The CPES BobChat
December 6, 2020
What's the Perfect Gift This Season?
During this season, we want our children to know it is not all about making a list and getting presents for ourselves. We want to help them see the blessing and benefit in giving and to know how they can do that, too. So, what's the perfect gift to give this season? A hand. Yes, you heard me right. A hand. Here's why I think this could be the perfect gift for others this year. 1. Give a hand of applause. There are so many who are doing so much to care for others in difficult circumstances. Anyone working on the front line in medical or emergency services definitely deserve our appreciation. Grocery store employees, delivery drivers, restaurant servers, and nursing home caregivers work in challenging environments. If we pause to look, it doesn't take long to see heroes overcoming all kinds of obstacles to provide for others' needs and their own. Any expression of gratitude for them can go a long way right now. 2. Lend a helping hand. Who in your family, neighborhood, or faith community might need a little help? Could we pick up groceries for our elderly neighbor? What about helping out with someone's yardwork? When you prepare the casserole for your family, could you double the recipe and give a second one to that overwhelmed mom you know? (For all ideas, keep health and safety foremost in mind.) The old expression is "Many hands make for light work." Where and how could we lend a hand to others to help lighten their load? 3. Give a hand up. I've never liked the idea that giving a gift of money was a "hand out." I believe that investing our finances in others allows them to move to a better, more positive place. That is a hand up. There are tons of non-profits whose donations have suffered and yet they are the ones doing some of the most profound work right now in caring for others. Pick one, any one that you can support. If others ask you what you want for the holidays, a great answer might be to give a donation to one of your favorite agencies in place of another sweater that never gets worn. Maybe you could do the same for someone you know who would appreciate that. How much more "stuff" do we really need right now? 4. Hold someone else's hand. No, I'm not literally meaning that (although a close family member in your bubble could use an extra hug or hand to hold). Instead, I'm talking about a figurative "holding of hands" by giving others our presence and attention. Our required physical isolation has often led to emotional and psychological isolation as well. Our presence could take the form of a weekly phone call or a daily text or a Zoom or Facetime session. It could be as simple as "I was just thinking about you" or "I haven't talked to you in awhile and wanted to catch up." We could ask, "How are you doing?" and listen long enough for the real answer rather than the casual one. Meaningful connections don't have to be long or weird or immensely deep. It is so good to know someone cares. That's the way we can best "hold hands." We have such a great opportunity to model for (and with) our children how we can be givers. The gift of our hands can be powerful. It could be the perfect gift for others in this season of our lives.
Strength and Blessings,
Mr. Maness, Principal
P.S. See below for how we can give a hand to others in our community.
Cherry Park Cares
First Grade--Snack Bars
Second Grade--Candy (Snickers, Reese, Hershey Bars, M and M's, etc)
Third Grade--Microwave Popcorn or Bags of Snack Mix or Nuts
Fifth Grade--Canned Soft Drinks or Bottled Water
There will be a collection box on each hallway and beside the Media Center. Please send all items by next Thursday, December 17. If you and your child would like to send an encouraging message or card with your items, feel free to tape that to the items.
School of Choice Update--(See button below.) The application window opened on Tuesday, December 1 and closes on February 28. Siblings of current immersion program students receive priority for acceptance but parents must still fill out the Choice application. You can go to the School of Choice website for more information: https://www.rock-hill.k12.sc.us/Page/5064 We will have a Virtual Cherry Park Immersion Tour at 6:00 PM on Tuesday, December 8 and at 8:00 AM on Thursday, December 10. Go to the link above (or the button below) to sign up to attend. Please let other families know about this so they can stay informed.
December Teacher Appreciation--It’s time for our last Teacher Appreciation month event of 2020! We are planning a hot lunch and cookie bar! We would love your help with store bought cookie varieties and drinks! This month will be sponsored by our 4th and 5th grade parents, but if you would like to contribute please feel free! We have a link below to sign up! Thank you so much for your willingness to help us show our Cherry Park staff how much we appreciate them! Please bring items to the front office no later than Monday, December 14th! To sign up, click here: Cherry Park PTO: December Teacher Appreciation (signupgenius.com) You can also click on the button below.
Families with Bus Riders--MyStop For School Buses--Please sign up for the E-Link and MyStop apps for Transportation. Links are available on the Transportation website.
Cybercrime--Is getting more serious by the month and during the holiday season the bad guys up their game. Hackers are getting smarter about tricking people into clicking on fraudulent links or opening up malicious attachments in emails. It can happen to you personally on your own computer and email as well.
We have help!!! As part of a security awareness program that we will be implementing for our users, we are able to offer our families a Home Internet Security course through KnowBe4, the world’s largest integrated platform for security awareness. This is well worth your time and contains valuable information on how to create strong passwords, online banking security, keeping your identity safe, avoiding malware, protecting children online, securing your home network and email safety.
Here is the link and password for the course.
See link below for "Red Flags for Keeping Emails Secure."
Late Arrivals and Early Dismissals--We want to encourage parents to limit these as much as possible. We have missed so much learning and teaching time over the past nine months. We are working hard to help our children achieve all that they can. It is so difficult to do that if they are not in our classes. We understand that there are situations like doctor's appointments that can only be scheduled at certain times during the day. We know those will be rare situations. As we watch COVID numbers, we never know if we will have to go back to remote learning and we want your child to have all the direct instruction we can provide on a daily basis. We ask that you prioritize your child's time at school, including having them arrive by 7:40 as well. Thanks for your support with this.
Be Ready--Every family needs to have a backup plan ready to go if your child has to quarantine. We hope to localize any remote learning situations to a student or a class or a grade level or an individual school. The reality is, though, that we may need to return to remote learning for a period of time if the governor or district determines it is necessary for health and safety reasons. We are prepared for remote learning. Please do the same.
Free Breakfast and Lunch Meals for Students
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting hardships placed on families, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has extended the Emergency Seamless Summer Option program to allow all enrolled students to receive a free breakfast and lunch through June 22, 2021, or until federal funds run out.
Click here to complete the School of Choice Application and to sign up for Information Sessions.
Click here if you can help with December's Teacher Appreciation activity.
Click on this link to see a flyer about "red flags" in a fraudulent email that you should notice in order to stay safe online.
Please click here for parent help sessions that you can access to assist your child with using these programs.
This link provides resources to help with technology issues and questions.
Need Tech Support? Call 803-324-8324
Click here for the most current information about COVID-19 counts in our district.
Click here for details about how we will start this school year.
PTO and SIC Information
Parent Teacher Organization and School Improvement Council Update
The PTO serves to raise funds, coordinate volunteers and encourage teachers through appreciation activities. Click on the PTO Newsletter button below if you wish to receive the PTO Newsletter: PTO and SIC are tentatively planning to meet on the second Monday of each month this year. School Improvement Council meets at 5:30 (in the Fish Bowl) and our Parent Teacher Organization meets at 6:30 (in the Media Center.) Elections were held in the spring for these organizations but all parents are welcome to attend to help provide input and volunteer.
December 1--School of Choice Application Window Opened
December 8--6:00 PM Virtual Cherry Park Immersion Tour for New Families
December 10--8:00 AM Virtual Cherry Park Immersion Tour for New Families
December 18--Half Day for Students and Dismissal is at 11:00 AM
December 21-January 1--Christmas Holidays
January 4--Teacher Professional Development Day (No Students)
January 5--First Day Back for Students