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A Lot to Be Thankful For!

Yesterday I had the idea to put down some of the things I am thankful for. Of course, there were things to do to get ready for Thanksgiving but I started making my list as I went about my preparations. I am thankful to live in a country where we are free – free to be who we are and free to work towards who we want to become.

Courage, the Turkey

Courage, the Turkey, is Pardoned!

We have dreams – Langston Hughes knew so well “that if dreams die, life is a broken-winged bird that cannot fly.” (Taken from the poem, “A Dream Deferred”.) And, like Courage, the turkey pardoned by President Obama, we are pardoned for yesterday’s mistakes as we make a fresh start each and every day. I am thankful that my husband is always able to see the better side of me. I am so lucky to have him!  I am thankful for the relationship I have with my son. I am thankful that my daughter-in-law is always smiling and has brought more smiles into our lives. I am thankful for the rest of my family and their families for sharing the ups and downs of life with me. We are in this together. I am thankful for my mother and mother-in-law who show me every day that you can grow older with grace and patience. I am trying to learn those lessons now. My friends are other sources of thankfulness because of their constancy and support. I am lucky to have them as examples of caring and generosity.  I am thankful for my faith that lifts me up and helps me be aware of others, rather than just myself, and encourages me to reach out to them. Today is Thanksgiving! We are reminded of all that we can be thankful for this day as we share it with family and friends. Being thankful is something to express everyday – yes, things could always be better or different, but being thankful reminds us of what we have today! And, today is very precious, as Courage knows, because that’s all we can really count on! What are you thankful for?

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Frankford High School Offers Parents a Learning Opportunity!

We know that when it comes to technology, our kids are way ahead of us! Here is an opportunity to close that gap and learn some new skills that will benefit you both at home and on the job – even if you are looking for a job! This Saturday from 9 AM until 12 PM, Frankford High School (1st Floor) will be providing a workshop for parents on using the internet, utilizing the School District’s FamilyNetwork to learn more about your child’s progress this school year and available resources, as well as Microsoft’s Office Suite of Word, Excel and Powerpoint programs. A continental breakfast will be served at 8:30 AM. For more information, contact Patricia O. Green, Parent and Community Ombudsman, at 215.537.2519, ext. 1343.  According to Ms. Green, more workshops will be offered! Let’s show her that the interest is there! Challenge yourself! Find out what your children already know! If you are more familiar with computers, you can always pick up a new tip!

Frankford High School Presents Parent Computer Expo!

Frankford High School Presents Parent Computer Expo!

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Communication Bridges the Distance Between Home and School!

We attended the morning Truancy Workshop recently held at Frankford High School. While we no longer have school age children ourselves, our schools need all citizens to care about our young people and insure that they receive an education that prepares them to reach their goals and dreams. After welcoming us, Ms. Patricia O. Green, Parent and Community Ombudsman, explained that her position was created in 2008 as a point of contact for parents.

Patricia O. Green, Parent and Community Ombudsman, Frankford High School

Patricia O. Green, Parent and Community Ombudsman, Frankford High School

Ms. Green serves as a parent advocate and is available to help parents with any concerns or help that they might need. Much of her time is spent regarding truancy issues as, on any given day, 20% of students are not in school. Ms. Green is also responsible for community outreach – to churches, businesses and community groups to explain the opportunities available at Frankford High School. But Ms. Green’s real desire is to help parents and students before real problems develop. Ms. Green works very closely with the Student Advisors, too.  One of the parents at the workshop explained that she had tried to get help for an older son who was cutting school but was unsuccessful. Once there was serious trouble, then doors opened to help the family. But she is determined that things won’t get that far with her second son and she has found that help in Ms. Green. The School District’s policy regarding truancy was explained. An absence note is required for any day a student is absent from school. It is very important that these absent notes are given to the student’s Advisor upon their return to school. If not, this absence can be recorded as being “unexcused”. Three (3) “unexcused” absences mean a student is “truant”.  Ms. Green asked that parents contact the school whenever there are family concerns or situations that affect the student’s attendance or their ability to concentrate on their studies. Help and support is available. Ms. Green can be reached at 215.537.2519, ext. 1343. Her email is We wish you much success, Ms. Green!

The School District is actively dealing with the issue of truancy and taking steps to enforce compliance with state laws mandating attendance at school. Just today, the Daily News reported on an investigation currently underway regarding a Frankford High School student and his encounter with truancy officers (not those specifically assigned to Frankford High School) . After reading this article, what do you think?

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A Shout Out to Parents: Is Your Child in School? Do You Know How They’re Doing?

I’ve mentioned in an earlier post that I am a retired teacher. I am still an active mother although my son is now grown. If children aren’t in school, they can’t learn. If they can’t learn, there is not much the future holds for them. Figures show that at least 20% of school-age eligible children never show up to learn! (We are not talking about legitimate absences accompanied by a parental note to explain a child’s illness or family emergency. We are talking about choosing not to go to school.) I can’t help but wonder where the parents are, are they aware of this? Who is asking about a child’s day? Frankford High School is hosting a workshop on Thursday, October 29th, with a choice of convenient meeting times – either 10:00 AM or 6:30 PM. The school wants to address this issue by explaining the process that begins if your child has unexcused absences. But no one wants it to come to that. Patricia O. Green, the Parent and Community Ombudsman, wants to do more by offering parents resources to help and improve their child’s grades. Our schools want your child to succeed. But you need to make the time – isn’t your child and their future worth that? Please plan to attend – I know I will and I hope to see you there!

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Frankford Friends School’s Open House Invites New Friends!

We went to school – on Saturday! This past Saturday, October 17, Frankford Friends School (FFS) held an Open House beginning at 11 AM! While we no longer have school-age children, being a retired preschool and elementary school teacher myself, we wanted to see what FFS has to offer. (We are looking forward to grandchildren when they arrive!) FFS has a proud history of being the first school in Frankford that still continues to serve area families and their children. While tour guides were available, we made our own way.

Our first stop was the century old meetinghouse that houses the pre-kindergarten and kindergarten classrooms. In the meetinghouse, fifth and sixth grade students along with their teachers were playing the hand bells to the tune of  “Amazing Grace”. We met a family with two girls and their older daughter readily joined the music group when invited to come and play.

As we moved to the preschool and kindergarten classroom, we learned that these age groups, in particular, are a steadily growing population for the school. With the focus on the importance of early childhood education, FFS stresses listening and speaking activities with a focus on enjoying literature and having stories come alive using stuffed animal “friends”.

We proceeded across the school yard to the main building that is used for grades 1 through 5, a lunchroom and school offices. Each classroom was brightly decorated with the students’ work and teachers were in each classroom to discuss curriculum and answer any questions. The lunchroom on this day offered snacks and juices. Here we were greeted warmly and offered assistance by FFS principal, Penny Colgan-Davis. The well-stocked library had attracted several readers as we made our way to the first grade classroom whose class turtle was actively swimming and greeting all visitors. Lastly, we visited the middle school (6th, 7th and 8th grades) that is located on Gillingham St.

Besides actually teaching in public and private schools, I had a day care center in the area. We picked up children from local schools. Several children attended Frankford Friends School. The philosophy of peaceful co-existence and cooperative learning is also taught at FFS. These are skills much needed in our 21st Century. For more information and to learn how you can support the school, please visit their web site at Frankford Friends School.