PIFS Tag

It’s an annual tradition now. In the middle of October, the trucks roll in delivering the pumpkins and hay bales that transform the Putnam Indian Field School play yard into a wonderful outdoor classroom with so much to learn and do! The hay bales make a wonderful maze for climbing on, running through or jumping off. The children can’t believe their good fortune, or get enough time in the outdoors. The air is crisp and cool,...

By Marianne Riess Most parents are aware of the importance of building confidence and self-esteem in their children. How to do it effectively? One way is to listen when they talk and then respond, letting them know you take their ideas seriously. Ask their opinions at times. Whenever possible, give them choices about what they will eat or wear. Spend uninterrupted time with them to show you enjoy their company. Building self-confidence too often involves a lot...

  Last Saturday, Party with Moms lost a dear friend. Wife, Mother of 3, Long Time Teacher at Putnam Indian Field School. We will all miss her. Calling Hours - Thursday, June 28, 4 - 8 PM Leo P. Gallagher & Sons Funeral Home 31 Arch Street, Greenwich, CT Funeral - Friday, June 29, 10 AM Sacred Heart Church (Byram) 38 Gold Street, Greenwich, CT Burial immediately following at St. Mary’s Cemetery 399 North Street, Greenwich, CT...

  The school year had come to an end. It had been an absolutely great year and the teachers were as sad as the children to say goodbye. Fortunately for the teachers and the children who were able to stay on, there was a little three week summer camp. This was essentially an extension of the school year along with sprinklers and more time for everything, because of the longer day. It was heaven for all. The...

  What was originally predicted to be a wet Saturday turned warm and sunny just in time for the Putnam Indian Field School’s 40th Anniversary celebration. Head of School, Susan Donaghy and Former Head Marianne Riess welcomed the over 300 people who showed up to connect with old friends and share memories. Parents and former children (now adults) were there from the first classes in 1978 and on. Past and present teachers were happy to reminisce...

  2018 is Putnam Indian Field School’s 40th year, and to celebrate, the school is throwing a party for former parents and alumni on June 9th, from 4 - 7 PM on the school grounds. It has the potential to be a very big bash with so many parents and their grown up children invited. Refreshments will be provided by the Boxcar Cantina truck serving its New Mexican food and delicious margaritas, and by Aux Delices serving...

  It is so important that the first school experience be a happy and positive one, enabling a child to build self-confidence and independence. PIFS knows how to help children transition successfully from home to school. Staffed by caring teachers from the PIFS staff and other area nursery schools, the PIFS Summer Camp features sand and water play, art, imaginative play, music and nature experiences and lots of outdoor time with other young children. The PIFS...

What do you love to do with your children? How old are they? And what is your greatest wish for them?  I have an 8-year-old son and a 4-year-old daughter. Maybe it sounds crazy but I love to travel with them. I love their anticipation and planning leading up to big trips; I love how excited they are at every stage of the journey; and of course I love exploring new places and exposing them to...

  During the Thanksgiving holiday, four-year-old John Colligan became tearful at every turn. He was feeling extra attached to his mother, Liz, and wanted to be with her all the time. She did make special times for each of her four children but loved time with all of them as well. The children were happy altogether too. Yet John suddenly began to separate himself from the board games, the family fun outdoors and even the cozy movie...

  Last week the N.Y. Times published an article entitled “Why Are Our Most Important Teachers Paid the Least?” Nursery school teachers have been dismissed as glorified babysitters, paid low hourly wages with few other benefits, and expected to put up with chaotic working conditions. After all, they were only teaching preschoolers. They had no need for academic expertise in any field. Perceptions have changed. First, brain research done at Harvard with Project Zero showed the importance...

  As young Mothers and Grandmothers gladly and wholeheartedly comb the earth to find a very special something for a little relative, they might be surprised to know they have this present already. What the child most wants is their attention and time. A child’s heart’s desire is unquestionably just a few hours with a parent or grandparent, somewhere simple, maybe at home, a cozy restaurant or outside. Phones and all technological devices are not invited....

  The holidays are around the corner. As I leaf through the toy catalogs this year, in search of the perfect presents for my grandchildren, I am amazed by the number and variety of STEM toys. They are everywhere! Build your own robot or lunar lander or drone. Make electricity and learn about circuitry, magnets and gears. Learn coding to remote control your (fill in the blank). Take on an engineering project, simple or complex. I...

  Nolda and Alba have done it again! Each year, on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, the school’s chefs plan a wonderful and healthy lunch for the children and teachers that is above and beyond any concept of school food. Each year, the recipes change as new vegetables, different stuffings, and side dishes are tried out. [caption id="attachment_8941" align="aligncenter" width="288"] Chris carves more turkey as the first lunch group enjoys their meal.[/caption] Today’s lunch was no exception, as the...

  For two weeks every October, children at PIFS have a glorious outdoor classroom, known as the Pumpkin Patch. The skies are blue, the air is warm enough to not require coats, the leaves are turning bright colors, and their play yard is transformed by the presence of a hay bale maze, hay jumps, a teepee made of cornstalks and over 100 bright orange pumpkins of all sizes. The children love moving the pumpkins all over...

  Ross Etheridge sat in his driveway, honking the horn. "Chop, chop Bozos! In the car or you're toast!”   His wife appeared, softly steering their children to the car.  “Liz, come on! I asked you to have the children ready!” Thomas and Lilly fumbled with their seat belts. Liz came over and helped them. She patted her children’s soft hair. “Ross, please try to slow down. The children love being with you. Life isn’t a race, even if you are...

  Where does the time go? Many long-time Greenwich residents can remember when their 30 and even 40 year old children started school at PIFS. This September is the school’s 40th year of existence, and there are always new developments. The school gets greener and greener. The gardens planted by the children in the spring are full of many different kinds of tomatoes, cukes, lettuces, peppers, beans, and potatoes, as well as pumpkins and melons. These organically...

  As a nursery school teacher with 40 years of experience, I like to think that I can be flexible and responsive to the requests of children and their parents. As a result, even though my teaching partners and I always ask that toys from home be left at home (or at least in the car), I have made exceptions when a child enters the class clutching a beloved toy and the mother says, “I couldn’t...

  It’s that time of year again, when children go back to school, or start at a new one. Many of our youngest will attend school for the first time, and at a very young age. Two and three-year-olds who have never been to school before are in for what can initially be a traumatic experience. There is a happy ending, however. Starting nursery school means watching your mom or beloved caregiver walk away and leave you...

  I just returned from an absolutely perfect trip to Paris with my sister. We had so much fun together and with the French. My Franglais served as a source of entertainment for the French and a chance for me to again and again see that fun is the most universal language. As we walked on these ancient and beautiful narrow streets together we looked into very busy patisseries, tiny fruit and vegetable markets and many beyond...

  The school year had come to an end. It had been an absolutely great year and the teachers were as sad as the children to say goodbye. Fortunately for the teachers and the children who were able to stay on, there was a little three week summer camp. This was essentially an extension of the school year along with sprinklers and more time for everything, because of the longer day. It was heaven for all. The...

  My brothers and I grew up in a Long Island suburb. After graduate school, I came to Greenwich to teach, and stayed. My children grew up here, and now I have grandchildren in town as well. But I also have two grandchildren who live in New York City, and I have concluded that city kids lead very different lives. Suburban kids go everywhere in cars. They are driven to their destinations by parents and nannies, do...

  Every year, parents and staff are amazed at the art the children of Putnam Indian Field School create for their Art Show. This past weekend was no exception, as the school was transformed into a very colorful art and science museum. The children work very hard on their creations. Some are individual expressions; others are the result of longtime group projects. An example of a long-term project was one Pre K’s “cleaning and security robot.” It...

  Having worked in a nursery school for 36 years, I was part of many attempts to encourage young children to be charitable. Whenever the efforts involved giving toys, they inevitably failed. Parents and staff would initiate a “Toys for Tots” kind of effort. After explaining that some families could not afford to buy toys, parents would take their child to a store and encourage him or her to pick out a toy for an underprivileged...

  Nothing is more aggravating, discouraging, and guaranteed to set your nerves on total edge than listening to your children fight with each other. Nothing can make you question your parenting skills (and your sanity) more than the constant bickering or worse. Because we love the children so much and recognize their individual strengths and talents, we can’t believe they treat each other with such disrespect and outright cruelty. “Why?” we ask them, “Why can’t you...

  Memorial Service Honoring the Life of Fred Wierdsma Founder and First Headmaster of the Putnam Indian Field School Friday, March 31, 2017 4:00 PM Christ Church, Greenwich Fred’s family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Putnam Indian Field School for immediate repair and ongoing maintenance of the Smokey’s Bounders Play Area and Nature Trail which were created and maintained by Fred over the course of 40 years, and which provided generations of children with challenges, fun and...

  Written by Marianne Riess Joyce was a social giant. Her easy smile projected warmth and good humor. She loved friends, fun, a good party and was obviously a veteran of many of them. She played many roles in her life: secretary, adventurer, wife, friend, mother, teacher, grandmother. We knew her best as a nursery school teacher. Joyce understood that young children learn through fun, play and games, and when she hooked up with Anne Martine Cook...

  What do you love to do with your children? How old are they? And what is your greatest wish for them? We have two boys, Henri, 5 and Leonardo, 2. I love to cook with them. We have lots of fun in the kitchen together. Recently we made homemade pasta and homemade mozzarella but on a regular basis we make pancakes from scratch, scrambled eggs and homemade pizza (I am not much of a baker). We don’t...

  Jane Hallowell was waking up slowly. She heard light speedy feet coming down the hall. In seconds, Rafe and Will were plastered against their mother. Jack, Jane's husband was on a trip to London, the first one in several months. Gently patting her little boys’ backs relaxed them and bought them all more quiet time and a coziness that Jane adored. Saturday was a present; Jane felt this through and through. She knew no matter how...