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Singing with others has numerous health benefits for your body and mind. Here are a few ways to be healthier and happier with music in your life.

November is Native American Heritage Month, also known as American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month. This month is dedicated to celebrating the rich and diverse cultures, traditions, and histories of Native people and recognizing their significant contributions, as stated by the National Congress of American Indians.

Thanksgiving is a public expression or celebration of gratitude for divine goodness. For us at Operation Xcel, we want to take the time to express our thanks for everything that you have done and continue to do to help our program meet its goals and be successful. Thank you for all that you do!

Gratitude is about more than taking a second to say “Thanks.” Gratitude shows true appreciation. This Thanksgiving, we have some ideas for how you can give gratitude.

National Diabetes Awareness Month is intended to facilitate a better understanding of the types of diabetes, its risk factors, and its symptoms. According to the Centers for Disease Control, diabetes affects 37.3 million Americans, and 8.6 million have the disease but don’t know it; but, diabetes is a preventable disease that can be avoided through lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise. 

On November 25th, support your local businesses and discover hidden gems in your town.

American Education Week takes place from Monday, November 13th to Friday, November 17th. Each day celebrates a different group of people who contribute to the successful education of children within the public school system. The NEA suggests a different focus and ideas for your participation on each day.

STEM and STEAM education programs are crucial for the progress of society and global competition. There’s no denying the fact that children benefit significantly from solid skills in science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics (STEAM). These subjects play an indispensable role in driving society forward, and STEAM/STEM education programs offer an opportunity to teach them to students in a fun and engaging way. Therefore, it's worth commemorating STEAM/STEM Day on November 8th to show support for students in these fields. By making learning these subjects enjoyable, we can teach students more effectively, which in turn will help them excel in their future careers. You can also show your support by learning more about STEM education programs and scholarships offered by institutes worldwide.

“The international comparisons fueled discussion of U.S. education and workforce needs. The bipartisan congressional STEM Education Caucus noted: “Our knowledge-based economy is driven by constant innovation. The foundation of innovation lies in a dynamic, motivated and well-educated workforce equipped with STEM skills.”” (

In order to ensure U.S. prosperity, educators directed their focus toward science, math, technology, economics, and education. These areas were given high priority to promote growth and development.

This month looks at the world through the eyes of a child, so today we look at how you can recognize National Child Safety and Protection Month, and keep the children in your life safe.

If you strive to live an altruistic lifestyle, there are lots of ways to help out this Halloween. Here are some top tricks to make Halloween a treat for everyone.

Make October about more than just pumpkin spice lattes and costumes. Check out some of these ideas on how you can give back this month.

It is inevitable that some children who are part of Operation Xcel have family members who have been diagnosed with breast cancer now or in the past. It is common for parents to ignore sharing this information with their children during such situations, assuming that they won't be able to understand the situation. But children, regardless of their age, are good at picking up their parents' distress, even when their parents think they are hiding it well. Sometimes, children may respond to the news of a family member's breast cancer better than their parents expect. However, the key to helping them understand is through open communication. This article provides not only useful information but also links to websites with useful resources for tips and toolkits to enlighten children about how a family member's cancer diagnosis may affect their lives and how to respond to it if it does.

If you’re looking to celebrate this multicolor season in style with your family, check out these fun fall adventures you need to go on this year.

Happy National Boss's Day! October 16, 2023
Happy National Boss's Day! October 16, 2023

National Boss's Day is a day for people to express appreciation to their bosses. Let's face it, without leadership employees would not know how to steer the ship to reach its intended destination. Every boss who is capable of leading others to successfully realize the mission of the organization deserves to be recognized and shown gratitude. Click on the link below for some interesting discoveries and fun facts (trivia) about National Boss's Day.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) hosts a series of events for people across the globe to participate in World Food Day. This year's World Food Day, with its 2023 theme "Water is life, water is food- leave no one behind," will highlight the challenges faced by 2.4 billion people living in water-stressed countries. Additionally, 600 million people who depend on aquatic food systems are also at risk due to pollution, ecosystem degradation, and climate change impacts.

World Food Day will feature approximately 500 activities across 150 nations and will be widely broadcast through TV, radio, and social media, reaching millions of people. Displays such as drone shows and illuminated iconic landmarks around the world will further raise awareness of the importance of responsible water management. FAO encourages youth participation and has established the Junior World Food Day with activities geared toward youth. For more information about Junior World Food Day and the flagship events for 2023 World Food Day, click on the links below:

Operation Xcel is committed to community betterment, and we believe that effective conflict resolution skills are crucial for our students. We do not tolerate bullying or aggressive behavior among our staff or students. Our goal is to promote positive relationships between peers and staff and provide a safe environment for everyone, especially those who require additional support due to abusive relationships or exposure to such situations.

Operation Xcel challenges all connected to our programs to wear purple on Friday, October 20th - Domestic Violence Awareness Day 2023, and let’s take a stand against Domestic Violence. Wearing purple is a simple way to show support to all those affected while showing commitment to healthy relationships.

Operation Xcel supports and joins a global community dedicated to raising awareness and providing support of finding a cure and for those affected by breast cancer. We challenge everyone connected to Operation Xcel to wear pink on the last Friday of this month, take pictures, and post them on Social Media. Be sure to use the hashtags in the article and tag "operationxcel" on social media.

(Image by Freepic)

Mental health is a universal right. Since 1948, World Mental Health Day has been observed on October 10th to raise awareness about mental health agendas and collaborate globally to develop and initiate lasting change.

Join the World Mental Health Day 2023 campaign to learn more about your basic right to mental health as well as how to protect the rights of others. Click on the image to engage yourself with this year's initiatives.

Dogs are the best, and this month you can celebrate them even more, because October is National Adopt a Shelter Dog Month!

Columbus Day, for some people, generates a discussion that sometimes is controversial. No one alive today can say for certain that Columbus took credit for discovering America. Could it be that American history limits the discussion to Columbus' discovery of America? If that is true, then what exactly does it mean when it is said that Columbus discovered America? Perhaps, the meaning of just one word is what causes controversy.

One in five students reported having been bullied. Strong programs can help prevent bullying in person or online (cyberbullying). Pacer’s National Bullying Prevention program aims to annihilate bullying. It will take more than the victim or its accuser to get rid of bullying in our communities and schools. Bullying is not something that we must tolerate. Bullying is something that we must eliminate. There are ways that you may show support for anti-bullying.

During the month of October let's be intentional and create kind, accepting, and inclusive communities for all students. Discuss anti-bullying with your child and have them take the anti-bullying pledge online. Click on the link for access to the pledge.

October 1st through the 7th is Mental Illness Awareness Week.

"1. It highlights a taboo topic
a. There are certain stigmas around mental illnesses. This week breaks down these stereotypes, misinformation, and discrimination.

2. It highlights real-world experiences
a. The information shared contains stories and experiences of those living with mental illness every day. Their shared experience makes this illness very

3. It saves lives
a. By reaching out, creating conversation, and allowing discussion about mental health you are showing support and understanding. This is needed by all
the people living with this condition" (

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" (

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" (

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
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.