Thursday, December 18, 2014

Personal Safety, Hip Hop, and Happy Holidays!!

It's been a busy, but fun week with the holidays and winter break arriving!! I finished up my personal safety lessons with 4th and 5th grade this week. We played a fun game of Safety Jeopardy, which included the following categories: school safety, first aid safety, personal safety, weather safety, stranger danger safety, and wild card. The kids loved it and did such a good job answering all the questions!! When we get back from break I will begin my career lessons with all grades.

It was also an exciting week for my Hip Hop dance group, as we had our last practice and performed for the school today. They did such a great job and were so fun to work with. Many of them feel more comfortable and are able to follow the steps a lot better if I perform with them, so it's fun for me to get to do that with them also! We danced to "Cool Kids" by Echosmith and presented a great message along with the dance. Here is the video if you would like to see how they did:

If you have a child who is interested in the next session, which will start in January, look for the flyer and Eagle Eye newsletter about how to sign up. That will go our right after break and we will perform to a new song and routine! I have so much fun teaching it and am so proud of my dancers!

I also got to run the Giving Tree again this year, with a lot of help from generous volunteers, and we were able to provide 17 families in need with Christmas gifts. I know from personally working with a lot of the students who received the gifts that they were extremely thankful, appreciative, and super excited!! Thank you very much to all those who donated and helped make someone's Christmas brighter!

In addition to Giving Tree, we had an extremely generous donation from A+ Federal Credit Union for one special family who was in need to receive Christmas presents and a few gift cards! The amount of presents they ended up being able to collect for this family was overwhelming!! I couldn't believe how many people they were able to have contribute and the family was super thrilled to be getting the help! The student gave the people from the bank who brought them and me a huge hug!! Nothing feels better than helping a child and making at least some of their wishes come true! :-)

             A+ Federal Credit Union Employees                       All the gifts for the family!

I love all the giving that occurs this time of year and love getting to be a part of it. I hope you all enjoy the holidays and that your kids enjoy their break!! See you next year!! :-)

Friday, December 12, 2014

Personal Safety

I can't believe how fast the time is flying and that I will finish up with my Personal Safety lessons already next week, which means it's time for Christmas break! Last week and this week I went to all PK, Kinder, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade classes to give the required Personal Safety lesson. This can be an uncomfortable topic for some, probably more so for the parents than the kids, but it is a very important lesson. We would all like to think that bad things can't happen to us, or to our kids, but we know that is unfortunately not always the reality, so it is important to be as educated as possible on some of these more difficult topics. The lessons are delivered in an extremely age-appropriate way and I you should have seen the books they made come home and the letter to the parent. In all classes, we read, Your Body Belongs to You, which was followed up with either the booklet called, "Very Important People"(PK-1) or "Good Touch, Bad Touch" (2nd-3rd). Knowing that kids know how to keep themselves safe makes me very happy.

Please go over the booklets with your children and home and review with them who they can go to if they are ever hurt or touched inappropriately by someone. Knowing it is okay to talk to you about these things, makes it easier for them to come to you if something bad does happen. Here are a few statistics to help you to realize the importance of talking to your children about what to do if anyone ever touches them in their private areas: 

  • Experts estimate that about 1 in 10 children are sexually abused before their 18th birthday.
  • Youth are 2.5 times more likely to be raped than adults.
  • 35% of child victims are 11 years old or younger.
  • 9% of all 10-17 year olds receive unwanted sexual requests while on the internet. 
  • 23% of all 10-17 year olds experience unwanted exposure to pornography. 
  • 80% or more of child sexual abuse incidents happen in isolated one-on-one situations.
  • 90% of children who are victims of sexual abuse know their abuser. 
  • 10% or less of children who are sexually abused are abused by a stranger. 
  • 60% of children who are sexually abused are abused by people the family trusts.
These statistics come from "Darkness to Light's Stewards of Children." You can find more information about them and sexual abuse at this website:

This information is not meant to scare you, but just to help you be more aware of the reality that this type of abuse does occur and many times it can be people you know and have earned your trust, but have no idea are doing this. If children learn at an early age what to do if this ever does happen, we can help to ensure their safety.

On a lighter note below is a fun game you can play with your children at home if you ever want to get them to open up about their feelings without them really knowing that's what they are doing. :-)  I often play this game with both individuals and my small groups in our counseling sessions. You can take a regular game of Jenga and write your own feelings words on the pieces. As you pulled out a piece, you can read a feeling word and talk about a time you felt that way. The kids love playing this!

Next week I will be in 4th and 5th grade classes and we will also talk about Personal Safety, but we will play a form of "Jeopardy" to learn about how to be sure we are safe. I hope to see some of you at tonight's Movie Night tonight and we are hoping to raise a lot of money for our Student Council!! Have a great weekend!!