Following Up: Town Government.

At our December 1 PTA meeting, we welcomed Susan Clark and Ward Mazzucco from our town’s Board of Finance, as well as Laura Hoeing and Colleen Pilato, both newly elected to Redding’s Board of Education. (You can check out the livestream on our PTA Facebook page here!) Mr. Mazzucco mentioned the many town boards that make up our government, and the various meetings they hold. He also discussed the very real impact all of these boards have on our day to day life here in town. If you’d like to keep closer tabs on what’s going on in town, here’s some ways you can do that!

Our town’s calendar has a regularly updated list of all the board meetings held. It includes the location of meetings, as well as the time. It’s standard practice for most boards to offer a time for public comment. At BOE meetings, for example, public comment is usually welcomed both at the beginning (in case you need to leave to tuck in your kids!) and the end of the meetings (in case you were late because you were busy tucking in your kids!).

You can also check out the agendas for all the meetings in advance, as well as read the minutes from the meetings — both are found on this page, and it updates frequently.

Local newsman Bob Moran has made it part of his mission of public service to livestream most town board meetings. He initially does so via his Facebook page, and it’s frequently shared on Redding 411 and elsewhere. Keep an eye out for these videos, which are then archived on Mr. Moran’s website.

You can get in touch with our volunteer board members by emailing them or attending a meeting. Direct email addresses are available on most of the boards’ pages on the town website; just click on the board or commission that interests you here and email away!

Thanks again to our government officials for joining us on Friday!

Attitude of Gratitude: Act Local with our Staff Appreciation Lunch!

There are so many chances at this time of year to give back to those around us, and we have talked about many of them in here. One very important way to give back at a VERY local level is happening next week — on December 12, we are hosting our annual PTA Staff Appreciation Holiday Lunch! The teachers, office staff, specials teachers, librarians, janitors, lunchroom support, paraprofessionals, special education teachers, curriculum specialists and many more team members at RES will come together to celebrate a successful beginning of the year and wish each other a happy holiday season. Our RES community has the opportunity to make that lunch very special by bringing both homemade and store-bought food and drink to show our appreciation. I know we all wish we could say a special thank you to that one amazing RES team member who helped our child through a rough day or assisted them in overcoming an obstacle — this is one of the best ways we can do that!

Sign up to bring an item — and for working families or just folks who don’t enjoy cooking so much, there are lots of things like napkins and drinks, or even soups (which could easily be those delicious soups from Stew Leonard’s!) that don’t require hours of fussing! You can find the SignUp Genius here. Questions? Reach out to the RES PTA for more information!

Attitude of Gratitude: Volunteering with Kids, Link Roundup!

Several Facebook posts in Redding online communities have been wondering, as we enter this season of giving — how can I involve my kids in service? While most organizations, frankly, need financial support more than anything to achieve their mission, many parents wonder how they can engage their children in the hands-on work of charity, in the hopes of imparting a character lesson as well.

We addressed a bit about some hands-on ways kids in Redding could participate in stocking our food pantry and helping heat the homes of our neighbors in a recent post, but there are many other ways kids can get involved. Here are some ideas that might help your RES student find a way to give back to our community and our world this season and beyond!

40 Ways Kids Can Volunteer, Toddler to Teen – fantastic and practical ideas from volunteering for Meals on Wheels to growing a vegetable garden to help local food banks to starting a kids’ performance group to give free shows to community members.

50 Kid Friendly Volunteering Ideas – Another great list of ideas for getting out there and getting your hands dirty, including things like doing a mini-street cleanup effort to act truly local.

10 Kid-Friendly Volunteer Service Projects – from the Points of Light Foundation, this great list takes the normal suggestions of food pantry drives and makes them more fun and accessible to kids, and also emphasizes the importance of committing to service as a family.

Tips for Volunteering with Kids – even with great intentions, it’s hard to make time to serve others in the community in between karate practice and classical guitar lessons and meal planning and spelling tests. How do you make giving back easy and part of your every day routine? This PBS guide offers some great suggestions.

So go out there and get active in our community with your RES student! The lessons will last a lifetime!

Following Up: Special Education Conversations.

Our October PTA meeting featured our special education team discussing their work. For those who were not able to attend, we received a copy of their Power Point presentation to check out! You can read it here: Power Point Slides from Special Education Team.

A reminder that our PTA meetings are generally held on the first Friday of each month, and we feature teachers, specialists, government officials and community leaders at the start of our meetings as part of our mission to engage the RES community around education issues. We hope to see you at our December meeting, which will address communications between RES and parents, as well as feature a short presentation on our budget process from several members of our town’s government. The meeting is on 12/1 at 8:30 am — hope to see you there!