Archive for August, 2013

For most, Labor Day means a day off from work or school, the last chance for a trip to the beach or a summer barbecue with friends and family. But what is the true meaning of Labor Day? It’s much more than another paid holiday on the federal calendar.

Labor Day has been celebrated the first Monday of every September since 1894. It’s a way to honor the AmeKids rican working class citizen for their contributions made to society to build our nation’s strength and prosperity.

There is still some doubt as to who first proposed the idea for this holiday. Some say Peter J. McGuire, secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners. Others say Matthew McGuire, a machinist who later became secretary of the Central Labor Union in New York, proposed the idea in 1882. In the 1800’s, Labor Day was a labor union political movement, urging Congress to take action to do away with twelve hour work days, seven days a week and move towards eight hours, five days a week.

Twelve years after the first labor union strike in New York City, Congress finally approved the legislation and President Grover Cleveland signed the law, making Labor Day a national federal holiday.

Take a moment to educate your child about the significance of the holiday and why it should matter to them. Ideas of how to inform your kid:

  • Talk about the history and let them ask questions
  • The days surrounding Labor Day, take your child to work. Let them learn about your work environment, the different jobs and how each person contributes
  • Teach your child about work through action – house chores, tutoring others at school or volunteering is a great way to teach the value of labor
  • Research future careers with your child at the library or online

Popular Ways to Spend This Labor Day:

  • Picnics and barbecue
  • Shopping – common three-day retail sales
  • Watch the start of the college football season
  • Outdoor adventures
  • Springs Preserve events starting Monday at 10 a.m.

Celebrate this Labor Day, September 2, 2013 with family, friends and good food! We would like to thank all our teachers and supportive parents for their hard work and dedication. Enjoy your day off!


First Week of School!

August 28th, 2013

It’s the start of a new school year, and as a parent it is important to start the year off right by ensuring that your child feels comfortable with everything in their new classroom. A great way to do this is to gauge how they feel about the school year now, and then compare these feelings in a few months. You can start by asking your student some questions now that the school year has started, and review the answers in a few months to compare their feelings. Some questions to ask your child include:

  • Who was the best teacher you’ve ever had?
  • What was your favorite thing about this teacher?
  • What was the best thing you learned last year in school?
  • What are you looking forward to this school year?

Asking these questions will get your child thinking about how they like to learn, which helps you and them! Another idea that works well for the start of the school year is to create a time capsule for your child. One way to approach this concept is to give your child a sheet with questions such as:

  • What’s your favorite TV show?
  • What’s your favorite song?
  • What’s your favorite book?

Leave enough space for your child to answer these questions at the beginning of the year and again in a few months.

Time capsules can include many other items too. In addition to your child’s question sheet, their time capsules might also include a hand tracing, yarn cut to measure their heights and writing samples. Seal the items in envelopes and open them at the end of the school year. You and your child will surely be amazed at their growth – physically and academically!

Engaging in these types of activities builds a positive learning environment where your child can learn best and most effectively. You can also determine if your child is truly engaged and learning the things you and they want to learn. Showing your child that you are truly engaged in their education and caring about their success will enable your kids to become the leaders of the future.School Kids with signs

The summer’s over!  It has gone way too fast.  Now’s the time to return to school and it’s important to be prepared.  You and your child will need to gather the usual school supplies of paper, pencils and protractors but here are a couple suggestions for supplies that you may not have thought _M1G5699about.

  • Aluminum water bottle – encourages water consumption and environmental awareness by avoiding plastic bottles
  • Backpack on wheels – helps your child navigate their day more easily and avoids back strain
  • Pedometer – makes walking and being active more fun by measuring your child’s steps
  • Bento lunchbox – separates different foods into compartments
  • Hand sanitizer – avoid illness by keeping hands and desks clean

Not only is it very important to have the right supplies, great nutrition is also vital to a great education.  Start the day off right with a healthy breakfast of high fiber grains and lean proteins.  Also make sure that you pack a well-balanced lunch to maintain your child’s good energy and focused attention.  Try mixing up the usual sandwich fare by using pita bread, tortilla and incorporating different ingredients, such as shaved turkey, cucumbers and hummus.  For side items, try baby carrots and edamame instead of chips.  These tasty and fun alternatives will keep your child’s interest and palate engaged.

Here’s to another fantastic school year – let’s make it the best yet!


Wind Down from Summer Vacation

August 13th, 2013

Summer vacation is great!  It’s wonderful to have time to relax, sleep in and rejuvenate.  At the same time, it’s also exciting to prepare for the new school year.  What activities might we engage before we head back to school?


The weather is starting to cool off a bit, yet it’s still nice to go for a swim.  Have you visited Wet ‘n’ Wild yet?  It’s newly opened this summer and sure to be a good time, especially for fun with family and friends.  What can be better than water slides, pools and a lazy river?

For some other outdoor activities that are fun and educational, you can check out the Wetlands Park Nature Center in eastern Las Vegas.  It features a beautiful walking trail, educational markers and signage and a beautiful, newly opened visitor’s center.

There are just a few more summertime movies scheduled at the Outdoor Picture Show at the District.  These activities are free to attend, just bring a blanket and get ready to have fun!  The District even provides free popcorn and water.  It’s a good way to relax, enjoy an awesome family movie and appreciate the end of the summer season.

Next stop – the new school year!


Summer Safety Tips

August 7th, 2013

Most kids like to dive into summer to relax, unwind and have fun. Warm weather brings more opportunities to enjoy the outdoors, like swimming, 528983_387867777939284_41218770_nboating, hiking, biking and more.  Living in Southern Nevada presents some unique challenges.  The main things we all need to watch out for, especially kids, are sunburn, dehydration and ear infections.  Here are a few tips to keep kids safe:


If your child is going to be in the sun for extended periods of time, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation, you need to be sure that he or she applies appropriate sunscreen to any exposed skin. Look for brands that offer a reliable sunblock made specifically for children, which are mild, PABA-free and hypoallergenic. You can purchase sunscreen at any drugstore or grocery store.


Anytime hot weather is involved, there is always the possibility of dehydration. Your child should drink large amounts of fluids, such as ice water, fruit juice and sports drinks whenever spending time outdoors during high temperatures. Freeze pops or popsicles, which are fun for children to eat, are a good way to prevent dehydration as well. If the temperature is sizzling around 100 degrees or higher, then the safest place for your child is indoors in an air conditioned room.

Ear Infections

Who doesn’t want to cool off with a dip in this Las Vegas heat?  But beware of swimmer’s ear, a common risk of swimming during the summertime. Although typical ear infections  involve the middle ear, swimmer’s ear infection can still be just as painful and often require antibiotics. There are ways to prevent swimmer’s ear, like using medicated drops in the ear after swimming to accelerate drying, prevent bacteria proliferating and causing infection.

Bottom line:  Have fun and enjoy your time off.  Just be aware so you can keep having a blast on your summer vacation!