PIFS Tag

  By Marianne Riess It is no secret that modern children spend a lot more time indoors and on screens than did previous generations. Yet studies continue to show that children need lots of outdoor time to develop in all domains of learning. Children who spend time outdoors not only have better muscle development and coordination, but they are also more curious, more independent and more creative learners. They tend to be more resilient, more willing to...

  “Every Child is an Artist” – Pablo Picasso The Putnam Indian Field School Annual Art Show never fails to impress and inspire, and this year was no different. In addition to bright and beautiful paintings, drawings, prints and 3-D constructions, the show featured extended project work done by the classes. The Art Show preview party for parents offered cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, and a chance to admire the work and socialize in relative peace on Friday evening, April...

  Fall light bathed the walls of the Bates’ house. The morning sun made dappled images and everything looked beautiful. Then came a peace-piercing scream. Charlie ran into the kitchen with a pencil in his hand and with the saddest expression a four-year old could have on his still tan little face. The screaming continued. Josh Bates ran up the back stairs. His wife Molly was in the baby’s room, holding Finney, who had a deep cut...

  A nursery school like no other, PIFS offers the perfect summer experience for a young child. All facilities and grounds are specifically designed for 2 – 5 year olds, with classrooms and play yards full of wonderful, age appropriate activities. PIFS staff know how to introduce a young child to the first school experience, and to make a successful transition from home to school. They combine comfort and assurance with interesting and exciting activities that any...

  In Case You Missed Part 1, Help Lorraine and Jane sat opposite each other at the coffee shop. “So tell me about Jared,” Jane said. “What worries you about him?” Lorraine thought for a moment. “Well, he seems to be out of control a lot of the time. I never know what he’ll do next. No matter how I try to guide him in advance, he just does whatever he feels like. And usually the result is not...

  Lorraine Finch and her two children, Jared and Liza were going to story hour at the Library. Mrs. Etheridge, the librarian was a kind, older woman who had been reading stories to very young children for decades. During the last story hour, Jared had thrown a book at Mrs. Etheridge and knocked her glasses off. “Remember Jared, be nice to Mrs. Etheridge and listen to the story. No bad behavior this time,” Lorraine reminded him. As they walked...

By Marianne Riess Your high school junior daughter is invited to a party, but she has a big test the next day. Will she forego the party to study for the test? Your college freshman son has a paper due, but would prefer to watch a football game in the lounge with his friends. How confident are you that he will make the right choice? The ability to stick with an unattractive, but necessary task rather than...

  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....

By Marianne Riess Most parents understand that children learn primarily through play. Yet, when their child attends a play-based nursery school, they may wonder whether he or she is being challenged, being thoroughly prepared for elementary school, being exposed to “academics.” Studies show that rote learning at a young age does not stick. Children may develop a temporary edge over their playing peers, but it is just that, temporary. And while they are being taught and drilled,...

Article By Marianne Riess     Photo By Marianne Riess   Thanksgiving lunch at Putnam Indian Field School has always been special.   Alba and Susanna carried on the tradition started by Nolda Joseph, serving delicious turkey, stuffing and gravy as well as potatoes, acorn squash, green bean casserole, and cranberry sauce. Yummy desserts, too.   Thanks Alba and Susanna for all the hard work and thanks Nolda for the inspiration. A special lunch for a special school.   HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE!       www.pifs.net Phone – 203 –...

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...

  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...