Thursday, December 10, 2015


Thanksgiving and Black Friday mark the “official beginning” for the Holiday Season. This is a great time to redirect some of our family attention on the media (that is bombarding us with sales and expenditures) and focus the TRUE meaning of the Holiday Season. Parents can take the opportunity to save money and teach their children lessons about generosity and kindness. No matter how elaborate your holiday plans are, it is important to talk to children about the true meaning of the holidays and the spirit of kindness and generosity that surrounds this special time of year.
Discovery School embraced three projects this 2016 Holiday season. One is the NPH Giving Tree which consists of an initiative to provide shoes and socks for each of these children at the NPH home in Talanga.   A giving tree was set up on the second floor of the secondary building.   Tree tags with the children's size information were provided.

The second project we embraced was preparing the traditional Christmas Baskets for our Support Personnel at school. We opened our hearts and shared with those around us that need it most. Discovery School students came together and contributed in assembling baskets of goods for our support personnel. 

The school also participated in the Jugueton 2016 organized by the first lady. The school donated 161 new toys that will be used in this magnificent event which makes children in dire need extremely happy.

Other important and effective ways to foster, teach and encourage children with the true meaning of the Holiday Season are the following:

ü      Get your children involved with volunteer work. There are countless opportunities for volunteering with church, civic, school, and charitable organizations. Just pick up the newspaper and you will find listings of ways in which the entire family can volunteer over the holidays. 

ü      Commit to quality family time over the holidays. Establish holiday rituals that don't involve buying lots of stuff or spending too much money. Baking cookies, doing a craft, reading a special book or setting family game/movie nights will provide with fond memories for all.

ü      Talk about beginning the new year with a family giving box and set it up during the Holiday Season. Everyone can regularly add a small amount of money to the box to contribute to a group or cause the family agrees to support.

ü      Encourage children to make cards and gift certificates/coupons that loved ones may redeem with acts of generosity and kindness. In doing so you are teaching  that the real meaning of the Holiday Season is NOT attached to a $ sign.

ü      Think of someone without a family - a soldier, a distant relative, a friend in the hospital - and write a letter as a family to make the person feel loved and included during the holidays. These letters can also include special friends and family members who we want to express our gratitude and appreciation for.  

ü      Be prepared to say “no”. Sometimes it’s not easy to say no, but you can do it. Get your mindset in gear to make what matters work--quality family time that will not get lost in the busyness or unnecessary expenditures of the season.

Why not make this the year to teach your children what’s important in life? Years from now, watch for the smiles as your adult children replay their memories and give thanks for the meaningful time you spent together.  Enjoy the Holiday Season!!!

Friday, December 4, 2015


Happy Holidays! If your family will be celebrating Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa or any other holidays this year or if you are just looking for some excellent winter-themed reading while your students relax during the holiday break, here is a list of books to read during this festive season

1.      The Kvetch Who Stole Hanukkah by Bill Berlin
Inspired by Dr. Seuss’ “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” this story is great for families and kids to read as they begin their Hanukkah celebrations. (Recommended for children ages 5 and up)

2.      The Borrowed Hanukkah Latkes  by Linda Glaser
Celebrate the joys of Hanukkah from latkes to driedels. This story explains the importance of spending time with family and friends as Rachel embarks on a quest to get her stubborn neighbor to join in the festivities. (Recommended for children ages 6 and up)

3.      The Christmas Menorahs  by Janice Cohn
This book is not only a great read for families who celebrate Hanukkah and Christmas but also for parents looking for books that highlight the importance of community and togetherness.
(Recommended for children ages 7 and up)

4.      The Nutcracker by Susan Jeffers
The story of Clara and her nutcracker is an excellent choice for families to share with their kids just before seeing the ballet this holiday season. (Recommended for children ages 4 and up)

5.      The Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore
Start your own family tradition by reading this holiday classic as you tuck your kids in on Christmas Eve. (Recommended for children ages 4 and up)

6.      How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss
Share this classic, rhyming Christmas story by Dr. Seuss about how the Grinch forms a devious plan to steal Christmas, only to learn that Christmas and the holiday spirit doesn’t come from a store. (Recommended for children ages 5 and up)

7.      Seven Candles for Kwanzaa by Andrea David Pinkney
For families with young children beginning Kwanzaa celebrations, this is an excellent book that explains the origins and history of the holiday with stunning illustrations. (Recommended for children ages 5 and up)

8.      Celebrate Kwanzaa with Boots and Her Kittens by Alma Flor Ada and F. Isabel Campoy
Read about one family’s quest to find their beloved, but missing cat while learning the seven values of Kwanzaa. (Recommended for children ages 4 and up)

9.      Happy New Year’s Everywhere by Arlene Erlbach
As your family counts down to 2013, share this book with your kids to show how people around the world celebrate the coming of the new year. (Recommended for children ages 4 and up)

10.  The Night Before New Year’s  by Natasha Wing
This book tells of one family’s determination to stay up until the clock strikes midnight. A great read for explaining the excitement of New Year’s Eve for young children. (Recommended for children ages 3 and up)

11.  Cecil’s New Year’s Eve Tail  by Marie Fritz Perry
This charming tale shows the importance of acceptance and friendship when Cecil the snake attends a New Year’s Eve ball. (Recommended for children ages 5 and up)

12.  Magic Tree House #32: Winter of the Ice Wizard  by Mary Pope Osborne
This magical winter’s tale is a great book for kids of all ages who love exploring worlds of magic, mystery and adventures. (Recommend for children ages 7 and up)

13.  The Mitten by Jan Brett
This heart-warming story, which details what happens to Nicki’s glove after he loses it in the snow, is a great read to share with your kids this winter. (Recommended for children ages 3 and up)

14.  Dear Rebecca, Winter is Here by Jean Craighead George
Winter is coming for those in the Northern Hemisphere, but for those down under, its summertime. The book is an excellent choice for parents looking to explain the difference between seasons in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. (Recommended for children ages 3 and up)