Spring News

Centering On Children Inc. News

 May/2011

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Dear Friends,

We are still in the midst of making the transition to our new ShoeboxTasks lids and bases.  For the most part we are very pleased with their performance.  They are slightly smaller than the previous Shoeboxes and the plastic seems more durable and able to take much greater abuse before cracking. 

Due to the rib structure beneath the lid, we have made some adaptations but they do not change the integrity nor the purpose of the Tasks. Those most affected by the change are Tasks 20 and 21.  Task21-Bead Slide is now undergoing a re-design due to interference created by the ribs which had prevented the smooth travel of the bead along its pathway. 

Task20-Letter/Shape/Number/Color Match had to be re-designed quite dramatically.  Where there were once individual circular compartments for each of the nine shapes, there is now a more open presentation.  With less visual and physical structure, this may prove more challenging to many of the students who might be exposed to this Task.  We are again undergoing a re-design that will more closely resemble the original version.  Both of these lids should be available by the end of August. 

For those of you who ordered Tasks 20 & 21 during the transition, we will replace any of these lids free of charge upon request.  We have discovered that the molding process is not a perfect science.  We will continue to make changes until we get it right.

Please, Please, Please let us know how these activities are working for your students. We do respond both to praise and criticism. These activities have always been a work in progress.  They need to be in order to keep up with the students they serve.  

 

FEEDBACK INCENTIVE
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We are offering an incentive to get your feedback.  Write to us about your experience using ShoeboxTasks with your student/s and you will be eligible for one of three ShoeboxTask awards:

*For the entry we deem the best (by a majority vote in our shop), the person will receive 3 of our Motivational Tasks: Red Buttons in Water, Drumroll, and Flex Tube 
*Be considered the second best and you will be able to choose 2 of the Motivational Tasks
*Third best can choose 1 Motivational Task 

We would also like to add the winners' comments to our website.  I suspect your responses may be slanted to the positive in an effort to get on our good side, but we will welcome challenging comments as well as long as the students are benefitting in some way. We will announce the winners in one month's time.  

Also, if you use Mozilla Firefox and would consider using the Web of Trust (WOT) rating system to grade our website and business, we would appreciate it.  This system seems to be on the rise as far as use and is one way to reduce spam and also alert others to companies that may be less than reputable (and more importantly, those companies that are trustworthy).  I think this is one web system that is worth supporting. 


OUR GREEN INITIATIVE
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We recently changed over to 100% biodegradable peanuts instead of styrofoam for packaging our orders.  We continue to look for other green products that will reduce the long-range negative impact we may be having on our environment.  Within the workshop, we recycle paper, glass, metal, plastic and cardboard;  we also use biodegradable cleaning products.  We have replaced some of our plastic parts with wood or more environmentally friendly materials. 

 And we are sourcing as much of our raw materials locally as possible. The biggest change has been getting our Shoebox lids and bases from a family run company about 35 minutes from our shop.  This is a huge shipping energy savings as well as a support to our local economy.  I also found out from this company that there is virtually no plastic waste left over after the production of our lids and bases. They also take back our plastic waste for recycling.

 

Thanks for your continued support and look our for Our ShoeboxTask Handbook that will be published sometime in June. 

 

-Ron Larsen
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