Postings for September 2012

New website will help families
The National Association for the Edu­cation of Young Children (NAEYC) is launching For Families, a new website for parents and families with young children. The site will offer information on ways to find child care, articles about how children learn and creative learning ideas to try at home. The site also includes a searchable database to help families locate centers and schools accredited by NAEYC for their infants, toddlers and preschoolers.

NAEYC-accredited programs must meet the association’s 10 standards for high-quality early childhood education. The programs are required to demonstrate that they provide a safe and healthy environment for children, have well-trained teachers and access to excellent teaching materials, and work with a curriculum that is appropriately challenging and developmentally sound.

Let’s hear it for homework
Many of us worry — a lot — about whether or not our kids have done their homework. We nag, we cajole, we badger. Which brings us to the classic homework question: Whose responsibility is it, anyway?

Certainly not the parents’, educators will be quick to tell you.

But they’ll add a critical caveat to that: Parents must provide an environment that’s conducive to learning. And we need to make sure our kids have strategies in place that will help them learn at home.

Here are some homework strategies from the book Beyond Smart: Boosting Your Child’s Social, Emotional, and Academic Potential:

  • Ask your child if he understands his homework.
  • Ask your child to show you his home­work after the teacher returns it. Make sure your child did the work correctly.
  • Stay in touch with your child’s teacher. Ask about your child’s class and what he is studying.
  • Get in touch with the teacher if you and your child don’t understand an assignment, or if your child is having trouble.
  • Don’t do your child’s work for him. Help him learn how to do it himself.
  • Show your child that you think homework is important.
  • Praise your child for doing well.
  • Ask your school about tips or guides for helping your child develop good study habits.

Just launched: STEMx
STEMx, a new multistate network, was introduced last June at the inaugural U.S. News STEM Solutions Leadership Summit in Dallas, Texas. STEMx focuses on improving STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education nationwide. At the STEMx launch, Brad Smith, Washington STEM board vice president and Microsoft’s general counsel, discussed how engagement in business and education transforms education opportunities. He also talked about ways businesses will partner with education in the future.

 The STEM event brought together business, education and government leaders to address the need for a STEM-trained workforce and to highlight programs that are working to achieve that goal. Go to Washington STEM for more information.

Kids who hate to separate
Does your child have separation anxiety? According to WebMD, separation anxiety is common in young children. Think your child suffers from it?

Watch your child for these symptoms:

  • An unrealistic and lasting worry that something bad will happen to the parent or caregiver if the child leaves
  • Worry that something bad will happen to the child if he or she leaves the caregiver
  • Refusal to go to school
  • Refusal to go to sleep without a parent or caregiver nearby
  • Fear of being alone
  • Nightmares about being separated
  • Bed wetting
  • Complaints about headaches and stomachaches on school days

Source: WebMD  — Linda Morgan

Giving Together: Atlantic Street Center

Atlantic Street Center directs resources and programs toward low-income children, youth and families of color in Seattle’s central and southeast neighborhoods. Each year, Atlantic Street Center staff serves more than 3,000 youth and their family members.

Education is at the heart of Atlantic Street Center services. Programs and services help children and youth gain the academic, social, and emotional skills they need to thrive now and in the future. Center staff works to help children feel safe, supported and successful in the present, while at the same time helping them envision a future where they can achieve their educational goals, secure meaningful employ­ment, and become active, contributing members of the community.

We’re pleased to feature Atlantic Street Center as our September Giving Together partner. And you can help as well: For every ParentMap Honey purchase made, 5 percent of the profits will be donated directly to support Atlantic Street Center’s mission of helping youth and families.


New advisory group
Seattle Public Schools (SPS) is looking for families to serve on a special committee, the School-Family Partnerships Advisory Committee. Committee members will help advise the superintendent on the implementation of the School-Family Partnerships policy. The partnership is part of SPS’s Excellence for All strategic plan, which is focused on raising student achievement by ensuring excellence in the classroom, strengthening leadership throughout the district and building a successful infrastructure.

The committee will include as many as 35 parents, guardians and family members who represent the district’s population. Members will serve from September 2012 through October 2013 and meet once or twice a month. Applicants should submit an application form by Sept. 14. For more information, contact Bernardo Ruiz at 206-252-0693 or

Green leaders
Creekside Elementary School and Issaquah Middle School were recently named Washington state Green Leader Schools for their programs emphasizing environmental impact and energy efficiency. The U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools award honors schools that best succeed in helping reduce environmental impact and costs, and that offer effective environmental education

Makin’ music
For the fourth year in a row, the Edmonds School District has been designated a “Best Community for Music Education” in the United States. The district was honored by the NAMM Foundation, an organization that promotes music education in the schools. In all, 166 school districts were recognized. This year, the Edmonds district was the only district in Washington state to earn this honor.

Badminton boon
Lake Washington School District will add girls’ badminton as a sport in the spring of 2013. According to a district report, badminton was the top response to a survey question that asked, “Would you participate in the following sport(s) if the opportunity were available to you?” The district’s girls’ badminton teams will compete against each other and against teams from high schools in Bellevue and Mercer Island.

Top pot
Lakeside School ceramics instructors Jodi Rockwell and Jacob Foran collaborated to create a giant ceramic teapot for Bellevue College’s spring exhibit, “Teapots on the Edge,” which ran last March and April. Their teapot was a hit — and was noticed by well-known collectors Sonny and Gloria Kamm, and ultimately ended up in Los Angeles at the Kamm Teapot Foundation. Along with Rockwell and Foran’s creation are teapots by David Hockney and Roy Lichtenstein, Arman and Michael Lucero, Betty Woodman and Adrian Saxe. The Kamms have 17,000 teapots in their collection. Lakeside is an independent school in Seattle.

Sources: district newsletters and websites

Breastfeeding mom

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