brookline Patch.
She also led an interactive hour long chat discussion about bullying on Boston.com.
•March 30 ,2012 -
Suzanne Sausville at WBZ News Radio 1030 interviewed Dr. Housman on Friday, March 30th, where she also spoke about the topic of bullying and her thoughts about why it is important that parents, educators, and children watch the "Bully" documentary.
•March 29,2012 -
Screening of award-winning documentary, Bully, at Coolidge Corner Theater
Child Psychologist, Early Education Expert, Dr. Donna Housman, to Lead Conversation on Bullying Prevention with Parents, Educators, Community Leaders
Weston, MA.- March 26, 2012- Bully, the critically acclaimed documentary by award-winning filmmaker, Lee Hirsch, will be screened at the Coolidge Corner Theatre in Brookline on Wednesday, April 4th at 7:00pm. In light of the national attention focused on the growing epidemic of bullying, the Weinstein Company, the independent studio behind the film, has invited Dr. Donna Housman to lead a discussion on bullying prevention and emotional intelligence with an audience of parents, educators, and community leaders. Dr. Housman is a child psychologist, early education specialist and Founder and Executive Director of Beginnings School in Weston, MA.
According to thebullyproject.com, more than 13 million children will be bullied this year in the U.S. alone, making it the most common form of violence experienced by youths. Bully, directed, written, and filmed by Hirsch and produced by the Weinstein Company, is a poignant, character-driven documentary that follows five kids ages 11 through 17 and their families. Filmed over the course of the 2009/2010 school year, Bully offers an intimate glimpse into homes, classrooms, cafeterias and principals’ offices and insight into the often cruel world of the lives of bullied children.
About Donna Housman, Ph.D/Emotional Intelligence: Dr. Donna Housman is an expert on emotional intelligence, the sense of compassion, self-esteem, and self-control. Housman believes the key to bullying prevention is found in teaching children to understand and manage their own emotions and the emotions of others. According to Housman, “When children are exposed to curriculum focusing on emotional intelligence within the first three to five years of life, they develop the critical emotional competencies of awareness, understanding, self-regulation, and sensitivity to the emotions of others. Emotional intelligence is essential for character and moral development.”
•March 3,2012 -
Beginnings School hosted the "Goodbye Winter" Festival with close to 100 hundred families, both in-house and from outside the school. Animal Adventures presented exotic animals, Rhythm Kids followed with an interactive concert that had the kids drumming and dancing, children painted on large ice canvases, and teachers led science-based Scimagination activities.
• September 6, 2011 - Fighting Bullying: Arming Children with Emotional Intelligence
In the last several years, bullying has become a national epidemic. Protecting children should be a priority throughout the United States, and the recently enacted anti-bullying legislation here in Massachusetts is a step in the right direction. But does it really solve the problem?
Clearly, deterring bullies through our legal system is vital, but it represents just one component of what must be a comprehensive approach to this societal problem. Prevention programs are essential to eliminating bullying and must be introduced at an early age. It is important to educate children in how to be emotionally smart in their awareness and sensitivity to how others feel. When children learn empathy, it helps to counter the negative behaviors that often result in bullying.
In the upcoming weeks, Dr. Housman will be addressing these concerns in two public forums:
On September 5th, Dr. Housman spoke with the FOX 25 Morning Show news team to discuss the role of emotional intelligence in bullying prevention.
On September 14th at 7:00PM, Dr. Housman will be hosting an open discussion at the school in order to have a dialogue directly with parents about emotional intelligence and bullying prevention. The Q&A session will focus on teaching parents how to create a safe and positive environment for their children by fostering their children’s development of emotional intelligence skills.
We invite you to attend this timely Q&A discussion on September 14th, from 7-8PM, which will be hosted at Beginnings School.
• August 23, 2011 - The Weston Town Crier and Weston Patch.com have published Dr. Donna Housman's article, Facing Back to School Jitters. As the school year rapidly approaches, Dr. Housman's timely article focuses on the cause of back to school apprehension and ways parents can support and guide their children through this transitional period.
• July 11, 2011 - Dr. Donna Housman's article addressing the prevention of summer learning loss appeared in the Lifestyle section of the Weston Town Crier on Sunday, July 10, 2011. Dr. Housman's article discusses the importance of summer play as a means of avoiding summer learning loss, as well as the reasons play reenforces a love of learning. As always, we are interested in hearing your thoughts and comments about issues that affect children and families.
• December 2, 2010 – Beginnings and Dr. Housman were featured today in the Weston Town Crier in an article written by Carrie Winchman entitled Anti-Bully Plan. Deterring bullying through our legal system is vital but represents just one component of what must be a comprehensive approach. Prevention programs are an essential part of the solution and studies show that prevention can be introduced to children at home and in school at an early age. According to Dr. Donna Housman, founder and executive director of Beginnings Child Development Center in Weston, teaching the skills that can mitigate against negative behaviors such as bullying can be taught well before elementary school.
• November 1, 2010 – As winter holidays approach, take a sneak peak at Family Fun Magazine (published by Disney Publishing Worldwide) as they release their annual Toy of the Year Awards, a summation of the best toys available in the market today as judged by parents and kids based on toy value, durability, and fun-ness. Also check out the useful guides issued by Truce Teachers, an organization of educators who work to counteract the harmful impact of media and marketing on children. These guides for creative toy play are available for various age groups.
• October 18, 2010 – In Newsweek's The Creativity Crisis, Po Pronson and Ashley Merryman reveal research showing that American creativity is declining for the first time. The decline is cited to be most serious for children in kindergarten through sixth grade. Questions about what went wrong and how to fix it are posed in this article promoting the idea that ‘there is never one right answer - to be creative requires divergent thinking (generating many unique ideas) and then convergent thinking (combining those ideas into the best result).’ Dr. Donna Housman said, “This is what we are helping children to do all the time: at our Peace Table in asking children to look at alternative ways to resolve the problem and choose the best plan, in role play where children act out various roles and viewpoints, in science and block play where children are encouraged to question what they see and design according to their unique plan, and in learning to manage not only our own feelings, needs and actions, but also dealing with the feelings, needs and actions of others.” The article also cites neuroscientist Rex Jung who concluded that those who diligently practice creative activities learn to recruit their brains’ creative networks quicker and better. A lifetime of consistent habits gradually changes the neurological pattern. At Beginnings we believe that this process starts at infancy and laying the foundation is most critical during the first six years. Beginnings Creative Play Learning Philosophy
• August 4, 2010 - In the Wired Magazinecolumn The Frontal Cortex, Jonah Lehrer writes How Preschool Changes the Brain. In response Dr. Housman at Beginnings said, "This article and articles like this are very important. The information is powerful in terms of how important healthy emotional development is - even more than IQ, according to several studies. I don't happen to believe that one is very good without the other - both are important! This article is accurate in its research and analysis by Heckman, an economist and Nobel Laureate. This information started coming out several years ago supporting the importance for how emotional awareness is the engine behind control and how necessary it is for our kids to develop and become more emotionally smart - more emotionally aware." Learn more
• June 21, 2010 - Beginnings Child Development Center, in its commitment to providing excellence to children and families, will be launching a pioneering study at the school that further develops our longstanding dedication to fostering emotional intelligence in children. Beginnings will be launching a pilot study this coming year in further examining the process of the development of emotional intelligence in young children. Recently Beginnings attracted the attention of Dr. Kurt Fischer, the Charles Bigelow Professor of Education at Harvard University and Director of the Mind, Brain and Education program who said, " Beginnings School is uniquely focused on the emotional foundations of early development with a curriculum and educational practice grounded in relevant research about emotional development and learning." Beginnings was identified because of its 25 years of experience delivering high quality education through a unique curriculum that focuses on emotional intelligence as a critical component in attaining academic, social and personal success. Learn more
• March 9, 2010 - In response to today’s Boston Globe article “For Many, 'Mean Girl' Practice Starts Early”, Dr. Donna Housman of Beginnings Child Development Center in Weston reminds parents and educators of the importance of fostering emotional intelligence in children, listening and responding to their thoughts and feelings in their daily lives. Learn more
• January 14, 2010 - Beginnings Child Development Center earned its reaccreditation from NAEYC – the nation’s leading organization of early childhood professionals. “We’re proud to have earned the mark of quality from NAEYC, and to be recognized for our commitment to reaching the highest professional standards,” said Dr. Donna Housman, Founder and Executive Director of Beginnings. “NAEYC Accreditation lets families in our community know that children in our program are getting the best care and early learning experiences possible.” Download NAEYC Press Release
• November 22, 2009 - Dr. Donna Housman's response to the proposed anti-bullying legislation, a letter entitled Bullying: a Prescription for Prevention, appeared in The Boston Sunday Globe editorial section on Sunday, Nov. 22nd. In addition, Dr. Housman was asked to address this important topic during an interview with WBZ News Radio reporter Amy Cherry which aired the same day. As always, we are interested in hearing your thoughts and comments about issues that affect children and families.
• On October 24, 2009, Beginnings announced the introduction of a new, full-day Senior Kindergarten. The program, which will focus on developing students' Social/Emotional Intelligence, Creative Play, Art Appreciation, Readiness Skills, and Kinesthetic Learning, is known as "SPARK". Children age five as of September 1st will have the opportunity to enroll in the Senior Kindergarten program which will begin in September 2010. Learn More