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Florida Circle of Parents E-Newsletter
THE POWER OF ONE: How You Can Promote Hope and Resilience in Children
education, elementary school, children, creativity and people concept - happy little girl drawing with coloring pencils over classroom and teacher background
Everyone does better when they feel like they have someone in their corner, and this is especially true of school-age children. Children need to know that someone believes in them; that they have an ally. Often that person is a parent, but given that many children spend more of their waking hours at school than at home, they need a champion at school too.
In a TED (Ideas Worth Sharing) Talk two years ago, former teacher Rita Pierson shared her teaching philosophy. In describing a quiz she administered, Rita shared that one student answered eighteen out of twenty questions incorrectly. Rather than put -18 on his paper, she wrote +2 and added a smiley face. Confused by the smiley face, the student asked if he received an F. When Rita responded, "yes", he asked why she put a smiley face on the paper. She told him that he got two answers right and she knew that when they reviewed the material again, he would do better. In her words, "-18 sucks all the life of you, +2 says "I ain't all bad."
Through simple, everyday connections, you can make a difference in a child's life. You don't have to be a parent, a teacher or a coach to make a difference. By simply making children feel noticed and valued you become an ally.
As noted Child Psychiatrist James Comer pronounced, "no significant learning can occur without a significant relationship." Each time you connect with a child and show him that you will listen to him and support him; you pave the way for learning.
Children are much more likely to try when they know someone believes they can succeed. And, they are much more likely to reach out for help (if they need it) when they have a relationship with someone they can trust.
You can start small and have a big impact. Begin by:
Listening - try repeating back what a child shares with you to demonstrate that you are paying attention and focused on them. Regardless of whether or not you agree with them, validate their feelings and let them know you understand.
Comforting - celebrate their achievements, no matter how small. Did they help clean the lunch table, wait for a friend, or let someone else go ahead of them in line? Acknowledge their choices with public recognition.
Honoring differences - help them appreciate their uniqueness by praising their hobbies, hairstyles, clothes or glasses. We all share so much in common, but it is our differences that make us special. When you point out what makes them special, their peers will recognize it too.
Following up - remember to check in over time to make sure to make sure their relationships and schoolwork are ok.  It's natural to have ups and downs, but knowing they have an ally increases resiliency.
YOU have the power to make a difference. YOU can be an ally.  YOU can start today by connecting with a child.
Pinwheels for Prevention 2016
Pinwheels for Prevention Logo
The blue and silver pinwheel is the national symbol for preventing child abuse and neglect. While it is appropriate to display the pinwheels any time during the year, April is the month that we promote pinwheel gardens all over the state of Florida. Our special partner pricing for pinwheels ensures that those agencies and organizations providing direct services to families can buy them at our cost.
Pinwheels can also be used to fund raise. Asking for sponsorship donations for your pinwheel garden can help to cover the cost. Of course, any extra donations in excess of the cost for pinwheels can be used to support your local programs.
If you would like to place an order for 2016 pinwheels, please contact the Prevention Services Unit for a 2016 order form. You may email or call Alexa Kyros at akyros@ounce.org or (850) 921-4494 ext. 141.
Fall Holidays 
This quarter celebrates all those family holidays: Halloween, Thanksgiving, Hanukah, Christmas, Kwanza and New Year's. It can be overwhelming! Presents to buy, food to prepare, traveling and entertaining... the fall months have fun activities for the family, but can also be stressful for parents when we try to please everyone and take responsibility for all the planning, etc. Parents have to take care of themselves so that the stress of the holidays doesn't affect our families' enjoyment of these times.
One place to start might be to make a budget for gift buying and then have a family meeting to discuss the plan. Include children in ideas for reducing spending so there can be extra money for shopping. Keep your child's age and maturity in mind when you talk money. Let the family plan the menus for holiday meals. You may find that some of those things you thought you have to make really don't matter all that much. That can take away some of the burden and extra expense of food shopping and cooking. The good thing this time of year is finding all those great buys on many grocery items. If you can, buy extra while the sale prices are low.
Time spent together is what's most important. Our children will remember the fun and closeness of the holidays more than the presents or what they ate. Creating family traditions and building relationships will keep our families close through the years.
Children's Week 2016
Children's Week at the Florida Capitol comes early this year, January 24-29th. On January 7th a free online webinar is being offered, "Making Your Case". The webinar will cover how to make your case when visiting members of the Florida legislature. Children's Week is the time for volunteers and advocates for family issues to effectively communicate with those that make Florida's policies concerning children and families. Please visit the website link in the poster below to register for the webinar.
Making Your Case poster
Ounce of Prevention Fund logo
We would like to welcome our new Circle of Parents groups, 
Healthy Families Seminole County and
Healthy Families/Jacksonville Children's Commission
Training Request!

To schedule an initial or refresher facilitator training, contact Training Specialist, Jean Gibson at jgibson@ounce.org or 850.921.4494 ext. 202

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