Safety First

By Dr. Annette Weissman….

Dr. Annette Weissman

By now you know that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Did you know that it is also Dental Health Month, Trick or Treat for UNICEF Month, Czech Heritage Month, Italian American Heritage and Culture Month, Polish American Heritage Month? The list goes on and on with each week and many days designated for special events. At SIBCS, we observe all the occasions mandated by the District and give extra attention to those messages which impact student health and safety. In the beginning of October, we participated in Walk Your Child to School Day and our physical education department instructed the children on safe walking practices. At the end of the month we will celebrate Red Ribbon Week. This is a school-wide effort that involves all the staff and all the children.

Red Ribbon Week is especially important because it provides teachers, parents and the community with an excellent opportunity to address the topic of making good choices. During Red Ribbon Week our teachers will present scenarios in which children make decisions that have consequences. Children are empowered with information, decision making skills and an awareness of their ability to change things.

I encourage you to take some time this month to sit with your children and define words like trust, respect, values, and pride. What do these words mean to your children and your family? These are abstract concepts and sometimes children have difficulty grasping their meaning. Give them concrete examples of how you establish trust, how you earn respect, and how you prioritize values. Ask them what they take pride in doing and share what you take pride in doing.

As you explore these topics with your children, remember to infuse the importance of saying no to drugs. Discussing the impact of drugs, alcohol, and tobacco with your family is critical. If you need some information or guidelines, there are many resources available online. Visit the US Drug Enforcement site at www.justice. gov. There is information about the history of Red Ribbon Week and a DEA Resource for parents entitled, Get Smart about Drugs.

It will take the efforts of the school, the home and the community working together to make a significant impact on this problem. SIBCS teachers and counselors are committed to providing a safe, drug free learning environment for our students. We invite you to join us in this commitment by pledging to make your home and your neighborhood a drug free living environment.

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