Benefield Family Newsletter

November 8, 2022

A Note of Gratitude (click here)

During the month of November, Benefield teachers, staff, and students are reflecting on what we are grateful for. We would love to hear from our valued families and community what and who you are grateful for at Benefield.

Greetings Benefield Parents/Guardians:

Let's welcome the crisp, cool air that November will bring to us. In the month of November, we want to take the time to say to others that we are thankful. Thankful for our parents, thankful for students, thankful for school partnerships, and more importantly thankful for all of the generous teachers that support our students through teaching and learning at Benefield. Our hope is that you are just as thankful this month for being a part of the Benefield family. Please consider taking a few minutes to write a special note or email to your child's teacher thanking them for their support, understanding, and compassion for your student. We would love to shower them with thankfulness and love this month.

During the month of November, please continue to read with your student nightly as this will improve their literacy knowledge as well as help build a literacy lifestyle for them. A love for reading comes directly from their literacy experiences, both in and out of school. Should you need support with extra books at home, please feel free to contact, Ms. Xandria McBride, our Parent Instructional Coach by emailing her at

As always, I thank you for partnering with Benefield for your child's academic success. It continues to be an honor and privilege to serve as the principal of such an exemplary and student-centered learning community.

Honored to serve as your principal,

Mrs. Shonda Gipson Stevens


Please keep reading for more important information.

Upcoming Events

November 10 - Local School Council Meeting 7:30 am in the PLR ​​room

November 15-17 - Thanksgiving Luncheons

November 21-25 - Thanksgiving Break (No School)

All visitors must present a photo ID to participate in the Thanksgiving Luncheons!

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How to decide if your child is well enough to attend school

“Mom, I don’t feel good.”

When this is how kids start their day, it can throw a kink into the morning routine—not to mention sending parents into a panic. How serious are those sniffles? Is that cough contagious? Is this stomachache a ploy to play hooky, or should your little one stay home and get some rest?

Click the link below to learn how to know when it’s time to keep your kid home from school.

Flu Information: A guide to keep our families safe this Flu Season

Influenza (flu) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat, and lungs. Flu is different from a cold and usually comes on suddenly. Each year flu causes millions of illnesses, hundreds of thousands of hospitalizations, and tens of thousands of deaths in the United States.

Flu can be very dangerous for children. CDC estimates that since 2010, between 6,000 and 26,000 children younger than 5 years old have been hospitalized from flu each year in the U.S. Flu vaccine is safe and helps protect children from flu.

Click the link to read more

Book Blast

We’re having a Book Blast at Benefield Elementary School to build our home libraries and ensure that all students have books. Your contribution will help me buy the books on my book list! Extra contributions go toward helping other students build their home libraries or getting additional resources for teachers!

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Counselor's Corner

Thank you to those who donated to our Great Days of Service drive. We collected over 125 lbs of items that will be distributed to local warming stations for the homeless. We are aware giving during this time can be difficult, but your contributions during Great Days of Service are helping others in our community. We were delighted to see students “RED-Y to live drug-free” in all red on Monday, paired up to match like twins on Tuesday, in their pajamas on Wednesday, camouflaged on Thursday, and dressed up like their favorite superhero on Friday! Students learned about the history of Red Ribbon Week, pledged to be drug-free, and received stickers and bookmarks to encourage responsible life choices.

November’s Titan Character Trait is RESPECT. Click the link for the definition, quotes and book resources to support your students this month.

Congratulations to last month’s READY raffle attendance winners: Ms. Hasan-K, Ms. Harrington-1st, Ms. Cotten-4th, and Ms. Jemison-5th! Classes were rewarded with treats. Remember in order to be READY, students must be here and on time. As always, we encourage you to get your students to school on time each and every day. Attendance is a key factor in academic success!


Hi Titan families!

The fall season brings one of the most gracious holidays, Thanksgiving. The tradition of this holiday dates back hundreds of years for Americans. With this perfect holiday comes delicious food, family, and friends, bringing a beautiful feeling of gratitude.

Gratitude is rooted in the Latin word gratia, meaning grace, graciousness, or gratefulness. Gratitude is a thankful appreciation for what a person has or receives in their life. Research has proven that gratitude is associated with greater happiness. It helps give people more positive emotions, relive good experiences, improve health, face adversity better, and help nurture relationships (which is sometimes needed during the holidays).

Children need to learn how to express and feel gratitude. It helps to decrease stress; children spend less time comparing themselves to others, allows them to feel empathy, and creates a conducive environment (including in the classroom).

Click to access our Social Emotional Learning Survey

Social Emotional Learning(SEL) Vision

Hello Benefield Families!

Here at Benefield, we are a true community and family, and we value each and every one of our family's and community members' input, so we have decided to reach out to you to assist us in developing our SHARED VISION for Social Emotional Learning. Please take a moment to complete the attached google form and give us your feedback so that we can unite and create a vision for our children's future.

Family Center Website

Click the link to access the Family Center.

The Family Center

Thank you for attending Parent-Teacher Conferences! The Family Center offers resources to assist with grade-level standards. Feel free to contact the Family Center, at 678-518-6981, or stop by to check out resources.

Do you need help accessing your child's Digital Learning Day assignments? Stop by the Compass Lab on Monday, November 7, from 9:30-10:30 am.

Family Engagement Day is Thursday, November 17

The Family-School Partnership Program encourages the recognition of the many engaged parents across the state during Family Engagement Month (FEM). Each November, schools are invited to participate in celebrating family engagement through a variety of activities and initiatives. Take some time to try one of these:

Take a walk in a park

Read together

Bake something yummy!

Watch a movie together

Paint or draw together

Create a fort in your living room out of blankets or cardboard boxes.

Go on a nature walk

and much more!

A Big Thank You to Our Veterans!

Students at Benefield will be dedicating coloring pages and letters to Veterans from Benefield and The Disabled American Veterans here in Lawrenceville! Our students will be dedicating coloring pages and letters to our veterans on November 11.

If you would like to read to students a Veterans theme book during their library time please contact Ms. Morales at the Family Center at 678-518-6981.

Building Babies Brains

The first five years of life are critical to every child’s future, because a child’s brain is 90% developed by age 5. That’s why a group of community members, businesses, nonprofits, and educators in Gwinnett County have created Building Babies’ Brains, a comprehensive website with local resources and content that gives parents the tools they need to help grow their child’s brain.

“Get Georgia Reading is all about providing a new way of looking at early literacy and learning during the first 8 years of life so that all children in Georgia become proficient readers by the end of third grade,” said Gaye Smith, Georgia Family Connection Partnership executive director. “Not reaching that critical milestone can lead to significant and long-term consequences for children, their families, communities, and our state. We’re thrilled to see Campaign communities like Gwinnett work to ensure that all children and families have the tools they need to succeed and thrive.”

Click to read more

Family Engagement Tips


Give spelling a high-tech twist

Kids love technology, and it can make studying spelling words more fun. Encourage your child to type the latest word list into a word-processing program. Let your child play with fonts, colors and designs while retyping each word several times. Your child can even add pictures and print out the work for a memorable study guide.


Ask the questions that get kids talking about school

Sometimes, having a conversation with a child is like playing a game of 20 Questions. To encourage your child to tell you more, ask questions that can't be answered with a simple "yes" or "no." Instead, start with words like "what " or "how" or "tell me." For example: "What did you do in science today?" "How would you go about solving the problems in your math assignment?" "Tell me what you're doing on your social studies project."

Health Education/PE

Brain breaks are an important part of learning. They are small mental breaks designed to help students focus and attend. They typically get students moving and allow blood and oxygen to flow to the brain. These breaks allow students a small reset in the day and enhance energy and relaxation. Research states that doubling students’ chronological age is comparable to their attention span. Too much, too fast, won’t last. Teachers’ goals are for students to retain information, and it is best to allow them time to think and process. Brain breaks are good for students at any age from Pre-K through college.

Click the link for Brain Break activities

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Media Center Minutes

Book Fair

Thank you for your support of our Fall Book Fair! Funds raised will support our author visits, Book Mobile visits, reading promotion program and book giveaways.

Titans READ!

Keep reading Titans! Don’t forget to log your minutes on your reading log. Our goal is to read for 500 minutes each month. Our hats will be arriving soon!

Why is reading for pleasure important?

A report by The Reading Agency shows that reading for pleasure can increase empathy, improve relationships with others, reduce the symptoms of depression and improve well being throughout life. Read the full article here.

Veteran’s Day

Do you have a family member who has served in the military? We would like to honor them in our Veteran’s Day slideshow. Please send a picture with the person’s name and branch of service to by November 9, 2022.

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Play 2 Learn

Rockin' The 50th Day of School

Book Character Dress Up Day

Benefield Elementary School

Shonda Stevens, Principal

Heather Tack, Assistant Principal

Kelli O'Loughlin, Assistant Principal

Michelle Vendryes, Assistant Principal

Thanksgiving Luncheon Schedules