logo We’re excited to have the opportunity to share news about CASTLE, the latest research in afterschool programming, parenting tips and articles, and other interesting bits of information related to children and families.  Check back often as our blog will be updated periodically with a variety of topics that will interest you. blog-green


Thank You Toyota of Colchester! 


We would like to extend our sincere gratitude to Toyota of Colchester and the Toyota Matching Gifts Program for fheir generous donation of $2,500.  The funds will be helpful in meeting the needs of our ever growing prescool program.  

We truly appreciate your investment in the children and families of the Colchester Community. 


CASTLE’s 20th Anniversary Gala & Silent Auction was a huge success!



Alyson's School of Dance

April in Paris Day Spa

Arline Linger

Audra Swider Photography

Baldi Stone & Gravel

Café on Main

Club Fitness USA

Connecticut College Theatre and Bookstore

Courtyard by Marriott, Norwich

Connecticut College

Doreen's Dance Center

Eileen & Cliff Bartlett

Gano's Power Equipment

Glastonbury Hills Country Club

Incredible Hair

Janet Pepin

Jeanne Donegan, Photographer

Jewelry Connection

Juliana Cameron, Fine Artist

Laurie Silva, Health Coach

Laurie's Creations, Family Hair Salon

Little Klippers

Mystic Aquarium

Mystic Marriott

Nat Brown - Leaky Roof Studios

S & S Worldwide

Tae San Taekwondo Academy

Tae San Yoga

The Gabriel Family

Tom Roy & Carney, Roy & Gerrol, PC

Wendy Kane, The Moment Portraits



Thank You Colchester Learning Foundation!

Thanks to a generous grant from the Colchester Learning Foundation, CASTLE was able to start our very own Video Club and purchase our own video camera and software.  Our video club, featuring children in grades 5 and up, created a wonderful message to parents on the importance of family involvement in education. 

Please enjoy our first video production, "Education is a Famiy Affair":


Family Game Night!!
When was the last time you priced a night out with the family for dinner and a movie?  In today’s economy nights like this have become almost prohibitive.  So what can you do? Why not go “old school” and bring back family game night?  When was the last time your entire family sat together at the kitchen table and played a game?  If your family is anything like mine, chances are you haven’t even spent much time around the kitchen table sharing a meal, much less playing Monopoly.   It’s a shame that in today’s busy world, we make it a priority to keep our appointments, get  to dance and sports practice on time, and uphold all of our other commitments but when it comes to spending quality time with our families, it often only happens by chance.  We really need to move family time to the top of our priority list.  It needs to be scheduled just like any other commitment, and that time needs to be protected (no TV, cell phones, etc…).  It’s the most valuable commitment we can make to ourselves and our children.  The benefits are numerous!  Consider all the rewards you and your children can reap from this investment.  It’s fun, it’s inexpensive and it’s invaluable!  
So dust off the old board games and have some fun!  You’ll be glad you did!

Kitchen Wisdom
Recipes for Success
By Joan O’Donnell, M.Ed.

In today’s fast paced world, the family kitchen is sometimes little more than a pit stop – a place to grab a quick bite to eat on the way out the door.  Families on the go rarely spend any quality time in the kitchen.  For our young children, this amounts to countless missed opportunities for learning and building meaningful connections to the world around them.  
The kitchen is one of the best classrooms in the world, yet it is often overlooked.    Did you know that almost all of your child’s school readiness skills can be practiced and developed right at home in the kitchen?  Imagine the possibilities.  

Try this.  Take out a favorite family recipe.  Read it to your child.  Talk about where the recipe came from and the history behind it.  Did your own parents or grandparents make this very same recipe?  Share with your child how this recipe is part of his or her culture.  If you don’t have a family recipe look through some cookbooks or go online and find a new recipe to try together.  Or you can be creative and invent your own special family recipe.  Next, gather the ingredients.  Ask your child to help count the ingredients and sort them by color, size, textures or food group.  Is it a fruit, vegetable or meat?  Name the ingredients and kitchen tools you’re working with to introduce new vocabulary.   Allow your child to practice measuring, mixing and pouring.  Children are naturally curious.  Give your child time explore their senses.  How do the foods look, smell, sound, feel and taste?  Are they sweet or salty, crunchy or soft, dry or wet? Do they make sounds when you taste them?  Talk about how all the different ingredients come together in one dish to create something new and wonderful. 



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