Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Parent Education Night- A Restitution Overview with Sue MacTavish

Strategies for the anxious child

Parenting an anxious child has many challenges. From struggles with perfectionism and negative self-talk to leaving birthday parties early because it's all just too exciting, the parents of an anxious child can be left feeling confused and overwhelmed. 

The Vic West PAC believes one of the best things we can do is support one another and share ideas. So, one of our school parents put together this list of simple strategies that can be used at home with anxious children:

- Create a worry box. Have the child decorate their own small box that they can put their worries into and seal them away.
- Create a worry doll. Have the child use modelling clay to create a doll they can tell their worries to. Worry dolls are good listeners. 
- Deep balloon breathing. Have the child imagine a balloon in their tummy. Ask them to fill it up by breathing in, then let it all out to empty the balloon.
- Counting. Counting to 10 or backwards from 5 can help steady emotions.
- Figure 8 tracing. Use the finger to trace a figure 8 on paper (or use the palm of the hand), breathing in on one loop and out on the other.
- Use a worry thermometer. Ask the child to point to how they feel on a scale of faces, from not worried at all to very worried. Example: http://anxietybc.com/sites/default/files/My_Fear_Thermometer.pdf
- Blow bubbles. Blow away the worries and watch them pop.
- Be a worry spy. Give the child a magnifying glass and ask them to find where the worry is in their body. Is it in their head? Their tummy? When you know where the worry is you can do something about it.
- Create a list of worry words. Give the child language to describe how they're feeling. Just being able to say "I'm feeling anxious" can be a useful skill for any child.
- Be an anxiety example. Remind the child that everyone feels anxious sometimes. Even grown-ups! Demonstrate how you handle feeling anxious, ie. "I'm nervous about this business meeting today. I'm going to take some deep breaths to help me relax." Or ask the child for advice on what you can do to relax.
- Encourage self-helping. Help the child help THEMSELVES. You can't always be there, so it's important for the child to know some techniques they can rely on when feeling anxious.

For information about anxiety, parents can visit the AnxietyBC website.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Lansdowne Appliances- A Great Big Thank You!

The Vic West PAC is very grateful to the folks at Lansdowne Appliances. Earlier this week, the school’s much-needed breakfast program shut down because of a broken fridge. When Earl at Lansdowne Appliances  learned this, he had a replacement fridge at the school by day’s end. He couldn’t let the students at his alma mater go without the most important meal of the day. 

We can’t thank you enough for saving this essential program and ensuring all students have access to a nourishing breakfast!

To Earl, Tristan, Jesse (pictured above) and everyone at Lansdowne Appliances: THANK YOU from the bottom of our hearts for being true community heroes. 

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Back to school!

As we all adjust to fresh routines for a new school year at Vic West Elementary, our diverse community of parents and guardians will have several opportunities to connect and contribute over the coming months. Here are a few bits of information from the Parent Advisory Council (PAC) for school families:

PAC Elections & September General Meeting
The annual Parent Advisory Council elections will take place on Wednesday, September 11th, 2013 at 6:30 p.m. in the school staff room. Anyone wishing to put their name forward for the positions of President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, District PAC Representative and Communications Director can do so at this meeting. The September general meeting will commence immediately following the elections. 

General PAC meetings are held on the second Wednesday of the month throughout the school year, and parents are welcomed with hot drinks and treats. Come be part of the conversation!

Thrifty Foods Smile Cards
This is an easy way to support performing arts at the school, simply by grocery shopping. Pick up a smile card from the school office and load it with funds at any Thrifty Foods location after September 1st. When you do your shopping, $5 from every $100 you spend helps the PAC support performing arts events at the school. Loaded cards also make great gifts!

Mabel's Labels Fundraiser
Help support PAC goals and keep track of personal items at the same time! Buy custom labels from Mabel's Labels using this link and a portion comes back to the PAC to support school activities like field trips and special visitors.

Register for the 1.2 K Fun Run
The PAC will be organizing a group of kids from Vic West Elementary to participate in the 1.2 km Thrifty Foods Kids Run, coming up on Sunday, October 13th, 2013 at 10:15 a.m. Watch for a sign up table outside the school at drop off and pick up during the second week of September. Registration is $15 (some subsidy may be available) and includes a race t-shirt.

Check back here often for news and information from the Vic West PAC. Plus, join the PAC Facebook group to stay in touch!