December 2017: Gift of Attendance; Safe Toys and Gifts
"This holiday season, the best gift you can give your child is a good education. The best place to get that education is in school. Every day. On time."
National Attendance Awareness Partner, AttendanceWorks.org provides these suggestions to parents and guardians, hoping to encourage good attendance around the winter holidays...
Every year, absences spike in the weeks before and after winter break. It's time to break that cycle.
We know it's tempting to extend your vacation by a few days on either side of the holiday.
Just a few missed days here and there, even if they're excused absenses, can add up to too much lost learning time and put your child behind in school. This is as true in kindergarten as it is in high school.
So make sure your child is in school every day, right up until vacation starts. Our teachers will be teaching, and our students will be learning. But it's harder to teach and it's harder to learn when too many students are absent.
If missing school is unavoidable, talk to your children's teachers in advance to create a plan for making up missed work. But remember, a homework packet cannot make up for the interaction and learning that goes on in the classroom.
So give your child the gift of attendance and help build a habit of attendance early!
Attendance Works Handouts (English, Spanish & Creole Versions):
Importance of Attendance Videos:
Safe Toys and Gifts Month
Prevent Blindness America has declared December as Safe Toys and Gifts Awareness Month. The group encourages everyone to consider if the toys they wish to give suits the age and individual skills and abilities of the individual child who will receive it, especially for infants and children under age three.
Inspect all toys before purchasing. Avoid those that shoot or include parts that fly off. The toy should have no sharp edges or points and should be sturdy enough to withstand impact without breaking, being crushed, or being pulled apart easily.
When purchasing toys for children with special needs try to: Choose toys that may appeal to different senses such as sound, movement, and texture; consider interactive toys to allow the child to play with others; and think about the size of the toy and the position a child would need to be in to play with it. Consult the "AblePlay" website at http://www.ableplay.org/ for more information.
Be diligent about inspecting toys your child has received. Check them for age, skill level, and developmental appropriateness before allowing them to be played with.
Look for labels that assure you the toys have passed a safety inspection - "ATSM" means that the toy has met the American Society for Testing and Materials standards.
Gifts of sports equipment should always be accompanied by protective gear (give a helmet with the skateboard).
Keep kids safe from lead in toys by: Educating yourself about lead exposure from toys, symptoms of lead poisoning, and what kinds of toys have been recalled; being aware that old toys may be more likely to contain lead in the paint; having your children wash their hands frequently and calling your doctor if you suspect your child has been exposed to lead. Consult the last two websites listed below for more information.
Do NOT give toys with small parts (including magnets and "button" batteries which can cause serious injury or death if ingested) to young children as they tend to put things in their mouths, increasing the risk of choking. If the piece can fit inside a toilet paper roll, it is not appropriate for kids under age three.
Do NOT give toys with ropes and cords or heating elements.
Do NOT give crayons and markers unless they are labeled "nontoxic".
Other Safe Toys and Gifts Information and Resources:
Special Notice: If you require Americans with Disabilities Act accommodations to participate in any ELCPBC event or activity, please notify Christie Young, Single Point of Contact, by phone at 561-214-7424 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org within at least seven (7) days of the event. Accommodations will be provided at no extra charge.