Resources for Suicide Prevention Awareness Month

September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, and Illinois PTA has highlighted Safe2Help Illinois when it was first announced in 2020 and covered the new 988 Suicide Prevention Lifeline (an alternative to the 800 number) in our Weekend Update newsletter. As part of its efforts for Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, the Child Mind Institute is sharing … Continue reading Resources for Suicide Prevention Awareness Month

PTA Addresses Food Insecurity and Hunger

According to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), 37.2 million people in the US lived in food-insecure households in 2018. The pandemic has served to highlight how many families are struggling with food insecurity and hunger. In 2020, National PTA created a four-part webinar series designed to engage PTAs and families on food insecurity and … Continue reading PTA Addresses Food Insecurity and Hunger

Programs for Healthy Kids

Illinois PTA has long been a fan of Action for Healthy Kids, and recently, they updated their website and resources, including translating many of the resources into Spanish. If your PTA is looking for program ideas, the updated website has plenty for you. The resources are now split into three areas: NourishEd (hunger and nutrition)EnergizEd … Continue reading Programs for Healthy Kids

Bullying Prevention Resources for Your PTA

The recent suicide of a 10-year-old autistic black student in Utah, along with reports that school officials did not act when alerted to the repeated bullying the child endured, has brought bullying back into the spotlight. If your PTA is interested in hosting a bullying prevention event or looking for materials to share with families, … Continue reading Bullying Prevention Resources for Your PTA

The Pandemic’s Effect on Children’s Mental Health

The Child Mind Institute has released its annual report on children’s mental health, this year focusing on the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic. The report, The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Children’s Mental Health: What We Know So Far, looks at: What is known about the pandemic’s effect on children’s mental healthWhat are the most common mental … Continue reading The Pandemic’s Effect on Children’s Mental Health

Teen Suicide—What Families and PTAs Need to Know

September is Suicide Prevention Month. Suicide is the second leading cause of death in 15- to 19-year-olds. Northwestern School of Medicine has a resource page on teen suicide that will help you educate yourself and talk with your teen about the issue. In addition, a new law in Illinois will require school districts that issue identification cards … Continue reading Teen Suicide—What Families and PTAs Need to Know

Facing Fears, Supporting Students—New Mental Health Toolkit

Today’s guest post comes from Mental Health America, who have just released a new Back-to-School Toolkit to give families, teachers, and school personnel the tools and resources they need to support children’s mental health. This school year brings increased fear and trauma for many students after more than a year away from in-person learning. The toolkit, Facing Fears, Supporting … Continue reading Facing Fears, Supporting Students—New Mental Health Toolkit

Right to Play and Your PTA

In our wrap-up of this spring’s legislative session, Illinois PTA noted the passage of SB654, the Right to Play Every Day bill that guaranteed every kindergarten through fifth grade student 30 minutes of “supervised, unstructured, child-directed play” every school day. Governor Pritzker has now signed the bill into law, and its requirements take effect immediately. If … Continue reading Right to Play and Your PTA

COVID-19 School Guidance FAQs

Illinois has adopted the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance regarding COVID-19 and schools for the coming school year. The guidance is aimed at helping school administrators provide in-person learning in a safe manner for students and staff. To support that guidance, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) has provided a Frequently Asked … Continue reading COVID-19 School Guidance FAQs

Sending Your Special Needs Child Off to College

Parents of special needs children are sometimes referred to as the attack helicopters of helicopter parents, mainly because they have had to be strong advocates for their child to ensure they receive the support they are entitled to. When those children head off to college, the role for parents changes, but the need does not. … Continue reading Sending Your Special Needs Child Off to College

Safe Summer—Mosquito and Tick Bites

With nicer weather and the easing of the pandemic, families are heading outside again. Two common outdoor pests bring potential diseases with them—mosquitos (West Nile, Dengue, and Zika viruses) and ticks (Lyme disease). The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has tips on preventing mosquito and tick bites. Preventing Mosquito Bites Using the right insect repellent and other preventive actions … Continue reading Safe Summer—Mosquito and Tick Bites

National PTA Launches Healthy Minds

The pandemic has brought discussions of mental health to the forefront, but many families may be struggling with how to prioritize mental health for themselves and their children. National PTA, in cooperation with GoGuardian, Pear Deck, and the Allstate Foundation, has launched Healthy Minds, an ongoing collection of information and resources for PTAs and families regarding … Continue reading National PTA Launches Healthy Minds

Safe Summer–Preventing Childhood Drowning

Today’s guest post is from the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS). As summer begins, DCFS is releasing a new public service announcement regarding childhood drowning prevention. Memorial Day marks the unofficial beginning of summer, and as the country begins to reopen following the COVID-19 pandemic, families will once again be heading to … Continue reading Safe Summer–Preventing Childhood Drowning