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The Schiffman Report – Helpful Summer Family Tips

June means the end of the school year, and with it, a lot of kids without much to do. While many people imagine summer vacation being a bunch of lazy days, the fact is most parents have to work and worry about what they’ll do to keep the kids busy and out of trouble. Below are a few tips that I have found to be helpful in any family household.

Tip #1: Turn off the screens and encourage physical activity.

Monitor the amount of time your children are on the phone, computer, and playing video games throughout the day. There are apps that you can get to monitor what your children are doing on their phone and how often they are on the phone. There are ways to program how much TV your child is watching during the day. Set a limit on how much they can be on electronic devices. A good rule to have over the summer is that your child should get 60 minutes of some type of activity during the day (walk the dog, go to the park, do a fitness program, go swimming). Some kids will get creative with this 60 minutes and convince you that they played Just Dance on the Xbox (but at least they were active).

Tip #2: Keep them busy with other activities.

  • Have fun with Numbers
  • Sports Camps – A lot of the Freeport School District summer sports camps are free
  • Projects: Planting a garden, writing a journal, painting a series of paintings, planning a skit or a play
  • Practice a new instrument
  • Arts and Crafts
  • Planned outings as an incentive: zoo, park, swimming, store
  • Attend community events
  • Chores – This may not be fun but it is important for kids to take part in family chores. They learn responsibility, and feel proud they contributed. Reward them for a job well done.

Tip #3: When in doubt, have them read.

Summer reading should be FUN reading! Help your child read ANYTHING and EVERYTHING that interests him or her. Take a special trip to the book store or library. Then go home and set up a special place to sit and read. You should also set a good example by reading as well.

Summer University

The FSD Summer University Enrichment Program will begin on June 11th. Students will be able to take courses such as: Kids in the Kitchen, Rockin the Rainforest, Robotics, and a lot more. The program will last five weeks. These are not the typical courses students would take during the regular school year. However, they continue to engage the students and prepare them for next school year. Please be aware of the school buses transporting students between June 11th and July 5th.

Summer Superintendent Sightings

I will be out and about several times throughout the summer months. I will have my own lemonade stand for the kids, my own table at a couple of Farmer’s Markets and have several coffee shop chats with community members. I will also be taking a few days to just walk around in various neighborhoods to say hello and also provide information about the school district. Please feel free to stop out and see me at any of the various locations and dates.

For Students and Community: SUPT. LEMONADE STAND (1:00 – 4:00 PM)

  • June 20- Corner of Taylor Park Elementary School lot on Stephenson St.
  • July 11- Front of Empire Elementary on Empire St.
  • July 18- Corner of Kings Community Center near Adams Ave. and S. Liberty Ave.
  • July 24- Corner of Lincoln-Douglas Elementary lot on Laurel St.
  • August 8- Corner of Blackhawk Ave. and Empire St.

For Adults & Families: Coffee Shop Chats (8:00 – 10:00 AM)

  • June 20- Nine East (9 East Stephenson St.)
  • July 11- Higher Grounds (1709 S. West Ave.)
  • July 18- Starbucks (780 W. South St.)

Farmers Markets

  • June 23- Stephenson Co. Farmers Market
  • July 14- Freeport Farmers Market

Door to Door Visits
I will be traveling in three different regions of the city to share the positives and new initiatives with our community.

I hope that you have a great summer and I hope to see you at some of the events I have scheduled this summer.

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MICHAEL SCHIFFMAN, Ed. D Superintendent FSD #145

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