PTA Programs Spotlight: International Fest!

As we talk about membership this month, you may wonder why we need to raise money. After all, what does the PTA actually do? (Besides the community building activities we’ve covered already, of course!)

One of the foundations of our work is the series of programs we sponsor throughout the year. The programs strive to be enriching additions to the amazing education provided by our RES team, and a signature program of our PTA is the International Fest! 

This amazing event, open to the wider community, lets RES kids share and experience the wider world. Kids get to take a passport through the countries represented, trying new foods and crafts at each table. Multi-cultural performances are held with kids singing songs from around the world and traditional dances. Our amazing PTA volunteers decorate the hallways to take all who attend on an international journey while right here in Redding! It’s an amazing experience for kids and grown-ups alike.

We are already planning the 2018 International Fair (mark your calendars for March 10!) and your PTA membership will support that work. Have you already signed up for your 2017-2018 PTA membership? A reminder that all GOLD MEMBERSHIPS received before September 30 can get our new-this-year RES PTA tote bag as a special thank you. Sign up here using the code REDDINGELEMENTARY and help us provide these great programs to our RES kids. If membership isn’t for you, consider signing up to receive our emails and updates using the same link.

Back-to-School Transitions: Tips for Parents

Our amazing RES School Psychologist, Sammi Gureasko-Moore, is looking forward to sharing some resources with our community this year. She will be sending along articles created to help families, culled from her professional associations and journals. This month, on our theme of TRANSITIONS, she wanted to share this great piece from the National Association of School Psychologists.

Back-to-School Transitions: Tips for Parents

Getting a new school year off to a good start can influence children’s attitude, confidence, and
performance both socially and academically. The transition from summer to school can be difficult
for both children and parents. Even children who are eager to return to class must adjust to the
greater levels of activity, structure, and, for some, pressures associated with school life.
The degree of adjustment depends on the child, but parents can help their children (and the rest of
the family) manage the increased pace of life by planning ahead, being realistic, and maintaining a
positive attitude. Here are a few suggestions to help ease the transition and promote a successful
school experience.

BEFORE SCHOOL STARTS

Good physical and mental health. Be sure your children are in good physical and mental health. Schedule doctor and dental checkups early. Discuss any concerns you have over your children’s emotional or psychological development with your pediatrician. Your doctor can help determine if your concerns are normal, age-appropriate issues or require further assessment. Your children will benefit if you can identify and begin addressing a potential issue before school starts.

Review all of the information. Review the material sent by the school as soon as it arrives. These packets include important information about your children’s teachers, classroom, school supply requirements, sign-ups for after-school sports and activities, school calendar dates, bus transportation, health and emergency forms, and volunteer opportunities.

Mark your calendar. Make a note of important dates, especially back-to-school nights and parent-teacher conferences. This is especially important if you have children in more than one school and need to juggle obligations. Arrange for a babysitter now, if necessary.

(Click here to read the whole article.)

(more…)

Let’s talk family routines!

As part of our transitions discussion, one key issue is establishing (or re-establishing) healthy, sane morning and evening routines. We’re all going in a million different directions, so how do we get on track and make life easier (and happier) now that school’s back in session? These links might give you some food for thought.

One of the takeaways from all the articles is that kids feel secure in routines, so developing one that is right for your family is a worthwhile endeavor.

Building an Evening Routine for kids of Different Ages

Back to School: How to Get a Good Routine Going

How to Establish a Morning Routine for Kids That Actually Works

Invite Calm By Creating a Morning Ritual

Get Your Child Out the Door In the Morning

What works for your family? Have you made any big changes coming back to school this year? We’d love to hear from you!

PTA Community when you’ve got no time for community?

Belatedly rounding out last week’s discussion of the first reason to join the RES PTA — our special community — how do we plug in to this community when we are all so busy? Many RES families have both parents working outside the home in demanding, interesting careers. Even if you have the time to think about volunteering, all the jobs sound so demanding or confusing — and the meetings are hard to attend, no matter how flexible your schedule may be. And in an era where fathers are eager to take on equal parenting duties and responsibilities, how do they tap into a community that is heavy on the SAHM vibe?

Our RES PTA is working on ways to include all families in our RES community. We have major programs that are run on weekends and evenings (stay tuned for features on some of our programs this week!), and we are working to ensure important information coming from our meetings (and usually a streaming video of the meeting) is available for those who can’t be there in person. But we are also hopeful families will want to join us in hands-on volunteering to support our work.

We know that not every parent can or wants to be involved in volunteering, though there is much to be said for the benefits of volunteering and for the volunteer base being diverse. But if you ARE looking for a way, big or small, to get involved, here’s some ideas:

  • Contribute a case of water, a store-bought fruit salad, Costco cookies or paper goods for the staff appreciation lunches
  • Work a 1 hour shift at the Artisan Fair bake sale — you can sell the stuff OTHER families bake, no pressure!
  • Help check people in or distribute corsages at the Sweetheart Dance (one of the very cutest suggestions!)
  • Give 1 hour during the late afternoon or evening for the Fall or Spring Book Fair
  • Join a committee to work on one of our major projects like Imagine a World or the International Fair; you can share ideas via email and give an hour here and there, and your professional experience will be a huge benefit to these programs!
  • Help organize an evening or weekend PTA family program like Family Game Night
  • Offer your expertise for a guest blog on our PTA website or video on our FB page
  • Give 1 late afternoon hour to help sort fundraiser orders when they arrive at RES
  • Join our Ladies Night Out team to ask your favorite local businesses for auction items (you can check this off while you’re already at a restaurant or store you enjoy and would be at anyway!)

(Special thanks to working mom and PTA Treasurer Jen for some of these ideas!)

Do you have other suggestions for busy families to get involved? We’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment, discuss this post on Facebook or send us a message! And don’t forget to join our community and set up your 2017-2018 PTA membership at MySchoolAnywhere.com, using the code REDDINGELEMENTARY.

Transitions: Link Roundup!

Even though we haven’t yet had a full week of school, our kids have been in their new classrooms for 7 days already…how’s the transition going in your home? I’ve found myself turning to the experts more than once as we struggle to get into our routine. Here’s a roundup of links I’ve clipped for our household:

Preparing Your Child for the New School Year – AHA Parenting is a website my pediatrician recommended when my first child was born, and I’ve loved the down-to-earth advice about connecting with my kids and listening to them. While it’s a little late to “prepare” in mid-September, the advice about encouraging the bond between kids and their new teacher, as well as new kids in the classroom, is wonderful.

Back to School: Transitioning Your Family From Summer to School – PBS offers a whole host of excellent suggestions, with the suggestion to be sure to not let the change in routine and weather keep us inside and away from nature. Especially here in Redding, so many of our kids spend the summer outside in the woods being wonderfully wild and exploring. This is a great reminder to get back out there into our beautiful Redding open spaces. After reading this, I resolved to take my kids on an after-school walk with new friends at New Pond Farm! Share suggestions for making sure our busy kids are connected to Redding’s natural space in the comments!

Tips for Going Back to School – The American Autism Association offers a Back to School Guide (you can download it; it’s linked in this article) and this great summary of ideas on how to help kids with autism get back in the swing of things. The idea of creating a passport is a great tool for parents, kids and teachers!

Back to School: How to Get Your Kids Up in Time – One of the main back-to-school battles in our household revolves around bedtime. I hear the same from so many of my friends — we all enjoyed summer’s schedule flexibility where an extra game of checkers or a movie that started a bit late were no big deal. But now the kids are chafing at the earlier bedtimes and are waking up exhausted! This WebMD article gives some great (if not always easy to follow) advice for families struggling with a September full of sleepy kids! Does anyone else have any tips to share with the RES community? We’d love to hear from you here or on our Facebook page!