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5 Ways to Support Teachers this Fall

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(Family Features) Throughout the pandemic, teachers have gone above and beyond for their students, becoming not just educators, but also counselors, role models and friends to their students by supporting their overall well-being.

Even so, only 52% of teachers feel valued by their communities, according to PDK International, a professional association for educators. What’s more, teachers are more burnt out than ever, with 81% reporting their workloads have increased and 55% sharing they have less time for planning than before, according to a State of Teaching survey conducted by Adopt a Classroom.

Heading back to school means stocking up on supplies, updating wardrobes and planning new routines for hassle-free mornings. This fall, as you prepare for the new school year, consider these ideas for supporting your children’s teachers, too:

Volunteer in the Classroom
With the extra roles and responsibilities many teachers have taken on in recent years, there aren’t enough hours in the day to complete special projects or keep up with certain tasks. Ask teachers how you can lend a hand. That might mean spending some time physically in the classroom, or there may be ways you can support your children’s classes from home, such as assembling instructional packets or researching field trip ideas.

Recognize Teachers Who Go Above and Beyond
Chances are good you know at least a few educators who have gone beyond the call of duty and made an exceptional impact on their students. Honoring their contributions shows appreciation for all they do. One way to demonstrate your gratitude is by nominating educators for Staples’ fourth annual #ThankATeacher contest, which recognizes 20 stand-out educators who go above and beyond for their students. Winners’ schools will be awarded $5,000 in classroom essentials for the upcoming school year. Learn more about how to nominate a teacher at staplesconnect.com/thankateacher.1

Be a Partner in Your Child’s Learning at Home
Supporting teachers isn’t just about the classroom and supplies; you can also provide a helping hand by creating good habits and modeling the importance of education at home. Actions like creating routines that keep students on a comfortable, familiar schedule help teachers manage classrooms more effectively. You can also make communication with your children’s teachers a priority so you’re aware of concerns and can help address them early.

Donate School Supplies
Often, teachers dip into their own income to create fun, engaging learning experiences and supplement student supplies when they run low. In fact, the average teacher spends $745 on supplies for their classrooms that are not covered by school budgets. According to Adopt a Classroom’s State of Teaching survey, 71% of teachers spent more of their own money on classroom materials in 2022 than during the previous year.

You can ask teachers what supplies they need, or you can give back to teachers through Staples’ Classroom Rewards program. Join for free and earn 5% back on every qualifying purchase for you and 10% back of qualifying purchases to donate to local teachers. The program helps reduce teachers’ out of pocket costs for their classrooms by allowing them to earn up to $2,000 a year.

Attend School Board Meetings and Voice Support
Keeping tabs on the issues affecting your school district and teachers is an important part of monitoring and advocating for your children’s education, but it’s also a way for you to lend your support on topics affecting teachers. Stay informed about issues that matter to your children’s teachers and support school board policies and actions that serve teachers’ best interests.





1NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Void where prohibited. Open to 50 U.S./D.C., 18 or older as of date of entry who possess a web-enabled mobile device as of July 24, 2022. Begins 12:00 am ET on July 25, 2022 and ends 11:59 pm ET on August 15, 2022. Sponsored by Staples® the Office Superstore, LLC. For complete rules and eligibility, visit staplesconnect.com/thankateacher.

Photos courtesy of Getty Images


SOURCE:
Staples

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  • Rebecca Washington

    Rebecca Jo is a mother of four and is a creative soul from Phoenix, Arizona, who also enjoys new adventures. Rebecca Jo has a passion for the outdoors and indulges in activities like camping, fishing, hunting and riding roller coasters. She is married to Rod Washington

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Rebecca Jo is a mother of four and is a creative soul from Phoenix, Arizona, who also enjoys new adventures. Rebecca Jo has a passion for the outdoors and indulges in activities like camping, fishing, hunting and riding roller coasters. She is married to Rod Washington

Lifestyle

4 Tips for Summer Water Safety

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(Family Features) Drowning is a leading cause of death for children ages 1-4, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. During the summer months, when water activities are more prevalent, drowning is more common, according to the National Safety Council.

Extreme heat may increase incidents of cardiac arrest and an average of 33 drownings occur in the U.S. each day, one-third of which are fatal. To protect your loved ones when playing in and around water this summer, keep these tips from the American Heart Association in mind:

Never swim alone. Children always need supervision, but even adults should swim with a buddy so someone can call for help if an unexpected problem arises. Swimmers can get cramps that hinder movement in the water and slips and falls can happen to anyone.

Wear protective devices. U.S. Coast-Guard-approved life jackets provide the best protection for someone who is in the water and unable to safely reach solid footing. When on a boat, all passengers should wear life jackets in case of an accident, and young and inexperienced swimmers should wear one any time they’re near water.

Choose your swimming location wisely. Avoid unknown bodies of water where hazards such as tree limbs or rocks may be hidden below the surface. Also avoid waterways with strong currents, such as rivers, that can easily carry even the strongest swimmers away. Instead, choose swimming pools and locations with trained lifeguards on duty.

Learn cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). In the event of a drowning, no matter the age, the American Heart Association recommends rescue breaths along with chest compressions to keep oxygen circulating to the brain. Only 39% of those who participated in a consumer survey said they are familiar with conventional CPR and only 23% know about Hands-Only CPR.

Consider these ways to learn CPR and join the Nation of Lifesavers as an individual, family, organization or community.

  • Watch online. Learn the basics of Hands-Only CPR by watching an instructional video online. Hands-Only CPR has just two simple steps:
    1. Call 911 if you see someone suddenly collapse.
    2. Push hard and fast in the center of the chest to the beat of a familiar song with 100-120 beats per minute, such as “Stayin’ Alive” by the Bee Gees.
       
  • Immerse yourself. Through a virtual reality app, you can learn how to perform Hands-Only CPR and use an automated external defibrillator (AED) then put your skills to the test in real-life scenarios.
     
  • Learn at home. Learn basic lifesaving skills in about 20 minutes from the comfort and privacy of home with CPR Anytime kits. The Infant CPR Anytime program is for new parents, grandparents, babysitters, nannies and anyone who wants to learn lifesaving infant CPR and choking relief skills. The Adult & Child CPR Anytime Training kit teaches adults and teens Hands-Only CPR, child CPR with breaths, adult and child choking relief and general awareness of AEDs.
     
  • Take a course. Get a group together and find a nearby class to learn the lifesaving skills of CPR, first aid and AED.
     
  • Turn employees into lifesavers. Help make your workplace and community safer one step at a time by committing to CPR training for your employees or coworkers.

Visit heart.org/nation to access more summer safety resources and find a CPR course near you.

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock


SOURCE:
American Heart Association

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child education

Must Have Gadgets for Graduates

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(Family Features) Whether your graduate is venturing into the real world for the first time or simply continuing his or her education, tech gadgets can help make post-grad life easier and more enjoyable.

From a computer that will likely come in handy for a new job or classes and a smartwatch to stay organized and on time to headphones that help concentrate and relax or a new television to unwind, these gift ideas are perfect for tech-savvy grads in your life.

Laptop
Whether starting a new job, freelancing or pursuing further education, a reliable and powerful laptop is a must-have for graduates. Performance is a key consideration when choosing a laptop. Look for a powerful processor, ample RAM and a high-resolution display to handle demanding tasks such as graphic design, video editing, programming or data analysis. Also keep factors such as portability, battery life and connectivity in mind. Being able to work without interruptions regardless of location allows for seamless flexibility in post-grad endeavors.

Noise-Canceling Headphones
The right headphones can be a game-changer, blocking out unwanted noise and creating a peaceful listening experience while studying in a noisy coffee shop, commuting on a crowded train or trying to relax in a busy apartment. Look for noise-canceling headphones with cushioned ear cups and adjustable headbands to provide a snug and comfortable fit even through extended wear to provide the ability to focus on work or enjoy favorite music with minimal distractions.

Smartwatch
Not just a stylish accessory, a smartwatch is also a useful tool for staying connected and organized. From tracking fitness goals and monitoring sleep patterns to receiving notifications, answering calls and making payments with a flick of the wrist, advanced smartwatch features make it easy to stay on top of opportunities and responsibilities. Plus, with customizable faces and interchangeable bands, most watches can be styled to match personal tastes for any occasion.

Portable Charger
A portable charger is an essential gadget for anyone who is always on the go. With the increasing reliance on smartphones and other portable devices, having a reliable source of power is crucial. Available in various sizes and power outputs, these convenient devices can easily fit in a bag or pocket and often feature multiple USB ports to charge multiple devices, including smartphones, tablets, smartwatches, cameras and more, whenever and wherever needed.

Smart TV
Transform that dorm room or new apartment into a home theater with a smart television. With the ability to connect to the internet and access a wide range of popular streaming services, favorite movies and TV shows are never more than the push of a button away. Available in a variety of sizes, you can pick an option to fit nearly any living space. Some models even allow the user to control the TV using voice commands or smartphone apps and offer integration with other smart devices to turn the living room into a true multimedia hub.

Find more gift ideas for grads at eLivingtoday.com.

Photo courtesy of Unsplash


SOURCE:
eLivingtoday.com

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child education

Spilling the Secrets to Early Literacy

Reading is critical for young children’s educational journeys, impacting their cognitive abilities, language proficiency, and later academic achievement.

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literacy helps build cognitive abilities

(Family Features) For young children, learning to read is a critical step in their educational journeys, as literacy helps build cognitive abilities and language proficiency and has a direct impact on later academic achievement.

While there are no shortcuts to early literacy, there are steps parents can take to promote the development of children’s reading abilities. Dr. Lauren Loquasto, senior vice president and chief academic officer at The Goddard School, and Steve Metzger, award-winning author of more than 70 children’s books, share this guidance for parents.

Get Started Early
It’s never too early to start reading with children. In fact, they respond to being read to prenatally. One of the best ways to encourage early literacy is modeling the act of reading. Young children love to imitate, and if they see their parents reading, they are more likely to want to read themselves. Instead of scrolling on your phone or watching television while your children play, pick up a book or magazine.

Use Conversation to Build Literacy
To help build their vocabularies, consistently engage children in conversation. Literacy is more than reading and writing; it’s also listening and speaking. Children understand words before they can articulate them, so don’t be discouraged if it feels like a one-way conversation.

Expose Children to More Than Books
Make your home environment print-rich, as the more exposure children have to letters and words, the better. For example, keep magnetic letters and words on the fridge, put labels on your toy containers and position books and magazines in different rooms. Also remember reading isn’t limited to books. Words are everywhere, from street signs to restaurant menus. Take advantage of every opportunity to connect with your children through words throughout your day.

Let Them Take the Lead
Children engage with books in different, developmentally appropriate ways. Some children quickly flip through pages or only look at pictures while others might make up stories or their own words or songs. Some only want to read the same book over and over and some want to read a new book every time. Embrace and encourage their interest in books, no matter how they choose to use them.

Establish a Routine
Parents of young children often have busy and hectic lives, so it isn’t always easy to find time to read. Consistency is key, so be intentional about setting aside time for reading every day – perhaps it’s after dinner or before bedtime – and stick to it.

Select the Right Books
Helping young children choose books is an important part of their learning-to-read process. Developmental appropriateness is critical. For infants and toddlers, start with nursery rhymes, which are mini-stories that grasp children’s attention through repetition, rhythm and rhyming. Visuals are also important because they aren’t yet pulling words off the page. For emerging readers, choose books that align with their interests. Focus on books that are printed with text that goes from left to right and top to bottom.

Expose children to both fiction and non-fiction books. Non-fiction provides real-world knowledge children crave and helps them make sense of what they read in fictional stories. For example, the learnings about the life cycle of a bat they read in “Bat Loves the Night,” a non-fiction book, can help them better understand what’s happening in “Stellaluna,” a fiction book about a young bat.

If you’re in doubt about book choices, consult with a teacher or librarian, who can make recommendations based on your children’s interests and reading levels.

Foster a Love of Reading
Children’s early exposure to books can set the stage for a lifetime of reading. Make reading a time for discovery. Take children to a library or bookstore and encourage them to explore and find books on their own. Display genuine interest in their selections and use books as a tool for engaging and connecting with them. Don’t pressure children to learn how to read. Accept, validate and encourage them as they progress on their unique literacy journeys.

To watch a webinar recording featuring Loquasto and Metzger providing additional literacy guidance and recommendations, and access a wealth of actionable parenting insights and resources, visit the Parent Resource Center at GoddardSchool.com.

Photos courtesy of Shutterstock


SOURCE:
The Goddard School

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  • Rod Washington

    Rod: A creative force, blending words, images, and flavors. Blogger, writer, filmmaker, and photographer. Cooking enthusiast with a sci-fi vision. Passionate about his upcoming series and dedicated to TNC Network. Partnered with Rebecca Washington for a shared journey of love and art.

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