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
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
| 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
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
Thank you again,
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
firstname.lastname@example.org. ‘Til next month!
Corinne Gregory, President &
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 email@example.com
or by phone at 866.485.4089.
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.
“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
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
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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
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
By doing this you’ve accomplished several things at once…
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.
You’ve stopped your child’s tantrum in its tracks, avoiding further escalation,
You are having him take a deep breath, bringing in fresh oxygen and helping him
slow down his heart rate, brain activity, etc.
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)
You’ve engaged him on listening to you – you’re back in control
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
“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
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 email@example.com
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or by
phone at 866.485.4089!
We always like to hear from you
and value your input!
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