Summer Reading Program at Local Libraries
Chance to Win $5,529 College Savings Plan
By Lou Phelps
The program is called “Make a Splash – Save for College Sweepstakes” and encourage them to continue reading throughout the summer.
"In order to better prepare our state's children for a lifetime of success, instilling fundamental values, such as the love of reading, is vital," said First Lady Mary Perdue at a June press event. "Reading is a great way for families to spend time together, and as children grow and are able to read on their own, it opens up a world of imagination for them year-round."
The Make a Splash – Save for College Sweepstakes, which is open through July 31, will award one Summer Reading Program participant the grand prize of $5,529 toward a Path2College 529 Plan account.
“Summer reading programs have always been a great way for families to spend time reading with their children, and reading can lead to a lifetime of learning,” said Chuck Penuel, director of the Path2College 529 Plan. “By partnering with Georgia’s public libraries, we hope to encourage parents to think about their children’s continued education as well, and we’re excited to be able to offer an opportunity to win a good foundation toward building their college savings.”
Additionally, the winner’s local public library will also receive $1,000 to be used for its children’s and teen’s department. Also, the Georgia library with the greatest number of entries and the Georgia library system with the greatest percentage of their registered users entered into the sweepstakes will each win $1,529 for their children’s and teen’s materials and programming.
Currently, nearly 2,300 Georgia children are already making a splash in the summer reading program by entering to win the Make a Splash—Save for college Sweepstakes.
Legal residents of the State of Georgia who are at least 21 years of age and are a parent, grandparent or legal guardian of a child born after 1993 and who is participating in the 2010 Summer Reading Program may find the official rules and enter the sweepstakes online at www.path2college529.com.
“Whether your child is just starting his or her educational career, or they are well on their way toward college, if parents haven’t already done so, now is the time to think about preparing them for a successful academic journey, which includes both a strong reading foundation and saving for a college education,” said Penuel.
The Path2College 529 Plan will randomly draw a winner for the $5,529 Path2College 529 Plan account in early August. The winner, along with the two winning libraries and the winning library system, will be recognized in early September.
Read 0 Comments... >>
MAY 10-Tips for Raising Globally Aware Children
Today's world is smaller than ever – far more connected than anyone could have imagined it would be when we were kids. That is why one of the best things you can do to prepare your kids for the future is to raise them as citizens of the world.
You don't have to travel the globe to give your children a broad perspective of other cultures and world affairs. There are so many things that you can do right at home to encourage their curiosity about, and understanding of, the world.
Learning about the cultures and people of the world really does begin at home. If you host an international exchange student, consider sharing the experience with people that you know - and maybe those who you don't know - by creating a shared blog that includes entries from your family and the student you host. It's a fun way to help others gain global perspective, too. Whether you talk to your kids about current world events or pique their interest through photos of places you've traveled to, by helping them develop a broad worldview, you're giving them a world of possibilities.
– By ARA Content
Read 0 Comments... >>
SEPT 2009: How To Parent an Oppositional Child
By David Swanson, Psy.D.
Do you have an argumentative, short-tempered child who is quick to blame others and is easily annoyed? These are characteristics of what I call an "oppositional child." The psychological diagnosis is "oppositional defiant disorder," and its key clinical features, as listed in the DSM-IV, are:
1. Often loses temper.
2. Often argues with adults.
3. Often actively defies or refuses to comply with adults' requests or rules.
4. Often deliberately annoys people.
5. Often blames others for own mistakes or misbehavior.
6. Often is touchy or easily annoyed by others.
7. Often is angry and resentful.
8. Often is spiteful or vindictive.
Notice the word often. Every child displays some of these traits some of the time. But if your child is often oppositional, your parenting skills have probably been tested to the limits many times.
When dealing with an oppositional child, any situation can become a crisis. There doesn't have to be a rational reason. Many parents I work with make statements like, "I don't know what happened. First he said he wanted to go to his friend's house, then he said he wanted to have his friend come here. I told him he needed to make up his mind, and then he totally blew up."
The oppositional child tells you a lot about how he is feeling through his behavior. The problem is that you don't get any warning — you only get the chaos.
The first piece of advice I have is this: You need professional help if you are raising a child who is extremely and often oppositional. You can make the changes I am about to suggest, but be aware that the oppositional child is the most difficult child to raise. If you have an oppositional child, you and your family are at heightened risk for anxiety, physical abuse, divorce and substance abuse. I strongly suggest intervention for families living with an oppositional child.
Although the oppositional child is one of the toughest parenting challenges, there are things you can do to decrease the frequency with which you will be subjected to your child's use of manipulative strategies. Below are 10 proactive parenting measures I recommend.
1. Choose your battles wisely. Sometimes it's beneficial to simply walk away, especially if your child has you in a trap you can't possibly get out of.
2. Always avoid power struggles. Power struggles are distractions from the issue at hand.
3. Develop your ability to appear calm when faced with frustration. Watching you fall apart is gratifying to children, and shows them they have gained the upper hand.
4. Develop and maintain a consistent environment. Devise an itinerary for the day and adhere to it. Create routines and rituals — such as focusing on homework as soon as the child gets home. Such habitual practices diminish power struggles.
5. Develop your ability to predict difficult times and situational triggers for your child. Plan ahead for tough situations so you can maintain calm and integrity when they erupt. For example, if getting a child ready for school is routinely a struggle with Mom, have Dad do it instead.
6. Develop plans to deal with inappropriate behaviors before your child engages in them (and post these plans in the home). Oppositional children are quick to pick up on — and exploit — parents' inconsistent responses and behaviors. Determine consequences ahead of time, and always enforce them.
7. Work on changing only one or two behaviors at a time. Be patient. If you are always focusing on the behavior of the day, your child will feel overwhelmed and criticized. Instead, have a talk with him, tell him the one or two behaviors that you will be focusing on, and then do just that. Praise him when he does well. When he is 80 to 90 percent responsive in those areas, have another talk with him and set two more behavioral goals.
8. Use responsibilities to reward your child. Giving your child the privilege of having power and control over her own environment will help here want to earn this privilege. Responsibility equals reward.
9. Seek out social support. Social interaction is a clear antidote to parenting stress.
10. Take time off from parenting. Vacations are a great way to replenish your parental battery. Find someone to watch the kids, and head out of town.
Granted, the oppositional child is a difficult challenge. Try some of the solutions above, but if they don't work, don't despair. It may be beyond your immediate skills. If so, get help from an expert in oppositional defiant disorder.
David Swanson, Psy.D., is a licensed clinical psychologist who specializes in children and teens suffering from ADHD, oppositional and defiant behavior, anxiety, depression and social problems. His new book is “Help! My Kid Is Driving Me Crazy: The 17 Ways Kids Manipulate Their Parents and What You Can Do About It” (Perigee, September 2009). You can learn more about him at www.DrDavidSwanson.com.
Read 0 Comments... >>
AUGUST 2009: Encouraging Kids Into Math- and Science-related Careers
Some typical answers to the question “What do you want to be when you grow up?” are: firefighter, princess or an athlete.
But when it comes to dream jobs, an overwhelming 85 percent of kids say they are not interested in a future engineering career — a profession critical to the infrastructure of the country. That’s according to a survey by Harris Interactive commissioned by American Society for Quality, a global membership organization of quality professionals in all industries and fields including engineering.
Two key reasons that kids are saying “no” to engineering is that they don’t feel confident enough in their math and science skills to be good at it and they believe that it’s not an exciting career choice.
Speaking to the National Academy of Sciences in April, President Barack Obama announced “a renewed commitment to education in mathematics and science,” fulfilling a campaign promise to train 100,000 scientists and engineers during his presidency. Math and science are subjects that provide critical problem solving and thinking skills crucial not only to engineering, but to the 21st century workforce in general.
How are parents influencing their kids? The findings show that although parents believe math and science will help their children be successful, only 20 percent have encouraged their kids to explore engineering as a career option. In fact, girls say their parents are more likely to encourage them to become an actress than an engineer.
Maurice Ghysels, chair of ASQ’s K-12 Education Advisory Committee, says that lessons about the value of math and science should start early and continue as students reach high school. “Encouraging exploration and curiosity is vital to budding engineers. Parents can help younger kids build a bridge using toothpicks and let their teens tear apart and rebuild that old toaster,” states Ghysels.
A useful tool for parents and students is ASQ’s free Real World of Engineering Webinar www.asq.org/education where you can hear engineers’ career stories, and get an idea of the exciting aspects of engineering such as designing bridges and cell phones to inventing medical breakthroughs that save lives.
Some of ASQ’s nearly 14,000 engineer members offer these tips on how parents can help to build a love of math and science with their kids:
• Take children on a tour of local manufacturing companies where they can see first-hand how fun toys and products with which they’re familiar — like bicycles, candy and baseballs — are made. Learn the role an engineer plays in getting the product from the idea stage to store shelves. Suggestions: Jelly Belly Factory tour (www.jellybelly.com) and the Louisville Slugger Museum Factory tour (www.sluggermuseum. com).
• Research vacation spots for geology, technology and science-related attractions and explore manufactured products specific to the area, so you can teach your kids in a fun setting. Suggestions: National Air and Space Museum (www.nasm.si.edu); Computer History Museum (www.computerhistory.org) and the Harley Davidson Museum (www.harley-davidson.com/museum).
• Encourage curiosity in younger children with building blocks, puzzles and Legos. Challenge older children with remote control vehicles, robots, or work together to build a tree house.
• Take them to a FIRST Robotics Competition (www.usfirst.org) or get them involved with National Science Olympiad competitions (www.soinc.org).
• Get older kids a subscription to magazines such as Fast Company which profiles young entrepreneurs using their tech knowledge or Scientific American, which unique insights about developments in science and technology.
• Seek out coworkers, family and friends who are engineers, and let them share stories with your children about what they do. Have your engineer friends speak at PTA meetings and school career fairs.
One of the simplest and most important things that parents can do is maintain a positive attitude about math and science, encourage curiosity and keep an open mind as your child explores potential careers.
– Source: ARAcontent
Read 0 Comments... >>
JULY 2009: Keeping Summer Activities Fun – For Kids and Parents
There is nothing more promising than summer! Your kids are excited and you are excited about all the possibilities and activities that you can experience together. You optimistically plan your first activity, a trip to the park. You and your sweet child have a great time, until the dreaded words “It’s time to go” are spoken, and then your little sweetheart turns very sour and has an all out meltdown. You begin pleading, then yelling and finally dragging your child to the car. The excitement of summer vacation fades quickly – but it doesn’t have to be that way.
MANAGING CHRONIC BEHAVIOR PROBLEMS
Kathy Royal and Patty Emerson have been helping parents learn and implement these same strategies for more than five years with great success. In their DVD “Raising Responsible Kids,” the above techniques and more are discussed and demonstrated – all designed to take some of the parenting stress out of summer-time activities and the rest of the year too! Go to www.rrkids.com to order your copy of “Raising Responsible Kids” and keep the excitement for summer alive.
Read 0 Comments... >>