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The Polite Times 
 A regular newsletter published by The PoliteChild, Inc.
 Vol IV, No 05
May 2005 

In This Issue

1. Students Embracing PoliteChild Programs

2. Teacher Training Begins This Month In the Desert!

3. Online Calculator: What Do Behavior Management & Poor Social Skills Cost Your School?

4. Licensee Training

5. Parenting Tip of the Month: Graduation With Grace

6. PoliteChild In the News

7. What do you want to know?

President’s Corner – Students Embracing PoliteChild Programs

Dear PoliteChild family, supporters, and friends:

Recently I was asked to give a presentation on The PoliteChild, the need for programs such as ours, and our results to a local school board. I was given 10 minutes to go through the numbers, cost justifications, benefits – the usual stuff. We are developing an inspiring track record of positive behavior improvements, increased test scores, better teacher and staff morale, and improved family dynamics.

We were asked to include at least one parent/child from a school participating in PoliteChild for comments about what the programs really mean to them. We were blessed with a fifth-grader and her mother who were gracious enough to speak on our behalf. Had I know what the young lady would share with the Board, however, I can tell you I would have just let her speak and shelved the entire “professional” presentation I had prepared.

Mikala’s comments and insights were so moving and inspiring, I’ve decided to present her statement here in its entirety.

     The importance of PoliteChild is to practice what we learn, nurturing our intention to respect ourself and others at all times. We learn the virtues to help us understand how to be polite and shy. We learn how to meet and greet people to be able to communicate with courtesy. We learn the magic words to show consideration to others. We learn table manners to learn how to act around the table. We learn how to be grateful and gracious to be thankful when you get things, like it or not. We learn responsibility to take care of business. We learn reliability to be accountable. We learn loyalty to be faithful. We learn courage to be brave, even though we are afraid. We learn integrity to stand up for our beliefs. We learn self-control to have power over our emotions. We learn self-discipline to be able to not give up. We learn trustworthiness to be trusted. We learn humor and humility to be able to laugh at ourselves and to be humble. We use these virtues in our everyday lives to be a better and more polite person.

I believe that this program will stick to many kids. If we had PoliteChild long ago, the world would be safer and better. What we lost long ago, we can make up for it now if every child has this program because children are the future. This won’t nessacerilly [sic] help the world to be perfect, but it’s just one step closer.

    - M.T., 5th grade, Dr. Carreon Academy, Indio CA

It doesn’t matter how good a program is in the eyes of educators, administrators, or even parents. If the kids don’t accept it, it won’t be successful. Mikala’s comments show us that the kids not only hundreds but they are embracing the concepts and values we are teaching them at The PoliteChild. Mikala’s comments are representative of those we get from other students – from the youngest all the way through teens. They see how PoliteChild is helping them develop important skills for life success.

That’s going to be the key to how this program will make a difference in the world – by making sure our “real customers” see the value and buy into what it is we are trying to teach them!

If you have any comments about this month’s Corner, a topic in the PolitePress or something else you’ve read or seen, please email me at corinneg@politechild.com. Until next month, stay safe, and stay kind.

Corinne Gregory, President & Founder

P.S. If you don’t believe the figures we are giving you in this newsletter, feel free to try it for yourself! See the section in our newsletter about our new “Do the Math” calculator!

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  Teacher Training Begins This Month in the Desert!

 

Starting this month, schools in the Coachella Valley are beginning their teacher training for PoliteChild programs beginning in Fall. Presently, the training courses offered will be for SocialSmarts™ for GradeSchoolers; other SocialSmarts Train the Trainer courses are being scheduled for later in the summer, and just before Fall.

In some cases, our hosting schools have been gracious enough to allow “extra” teachers interested in The PoliteChild program join in their on-site classes. The first class to be held is open to a few extra teachers and is scheduled to be held Saturday, June 11th, at Corsini Elementary in Desert Hot Springs. This will be a SocialSmarts for GradeSchoolers training session and runs from 8:30am to approximately 3:00pm.

For more information on spaces that may be available for this training, please contact the PoliteChild Southwest Regional Office at 760.772.8886 or by email at info@politechild.com. Spaces are limited and are offered on a first-come, first-served basis. We’d love to have you join us!

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 On-Line Calculator: What do Behavior Management and Poor Social Skills Cost Your School?

 

Since we announced our on-line calculator in last month’s newsletter, we’ve had a lot of visitors trying the tool for themselves. If you’ve “tried it for yourself” we’d love to hear what you ’ve been finding!

The calculator is an interactive tool based on the financial impacts of poor behavior and discipline management issues in our schools today. On our website, we’ve dedicated an entire page to charts and calculations showing the financial impacts.

Our new calculator page fields that allow you to enter the cost to educate a student for a day or a year, the number of teaching days in the school year, percentage you think is being spent on behavior/classroom management and discipline, and then see what your “bottom line” is.

We think you’ll find that “the answer” is a very big number, one that will help you understand what the lack of good social skills is costing us and our kids! Remember, it doesn’t need to be an entire class out of control. One or two disruptive or disrespectful students can ruin it for an entire class!

You’ll find the new online calculator page at: http://www.politechild.com/resources_cost_calculator.htm

We’re happy to have you run a few numbers, print out this report, and share it with folks in the neighborhood, your school, district or even local/regional lawmakers. One thing we do ask: keep in mind that our calculator, formulas, and results are copyrighted, so when you share it with people, our indicia and copyrights must remain intact.

Try it out and let us know what you think! Drop us an email at info@politechild.com and tell us if you find this information helpful or relevant!

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 Licensee Training


We just completed our latest licensee training in the Southwest Region. Our newest licensees participated in curriculum training, “how to” sessions on developing and building their new PoliteChild-affiliated businesses, networking and marketing, and more. Licensees even had the opportunity to view classes in action, which is a terrific way for them to see what a “real” class looks like!

Are you interested in joining our rapidly growing network of national – and soon, international! – PoliteChild Authorized providers? Our next training will be taking place in August, location and specific dates to be determined, depending on regional demand. We want to make sure our newest affiliates are ready to participate in the busy back-to-school rush! And, given PoliteChild’s positive effects on student test scores, it’s clear that PoliteChild courses can do a lot to improve grades and academic achievement, not just behavior!

If you’re interested in joining our growing list of authorized PoliteChild affiliates contact us at info@politechild.com or by phone at 866.485.4089. We’re especially interested in finding providers in the Portland, OR area, as well as in the Northeast, mid-Atlantic, and Texas, where we’ve had a lot of inquiries from parents and schools.

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 Parenting Tip of the Month: Graduation with Grace

 

June is coming – and that means graduations! This month’s “tip” is geared toward all those May/June grads, whether you are moving up from Kindergarten or heading off to life beyond college.

On Announcements
Remember that “announcements” and “invitations” are two different things. Unless you are specifically invited – many graduations even require tickets! – don’t assume that you are being invited to the event.

Announcements can be sent anytime around the graduation, anywhere from a few weeks before to a few weeks after is typical.

Many schools have their own formats for announcements and even market directly to the graduate, offering complete packages. Generally, the announcement is considered to be “formal” correspondence, so they are addressed accordingly, using a formal title (Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Dr. and Mrs. Noble – even to relatives). If there is an inside envelope, you may use the more typical way of referring to the recipient, such as “Uncle Roger and Aunt Mary,” “Mike, Judy, and family,” etc.

Graduation party invitations can be included in the announcement package, but be sure that all the details of the invitation – where, when, what to wear, when/how to RSVP – are clearly included. If a party invitation is included, keep in mind that you need to provide enough advance notice of the party and RSVP because June is a busy month with all sorts of events like weddings, other graduations, Father’s Day, and people may be making plans quite a bit in advance.

On Giving Gifts
Just because you’ve gotten an announcement, it doesn’t mean you are automatically obligated to give or send a gift. Gift-giving at graduation should be a reflection of the relationship you have with the graduate. If you are close to the grad, then certainly you’ll want to send or give something that celebrates the individual and his/her accomplishments.

As with other gifts, it’s not the pricetag that determines the value, it’s the though. A “big-ticket” item is not required, and certainly shouldn’t be the case if you can’t afford it. Parents and relatives often feel they need to go overboard for graduation and give over-the-top gifts.

Often, the “level” from which the student graduates leads to some great gift ideas. For the youngest grads, consider books, gift-cards or certificates to book stores, or a “moving up” present of a stocked backpack, organizer or calendar, or other “big kid” items. Older grads may need items for their new dorm or apartment, pre-paid phone cards, computer products, a briefcase, or other college or job-related items. Monogramming persona items is always a classy touch.

It’s always special to wrap in festive wrap – even if you are sending the gift instead of presenting it in-person. But, regardless of how you get it there, remember to include a card or gift-tag that lets the grad know who the present is from. It’s hard to write thank you notes when you don’t know where a gift came from!

Thank You Notes
Thank you notes for graduation should follow the same basic rules as thank you notes for other gifts:
     • They should be hand-written, according to the ability and level of the student. The youngest students can draw a picture, write their names, add stickers and other decorations
     • It’s nice to acknowledge what you received, why it’s special, and even what you plan to do with it. Sure beats a generic “thank you for your present” that anyone can rattle off without thought. Someone took the time out to select, purchase, and give you a present – show at least as much appreciation for the gift as the level of effort and thought that went into giving it. Even if it’s not “the perfect gift” in your mind, appreciate that the giver was hoping that it would be and you should appreciate the effort that went into the giving.
     • Ideally, send your thank you notes out within 2 weeks of receiving the gift. Even better is one week – you can do a little in pieces while you’re waiting at a bus stop, at the Dr’s office, or during an afternoon. Youngest grads will need mom and dad’s help, of course, so parents, make getting the thank you notes a priority task for both your child and for you!


On taking photos/videos
At the ceremony itself, it can be difficult to get that video or photo of the grad that you are wanting because you are possibly competing with dozens – or hundreds – of other parents and relatives trying to do the same thing! It can be maddening and stressful. To make the day easier on everyone, keep in mind that no one is intentionally trying to get between you and your special grad – we all have a tendency to forget everyone else when our child or special young-person is the one “on stage.” Try to be gracious and remember that a kind “excuse me, but could I just get a quick clear shot” will go over better than a “Hey, buddy, down in front!!”

Also, if you happen to be the cameraman or videographer “down in front” be conscious of your body position, whether you’re blocking someone else, or whether you can step aside to allow someone else to get a shot in. You may also offer to take a group photo of someone else’s grad and their family so that everyone can be in the photo.

As usual, remember that the Golden Rule – “treat others the way you want them to treat you” – will go a long way toward ensuring that this graduation celebration is memorable, and in a pleasant way!

Do you have a burning question for our “Parent’s Tip?” Well, feel free to drop us an email at info@politechild.com or call us at 866.485.4089!

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  PoliteChild in the News


It really happened! PoliteChild finally appears in the June 2005 issue Entrepreneur Magazine. The article is called “In Your Dreams” and can be found on page 37 of the actual magazine, or online at http://www.politechild.com/documents/Entrepreneur0605.pdf.

We also had an appearance in the greater Palm Springs/Palm Desert area on CBSTV2, along with one of the students of Dr. Carreon Academy who spoke of the value of PoliteChild in the public school system.

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 What do you want to know?

Every month, The PoliteTimes gains more readers and a broader audience, we’re continually striving to give you information, news and tips for our newsletters that are interesting and relevant.

Do you have something you’d like to see us cover or have a question you’d like us to answer (privately or through our newsletter)? If so, contact us at info@politechild.com or by phone at 866.485.4089!

We appreciate all those folks who have already written us to give us feedback. We do read each and every one of your letters and take your input seriously! If you don’t get a response from us in 48 hours, please email us again. We’re finding that SPAM filters seem to be overly efficient in blocking out correspondence sometimes, even the correspondence that’s wanted and welcome!

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