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Happy Chinese New Year!

Happy Chinese New Year from the Incredible Years Team!

We are excited to announce a new member to our staff, Sue Zhang. Sue began working for us a couple of months ago, packing out orders and entering data, while she attends graduate school. Sue was born in YinChuan, China and moved to Beijing during her kindergarten years. Soon after that her family moved to Germany where they lived for 6 years before moving to London, Canada and finally to the United States. Her diverse multicultural experiences inspired her to pursue  graduate studies in Industrial Organization psychology. Her passion is to study culturally sensitive hiring processes and help companies implement better onboarding processes. She has started her master’s program at Seattle Pacific University and we are delighted to have her working with us  at Incredible Years and sharing her insights and expertise with us. This week she and Fu (meaning Luck, 富) have been helping us understand how to celebrate the Chinese New Year.

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Sue and Fu teach us more about Chinese Year

Sue has been helping us learn more about Chinese New Year and the various customs associated with this special holiday.  This morning, Sue and Fu caught up to learn more about Chinese New Year, and Fu was very excited to receive a traditional red envelope!

Fu: I’m so happy to be able to teach people about Chinese New Year. It’s hard to contain my excitement! Traditionally, Chinese New Year (also known as the “Spring Festival”) is a time to spend with family and make way for good luck. The celebrations include decorating with red paper cuts, lighting firecrackers, and giving money in red paper envelopes to children.

It is common for people to wear red clothing and decorate with the color red – the color symbolizes fire, and based on legend can drive away bad luck and the Nian monster.

Typical celebratory foods include egg rolls, Nian Gao (New Year Cake – a glutinous rice cake), pork dumplings, shrimp pot stickers, and more! Each of the dishes has a simple meaning behind them, often playing on the pronunciation of the Chinese characters.

Celebrations last for 15 days and on the final day there is a lantern festival. Lanterns might be painted with different symbols, such as birds, flowers, or animals. In many places, a dragon dance occurs during the lantern festival. The dragon is normally fashioned out of silk, paper and bamboo, and is held up by young men who guide the dragon through the streets.

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This year marks the year of the Horse.  The Chinese Zodiac comes from a 12-year cycle – each year corresponds to a different animal sign. Those born in horse years are said to have qualities such as cheerfulness, wit, and energy.

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Fu: I’m excited to celebrate Chinese New Year with Wally, Molly, and Dina, to teach them more about our traditions! I think Dina would make a good dragon – don’t you?

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Fu thinks Dina would make a pretty good dragon – we agree!

We hope that those of you who plan to celebrate this holiday enjoy the festivities – it sure sounds like fun! Even if you are not participating in all of the celebrations, we hope you have enjoyed learning more about this special tradition and perhaps feel encouraged to delve deeper and learn even more about the Chinese New Year!

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Happy New Year from Sue, Fu, and the rest of the Incredible Years Team!

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Happy New Year! Website Refresher

Happy 2014! We hope you all are enjoying a good start to the new year.

In honor of the new year, we would like to provide you with a few refreshers regarding our new website. When the new website went live, you may remember we did tutorials to help with navigation – there is a lot of information on there! Since then, we have made some further changes/additions, and so a bit of review seems to be in order. Today we will focus on the “For Parents and Teachers” section of our website. We have done quite a bit of work on this area and it’s important you know where to find everything!

For Group Leaders and Mentors/Trainers, this is a really important section to refer the parents/teachers in your groups to. There are handouts, articles, and resources for parents and teachers which can be used to help reinforce concepts and further their understanding.

Let’s start out by taking a look at the home page:

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Notice that you can access the same links by either clicking on the orange buttons (For Administrators, For Researchers, etc.) OR by hovering over the “Home” tab up top.

A couple other quick pointers, while we’re looking at the home page:

1. If you are a group leader, go to the white box that has the orange “IY Group Leaders” section – click on “Go to resources” to access things like handouts and forms.

2. Hover over “Programs” to find specific program information.

3. Hover over “Research” to access things like Measures/Forms and the Research Article Library.

Okay – continuing on! Bring the focus back to the “Parents and Teachers” section. Like we said, either click on the big orange “Parents and Teachers” OR hover over “Home” and scroll down to “Parents and Teachers” (then click on it!).

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You will arrive at this page:

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Take note of the right hand side of the page: “Learn More” (in blue). There is a list of links you can access in the “Parents and Teachers” section. You can also access the same links by scrolling down on the page.

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If you choose to scroll down, first you will see a blue link to click if you are looking for Incredible Years® Providers in your area. So, if you are looking for agencies that run Incredible Years parent, teacher, or child classes – click that link! (Remember you can also access it above on the right – go to “Learn More” and click “Looking for Incredible Years® Groups?”).

If you are looking for articles, books, downloads and products, click the applicable link.

Finally, if you are interested in watching parent and teacher testimonial videos, showing their experiences with the IY programs, click the blue link at the bottom (you cannot access this link from the Learn More section).

Now to explore a bit more in depth! Let’s go back to the Incredible Years Providers. If you click that link, here is where you will be led to:

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This page is a great resource! We have just added it recently. It is a compiled listing of agencies and individuals implementing the Incredible Years® in Canada and the United States. We have chosen agencies who have certified group leaders, meaning they have had further review and feedback with their use of our programs.

You can find agencies by using the map (which operates just like a Google map), or, by clicking the toggle buttons below. There is more extensive information about each agency in the toggle button sections than on the map.

Finally, let’s look at one of the Resources/Handouts pages. We will take a look at the page for Parents, but the same is available for Teachers. Just click the link that is applicable to you.

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This is the page “Articles and Handouts for Parents” – which you can access from the “Learn More” section. This page provides free downloads for parents. There are handouts and articles written by Carolyn Webster-Stratton, Incredible Years® Developer.

Lastly, If you go back to “Learn More” you can also click on “Resources and Books for Parents” which will take you to a page where you will see products that parents and/or teachers can purchase to use with children.

We will be posting a few more tutorials over the next couple of weeks – please let us know if there is anything in particular you would like us to cover!

~The Incredible Years® Team