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The Polite Press
 A regular newsletter published by The PoliteChild, Inc.
 Vol II, No 7
September 2003 

In This Issue

1. President's Corner
2. An Essential Book!
3. Recent Comments About Our Program
4. Now - in Spanish, too!
5. The Move is Official
6. New Fall Classes
7. PoliteChild, coming to a school near you?
8. ...but how do we pay for it?
   
 

President's Corner

Dear PoliteChild family, supporters, and friends:

Did you know that September is Children’s Good Manners month!? What a great thing to recognize along with the start of most kids’ new school year. It’s always nice to start things off on a positive note.

And, to that end, why don’t we celebrate the positive? As one idea, how about sending an e-card to a child you feel has shown good manners recently or has contributed to the overall theme of good social skills and conduct. Here’s one e-card that’s really cute and you can customize your message:
http://www.egreetings.com/display.pd?path=8486&bfrom=1&prodnum=3010381&

On the not-so-positive, I’ve personally (and our office staff as a group) have really been exposed to a number of rude incidents lately. We moved our offices this month (more on that below) and had the “pleasure” of dealing with several different organizations, including banks, phone companies, alarm companies, etc. And, while I expect a certain amount of apathy on the part of these companies when they deal with their customers, I wasn’t ready for the level of rudeness that these so-called “service organizations” exhibited. In one case, a phone company I dealt with actually auto-answers their call with “…in order to ensure our customers are receiving excellent service, your calls may be recorded…” and the customer service rep answers with something like “I’m here to make sure you get excellent service today.” After which, she proceeded to say, in so many words, that I didn’t have a clue what I was talking about, that my requests were unreasonable, and when I tried to recap our conversation to make sure I’d gotten it right, she hung up on me. “Excellence in service?” Hmm.

It seems as though more and more customer “service” organizations have completely lost track of who the customer is. Real “service” is getting harder and harder to find. You wonder why, then, people are unhappy about a company that contacts them through telemarketing during the dinner hour, but treated like an irritant when the “customer” calls back during the day to make a request for service.

I think there are enough people unhappy with rude “customer service” companies that it might be eye-opening to see how many of you have had trouble. If enough people complain, sometimes changes are made. Look at Qwest: their lack of customer support became absolutely legendary to the point that government had to step in. Now they are working very hard at regaining the ground they lost through their treatment of customers.

What so many companies don’t realize is that, in this on-line age, brand loyalty is at an on-time low. Since everyone else has essentially the same product, the decision to buy or not buy, stay or go will be based on the lowest price – that is, unless the company has something else to offer. Like real service.

It used to be that the “customer was always right.” Now it seems that the new motto is “business would be great if it weren’t for the customers.” I think it’d be great to be able to applaud the companies who DO provide good service. How about you let us hear about some that you think have gone out of their way to be courteous and to show that you, the customer, do matter. You can reach me at corinneg@politechild.com. I’d love to hear about your positive experiences.

Corinne Gregory
President and Founder, The PoliteChild, Inc.

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 An Essential Book!


We recently had a book recommended to us that we just have to pass on to our readers. Perhaps you’ve already heard about it – it’s gotten a lot of press lately, and its author has been to the White House as well as on the Oprah show!

This book is “The Essential 55” by Ron Clark. It has 196 pages of easy-to-read “rules” that Ron had developed for use with his students, many of whom were from “at risk” environments such as Harlem.

While it would be ideally suited for anyone in the educational field (teachers, administrators, etc.) much of the content applies to parents as they work to raise children with good character and morals. Much of it would also be good for us as adults because there is enough general wisdom in there that even the best of us can learn a thing or two.

We believe strongly enough in this book that we’ve added it to our list of recommended books for parents and educators. If you can’t find a local source for it, you can buy it directly from our website!

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 Recent Comments About our Program

These quotes were submitted to us by Kathy Felci, principal of Dr. Carreon Academy, a public elementary school in Southern California where they have implemented the SocialSmarts™ program for all students in grades 1-5. We certainly appreciate the teachers’ comments that she sent, but it’s the students own remarks that are especially telling:
PE teacher: “I’m hearing a lot of ‘good mornings, thank you, please and excuse me’ on the field and I can’t believe its happening so widely across the campus…all kids grades 1 – 5 seem to really be acting on these new learnings.”
 
2nd grade teacher: “Children are entering my reading group and walking through and around each other asking to be excused and carefully considering their other classmates.”
 
5th grade teacher: “Let’s talk about the 3 Cs…….. and then let’s figure out whether our problems in class have to do with us not being able to be considerate, compassionate or caring.”
 
4th grade student: “I like going to Dr. Carreon Academy because we have programs here like PoliteChild and that will help to get into a better school or a better job someday.”
 
3rd grade student: “I like going to Dr. Carreon because we learn more about being responsible and courteous.”

We’re very proud of our programs and the success they are having in schools. We believe that the schools that are adopting PoliteChild programs are making significant positive and lasting changes in their overall culture, and that can only result in positive effects long-term in the communities in which those schools are based! For more recent comments, check out the video clips (Segment 1, Segment 2) from TV station KMIR in Palm Springs, CA.

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 Now – in Spanish, too!


No one will disagree that we live in a diverse society. In fact, conservative estimates are indicating that the Hispanic sector of our population will be in the majority nationally by 2011. And, certainly in some parts of the country, this is already the case.

We’ve responded to this reality by creating a Spanish-language version of our parent’s guide. While most children in the public school system are being taught English-based curriculum, many of them still live in a Spanish-based culture at home. If we want parents to be able to reinforce classroom teaching, we need to provide these parents information about the lessons that they can understand. And, obviously, the best way to do this is in their own native language.

We, as adults, have to recognize and appreciate the differences that difference cultures, heritage, and ethnicity have, and the impact they have on children’s social skills. Students in our school systems will generally need to compete in an economical marketplace based on the de facto business rules which conforms to the values of conservative Anglo-Saxon social standards. Social skills are the great equalizer; they transcend cultural, ethnic, gender, and race to provide a level playing field to all who possess them. It’s only fair that we equip our next generation (and, their parents and the whole community, too) with the skills to compete effectively and fairly in this world. It’s something that should be available to any child, along with the “right” to a decent education.

With good social skills, truly anything is possible!

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 The Move is Official


It’s done! We’ve moved into our new space and we’re (mostly) functional as of this writing. We had a little problem/challenge with the phone service for about 10 days, but we seem to have email/DSL connectivity, working phones/voicemail AND an operational fax. How much better can it get? Oh, did we mention the toll-free number?

So, for everyone who hasn’t had time to see the new address phone information, you can now find us at:

16818 140th Ave. NE, Suite C
Woodinville, WA 98072
425.485.4089
866.485.4089 (toll-free, outside of WA)
425.483.6410 (fax)

The old phone/fax numbers will still work because they are in place for our not-for-profit organization, EspeciallyPolite. If you address/fax something to the old numbers, we’ll still get them – it may take us a little bit, though, because those numbers and faxes aren’t (yet) checked as frequently!

We’re very excited about the space we now have because it not only suits our immediate needs, but it provides us room for expansion, which is very important to us as our business grows. And, we’re located close to a number of our key vendors including our printing vendor, our creative and photographic resources, and more.

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 New Fall Classes


Our Fall classes are a living thing. No sooner do we think we have the schedule finalized when we have to make changes. Check for the latest at: http://www.politechild.com/classes/classes_location.htm.

We do have space in a number of classes starting shortly in the Woodinville/Bothell areas. Hop on board and join us for classes that are guaranteed to change your child’s and families lives in a major, positive way!

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 PoliteChild, coming to a School near you?

In the past several weeks, a number of you have asked how you can get your school to sponsor or host a PoliteChild course. And, in some cases, you’re looking for something that doesn’t completely fit with our standard course offerings. Hey, don’t sweat it! We’re happy to combine them with other classes or create something specifically tailored for your school’s, PTA’s, or religious group’s needs. We have plenty of material that will allow us to adapt to just about any need. Just ask, by phone or email. We’ll do our best to accommodate you.


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 …but how do we PAY for it?

Budget is the huge obstacle to many a well-intending school’s dreams! Unless something miraculous happens and money falls out of the sky, schools aren’t going to be getting much more funding anytime soon, and the state of our economy isn’t helping much.

If that’s your only barrier to bringing PoliteChild in, let’s see how we can help. Whether we help with supporting funding efforts through presentations to parents or donors/benefactors, or suggest ways and resources for fundraising, or even help with grants, we are ready and willing to do what it takes to make sure as many kids and families can benefit from our courses as feasible.

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