What does COMMUNITY SERVICE look like in primary school? It begins with sharing information to raise awareness. Last week we had an opportunity to give thanks and reflect on how fortunate we are to have not only the basic essentials for a healthy life, but many extra luxuries as well. Such is not the case for millions of children around the world. By encouraging your child to collect coins for UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund) at such traditional times as Halloween, you are providing an opportunity for him or her to participate in a larger effort to help eradicate hunger, provide clean drinking water and sanitation and vaccinations. For nineteen thousand children a day, it is not enough and they perish. Your students this year collected $295.00 which will help provide basic educational supplies for forty students. Great effort. We will keep you posted on our other community service project Heifer, that buys live stock, and poultry to help families in developing economies provide food and build sustainable incomes. That’s what community service looks like in Mt. Lebanon School.
Seasonal Food Drive: Even in the wealthiest of nations, resources are not always available to those in need of them most. From Dec. 3 -21, members of the Mt. Lebanon community may contribute non-perishable food items such as canned vegetables, meals in a can, canned meat or fish, holiday cooking items such as mixes or dehydrated mashed potatoes, and personal hygiene items such as soap, toothpaste and detergent. We will collect and store the items here and then donate to the Upper Valley Haven’s food pantry in White River Junction. If you have any questions please contact our nurse, Mrs. Nancy Tomlinson and thanks for contributing to our twenty first annual holiday food drive.
Physical Education in Winter: Five years ago Mrs. Ballou, our PE teacher, noticed that some towns had skating rinks. Then she said, “We can do that here on our playground!” And so, with volunteer help, a small budget and donations, we now have a physical education winter activity that promotes safe ice-skating for all students. (Cold temperatures, while they last, are still free.) Mrs. Ballou is looking to enlist your help in constructing our rink on Saturday, December 8, beginning at 10:00 AM in the playground. Help keep the winter skating tradition alive and well at Mt. Lebanon.
Scholastic Book Fair: Thanks once again to our PTO volunteers for organizing our first Scholastic Book Fair last Thursday and Friday. Regardless of the way in which the written word is presented, we believe it is important for students to develop a positive predisposition toward reading. Research indicates that just having books and magazines in the home increases student performance in school! Taking your child to the library, or making a stop in a book store to buy a book is a sure way to increase the motivation to read. Scholastic does sell other products, and we cannot tell students they may not purchase them, but you as a parent can stipulate that some of the money you may provide must go toward a book. Keep in mind that magazine subscriptions for your child are a wonderful way to promote reading in the home. Kids love to get real mail in the mailbox addressed just to them every month. For a selection of quality magazines geared to the young reader you could start with www.cobblestonepub.com/index.html. Books make terrific gifts, and reading is the gift of a lifetime.
Limit Screen Time: In the “Health and Science” page of “The Week” (pg.29, Oct. 29, 2010), was written the following. “Hours of TV and computer time leads to psychological and academic problems for young people, even if those same kids are physically active for large chunks of the day… Researchers in England found that kids who watched TV or were online for two or more hours a day were 61% more likely to have emotional, social, and concentration problems… It’s not the sedentary nature of TV watching and computer use that’s primarily to blame; it’s something about the content or the experience itself.” A good rule: Watch them outdoors, and watch what they watch indoors.
Winter Weather: We believe in getting the students outside to play. As the weather gets colder please see that your child comes with mittens or gloves, a warm and warm shoes or boots, and warm jacket. Also, label those items with permanent marker so that we may trace them back to their rightful owner. When the thermometer dips below 10 degrees F, we’ll keep the students inside to protect against frostbite.
News from Café Services: “At the beginning of the school year, it was announced that we would be converting from the web site MyNutrikids.com to the web site MySchoolBucks.com for parental management of their student’s lunch accounts. …It will take about 48 hours for the data transfer to take place. During that time, parents will not have access to either MyNutrikids or MySchoolBucks.com. From this point on, when a parent goes to log on to MyNutrikids.com, the site will automatically direct them (you) to MySchoolBucks.com. Their log on names and passwords will remain the same.…Parents will be happy to discover that they will no longer need to use PayPal to make payments. MySchoolBucks uses Heartland to transfer the money and all transactions will be made directly from their credit or debit card accounts. Some parents may be concerned about deposits that have already been made to MyNutrikids.com. Deposited money goes directly to their (your) student's lunch accounts. All money deposited prior to the conversion have been credited to the student's accounts. There is a MySchoolBucks parental helpline available to parents. The number is 855-832-55-226. This is a toll free number.” Dennis Samuel, Café Services
“The unselfish effort to bring cheer to others will be the beginning of a happier life for ourselves.” Hellen Keller