Amana Elementary


Monday, September 30, 2019

Always helping kids isn’t always helping them

Mrs. Prusha (who is awesome) shared an editorial from the CR Gazette written by Lenore Skenazy. In essence, Lenore was encouraging parents to start MUCH sooner in providing opportunities for their children to be responsible. Today I had a student ask, “How can I help?” Never one to pass up an opportunity like this, I asked the student to help fill some bean bag chairs (side note, I will NEVER fill a bean bag chair again. That stuff is worse than glitter). As you can expect, yes there was a mess, it did get everywhere and I’m not sure how much exactly made it into the chair. But as Lenore Skenazy suggests, “while no kid likes chores, kids DO like being grown-up. It’s a basic drive, like eating or sleeping.” Although I’m not a fan of some of the descriptors Skenazy uses for students whose parents do everything for them, the point is simple: If parents do everything in the name of wanting to help their kids, the unintentional consequence is developing a learned helplessness in students. We expect students to be able to put boots, gloves, coats and shoes on. We expect students to walk independently to their locker to manage their things. We expect students to be able to take care of their clothes before and after getting into their swim suit. We expect students to work both independently, in small groups and as a whole class. We expect students to be able to read, write, do math, think critically, create, explore, and appreciate. And when students can’t do those things, we teach them! No student is ever too young to feel the grown-up feeling of being responsible for something. No student is ever too young to help with dishes, help with yard work, pick up his/her room or make the bed.’s faster if I do it. YES...I’m sure I can do it better. (Follow-up to the bean bag. After the students went back to class, I did try to fill up the chair and it proved to be a disaster for me too). Consider the time instilling young people to be responsible an investment for their future. Building a foundation of responsibility at this age proves to transfer to later years when they are faced with more difficult decisions (peer pressure, illegal and dangerous activities to name a few). It sure is sweet to see parents walking into school with their children and I would NEVER insinuate they should not. Students CAN carry their own bags. Students CAN put their things away appropriately. Students CAN be held to higher standards of responsibility. A foundation of responsibility at home will greatly increase a student’s ability to be highly successful students and adults!

“Imagine if there were a class that would teach our kids how to be self reliant and responsible...there is such a class now: ‘Adulting’ it’s called. The students learn everything from cooking to banking to how to have a relationship with someone other than “Fortnite” friends...There’s a free version of this class too. It’s called Life. Sooner or later everyone takes it...the cheat sheet is simply this: Start younger.” (I added the emphasis).

-Lenore Skenazy, syndicated columnist

Have a great week.

Ben Macumber, Principal

Upcoming Events

  • Friday, Oct. 4 - All School Photo Day - wear Amana Elem apparel or Clipper Blue Shirts
  • Friday, Oct. 11 - Picture Day
  • Thursday. Oct. 17 and Friday, Oct. 18 - No School
  • Wednesday, Nov. 27 - Friday, Nov. 29 - No School
  • Monday, Dec. 16 - K-2 Concert, 6:30 PM; 3-5 Concert, 7:30 pm

All School Photo

It is tradition that all Amana Elementary students and staff gather together for a group photo each fall. On Friday, October 4, we would like to encourage students and staff to wear Amana Elementary or Clipper Blue shirts for the photo.

If you would like to purchase a copy of the all school photo an envelope was sent home in Friday Folders last Friday.

SAFETOUCH Presentations

On October 3rd, a representative from the St. Luke’s Child Protection Center in Hiawatha will be presenting a program about “Safetouch” to your child. This program educates children in kindergarten through fifth grade about protective behaviors and gives them guidelines on what constitutes a “safe touch.”

For kindergarten, the presentation will include the viewing of the video entitled , “Joey Learns the Touching Rule.” The video is preceded by a discussion about good, bad, and secret touches, and followed by dialogue about the video, the Safetouch Rules, who they can go to for help.

For first grade, the presentation will include the viewing of the video entitled, “It’s Your Body: You’re In Charge.” The video is preceded by a discussion about good, bad, and secret touches, and followed by dialogue about the video, the Safetouch Rules, who they can go to for help.

For second and third grade, the presentation will include the viewing of the video entitled, “You Are in Charge of Your Body.” The video is preceded by a discussion about good, bad, and secret touches, and followed by dialogue about the video, the Safetouch Rules, who they can go to for help.

For fourth and fifth grade, the presentation will include the viewing of the video entitled, “Sexual Abuse: It’s Not Your Fault.” The video is preceded by a discussion about good, bad, and secret touches, and followed by dialogue about the video, the Safetouch Rules, who they can go to for help.

The “Safetouch” program is an effective teaching tool and presents a positive approach to the prevention of child sexual abuse. If you do not want your child to participate in this program, please notify the school prior to October 3rd. If you would like to receive more information about “safe touches” or if you have any questions about this program, please call (319) 622-3255 or email me at

Thank you,

Kelsey Koffend

Amana Elementary School Counselor

Big picture

Amana Community Blood Drive

Thursday, October 17th

2:00 pm – 6:00 pm

Amana Elementary Cafeteria

You are invited to the fall Amana Community Blood Drive on October 17. Show your local pride by supporting the community blood supply and earning your “Hometown Hero” t-shirt (pictured above)!

Click Here to sign up online! Questions? Contact

Did you know that Amana Elementary can receive LifeSavings Grant funds from the blood center to help with educational expenses if we bring in more than 20 donations? Donate to save lives and support the school!

Dear Parents/Caregivers,

We are pleased to inform you that during the week of September 30th through October 4th, your child will be taking part in Start With Hello Week at Clear Creek Amana School District. Start With Hello teaches students, grades 2 – 12, the skills they need to reach out and include those who may be dealing with chronic social isolation and create a culture of inclusion and connectedness within their classroom, school or youth organization. Last year, over 12,000 schools from across the United States participated in Start With Hello Call To Action week to highlight and spread the message of the power of Start With Hello’s three simple steps:

1. See Someone Alone

2. Reach Out and Help

3. Start With Hello

Social isolation is the overwhelming feeling of being left out, lonely, or treated like you are invisible. It is a growing epidemic in the United States and within our schools. According to a 2018 survey of 20,000 adults, nearly 50% of Americans reported sometimes or always feeling alone. Excessive feelings of isolation can be associated with violent and suicidal behavior. Furthermore, young people who are isolated can become victims of bullying, violence and/or depression. As a result, many further pull away from society, struggle with learning and social development and/or choose to hurt themselves or others. The positive news is that there are cures for disconnection and loneliness if we reach out and help one another.

We encourage you to talk to your child about the Start With Hello program and ask them to share what they have learned. Not only will that help you learn how to support your child to identify isolation, reach out and connect, and Start With Hello, it also demonstrates to your child that you take this subject seriously and can support them in their actions to create a more connected and inclusive home, classroom, school and community.

Below, you will find a description of the activities that will occur throughout Start with Hello Week:

Monday- Hey Day- each student wears a nametag with their name on it to promote getting to know one another

Tuesday- Pledge to connect with your peers by signing a visual representation of a commitment to inclusivity (signatures will be displayed in a communal area in the school)

Wednesday- Smile Wall- students to write positive or kind things that they’ve seen or experienced over the past week to be collected and publicly shared in the building

Thursday- Express Yourself Contest- students will create writings, artwork, etc. to depict the importance of social connection and inclusivity (all entries will be shared in a public forum)

Friday- Wear green to promote awareness of the stigma that students with mental illness face

Thank you for supporting the Start With Hello Week!


Jana Mahmens

School-Family Liaison

Amana Elementary


The BackPack Program

We participate in a program called The BackPack Program. This is a partnership between HACAP and the CCA Community Schools. The BackPack Program provides a food pack of kid-friendly, non-perishable food for children on the weekends and during school breaks. This is a FREE program, without cost to families. It is also kept completely confidential – only the counselor will be aware of participating families. If this would be helpful for you and your children, please contact Kelsey Koffend by phone at (319) 622-3255 or by email at There is a limited number of spots available, so it is important that you call or email to get your child’s name on the list.

Shoes That Fit

Shoes That Fit is a program that provides shoes to children in need. If your child needs new shoes this year and this program would be helpful to you, please contact Kelsey Koffend by phone at (319) 622-3255 or by email at

Help Support Our School

Please keep collecting, cutting and turning in….. Box Tops for Education and Pop Tabs for Ronald McDonald House and Register Tapes from the Big G dated 9/1/19 - 3/31/20!

Register Tapes for Education

We are excited to inform you that we are participating in an incredible program that allows us to earn FREE classroom equipment and supplies! Here’s How You Can Help! • Shop at Big G Foods, Marengo from September 1, 2019 - March 31, 2020 • Save your receipts and send them to school with your child • Your receipts will earn us points for free classroom equipment, donated by the store!

Lunch accounts and other payments.


We appreciate volunteers, please go this volunteer link for more information.

Digital Backpack

Your connection to CCA and community events, camps, fundraisers and more.

Non-discrimination Statement

It is the policy of the Clear Creek Amana Community School District not to discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, religion, creed, age (for employment), marital status (for programs), sexual orientation, gender identity and socioeconomic status (for programs) in its educational programs and its employment practices. There is a grievance procedure for processing complaints of discrimination. If you have questions or a grievance related to this policy please contact the district’s Equity Coordinator, Lori Robertson, 327 S. Augusta Avenue, Oxford, IA 52322, 319-828-4510.