As we enter our concluding month, permit me the opportunity to thank you for yet another great year at Ayres. For the most part, we have enjoyed a successful year together. I wish to again thank you for your partnership in educating your student(s).
Most days I wake up and I smile because I GET to come to school and spend the day with them. Our children are so precious not only because they are our future, but because they are genuinely kind and soulful little people. They bring joy to our hearts with their wonderful smiles and their carefree spirits of life. Hugs and smiles seem to go a long way - especially since they’re free!
Some of you have just begun your journey at Ayres. Some of you are concluding it. For those of you returning in the fall, I look forward to seeing you again next year; even if it may just be with a hand-wave from the curb. Please know how much we appreciate you.
For our soon-to-be-Campbell parents, it is my hope that your time at Ayres has been filled mostly with satisfaction, and more importantly, joy. We have done our job if your child feels loved and welcomed each day, and that s/he can read a story and write an equation. That s/he feels excited and confident that tomorrowland is filled with adventure, and that his/her greatness is waiting to be discovered. We thank you for your commitment to Ayres and we wish you well!
As we prepare for summer, I would ask you to make time in June and July to see the world as your child does. Play pretend. Go fishing. Read a fairy tail. Make cookies. Write a story. Send a letter of gratitude. Make time to be.
And do it all with your children.
I leave you with one of the all-time favorites, Robert Fulghum and All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten: “I believe that imagination is stronger than knowledge. That myth is more potent than history. That dreams are more powerful than facts. That hope always triumphs over experience. That laughter is the only cure for grief. And I believe that love is stronger than death.”
The health office has enjoyed working with your child this year and we look forward to seeing them next year. Please look for updated health office policy information in the upcoming school year packet. Don't forget to remind your student to wash their hands and sneeze in their sleeve! Have a safe and healthy summer.
A NOTE FROM DR. LOIS CHRISTIANSEN
Talking With Children About Scary Things
Tragic news stories, especially those involving schools, can be quite scary for children. Parents can help teach children about the state of the world or what's happening nearby without causing undue stress on their systems. How children receive information about violent events can greatly affect their body's ability to process this information.
Here are some suggestions to help your children learn about scary events without causing them undo stress:
REDUCE EXPOSURE TO GRAPHIC IMAGES AND WORDS—TURN THE NEWS OFF
Turn the TV and radio off when children are around. Child brains and vocabulary just can't handle this type of information - they don't understand enough about cause and effect. Any information that needs to be shared should be delivered by you as a parent, at the child’s level and with frightening images removed.
ASK, "DO YOU HAVE ANY MORE QUESTIONS?"
Provide information about the event with neutral language as I mentioned above, and then ask if your child has questions. Let your child lead you through what they need to hear.
Parents likely don't know what children have heard at school or around others so providing the child with an opportunity to explain what they have heard and asking questions they have is a great way to facilitate understanding.
BE A CALM, RATIONAL ROLE MODEL
Your children are continually watching how you handle things. If you are upset, they will be upset. Work hard to calm yourself down and talk as little as possible about the scare event to others in front of children.
Events and images, particularly ones involving harm to children, are upsetting for most parents so it is okay that we feel sad, even cry, but try to not allow yourself to get into a frenzy.
HELP YOUR CHILDREN BE CALM AND FEEL SAFE
Remind your children that they are safe. When a child has questions such as, "Why did this happen?" or "Am I safe?" remind them that although these events get a lot of press time, they are actually quite rare and usually very far away. Talk about the many people who work every day to keep kids safe, such as police officers, teachers, or the school principal.
For more info on helping your child understand and cope with violence and death, please check out these resources:
· National Association of School Psychologists on Talking to Children About Violence
· Explaining the news to our kids from Common Sense Media.