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The Polite Press
 A regular newsletter published by The PoliteChild, Inc.
 Vol II, No 6
August 2003 

In This Issue

1. President's Corner
2. Big News for PoliteChild
3. Teachers key to classroom civility
4. We’re Moving Soon!
5. Not-for-Profit Organization Launched
6. Classes and Info Nights for Fall
7. Bringing PoliteChild to your Area or School
   
   
 

President's Corner

Dear PoliteChild family, supporters, and friends:

Some of you have emailed us about the lack of a July newsletter; well, between summer plans and a major new business opportunity, we decided to take a break for July. Who has time to read an e-newsletter anyway, with vacations and cookouts in so many people’s schedules? So, here we are in August with school looming (only 2 more weeks of summer for this household!) and we’re ready for another year of learning.

But, what are our children learning OUTSIDE of the classroom? I’ve written before about all the negative influences out there “in the world” that make it difficult for us to develop kids with strong social skills and a good moral character. We know about TV, the printed media, and peer pressure, but what about…cereal? Yes, cereal. Or more specifically, their packaging.

I picked up a box of Apple Jacks the other day in my local grocery store (oh, yes, I succumbed to my children’s begging for the new blue carrot shapes and fed them –gasp! – highly sugared cereal. Hey, it’s summer!). On the back of the box are some cartoon panels sponsored by Cartoon Network. The first one is what grabbed my attention once I looked at it: it’s called “Toon School is in Session!” In that panel, is the following text:

“Sit down and pay attention.
Or stand up and don’t pay attention.
Do whatever you want. Because in
Toon School, the only rule is to have fun!”

Some of you may think I’m overreacting, but this really bothered me. Yes, it does say “Toon School” and the sponsors are not talking about “real school” but some kids may miss that, or forget it, or not really know what “Toon School” is. If the kids don’t read the headline above the text (and that’s easy to do the way this is laid out) it could seem as though they are talking about regular school. And, that’s where I have the problem.

I think it’s important that the people who are in positions of influencing our children do their best to help instill good values. I include cereal manufacturers in that category. I think good moral messages can be made fun and engaging just as much as negative ones. Yes, I know this is advertising for Cartoon Network, but Kellogg’s had a decision in whether or not to allow this to appear on the box. It’s likely that the all mighty dollar reigns in this case, and I think that’s too bad.

There are too many opportunities for negative messages to bombard our kids all day. Do we have to start out with it during the “most important meal of the day” now, too? I’m writing Kellogg’s to tell them what I think – who wants to join me?

Corinne Gregory
President and Founder, The PoliteChild, Inc.

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 Big News for PoliteChild


All sorts of exciting things have been happening to us over the summer.

  1. We landed a large public school district in Southern California as a new client, where they are licensing our curriculum and materials. Initially we are going to be used at a new school opening this September in the Desert Sands Unified School District, where 2 of our multi-week courses will be taught as a core part of the day to all the 1st through 5th graders. Another school in the same district is working on bringing us in for all of their Kindergartners also starting this Fall.
  2. We launched “EspeciallyPolite, Inc.” a new not-for-profit sister organization that will provide social skills training and parenting support for children and families in disadvantaged situations (more about this in the story later in this newsletter).
  3. PoliteChild President Corinne Gregory was on the radio TWICE in August – once locally on 96.5FM “The Northwest Point of View” program and on XM Satellite Radio (carried in the local Washington DC market on 1450AM).
  4. We appeared in the August edition of District Administration magazine as part of a short article on the No Child Left Behind Act.
  5. And, the most exciting one of all – we appeared in the Washington Post on Tuesday, August 12th in an article called “Rude Kids and Why they Get that Way.”

You can read about all these happenings and more on our news page at http://www.politechild.com/news.htm.

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 Teachers Key to Classroom Civility

"Teachers, parents, outside world are key to classroom civility." That's the title of a very interesting column that appeared this past Monday (8/25) in USA Today, along with many other newspapers owned by the Gannett News Service. In it, columnist Chuck Raasch examines the issues in our educational system in light of No Child Left Behind and other factors challenging our kids' learning.

One conclusion he reaches: civility in the classroom is a rare thing.

He goes on to quote many of the statistics we've shared with you over the past few months, especially the ones that appeared in the Public Agenda report released in April, 2003.

We first heard about this article in the most ironic way: we were training teachers at Dr. Carreon Academy in Indio, CA on the SocialSmarts™ curriculum they will be teaching to all the K1-5 students beginning this Fall. Their principal came in to share the story with us, with the comment that at least the Desert Sands Unified School District recognizes the problem and is already DOING something about it. The timing for this article couldn't have been better!

Because of the information in it, we've included this article in our list of resources and research related to the subject of kids' social skills. To read the whole article, you can click here.


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 We’re Moving Soon!


With business growing, we’ve outgrown our present location and will be moving come September. We will be staying in Woodinville, but moving into a wonderful space downtown. We’re very excited about this change because the new office is set up ideally to handle our inventory and materials for different courses. Our new address will be: 16818 140th Avenue NE, Woodinville, WA 98072. We don’t have assigned phone numbers yet, but we’ll let you know (and we’ll change our website) as soon as it’s happened.

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 Not-for-Profit Organization Launched


In June, we officially created the not-for-profit sister organization of The PoliteChild called “EspeciallyPolite, Inc” whose mission is to offer social skills programs and parenting support for disadvantaged kids and families. This would include low-income families, children who have mental, physical, or behavioral challenges, and other situations like abuse situations and more.

Our launch occurs about a year sooner than we had originally thought, but there were a number of signs – including a Federal grant announcement – that helped push our decision.

EspeciallyPolite will co-locate in our new office space for now (another reason why we had to move!) but will have its own phone number. We will be building the website over the new few months, and are already working on logos and branding elements.

We’re hoping that this organization will be able to help us in our efforts to provide the skills that are so critical to building self-esteem and fostering success for those children and families who need it most, regardless of their own abilities to pay for them. We’re a long way yet from making that dream come true, but at least we have a start!

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 Classes and Info Nights for Fall


We’re in the process of putting together our Fall class schedule. We’ll update you as things get more solidified after meeting with our current clients and other prospects, but you can always check on our programs anytime at http://www.politechild.com/classes/classes_location.htm.

We’ll also be starting up our Parent Information nights again once school has begun. The schedule for those nights can be found at: http://www.politechild.com/classes/parent_info_nights.htm.

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 Bringing PoliteChild to your Area or School

As a result of media exposure, we’ve had more requests about bringing our programs to a specific region (Washington DC, as you can imagine has been pretty high on the list) or a school district. We’re in the process of our national expansion, so the time is right to make bigger regional moves.

There are many ways to get our programs into a specific region or school. An individual can:
• Become a licensed PoliteChild provider
• Host a PoliteChild program
• Contact your school and introduce them to our program
• Volunteer as a teacher’s assistant or office assistant

For more on these and other individual opportunities, you can go to our web page at http://www.politechild.com/company.htm. And, of course, you can always contact us directly.

As a school district, public or private school, or other organization you can get involved in the mission of developing better social skills in our younger generations by bringing us in to teach courses as an extracurricular or core class, by licensing our curriculum and training your teachers to deliver the program yourselves. We value our relationship with our schools and local communities and we’re here to help every step of the way.

For more information on benefits to schools and the services we provide, please see http://www.politechild.com/company-join.htm or contact us directly any time!

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