We have had some uncommonly brutal winter weather here in central Indiana this month, resulting in countless school delays and closings. School corporations utilize a variety of different methods to notify parents of changes to the school schedule, including through social media (and I try to keep up with them, too, on the They're Our Kids Facebook page).
Normally, all six public school corporations within Hendricks County are on the same page when it comes to delays and cancellations, but last night, we had the rare instance of three corporations canceling school due to today's brutal cold, while three others opted instead to go with a two-hour delay.
Within two of the school corporations who announced a two-hour delay on Facebook, many parents unleashed their fury through comments on the corporations' social media sites. Most of the comments were less than constructive in nature.
We have gotten so used to social media that it's easy to forget just how far our comments travel and who they impact, so I have a few reminders for us all:
This winter has been crazy, and we're all tired of being cold, cooped up in the house, and having our work schedules perpetually disrupted by school closings and delays. Trust me, I'm right there in that boat.
But bashing school corporations -- or anyone else -- on Facebook, Twitter or any other social media is nothing but negative and mean-spirited.
Let's all try to remember the Golden Rule: treat others as we would like them to treat us.
We wouldn't like it if school personnel got on our social media site and publicly bashed us for how badly we're doing our jobs. Our first response would be that they have no idea what they're talking about because they don't do our jobs.
The same applies to us. We don't know all the factors that go into a decision on delays or closures, so let's not pretend that we're on to some secret motivation behind the school corporation's decision or that the administration has a collective IQ lower than that of a rock. There is no big conspiracy, and these are well-educated, well-trained people who are making these decisions. Understand that this is not a typical winter in Indiana. The schools are doing the best they can in unfamiliar territory.
Don't forget that our children model our behavior, so when they see, hear or read us making angry comments about school officials, they in turn think it's okay to treat their teachers -- or their fellow students -- the same way. We're a society that is sensitive to bullying, and yet we're teaching our kids by example how to bully.
We have a couple of much more constructive or productive options on how to handle decisions that upset or anger us.
First, there's the old adage that if we don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all.
But if we're so upset or angered by a decision that we feel the need to let someone know, let's try a personal letter or email to a school administrator, rather than a public tongue-lashing on social media. (Click here to find your school corporation's website and contact information.) Our chances of getting a response or orchestrating meaningful change increase a thousand-fold when we treat others the way we'd want to be treated.
To understand more about the inner workings of our school corporations, let's get more active with parent-teacher organizations, attend school board meetings, and communicate more frequently with teachers and school administrators -- and not just when things aren't going our way.
And let's just keep the kids out of it entirely. We'll avoid poisoning our kids' minds about school, and we'll also keep ourselves out of presentations made around the world on how not to use social media.
Don't worry. Spring will be here soon.
We're fast approaching February, where Daddy/Daughter dances build off the feelings of love swirled around by Valentine's Day. I'm a daddy, and I have daughters, so I'm looking for Daddy/Daughter dances in Hendricks County that fit into my schedule.
If you know any daddies with daughters, you might want to steer him to this blog.
Here's what I've found:
Friday, Feb. 7, 2014: Father/Daughter Dance hosted at Brownsburg High School by Brownsburg Parks & Recreation. This event is for girls ages 4-12 and their fathers. Admission is $35 per couple, plus $9 per additional daughter. Brownsburg residents get it for $30 per couple plus $8 per additional daughter. Purchase tickets online by clicking here. A DJ will provide dance music, and daughters will also be able to take part in games and a craft. A special gift will be given to each daughter at the end of the night. Photos are available by Captured Memories for an additional cost.
Saturday, Feb. 8, 2014: The Hendricks Regional Health YMCA in Avon is hosting "Be My Valentine" -- a family "date night" that offers music, games, family photos and snacks for $8 per couple (1 adult max.) for YMCA members and $12 per couple for non-members. Additional children are $3 a piece. Pre-registration is required. The YMCA's phone number is (317) 273-9622.
Saturday, Feb. 15, 2014: Plainfield Parks & Recreation presents its annual Daddy/Daughter Dance from 6-8 p.m. at the Plainfield Recreation Center. This popular program features a festive atmosphere, an experienced DJ playing some great music, and a lot of fun for you and your daughter(s). Last year's dance filled up quickly, so sign up soon by clicking here or by contacting the front desk of the Recreation Center at (317) 839-7665.
Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014: The Kiwanis Club of Danville hosts its fifth annual Daddy/Daughter Dance from 6-8 p.m. at the Danville Community Middle School. This event is for girls ages 3-12 to attend with dads, grandads or other important adult male figures in their lives. Registration is $25, plus $5 per additional daughter. A DJ will provide dance music, refreshments are provided, and every daughter receives a corsage and a door prize. Photos are taken for free by the Kiwanis Club of Danville and will be uploaded to Flickr for participants to download at their convenience. Register online for this event by clicking here.
Saturday, March 8, 2014: Project A.N.G.E.L. is hosting their third annual Father/Daughter Date Night at the Pavilion in Avon's Washington Township Park. Registration is $40 per couple, plus $7 per additional daughter. Call (317) 745-0785 for more information or to purchase tickets.
If you're looking for Daddy/Daughter dances in other parts of the Indianapolis metro area, keep an eye on this ever-updating blog post from Indy With Kids.
Can't get to a Daddy/Daughter dance at this time of year? No worries. There are others that take place later in the year:
Friday, Sept. 12, 2014: Family Services, Inc. in Lafayette, IN will host The Cinderella Ball this fall (reader submitted). Click here for more information about the event.
Saturday, Sept. 20, 2014: The Town of Danville hosts its Mother/Son Sports Dance from 6-8 p.m. at the Rec Center. Admission is $25 per couple, plus $10 per additional son. Each child receives a gift, and prizes will be given out throughout the evening. Click here for more information. Register by Sept. 15, 2014, at danvilleindiana.org/recreation or by calling (317) 745-3015.
Saturday, Sept. 27, 2014: The Town of Danville hosts its 8th annual Daddy/Daughter Fall Ball from 6-8 p.m. at the Rec Center. Admission is $25 per couple, plus $10 per additional daughter, and there will be music, games, corsages and snacks. Click here for more information. Register by Sept. 23, 2014, at danvilleindiana.org/recreation or by calling (317) 745-3015.
As I learn about more Hendricks County Daddy/Daughter dances, I'll update this post. And if you know of one in Hendricks County that I don't, feel free to comment below and let me know!
My daughters like to roller skate, and we used to go to Rock 'n Rollers in Avon, Ind. on a fairly regular basis until the place fell into disrepair, got dirty, and the video games robbed my girls of quarters or tickets on a regular basis. We stopped going, and apparently most other parents did too, as Rock 'n Rollers closed.
In early December of 2013, however, roller skating returned to Avon in the same spot where Rock 'n Rollers used to be -- on Casco Drive behind Terry Lee Honda. The roller rink has a new name -- Hot Skates -- and new owners, who have previous experience running a facility like this.
Encouraged by my fellow Visit Hendricks County blogger, Jennifer Donovan, and her recent blog post about Hot Skates, I decided to risk it and take my kids there a few days ago.
I'm here to say that it's safe to return to Avon to roller skate.
The new owners have changed the layout a little bit, repainted the whole place, and done a lot of cleaning. It's a fun, bright place to be in now, and I was immediately eyeing the party room for any number of kid-related events that I'm involved with. I'm also curious to learn more about the fundraisers they offer there, as I'm a part of several kid-oriented not-for-profit organizations.
The new owners also replaced the skating surface, installing a pine floor that is polished up and ready to be rolled on.
One of my favorite additions is the availability of skating helpers constructed out of PVC pipe and skate wheels that help little ones -- such as my youngest -- get out on the skating rink on her own while getting some help with her balance. It gave her a sense of independence, and it saved me from holding her hand and walking her around the rink, lap after lap after lap for hours.
Skate rental was $3 each, plus $5 for the little helper-thingy. I think roller blades can be rented there, too, for $4 each.
The food is good and reasonably-priced for a skating rink. I ordered some chicken fingers for $4.00 and was pleasantly surprised to get four good-sized pieces that were moist and tasty. They even fixed up a slice of pizza with only sauce on it for my dairy-intolerant daughter who ordered a cheese pizza slice without the cheese.
They serve Coca-Cola products there, although curiously do not serve Diet Coke. I, being a Diet Coke-aholic, had to settle for a Coke Zero, which doesn't taste the same. But that was my only "harumph" of the day at Hot Skates.
The video games work -- my youngest hit the jackpot on just her second spin of the Spin-n-Win game, nabbing 250 tickets! -- never robbing my girls of coins or failing to spit out the tickets that they had one. They gleefully traded in their tickets for the typical temporary tattoos, pencils and cheap plastic toys that you find in any arcade.
Hot Skates has free Wi-Fi for the parents, clean bathrooms, coin-operated lockers for coats and shoes and valuables, plenty of large tables to sit around, and a super friendly staff. I was really impressed by how friendly and helpful every employee was while we were there.
They even offer half price off of admission over Winter Break via the coupon below:
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