Getting Picture Perfect for your RES Fall Family Photo Day!

This Sunday is our annual RES PTA Photo Day fundraiser! An extremely talented local family photographer, Claudia Pacifico, is donating her entire sitting fee to help us pay for the many educational, enrichment and community-building programs we run each year. And friends of the RES PTA will have amazing photos, taken at the Redding Historical Society‘s historic, beautiful Lonetown Farm, with peak fall foliage in the background!

If you haven’t signed up already, you can do so through your MySchoolAnywhere.com account, or contact us via Facebook or email. If you can’t figure out how to sign up on MSA, just reach out and we’ll walk you through the two-step process.

If you HAVE signed up, you’re probably spending the next few days brainstorming ideas for great family outfits that will pop against the foliage. Here are some tips from our fabulous photographer’s blog. And here are some ideas from our BRAND NEW RES PTA Pinterest page! We have scoured Pinterest for the best advice on everything from makeup to posing to color combos!

What is your favorite tip for flattering family photos? We want to hear from you!

The PTA is….Service.

The last, but definitely not least, element of the work the RES PTA does is service. We have committed to give generously to those in need, and we know that our kids are leaning compassion and empathy from working side-by-side with us. We strive to involve kids in our programs. As our service volunteers ramp up for the rest of the school year — having completed another great year gathering school supplies for the Back to School drive we sponsor in the late summer — look for information on our Turkey Drive, giving tree and pajama drive. Kids love participating in choosing items for these drives — some families make it a special tradition to donate together. Last year, we took my kids out to find the coolest pajamas we could, then went to a diner for dinner-for-breakfast, and we chose a family bedtime story about helping others. It was a special evening of togetherness, talking about the importance of sharing what we have, and the kids are looking forward to another year of doing the same.

The PTA is glad to encourage our kids, our families and our wider school community to think about charity and service. Your membership in our PTA helps make it possible! Still need to join? Sign up here, using the code REDDINGELEMENTARY. If membership isn’t for you, consider signing up to receive our emails and updates using the same link.

PTA Programs Spotlight: Imagine a World.

One of the programs your membership and our fundraising efforts support each year is Imagine a World, our combination science and art fair that celebrates student creativity across disciplines! Last year was the first year when we opened this event to our wider Redding community, inviting everyone to partake in science experiments and art projects like building hand-held light-up circuits and making fashion from recycled household materials. In preparing our children to go into the world, giving them a passion for STEM, as well as encouraging the creative, artistic spirit so present here in Redding, is a great foundation for future success, and we are proud to support the work our teachers are doing with this fun enrichment opportunity.

This year’s Imagine a World committee is already beginning to meet and prepare for this exciting event. The committee chair is looking for scientists, engineers and artists of all sorts who might want to contribute to this amazing experience. Committee meetings will be scheduled to accommodate a variety of schedules, and there will be opportunities to join via conference call or participate via email, if that’s helpful!  If you’re interested in volunteering to bring your love of science or the arts to RES, send us a message here or via our RES PTA FB page!

You can support Imagine a World and all our other PTA programs by becoming a member of the RES PTA. You can set up your 2017-2018 membership at MySchoolAnywhere.com, using the code REDDINGELEMENTARY. All Gold Memberships received prior to September 30, 2017, will be able to receive our new tote bag as a thank you. (It will be great for toting around your little one’s science projects and sculptures!) If membership isn’t for you, please consider signing up for our mailing list, using the same link, to hear about upcoming PTA events and projects.

Transitions: Waking Up Edition!

As we wrap up our September Transitions series, a continued question we get deals with the unique challenges of morning routines. It’s one of the biggest pressure points for busy families, particularly when juggling multiple schools, getting to work on time, and making sure everyone has all their school materials ready, in addition to the pesky problem of getting everyone dressed and fed so they’re ready to tackle their day!

Experts tell us that these challenges impact all kids, but kids with ADHD, behavior issues and depression might have a layer of complexity to in getting their morning routine on track. No matter what kind of kids are in your family, the Child-Mind Institute recommends that paring our expectations down and making sure to focus on essential steps (vs. the “icing on the cake” steps that would be nice to achieve too) every morning. If you can really prioritize what needs to get done and let go of some of those extras, both you and the kids will feel freer. They also recommend using a visual schedule to help keep younger kids on track with those essentials. There are some great examples of how to make your own visual schedules at home — customized to suit what your family really needs to get done — here and here.

You can create incentives to keep your kids on track, if the visual schedule isn’t quite enough, perhaps by offering a special quiet experience before school (“If we get done with enough time before the bus comes, we can read a book together!”) or by earning points towards screen time or a reward.

Above all, keeping calm is one of our best tools in combatting morning drama. Stating expectations clearly, praising effort and achievements (even if they’re small, like getting socks on when asked) rather than focusing on what’s not happening, and keeping the focus on the next step ahead in the process are all key parts of that positivity. Sometimes asking how you can help move your child along in the next step will also help. Any chance to be collaborative with your kids and use helpful visual and verbal cues will make mornings less stressful.

How do you keep your family on track in the morning? What are your morning parenting hacks?