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FOR RELEASE: November 12, 2002
CONTACT: Pamela Williams
405/271-5601

Celebrate Thanksgiving and Family Week with Family Activities

The Oklahoma Family Resource Coalition and the Child Guidance Service of the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) are promoting “Happy Times Together” as the theme for this year’s Oklahoma Family Week, Nov. 24-30. According to child health officials, it is important for adults to include children in activities at home, at work and at school to develop strong family values. Holidays offer a unique opportunity to include the children in family activities.

“During Thanksgiving Week we focus on the importance of the family and the need for all of us to appreciate and support families. Family Week recognizes the role of families as the basic building block of society and encourages the support of healthy family life and family values,” said State Health Commissioner Dr. Leslie Beitsch.

“We focus on the everyday issues and occurrences central to our core health such as stressing the importance of family traditions, raising the awareness of how to keep families strong, encouraging family and community interdependence and addressing work and family issues,” Beitsch said.

Health officials have developed flyers that suggest activities to use at home, at school, and in the workplace to promote families doing fun things together. Some examples include:

At Home:

  • Look at photo albums together in order to help remember happy times.
  • Have a Family Happy Time with games, silly songs, and/or dancing.
  • Ask your child what makes him/her feel happy, sad. or mad, and then listen carefully.
  • Decorate happy face cookies together and deliver some to elderly family members and friends.
  • Go to a park and play with the children on the playground equipment.

In the Workplace:

  • Create a bulletin board collage of families doing fun things together.
  • Invite parents to bring their children to tour the workplace and serve lemonade and happy face cookies afterward.
  • Ask a professional from your community to speak on an issue like “Raising Happy Children” or “Building Your Child’s Self Esteem.”
  • Ask professionals from your community to set up display tables with handouts on topics about families.

At School:

  • Collect magazine pictures of happy people and make a collage including pictures of students, teachers, and family members.
  • Ask each child to create a happy face using art supplies like construction paper, yarn and buttons then display the art in the halls and in the school cafeteria.
  • Ask older students to write essays entitled “What Happiness is to Me.”
  • Invite parents to a happy hour with juice and happy face cookies.
  • Ask children what they can say or do that might help others feel happy.

For more information about Family Week or to receive copies of the flyers, contact Donna Jones, OSDH Family Week Chairman, at 918-696-7292.

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