Back to School: Take Action Against Bullying! | SACK of Corona, Ca

It’s that time of year, kids are heading back to school and with that comes a lot of relief from parents but our kids could be facing anxieties with heading back, such as being bullied. Seemingly bullying is prevalent wherever you go, work, school, playground, even online. Hopefully we’ll eventually put a stop to it but until that day comes, help your child adjust to back to school by getting informed with these anti-bullying tips.

Research shows that in a classroom of 35 between 4 to 6 children are bullying and/or being bullied. At some point a child will experience some form of bullying and some will experience frequent, long lasting bullying. If you suspect that a child is being bullied, you’re probably right. Children will often deny bullying out of shame or fear.

Bullying can threaten students’ physical and emotional safety at school and can negatively impact their ability to learn.

Below are some tips for bullying prevention at school:

Getting Started: Assess school prevention and intervention efforts around student behavior, including substance use and violence. You may be able to build upon them or integrate bullying prevention strategies. Many programs help address the same protective and risk factors that bullying programs do.

Assess Bullying in Your School: Conduct assessments in your school to determine how often bullying occurs, where it happens, how students and adults intervene, and whether your prevention efforts are working.

Engage Parents and Youth: It is important for everyone in the community to work together to send a unified message against bullying. Launch an awareness campaign to make the objectives known to the school, parents, and community members. Establish a school safety committee or task force to plan, implement, and evaluate your school’s bullying prevention program.

Create Policies and Rules: Create a mission statement, code of conduct, school-wide rules, and a bullying reporting system. These establish a climate in which bullying is not acceptable. Disseminate and communicate widely.

Build a Safe Environment: Establish a school culture of acceptance, tolerance and respect. Use staff meetings, assemblies, class and parent meetings, newsletters to families, the school website, and the student handbook to establish a positive climate at school. Reinforce positive social interactions and inclusiveness.

Educate Students and School Staff: Build bullying prevention material into the curriculum and school activities. Train teachers and staff on the school’s rules and policies. Give them the skills to intervene consistently and appropriately(http://www.stopbullying.gov).

Bullying is cruel and can be humiliating, making a child feel alone and helpless. If you suspect your child is a victim of bullying, talk with them first. Explain to them that bullying isn’t a natural part of being in school, and teach them how to be more assertive. Assure them that using resources such as the principal and other adults can be a good thing when bullying gets out of hand. Let them know that they are most likely not only victim of their bully, and that there are probably others who could band together against the bully.

Talking about anti-bullying is a good way to help prevent bullying. Even if your child isn’t involved with bullying, they should be aware of what’s going on and be taught to help when it happens. Even a simple thing such as standing by a victim can be enough to stop a bullying attack. If they see groups stand against them, they lose their power.

Together we can take the power away from bullies.

For more information about how you can help call us at 866-459-7225 or visit our website at http://simpleacts.org

Summer Pool Safety | SACK of Corona, Ca

Head And Shoulders Portrait Of Chinese Girl

With summer here so many southern Californians seek refuge from the heat in their backyard or community pools. We all want a great experience at the pool and know pool safety is a concern on all of our minds, so we’ve put together an informative blog on the subject.

Pool and spa submersions and drownings happen quickly, especially when they involve children. A child can drown in the time it takes to answer a telephone. Be alert to the hazards of drownings, non-fatal submersion injuries and drain entrapments—and how to prevent them.

Adding as many water safety steps as possible is the best way to assure a safe and fun experience in a residential swimming pool or spa. Parents and families can build on their current safety practices by adopting water safety steps at home pools and spas.

An adult should actively watch children at all times while they are in a pool. For infants and toddlers, an adult should be in the water and within arm’s reach, providing “touch supervision.”  For older children, an adult should be paying constant attention and free from distractions, like talking on the phone, socializing, tending household chores, or drinking alcohol. The supervising adult must know how to swim.

If you have a pool, insist that the following rules are followed:

  • Keep toys away from the pool when the pool is not in use.
  • Empty blow-up pools after each use.
  • No tricycles or other riding toys at poolside.
  • No electrical appliances near the pool.
  • No diving in a pool that is not deep enough.
  • No running on the pool deck.
  • Always watch your children when they are in or near a pool or spa
  • Teach children basic water safety tips
  • Keep children away from pool drains, pipes and other openings to avoid entrapments
  • Have a portable telephone close by at all times when you or your family are using a pool or spa
  • If a child is missing, look for him or her in the pool or spa first
  • Share safety instructions with family, friends and neighbors

Children can climb out a window, though a doggy door, or sneak out a door to get to the back yard and the pool. To prevent small children from entering the pool area on their own, there should be a fence that completely surrounds the pool or spa. Combined with the watchful eyes of an adult, a fence is the best way to protect your child and other children who may visit or live nearby.

Pool fences should also:

  • Be climb-resistant and should not have anything alongside it (such as lawn furniture) that can be used to climb it.
  • Be at least 4 feet high and have no footholds or handholds that could help a child climb it.
  • Have no more than 4 inches between vertical slats. Chain-link fences are very easy to climb and are not recommended as pool fences. If they must be used, the diamond shape should not be bigger than 1¾ inches.
  • Have a gate that is well maintained and is self-closing and self-latching. It should only open away from the pool. The latches should be higher than a child can reach – 54 inches from the bottom of the gate.
  • For above-ground pools always keep children away from steps or ladders. When the pool is not in use, lock or remove the ladders to prevent access by children(Source: healthy children.org).

Pool safely means adopting critical water safety steps to assure that a great afternoon at the pool doesn’t turn into a tragic one. Whether at a residential or public pool or spa, everyone can always take additional steps to be safe while having fun!

Bullying by the Numbers | SACK of Corona, Ca

Little Blonde GirlAccording to the National Center for Education Statistics, nearly a third of all students aged 12 – 18 reported having been bullied at school in 2007, some almost daily. School bullying statistics in the United States show that about one in four kids in the U.S. are bullied on a regular basis. Between cyber bullying and bullying at school, the school bullying statistics illustrate a huge problem with bullying and the American school system.

Here are some other statistics to think about:

  1. 56% of students have personally felt some sort of bullying at school. Between 4th and 8th grade in particular, 90% of students are victims of bullying.
  2. The most common reason cited for being harassed is a student’s appearance or body size. 2 out of 5 teens feel that they are bullied because of the way that they look.
  3. 1 in 4 teachers see nothing wrong with bullying and will only intervene 4% percent of the time.
  4. A victim of bullying is twice as likely to take his or her own life compared to someone who is not a victim.
  5. One out of 10 students drop out of school because they are bullied.
  6. Physical bullying peak in middle school and declines in high school. Verbal abuse rates remain constant from elementary to high school.
  7. Researchers feel that bullying should not be treated as part of growing up (with the attitude “kids will be kids”).
  8. 57% of students who experience harassment in school never report the incident to the school. 10% of those who do not report stay quiet because they do not believe that teachers or staff can do anything. As a result, more than a quarter of students feel that school is an unsafe place to be.
  9. Schools with easily understood rules of conduct, smaller class sizes and fair discipline practices report less violence than those without such features.

These numbers are too high!  Parents, teachers, and those in daily contact with children on school campus’ need to do something to stop it. Children also need to stand together and put an end to bullying. When children see their peers being bullied, the incident needs to be reported or get help. If children band together to address these issues, there will be strength in numbers. By standing together to prevent bullying in every school, the number of bullying incidents can drop along with those incidents of children hurting themselves, and others, because of they fear for their life while attending school(Source NASP, Make Beats, Not Beat Downs).

For more information about how you can help call us at 866-459-7225 or visit our website at http://simpleacts.org

 

Don’t let Bullying Distract you from Becoming Interesting | SACK of Corona, Ca

Kids in classSadly we’ll probably never be able to stop bullying as a whole – but individuals can still rise above it into greatness. These household names were all viciously bullied as kids, but they weren’t going to let that stop them.

Elon Musk is closer to being a real life Iron Man than Robert Downey Jr. But as a child, he was severely bullied, and was once hospitalized when a group of boys threw him down a flight of stairs, and then beat him until he blacked out. Now, Musk has a net worth of $13.3 billion and plans to colonize Mars by 2040.

Kate Middleton. If you bullied someone who later married into royalty, you probably need to reassess your own life. As a 13-year-old, the Duchess only lasted two terms at Downe House boarding school because fellow students tormented her for suffering from eczema and being “skinny and meek.” She now supports anti-bullying charities with her husband, Prince William.

Michael Phelps is now the most decorated Olympian of all time, with a total of 22 medals. But as a child, he was bullied about his lisp and his big ears. Swimming helped Michael release energy and unleash frustrations. He told Yahoo Sports; “I kind of laugh at it now. I think it made me stronger going through that.”

When Tony Hawk was in high school, being into skateboarding was the equivalent of being into ultimate Frisbee today. In an interview with The Talks, Hawk said; “[The bullying] gave me the fire to push it even further. I liked that it set me apart and I didn’t care what they thought.”

Kate Winslet had a miserable adolescence. Nicknamed ‘Blubber’ at school, she claims classmates went as far as to lock her in cupboards; “I suffered from ‘No one will ever fancy me!’ syndrome, well into my teens” she told the Daily Mail. Four years later, she was painted by Leonardo DiCaprio in ‘Titanic'(Source: distractify.com).

Don’t let bullying distract you from becoming interesting.

For more information visit our website at: http://simpleacts.org/

Summer Activities for the Family | SACK of Corona, Ca

122406213School is almost out for summer, which means you’re searching for ways to avoid the dreaded “I’m bored” complaints from your kiddos. Luckily, there’s no shortage of parks, beaches, museums, and more just begging to be explored and experienced with your kids. The trick is to plan ahead. Brainstorm ideas for things to do now, so you don’t wind up spending the entire summer watching television.

We’ve put together just a few summer activities for some of our favorite kid-friendly things to do:

Road Trip: Between the car games, the new places to discover and the special time spent together, it will be an experience you will remember forever.

Fishing: Fishing can be such a relaxing pastime. Head out to your favorite lake or river and spend some quality time with your family

Sandcastle: Wherever you are in Southern California you’re beach adjacent! Sandcastles are great because they can be as modest or extravagant as you have the patience to make. Plus, they’re so much fun to smash. Get your pail shovel and head for the beach!

Stargazing: Looking up at the stars on a clear night is beautiful and fascinating, especially if you’ve got a telescope in tow. See how many constellations you can find or how many different shapes you can find out there in the universe.

The Zoo: Learn about your favorite animal at the zoo this summer. Many zoos have special activities planned for little ones, so make sure to look up what’s happening ahead of time to maximize your fun.

Gardening: Growing a garden with your kids is a great way to get them to learn to nurture something from seed to bloom. There is no better feeling than seeing your hard work pay off with beautiful flowers or a delicious vegetables.

Art: Spruce up your garden or walkway with custom painted rocks by your little artist(s).

Paddle Boating: If you’re wanting to get out on the water without having to travel, try paddle boating this summer. It’s a great way to get the kids on the water, especially if it’s for the first time, and is easy to do in a pond at a park.

Backyard Campout: Grab the marshmallows and sleeping bags and have a fun camping trip in your own backyard. This is also a great option for younger kids who might not be ready to spend a night in the woods.

Park Playgrounds: Kids love playgrounds. Not only is it a great way to use some of that bottled up energy outside, but it’s also a good way to meet new friends (for both kids and adults). Instead of hitting up the same playground all the time, try to mix it up a bit, for variety.

Theme Parks: Southern California is a hot bed of Theme Parks! There is nothing more thrilling than riding a roller coaster. Even little ones get a kick out of the kiddie-sized rides. Theme parks are a perfect way to spend a summer day, since there’s usually something for everyone, including some less-adventurous thrill seekers.

Outdoor Concert: There are so many great outdoor events happening this summer, no matter where you’re from. Try to make it to at least one this season and it’ll be an unforgettable experience for your family. Contact your local Parks & Rec for information on outdoor concerts they may be offering.

Family Bike Ride: Learning to ride a bike is a milestone in most kids’ lives and a skill that they will never truly forget. Whether your little one is still on training wheels or not, get some exercise this summer by taking a bike ride as a family to a new park, a library or even the perfect picnic location

Take advantage of your summer by spending as much quality time with your family as possible!

For more information visit our website at: http://simpleacts.org/

Acts of Kindness to put to Use | SACK of Corona, Ca

What makes you feel good in your day? Maybe you’re having a bad day or have a lot on your mind. What could give you an instant lift in your frame of mind? Being kind, of course!

Acts of kindness makes us feel good, valuable and alive! When was the last time you went out of your way to be kind to someone. Didn’t it make your day too?

Many people extend kindness as part of their good nature, but what if we made a more conscious effort to be even kinder by practicing kindness regularly? We will be spreading good feelings and making a difference that has a lasting, ripple effect and undoubtedly changing the world.

Practicing random kindness while expecting nothing in return except the good feelings that these acts provide is life-giving.

Below are some ways to be kind:

-Hide notes of encouragement in your spouse’s or child’s lunch box or in a coat pocket, shoes or other place where he or she will receive this nice little surprise.

-Lend an elderly person a hand, if you see them struggle to reach something in the grocery store or while doing another activity.

-Buy a dozen donuts or bagels for a sports team at a local school, a firehouse or police station.

-Take a child or group of children that you know on a special trip somewhere such as a zoo, the circus, a museum, or the local playground.

-Praise someone at work for a job well done when the occasion arises. Best to do this in front of other coworkers or his or her boss.

-Help a family in financial need by cooking them a meal, bringing them groceries, giving them clothing, or even money. Do it in a way that makes them feel good about your gift.

-Shop for someone who is homebound or ill, especially in bad weather.

-The next time you have exceptional service at a restaurant make sure to tell the waitperson’s manager what a fine job they did, either in person or in writing.

-Give a presentation to a classroom of students on your occupation or an area of interest that you are passionate about.

-Say “thank you” and “please” as generously and often as possible.

-Stick up for a person who has been treated wrongly.

-Always keep your word. This is one of the kindest things you can do, especially when it comes to arriving on time to parties, appointments, and to meet friends or family. Being your word, acting in line with what you say, is a true expression of respect towards others.

Finally, a truly kind person will be authentic with their words and actions, realizing the negative or positive impact they can have in every encounter. Some are simple and some might take you out of your comfort zone. At the end of your life, what a better way to be remembered than that of a “kind” person?

For more information visit our website at: http://simpleacts.org/

Take Action Against Bullying | SACK of Corona, Ca

Every day, thousands of children, teens, and young adults around the country are bullied. Estimates are that nearly one-third of all school-aged children are bullied each year – upwards of 13 million students. Students involved in bullying are more likely to have challenges in school, to abuse drugs and alcohol, and to have health and mental health issues.

A few years ago at a national conference the President of the United States addressed the issue, “If there’s one goal it’s to dispel the myth that bullying is just a harmless rite of passage or an inevitable part of growing up.  It’s not,” said President Obama.  “Bullying can have destructive consequences for our young people.  And it’s not something we have to accept. As parents and students; teachers and communities, we can take steps that will help prevent bullying and create a climate in our schools in which all of our children can feel safe.” The First Lady added, “As parents, this issue really hits home for us. It breaks our hearts to think that any child feels afraid every day in the classroom, on the playground, or even online,” First Lady Michelle Obama said. “I hope that all of you will walk away from this with new ideas and solutions that you can take back to your own schools and communities.”

Early in the Obama Administration, six federal agencies (Departments of Education, Health and Human Services, Justice, Defense, Agriculture, and Interior) joined together to establish the Federal Partners in Bullying Prevention Steering Committee to explore ways to provide guidance for individuals and organizations in combating bullying. This interagency group was recently joined by the National Council on Disability and the Federal Trade Commission.  In August of last year, the Steering Committee brought together non-profit leaders, researchers, parents, and youth to begin the national discussion and identify issues requiring additional guidance and clarification.  Since that convening, the Steering Committee has focused on the following activities:

  • StopBullying.gov:  This website was launched to provide  information from various government agencies on how children, teens, young adults, parents, educators and others in the community can prevent or stop bullying.  The website will provide information on what bullying is, its risk factors, its warning signs and its effects.  It will also provide details on how to get help for those that have been victimized by bullying.
  • Enforcing Civil Rights Laws:  Last October, the U.S. Department of Education Office of Civil Rights issued guidance as a “Dear Colleague” letter to clarify issues of bullying and violation of federal education anti-discrimination laws.  The guidance explains educators’ legal obligations to protect students from student-on-student racial and national origin harassment, sexual and gender-based harassment, and disability harassment.
  • Shaping State Laws and Policies:  In December of last year, Secretary Duncan issued a memo to Governors and Chief State School Officers in each state providing technical assistance and outlining key components of comprehensive and effective state anti-bullying laws and policies.

In addition to the Steering Committee’s work, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) has also created the Stop Bullying Now! Campaign to raise awareness about bullying; prevent and reduce bullying behaviors; identify interventions and strategies; and encourage and strengthen partnerships.  SBN was developed by a steering committee and implementation work group that included  more than seventy organizations from in and out of government.  The campaign covers ages five to eighteen years old, and includes tool kits to encourage and empower youth to mentor younger children to take action again bullying.

The Department of Education’s  Safe and Supportive Schools competitive grant program requires recipient states to measure school safety, which includes issues of bullying and harassment, at the building level by surveying students.   Federal funds are available for interventions in those schools identified as having the greatest need.   The Department of Education has awarded grants to 11 States for activities under this program.

If we fail to address bullying we put ourselves at a disadvantage for increasing academic achievement and making sure all of our students are college and career ready.

For more information visit our website at: http://simpleacts.org/

SACK Color-A-Thon! | SACK of Corona, Ca

The S.A.C.K. Color-A-Thon is coming up in less than two weeks! Have you registered yet?

MONEY RAISED WILL BE USED TO HELP US STOP BULLYING BY SUPPORTING THE, “WORLD KINDNESS YOUTH CONFERENCE”

What is a Color-A-Thon? Color-A-Thon is a fun event for students and adults of all ages. Students get donations from friends and families, earn rewards according to the amount of money they raise and then get to participate in a 3k race/walk that ends in a blast of color…the Color-A-Thon!

Register here:  http://shop.schoolathon.org/EventIndex.asp?EID=181005 

Here is a sneak peak video of the fun you’ll have!:  http://player.vimeo.com/video/106192201

 

For more information visit our website at: http://simpleacts.org/

 

START YOUR MORNING WITH A ROUTINE | SACK of Corona, Ca

“If you’re like the majority of us, your days are planned out even before your head’s off your pillow. Soccer practice, PTA meetings, hitting the gym – the life pie-chart tends to have some pretty small, yet crucial pieces. And, nothing can unravel a day before it even begins better than a rocky, disorganized, frantic morning.

 

GIVE YOURSELF TIME

This one seems like a no-brainer, but it’s imperative. How many times are we tempted to hit the snooze button over and over? Sleep is wonderful, but that last half hour lounging in bed next to a chirping alarm clock won’t make a huge difference. Use that time to get up, make a cup of coffee or catch the morning news before the kids are awake. You’ll be more alert and ready to tackle the day!

 

PREP THE NIGHT BEFORE

Take a moment the night before to help your kids set out clothes for the next day. Prepare food and pack lunches too – that way, it’s just a simple grab-and-go.  Breakfast  can work this way too; consider oatmeal or hard-boiled eggs. Organize backpacks and make sure everything is in there. These little things won’t take you long during the evening, but they can make a huge difference during a busy morning.

 

WRITE IT DOWN

It’s always easier to stay organized when you know what you need to do. Keep a calendar in a central location and keep it updated with appointments and deadlines. Create an age-appropriate chores/responsibilities checklist for the refrigerator to ensure everything you need gets done. And, review these with your kids in the morning. Having all the things you need to know, right in front of you, sets the table for a well-organized day.

 

SET DAILY GOALS

We asked a mom of two young children to shed some light on successful morning routines. She says she likes to talk with her kids about what they want to accomplish that day, and help them set realistic, enjoyable goals. Nothing like starting the day with a positive, constructive spirit!

 

STAY CALM

Finally, don’t sweat it if things don’t do exactly as planned. Sooner or later, your alarm clock will not go off. Your kids will change their minds about outfits set out the night before. Dogs knock over garbage cans, and folders of homework will mysteriously disappear. By having your routine locked into place, you’ll condition yourself to be calm and collected – and folks with those qualities can handle curveballs!”

Read More at…http://www.thechipshoppeblog.com/2014/10/start-your-morning-with-routine-your.html

For more information visit our website at: http://simpleacts.org/

Reasons to Be Kind | SACK of Corona, Ca

 


We certainly live in an unkind world that seemingly focuses on the negative. Just turn on the nightly news, look at your Facebook feed, it’s everywhere. We wonder if there are so many terrible, depressing stories or because media and social media choose to focus on them. Maybe it’s both. Either way, we want to encourage you to focus on the good. Perspective is a choice. You can always choose to focus on the good that is around you.

Choose to be kind in an unkind world. There are many things, people, and circumstances that will try to bring you down. Tear you down. Shake you, break you. Don’t let them! Anyone who is trying to bring you down, is beneath you already. What you stand for, believe in and work hard at, you should be proud of. Do not let anyone take them from you.

Anyone trying to deter you from your path, from your journey, don’t allow them to veer you off course. Remain steadfast, keep your goals at your forefront. Lead with your own inner strength and kindness. You know your path that you’re on to reach your destination. Even if it’s the road less traveled, take it! You are the only one who can make your dreams a reality.

How about some reasons to be kind?

1.     Kind people are happier

Kindness makes people happier. This was shown in a study that asked volunteers to commit to five acts of kindness on one day of the week for 10 weeks. After the 10 weeks, they were around 25 percent happier than a control group. But you don’t necessarily need to change someone’s life to be kind. Small acts are meaningful for the person who receives them. Paying someone a compliment is good.  So is holding a door for someone or helping a neighbor to carry their shopping bags. The small things that bring a smile can be very powerful.

2.    Kind people are healthier and often live longer

For decades, research has suggested that people with positive emotions may live longer and healthier lives.  For example, there are several studies which suggest that positive acts of kindness and the emotion they produce – such as happiness and contentment – may help to lower blood pressure, reduce stress or improve sleep. There are also studies that demonstrate the physical effects of kindness on the heart. When we bond with people, which we naturally do when we show kindness, a hormone is released that dilates our blood vessels and counteracts the free radicals implicated in heart disease.

3.    Kindness is contagious

The most obvious benefit of kindness is that you make others feel good. And in making others feel good, you inspire them to want to do something kind for you or for someone else.  When you commit a kind act, those around you will take note and your kindness can have a ripple effect. Start that ripple now by being kind to those around you.

4.   Kindness doesn’t cost a cent

Kindness is something we can all engage in, anytime and anywhere. Kindness is a choice. It doesn’t need to cost money.  You may not fully realize it, but every single moment of your life, you have the choice to choose to act with kindness.

5.   Kindness makes a difference

The purpose of kindness is to make a difference in someone else’s day.  And kindness can indeed make a big difference.  In caring and nurturing school environments, for example, children and youth are more likely to excel.  By the same token, several studies show that kind and caring work environments have a positive impact on the productivity of employees(Source: kindottawa.ca).

At the end of the day, be kind to yourself. Be kind to others. Realize when someone is unkind to you, that’s about them. Not you. Choose to be kind in an unkind world.

For more information visit our website at: http://simpleacts.org/