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The Polite Times 
 A regular newsletter published by The PoliteChild, Inc.
 Vol IV, No 02
February 2005 

In This Issue

1. President's Corner

2. PoliteChild Results in Improved Academic Test Scores!

3. PoliteChild Founder and President to Visit Washington DC

4. DVD “Train the Teacher” Now Available

5. Next Licensee Training

6. Parenting Tip of the Month: Teaching Pre-Schoolers Self-Control

7. PoliteChild in the Press

8. Feedback Wanted

President’s Corner – Independent Proof: PoliteChild works!

Dear PoliteChild family, supporters, and friends:

First, I want to thank the many folks who wrote last week, complimenting us on our company’s mission, but also specifically on our publication and the information we provide in it! We appreciate the feedback, so keep those cards and letters coming!

Those of you who are long-timer readers of The PolitePress know that this section is one in which I usually drag out my soapbox and touch on some topic related to social skills and child education that has made the news or has piqued my interest. Well, it may come as a shock to you, but this month I’ve decided to do something different. 

You’ve heard me say so many times about how PoliteChild is helping students, families, schools, and the community, but we recently received an email from a counselor at Dr. Carreon Academy, a public K-5 school in Indio, CA, in which she discusses what kids have to say about how PoliteChild has affected them and their families. I’ve decided to simply insert her letter into this month’s Corner and let you read for yourselves. Add to that last week’s release of improvements in test scores for Dr. Carreon Academy (details below) and I figure I don’t have to say anything more.

To All [Dr. Carreon] Staff:

Polite Child Part I has closed it's doors!!! Yes, we are now done with the first half of Social Smarts and have begun with Virtues, second half.

I felt the need to e-mail you for two reasons. One, because I don't get to see many of you anymore. Second, to say thank you for supporting the program and setting those high expectations in you classrooms and you modeling what's expected.

I have been doing a quick verbal survey at the beginning of every class for every grade asking students if they feel that they are more 'aware' of their behavior (I review quickly what we covered) and if they understand why certain things are done a certain way now that they have learned what is appropriate and what is not and how many feel they are using their new skills. It was a gratifying surprise to see almost all students in each class raised their hands. Also, they not only raised their hands but continued to give me great examples of where and how they use their new learned skills. One boy said that when he went to an interview for a commercial he walked in and looked at the person in the eyes, shook his hand firmly (no dead fish) and continued with the interview. He later was called for the second interview and told that part of the reason he was called back was because of how he presented himself in a very secure manner. Another young man said when at home he asked his mom 'May I ...' and his brother said 'Shut-up' and then father turned to that son and said 'No, you shut-up, you should practice your manners'. Hey, we don't have perfect parents but at least he noticed one son is using his manners. WOW!

Of course, then we had that 1,2 or 3 students that, well I don't have to preach to the choir! But, anyways, when I asked them why they did not raise their hand and what don't they care for about the program, one boy said 'It's boring' and as I was about to answer the majority of the class looked at him and said 'Well it's because you're lazy and you don't want to change'. I could not believe what I heard and that is when it became more apparent that one, we have great kids and two, behind great kids there's a great staff and three, that these kids WILL be great FOR the world.

Thanks, from the kids (they don't say it because they don't see the complete picture yet) for your support and thanks from me because it would not make any difference if it is not enforced in the classroom. Just had to let you all know.

Thank you again,
Maria

FYI: We have started 2nd half and the first character is 'Responsibility'

I hope this letter inspires you the way it has me and so many others who have read it since we received it. If you have any comments about this letter, a topic in the PolitePress or something else you’ve read or seen, please email me at corinneg@politechild.com. ‘Til next month!

Corinne Gregory, President & Founder

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  PoliteChild Results in Improved Academic Test Scores!


Well, this is terrific news if we’ve ever heard it. Along with the improved student behavior, decreases in disciplinary issues and actions, improved teacher and staff morale, increased student time-on-task, better family dynamics…and more, now we know this:

PoliteChild programs have a positive effect on academic test scores!

We received a report from Desert Sands Unified School District just last week that showed a 10-13% improvement in students’ 2004 academic test scores at Dr. Carreon Academy compared to how those students did the prior year at their previous non-PoliteChild schools from where they came. While the detail of the information is really too much to put into this newsletter, the report is based on a study of 237 students at Dr. Carreon who came from other schools in the District, and shows double-digit growth in academic achievement over how they did in 2003. And, interestingly enough, the students that remained at the “feeder” schools only saw 0-4% increases in academic growth in 2004.

We are repeatedly asked what quantitative proof we have of the benefits of The PoliteChild programs in schools. While we have tons of anecdotal evidence, and reports of improvements from principals, counselors, teachers, parents, and students, we haven’t had “hard data” to show how improvements in social skills can lead directly to improvements in academic success. It’s certainly intuitive that a student who is respectful, disciplined, and paying attention is better prepared to learn than one who is unruly, disorganized and doesn’t take his or her job as a student seriously, but having concrete numbers that show a comparison are worth their weight in gold.

These test scores are certainly interesting and make yet another compelling case for why PoliteChild is working. But, even more interesting will be this year’s (2005) test scores because one of the “feeder” schools in last year’s study has since brought PoliteChild in as well. It’ll be intriguing to see how this school rates when the scores are released because so many schools are haunted by the “Improve or else” directive under No Child Left Behind.

As more schools look to us to help with their behavior management, character education, anti-bullying, and social skills improvement efforts, now they can add the question of “what is it worth to see double-digit improvement in next year’s test scores?” to their mix of considerations.

If that doesn’t make it worthwhile, we don’t know what will!

For more information how PoliteChild can improve your school’s academic performance, contact us at info@politechild.com or by phone at 866.485.4089. 

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 PoliteChild Founder and President to Visit Washington DC


As part of our on-going effort to promote The PoliteChild, its mission and success stories, PoliteChild’s President and Founder Corinne Gregory is scheduled to travel to Washington DC to meet with members of Congress and other Federal education representatives. This trip will be an important step in helping raise awareness of the need to include social skills improvement programs as part of true, effective education reform.

Ms. Gregory will be taking the latest news of improved test scores with her when she visits Capitol Hill.

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 DVD “Train the Teacher” Now Available


As we announced last month, we’re about our first “Train the Teacher” course now available for purchase on DVD.

This first product is based on the Company’s introductory SocialSmarts™ for GradeSchoolers course. The DVD contains the entire 6-hour session, but it is organized in such a way that training can be broken up lesson-by-lesson to allow for flexibility with how often and/or how long each training session lasts.

Before the creation of this first product, teacher training was offered only as traditional on-site instructor-led training to schools who had licensed the PoliteChild programs and materials for its students. Now The PoliteChild will be able to better serve the increasing demand we are seeing for our training and licensed curriculum.

While we don’t see this completing replacing instructor-led training (after all, handling things like Q&A are still best done face-to-face!), it will be an alternative for schools and organizations who may not always be able to accommodate the scheduling challenges substitutes or in-service days present. And, by having the training on DVD, it allows for larger audiences than might be able to attend at a typical school or district if only instructor-led training were available to them.

The DVD and accompanying materials are priced on a tiered scale, based on the number of licenses and sets of materials needed. For more information on the DVD or to order your copy, please contact us at 866.485.4089 or info@politechild.com.

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 Next Licensee Training


Good news for all of your prospective licensing candidates and others interested in starting a PoliteChild business of your own! Due to schedule conflicts and, quite frankly, lousy weather, our February licensee training was postponed. Our next scheduled PoliteChild Licensee training will be held in the Southwest Region in Palm Desert at the end of the month, March 22-24.

Our licensee training covers topics important for starting and developing a PoliteChild business of your own: including a detailed walk-thru of our SocialSmarts™ for GradeSchoolers course, marketing and prospecting for clients, how to grow your PoliteChild business and expand your territories as appropriate.

We presently have three spots available for this training, but the timeframe for processing applications is rapidly dwindling. If you’re interested in joining our growing list of authorized PoliteChild affiliates across the nation, 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.

Come be a part of our life-changing mission and build a satisfying, rewarding business at the same time! Our territory pricing will be going up next month, so if you’ve been thinking about joining us, this might be the right time for you!

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  Parenting Tip of the Month: Teaching Pre-Schoolers Self-Control


Have you ever had your pre-schooler in the midst of a major meltdown and wondered how you could help him/her regain control? Here’s a “quick and dirty” trick you can do with your son or daughter, and even teach him or her to do it alone when the need arises. And, the best part – it’s fun! It’s called “Birthday candles” and works on the time-tested practice of “take a deep breath” and count to 10 before responding. Only, now we’ve “toddler-ized” it.

Here’s how it works: when your child has lost it or is getting ready to blow, tell them you’re going to practice “birthday candles.” Hold your hand up in front of him showing as many fingers as he would have on his cake at his next birthday (you’re also promoting the idea of his getting to be “more grown up” as he learns this trick). Then, have him take a deep breath and “blow out your birthday candles.” As he “blows” out the candle (your finger), fold your finger down. Have him take another deep breath and do the next one until they are all “blown out.” If your child only manages a half-blow, you can fold down your finger part way at one knuckle, have it pop up again, or anything in between, which will probably result in his blowing again to get the “flame” all the way out.

By doing this you’ve accomplished several things at once…

  1. You’ve stopped your child’s tantrum in its tracks, avoiding further escalation,
  2. You are having him take a deep breath, bringing in fresh oxygen and helping him slow down his heart rate, brain activity, etc.
  3. By focusing on the “birthday candles” he’s taken his attention off what was bothering him – “reframing” is something that this is sometimes referred to – and onto something new and productive (regaining control)
  4. You’ve engaged him on listening to you – you’re back in control
  5. When he’s calmed down through the exercise, you can try to find out what the problem was if you don’t already know, or perhaps begin to discuss what could be done to fix it if you do know 
Kids will notice the effect “Birthday candles” has on their level of distress. Sometimes kids will even ask for “another 5 candles” when they can tell that they aren’t calmed down enough yet. The exercise is simple enough, and fun, that they can learn to do it themselves when there’s no parent or grownup there to coach them through it.

“Birthday candles” is a way of providing your child with a “timeout” to regain control, without the typical negative reinforcement a traditional “timeout” or “quiet minute” delivers. It’s proactive in that we’re teaching them self-control and self-monitoring, while giving them a way to refocus their energies from emotional reaction to a calmer state in which they can move to a reasonable response. Teaching our kids how to rely on themselves to manage their mental and emotional states is a very important step in building maturity and self-reliance!

I suggest that if you have little ones (although even some of the “big ones” are happy to continue to do it when they feel like their going to lose it), you try “birthday candles” at your next opportunity. Let us know how it works, too, if you like, by dropping us an email at info@politechild.com !

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 PoliteChild in the Press


All the business activity we’ve seen this month has kept our opportunities for media appearances to a minimum, but still some good stuff out there – and more will be coming soon!

District Administration Magazine –Comments and observations from PoliteChild President and Founder Corinne Gregory are included in the article The K-8 Bunch talking about the increasing number of schools looking to adopt a K-8 grade level model, and the pros and cons thereof.

San Jose Mecury News – The story on ‘Mean Girls’ is still coming, although we still don’t have a publication date.

Not yet giving up on Entrepreneur Magazine, but we’re getting close…

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  Feedback Wanted


Are We Meeting Your Needs?

Our readership continues to increase every month. But, we’re always working to come up with information for our newsletters that is interesting and relevant to you our readers. If 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) contact us at info@politechild.com or by phone at 866.485.4089!

We always like to hear from you and value your input!

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