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: Making More of Less.

One common holiday dilemma is, “How do we cut back and let our kids really experience the people in their lives and the world around them, rather than adding more stuff to the mix?” On this retail high holiday of Black Friday, here’s a link round-up for cutting back, doing less, experiencing more — if this is a goal for your family during this winter season, we hope you’ll find some ideas here!

One couple’s story about how they came to forego giving Christmas presents, and some tips for cutting back on your own holiday excesses.

A meditation on the relationship between emotions and consumer products from a dad who is looking for a new way for his kids.

A list of 22 meaningful, non-toy gifts that will carry your family’s conversations well into the New Year.

Some tips for making the holidays less materialistic, including some great beginning tips for talking about advertising and marketing messages with kids.

For Jewish families struggling with the “December Dilemma,” this is a fantastic set of reads about the consumerist challenges of the season, the dynamic of interfaith households, and much more.

Here is an interfaith family’s story of how to navigate the consumerism and cultural traditions of the winter holidays together.

And if you’ve got holiday traditions that your family enjoys, and those traditions happen to include a load of presents and surprises? It’s actually okay. Studies show that the real impact is how we encourage our kids to examine their materialism year round. So feel free to relax and know that few weeks of excess won’t do any lasting damage!

Reminder: RES University Celebrating Redding’s 250th, Part IV.

Don’t forget that the fourth and final chapter in our PTA’s RES University series for Redding’s 250th anniversary is being held on November 28 at 6pm. Our RES community is invited to come at 5:30 to share a meal, and there will be a kid-friendly activity happening during the lecture, so don’t hesitate to bring the whole family.

The approximately 45 minute lecture from town historian, Charley Couch, will begin in the 20th century and bring us to the present day. There will be time for a Q&A session afterwards, so bring your thinking caps and learn more about our amazing hometown!

If you’re interested, sign up online here — we look forward to learning with you!

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.