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AAA-CHOO! Keeping a Healthy Home

Even a seemingly clean house is still susceptible to viruses and bacteria that can affect the health of you and your loved ones. Fortunately, there are ways to combat these hidden dangers. Below are a few examples of the germiest places in your home and easy solutions for keeping them clean and sanitary.

The Kitchen

Towels, dish cloths, sponges and countertops where food is prepped – all these areas are hot spots for germs. To combat them, put sponges in the dishwasher with the drying setting on, or zap wet sponges in the microwave for 1-2 minutes to kill bacteria. Use a fresh dish cloth every day, and sanitize in the washing machine with hot water in between uses. Wash out the sink with soap and hot water after preparing meals and washing dishes, and sanitize the sink, drain and counters with a bleach solution at least twice a week.

The Laundry Room

Did you know that there is a tenth of a gram of feces in every pair of soiled underwear? Because of this, underclothing should be washed separately in 150℉+ hot water. Move them to the dryer as soon as the wash cycle is done so germs don’t get a chance to multiply, and run it until everything is completely dry, which usually takes about 45 minutes. When you’re done, always wash your hands with soap and water and use a bleach solution on the washing machine’s tub.

The Bathroom

Your toilet bowl is not the only source of germs and bacteria in your bathroom. The flush handle on your toilet is often forgotten, and is one of the easiest ways to transfer sickness from person to person. The best way to cut down on bathroom germs is with weekly disinfecting of the floors, tub/shower floor and sides, and the toilet (including the flush handle).

Delayed Opening – Thursday 1/18/18

This is an important message regarding operations for Apple Tree Learning Centers for Thursday January 18th.

All Apple Tree Centers will operate on a 3 hour delay. We will open at 9am due to the freezing temperature and road conditions. Due to the delayed opening time we will only be serving lunch at 12pm and afternoon snack at 3pm tomorrow.

Academy classes K through 5th grade will be on a delay with a start time of 9:30am.

Child care is available for all public school students for an additional fee.

Sidewalks and parking lots have been salted; however, they are still icy and slippery from the below freezing temperatures. Please be careful and hold your child’s hand when walking in these areas to prevent falling.

We appreciate all your support and please be safe.

Heidi Riden

Winter Is The Perfect Time To Go Outside With Family

With the start of the year, many people are setting goals and resolutions, and getting outside with those you love should make its way onto everyone’s lists. Spending time outdoors and spending time with loved ones have both been proven to benefit health and happiness, making it an activity that benefits all! However, it can be tough to find a way to get outdoors in a way that interests everyone, so here are a few ideas of how to get outside together this year:


Post-meal walks: Taking a walk after a meal is one of the easiest ways to get outside! The family is already gathered together during the meal, and this is an activity that requires no travel. Walking after a meal is also known to improve digestion, and it ensures that everyone has some fresh air and exercise for the day.


Geocaching: If you have trouble getting kids out of the house because of lack of interest, geocaching is an excellent activity to put the fun into walking outside. Using coordinates through their website, you can hunt down these boxes left by other people, or even make your own! Geocaches can be found almost everywhere and can include objects you already have around, making this mini treasure hunt a low-cost, simple option that takes you to new places.


Choose an adventure: Another great way to get outside together is by picking a new activity for everyone to try. Find your local adventure outfitters centers for fun options like mountain biking, kayaking and rock climbing, or even just check out your nearest batting cages or go-kart track! You’ll be sure to leave with fond memories and your children will look forward to the next family outing.

A New Year. A Not So New You…and that’s the beauty of Life!

Another calendar has flipped to the final page, welcoming a new year and a trip to the stationary store to get a 2018 calendar.

For most of us the a new year can bring on some anxious thoughts as we prepare to “do it right” this time. We make resolutions (that sound awfully familiar), clean out our closets (even after we purged for end of year giving), start a diet (back to those pesky resolutions), and the list can begin to get out of control!  There is absolutely nothing wrong with any of this, however, it might be time to give yourself a break. take a minute to think about your life, and move forward into the new year with the same old awesome you!

Take some time to write down – or enter into a computer – a “bucket list” of things that you “want” to do in 2018.  Once this list is compiled, create another list of tasks that you “must” do in 2018.  Lastly, create another list of commitments that you are routinely doing that could be moved to a list titled: “Not Needed In My Life for 2018”.

Once you have these things written down – your “life as it is today” will become more clear and your ability to soar in 2018 will be natural and successful.



DELAYED Opening – Monday, January 8th-Please Read

This is an important message regarding operations for Apple Tree Learning Centers for Monday January 8th.

All Apple Tree Centers will operate on a 3 hour delay.
We will open at 9am due to the condition of all secondary roads throughout the area.

Due to the delayed opening time we will only be serving lunch at 12pm and afternoon snack at 3pm tomorrow

Academy classes are canceled but all-day care is available for academy students and public school students for an additional fee.

If you are working tomorrow and plan to bring your child to the center for care please dress your child appropriately. Winter coats, hats, gloves, scarfs and shoes will be necessary to play in the snow. We also encourage packing a change of clothes if needed. We will be taking the classes outside for a little snow fun. Outdoor time will be limited and scaled back. Parents please do not ask teachers if your child can stay inside as we do not have a classroom set aside for non-outdoor play. Please refer to your parent handbook for outdoor play policy.

Parking lots have been plowed and sidewalks shoveled; however, they are still icy and slippery from the below freezing temperatures. Please be careful and hold your child’s hand when walking in these areas to prevent falling.

We appreciate all your support and please be safe driving tomorrow.

Heidi Riden

Holiday Giving Is The Perfect Lesson In Love

The holiday season is the perfect time to teach our children the beauty of giving back to others. At a time when so many people are focused on getting something – why not take a moment to guide your children in the merit and blessing of giving!

Here are some ideas to help you get started:

Bake As A Family. Although having kids in the kitchen with mixers, cookie dough and measuring cups filled with powder may not be the most care-free option for a mother – this time together can be the best time for bonding and may even turn into a family tradition! As a family, deliver these cookies to your neighbors, your local fire and police station, and even have some packaged at the door for the frenzied postal and delivery drivers who are working hard to get your packages to you on time for the holiday season

Sponsor A Family. There are local organizations that can help you find a family that needs your help this holiday season. Include your children in buying gifts. Let them pick out what “they think”is the best gift idea – and you can supplement these choices with those that you believe are needed and will ensure the holiday is filled with joy for this family in need.

Help The Homeless. Even though this is the time of year when many organizations focus on the homeless community, you can pack gift bags for your family to hand out during your daily travels. Choose practical items such as socks, gloves, hats, snacks, water bottles, gift cards for food and some interesting items that will surprise them! This is something that can be done all year long – your kids will really enjoy doing this – and hopefully it will become a tradition with their own family.

Handwashing: A Powerful Antidote To Illness

How many times have you and your child washed your hands today?

You might not have given it much thought. It’s either part of your routine, done frequently without thinking, or maybe you don’t do it much at all. But as your pediatrician may have told you, hand washing may be the single most important act you and your child have for disease prevention.

Making It Habit

As early as possible, get your child into the habit of washing her hands often and thoroughly. All day long, your child is exposed to bacteria and viruses—when touching a playmate, sharing toys, or petting the cat. Once her hands pick up these germs, she can quickly infect herself by:

  • Rubbing her eyes
  • Touching her nose
  • Placing her fingers in her mouth.

The whole process can happen in seconds, and cause an infection that can last for days, weeks, or even longer.

When To Wash

Hand washing can stop the spread of infection. The key is to encourage your child to wash her hands throughout the day. For example, help her or remind her to wash her hands:

  • Before eating (including snacks)
  • After a trip to the bathroom
  • Whenever she comes in from playing outdoors
  • After touching an animal like a family pet
  • After sneezing or coughing if she covers her mouth
  • When someone in the household is ill

Studies on hand washing in public restrooms show that most people don’t have very good hygiene habits. “Hand washing” may mean just a quick splash of water and perhaps a squirt of soap, but not nearly enough to get their hands clean.

Steps to Proper Hand Washing
So what does a thorough hand washing involve? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the following steps:

  • Wet your child’s hands.
  • Apply clean bar soap or liquid soap to the hands, and then place the bar on a rack where it can drain before the next hand washing.
  • Rub the hands vigorously together. Scrub every surface completely.
  • Keep rubbing and scrubbing for 10 to 15 seconds to effectively remove the germs.
  • Rinse the hands completely, then dry them.

How Long to Wash
Keep in mind that although 10 to 15 seconds of hand washing sounds like an instant, it is much longer than you think. Time yourself the next time you wash your hands. Watch your child while she’s washing her hands to make sure she’s developing good hygiene behaviors. Pick a song that lasts for 15 seconds and sing it while you wash. Encourage your child to wash her hands not only at home, but also at school, at friends’ homes, and everywhere else. It’s an important habit for her to get into, and hopefully one that’s hard to break!

Article Source(s):
Immunizations & Infectious Diseases: An Informed Parent’s Guide (Copyright © 2006 American Academy of Pediatrics)

The information contained on this Web site should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician. There may be variations in treatment that your pediatrician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.

Pick-Your-Own Pumpkins at Chesapeake Pumpkin Patch

It’s time to pack up the family and head to down the road to our very own hidden treasure –
the Historic Greenbrier Farms in Chesapeake!

225 Sign Pine Road, Chesapeake, Virginia 23322   – 757-421-2141

This historic Chesapeake farm has an amazing crop of pumpkins – three additional fields and so many different varieties.
Varieties this year include – Max Gold, Jack O’Lantern, Lumina (White Pumpkins), Atlantic GIANTS –
plus two varieties that are perfect for that delicious pumpkin pie.
So many colors, and so many sizes – no matter you age — you will be amazed!

Pick-your-own pumpkins are only $12 and includes a free hayride
to the patch and fun fall games for the kids.
Don’t forget to stop by the petting zoo! Make your plans now!

The fields are open for pumpkin picking on Monday- Friday* 9 am to 5 pm.
The fields are open for pumpkin picking PLUS games and festival activities on
Saturday and Sunday and Sun. 9 am. to 6 pm.

*Weekday pumpkin patch picking from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. does not have the games and festival activities.

​Price: Starting at $12, and going up based on size ​

Stonecrusher will ALSO be out at the Festival each weekend giving monster truck rides. Rides are $5 per person!

For More Information, visit:

Introducing MyProcare for Parents


Apple Tree Learning Center is pleased to offer MyProcare, a free online portal for you to
access account information and easily pay tuition. MyProcare is safe, secure and created
with your convenience in mind.

Log in today!

  1. Go to
  2. Enter your email address (the email you have on file with Apple Tree Learning Center) and
    choose Go.
  3. Enter the confirmation code sent to your email, choose a password, and press Go.
    Then you may:
    a. View your child’s time card, immunizations and more.
    b. Use the Pay button to make a payment with your card. Please note that there is
    an online processing fee for all online payments. ***This portal will replace all previous online
    payment options effective 10/1/17. After this date the link on our Apple Tree Website will be

Parents will still have the option of paying in the centers; however, all credit card
transactions will incur a processing fee of 2.5%. To avoid the processing fee, parents
are now able to pay by ACH with no additional fee. All families on automatic credit
card payments will also need to reregister and complete a new draft form by 9/29/17.
Directors will have these forms available starting 9/22/17.

If you have any questions please see your director for assistance.

Thank you!
Apple Tree Learning Center and MyProcare

Helping Your Child Adjust To Preschool

You have just started a new school year and your preschooler is still struggling to adjust to school. It’s heart wrenching and frustrating to leave your child sobbing at the door of the classroom each morning, even if you know he’ll soon recover and have a fun time without you. Here are helpful tips to help ease separation anxiety and make the transition a bit easier on both of you.

Children can pick up on nonverbal clues, and will sense your anxiety or uncertainness about the classroom, teacher or decision to leave him at school. Portray a sense of calm and confidence. You are making the right decision. Preschool is a wonderful place for your child to grow, learn and develop new and fulfilling relationships with caretakers and friends outside of the family.

Be Consistent.
Children thrive on routine. They need to know what to expect and what is expected of them. Create a consistent morning ritual – having breakfast together, packing his lunch, preparing for school, happily departing home and saying hello to the new teacher before saying goodbye to each other.

Walk Away.
Give a loving hug or kiss, assure your child that he’ll have a wonderful time at school and that you will return shortly… and promptly leave. Your child will soon come to accept that that’s how the separation plays out. Sticking around to comfort your child only prolongs the goodbye, making it tougher on everyone involved.

Don’t sneak out.
Leaving without saying goodbye with hope of avoiding a tearful farewell or a full-on meltdown, only makes the separation worse. You don’t want your child to feel abandoned or tricked. You also want them to know what to expect, including a loving goodbye.

Send along a little love.
Some experts recommend giving a child a transitional object to take to school for comfort. This may be a picture of the family, a favorite stuffed animal, doll, a lovey or blanket. Make sure your child’s teacher is ok with bringing things from home before you commit to sending in a favorite. Some teachers have a policy of leaving the item in a cubbie or school bag and allowing your child to visit it when needed.

Involve the teacher.
Talk with your child’s teacher about his reluctance about going to school or his anxiety to leave you. If she knows how your child feels, she’ll be ready to help you with the separation and provide extra comfort. Teachers have lots of effective strategies for helping little ones adjust to the goodbye, such as having a special activity ready for your child, putting aside a favorite toy for him, having a helper on hand to provide extra attention or creating a ritual for starting the day at school.

It’s reassuring to remember that starting school and being away from a parent is often a tough transition for preschoolers and their parents. Kids adjust to the change at their own pace, some needing a little extra time to feel comfortable and excited about their time away. Your patience, reassurance and consistency will help them to make the transition and embrace a rewarding new experience.


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