Better Hearing & Speech Month

Better Hearing & Speech Month

Are you concerned that your kids spend too much time on tablets, smartphones, or other devices? Do you have fewer conversations with your kids than you’d like because of technology distractions? Do you find yourself constantly asking your kids to lower the volume on devices because you can hear the music blaring through their earbuds or headphones? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you are a typical parent in the digital age. These are struggles for most of us as technology increasingly becomes central to our lives and our children’s lives. During May, the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) celebrates Better Hearing & Speech Month. Given that, we would like to take this opportunity to remind you of the important roles that verbal communication and personal interaction—free from technology distractions—play in children’s academic and social development. Kids today are using devices for hours every day—time that once was reserved for talking and reading, interactive and imaginative play, outdoor experiences, and other activities. Yet, the primary way young children develop their speech and language abilities is through verbal exchange—talking and reading with parents. This is a precursor for their own reading abilities and overall academic success. Children also learn from hands-on experiences. Educational apps can play a part, but they are in no way a replacement for what is learned through person-to-person communication. As we head into the summer months, when children no doubt will have more time to use devices, consider carving out some device-free time each day. You may be surprised by how little they (and you) miss it! Another pressing issue related to technology use is...

A Recap of the 2016 International Trip

Our middle school students have returned from an eleven day adventure in Germany and Austria! The week began in Munich, Germany with tours of the greatest sights of the city including the Marienplatz, Frauenkirche, and Nymphenburg Palace. They even took a day trip outside Munich to visit two of King Ludwig IIs royal residences: the fairytale castle of Neuschwanstein and the palace of Linderhof. And of course they made a short stop to shop in nearby Oberammergau, because no trip is complete without great souvenirs for family and friends! En route to their next residence in Salzburg, they visited Berchtesgaden in the Bavarian Alps. Our students and chaperones enjoyed a guided visit of the historic Salt Mines of Berchtesgaden with its slides, underground lake, salt cathedral, and more. They even visited the beautiful mountainside retreat of Obersalzberg. The first day in Salzburg began after a delicious breakfast including plenty of Brötchen,Wurst, and Obst. The group then savored a morning sightseeing tour of Salzburg… And sight see they did! Mirabell Palace, Mozarteum (University of Music), Trinity Church, Horse Bath (a favorite of Animal Science Director, Ms. Gillette), Festival Halls, Hellbrunn Palace, Frohnburg Palace, Nonnberg Abbey, and Mozart Square were just a few of the stand-outs. The day finished with a visit to Hohensalzburg Fortress and the Mozart Residence. Tuesday began with a travel to the picturesque Salzkammergut for a guided tour. There our CDS adventurers enjoyed the numerous lakes and mountains, visited the famous “White Horse Inn” in St. Wolfgang, and enjoyed a boat ride on Wolfgangsee. Finally they departed Salzburg for Vienna, Austria, and en route, stopped in the historic city of...
Country Day World School STEM Competitions a success!

Country Day World School STEM Competitions a success!

It is very gratifying to see our World School (4th-8th grade) be recognized as having one of the elite STEM programs in this region after top finishes in TWO recent competitions! 5th Grade Robotics Team Our 5th grade robotics team was a finalist in the Lego League Tournament and will advance to the regional in Plant City!  They competed against top elementary and middle school teams from schools such as Berkeley, Shorecrest, Cayman Islands and Admiral Farragut. Under the direction of Mrs. Amy Piper (UE STEM faculty), our team finished very strong and also won the Spirit Award! Middle School Science Olympiad Team As previously announced, our Middle School (6th-8th grade) Science Olympiad team finished 4th in the regional competition and will be advancing to the state championships in Orlando!  This was particularly exciting as it was our first year and we competed against many strong middle schools from throughout the Western region including several 2015 top 5 state finishers.  Under the direction of Ms. Lindsey Gillette (MSSTEM faculty), our students each had top 5 finishes in individual events with a strong 1st as well as several 2nd and 3rd place...
7 Benefits of Learning Multiple Languages

7 Benefits of Learning Multiple Languages

Country Day School is one of very few three language schools in the U.S. where students study English, Spanish, and Chinese. Additionally, it is known to have one of the strongest Spanish preparatory programs in the Tampa Bay region. Our emphasis in world language is rooted in the many benefits of language learning. Below we have listed 7 benefits of learning multiple languages. Increases cognitive functioning. The bilingual brain contains a higher density of gray matter, which contains most of the brain’s neurons and synapses Improves academic performance. Bilingual students are shown to perform better in mathematics and english than monolingual students. This certainly has shown to be true for us, as our students excel in multiple subjects. Strengthens problem solving skills. Languages provide multiple lenses through which to see the world, and therefore, the knowledge that there is always more than one way to approach a problem. Develops empathetic leaders who are more open to different cultures and ideas. Opens doors. Spanish and Chinese language skills are said to be among the top skills sought after by recruiters in both college and career. Helps delay the onset of diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia by as much as five years. The researchers believe this is because being bilingual is a constant brain exercise. Easier to learn more languages. Once you are proficient in one language, it is much easier to learn another. Our students graduate with the language learning skills that prepare them to learn many more languages in their lifetime. The elasticity of a child’s brain makes it the ideal time to learn a language. Our students begin learning and familiarizing themselves with Spanish and Mandarin Chinese at just...