Crookston ECFE classes begin September 20 - December 17, registrations ongoing

Times Report
Crookston Times

Early Childhood Family Education, a program of Crookston Community Education, offers classes and activities for parents and their children ages birth through five at Washington School. Classes begin September 20 and run through December 17, and registrations are ongoing. Classes are filled on a first come first serve basis. 

The classes offered are designed to enhance early learning and the gym is also used to encourage active play. There are also special family events.

There is a fee for each year-long class and a supply fee may apply, but reduced fee information or payment plans are available. Special family events are free, but a supply fee may apply. Maximum enrollment may vary with each class and refunds are not available. Contact the Community Education office to register or to learn more at 218-281-5078.

ECFE weekly classes include:

    • Mixed Age Magic - Fridays from 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 noon - in person at Washington School for ages birth to kindergarten - Cost is $30 and registration is required. Instructors are Gina Gunderson and Kiely Tate. “Families meet in the classroom for circle time with stories and songs. Parents will meet informally to share ideas and discuss topics such as positive discipline strategies, challenging behaviors, food, health and safety tips, and more. Parents learn from each other as they discuss topics that most interest them. During parent education time, the children remain in the classroom to play and explore with each other and the early childhood teacher and classroom aide.”

    • Wide Open Spaces - Mondays from 9:30-11:00 a.m. - in person at Washington School for ages birth to kindergarten - Cost is $30 and registration is required. Instructor is Gina Gunderson. “In this class we will discuss ways children can interact with natural environment and all the benefits of appreciating the great outdoors. Research reveals the necessity of contact with nature for health child and adult development. A growing body of research links our mental, physical and spiritual health directly to our association with nature. Come rediscover the joy, excitement and mystery of the world we live in and celebrate the seasons. We will meet at a variety of outdoor spaces in Crookston.”

    • Music in Me featuring Kindermusik - Wednesdays from 10:00-11:00 a.m. - in person at Washington School for ages birth to kindergarten - Cost is $30 and registration is required. Instructor is Gina Gunderson. “Join this class for songs and story time led by an ECFE teacher. We are excited to implement our new music curriculum, Kindermusik. Kindermusik uses the power and joy of music-making to help children learn and grow during the most playful, interactive and developmentally appropriate music and movement activities.”

Free ECFE Monthly Classes include:

    • Pop In and Play - fourth Saturday of each month September to December from 10:30-11:30 a.m. at Washington School for ages birth to kindergarten - FREE of cost with instructors Gina Gunderson and Kiely Tate. “Pop in and play in the gym every fourth Saturday. You and your child can come and play in the gym using equipment designed for young children. Come expecting to have lots of fun making wonderful memories with your child.”

    • Special Focus Classes - second Monday of each month October to December from 5:30-6:30 p.m. at Washington School for ages birth to kindergarten - FREE of cost with instructor Gina Gunderson. “October: Baby and Me Class (birth to 12 months) - Meet other parents and enjoy time with your new baby. Spend the entire class together engaged in sensory and movement activities and a licensed educator-led discussion. Learn about your baby’s growth and development, how to develop healthy eating and sleeping habits, and what research tells us about your baby’s important first experiences. November: Just Toddling (12-24 months) - Toddlers are curious, busy and on the go. Spend time with other parents who have the same questions and concerns about this stage of their child’s life. Enjoy activities with your toddler and an educator-led discussion about this period of rapid growth. December: Daddy and Me (birth to 5 years) - A night for dads and their little buddies filled with activities, games and fun filled gym time.”

Free ECFE Classes include:

    • Book It and Cook It - meet virtually once a week - FREE of cost with instructor Gina Gunderson. “Join this virtual class where we will explore the kitchen through stories, recipes and more. Let’s roll up our sleeves and get cooking. Cooking with children has many benefits including helping them develop an adventurous and diverse taste palette, encourages creativity, develops small motor control and builds self confidence. This class will be prerecorded and available for you to access at your convenience.”

    • Unplug and Play - first and third Monday of each month from 5:30-6:30 p.m. at Evergreen Park, Carman Park, Ray Ecklund Complex and Washington School - FREE of cost with instructor Gina Gunderson and no registration is required. “It’s time to Unplug and Play! Get out of the house and have some family fun at a park in September and October or in the gym at Washington School in November and December. Get up and get going to this fun and exciting FREE ECFE class. The class will be at Evergreen Park on September 20, Carman Park on October 4 and Ray Ecklund Complex on October 18.”

Special FREE family events, activities and resources include:

    • Celebrate the Young Child Collaboration invites you to “Imagine if you were… Where the Wild Things Are” on September 21 from 5:30-7 p.m. at Wildwood Park. “Come enjoy a wild time full of action, fun and food. Don’t forget to bring your imagination!”

    • Teddy Bear Clinic virtual tour of RiverView Health - date and time TBD - “Together with RiverView Health, ECFE would like to invite you to a virtual tour of their hospital in October. Due to COVID-19 we are not able to provide our traditional event, but hope to make this learning experience just as exciting.” (More information will follow)

    • Grandparents Night - Monday, November 29 from 6:30-7:30 p.m. at Washington School - “Grandparents or special adult friends are invited to join children ages birth to kindergarten for an evening of special time together.”

    • Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library - “Parents of children are invited to register their child for the Dolly Parton Imagination Library. The program provides one book every month to your child from the time you enroll until they turn five for FREE. The program is managed by Crookston Public School and you can register at”

    • Check out Early Childhood Initiative’s Little House of Books around the community at Evergreen Park, Castle Park, Crookston Sports Center and Landslide Park.

    • ECFE Home Visiting - Make a free appointment with a licensed parent educator to discuss your parenting challenges, get resources and/or develop a plan that will fit you and your family. A follow-up consultation will be offered if necessary and can be scheduled after your first visit. Call Washington School at 218-281-5078.

Crookston Community Education ECFE