Dear Sprague Community,
December certainly gets to be a busy month. We have our Cookie Walk on Dec. 14th. It is a fun event and will include the sale of sweets and a raffle. The raffle items include activities with teachers who donate their time. There is also a Magic Show. Bakers are still needed to donate cookies for this event. The Cookie Walk takes place after school on December 14th. Watch for email reminders from the PTO.
Day of Play
The annual Day of Play will take place on Wednesday, Dec. 20th. Students are invited to spend the day creating something unique that day. They are asked to think about what they will create and make a plan. We generally present the following categories for students to think about designing and creating: something they can wear, something that they can play with, or something that does a job or has a specific function. Students create using recycled materials so we will be collecting the following items in the lobby:
Clean yogurt or other plastic containers
Any clean or safe item that can be used for a recycled creation
In other years, we have seen creations like shoes made of tissue boxes, helmets made with other boxes, games using ping pong balls, and many more than I can name. It is a day to celebrate creativity and thoughtful planning, but also provides an opportunity for students to talk about their ideas and share with others. Each classroom teacher may have specific instructions for his/her classroom, so be sure to watch for that information.
Coats for Kids
We will be collecting gently used coats in the lobby to donate to the Coats for Kids group. Anton’s Cleaners will clean the coats that are then distributed to needy families in the Boston area. There is usually a prize for the school that collects the most coats.
Last week, we welcomed back Ms. Bartelloni (Kdg. teacher) and Ms. Decker (TA) after their maternity leaves of absence. We owe many thanks to Kate Burke (Kdg. Teaching substitute) and Leanne Jones (TA substitute) for filling those important roles in their absence. Our nurse, Sharon Kahn will be out for about 3 months for hand surgery, beginning Dec. 11th. Our Friday nurse Nancy Falb and District Nurse Leader, Linda Corridan will fill in during December. RN Krisann Miller will be filling in Monday through Thursday during January and February and part of March. I will send Krisann’s email to you when I have it. If you have nursing concerns, please contact either Nancy Falb (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Linda Corridan (email@example.com).
Dates to remember:
Dec. 8: Walk to School Day
Dec. 8: Concert featuring students in grades 3 and 4 at 8:50 a.m.
Dec. 14: PTO Meeting at 9:00 AM
Dec. 14: Cookie Walk from 2:35-4:45 PM
Dec. 18: School Council Meeting
Dec. 19: Project Based Learning Exhibition in 4MH from 8:45-9:30 a.m.
Dec. 20: Annual Day of Play
Dec. 20: Teacher Appreciation Luncheon
From The Nurse: Finding Reliable Health Information on the Internet
A Pew Internet survey reported, not surprisingly, that more than half of American adults use the Internet to find healthcare information. The most commonly-researched topics are specific diseases or conditions, treatments or procedures, and doctors or other health professionals.
About the Internet:
• No one is in charge.
• There are few rules and regulations.
• Anyone can build a website.
• No educational or professional qualifications are necessary.
• Therefore, you cannot automatically trust information found on the Web.
A Google search for heart attack produces over 76,800,000 results! How do we know which of these sites has reliable information?
The number of Web sites and social-media sites offering health-related material grows every day. Many online health resources are useful, but others can present inaccurate or misleading information, so it’s crucial that we find trustworthy sources and know how to evaluate the content. We should be wary of health information on the internet, particularly if the site is selling something, includes outdated information, makes excessive claims for what a product can do, or is sponsored by an organization whose goals differ from ours.
Remember to evaluate carefully:
· Accuracy: Does the site provide references to scientific literature? (popular media doesn’t count)
· Authority: Is the information from a credible source? (check the About Us section and the site’s domain)
· Bias: Who pays for the site? Are ads/sponsored content clearly labeled?
· Currency: Are there dates on the material? (not more than 5 years since review)
· Comprehension: Is the information understandable and the site easy to navigate?
Warning: watch out for sites like WebMD.com and DrKoop.com. These sites and other like them may have some reliable information, but their main goal is to make money, not to educate/help the user.
How can you tell if websites are telling the truth? These signs can help you decide if a website or an ad is a scam:
· No one treatment works for everyone. All conditions are different. Two people with the same problem may need different treatments. Don’t trust any website with ads for products it says can treat any sickness.
· “Natural” doesn’t mean safe or that it actually works.
· Fake marketers may try to trick you into buying their product; products that claim to cure or treat a sickness might seem honest, but they can be completely made-up. False personal stories are not proof that the product works.
· Big words might sound impressive, but aren’t proof that the product works.
· A money-back guarantee doesn’t prove that a product works.
· Many products claim to be “risk free”; what risks are they referring to?
The best resources for health info:
MedlinePlus.gov is from the National Library of Medicine, which is part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). This website will always give dependable facts. It’s free and should be a first stop for health information on the Internet. MedlinePlus information is easy-to-use, reliable, up-to-date, accurate, written by health professionals, and free of ads.
Healthfinder.gov, sponsored by the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is another excellent and reliably accurate resource for health information on-line.
Internet resources help people become more active advocates for their own interests. The goal of our using on-line health information is for us to be informed partners in our health care. It’s imperative that we know how to evaluate this resource so we can make the best possible informed decisions about our and our family’s health.
On a personal note, I’ve found directly contradicting advice on a number of occasions when researching health issues on the internet; I’ve seen first-hand how important it is to evaluate the source before accepting any information as valid. I now make it a point to search only verified reliable sites for health information. I hope this is helpful when you search the internet for information about health topics pertinent to you and your family.