Wednesday, November 25, 2015

DARE and the Dentist

It was a short week at school, so I saved some highlights from past weeks to share...

DARE Graduation:  On Tuesday, November 17th, every Horace Mann 5th grader was recognized for completion of the DARE program.  DARE stands for Drug Abuse Resistance Education; however, the focus goes far beyond illegal drugs.  The curriculum, led by Lakewood Police Office Dave Acklin, emphasizes making positive choices in all areas of their lives.

 Horace Mann students earned their iconic black t-shirts with red lettering as well as certificates of completion.  They even received congratulatory handshakes from Lakewood Mayor Summers, the Honorable Judge Carroll and Lakewood Police Chief Malley!  While all students wrote essays as part of the program, four winners were chosen to receive a lapel pin and read their exemplary essays aloud:  Jeremiah Johnson, Alexandra Horton, Joice Salloum, and Megan Sulak. Near the end of the program, the students performed "I Will Dare," a catchy song to help them remember the lessons they learned.  The program had a fun conclusion when everyone enjoyed cupcakes and juice, courtesy of the Horace Mann PTA.

Visiting Dentist:  Earlier in November, a dental team "set up shop" for nearly 3 entire school days  in the same room used for the PTA Book Fair.  With parent consent, students were seen for no out-of-pocket charge, and the dentist provided over 100 referrals (along with x-rays) to outside professionals when follow up (such as a root canal) was needed.  He even called prescriptions in to pharmacies for kids with abscessed teeth!

Many thanks to School Nurse Katy Corrigan for setting up this program here at The Mann, as well as to our Health Aide, Sheila Sabol, for her assistance throughout the process.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Giving Thanks in Tough Times

Wow--Look at all that FOOD!  Horace Mann families are outdoing themselves with generosity this year.  It started with a record number of new socks and underwear for needy families as a joint effort between PTA and K-Kids.  This week, two big charitable projects took place at The Mann.  First, we collected food for the Lakewood Charitable Assistance Corporation (LCAC).  I don't know how much food we collected, but we know it was a LOT:-)

Then, the K-Kids were back in altruistic action with their latest work:  toiletries for local homeless people.  As you can see in these pictures snapped by Kiwanis' Anna Bacho, kids and adults worked together to create care packages of products our students thought would be welcomed by those on hard times this holiday season.

Turning to a more serious note, I want to share that the Tuesday Project Wisdom announcement this week will address the disturbing images and news students may have seen in the wake of the violence in Paris, France.  The announcement (which does not directly refer to Paris or other specific events) emphasizes that almost all people in our lives are good and kind, even though there are people out there doing terrible things.  It also urges students to talk to someone they trust if they have been upset by what they have seen or heard, and to look around and remember all the good in the world, as well as being good and kind themselves.  We respect that this situation will be handled in unique ways by every family, and it is our hope that addressing it will give children an invitation to talk to someone at home or at school if something is bothering them.

If you have any thoughts or questions about the announcement, you are welcome, as always, to contact me at 216-529-4257 or

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Honoring Our Veterans

     Students, families and staff members at Horace Mann recognized and thanked veterans for their service on Wednesday, November 11th.  This year's program included the whole crowd singing The Star Spangled Banner and God Bless America, as well as 4th graders providing a color guard.

More 4th graders did readings, including information about Veteran's Day and some poetry about our feelings for our servicemen and women.  Students from 1st and 5th grade made decorations that were hung up here at school to create the right environment.  Now that our event is over, the visual art has been delivered to a veteran's hospital for their enjoyment.

     PTA was involved this year, too, with a coffee reception for our veterans before the assembly.

Many thanks to everyone who helped make this event a heartfelt occasion, most especially the 24 veterans who attended.  We are proud of and grateful for you!


Saturday, November 7, 2015

October Star Students of the Month

     Around Horace Mann, we LOVE to celebrate success!  As part of our Positive Behavior Interventions & Supports (PBIS) framework, students earn stars for demonstrating safe, respectful and responsible behavior in all areas of our school.  At least twice each month, students have the opportunity to "buy" a reward of their choice using their stars.  Some examples of rewards are Horace Mann pencils, extra iPad time, and helping in another classroom.

     Each month, we have a Star Student of the Month drawing from all the stars turned in over the course of the month.  Each month, there are 14 star students. Last month was the inaugural month for Star Students inviting a special person to have lunch with them in the cafeteria--SO FUN!

     And now...the Horace Mann Star Students for October 2015 are...

Kindergarten:  Aeron Jones, Jaylen McRae
First Grade:  Jeffrey Stewart, Annabelle McBride
Second Grade:  Nate Lardi, Laila Jacobs, Omar El Sabe, La'Nya Mills
Third Grade:  Jack Baron, Kailyn Arcuri
Fourth Grade:  Elise O'Donell, Nora Germaine
Fifth Grade:  Aiden Parch, Fiona Loudermilk

Congratulations, Star Students--keep up the great work!