833 Young Scholars

Nurturing Potential, Sustaining Support

January 2019

Winter in Minnesota can be both beautiful and brutal. Playing in the snow (when we have it) - sledding, catching snowflakes and building snow forts can be great fun and great exercise. On the other hand, less sunlight and bitter cold can make the winter season feel like it will never end. Add to that busy schedules at home and at school, and more time all together inside, and it's no surprise that January can bring about a greater amount of stress for both kids and adults.

This month, we will explore ways to engage your Young Scholar's mind and body, reduce stress, and even enjoy these long cold January days. Before we know it, we'll be well on our way to spring!

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This Month in Young Scholars

Winter Stress Reducers

Basically, stress is our body's response to the mental, emotional, or physical demands we experience each day. Just about anything can be stressful if it is seen as important enough, goes on long enough, happens often enough, or is intense enough. For children, this can include a wide variety of experiences ranging from a school project or learning a new skill to making friends and getting along with others. Even doing simple tasks can be stressful if they are seen as repetitive or boring.

In addition, what we as adults might see as everyday tasks - choosing what to wear, talking to others, or waiting your turn - may be stressful for children who have less experience navigating life and the variety of situations that come with it.

Stress can even occur when everything is going well. Being a kid is not easy and there are many new things to learn and discover, worry over and wonder about. Children can get tired from their daily efforts and need the chance to rest and recharge each day.

The good news is, there are strategies and skills we can teach children to help them manage and reduce their stress, increase their resiliency, and help relax and enjoy being themselves as they grow and discover their world.

These strategies are the focus of this month's Young Scholars' resources.

Check It Out!

Information, Resources and Opportunities for Your Young Scholar

January Resources

A little exercise can go a long way toward reducing stress. Increasing the heartrate can calm stress-induced responses and help children feel more in control. Below are some fun and easy activities and resources to get your Young Scholar up and moving!


Your child may already be familiar with the resource GoNoodle from their classroom, but now there's an "At-Home" option, too!

GoNoodle is a kids' app with dance-alongs, yoga videos, mindfulness activities, and other active and fun ways to move. There is a huge variety of videos and topics to choose from all designed to work well inside even in smaller spaces. Signing up for a Parent Account is easy and free. Click here to read more about GoNoodle for Families.

Book-Worm Workout

Try a Book-Worm Workout with your Young Scholar, and jumping into a good book can take on a whole new meaning!

First, choose a favorite book and pick a word or sound that is often repeated. For example, this could be the name of a character or a rhyming sound depending on the story. Every time that word or sound comes up as you read, everyone moves!

Here are a few movement ideas to get you started:

Family Dance Party

Add some favorite tunes and creative moves to the activities above, and you've got yourself a Family Dance Party to chase away the winter blues!
Reducing stress doesn't always need to mean big, fast movements. Paying attention to how and when we breathe helps to reset our brain - especially during times of anxiety or stress. Breathing exercises are easy to learn and great for your Young Scholar's brain. With practice, these strategies can help your Young Scholar feel more in control of how they handle their stress - and that is a marvelous skill to have.

Below are six breathing activities to help your Young Scholars calm their bodies and clear their minds.

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 over twenty-five years and have had the incredible opportunity to be a part of the lives of so many students and families over the years.

Now, as part of Young Scholars, I have the honor of working with the amazing staff, students, and families throughout 833. 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