4th of July Family Fun!

We hope that your family has a wonderful long weekend celebrating 241 years of Independence for the United States of America. We’ve compiled a list of fun family activities to do together this weekend to celebrate the 4th of July!

1) Decorate!

-Patriotic Rocks: paint rocks together as a family and then hide them around town for others to find and re-hide. Join Napa Rocks on Facebook to see if anyone finds your fun rocks! Look for rock painting tips here https://feltmagnet.com/crafts/PAINTING-AND-DRAWING-ON-STONES

-4th of July Luminaries: use mason jars to create this simple and beautiful way to decorate and light up the evening! https://craftsbyamanda.com/4th-of-july-luminaries/

-Paper Plate Hand Print Wreath: cut the center out of a paper plate to make a wreath. Have kids paint red and blue on white paper. After the paint dries, trace and cut out your child’s handprints from the paper. Glue the handprints, fingers out, around the wreath, alternating colors. Hang by punching a hole in the top of the wreath and stringing a red, white & blue ribbon through the hole.

-Bike Decorating Station: before your bike parade (because what is 4th of July without a bike parade?) allow your kids to decorate their bikes with tulle, crepe paper, wire star garland, 4th of July plates, etc.

-Dish Brush Fireworks: This fun and easy craft is great fun! All it takes is white paper, red & blue paint and a round head dish brush. http://www.craftymorning.com/4th-july-crafts-kids-make/

2) Make Red, White & Blue food

-Fruit Kabobs: alternate blueberries, strawberries, bananas, watermelon, raspberries and marshmallows on a bamboo skewer

-Watermelon Stars: use a star shaped cookie cutter to cut watermelon into fun star shapes!

 -Jello Patriotic Dessert: This easy patriotic Jell-O dessert is fun and delicious! It's sure to be the hit of the day! http://www.kraftrecipes.com/recipes/jell-o-easy-patriotic-flag-dessert-65100.aspx

3) Wear Patriotic Clothes

-Ribbon Flip Flops: Tie patriotic ribbons on the straps of red, white or blue flip flops for an exciting edition to your R,W & B

-DIY Denim Flag Shorts: Use fabric paint, sponge brushes and painters tape to turn an old pair of shorts into patriotic flag shorts! http://www.theidearoom.net/diy-summer-shorts-tutorial

-Fire Cracker Tie Dye Shirt: use zip ties to help create this awesome nod to one of our favorite frozen treats! http://ilovetocreateblog.blogspot.ru/2012/06/firecracker-tie-dye-patriotic-t-shirt.html

First Christian School Students Take Top Honors at 2017 Napa County Science Fair

5/25/17: First Christian School (FCS) is thrilled to announce that two of our students were named as Grand Prize Winners at the 2017 Napa County Science Fair, held on May 13th. Projects presented by FCS 6th graders, Shane McGrath and Wyntress Mehelis were selected to lead the Engineering and Scientific Method categories, respectively.  Two other FCS students received First Place prizes at the same event, including Gemma Bahnsen, representing the 7th-8th grade, and Annika Meyering , representing 6th grade.

Shane McGrath’s winning Engineering project demonstrated how to create a mechanical hand out of everyday materials. The challenge was to see if the mechanical hand could perform the same tasks as its human counterpart. Using simple drinking straws, wood, string and other materials, Shane built a hand over a three day period…with a little power tool assistance from dad! Prior to beginning the building process, Shane researched the anatomical workings of the human hand in order to be as accurate as possible in his re-creation. This extra research helped Shane to expand upon the original project concept and add more lifelike features. This included the use of cotton balls for fingertips and a rubber glove to represent human skin. “It was a very big project to put together, but worth it in the end,” Shane said. “It felt like a very big accomplishment to win the Grand Prize and have my picture taken with the Mayor of Napa!”  Shane is no stranger to the top step of the Science Fair podium, having taken First Place in the 2016 event as well…certainly a prodigy in the making!

Wyntress Mehelis’ Scientific Method project was titled Can water float on water and why do we care?”. It highlighted the thermohaline conveyor belt: how salt water and cold water work together to heat and cool the planet. Wyntress learned how ocean currents move water around the world, and how cold, salty water is dense and sinks to the bottom of the ocean, while less dense warm water remains on the surface. This served as the basis for her demonstration.  The entire Mehelis family got involved in the intricate testing process of merging bottles of fresh and salt water to show the floating effect. Wyntress’ project emphasized the importance of the global conveyor belt; without such, northwest Europe and even parts of the east coast of America would be much cooler. This would affect temperatures and what could grow in those regions, possibly making it harder to live there. In short, if the global conveyer belt were to stop, there could be a mini ice age. The big picture was not lost on Wyntress. “Global warming is a real problem, and the conveyor belt has a major impact on temperature control,” she said. “I was shocked and happy when my name was called as Grand Prize Winner. That was my very first time at a county science fair!”

Shane and Wyntress each received Kindle Fire devices and Amazon gift cards as part of their Grand Prize packages, both of which were immediately put to good use. “We are so proud of the performances and ingenuity displayed by all First Christian students in this year’s Science Fair,” said Dawnelle Ellis, First Christian School Administrator. “All of our students did so well, and to have two Grand Prize winners representing the entire Napa Valley is both an honor and a blessing. It demonstrates the combined dedication of students, teachers and parents to teamwork, experimentation and academic excellence.”

Additional FCS participants in the 2017 Napa County Science Fair were Ashley Blake Neumann, Wyatt Paulson and Ciana Susa, all representing the 5th grade.

Napa Valley Unified School District Superintendent Patrick Sweeney, right, and Napa Mayor Jill Techel, second from left, honored Napa County Science Fair grand prize winners Shane McGrath (First Christian School, Napa), Wyntress Mehelis (First Christian School, Napa) and Eva Wendel (Blue Oak School, Napa). Eva's father Chris, left, filled in for her because she had to leave early for a lacrosse match. Image: Samie Hartley, Napa Valley Register.

Napa Valley Unified School District Superintendent Patrick Sweeney, right, and Napa Mayor Jill Techel, second from left, honored Napa County Science Fair grand prize winners Shane McGrath (First Christian School, Napa), Wyntress Mehelis (First Christian School, Napa) and Eva Wendel (Blue Oak School, Napa). Eva's father Chris, left, filled in for her because she had to leave early for a lacrosse match. Image: Samie Hartley, Napa Valley Register.

Summer water play and safety tips!

Summer and hot weather are right around the corner! Our Pre-K kids have already enjoyed a water play day (see pictures in blog). Below are some fun water play ideas to keep the kids entertained and cool. We've also included water safety tips so the fun won't be interrupted!

Water Play:

  • Dinosaur Ice Excavation: Freeze plastic dino toys in a large dish tub full of water. Kids can excavate toys from the ice using syringes of salt water, hand heat, and other play tools.
  • Window Water Art: Allow kids to create washable art on sliding glass doors and low set outdoor windows using paint brushes, foam bath letters, foaming soap and a bowl of water. After painting they can squeegee windows off to leave them clean and streak free.
  • Ocean Play-scape: Fill a large shallow bin with water and let kids make an under the sea scene using smooth stones, fish tank plants, shells, plastic ocean animals and bath boats. Kids can spend hours using imaginative play to recreate favorite movie scenes and other ocean fun.
  • Laundry Play: Put sudsy water in a large container and supply kids with various doll clothes and wash clothes. After washing the items they should rinse them in a container of clean water and then hang them up using a piece of rope strung between two trees or poles and clothes pins.
  • Baby Bath Station: Help children develop their nurturing instincts as they bathe and clean their hard bodied plastic baby dolls and figurines. Add old toothbrushes to allow them to care for their babies' teeth.
  • Muddy Car Wash: Let the kids enjoy a muddy car play period to prepare for this fun activity. Following mud play have them funnel their Hot Wheels and Tonka Trucks through the soapy car wash.
  • Chalk Watercolor Painting: Have kids color pictures and designs onto the sidewalk/driveway. After pictures are complete they can flood the drawing with water using large house painting brushes. The water will add a soft watercolor effect to the design.

Water Safety Tips:

  • Keep children within arms reach then they are near any exposed water. Children can easily drown in five centimeters of water!
  • Enroll kids in swimming lessons with an emphasis on water safety skills
  • Empty water play containers immediately after use
  • If you have to leave the area to take a phone call or answer the door, take children with you
  • Do not leave older children in charge of supervising younger siblings during water play or bathing
  • Enroll in a CPR/First Aid class so you are trained and prepared in case the unthinkable happens

Servant Leadership in Action!

One of our expected student outcomes at First Christian School is that our students would graduate from 8th grade as Servant Leaders. Throughout the school year we offer several opportunities for our students to serve their fellow students, FCS Staff, parents, the FCC community and the community of Napa. We wanted to take a few moments to highlight some of the ways our students have served.

Singing at Redwood Retirement Ctr

Singing at Redwood Retirement Ctr

Serving Church Women's United

Serving Church Women's United

  • Throughout the year, 5th grade has served FCC by setting up the chair backs and straightening up the Worship Center for Sunday services; they also lead worship for Preschool Chapel on regular chapel days almost every week.
  • On our most recent "Serve Day" our Kinder-2nd graders visited residents at Redwood Retirement Center and sang to them; our 3-7th graders pulled weeds, moved mulch and washed tables and windows on the school campus; our 8th graders served Church Women's United by sorting and folding clothing donations.
  • Last Thursday and Friday, our 7th and 5th graders helped to set up and break down all of the tables and chairs for our "Muffins with Mom" preschool tea.
  • Our "reading buddy" program has expanded to so much more with older students becoming mentors and friends to their younger buddies. We often see middle school students and elementary school students playing together on the blacktop.
  • Regularly our preschool students serve by helping Mrs. VanMaren water the campus planters and by caring for the school chickens and collecting their eggs.
  • The middle school basketball teams voted to use 50% of the funds raised from their first Free Throw Contest to the Wounded Warrior Project.
  • Every day we see students opening doors for others, helping without being asked and offering encouragement to others.
  • Several of our Middle School students participated in an overnight service trip to Mission Solano homeless shelter with the Students@First youth group.
  • Many of our students serve at their home churches on Sundays and in mid-week programs.
  • We have many alumni who come back to campus and serve in classrooms and at events.

These are just some of the examples of servant leadership that our students embody on a daily basis! We at FCS think it is very important to shine a spotlight on the many "wins" that we see regularly. We hope that you will join us in helping to cultivate a life of service off campus as well! Thank you for allowing us to partner with your family!

 

Finish Strong: Helping your child succeed academically after Spring Break

Spring Break is over and we are in a dead sprint to the end of the year! Give your child the tools they need to succeed academically by asking the following questions:

1) What is your current grade? (Know where you are; communicate with your teachers)

2) How many assignments are left in the semester? (Ask teachers)

3) How many absences do you have and how are they affecting your grade? Have you completed all assignments that you are missing?

4) Are there opportunities for extra credit? (Take advantage of them!)

5) Any projects that should be started now? (Don't procrastinate on big items!)

6) Are final tests cumulative? Will you receive study guides?

7) Are there any assignments that you can/should resubmit or make-up? (It doesn't hurt to ask)

8) What is your goal for each class (A, B, C...) Be realistic in your expectations for yourself.

Thank you for partnering with your child to ensure their academic excellence! We appreciate all you do to help your child succeed!

Jog-A-Thon

We are so excited for the 2017 Jog-a-Thon happening this Friday, March 3rd! Each class has been assigned a "class color" to wear for the event! Make sure your student shows their class pride by wearing their class color. Make sure your students are out collecting pledges! We have some great prizes this year!

Every Preschool and Elementary school class that has 100% participation will have a PJ & Movie party day (minimum participation of $20 per student).

Every Middle School class that has 100% participation will receive Andie's Milkshakes (minimum participation of $20 per student)

Preschool Student Prizes: Students who turn in $50 of pledges get to pick a prize from the Prize Wagon. Students who raise $200 get to pick two prizes out of the Prize Wagon.

Elementary Student Prizes: Top number of total pledges (not $ amount) - Mystery gift card; Most Laps - $25 Yo Belle Gift Card (one winner in K-2 & one winner in 3-5); $100 Club - raise $100 and receive a "Teacher Approved Homework Pass"; $200 Club - raise $200 and receive a "fidget cube"

Middle Student Prizes: Top number of total pledges (not $ amount) - Choice of "Teacher Approved Homework Pass" or "Free Dress for a week for you and a friend" pass; Most laps - two movie tickets; $100 Club - raise $100 and receive a "Teacher Approved Homework Pass"; $200 Club - raise $200 and receive a "fidget cube"

Class Color List:

Preschool - Rainbow/tie dye
Kinder - Dark Blue
First - Purple
Second - Red
Third - Light Blue
Fourth - Orange
Fifth - Black
Sixth - Green
Seventh - Pink
Eighth - White

Jog-a-Thon Running Times:

8:30-9:15 6th, 7th and 8th

9:30-10:00 Preschool 105, 106 and 107

 10:30-11:00 Preschool 108 and 109

 11:00-11:30 Kinder, First and Second

 11:30-12:00 Third, Fourth and Fifth

Principal for the Day Fun!

Today we are celebrating our Principal for the Day winners from the Read-a-Thon! These students went out and raised over $300 each to help support our school! They formed a committee and made up some "school rules" for the day.

Preschool rules: Pajama Day, Veggie Tales movie, donut holes at snack, and the older "principals" came and read to them in class.

K-8th Grade Rules: Free Dress, no homework, donuts at morning snack, extended morning recess and lunch recess, and electronics at lunch recess and in class at each teachers' discretion. 

All of the "Principals" will enjoy a special lunch with Mrs. Ellis at a fun restaurant!

Congratulations to Jacqui (Room 105), Dana and Melia (2nd Grade), Grace (3rd Grade), Eli (5th Grade), and Leyton (7th Grade)!

See all the cuties below!

Watching Veggie Tales with Mrs. Perez in the Lobby!

2nd a 3rd Grade "Principals" read to preschool classes

Sister cuties reading on the play-yard

Box Tops for Education

Box Tops for Education is a simple and no additional cost way for your family to support our school! Many of the products you already purchase for your home contain box top coupons! Each one of these coupons brings in a minimum of $0.10 for our school when they are redeemed! We recently received a check for $244.70 from the Box Tops for Education Foundation for the coupons that our families have submitted! This easy to navigate program brings in real dollars to our school!

For a list of all participating products, please see the attached product list. You will be surprised by the amount of products and how many of them may already be in your home!

If you're looking for additional ways to raise dollars, Box Tops has a Bonus App that may be downloaded from the App Store or the Google Play store!

Thank you again for all you do to support our school!

Mean Girls (and Boys) - Guest Blog

By Nancy Rue (Published in Focus on the Family Magazine Oct/Nov 2016 Issue)

At 11, my daughter Marijean wasn't much for clothes or for spending time with a hairbrush. But on picture day in sixth grade, she dressed up and created her own hairdo.

I thought she was adorable.

Haley and Heidi did not.

When Mj showed up at school that day, Haley asked her if she had any mirrors in her house. When she answered yes, Heidi said, "There's no way you ever looked in them or you would never come to school like that."

The campaign to bring down Mj escalated from there.

The effects of bullying go deep. During the tweens years, especially, when their view of themselves is taking shape, constant put-downs and deliberate exclusion reinforce the belief that our child is a nobody. The most important thing we can impress on our kids is that they aren't going to change the bullies. That's not their job. Their job is to take back the power to be themselves. Our job is to help them.

Pay attention to possible signs

I knew something was wrong before Marijean told me. She withdrew from all but her two closest friends and became almost hostile when I suggested we shop for clothes. She had become that sensitive and wanted to avoid standing out in any way.

You know your child. If something seems out of the ordinary, that's a sign that something may be going on.

Help them admit the issue

You suspect something, but now it's time to confirm it. Ask and keep it simple: "You seem sad, kiddo. It usually feels better to talk. Want to tell me about it?" They may say no, but inside they're dying to share their pain. Don't let their silence put you off. Probe gently, perhaps even sharing your own childhood experiences: "I remember when I was your age, kids could be so mean. I hated how some of them treated me and others. Is that something you're dealing with?"

When tweens do open up, encourage them to keep talking: "Then what happened?" "When did it start?" "What have you tried so far?"

Respond thoughtfully and calmly

How often do we insert our own comments at the first pause? "I knew you were being bullied!" "Why didn't you tell me sooner?" "Why did you let them get away with that?" "Have you done anything to aggravate them?" "Well, we're going to do something about this!"

That's the best way to get them to clam up.

When Mj told me what was happening to her, I could have told her that if she'd dressed better and let me take her for a makeover, those girls would leave her alone. But that sends the wrong message: Maybe if you didn't ... they wouldn't pick on you. It was important to be sensitive to her pain and respond thoughtfully and calmly. I needed to empower her to do the right thing so I told her, "This is not OK, and I'm going to help you figure out what to do."

We talked through possible scenarios and how she could respond. The next time Haley or Heidi said or did something to her, I encouraged her to say, "You really can't hurt me so you might as well give it up." Or "Seriously, I thought you were better than that." And then move on. I told her not to ask them why they were bullying her. We already knew why. Because they could. It does no good to have our kids engage in a discussion with the meanies about their meanness.

Then we prayed together, and I reminded her that their behavior says everything about the bullies and nothing about whoshe is.

Intervene if the situation becomes more serious

I could have easily called Haley's and Heidi's mothers and chewed them out or marched into Mj's classroom and asked the teacher why she allowed this behavior. But it's one of those times when we have to go against our protective instincts and try first to guide our kids in handling this themselves.

However, if the bullying continues, it's time to step in.

Going to the parents of the bullies never ends well and is seldom effective. Instead, start with the adult closest to the situation, such as a teacher. Schedule a time to talk, and include your child.

Avoid bashing the bullies. Just state the facts, with your child's input, and explain what you've tried so far. Then ask what the adult can do to alleviate the situation. Move the offending children? Speak up when she sees abuse?

If you don't get any help, go higher. Keep your cool. State the facts. Ask for what you want for your child. And keep doing that until somebody listens. Tweens can make it through these difficult situations, but they may need your help to once again feel the freedom to be themselves.

Nancy Rue is the author of You Can't Sit With Us: An honest look at bullying from the victim.

Spirit Wear Store!

Looking for a fun way to support the school? Our online Spirit Wear store is open! All purchases support the school financially (15% of each purchase is donated back to FCS) and increase our presence in the community! Check out the online store under the "Support FCS" tab on the school website!

There are four logo options to choose from and any logo can be added to any article of clothing in the store! 

A big thank you to Sheila M. for organizing our online store!

Back to School Night Dinner Menu!

Back to School Night is around the corner! Join us before it starts for a no-host dinner provided by Rocky & Rosie Chicken Food Truck. They will be accepting CASH ONLY so make sure you bring enough for the whole family to enjoy!

(100% of proceeds from dinner sales will be donated to First Christian School!)

Dinner will be served from 5-6pm

Kickin Chicken Street Tacos with Mexi Rice

Grilled Chicken, Onion, Cilantro, Cabbage & Cheese

Served with Rice

$8

 Hand Breaded Crispy Chicken Tenders with Kettle Chips

Fried Chicken Tenders & Kettle Chips

Choice of BBQ Sauce or Ranch Dressing

$8

The 7th Grade class will also have concessions for sale (cash only) to raise money for their Washington D.C. Trip in Fall 2017.

School Supply Lists

Hello All!

The first day of school is a little over a month away and the Back to School sales are happening now! Check out the school supply lists below and shop the deals! Make sure to take advantage of the Back to School Scrip sale happening now for an additional 2% rebate credit for Target gift card purchases as well as additional rebates from several other retailers!

We look forward to seeing you at Back to School Night on August 31st at 6:00pm when we will reveal the new school mascot!

10 Truths Every Middle Schooler needs to Know (Guest Blog)

It’s rare to hear anyone say theyloved middle school. Even people with positive memories never tout it as the best years of their life.

Simply put, it’s an awkward season. It’s a time of constant changes, social shake-ups, swinging emotions, and intense pressures. If I’ve learned anything from working with adolescent girls, it’s how hungry this age group is for comfort and reassurance. I hear it in their voices and see it in their eyes whenever I speak to a group, a look of searching and a longing to hear something –anything – to help them make sense of things.

Please tell me it gets better, their faces silently plead. Tell me this isn’t it.

Well, middle school kids, I assure you that life picks up. There’s a bigger, more promising world beyond this rite of passage. In the meantime, I have 10 truths to center you. I hope they bring you peace and a little friendly guidance.

Truth #10: Today’s most awkward moments will be tomorrow’s funniest memories. Keep a sense of humor whenever possible.

Those braces on your teeth that collect food? That acne on your face that miracle creams can’t cure? That giddy rush you get when your crush walks by, and you can’t think, talk, or see straight? One day these things will be really funny! They’ll be the memories you rehash again and again with your siblings and oldest friends.

It takes time, but as you gain confidence, your awkward moments become fun to share. You’ll readily admit yours and laugh at the comedy and conversation that result.

Eventually you’ll have a dazzling smile, clear skin, and someone to love. Your current problems will have closure. So stay mindful of the big picture, and remember that even your worst experiences will pass.

Truth #9: You don’t want to peak in middle school (or high school or college, for that matter). The worst goal you can have is popularity. Because what often makes adolescents popular – running with the fast crowd, dominating your peers, living a superficial lifestyle – eventually leads to problems.

A truly successful person gets better with time. You go from being version 1.0 of yourself to version 2.0, 4.0, 6.0 and so on. But when you chase popularity, you peak early. You stop growing and improving because you’re stuck in instant gratification mode, looking for quick fixes to satisfy your needs.

Make it your goal to peak later in life. Make good choices that set you up for a bright future. If you’re not a superstar now, that’s okay. This simply means there are better things ahead as you continue to evolve and learn.

Truth #8: Technology makes it easier than ever to ruin relationships and reputations.We live in an age where people post everything online – feelings, emotions, and pictures. I love technology when it’s used wisely, but too often, it’s used impulsively. We let our fingers jump ahead of our brains, and within seconds, we can trigger hurt, misunderstandings, and serious issues.

So please, think twice before texting, emailing, or posting on social media. Cool off before giving someone a piece of your mind, venting, jumping to conclusions, reacting out of jealousy or anger, embarrassing someone, or sending an inappropriate photo. Use the Internet for good, not as a dumping ground.

And when you have an issue with a friend, call instead of sending texts. It’s easy to put in writing what you’d never say in person, or to interpret a message the wrong way, and the tension this adds to a relationship is hard to recover from.  

Truth #7: Surrounding yourself with good company is imperative. There’s an old saying that’s particularly relevant to your age group: “Show me your friends and I’ll show you your future.”

Yes, you’re called to love everyone, but not everyone deserves a place in your innermost circle. Some people you love up close and personal, and others you love at arm’s length because inviting them into your life invites disaster.

Sooner or later, a bad influence will rub off. You’ll either make choices against your better judgment or wind up in a predicament. As a mom I know told her daughter, she once went out with a guy who was very sweet to her but also wild. She didn’t see the issue until they had their first date – and he took her to a drug dealer’s house.

She told her daughter, “Even though I was innocent, I would have gone to jail if the police had come. I was guilty by association just by being there.”

Good friends lift you up. They don’t put you in risky or compromising situations. To become the best version of yourself, you need friends who hold themselves to high standards and want you to reach your full potential, too.

Truth #6: What makes you different is what makes you great. Middle school is largely about conformity. I see this firsthand because I live near a middle school, and over time I’ve noticed how all the kids dress alike, walk alike, and act alike.

Meanwhile, at my children’s elementary school I see authenticity and diverse personalities because the kids don’t know yet how to be anything but themselves. It saddens me to know that they, too, will eventually feel pressured to hide what makes them unique.

You’ll never influence the world by trying to be like it. You’ll never find your calling by following the crowd. God made you different for a reason, and what sets you apart plays into His plan for you. So listen to that quiet voice inside you and remember yourself as a child. Cling to the passions you had in your early years, because they hold more answers than you know.

Truth #5: It’s okay to not to have your life planned out. It’s okay if you haven’t discovered your “thing.” Chances are, you know kids with immense talent and drive. They’ve trained for years in their area of expertise, and they know exactly what they want in life.

Deep down you may be envious and uncomfortable, because you fear you’re getting left behind. You wonder why they have their act together – and you don’t.

But even the best laid plans will face curveballs. Even the most driven kids will wind up on different paths than they originally envisioned. So if your future isn’t mapped out by 9thgrade, take heart! You’re still young and have plenty of time to discover what you were born to do. Just set goals for yourself, use your gifts, and head in a good direction. Set a positive trajectory so that when you do discover your thing, you’re ready to soar.

Truth #4: Your uniform is not your identity. Labels are big in middle school, and there’s a confidence that comes from wearing a football jersey, cheerleader uniform, or other team attire.

But remember that having a uniform – or even designer clothes – doesn’t increase your worth. You’re special because of who you are, not what you put on your body or what you achieve.

Overnight you can lose your place on a team. You can lose your talents, your wardrobe, your relationships, even your Instagram account. But if you base your identity on the one thing you’ll never lose – God’s love– your foundation is unshakable. You’ll still be standing even if you lose every earthly trapping this world says is important.

Truth #3: Applause can be misleading. You can make a huge mistake and still get cheered on wildly. Through social media, popularity is now quantifiable. You can gauge your performance by how many “likes”, comments, and shares you get.

But remember, numbers alone can be misleading. To get the full picture, you need to measure numbers against the truth. After all, Jesus Christ had 12 followers. Adolf Hitler had millions. These numbers speak for themselves.

The best applause to live for is the quiet peace inside you. What makes you feel good about yourself? What helps you rest easy at night? Criticizing someone to bring them down or make people laugh won’t bring you peace. Neither will watching someone else beat up on a kid as the crowd cheers him on.

You know the truth by how you feel deep down. And when you seek your applause from within, you don’t need the applause of public approval.

Truth #2: There’s a difference between helpful advice and criticism that holds you back. Be careful who you listen to. Some people want you to succeed. Others don’t. Develop a strong filter for whose words you take to heart – and whose words you ignore.

Some questions to ask yourself are: Do I trust this person? Are they respectable? Do they practice what they preach? Are they the kind of person I hope to become? Do they recognize my talent and potential and encourage me, or do they drag me down by harping on where I fall short?

How others talk to you influences how you talk to yourself. And since that voice in your head impacts your confidence, determination, and willingness to take risks, you want people in your life who speak the truth in love and always with your best interest in mind.

Truth #1: You’re AWESOME. Truly, you are. All these crazy changes are leading to something amazing. In the grand scheme of life middle school is only a blip, so keep it in check. Have fun, dream big, and make good choices. One day you’ll look back and laugh at the absurdities of this stage, and if you’re lucky, you’ll enjoy a lot of humor now.

Original Post found at: http://www.karikampakis.com/2015/08/10-truths-middle-schoolers-should-know/

Website Photo Update

New Year, New Photos!

The website has been updated with some great photos from the 2015-2016 school year! Make sure to look through the pages for fun glimpses into life at FCS! These photos truly capture the heart of our school's ministry! They demonstrate academic success, service to our campus and community, teamwork, and a whole lot of FUN! Thank you for partnering with us on this amazing journey and sending your children to us! 

Our families and students are what make us great and these photos are a fun snapshot of our identity!

End of the Year Teacher Gift Ideas

With only SEVEN school days left in the 2015-2016 School Year end of year teacher appreciation gifts are on everyone's mind! Step up your gift giving game with these fun and manageable gift ideas!

1. Scrip Bouquet

Easy to assemble using a fun mug or flower pot, this gift also helps your family reach your Scrip Goal! See Teacher Wish Lists at the Front Desk

2) Class Scrapbook

Put together a fun collection of photos for your teacher to look back on all of the memories made with your class.

3) Thumb Print Art

Thumb art is fun and personal! You can decorate almost anything with the thumb prints of all the students in your class! What a fun reminder of the students whose lives were touched by a wonderful educator!

We hope these ideas were helpful! Our teachers work so hard to nurture and educate our students! Let's celebrate and honor them!

Hands Only CPR

 
 

On Friday, April 29th our Middle School received instruction from Nurse Shelley Gavitte and Firefighter/Paramedic Kevin Horn on how to administer Hands Only CPR! This lifesaving technique is an important skill that everyone should know how to use! 

According to the American Heart Association, most victims who suffer from cardiac arrest in public die because no one took action until it was too late. Hands only CPR takes only two steps:

1) Dial 9-1-1

2) Deliver hard and fast compressions to the center of the chest at 100 beats per minute (BPM)

Review the fact sheet below with information regarding Hands Only CPR!

WHY LEARN HANDS-ONLY CPR?

Cardiac arrest – an electrical malfunction in the heart that causes an irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia) and disrupts the flow of blood to the brain, lungs and other organs - is a leading cause of death. Each year, over 359,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occur in the United States.

  • When a person has a cardiac arrest, survival depends on immediately getting CPR from someone nearby.
  • According to the American Heart Association, 90 percent of people who suffer out-of-hospital cardiac arrests die. CPR, especially if performed immediately, can double or triple a cardiac arrest victim’s chance of survival.
  • Most Americans (70 percent) feel helpless to act during a cardiac emergency because they don’t know how to administer CPR or they’re afraid of hurting the victim.

 BE THE DIFFERENCE FOR SOMEONE YOU LOVE

If you are called on to give CPR in an emergency, you will most likely be trying to save the life of someone you love: a child, a spouse, a parent or a friend.

  • 70 percent of out-of-hospital cardiac arrests happen in homes and residential settings.
  • Unfortunately, only about 46 percent of people who experience an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest get the immediate help that they need before professional help arrives.
  • Hands-Only CPR has been shown to be as effective as conventional CPR for cardiac arrest at home, at work or in public. It can double or even triple a victim’s chance of survival.

 MUSIC CAN SAVE LIVES

  • Hands-Only CPR has just two easy steps: If you see a teen or adult suddenly collapse, (1) Call 9-1-1; and (2) Push hard and fast in the center of the chest to the beat of the disco song “Stayin’ Alive.”
  • People feel more confident performing Hands-Only CPR and are more likely to remember the correct rate when trained to the beat of a familiar song.
  • During CPR, you should push on the chest at a rate of at least 100 to 120 compressions per minute. The beat of “Stayin’ Alive" is a perfect match for this.

 TAKE 60 SECONDS TO LEARN HOW TO SAVE A LIFE

·         Watch the 60-second demo video. Visit heart.org/handsonlycpr to watch the Hands-Only CPR instructional video and share it with the important people in your life. You can also find a CPR class near you.

 NOTE: The AHA still recommends CPR with compressions and breaths for infants and children and victims of drowning, drug overdose, or people who collapse due to breathing problems.

Social Media and Internet Safety for Kids & Teens

Hello Parents,

In an effort to keep you informed and give you the proper tools to protect your students we have put together this resource regarding internet and social media safety. Please take the time to read through the entire blog as it sheds light on the specific dangers of different types of websites. The internet is such a great resource, but without proper awareness and safety measures it opens up a lot of very dangerous doors.

Please remember that your first and most important job as parents is to keep your children safe! Their safety is far more important than their "privacy." Please ask questions, "friend" and "follow" your children, and protect them from the dangers that they do not fully understand. 

Dating Sites: Tinder, Kik, Zoosk, Down, Skout

We really wish we didn’t have to include the online dating apps in this list, but we do–because kids are using them. (We know. We’re feeling pretty gross about that too.) Teens like these apps because they only match you with people who like you back, and that provides some major positive reinforcement, which makes them want to keep using it. We’ve come a long way from simply mustering up the courage to talk to the cute guy in class.

These especially concern us because matches are limited to a specific geographic area, which means kids are connecting with people in the local area who may not actually be other kids. Predators often create fake accounts to connect with young teens. Finally, some require a Facebook account to login meaning anonymity is far less likely.

All are available for iPhone and Android. iPod, Kindle Fire, PlayStation, Xbox, Wii, Smart TV and any Wi-Fi capable device.

Video and Video Sharing/ Viewing Apps: Vine, Vimeo, Youtube, Reddit, Viddy, Instagram, Twitter, Keek and Pheed

Vimeo.jpg

 Tween and teen video / photo users are most likely to create silly variable length videos (like their parents do), but there’s also a ton of really inappropriate content, both violent and sexual, on these apps. While they have taken steps to restrict access to explicit videos, they’re still out there in spades. Some have recently been used to document animal cruelty by teens, and it’s also been linked to bullying, including video of kids who weren’t aware they were being recorded and other sexually explicit and pornographic materials. All are available for iPhone and Android. iPod, Kindle Fire, PlayStation, Xbox, Wii, Smart TV and any Wi-Fi capable device..

Texting / Social Media Messaging: Whisper.sh, Facebook, Snapchat, Myspace, Ask.fm

Instant messaging, private messaging and other posting forums that are built off of followers and creating communities of like-minded or seeking groups are dangerous. For example, Whisper is a secret-sharing app and website, similar to PostSecret. (Remember PostSecret?) Users share “whispers” anonymously, and for a subscription fee, they can heart and reply to each other’s whispers. If you’ve enabled location services, your whispers can show up in lists of nearby whisperers, which increases the possibility that you’re not so anonymous after all. Whisper is most popular on college campuses, but as they’ve just received another round of Venture Capital funding, it’s possible that Whisper will make its way to circles of younger users.

Whisper is available for iPhone and Android. Another is the Ask.fm app (and accompanying website) is intended to be a friendly Q+A forum to get to know people better. In reality, it’s rife with bullying and sexually charged discussion. Questions can be answered anonymously, which adds to the potential for kids to make comments that they wouldn’t if they could be identified. If you happen to notice this on your kid’s phone, be aware that concerns about Ask.fm are incredibly serious: It’s been implicated as a factor in five teen suicides. Ask.fm is available for iPhone and Android. iPod, Kindle Fire, PlayStation, Xbox, Wii, Smart TV and any Wi-Fi capable device.

Private Browsing: Hidden internet non tracking apps

 
 

InBrowser is an incognito/private browser for iOS with video support. Each time you exit InBrowser, everything you’ve done in the app will be erased, including history, cookies, and sessions. InBrowser is a feature rich browser, and it’s in permanent private mode.

With InBrowser, you can check Facebook on a friends device, do some gift shopping, plan a surprise party, search for a medical condition, watch a video, or simply avoid auto-filling the search history. Using InBrowser, you can do all this and more without leaving a single trace. This opens up the potential for teens to search for material they may not otherwise search for if they know that a parent can access their browser history.

Key features:

• Absolutely no data is saved: When you exit InBrowser (or press the “Clear Current History & Cache” button in the InBrowser settings menu), all browsing data and history are removed.

Support for app extensions: InBrowser’s functionality is extended by the following apps:

- 1Password (auto-fill username and passwords from your vault)

Tabbed Browsing: InBrowser’s tabbed browsing feature has the ability to quickly switch between several open webpages within a single browsing session.

Agent cloaking (no more mobile version of sites!): Using agent cloaking, you make websites think that you're visiting from Chrome, Internet Explorer, Firefox, or iOS, giving you a richer and more complete browsing experience.

AirPlay and Bluetooth monitoring: InBrowser gives you visual notification if AirPlay is running or if you’re sharing audio using Bluetooth each time you start the app, avoiding unintentional sharing of video or audio to another device.

Built for both iPhone and iPad: InBrowser is designed from the ground up to work on both iPhone and iPad, regardless of model or screen size.

In-App video support: Clicking on a video link will play your video content in InBrowser’s in-app video player. Any trace of this is removed when you exit the InBrowser.

Built for all iOS systems and updates: InBrowser has been updated and optimized for iOS8, but we still support iOS7, iOS6 and iOS5.1.

InBrowser can optionally run in the background: InBrowser can remember active tabs, even if you close down the app, and the browser can be manually cleared by pressing the "Clear Current History & Cache" button. Run in the background is disabled by default but can be enabled in the settings.

Minimalistic design, maximum space for browsing: No junk, no ads, no extra bars - just maximum space for your browsing experience

Internet Monitoring Resources: Home and personal safety for all devices      

 Net Nanny - https://www.netnanny.com/

   X3 Watch - http://x3watch.com/

 Meet Circle - https://meetcircle.com/

#Being13 on YouTube – Documentary that follows use of apps by 13 year old students. Honest eye opening look in to the social media and web use among teens. https://youtu.be/t-9LtTtkg04  

Spring Break Staycation Family Fun!

Staying home for Easter Vacation this year? Worried that you won't be able to find anything for your family to do? Ditch the screens and check out these fun ideas for a family friendly staycation!

1) Backyard Campout: Pitch a tent, fire up the grill or fire-pit for roasting hot dogs and marshmallows, sing camp songs and take some time to look up at the stars to enjoy the beauty of God's handiwork!

2) Scavenger Hunt: Create a list of things to search for throughout town and split your family into teams! Want to up the fun? Invite another family and compete against each other or split up into boys vs. girls teams. Want a fun way to keep track of your teams? An app like GooseChase can help you design a custom scavenger hunt in your area!

3) Dig in the Dirt: Have a patch of dirt in your yard that could use an upgrade? Take a family trip to the nursery and pick out flowers, fruits or veggies that you can plant together. Teach your children the importance of responsibility by including care of the plants in their regular chore duties. Show them that watering, weeding and tending are important to keep their plants healthy!

4) Be a Tourist: We are so blessed to live in/around the beautiful Napa Valley! Take your family out on a hike! There are many fun trails for all skill levels all throughout the valley. Some suggestions are: Alston Park, Skyline Park, Westwood Hills, Bothe - Napa Valley State Park, Robert Louis Stevenson Park (Mount St. Helena) and Kennedy Park Trail. A list of additional hiking areas can be found HERE. Enjoy a scenic drive up the Silverado Trail to the Old Faithful Geyser in Calistoga and bring a picnic for additional family fun!

5) Volunteer: What better way to spend free time as a family than to serve others in need! Seek out opportunities that match your family's interests! Love animals? Ask the local animal shelter! Love to spend time by the river? Grab some trash bags and gloves and host an impromptu river clean-up. Compassionate about the less fortunate? Spend time cleaning out your closets and dropping off donations at Salvation Army. Be creative and work together on an idea!

Make the most out of your time off together! Enjoy quality family time doing things you wouldn't normally have a chance to do! We have some nice weather coming so take advantage of the opportunity to be outside in the sunshine! Have a wonderful Easter Vacation celebrating the Good News of Jesus' resurrection and the new life we have through him!

Blessings!

Crab Feed Thank You!

Thank you so much to each and every volunteer that helped to make our 16th Annual Benefit Auction and Crab Feed a success! Fellowship, food, music and friendly bidding competition made for a wonderful evening of supporting the school! 

We would especially like to thank our PFC President Amanda Gibbs and her event co-chair Matt DeFina as well as the rest of the PFC Executive Board and parent volunteers that made the event run smoothly! Your long hours of preparation and hard work led to a fantastic evening of fun for all!

FCS has been blessed with an amazing group of parents who are passionate about making quality Christian education accessible. Congratulations on a job well done!