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November Parent Newsletter

Updated: Nov 12, 2018

We hope you like our new blog-style newsletter! A special thank you to the over 70 families who supported SEPAC during the 4th Annual Trunk or Treat! Your generosity will go toward supporting our spring event calendar! If you couldn't attend, check out some photos here and mark your calendar for next year!


SEPAC Spring 2019 Agenda - We Need Your Vote!

We are in the process of finalizing our spring calendar of events and workshops. In order to provide events for parents and families, the SEPAC relies on funding earned from events like the Trunk or Treat and Parent's Night Out!

Help us decide what to offer in the spring - Click on the link below to vote for one of the following workshops:

Option 1: Executive Function Workshop

Option 2: Anxiety

Option 3: Share a new topic you are interested in!


Mark Your Calendars for these SEPAC Sponsored Events!

Wednesday November 7, 2018 – Parent’s Night Out SEPAC Fundraiser at Craft Bar!

The Craft Bar | 560 Kelley Boulevard | North Attleboro, MA 02760

6:30 pm to 9:30 pm

Registration Required - Register here: Registration Link

Friday November 9, 2018 – Nutrition and Wellness Workshop with Kristina Poggi, MS

Freeman Kennedy School Cafeteria | 70 Boardman St. | Norfolk

6:30 pm to 8:30pm

Registration Required - Register here: Registration Link

Tuesday November 13, 2018 - Self Esteem through Art for Boys

A class for 5th and 6th Grade Boys at the Freeman-Kennedy School. Teaching Boys the Art of Authentic Personal Expression And Creative Thought with Castles, Fortresses and Pirate Ships As Our Inspiration. Hosted by Jennifer Pipe

Freeman Kennedy School | 70 Boardman St. | Norfolk

3:30 to 5:00 pm

Registration Required - Register here: Registration Link

Thursday November 15, 2018 - SEPAC General Meeting

H. Olive Day Computer Room - 136 | 7 - 9pm

We are looking for fresh ideas for our upcoming spring parent workshops! Volunteers are always welcome. We hope to see you there! Registration Link

Sunday November 18, 2018 - Friends of SEPAC Christmas Tree Farm Family Photos

It's fall, which means it is time to book your Christmas Mini Session! These sessions are perfect for sending out beautiful custom Christmas Cards to your family and friends. For $125 you will get a 15 minute family photo session on Deerfield Christmas Tree Farm. After the shoot you will be able to choose 5 digital images for DIY Christmas Cards! 50% of sales will be donated to Norfolk SEPAC! Book your session on Eventbrite here!


From the Desk of Ann Proto and Norfolk Recreation

When registering your child for the Norfolk Recreation Programs, there is a section on the "registration notes," where you can share information about your child's special needs or medical concerns. Sharing this information will help to implement appropriate accommodations, ensuring you child's safety and success with regard to access of the recreation programs. 

You are also able to email  ( or call Mrs. Proto (508-520-1315) directly with that information. 

To register for a Recreation program please go to and follow the links to Recreation and then to On-line registration.


Parent Education

Nutrition Essentials for Children & Families by Kristie Poggi, MS

"What you eat and drink has a powerful effect on your ability to perform in school, sports and in life." – Nancy Clark, Registered Dietitian, Sports Nutritionist & Author

Last month I had the privilege of speaking to all the Kindergarten through 6th grade children in the Norfolk Public Schools at a set of assemblies to kick of the 2nd annual “Every Kid Healthy Week.” I can honestly tell you I had more fun that day than I’ve had in a while! Each audience, from the oldest to the youngest students, was polite, attentive, and engaged in our discussion about good nutrition. The children and I agreed that the topic of food is truly fascinating. We talked about how it’s related to all kinds of subjects from history to science, and that while food is part of family traditions and is fun to share with friends, it’s also what truly fuels our bodies and allows us to do all the different and important things we do as people. My favorite part, though, was kids’ reaction to the concept that, as the body’s fuel, food does a whole lot more than give us energy to run and play and be active.

The kids seemed the most impressed by the fact that food gives us the energy to accomplish all of the “invisible work” our bodies do 24/7, 365. Food gives us the fuel we need to think, learn, experience emotions, breathe, digest, and quite literally build our bodies all the way down to a cellular level. That’s right, folks, we talked about the old cliché, “you are what you eat,” and that our bodies build themselves and grow using the raw materials we get from food.

In the week that followed, I was thrilled to receive some great feedback from parents who said their kids came home asking for healthy food and talking about how important it is to eat well. But… life goes on, and I’m sure somewhere between the lure of Halloween candy and the simple passage of time, the kids’ newfound enthusiasm for good nutrition may have waned.

That’s why I’m looking forward to the opportunity to present my Nutrition Essentials workshop to members of Norfolk SEPAC. As parents, we are the gatekeepers of our children’s diets, and the role models of a healthy lifestyle. It isn’t easy, though, given the conflicting information and powerful food marketing that surrounds us. I look forward to helping you feel empowered with the knowledge and tools necessary to improve your family’s food landscape and overall eating habits. I hope to see you on November 9th!

For more information on nutrition and healthy eating, go to:


SEPAC Books of the Month

How did That get in my Lunchbox?

by Chris Butterworth

One of the best parts of a young child’s day is opening a lunchbox and diving in. But how did that delicious food get there? From planting wheat to mixing dough, climbing trees to machine-squeezing fruit, picking cocoa pods to stirring a vat of melted bliss, here is a clear, engaging look at the steps involved in producing some common foods. Health tips and a peek at basic food groups

complete the menu.

It's Not About the Broccoli

by Dina Rose, PhD.

You already know how to give your children healthy food, but the hard part is getting them to eat it. After years of research and working with parents, Dina Rose discovered a powerful truth: when parents focus solely on nutrition, their kids - surprisingly - eat poorly. But when families shift their emphasis to behaviors - the skills and habits kids are taught - they learn to eat right. Every child can learn to eat well, but only if you show them how to do it. Dr. Rose describes the three habits - proportion, variety, and moderation - all kids need to learn, and gives you clever, practical ways to teach these food skills. With It's Not About The Broccoli you can teach your children how to eat and give them the skills they need for a lifetime of health and vitality.


Our Mission

The Norfolk Special Education Advisory Council exists to:

  • Raise awareness and provide thoughtful leadership on the benefits of special education in the community

  • Develop a platform where parents can share ideas, identify concerns, and support families of children with special needs

  • Develop, maintain, and share tools and resources for parents of children with special needs

  • Advise the School Committee on matters that pertain to the education and safety of students with disabilities

  • Meet regularly with school officials to participate in the planning, development and evaluation of the School Committee’s special education programs; and

  • Assist the district in coordinating the presentation on the rights of students and their parents and guardians

  • Promote diversity, acceptance and inclusion of students with disabilities in all district and community activities

  • Promote social enrichment by hosting parent support groups and periodic events for children in the Norfolk community.


Norfolk SEPAC Board

President: Taiese Hickman

Vice President: Jo-Anne Gilbody

Secretary/Treasurer: Pia Mack

Director of Communications: Karen Murphy

Director of Events: Michael McCarthy

Grant Administrator: Karen Mazzola

Parent Outreach Coordinators:

Brian Mack and Sarah Cardoso


Contact Us


Facebook: @norfolksepac

Instagram: @norfolksepac

Twitter: @nsepac

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