ECPS Monthly Update

January 2016

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LIfe is Good.

Happy New Year! This is a time when we find ourselves reflecting on 2015 and making plans for 2016. Whether your plans include healthier choices, professional growth, dedicating more time to family, or other improvements for yourself, it is important to implement an attitude that also pairs with the new changes you have planned. I found the following article as a nice reminder that you have the power to change the energy around you (and it's contagious). Please join me in realizing the positives daily; when we experience hard days, let's remind each other of the message in the following article from the Business Insider by Natalie Walters.

Brothers who cofounded a $100 million company say this question their mom asked every night at dinner is what inspired their business.

Bert and John Jacobs, the brothers who cofounded the $100 million Life Is Good T-shirt company, grew up the youngest of six children in a lower middle-class family in Boston.

When the brothers were in elementary school, their parents were in a near-death car accident from which their mother managed to escape with just a few broken bones — but their father lost the use of his right hand.

The stress and frustration from his physical therapy caused him to develop a harsh temper, they explain in their new book "Life Is Good."

"He did a lot of yelling when we were in grade school," John told Business Insider. And life certainly wasn't perfect.

"There were often difficult things happening around the house," the brothers write.

But their mom, Joan, still believed life was good. So, every night as the family sat around the dinner table, she would ask her six kids to tell her something good that happened that day.

"As simple as mom's words were, they changed the energy in the room," the brothers write. "Before we knew it, we were all riffing on the best, funniest, or most bizarre part of our day."

John says that this daily exercise prevented them from developing a victim's mentality of "Oh, you wouldn't believe this horrible thing that happened to me today." Instead of griping about a teacher or homework assignment, he says that they would be laughing about a silly haircut a classmate got that day, or a neat project they worked on at school.

"That optimism was something that our family always had, even when we had little else," they write.

Growing up with a mother like theirs — one who sang in the kitchen, told animated stories, and acted out children's books for them, no matter what bad situation they were going through — taught them an important lesson: Being happy isn't dependent on your circumstances. "She showed us that optimism is a courageous choice you can make every day, especially in the face of adversity."

They say her unwavering positive outlook on life is what inspired Life Is Good — their $100 million company the mission of which is to spread the power of optimism, with the tagline, "Life is not perfect. Life is not easy. Life is good."

Since their mother's daily question served them so well in life, John says he and his brother now ask their employees the same thing when they all come together — "Tell me something good" — and the results have been positive. "It leads to ideas, which lead to progress, which leads to building on successes, instead of dwelling on challenges," he explains.

Handmade Books by Janine

Our ECPS staff member, Janine (second shift custodian) offered to make handmade books from student artwork (below). Hopefully you were able to take her up on her generosity because the books are beautiful! Janine has since left GISD and is pursuing her private cleaning business again. Good Luck Janine, and thank you for your personal and thoughtful contribution, you will be missed.
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ECPS Holiday Spirit

ECPS holiday spirit is in abundance! As you walk the halls at ECPS you will see bulletin boards that capture both the curricular lessons as well as the crafty talents of our staff and students. The links I've seen to the early childhood standards and common core essential elements are impressive, keep up the great work.

More ECPS Hero Sightings!

Important Dates

January 1 - Happy New Year!

January 4 - Kickoff to Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS)!

January 4 - Birth to Three Meeting

January 4 - MOCI Department Meeting

January 6 - ASD Department Meeting

January 6 - VI Program Guest Speakers: Jim Sullivan and Peter Tocic from HumanWare - at Haas Elementary

January 7 - Wellness Committee Meeting

January 8 - Staff Meeting

January 11 - Birth to Three Meeting

January 15 - PBIS Committee Meeting

January 18 - Birth to Three Meeting

January 19 - New Teacher Meeting

January 20 - Certificated Staff Meeting

January 20 - Service Coordinator Meeting

January 25 - Birth to Three Meeting

January 28 - HI & VI Department Meeting at Haas

January 29 - OT Dept. - Oral Motor PD