Dear Sprague Community—Nov. 21, 2017

Many of you know that we begin our days with some “Words of Wisdom” over the PA system and the Pledge of Allegiance. I am sharing a “Words of Wisdom” Thanksgiving message written for adults:

Just For You

Soul Comforts

The soul that gives thanks can find comfort in everything. 
~ Hannah Whitall Smith

It’s not difficult to give thanks for the things in life that give us comfort — our families, homes, jobs, friends, food, even the luxury of hot, running water. But what about when we only feel discomfort? It’s not always easy to find our way to gratitude then, when life is hard and not going our way. But it is precisely in those moments when we need a grateful heart the most. Gratitude can quickly put things in perspective. It can soothe an aching soul even during the worst of times.

Practicing gratitude is a life skill and a choice. Live with intention. Choose gratitude and pass it on to the young people who look to you as an example.

With something to think about . . .

I wish you all peace and rest and plenty of friends, family, and food for the Thanksgiving Break! 

We had a school gathering last Friday. Fifth grade students presented information about kindness and the importance of understanding the difference between peer conflict (when kids disagree, fight, or argue once or perhaps more than once, but when there is not a power imbalance), and bullying (repeated unkind behavior that involves an imbalance of power.) Students saw a video in which students from Grimmer Elementary School in Fremont, CA explore the impact of bullying and ways to be an ‘upstander,’ not a bystander. An ‘upstander’ stands up for others or reports issues to adults.

In the video, students share personal experiences, and then they decide to take action and invent the “Leaving a Positive Footprint” activity, where students paint blue fooprints with positive messages “walking” though their campus. Later, they work with first grade buddies to discuss bullying and speaking up, and together they make paper footprint cut-outs and create their own ‘Upstander’ messages to post around the school. Students in 5EB made positive footprints with messages that they put up around the school. Way to go!

Dates to remember:

Nov. 23, 24: Thanksgiving Break

Nov. 27: No school-Teacher Professional Day

Dec. 8: Walk to School Day

Dec. 8: Concert featuring students in grades 3 and 4 at 8:50 a.m.



From the Nurse – Secondhand Smoke:  A Serious Health Risk To Children

         Thursday, November 16, 2017 was the Great American Smokeout, a day that highlights the dangers of tobacco use, the challenges of quitting smoking, and the need to protect people from exposure to secondhand smoke.

         Secondhand smoke, a combination of smoke exhaled by smokers and from the burning ends of a cigarette, cigar or pipe, contains more than 4,000 chemicals, many proven to be carcinogenic. Nonsmokers who are exposed to secondhand smoke absorb these substances just like smokers do.

         Exposure to secondhand smoke leads to a variety of health problems, including lung cancer, heart disease, asthma, allergies, eye irritation, and respiratory illnesses such as sore throats, bronchitis, and pneumonia.

Children exposed to secondhand smoke are at an increased risk of

  • sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)
  • lymphoma
  • leukemia
  • brain tumors
  • colds
  • allergies
  • severe asthma
  • ear infections
  • pneumonia
  • heart disease
  • bronchitis
  • exposure to secondhand smoke slows the growth of children’s lungs, and
  • children with asthma experience more frequent and severe attacks because the chemicals directly irritate the airways.

Statistics show that even children who do not have asthma suffer from twice the number of respiratory infections when their parents smoke around them.  And children raised in homes where parents smoke have twice the risk of developing lung cancer when they are adults.

Additionally, in the US, secondhand smoke causes about 42,000 heart disease deaths each year in nonsmokers.        

         Many of the harmful health effects (including asthma) are most clearly manifested in kids because children are especially vulnerable to the poisons in secondhand smoke. They breathe more rapidly and have smaller lungs than adults; they breathe more air per pound of body weight than adults; and because their respiratory systems are still developing they are prone to increased exposure to and adverse effects from inhaled substances. Children receiving high doses of secondhand smoke, such as those with smoking parents, run the greatest risk of experiencing permanent negative health effects resulting in permanent decreased lung function.​​​​​​​

There is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke. Studies have shown that even low levels can be harmful because secondhand smoke causes disease and death in children and adults who don’t smoke.

The only way to fully protect nonsmokers is to eliminate smoking in indoor spaces. Making your home smoke-free may be one of the most important things you can do for the health of your family.



Weekly note from Ms. Snyder–November 21, 2017
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