NEWSLETTER | March 2017 | Vol. 17 No. 5

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You are only as happy as your happiest family member?!


Many times I hear parents bemoaning a problem that their child is having either at school or with siblings and I know the pain that this causes. All parents want their children to be happy—in fact, researchers have found that 85% of all American parents proclaim this to be their biggest parenting goal: “I just want my children to be happy”. The other 15% want their kids to be successful, God-fearing, college-graduates, etc. No matter what, though, we all state that happiness is the main goal, the main desire for most parents.

We all know that we can’t make anyone happy and that happiness comes from inside and not from material things or from getting what we want, but still, when our kids have a satisfying time at a party or come home and chatter happily about their school day, we feel equally satisfied and happy. Somehow, we’ve “provided” this happy life for our kids and that’s wonderful.

One of the surprises of research on happiness is this: when we pretend to be happy (smiling, nodding, etc.) during mealtimes, often we begin to feel happy. Using the muscles in our faces to smile actually causes a feeling of happiness to grow. When we ask our children, “What made you feel happiest today?” kids will tend to answer honestly and will even feel happy while answering the question. Thinking about happiness makes us happy.

The reverse is true. “What was the worst thing that happened at school, today?” can elicit answers that are also both true and misery-making. Sometimes parents will tell me that every day their child cries about an event in school or feels sad or overwhelmed about the schoolwork. I ask the same kids, during a downtime or during general talk at lunch, “What made you happiest this morning?” and kids might mention some of the same issues that parents are worried about.  For example, a very sensitive student might note that she/he hates to be teased, but if I respond, “I bet you know how to handle it, though, don’t you?”  They often smile and say “I don’t care if someone teases me or not, I just say, I’m not listening, and they go away.”  What’s the truth, here?  Are they feeling miserable about being teased or are they feeling proud of knowing how to handle it?  Probably both are true. Feelings are like that—so confusing and so much affected by context.

A young lady in my family worried aloud about getting into the “in-crowd” in 10th grade and talk went around the table with aunts and uncles and cousins making suggestions and offering advice. One of the grandparents said, “Even if you don’t get more popular, you are lucky to have three or four really good friends, though—I bet that makes you happy, too.” Immediately the 10th grader agreed with a smile, “My friends are so important to me.” Later, I asked the grandparent about this and she said, “My granddaughter doesn’t want to be in the popular group, they move too fast for her. She just needs to be reminded that she does have friends that love her just like she is. It’s always good to remind kids how lucky they are right now.”  The grandparent had lived through very rough times in the depression as a young girl and her mother always reminded her of how lucky she was right at this minute. 

I often remember that when I see the idea of gratitude coming up more and more in magazines. If we can find things to be grateful for, it improves our feeling of happiness. If we can start the day with a happy state of mind, it improves the way our whole morning goes. I told the circle time kids that my new morning motto was: Big sky, Blue Sky, Bright Sun, Happy Day.  I don’t know why, but just saying that phrase as I drive to work makes the morning happier. Recently at a funeral, one of the speakers reminded the group of how often the fellow we were remembering would tell women he ran into during the course of the day, how beautiful they looked; and how often he would begin conversations with, “Have you ever seen a sky so blue and beautiful?” and how it made everyone feel happier, just to be around him. Something to think about. 

Kingfisher Kids Studying Health

The Falcons are beginning a science theme on digestion, nutrition, and healthy eating. Our first speaker was Daisy Dickson, an ER nurse and a proponent of the vegan lifestyle. She had lots of information about the earth effects of raising livestock in the industrial farming way and gave us many ideas on combining foods and eating in a more mindful way.

The students had prepared questions, but many of these were answered in her informative talk. This opened up a way to talk about healthy eating—kids were asked to bring in a label from something they eat at home to analyze the ingredients and to research the chemicals at the library.

Soon, we’ll have food activities to go with the theme—some cooking, some gardening, visiting CDC, and talking with proponents of other kinds of diets.

Something Ms. Dickson said that really made an impact on the adults in the room was about general sleepiness in the morning with adolescent kids—she suggested that along with healthy diets, exercise might be more important as a wake up method than the sugary snacks that kids reach for in the morning. It was interesting to see the kids refuting this and commenting that the adults in their lives turned to coffee as a wake-up food and we all agreed that maybe coffee wasn’t very healthy as a wake up food, either. Then, we all noted that maybe a little running around outside wouldn’t be a bad thing to get ready for school. So, maybe a circle time that includes running or jumping will happen once or twice a week. In our new location, inside the education building, we do less of that than we used to—we did circle time outside in the past. So, we need to look at the schedule to see how we could change this new pattern. Also, we’ll be using the afternoon times to play outside more often. Kids need to move to grow. 


Show your Publix Partners in Eduction card when shopping there and hand it out to relatives and neighbors—we get actual cash from this—often a couple hundred dollars a year and it goes toward field trips. If you know someone in the restaurant business, encourage them to use the card, also, when they are running out to buy supplies (pick up one at the school).

Refer friends that are looking for schools to us. Every visit from a referral earns you $10 off the next school bill and if they enroll, you earn $25 off the next school bill.
Put up flyers where you work on the employee break room bulletin board or wherever you think it’s appropriate. 

During spirit month (March) post a sign in your yard to tell folks you support us and to get the word out about us. 

Use our Kingfisher magnets on your car to let people know you are part of this school. The more they see our name, the better. 

Comment on Great Schools about your experience with us—let people know if you like what’s happening. 
If you help with a newsletter for your neighborhood, write a piece about us—sometimes church newsletters or community newsletters might like to have something to put in about schools.

Think about letting your child buy lunch on Friday once in a while—the money we make on lunches, goes toward teacher supplies.

Consider asking your United Way donation at work to go to us—we’re one of the organizations that is “on their list”.

Connect your Kroger card to us online. PLEASE RECONNECT IT EVERY YEAR IN AUG.

Remember to use and designate Kingfisher to support. We'll get a percentage of the purchase which goes towards our art supplies!

Don't forget to LIKE us on FACEBOOK! SHARE OUR PAGE with your friends to help us with exposure. Post your pictures and comments!

Check our website often! Lot's of good info there and we try to update weekly. 



Every year, in the winter, we collect food for hungry people and usually we donate that food to the Atlanta Food Bank. 

This year, we are doing something different—acting more locally. We are donating all food collected to the Tucker Food Pantry, housed at the Tucker Recreation Center. Also, we had planned to set up a collection table at the local Kroger, but were told that they only allow churches and Girl Scouts to do that, now. It’s a change in policy associated with the mission of Kroger. So, the store manager at Kroger is giving us a Kroger gift card so we can buy foods with the kids to donate. Not exactly what I wanted, but the kids will still get the experience of some hands-on food collection. Hopefully the families will also do some shopping—letting the kids choose some healthy boxed or canned foods to bring to add to our food drive box.

Usually, I take $20 and buy food at one of the stores and aim for the “on sale” shelves, but this year, after I mentioned that this was going to the Kingfisher food drive, the cash register manager called the guy in charge of sales and they made everything half-price!  So I got twice as much as usual.

There is no lack of food in America, just a problem with distribution. Actually, there is a thriving government surplus of food that sometimes is thrown away due to problems with distribution. I am hoping Kingfisher can get involved with this—maybe offering space for families to come and get boxes of food one Saturday in a month. When I worked at Westwind Day School in Bremen, we did that and it was really a wonderful experience seeing good food go to families that needed it without a lot of red tape and bureaucracy.

I always remind the kids that we are lucky and generally we have enough, but it’s always important to take action, so we are lucky enough to be able to do that. 


We have several trips in mind for everyone—we’ll start going to the Northlake Library with the Hummingbirds for story time, along with swimming lessons throughout the month.

We are talking about bowling one afternoon with the Falcons and maybe a trip to the World Congress Center to see the Chic-fil-a money interactive exhibits.

The Owls are thinking about Chattahoochee Nature Center, Fernbank Science Museum, and maybe a cooking class . . .

Always, we use several different parks throughout the week and we’ll start using the Stone Mountain playground more often, as well. And, of course, we have our silly, wearin’ of the green St. Patrick’s Day luncheon at Local 7 in Tucker again this year. Parents are welcome along with any guests they want to bring—the more the merrier!


What do we need to be more productive at school?

We really need more used washcloths—I tried cutting up old towels, but they unravel too fast

We need 1 gallon milk jugs or 1 gallon bleach bottles for a science project

We need packages and packages of pink erasers—we go through these like frogs eat flies

We need watercolor markers in sets of 6 or 8.

We could use some paper towels and/or toilet paper . . .

The Falcons each need a small cheap calculator to keep in their desks.

It is fun to have fun, but you have to know how.

March is school spirit month this year—so I’ll be sending home signs for kids to put in their yards and everyone will wear their school t-shirts on Wednesdays.

We’ll post more pictures on Facebook of all of our projects and we’ll have visitors almost every week. I’m working on some school songs and chants with the Owls and Hummingbirds and we have a parade costume to work up for Tucker Day in early May.

I hope everyone has seen the school crickets—we love them, but soon they will return to nature because they are missing the wide open spaces. Every class has some sort of living thing to care for.

With the swimming and tennis, everyone is getting fit and ready for Field Day In May.

I’ll be asking parents to put a flyer on their work bulletin board for the school and we’ll be putting up posters in restaurant windows over the next few weeks.

We believe we will be full in September, with 28 kids this coming year. Several kids will “age out” of our school this year and that’s always a happy-sad event, so the awards ceremony in May will be our chance to celebrate growth and change.

The seasonality of school has always meant a lot to us—the kids that have been with us the longest can recall crazy St. Pat’s in Decatur and in Grant Park and walking in parades at East Atlanta and one year, weirdly, the middlers got to be extras in the Walking Dead when they were filming in Little 5 Points. Every year, we find a parade to march in and some restaurants that are happy to have us. “Time flies whether you are having fun or not. The choice is yours.” And we are choosing to have fun.
For More Information about Kingfisher Academy, check out our website at or email us at We love to tour people by appointment on Wednesdays. Our phone number is 678-615-2313

Call us and tell us about your child and about your current school and maybe we can make a difference for your family. Our mission is to work with bright kids who are not being challenged enough in their current school and we often work with children who are in different grade levels in different subjects. Sometimes advanced students may be great at math, but not great readers or great at history and reading but not interested in math. This is normal for all of us—we love what we love and we have to really work at the things we don’t love. Learning to motivate ourselves is one of the tasks of a bright student—it’s hard to be always thought of as the super student and then to run into a subject where the student is “just average”. These are the students we work with most successfully.

We do rolling enrollment throughout the fall and in January. Because we pro-rate, it may be possible that our low tuition rate will work with your budget. NO one has to pay for the full year if their child is starting later in the school year with us. Our tuition becomes even more affordable when factoring in our added values of free early dropoff and very affordable afterschool rates plus bus service within our immediate area.

We do not do fundraising events as we believe parents are paying tuition and that should be enough, along with field trip fees and paying for Friday lunches. Some schools run expensive fundraisers every quarter, but we depend on grantwriting to make up the difference in buying school equipment.
Kingfisher Academy does not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color, religion, national origin, or gender. We do not discriminate in our scholarship practices, our enrichment programs, our hiring practices, or our enrollment procedures. 
Copyright © 2017 Kingfisher Academy, All rights reserved.

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