RICCI SUPPORT TEAM NEWSLETTER
NOVEMBER 2014 UPDATES FROM YOUR RICCI SUPPORT STAFF
6 & 7 Course Selection
Holiday Shopping for your Middle School Student
We can all get caught up in Holiday shopping as we try to think of gifts for our children. Kids all seem to want the latest technology, CD, or movie DVD. While these can be fun and entertaining, research shows that overall, kids are spending too much time playing video games and watching media. Check out these links to see what child development experts have found (http://www.pamf.org/parenting-teens/general/media-web/videogames.html) and (http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/educational/wecan/reduce-screen-time/).
Family together time is a great way to break the video/media cycle. Adolescents want and need together time with the important people in their life. Games are a great way to spend unhurried, enjoyable time together. As an added bonus, board games are also rich in learning opportunities. They satisfy your child’s competitive urges and the desire to master new skills and concepts. How about starting Family Game Night. It could be a great tradition where the family bonds through friendly competition. Here are some board games recommended for school age and adolescent students. They are not only fun, but educational as well. Most of these games can be found at local department stores such as Target, Walmart, and Toys R Us. They are also available on Amazon.com. Have fun and remember: “The family that plays together, stays together.”
Blurt (Junior version is included)
Apples to Apples Junior and Apples to Apples Kids 7+
Headbandz for Kids
Managing your holiday stress
As the holiday season approaches, many of us at Dr. E.A. Ricci Middle School are looking forward to spending time with family and friends and having some time off from school. Somehow, we get the idea that everything should be perfect and everyone should be happy. We are bombarded with holiday music, TV, decorations and advertisements describing this most joyous time of the year. And for the most part it is a happy time for us.
Unfortunately, the holiday season may also bring some sadness and stress. Being separated from loved ones either through distance or death can bring loneliness and sadness to us. Some of us are struggling with economics and paying our routine bills. Add wish lists from children with expensive gifts and this joyous time of the year can turn into a stressful experience for us.
Experts suggest that we keep our expectations balanced. Don’t try to do too much. Create a budget and stick to it. If you have feelings of loss, acknowledge them. Be realistic; holidays are not perfect. Use humor to deal with the disappointments. Don’t abandon healthy habits. Plan ahead.
Try to remember what the holidays are all about and don’t let the holidays become something you dread. Learn to recognize your holiday triggers so you can combat them before they lead to a meltdown. With a little planning and some positive thinking, you can find peace and joy this holiday season.
Attached to this are some links to articles with suggestions on how to manage holiday stress. Take a look at some of them before you gear up for the holidays. It might just help you enjoy the holidays a little more!
Holiday Health and Wellness Tips
Before getting carried away this holiday season, here are some fun, quick health and wellness tips that can promote a delicious holiday while staying healthy.
1. Make sure your food is safe!
Keep food safe to prevent food borne illnesses. Wash hands and food contact surfaces often. Keep raw meat and their juices away from ready-to-eat food. Cook turkey or stuffing to 165°F. Refrigerate perishable food within two hours.
2. Make physical activity part of your holiday tradition.
Search for a an organized walk or run in your local community or incorporate some form of exercise into your holiday tradition. Playing with the little ones outside or taking a walk after a big meal will help you not feel as full and listless.
3. Eat Often;
Be sure to eat a healthy breakfast on the days that you know you’ll eat more than usual. Eating smaller meals throughout the day will help you get full faster, therefore eating less. Try not to arrive at dinner famished because you starved yourself all day, this could open up the potential for over-eating. Consider having dessert a few hours after the meal is complete.
4. Think "Eat This Not That".
It's all about the right choices! You probably already know what the better choices are, but here are a few reminders. Consider cranberry sauce over gravy and choose white meat over dark meat, as it's less fatty. Take bigger portions of healthy items like vegetables, and more moderate portions of creamy casseroles.
5. Connect with the spirit of gratitude this holiday season.
Some research shows that expressing gratitude can help improve mood, increase energy levels, relieve stress and increase motivation. Remember to take a few deep, relaxing breaths throughout the day. Even positive emotions like excitement and enthusiasm create stress in the body, so it's important to periodically do something that promotes relaxation.
Tips courtesy of CareWorks, 2011.
The Support Staff at Ricci knows the holiday season can be challenging for our families in a variety of ways. In an effort to help our families have safe, happy and healthy holidays, we have complied a list of resources available in our area. These supports encompass food and energy assistance as well as behavioral and mental health services.
The North Providence School Department has partnered with Tri-town Community Action Agency. Tri-town offers a wide variety of services including physical and mental health support, heating assistance and a food bank. The various support services provided are outlined on their website.
The Salvation Army in Rhode Island also provides financial assistance to low income families. There are various types of resources which families can access and include heating, food, medications, and housing assistance.
The Food Pantry at St. Anthony's Church enables families to select the food items they need from what is stocked on the shelves. Adjacent to the Food Pantry is the Wellness Center. Physician and registered nurses provide simple screenings along with over the counter medications and first aid supplies. Periodically other health services are brought in to offer advice and support. A thrift shop with new and used clothes, books and toys operates on the lower level of the building.
The goal of the Providence Center is to achieve wellness, not only for yourself, but also for your family. If your child needs support to be successful in school or at home due to behavioral or emotional issues, The Providence Center’s Child and Family Services can help. From counseling to more intensive programs, our caring staff will work with you to understand your child’s needs and guide your family to being happy and healthy.
Bradley Hospital provides a range of family-focused mental health care to children and adolescents with emotional, behavioral or developmental disabilities. They also offer a variety of parenting resources, workshops and group to help support the whole family.
Ricci School Support Staff
Anne Annese email@example.com
Jennifer Depalma firstname.lastname@example.org
Janet Gasparri email@example.com
Roselyn Lonardo firstname.lastname@example.orgOnna Mechanic-Holland email@example.com