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Tips to Keep Cool in a Hot Classroom

Tips to Keep Cool in a Hot Classroom

As students and educators head back to school, an uninvited visitor is joining them: summer heat. Much of the country is experiencing a late summer heatwave, sending temperatures to possible record highs. Teaching students in hot, uncomfortable classrooms is difficult, and many schools don’t have adequate air conditioning.

Here are some ways to help keep everyone cool in the classroom:

  • Minimize using overhead lights (instead, turn off the lights and use lamps or Christmas lights)
  • Close shades to block intense sunlight
  • Take cool-down breaks between lessons
  • Avoid excess movement during the hottest part of the day
  • Utilize a climate-controlled computer lab
  • Switch off unused electronics that produce heat even in standby mode
  • Invest in fans to cool the room

It’s also important for you and your students to stay hydrated. The Centers for Disease Control and Environment advises avoiding sugary and calorie-laden sports and soft drinks when the temperature rises. Water is the best way to hydrate the body, and it helps with cooling. Make sure your students always have easy access to water.

The American Academy of Pediatrics also warns against students engaging in physical exercise in extreme heat because they can overheat quicker than adults. However, if your students engage in physical activity, it is crucial to know the symptoms of heatstroke and heat exhaustion.

Heat Exhaustion

  • Heavy sweating
  • Weakness
  • Muscle cramps
  • Cold, pale and clammy skin
  • Fast, weak pulse
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Fainting



  • High body temperature (above 103 degrees)
  • Hot, red, dry or moist skin
  • Rapid and strong pulse
  • Possible unconsciousness


It’s important to note the key differences in treating each illness. Heat exhaustion can be treated by moving the victim to a cool location. Apply cool wet cloths and having them sip water. Heatstroke can be fatal and requires immediate medical attention.


Educators can beat the heat with these cool lesson plans for hot days:

  • Study the buoyancy of various objects in the water
  • Learn about water displacement of various objects
  • Create various devices that will float in water
  • Determine the best methods of keeping an ice cube frozen
  • Study cold weather areas like Iceland or Antarctica


California Casualty can help fund your hot weather study materials with a $2,500 Academic Award. Enter for your chance to win by visiting


4th of July Treats!

4th of July Treats!

The classic Fourth of July celebration in America is all about friends, family, and the red, white, and blue! And if you are like the majority of Americans you will probably be taking advantage of the summer holiday by attending or hosting a backyard BBQ before fireworks light up the sky. Show your patriotism, and wow your guests, by whipping up an easy recipe that pays tribute to Old Glory.

Here are the best Independence Day recipes that even Uncle Sam would be proud of:

(Each recipe is linked for your convenience, just click on the name!)

1. Red, White and Blue Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes
2. Kid-Friendly Patriotic Punch
3. Fruity 4th of July Pizza
4. Star Spangled Pie
5. Firecracker Dogs
6. Red, White, & Blue Strawberry Shortcake
7. Patriotic Ice Cubes
8. Fireworks Jello Cups
9. Red, White, and Blue M&M Cookie Bars
10. Independence Day Fruit Kabobs 
11. Patriotic Oreos
12. Red, White, & Blue Cookie Dough Dip
13. Patriotic Berry Trifle
14. Fireworks Blondies
15. Fourth of July Ice Pops
16. GLORY-ous Ice Cream Sandwich
17. Starry Cake Roll
18. Patriotic Puppy Chow
19. Firecracker Rice Krispie Treats
20. Patriotic Yogurt Bites


Need some more ideas? We’ve got you covered! We have all of these recipes and more on our “4th of July Treats” board on Pinterest, check it out by clicking here. And don’t forget to give us a follow at California Casualty to stay up to date on every new recipe we discover! Scan our Pincode with your Pinterest camera to follow:

Rainy Day Indoor Activities for Children

Rainy Day Indoor Activities for Children

Rainy days in the summer don’t have to mean sitting at home bored! We’ve compiled a list of the best rainy day activities to help your child burn off energy while you sit out the summer storms.

  1. YouTube Dance Along Channel 
  2. Scavenger Hunt
  3. Baking
  4. Indoor Camping
  5. Smores
  6. Write a Story
  7. Homemade Stamps
  8. Make Puppets and Put on a Puppet Show
  9. Paper Airplanes
  10. Create a Game 
  11. Rock Painting
  12. Make Jewelry Or Pasta Jewelry
  13. Origami
  14. Tie Dye or Tie Dye With Kool-Aid
  15. Build a Solar System Model
  16. 3D Pen Activities
  17. Play Dress Up
  18. Decorate Flower Pots
  19. Make Play Dough
  20. DIY Laser Maze
  21. Indoor Bowling
  22. Obstacle Course
  23. Marshmallow Shooters
  24. Alexa Games
  25. Balloon Tennis
  26. Target Golf

Want a little more variety? We’ve got you covered. We have all of these activities and more on our Rainy Day Indoor Activities for Kids board on Pinterest, check it out by clicking here. And don’t forget to give us a follow at California Casualty to stay up to date on every new tip, trick, and gift we discover! Scan our Pincode with your Pinterest camera to follow:

Paradise Intermediate School (PINT) School Lounge Makeover – The Reveal

Paradise School Lounge Makeoverparadise school lounge makeover

Paradise School Lounge Makeover

Paradise School Lounge Makeover

Paradise School Lounge Makeover

“This brings hope. Helping us build back is really important. To makeover this space means a lot to everyone.”

That’s was the reaction from David Smith, president of the Teachers Association of Paradise as the staff at Paradise Intermediate School (PINT) was treated to their new school lounge makeover from California Casualty.

The Camp Fire damaged PINT, forcing it to find a temporary home in a former hardware store, 25 miles away in Chico. Thirty-five PINT employees lost homes in the fire. The hardware building still has aisles and overhanging merchandise signs, but the teachers, administrators and support staff have done the best that they can under the circumstances. paradise school lounge makeover

Understanding the incredible stress that PINT administrators, instructors and support personnel have endured, California Casualty, which provides auto and home insurance to CTA and ACSA members, donated a School Lounge Makeover® to offer a more soothing, useful area for PINT employees to take a break, relax and recharge. To keep the warehouse leasable, designers were limited in what they could do.

EON Office designers have been working on the project for months and revealed the finishing touches. The updated lounge has new paint, comfortable furniture, coffee station, dining areas, tables and other accessories, such as artwork, book cases and rugs, to offer a more comfortable and calming environment. It is designed to be relocated to the school in Paradise when repairs there are completed.

“Thank you California Casualty. This school lounge is definitely an uplift, and a much more inviting space,” said PINT electives instructor, Heather Brown. Paradise Intermediate School Lounge Makeover

Educators can learn more about California Casualty’s School Lounge Makeover and enter for one at their school at

National “Create Real Impact” Contest Rewards Teen Safe Driving Messages

Students and schools across the country have won educational grants from the 2019 Spring Create Real Impact Contest, sponsored by Impact Teen Drivers and California Casualty.

A total of $12,000 was awarded for creative efforts to address the dangers of distracted driving aimed at teenagers.

Caden Turner – “Listen Up”

The students chosen for $1,500 grand prize educational grants:

  • Ashlee Walkowiak, Franklin, WI, in the writing category for her work titled, “Be Different”
  • Everen Graves, San Diego, CA, in the music category for the song “So Much to Live For”
  • Caden Turner, St. Louis, MO, in the video category for “Listen Up”
  • Lindsey Sanchez, Richmond Hill, GA, in the art category for the poster “Camera Filter”

The schools with the most entries that were each awarded $1,000 are:

  • Village Academy of Film, Pomona, CA
  • University City High School, San Diego, CA
  • South Forsyth High School, Cumming, GA

The contest encourages peer-to-peer messages and creative expression from students. The goal – help stem the tide of distracted and reckless driving, which is the number one killer of young drivers.

Preventing inattentive driving, especially among teens, is one of the top priorities of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and safety groups across the nation.

“The objective of the Create Real Impact Contest is to allow young people to engage, educate and empower their peers with strategies to stop the number one killer of teens – car crashes – particularly those caused by reckless and distracted driving,” said Kelly Browning, Ph.D., Executive Director, Impact Teen Drivers. “The contest meets teens in a space where they are comfortable – online. It is about the solutions to ending distracted driving, #EndDD, #WeHavethePower.”

Students ages 14-22 were invited to offer their artistic solutions to this critical teen driving danger through essays, artwork, videos and music. More than 1,300 submissions were received and winners were determined by a panel of judges and by online voting for prizes ranging from $500 to $1,500.

The winning entries can be viewed at

Impact Teen Drivers has reached more than two million teens since 2007 and the Create Real Impact contest began in 2009. California Casualty is a founding partner of the nonprofit and continues to provide support for the contest. California Casualty representatives will help present checks to the winning schools and awardees.

“The importance of this contest can’t be overstated,” said California Casualty CEO Beau Brown. “While insurance can replace a mangled vehicle, we can’t replace a teenager’s life. In a split second, everything for that family changes forever; it’s a terrible tragedy that no one should endure.”

The 2019 Fall Create Real Impact contest will kickoff in August. Entries will be taken at For more information on how to get schools and students involved, please contact

Paradise Educators Get A School Lounge Makeover

Despite losing homes and setting up classes in a temporary building 25 miles away in Chico, Paradise Intermediate School (PINT) staff are back at work helping students. The vacant Orchard Supply Hardware store where the school is now housed is not the most inviting environment. Employees have done the best that they can under the circumstances.

California Casualty is gifting the School Lounge Makeover to offer a more soothing, useful area for instructors and support personnel to take a break, relax and recharge.

Principal Cris Dunlap, who is one of 35 PINT staff members who lost a home in the fire, said this offer means so much. “We’ve focused so much on giving students a learning space and place to be with their teachers and friends. As educators, we put others ahead of ourselves. It’s so nice that California Casualty recognizes the valor of our teachers and everything they are doing to keep the district going and keeping kids happy and learning.”

“We’ve seen the dedication of administrators, teachers and staff firsthand and we’re proud to show our appreciation,” said California Casualty Sr. Vice President, Mike McCormick.

Eon Office designers will be work with PINT staff to create the school lounge of their dreams. The finished project will be revealed later this spring. The lounge will be relocated back at Paradise Intermediate School once repairs there are completed. 

Learn more about California Casualty’s School Lounge Makeover at

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