833 Young Scholars

Nurturing Potential, Sustaining Support

April 2019

Happy April Everyone!

I am very excited to be welcoming new families to our Young Scholar newsletter this month. If your child has just recently been referred as a Young Scholar, this parent newsletter is a place to learn more about Young Scholars and discover information, resources, and opportunities to help your Young Scholar grow.

My hope is that as each month goes by, this newsletter will help you discover a better understanding of what Young Scholars is all about while gathering useful resources to encourage and grow your Young Scholar!

Young Scholars goals: Access, Affirmation, Advocates

This Month in Young Scholars


The Young Scholar program is based on the goals for increasing Access, Affirmation, and Advocates for students. This month we are focusing on the idea of advocacy and exploring resources to increase advocates for your Young Scholar.

Having an advocate is a lot like having your own personal cheerleader. Advocates encourage and inspire themselves and others to keep going even when things get tough - like those times when having even just one person say, "You can do it!" makes all the difference. As parents, you are likely the most important advocate your child will know.

In addition to having you as an advocate, it is also important that your Young Scholar becomes a strong advocate for themselves.

It takes time, support, and courage to learn to stand up and speak up in effective and respectful ways, but the skills to do so can be the very best source of empowerment and advocacy we can teach to our children.

Here are three questions your Young Scholar can ask as they work toward being their own best advocate:

  • What is it that I need?
  • What help or support will help me get what I need?
  • How can I best share my needs with others?

You may also want to try out some of the ideas below to help your Young Scholar build self-advocacy skills:

  • Talk with your child about their strengths and weaknesses.
  • Have ongoing conversations with your child about their learning.
  • Remind your child that asking for help is a good thing.
  • Praise your child's efforts at speaking up in respectful ways.
  • When a problem comes up, give your child a chance to solve it before stepping in.

While the path to self-advocacy may not be short or always sweet, along the way your Young Scholar will be building powerful life-long skills such as increased problem-solving, self-confidence, ownership of their learning, independence and self-empowerment.

Check It Out!

Information, Resources and Opportunities for Your Young Scholar

April Resources

Books to encourage advocacy

Life can be tough sometimes, and we all need advocates to cheer us on. Below are books meant to inspire advocacy and help support and encourage both you and your Young Scholar. Many of these books are available for checkout at the Park Grove Library.

Wayne Dyer's book Unstoppable Me! : 10 Ways to Soar Through Life offers families lessons to boost self-esteem and confidence including the value of taking risks, dealing with stress and anxiety, and learning to enjoy each moment.

In Giraffes Can't Dance, Gerald the Giraffe is having a hard time fitting in until an unlikely advocate shows him that being different can be beautiful.

Based on a story by Leo Tolsto, The Three Questions by Jon J. Muth gives families a chance to think about their own answers to three important questions and start a conversation about how we can become stronger sometimes not by knowing the answers but by knowing the questions.

The website Brightly lists 10 Books That Empower Kids to Stand Up and Speak Out. This book list by Olugbemisola Thuday-Perkovich includes ten books, for a variety of ages, with positive messages of advocacy for kids.

Movies to encourage Advocacy

Movies can also be a great way to see advocacy in action. Characters in the true-life movies below face different challenges, hardships, and triumphs, but they all have one thing in common. They all have someone there to help them out and cheer them on. They all have advocates.

Each title below is linked through the website Common Sense Media which breaks down the movie's content to help parents make informed decisions about what is right for their family:

Activities to Encourage Advocacy

A trip to Northern Star Base Camp in St. Paul can be a great way for families to support and encourage each other and have a lot of fun at the same time! Base Camp offers team building experiences, rock climbing, ropes courses, and archery. There are free Earth Day events coming up on Saturday, April 20th. Check out their events calendar to learn more.

Looking for More?

Previous Young Scholars newsletters can be found on the District 833 website using the following link:


About Me

Hi All!

My name is Colleen Redmond, and I am thrilled to work as the 833 Young Scholars advocate and lead teacher.

I'm a mom of two teenagers, a wife, small business owner, avid biker (the pedal kind), book enthusiast, and beekeeper. Plus, on top of all of that, I have the happy job of implementing and growing the Young Scholars program here in 833!

I've been lucky enough to teach in South Washington County Schools for the past twenty-five years and have had the incredible opportunity to be a part of the lives of students and families in my classroom.

Now, as we launch Young Scholars, my path in education is taking on a whole new and wonderful life. I am so very excited to work with and support you and your Young Scholar. I can't wait to see where the journey takes us!

Contact Information

Please don't hesitate to reach out with any questions, thoughts, or needs!

Colleen Redmond