Posts Tagged ‘ sandy hook elementary school ’

Parents Daily News Roundup

Monday, January 14th, 2013

Goody Blog Daily News Roundup

Newtown Weighs Future Of Sandy Hook Elementary After School Shooting
Newtown residents are divided on what to do with the school building where 26 people were killed, with some favoring demolition and construction of a memorial and others encouraging renovations. (via Huffington Post)

Longer School Year: Will It Help Or Hurt U.S. Students?
Did your kids moan that winter break was way too short as you got them ready for the first day back in school? They might get their wish of more holiday time off under proposals catching on around the country to lengthen the school year. (via Huffington Post)

Pedestrian Safety Program Prevents Student Injuries
Fewer kids were injured during early morning and after school hours once new traffic lights, pedestrian signals and speed bumps were put around New York City schools, according to a new study. (via Reuters)

Fast Foods Linked to Asthma, Eczema in Children: Study
Eating fast food three or more times a week was linked to a higher risk of severe asthma and eczema in children, researchers found. (via Bloomberg)

Digital Health for Kids, Seniors and Workout Buffs
Any pedometer will count how much you’ve walked, but a good, connected mobile app can push, encourage and sometimes even shame you into putting down the milkshake, getting out of the beanbag chair and meeting a fitness goal. (via CNN)

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6 Ways to Help Families of Sandy Hook Victims and the Newtown Community

Tuesday, December 18th, 2012

In the wake of the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary, several funds have been created to help families of the victims and the community cope and recover.

We’ve rounded up a few of the ways people can send their condolences, thoughts, and donations:

1. On Monday, the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) created an address where people can send condolences to those affected by the shootings. Send notes to:

Messages of Condolence for Newtown
PO Box 3700
Newtown, CT 06740

2. My Sandy Hook Family Fund donations will help families meet immediate expenses, including funeral services, food, mortgage payments, day care, insurance, and fuel. To make a donation, visit the website or send a check to:

My Sandy Hook Family Fund
c/o Union Savings Bank
1 Commerce Dr.,
Newtown, CT 06470

3. The Newtown Memorial Fund has three missions: to provide financial support to families for funeral services, to assist the town in creating a memorial for the victims, and to create an annual college scholarship for students of the Newtown public schools. To make a donation, visit the website or send a check to:

Newtown Memorial Fund
PO Box 596
Botsford, CT 06404

4. The Sandy Hook School Support Fund was set up by the United Way of Western Connecticut to provide support services to those affected. To make a donation, visit the website or send a check to:

Sandy Hook School Support Fund
c/o Newtown Savings Bank
39 Main Street
Newtown, CT 06470

5. American pop rock band OneRepublic has created a page for Sandy Hook on popular fundraising site indiegogo. The band will accept donations through January 14; as of press time they raised $71,000 to benefit the families of the victims. To make a donation, visit OneRepublic’s Sandy Hook page.

6. The National Parent Teacher Association (PTA) has organized a snowflake-making effort for students of Sandy Hook who will resume their education in a new building. Parent-volunteers are working to decorate that building with a winter wonderland theme and encourage volunteers to send their own creative snowflakes. The deadline to send snowflakes is January 12, 2013. As well, donations will be accepted to the Connecticut PTSA Sandy Hook Fund to provide support to the community. Snowflakes and donations can be sent to:

Connecticut PTSA
60 Connolly Parkway
Building 12, Suite 103
Hamden, CT 06514

For more information and resources on coping with the Sandy Hook tragedy, visit the following on Parents.com:

Image: candle flame via Shutterstock

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Parents Daily News Roundup

Monday, December 17th, 2012

Goody Blog Daily News Roundup

The Nation Heads Back to School With New Worries About Safety
Officials and parents spent the weekend anxious about how to talk to students about Friday’s shooting and how best to discourage something like it from happening again. (via New York Times)

‘I Am Adam Lanza’s Mother’: When Parents Are Afraid of Their Children
Following the Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting on Monday, one mother of a mentally ill boy stepped forward with an eloquent, wrenching cry for help that has echoed across the Web. In a blog post republished on the Blue Review titled “I Am Adam Lanza’s Mother,” Liza Long writes about living in fear of the son she loves. (via Time)

A New Leash on Infections: Dog that Sniffs Out a Deadly Superbug
Dutch doctors are training beagles’ famously sensitive sense of smell to sniff out Clostridium difficile, stubborn bacteria that cause severe, hard-to-treat diarrhea and sometimes life-threatening colitis. Cases of C. difficile have reached historical highs in recent years, claiming 14,000 lives in the U.S. each year, primarily in hospital or long-term care settings. (via Time)

Brain Imaging Identifies Bipolar Disorder Risk in Adolescents
Researchers from the Black Dog Institute and University of NSW have used brain imaging technology to show that young people with a known genetic risk of bipolar but no clinical signs of the condition have clear and quantifiable differences in brain activity when compared to controls. (via ScienceDaily)

Genetic Defect in Sex Cells May Predispose to Childhood Leukemia
Researchers at the Sainte-Justine University Hospital Center and the University of Montreal have found a possible heredity mechanism that predisposes children to acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), the most common type of blood cancer in children. (via ScienceDaily)

Keep Thimerosal in Vaccines: Pediatricians
A mercury-containing preservative should not be banned as an ingredient in vaccines, U.S. pediatricians said Monday, in a move that may be controversial. (via Reuters)

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Telling My Child About the Massacre of Children in Newtown

Monday, December 17th, 2012

We decided kind-of last minute to tell our 6-year-old about the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown. Since the horrific news broke on Friday, my wife and I had been in agreement that we’d do our best to shield Adira from the news. But a few things came together Sunday night to change our minds: a message from the school assuring us that teachers would be available to discuss the tragedy with the kids; my friends’ Facebook; this extremely helpful post from my colleague, Kara Corridan about talking to kids about Sandy Hook; and the dawning realization that Adira is at the age where we simply cannot shield her anymore. She was bound to hear–from a friend with an older sibling, from a snippet of conversation or radio news she may overhear, from a teacher answering another child’s questions.

We decided it was better for her to hear the news from us, and so this morning, while rushing to get dressed and out the door, we told her, hewing closely to the suggested script in Kara’s post. I told her that a bad man went into a school in a place called Connecticut and hurt some children with a gun, and some children and some teachers died. I assured her that her school was safe and that her teachers, principal, and the security guard are making double sure of that.

Her immediate reaction bordered on the comical, and was certainly unexpected. “What do you want me to do about it?” she asked. “I’m not a doctor or anything like that.”

Kind of funny, kind of sad that she immediately got defensive. I felt bad, like I’d presented it all wrong.

But before we could really respond to that, she shifted gears and asked some of the questions we’d expected. She quickly honed in on the shooter, asking what happened to him. When I said that he, too, died, she asked if a teacher killed him or if the police did. That question made me realize she was processing this thoughtfully and ruminating on the details. I told her that the man killed himself with his gun, and reiterated that her school is safe and that she could ask any questions. She soon moved on to other conversations, but picked it up again on the walk to school, asking how many kids and teachers died, focusing on whether it was “most of the school.”

I am sure we will talk more about it later, and I assume there will be discussion at school. The principal said in his message that the school would only discuss the tragedy with younger grades in response to questions (while they would proactively lead discussion with the older kids). All in all, I felt like it was a good start and I was glad we decided to discuss it with Adira.

I am wondering: Did you talk about the Sandy Hook tragedy with your young children? How did the conversations go? More broadly, I am wondering how school drop-off went this morning and what your kids’ schools are doing to address the news with children of different ages?

For more information on how to talk to your kids about tragedy, visit the following on Parents.com:

Image: Mother and her son via Shutterstock

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What to Say About the Sandy Hook Tragedy Before School Tomorrow

Sunday, December 16th, 2012

I tried hard to shield my children, ages 4 and 7, from what happened in Connecticut, taking the advice of so many mental health professionals who advise telling young kids as little as possible about the events. But as I’m sure lots of you experienced yourselves, it’s nearly impossible, even if you kept the TV off all weekend, as we have. For our family, the radio interrupted 24/7 holiday music with condolences to the families of Newtown; going online offered a glimpse of CNN’s home page; and even a trip to the bagel store, where three piles of newspapers sat by the door, revealed too much. So like many parents, we’re having some tough conversations and doing the best we can.

What I’m concerned about now is what may come up at school tomorrow. My 2nd-grader’s teacher has notified us that she’ll say nothing of the events, though if it comes up she’ll discuss it as briefly and simply as possible, which I appreciate. I feel like I need to say a little more to my daughter before she returns to school, though, and I was glad when I got an email from a friend who works with the New Jersey nonprofit Good Grief, which helps children and teens cope with loss. She forwarded these words of guidance from Good Grief’s associate executive director, Joe Primo; perhaps you’ll find them useful, too.

Having a conversation about the shooting this weekend is probably a smart and important thing to do before school on Monday.  Classmates will have their own interpretation of the events; many of those narratives will have been learned this weekend from the media and the adults in their lives. There is not a lot we control about these events, but we can play a big role in how our children hear and come to understand the events. We can best support our children by having an honest dialogue that helps build coping skills and taps into their inherent resiliency. Below is a script you might try.

Adult: So, Alex, have you heard about the sad thing that happened to a school in Connecticut?
Don’t assume Alex doesn’t already know. She may have picked it up already.
Adult: Somebody hurt a lot of children with a gun. It’s very sad. Children died.
WAIT to see how the child responds.
Adult: I think a lot of your friends and teachers will be talking about it on Monday. I would like us to talk about it too.
Allow the conversation to happen and be spontaneous. Here are some things you should know about reactions:
  • No child ever responds the same
  • Children may have an increased sense of fear for their safety
  • Children may be afraid to return to school or name “scary kids” in their school
  • Child process information in fragments. They may take it in and then quickly move onto something else.
Adult: I wonder how these things happen.
Wait to see if the child has ideas of her own.
Adult: Assure the child that their school (name administrators and teachers) works hard to keep them safe. You can encourage them to listen to their teachers about safety protocol. Assure them of your love and allow them to explore their reactions.
Often times, being together and offering each other love are the most meaningful things we can tell our children.
For more on the Sandy Hook tragedy, visit the following on Parents.com:
Image via Good Grief.
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The Tragedy in Sandy Hook

Friday, December 14th, 2012

It’s hard to find the right words—or really any words—to describe what happened today. For what happened today at Sandy Hook School in Newtown, Connecticut, was every parent’s worst nightmare, made real and flashed on the TV news. What I see is a school that’s virtually identical to my daughters’ idyllic little elementary school, and parents and kids who look like our friends. And words fail me as I think of my friends rushing toward the school, and a scenario where some walk out, teary-eyed and clutching their children close—and some don’t. What are the right words for that?

There will be much to talk about in the days and weeks to follow, as more information comes out about what occurred, and who was lost, and why this happened. As we begin to dissect our country’s deep failings: Our inability to pass gun laws that keep dangerous weapons out of the hands of those who shouldn’t have them; our lack of care for the mentally ill (for surely, a person who would plot and plan to attack children with an arsenal of assault weapons must be mentally ill); and our inability to keep even our youngest children safe from harm. And as we, hopefully, push for the changes we need to make to prevent another Columbine, another Virginia Tech, and now, another Sandy Hook.

Right now, these are the only words I can find: Our kids deserve a better world than this. And we need to work together to make it happen.

For information and resources on dealing with the tragedy, visit the following on Parents.com:

Image: fasphotographic /Shutterstock.com

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