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Age Appropriate Chore Chart

It's important to teach our kids to do age appropriate chores. Find out how chores instill life-long values in our kids and grab our list of what is appropriate for your kids. Our kids need to do age appropriate chores. Find out how chores instill life-long values in our kids and grab our list of what is appropriate for your kids.

Schoolkids' jackets a case of dropped and forgotten

BY COURTENAY EDELHART First-grader Cameron McCormick sat stalling for time in her grandmother's hatchback outside Stockdale Elementary School in southwest Bakersfield. It was time for school, but it was a little cold despite a charcoal gray hoodie she wore to ward against the morning chill. It's the third jacket her family has purchased for her three months into the 2013-14 school year. She lost another gray one a few weeks ago, and another before that. "I can't remember what color," Cameron said, shrugging, when asked to describe the wayward garment. Out of sight, out of mind. In that respect, 6-year-old Cameron is typical of children her age. "It hasn't changed in 30 years," said Cameron's grandmother, Annette Dominguez. "I remember going through this when her dad was little." The culprit is something meteorologists call the "diurnal swing," or the variation in temperature over the course of a single day. In some areas, high and low daily temperatures aren't that far apart. But in early November in Bakersfield, an average day can swing from an overnight low in the 40s to an afternoon high in the 70s, according to the National Weather Service. Parents of small children, with sincerely good intentions, dress little ones in layers so they can peel them off as it heats up. But unlike adults who put outerwear in a closet or over an office chair, elementary school students drop it wherever they happen to be standing -- and leave it there. There are many cycles in a school year. You can tell it's August when playgrounds that were empty over the summer are once again teeming with children. In October, construction paper pumpkins appear on bulletin boards. And you can tell it's November when ... you were expecting something about turkeys? No, the real sign of November is overflowing lost and found bins. They are as sure a sign that fall is near as leaves drifting from the trees. On any given day, castoff clothing can be found all over Central Valley elementary schools. Most often, it's on the playground, but it could be anywhere: a school bus, a cafeteria, the computer lab. Sara Angelillo, 30, has managed to hang onto the clothes her 5-year-old son wears to Stockdale, but she's had a few near misses. "He came home in somebody else's sweater awhile ago," Angelillo said. "We switched the next day." At Veterans Elementary School in northeast Bakersfield Thursday, a lost and found bin had overflowed, its contents spilled over the sides onto the ground. "You can see where it threw up, there, where people were going through it," joked Principal Matthew Baxter. "It's pretty crazy how much gets left out." Jenn German is a yard aide at Veterans. She estimates she retrieves 10 to 15 jackets and sweatshirts a day this time of year. Recess is the worst. "They just get hot and throw them on the ground," German said. "And some of them are school-affiliated jackets, you know with the logos on them, and those things are like $30 apiece." Fellow yard aide Elizabeth Leininger is heartbroken by what she finds casually discarded. "Nice stuff, and they drop it in the dirt or the wet grass and it's all stained," she said. Both German and Leininger are parents, and their own families are not immune even with mothers for whom the issue is top of mind. "I've given up," Leininger said of efforts to get her 8- and 9-year-old sons to come home from school with their jackets. At Stockdale, administrators try to keep children and their jackets together, too, to no avail. "We put the lost and found where it's visible during recess, and in the morning announcements every day we remind the kids to go in there and look through it if they've lost something, but they almost never do," said Principal M.T. Mericke. Half the time students don't even realize they've lost something, so it would never occur to them to look for it, said Brenda Cassell, principal of Horizon Elementary School in southeast Bakersfield. "We try to get parents to label the clothes so we can find out who they belong to, but that's not really happening," she said. Trini Tran, 40, has a 10-year-old daughter and an 8-year-old son at Stockdale. She's seen notes sent home in backpacks imploring parents to label clothes, but hasn't done it even though her daughter has already lost a jacket this year. "I just figured she was old enough to be more responsible and could recognize her own clothes," said Tran, who isn't willing to dig through a heaping lost and found hunting jackets down. "I'll go look on the first day, but if it goes longer than that then by the time you get them back, they're usually all dirty," she said. "Jackets are cheap. You can just buy another one." That is evidently how a lot of parents feel. So many clothes go unclaimed that by winter break, campuses have run out of room to store them. That's why during the next few weeks, schools will be sending frantic notes and emails warning parents of a semiannual purge. Anything that isn't claimed by such and such date will be donated to charity. Some schools get creative as the deadline approaches, laying jackets out on the cafeteria floor during lunch in hopes someone will recognize something. At Veterans, jackets are draped over about 100 feet of wrought iron fencing during parent-teacher conference week. Children are marched past to grab what they will, and parents are encouraged to give the sad display a look after meeting with teachers. Invariably, though, piles and piles of clothing never make it home. It's a boon for local charitable organizations. Among the beneficiaries of school lost and found purges are the Bakersfield Homeless Center, the Jamison Children's Center (a 24-hour emergency shelter for foster children) and Operation School Bell, which provides clothes and coats for low-income children. "At least a dozen schools drop off clothes for us every year," said Operation School Bell Chairman Barbara Sandrini. "We're always surprised not only by the volume but by the quality. Some of it's hardly ever been worn." That's the one upside of children losing so many jackets, Cameron's grandmother Dominguez said. "At least they go to a good cause," she said.

Lost and Found Overflows By Year End

By ELIZABETH A. HARRIS JUNE 25, 2015A tall seventh grader named Azalea Kelley stood in a Harlem classroom last week, surrounded by an explosion of fabric, footwear and the occasional piece of sports equipment, spilling from a clutch of plastic bins. As part of an after-school program, she and a dozen other students were ankle deep in the school’s lost and found, sorting it so that the spoils could be donated to a local church and a family shelter.As a boy tried on a single black hockey glove he picked from the pile, Azalea lifted a pair of black stretch pants in front of her. “Oh, these are nice!” she said. “But how can anyone lose something like this? It’s a pair of pants!”As surely as the sun will rise in the east and time will march only forward, children will lose things. Many things. And by each June, as teachers and students prepare for summer, the detritus of the school year can reach impressive heights.“I am amazed,” said Karen Ditolla, principal of Mark Twain Intermediate School for the gifted and talented in Coney Island. “Pretty much anything and everything, they leave behind.”An unscientific survey of schools around New York City in recent days found a diverse little universe of misplaced treasures: an art portfolio. A lunchbox with food in it. A large bottle of cherry blossom moisturizer. A shower cap. A palm-size doll in a red dress, found at a sixth-through-12th-grade school. Dirty socks. Glasses. And many, many pairs of pants and shoes — or sometimes half a pair.“It’s not uncommon for us to have one shoe,” Ms. Ditolla said. “Sometimes I’ll make an announcement: Will the owner of one size 6 green Nike please report to the office?” When the student arrives, she said: “I’ll ask: ‘Where is the other one? Did you walk around with one shoe?’ But it’s middle school, so they just kind of look at you.”“Please, parents!” she pleaded. “Write your kid’s name on everything!”At Columbia Secondary School, a selective school in Harlem, where Azalea is a student, an assistant principal said that once or twice a week, a cellphone is misplaced by its owner, most often in the bathroom. Generally, the phones and their people are reunited. But during the chilliest months, heavy coats are frequently left behind, and mysteriously, their owners do not seem to consider that a problem.“It’ll be negative 2 degrees and we will have a pile of jackets,” Andi Velasquez, the parent coordinator at Columbia Secondary, said.As Ms. Velasquez spoke, an administrator who passed by said that her son had lost four sweatshirts in a single school year. She suspected that he was giving them away to girls, though he denied it. But the most bewildering item sometimes lost at the school, employees said, is something more intimate: the occasional pair of underwear, abandoned and brought into the office. They hasten to add that they believe them to be clean.“People leave weird stuff,” Ms. Velasquez said.At Columbia, middle school students were enlisted to sort the lost and (not yet) found into three piles: scraps and stained clothing for fabric recycling, old uniforms to keep on hand at school, and clothing and accessories that could be donated to local charities. Many schools do likewise.But before anything goes out the door, administrators said, they do extensive outreach, and often a little begging, to try to get students or their parents to reclaim lost items. When parents are going to be in the school building for an event, like parent-teacher night, children’s leavings are sometimes spread out in an empty classroom for perusal, except for valuables, which must be described before they can be reclaimed.Cara Tait, principal of the Green School in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, said that once teenagers get to high school, they tend to keep better track of their belongings, but there are exceptions.“The only things that seem to land in our lost and found are umbrellas,” Ms. Tait said. “I don’t buy umbrellas. I don’t think the kids buy umbrellas. They just circulate like communal property.”Miriam Nightengale, principal at Columbia Secondary School, agreed that umbrellas were a “hot item,” and on rainy days, she said, students developed a tendency to recognize them.“They’ll say, ‘Oh, yeah, that’s my umbrella!’ ” she recounted. “Yeah, right. When it’s raining. They all look alike.”

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KIDS NAME LABELS FOR SPORTS

It's that time of year! Are your kid's fall sports gear labeled? Label it or Lose it!   

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Waterproof Labels for Swimming Goggles

It's that time of year again when endless summer items such as goggles, swim toys, towels, flip-flops and numerous other items go missing at camp, swim practice, travel, and vacations. Don't wait for your things to go missing. Tag your summer gear in style with I.D. Me waterproof labels!  

New! Write-On Waterproof Labels by I.D. Me

New! Write-On Name Labels by I.D. Me are an immediate hit with parents. Need labels in an instant? No problem. With our new write on labels, simply write your name using a permanent marker, peel and stick and you're done! Great for labeling belongings for daycare, school, camp, work, sports, play, travel and home.             

Inspiring: The Oldest Working Nurse In The United States Turns 90 And Still Going!

This special lady is truly inspiring to us all. A fine example how age should never stop us from doing what we love to do! 

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Since 2009, I.D. Me Labels has been a leader in providing thousands of families world-wide with innovative, durable, waterproof and personalized labels to help them stay organized and their belongings returning safely home.

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