Ashley Read '05, Head of Early Childhood

September 22, 2023


Dear Parents,

Our thought of the week is quite timely: “We work together.” We work together to learn new things and complete hard tasks. We can also “work together” to support the Oakridge Fund. As Mr. Burgy shared in his letter this week, “The Oakridge Fund is essential, as it provides additional fuel for the fire that propels our unique school environment.” If you have not already done so, let’s “work together” as part of Team Oakridge!

Gross Motor Skills

It is not uncommon for adults to assume that children automatically develop and perfect motor skills (running, jumping, throwing, pencil grips) as their bodies develop. Many assume that the development of motor skills is a natural process that occurs alongside physical maturation. However, did you know that maturation only accounts for part of the process - the part that allows a child to do the movement at a basic level. When children don’t get the help they need to learn physical skills, many never fully master gross (large muscle) motor skills. To support the development of gross motor skills, Oakridge students take part in recess three times per day and Music and Movement daily. Our partnership with the St. Jude Trike-A-Thon is another way that we provide opportunities for our students to practice motor skills. 

What can you do to help your child develop motor skills further? Rae Pica, a children’s physical activity specialist and author, shares helpful input:

  • Give children time, space, and opportunity to move and take part in active play.
  • Observe closely - are you seeing anything requiring attention or extra focused practice? 
  • Engage in activities such as hopscotch, climbing on a playground, balloon and bubble play, riding tricycles/scooters/pedal cars, dance, obstacle courses, hula hoops, chasing games, skipping, swinging, sand or water table play, arts and crafts.

If you notice something that might require special attention, or if a teacher reaches out to you with concerns, the earlier you intervene and get support, the better the likelihood of your child developing the skill. The support of your pediatrician, an occupational therapist, or a physical therapist would be a great next step. The development of motor skills is the foundation that leads to children being able to read and write.  

St. Jude Trike-A-Thon is NEXT WEEK!

We are excited to be hosting our annual St. Jude Trike-A-Thon again this year. St. Jude Trike-A-Thon is a fun and educational way for young cyclists to learn trike safety while making a difference for St. Jude kids. During the week of September 25, students will spend time learning about trike safety during morning announcements. During the morning of September 29, students will culminate their trike safety unit by putting the skills they learned to the test. Each child will be asked to bring a riding toy (tricycle, scooter, bicycle, etc.) and a helmet to school on September 29. Each class will spend time riding around the parking lot. Parents, you can help your child prepare for this day by practicing riding his/her riding toy at home over the next week.

Additionally, we invite you to join us for this fun event! Please let us know if your child does not own a riding toy, as we have extras. See the flyer below for more details and riding times.

Have a wonderful week! 

Ashley Read, Oakridge Class of 2005
Head of Early Childhood











 Please save the following dates:

  • September 29: St. Jude’s Trike-A-Thon & ECC Early Dismissal @ 11:30 a.m.

    • Send a riding toy and helmet to school on September 29

    • Click here to sign up to assist with our Trike-A-Thon


  • October 2 - 6: Oakridge Spirit Week

  • October 6: Oakridge Homecoming - ECC Early Dismissal @ 11:30 a.m.

  • October 13 - 16: Oakridge Fall Break - NO SCHOOL

  • October 18: Picture Make-Up Day

  • October 20: OPC Uniform Resale @ OPC Building, 7:30 - 10:30 a.m.

  • October 25: Owlfest, 3:30 - 5:30 p.m. - Wear Halloween Costumes!

  • October 27: Parent-Teacher Conferences - NO SCHOOL

  • October 31: Fall Colors Non-Uniform Dress Day (no costumes)

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