Category Archives: School Newsletters

Custom School Gear And Spirit Wear: A Guide For The Busy Coordinator

You’re faced with many difficult challenges; but buying custom apparel and spirit wear for your school shouldn’t be one. Let’s navigate the oftentimes overwhelming world of spirit wear so you can be confident that your buying decision is on point.

Over the years, shopping online has changed dramatically. One of the main shifts has been giving consumers the ability to customize the clothes and accessories they buy (phone cases, laptop bags, T-shirts, hats, etc.)

People have a need to express their identity and interests through the clothes they wear and eCommerce platforms such as URstore have made it easier and more rewarding than ever before to sell custom school gear and spirit wear.

Here’s a quick look at 4 custom apparel myths that might be holding you back:

Myth # 1. You need to order a minimum quantity.
In the past, you had to buy spirit wear for your school in bulk and hope that all the items will be purchased by students and their parents. Those days are behind us. With the ability to create an online retail store for your school, you no longer have to keep an inventory that you pay for in advance. Instead, students and their parents can access the virtual retail store you create and purchase one or more items when they want and it’ll be delivered right to their doorstep. No investment needed or storage space required for inventory in your facilities!

Myth # 2. You need to go to each student to take their order.
Before eCommerce was a thing, school coordinators were tasked with going from classroom to classroom to take orders from each student who would give them cash for the items they wanted. This process would take days. Things have since changed. If you create a virtual retail store, it will become the hub for students and their parents to go through various color and design options and pay securely for the items of their liking. In a lot of ways, doing this gets the ball rolling so you can focus on what’s really important in your role.

Myth # 3. You will not make money from your virtual retail store.
In the case of an eCommerce site like URstore, you get a kickback on every sale from your virtual retail store – a perfect way to fundraise for any cause or event!

Myth # 4. You cannot make your virtual retail store your own.
If you can customize your spirit wear, why not customize your virtual retail store? Make your online store unique by branding it with your school logo/mascot and colours, while choosing only the items you think your students will be interested in. And sharing your online store has never been easier: social media share buttons such as in this demo store will help you spread the word about your school’s online store.

Creating a virtual retail store is simple. All you have to do is sign up with your school details, upload your logo and share your store’s link to your students and faculty! You may be reluctant to start but we don’t blame you. However, now that the myths have been debunked, go ahead and create your own FREE virtual retail store here!

4 Books to Inspire You This Summer

You don’t have to be a bookworm to appreciate a good read. The way I look at it is that we read a lot of text on social media, from headlines to our friends’ status updates. Oftentimes skimming through social media posts doesn’t feel satisfying because we are reading incomplete thoughts. It leaves us wanting for more. I believe that reading books or at least elaborate articles on topics of one’s interest is a lot more effective in stimulating you intellectually plus you are left with a new idea or a new thought.

In the past, I used to read headlines to stay updated on current affairs yet I felt like I am not getting a deep understanding of what’s really happening in the world around me. How does a political leader’s speech connect to mass protests and what causes the police to respond the way it does to the public’s reaction. I figured there is more to every story than what we read in headlines. I slowly discovered a solution to this issue and that was long-form articles and books. The research that goes into long-form articles as well as books allows for a deep dive into the issues at hand. My point is that if you think over the last five years, it would be difficult to gauge what you’ve learned from spending so much time reading excerpts and headlines off of social media. By the same token, if you finish even one book in a year, the information stands out to you. You can probably even summarize what you’ve learned.

To summarize, reading books is an enriching experience that will last you a lifetime. So without further ado, here are five books that will inspire you this summer:

1. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
This book is about a young boy named Santiago whose father wants him to be a priest. Santiago becomes shepherd because he figures that this is one profession that will allow him to travel far and wide. One night, Santiago sleeping in a deserted church, dreams of a treasure hidden beyond the pyramids of Egypt. The boy sets out on an amazing journey looking for the treasure.

2. What Color is Your Parachute? By Richard N. Boles
Summer is a great time to enjoy outdoor activities and taking time off work. It’s also a great time to rethink how you want to live your life and decide what your priorities are. Career being a cornerstone to one’s overall happiness in life is an important subject to ponder on. This book helps you decide what job is right for you and how to go about securing that job.

3. Lean In: Women, Work & Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg
As the subtitle suggests this book is about women empowering themselves to take the step towards career advancement. As in the case of a lot of women, starting a family can mean taking a step back in one’s professional life. But Facebook CEO Sheryl Sandberg urges women to lean in and to take charge of their work life.

4. The Celestine Prophecy by James Redfield
This is a fictional book that details nine insights that the protagonist finds in his quest to find fundamental spiritual truths. The book talks about how we are connected as a human species and that we are on the verge of a spiritual awakening. There is some mystery and drama involved but overall it’s one of the better books based on new-age religion ideas. What I took away from this book is that travel teaches you a lot and that the most important lessons of life are not learned through books through meeting people.

How to Raise Independent Kids

How do you teach self-reliance to someone you do everything for? From their preparing food to paying their bills, you do it all for your kids. One of the most important responsibilities of a parent is to bring up kids that can fend for themselves. The key is to holding them close yet allowing them to move. There is a tendency for some parents to conflate loving kids with spoon-feeding them. Parenting is an area of life where there are many possibilities and way of doing things, as long as you’re getting results.

Here are some ways we think you can raise independent kids:

1. Let them make mistakes.
Not making mistakes is the biggest mistake one can make. Let your children go through the fall on their own so they can rise without your help. Maintain a balance between being a supportive guardian and allowing the space to make mistakes they can learn from. Let them forget their lunch one day. Going through a day on an empty stomach may not be comfortable but it will force your kid to ensure he doesn’t step out of the door without checking certain boxes.

2. Teach them life skills.
There is no better way of paving a path of self-reliance than teaching your kids life skills necessary to thrive in this day and age. Regardless of how old your kid is, you can help them develop various skills. Teach your kid how to think critically and delve deep into each topic they learn. Foster their creativity and encourage them to learn the liberal arts – most importantly, language and grammar. Both girls and boys must also learn how to prepare well-balanced meals, clean their rooms and do laundry.

3. Learn to say no.
If you’re a seasoned parent, you will know how to say without saying “No!” There are many other ways of deterring kids from doing something harmful. One way is to simply explain why something may be bad for them or by letting them know that there is a better way of doing something. If do something incorrectly, show them how it’s done right. Give them facts as to why what they’re doing is not right or why they can’t have what they’re asking for. This way, they are well-informed and won’t ask for the same thing again.

4. Create a safe and supportive learning environment.
Parents, due to their intense love for their kids, oftentimes do everything for their kids to make their lives comfortable. They fail to see that each time they perform a task for their kids, they’re robbing them of a learning opportunity. In a lot of ways, one evolves into an effective parent over time. There are lessons to be learned at every stage but it’s important to remember that your job is not to do everything for your kid but to teach them how to get things done on their own. You can’t always be around for your kids to fall back on. Allow the time they spend in your loving presence to be one of learning and exploration.

How to Prepare for an Earthquake

The risk of an earthquake is everywhere, though some places are more likely to endure them than others. As with all things in life, the more prepared you are the better off you will be. Earthquake is not a light matter, it can have devastating consequences for the individuals, families and even societies. Some earthquakes are so damaging that they change the face of a city, and killing thousands of people with each impact. Every organization we belong to should make an effort to remind us of how we can be well-equipped and trained for such an event.

Here are some ways you can prepare for an earthquake:

1. Before the earthquake:
It all starts by ensuring that the buildings we live in, the offices we work at and the schools our kids go to is not vulnerable to earthquakes. This is an especially important consideration if you have an old home. Next, put together a safety kit that includes food, water, first aid, medication, and cash that will last you a few days. Most importantly, create a plan with your family members and those around you as to what steps will be taken if such an event should take place.

Ready.gov is a great resources provided by the US government to help folks learn what to do be ready as well as access to help in case you are affected by such a disaster in your area. Doing periodic drills will help engrain the crucial steps in ensuring maximum safety.

2. During an Earthquake:
Stay as calm as you can. Drop wherever you are onto your hands and knees, get cover under a desk or table if there is one nearby. Also, cover your neck and head with your arm. Staying in this position until the earthquake stops will protect your vital organs from getting hurt. If there are not tables or desks around, stand under a doorway. Avoid elevators in buildings. If you’re outdoors, try to get away from street lights, buildings and utility wires that might fall.

3. After an Earthquake:
Be prepared for aftershocks. Locate your kids and pets to see if they need any medical attention and provide first aid if needed. Stay out of damaged buildings so they don’t collapse on you. Stay away from beaches to avoid tsunamis. Pay close attention to news updates regarding the earthquake to be aware of what seismologists estimate in terms of aftershocks.
Check your home for damages, damaged electric wires, fire, downed power lines and damaged furniture that can create an unsafe situation. Avoid lighters, heaters to to prevent fire. Stay in touch with your loud ones and create a plan for what to do if there is a major after shock.

Why You Should Quit Social Media

You probably accessed this blog post through a social media platform such as Facebook and find it ironic that we would suggest you should quit social media. But hear us out! We think social media is a definite game-changer in how people interact with the world but it’s always good to be aware of any drawbacks of anything we invest our time in. Once you know the problematic aspects of being on social media and still choose to stay on it, at least you’ll have made an informed decision.

Here are three reasons why you should quit social media:

1. It can prevent you from having a healthy social life.
In the age of instant gratification, it may have become too convenient to find fulfillment in the likes and comments we receive on social media but does that amount to a healthy social life? Not in our opinion. You don’t need a study to tell you that having a face-to-face conversation is a deeper form of engagement than exchanging private messages on Facebook. The next time you want to talk to your friend, try calling them. You will find that the connection you have is nothing compared to a bland text message.

2. You may be spending more time on it than you think.
If someone were to offer you two extra hours every day, what would you use it for? You could take up a hobby, read a new book, take an online course and improve your skills, you could do a lot. What if we tell you that you’re spending two or more hours on social media every day and quitting will mean having hours of free time that you could dedicate for something more meaningful? Surely when you look at it that way, it changes your perspective of what’s possible. Grab a pen and notebook and write down five things you’d rather do with your time than spend on Facebook. That will be good motivation to nix your online bondage.

3. You may develop narcissistic traits.
There is no nice way of saying this. Social media boosts your self-esteem and triggers a dopamine high each time you get a notification. That explains why social media is so addictive. The truth is that it rarely creates opportunities for deep and meaningful engagement and often creates a lot of social pressure to appear a certain way. So, to those conforming to the unwritten rules of social media, having an online presence can stroke their ego. On the flipside, others who are unable to meet the labour-intensive demand of publishing a post every day or saying something creative or looking good in photos you broadcast to the world, it can lead to a lot of anxiety and depression. In worst case scenarios, the peer pressure has quickly escalated into cyber-bulling resulting in live and broadcasted suicide committed by the victims.

Getting Parents Involved at School Activities

“What’s the best way for me to stay involved in my child’s school activities?

At the beginning of the school year, attend back-to-school night or other orientation events
Get to know the teachers and other school personnel. Listen to their plans, know what they hope to accomplish with their students, and understand why they chose these goals.
Attend school events
Go to sports events and concerts, student exhibitions, parent-teacher meetings, parents’ night, and awards events, such as a “perfect attendance” breakfast.
Learn what the school offers
Read the information the school sends home, and ask to receive information in your native language if necessary. Talk to other parents to find out what programs the school offers. Maybe there’s a music program, after-school activity, sports team, or tutoring program your child would enjoy. Remember to keep track of events throughout the school year.

Attend parent organization meetings.
At most schools, a group of parents meets regularly to talk about the school. This group is usually called the PTA or PTO (Parent Teacher Association or Parent Teacher Organization). The meetings give you a good chance to talk with other parents and to work together to improve the school, as well as the chance to voice your hopes and concerns for your child and for the school. Help organize parent-teacher meetings around your interests and those of other parents. If you are unable to attend these meetings, ask that the minutes of the meetings be sent to you. Or, find out if the school makes these minutes available on its Web site.”

Read the full post here.

How to Prepare for your Kid’s Summer Holidays

The holidays may be a few months from now but it doesn’t hurt to start planning ahead. In fact, it will serve you well to organize this special time of the year a few months in advance to ensure things to smoothly and you’re on track for all the goals you have for your family this holiday season. You of all people know that school is only one of the places your kids learn, besides their school teacher, you and your partner are their primary teachers. Summer is a great time for kids to learn from you. The best use of these two months is made by creating a balance between the amount of time spent on learning and having fun with your kids.

Here are five tips from URstore to help you prepare the most productive and fun summer holiday for your kids:

1. Book some time off work.
Having a week or two off from work will open doors for exciting things like traveling with your family but if it’s a ‘staycation’ you will get spend more time with your kids which means more bonding and ensures you don’t have to rush from work to tend to your (bored) kids.

2. Create a rough schedule for the holidays.
The schedule will allow you to make the most of your kids’ time off. Use a wall calendar (you can use a digital calendar if that’s what you prefer) and divide tasks/activities by day and week. Once the planning is done, you can focus on the experiencing this precious time with your family.

3. Do some advance shopping for the things you will need.
This is highly important if you don’t want to spend a great chunk of the holidays in malls and shopping centres and instead spend that time out in nature or in the comfort of your home. Remember, this holiday is not just your kids’, it’s yours too.

4. Teach your kids all about safety.
Whether it’s safety in the water or taking care of one’s skin before going out on a sunny day, it’s essential for kids to know how to have a good time while being safe. If the kids are old enough, have them take first aid training. This is a skill that will allow them to foresee hazards as well as come to the rescue of someone injured. For younger kids, learning how to swim is a good first step.

5. Keep the doors of communication open.
Allow your kids to have a say in what activities they will participate in during the summer. Letting them make what may seem like small will have a great impact on their self confidence. If they feel that you respect their decisions and allow them the space to be themselves, it will be easier for them to open up the challenges they face thereby creating a healthy and supportive environment in the home. Talk to your kids about issues that may affect them such as bullying at school, violence among their peers, gender issues and so forth. The more they are informed about these topics, the better they will be able to handle a tough situation.

How to Cope with Stress as a Student

As if students didn’t have enough stress before, the internet has opened door to more anxiety for young students than ever before. Whether it’s unattainable standards of beauty or the pursuit of being the best at everything, millennials suffer immense burden of having it all. Behind the façade of social media, every teen has his or her own insecurities but it’s hard to see through perfectly filtered photos of your peers looking great and having the time of their life. The fact is that everyone has ups and downs but most teens are ashamed of sharing their insecurities to their peers. Some have succumbed to the traps of substance abuse while others inflict themselves in an attempt to silence their noisy minds and attain some level of peace.

The first thing to know is you’re not alone! The second thing to know is that if you are equipped with coping mechanisms, you’ll be better prepared to handle your tensions that cloud your mind. Here are five things the team at URstore believe can make a difference to how well you’re able to handle stress.

1. Diet
As the old adage goes, ‘A good diet makes a person healthy, wealthy and wise.’ And the health it is referring to is not just physical but also mental. Add a good amount of green leafy vegetables in your diet because they are rich in folate and that help produce uplifting hormones such as dopamine and serotonin. Ensuring your metabolism is running at a healthy pace and you’re getting all the key nutrients will be instrumental in keep stress at bay.

2. Exercise
Exercise has a number of benefits but in the context of stress, what exercise does is it helps produce a feel-good hormone known as endorphins. Once you add some light exercise to your daily routine and see the benefits, you’ll never go back to a sedentary lifestyle.

3. Time management
You have to see time management as a tool to combat stress because it does. Use your smartphone, computer or a planner to organize your tasks by the week. The key to getting more work done is to do it early on in the day when you’re still fresh.

4. Seeking help when needed
Knowing when to seek help and whom to reach out to is crucial. Most people seek help when they reach a melting point yet the same help can be much more effective if it’s sought early on. Take some time to find the resources in your school, library and community that aid in coping with stress.

5. Seeing the big picture
No assignment or grade is important enough that you should worry yourself endlessly about it. Recognize your strengths and opportunities and learn what works for you in times of crisis.

Sports and Education Work Well Together

“Athletics have always been an essential component of a liberal education, but recently sports in school have come under attack. If, because of that, athletics are cut or eliminated from schools, the quality of education would likely be harmed.

There is a relatively consistent body of research showing that students who participate in athletics tend to fare significantly better both in school and in later life. Participating in sports, like playing in the school band or competing on the debate team, are cognitively and organizationally demanding activities that help convey self-discipline and leadership skills. This is especially true for students from disadvantaged backgrounds.”

Read the full post here.