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The Polite Times
 A regular newsletter published by The PoliteChild, Inc.
 Vol II, No 10
November 2003 

In This Issue

1. President's Corner
 
2. PoliteChild On The Today Show
 
3. Holiday Social Survival Guides Going Fast!
 
4. Winners (?) of the 2nd Annual “Bah Humbug!” Award
 
5. Winter Classes Forming
 
6. Check out our new coffee mugs…
 
7. “But there’s no PoliteChild class at my school!”
 
8. New Assistance for Funding for PoliteChild Programs 
 

President's Corner - Holiday Well-Wishes and “Old Year’s” Resolutions

Dear PoliteChild families, supporters, and friends:

It’s hard to believe, but here we are closing in on the end of another year. So much has happened in our lives and in our business. We’re sure the same has been true of yours.

We can’t help but be immensely thankful for all the amazing blessings we’ve had, and for all the special people that we have had the honor to meet. There are certainly days where it’s not clear why we do what we do, but then there are other days where we see the impact we’re making as an organization when it’s all worth it.

Case in point: I had the fortune to tour Dr. Carreon Academy in Indio, California this month to see our program in action in a public school environment. While I expected positive results, even I was blown away by what I saw. Principal Kathy Felci must have walked me through 20 classrooms of various grades, K-5. In all those rooms, not a single child spoke out of turn, or interjected a comment without raising his or her hand. Even more noteworthy was the behavior out on the playground. There was cooperation and camaraderie. Students waited patiently in line for their turn at playing ball or using playground equipment. I didn’t see a single squabble. When the bell rang, the children froze in their spots and waited for the signal to line up. And, they did so, quietly, without any pushing or shoving in line.

But, most notable was the attention that they paid in class. Not only did they give their teachers their undivided attention, but when their classmates were speaking, these students respected each other’s time. Ms. Felci explained that there was a noticeable increase in students’ time on task as a result of the first PoliteChild program, which is a measure of how much time they have in which they can actually absorb lessons and learn. The more time students can spend “on task” the more quality learning time they are available for. And, that can make a huge difference over a month’s or even a year’s time. It can make all the difference in the world for students that are might be marginal or “at risk” students.

The lesson that we can take from all this is one of the positive impact of thinking “outside oneself.” Imagine what could be accomplished if we all spent just a little time each day thinking of others? If we were able to pry ourselves away from the concerns of our own lives to consider what’s happening in someone else’s.

The Boy Scouts have a very interesting tradition. At a recent Council fundraiser, I was given a special “coin” which had an inscription that instructed the bearer to place this coin in his left pocket at the beginning of the day. As soon as the wearer did a good deed that day, he was to transfer the coin from his left pocket to his right. I thought this was a wonderful and tangible way of reminding us that our “mission” in life is to see what paths of kindness and courtesy we could take each day.

So, I know it’s not New Year’s yet, and we still have many days ahead of us in which to make the annual list of resolutions we intend to keep, but oh-so-often break before the year is a month old.

Given the reputation for these fickle “new Year’s resolutions,” how about we start a new tradition: let’s end the year on a positive note by creating our own set of “old year’s resolutions.” Think about the year past and consider what you would have done differently, instead of expecting the New Year to give us a clean slate.

With that in mind, I’ll make a suggestion for this year’s “old year’s resolution:” Resolve to do one nice thing a day for someone outside your immediate family. I think you’ll find how satisfying it is personally, as well as notice how infectious the practice becomes. Imagine, as we enter the New Year, how much different our world would be if each and everyone of us decided to commit one act each day in service of someone else. Doesn’t have to be a big thing. Sometimes the small ones are the greatest. But, if each of us did this – each and every day – we’d wake up in 2005 in a very different world than we find ourselves in today.

I wish you peace and prosperity in the year to come!

Corinne Gregory
President and Founder, The PoliteChild, Inc.

P.S. As always, you can reach me at corinneg@politechild.com with your feedback and comments.

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  PoliteChild on The Today Show


On December 19th PoliteChild Founder and President Corinne Gregory made an appearance on NBC’s The Today Show. In a live interview with Katie Couric, Ms. Gregory discussed some practical tips parents can use to improve their children’s social skills and manners over the holidays and beyond.

In case you missed it, we have the segment available for viewing on our website at:

http://www.politechild.com/Today

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 Holiday Social Survival Guides Going Fast!

We’ve had an incredible response to our offer of the “Holiday Social Survival Guide” for parents and kids. There’s still a chance to get your copy, if you haven’t already done so. We have now made downloadable versions of the booklets available on the website.

To download a copy of the guide that is appropriate for your child’s age, simply go to the home page at www.politechild.com and look on the right of the page where you’ll see the image of the booklet. Click on the image and simply follow directions to be taken to the download site. And, feel free to share the information about the guide with friends, family, or anyone you think can benefit! It’s our way of saying “thank you” to our friends and supporters.

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 Winners (?) of the 2nd Annual “Bah Humbug!” Award


For those of you who were readers of this newsletter last year, you’ll no doubt remember our inaugural “Bah Humbug!” award winner.

For those of you new to the newsletter, we have been making note of who’s been naughty and who’s been nice among organizations out there. This year we also opened it up to nominations in our November newsletter. The eventual “winner” of this award is selected on the basis of their promoting or perpetuating those values and behaviors that we at The PoliteChild are trying to reduce or eliminate in our cause of “Putting ‘civil’ back into ‘civilization’.”

This year, it was a tough call. So tough that we actually have two co-winners. First, the award for the most “Scrooge-like” goes to all those many websites who are advertising that your child can receive a personalized letter from Santa – at a cost, of course! They range from a humble $4.95 for a personalized letter, to $13.95 for an actual phone call, and even $29.95 for a letter written on Santa’s own parchment.

There is a way to spin all this commercialism to good, however, and we wish these companies would consider it. If only these “Santa scribes” would donate their proceeds to a charity or worthy cause (other than themselves!) we think this practice would be acceptable. But, it goes completely against the grain of the spirit of Christmas to charge for a letter from Santa, regardless of how “personalized” it is. In this age of technology, how simple is that?

Rather than single any one site out – and you winners know who you are – we’ve decided to leave it to you to decide who is most deserving of this special recognition. We’ll give you a hint: type “Santa letters” in a search engine of choice. There are so very many to select from!

The next winner, in the “How can you burst a child’s bubble any more cruelly?” category, we have the folks from PETA. Lately these crusaders for animal rights have been handing out comic book-like pamphlets to kids who are going to see the Nutcracker. And, their festive message: "Mommy is killing animals for her coat. Tell her not to kill little animals!" This holiday greeting is accompanied by a heart-warming cartoon of a lady plunging a bloody knife into a rabbit on the cover.

PETA folks, we have just one thing to say: how can you fight so hard for the protection of animals, yet feel completely justified in breaking a child’s heart? At an event where the whole family looks forward to being joyful and entertained. You may feel like you’re doing the world a service, but it’s this kind of mean-spirited behavior that we could do without. How good do you feel when a little child bursts into tears because he or she visualizes someone killing a beloved pet? Childhood innocence fades too quickly these days; you don’t need to butcher it wholesale, regardless of your feelings about fur coats.

So there you have it folks! Deserving co-winners of this year’s award. I think both of these groups are the complete opposite of the kinds of things we are trying to cultivate in our world: concepts of kindness, of consideration, of respect and courtesy. It’s pretty clear neither of these groups is living by the Golden Rule – “Treat others the way you want them to treat you.” And, that’s why they are losers…er, winners.

Don’t just take our word for it. Feel free to offer them your own personal congratulations. Just, please be courteous when you do it!

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  Winter Classes Forming


We have begun to provide information about our winter collection of classes on our website. Once again, we will be offering courses through local schools such as Woodinville Montessori, Evergreen Academy’s Bothell and Woodinville campuses, Arrowhead Elementary School in Kenmore, etc.

To check out the latest schedule information for Washington State, go to http://www.politechild.com/classes/classes_location_WA.htm.
For California classes, click on http://www.politechild.com/classes/classes_location_CA.htm.

The schedule will change as we add new classes and new locations, so be sure to check back if your school isn’t listed. Or, if you can’t find a class that fits your schedule, you can always contact us for options!

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  Check out our new coffee mugs…


In celebration of the Today Show appearance, we have made brand-new “got manners?” coffee mugs available through the PoliteChild store. There are two versions: a simple black ceramic mug and a top-of-the-line stainless steel, leak-proof commuter mug. Both mugs have the “got manners??” phrase on one side and the PoliteChild logo on the other.

To see the mugs or purchase one (or more?) for yourself, visit: http://www.politechild.com/store/storemain.htm

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  “But there’s no PoliteChild class at my school!”

In the past few weeks, we’ve had an increased demand from parents asking about whether The PoliteChild is scheduled to be offered at their school. While we are expanding rapidly, and beginning to grow beyond WA and CA, there are still many areas not being served by the program.

So, to parents and caregivers who want to see our courses offered in their areas, we can tell you that the best and fastest way to get us into your school is to approach your principal or counseling staff directly. Parent request is the number one way that we get into new locations, and it’s one we’d like to see more often because of the statement it makes about parents’ support of good social skills development.

If you need more ideas on how to see that PoliteChild courses are offered in your immediate area, we can also direct you to a web page specifically discussing this topic: http://www.politechild.com/rss-faqs.htm#13. We hope to see you soon in your own neighborhood or school!

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 New Assistance with Funding for PoliteChild programs
 
Schools are all suffering from budget cuts and trying to get more done with fewer resources. At The PoliteChild, we understand and appreciate the financial challenges schools and other organizations face, so to help you with your efforts to investigate and secure financial support for PoliteChild programs, we have substantially expanded our funding page.

On this page, you’ll find a number of funding sources and informational sites, organized by type. There are links to government resources, private foundations and organizations, grant opportunities, and other fund-raising options.

To see what we have included, please visit www.politechild.com/rss-fundsrcs.htm

We hope you’ll find this a valuable tool and information source to meet your funding needs.

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