Study Suggests Today’s US Students Are Less Efficient Readers

(NewsUSA) – Do today’s students perform better than their peers in 1960? Given the advances in education and technology, it would be natural to assume that the answer is a resounding "yes." But, when it comes to reading efficiency, new research suggests that that’s not the case.The research, published by the International Literacy Association, compares the comprehension-based silent reading efficiency of US students (grades 2-12) in 2011 with data collected in 1960.A key finding was that students fall further behind as they advance through the grades, wrote Alexandra Spichtig, Ph.D., Chief Research Officer of Reading Plus, and first author of the study.The study showed that today’s second-grade students are comparable to their peers of 50 years ago, but that by the end of high school, students’ comprehension-based silent reading rates average 19 percent slower than the rates of their 1960 peers."What we know — and the data underscore this — is that for many students, the progression to efficient silent reading does not develop naturally. Many students need structured silent reading instruction," explains Mark Taylor, Chief Executive Officer of Reading Plus, a web-based silent reading program for schools.Some of the benefits of implementing silent reading instruction at home or in school are:* Expanded vocabulary* Improved comprehension* Increased efficiency* Enhanced reading enjoyment* Improved writing skillsExperts agree that without extensive silent reading practice in the classroom or at home, students will continue to struggle and literacy rates will continue to fall short or fall behind."Effective reading instruction must integrate fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension practice tailored to meet each student’s unique needs. This study demonstrates that as long as structured silent reading practice is neglected in this country, the literacy problem is likely to continue," Taylor adds.While researchers can’t pinpoint reasons for the decline in silent reading efficiency from that of 50 years ago, it stands to reason that those students who engage in structured silent reading practice become more efficient readers and take with them a love of books that lasts far past their high school graduation.For more information, please visit www.readingplus.com

Misconceptions About Conception

(NewsUSA) – As straightforward as the idea of getting pregnant may seem, there is still a great deal of confusion about infertility. A survey of 500 participants, conducted by The Stork Ib2C, Inc. uncovers the most prevalent misconceptions about conception.When asked how long respondents assumed it would take to see a positive pregnancy test, nearly 56 percent thought only three to six months. In actuality, most will take up to a year to conceive. Fertility is often out of our control, and these false expectations can lead to disappointment and stress early on, and that can negatively impact fertility and the conception process.The survey also revealed a psychological impact from fertility issues as 38 percent described feeling sad or upset that others were pregnant while they were not.Although friends and family are supporting the couple’s success, not being able to give those loved ones the news they want to hear causes the same percent to feel unwanted pressure.Thirty-three percent were concerned about financial barriers of fertility treatments, questioning how they would finance expensive treatments, particularly at a time they were saving for a new baby. Clinical fertility treatments vary in price, but most procedures are not covered by health insurance and can reach well over $10,000.More than 52 percent thought multiple births were the number-one risk associated with in vitro fertilization (IVF), and 67 percent said they would not try the most invasive of the clinically fertility treatments. Surprisingly, many did not recognize the risks associated with ovulation-stimulating hormones. The high price of clinical procedures doesn’t equate to greater success rates, a component only 13 percent cited as a risk they associated with treatments.The average cost of Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) is $500, but yields only a 16-21 percent rate of success, similar to the 20 percent of cervical cap insemination, the technique the Stork OTC offers, but at a considerable lower price .The Stork OTC home conception device is a low-cost option that affords couples the opportunity to assist their chances of conception without engaging in invasive and costly treatments. The FDA-cleared, over-the-counter device provides a way to keep a higher sperm score concentration at the cervix compared to natural intercourse. For more information, visit www.storkotc.com

Boomers, Grandchildren Find Common Ground Through Music

(NewsUSA) – "It was 20 years ago, today…" 50 years ago actually. June 2, 2017 marked the 50th anniversary of the release of, what many describe as "the greatest rock album of all-time" — "Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band."The eighth studio album by The Beatles spent 27 weeks at the top of the U.K. charts and 15 weeks at no.1 in the U.S.This summer, Billy Shears and the gang were back on top, hitting no. 1 once again, as one of this year’s highest-selling albums. Many people remember exactly where they were the first time they heard one of the iconic songs included on the album during the Summer of Love.Considering that David Bowie, Michael Jackson, Pink Floyd and many more have also been listed at the top of the charts this year, one might be inclined to dust off an old turntable or 8-track tape player.But unlike the other classic music talent mentioned, The Beatles have inspired a new revolution these days, this time for kids even younger.Meet Buzz, Walter, Jay, Crick, and Kumi: the Beat Bugs.Josh Wakely’s Beat Bugs is an Emmy Award-winning animated kids series featuring songs made famous by The Beatles.This Netflix hit revolves around the lives and adventures of these five best friends, charming and funny childlike bugs who explore and learn life lessons in their suburban backyard home.Each episode ties in a song made famous by The Beatles, reimagined in an innocent and child-friendly fashion, sung by one of the characters or guest stars that include mega-musicians Pink ("Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds"), Sia ("Blackbird"), Aloe Blacc ("Rain"), The Shins ("The Word"), Jennifer Hudson ("I’ll Follow the Sun"), and more.Beat Bugs introduces a new generation to the music of the most influential band in rock history.Groovy.In support of the Netflix success, Target has curated a line ofBeat Bugs interactive merchandise, including toys and games, DVDs and books, apparel and accessories and more.Many products available come complete with the musicality of the show.From the Beat Bugs Hijinx Alive that magically sing along on cue to the show playing on Netflix or the app, to the Musical Submarine that plays excerpts from, (you guessed it) "Yellow Submarine" to the Sing Along Microphone and more.Even Beat Bugs books and the backpack play music!Shop for Beat Bugs at http://beatbugs.toys/NewsUSA.Fans "Across the Universe" have had a similar reaction to the show and the products, stating that it is such a thrill to be able to introduce The Beatles to a new generation in a refreshingly fun and innovative way.Actor, comedian, television host ("The Late Late Show with James Corden"), and singer James Corden lends his voice to "I’m a Loser" for Beat Bugs. During his recording session, he stated, "My son is four years old and I can’t wait for him to watch this.""I would be amazed if he didn’t just start to fall in love with these songs."So kick back, relax, and cast some special time with the kids or grandkids, who no doubt will be impressed that you already know all of the words to the songs.Fifty years from now, they’ll remember being by your side the first time they heard "Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band," or any other Beatles song.Righteous. 

Fast Facts About Excessive Sweating at School

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – It’s back-to-school and sweat’s happening.
But while it’s “normal” to sweat with heat, exertion or anxiety, 4.8 percent of people — students included — experience sweating so excessive it’s a serious medical condition called hyperhidrosis.
To help these youngsters as they return to school, the International Hyperhidrosis Society, a non-profit that helps improve quality-of-life for those living with hyperhidrosis, is debunking excessive sweating myths with facts:
* Children, teens, and young adults can all suffer from hyperhidrosis that’s debilitating and life-altering.
* Hyperhidrosis often first manifests during school-aged years, bringing with it severe embarrassment due to sweat-drenched clothes and damaged school materials.
* Poor academic performance, social isolation, and depression can happen as a result.
* Individuals with hyperhidrosis sweat about 5 times more than what’s considered “normal” because they have overactive sweat glands, NOT because of moods, poor health, or lack of hygiene.
* Kids don’t outgrow hyperhidrosis; they need help to manage it.
* This condition can make basic school activities, such as holding a pencil difficult.
* Hyperhidrosis is as emotionally damaging as severe acne and shouldn’t be ignored.
* Young people with hyperhidrosis can find support, understanding, and treatment — but they need adults to help.
Learn more at www.SweatHelp.org.

Have A Dog Who Wets Her Bed? Your Vet Can Help

(NewsUSA) – As a pet owner, have you ever had a female dog who always finds the outdoor bathroom during the day, but wets her bed at night?Dogs who follow the house rules can be horrified when they realize that they’ve leaked — even though it occurs during sleep.Plastic sheets aren’t the answer, and most likely your long-suffering pet wouldn’t be happy alone outside.Urine soiling isn’t something pet owners enjoy discussing.Many assume it’s a behavioral problem, believing they’ve failed to properly train their pets.But poor bladder control following spaying is actually a physical disorder that’s seen mostly in middle-aged female dogs, and can occur any time after surgery.In addition, it’s more common in large breeds and those who struggle with obesity.To that end, a rolled-up newspaper won’t solve this problem, and won’t improve behavioral house soiling either. Leaking urine during rest or sleep is not your dog’s fault.There is value in spaying your female dog, but giving up their ovaries means the sphincter muscle in the bladder can be left just weak enough to relax and release urine. It may happen any time they drift off. The result is a tell-tale wet spot on their bed. About 20 percent of spayed dogs face this messy downside.For dog owners who want to try and help their pet, the answer may lie in a liver-flavored tablet.Proin tablets can be given twice daily, and make a difference in both a pet and an owner’s life because urine leakage can damage relationships. Consider this: 18 percent of the dogs in shelters were surrendered by frustrated owners because of house soiling.Alternatively, there are other possible causes, so it’s essential to allow your veterinarian to make an accurate diagnosis before medication is started.Urinary tract infections are common, especially for indoor girls. Bladder stones can also cause house soiling. And elderly dogs may urinate indoors because of senile brain changes, a problem called cognitive dysfunction syndrome. Pets with urinary symptoms need to see their doctors.If a thorough exam and urinalysis come up normal, a healthy female dog who leaks only when resting or sleeping most likely has urinary incontinence due to reduced estrogen. You can explain all of this to your dog, ending "the talk" by telling her that she has urethral sphincter hypotonus. With her leader so well-informed, she is sure to feel better.Veterinarians like to uncover these cases because almost all of them can be turned from frustration to success.Proin is often chosen because it is the only non-hormone treatment option, and also because it’s palatable and easy to dose.But in certain cases, due to pet irritability, restlessness, or medical conditions, Proin may be inappropriate.For those dogs, an old standby treatment — a synthetic estrogen called diethylstilbestrol (DES) — may be used.There are many undiagnosed female dogs struggling with nocturnal incontinence. The good news for spayed female bed wetters is that they can enjoy campouts and sleepovers just like everybody else.For more information on Proin, including important safety material, pet owners can visit www.proinforcanines.com.

Talking about Estate Planning Needs to Happen Sooner Rather Than Later

There are subjects in life that need to be discussed, but many of us tend to avoid them. Issues like mortality and money top the list. As parents and children grow older, a must-have conversation should be the topic of estate planning, but do we know all that we should?

According to Fidelity Investments’ “ Family & Finance Study,” the answer is a resounding — and rather scary — “no.” In fact, seven out of 10 of children underestimated their parents’ estate by an average of $278,000. That’s a big number between knowing what is going on and not understanding at all. It illustrates a breakdown in communication that Kevin Ruth, head of Fidelity’s wealth planning and personal trust, says badly needs addressing through ‘frank conversations” between parents and their adult children.

Companies Are Discovering That Pittsburgh Is Good for Business

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – Many companies have recognized the road to their success runs through Pittsburgh. Popular brands like American Eagle Outfitters and Dick’s Sporting Goods are headquartered in the city, and powerhouse companies like Amazon, Google, Uber, Shell, Facebook, and Apple have made recent investments or are expanding operations in the region.
For businesses that are considering new strategies to expand their customer base and reach, Pittsburgh offers a high-tech environment, an experienced and eager workforce, and inviting surroundings for both start-ups and established companies. Using Pittsburgh to increase your revenue and influence is the key to growing your business in 2017.
For those who would like to enter into the Pittsburgh area, the Pittsburgh Business Show is one way to gain a foothold within the city’s markets.
The Pittsburgh Business Show, a business-to-business trade show, will be held on April 19 and 20, 2017, at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in downtown Pittsburgh. The show is the brainchild of Bryan Thornberg and Linda Jo Thornberg. It offers business owners, executives and entrepreneurs the tools they need to achieve goals and drive revenue.
The Pittsburgh Business Show is free to attend and will feature networking events, inspirational speakers and exhibitors from dozens of industries. It serves as an entry point for those companies that would like to establish operations within Pittsburgh. It also features an elaborate marketing and technology platform that includes real-time lead generation and will drive attendance through business, media, and attendee promotion.
The Show has attracted a slate of partners and media sponsors including the Pittsburgh Business Times, 102.5 WDVE, KDKA-TV, and The CW. The speakers list boasts names such as Darieth Chisolm, a business coach and Emmy-winning TV personality, and Dan Harmon, Vice President of digital marketing firm Higher Images.
The feedback from Pittsburgh and the surrounding region has been overwhelmingly positive, with media partners touting this one-of-a-kind show as a great stepping stone for people who want to engage the Pittsburgh market.
The Pittsburgh Business Show is opening the door for companies to come to Pittsburgh, connect with interested partners, and work together to improve their bottom line. The unique opportunities here can be introduced to business owners and executives through the Pittsburgh Business Show’s agenda and networking opportunities.
For more information about the Pittsburgh Business Show, visit www.pittsburghbusinessshow.com or call 412-668-4990.

Four Tips to Keep Your Kids’ Teeth Healthy And Clean

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – We all want our kids to have movie-star smiles as adults. As parents, this means knowing how to protect their teeth when they’re young, while ensuring that they practice good dental health care for a lifetime.
Because February is National Children’s Dental Health Month, it’s the perfect time to “brush up” on instilling good oral-hygiene habits.
Consider this: according to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), nearly one in three children ages two to five years old in the U.S. are affected by tooth decay, which is one of the top chronic infectious diseases among children and can compromise their health, development, and quality of life in both the short and long term.
“Parents are bombarded with unsolicited advice and health findings that are constantly changing,” says Dr. Jade Miller, AAPD President. “We don’t want to add to that stress, but there are a few common misconceptions, that could help make a huge difference in your child’s oral health — which is linked to their overall health and wellness.”
The good news is that tooth decay is nearly 100 percent preventable. The following do’s and don’ts from the AAPD can keep tooth decay at bay and keep kids smiling for years to come:
*Do cut down on sugar. Children shouldn’t graze on candy and sugary drinks (including sports drinks and juice). That prolonged exposure to sugar and acid can wreak havoc on teeth. Instead, stick to designated meal and snack times and have them drink plenty of water throughout the day.
*Don’t put babies to bed with a bottle. Milk and juice contain sugar. When babies are put to bed with a bottle, the sugar coats their teeth while they are sleeping, causing tooth decay. If you use a bottle before sleep, opt for water.
*Do wean children off of pacifiers by age three. Pacifiers are a natural way for children to self-soothe. However, prolonged use can increase the risk of cavities, and affect the way a child’s teeth bite together often causing an overbite.
*Do avoid topical teething gels and rings. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration warns against using teething gels that contain benzocaine or lidocaine because they can harm your child. Parents and caregivers should stay away from teething rings too which contain chemicals, and low levels of BPA– despite labels citing otherwise — that can be harmful to your child.
For more information about children’s oral health and to find a pediatric dentist in your area, visit www.mychildrensteeth.org.

CME Group Competition Brings Trading to The Classroom

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – University students around the world can test their trading skills in CME Group’s 14th Annual Trading Challenge next month — and could walk away with $1,500 in prize money and a trip to Chicago.
CME Group, the world’s leading and most diverse derivatives exchange hosts its complimentary, electronic trading competition each year in order to help educate the next generation of global finance professionals. Last year, nearly 500 teams from 200 universities represented 30 countries in the competition. Nanyang Polytechnic from Singapore was the winner in 2016 and Ozyegin University from Turkey prevailed in 2015.
During the competition, teams of undergraduate and graduate students learn hands-on techniques for trading up to 10 different CME Group derivatives products from multiple asset classes on a real-time professional trading platform. Live data and news is also provided to the students free of charge.
Each member of the first-place team receives a cash prize of $1,500, as well as a trip to Chicago for the company’s day of market education. Cash prizes are also awarded down to the fifth-place team, with the top 10 percent of teams also invited to Chicago.
Registration for the competition is now open and will remain open until Tuesday, February 7, at 5 p.m. CST.
For more information, visit cmegroup.com/tradingchallenge.
Students can also try their hand at trading year-round by using the CME Group’s Futures Fundamentals site, an innovative resource that explains the role of futures markets in everyday life.

Got Tech Neck? Here’s Some Advice.

(NewsUSA) – It’s called "tech neck." But to really understand the stress you’re putting on your neck every time you look down at some wireless device -; think texting, for example -; just imagine four 15-pound bowling balls sitting atop your head.Done imagining? Doctors of chiropractic, who regularly consult on issues including spinal alignment and proper posture, have some important advice for you. Watch the video at: http://youtu.be/JVigUgq-Wmc