Impact of Running Away Is Chillier Than Winter

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – Parents send their children to school hoping and trusting that teachers and school systems are providing a well-rounded, holistic education that’s personalized and supportive.
Now, thanks to an initiative by ASCD, one of America’s leading education associations, anyone interested in preparing today’s youth for success can check whether schools make the grade.
Using the “Grade Your School” tool (www.wholechildeducation.org/gradeyourschool), a resource presented as part of ASCD’s Whole Child Initiative, parents and communities can confirm whether their schools meet the five tenets of ASCD’s Whole Child approach to education. Those tenets are:
1. Each student enters school healthy and learns and practices a healthy lifestyle.
2. Each student learns in an environment that is safe.
3. Each student is actively engaged in learning and connected to the school and broader community.
4. Each student has access to personalized learning and is supported by qualified, caring adults.
5. Each student is challenged academically and prepared for success in college or further study and for employment and participation in a global environment.
“The Grade Your School resource really gets you thinking about what an effective, even ideal, learning environment should be. I will use this tool to open the conversation with my child’s school on how parents could work collaboratively with school officials and others to create an even better learning community,” says Sioban Maslar, Silver Spring, Md.
Composed of 14 short multiple choice questions, the Grade Your School tool helps anyone quickly find out how well a school and community are doing to prepare children for the future. ASCD then provides a report card and some tips on how to use the results.
“Each community has educators, families, administrators and counselors working hard to support the success of each learner,” says Molly McCloskey, managing director of Whole Child Programs at ASCD. “The Grade Your School tool is a starting point for anyone to check how these groups are working to support the whole child approach to education, and open a dialogue about how to work together.”
Visit the Whole Child Initiative homepage at www.wholechildeducation.org to learn more.

How to Add a Magical Touch To Your Child’s Bedroom

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – From the tiniest of tots to tweens and teenagers, a child’s bedroom is a reflection of their identity. Kids often have strong opinions about their likes and dislikes when it comes to their rooms, which can pose decorating challenges for parents: one year, the little one is all about Winnie the Pooh; next Buzz Lightyear may capture his imagination. It’s hard for parents to keep up, let alone create an environment that reflects their children’s taste — and do so within a budget.
A solution can be found in a new collection of wallpapers, murals, borders and wall decals from Disney, the company that has brought beloved characters to life for generations. Best of all, this particular collection was created like building blocks that both capture the magic of the Disney Universe, and allow favorite characters to be added and subtracted according to a child’s changing whims.
The foundation of the collection is wallpaper, since nothing creates an environment more quickly and affordably than covering all four walls. Designed to remain relevant as the child grows, the wallpaper patterns feature enduring classic stripes, scrolls and geometric shapes in a range of soft pastels and rich, saturated colors. Certain patterns, such as a whimsical Mickey Mouse silhouette, are subtle and sophisticated interpretations of iconic Disney motifs that also work well in other rooms of the house.
Disney characters make wonderfully grand appearances on murals, borders and peel-and-stick wall decals. Borders and wall decals can layer on top of the coordinating wallpapers or stand on their own. Murals (starting at $149) are 6′ x 10′ and make a delightful decorating statement as a feature wall design. Versatile wall decals (starting at $12.99) can be repositioned, removed and reused and are great for toy chests, cabinets and headboards as well as walls. Adorable and affordable, they won’t break the bank when a new character strikes the child’s fancy.
Visit www.RoomMatesPeelandStick.com to view the Disney collection, order samples or purchase Disney wallpapers, wall decals and murals. The site also offers photos of decorated rooms with instructions on how to get the look.

Child Homelessness: A Growing Problem

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – Homelessness can happen to anyone — including families and children.
According to the National Center on Family Homelessness, one out of every 50 American children experiences homelessness each year. That’s 1.5 million children. The majority — about 75 percent — are elementary-school-aged. Forty-two percent are younger than six.
To help the homeless children out there, The Company Store (www.thecompanystore.com), a catalog and online retailer of various bedding and home furnishings, launched its Buy One, Give One Comforter Donation Program. The program will benefit homeless children across the country. For every comforter purchased from its website or catalog, The Company Store will donate one comforter to a homeless child. The comforter will be one of the few things a child can call their own — he or she will be able to take it with them when they transition from temporary to permanent housing.
“There are a significant number of homeless children in this country who do not have a home to call their own,” says Dennis Warner, chief marketing officer of The Company Store. “The Company Store is committed to bringing some comfort to these children in need.”
Homeless children get sick, go hungry, repeat grades and develop learning disabilities more often than children with homes. Numerous charitable organizations work to provide relief and shelter to homeless families, but it’s difficult to give homeless children a sense of stability.
“We hope that the donated comforters will raise the spirits of thousands of children and their families as they work to rebuild their lives,” says Dennis Warner, CMO of The Company Store.

Is Your Child’s Packed Lunch Healthy?

Every time you pack your kids’ lunches, you have an opportunity to give them a fun, healthy meal. Are you making the most of it?

Janice Newell Bissex, MS, RD and Liz Weiss, MS, RD, authors of the book No Whine with Dinner, along with the California Raisin Marketing Board, offer the following tips for better lunches:

•    Take a Lunchbox Assessment. Look at your children’s lunches. Healthy lunches should include whole grains, such as whole-wheat bread, pitas or tortillas; high-quality lean protein, such as roasted deli turkey, beans or tofu; low-fat dairy, such as low-fat milk, yogurt, cheese and calcium-fortified soy milk; and fruits and vegetables, such as sliced apples, strawberries, California raisins, sliced bell pepper strips, baby carrots or raw green beans.

Why Parents Shouldn’t Dismiss Tooth Sensitivity in Children

Children’s smiling faces will bring joy to most parents. A toothache, however, can quickly turn a child’s smile into a frown. If your little one reports tooth sensitivity or pain, it may be time to visit a dentist. But if your child has no pain or sensitivity, you’ll still want to use the best preventive techniques.

How Healthy Is Your Child’s Packed Lunch?

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – Every time you pack your kids’ lunches, you have an opportunity to give them a fun, healthy meal. Are you making the most of it?
Janice …

Tips to Keep Preschoolers’ Teeth Healthy

Preschoolers’ smiling teeth do more than just bring joy to the people who see them. Kids’ teeth also help them chew and speak, and they create space in the jaw for adult teeth to grow in straight. Unfortunately, these “baby teeth” are also prone to early childhood caries or baby bottle tooth decay, also known as cavities.

How do preschoolers develop cavities? As in adults, children’s mouths are filled with bacteria. Whenever a child consumes sugar or starch, the bacteria feed on the sugar, releasing acid as a byproduct. This acid can break down the outer layer of the tooth, creating cavities.

A Back-to-School Checklist for Parents

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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – As summer winds down, thoughts turn to the school year. But it’s easy to put off back-to-school preparations until the last minute, when you find yourself frantically throwing packs of No. 2 pencils in your cart.

This year, why not try for a more organized approach? Here are some tips:

* Go through your child’s wardrobe. The end of summer marks the perfect time to have a fashion show. Have your child put on a fashion show, and note what items you will need to replace. Get rid of ill-fitting, ratty and never-worn items. Consider donating “gently used” pieces.

When choosing back to school clothes, practicality is key. Company Kids Moby Goby line was created to be durable and be comfortable for a longer period of time with their adjustable waistband, double seaming, elastic gussets and fabric lining. Most of the clothing is machine washable, too, which is a must for kids who love the playground!

* Organize classroom supplies. When you receive your school’s supply list, don’t immediately run to the store. Look through what you bought last year — you may still have spare notebooks, pencils or binders that haven’t been used.

All children will need a backpack. If your child’s due for a replacement, look for plenty of pockets for organizing and a fun design. Company Kids backpacks offers backpacks for toddlers, children, tweens and teens. All have ample pockets, compartments, and heavy-duty zippers so your child can stay organized. And their fun prints, like the Blue Zoo backpack, lets each kid represent their personality.

* Take a look around your child’s room. Nothing says that your child’s growing up like entering a new grade, so the start of the school year is a good time to see if your child would prefer more “big kid” décor.” You don’t have to hire a decorator — a few posters and a new bedspread may do the trick.

And don’t forget the college kids! The Company Store offers a twin extra-long bedding package that includes a Company Cotton four-piece sheet set and a LaCrosse Primaloft comforter for $124.99. And unlike other pre-packaged bedding sets, your college bound kid can pick the color for each piece in the set, allowing them to mix and match according to their tastes.

For more information, visit www.thecompanystore.com.

Fight Against Childhood Obesity Begins at Home

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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – Schools nationwide are revamping their lunch menus, celebrity chefs are going on reality TV and First Lady Michelle Obama has started a health initiative, all to combat the same thing — childhood obesity.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 25 million American children are obese or overweight, setting them up for a lifetime of health problems, including cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. Many school systems have made attempts to provide healthier school lunches, such as offering salad bars or fresh fruit.

Food and drink makers are also making efforts to solve the problem. Companies like Coca-Cola have removed regular soft drinks from schools, and recently, major beverage companies, together with the William J. Clinton Foundation and the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, announced that they have successfully cut total calories from drinks delivered to schools by 88 percent over the last three years.

“From my experience, schools alone cannot stop children from becoming overweight or obese,” says registered dietitian Sylvia Klinger. “It is very important for parents to make an effort to encourage healthy eating habits at home and outside of the classroom.”

Klinger suggests these tips for parents who want their children to live healthy, active lives:

* Make healthy foods easy. We’re all familiar with the phrase “eat the rainbow.” To make it easy to get your family to eat fresh fruits and vegetables, chop bite-sized portions in advance, so you can take them out of the fridge and run. Sneak fruits into smoothies, and veggies into sauces, salsas or soups. Also, look for individually packaged whole-grain products, like 100 percent whole wheat bread, oatmeal and brown rice.

* Create healthy eating habits. Always eat breakfast — children who eat breakfast not only weigh less, but also perform better in school. It is also important to schedule regular meal times. Try involving your children in the preparation of each meal. Avoid the clean plate system, which only promotes overeating. Also, don’t ban treats, which can encourage sneaking food or overeating when sweets are present.

* Get active. Exercise is important regardless of your child’s weight or age. If your child is overweight, focus on maintaining that weight while the child grows in height, which can be accomplished through exercise. No matter your child’s size, activities like team sports, swimming, hiking, cycling or just taking a family walk can help manage weight, increase energy and improve self-esteem.

Tips to Keep Preschoolers’ Teeth Healthy

<b>Tips to Keep Preschoolers’ Teeth Healthy</b>“></td>
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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – Preschoolers’ smiling teeth do more than just bring joy to the people who see them. Preschoolers’ teeth also help them chew and speak, and they create space in the jaw for adult teeth to grow in straight. Unfortunately, these “baby teeth” are also prone to early childhood caries or baby bottle tooth decay, also known as cavities.

How do preschoolers develop cavities? As in adults, children’s mouths are filled with bacteria. Whenever a child consumes sugar or starch, the bacteria feed on the sugar, releasing acid as a byproduct. This acid can break down the outer layer of the tooth, creating cavities.

So, how can parents ensure that preschoolers’ teeth stay healthy? Here are some tips:

* Keep preschoolers’ teeth clean. By the time a child has reached age 2 to 5, they should be on their way to caring for their own teeth. By age three, they should have a full set of baby teeth. Most children at this age will want to brush their teeth on their own, but it is important to supervise and help them until they are doing it correctly. Do a quick follow-up brushing if necessary with a soft-bristled tooth brush.

* Use probiotics. Oral care probiotics can be an effective step in a preschooler’s oral care routine. If left unchecked, bad

bacteria can overwhelm the mouth, possibly leading to tooth decay. EvoraKids (www.myevorakids.com), a chewable containing a special blend of oral care probiotics designed for children, works by flooding the mouth with good bacteria, which adhere to tooth surfaces, including crevices, pits and fissures in the chewing surfaces, helping to promote happy smiles. It supports tooth health by balancing the bacteria in the mouth.

* Limit sweets. Sugar produces an acid that removes calcium from teeth, thereby breaking down the enamel. Only give children fruit for snacks, not cookies or crackers with refined sugar. If you do keep sweets in your house, only give children candy that they can consume all at once. Always make them brush their teeth soon after eating candy to remove any sugars that may still be sitting in the mouth.

* Avoid sharing silverware with your child. Never put your mouth on anything that will enter your child’s mouth — children aren’t born with destructive bacteria in the mouth, they catch them from mom and dad.