D-1 FRI Family Opener 10/20 P-J 10/19/06 D The Post-Journal FRIDAY, OCTOBER 20, 2006 6:43 PM Page 1 FAMILY Tips And Tricks To Make Halloween More Fun By TOM McMAHON Halloween is a magical time for children: carving and decorating pumpkins, dressing up in costumes, trick-or-treating around their neighborhood and — best of all — eating lots of candy. So what can parents do to limit the amount of candy consumed by their children? RACTICAL Readers of this column offer OLUTIONS their creative advice: (1) After OR oohing and aahing over your VERYDAY children’s haul candy, inspect ARENTING of each piece to make sure it’s safe and appropriate for your child to eat. Tell them that they each can pick out 10 to 20 pieces of candy for themselves, and then you will pay a nickel for each piece left. (2) Freeze it, especially the chocolate. It will last for months. (3) Transfer the candy to zipper-top plastic bags and place in the fridge, with each child’s name labeled on his or her bag. They can select one item to eat each day. (4) Allow the children to keep a reasonable amount of their candy, then leave the remaining candy in a bag on the kitchen table overnight for the ‘‘Halloween Fairy.’’ By morning, the fairy will have replaced the candy bag with nice presents for each child. (5) Put all of the Halloween candy into a kitchen jar high out of reach. Each day, the children get to pick one piece of candy for their lunch bag or after dinner. Here’s some other great ideas for Halloween. Inside Dear Abby, D-2 Classified, D4-D8 MUSIC IS POWER KID TIPS P S F E P HALLOWEEN PUMPKINS FOR KIDS Since most Halloween pumpkins are carved by parents — not kids — here’s a kid-friendly way to do up a pumpkin. Put the carving knife aside and bring out the craft box, hopefully with items such as glue, glitter, paint and brushes, cookie cutters (for impressions), old hats, inexpensive jewelry, letter stencils, markers, cotton balls, feathers, plastic eyes and whatever else you have in the house that would be appropriate. Tell the children to let their imagination run wild in creating a pumpkin face or painting a design. They can even write scary messages on one or a series of pumpkins. Parents can drill or cut small holes in the pumpkins for scary spiders to crawl out of. The possibilities are endless. — Agnes M., Springfield, Mass. MULTIPLE FACES ON ONE PUMPKIN My school-age children love to have their own pumpkin to carve, but cleaning out the insides of multiple pumpkins was too challenging for them and me. Therefore, we buy one big pumpkin, and each child draws and carves a face on one side. This works for as many as four children. After all the faces are carved, I stuff the inside with black tissue paper or cloth and take each child’s picture with his or her pumpkin face. It has worked great for us. — Jacke Dollar, W. Des Moines, Iowa JACK-O’-LANTERN SANDWICH To make a fun Halloween cheese sandwich, take two slices of white or wheat bread and one slice of American cheese. Spread mayonnaise on the bottom slice of bread, and then lay the cheese on top. Cut out a jack-o’-lantern face on the other slice of bread, then place on top of the cheese. Your child will enjoy eating this jack-o’lantern sandwich. Some variations include using a Halloween cookie cutter instead of cutting out a face, using egg salad instead of cheese, or skipping the mayonnaise and making a grilled cheese sandwich. — T.L., San Diego HALLOWEEN HAUNTED HOUSE My sons love to make a haunted house in our basement and then invite their friends for a ‘‘scary’’ time. Everyone wears a costume, and cardboard cut-out bats hang from the ceiling. The guests bob for apples and touch various items in bowls while they are blindfolded. They must guess what they are touching. Boys especially like the feel of peeled grapes and cooked macaroni — monster eyes and guts, they say. — Deborah M., Duluth, Minn. ııı Every parent has a favorite parenting tip. Send yours to [email protected], call (925) 461-6080 (fax/voice message) or write to Kid Tips, 888 Seventh Ave., New York, NY 10019. Tom McMahon is a syndicated columnist, college professor and author of the books Kid Tips and Teen Tips. Visit his Web site at www.kidtips.com. (Always keep safety, age appropriateness and your intimate knowledge of your own child in mind when considering use of any tip.) ç 2006 by Tom McMahon Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc. Special guest Mickey Mamp, from Fredonia, visited Falconer Public Library for story hour Wednesday. Mamp composes and writes children’s music. He hopes his music will promote confidence, promise and positive thinking in children. He feels that music is important in the education system because it gives children brain power. He agrees that the arts help the children stay focused in their academic studies. Mamp sang four songs during the hour including his big hit, ‘‘Clark The Tree.’’ This song is about a very upbeat and happy tree. The children were full of smiles as they listened to Mamp sing a song about smiles. The children learned about different instruments and were given snacks that resembled drums. Mrs. Gail Espinoza, music teacher from Temple Elementary in Kennedy, let the library borrow instruments for the children to see. At the conclusion of story hour, the children were given whistles to take home. Anyone wishing to have their child involved in story hour is to contact the Falconer Public Library. To purchase Mamp’s CD, Clark The Tree, contact Fox Glove Music at 672-4214. P-J photo by Elisha Whitmore Reference Librarian Is Available Seven Days A Week By BONNIE L. COOK The Philadelphia Inquirer NORRISTOWN, Pa. (AP) — Loretta Righter saw the question flash on her computer screen at the Montgomery County Public Library: What percentage of eligible voters voted in the last presidential election? Righter, a reference librarian, messaged back to the unseen library patron: ‘‘I am going to change your screen to show you a Web site that may help.’’ After a short pause, his reply popped up: ‘‘Those facts will work perfectly.’’ Righter was able to help the questioner through Ask Here PA, a new technology tool that turns reference librarians into a 24-hour online resource. Ninety-two libraries across the state have volunteered staff to field online reference questions, allowing Pennsylvania to join scores of other states, including New Jersey, that have expanded the reach of the reference library to include a virtual chat service. Staff from 28 of the libraries are already participating. The others are still being trained, coordinator Vince Mariner said. Previously, library patrons came to the reference desk or asked questions by phone. Some libraries added an e-mail service, but response wasn’t fast enough, experts said. Ask Here PA, funded with $125,000 from the state Department of Education, satisfies the desire, especially among younger users, to receive a quick response. The online librarian has about 15 minutes to find the answer to any question, using Internet Web sites, databases, and books or periodicals. If more time is needed, the librarian gets back to the questioner later. With Righter’s help, a questioner figured out recently that she could write a term paper on Pennsylvania’s vanishing farmlands using four Web-based sources. The question: What percent of Pennsylvania farmlands have disappeared over the last 10 years? ‘‘The Internet with all the resources that are on it is a wonderful thing,’’ Righter said. ‘‘But you need to know your way around.’’ As Righter helped one questioner, other queries were being fielded by online reference librarians elsewhere. For example: What is the life cycle of an elk? How many species of parrot are there? What is the deepest point in the ocean? How many U.S. soldiers have died in Iraq this year? How do you do a bibliography for Internet sources? Why is Pluto not a planet? Name the famous used-book store in Philadelphia that went out of business in the late 1960s? So far, traffic on Ask Here PA is unpredictable. Mark Draper, a Free Library of Philadelphia manager who demonstrated the system recently, took two questions in as many hours. Other times, he’s swamped. Once Pennsylvania librarians log off, those from Western states pick up the slack overnight, Mariner said. The libraries are linked to Online Computer Library Center, a worldwide library cooperative based in Dublin, Ohio. During a trial period from July 17 to Sept. 5, when the service was available noon to 5 p.m., librarians fielded 962 questions. Q and A NJ, New Jersey’s online reference service, started up in October 2001, covering 50 hours a week with staff from 18 libraries. That service answered 451 questions in its first month, but now handles more than 7,000 per month, said Karen Hyman, executive director of the South Jersey Regional Library Cooperative. Patrons like the convenience, the professional help in finding the answer, and the fact that a live person is on the other end. ‘‘This public service lets them stay at their office desks, is open at 2 a.m., and (if at home) doesn’t require changing to street wear from pajamas,’’ Hyman e-mailed. On one recent day, Loretta Righter heard from a policeman in search of a study guide and a nursing student seeking online nursing journals. As far as the question about turnout in the 2004 election, that was an easy one, Righter said: ‘‘120 million, or 60 percent of all eligible voters. Righter found the answer on Web sites specializing in voter statistics. Mariner, who was watching, beamed. ‘‘It’s so nice to get closure,’’ he said. CASA’s Role In Promoting The Education Of Foster Children to provide information about basic education laws and offer CASA advocates a framework to think about or be sensitive to when considering educational issues for children in care.’’ National CASA wants to expand how it addresses educational issues for children in care. ‘‘As an organization we are interested in educational outcomes for children in foster care and would like to provide more training for our advocates,’’ stated Tracy Flynn, training director for National CASA. Flynn said that National CASA is in the process of developing continuing education training curricula that addresses education as a critical component of a child’s life. By ALICE O’GRADY The following information is from an article by Lynette Mullen titled ‘‘Promoting Educational Opportunities for Children and Youth in Care.’’ It was published in Summer 2004 in The Connection, a quarterly publication of the National Court Appointed Special Advocates Association. It was posted at casanet.org in August 2004. Judy dropped out of school when she was 14 and didn’t go back until she entered foster care three years later. ‘‘My mother has been on welfare her whole life. I didn’t want that for me or my son. And I knew if I was going to get a job, I needed a diploma,’’ she explained. Judy had not chosen an easy task. When she reentered high school at 17, she was three years behind. She also had a young son to care for. Social workers doubted she could do it. ‘‘But my CASA and foster parent supported me. We went to court more than 13 times in eight months fighting to let me stay in foster care until I graduated.’’ Judy promised a February graduation date and Child Welfare Services agreed to let her remain a dependent while she attended a continuation high school. At 19, Judy became the first person in her family to earn a high school diploma. She now works full-time and supports herself and her son. Like Judy, many children enter foster care already behind academically, often with undetected learning or other disabilities and the physical and emotional scars of the abuse and neglect that brought them into foster care. Falling Through The Cracks Of The Education System Many children lack adult guidance and support identified as crucial to academic success. Some have little stability, help or encouragement to attend or stay in school. After entering foster care, sadness over separation from family members, concern for parents and siblings, worries about the future and difficulty adjusting to a new placement and school often distract children and interfere with their learning. Molly Herzog, director of Project People, observed that 35 percent of foster youth have experienced four or more school changes. Studies show each school move results in a four- to sixmonth loss of educational progress. The lingering effects of abuse and neglect often lead to behavior problems such as aggression and withdrawal, which can further interfere with the child’s ability to learn. Many children surveyed in a study also said that they limited their social interaction with peers to hide their foster status and avoid the social stigma. CASA Programs Tackle The Issue CASA: Advocates for Children of New York State has partnered with the Permanent Judicial Commission for Justice for Children to address educational issues for foster children. CASANYS also offers training, technical assistance, information and support to member programs in 33 counties across the state. ‘‘Many children in care have special education concerns,’’ noted CASANYS Deputy Director Anne Kuppinger, a conclusion supported by a recent study revealing that children in foster care receive special education services at three to five times the national rate for all children. ‘‘We want Post-Secondary Education Is Possible Many organizations support foster youth who pursue post-secondary education. Orphan Foundation for America helps make dreams of higher education a reality for many foster youth. Former foster youth Zack Kidwell started using drugs and alcohol when he was 12 years old and dropped out of school in the eighth-grade. He eventually obtained his GED and was encouraged by his ‘‘surrogate mom’’ to consider college. With financial aid and help from scholarships specifically for former foster youth from the OFA, Kidwell is now attending the University of Kansas. In an e-mail to OFA, Kidwell wrote, ‘‘More good news! Since I am a first generation college student, I will be getting a free tutor for my history class. And I finally found a free place to print my papers and I found out about grants for summer school, so it looks like I will not have to pay $1,400 to stay in school. Life is Good!’’ With help and support from advocates, service providers and support organizations, more foster youth may share Kidwell’s good fortune. ııı The Court Appointed Special Advocates of Chautauqua County, Inc. is partially funded by The New York State Unified Court System/Office of Court Administration, United Way of Southern Chautauqua County, an Interest on Lawyers Account grant and private donations, which are always gratefully accepted.
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