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The Polite Times 
 A regular newsletter published by The PoliteChild, Inc.
 Vol III, No 5
June - July 2004 

In This Issue

1. President's Corner

2. PoliteChild, Time Magazine, and more

3. National Licensee Program Updates – Next training!

4. Parenting Tip: RSVPs and Party Manners

5. PoliteChild Helps Schools Raise Funds

6. EspeciallyPolite’s First Fun-draiser Coming Soon!

7. Message Boards – Social Skills and PoliteChild

President’s Corner – Stopping, or Preventing, Bullying?

Dear PoliteChild families, supporters, and friends:

Anti-bullying has been a hot topic for quite a while. You probably can’t go a week without reading or hearing about some report of another school that’s being sued, or another child that’s been suspended, or parents who are being fined for their children’s anti-social behaviors. And, this coverage is increasing.

It’s good that the issue is receiving serious attention, I’ll not argue with that. What concerns me is the perspective from which the issue is approached. We are overwhelmingly concerned with fixing a problem that already exists, and less concerned about preventing it in the first place.

In the pursuit of ensuring we have safe schools for our children to attend, we are literally spending billions of dollars every year adopting “conflict resolution” policies, mandating “student councils,” creating and publicizing our “zero tolerance” attitude, installing metal detectors, and more. We try to teach our kids what the appropriate response should be when they are bullied, and educate our counselors on what measures they are legally permitted to employ when the inevitable bullying problem occurs in their school. All in the name of “violence prevention.” I believe that, once the issue of poor social skills has escalated to the point where we’re talking about “violence,” it’s far too late.

Instead of trying to fill in a hole that’s created by the problem, how about we try a little harder to focus on developing the kind of environments in which this sort of “problem” wouldn’t even start? Our children need to learn that the only acceptable form of behavior is that where they are being kind, respectful, considerate of others, and compassionate. This kind of behavior is the bare minimum that is expected of them, not just something they use for “special occasions” or when they feel like it.

Our schools, too, have to insist on this kind of atmosphere, not just pay lip-service to it. There’s nothing wrong with discipline. Now, I agree that it can be taken to extremes – in either direction. But, we have to accept that children are happier when they know what their limits and boundaries are, and that there is a natural, predictable consequence when they exceed those boundaries. We are doing them a disservice if we don’t insist on courtesy, all the time – even within their families. And, they need to bring that level of civility with them wherever they go.

But, why should the schools get involved at this level? Because they are suffering mightily from the effects of poor social skills. Even if your child is the most considerate and responsible child in the classroom, his education is suffering because there are one or two kids in the classroom who are disruptive, rude, and disrespectful. Or, maybe it’s on the playground. In any case, the problem is there, it’s real, it’s pervasive, and it’s costing us right now (in taxpayer dollars, in the quality of education), and it’ll continue to cost us in the future when “bullies” turn into “troublemakers,” “unproductive workers,” or… “criminals.”

And, there’s nothing about anti-bullying that teaches kids to be self-motivated, or to be loyal, or to have courage and to stick with your values and principles when the going gets tough.

There’s a lot more to building good character and good kids than teaching them not to harass or beat up on others. We’re doing too little in that regard, and as usual, an ounce of prevention will always beat a pound of cure.

Corinne Gregory
President and Founder, The PoliteChild, Inc.

P.S. Have comments or questions about this newsletter or other topics? You can reach me any time at corinneg@politechild.com.


  PoliteChild, Time Magazine, and more

This has been a busy media month for The PoliteChild. We started June off with a bang: An appearance in the June 7th, 2004 issue of Time Magazine. The article dealt with the “phenomenon” of parents seeking avenues to teach their kids how to behave better and included information about the importance of teaching social skills to our children. If you didn’t see the actual issue, you can read the article online at http://www.politechild.com/go/171.htm.

The Time article led to a flurry of media inquiries which are still ongoing. An interview on a Minnesota radio station, another radio interview which will occur on July 1st for a Lexington, KY radio station, interview with Parenting magazine, and an appearance on the CNN Financial News program, Dolans Unscripted, and an interview on the Dolans weekly radio program which is carried in nearly 400 markets. There have been other inquiries as well – Today Weekend, ABC Phoenix’s “Daybreak” program, and KING5 TV (Seattle) being some of the more major ones.

Entrepreneur magazine is still pending (apparently) with a story about people who “dreamed up” a business.

We expect to appear in San Diego Family magazine this month and there’s also another pending column in “OC Family” magazine on how to deal with ex-in laws (dare we call them – kindly – our “out-laws?”).

Farther out, but no less important, is an interview that was completed with Parenting magazine that is reportedly appearing in the November issue. It’s on the topic of teaching kids gratitude and it’ll be out just in time for Thanksgiving!

Finally, we’d like to mention that President Corinne Gregory’s letter to the editor was published in a recent issue of the Desert Sun. Although it’s not technically a “June” or July event, having appeared in the May 29th issue, it deals with the important issue of bullying. More on the “penny-wise, pound foolish” approach to bullying can be found in her “President’s Corner” this month, but to read the letter, please visit: http://www.politechild.com/go/129.htm.



 National Licensee Program Updates – Next training!

As you might guess, the article in Time magazine has spurred near-epidemic interest in our program. As a result, we are presently evaluating several new licensee applications for inclusion in our next training.
Our training was originally scheduled to be August 3-5, but we are likely pushing the date out two weeks, to August 17-20 in order to allow enough time to complete the application process. This training will prepare licensees for the busy new school year, just ahead, and since the class size is limited to only 8 licensees, we may need to schedule an additional class sooner than our typical once-a-quarter plan.

As usual, the retreat-style training will take place in Palm Desert, CA. The desert location provides an ideal spot for combining the intense training session with so many of the recreation opportunities and to take advantage of the qualities for which this area: the sun, sports such as golfing, tennis, swimming, and more! And, the training gives licensees ample opportunity to meet and get to know each other, network and compare notes, while they learn all about starting and growing their independent PoliteChild businesses.

For more information about business opportunities with The PoliteChild or our licensee training, check out our dedicated web page at: http://www.politechild.com/company-license.htm.


 Parenting Tip: RSVPs and Party Manners

It seems that there’s a universal interest in how to develop better manners in our children when it comes to special social situations. Not only do we get repeated questions about RSVPs, what’s appropriate, how kids should behave, etc., but “party manners” or “RSVPs” are some of those topics frequently queried on that bring users to our website.

To address this common issue, instead of just answering one question in this month’s PoliteTimes issue, we’ve decided we should actually write a small book about it and make it available to subscribers and visitors of our website. Our Holiday Manners booklet has been extremely popular and it seems appropriate that we cover some other relevant topics and make the information publicly available.

Party Manners Worth Celebrating is an ebook that we’re offering now, as a sneak-peak to our newsletter subscribers, before we make it generally available. And, we’ll even offer it at a special price to the first 50 individuals that download it directly from the newsletter link!

In the booklet, we’ll cover topics such as:

  • What’s expected when your child is the host
  • Your child as the guest
  • RSVPs
  • Giving and receiving gifts graciously
  • Thank you notes

And more…

For a limited time, you can have a copy of the Party Manners booklet for $2.95 instead of the $4.95 the booklet will cost once it is generally available.

To get your copy, go to http://www.politechild.com/store/pmwc.htm (or just click the link on the PoliteChild home page) and follow the download instructions. We hope you enjoy your copy!

Have a question or comment about this section? Let us know!



 PoliteChild Helps Schools Raise Funds

Here’s an all-too-common scenario: a school wants to bring in PoliteChild programs but doesn’t know how to pay for it. Poor student social skills can cost a school untold thousands – even millions! – of dollars a year. Student absenteeism and truancies resulting from bullying or even simple indifference to the importance of school attendance costs school and taxpayers money every day. Recently, a local public school district superintendent recently calculated that the cost to process one student expulsion was $508!

Yet schools today all face immediate budget crunches that often prevent them from taking vital steps to regain these lost hard dollars — not to mention lost productivity in the classroom — to improve teacher and student morale, and to have a lasting positive effect on the community (for more on the financial impact to schools, visit http://www.politechild.com/rss-pubschfin.htm).

What’s a school or district to do?

Many schools are using Title I monies to help fund PoliteChild programs because they recognize the impact poor social skills and classroom discipline issues have on student academic performance and achievement. This is a ready source of funding and has been successfully used by several public schools and districts. The PoliteChild has helped schools integrate our program offerings into various Title I funding documents such as grants and justifications.

Additionally, the PoliteChild has long tried to make resources available to help schools, districts, and other organizations fund programs such as ours that build social skills, develop good character, and improve the overall cultural climate of educational institutions and communities. Our funding resources page is frequently visited for its valuable list of sources for funding from private and government sources.

Recently, we’ve taken one further step to help schools who want PoliteChild programs, appreciate their value to students and the community, and are committed to improving their students’ social skills by helping host underwriting parties intended to raise money to help fund their PoliteChild program.

The PoliteChild recently held one such reception in the Palm Desert, CA area for James E. Carter Elementary School. The reception’s goal was to raise awareness for the program, provide information for parents and interested business or community members, and to begin enlisting financial support that will ultimately result in funding The PoliteChild in the school. For more information about the details of this event, please see: http://www.politechild.com/news/release-040610.htm.

There are many avenues available to private and public educational institutions for funding PoliteChild programs. If a school wants the program, sees the needs, understands the value and the benefit to them and its students, but can’t figure out how to afford it…well, that’s the easiest problem for us to solve! Don’t let the lack of immediately-obvious financial resources stop you! Even something as simple as a written letter stating your position can be used with local businesses, such as banks or insurance companies, to enlist financial support. After all, building better social skills in our kids will ultimately benefit us all – including the businesses in the community that will be serving and employing our children and youth in the very near future.


  EspeciallyPolite’s First Fun-draiser Coming Soon!

The flurry of activity we’ve had this month has delayed the launch of our on-line auction. You’ll remember that we first announced it in the May newsletter and indicated it was “coming soon.”

Well, it’s still coming. We have delayed our launch of the MaestroWeb-hosted on-line auction until things settle down with other business a bit, but expect that we’ll kick this off sometime in July. We’ll make a separate announcement when we have the site up and operational.

The on-line auction is only part of the fundraising EspeciallyPolite is doing to support its efforts. The company has recently applied to the Anderson Children’s Foundation for a grant to be used in the local Coachella Valley area.

Proceeds from the online auction will be used to…

  1. Acquire a desktop computer system/server to help manage and administer the EspeciallyPolite program;
  2. Cover costs of training teachers/provide materials for 20 Washington middle school EBD kids;
  3. Provide for adaptation of PoliteChild curriculum for high-functioning behaviorally-challenged kids;
  4. Provide scholarships (partial or complete) for students in behavioral-specialty EP programs.

Our goal is to raise $20,000 this first time out, and, given the number of our supporters, it’s an ambitious goal, but not one that’s unrealistic. We will be offering a number of really special items such as trips (anyone for a safari, or a jaunt to Australia/New Zealand?), golf excursions, and more. The idea is to get something you’ve always wanted AND help a good cause at the same time. What can be better than that?

As we collect items and set up the website, you there are several ways you can help needy and challenged kids:

  1. Help us get the word out. Auctions don’t work very well, we’ve found if there aren’t any bidders. Feel free to forward this newsletter, the upcoming auction announcement, or any of our other materials to folks that would be interested in supporting our mission.
  2. Donate items. It’ll be really easy since it’s all on-line! No need to schlep that Chihuly vase in – just submit a photo! It’s time for Spring cleaning – what do you have in your attic that someone else might want?
  3. Bid on items. Again, see #1 above.
  4. Participate with cash or in-kind donations. If you have a spare computer, for example, that would work great as a server, we’ll be happy to accept your donation at fair market value.

We really want to make this a success because we are overwhelmed with the number of kids and families that could take advantage of our program if only we had the scholarship funds available or if we had the curriculum tailored to their specific physical or emotional challenges. Think how great it would be if, in the near future, we could say “yes” to their requests instead of “we’d like to but…”

Stay tuned for more information about the upcoming auction! If you have an item you’d like to donate, please contact us! And, for more information about MaestroSoft and how their products and services can help benefit auctions, golf tournaments, or more, check out www.maestrosoft.com.


  Message Boards – Social Skills and PoliteChild

Just as a little reminder, there are a couple of message boards you subscribers may want to participate in. As we are all interested in the areas of social skills and helping kids develop better manners, character, and behaviors we had created two message boards to help folks interact and share information, stories, and insights.

One board is related to social skills issues in general; the second is dedicated to discussions and questions about The PoliteChild program, its classes, etc. The can both be found on Yahoo and you can use the following links to subscribe to them:


We will also be announcing a group that is specifically for our growing list of national (and soon international!) licensees so that they have a forum for exchanging information related to their new independent PoliteChild businesses, so stay tuned!


For more information, click here to go to PoliteChild.com.

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