September Is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month | Corona, CA

Now that we are smack-dab in the middle of back-to-school season, it is important that parents are sensitive to our children as they report the day’s events. Keeping an eye on their daily attitudes will help catch any signs of depression or adverse effects from fights with friends or bullying.

It is a fact: one in 3 children in the United States are overweight or obese. Childhood obesity puts kids at risk for health problems that were once seen only in adults, like type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease. Sadly, children are cruel when it comes to physical differences, so unfortunately, a child suffering from obesity is likely to suffer from bullying. It is important to teach your child not to let words affect them, but it is also important as parents to prevent unhealthy lifestyle choices for our tiny humans. Thankfully, childhood obesity can be prevented. Communities, health professionals, and families can work together to create opportunities for kids to eat healthier and get more active.

How can National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month make a difference? We can all use this month to raise awareness about the obesity epidemic and show people how they can take steps toward a solution. Celebrate this health awareness month with these tips:

  • Make small changes as a family, like keeping fresh fruit or going on a family walk after dinner.
  • Motivate teachers and administrators to make schools a healthier environment for every child by providing healthy food options, daily physical activities and lessons about bully prevention.

If you would like to learn more about National Childhood Obesity Month, contact Simple Acts of Care and Kindness at 866-459-7225 or visit www.simpleacts.org for additional information.

Wrap Up the Sunny Season as a Family | Corona, CA

As we bring this season to a close and embark upon a new school year, it’s important to send your little one’s off with a happy heart and plenty of family memories. It’s the perfect opportunity for many families to enjoy each other company, while engaging in fun-filled activities. Family Fun Month is a wonderful time to take advantage of enjoying your families company, while bonding over whatever activity you all choose to partake in. Here are some of our favorites:

  • Order pizza and watch a movie in your backyard
  • Take a trip to the beach and collect sea shells
  • Take a day trip to the zoo to learn about the animals
  • Go on a camping trip to a new and exciting place
  • Learn about stargazing and then try to identify as many constellations as you can
  • Pretend to be pirates for a day. Dress up, plan a treasure hunt and talk like a pirate
  • Throw a backyard luau with family and friends
  • Have a themed karaoke night
  • Cook a delicious meal together
  • Bake cookies to make ice cream sandwiches
  • Have a little picnic at your local state park
  • Take a family bike ride
  • Go hiking in your local national forest
  • Have a water balloon fight
  • Take a family vacation to somewhere new
  • Have a talent show night
  • Take a fishing trip
  • Enjoy a backyard campfire and tell ghost stories
  • Build a fort in your backyard
  • Volunteer at an animal shelter or nature center

If you would like to learn more about Family Fun Month, contact Simple Acts of Care and Kindness at 866-459-7225 or visit www.simpleacts.org for additional information.

Good or Bad, Words Matter | Corona, CA

One of the biggest problems we have in schools is bullying. Thankfully, we have a week every year focused on the impact of words in our communication. During Words Matter Week, we need to consider the importance of our words in our day-to-day lives. This isn’t about of talking just to talk, this is about carefully crafted language. Words Matter Week is a time to focus on banishing grammatically incorrect and hurtful words from our written and spoken communication.

The quote for Words Matter Week 2015 is simple – “If you wouldn’t write it and sign it, don’t say it”.

Because it seems bullying starts at a young age, it is a good idea to speak to your students about the way various forms of speech affects others, both positively and negatively. Try these questions to spark a discussion in the classroom:

  • Words can change history. What word, speech, or document do you believe to be most important?
  • What writers make your heart sing? Why?
  • What word, said or unsaid, has or could change your life? How?
  • Communication breaks down when words are misused. What is the funniest or worst break-down you’ve ever observed?
  • What person in your life helped you understand the importance of choosing words carefully?
  • If you had to eliminate one word or phrase from the English language, what would it be? Why?

Words Matter Week is celebrated annually, with celebrations held online at www.WordsMatterWeek.com and at libraries, bookstores, and schools nationwide and is sponsored by the National Association of Independent Writers and Editors (NAIWE).

If you would like to learn more about Words Matter Week and what you can do to prevent bullying, contact Simple Acts of Care and Kindness at 866-459-7225 or visit www.simpleacts.org for additional information.

The History of Seth’s Law | Corona, CA

bullyingIn the current climate, it’s fitting that we take a moment to reflect on a law passed in California that protects public school children from bullying. That law? Seth’s Law. Seth’s Law is a 2012 law that strengthens existing state anti-bullying laws to protect all students. This law requires CA public schools to update their anti-bullying policies and programs, focusing on protecting students who are bullied based on their actual or perceived sexual orientation and gender identity/gender expression, as well as race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, disability, and religion.

California law says that all public school students should have equal rights and opportunities. Yet many lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning students report that they experience significant bullying in California schools. And teachers, administrators, and other staff often fail to address the bullying when they see it.

Seth’s Law is named after a 13-year-old California student who tragically took his own life in 2010 after years of anti-gay bullying that his school failed to address.

Under this law, school districts will adopt a strong anti-bullying policy that prohibits bullying and implement a specific process for receiving and investigating complaints of bullying, including a requirement that school personnel intervene if they witness bullying. Additionally, publicize anti-bullying policy and complaint process, including support materials in all schools, offices and district websites.

Seth’s Law specifically contains the following requirement: “If school personnel witness an act of discrimination, harassment, intimidation, or bullying, he or she shall take immediate steps to intervene when safe to do so.” (Education Code Section 234.1(b)(1))]

If you would like to learn more about Seth’s Law and what you can do to prevent bullying, contact Simple Acts of Care and Kindness at 866-459-7225 or visit www.simpleacts.org for additional information.

Understanding & Overcoming Bullying | SACK of Corona, Ca

ThinkstockPhotos-480003524Individuals bully for a number of reasons, understanding why they bully can help you overcome bullying or help others who may be being bullied move past it as well. The truth is bullies are basically lashing out as a form of concealing their own troubles or shortcomings.

Reasons why a bully is bullying:

-To look or appear powerful

-Because they themselves are being bullied

-To make themselves popular

-They are jealous of you

-To escape their own problems

Tip #1: Understand the truth about bullying

  • Walk away from the bully. Bullies want to know they have control over your emotions so don’t react with anger or retaliate with physical force. If you walk away, ignore them, or calmly and assertively tell them you’re not interested in what they have to say, you’re demonstrating that they don’t have control over you.
  • Protect yourself. If you can’t walk away and are being physically hurt, protect yourself so you can get away. Your safety is the first priority.
  • Report the bullying to a trusted adult. If you don’t report threats and assaults, a bully will often become more and more aggressive. In many cases adults can find ways to help with the problem without letting the bully know it was you who reported them.
  • Repeat as necessary. Like the bully, you may have to be relentless. Report each and every bullying incident until it stops. There is no reason for you to ever put up with bullying.

Tip #2: Reframe the problem of bullying

By changing your attitude towards bullying you can help regain a sense of control.

  • Try to view bullying from a different perspective. The bully is an unhappy, frustrated person who wants to have control over your feelings so that you feel as badly as they do. Don’t give them the satisfaction.
  • Look at the big picture. Bullying can be extremely painful, but try asking yourself how important it will seem to you in the long run. Will it matter in a year? Is it worth getting so upset over? If the answer is no, focus your time and energy elsewhere.
  • Focus on the positive. Reflect on all the things you appreciate in your life, including your own positive qualities and gifts. Make a list and refer to it whenever you feel down.
  • Find the humor. If you’re relaxed enough to recognize the absurdity of a bullying situation, and to comment on it with humor, you’ll likely no longer be an interesting target for a bully.
  • Don’t try to control the uncontrollable. Many things in life are beyond our control—including the behavior of other people. Rather than stressing, focus on the things you can control such as the way you choose to react to bullies.

Tip #3: Find support from those who don’t bully

Having trusted people you can turn to for encouragement and support will boost your resilience when being bullied. Reach out to connect with family and real friends (those who don’t participate in bullying) or explore ways of making new friends. There are plenty of people who will love and appreciate you for who you are.

  • Find others who share your same values and interests. You may be able to make friends at a youth group, book club, or religious organization. Learn a new sport, join a team, or take up a new hobby such as chess, art, or music.
  • Share your feelings. Talk to a parent, counselor, coach, religious leader, or trusted friend. Expressing what you’re going through can make a huge difference to the way you feel, even if it doesn’t change the situation.
  • Boost your confidence. Exercise is a great way to help you feel good about yourself, as well as reduce stress. Punch a mattress or take a kick boxing class to work off your anger.
  • Don’t beat yourself up. Don’t make a bullying incident worse by dwelling on it or replaying it over and over in your head. Instead, focus on positive experiences you’ve had(Source: help guide.org).

It’s important to keep in mind that it’s probably the bully thats actually suffering and not to dwell on it or think you’re less than. Recovering from bullying can take time, and everyone heals at his or her own pace. However, if you do find yourself dwelling on the incident(s), it’s important for you to seek help from a parent, school counselors, a teacher or a professional therapist.

How to Recharge on Your Winter Break! | SACK of Corona, Ca

Head And Shoulders Portrait Of Chinese GirlWhen winter break finally arrives, you have definitely earned some rest! However, the school year isn’t over – so relaxation and a plan of action to tackle the remainder of the school year are heat things to do during your winter break. Recharging while structuring the remainder of your school year is a great way to hit the ground running in 2016 and upon arrival back at school.

Here are 7 ways you can take some time to recharge over the holiday so you hit can hit the ground running in 2016:

1. Turn off your alarm clock: Is there anything better than switching off the alarm and sleeping in? Nope!

2. Binge-watch something!: It doesn’t matter which show you choose. The sheer joy of being able to do something unproductive for a few hours is what makes this a great relax-and-recharge tool.

3. Read: Grab that book that everyone’s been talking about, curl up and check out.

4. Get Outside: There’s nothing like fresh air to reinvigorate the senses. Talk a jog or a walk, regular exercise will keep you energized and your immune health up.

5. Take Naps: Take every opportunity to catch up on your rest during vacation.

6. Defining Goals: Take some time over the holiday break to write down on paper as many of your goals you hope to accomplish in the new upcoming year.

7. Create an Action Plan: Once you’ve defined your 2016 goals, set in to motion how you’re going to accomplish them.

Finding that balance is the key to a winter break that is not only restorative for you, but provides long-lasting benefits into the remainder of the school year and beyond!

Bullying Prevention Tips | SACK of Corona, Ca

ThinkstockPhotos-480003524Are you being bullied? Do you see bullying at your school? There are things you can do to keep yourself and the kids you know safe from bullying.

If You Are Bullied:

Stick with friends. There is safety in numbers. Avoid being alone in target areas like locker rooms, restrooms, and places where the bully hangs out.

Be assertive and confident. Stand up for yourself. Use body language to show you are not afraid. Stand up straight and make eye contact.

Ignore the bully. Walk away. Don’t respond. Get out of the situation. Agree with the bully’s comments. Say “Whatever” or “You’re right.” Then walk away.

Don’t seek revenge. Remember that using violence to solve problems only makes things worse.

Get help. If you are being bullied, don’t keep it a secret. Ask friends or adults for help. Report all bullying incidents.

If Someone Else Is Bullied:

Don’t be a bystander. When no one speaks up, bullies learn they can get away with it.

Refuse to join in. Don’t take par in the bullying. Refuse to even watch.

Speak out. Distract the bully by changing the subject or using humor. Talk to the bully later, in private. Stand up for the victim. Tell the bully to stop. Get a group to do this with you.

Give support. Talk to the person being bullied in private. Be a friend to that person. Make an effort to include others who are normally left out or rejected.

Get an adult. Report any bullying you see to teachers or other adults. They can set clear, nonviolent consequences for future bullying behavior(Source: preventchildabuseny.org).

Think about what could help and share your ideas. There is a good chance that adults don’t know all of what happens. Your friends can go with you to talk to a teacher, counselor, coach, or parent and can add what they think.

For more information call us at 866-459-7225 or visit our website athttp://simpleacts.org

Back to School Tips | SACK of Corona, Ca

Close-up of a smiling little girl

It’s that time of year again, do you hear the school bells ringing? It can be hard to adjust from summer and begin to focus on school again.

Heading back to school comes with a lot of emotions. Excitement, anxiety just to name a few! Some of us cope with returning to school differently than others. Some are hopeful, some are fearful, some are completely unprepared for the new school year to even start!

Below are some tips to help you or your child get back in to the swing of things:

Meet the new teacher(s).
For kids, one of the biggest back-to-school fears is “Will I like my new teacher?” Breaking the ice early on is one of the best ways to calm everyone’s fears. Take advantage of your school’s open house or back-to-school night. Some teachers welcome phone calls or e-mails — another great opportunity to get to know each other before the year begins.

If personal contact with the teacher isn’t possible, try locating the teacher’s picture on a school website or in a yearbook, so your child can put a name with a face. If your child’s teacher sends a welcome letter, be sure to read the letter together.

Tour the school.
If your school hosts an open house, be sure to go. Familiarizing your child with her environment will help her avoid a nervous stomach on the first day. Together you can meet her teacher, find her desk, or explore the playground.

With an older child, you might ask him to give you a tour of the school. This will help refresh his memory and yours.

Connect with friends.
A familiar friend can make all the difference when heading back to school. You might try calling parents from last year’s class and finding out which children are in your child’s class this year. Refresh these relationships before school starts by scheduling a play date or a school carpool.

Tool up.
Obtain the class supply list and take a special shopping trip with your child. Having the right tools will help him feel prepared. While keeping basic needs in mind, allow for a couple of splurges like a cool notebook or a favorite-colored pen. These simple pleasures make going back to school a lot more fun.

School supply lists also provide great insight into the schoolwork ahead. Get your child excited about upcoming projects by explaining how new supplies might be used. Let him practice using supplies that he’s not used before — such as colored pencils or a protractor — so he will be comfortable using them in class.

Avoid last-minute drilling.
When it’s almost time to stop playing, give a five-minute warning. Giving clear messages to your child is very important.

Chat about today’s events and tomorrow’s plans.
While it is important to support learning throughout the summer, don’t spend the last weeks of summer vacation reviewing last year’s curriculum. All kids need some down time before the rigors of school begin. For some kids, last-minute drills can heighten anxiety, reminding them of what they’ve forgotten instead of what they remember.

Ease into the routine.
Switching from a summer to a school schedule can be stressful to everyone in the household. Avoid first-day-of-school mayhem by practicing your routine a few days in advance. Set the alarm clock, go through your morning rituals, and get in the car or to the bus stop on time. Routines help children feel comfortable, and establishing a solid school routine will make the first day of school go much smoother(Source: pbs.org).

Every new school year is a opportunity for a fresh start, new friends, and to make it count. You have the potential to make this year one of the best ones yet!

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

Blackboard develops anonymous texting hotline to report bullying | Corona, CA

Bullying in the news

By Rebecca Forand/South Jersey Times

In the ever-increasing fight against bullying at the elementary and high school level, Blackboard, an education technology company, has introduced a way for students to anonymously text in reports.

Blackboard Inc.’s TipTxt program is aimed at young students who have moved to texting as their main form of communication. The confidential texts will be routed to school officials who use the program.

While Blackboard is used in nearly half the schools in the country, in this area it is mostly at the post-secondary level, but local educators believe this type of program is something that could be beneficial at the middle and high school levels.

At the Deptford school district, which goes from kindergarten through 12th grade, there is an anonymous call-in system for bullying incidents, as well as suicide prevention, vandalism and any other offenses students want to report, but a texting program is one that the administration would look into.

“Especially as the kids get older you see a lot of hesitance to go out and report things,” said Matt Huminski, the district’s bullying coordinator. “To have an avenue where a student who may be afraid to be seen in the assistant principal or principal’s office, I think it’s very important.

Huminski said TipTxt is something he would look into in order to give the students one more way to report what they witness.

“I’m always trying to look out for different things that will be effective for our students,” he said. “A texting program would be a great additional step. That’s the level they are at now, they are always texting.”

A similar program is already in use at the Clearview Regional middle and high school district. An 800 number has been set up to accept text messages from students regarding bullying incidents, and while it doesn’t garner much use, the few tips it has received have helped the administration enforce its HIB (harassment, intimidation, bullying) rules.

“You never know who you’re going to help,” Clearview Superintendent John Horchak said. “Anything that has the opportunity to limit, eliminate or decrease HIB would be a benefit and we’d certainly look at it.”

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

S.A.C.K. also proudly serves Norco, Corona, Lake Elsinore, San Bernardino, Eastvale, and surrounding areas.

What can be done to help someone who is being bullied? | Norco, CA

Support a child who is being bullied:

  • You can listen to the child and let him or her know you are available to talk or even help. A child who is being bullied may struggle talking about it. Consider letting the child know there are other people who can talk with him or her about bullying.
  • Give the child advice about what he or she can do. You might want to include role-playing and acting out a bullying incident as you guide the child so that the child knows what to do in a real situation.
  • Follow up with the child to show that you are committed to helping put a stop to the bullying.

Address the bullying behavior:

  • Make sure a child whom you suspect or know is bullying knows what the problem behavior is and why it is not acceptable.
  • Show kids that bullying is taken seriously. If you know someone is being a bully to someone else, tell the bully that bullying will not be tolerated! It is important, however, to demonstrate good behavior when speaking with a bully so that you serve as a role model of good interpersonal behavior.

If you feel that you have taken all possible steps to prevent bullying and nothing has worked, or someone is in immediate danger, there are other ways for you to help.

The problem

What you can do

A crime has occurred or someone is at immediate risk of harm. Call 911.
Someone is feeling hopeless, helpless, or thinking of suicide. Contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline online or at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). This toll-free call goes to the nearest crisis center in a national network. These centers provide crisis counseling and mental health referrals.
Someone is acting differently, such as sad or anxious, having trouble completing tasks, or not taking care of themselves. Find a local counselor or other mental health services.
A child is being bullied in school. Contact the:

  • Teacher
  • School counselor
  • School coach
  • School principal
  • School superintendent
  • Board of Education
Child is being bullied after school on the playground or in the neighborhood
  • Neighborhood watch
  • Playground security
  • Team coach
  • Local precinct/community police
The child’s school is not addressing the bullying Contact the:

  • School superintendent
  • Local Board of Education
  • State Department of Education

 

“One’s dignity may be assaulted, vandalized and cruelly mocked, but it can never be taken away unless it is surrendered.”
― Michael J. Fox, Actor

 

 

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

S.A.C.K. also proudly serves Corona, Riverside, Norco, San Bernardino, and surrounding areas.