Contest Winner Travels to Uganda to Meet Children He Sponsors

For 12 years, David and Stacie Levis of Citrus Heights, Calif., have sponsored children across the world through ChildFund International. Their sponsorship helps provide the children with basic necessities, clean water, educational opportunities and job training.

The couple, who have three children of their own, consider their 14 sponsored children part of their extended family, always looking forward to updates, letters and photos. But it was a Facebook promotion last summer that would forever change their relationship with their sponsored children.

Having Trouble Saving? Finding the Right Strategy Is Easier Than You Think

Saving money is hard. In fact, it has proven so difficult that a June 2011 Bankrate.com poll revealed that only 24 percent of Americans have a six-month emergency savings cushion.

However, making a few small adjustments to your spending, beginning with creating a reasonable and modest budget, can help you put good saving habits into practice.

Take action on your budgeting

Everyone says you need a budget, but how do you create one that someone can stick to?

Computer Technology Grows New Career Opportunities

In personal and professional life, computer technology impacts even the simplest, everyday tasks. Whether through online bill payment or the seamless integration of global businesses, computer technology offers optimized productivity and the flow of commerce, making it a vital component of success for all businesses.

This unwavering dependence on computer technology has spurred the growth of related fields, making the present a great time to earn a degree in computer information systems (CIS). According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in this field is projected to grow by 30 percent from 2008 to 2018, much faster than the average of all occupations, opening the door for those with applicable skills to apply their talents and passion for computing and technology in the workplace.

A Mouse in the House? Tips for Finding a Qualified Pest Professional

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – Spring heralds a season of fresh starts and growth — and what better way to start anew than with a little spring cleaning?
Taking the time to get organized can make all the difference — and it can make the most cluttered closets and dirtiest corners a breeze to clean. With the right tools in hand, organizing any messy space becomes a mangeable task. You can save time and money by getting cleaning supplies, like dusters, sponges and automated air fresheners, at places like Dollar General.
Still don’t know where to start? Try these spring-cleaning tips:
* Cover the basics. Take inventory of your cleaning supplies. Some must-haves are mops, brooms, sponges, paper towels, trash bags, disinfectant wipes and bathroom-specific supplies. Make a list of what you need so you can get it all in one shopping trip. Many basic and speciality cleaning products are now available online. For the ultimate in convenience, shop online at www.dollargeneral.com.
* Tackle the clutter in steps. Spring cleaning can be daunting, so take small steps and approach spaces one at a time. Strive to find everything a permanent home. Create “donate” and “trash” piles for items you no longer use or need.
* Use organizing tools. Over-the-door mesh shoe racks are great for storing all kinds of winter accessories — hats, gloves, scarves and coats. Get some sturdy hooks for purses, backpacks and other accessories, and relish the feeling of a clean closet.
* Revitalize your laundry room. Put a stop to the mountain of dirty clothes that grows every week by getting each family member a laundry basket. If clothing doesn’t make it into their bin, it’s not getting washed. Keep your laundry room stocked with detergent, bleach and stain remover.
* Store items in plastic storage containers. Some winter items will be used until the early days of summer, others won’t make an appearance until next year. A variety of belongings can be stored in plastic containers to keep them organized and out of the way.

Balancing Higher Education as an Adult

(NewsUSA) – Parents and even grandparents are now doing homework alongside their children. According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), higher education enrollment of students age 25 and older rose 43 percent between 2000 and 2009. From 2010 to 2019, NCES projects a 23 percent rise in college enrollments of students age 25 and older.Many adults are striving to find the balance between work, family and education; others feel they are too overwhelmed by responsibilities to even consider pursuing a higher degree.However, options do exist. Online education is a great solution for working adults seeking an advanced degree. Online programs enable working adults to accommodate their busy schedules. However, despite the schedule flexibility that online learning offers, adult students still must prioritize their responsibilities and commitments in order to complete assignments on time."Parents aren’t the only ones who need to understand that going back to school is a time-consuming process — everyone in the family should understand the commitment as well," says Savitri Dixon-Saxon, Ph.D., LPC, NCC, associate dean of Walden University’s School of Counseling and Social Service. Walden University offers more than 60 online doctoral, master’s and bachelor’s degree programs.Here are five tips from Dr. Dixon-Saxon for achieving balance:* Choose a focus or specialization that you truly care about. The juggling act will be much more challenging for you if you don’t enjoy your field of study. Choose a focus area you are passionate about.* Set aside time for your studies. Set specific time frames for studying and completing assignments. This requires discipline and time management, but once you establish a routine, it can help keep you on track.* Find a place to do your studies. It’s easy to be distracted, so find a quiet place to study away from excessive noise and interruptions.* Ask for help. Make connections early on with classmates and faculty members to set up online study groups and start the term off right.* Renew your energy. Take time for yourself as part of your schedule. Spend time with your family and friends to recharge your batteries.For additional tips for a successful online learning experience, go to www.WaldenU.edu/studytips.

Soul Search, Research, Job Search: How to Cultivate Your Dream Career

(NewsUSA) – Parents and even grandparents are now doing homework alongside their children. According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), higher education enrollment of students age 25 and older rose 43 percent between 2000 and 2009. From 2010 to 2019, NCES projects a 23 percent rise in college enrollments of students age 25 and older.Many adults are striving to find the balance between work, family and education; others feel they are too overwhelmed by responsibilities to even consider pursuing a higher degree.However, options do exist. Online education is a great solution for working adults seeking an advanced degree. Online programs enable working adults to accommodate their busy schedules. However, despite the schedule flexibility that online learning offers, adult students still must prioritize their responsibilities and commitments in order to complete assignments on time."Parents aren’t the only ones who need to understand that going back to school is a time-consuming process — everyone in the family should understand the commitment as well," says Savitri Dixon-Saxon, Ph.D., LPC, NCC, associate dean of Walden University’s School of Counseling and Social Service. Walden University offers more than 60 online doctoral, master’s and bachelor’s degree programs.Here are five tips from Dr. Dixon-Saxon for achieving balance:* Choose a focus or specialization that you truly care about. The juggling act will be much more challenging for you if you don’t enjoy your field of study. Choose a focus area you are passionate about.* Set aside time for your studies. Set specific time frames for studying and completing assignments. This requires discipline and time management, but once you establish a routine, it can help keep you on track.* Find a place to do your studies. It’s easy to be distracted, so find a quiet place to study away from excessive noise and interruptions.* Ask for help. Make connections early on with classmates and faculty members to set up online study groups and start the term off right.* Renew your energy. Take time for yourself as part of your schedule. Spend time with your family and friends to recharge your batteries.For additional tips for a successful online learning experience, go to www.WaldenU.edu/studytips.

Working Adults Going Back to School

Excitement and opportunity abound as children and teenagers get ready to go back to school. But the enthusiasm—and pressure—of this season are also affecting more adults. According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), higher education enrollment of students age 25 and older rose 43 percent between 2000 and 2009. From 2010 to 2019, NCES projects a 23 percent rise in college enrollments of students age 25 and older.

Many adults are striving to find the balance between work, family and education; others feel they are too overwhelmed by responsibilities to even consider pursuing a higher degree.

4 Steps to Building an Emergency Fund

Ben Franklin once declared, “A penny saved is a penny earned.” Yet, equally enlightening are his thoughts on expenses: “Beware of little expenses. A small leak will sink a great ship.”

And there are plenty of “leaks” that can scuttle an already-tight budget. For instance, a spouse idled by the sour economy, a fender bender with the family car, or an unexpected hospitalization. That’s why financial advisors recommend that you have a rainy-day fund—enough liquid assets to cover three to six months’ worth of emergency living expenses. In case of financial emergency, access to additional money will save you from relying on credit cards or loans that simply compound the problem.

The Perfect Condiment to Your Sports Experience Is the Internet, Not Ketchup

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – It’s that time of the year again. The mornings are filled with crisp, cool air, and football stadiums are brimming with school color pride. Students, alumni and families all over the U.S. are in the throes of college football season, but with the rising costs of tuition and dorm living compounded by a struggling worldwide economy, it is becoming more difficult for students and fans to enjoy watching their favorite sports events without breaking the bank.
Attending live sports events can often be costly. While college football tickets can be affordable for matriculated students attending home games, regular college event tickets can run fans up to $60 per game. Additionally, each visit to the stadium can include up to $20 per person spent on drinks and food, if not more.
Recognizing these limitations, technology companies are finding alternative ways to provide consumers with more options at home through the Internet — from movies to TV shows, and now even sports.
One of the most widely recognized of these is Hulu, which has seen tremendous success as an online video service offering hit shows, clips and movies. According to comScore, an Internet marketing research firm, the online video service reached 43 million monthly users at the end of 2009, doubling the number from the year before. Earlier this year, Hulu launched a subscription service, Hulu Plus, on several TV-connected devices for $9.95 a month.
For sports fans, Microsoft Corp. recently introduced a new way to watch popular sports, like college football and bowl games, college basketball, MLB and NBA, and more, through a customized ESPN app on Xbox 360, the company’s video game and entertainment system. The new application allows users to access over 3,500 live and on-demand sport events from ESPN3.com, including out-of-market games, with an Xbox LIVE Gold membership, which costs $59.99 per year — or $5 per month — to users who receive their Internet connection from an affiliated service provider. The system also offers streaming through Netflix.
The blending of television and the Internet has been a developing trend over the past few years. More Americans have become used to relying on the Internet for TV viewing, and broadband adoption has continued to rise. A recent study by Integrated Media Measurement Inc. found that 20 percent of 3,000 primetime TV viewers surveyed watched some primetime programming online.
Beyond watching videos on the web, Internet-powered television services may be the future for people who prefer to watch movies, and especially live sports, on a large TV with surround sound in the living room. Students and fans operating on a budget may want to consider staying in for the next big sports event.

Guidelines for Making Kids’ “Screen Time” Meaningful

It’s a fact: Children today are surrounded by all types of digital media from a very young age. Educators, parents and caregivers are left with the task of navigating through a multitude of handheld games, toys and online resources while debating the value of these different options.

Fortunately, research shows that computers can play a positive role in the education of children. Benefits include language, literacy and social development as well as the improvement of important problem-solving skills.

Experts and researchers in early childhood development offer the following guidelines for  computer use by youngsters: