Posted by Pamela Mayer-Caes on Apr 23, 2010
Au Pairs work hard all week long. They provide childcare for their Host Families for up to 10 hours a day and 45 hours a week. They have fun with the children; taking them to the park, playing games, reading, helping with homework, driving to activities and so much more. So when the work week is over, Au Pairs love to take a break and relax.
On Friday, April 16 three Au Pair in America clusters from the western suburbs gathered at Expression Dance Studio in Westmont for: “Au Pair Dance Night Out.” They were joined by their local Community Counselors Maria, Pat and Pam, and one very brave set of Au Pair parents for some dance lessons and a whole lot of fun. The au pairs learned a few “smooth latin moves” and how to have fun, and look good out on the dance floor. One Au Pair commented: “Dance Night was so much fun, we should do this again very soon.”
Posted by Pamela Mayer-Caes on Apr 21, 2010
The Naperville Cluster gathered for one of their monthly cluster meetings to “give back” to a local charity. They exercised their creativity and generosity by putting together beautiful baskets to give to families in need through the Naperville Loaves and Fishes organization. A fun time was had by all.
Posted by Ginny Costigan on Mar 22, 2010
Did you know that Au Pair in America will pay for the cost of a Red Cross class providing you have at least three months left on your visa and you are taking one of several approved childcare/child safety related classes, such as infant/child CPR or Community First Aid and Safety.
The American Red Cross of Chicago is offering a class designed for childcare providers, teachers, parents and others who care for children, this course teaches participants how to recognize and care for breathing and cardiac emergencies in infants and children up to 8 years of age. Participants take home a skills card as well as information about preventing injuries. The course is (CSCC) CPR/AED, # HSSFA207. For schedule and more information, visit the American Red Cross of Greater Chicago website. Here is a link to the class: http://arc-chicago.axxiomportal.com/Education/course.aspx?c=7649 . Check with your community counselor for details on payment for courses.
Posted by Angela Weepie on Mar 8, 2010
International Women’s Day
International Women’s Day is celebrated yearly on March 8th. It is a day of global celebration of women. A celebration of respect, appreciation and love towards women. It is also a time to celebrate the economic, political and social achievements of women.
The first IWD was observed on 28 February 1909 in the United States. This year, Chicago Community Counsellors participated in an Internation Women’s Day Fair at the Union League Club in Chicago.
Posted by Renee Bernal on Feb 2, 2010
Groundhog Day is February 2nd.
Groundhog Day is held on Feb. 2, in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania every year, and you might be wondering how a groundhog landed the job of predicting the weather. If you’re unfamiliar with the tradition, it goes like this: If the groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, sees his shadow, we’re stuck with six more weeks of winter. If he doesn’t see his shadow, we luck out with an early spring.
The tradition dates back to 1887, and though the origins are unclear, it is said to have originated from ancient Europe. It also has religious origins, as it shares similarities with Candelmas Day, which is also today. There is an old English saying, “If Candlemas be fair and bright,/ Come, Winter, have another flight.
Here are fun facts about Groundhog Day:
1. Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow the overwhelming majority of years
2. The National Climatic Data Center reportedly stated that Phil’s prediction’s have been correct 39 percent of the time. This number is in conflict with Phil’s followers, who claim he’s been correct every year.
3. Following the release of the movie Groundhog Day in 1993, starring Bill Murray, as many as 30,000 made the trip to visit the tiny hill in Punxsutawney where the ceremony takes place.
4. Groundhogs typically live only six to eight years
Posted by Kathy Kressner on Dec 16, 2009
If you are planning on giving your au pair a gift this holiday season, but haven’t made your decision yet, here are some ideas:
- Stationary to write friends and family back home
- A SunTrek gift certificate for a trip your au pair may be planning with SunTrek-1-800-SUNTREK
- A framed photograph of her with the children
- Gifts certificates for photo albums and printing of pictures
- Hat and mittens
- A hand-made gift by the children such as a framed card, picture, painting, jewelry, etc.
- Personalized or engraved gifts
- Personal items such as bubble bath, lotion, special soaps, etc.
- Books especially a picture book of the US or a guide book for a place she is planning to visit
- Gift certificates to theatre, restaurants, store to purchase personal items, etc.
- Phone card
A special note regarding gift giving…….
Holiday gift giving in the United States may seem overwhelming to Au Pairs. The quantity of gifts given to the children and the commercialization of this holiday season may be quite different from their experiences. Au pairs are not in a position to purchase expensive gifts so encourage your au pair to participate in this holiday season by possibly sharing a dish from her home country, baking cookies, etc.
Please feel free to share any ideas you may have!
Posted by Kathy Kressner on Dec 12, 2009
Also known as the Festival of Lights, Chanukah starts at sundown today and lasts for eight days. It is a celebration of religious freedom based on historical events of more than two thousand years ago. It is traditional to exchange gifts of gelt (Yiddish for money) in the form of real coins or chocolate wrapped in gold foil, to play a game of put-and-take with a four sided top called a dreidel, and to light candles each night. Traditional foods include donuts and potato pancakes. See www.holidays.net/chanukah/index.htm for more information, recipes, and crafts.
Posted by Kathy Kressner on Dec 9, 2009
Gingerbread is an important part of many cultures’ holiday celebrations. Read the story of the Gingerbread Boy and have fun making gingerbread cookies!
Visit the library:
Gingerbread Baby by Jan Brett; The Gingerbread Boy by Richard Egielski; The Gingerbread Man by Eric Kimmel; The Cajun Gingerbread Boy illustrated by Berthe Amoss
Head to the kitchen!
- Preheat oven to 350 F
- Sift together in a large bowl:
- 3 cups of flour
- 1 teaspoon of baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon each of cinnamon, ground ginger, ground cloves, and nutmeg
- Beat together in a smaller bowl:
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 6 Tablespoons butter
- 1 egg
- 3/4 cup molasses
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Stir the dry ingredients into the creamed mixture. Cover and refrigerate for an hour.
- Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface and cut out cookies.
- Bake on a greased cookie sheet for 7-10 minutes
- Place on rack to cool and then decorate
Posted by Kathy Kressner on Dec 4, 2009
You need: a paper plate, milk or orange juice carton, graham crackers, different candies to decorate with, and frosting. To make the frosting beat egg whites from 2 large eggs with an electric mixer at high speed. When foamy add 2 1/2 cups of powder sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, beating well with each addition. This takes about 7-8 minutes. Frosting will be very stiff and white. Frosting will dry fast, so if not using right away cover with a damp towel and refrigerate. Enjoy!