Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, and was first observed on 30 May 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. The first state to officially recognize the holiday was New York in 1873. By 1890 it was recognized by all of the northern states then others followed. It is now celebrated on the last Monday in May (passed by Congress with the National Holiday Act of 1971 to ensure a three day weekend for Federal holidays).
Americans honor those who have lost their lives for their country by visiting cemeteries, placing flags and flowers on graves, flying the U.S. flag at half-staff until noon and attending parades. Children can be a part of Memorial Day too. Here are some links to children’s activities:
“How important it is for us to recognize and celebrate our heroes and she-roes!” ~Maya Angelou
For some Earth day activities for kids, check out this Pinterest Board (click here)
Photo: Cheryl on Flickr
from EcoKids (http://www.ecokids.ca/pub/eco_info/topics/environmental/earthday/)
It’s Earth Day! Let’s Come Together to Make A Difference!
How did Earth Day begin?
The very first Earth Day was celebrated on April 22, 1970. This day was created by American Senator, Gaylord Nelson, to make people aware of the importance of keeping our planet healthy and clean. On that day,people made promises to help the environment and make positive changes in their community. Since then, more than 500 million people in over 180 countries have participated in Earth Day activities!
Can I do something to help the planet on Earth Day?
Of course you can! Everything you do to help the planet counts, whether you walk to school or help to clean up litter from your neighborhood park! The most important thing to remember is that Earth Day should be every day!
“Treat the earth well: it was not given to you by your parents, it was loaned to you by your children. We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors, we borrow it from our Children.”
Ancient Kenyan Proverb
Check out these activity ideas to help you get started.
St. Patrick’s day is coming up already. Check out APIA’s St. Patrick’s Day Shenanigans’ board on Pinterest for lots of great ideas to celebrate!
The Charitable Irish Society of Boston organized the first observance of Saint Patrick’s Day in the United States in 1737. The tradition of celebrating this day continued to grow with the influx of Irish immigrants to the United States.
St Patrick’s Day, on March 17, remembers one of Ireland’s patron saints, St Patrick. It largely celebrates Irish-American culture in the United States but many non – Irish descendants enjoy the celebrations too . Celebrations include Irish themed parties, drinks and food. Many people get into the spirit by dressing in green clothing and eating green colored food. Irish clubs and pubs often hold parties.
St Patrick’s Day is not a federal holiday in the United States. Schools, businesses and organizations are open as usual. Public transport systems run on their regular schedules. The parades may be on or around March 17, so it is a good idea to check local sources for the exact location, date and time. Many parades are held throughout the country to celebrate the holiday. New York City has become the largest Saint Patrick’s Day parade in the world, outside Ireland. Thousands participate in the parade, including bands, firefighters, military and police groups, county associations, emigrant societies, and social and cultural clubs and was watched by close to 2 million spectators lining the streets. The parade marches up 5th Avenue in Manhattan and is always led by the U.S. 69th Infantry Regiment. New York politicians – or those running for office – are always found prominently marching in the parade.
The most common St Patrick’s Day symbol is the shamrock. The shamrock is the leaf of the clover plant and a symbol of the Holy Trinity
If you would like to take part in this American cultural experience check out the nearest parade to you, here http://www.st-patricks-day.com/st_patricks_day_parades_home/
For fun ideas to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day including arts and crafts for children check out our Au Pair in America Pinterest page https://www.pinterest.com/aupairinamerica/st-patrick-s-day-shenanigans/
We wish all of our au pairs and host mothers a very happy International Women’s Day. This is a global day celebrating the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future. In some places like China, Russia, Vietnam and Bulgaria, International Women’s Day is a national holiday. We are proud of our au pairs as they contribute to the theme for this year which is to inspire change for women’s advancement around the world. You certainly do that! For more information go to http://www.internationalwomensday.com/
From Christine Connally, Community Counselor with Au Pair in America (MD)
Is it risky to do winter sports without the sports insurance?
Yes. If you have to pay your own hospital bills for a broken bone, you might be shocked at how much that would cost. Christine checked this website for some cost estimates.
Here are a couple examples:
Without medical coverage, to treat a broken arm or leg (that does not require surgery) it could cost up to $2,500.
Without medical coverage, to treat a broken arm or leg (requiring surgery) it could cost $16,000 or more.
We wanted to make sure everyone understands how the medical coverage works for sports related injuries. There is a list of “high-risk sports/activities” that are not covered with the basic or upgrade medical insurance plans. Those activities are only covered with the Sports Insurance Package (also known as Option A.)
The Sports Insurance Package was available pre-departure and may also be purchased at any time during your year. It takes effect within 48 hours of your enrollment and it is good for 12 months. The cost will be the same ($75) whether you have a month left or your whole year ahead of you. We recommend you pay for it early on, if you didn’t already purchase it. You never know when an opportunity might present itself and you don’t want to miss out on an adventure. You also don’t want to take a risk on getting injured and being responsible for the bill on your own.
Below is a partial list of sports that are only covered with the sports insurance package:
Football, Rugby, Scuba diving, Ski-doo, Wakeboarding, Skydiving, Parachuting, Rock climbing, Zip line, Skate boarding, Rollerblading, Roller skating, Ice Skating, Skiing, Snowboarding, Snowmobiles & Snowshoeing. View the full list on page 3 of the insurance brochure HERE (2013 arrival au pairs) & HERE for (2014 arrival au pairs)
Note: Injuries sustained while partaking in these sports are covered with purchase of the Sports Insurance ONLY.
How to register for the Sports Insurance
Download the form HERE and follow the instructions. It takes a few days for your coverage to begin. If you think you will be doing any of these sports, you should get it now
So What is Presidents Day Anyway?
Presidents’ Day is an American holiday celebrated on the third Monday in February. Originally established in 1885 in recognition of President George Washington, it is still officially called “Washington’s Birthday” by the federal government. Traditionally celebrated on February 22—Washington’s actual day of birth—the holiday became popularly known as Presidents’ Day after it was moved as part of 1971’s Uniform Monday Holiday Act, an attempt to create more three-day weekends for the nation’s workers. While several states still have individual holidays honoring the birthdays of Washington, Abraham Lincoln and other figures, Presidents’ Day is now popularly viewed as a day to celebrate all U.S. presidents past and present.
To see a listing of all U.S. presidents go to http://www.whitehouse.gov/about/presidents. Click on each president to find out who they were and what they achieved during their presidency. Most American school children have to learn their presidents, this is a great site to go through with them and test their knowledge!
Click here to find out more about TrekAmerica
About Trek America…
Established in 1972, TrekAmerica has over 40 years’ experience exploring the big cities and back roads of America. From their 3-day mini-adventures to the 21-day Southern Sun road-trip from New York to LA, TrekAmerica is one of the most fun, safe and affordable ways to travel the States!
Au Pair in America DISCOUNT – Save 20% off!
TrekAmerica’s small group adventures are specifically designed for young international travelers who want to experience the best of America’s vibrant cities, sleepy towns, amazing national parks and Native American lands, all in a friendly, fun and safe environment.
Why travel with TrekAmerica?
- An 18-30’s program, ensuring travel with like-minded individuals
- The safety, security and costs savings of small group travel
- 65% of travelers join alone but leave with life-long friends
- 40 years as the North American small group adventure specialist
- Food kitty of just $10 per day covers all meals while camping
- Extensive range of over 50 camping and budget lodging tours
- Loads of included & optional activities to suit interest and budget
- The coolest and most diverse groups in the business, with a maximum of
13 passengers and an average of 5 different nationalities on every trip!
How to receive your discount
- To receive your discount, please have your Counselor’s details to hand as you will need to provide their name, address, email and phone number.
To book online simply take the following steps:
- 1) Go to the relevant tour page and click on the Dates and Prices tab.
- 2) Wait for the dates and prices to load and click on the Book Now button next to your preferred date.
- 3) Complete your personal details in the booking form and make sure to enter 222011 in the Discount Code field. Once this code has been entered, boxes will appear asking you to enter your local Counselor’s details.
- If you would prefer to book your tour over the phone or if you have any questions please contact the sales office on 1-800-TREK USA (873-5872) or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
Claim your Discount:
You can get 20% off any TrekAmerica tour, just for being an Au Pair. Find out how you can claim your discount here.
click here to access APIA Valentine's Day board on Pinterest
Valentine’s day is coming up already. Check out APIA’s Valentine’s Day board on Pinterest for lots of great ideas to celebrate!
Photo: Corrie Barklimore (Flickr)
Healthy eating-Your orientation trainer probably spoke of the 5 kilos au pairs typically gain during the year. If you feel your jeans getting too tight, try these simple tips
- Eat breakfast – it’s the best way to start the day.
- Drink water – 4 glasses or more a day, more when it is hot or when you are active.
- Downsize your portions – how much you eat is as important as what you eat.
Photo: Muammerokumus (Flickr)