5 Tips for Engaging Parents

1. Provide handouts at the beginning of every school year.  Include words to songs that will be sung in your classroom, at home activities, and other tips for connecting to a particular skill at home.

2. Provide nametags for parents too.  When parents are identified by name in your program, it is better communicated that they are an important part of the classroom.

3. Greet every parent and child.  Making eye contact and addressing each participant relays the message that you see them as an important part of the program.

4. Make an announcement at the beginning.  Explain to adult participants at the very beginning of your school year that they are important to helping their child prepare for kindergarten.  Explain that parents are their child's first and best teacher and explain that children will value the things that their parents see as important.  For this reason, parents/caregivers should be an active part of the program.

5. Activities should be fun for adult, too!  Choose activities and books that you enjoy and-it will be obvious to children and adults, and will encourage them to participate, too. 



Big Brains and Big EQ 

by Carol Belcher
Emotional intelligence (EQ) is the ability to identify, use, understand, and manage your own emotions in ways
 that are acceptable to the others around you.  EQ also involves our ability to read other’s emotions and understand what they are feeling.  In preschoolers, we are challenged to help our little students begin the process of building their EQ.
EQ has 4 components:
Self-awareness -  recognizing your own emotions, and being able to figure out why you feel the way you do
Self-management – controlling strong or impulsive emotions, and adapting to changes
Social awareness -  understanding other’s emotions and being able to read other people’s emotions
Relationship management – developing and maintaining good relationships through good communication and managing disagreements
In preschool, we need to start with helping our students recognize and label their own emotions.  There are activities in the Second Step kits that help build these skills and there are Apps on the mini iPads that help practice identifying emotions. 
Next, we can help our students with learning what they can do when they are in the midst of a strong emotion.  Role playing what to do when a friend won’t give you your favorite toy or the teachers can model a scenario for the class that involves conflict that the teachers must work out successfully.  Reading stories about resolving conflicts, disagreements, or disappointments can teach children about what they could and should do.  For children that have challenging behaviors around conflict with their peers, creating a social story for that child might reach the child in ways that other activities have not.
All of the current research on child development points to the great importance of EQ, and while academics are important, EQ is the best predictor of success and happiness.  We all know people who are very intelligent, but socially inept and unsuccessful at work due to a high IQ but a lower EQ.  Preschoolers are at the starting line with developing their preschooler EQ and we are charged with helping them build big brains and big EQ.




10 Simple Changes to Help You Become a Better You

1. Use Words that Encourage Happiness—Use words that encourage a smile.  For example, when someone asks “How are you?” Instead of replying with “I’m Fine.” Trying using phrases such as, “I am FABULOUS.”

2. Try One New Thing Every Day—Variety is the spice of life.  Make an effort to try something new every day for the next 30 days.  It can be a whole new activity or just a small experience such as talking to a stranger.

3. Perform One Selfless Act Every Day—In life, you get what you put in.  When you make a positive impact in someone else’s life, you also make a positive impact in your own life. Do something that’s greater than you, something that helps someone else be happy or suffer less.

4. Learn and Practice One New Skill Every Day—Self-reliance is a vital key to living a healthy, productive life.  To be self-reliant, one must master a basic set of skills.

5. Dedicate an Hour a Day to Something You’re Passionate About—Take part in something you passionately believe in.  Engage in something you strongly believe in.  This engagement brings happiness and meaning into your life.

6. Treat Everyone Nicely, Even Those who are Rude to You– Being nice to someone you dislike doesn’t mean you’re fake.  It means you’re mature enough to control your emotions.  Treat everyone with kindness and respect, even those who are rude to you– not because they’re nice, but because you are.

7. Address and Acknowledge the Lesson in Inconvenient Situations—It’s important to remember that everything is a life lesson.  Everyone you meet, everything you encourage, etc.. They’re all part of a learning experience we call LIFE. 

8. Get Rid of One Thing A Day for 30 Days—We have so much clutter surrounding us at any given movement—at the office, in our cars and in our homes.  If you start cleaning up some of this external clutter, a lot of internal clutter will disappear as well.  Choose one needless item each and every day and get rid of it. 

9. Don’t’ Tell a Single Lie for 30 Days—With all the seemingly innocent, white lies that trickle out of us, this is way harder than it sounds.  But you can do it.  Stop deceiving yourself and others, speak from the heart, speak the whole truth.

10. Spend 10 Minutes Every Evening Reflecting on What Went Well—For the next 30 days spend 10 minutes every evening pondering the small successes that occurred during the course of the day.  This process of positive reflection will remind you of all the tiny blessings in your life, and help you to celebrate your personal growth.

Taken from the article, “28 Simple Changes to Help You Become a Different Person.”



Community Action of Southern Kentucky Receives $12,000 Grant from the Dollar General Literacy Foundation to Support Family Literacy

Scottsville, KY – June 6, 2016–Dollar General Literacy Foundation awarded Community Action of Southern Kentucky a $12,000 grant to support family literacy. This local grant award is part of over $7.1 million in grants awarded to more than 900 schools, nonprofits and organizations across the 43 states that Dollar General serves.

“We are very fortunate to have community partners like the Dollar General Literacy Foundation that help us fulfill our mission and improve the lives of families in Allen County, KY,” said Melissa Weaver, CEO/Executive Director at Community Action of Southern Kentucky. “It is our hope to use these funds to make a difference in the lives of our families with pre-school age children and those in need of employment skills. We have no other funds that are specific to literacy in any of our other 10 counties, which makes this funding so special and efffective.”

Community Action’s literacy efforts are focused on:

• Improving math, writing, reading, grammar, and computer skills for unemployed and underemployed adults through real life experiences

• Education and early childhood development to provide all children with a safe, nurturing, engaging, enjoyable, and secure learning environment, in order to help them gain the awareness, skills, and confidence necessary to succeed in their present environment, and to deal with later responsibilities in school and in life

• PACT(Parent and Child Together) time to help parents see themselves as their children’s first teacher, see how their children learn best, and to provide an opportunity for parents to interact with their children in a learning environment where teachers can model learning strategies and offer support

“Consistent with our mission of Serving Others, we are excited to provide these organizations with funding to further literacy and education across the communities we call home,” said Todd Vasos, Dollar General’s CEO. “It is always so exciting to see the true and meaningful impact the Dollar General Literacy Foundation has on both children and adults looking to improve their lives through literacy.”

The Dollar General Literacy Foundation is proud to support initiatives that help others improve their lives through literacy and education. Since its inception in 1993, the Dollar General Literacy Foundation has awarded more than $120 million in grants to nonprofit organizations, helping more than 7.3 million individuals take their first steps toward literacy or continued education.

About Community Action of Southern Kentucky

At Community Action of Southern Kentucky, our mission is “We team with community partners to provide human services with dignity and respect, empowering people in Southern Kentucky to achieve stability and economic security. We have a heart for the people in our communities. We believe everyone deserves the opportunity to be safe, clothed, fed, warm, educated, healthy and most of all have hope. It is our privilege and responsibility to help people achieve these things and have access to all resources. We are a non-profit 501 (c)(3) corporation funded by Federal, state, and local government funding, private contributions, and user fees. Community Action is governed by a board of directors, representing elected officials, community representatives, and low income citizens and advocates. Professional and dedicated support staff are assigned to the various programs in each county. With a budget and assets over $15 million, Community Action maintains approximately 35 program facilities in our 10-county area.

About the Dollar General Literacy Foundation

The Dollar General Literacy Foundation is proud to support initiatives that help others improve their lives through literacy and education as part of the company’s mission of Serving Others for over 20 years. Since its inception in 1993, the Dollar General Literacy Foundation has awarded more than $120 million in grants to nonprofit organizations, helping more than 7.3 million individuals take their first steps toward literacy or continued education. For more information about the Dollar General Literacy Foundation and its grant programs, visit

About Dollar General Corporation

Dollar General Corporation (NYSE: DG) has been delivering value to shoppers for over 75 years through its mission of Serving Others. Dollar General helps shoppers Save time. Save money. Every day!® by offering products that are frequently used and replenished, such as food, snacks, health and beauty aids, cleaning supplies, clothing for the family, housewares and seasonal items at low everyday prices in convenient neighborhood locations. Dollar General operates 12,483 stores in 43 states as of January 29, 2016. In addition to high quality private brands, Dollar General sells products from America's most-trusted manufacturers such as Clorox, Energizer, Procter & Gamble, Hanes, Coca-Cola, Mars, Unilever, Nestle, Kimberly-Clark, Kellogg's, General Mills, and PepsiCo. For more information on Dollar General, please visit

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