Hanna Perkins School open house: Thu., Feb. 9

Version 2Hanna Perkins School will hold an open house from 4-6 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 9 for parents of prospective preschoolers and kindergarteners in 2017-18.

One-on-one tours will be offered throughout, and a group Q&A/Discussion will take place at 5 p.m.

Visitors will discover what makes Hanna Perkins unique – from the mindful approach to child development, to the important role of parents in the learning process, to the way meals and outdoor fun are integrated into the curriculum.

Hanna Perkins focuses on helping young children understand and manage the feelings that arise in everyday interactions – a foundational skill for success in school and life.

Our EPIC (Exploring Potentials in Children) Classroom, for children with Level 1 Autism Spectrum Disorders diagnoses, will also be open. It applies the same social-emotional focus in an environment modified specifically for the learning needs of children who are likely to join a mainstream classroom in the future.

print-a-flyerHanna Perkins classes feature a 6:1 student teacher ratio, and a unique team-based approach involving the parent, teacher and a Family Helper to provide an 65th logoexperience that sets each child on his or her best path for future success. The program  integrates best practices in early childhood education with an internationally-recognized relationship-based model that has been researched, developed, practiced and fine-tuned for more than 65 years.

The school offers an effective environment for a wide range for students, including:

  • Those whose parents value a proactive emphasis on social-emotional development;
  • Children who would benefit from extra personal attention;
  • Children who are struggling with specific emotional or behavioral issues.

It is not a therapeutic school in the narrow sense that many people understand, but is particularly attractive to families with a child or children who need help making sense of the world around them, and support in managing the their response to it.

Claass Blocks &windowsHanna Perkins School is located in a beautifully restored historic school building in a neighborhood setting in Shaker Heights. It offers two playgrounds; an indoor gym; and healthful meals prepared onsite daily, with an emphasis on organic and locally grown food.

For information about the open house, contact School Director Barbara Streeter.

We’re located at 19910 Malvern Road, Shaker Heights, OH. Click here for directions.

For more information why Hanna Perkins School may be right for your child, see these resources elsewhere on our website:

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    Annual Report

    Click image to view the current annual report

    2015 HPC AR cover



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      Emotional Intelligence

      2 boys_david castillo dominici_freedigitalphotosThe foundation for future learning is established between birth and age six. During this time, a child transitions from dependence to independence, and develops an emotional blueprint that informs every aspect of his or her life.

      Emotional intelligence – the ability to understand and manage feelings – is considered the driving force behind intellectual and social achievement, and the strongest indicator of human success.

      Emotional intelligence can be fostered most effectively during the preschool years, regardless of the genetic or temperamental predispositions with which a child is born. It is an area in which we can make a difference. Children who receive the gift of adult mindfulness during these early years develop essential assets, such as

      • Curiosity
      • Problem-solving
      • Competence
      • Mastery
      • Creativity
      • Management of worries and fears
      • Ability to focus
      • Self-control
      • Kindness
      • Self-advocacy

      By understanding this and addressing a child’s inner life, all children can be helped to cultivate  critical life skills. Children who receive the gift of adult mindfulness during these early years develop essential assets, such as flexibility, relationship-building, conflict management, self-awareness, self-discipline and planning skills.

      Through emotionally-based learning, children are best equipped to build resilience and maximize their own potential.

      Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici/freedigitalphotos.net


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        The early-childhood origins of bullying

        Bullies in the Block Area: The Early Childhood Origins of “Mean” Behavior

        BulliesBlockAreaBy Kerry DeVooght, M.S.W.; Sarah Daily, Ph.D.; Kristen Darling-Churchill, M.P.P.; Deborah Temkin, Ph.D.; Megan Novak, B.A.; Child Trends Karen VanderVen, Ph.D.,University of Pittsburgh | Published August 2015

        A familiar scene in preschools nationwide might go something like this:

        Jacob and Stella are building an elaborate castle for the family of farm animals they have gathered. Stella is the self-appointed architect and foreman of the construction, while Jacob hands over the materials and cheers Stella on as the towers go precariously skyward. Sam wanders over to admire their project. “Cool!” he says. “Can I help?” He picks up a yellow block and Stella quickly snatches it from his hands. “NO!” she yells. “We don’t want you to help!” “Yeah!” chimes Jacob. “You can’t play with us. Go away!” Sam begins to cry for his teacher as he slowly backs away.

        Exclusionary or “mean” behavior in early childhood is no recent or rare phenomenon—in fact, scenarios like the one above are common in preschool classrooms or daycare settings. As children in this age group are still developing basic social skills and conceptions of morality, this type of interaction may be dismissed as “no big deal” or just “kids being kids.” Most people would hesitate to label the young children in the aforementioned scene as “bullies” or “victims,” yet verbal and relational aggression have clearly taken place, and a child has been excluded and rejected. Despite the frequency of these interactions or the rejection inherent in them, little emphasis has been placed on the implications of these early experiences. Further, there has been scarce attention paid to how early warning signs for later bullying may manifest in this age group. The recent increased attention to the harmful effects of bullying for school-aged children and adolescents, however, has led to a heightened awareness of the problem of peer victimization—and a recognition of the importance of identifying and mitigating early childhood risk factors for later bullying. Understanding and addressing the root causes of bullying is profoundly important, given the sometimes devastating consequences to its victims…

        To date, little attention has been given to the relationship between early childhood experiences and bullying behaviors later in life. The existing body of research on bullying in older children and youth is critically important, yet the factors that contribute to a child’s engaging in bullying behaviors are likely experienced earlier in life. In fact, studies show that the spontaneous demonstration of bullying behavior among school-aged children is highly unlikely (Nagin & Tremblay, 1999; Broidy, Nagin, Tremblay, Bates, Brame, Dodge, Ferguson, et al., 2003), and the precursors of bullying behavior can be seen already in early childhood (Perren & Alsaker, 2006; Vlachou, Andreou, Botsoglou, & Didaskalou, 2011).

        We may be missing an important opportunity to identify and address the antecedents of bullying before these behaviors become organized and intentional (Fraser, Lee, Kupper, & Day, 2010; Storey & Slaby, 2013; Tremblay, et al., 2010).

        At least some bullying behavior likely has roots in adverse childhood experiences, such as experiencing or witnessing violence, or neglect by caregivers. Other correlates of bullying may, on the surface, seem less severe than these experiences, yet they can also have a profound, negative effect on a child and increase his or her Bullies in the Block Area 3 likelihood of future involvement in bullying. These may include certain parental personality traits (e.g., lack of warmth or empathy), lack of time spent engaging with caregivers or family members, and exposure to certain media. Empirical evidence documenting the links between experiences in early childhood (defined here as birth to age five) and later bullying has only recently begun to emerge. Further, there are few interventions designed to mitigate or change the course of potential future bullying behavior starting in the early years.

        This paper aims to address some of these gaps, by (1) summarizing what is currently known about the developmental trajectory and stability of bullying behavior over the course of a child’s life, (2) identifying the early experiences and factors that provide the strongest evidence for contributing to later bullying behavior, and (3) describing promising strategies and evidence-based intervention models designed to prevent bullying by addressing these factors in early childhood. The material presented here can be used to inform the first iteration of a theoretical model of early bullying behavior and its developmental link to later bullying, as well as next steps for the research, policy, and practitioner communities.

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          Helping Children Express Mad Feelings: Early prevention of bullying

          • 3-hour SUTQ-approved social/emotional training
          • Offered for free

          Mrs. Wilson's class 003Most bullying prevention programs focus on high school or middle school. But by then, the processes and behaviors that cause bullying are already deeply embedded and hard to correct.

          “Helping Children Express Mad Feelings” is different. This training will help early childhood professionals identify typical and atypical mad behaviors by observation. Once identified, they will help children modulate their mad feelings (small, medium, big) and give children the words to express their mad feelings – thus avoiding discipline and punishment that result from “acting out”, and developing self-advocacy skills and self-esteem.

          This training will also help early learning professionals identify atypical “mad” behaviors (with respect to cultural differences) and assist parents in finding resources to help their child succeed.

          DetailsRegister Now button

          When: (2 sessions offered)

          • Friday, Oct. 30, 9 a.m.-noon
          • Friday, Nov. 13, 9 a.m.-noon


          Starting Point (directions)
          4600 Euclid Ave., Room 358
          Cleveland, OH 44103

          CEUs: 3 hours, Step Up To Quality social/emotional

          Cost: Free. Advance registration is required.


          Victoria Todd, LISW-S, Child and Adolescent Psychoanalyst.
          Todd is author of the “My Mad Feelings” curriculum, which has been nominated for the Educational Achievement Award by the American Psychoanalytic Association.

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            The Hospitalized Child: A course for child-life professionals

            Children who have conditions that require extended hospital stays or frequent outpatient visits may experience special challenges. In this course, participants prepare and present detailed reports on such children with a focus on:

            • Evaluating and understanding the individual child’s situation
            • How to help the patient and family master the current stresses
            • Understanding of the individual with respect to: 
              • General concepts of child development
              • Emotional aspects of illness and of their management.

            Special emphasis is placed on methods of supporting mastery by patients and their families mastery – including preventative measures and means of follow-up support.

            The class begins September 16, 2015, and continues for a total of nine Wednesday-evening sessions until May 4, 2016.

            CEU credits (10.5 hours) are available through the Counselor, Social Worker and Marriage & Family Therapist Board of Ohio.
            Eventbrite - The Hospitalized Child: A course for child-life professionals


            Time: 6-7:30 p.m.
            Dates: (all session are on Wednesday):

            • Sept. 16, 2015
            • Oct. 7, 2015
            • Nov. 4, 2015
            • Dec. 2, 2015
            • Jan. 6, 2016
            • Feb. 3, 2016
            • March 2, 2016
            • April 6, 2016
            • May 4, 2016

            Location: The Hanna Perkins Center for Child Development
            19910 Malvern Road
            Shaker Hts., OH 44122
            Map and directions

            Instructor: Devra Adelstein, LISW
            Cost: $150

            For questions or to register, please contact Pamela Millar, Associate Director of Community Engagement & School Programs by e-mail or by calling 216-991-4472. 

            You may also register online
            Eventbrite - The Hospitalized Child: A course for child-life professionals

            Image courtesy of Tiverylucky/Freedigitalphotos.net

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              Swagelok employees volunteer at Hanna Perkins

              swagelok 2-lrNeither the heat nor the humidity slowed down volunteers from Solon-based Swagelok Co., who spent their day on Wed., Aug. 15 helping with playground maintenance.

              Despite temperatures in the high-80s and humidity above 60%, the team of nearly 20 employees spread specialized playground mulch on both playgrounds in record time, and removed several large shrubs that killed by last winter’s severe weather.

              Hanna Perkins appreciates the help from Swagelok and its people.

              Swagelok is a producer of fluid system solutions for industry. As part of its commitment to corporate social responsibility, the company schedules volunteer services for local charities, with many associates volunteering personal time for neighborhood causes or to help with community projects. swagelok 1-lr


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                The roles of a parent…

                Source: Erna Furman, Helping Young Children Grow

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                  Behavior is how young children communicate

                  tantrum_imagerymajestic_freedigitalphotosWhen young children misbehave, it’s not because they want to act badly; it’s because they’re having a strong feeling of some kind, and don’t yet have the skill or vocabulary to express it in words.

                  In that context, rather than discipline or punishment, a helpful adult will work with the child to understand the feeling and find a better way to deal with it.

                  Here’s an excerpt from a webcast of Hanna Perkins Therapist Deborah Paris, LISW, BCD, on the important concept of behavior as a form of communication – and the important developmental step of learning to give words to feelings.

                  Image courtesy of Imagerymajestic/Freedigitalphotos.net

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                    What ‘child development’ means to those who study it

                    An excerpt from one of our previous webcasts of Hanna Perkins Therapist Deborah Paris, LISW, BCD, on what the experts mean when they talk about “child development.”

                    Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici/Freedigitalphotos.net

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