Sunday, January 6, 2019

Heroes Needed...

Happy New Year everyone and welcome to 2019!! January marks National Mentoring Month in our country. As you may know, Rome City Schools has one of New York State's strongest organized mentoring programs through the State government. Over the past 4 years of developing the program, we have evolved into a model program for the State and are mentioned consistently as a community that others should model. Why is this? It is due to the massive amount of individuals that give their time each week for our little ones. Beyond just the individuals that work with our kids through this program, our community is filled with individuals that give their time, money, and care for others within the community. More than ever, our children need mentors, idols, or heroes. Let's face it, when we are all growing up, the person we looked up to the most was considered a hero to us. The unfortunate part is that most of us have never met our hero because we chose someone famous from another part of the world. Even more unfortunate is that there was most likely a more suitable hero for us all right within our own communities, and we just didn't notice. Most people think that role models or heroes need to have fame or fortune or do something amazing to get large recognition. The reality is that a hero/role model needs to be no more than a mentor. Someone who is willing to sacrifice their own needs and wants to help someone else. Fact is, heroes don't have money. Heroes don't have fame. Heroes have compassion. Heroes have a positive attitude and outlook on everything. You don't recognize a hero because they don't want recognition. They simply want to help others enjoy life in a way in which they may not otherwise know. It's not hard to be a mentor and it's not hard to be hero. A lot of society however has lost their way with regard to the concept of setting the example for our children. As adults, we are all free to live our lives however we want, do the things we want, say the things we like. However, that doesn't mean that all of those things are always appropriate for our children. Things as simple as speaking respectfully to each other, holding a door for someone, ladies first, and many more common place etiquette actions are disappearing. So, this month of January, I challenge you to be a mentor. Be a mentor without even having a mentee. Simply demonstrating a positive attitude and being kind to others is all it takes. Our children will notice, and although you won't know it, you will be hero to them!

Face Off Against Colon Cancer

The Rome Free Academy hockey team will be hosting the 7th annual Face Off Against Colon Cancer benefit game (played in memory of Coach Peter Mastracco) on Friday, January 11th at Kennedy Arena, where RFA will face off against Cazenovia at 7:00 p.m.. The RFA Ice Hockey Booster Club set up a fund in honor of the late Mastracco, who passed away from his battle with colon cancer in 2015. Please support your RFA Black Nights as they continue their messaging of “Get Checked From Behind”. Cancer is a disease that has greatly impacted our district and community in recent years. Supporting our students in their quest to support us all is the least we can do. RFA will Face Off against Cazenovia on Friday, January 11th at 7:00 p.m.

Mentors Needed

As luck would have it, we are in need of 3 mentors ourselves for our elementary school mentoring program. Three of the 66 mentors who are volunteering this year have had to withdraw from the program due to re-location or medical reasons. Mentoring sessions are held once a week from 3:15 to 4:15 p.m. One mentor is needed for Bellamy School on Tuesdays; one is needed for Stokes School on Wednesdays; and one for Ridge Mills School on Thursdays. The program will run once a week from now until mid-May. If you are interested or need more information, please contact Amanda Jones (Director of Counseling: or myself.

Peachjar Update 

Thank you to all of our community members and staff for embracing the Peachjar concept. To date, we have saved almost 300,000 sheets of paper (32 trees) in just 4 months of operation!! Our community and district has become a flagship area for Peachjar due to our diligence on this initiative. If you consider what a benefit this program is to our environment, and then compound that over the years that schools have sent home paper flyers to families; it truly is amazing at the work we have done together in a short time to help our environment. If you are not receiving your school fliers or district fliers by email from Peachjar, you can view the fliers HERE and can sign up to receive the updates by email. Thank you once again for embracing this initiative this year!

Best Tech Practices

Our information technology department continues to help educate folks on things related to technology and the cyber world that could be common occurrences or mistakes that people make online. This month, their tidbits are related to password issues that we all encounter when utilizing technology.. In an effort to help you stay informed, please see this brief information page on what to be looking for as it relates to passwords.