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School Supply Drive

Help Your Child's School

Intervention For Young Children Is Your Toddler Running Wild? Help Kids Make Decisons Save Your Child's Life Solve The Puzzle of Autism Dealing With Bullying

“Do Something Good”

(NAPSI)—Good news for teens who want to do something good for others—and for their parents. Making it easy to get involved with the community is a program that offers teens a chance to help local students in need.

It’s part of the Staples for Students—Do Something for Kids in Need national school supply drive.

The campaign helps students in need nationwide who face going back to school without the necessary supplies. The stars of “Pretty Little Liars”—Lucy Hale (Aria), Troian Bellisario (Spencer), Ashley Benson (Hanna) and Shay Mitchell (Emily)—are joining the cause and encouraging teens to collect school supplies and drop them off at a nearby Staples store by September 17. In addition, the store’s customers can get involved by donating $1 at any Staples, with 100 percent of the proceeds benefiting local students in need.

Here are some tips on how parents can encourage children to get involved in community service projects:

1. Research available opportunities that your child will find interesting and fulfilling. Help guide them toward a volunteer experience that will get them excited.

2. Get involved in your own charitable causes. If they see you doing something good, they are more likely to want to participate in a similar campaign.

3. Make it a family event. Encourage everyone in the family to take up a cause together. Everyone will be motivated by each other and have fun at the same time.

To further demonstrate support, Staples and DoSomething. org are making it easy for students to get involved in their school supply drive. Students can go to www.staplesforstudents.org to sign up to request a free action kit. Whether it’s summer camp, summer sports leagues or at neighborhood block parties, students can get tips, resources, and flyers on running their own school supply drives in their neighborhoods.

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Stress-Free Ways To Help Your Child’s School

(NAPSI)—Volunteering at your child’s school does not have to be overwhelming—if you don’t overschedule yourself and you take easy steps to get organized. Parental involvement builds great schools and has been shown to benefit children. According to recent research cited by the Parent Teacher Association, parental engagement in a child’s education increases student achievement, improves attendance and reduces the dropout rate.

Here are five easy ways to pitch in—without overdoing it:

1. Volunteer to do something that fits into your schedule. For example, parents who work—or those with young kids—might choose to help once a term by chaperoning a field trip or helping with a field day or a holiday performance. Parents with more flexible schedules are needed as classroom assistants and cafeteria and library helpers.

2. Share your talents. Do you have expertise in art, music, woodworking, computers, gardening, etc? Many of these “extras” are the first things to go in a budget crisis, and community members can bridge gaps and help inspire kids’ creativity.

3. Save time with VolunteerSpot.com. Skip “Reply-All” e-mail chains and Clipboards this year; this free website makes it easy for anyone to coordinate parent volunteers with simple online sign-up sheets. The parent, teacher or leader sets the schedule of needs and invites parents to sign up with a link. Parents click to choose when and how to help—even from their smartphones. The site keeps everything up to date in real time, and sends automated confirmation and reminder messages to help parents keep their commitments. You can use it to organize classroom readers and parties, recess and library volunteers, snack schedules and fundraisers like carnivals, walkathons and book fairs. (It’s great for teams and Scouts, too.)

4. Got a little extra time? Step up and be the Room Mom or Room Dad. These special parents help coordinate parent volunteers and plan celebrations in their children’s elementary school classrooms. VolunteerSpot.com offers a free eBook, “Room Mom Survival Guide & School Party Ideas,” filled with tips and ideas.

5. Buy products that benefit your child’s school. Save education-incentive box tops and labels from products and cut coupons from office supply stores to share with teachers.

Save time and sanity at back-to-school this year: Try a live demo at www.VolunteerSpot.com.

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The First Five Years: What Parents Should Know

(NAPSI)—The first five years of life are the most crucial in a young child’s development. Learning developmental milestones could help your child get help if it’s needed.

At least 1.45 million children under the age of 5 who are at risk for developmental delays or other disabilities are not identified at an age when intervention could do the most good. These are children who enter school with learning and health issues that have a lasting, negative effect on their ability to learn and succeed. One notable example is children with autism, who are often not diagnosed until school, and lose four years of early optimal treatment. The reason? Parents often don’t know where to turn for answers when they suspect something isn’t quite right with their young child and too many communities do not provide the early detection, direct services and interventions critical for vulnerable young children to become ready for school.

Here are five things parents should know:

1 Each child is unique and develops at his or her own pace, but there are certain warning signs that might indicate development disabilities.

2 Understanding developmental basics and learning about milestones can make you more aware of the skills a child should achieve.

3 Trust your instincts. If your child misses a milestone or you feel that something is not right, talk to your health care provider.

4 Early identification and treatment are key to a better future for your child.

5 Families can come to organizations such as Easter Seals for therapies to strengthen a child’s physical, intellectual, social and emotional abilities.

To fund such programs, the organization gets donations from individual and corporate sponsors. For example, the grocery company Safeway conducts an annual store fundraising campaign that raises more than $10 million for Easter Seals and other organizations that support children with disabilities.

However, federal and state funding is also needed. Shrinking budgets are forcing many states to limit the number of young children who can receive early intervention services, even as research shows long-term benefits to the child and cost savings to the nation. You can share your concern about this and other issues with your congressional and state representatives.

Join Easter Seals and speak out about the importance of early intervention at www.MaketheFirstFiveCount.org.

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Is Your Toddler Running Wild?

by Father Steven E. Boes

(NAPSI)—I can’t count the number of times I’ve been in a restaurant or at a grocery store and heard the scream of an angry or unhappy toddler. Though I usually give the parent a sympathetic look, I also send a quick prayer to God for that struggling parent.

For those of you who have small children, life can be tough. I’m sure you’ve been on your own hot seat in a crowded restaurant or experienced your own meltdown in the frozen foods section when your toddler decided to cut loose. But there is hope, and Boys Town’s Dr. Thomas Reimers can help.

In his new book, “Help! There’s a Toddler in the House!,” Dr. Reimers provides parenting strategies to correct and cope with most of the common behavior problems of 2- to 6-year-olds. Each chapter examines a specific problem, like tantrums, and provides techniques to rein in, correct and prevent the problem from reoccurring.

You can visit www.boystown.org/toddler for tips from Dr. Reimers on how to effectively use the word “No” in your home with your little one. There’s also a video in which he discusses handling tantrums and toilet training, creating structure, using time-out and promoting appropriate mealtime behaviors.

By implementing these proven strategies with your children, you can make positive changes in their behavior and create a happier, healthier (and quieter) life for your whole family. You’ll turn the sympathetic looks and startled stares of strangers in public places to smiles and nods of approval.

• Father Boes is president and national executive director of Boys Town, which has been saving children and healing families for more than 90 years.

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Nonprofit Helps Kids Make Better Decisions

(NAPSI)—Our kids are facing choices every day—from smaller decisions such as choosing friends, to major life-shaping decisions about important issues: school, sex, drugs and more.

While young people need to learn how to make good decisions, for the most part, schools aren’t teaching this critical skill. An innovative nonprofit, the Decision Education Foundation (DEF), is working to change things. Founded in 2001, DEF has been developing course materials and training educators and youth counselors in the basics of quality decision making, i.e., “teaching the teachers.”

In 2010, DEF announced a major initiative—the creation of an online curriculum designed for direct delivery to late middle school/early high school students. Slated for release later this year, DEF’s online project will use the power of the Internet to open up a wealth of learning opportunities for kids everywhere, providing an engaging, interactive resource that can be accessed in schools, homes, after-school programs, and youth organizations.

For more information about DEF and its programs or to see currently available teaching materials, visit the foundation’s website at www.decisioneducation.org.

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What Actor Tim Kang Wants You To Know Could Save Your Child's Life

by Tim Kang
Actor, "The Mentalist"

(NAPSI)--As a new dad, I am more aware than ever of the dangers that children face and understand how parents would do anything possible to keep their children safe. That's why I have partnered with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) to share important information about what parents can do to keep children safe.

An analysis of more than 4,000 attempted abductions over the past five years found that children were at greatest risk going to and from school or school-related activities. Most predators, nearly all men, were driving a vehicle when they tried to abduct a child walking alone or riding a bicycle. The most common lure was offering a ride, typically to girls between the ages of 10 and 14, or trying to tempt them with candy and money or ask them to help look for a lost pet.

Here's the good news: It showed how children were able to get away. Those who escaped did something proactive instead of being passive or polite. They yelled, kicked, pulled away or attracted someone's attention. Or they simply walked or ran away. Children need to know that it is okay to say no to someone who may be acting nice to them.

Just spending a few minutes teaching your child about safety could mean the difference between life and death. That is why NCMEC's "Take 25" national public awareness campaign urges parents to take 25 minutes to talk to their children about safety. More information about Take 25 can be found at www.take25.org.

Every day, a staggering 2,000 children are reported missing. You can prevent your child from becoming a statistic. Teach kids to always take a friend when biking or walking or standing at the bus stop-and never take shortcuts. They should never accept a ride from anyone or money or gifts unless you have said it is okay.

NCMEC is a nonprofit organization that operates a toll-free 24-hour national missing children's hotline (800-THE-LOST). In its 26 years, it has assisted law-enforcement in the recovery of more than 161,000 children. Its CyberTipline has fielded more than 1 million reports of child sexual exploitation and its Child Victim Identification Program has analyzed more than 45 million pornography images and videos. For more information or to make a donation, visit www.missingkids.com.

• Mr. Kang is a sought-after and versatile actor in both television and film. He can currently be seen on the hit CBS drama "The Mentalist" where his character "Kimball Cho," the straight-arrow investigator, has emerged as a fan favorite.

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Helping To Solve The Puzzle Of Autism

(NAPSI)—There’s a crafty and creative way fans of arts and crafts can help people living with autism. A leading group of arts and crafts supply stores has teamed up with the leading non-profit provider of services for individuals with autism for their second annual in-store campaign and crafting event that asks customers to Act for Autism.

Today, one in 110 children is diagnosed with autism, and communities are reporting an increasing need for funding, services and support.

There’s no known cause, cure or single effective treatment, but with the right support, people with autism can make significant progress and lead meaningful lives at any age.

Customers who visit any A.C. Moore Arts & Crafts store will be able to donate $1 to Easter Seals’ Act for Autism campaign at checkout. This will support Easter Seals autism services, helping to provide children and adults with autism access to critical services that can help them live, learn, work and play.

As a special bonus for customers, the craft chain will host a free in-store “Make and Take” craft event at its 136 locations for children and their families. During the event, customers can come into the store to decorate an Act for Autism jigsaw puzzle or go online for instructions to create one at home.

All you’ll need to get started are these supplies from your local A.C. Moore store:

• Blank Puzzles, PAP 1211

• Deluxe Stamp Set, Peachtree

   Playthings, 104456228

• Pens, Markers, stamp pads

The campaign gives customers an opportunity to express their creativity, make a personalized puzzle, learn about autism and help support families living with autism.

“We know that through early detection and individualized intervention, children with autism make significant progress,” explained Dr. Patricia Wright, MPH, Ph.D., national director of autism services, Easter Seals. “The funds raised through our partnership with A.C. Moore will give more children with autism the care, guidance and support they need.”

Wright also noted that many of the charity’s centers get their supplies from the craft stores and crafts can serve as an outlet for those with autism.

To learn more about the campaign or to locate an A.C. Moore Arts & Crafts store, visit www.acmoore.com. To learn more about Easter Seals and autism, visit www.easterseals.com or www.actforautism.org.

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Tips On Dealing With Bullying

(NAPSI)—According to the experts at the National Education Association (NEA), one caring adult can make all the difference in the life of a child who’s being bullied.

It’s crucial for bullied students to know which adults in their school or community they can go to in their time of distress—adults who will really listen to them and then act on their behalf. Bullied students who go it alone because they don’t know to whom to turn are far more likely to fall behind in their studies, get sick, miss school and drop out—even commit suicide.

Whether you’re a parent, a teacher or a friend of the family, there are six steps you can take to help the children in your life.

1. Take complaints seriously. Don’t dismiss it as “just teasing.” Listen to the problem and tell the child you’ll take appropriate action. No allegation about bullying should be ignored because the charge seems improbable or because the behavior seems unlikely to recur or is perceived as a “harmless rite of passage.”

2. Report the alleged bullying. Tell the principal about a school bullying case, especially if the bullying seems to be based on the student’s race, ethnicity, religion or sexual orientation.

3. Reassure, don’t judge. If a bullied kid comes to you for help, reassure him or her that you will do what you can. Don’t, however, ask why the child is being bullied. It’s the behavior of the bully that matters. If the child volunteers personal information, keep it confidential.

4. Get the appropriate professional help. If a young person seems to be in emotional or psychological distress, offer to get in touch with a counselor, social worker or school psychologist. Don’t give advice beyond your expertise, however.

5. Stand up and speak out for children in need. Learn about bullying. Share what you’ve learned and advocate for bullied children.

6. Do something. If you witness someone being harassed and humiliated, intervene—but get additional support if necessary. Everyone involved-the victim, the perpetrator and the witnesses—needs to know this is unacceptable behavior.

As one of the world’s foremost anti-bullying experts, Psychology Professor Don Olweus notes, “It now all boils down to a matter of will and involvement on the part of adults in deciding how much bullying will take place.”

To that end, the NEA has come up with the Bully Free: It Starts With Me campaign. This aims to identify caring adults who will pledge to help bullied students. The NEA will provide the resources they need to support the bullied student, ask the right questions and take the appropriate actions.

You can learn more and sign The One Caring Adult Pledge at www.nea.org/bullyfree.

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