Letter to our Families

December 18, 2012 10:19 by Andy

Dear Families,

Along with all of you, our hearts are deeply saddened by the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut.  We join you in sending love, compassion, prayers and hope to the families whose lives have been forever changed.  And, like you, we share so much gratitude for the safety of our children.  We have all hugged our families a little more over the past few days. 

There is nothing more important than their safety, and it is a responsibility that we take very seriously.  For all of the safety policies and procedures that we have in place, we focus on both Prevention and Response. 

Our first task is to do all we can to prevent such a situation from occurring.  All of our entrances are staffed at all times, and every person who visits O2B Kids must check in at the front desk.  Only authorized parents, caregivers or students are allowed to enter, and daily attendance is recorded.  All of our locations have video surveillance, and that video feed is recorded.  Our facilities are deliberately designed with open spaces, windows and doors so we can see what’s going on, and communicate from one room to the next.  In addition, all of our staff has undergone basic safety training as part of their initial orientation, and as part of their on-going training. 

In addition to preventing problems, we do all we can to be prepared to respond to a concern if the need should arise.  All O2B Kids locations have an Emergency Response Plan in place which includes procedures for a lockdown.  Along with regular fire drills and tornado drills, we practice lockdown drills so that teachers and students know what to do.  We are again reviewing all of our safety and security measures with staff to ensure that we are as safe as we can be.

We are also grateful for your help.   If there is ever a question or concern, please bring it to a supervisor’s attention immediately.   All of the O2B Kids family – students, teachers, parents and caregivers – play an important role, and keeping eyes and ears open helps ensure any potential issue is addressed. 

We have an ambitious long-term goal as well.  Every day we are helping children feel loved, confident, happy, courageous, and secure.  We are helping them feel good in their own skin.  We are hopeful that these youngsters will grow into responsible, respectful future citizens of our world.  That's what we are trying to do to make the world a better place, a more peaceful place.  This responsibility is humbling, and profoundly important. 

Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact me any time.  I can be reached at the O2B Kids Business Office, 352-338-9660 x 20 or via email at andy@o2bkids.com.  Also, there are many resources available to help you talk with your children about the scary stories that they may be seeing on the news.  We have posted links to some of these resources on our website. 

We are proud to serve you, and so grateful that you have partnered with us.  We wish you and your family a safe and peaceful holiday season. 

Sincerely, 

Andy Sherrard


Talking With Children About Scary News

December 18, 2012 06:11 by Kristi

As children learn about the scary events at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, it will be very natural for them to have questions and concerns.  There are many resources available to help parents, teachers and friends talk with children about the tragedy and their own safety.  The following resources have been compiled by The Early Learning Coalition of Alachua County. 

1. Collection of resources:

http://www.schcounselor.com/2012/12/tragedy-and-disaster-response-resources.html

 

2. Talking to Kids About Sensitive Topics

http://www.darienlibrary.org/children/youth-promoted/talking-about-current-events

 

3. Talking to Children About Violence: Tips for Parents and Teachers

http://www.nasponline.org/resources/crisis_safety/talkingviolence.pdf

 

4. Talking with Kids About News: Age by Age Insights

http://www.pbs.org/parents/talkingwithkids/news/agebyage.html

 

5. Helping Your Children Manage Distress In the Aftermath of a Shooting

http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/aftermath.aspx

 

6. How to Talk to Your Kids About the Conn. Shooting

http://www.npr.org/2012/12/16/167399094/tragedy-and-children-what-to-discuss

 

7. Video advice from Mr Rogers on how to talk to your children about scary news:
http://youtube.com/watch?v=LZbXM3Kzd7o


Only This

June 11, 2012 07:49 by Jami

Sometimes
there is only this to do.
Gather the loves in your life
and hold them close
to the lining of the inside
of all that you are.

As they move away,
each to their separate worlds,
there is only this to do.
See them in their own skins
and note
that to love them
and have that love returned

is, after all,
to have the whole 
of what you'll ever
long for.


Thanks Mom for Writing it Down!

October 21, 2010 08:14 by Kristi

My mom is going through a huge box of letters from back in the day, when she was a mom to two toddlers.  The letters were typed using carbon paper, the originals sent on to friends around the country, the remnants on see-through paper with purple carbon words, neatly tucked away, documenting our lives. 

What treasures she has found there!  A letter she wrote to President Ford, kind condolences to a friend she can’t quite remember now, and lots and lots of stories about her family. 

Today she sent me this bit from a letter she wrote in 1972:

  • My two-and-a-half year old daughter got on the bathroom scale and asked, “How old am I?”  Then she told me to get on the scale, and asked, “How high are you?”

A small moment, otherwise forgotten! 

I am so touched, 38 years later, to know that my mom chuckled at our young minds, that she shared stories with others, that she documented moments of growth, frustration, humor and wisdom.  I’m grateful that she captured a bit of who we all were back then.  We certainly wouldn't remember otherwise!  We now have a treasure chest of stories....

Thanks Mom, for writing it all down!