How RBEF supports teachers

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Our mission at the Redondo Beach Educational Foundational (RBEF) is to raise money to supplement state funds for staff and instructional programs in all RBUSD schools. Part of creating opportunities to raise well-rounded children is to supply the teachers in our community with resources to support the whole child development. RBEF awards $50,000 in teachers grant each year! To apply for the Teacher’s Grant visit this page: https://rbef.org/teacher-grants/ Applications due November 16th.

 

See how RBEF provided for elementary and high school teachers in our community 2017:

Tulita Elementary Schoolreceived a $5,000 grant from RBEF that will provide each classroom with 1-2 standing desks and will enable teachers to rotate students in and out as they feel their energy and attention spans waning. Congratulations Dr. TanazBruna for winning this grant!

Beryl Elementary obtained a $3,000 from RBEF for their 2nd Grade Next Generation Science Lab. This grant will fund Science Labs for each 2nd grade classroom and this will enable teachers and students to plan and carry out investigation collaboratively. Congratulations Christine Benoff for your success!

Madison Elementary School won a $5,500 grant from RBEF for Integrated STEM Instruction. Congratulations Melissa Smith for receiving this grant that will support the development of Next Generation Science standards for special needs students by connecting science experiments to literacy.             

Adams Middle Schoolreceived a $4,800 grant from RBEF! Congratulations Mary Vallejo, the recipient of this grant. The grant will fund a Science Lab on the Go! This initiative will put a science lab in the hand of the student and will enable them to measure distance, acceleration, angular velocity, magnetic field, attitude, temperature, humidity, barometric pressure and light intensity.

Parras Middle School won a $20,400 grant from RBEF! Congratulations to all teachers who have received this grant. The recipients and initiatives funded are as follows:

·         Valerie Pomella - $4,500 grant for theater arts supplies and materials for Middle School Drama program.

·         Jessica Hooper - $5,000 grant for Teaching Tolerance. This grant will be used towards a field trip to the Museum of Tolerance and a visit to the Anne Frank exhibit for all 8th Grade Students to broaden their world view and further their understanding of the human experience.

·         Amy Beran - $5,000 grant for promoting Classroom Recycling by providing recycling receptacles in every classroom, workroom, snack/lunch areas, office and student areas.  

·         Bridget Gray - $2,900 grant for the Upstanders for Health and the Environment initiative. This grant will be used towards a cross-curricular gardening project for 6th graders to investigate a living laboratory and implement student-led solutions for environmental concerns.

·         Kate Hastings - $3,000 grant for Equipping Science Students with 21st Century Skills for College and Beyond. The grant will fund the purchase of materials for laboratory experiments that integrate the Next Generational Science standards.

 

The Redondo Union High School won $9,650 in grants awarded by RBEF? Congratulations to all teachers who have received this grant! The recipients and initiatives funded are as follows:

·         Jessica Variz received a $2,950 grant, which will provide Podcast Recording Kits for Real Research, Collaborative Creativity, and an Authentic Audience. The recording and sound editing equipment will transform students’ Chromebooks into podcast recording studios, and transform 12th grade researchers into collaborative content creators.

·         Melissa Staab obtained a $3,200 grant, which will fund a Sound and Projection System for Blackbox Theater Productions and Drama Classroom. It will help to increase the effectiveness of instruction and college readiness through technology and real world skills, such as performance and technical experience.

·         Matthew Keye is the recipient of a $3,000 RBEF grant dedicated to Discovering the Foundations of Motion. The grant will support experiential learning thought laboratory experiments for physics and engineering students.         

·         Shannon Rodriguez secured a $500 grant for a National College Fair Trip at the Anaheim Convention Center. This trip will provide students the opportunity to meet one-on-one with college/university representatives to discuss admissions and financial aid opportunities.  

·         Aimee Spector received a $1,000 grant for Lifelong Training for College and Job Readiness. This one-year project will allow students to be involved in a variety of on- and off-campus activities that will help develop and reinforce skills needed for college and workplace success                     

Redondo Shores High School - Unique Campa obtained a $1,150 grant for the school. The grant will promote Cross-Curricular Integration Through Grammy Museum Field Trip. Students will engage in a cross-curricular unit integrating music into the visual arts program, which will culminate in a trip to the Grammy Museum to participate in a workshop provided by the museum. Congratulations Unique Campa!

SKECHERS Pier to Pier Friendship Walk

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The annual SKECHERS Pier to Pier Friendship Walk on October 28thaims to support children with special needs and education and at the same time it helps and it helps us raise funds for all of our RBUSD schools.

RBEF is one of six Education Foundations that receive funds from this event. Last year, RBEF had over 2,500 registered walkers which resulted in a check from Skechers for $200,000. RBEF will donate 100% of every $30 registration fee back to your school! The more registrations, the more money your school raises. There is NO NEED to make additional donations. If you want to give more, please consider purchasing another registration.

The amount we receive is based on the number of people who register, so please join your school's team regardless of whether you are planning to actually walk on the day! Join a team here: https://rbef.org/skechers-walk/

The event check in begins at 8AM at the Manhattan Beach Pier, and the opening ceremony and walk will begin at 9AM. The total duration of the Walk is about 3.5 miles - from Manhattan Beach Pier towards the Hermosa Beach Pier and then turn around back towards Manhattan Beach Pier. Registration is $30 (for adults and kids 3 and up), and $35 for day-of check in.

The walk is produced by SKECHERS USA and co-produced by The Friendship Foundation. The SKECHERS Foundation invests in organizations dedicated to embracing individuals with special needs, improving education and empowering disadvantaged youth. Our goal is simply to inspire and support individuals to make a valiant effort in creating community. The Friendship Foundation exists aims to bring happiness and companionship to children and young adults with special needs by celebrating their uniqueness and individuality.

Join us for the Mayors' Cup Golf Tournament

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Join us for the 3rd Annual Mayor’s Cup on November 5th at the Los Verdes Golf Course! All proceeds benefit the Redondo Beach Educational Foundation. Register here: https://rbef.org/mayors-cup/

Location:

Los Verdes Golf Course

7000 W. Los Verdes Dr., Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275

Details:

Registration and Driving Range opens at 9:30 AM

Mega putt contest at 11:30 AM and a shotgun start promptly at 11:45 AM.

Box lunch, drinks and course activities provided. Raffle prizes and casual dinner reception beginning at 4:45 PM.

Registration fee for a Single golfer is $150.00 and Foursome is $500.00.

Early-bird DISCOUNT for a Single golfer is $125.00 before October 15th.

For sponsorship opportunities or for more information please contact sponsor@rbef.org.

Investing in RBEF means Investing in our Kids

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What drives us every day at the Redondo Beach Education Foundation (RBEF) is the truth we are raising children who will run the cities, the businesses, and the world one day. We want the opportunity to provide our kids with the best, most creative, and well-rounded education, yet state and federal funding for California schools has decreased in recent years. It is consistently not enough to support the arts, STEM, and college and career readiness programs that Redondo Beach Unified School District (RBUSD) provides our students.

RBUSD relies on its partnerships with RBEF to support their mission of providing every student the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed in a global society, today and in the future. We work together to support the development of the “whole child.”

Our mission is to enrich the educational experience of every student in our community through fundraising that supplements state funds supporting staff and instructional programs. We are the only organization that can raise funds for additional staff and district-sponsored programs.

Our annual fundraising goal is determined by the specific needs identified by RBUSD. We raise money that supports every school and every student in RBUSD. Last month, we presented RBUSD with a record-breaking $1,011,000 check. This is RBEF’s largest grant to date.

If you would like to join us in our efforts to support the development of the “whole child,” consider making an annual investment in RBEF! You can participate in our Annual Investor Drive by donate online at https://rbef.z2systems.com/np/clients/rbef/donation.jsp?campaign=27&&test=true

Thank you so much for your investment in our kids!

Investing In Our Schools Invests In Our Future!

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At the Redondo Beach Educational Foundation (RBEF), we are proud to help create exceptional programs and opportunities for our local students. We want our kids to have the most well-rounded education, yet state and federal funding cuts for California schools has made it challenging to support the arts, STEM, and college and career readiness programs in the Redondo Beach Unified School District (RBUSD). Through the generous contributions of our donors, RBEF has been able to step in and raise money to supplement state funds for staff and instructional programs for all RBUSD schools! Last month, we presented RBUSD with a record-breaking $1,011,000 check. This is RBEF’s largest grant to date.

Here are just a few of the many opportunities we’ve been able to help create in the 2017–2018 school year!

- Elementary: 1st-4th grade vocal music programs, credentialed physical education teachers, fifth grade band and orchestra in all schools.

- Middle school: Eighth grade field trip to the Museum of Tolerance, implementation of math coaching model. 

- High school: band instruments for students, college visits, presentations and workshops on responsible use of social media, alternative education performance experiences, career technical education.

- All grade levels: robotics team support, college aptitude testing for multiple grade levels, teacher grants focusing on student college readiness. 

By investing through RBEF, you are helping our kids, our communities, and creating a legacy that will last for future generations! Join us by investing today: https://rbef.z2systems.com/np/clients/rbef/donation.jsp?campaign=27&&test=true

Places to visit in Los Angeles that inspire learning

 Living near Los Angeles gives our children the opportunity to visit a number of educational – and fun! – places. These aquariums, parks, museums, and more will create learning opportunities for every member of the family!    Santa Monica Pier Aquarium    1600 Ocean Front Walk  Santa Monica, CA 90401  Heal The Bay operates the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium, which is dedicated to educating guests on the animals that call the bay home. With more than 100 local species on display and a variety of hands-on displays, families can get up close and personal with native marine life. Admission is just $5 for adults and children aged 12 and under are free!    The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County    900 Exposition Blvd.  Los Angeles, CA 90007  There is something for everyone to enjoy and explore at the Natural History Museum. From the exterior Nature Garden to the Dinosaur Hall, or the Becoming Los Angeles exhibit, there is more to see and do than can be done in one visit! Located in Exposition Park, the museum is neighbors with a number of other educational sites including  California Science Center  and  the California African American Museum .    La Brea Tar Pits and Museum    5801 Wilshire Blvd.  Los Angeles, CA 90036  Take a trip back in time to the Ice Age at the La Brea Tar Pits! Housing one of the largest collections of Ice Age fossils in the world, dinosaur lovers and history buffs alike will enjoy learning and exploring the museum. Families can watch real paleontologists work in the Fossil Lab, check out Ice-Age era plants in the Pleistocene Garden, and walk around – and smell – the still-active tar pits.    STAR Eco Station    10101 Jefferson Blvd.  Culver City, CA 90232  Part exotic wildlife rescue and part museum, STAR Eco Station is a unique destination for families to learn more about animals and conservation. See more than 200 species of rescued exotic animals from pythons to parrots on the guided tours which included rescue stories, hands on animal opportunities, and more.    The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library    40 Presidential Dr.  Simi Valley, CA 93065  Learn more about the 40th President of the United States at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. Highlights of the museum include a full-scale replica of the Oval Office, a piece of the Berlin Wall, and a chance to board Air Force One! The library is also host to a number of visiting exhibits throughout the year.    Japanese American National Museum    100 N. Central Ave.  Los Angeles, CA 90012  The Japanese American National Museum was established “to promote understanding and appreciation of America's ethnic and cultural diversity by sharing the Japanese American experience.” Ongoing exhibits at the museum include Sadako’s Crane, featuring one of the original cranes folded by Sadako Sasaki as she attempted to fold 1,000 paper cranes while battling leukemia in the 1950s. While at the museum, be sure to visit nearby Little Tokyo.

Living near Los Angeles gives our children the opportunity to visit a number of educational – and fun! – places. These aquariums, parks, museums, and more will create learning opportunities for every member of the family!

Santa Monica Pier Aquarium

1600 Ocean Front Walk

Santa Monica, CA 90401

Heal The Bay operates the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium, which is dedicated to educating guests on the animals that call the bay home. With more than 100 local species on display and a variety of hands-on displays, families can get up close and personal with native marine life. Admission is just $5 for adults and children aged 12 and under are free!

The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County

900 Exposition Blvd.

Los Angeles, CA 90007

There is something for everyone to enjoy and explore at the Natural History Museum. From the exterior Nature Garden to the Dinosaur Hall, or the Becoming Los Angeles exhibit, there is more to see and do than can be done in one visit! Located in Exposition Park, the museum is neighbors with a number of other educational sites including California Science Center and the California African American Museum.

La Brea Tar Pits and Museum

5801 Wilshire Blvd.

Los Angeles, CA 90036

Take a trip back in time to the Ice Age at the La Brea Tar Pits! Housing one of the largest collections of Ice Age fossils in the world, dinosaur lovers and history buffs alike will enjoy learning and exploring the museum. Families can watch real paleontologists work in the Fossil Lab, check out Ice-Age era plants in the Pleistocene Garden, and walk around – and smell – the still-active tar pits.

STAR Eco Station

10101 Jefferson Blvd.

Culver City, CA 90232

Part exotic wildlife rescue and part museum, STAR Eco Station is a unique destination for families to learn more about animals and conservation. See more than 200 species of rescued exotic animals from pythons to parrots on the guided tours which included rescue stories, hands on animal opportunities, and more.

The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library

40 Presidential Dr.

Simi Valley, CA 93065

Learn more about the 40th President of the United States at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. Highlights of the museum include a full-scale replica of the Oval Office, a piece of the Berlin Wall, and a chance to board Air Force One! The library is also host to a number of visiting exhibits throughout the year.

Japanese American National Museum

100 N. Central Ave.

Los Angeles, CA 90012

The Japanese American National Museum was established “to promote understanding and appreciation of America's ethnic and cultural diversity by sharing the Japanese American experience.” Ongoing exhibits at the museum include Sadako’s Crane, featuring one of the original cranes folded by Sadako Sasaki as she attempted to fold 1,000 paper cranes while battling leukemia in the 1950s. While at the museum, be sure to visit nearby Little Tokyo.

Inspiring books for your artist child

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From their first early crayon scribbles or Play-Doh creations, some children have a flair for the arts at an early age. Thanks to brilliant teams of authors and illustrators, there are plenty of books for young artists to draw inspiration from. Help foster their creativity with these inspiring books for young artistic children!

-          Katie and the Mona Lisa – James Mayhew

Katie visits an art gallery with grandmother – and steps into five famous renaissance paintings. The book, which is one in a series of 13, will inspire kids to look closely at art and think about how and why art is created.

-           My Museum  – Joanne Liu

My Museum tells the story of a young boy visiting an art museum for the first time. When the crowds – and his size – make it difficult to see pieces on display, the boy discovers that art is all around him. This book can help inspire young children to see the art in their everyday lives.

-          Keith Haring: The Boy Who Just Kept Drawing - Kay A. Haring

The Boy Who Just Kept Drawing tells the story of modern art icon Keith Haring. Written by the artist’s sister, it tells the story of his childhood, how he discovered and fostered his love of drawing, and his eventual rise to fame.

-          Ish – Peter H. Reynolds

Ramon loves to draw – until the day his older brother laughs at one of his sketches. Trying to make his drawings “right” only leads to a collection of crumpled up papers on the floor. Luckily, his younger sister helps encourage Ramon to embrace the “ish” of his favorite pastime. One part of a Creatrilogy including The Dot and Sky Color.

-          The Great Big Art History Colouring Book  - Annabelle Von Sperber

This large scale coloring book is equal parts educational and entertaining! Kids of all ages will enjoy spending hours illustrating scenes and coloring some of the world’s most famous masterpieces.

-          Beautiful Oops – Barney Saltzberg

Beautiful Oops tells an important lesson for budding artists – it’s okay to make mistakes! An interactive book with crumpled pages, holes, tears, pop ups, and more, Beautiful Oops will help children learn how to turn their smudges and spills into fantastical parts of their artistic endeavors.

-          Kid Artists: True Tales of Childhood from Creative Legends - David Stabler

Every artist starts somewhere; Kid Artists reveals the history and childhoods of a number of famous artists. Kids will be inspired as they learn about how the artists overcame their childhood challenges, from Jackson Pollock moving eight times or Jean-Michel Basquiat dealing with living in poverty.

Apps for SAT and ACT test prep

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From qualifying for scholarships or meeting the requirement for admission at certain universities, SAT and ACT scores are an important part of the college admissions process. Because of this, high school students can feel stressed by the pressure surrounding these tests.

Studying for these tests used to be limited to expensive review courses, private tutors, or enormous study books, but teens can now prep straight from their smartphones. Although smartphones may not replace paper practice tests altogether, these apps for SAT and ACT prep make it easier than ever for students to study for their college admissions tests!

-          Khan Academy

Apple Store  / Google Play

The motto of Khan Academy is “You can learn anything. For free. Forever.” With more than 10,000 videos and explanations, 40,000 common core aligned questions, and 150,000 interactive exercise, Khan Academy provides the opportunity to review the basics or dive in-depth into specific subjects. Users can search for specific topics, bookmark exercises for offline practice, and sync their progress across devices and on khanacademy.org to keep their progress up to date.

-          ACT Flashcards - Magoosh

Apple Store  / Google Play

This free app is designed to cover the basics for the English, Math, and Science sections of the ACT. Flashcards cover over 200 key words and concepts, as well as offer explanations and examples for each. Magoosh also carries an SAT-specific version of the app.

-          Daily Practice for the SAT  - The College Board

Apple Store / Google Play

Created by the makers of the SAT, Daily Practice provides official practice questions for quick and easy review. The app allows users to track their stats to see their progress over time, access the archives of previous questions, and sort questions by difficulty.

-          The Grading Game

Apple Store

While the app might not be specific to the SAT or ACT, it is one of the most unique – and fun – ways to review for the writing and English portions of these exams. Users must beat the clock to find errors in writing samples including spelling, grammar, and sentence structure. Game-based play will keep students engaged and coming back for more as they progress through the levels.

-          ACT Prep – Ready4

Apple Store / Google Play

More than 1,500 practice questions with detailed question explanation make this a great app for review on the go. Detailed score analysis and analytics allows users to track their progress and evaluate their strengths and weaknesses. Ready4 also has a SAT Prep version of the app

Digital safety tips for the summer

 For most students, use of technology increases over the summer. Whether it’s finding new books on e-readers, creating new worlds in Minecraft, or simply connecting with friends over social media, the majority of students will find themselves online over summer vacation.  While students typically have greater support and adult supervision over their time online during the school year, the summer can be a vulnerable time for children – particularly those who are victims of cyberbullying. In addition to using technology in moderation and monitoring internet activities, the following digital safety tips can help kids stay safe online.   R.E.S.T.   The acronym R.E.S.T. can help establish good online habits for students of all ages, particularly in the unstructured summer months. It stands for:   R emain cautious   E xpress positivity   S tay active   T ell someone    1.          Remain cautious   With 81% of kids using social media, it can be a great way for children to stay connected with their friends over the summer. However, encourage children to be cautious in what they post; avoid using their full names whenever possible and avoid posting too much personal information on public profiles, such as their age, address, school, or other locations they visit often. Likewise, it’s important to remind teens that the internet isn’t private; even texts, photos, or videos from self-deleting apps like Snapchat can be saved or have screen shots taken.    2.          Express positivity   Our mothers told us, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” The same sentiment should be expressed to children about posting or commenting online; encourage them to post positive comments and avoid hiding behind the anonymity of the internet to be negative towards others.    3.          Stay active   While summer is a time to rest and recuperate before the next school year starts, it is not an excuse to spend two months inside online. Children should regularly take breaks from electronics during the day; activities such as going on a walk, cooking a snack or meal, working on an art project, or volunteering are all ways to take breaks from screens. Likewise, encourage kids – and adults – to do a “digital detox” for at least one weekend over the summer. Put away phones, tablets, and computers for an entire weekend to enjoy quality time together as a family.    4.          Tell someone   A study by Dosomething.org [https://www.dosomething.org/facts/11-facts-about-cyber-bullying] found that 90% of teens who witnessed cyberbullying did not say or do anything to stop it. Encourage kids of all ages to tell a parent, coach, counselor, or other trusted adult if they or someone they know is being bullied online. Likewise, talk to your children about their online activities; ask them what sites they visit, who they connect with on social media, and encourage them to follow their instincts if something seems off or makes them uncomfortable.

For most students, use of technology increases over the summer. Whether it’s finding new books on e-readers, creating new worlds in Minecraft, or simply connecting with friends over social media, the majority of students will find themselves online over summer vacation.

While students typically have greater support and adult supervision over their time online during the school year, the summer can be a vulnerable time for children – particularly those who are victims of cyberbullying. In addition to using technology in moderation and monitoring internet activities, the following digital safety tips can help kids stay safe online.

R.E.S.T.

The acronym R.E.S.T. can help establish good online habits for students of all ages, particularly in the unstructured summer months. It stands for:

Remain cautious

Express positivity

Stay active

Tell someone

1.       Remain cautious

With 81% of kids using social media, it can be a great way for children to stay connected with their friends over the summer. However, encourage children to be cautious in what they post; avoid using their full names whenever possible and avoid posting too much personal information on public profiles, such as their age, address, school, or other locations they visit often. Likewise, it’s important to remind teens that the internet isn’t private; even texts, photos, or videos from self-deleting apps like Snapchat can be saved or have screen shots taken.

2.       Express positivity

Our mothers told us, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” The same sentiment should be expressed to children about posting or commenting online; encourage them to post positive comments and avoid hiding behind the anonymity of the internet to be negative towards others.

3.       Stay active

While summer is a time to rest and recuperate before the next school year starts, it is not an excuse to spend two months inside online. Children should regularly take breaks from electronics during the day; activities such as going on a walk, cooking a snack or meal, working on an art project, or volunteering are all ways to take breaks from screens. Likewise, encourage kids – and adults – to do a “digital detox” for at least one weekend over the summer. Put away phones, tablets, and computers for an entire weekend to enjoy quality time together as a family.

4.       Tell someone

A study by Dosomething.org [https://www.dosomething.org/facts/11-facts-about-cyber-bullying] found that 90% of teens who witnessed cyberbullying did not say or do anything to stop it. Encourage kids of all ages to tell a parent, coach, counselor, or other trusted adult if they or someone they know is being bullied online. Likewise, talk to your children about their online activities; ask them what sites they visit, who they connect with on social media, and encourage them to follow their instincts if something seems off or makes them uncomfortable.

Prepare Your Middle School Child for High School

 The transition from middle school to high school is a big one — and it comes at an already rough time in a teen’s development.  You can’t go to school with your child, but you can help them prepare for the transition and do everything you can to make sure it goes as smoothly as possible.  Get Organized  High school brings a greater sense of independence and responsibility than middle school. It’s the last step before a child leaves the nest to go to college, and it’s important that students learn how to manage their time and keep track of deadlines.  Take a proactive role in helping your child create a system for managing these things, then check in with them regularly to help make sure they’re sticking to it.  Encourage Involvement  Getting involved in school activities will help make the transition to high school much easier.  Before the school year starts, spend some time on the school’s website checking out clubs and activities that might be a good fit for your child. You could point out how getting involved could help them build new skills, develop friendships, work on overcoming certain fears, and take part in other benefits they may not even be aware of yet.  Create a Strong Bond  Perhaps the best thing you can do to help your child through many of life’s transitions is to establish a strong and healthy relationship with them.  With so many unexpected challenges and social pressures your child may face as they grow, he or she will most likely need people they feel safe to talk to when the time comes. If you and your child have a relationship founded on trust and good communication, your child will know that he or she can come to you when stressed, feeling overwhelmed, or trying to heal from heartaches.  Make an effort to get to know your child, including some of his or her strengths, weaknesses, fears, and goals, so that you may be better equipped to encourage and guide them through their next transition.

The transition from middle school to high school is a big one — and it comes at an already rough time in a teen’s development.

You can’t go to school with your child, but you can help them prepare for the transition and do everything you can to make sure it goes as smoothly as possible.

Get Organized

High school brings a greater sense of independence and responsibility than middle school. It’s the last step before a child leaves the nest to go to college, and it’s important that students learn how to manage their time and keep track of deadlines.

Take a proactive role in helping your child create a system for managing these things, then check in with them regularly to help make sure they’re sticking to it.

Encourage Involvement

Getting involved in school activities will help make the transition to high school much easier.  Before the school year starts, spend some time on the school’s website checking out clubs and activities that might be a good fit for your child. You could point out how getting involved could help them build new skills, develop friendships, work on overcoming certain fears, and take part in other benefits they may not even be aware of yet.

Create a Strong Bond

Perhaps the best thing you can do to help your child through many of life’s transitions is to establish a strong and healthy relationship with them.  With so many unexpected challenges and social pressures your child may face as they grow, he or she will most likely need people they feel safe to talk to when the time comes. If you and your child have a relationship founded on trust and good communication, your child will know that he or she can come to you when stressed, feeling overwhelmed, or trying to heal from heartaches.

Make an effort to get to know your child, including some of his or her strengths, weaknesses, fears, and goals, so that you may be better equipped to encourage and guide them through their next transition.

Summer reading suggestions for the college bound

 Final grades have been posted, graduation has passed, and seniors are now home for the summer as they anxiously anticipate leaving for college in the fall. While they may not have any academic requirements for the next few months, college bound students can take advantage of their time off by reading quality literature. Not only will reading keep their critical thinking and reading comprehension skills sharp, but it will also provide them with an additional knowledge base when they arrive on campus in the fall. The following summer reading suggestions for college bound students will help the time before college starts pass quickly – and give them plenty to talk about with their new classmates this fall.      -              How To Win Friends and Influence People    – Dale Carnegie     The consummate self-help book,  How to Win Friends and Influence People  is perfect for incoming college students nervous about meeting new people, making new friends, or being at school with 10,000 – or more – complete strangers. The advice in the book, including how to make people feel appreciated and how to sway others to your point of view, is applicable both when making friends in the dorms as well as later in life.      -              Between the World and Me    – Ta-Nehisi Coates     Written as a letter from Coates to his teenage son, this National Book Award winner discusses feelings and realities of being black in America. Toni Morrison called the novel “required reading,” saying “The language of ‘Between the World and Me,’ like Coates's journey, is visceral, eloquent, and beautifully redemptive. And its examination of the hazards and hopes of black male life is as profound as it is revelatory.”      -              An Illustrated Book of Bad Arguments    - Ali Almossawi and Alejandro Giraldo     Learning how to argue for and defend a position is one of the hallmarks of the liberal arts education.  An Illustrated Book of Bad Arguments  may look like a children’s picture book, but it can help college bound students avoid logical pitfalls – as well as recognize bad arguments when others make them.      -                Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear    – Elizabeth Gilbert      Big Magic  is a celebration of the creative process. Students looking to go into fine arts, communication, and more will draw inspiration from Gilbert’s follow-up novel to her international bestseller  Eat, Pray, Love.       And if you want to listen instead…      -              Hamilton     (Original Broadway Cast Recording)  – Lin-Manuel Miranda     This masterpiece fusion of hip hop and history shows how a single generation can change the world – and how our personal choices can have long-reaching effects in our lives. "Alexander Hamilton was himself part of a generation that changed the world," wrote Dean Bob Jacobsen of University of California, Berkeley. "His contributions still echo today in government, business, and even in how news is reported."

Final grades have been posted, graduation has passed, and seniors are now home for the summer as they anxiously anticipate leaving for college in the fall. While they may not have any academic requirements for the next few months, college bound students can take advantage of their time off by reading quality literature. Not only will reading keep their critical thinking and reading comprehension skills sharp, but it will also provide them with an additional knowledge base when they arrive on campus in the fall. The following summer reading suggestions for college bound students will help the time before college starts pass quickly – and give them plenty to talk about with their new classmates this fall.

 

-          How To Win Friends and Influence People – Dale Carnegie

 

The consummate self-help book, How to Win Friends and Influence People is perfect for incoming college students nervous about meeting new people, making new friends, or being at school with 10,000 – or more – complete strangers. The advice in the book, including how to make people feel appreciated and how to sway others to your point of view, is applicable both when making friends in the dorms as well as later in life.

 

-          Between the World and Me – Ta-Nehisi Coates

 

Written as a letter from Coates to his teenage son, this National Book Award winner discusses feelings and realities of being black in America. Toni Morrison called the novel “required reading,” saying “The language of ‘Between the World and Me,’ like Coates's journey, is visceral, eloquent, and beautifully redemptive. And its examination of the hazards and hopes of black male life is as profound as it is revelatory.”

 

-          An Illustrated Book of Bad Arguments - Ali Almossawi and Alejandro Giraldo

 

Learning how to argue for and defend a position is one of the hallmarks of the liberal arts education. An Illustrated Book of Bad Arguments may look like a children’s picture book, but it can help college bound students avoid logical pitfalls – as well as recognize bad arguments when others make them.

 

-          Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear – Elizabeth Gilbert

 

Big Magic is a celebration of the creative process. Students looking to go into fine arts, communication, and more will draw inspiration from Gilbert’s follow-up novel to her international bestseller Eat, Pray, Love.

 

And if you want to listen instead…

 

-          Hamilton (Original Broadway Cast Recording) – Lin-Manuel Miranda

 

This masterpiece fusion of hip hop and history shows how a single generation can change the world – and how our personal choices can have long-reaching effects in our lives. "Alexander Hamilton was himself part of a generation that changed the world," wrote Dean Bob Jacobsen of University of California, Berkeley. "His contributions still echo today in government, business, and even in how news is reported."

Educational outdoor activities

 While summer vacation is designed for students to rest and relax between grades, most kids have enough energy to keep them bouncing off the walls! Instead of keeping them cooped up inside – or turning to electronics to keep them entertained – gather up the kids and head outside!   Educational activities are especially important during the summer and can help prevent the “summer slide” , when children backtrack in their academic skills. Rather than resorting to boring workbooks or rote memorization review through flashcards, head outside for fun, educational activities that will engage their bodies and brains! When the kids get bored or need some structure to their days, these simple, educational activities can provide opportunities for both learning and fun.   Scavenger hunts   Scavenger hunts are a great way to get kids active outdoors. All that is needed is a list of items to find; because of this, they can be tailored for children’s ages and interests, locations, and more. If you are in a place where you can’t collect items, consider using cameras for a photo hunt. Examples of scavenger hunts include:   -           Alphabet hunt: Find an object to represent each letter of the alphabet   -           Color hunt: Find items that match various colors   -           Shape hunt: Find items that are commonly shaped, such as round, square, or oval.   -           Texture hunt: Have children find items that match a texture, such as smooth or bumpy.    Make ice cream    Beat the heat with a sweet, homemade treat! Homemade ice cream  requires kids to measure, practice their math skills, follow directions, and work off energy as they mix their own afternoon snack. Mix heavy cream, vanilla, and sugar in a Ziploc bag, then place into a larger bag of ice and rock salt. Kids can shake, toss, and roll their bags to create the ice cream; older children can learn about the science behind lower the freezing point, while kids of all ages will enjoy using unique ingredients to create different flavor combinations.   Shadow drawing   This physics-for-beginners project is fun, easy, and can help fill up an entire day. Set up a variety of objects or toys on paper or concrete; at various times throughout the day, come out and trace the object’s shadows. For more fun, have one child pick an object and trace its shadow without showing anyone else, then attempt to guess the object by its outline only.   Number line run   Using chalk, draw a number line along a long stretch of driveway or sidewalk, leaving about one foot in between each number. Have younger children practice counting as they run, skip, jump, or walk between numbers; make the activity more difficult for older children by having them move by skip counting, such as jumping by 3’s, or by running to a number that answers a given math question.

While summer vacation is designed for students to rest and relax between grades, most kids have enough energy to keep them bouncing off the walls! Instead of keeping them cooped up inside – or turning to electronics to keep them entertained – gather up the kids and head outside!

Educational activities are especially important during the summer and can help prevent the “summer slide”, when children backtrack in their academic skills. Rather than resorting to boring workbooks or rote memorization review through flashcards, head outside for fun, educational activities that will engage their bodies and brains! When the kids get bored or need some structure to their days, these simple, educational activities can provide opportunities for both learning and fun.

Scavenger hunts

Scavenger hunts are a great way to get kids active outdoors. All that is needed is a list of items to find; because of this, they can be tailored for children’s ages and interests, locations, and more. If you are in a place where you can’t collect items, consider using cameras for a photo hunt. Examples of scavenger hunts include:

-          Alphabet hunt: Find an object to represent each letter of the alphabet

-          Color hunt: Find items that match various colors

-          Shape hunt: Find items that are commonly shaped, such as round, square, or oval.

-          Texture hunt: Have children find items that match a texture, such as smooth or bumpy. 

Make ice cream

Beat the heat with a sweet, homemade treat! Homemade ice cream requires kids to measure, practice their math skills, follow directions, and work off energy as they mix their own afternoon snack. Mix heavy cream, vanilla, and sugar in a Ziploc bag, then place into a larger bag of ice and rock salt. Kids can shake, toss, and roll their bags to create the ice cream; older children can learn about the science behind lower the freezing point, while kids of all ages will enjoy using unique ingredients to create different flavor combinations.

Shadow drawing

This physics-for-beginners project is fun, easy, and can help fill up an entire day. Set up a variety of objects or toys on paper or concrete; at various times throughout the day, come out and trace the object’s shadows. For more fun, have one child pick an object and trace its shadow without showing anyone else, then attempt to guess the object by its outline only.

Number line run

Using chalk, draw a number line along a long stretch of driveway or sidewalk, leaving about one foot in between each number. Have younger children practice counting as they run, skip, jump, or walk between numbers; make the activity more difficult for older children by having them move by skip counting, such as jumping by 3’s, or by running to a number that answers a given math question.

Summer STEM activities

 Summer break is the perfect time to stimulate young minds with fun, hands-on activities! To keep things educational, try these summer STEM activities that can be completed with common household items.   -            Bottle rockets   While they may not be the fireworks variety,  these homemade bottle rockets  are an easy and fun way to incorporate both chemistry and engineering. Begin by building a launch pad using Tinker Toys, Legos, or other construction toys from around the house. Next, construct the rocket; an empty plastic bottle, a cork, baking soda, and vinegar are all that are needed for the rocket and its fuel. Put vinegar in the bottle, add 1 tablespoon of baking soda, turn upside down, quickly place the bottle in the launch pad, and watch it fly!  Discuss the reaction between the baking soda and the vinegar, and how it makes the bottle rocket fly. Extend the activity by trying different sizes of bottles or different amounts of baking soda and vinegar.   -            Tie dye flowers     Create tie dye flowers   by changing the color of white daisies or carnations. Add different colored food coloring or watercolor paint to small cups of water, then split the stems of the flowers into two – or more – pieces before placing the ends into the different cups. The flowers will begin absorbing the color immediately; record which colors are absorbed fastest, how the colors mix together, or how the colors change over time.   -            Oobleck    Capitalize on the slime craze – and learn about states of matter – by making oobleck . Oobleck, sometimes called goop or magic mud, is a non-Newtonian liquid. Under pressure it behaves like a solid, but without pressure behaves like a liquid. Kids will be mesmerized as they play and learn with this engaging and entertaining science experiment.   -            Stick boats    Practice the scientific method by brainstorming, designing, and testing stick boats . Begin by collecting sticks and cutting or snapping them to similar lengths. Then, using rope, twine, or other materials, bind the sticks together to create a boat. Add a sail if desired, then test the boats on the water – or in the sink or bathtub. Whether they sink or float, encourage children to evaluate and tweak their designs for the next round of testing.   -            Paper plate marble runs    Engage kid’s creative sides by creating paper plate marble runs . Using a paper plate as a base, have children cut and tape construction paper arches, tunnels, and pathways for their marble to travel through. Straws, Wikki Stix, and other materials can be used to create paths, curves, turns, ramps, and more.

Summer break is the perfect time to stimulate young minds with fun, hands-on activities! To keep things educational, try these summer STEM activities that can be completed with common household items.

-          Bottle rockets

While they may not be the fireworks variety, these homemade bottle rockets are an easy and fun way to incorporate both chemistry and engineering. Begin by building a launch pad using Tinker Toys, Legos, or other construction toys from around the house. Next, construct the rocket; an empty plastic bottle, a cork, baking soda, and vinegar are all that are needed for the rocket and its fuel. Put vinegar in the bottle, add 1 tablespoon of baking soda, turn upside down, quickly place the bottle in the launch pad, and watch it fly!

Discuss the reaction between the baking soda and the vinegar, and how it makes the bottle rocket fly. Extend the activity by trying different sizes of bottles or different amounts of baking soda and vinegar.

-          Tie dye flowers

Create tie dye flowers  by changing the color of white daisies or carnations. Add different colored food coloring or watercolor paint to small cups of water, then split the stems of the flowers into two – or more – pieces before placing the ends into the different cups. The flowers will begin absorbing the color immediately; record which colors are absorbed fastest, how the colors mix together, or how the colors change over time.

-          Oobleck

Capitalize on the slime craze – and learn about states of matter – by making oobleck. Oobleck, sometimes called goop or magic mud, is a non-Newtonian liquid. Under pressure it behaves like a solid, but without pressure behaves like a liquid. Kids will be mesmerized as they play and learn with this engaging and entertaining science experiment.

-          Stick boats

Practice the scientific method by brainstorming, designing, and testing stick boats. Begin by collecting sticks and cutting or snapping them to similar lengths. Then, using rope, twine, or other materials, bind the sticks together to create a boat. Add a sail if desired, then test the boats on the water – or in the sink or bathtub. Whether they sink or float, encourage children to evaluate and tweak their designs for the next round of testing.

-          Paper plate marble runs

Engage kid’s creative sides by creating paper plate marble runs. Using a paper plate as a base, have children cut and tape construction paper arches, tunnels, and pathways for their marble to travel through. Straws, Wikki Stix, and other materials can be used to create paths, curves, turns, ramps, and more.

Tips on how to guide your teen to land summer jobs and internships

 As school lets out for the year, many teens are looking for ways to improve their resumes and gain valuable work experience through summer jobs and internships. While summer vacation may be just around the corner, it’s still not too late for your teen to find something to do. The following tips can help parents guide their teens as they search for a summer job or internship!   Discuss their interests   While it may not be possible to find your teen’s dream job, it’s possible to find a position that connects with their likes and interests. Ask your teen about their favorite subjects, clubs they enjoy, or extracurriculars they participate in. If they love writing, a local newspaper or magazine could be a great fit. Likewise, a teen who wants to run their own business would learn best from experience with an entrepreneur.   Ask around   Many jobs and internships – both paid and unpaid – are found through word of mouth. Ask around with friends and family to see if they know of anyone looking for summer help. Likewise, if your teen has a specific position in mind, don’t be afraid to ask! Encourage them to call the person or business directly to ask if they have any available positions.   Review their resume   Even if they don’t have much experience, make sure to list everything else they’ve done. This includes clubs, sports teams, church groups, volunteer work, and other extracurricular activities. Highlighting any leadership positions or roles can emphasize certain skills and characteristics. Review their resume before they submit any applications, checking for spelling or grammatical mistakes, formatting issues, or any relevant experience they may have forgotten to list.   Practice for the interview   Prospective employers know teens won’t have lots of work experience; because of this, they tend to rely heavily on the interview process when making hiring decisions. Help your child ace their interview by going over practice questions, helping them choose an interview outfit, or reviewing business etiquette. Ask a friend, neighbor, or colleague to come over for the evening to conduct a mock interview; this will help your teen get comfortable speaking to a strange adult.   Design a custom internship   No luck finding a position? Help your teen design their own internship. Brainstorm ideas for an independent study project, such as conducting market research or identifying business trends. Next, find a teacher or other community member to “sponsor” or advise them on the project. Not only does this show initiative and creativity, but it can also help your teen make connections for potential positions next year.

As school lets out for the year, many teens are looking for ways to improve their resumes and gain valuable work experience through summer jobs and internships. While summer vacation may be just around the corner, it’s still not too late for your teen to find something to do. The following tips can help parents guide their teens as they search for a summer job or internship!

Discuss their interests

While it may not be possible to find your teen’s dream job, it’s possible to find a position that connects with their likes and interests. Ask your teen about their favorite subjects, clubs they enjoy, or extracurriculars they participate in. If they love writing, a local newspaper or magazine could be a great fit. Likewise, a teen who wants to run their own business would learn best from experience with an entrepreneur.

Ask around

Many jobs and internships – both paid and unpaid – are found through word of mouth. Ask around with friends and family to see if they know of anyone looking for summer help. Likewise, if your teen has a specific position in mind, don’t be afraid to ask! Encourage them to call the person or business directly to ask if they have any available positions.

Review their resume

Even if they don’t have much experience, make sure to list everything else they’ve done. This includes clubs, sports teams, church groups, volunteer work, and other extracurricular activities. Highlighting any leadership positions or roles can emphasize certain skills and characteristics. Review their resume before they submit any applications, checking for spelling or grammatical mistakes, formatting issues, or any relevant experience they may have forgotten to list.

Practice for the interview

Prospective employers know teens won’t have lots of work experience; because of this, they tend to rely heavily on the interview process when making hiring decisions. Help your child ace their interview by going over practice questions, helping them choose an interview outfit, or reviewing business etiquette. Ask a friend, neighbor, or colleague to come over for the evening to conduct a mock interview; this will help your teen get comfortable speaking to a strange adult.

Design a custom internship

No luck finding a position? Help your teen design their own internship. Brainstorm ideas for an independent study project, such as conducting market research or identifying business trends. Next, find a teacher or other community member to “sponsor” or advise them on the project. Not only does this show initiative and creativity, but it can also help your teen make connections for potential positions next year.

Ways to foster creativity in your kids

 Many parents assume that creativity is a talent their children either have or don’t have. However, it’s possible to foster creativity in your kids! Encouraging creativity can help with developing social skills and decision making, as well as fostering a sense of independence and confidence. The following are a few ways to help your child’s creativity flourish:   -            Provide time for unstructured play   Putting your kids into creative activities such as drama camps or art classes can help build skills, but the best way to foster creativity in kids is through unstructured play. Give your child the time and space to play unencumbered; for their next birthday, ask for creativity boosting toys such as plain Legos, dress up clothes, art supplies, or building materials.   -            Make a creative home    Create a home environment that allows creativity to flourish. In addition to providing things such as art supplies or dress up clothes, encourage kids to think in new and creative ways. Over dinner, ask them to come up with a list of three things they’ve never tried before to do during the upcoming weekend. Likewise, reassure them if they fail at something; kids afraid of failure are less likely to come up with creative ideas or solutions.   -            Give kids reasonable autonomy   Give your child the autonomy to make their own decisions and choices – within reason. While choosing not to do homework isn’t realistic, giving them the freedom to pick out their own clothes or pack their own lunches.   -            Download creativity-boosting apps   Kids of all ages love screen time. Use it to your advantage by downloading creativity-boosting apps such as drawing pads, fairy tale makers, or piano tutorials.   -            Encourage reading for pleasure   Help your child explore the genres and types of literature they enjoy. Encourage them to read for pleasure – outside of what they are required to do for school – by taking them to the local library, finding books that mirror their current interests, or signing them up for a summer reading program.   -            Try not to focus simply on achievements   As parents, we often put too much pressure onto what our children achieve. Instead, try to emphasize the “process” rather than the “product”. Ask about their process with questions like, “Did you have fun?” “What did you learn?” and “How would you improve or change it for next time?”

Many parents assume that creativity is a talent their children either have or don’t have. However, it’s possible to foster creativity in your kids! Encouraging creativity can help with developing social skills and decision making, as well as fostering a sense of independence and confidence. The following are a few ways to help your child’s creativity flourish:

-          Provide time for unstructured play

Putting your kids into creative activities such as drama camps or art classes can help build skills, but the best way to foster creativity in kids is through unstructured play. Give your child the time and space to play unencumbered; for their next birthday, ask for creativity boosting toys such as plain Legos, dress up clothes, art supplies, or building materials.

-          Make a creative home

Create a home environment that allows creativity to flourish. In addition to providing things such as art supplies or dress up clothes, encourage kids to think in new and creative ways. Over dinner, ask them to come up with a list of three things they’ve never tried before to do during the upcoming weekend. Likewise, reassure them if they fail at something; kids afraid of failure are less likely to come up with creative ideas or solutions.

-          Give kids reasonable autonomy

Give your child the autonomy to make their own decisions and choices – within reason. While choosing not to do homework isn’t realistic, giving them the freedom to pick out their own clothes or pack their own lunches.

-          Download creativity-boosting apps

Kids of all ages love screen time. Use it to your advantage by downloading creativity-boosting apps such as drawing pads, fairy tale makers, or piano tutorials.

-          Encourage reading for pleasure

Help your child explore the genres and types of literature they enjoy. Encourage them to read for pleasure – outside of what they are required to do for school – by taking them to the local library, finding books that mirror their current interests, or signing them up for a summer reading program.

-          Try not to focus simply on achievements

As parents, we often put too much pressure onto what our children achieve. Instead, try to emphasize the “process” rather than the “product”. Ask about their process with questions like, “Did you have fun?” “What did you learn?” and “How would you improve or change it for next time?”

Tips on creating a fun and educational family bucket list

 Between work, school, volunteering, and other extracurriculars, families are busier now than ever before. And while our devices allow us to stay in constant contact, it may be difficult to truly connect in a significant way.  One of the best ways to stay connect as a family is by creating a family bucket list. Once thought of as something only for people in the twilight of their lives, bucket lists are gaining popularity as a way to track and create lifelong goals. For families, bucket lists can help foster connections, revitalize relationships, and create a lifelong sense of adventure.  Creating an educational – and fun! – bucket list doesn’t have to be difficult. With these ideas on how to create a bucket list for your family, you’ll be ready to head off on your family’s next adventure at a moment’s notice.   -            Let everyone contribute   Because it is a family bucket list, the entire family should be involved! Find a time where everyone can sit down together to work on the list. You can have each person write down a list of their ideas before sharing, or sit and brainstorm together as a group.   -            Write it down   When we write down our goals, we are much more likely to work towards them! To keep bucket list items from being relegated to “someday,” write them down. Including specific timelines, plans, and other details is particularly important for big items such as trips or vacations.   -            Show it off!   After putting in the work to create a bucket list, show it off! Post the list somewhere prominent in your home; revisit it often to check off things you have done or to add new items!  Create a craft together by making an actual bucket for your bucket list! Paint or put stickers on a pail or bucket; write items from your bucket list on clothes pins and pin around the rim. As you accomplish them, take off the clothes pins and put them in the bucket. This gives you a visual reminder of all the fun things you have done together – and all the adventures you still get to have together!   -            Ideas for your bucket list   Consider bucket list items in the following categories: try, watch, explore, do, create, visit, wander, play, sightsee, and make. Sample bucket list items might be trying a new type of cuisine at a local restaurant, making a birdfeeder for the backyard, creating a family coat of arms, or going to home games for local sports teams.  Still having trouble thinking of ideas? Pick up a guidebook for your city or scour magazines and newspapers for local events or attractions. Factories with tours, museums, fairs and festivals, volunteering, and outdoor activities are just a few more potential ideas!   

Between work, school, volunteering, and other extracurriculars, families are busier now than ever before. And while our devices allow us to stay in constant contact, it may be difficult to truly connect in a significant way.

One of the best ways to stay connect as a family is by creating a family bucket list. Once thought of as something only for people in the twilight of their lives, bucket lists are gaining popularity as a way to track and create lifelong goals. For families, bucket lists can help foster connections, revitalize relationships, and create a lifelong sense of adventure.

Creating an educational – and fun! – bucket list doesn’t have to be difficult. With these ideas on how to create a bucket list for your family, you’ll be ready to head off on your family’s next adventure at a moment’s notice.

-          Let everyone contribute

Because it is a family bucket list, the entire family should be involved! Find a time where everyone can sit down together to work on the list. You can have each person write down a list of their ideas before sharing, or sit and brainstorm together as a group.

-          Write it down

When we write down our goals, we are much more likely to work towards them! To keep bucket list items from being relegated to “someday,” write them down. Including specific timelines, plans, and other details is particularly important for big items such as trips or vacations.

-          Show it off!

After putting in the work to create a bucket list, show it off! Post the list somewhere prominent in your home; revisit it often to check off things you have done or to add new items!

Create a craft together by making an actual bucket for your bucket list! Paint or put stickers on a pail or bucket; write items from your bucket list on clothes pins and pin around the rim. As you accomplish them, take off the clothes pins and put them in the bucket. This gives you a visual reminder of all the fun things you have done together – and all the adventures you still get to have together!

-          Ideas for your bucket list

Consider bucket list items in the following categories: try, watch, explore, do, create, visit, wander, play, sightsee, and make. Sample bucket list items might be trying a new type of cuisine at a local restaurant, making a birdfeeder for the backyard, creating a family coat of arms, or going to home games for local sports teams.

Still having trouble thinking of ideas? Pick up a guidebook for your city or scour magazines and newspapers for local events or attractions. Factories with tours, museums, fairs and festivals, volunteering, and outdoor activities are just a few more potential ideas!

 

Boost Your Child’s Chances for Scholarships

 Scholarships are competitive, and becoming even more so as the cost of college continues to rise. With the pool becoming more and more crowded, here are some ways you can help your child stand out from the pack:  Read the Fine Print  Before you and your child spend any time on a scholarship application, make sure it’s one that you qualify for in the first place. Scholarships often have specific requirements, and people who do not meet them are automatically disqualified. Invest a little time at the beginning of the process to avoid wasting time on an unnecessary application.  Be Open and Honest  Scholarship applications are filled with essays that tell the reader what they want to hear, rather than giving an honest portrayal of the applicant. Letting your child’s true colors show will help their application stand out in readers’ minds and help them feel like they are making a personal connection.  Those connections make it much easier for scholarship awarding organizations to feel good about choosing someone for an award — they come away with a true sense of who the money is benefitting.  Track Essays and Recommendations  Missing just one deadline or one part of an application can be enough to disqualify your child. One way to help prevent that is to help create a spreadsheet or another tracking system to make sure that everything is submitted on time. Creating a system for organizing applications will make sure that doesn’t happen. It also provides a good model for your child to follow one day.  Stay Positive  The scholarship application process is a lesson in the notion that you can’t always get what you want. This might be one of the first times that your child has ever been denied something that they want.  How you handle that situation will greatly inform their reaction to it, so try to stay positive and encourage them to keep moving forward rather than feeling upset or frustrated with themselves.

Scholarships are competitive, and becoming even more so as the cost of college continues to rise. With the pool becoming more and more crowded, here are some ways you can help your child stand out from the pack:

Read the Fine Print

Before you and your child spend any time on a scholarship application, make sure it’s one that you qualify for in the first place. Scholarships often have specific requirements, and people who do not meet them are automatically disqualified. Invest a little time at the beginning of the process to avoid wasting time on an unnecessary application.

Be Open and Honest

Scholarship applications are filled with essays that tell the reader what they want to hear, rather than giving an honest portrayal of the applicant. Letting your child’s true colors show will help their application stand out in readers’ minds and help them feel like they are making a personal connection.

Those connections make it much easier for scholarship awarding organizations to feel good about choosing someone for an award — they come away with a true sense of who the money is benefitting.

Track Essays and Recommendations

Missing just one deadline or one part of an application can be enough to disqualify your child. One way to help prevent that is to help create a spreadsheet or another tracking system to make sure that everything is submitted on time. Creating a system for organizing applications will make sure that doesn’t happen. It also provides a good model for your child to follow one day.

Stay Positive

The scholarship application process is a lesson in the notion that you can’t always get what you want. This might be one of the first times that your child has ever been denied something that they want.

How you handle that situation will greatly inform their reaction to it, so try to stay positive and encourage them to keep moving forward rather than feeling upset or frustrated with themselves.

Activities to Keep Your Kids Learning This Summer

 The school year is almost over, which means that many kids may be counting down the days until they can leave the classroom behind for the summer.  Any teacher will tell you that they spend time at the beginning of the school year working to re-orient students to the learning process after a summer away. Make that transition easier for your child by engaging them in activities that will keep them learning all summer long.  Plant a Garden  Tending to a garden is a great way to instill a sense of responsibility in children. Let them choose what type of food to grow (within reason, of course), then create a schedule for watering, weeding, and other garden duties.  Not only will this give your child a little bit of structure to summer days, it will also provide an opportunity to learn firsthand about how food grows. Have them keep a journal to track progress along the way and reflect on what they are learning to ensure that it sticks with them when they go back to school in the fall.  Visit the library  There’s something for everyone at the library, even if your child may not love to read.  The  Redondo     Beach     Public     Library  offers programs and events for children nearly every day, including dance and music classes and summer reading clubs. Set a goal to visit the library at least once per week to check out a new book or to participate in one of the programs.  Reading and engaging in educational events will help keep those skills sharp, and might even spark a new interest that your child will be eager to learn more about.  Volunteer in the community  For older children and teens, volunteering can help take them outside of their bubbles and learn the importance of connecting with others.  Redondo Beach has many  nonprofit     organizations  that are always in need of extra help. Again, this will help provide structure to the day and provide valuable lessons in skills like empathy and respect for all types of people.

The school year is almost over, which means that many kids may be counting down the days until they can leave the classroom behind for the summer.

Any teacher will tell you that they spend time at the beginning of the school year working to re-orient students to the learning process after a summer away. Make that transition easier for your child by engaging them in activities that will keep them learning all summer long.

Plant a Garden

Tending to a garden is a great way to instill a sense of responsibility in children. Let them choose what type of food to grow (within reason, of course), then create a schedule for watering, weeding, and other garden duties.

Not only will this give your child a little bit of structure to summer days, it will also provide an opportunity to learn firsthand about how food grows. Have them keep a journal to track progress along the way and reflect on what they are learning to ensure that it sticks with them when they go back to school in the fall.

Visit the library

There’s something for everyone at the library, even if your child may not love to read.

The Redondo Beach Public Library offers programs and events for children nearly every day, including dance and music classes and summer reading clubs. Set a goal to visit the library at least once per week to check out a new book or to participate in one of the programs.

Reading and engaging in educational events will help keep those skills sharp, and might even spark a new interest that your child will be eager to learn more about.

Volunteer in the community

For older children and teens, volunteering can help take them outside of their bubbles and learn the importance of connecting with others.

Redondo Beach has many nonprofit organizations that are always in need of extra help. Again, this will help provide structure to the day and provide valuable lessons in skills like empathy and respect for all types of people.

Educational staycation ideas for your kids

 Summer break is just around the corner, and many parents are faced with the looming prospect of several months at home with their kids. If you’re dreaming of white sand beaches or a secluded cabin in the woods but don’t have the time – or money – for a major trip, it’s still possible to plan a family getaway with a staycation!   Alphabet of staycation ideas   There are hundreds of staycation ideas for kids and families of all ages. The following alphabet ideas are just a few of our favorites!   A: Aquarium.  Before your visit, research the types of fish or marine life you may see.   B: Beach.  Visiting the beach is a great way to beat the heat!   C: Camping.  Whether it is in your own backyard, a local campground or the living room, camping is a great way to explore the outdoors!   D: Day Trip.  Grab a map, and draw a circle around it to represent everything within an hour’s driving distance.   E: Explore.  Try a mystery road trip or mystery walk. Simply start going and let your kids alternate telling you where to turn or stop. You never know where you’ll end up!   F: Festivals.  Summer is full of festivals and fairs! Find one – or several – to put on the calendar.   G: Global grocery.  Have each member of the family choose a state or country to research. Conclude the project by heading to the grocery store to shop for and cook a recipe from that culture.   H: Hotel.  Plan a dream vacation where money is no object. Where would you go? How would you get there? Where would you stay?   I: Ice cream.  Conduct a science experiment about freezing point depression by making your own ice cream!   J: Journal.  Have each child write about their summer staycation; it preserves the memories and helps improve their writing skills!   K: Kindness.  Do something kind for someone else, such as baking and delivering cookies to the neighbors.   L: Library.  Libraries are home to a number of exciting, fun, educational, and often free summer programs.   M: Museum.  Find a museum you have not visited before and plan a trip there.   N: Nature.  Take a nature walk through a local park or botanical garden, recording the different plants and animals you find.   O: Outdoors concerts.  Head out to enjoy an outdoor concert or festival, such as an outdoor movie screening or Shakespeare in the park performance.   P: Park.  What summer vacation is complete without a trip to the park? Make it special with a photo scavenger hunt.   Q: Quiet day.  Unplug and plan a day at home free from phones, tablets, and other electronics.   R: Reunion.  Whether it is for the whole family or just a few members, plan a reunion. Have kids create invitations, plan the menu, and come up with games or activities.   S: Sports.  Head to watch a local sports team play, or play outside together as a family!   T: Theater.  Have kids write and stage their own play! Little ones can even participate and create a puppet theater.   U: Under the stars.  Learn about astronomy by staying up late to stargaze.   V: Volunteer.  Volunteer as a family for a local organization.   W: Water.  Head to a local pool or water park; check for discounted rates such as family pricing or evening hours.   X: X marks the spot.  Create a treasure hunt using a map or with a series of riddles.   Y: Yard.  Plant a small vegetable garden and enjoy the fruits of your labor as summer progresses!   Z: Zoo.  Start with an aquarium and end with a zoo! Enjoy visiting and learning about the animals.   

Summer break is just around the corner, and many parents are faced with the looming prospect of several months at home with their kids. If you’re dreaming of white sand beaches or a secluded cabin in the woods but don’t have the time – or money – for a major trip, it’s still possible to plan a family getaway with a staycation!

Alphabet of staycation ideas

There are hundreds of staycation ideas for kids and families of all ages. The following alphabet ideas are just a few of our favorites!

A: Aquarium. Before your visit, research the types of fish or marine life you may see.

B: Beach. Visiting the beach is a great way to beat the heat!

C: Camping. Whether it is in your own backyard, a local campground or the living room, camping is a great way to explore the outdoors!

D: Day Trip. Grab a map, and draw a circle around it to represent everything within an hour’s driving distance.

E: Explore. Try a mystery road trip or mystery walk. Simply start going and let your kids alternate telling you where to turn or stop. You never know where you’ll end up!

F: Festivals. Summer is full of festivals and fairs! Find one – or several – to put on the calendar.

G: Global grocery. Have each member of the family choose a state or country to research. Conclude the project by heading to the grocery store to shop for and cook a recipe from that culture.

H: Hotel. Plan a dream vacation where money is no object. Where would you go? How would you get there? Where would you stay?

I: Ice cream. Conduct a science experiment about freezing point depression by making your own ice cream!

J: Journal. Have each child write about their summer staycation; it preserves the memories and helps improve their writing skills!

K: Kindness. Do something kind for someone else, such as baking and delivering cookies to the neighbors.

L: Library. Libraries are home to a number of exciting, fun, educational, and often free summer programs.

M: Museum. Find a museum you have not visited before and plan a trip there.

N: Nature. Take a nature walk through a local park or botanical garden, recording the different plants and animals you find.

O: Outdoors concerts. Head out to enjoy an outdoor concert or festival, such as an outdoor movie screening or Shakespeare in the park performance.

P: Park. What summer vacation is complete without a trip to the park? Make it special with a photo scavenger hunt.

Q: Quiet day. Unplug and plan a day at home free from phones, tablets, and other electronics.

R: Reunion. Whether it is for the whole family or just a few members, plan a reunion. Have kids create invitations, plan the menu, and come up with games or activities.

S: Sports. Head to watch a local sports team play, or play outside together as a family!

T: Theater. Have kids write and stage their own play! Little ones can even participate and create a puppet theater.

U: Under the stars. Learn about astronomy by staying up late to stargaze.

V: Volunteer. Volunteer as a family for a local organization.

W: Water. Head to a local pool or water park; check for discounted rates such as family pricing or evening hours.

X: X marks the spot. Create a treasure hunt using a map or with a series of riddles.

Y: Yard. Plant a small vegetable garden and enjoy the fruits of your labor as summer progresses!

Z: Zoo. Start with an aquarium and end with a zoo! Enjoy visiting and learning about the animals.

 

Great Books for Animal-Loving Kids

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No matter what type of animal your child likes, you can find a book to match those interests. Animals can be superheroes, villains, and every type of character in between.

These books, which range from pictures only to chapter books, will spark your child’s imagination and create a sense of excitement that even the best TV shows may not capture!

“Babe, The Gallant Pig” by Dick King-Smith

We’ll start off with a classic. Dick King Smith’s book is about a pig who encompasses some of the best human traits — manners, intelligence, and compassion. Babe wants to be a sheepdog and has to convince his owner that he should be roaming the fields instead of on the table for Christmas dinner.

This book was developed into a successful movie that was nominated for an Academy Award in 1996.

“How to Be an Elephant: Growing Up in the African Wild” by Katherine Roy

Elephants are a mainstay of children’s literature, but you’ve probably never seen them in quite this way. This picture book is based on the experiences of real-life elephants during their first two years of life. It provides some great lessons in how animals grow and adapt to their communities.

Open this one up for discussion by asking your child to draw comparisons between baby elephants and baby humans.

“Ranger in Time: Rescue on the Oregon Trail” by Kate Messner

Dogs make great heroes in children’s books, and Ranger the golden retriever is no exception. After doing some digging in the backyard, he’s transported back in time to help a family trying to cross the Oregon Trail to the American West.

Ranger quickly bonds with his new family and will make you fall in love with him by the time the book is finished. This chapter book also provides history lessons about what it was like for families heading west in the 1800s.