Friday, October 16, 2009

Being a Grandparent is Grand!

Cherri Dehart here…..and school is back in full swing in Maypearl, Texas! Hard to believe the first six-weeks have already gone by! The buzz these days is about what Halloween costumes are going to be worn in a couple of weeks. Our small community is already being decorated for this highly anticipated day, for children both young and old.

Speaking of young and old…..Grandparent’s Day was last week here at Lorene Smith Kirkpatrick Elementary School. The squeal of children’s voices as they spotted their Grandparents was so sweet.

Grandparents can play such a wonderful role in a child’s life…even if the child is not from their own family. Sharing time together benefits everyone: children learn from someone with experience and grandparents get to share family stories that will be passed down to future generations. I am a Grammy myself….and nothing makes me feel quite as young as reading a book with our two-year old grandson or laughing with our teenage granddaughters while talking about the hippy days of my youth. We all benefit!

Here are some fun ways to be together (remember, activities should be pleasant for both grandchild and grandparent):

•Read a book or work a puzzle. Let the child turn the pages or gently guide him to turn the shape several different ways. Make sure the book or puzzle is age-appropriate.
•Make portraits of each other. Even if she colors your face green…be positive with your words and praise. This is a fun time to talk about family and history.
•Cook or bake together. Children love to be in the kitchen cooking and this is a fun way to teach math (count 2 eggs, how many 1/4c. of milk make 1c. of milk, etc.)
•Share a special hobby. Whether it’s knitting or fishing, these times together can present opportunities for learning….and not just for the child!

Talk to you later……..I’m off to call my Grandchildren!!!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Hello Everyone

Hello everyone! My name is Gabrielle Decoster and I'm the new HIPPY VISTA in Dallas. I'm originally from Fort Worth and recently graduated from Austin College in Sherman. Thank goodness for the college because there was NOTHING else going on in Sherman, TX... I'm living in North Dallas with two friends from college and my roommate's very territorial and yappy pug. Right now I'm working at the central office but should soon be starting work at the Dallas ISD HIPPY office once all of the paperwork is sorted out. So far I've really been enjoying the HIPPY program and in the past couple of weeks have been able to dive right in on a couple of projects. One that I just finished is a Wikipedia article entitled "Using the Americorps Education Award" that gives some information about the education award and presents a forum for HIPPY and other AmeriCorps alumni to add to and explain their experiences trying to use the award at different schools since the protocol at each school is so different. Another project that I've been working on, which Carla may have mentioned to you all already, is the Barnes & Noble Fundraiser for Texas HIPPY taking place on December 10. We're hoping that we can recruit people to shop at Barnes and Noble stores around the country on that day and just mention HIPPY when they purchase something so then the organization will get a percentage of the profits from that sale-yay! In addition there will be a big event at the Lincoln Park Barnes and Noble in Dallas with some children's arts and crafts activities, a storytime with a children's book author, and maybe other activities like a treasure hunt or book trivia-not sure, still in the planning stages. So hopefully we can raise a lot of awareness and funds for the program. Guess that's all I have for now, hope everyone has a good upcoming weekend!