9-Year-Old Shoots Classmate--Wakeup Call for Parents, Educators

A third-grader faces criminal charges for accidentally shooting 8-year-old Amina Kocer-Bowman, a fellow student at Armin Jahr Elementary School in Bremerton, Wash. His dad, Jason Cochran said the boy "made a mistake," reports AP. The court is trying to decide if the child understood what he was doing. Once again, two children's lives are disfigured by the foolish choices of adults. It's a wake-up call about parenting, kids and guns. It's about kids falling through the cracks in our educational system. It's about kids living in horrific danger and not knowing how to cope. Read more at School Shooting by 9-Year-Old: a Gun Control Wake-up Call

Lenten Rice Bowl Devotional and Lesson Planner

Looking for a simple, yet effective way to teach special needs kids about Lent and charitable giving? Catholic Relief Services is the single largest non-governmental relief agency in the world. Each year at Lent CRS initiates what is called 'Operation Rice Bowl'. Operation Rice Bowl is a program which focuses our attention on the cardinal aims of the Lenten season: prayer, fasting and alms-giving. The Rice Bowl project consists of a cardboard box which when assembled, looks very much like the take out boxes that rice comes in. The Rice Bowl is a box which families set up in their homes during Lent to collect loose change and offerings for the poor and hungry of the world. Operation Rice bowl also includes a Lenten prayer calendar with devotional activities, feast days and stations of the cross. Each calendar day has a prayer focus. Specific information about world poverty statistics and needs from around the world are listed also. Great for social studies. Read more at Lenten Rice Bowl Devotional and Lesson Planner

Free Printable Valentines Day Countdown Calendar

Countdown calendars are becoming very popular to help children count down the days to special events and holidays. Here is a free printable countdown to Valentine's Day calendar. This cute cut and paste craft works well for preschool, elementary classrooms, homeschool and Girl Scout troop activities. It's perfect for special needs kids to learn telling time and calendar skills. Great for preschoolers, too.

This craft comes from those very creative folks at Family Fun. To begin making your free printable countdown to Valentine's Day calendar, print the Valentine candy box here. Cut out the candy box pattern. To make a reusable Valentine calendar, laminate the Valentine candy box using a home laminating kit or contact paper. You can make this countdown calender reusable by attaching it to a recycled piece of cardboard from a cereal box, also. Use it as a file folder game by taping it to the inside of a blank manila file folder. For printables, read on at Free Printable Valentine's Day Countdown Calendar

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