Birthday Homework Pass

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Kim Reichelt, a Wayland mother, found herself initially against a ban on the classroom celebrations.

The more she thought about it, however, the more she decided the change was the right thing to do.

The point, says Trowbridge and others, is to get away from the practice of having food at the center of celebrations.

Janice King, outgoing president of the Massachusetts School Nutrition Association, says the health of our next generation must be the priority, and no one can deny the fact that childhood obesity has reached epidemic proportions in this country.“There is this perception that every time there’s a holiday, it’s candy and cupcakes,” says King, who serves as director of school nutrition at Quaboag Regional School District, which educates children from Warren and West Brookfield.

I even tackled a few organizational projects at home, namely organizing our closets and my office. The gift is by no means over the top, but the kids are always happy to get their bag of goodies! For me, the easiest way to give the students their goodies all at once is to bag 'em all up. I simply put the items into a cellophane treat bag and tie them with some curling ribbon.

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In my quest to forever be organized, I stumbled upon some materials/items I've been stockpiling for next year.

“There are other ways to celebrate without bringing in food.”Some schools are inviting students to bring a pencil or special gift to share with classmates.

Other districts encourage teachers to hand out a “no homework” pass, or to decorate the birthday child’s chair for a special recognition.

The Hannah Elementary School in Beverly adopted a ban on school birthday treats last year, a pilot for a citywide implementation this fall.

Children are still allowed three classroom parties, for events like Halloween and Valentine’s Day, but no treats are allowed on birthdays.


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