“Get Caught Reading” Month

Monday, May 21, 2012

Learning to read changed my life forever. Even before I was old enough to attend school, I would “pretend read” books I found around our house, longing for the day I could understand the words on the page. My first grade teacher, Doris Alber, opened that door for me. By second grade I was a regular at our local library, often losing myself for an entire afternoon in a book. To this day I still get lost in books, and what a lovely way to get lost! Research shows that early language experience helps kids’ brains to grow. Reading to very young children helps them to absorb the sound and structure of language. They can begin to make those vital connections between language and communication. The poet and writer James Baldwin said, “Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them.” Kids who see the adults around them reading (and enjoying it) are more likely to be eager readers themselves. On the other hand, if reading is seen as a chore to be avoided, kids will pick up on that cue as well. Get Caught Reading is a nationwide campaign to remind people of all ages how much fun it is to read. May is Get Caught Reading month, but the campaign is promoted throughout the year. Get Caught Reading is supported by the Association of American Publishers (AAP). Launched in 1999, "Get Caught Reading" is the brainchild of former Congresswoman Pat Schroeder, President and Chief Executive Officer of AAP, the industry association representing book publishers. She saw the opportunity to spread the word about the joys of reading through an industry-supported literacy campaign. So what can you do to promote reading? Here are a few ideas: • Read to children from the time they are born! The sound of your voice helps little brains grow. • Find books and magazines that are fun and interesting for you. Let the kids in your life see you enjoy reading. You can influence them without saying a word. • Get familiar with your local library. Take your kids there regularly. If you need suggestions for reading material for the kids, ask the library staff. They are always happy to help. • Talk with your kids about the books they are reading. Find out what excites them. • Take time to act out favorite books with your kids, using puppets, dolls or yourselves as the actors. For more information on Get Caught Reading, go to http://www.getcaughtreading.org/

May is Family Wellness Month!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Positive Thinking/Positive Self Talk…legacies we want to leave with our children!
Whether or not you’re naturally a “half empty or full” kind of person, there are real benefits to trying to be positive! It doesn’t mean you stick your head in the sand and deny life’s yucky times. It just means you attempt to approach unpleasantness in a more positive and productive way. And, pessimists take note: you can learn positive thinking skills! For one, changing your self-talk; that stream of messages we say to ourselves, (or repeat someone else’s messages to ourselves.) These thoughts can be positive or negative. You have the power to change them to become more positive. Here’s one from my recent past: My techno-savvy friends often tease me about my “user-errors,” due to “my slow to embrace” technology usage. It’s OK, I say to myself as I laugh along, I’m more of a “people-person” and that suits me just fine. HEALTH BENEFITS OF POSITIVE THINKING *increased life span *lower rates of depression *lower levels of distress *better psychological & physical well-being *greater resistance to the common cold *reduced risk of death from cardio. disease *better coping skills during hardships/stress FOCUSING ON POSITIVE THINKING *Identify areas to change. Think of areas of your life which you feel negative, and work on one area at a time. *Check yourself daily. *Be open to humor/acting silly/laughing. *Follow a healthy lifestyle. *Surround yourself with positive people. *Practice positive self-talk. Lastly, be aware of messages you’re passing onto your children. Don’t name-call, swear at them, or put them down. They’re just learning about themselves and things in life…encourage them to think positively too! Great legacies to pass on! (Surmised by Gallagher Benefit Services, Inc./Source:http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/positive-thinking/SR00009) By Carol Cochard Pool, MSW Prevent Child Abuse, IN

May 9th is National Children's Mental Health Awareness Day

Monday, May 7, 2012

Wednesday, May 9th, is National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day. In fact, May is National Mental Health Awareness Month. Families and communities need to insure that the emotional health needs of children are being met, and need to insure that their own emotional health needs are being cared for. Often when we speak of mental health, people imagine extreme situations of mental illness or some type of detachment from reality. Although these types of situations occur, emotional issues are usually much less extreme, and positive mental health is something we should be practicing every day. Emotional issues can occur due to a sudden life change, like a death or some other type of loss, or they can be from some type of chemical imbalance. They can be short term, or in other situations they may linger. The bottom line is that mental health, just like physical health, is a huge spectrum on which many people may fall. Take every opportunity to maintain your emotional health, just as you would (should) your physical health. Get plenty of sleep, enjoy food, but be sure to primarily eat meals that are well-balanced…this advice is especially true for children, as it will help them in maintaining a healthy weight, as well as assisting in healthy brain development. Although it’s impossible to be positive all the time, maintaining a general positive outlook aids in stress management, and also is a wonderful trait to model for children. It is also beneficial for interpersonal relationships. Keep children’s self-esteem at its peak. Children need to be loved and praised, and let them know often what their strengths are. Even when a child is in need of discipline, it can be done in such a way that it is teaching the child, not just punishing. That also aids the child in learning how to deal with adverse situations in a more appropriate manner. Sometimes there are mental health issues that are more prolonged or serious. Professional guidance should be sought in those situations. There are wonderful therapies out there even for very young children. Mental health issues do not have the stigma they once held, and there are many resources available to assist both children and adults. It takes a great deal of strength to ask for help, and in the long run it will be beneficial to everyone in a family or community. For more information, please go to www.mentalhealthamerica.net