Posted by Jolanta Tipler on May 7, 2013
Most au pairs come to the States because they’re fascinated by American culture and want to experience it first-hand by living and interacting with their American host parents and kids. That was the reason why Marta, a Polish au pairs, matched with her host family in Metairie. Once Marta found out that her hosts were interested in learning about her country too, she was excited to share her culture with them, their kids, kids’ friends, kids’ grandparents and whoever liked to listen about Polish pierogi and the beauty of Warsaw.
On Monday, she found an even bigger audience at St. Catherine of Sienna Catholic School where her talk was attended by close to a hundred curious students who asked very clever and pertinent questions.
In Marta’s words:
My Global Awareness presentation took place at my host child school, I was talking about my country- Poland, kids were very interested and asked many question about the weather and food. I showed them Polish money and gave some Polish candies. It was so much fun, especially with 5 PreK groups (about 100 students). It was a great experience!
Posted by Jolanta Tipler on May 6, 2013
On a beautiful Sunday afternoon au pairs enjoyed a mini scavenger hunt in the French Market in preparation for the games they’ll play with their host kids during summer months. They had no trouble finding the items on the list, including good-luck pennies and free samples of New Orleans famous pralines!
Posted by Jolanta Tipler on May 5, 2013
The Louisiana Department of Motor Vehicles has reopened its location at 100 Veterans Memorial Boulevard and closed the office at Airline Highway. In order to obtain Louisiana Driver’s License, au pairs can visit any of the DMV offices listed below.
2150 Westbank Expressway
Harvey, LA 70058
419 Avenue A
Westwego, LA 70094
1914 E. Judge Perez Drive
Chalmette, LA 70043
100 Veterans Blvd.
Metairie, LA 70003
12690 Perkins Road
Baton Rouge, LA 70810
1715 N. Causeway Blvd.
Mandeville, LA 70448
220 Highway 51 N. Suite 2
Covington, TN 38019
220 Highway 51 N. Suite 1
Covington, TN 38019
In Louisiana, au pairs can legally drive with International Driver’s Permit for one year only. If they decide to extend for another year, they will have to have Louisiana driver’s license in order to drive.
To be eligible for Louisiana driver’s license au pairs must have 6 months left on their American visa. It is advised that au pairs get their Louisiana driving license within the first 3 months of their match to make sure they don’t miss eligibility deadline.
Posted by Jolanta Tipler on Apr 28, 2013
Rosy, au pair from Mexico, shared her culture with her host children and their friends. Children worked hard at their tasks and everybody had a lot of fun!
In her own words:
well this experience it was awesome because I remained when i was a teacher in mexico there were just 6 kids it was a little group but it was great because everybody was paying attention I showed to the kids the national anthem and the song for the birthdays with mariachi and also I told where is mexico and what kind of food is from my country. I would like to do it again I just love to being a teacher in preschool rosy
Posted by Jolanta Tipler on Apr 27, 2013
Television may be either an enemy or a best friend in American homes. To gain the potential value from television, it should be used carefully and intelligently with clear and consistent limits. Every family has different rules and expectations regarding the use of television, and these must be respected at any time children of any age are present.
When children watch television there are some things they are NOT doing simply because they are watching television. Most importantly, they are not getting exercise and they are not interacting. Television watching is a passive activity, it is one way, the children only receive. There are no opportunities for developing social skills. Many children enter an almost trance-like state when they are watching television; they don’t hear when they are spoken to and their eyes glaze over. If children are left to watch television for prolonged periods of time they may be cranky and misbehave when they stop watching television. This is similar to early-morning crankiness: it takes a few minutes for some children to readjust to their normal state.
Although television may offer a welcome break in the day, and keep children occupied when the adults need to tend to someone or something else, the inactivity of television watching can actually lead to irritability and boredom, and make children feel more tired. Some experts say that it can help develop language skills or teach information, but the best way of learning is by doing. Television is not a substitute for conversation, or for games and activities involving imagination and creativity.
Nonetheless, television is part of life in America in almost every home. The adult supervising the child must pay attention to the show(s) children watch to be sure that they are appropriate. Even some cartoons may be too violent or socially inappropriate for young children. When adults watch television with children it is a good idea to discuss what is being watched. Ask what and why questions about what you have seen. Is it realistic? How do the characters treat each other? Why? What would the child do in a similar situation (if it is realistic)? What did they learn from the program? If it is an educational, show such as a science or reading program, try following it up with a related activity at home. Even very young children can pickup cues from adult programs such as soap operas and MTV- these should not be on if any children are in the room. Some families prefer that children limit themselves to videos, or television shows on “public television” (PBS) where there are no commercials. Television advertising encourages children to ask for food that may not be part of a healthy diet, and toys that might appear to perform better than they actually do. For older children commercials may suggest or encourage behaviors or physical appearance that may be inappropriate or confusing for children, such as beer commercials, or advertisements with very thin models.
There is wide-spread interest in improving and monitoring the quality of programming for children, but there is still much debate about this issue.
Posted by Jolanta Tipler on Apr 26, 2013
This year for the first time Au Pair in America awarded Community Service Awards to au pairs who had volunteered in their communities during their year as au pairs in the States. There were three national winners and 15 state winners.
The competition for the awards was tough. A great number of au pairs submitted essays describing their voluntary activities. What they’d accomplished was “holly molly, she did that?” IMPRESSIVE!
Au pairs built houses with Habitat for Humanity, took care of dogs in animal shelters, walked in March of Dimes, helped recent immigrants, cooked and served meals for the homeless, worked in Food Banks, sang in church choirs, helped in nurseries, assisted patrons in libraries, and much more.
They described their experiences as: awesome, fulfilling, educational, fun, enriching, incredible, meaningful, invigorating, “best medicine for homesickness” and INSPIRING!
Many were happily surprised that so many Americans volunteer on a regular basis. They were even happier to see how easy it is to make friends when you work together!
To read more about APIA au pairs’ volunteer experiences please visit:
Posted by Jolanta Tipler on Apr 5, 2013
Please join us for a fun, educational, and inspirational meeting!!
Host Family Day
St. Charles Ave, New Orleans, La 70118
Playground to the left of main entrance
April 14, 2013
10m – 12pm
For the kids:
- egg and spoon race
- face painting
- tied-leg race (AP with her host child)
- origami planes
For the parents:
- fellowship of other host families
- opportunity to network and exchange childcare tips
Looking forward to seeing everybody!!
Posted by Jolanta Tipler on Mar 26, 2013
Each March, the International Au Pair Association presents the Au Pair of the Year Award to the winner selected from among hundreds of au pairs nominated by their host families.
This year the winner is Femke Meyer, 19, from Germany who was presented the award at the IAPA Annual Conference in Rome, Italy on March 13, 2013.
The award recognizes young women for their outstanding childcare, commitment to the au pair program spirit, and their accomplishments in international cultural exchange.
It also celebrates the spunk, intellectual curiosity, and willingness to work hard that young women show when they sign up as au pairs for a yearlong match with a host family in a foreign country.
Two au pairs in our cluster were nominated for Au Pair of the Year this year!!
The host families of Svenja Denker and Blanca Orellana Reyes were so delighted with their performance that they went to the trouble of writing nominating essays explaining what
WONDERFUL, SMART, HARD WORKING, ENGAGING, FRIENDLY, DEPENDABLE… and altogether “BEST EVER” au pair each of them had been, and how much the families and au pairs enjoyed learning about each others’ cultures and customs.
Congratulations to Blanca and Svenja for providing excellent childcare and being great cultural ambassadors for Costa Rica and Germany!
Posted by Jolanta Tipler on Mar 15, 2013
“May your thoughts be as glad as shamrocks,
May your heart be as light as song,
May each day bring you bright, happy hours,
That stay with you all the year long.”
St. Patrick’s Day celebrates the Roman Catholic feast day of the patron saint of Ireland. St. Patrick died on March 17, 461. He was born in Roman Britain. He was kidnapped into slavery and brought to Ireland. He escaped to a monastery in Gaul (France) and converted to Christianity. He went back to Ireland in 432 as a missionary. While Christianity had already taken hold in the country, tradition has it that Patrick confronted the Druids at Tara and abolished their pagan rites, making Christianity more widespread.
Patrick became a bishop and after his death was named Ireland’s patron saint. Celebrations in Ireland were understated though. When the Irish emigrated to the U.S., they created the bigger celebrations and parades known today. Eighteenth century Irish soldiers who fought in the Revolutionary War held the first St. Patrick Day parades. The celebrations became a way for the Irish to connect with their roots after they moved to America.
· The shamrock: According to legend St. Patrick used the three leaf clover (or shamrock) to explain the Trinity.
· Dyeing the river green: The practice of dyeing the river green started in Chicago in 1962, when city officials decided to dye a portion of the Chicago River green.
· Corn beef and cabbage: This is an Irish American dish. Irish Americans were so poor they could not afford certain meals. On St. Patrick’s Day, the best meal they could afford was beef and cabbage. It became a staple for the holiday.
Kids activities including crafts, printable bookmarks and coloring pages:
Posted by Jolanta Tipler on Mar 15, 2013
It was not exactly spring, which will officially start on March 20th, but the weather last Sunday was definitely spring-like: warm, odiferous and capricious. After being rained on and blown around by heavy winds, au pairs enjoyed hiding out in the newly installed shelter in City Park… to emerge on a beautifully sunny afternoon not much later.