Help Find Field Trips Help Children Shine In School Back - to - School Upgrades Volunteer Readers, Tutors Affordable TV Technology Social Games Online Digital Photography Overseas Calls While Traveling

Easy Way To Help Fund Field Trips

(NAPSI)—Many parents and educators agree: To get kids to learn, you have to get them away from school.

School field trips, they say, are an important component of children’s education. Field trips offer experiential learning in real-world settings and they have long been a popular school activity. In fact, according to the Lemelson-MIT Invention Index, hands-on activities outside the classroom, such as field trips, are one of the most effective ways to engage youth ages 12 through 17.

The Problem

Unfortunately, though, one in four schools in the U.S. is being forced to cut or even eliminate field trips due to budget cuts, reports the American Association of School Administrators.

An Answer

To help fill the gap, one major company committed half a million dollars to help keep school field trips a part of the educational curriculum. Parents, teachers and everyone else can try to help their schools win a share of the cash by participating in an online sweepstakes.

What You Can Do

You can enter the sweepstakes at Click on the “Field Trips” tab at the top of the page and vote for your favorite participating school. There, you can also register the school of your choice by clicking the “Register a School” box and filling out the form. Voting ends September 14. The 100 U.S. schools that finish with the most votes get a $5,000 award.

In addition, this back-to-school season you can find a new line of Kleenex brand on-the-go tissue packs with Sneeze Shield to make it easy to help keep stuff off kids’ hands in the classroom, on field trips, at home or wherever kids go.

What’s Available

• The wallet pack. It is thin and sleek, so you can always keep a tissue on hand. The trendy design and convenient size make it the perfect accessory for hip tweens and teens.

• The auto pack. It fits neatly in the car door pocket or glove compartment—no need to lug around a box of tissue or fumble for a tissue while driving.

• The new and improved pocket pack. A long-time favorite has been improved to feature three-ply tissue.

The company is committed to education year-round and is the only facial tissue brand to participate in the Box Tops for Education program, which offers households with school-age children an opportunity to earn cash for their child’s school.

Learn More

For further information, visit and

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Help Your Youngsters Shine In School

(NAPSI)—Parents don't have to do their children's homework to help them prepare for class.

There are seven things you can do to help your youngsters have a successful school year, explains Dr. Mary Mokris, education specialist at Kumon Math and Reading Centers.

1. Focus on the positives. Talk to your children about their accomplishments and recognize the skills they used to be successful, such as perseverance, time management, responsibility and independence, all things that can help them in school.

2. Give your child genuine and frequent praise. Praise your children's progress, not perfection. Let them know you believe in them, you think they're special and you have confidence in them. Let your kids know you recognize and value their efforts, not just their final accomplishments.

3. Set up a study area for your child. It should be quiet (no TV or video games), well ventilated, free of distractions (no phones or pets), well lit and equipped with all necessary supplies: pens, paper, markers, dictionary, thesaurus, calculator, computer.

4. Establish a consistent homework routine. Schedule daily homework time in your house so it becomes a part of your family's routine. This also helps children to see that homework is a priority.

5. Get acquainted with your child's teachers and keep the lines of communication open. Discuss goal setting with both your child and his or her teacher. This sort of partnership can be very effective in developing healthy homework habits.

6. Consider an after-school enrichment program. For generations, Kumon Math and Reading Centers have helped millions of children strengthen math and reading skills, increase self-confidence and develop study skills that last a lifetime.

7. Learn more about ability based learning. Children work at a level that is comfortable for them; not based on their age or grade, but their ability.

For further information, visit or call (877) 586-6673.

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Upgrading your Back-to-School Experience This Year

(NAPSI)—If you’re among the 37 million the Census Bureau says has a family member in school or the roughly 6 million with one in college, these tips could help improve your student’s chances of making the grade:

Be smart...

High school and college students should:

1. Make a To-Do List Every Day. Put things that are most important at the top, do them first and check them off.

2. Use Spare Minutes Wisely. Get some reading done while you’re standing in a line, commuting on a bus or train or waiting for something to start.

3. Find the Right Time to Study. You’ll work more efficiently if you figure out when you do your best work.

4. Review Your Notes Nightly. This reinforces what you’ve learned, so you’ll need less time and effort right before a test. You’ll also be ready if you get called on in class or have to take a pop quiz.

5. Get Homework Help. There are many apps out there that can help students solve the toughest homework problems. Available assistance includes Encyclopedia Smithsonian at and Encyclopedia Britannica Online at Apps for tablets and smartphones include National Geographic’s World Atlas at and Merriam-Webster Dictionary at mos/mobile-app-promo.htm are also great resources. An app to help you keep track of due dates is iStudiez Pro at pro/id310636441?mt=8.

6. Maximize Current Programs: Many computers come with online safety programs. Parents can use Parental Controls in Windows and Mac Operating Systems and the like for monitoring and managing what children view online.

...and save

Students can upgrade their school experience by making sure they have the right gear to study and play with this year-especially school and campus staples like laptops, tablets and smartphones. Better yet, families can shop for these new back to school necessities for a lot less money than they might think.

One way is to shop online or at a store that can also save you time and trouble. For example, you can select what you want at a Best Buy store or website and not have to worry about hauling the stuff to school; instead, just pick up your purchases at a store near campus.

Best Buy is a resource for Back to School tech and one of the few electronics chains with real, knowledgeable people. Best Buy Blue Shirts and Geek Squad Agents can help match you with the right tech for your student’s needs while offering a “tech security blanket” of unlimited support to get and keep it all up and running.

Learn More

To find store locations, see what’s available and get more information, go to or call (888) 237-8289.


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Campaign Seeks Volunteer Readers, Tutors And Mentors

(NAPSI)—Education, income and health are the building blocks of a good life. Now, a new advertising campaign is promoting the idea that through a national volunteer effort, it’s possible to help more people attain that “good life.”

Created pro bono by McCann Erickson New York, this new multimedia campaign, available in English and Spanish, includes television, radio and Web PSAs. The campaign is designed to motivate and inspire people from all walks of life to get engaged with United Way in its efforts to advance the common good. The goal is to recruit one million volunteer readers, tutors and mentors to help children succeed in school.

United Way is making this major volunteer pledge as part of its goal to cut by half the number of young people who drop out of high school and in response to the findings from its recent report, Voices for the Common Good: America Speaks out on Education. This report is based on United Way’s community listening tour, focus groups and a national survey which found that 91 percent of respondents believe that communities must take greater responsibility for what’s happening with their children.

The education goal is one of three targets United Way has for 2018. The nation’s largest privately funded nonprofit also announced goals to increase the number of families that are financially stable and to boost the number of adults and children who are healthy.

To take part in United Way’s effort to recruit one million volunteer readers, tutors and mentors, please visit volunteer. To access the Voices for the Common Good: America Speaks Out on Education report, please visit To see educational outcomes and how they affect other conditions in your community, see the Common Good Forecaster™, at, a web-based tool created by United Way and the American Human Development Project (AHDP).

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Bring Your Home Entertainment System Up To Speed

(NAPSI)—The next time your family sits down to watch a DVD, consider the new generation of Blu-ray Disc players that are dramatically upping the ante of the home entertainment experience.

Prices have never been more affordable, with some models starting at less than $100 to experience the highest-quality picture and sound experience outside of a movie theater.

But it’s the versatility and sheer power of the new generation of Blu-ray players that are turning homes into motion picture havens. Consider the following:

• Blu-ray players will play your existing DVDs, so you can enjoy exploring the wonders of Blu-ray while also enjoying the discs you already own.

• Blu-ray players are built for wireless streaming and Internet capabilities. In a matter of clicks, you can catch the newest viral sensation on YouTube, check out Netflix and Hulu Plus, listen to Pandora and more.

• Blu-ray turns your HDTV into the most that it can be and lets you enjoy true 1080p picture quality.

• These all-inclusive features turn home viewing into a truly interactive experience. With these players, it’s a cinch to quickly download the likes of additional bonus material and new movie trailers.

• Blu-ray Discs can hold about six times more data than a regular DVD, making them capable of the most impressive high definition picture and sound. It’s quite simply the best picture with terrific sound.

• You can even stream photos and videos from other cameras and wireless devices around the house. Some newer models feature integrated Skype and voice calling. And just like smartphones, these players allow the user access to an app store.

• With Home 3-D becoming a reality, the Blu-ray player is the device of choice to enjoy the “magic” of today’s films on an HDTV system.

With such exciting films as “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides,” “Fast Five,” “The Hangover Part II” and “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” coming to Blu-ray, a Blu-ray system can be an excellent way to capture that high-quality, theaterlike feeling at home.

You can learn more about the new generation of Blu-ray players at ware.html.

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Social Networking In Our Lives

(NAPSI)—With the increasing popularity of social networking, many are finding it more and more important to find their ideal online meeting places. While Facebook is the largest social network, and great for keeping yourself connected with your existing friends, many are looking for ways to meet new and interesting people all around the world. For that, you may want to check out a leader in “social discovery.”

Where To Go

One such site is Tagged; it has over 100 million people already registered in over 200 countries and can help you find your special someone or a bunch of new friends who share your interests. It makes it easy to meet new people through social games, friend suggestions, browsing profiles, group interests and much more.

What To Do

Common interests are a foundation for many friendships, so you can use the site Tagged to meet people who have interests similar to yours. You can do so by looking for pages on the site that have people who have joined with that interest. People from all over the world use the site, so there’s almost bound to be someone out there who cares about the same things you do.

Another way to find new friends is through connections to your current ones. You may be able to find new people whom your friends are friends with, simply with a click of a button.

While friendship, dating and flirting can all be a part of this new approach to social networking, there’s much more to it. For instance, engaging social games can also be the secret sauce when it comes to social discovery. The popular Pets game, for example, garners over 5 million unique interactions a day. If you are looking for a romantic connection, a recent survey found 38 percent of respondents made a romantic connection through a Tagged social game.

One of the other favorite features of the Tagged site is a news feed with a difference. The “What’s New” feed cleverly lets you choose which member updates you see by filtering them according to location, gender and age. This makes finding new friends to meet around the block or around the world easy, while still maintaining tight privacy controls by following your account’s privacy settings.

When On the Go

For fun and friendship when you’re far away from home, the site Tagged has apps for the Android, iPhone and BlackBerry, and it recently launched a new mobile website for all other handsets.

Learn More

For more information about finding new friends in the social networking space, visit

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Key Technology Features In Digital Photography

(NAPSI)—Any time can be the right time to use digital cameras and camcorders to capture images that you can treasure—whether they’re pictures taken during an exotic vacation, a restful staycation or a weekend barbecue.

The technology behind these digital devices is constantly evolving, making it possible to do things you might not have even considered just months ago. Here are three key features that can improve the quality of your photos:

• Get the shot you want even in low light: Some of the most remarkable moments occur in low-light situations. Imagine a sunset dinner on a cruise, for instance, or a national landmark at dawn.

To ensure the highest-quality video and photos look for a camera with a high-sensitivity image sensor that delivers superb image quality, especially in those low-light moments.

For example, Canon’s HS SYSTEM−enabled PowerShot cameras are designed to shoot clear images without sacrificing quality. When shooting video in low light, try the line of camcorders that use the HD CMOS Pro sensor.

• Capture, view and print with HD video: With high-definition (HD) increasingly becoming the standard in home video, seek out a camera or camcorder with an HD video feature.

Canon PowerShot cameras and VIXIA camcorders make it possible to get smooth, high-quality HD video clips. With a dedicated movie button, HDMI connectivity and Smart Auto, these cameras and camcorders make it easy to shoot great videos that can be relived over and over again.

To preserve your favorite shots, consider printing high-quality photos from video snapshots using the Full HD Movie Print feature on Canon’s latest PIXMA Inkjet Printers. This feature enables you to print individual movie frames, turning them into snapshots of your fond memories.

• Add stability to your images: One way to help eliminate blurry images is by using cameras and camcorders that employ technology that can compensate for both angular and shift camera shake that may occur during shooting.

Canon cameras and camcorders, for instance, feature Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) to counter the effects of camera shake or slight movements.

When taking video of a special occasion, keeping the camera steady can be a difficult task for anyone. Canon’s Dynamic SuperRange Optical IS addresses this issue by providing continuous adjustment throughout to correct a broad range of movement.

You can find more information about these and other features at

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Save On Overseas Calls While Traveling

(NAPSI)—Exploring the apps on your smartphone can help your travel—and calling—dollars go the distance. And there’s one new app that helps you spend less on international calls whether you’re traveling abroad or keeping in touch with family.

The app, Vonage Time to Call™, lets you use your iPhone to make low-cost 15-minute calls to more than 190 countries with easy payment through iTunes. Time to Call can save you 70 to 90 percent over major wireless carriers, with low rates of $.99 to $1.99 (plus tax) per call to 100 countries.

The calls are purchased on a per-call basis, you pay a flat rate for each call and you don’t have to be a Vonage customer to use the app. Now you can spend your money on souvenirs instead of expensive phone calls.

Download the free “Time to Call” app via the iTunes App Store or visit for more information.

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