Friday, November 6, 2020

Be Grateful and Share Gratitude

 November is National Gratitude Month. When we think of gratitude, we focus on the things that we have or are given to us. What if we spent some of our time focused on giving to others. Most people think of giving during the week of Thanksgiving as that is the traditional time that we truly focus on the things that are great in our lives. Many people give to food banks, serve at rescue shelters, or spend time giving or sharing with those less fortunate. This year, consider doing something for our retired and injured military. November 11th is Veteran’s Day. Veteran’s day is our national holiday to celebrate those who serve in the military- mostly those who are retired. You can participate in Veteran’s Day as well as give someone else something to be grateful for by writing letters. Sending a letter or card to a veteran thanking them for all they do or did for our country can bolster their confidence, remind them of how much we appreciate their sacrifices, and build a sense of community for them and you. Below are some ways you to send letters and cards to veterans for Veteran’s Day.

Support Our Troops

13791 N. Nebraska Avenue

Tampa, FL 33613.

Card and Letter Writing Campaign

Guidelines and Information

Operation Gratitude

Helping Disabled Veterans

Donation and Volunteer Information

A Million Thanks Operation

Send a Letter Campaign information and guidelines

You can also send donations and letters to help wounded veterans to the Red Cross

American Red Cross in the National Capital Region

8550 Arlington Blvd

Fairfax, VA 22031

Books About Being Grateful

The Giving Tree by Silverstein The Thank You Book by Willems

Gratitude is the Best Way to Be A Better Person

As Thanksgiving rolls around each November, schools and families look for ways to instill an attitude of gratitude in children and students. Studies show that when children practice expressing gratitude, they have higher levels of optimism, increased life satisfaction, and decreased negative feelingsAdditionally, children who regularly express gratitude appreciate close relationships and feel better about life and school.  Being grateful takes practice, but it leads us right to happiness. Think about what you are thankful for, every day, and your mindset will begin to change. You will see more positive and positive is a great thing.  Check out the video for more information and ways to identify gratitude!

Practice Gratitude Video

Sometimes it can be hard to think of things to be grateful for, especially when we’re overwhelmed or dealing with grief/loss.  There’s usually something within the day to be grateful for - even if it’s that the sun is shining, you get to have your favorite food for dinner, or you get to laugh with a friend.  Sometimes we can take for granted things we can do that others can’t or need assistance doing - being able to breath, walking, being able to see/hear.  Write down as many things you can think about while completing this activity on the Gratitude ABCs!  You can also reflect while decorating your Gratitude Coloring Page or taking time to recognize an Oberon teacher/staff person by completing the express gratitude form.

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Love, Loss, and Growth


Dia de los Muertos

In the last blog, we looked at the benefits of fear. This blog, we are looking at loss. Loss can cover any number of things in life. We can feel loss when we leave a school, move out of a home, leave friends and family. It can also occur when a loved one leaves us. In the world, death is addressed differently. In the next week, we will hear about Dia de los Muertos or Day of the Dead celebrations. You might also hear of All Saints' or All Souls' Days. Let's learn a little more about these upcoming holidays which focus on our lost loved ones.

Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, comes from Mexico. Day of the dead is traditionally celebrated November 1st and 2nd. This two-day celebration is believed to be when the passageway between the real world and the spirit world opens and our deceased loved ones can come back to visit. This celebration involves making our loved ones favorite meals and offering their favorite drinks. The living sing, dance, and rejoice their lost loved ones before they return to the spirit world. The first is traditionally for the children who have passed to come back and celebrate as angelitos. The second is the day the adults return to celebrate a Difuntos. Families celebrate by creating altars, decorating burial sites, and cooking specific food. Día de los Muertos began when the Spaniards came to Mexico and introduced Catholicism to the indigenous people. This celebration blended the Aztec festival dedicated to the “lady of the dead” goddess Mictecacihuatl and Catholicism. Today, festivities include families gathering during the night at cemeteries to light candles and place flowers on the burial sites of their lost loved ones. There is music and reflections of their loved ones.


  • Ofrendas (altars): usually consist of water, the loved one’s favorite food and drink items, flowers, bread, and other things that celbrate the dead person’s life. Ofrendas showcase fire, water, earth, and air.

  • Marigold flowers: The marigold is thought to guide the spirits back with their intense color and pungent smell.

  • Calaveras (skulls): Skulls were used during rituals in the Aztec era and passed on as trophies during battles.Small, decorated sugar skulls are placed on the altars. They are decorated with colorful, edible pain, glitter, beads, and sport huge smiles.

  • La Catrina: The skulls and skeletons that are so prominent come from a desire to stay true to the culture. People painting their faces with skulls and flowers to symbolize Día de los Muertos.

  • Papel Pícado: perforated paper art that comes from the Aztec tradition of chiseling spirit figures on wood. You will find them strung up on alters and in the streets. Papel picados represent air on the ofrendas.

To learn more about recipes, sugar skulls, traditions, and history, look at and National Geographic Dia de los Muertos

For Roman Catholics and Christians,  All Saints’ Day (November 1st) and All Souls’ Day (November 2nd)  celebrate those baptized Christians who are deceased and saints that are both known and unknown to the human world.

Mourning What We're Missing

We talked about fear during the last blog and additionally during our 7 Mindset lessons.  As we get closer to Halloween, Dia de Los Muertos, and All Saints’ Day it’s important to remember those people and things we have lost.  Not just in a sense of death, but also being able to mourn the activities affected by Covid-19 and other experiences.  Here are two videos about ways to find positives in the midst of loss and practice new coping skills.

Mourning what we’re missing

Unlikely Basketball Hero


When fear, sadness, or anxiety sets in we need to make intentional time for happiness. With your family, allow time to blow bubbles, make an album with pictures and happy memories of loved ones and fun times, draw or color these 7 Mindsets coloring pages, relax a little more, take time to express gratitude on the form, tell funny stories, etc. Allow time to intentionally express joy and happiness.

Be Grateful and Share Gratitude

  November is National Gratitude Month. When we think of gratitude, we focus on the things that we have or are given to us. What if we spent...