CE Today: October 7 — Chicago “Cubs” Win Game Two of the 1882 “World’s Series”

In honor of the Chicago Cubs’ appearance at the National League Wild Card game tonight, we decided to take a look back at their history for the CE Today post.


The 1882 Chicago White Stockings team photo. (Photo source: www.thedeadballera.com)

Back in 1882, when they were known as the Chicago White Stockings, the now-Cubs earned their first postseason win on Oct. 7, playing against the Cincinnati Red Stockings (now the Reds). The two teams were competing in a predecessor to the World Series.

Major League Baseball lists 1903 as the first year of the World Series, but before the championships of today, there was the Championship of the United States, also known as the World’s Championship Series. The top teams from the Major League Baseball leagues would play each other in the series, just like today, but in 1882, the two leagues were the National League and the American Association.


The “Back to the Future” paper that seems to predict the Cubs winning the 2015 World Series.

The Chicago White Stockings were down one game after the Red Stockings’ Oct. 6 win, but they managed to even the series with their 2-0 victory on Oct. 7.

The Cubs have not won the Series since 1908, but this is their year, according to one source: Marty McFly and the “Back to the Future” movies. Cubs fans are certainly hoping history repeats itself.

CE Value: Respect — Firefighters and Fire Prevention Week

For the new CE Value blog posts, WDMCS Community Education will share news about our six values: people focus, respect, relevance, enrichment, fun, and team unity. This month, we wanted to highlight respect.

It is Fire Prevention Week, from Oct. 4-10 this year. The theme this year is,“Hear the Beep Where You Sleep. Every Bedroom Needs a Working Smoke Alarm.” According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), working smoke alarms cut the chance of dying in a fire in half.

In case of a fire, children need to know they can trust firefighters. Some children may find firefighters and their equipment intimidating, so it is important to remind them that firefighters are community helpers. Young children may benefit from this NFPA lesson, and these videos featuring Sparky the Fire Dog.

Firefighters have visited WDMCS schools to talk about fire safety and what to do in an emergency. In other places in the country, they have spent the summer fighting wildfires. Teach your children about fire safety and and all the great things firefighters do this week!

CE Question: What’s the most important manner?

knife-and-forkA quick search on the Internet or a chat with friends and family will reveal one thing about etiquette today: It is changing. While being polite is just as important as ever, “polite” means different things to different people. Social rules are evolving at warp speed, thanks to social media and our ever-changing culture. With that in mind, this month’s CE Question is two-fold: 1. What is the “manner” you remember most from your childhood? and 2. Is it one you will pass on to your kids?

Let us know on Facebook and Twitter! We’re ready for an etiquette lesson.

Monthly Motivation: National Preparedness Month

NPM15_logo_v6Final-nationalSeptember is National Preparedness Month, a month dedicated to planning for disasters and emergencies. This year, The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) are asking people to make a plan now, for anything that might happen in the future. They suggest making plans with your community, your family, and for your pets. Plans can include what to do, how to stay safe, and how to communicate during a crisis. The months ends with National PrepareAthon! Day, on September 30. 

The Ready campaign offers resources like plans and plan templates, hazard education, and supplies and documents for families that want to participate in preparedness activities. Explore their website to find out more about getting ready and National Preparedness Month.

CE Today: September 9 — Congress Names the USA

USA_flagThe United States of America was not always know by its current name. Originally, people referred to nation as the “United Colonies.” On Sept. 9, 1776, the Continental Congress formally declared the new nation to be states instead of colonies. The declaration read:

“That in all continental commissions, and other instruments, where, heretofore, the words ‘United Colonies have been used, the stile be altered for the future to the ‘United States.'”

The Declaration of Independence actually refers to the “United Colonies,” though it does state that they are “free and independent States….” By September, that document had been drafted, signed, printed, and sent to Great Britain. Declaring themselves the United States of America was a way to emphasize the country’s independence: a new name for a new nation.

Rec’s and Reviews: Back-to-School Books

With school starting back up, we decided it was a good time to recommend some fun back-to-school books! Check out our nine picks below, or print out this PDF and take it to your local library or school media center.

Books are for various age groups. Many of these titles deal with being nervous about school and have vibrant illustrations. We always recommend that parents preview books before reading them with their children.

These titles deal with various emotions about starting school, and many have vibrant illustrations. We always recommend that parents preview books before reading them with their children.


CE Question: What’s your favorite first day of school memory?


The first day of school looks different than it used to, but some things will always be the same: excited students, welcoming teachers, and tons of school supplies. Even though they’re  taken on smartphones now, you still take that first-day-of-school photo (or three), and meeting new classmates will always give you butterflies. So, what’s different, and what has stayed the same?

We’d love to hear your favorite memories of the first day of school! Share them with us on Facebook!

Monthly Motivation: Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month

August is Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month. As families are getting ready to go back to school, remember to get their eyes checked before school starts. Children entering kindergarten and third grade in Iowa must have completed an eye screening before starting school.

This month is a good chance to talk to children about their vision and eye safety. If you and your child are curious about how eyes work, the National Eye Institute has a series of educational resources geared specifically to children, including this video on vision in the dark:

Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month is also a good time to remind children to wear protective eyewear when participating in sports and to take wearing goggles in science class seriously. Make sure younger children are playing with age-appropriate toys that do not have sharp or protruding parts. Students may even need reminders about wearing sunglasses that have full coverage and protection.

Most children have healthy eyes and good vision, but the things that threaten good vision are not always immediately noticeable. The best way to make sure your child’s eyes are healthy is a setting up an eye exam.

Some things parents can look for are:

  • wandering or crossed eyes
  • a family history of childhood vision problems
  • disinterest in reading or viewing distant objects
  • squinting or turning the head in an unusual way when watching television

Health Alliance Plan
Prevent Blindness
National Eye Institute

CE Today: August 5 — National Premiere of “American Bandstand”


Image source: thevistapress.com.

“American Bandstand” started as a local show on Philadelphia’s WFIL-TV channel, but host Dick Clark’s vision and ambition got it picked up for a national premiere on August 5, 1957. The show featured popular music and “average teenagers” who would dance to, discuss, and rate the records played, while also showcasing fashion trends of the time. Being featured on the show could rocket a musician or band to fame, while being passed over could ensure they were forgotten.

The show eventually moved to Los Angeles and changed to a weekly format, but continued to be hosted by Clark until the late 1980s. It was the longest-running weekly pop music showcase TV program, until “Top of the Pops” broke its record in 2001.

History.com: “American Bandstand goes national”
USA TODAY: “Curtain falls on Dick Clark, but not on his legacy”
Internet Movie Database: “American Bandstand”

CE Value: Enrichment — Summer of Learning 2015

For the new CE Value blog posts, WDMCS Community Education will share news about our six values: people focus, respect, relevance, enrichment, fun, and team unity. This month, we wanted to highlight enrichment.

One of the ways WDMCS Community Education works to increase enrichment is by providing as many relevant enrichment opportunities as possible. The Summer of Learning programs encompass many of those opportunities. Whether students need a summer learning boost or want a fun way to expand their skills and knowledge, the Summer of Learning provides many activities they can choose from.

Here are some of the enriching Summer of Learning programs that were offered this summer:

Art Adventures — Students learned about different materials and techniques while exercising their own creativity.

Band Bash, Jazz Jam, and Summer Strings — The summer instrumental music programs offered students a chance to keep their skills sharp and build confidence and new friendships.

Be the Boss! Youth Entrepreneurship Camp — Students learned about building a business and the spirit of entrepreneurship before trying it themselves, creating business plans, marketing materials, and products for their own companies.

Preschool Creations — Preschoolers learned to experiment with art and decorate cakes in these new classes all about getting an early start to creativity.

Summer Adventures in Learning (SAIL) — SAIL offers refresher classes in reading, writing, and math, as well as enrichment opportunities such as chess, computers, art, science, sign language, and much more.

Science Exploration — This class let students explore a variety of science subjects, from weather to dinosaurs or forensics and rocketry.