Happy Hispanic Heritage Month to all Hispanic/Latin American families who share life with us.
Being kind to a stranger may seem simple, but it often requires a conscious effort to do. How can you show kindness to strangers in your life? We have 9 ideas to start.
How can you make a difference in the world? By reducing your carbon footprint. Check out these easy ways you can lessen your environmental impact and help save the earth.
A mentorship program has more in store than just for the mentee. If you’re not sure whether mentoring is right for you, take a look at these eight ways becoming a mentor can benefit you.
The International Day of Peace is observed around the world on September 21st. The observance is “a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, through observing 24 hours of non-violence and cease-fire. Never has our world needed peace more.”
"This year’s theme is Actions for Peace: Our Ambition for the #GlobalGoals. It is a call to action that recognizes our individual and collective responsibility to foster peace. Fostering peace contributes to the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals will create a culture of peace for all" (www.un.org/en/observances/international-day-peace).
Click on the image to learn more, especially about how children and youth can get involved.
National Hispanic Heritage Month is recognized and celebrated from September 15th through October 15th. "National Hispanic Heritage Month traditionally honors the cultures and contributions of both Hispanic and Latino Americans as we celebrate heritage rooted in all Latin American countries. During this month and throughout the year,... (we),... share the history, heritage, and accomplishments of Hispanic and Latino Americans of past and present" (hispanicheritagemonth.gov).
Operation Xcel celebrates all the contributions and participation of our Hispanic/Latino American children whom we are blessed to mentor, tutor, and coach toward their excellent futures! Happy Hispanic Heritage Month.
Tomorrow, September 12th, commemorates America’s favorite frothy chocolate drink in a way which brings together chocolate and ice cream lovers alike.
Sunday, September 10th is World Suicide Prevention Day. The theme this year is Creating Hope Through Action. What might you do to offer hope to somebody who only needs to know that someone cares? "By creating hope through action, we can signal to people experiencing suicidal thoughts that there is hope and that we care and want to support them. It also suggests that our actions, no matter how big or small, may provide hope to those who are struggling" (WHO, 2023).
Wear a yellow ribbon to show your support for suicide prevention.
Since 1967, International Literacy Day (ILD) celebrations have taken place annually around the world to remind the public of the importance of literacy as a matter of dignity and human rights, and to advance the literacy agenda towards a more literate and sustainable society.
The theme this year is ‘Promoting literacy for a world in transition: Building the foundation for sustainable and peaceful societies’.
Operation Homework is a program that helps students with their academics, focusing on completing homework, preparing for tests, building social skills, and developing effective study habits. We partner with parents, students, and school staff to create a plan that suits each student's needs and ensures success. Best of all, this program is completely free!
Whether you choose to volunteer at a local shelter, support military service personnel or donate to a cause you care about, your Labor Day can be focused on honoring those who have worked so hard to build up our country’s economic and political well being.
Join Operation Xcel in our "Back in School" Event to help our community members and families prepare for a successful school year. We will host information sessions from various community experts, offer free resources at our community resource fair, and give away supplies to help our students succeed this year.
During the month of July 2023, Operation Xcel staff nominated parents and staff as Parents/Staff of the Month for their value-added participation in helping the students realize success in our programs. Each parent and staff member was recognized with a gift card and an article in the August newsletter. Operation Xcel is grateful for every person who contributes or participates in any way to help foster our program's success!
While quotes might not directly stimulate our own lives, they play a significant role in encouraging a positive lifestyle. So go ahead, discover inspiration.
When it comes to living an altruistic lifestyle, compassion for others doesn’t have to stop with humans.
What is National Be Kind to Humankind Week?
National Be Kind to Humankind Week is an annual observance that takes place from August 25th to 31st. It is a time when individuals and communities come together to prioritize acts of kindness and compassion. The week serves as a reminder of the importance of treating one another with love, empathy, and understanding, and it encourages people to make a positive difference in the world.
Coffee has been around for thousands of years, but it hasn’t been until recently that we’ve discovered just how many incredible benefits it actually has.
This back-to-school season, do more than simply prepare for a new school year—help those in need!
Scholastic Parents Staff proffers eight tips to assist parents to get their children ready to return to school. Their intent is to help relieve children's anxiety and remove the pressure that children usually feel about returning to school. These tips are from Heather O'Connor, a 3rd grade teacher in Connecticut, who has experience dealing with children during back-to-school season. “Children enter the school year with different skills, goals, and social-emotional aptitudes," says Ms. O'Connor. "Teachers know this and strive to foster a strong relationship with each student from the moment they enter the classroom community".
Save the Date for Operation Xcel's Back in School Event
Mark your calendars and save the date. Operation Xcel will launch its first ever 'Back In School' Event on September 9th from 10:00 AM until 3:00 PM at First Baptist Church located at 1000 West Friendly Avenue in Greensboro, NC.
More details and information will be coming soon! Stay tuned!
Over the course of our 6-week 3 Steps Ahead Summer Program, students engage in academic and enrichment activities, field trips, and interactive learning experiences. Throughout the summer, students produce and create learning activities and projects. Summer Showcase is intended to be a community event where students get to "Show off" their learning from the summer to their families, friends, teachers, school personnel, donors, and community members.
Summer can often feel too short, but with this list of potential activities, you’re sure to fill your days with activities that turn into fond memories.
International Day of Friendship has evolved from Hallmark's 1919 original idea of sending cards to celebrate friendships. For some reason, the idea fizzled out in 1940 but the world renown "Ambassador of Friendship", Winnie the Pooh, breathed life back into the concept of celebrating friendship again in 1998. Thirteen years later the United Nations declared July 30th as the International Day of Friendship encouraging all nations to promote kindness and togetherness. Around the world people celebrate togetherness in ways that unique to their own culture but the benefits of friendship are universal. The benefits of friendship are plenteous and the life of every person is enriched by having and being a good friend.
When you have an efficient morning routine, you set an effective tone for the rest of the day. Here are five ways to establish a productive morning routine.
Did you know that you deserve to treat yourself well and that focusing on your own well-being is perfectly all right? National Today asserts that self-care reduces anxiety, boosts energy, increases self-confidence, and helps you put forth your absolute best! Why not spend the next couple of days deciding what you will do for Y-O-U on International Self Care Day. I look forward to Monday because I already have what I will do planned out. What about you? Unless you take care of yourself and make yourself a priority, you will find yourself lacking when it comes time to be what someone else needs when they feel incapable of handling life’s challenges on their own.
Healthy communities include what Operation Xcel has successfully created and sustains—a supportive and shared community in which diversity, equity, and inclusion is valued and appreciated. This intentional means to promote diversity and inclusion is noted in Operation Xcel’s Diversity and Inclusion Impact statement on their website. Operation Xcel is a healthy 'safe space' where students, parents, and staff can find acceptance, value, and inclusion. Such an appreciation for diversity and inclusion, along with a strong sense of community and motivated support systems, are essential when attempting to secure the health of all individuals including BIPOC. However, even in healthy and supportive communities individuals demonstrate the need for mental wellness checks. That is when we suggest that those individuals take Mental Health America's Mental Health Test and take necessary steps to get help to heal.
Setting goals is simple. We’ve all heard different phrases, acronyms and ways to properly set a goal for life. However, accomplishing goals can be a whole different task.
The month of July is full of great things: Independence Day, baseball and… hot dogs. In fact, July is recognized as National Hot Dog Month. That’s right, the little sausage has an entire month dedicated to its celebration.
Planning an Independence Day party shouldn’t have to be stressful. We’ve compiled a list of everything you need—from food to activities—to throw a bash your friends and family will rave about.
Whether they’re familial, romantic or platonic, relationships are vital to beneficial and stable lives. So how can we learn to build positive and enriching relationships? Take a look at these top eight tips for some ideas.
Immigrant Heritage Month can be a time when we recognize and value the contributions that immigrants have made to the United States.
Operation Xcel employs some bilingual staff to work with children and parents whose primary language is not English. These children come from homes that only speak Spanish—it being the language most widely spoken besides English in America. Have you ever considered assisting a child for whom English is their second language with reading or other subjects? Operation Xcel has volunteer slots available that you might fill in celebration of Immigrant Heritage month and beyond.
You may not be able to volunteer but you may consider donating to help defray the costs of offering Operation Xcel programs to children/youth Afterschool Program and Summer Camp at no cost to the participants. There is a button to donate at the top of each of the pages on our website
This summer, take some time to enjoy a vacation. Whether it’s three days or three weeks, at home or across the world, throw yourself into the moment and use it as an opportunity to relax, regrow and reconnect with your loved ones.
Juneteenth is a holiday about which many know little or nothing. This article will increase awareness while also reminding everyone to honor the day that all people became free. The Emancipation Proclamation by President Abraham Lincoln dated January 1, 1863 did not free all slaves. Instead, slaves in Texas were not freed until June 19, 1865, two and a half years later. While most or all Americans celebrate the Fourth of July as Independence Day, it is a day that commemorates only when all Americans were intended no longer have to work as slaves with no wages. Juneteenth is the day that Americans can celebrate because it is the date that 100% of slaves were actually made free. Join us as we celebrate Juneteenth on June 19, 2023 which is now a federal holiday.
According to the Library of Congress, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, and Asexual (LGBTQIA) Pride month is celebrated in the month of June of each year. LGBTQIA Pride month is in recognition and honor of the Stonewall Uprising that happened in Manhattan, New York in 1969. The Stonewall Uprising marked the initiation of the Gay Rights Movement in America, a time when LGBTQIA individuals took action to demand a stop to gay oppression. During the decades that follow, members of the LGBTQIA community have demanded equal rights as citizens of this country.
Operation Xcel promotes inclusion, respect, compassion, and acceptance of every individual with whom we interact. Operation Xcel is a community where LGBTQIA members are accepted and embraced! Below you will find links for more information for your reading and learning pleasure.
Click on this title or image to follow the link for additional information and pride month activities that you and your family may participate in during the celebration of Pride month.
To learn more about the Stonewall Uprising, follow this link.
To learn more about general social justice terms for increased understanding and/or to initiate discussion, follow this link:
The image of children with Gay Pride posters is used as licensed by Ted Eytan licensed CC BY-SA 2.0
We Are Teachers provide interesting ideas that children can create for their Dad on Father's Day! Click on the image on the left for ideas. Parents/Teachers may help the children find and create a craft idea that their Dad will love for a Father's Day gift.
Father's Day is a time when everyone gets a chance to let their father or father figure know just how much they are appreciated. This article provides interesting facts about the history of Father's Day and the author asks then answers a fun question concerning Dads.
This Father’s Day, give Dad the best gift: a caring, compassionate life. See how you can support others around you and give back this Sunday.
NC SAFE is a week for all North Carolinians to do their part to help reduce the unnecessary death of children and teens because of gun accessibility when owners of firearms do not store them securely. Governor Roy Cooper and the North Carolina Department of Public Safety have launched a campaign in which every NC resident can participate either to increase their awareness or to ensure that their firearm is stored safely and out of the reach of children and teens. Operation Xcel cares about this campaign because we desire that all children have the opportunity to live without fear of injury or death of any of their peers or themselves.
How can you and your family celebrate June? By trying out some of these easy and delicious options to celebrate National Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Month.
Each day gun violence takes the lives of 120 Americans and many more who are wounded in the United States. Wear Orange in honor of Hadiya Pendleton and the 43,000 others who died and almost 76,000 who were shot but survive every year because of gun violence in America. Wear orange to demand a future without gun violence in America.
This Memorial Day, we remember and honor the men and women who have served our country’s armed forces—specifically those who have given the ultimate sacrifice.
Jennifer Nelson, the Program Director at Operation Xcel defines Summer Slide and describes its adverse effects on children who experience no learning during the Summer. Operation Xcel offers free Summer camp for children to attend daily. At Operation Xcel's Summer camp certified teachers provide hands-on instruction where the children academically focused programming, enrichment, poetry, and robotics four times each week.
If you try to live altruistically, then combating your own loneliness can play a vital role in how you serve others. Here’s how to overcome loneliness in everyday life.
Teenagers are our future; by building them up and encouraging them—even if they’re not our own children—we can create a better future for generations to come.
Children are getting ready to take their end-of-grade assessments. With tests comes some unexpected anxiety. Operation Xcel wants parents, guardians, teachers, and others to remember to pay attention to the signals that children demonstrate that show that they are feeling stressed or anxious about taking tests. Parents and significant others should remember to check in with the children to make sure that they are alert and ready to do their best to demonstrate competency that they understand what they learned throughout the school year. If the child is showing any signs of anxiety or apprehension, parents and significant others are encouraged to use the resources available to have the talk and help the child do the work to achieve mental wellness.
Operation Xcel's Operation Homework students have had a productive year while learning and growing during their afterschool activities! The students are excited about what they have been able to accomplish and would like to share their activities and projects with you. The Operation Homework sites will be open on the dates shown for you to drop in and see just how enriching an experience the students have had throughout Spring 2023.
If you strive to live an altruistic lifestyle, there are plenty of gifts you can give your loved one on Mother’s Day that also give back to others in the community.
Children's Mental Health Acceptance Week is Sunday, May 7th through Saturday, May 13th, 2023 and Operation Xcel wants to help those who care for and about children understand the importance of regular mental health check-ins. The child's village of parents, teachers, caregivers, counselors, families, and friends are instrumental in the life of every child and are usually the first ones to recognize when a child is behaving differently. It is then that one of the village needs to check up on the child and assess their mental health. Seeking out therapy early on is very instrumental in training a child to cope through life's difficulties as they grow into adults themselves. Operation Xcel encourages every parent to simply ask their child about their well-being and what they have been experiences during the week of Children's Mental Health Acceptance week. We have provided useful links to activities, videos, discussion starters, workbooks, and more to help!
Children need to know that it is 'okay to not be okay'! Getting a child the help that he/she needs to deal with childhood traumas and insecurities may prevent their carrying the residue of the events into their adulthood. Parents, when was the last time you gave your child a mental wellness check-up? May 7th is National Children's Mental Health Awareness Day and Operation Xcel is going to gift you with a symbol of its significance as a reminder to schedule a little time to have that heart-to-heart chat with your child/children.
While it might seem simple to say talents can help others, actually identifying your talents and putting them to good use can be a little bit more difficult.