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PRINCE GEORGE COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS Schools will open for the 2012-2013 school year on September 4, 2012. Back-to-School Orientations will begin at schools the week of August 27-31, 2012. The school district anticipates enrollment of 6300 students in grades Pre-K through 12. District personnel have been busy during the summer in upgrading facilities and grounds for preparation of the new school year. Administrative and instructional changes have been made due to the large turnover of staff from retirement or relocation. Hopefully, you and your child have enjoyed various summer activities or travel and now ready to return to school. Please access HYPERLINK “” for specific information on Back-to-School Orientations, and district and school news. Thank you for choosing Prince George County Public Schools where all schools are accredited! Bobby R. Browder, Superintendent MISSION STATEMENT Orientation Schedule 2012-2013 Prince George County Public Schools, in Beazley Elementary School-6700 Courthouse Road, Prince George, VA 23875, Tel: 733-2745 partnership with parents and the community, will provide a rigorous August 30, 2012 Kindergarten 9:00 a.m. education program in a safe environment Grades 1-5 10:30 a.m. that prepares all students for post-secondary Harrison Elementary School-12900 East Quaker Road, Disputanta, VA 23842, Tel: 991-2242 education and the workforce and to be responsible citizens in a global society. August 30, 2012 Kindergarten 9:00 a.m. OUR GUIDING PRINCIPLES We provide quality education in a safe environment. We are committed to understanding and meeting the needs of our school community. We trust and respect each individual so that all may experience pride and joy in their work. We are committed to continuous improvement..

SCHOOL BOARD OFFICE Telephone: 733-2700 PO Box 400 • 6410 Courts Drive Prince George, Virginia 23875 Website: SCHOOL BOARD MEMBERS District 1 Roger E. Franklin, Jr., Chair Robert E. Cox, Jr. District 2 Lewis E. Stevenson, Vice Chair Patrick J. Bingham Jerry F. Warren Central Office Dr. Bobby Browder Superintendent Shelly Bazemore Assistant Superintendent Renèe Williams Assistant Superintendent Sandra Belshan Director of Food Services John Brockwell Director of Technology Zetta Ethington Director of Student Services Betsy Drewry Director of Finance Larry Eminhizer Director of Secondary Education Becky Kirk Assistant to the Superintendent Brenda Gore Director of Elementary Education Ron Rhodes Director of Transportation Sheila Roalf Director of Gifted & Title I T2

Grades 1-2 10:30 a.m. Grades 3- 5 12:00 p.m. North Elementary School-11106 Old Stage Road, Prince George, VA 23875, Tel: 458-8922 August 30, 2012 Kindergarten 9:00 a.m. Grades 1-5 11:00 a.m. South Elementary School-13400 Prince George Drive, Disputanta, VA 28342, Tel: 733-2755 August 30, 2012 Kindergarten 9:00 a.m. Grades 1-5 11:00 a.m. New Students Grades 1-5 11:30 a.m. Returning Students Walton Elementary School-4101 Courthouse Road, Prince George, VA 23875, Tel: 733-2750 August 30, 2012 Kindergarten 8:30 a.m. Grades 1-2 9:30 a.m. Grades 3- 5 11:00 a.m. Moore Middle School-11455 Prince George Drive, Disputanta, VA 23842, Tel: 733-2740 August 29, 2012 Grade 6 8:30 a.m. - 9:30 a.m. Grade 7 10:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. Clements Junior High School-7800 Laurel Spring Road, Prince George, VA 23875, Tel: 733-2730 August 16, 2012 PALS Transition Orientation 1:00 pm August 23, 2012 New Registrants Orientation 1:00 pm Prince George High School-7800 Laurel Spring Road, Prince George, VA 23875, Tel: 733-2720 August 28, 2012 New Student Orientation 7:00 p.m.

2012 - 2013 School Calendar September 4 October 3 October 8 November 6 November 9 November 21 & 22 December 12 Dec. 20 - Jan. 1 January 21 January 23-25 February 1 February 18 March 6 April 19 April 1-5 April 12 May 15 May 27 June 6 June 11-13 June 14 June 19

First Day for Students Interim Report to Parents No School for Students No School for Students Report Cards to Parents Thanksgiving Break Interim Reports to Parents Christmas Break Martin Luther King Day Student Early Release Report Cards to Parents No School for Students Interim Reports to Parents Report Cards to Parents Spring Break No School for Students Interim Report to Parents Memorial Day Senior Graduation Student Early Release Last Day School/Early Release Report Cards to Parents

Hours for early release days January 23-25 Secondary: 11:45 am Elementary: 12:45 pm June 11-13 Secondary: 11:45 am Elementary: 12:45 pm

Prince George Education Center-11033 Prince George Drive, Disputanta, VA 23842, Tel: 733-2748 August 6, 2012 GED 8:00 a.m. & 3:00pm June 14 August 7, 2012 Project Choice 8:00 a.m. & 3:00pm Secondary: 10 am August 8, 2012 PGPAL 8:00 a.m. & 3:00pm Elementary: 11 am August 9, 2012 Project Choice 8:00am PGPAL 11:30am GED 3:00pm Grades

Classroom Hours

Office Hours



L.L. Beazley Elementary





6700 Courthouse Rd., Prince George, VA 23875

Jim Scruggs

D.A. Harrison Elementary





12900 East Quaker Rd., Disputanta, VA 23842

Sharon O’Neill

North Elementary





11106 Old Stage Rd., Prince George, VA 23875

Donna Branch-Harris

South Elementary





13400 Prince George Dr., Disputanta, VA 23842

Robin Pruett

W.A. Walton Elementary





4101 Courthouse Rd., Prince George, VA 23875

Mattie Thweatt

J.E.J. Moore Middle School





11455 Prince George Dr., Disputanta, VA 23842

Willie Elliott

N.B. Clements Jr. High





7800 Laurel Spring Rd., Prince George, VA 23875

Peter Fisher

Prince George High





7801 Laurel Spring Rd., Prince George, VA 23875

Tracey Smallwood

Prince George Education Center





11033 Prince George Dr., Disputanta, VA 23842

Chris Scruggs

Rowanty Vocational Tech Center





20000 Rowanty Rd., Carson, VA 23830

Dr. Thomas Cope


Sunday, August 12, 2012 The Progress-Index, Petersburg, VA





In this product photo provided by IKEA, a stick-on orange Hylkje mirror is shown here. It can affix to any wall to create instant art and expand smaller spaces, such as off-campus housing for students.



or many college kids, the dorms are home for all four years, and they’re happy campers. But for many others, the opportunity to move off-campus, into an apartment or house, is a welcome lifestyle change. Along with more autonomy and privacy, living offcampus means setting up and taking care of a kitchen, bathroom, common space and more. So once the keys are in hand, here are some tips on decorating the off-campus nest.

PLANNING YOUR SPACE Typically, kids choose a group of friends to live with to share costs. Once the home’s been secured, have a group discussion about what the common spaces will look like, advises Sabrina Soto, Target’s home style expert. Come prepared with a list of things that matter to you, but “be willing to compromise,” she says. There are sure to be taste differences among housemates, so it might be best to keep common spaces neutral. Janice Simonson, an IKEA design spokesperson, points out an added bonus

to doing so: “A monochromatic or limited color scheme can go a long way towards visually calming a small, crowded space.” Paint is a good way to bring color and life to a room, if the landlord permits. If not, look for wall decals and posters. Instead of tacking up art with pushpins or tape, use inexpensive frames for a more grown-up look. Double check on existing window treatments before heading for the curtain aisle. If you’ve got to buy, get twin packaged drapes, interesting fabric shower curtains in pairs, or easy stick up blinds like Redi-Shades.

some cute bottles. We got a free couch and chair from Craigslist. And we decorated the walls with our own artwork,” Ciancarelli says. Bob Koch, a senior at Ithaca College in Ithaca, N.Y., says his R2D2 trashcan gave his place some character, but the best purchase was “this huge beanbag chair — it was everyone’s favorite thing in the apartment.” Simonson advises “multitasking.”

“Invest in pieces like a sofa bed with slipcover that can convert to an extra bed and features storage underneath,” she says. Side tables like IKEA’s Lack series can be grouped, and also used as seating. Shelving units do double duty as space dividers and clutter busters. Inexpensive mirrors can work as art, space expanders and convenient primping stations in a houseful of kids when everyone’s getting ready at

COLLECTING STUFF First, see what you can scrounge from families and friends or get secondhand. Find out if your space’s current renters — often graduating students — are willing to leave large items. Fill in the holes with inexpensive pieces that can take some hard living. Two students at the Fashion Institute of Technology, Aimee Ciancarelli and Rachel Michaud, got creative when they moved into a Brooklyn, N.Y., apartment together last January. “At Goodwill, we found a vintage phone, a shelf and


In this product photo provided by IKEA, a bold, graphic rug like the ‘Eivor Cirkel’ shown here, can be used to delineate living space in an off-campus house. The dense pile is soft underfoot, and helps to soften noise.

the same time. Some retailers offer a shopping checklist: Target has one you can customize, sharing it on social media sites with roomies, and then printing it out at in-store kiosks or sending it to your smart phone. If your sleeping space is now larger, consider getting a full-size bed. “But invest in new bedding,” Soto advises. “It’s where you can really have fun with color, and define your personality.” A reversible comforter with a solid hue on one side and a pattern on the other gives you style options. For an all-guy house, consider the Discos bed and bath collection from the online artwear collective Threadless; available at Bed, Bath and Beyond, it features an LP graphic. IKEA’s got some bold, patterned bedding like Vannerna and Dvala. Bath accessories with punch will make 8 a.m. classes easier to face. Kids’ departments have whimsical items such as woodlandcreature soap dispensers and girly textiles. Urban Outfitters has city map and batik-printed shower curtains that would suit a unisex bath. Transition spaces like entryways need decor, too;

get a console or bench to drop keys and mail, with a small accent lamp for latenight homecomings. Add some art and a washable rug. “Floating shelves are one of my favorite shared-home solutions,” Soto notes. “Without sacrificing floor area, they give you extra space and let you get creative.” Think about what you’ll actually use and don’t overbuy in the appliance department, or in electronics. And leave any treasures in a box or at home with your parents.


A full-size kitchen will be new for most college renters. It can either be a supersize, cereal-soda-and-ramen depot or a place where fun, healthy meals come from. Buy items that are durable, microwavable and dishwasher-safe. Walmart offers a good selection of stoneware dinner sets for under $30; Target has inexpensive, practical, white dinnerware and the Room Essentials’ colorful utensils collection. Is someone a budding chef or baker? Off-price stores such as Homegoods have several high quality brands for more serious cooks.

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Decorations make school locker ‘a symbol of me’ MELISSA KOSSLER DUTTON FOR THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Kids, especially girls, have always hung photos, mirrors or handmade decorations in their school lockers. Now, retailers are giving them the option of buying coordinated locker trimmings that would make interior designers jealous. Options include carpeting, chandeliers, wallpaper and a variety of accessories in bold, bright colors. Everything adheres magnetically so the products don’t damage the lockers. The trend gives kids a chance to express themselves in a venue that’s more public than their bedroom. “The locker becomes an extension of them and their personal space,” said Christy Clapper, a school counselor at Quaker Valley Middle School in Sewickley,

Pa. “It gives them an opportunity to say who they are and gives them an outlet for expression.” Plus, it makes the space more attractive, added Kira Harvey, a soon-to-be eighth-grader in Albuquerque, N.M. “The lockers are a disgusting color,” she said. The wallpaper “makes it really pretty.” She and her friends at Albuquerque Academy enjoy choosing decorations that suit their personalities. Choices range from lime-green polka dots to aqua zebra stripes to pink cheetah prints. “It’s really fun,” said Kira, 13. “We all have our own wallpaper.” She also uses some of the organizational accessories to hold her cell phone and pencils. Product creators Christi Sterling and JoAnn Brewer started their company, LockerLookz, in

2010 after creating some handmade pieces to decorate their daughters’ lockers. Once other students saw the decorations, their parents started calling the women asking where they could buy them. The friends decided to testmarket a few products and were overwhelmed by the response. “We found that locker decorating is a rite of passage. It’s a really big deal to them,” said Sterling of Plano, Texas. “They need to show others who they are.” Retailers also loved it, added Brewer, also of Plano. “It’s a time-sensitive product that helped to drive sales,” she said. Paul Buckel got the idea to create magnetic wallpaper when his daughter’s friend got in trouble for covering her locker with contact paper. Buckel, who runs a company, Magna Card, in Please see LOCKER Page 11

D inw iddie C ou nty Pu blic Schoolsw illno long erreg isterstu dents on the firstday ofschool.Parentsw ho have notreg istered their child/children before the opening ofschoolw illbe able to pick u p a reg istration pack et.A tthistim e an appointm entw illbe schedu led to com plete the form alreg istration process.Parentsare encou rag ed to reg isterstu dentspriorto the opening ofschool.

MEET THE TEACHER ELEMENTARY MEET THE TEACHER DAY will be held at all Elementary Schools on Thursday, August 30, 2012 from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. MIDDLE SCHOOL OPEN HOUSE for all 6th Grade students and for 7th Grade students with last names (A-L) will be held on Tuesday, August 28, 2012 from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Fees may be paid during Open House. Student fees are $15.00. Gym Suit fee is $13.00. MIDDLE SCHOOL OPEN HOUSE for all 8th Grade students and for 7th Grade students with last names (M-Z) will be held on Wednesday, August 29, 2012 from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Fees may be paid during Open House. Student fees are $15.00. Gym Suit fee is $13.00. HIGH SCHOOL OPEN HOUSE will be held on Thursday, August 30, 2012 from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Fee Nights are scheduled for Wednesday, August 15, 2012 from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. or Monday, August 20, 2012 from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Fees may be paid in the school cafeteria. Student fees are $15.00. Gym Suit fee is $13.00. Permanent Parking Pass is $25.00.

Elementary Schools

Grades Phone Number


Dinwiddie Elementary School 13811 Boydton Plank Rd., Dinwiddie, VA 23841 Midway Elementary School 5511 Midway Rd., Church Rd. VA 23833 Sutherland Elementary School 6000 R.B. Pamplin Drive, Sutherland, VA 23885


(804) 469-4580

Mrs. Trenia Harris


(804) 265-4205

Mrs. Kathy Burgess


(804) 732-4168

Mrs. Becky Baskerville

Southside Elementary School 10305 Boydton Plank Rd., Dinwiddie, VA 23841 Sunnyside Elementary School P.O. Box 250/10203 Melvin B. Alsbrooks Avenue, McKenney, VA 23872


(804) 469-4480

Mrs. L. Michelle Jones


(804) 478-2313

Mrs. Wanda Snodgrass

Secondary Schools

Grades Phone Number


Dinwiddie Co. Middle School P.O. Box 340/11608 Courthouse Rd., Dinwiddie, VA 23841


(804) 469-5430

Mr. Alfred Cappellanti

Dinwiddie Co. Senior High School P.O. Box 299/11501 Boisseau Road, Dinwiddie, VA 23841


(804) 469-4280

Mr. Randall Johnson

“Making the Difference” • Dinwiddie County Public Schools • “Our Children, Our Pride”

Sunday, August 12, 2012 The Progress-Index, Petersburg, VA


In this product photo provided by LockerLookz, a clock for use inside a school locker is shown. Locker decorating products are a growing trend among middle school girls.

DinwiddieCount yPublicSchools





Protect your children from cyberbullying STATEPOINT

Most parents are familiar with traditional bullying that takes place at school and on the playground, but as life has gone digital, so has bullying. “Cyberbullying, bullying that occurs through technology like computers and mobile devices, is often harder to detect than traditional bullying. The bully isn’t immediately visible and may not even be known to the victim,” says pediatrician Dr. Gwenn Schurgin O`Keeffe of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and author of “CyberSafe: Protecting and Empowering in the Digital World of Texting, Gaming, and Social Media.” “Because of this, cyberbullying is often more upsetting to victims, with even more profound and long-lasting effects,” Dr. O’Keeffe said. While the anonymous nature of the digital world does pose a challenge to identifying cyberbullies, O’Keeffe notes, parents can take an active role toward combating this 21st century problem. Here are tips for parents to get a handle on cyberbullying, whether your child is a

victim, a bystander or even participating in the bullying: • Monitor your child’s digital technology use. Be on the lookout for behaviors like quickly switching screens and having multiple passwords and accounts. • Teach your child to come forward if he or she knows a friend is bullying others or being bullied. Being a bystander helps perpetuate the cycle and continue someone else’s pain. • You may think your child is safely using a digital device in the next room, but any child online is at risk for being bullied. Not all children are going to let you know if there’s a problem, including teenagers. If your child is acting withdrawn, evasive or unusually sad -- especially after using a digital device such as a computer, video game or mobile phone -- ask if everything is okay. Regularly converse to open the line of communication. • Cyberbullies may think they are acting anonymously, but they can be tracked by authorities. If your child is a victim, save the offending emails, IMs, and texts, and get Please see BULLYING, Page 9


Monitor your child’s digital technology use. Be on the lookout for behaviors like quickly switching screens and having multiple passwords and accounts.

Before you know it, college will be here. Start planning for it with the help of someone who’s always been there for you. See me about the potential tax benefits of a State Farm® College Savings Plan account.

Anne Page Henry, Agent

Registered Representative Bus: 804-526-4412

Providing Insurance and Financial Services The State Farm College Savings Plan (the “Plan”) is a joint marketing program between State Farm VP Management Corp. (“State Farm”) and AIM Distributors, Inc. (“AIM”), pursuant to which State Farm offers a series of investment portfolios within the Nebraska Educational Savings Plan Trust (the “Trust”). The Trust offers other investment portfolios not affiliated with the Plan. State Farm does not provide investment management services for the Plan and the accounts in the Plan are not insured or guaranteed by State Farm. State Farm and AIM are not affiliates. State Farm VP Management Corp. is a separate entity from those State Farm entities which provide banking products and auto, life, fire and health insurance products. P039142 STATE FARM BANK • HOME OFFICE: BLOOMINGTON, ILLINOIS •® 11/04

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Back to school tips to get your kids to read more STATEPOINT

The start of a new school year is a great time to emphasize the importance of reading at home. Solid readers perform better in school and in the workplace, have a healthy self-image, and become lifelong learners. Research shows a whopping 45 percent of children ages 3 to 5 are not read to daily, and this lack of literature can take a negative toll on school performance. Luckily, there are many things parents can do to make kids passionate readers. “Reading stimulates children’s imagination and expands their understanding of the world,” says actress Kate Beckinsale, who is teaming with “The Nestlé Share the Joy of Reading Program” to raise awareness about the importance of children’s literacy and support the work of Reading Is Fundamental (RIF), the largest children’s literacy nonprofit in the United States. If you’re looking to make reading a bigger part of your children’s lives this school year, here are some great tips to


get them motivated: • Start young. Reading aloud to children at an early age is the most effective way to help them attain critical language and communication skills and instill great habits. • Take advantage of free online tools and resources that help make reading an engaging, shared experience for parents and kids. For example, RIF’s “Leading to Reading” website contains activities for children ages birth to 5. Visit for more information. • Variety is the spice of life! Be sure your house contains plenty of books to choose from on a variety of topics. • Launch a children’s book club with other parents. Take turns hosting your children’s friends for snacks and a lively discussion on the book of the month. • Kids love getting mail! Subscribe to children’s magazines so they’ll have something fun and beneficial to look forward to each month. • Make sure children have their very own library cards and become frequent

Sunday, August 12, 2012 The Progress-Index, Petersburg, VA



patrons at your local library. • Be it the morning paper or your favorite novel, set a great example by making reading a daily habit for yourself. • Many literacy programs supporting underserved communities are currently experiencing federal funding cutbacks, but everyone deserves a chance to read. Invest in the lives of other children who might not have the same opportunities as your kids. For example, right now, every time you enter a promotion code found inside specially marked packages of Nestlé and Wonka candy at, Nestlé will donate money to RIF, to fund purchasing books for kids. Almost a quarter of public school fourth graders score below even the most basic levels on reading exams, according to National Assessment of Educational Progress. Don’t let your STATEPOINT PHOTO children fall behind. Take steps this school year to help your children and Reading aloud to children at an early age is the most others to hone this basic tool for suc- effective way to help them attain critical language and communication skills and instill great habits. cess.

Coaching your own kid brings pressures, rewards LISA A. FLAM



our son tosses the game-winning touchdown pass, so of course you want to pump your fists and cheer like a maniac. Or your daughter hogs the ball on the soccer field and you’re inclined to shout your disapproval and ask if she could PLEASE pass the ball already. When you’re the coach, though, it’s all eyes on you. And if you’re sticking your kids in marquee positions, chances are someone in the stands is not happy. It’s a tough line to walk for parents, who make up the majority of coaches working with the millions of kids playing youth sports every year. And as these volunteers navigate the challenges of coaching their own children, they’re under more pressure than ever from other parents clamoring for playing time, improved performance and those hardfought wins. “It’s a lot of work and it can be exhausting, especially when you have a parent that’s not happy,” says Liz Hocker, 41, who has coached her 10-year-old daughter’s softball team in Austin, Texas, for the last five years in a competitive league. “I do try not to play ‘Mommy’ ball,’” or showing favoritism. “My philosophy is that my daughter needs to work hard and show that she should be out there playing the position I put her in,” she said. “I try very hard to treat her like every other player, as much as I can.” Parents who sign up to coach appreciate the experience because it’s (usually) fun and creates dedicated time with their kids. Often, they’re also trying to ensure that their kids learn proper techniques and good sportsmanship. Ideally, they’ll do it all while treating their child like every other player. After all, favoritism can cut both ways: For all the grousing about the coach’s kid getting this or that, coaches are more inclined to treat their own kids more harshly or demand more from them on the field than the other way around, experts say. “It’s just natural they would be tougher on them,” said John Engh, chief operating officer of the nonprofit National Alliance for Youth Sports, because a father is used to talk-


This Oct. 1, 2011 photo shows coaches Jeff Goldman, left, and Jack Russell with their team, the Sounders, at the Raynham Soccer complex in Raynham, Mass. Both Goldman and Russell have sons on the team. Parents who sign up to coach appreciate the experience because it’s usually fun and builds dedicated time with their kids into their schedule. Often, they’re also trying to ensure that their kids learn proper techniques and good sportsmanship. ing to his own child more directly and is likely to use his son as an example for the rest of the team. “When you talk about physical contact, screaming on the field, they’re doing it on their own kids,” said Engh, who has coached his two children in soccer and baseball. “They feel like they have that right. Rarely will you see a dad grab another kid by the shoulder or the arm in frustration or raise their voice on the field.” Most parent-coaches do a good job being fair with positions and playing time, says Frank Smoll, a sport psychology professor at the University of Washington and co-author of “Sport Psychology for Youth Coaches,” a how-to guide due out in September. When favoritism is shown, it “can cause nothing but problems for the athletes, for the coach and with the other athletes as well,” he said. To avoid even the appearance of unfair-

ness, Hocker has benched her daughter in the first inning of the first game. Rick Kay, who has coached his two sons and a daughter, ages 19, 17 and 10, in baseball, soccer and basketball, also sat his kids out more. “I went out of my way to play my kids less than I felt they deserved to play because I didn’t want that to be an issue,” said Kay, 47, of Rancho Santa Fe, Calif. The other kids “see that he’s out and hopefully understand that everyone has to sit out at some point.” Like other parents, Dan Armstrong, who has coached three of his four sons in baseball and football, is committed to helping them improve, and says he’s pushed them a little more than the other kids. “Instead of being biased for your own son, I think you’re kind of biased against him and expect him to work a little harder than maybe the rest of the team,” says Armstrong, 42, of Frederick, Md.

Having a parent become a coach can be confusing for kids, and parents should make sure the separation of those roles is clear, says Smoll, also the co-director of an education program for youth sport coaches and parents. Before the season begins, set ground rules with your child, he says, and meet with the other parents to explain your philosophy and expectations. “Parent at home. Coach at practices and games,” is Smoll’s motto. Ask your son or daughter to call you “Coach” on the field. “That helps, in the child’s mind, to solidify the role separation,” Smoll says. Armstrong followed that advice, and thinks it helped the other players to see his kid as one of the guys. “Before practice or before a game, it’s always ‘Dad,’ but on the field it’s always ‘Coach Armstrong,’” Armstrong said, “so that everybody is the same.” Engh suggests a rule against talking to your kid about practice or a game on the way home. “No one else has to hear it from the coach,” he said. When it comes to positions and playing time, Smoll says they need to be earned. Relying on statistics can help with the tough decisions, but there may be injuries or absences to contend with. For cihldren, criticism is always difficult to hear, especially when it’s mom or dad talking. Experts recommend enlisting good assistant coaches and relying on them to talk to your child if there’s a problem. “Everybody struggles coaching their own child from time to time,” Hocker said, adding that she and her assistant coaches “always agreed to help each other.” When Armstrong’s son makes a good play, he doesn’t cheer any louder than he did for the other boys, or he simply stays quiet. “I let my assistant coaches be excited for them,” Armstrong says. “That’s how I take pride in it — that everybody else is proud of them.” And at the end of the game, your kids need to know you love them, regardless of how they played. “It’s ‘I love you because you are you, not because you’re an all-star,’” Smoll said.

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Sunday, August 12, 2012 The Progress-Index, Petersburg, VA



Back to school bus safety tips for parents and kids



new school year means new routines. And if your child is one of the millions of kids who ride the school bus, you should be encouraged by U.S. Department of Transportation statistics that cite it as the safest mode of transportation for children to get to and from school. Nevertheless, riding the school bus safely does require children to be aware and follow specific safety procedures. That’s why the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Chuggington, the educational animated children’s television program, have partnered to offer parents and children important school bus safety tips as part of the ‘Think Safe, Ride Safe, Be Safe!’ traffic safety campaign. The national traffic safety campaign helps parents teach

their children about NHTSA’s recommended pedestrian, school bus, bike and car seat safety guidelines. Below are a few school bus safety tips from the ‘Think Safe, Ride Safe, Be Safe!’ campaign for you to share with your children to make riding the school bus a safer experience: • Be especially careful around the “danger zone,” which is 10 feet in front, behind and on each side of the school bus. To avoid this area, wait for the bus at least five giant steps away from the road. • Wait to board the school bus until the school bus driver says it’s safe to do so. Kids should board one at a time and use the handrails to go up and down the stairs. • Once on the school bus, go straight to your seat and remain sitting, facing the front of the school bus. • Look out for cars before getting

off the school bus. Once off, take five giant steps away from the school bus. • Wait for the driver or crossing guard to signal it is safe to cross the street. Always look left-right-left to make sure no cars are coming before crossing the road. Traffic safety education should be a positive, shared family experience. Parents can go online with children and take the pledge to ‘Be Safe!’ together at safety. In addition to the pledge (to date, more than 500,000 children have taken the pledge to ‘Be Safe!’), families can access a safety game, activities, downloadable tip sheets and even a free traffic safety app. By following the rules, both parents and children can help make getting to and from school each day safer for everyone.

BULLYING Continued from Page 5

the school involved if possible. • If you worry your child is in serious danger, or the other parents refuse to help end bullying, call the police. • Find out what your child’s school’s policies are on bullying, cyberbullying and digital devices. If the rules are insufficient, talk to the teachers and principal about establishing sensible regulations. • Don’t raise a bully! Foster empathy by talking regularly about how actions and words affect others. Set a good example by always treating others with respect yourself, both online and offline. • Help children develop constructive strategies for getting what they want that don’t include teasing, threatening or hurting others. • Don’t assume that a nor-

mally well-behaved child is guilt-free. The faceless digital world makes it easy for even good kids to sometimes be mean. More information about cyberbullying can be found on the AAP parenting website, www.healthychildren. org. With a new school year come new challenges. Learn about the realities of cyberbullying and what you can do to protect your children.


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The Progress-Index, Petersburg, VA Sunday, August 12, 2012 PI_PROGINDEX/SPECIAL_SECTION/PAGES [T09] | 08/10/12



Make sure kids and teens are fully vaccinated for the school year



he beginning of the school year is a great time to make sure your children’s vaccinations are up-todate. Informed parents know that immunizations save lives. But even those who vaccinated their babies and toddlers dutifully may not be aware that the recommended vaccination schedule continues through the later teen years. Research published by the American Medical Association found that teenagers age 14 and older were much less likely to see a pediatrician than their younger-adolescent counterparts. But threats to health don’t go away just because children are older. “We live in a busy world and it’s easy to forget to make appointments for an annual check-up,” says Dr. Robert W. Block, MD, of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). “Let the new school season be your annual reminder to protect the health of your kids.” Here are some crucial vaccination tips and facts for parents of older children and teens: • Check your calendar. When was the last time your child saw a pediatrician? If it’s been over a year, make an appointment as soon as possible. In advance of the appointment, talk with your child and draw up a list of any concerns or questions to discuss with the doctor. • Store immunization and other medical records in an easily accessible place and be sure to keep the records current. Bring this information to the appointment. When you see your pedi-

atrician, ask directly, “What vaccines does my child need at this point?” • Be sure to ask about the HPV vaccine, which is recommended for both boys and girls. While protection is most effective for adolescents ages 11 to 13, older teens who haven’t yet received the vaccine can benefit from it as well. This cancerpreventing vaccine will safeguard your teen’s health in the future. • If financial considerations are preventing you from taking your teen in for visits and immunizations, talk with your pediatrician. He or she may be able to point you toward resources that can offset the costs. • All children ages 11 to 18 should be protected against meningitis, a deadly bacterial infection that’s spread easily in close living quarters. If teens are going to boarding school, college or the military, do not delay giving them the vaccine. • Every year, more than 200,000 Americans are hospitalized because of the flu and its complications, and 36,000 die. An annual influenza vaccine is an important part of protecting your children. Health authorities including the AAP and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend annual flu vaccine for everyone starting at 6 months of age. Your children’s health plays an important role in their academic success. Make sure you take steps to keep him or her safe from life-threatening dangers and prepare for a healthy school year.


Informed parents know that immunizations save lives. But even those who vaccinated their babies and toddlers dutifully may not be aware that the recommended vaccination schedule continues through the later teen years.

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Sunday, August 12, 2012 The Progress-Index, Petersburg, VA




Continued from Page 4

DuBois, Pa., that makes magnetic business cards and other promotional products, saw locker decorations as an exciting new merchandise line. Dee Tipps, owner of a boutique called a.k.a. Girl Stuff in Birmingham, Ala., says she “started jumping up and down” when locker decorations caught her eye. The LockerLookz decorations flew off shelves last summer, she said, thanks mostly to middle-school girls. “It’s like somebody has

opened a safe full of diamonds,” she said. Caroline McCormick, 12, remembers walking into Tipps’ boutique. “The first thing I thought was, ‘How can I get this for my locker?’” she said. “I wanted to make my locker be a symbol of me. I didn’t want my locker to look like everyone else’s.” She also was happy that she could cover the locker’s dreary gray metal interior. After decorating the space with a white chandelier, blue carpet and black-andwhite wallpaper, Caroline considered her locker “a room that’s away from my house.” Buckel said schools have

gotten behind the products, especially because they don’t damage the lockers. Some schools in his area have hosted decorating contests, he said. The organizational products are great for kids, said Clapper, the school counselor, who tries to teach students that an organized locker can contribute to academic success. “We actually spend a lot of time teaching them appropriate ways to organize their lives and their space,” she said. “Some kids coordinate everything. Others you can only imagine what their bedrooms look like.”

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804-777-9983 Classes begin Monday, September 10th! Baby Tu-Tu, Kinderdance, Ballet, Lyrical, Pointé, Modern, Jazz, Tap, Hip-Hop, Baton and Acrobatics/Contortion Ages 2 to Adult Competition Team, Christmas Parades, Community Performances, and Spring Recital. AP PHOTO/LOCKERLOOKZ, TERRY SPEARMAN

In this product photo provided by LockerLookz, a variety of locker decorations are shown inside school lockers. In recent years, LockerLookz and other companies have started making carpet and magnetic decorations designed to spruce up the interior of a school lockers.

Dance Xplosion is committed to a quality dance and performing arts education for all students, in a family-oriented atmosphere. The Progress-Index, Petersburg, VA Sunday, August 12, 2012




Kids perform better in school when parents get involved STATEPOINT

Children spend five times as much time outside the classroom as they do in school. With all this time away from teachers, it’s important for parents to support their children’s learning. In fact, children whose parents are involved with them in family literacy activities score 10 points higher on standardized reading tests, according to the National Center for Family Literacy (NCFL). “Learning can happen anywhere and at any time,” advises Emily Kirkpatrick, Vice President of NCFL. “Go beyond homework help and find learning moments in everyday life that fit in with your schedule.” Here are some tips for how you can take a more active role in your child’s education: • It all starts with you. With some preparation on your part, you can be a better resource for your child.


Make sure that you, and those who spend time with your child, are well-equipped to support learning. • Turn a household shopping trip into a fun chance to do math. Take a walk outside to discuss nature or the community. Make a lesson plan out of the world around you. • Develop a partnership with your child’s teachers. Talk with them about homework and be sure you understand what is expected. •Some children need and want time to play when they get home, while others may want to get homework out of the way first thing. Set a schedule for your child that works for him or her, and make it a routine. Just be sure that your expectations are clear. • Reinforce the idea that homework is not punishment, but a chance to practice new skills. You can help make it fun by rewarding progress. • Ask your children thought-pro-

voking questions, like what they wonder about. For inspiration you can turn to free online resources that emphasize fun in learning, such as such as • Help set a timeline so that school assignments are not left until the last minute. Older children with assignments that will take several days or weeks to complete may need your help learning to manage their time. • Checking to be sure assignments are complete is great, but don’t forget it is your child’s assignment, not yours. Do not do homework for your child. • Read to your children or with them every night. Not only is this an enjoyable way to spend time together, it will benefit the child and help instill a love of learning. By getting more involved, you STATEPOINT PHOTO can help your children make this school year their most successful Children whose parents are involved with them in family literacy activities score 10 points higher on standardized reading tests. one yet.

Sunday, August 12, 2012 The Progress-Index, Petersburg, VA



Get the whole family organized at back-to-school time



ack-to-school season is the ideal time for families to reestablish routines and get organized -- both at home and on the go. But before hitting the stores for supplies, take time to plan ahead with shopping lists that meet both your children’s and your family’s needs. There are many great tips to help get a fresh start on the academic year ahead:

Save If you have more than one child, or want to stock up for the year, save on items like glue sticks, notebooks and writing utensils by taking advantage of sales and purchasing value packs, which are easy to find at back-to-school time. For better deals on

items like tissues and sanitizing wipes, hold off until you are also buying these products for the home at a warehouse club or with coupons.

Teach Organization Teach kids the importance of starting the day organized. One way to simplify the morning shuffle is by assigning a color to each child for easy identification of binders, backpacks and pencil pouches. Assign colors before shopping to prepare for easier inaisle decisions. Five Star products (www., for example, are available in a variety of on-trend patterns and basic solid color options to complement and contrast styles. Or use color-coded stickers Please see ORGANIZE Page 15

Welcome Back To School Good Luck In Your Studies Have A Safe School Year!

Do not play near power lines, underground transformer boxes, or in trees near power lines.

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Before hitting the stores for supplies, take time to plan ahead with shopping lists that meet both your children’s and your family’s needs.

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The Progress-Index, Petersburg, VA Sunday, August 12, 2012 PI_PROGINDEX/SPECIAL_SECTION/PAGES [T13] | 08/10/12




Sunday, August 12, 2012 The Progress-Index, Petersburg, VA



ORGANIZE Continued from Page 13

and labels to maintain consistency.

Synchronize Schedules The school year often brings additional commitments for families. Creating a “mission control” in a central location in the home will improve communication and ease the stress of time management. Look for calendars with high functionality like meal planners, “look-ahead” features, magnetic backings and repositionable peel-and-stick adhesives. Don’t forget to include a white board or cork board where notes can be left for one another. Student planners are crucial to help your children stay on top of due dates, keep their own commitments and operate on the same schedule as the rest of the family. Vow to spend time on a weekly basis reviewing and synching calendars and discussing the week ahead.

Manage Papers With each new school year comes an overwhelming amount of handouts, reminders, permission slips and medical forms. Parents and children all benefit from a paper management system. Use bins, expanding files and binder dividers with “reminder” flags to keep track of priorities. Flag items needing immediate attention -- whether it’s homework or paperwork. If your children have busy schedules, make it easier for them to work on the go. Opt for binders with writing surfaces, internal storage pockets for loose paper and places to stash pens and pencils. And you can do the same. Consider using binders and expanding files in the car to create a place for last-minute notes, papers and storage. With a little planning and creativity, the whole family can prepare to stay organized throughout the school year.

Tech tips to prepare students for the school year



reparing children for a new school year is no longer just about stocking up on pencils and notebooks. The face of education is changing, and a well-equipped student should know how to use new technology to personalize the learning experience and succeed in school. “Digital resources and applications can stimulate and engage students by providing a more interactive learning experience,” says Dan Caton, president of McGraw-Hill School Education. “Some of the best digital learning tools personalize learning, adapt to children’s individual strengths and help them overcome unique challenges.” While digital learning may come naturally to children, parents should get up to speed on technology as well to better understand how new tools and resources can help their children learn. Here are some great back-toschool tech-tips for parents: • Talk to your children and their teachers about what they want to accomplish this year and how they can use traditional and new learning tools to meet goals. • Encourage children to use computers and other web-enabled devices for more than just games and Facebook. • If you think books are the same as when you went to school, think again. New digital textbooks available for download through applications like iBooks2, allow you to highlight text, make notes, or search inside the book. You can even have your tablet device read the book to you. Learn how this technology works so you can keep up with your kids. • Some forward-thinking schools are using innovative programs like CINCH Learning, which makes the complete K-12 math and 7-12 grade science cur-


The face of education is changing, and a well-equipped student should know how to use new technology to personalize the learning experience and succeed in school. ricula accessible online. Programs like these go beyond the textbook, so talk to your children’s teachers to learn how to maximize the program’s interactive tools and games from home devices. • Nearly half of all high school students who take Advanced Placement (AP) exams fail. But new subscription based programs like the ONboard series from McGraw-Hill Education are providing students with the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in these advanced courses. Parents of high school students should encourage teens to take

advantage of such study aids before senior year. • Pick a regular time each day dedicated to beefing up vocabulary, improving spelling, reading together and just talking about new topics and ideas. The International Reading Association (IRA) recommends giving children choices in what they read -browse the ever-growing selection of age-appropriate books and periodicals available for download to your e-reader. • If you’re on a budget, don’t stress. Not all technology will break the bank. In fact, with a bit of effort, you can find e-readers

on sites like eBay for much less than retail cost. And as more devices come onto the market, prices will become even more affordable. Many public libraries offer access to computers so you can familiarize children with basic technology and a range of digital resources, such as free ebooks. For more infor mation on h ow d i g i t a l t e ch n o l o g y i s changing the way kids learn, visit Help make this school year successful for your children by learning about new educational tools.

The Progress-Index, Petersburg, VA Sunday, August 12, 2012 PI_PROGINDEX/SPECIAL_SECTION/PAGES [T15] | 08/10/12




Sunday, August 12, 2012 The Progress-Index, Petersburg, VA



Back to School 2012  

Tri-City area Back to School tab

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