Children’s Book Offers
Lesson About Down’s Syndrome
In his children’s book “Peter and Buddy the Hummingbird” (published by Trafford Publishing), Clifford Lincoln teaches young readers about a loving family and a little boy with Down’s syndrome.
While at their summer cottage by the lake, the Roberts family enjoys spending time together, developing and finding new friends. However Peter, one of the four children, is a bit different from the others. He has Down’s syndrome, and he looks and acts differently than his siblings and the other children at the lake.
An excerpt from “Peter and Buddy the Hummingbird”:
“One day, Bob, who always wonders about Peter, asked
his mother: ‘What’s this Down something you always mention when you talk
‘It’s a kind of sickness called Down’s Syndrome. Peter was born with a brain not as strong as yours. That’s why he has trouble speaking and understanding. His brain’s slow, and he’s slower in everything he does.’”
But Peter is as happy and fulfilled as anyone else in the family. He loves the simplicity of nature and feels at peace, especially when he meets a new friend – a tiny hummingbird named Buddy. Together, Peter and Buddy show their family – and readers – that everyone has the ability to leave lasting impressions on the lives of family and friends.
About the Author
Clifford Lincoln is a retired politician, living in Montreal. “Peter and Buddy the Hummingbird” was inspired by Lincoln’s son, Peter. Peter, who was born with Down’s syndrome, died in 2009. Lincoln devotes his time to community causes, including those of the physically and intellectually handicapped.
Press release: PRWEB
28 July 2012
Local authority’s special
guardianship allowance policy
ruled illegal, increased
Carer under special guardianship order must be paid at foster carer’s rate
A "grandparent kinship" carer's High Court challenge to the London Borough of Merton's policy for financial support of kinship carers has been successful. In R (TT) v London Borough of Merton  EWHC 2055 (Admin) Mr Justice Edwards-Stuart has ruled that Merton's special guardianship allowance policy is illegal.
The carer known as TT has won the right to be paid at the same rate as a foster carer for the child she is looking after under a special guardianship order. The decision to adopt a level of allowance for special guardians of two thirds was unlawful and must be quashed. This decision may have a direct impact on current and future carers with special guardianship orders, not just in London but more widely because it is understood that other authorities pay guardians below the level of foster carers.
TT had been requested by social services to care for her son's ex-girlfriend's child from a different father. After C was born both parents received long prison sentences and were unable to care for C. C went into foster care whilst the London Borough of Merton Council attempted to find a more permanent placement for the child. C's family were not willing to put themselves forward as carers so the council decided to approach TT. TT was caring for her granddaughter, who was also C's mother's daughter, at this point and the council wanted C to grow up with some family contact and therefore asked TT to care, even though she was not a blood relation.
At the end of care proceedings TT was awarded with a special guardianship order. As part of the support package with the order she was granted a financial allowance.
Commenting, Rebecca Chapman of Huddersfield law firm Ridley & Hall, who represented TT, said:
"The Allowance was so low it caused concern to the person representing C in the care proceedings. The issue was raised with the local authority who informed TT that 'if she did not like the amount of the allowance she could challenge it through the High Court'. She was left with no choice."
The allowance was based on two thirds of the fostering allowance and then there were further deductions made.
Once solicitors became involved the council quickly acknowledged that the further deductions made to the allowance were not right. They backdated a payment to TT for the additional deductions. However, they said it was legal to pay the special guardianship allowance based on two thirds of the fostering allowance.
Ms Chapman went on:
"Before C was put into the care of TT he witnessed a violent relationship between his parents. Since his father has been sentenced he has been diagnosed with serious mental health problems.
"As C had a difficult start to life and because he was mixed race, TT thought it was unlikely that he would be successfully adopted and she was keen to ensure that he was brought up in a loving environment so decided to take on his care. When TT decided to care for her granddaughter she had to give up her job and then when C was placed with her she was unable to go back to work due to the caring commitment. As C has grown older he has shown more challenging behaviour and she has been unable to go back to work due to the level of care that C requires."
Rebecca Chapman concluded:
"When my client started this case she was paid £27.88 per week. Merton thought again and paid her £84 per week. Now their starting point will add another £100 per week.
"My client stepped in so that the children could be protected. It is widely acknowledged that in these circumstances, children do better when cared for within the extended family or with friends.
It is a shame that we had to proceed to a final hearing in this case, especially given the fact that my colleague Nigel Priestley has already won a case against another local authority on the same point [Barrett v Kirklees Metropolitan Borough Council  EWHC 476 (Admin)]. However, I am delighted that TT is now going to receive an allowance which should ensure that C's future is secure with her".
Family Law Week Report
26 July 2012
Neglect Hinders Brain Growth in Kids
Severe psychological and physical neglect produces measurable changes in children’s brains, according to a new study by researchers at Boston Children’s Hospital.
“Increasingly we are finding evidence that exposure to childhood adversity has a negative effect on brain development,” said Margaret Sheridan, Ph.D., of the Labs of Cognitive Neuroscience at Boston Children’s Hospital.
“The implications are wide-ranging, not just for institutionalized children but also for children exposed to abuse, abandonment, violence during war, extreme poverty and other adversities.”
Researchers led by Sheridan and Charles Nelson, Ph.D., analyzed brain MRI scans from Romanian children in the ongoing Bucharest Early Intervention Project (BEIP), which has transferred some children reared in orphanages into foster care homes.
The findings, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, add to earlier studies by Nelson and his colleagues showing cognitive impairment in institutionalized children, but also showing improvements when children are placed in good foster homes.
The researchers compared three groups of 8- to 11-year-old children: 29 who had been reared in an institution; 25 who were selected at random to leave the institution for a high-quality foster care home; and 20 typically developing children who were never in an institution.
Children with histories of any institutional rearing had significantly smaller gray matter volumes in the cortex of the brain than never-institutionalized children, even if they had been placed in foster care, the researchers noted.
Children who remained in institutional care had significantly reduced white matter volume as compared with those never institutionalized. For children who had been placed in foster care, white matter volume was indistinguishable from that of children who were never institutionalized.
The researchers note that growth of the brain’s gray matter peaks during specific times in childhood, indicating periods when environment can strongly influence brain development.
White matter, which is necessary for forming connections in the brain, grows more slowly over time, possibly making it more malleable to foster care intervention, the researchers postulate.
“We found that white matter, which forms the ‘information superhighway’ of the brain, shows some evidence of ‘catch-up,’” said Sheridan. “These differences in brain structure appear to account for previously observed, but unexplained, differences in brain function.”
“Our cognitive studies suggest that there may be a sensitive period spanning the first two years of life within which the onset of foster care exerts a maximal effect on cognitive development,” Nelson added.
“The younger a child is when placed in foster care, the better the outcome.”
Source: Children’s Hospital Boston
24 July 2012
Care Home Kids: Looking for Love
Viewers may be familiar with Ashley John-Baptiste after his short-lived stint on last year’s X Factor. Here, though, he’s a world away from the ITV behemoth’s manufactured histrionics, and instead cuts an affable figure as the host of this worthy documentary about the growing number of children who are shunted around the care system.
The programme takes a long hard look into the lives of these care home kids, exploring the impact that constant upheaval can have on their formative years. It’s at its best, though, when Ashley delves into his own experiences, going back to ask some tough questions of the families who fostered him growing up.
About this programme
Ashley John-Baptiste examines life for children growing up in the care system, the vast majority of whom will never be adopted and will spend their childhoods with no permanent home. The singer-songwriter, who was placed in care when he was two years old and remained there until adulthood, also confronts some painful truths as he learns more about his own past.
22 July 2012
Minnesota Child Custody in Divorce: The Basics
"Child custody" is the area of law that governs
where a child lives and how he or she divides time between both parents
after a divorce or in another similar separation.
Certain legal terms have traditionally described the different aspects of this ongoing arrangement. According to Minnesota family law statutes, the main child custody concepts are:
Legal custody: A parent with legal custody has the "right to determine the child's upbringing, including education, health care, and religious training."
Physical custody and residence: A parent with physical custody provides "routine daily care and control" as well as the child's residence.
Joint custody: Physical custody or legal custody can be jointly held by the parents together; joint legal custody means sharing responsibility for important decision making; joint physical custody means dividing daily supervision and living arrangements.
Sole custody: Either physical custody or legal custody can be held by one parent alone.
Temporary custody: A temporary child custody arrangement applies during the pendency of a divorce.
Final custody: The permanent, ongoing custody arrangement after the divorce is called final custody.
Parenting time: Traditionally called visitation, parenting time is the time each parent has separately with the child.
Marital Settlement Agreements
Parents often negotiate a settlement agreement (through mediation, collaborative law or traditional negotiation) in which they set out custody and parenting time arrangements. The advantage of agreeing to these terms is that if the couple can't, the judge must decide these issues for them. While most negotiations require some compromise by each party, at least there is some control and input. If the judge makes these decisions for the parents, neither may be happy with the results.
Similar to a traditional settlement agreement, Minnesota also allows the use of a "parenting plan" that lays out the division of time and decision-making responsibilities between the parents, how the ex-spouses will resolve their differences and any related matters the parents want to include. Minnesota law does not require a parenting plan to use the traditional terminology defined in the bulleted list above, but if the parties decide to use their own language to describe their family arrangements, the alternate wording must be clearly defined by the agreement.
If the parties can't agree, the Minnesota state court must decide what custody arrangements would be in the "best interest" of the child. Minnesota law requires the judge to carefully evaluate in the written custody order "all relevant factors," including specifically:
The parents' preferences
The child's "reasonable preference" if he or she is "of sufficient age"
The child's primary caretaker
The "intimacy of the relationship" between the child and each parent
The child's "interaction and interrelationship" with each parent, siblings and other people who "significantly affect the child's best interests"
The child's "adjustment to home, school, and community"
The importance of continuity of the previous living environment and how long it has continued
The permanence of the present or future residence
The "mental and physical health" of everyone involved
The ability of each parent to love and guide the child, and to train the child in his or her culture and religion
The child's "cultural background"
The impact on the child of domestic abuse between the parents or between one parent and another individual
Unless domestic abuse has been found, the ability of each party to "encourage and permit" contact with the other parent
The Minnesota statute that lays out these best-interest factors also has some other important provisions. First, the court must consider all the factors and not make his or her custody decision based only on one of them. Second, custody may not be based only on parental gender. Third, if one of the parents has falsely accused the other of child abuse to try to influence the judge's decision, the behavior of the accusing parent can be a misdemeanor and is to be considered by the judge in determining the child's best interests for custody purposes. Fourth, the judge may not look at behavior of a parent that "does not affect the custodian's relationship to the child." Fifth, in deciding whether joint custody is in the child's best interest, the judge must consider additional factors mostly relating to the parties' ability to cooperate.
This article just scratches the surface of Minnesota child custody law. If you face custody issues concerning your children, speak to an experienced and skilled Minnesota divorce attorney to understand your rights and options.
Press release service and press release distribution provided by http://www.24-7pressrelease.com
INDIA SOS VILLAGES
In India, a mission to create families for abandoned children
The SOS Children’s Villages, founded in 1941, is an Austria-based global non-profit organization that takes care of orphaned and abandoned children. The SOS Villages are not orphanages. Instead, the SOS model creates a family unit with a mother who cares for eight to 10 children that bond as siblings.
SOS was founded by Hermann Gmeiner, an Austrian philanthropist. The organization is based on four principles: a mother, brothers and sisters, a house and a village.
Siddhartha Kaul, an Indian, was recently appointed the global head of SOS, which now operates in 133 countries. Several years ago, Kaul’s father started SOS in India, which now has the highest number of the Villages.
Kaul says that orphans are decreasing in many countries. But the number of children who cannot live with their biological parents is increasing.
SmartPlanet spoke with Kaul about the new thinking and challenges of taking care of children. Here are excerpts from a lengthy discussion; portions have been edited or paraphrased for brevity. SOS has set a goal of providing childcare to more than 600,000 children by 2016 and a million by 2020.
SP: Why is there an increase in children at risk?
SK: More and more women now have to venture out of their homes to earn livelihood. The families or part of them have to migrate in search of employment. Furthermore the support systems are nothing to write home about. The concept of joint-family is not as strong as it used to be. There is almost negligible state investment in day-care and childcare systems. The lack of child protection systems further adds to the problem.
SP: The SOS Villages currently provide for 6,600 children in 33 villages, as well as 16,634 children through its Family Strengthening Program, which prevents the breaking up of families. That still leaves many children without support.
SK: An estimated 20 million children in India do not have pre-natal care. I am often asked by people in West that why India, with its booming economy, can?t take care of its children. Fortunately, our new generation is highly conscious about the social causes. And the good news is that it is also coming forward to help. We are witnessing increase in our supporter base, although I would have loved a much faster pace.
SP: What are your funding challenges, in the wake of the European economic crisis?
SK: SOS hopes to increase its donations in BRIC — Brazil, Russia, India and China — plus 10 countries. But the challenge is that these markets are still getting ready to raise substantial funds. The fundraising infrastructure — experienced staff, good postal and Internet services, and the mindset of the people to contribute towards social cause — is still work in progress.
SP: Your local funding is low — just 20 percent comes from India, versus 80 percent from Europe.
SK: For several years NGOs in India relied largely on grants from abroad. The practice of asking local populace is relatively new and awaits its tipping point. We are now trying to reach out to people in their preferred way for communication. We appeal to them by writing letters or emails, making phone calls, meeting them in person and even through Facebook. This should increase contributions made to us in next few years. The approach to partner with corporations on Corporate Social Responsibility has also been strengthened.
SP: And what about education for the children?
SK: According to ILO’s Global Employment Trends for Youth 2012 report, nearly 75 million youth are unemployed around the world, an increase of more than 4 million since 2007. Caring for children must include providing education that will enable them to get jobs. Speaking more broadly, the number of children that continue education beyond primary schools is still far from satisfactory.
16 July 2012
Meth abuse affects children
Methamphetamine abuse could be leading to an increase in child abuse and neglect, as reflected by a concomitant increase in foster care admissions, report researchers.
Their study found that a 1% increase in methamphetamine use led to a 1.5% increase in foster care admissions. It is the first study to provide evidence for the causal association between methamphetamine abuse and foster home admissions.
"Public health professionals have observed these large social costs of methamphetamine production and use," commented co-author Keith Finlay (Tulane University, New Orleans, Los Angeles, USA) in a press statement. "Our paper is one of the first to provide plausible causal evidence of these effects that are not borne by users but by children."
Another co-author, Scott Cunningham (Baylor University, Texas, USA) added: "Our findings suggest strongly that the social costs of parental meth use include child maltreatment and growth in foster care placements."
"To address this, child welfare policies should be designed specifically for the children of meth-using parents."
There was no significant association between parental incarceration or drug use with foster care admissions, a result that is "consistent with a net positive impact of meth on foster care caseload growth," remark the authors in Economic Inquiry.
According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, the foster care population dramatically rose from 280,000 in the 1980s to 408,000 in the late 1990s.
In accordance, methamphetamine use increased by 25.6% from 1995 to 1998, say Finlay and team.
"Given the large social costs of meth use on child maltreatment, policymakers face a significant challenge to reduce its use," remarked Cunningham.
"Regions with intensive meth use should consider greater resources for meth treatment and child welfare services. These areas have historically been rural or exurban and so may already be underserved."
For the study, the authors collected monthly data on foster care admissions and exits, meth drug treatment admissions, and street meth prices between January 1995 and December 1999.
Foster care enrolment data was obtained from the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System.
15 July 2010
Continues to Grow Among Children
Shannon Ryan Launches New Picture Book to Teach Children How To Save, Spend and Share
Shannon Ryan, CFP® wants to prevent a new generation of kids from a future of debilitating debt and low savings rates. The mom and certified financial advisor today nationally released the title book in the series, "The Heavy Purse”, uniquely written to start conversations between parents and their children about money and goal-setting.
High school students are receiving a D+ in financial literacy, according to the test results of The National Financial Capability Challenge released this spring. The study, now in its third year, annually tests 80,000 students on bank accounts, credit cards, taxes, and other age-appropriate financial concepts. After two decades of working with families in the Los Angeles area, Ryan is not surprised by the results and believes financial education needs to begin much earlier than most parents think.
"It's my belief around age three, our kids start to become aware of how we use money, and our money hang-ups eventually become their own," Ryan said. Her simple strategy helps children develop a positive relationship with money and feel empowered to make smart financial decisions by themselves.
"Parents tell me they don't know where to start," Ryan said. "By teaching their children how to save, spend and share, parents experience a reduced number of store aisle tantrums of 'I want. I want. I want.' My daughters make their own decisions now, and I don't have to say 'no' all the time."
The picture book, aimed at children aged three to nine, follows two young girls as they learn how to manage money wisely through a simple three-step process of save, spend and share. The Heavy Purse is available in print at Amazon and in ebook for the Kindle Fire, Nook Tablet and iPad.
On the book's web site http://www.TheHeavyPurse.com, parents can find short videos to help them implement the "save, spend and share" program into their family's daily life. Ryan is currently developing a Facebook community for parents to post questions and find additional tips.
What will you do with your heavy purse?
Press release: PRWeb
12 July 2012
Core Assets Group Acquires Leading Family Expert Witness Firm
Core Assets Group, the international children's services provider, has announced the acquisition of Carter Brown Associates Ltd, the UK's leading family expert witness firm.
This latest acquisition brings greater depth and breadth to the Core Assets existing portfolio of services as it continues to expand in the children and families sector.
Established in 2001, Carter Brown Associates delivers bespoke expert witness services to legal professionals who operate in the family courts. With headquarters in Mansfield, the company employs 25 staff who support a network of 200 expert associates including paediatricians, psychiatrists, psychologists and independent social workers with experience in both family law and criminal law proceedings.
Commenting on the acquisition, Core Assets executive chairman, Jim Cockburn said: "This latest move strengthens our ability to deliver a range of services and will add an important new dimension to the Group. It complements Core Assets' existing portfolio of work with children and families, and further demonstrates our commitment to invest in the sector.
"Core Assets Group can now integrate the hugely specialised expert witness services of Carter Brown to offer a broader and comprehensive spectrum of services to meet increased customer demand, both in the UK and overseas."
Christine Carter, one of the original owners of Carter Brown will continue to run the company as it seeks to grow and develop. Planned areas of growth include further moves into criminal proceedings and forensic work.
Core Assets has confirmed that no redundancies will arise as a result of the acquisition.
About Core Assets:
Core Assets Group is a privately owned organisation was founded 18 years ago. With its international headquarters based in Bromsgrove, the agency operates in 10 countries, providing a range of services across the social care sector, including foster care, family intervention and support, adoption support, educational provision, therapy, children's domiciliary care and contact services, through to consultancy, training as well as recruitment and resourcing. The Group aims to make a positive and lasting difference to vulnerable children and families around the world. Companies within the Group include Foster Care Associates (FCA), Fostering People, Core Children's Services and Outcomes UK.
Press release: PR Newswire
12 July 2012
Foundation Announces Partnership
with MITI Youth Work Ethic and Character Building Training
Youth unemployment rates are over 50% in some areas of the US. And unemployment rates for adolescents who have been victims of abuse is estimated in some areas at over 70%. In today's economy, kids need an edge. That edge? Back-to-basics work ethic and good character.
Former foster child, author, and talk radio show host, Rhonda Sciortino, wanted to help victims of child abuse use the characteristics developed as coping mechanism for abuse as the stepping stones to their success. So, she established a non-profit organization, Successful Survivors Foundation, to collaborate with child welfare organizations, foster parents, and educators around the country to help young people move from “victim to victor” by becoming the best employee on the job.
Sciortino emancipated from the child welfare system at age 16. She says, “I have succeeded in life but it wasn’t because I was the smartest, the prettiest, the most athletic, or because I married a wealthy man or bought a winning lottery ticket! I have succeeded in business because I am committed to learning from everyone I meet, treating people well, and working hard to contribute to the bottom line.”
Successful Survivors Foundation was founded to help the estimated 36 million survivors of child abuse become "successful survivors" by mining the lessons out of their pain and applying those lessons to their personal and professional lives. SSF announced today that they are partnering with Molitor International to help bring the MITI Youth Work Ethic and Character Building Training course to communities all over the US.
The MITI Youth Work Ethic course includes 60 hours of interactive training on how to be a good employee and why that's important. The course includes videos of adult “overcomers” in various careers who speak candidly about the abuse they suffered, and how they got over it.
Young people who have completed the training made these comments: “I have more respect for myself as a result of MITI. MITI helped me realize the importance of having a job and to appreciate having a job. MITI has taught me how to communicate better with others. MITI has taught me good work ethics and how to present myself in a good way. MITI has opened my eyes so that now I will put the best that I have into my work, and do it with quality. MITI has taught me to calmly talk through situations instead of getting mad and blowing up.”
Cathey Prudhomme - President/CEO, Eagle Village of
Evert, MI, wrote:
“MITI is user-friendly and includes strategies for all learning styles. This curriculum is highly effective in changing the lives of young people. Instead of treating those ‘poor little children,’ we are empowering young men and women for lives of service in their families and their communities. This message of hope and healing has resonated not only with the children of Eagle Village, but also with our staff, leadership, board members, volunteers and even donors. I would highly recommend MITI training to all who would like to be challenged for change and excellence.”
The Successful Survivors Foundation hopes that employers that hire entry-level people will choose to hire MITI Youth Work Ethic and Character Building graduates, which will make an investment into the lives of the graduates that will pay off for youth as well as for employers.
Press release: PRWeb
10 July 2012
California Child Custody Ruling Limits Support Modifications
A recent court ruling limits the fiduciary duty to truthfully disclose income. It held this duty ends when both parties intend the final order to be absolute.
The state of California requires that both parents provide financial support for their children. When required, the court decides the child support amount and which parent will pay.
Both parents are required to fully disclose income and expenses so a support determination can be determined. The judge will use this information to determine a child support award and issue an order for support. Occasionally, modifications to existing orders may need to be made.
Details of California Court of Appeals
Although modifications are allowed, a California court of appeals ruling recently held that a parent's duty to disclose changes in financial status that may affect child support terminate after a final order is entered.
Although the court notes California's strong public policy in favor of adequate child support, it ultimately rules the duration of this duty ends with the issuance of a final child support order.
Required Disclosures and How They Impact
Child Support Obligations
Modifications to child support orders require a new order or stipulation approved by the court. When allowed, the modification generally correlates to significant changes in one of the following areas:
• Increase or decrease in earnings
• Amount of time child is cared for by a parent
The court of appeals notes in its recent holding that final child support orders are never truly permanent and are often modified. However, it states the distinction present in this case is the clear intent that the order represents a true, "final resolution of all issues related to child support." Based on this language, the court holds the duty to disclose no longer exists.
This case highlights the role language and proper word use plays in support orders. Use of the wrong language can negatively impact legal rights and remedies. As a result, it is important to seek the counsel of an experienced child custody attorney when negotiating custody and visitation rights to ensure all rights are protected.
Press release: 24-7pressrelease.com
5 July 2012
Survey Shows the Nation’s Wealthy is More Interested in Charitable Giving than Leaving Money to Their Kids
Many affluent baby boomers have no plans to hand over their fortunes to their children, according to the recent U.S. Trust 2012 Insights on Wealth and Worth survey. Only 55 percent of the wealthiest baby boomers plan to leave an inheritance to their children, while one third would prefer to give the money to nonprofits. As an entrepreneur who is passionate about charitable giving, author Mike Mann said he supports baby boomers in leaving their money to charity.
In his new book “Make Millions & Make Change! Secrets to Business and Personal Success,” Mann showed how incorporating the right best practices in business lets people achieve great wealth while helping deserving charities and their loved ones. Mann’s Best Practices Guide explained these concepts in greater detail.
“People from all different backgrounds can be successful and join the wealthy, being in a place where you can make a meaningful difference in the lives of those who need it most. My book will show you things you can do in your business today to start on your path to success,” Mann explained.
The U.S. Trust’s national survey of 642 wealthy adults found distinct differences in attitudes toward managing money and leaving a financial inheritance to their children instead of giving the money to charity.
Many baby boomers have earned their fortunes through hard work, without the help of family money. They believe their children should do the same, Mann said.
For younger generations who are hoping to achieve similar success as their parents, “Make Millions & Make Change!” offered some advice. While stressing the importance of hard work and giving back, the book has tips for everything from writing business plans to human resources to search engine optimization.
The book is particularly helpful for those interested in building companies online. Mann has been doing business on the Internet since 1994.
Mann has used that success to create non-profit organizations like Make Change! Trust and Grassroots.org, a charitable network promoting social action and providing free technology services to charities.
“As we work to fight hunger, homelessness and cure diseases around the world, donations from retiring baby boomers will be critical for sustaining our mission well into the future,” said Ray Henderson, executive director of Grassroots.org.
The goal of Grassroots.org is to eventually deliver $100 million in value each year to the charities it serves. Click here to learn more about Grassroots.org.
"The reason I built my companies is to serve charities," Mann said. "Making money should not be about superficial material gains, but instead about being in a position that allows you to make major contributions to those who need our help most."
Mann said he hopes his book inspires new philanthropists by teaching the strategies that have made him successful. Copies of the book are available for free for a limited time.
Press release: PRWeb
5 July 2012
Obesity-prevention classes discussed as overweight numbers grow
The issue of weight is an extremely difficult subject, especially when approaching young people. However, it is imperative that the issue be dealt with in a respectful and clear way.
In the October 2011 issue of the NIH News in Health, a monthly newsletter from the National Institutes of Health, it was reported that obesity rates have tripled in youth over the past three decades. Today, about one in three children and teens in the U.S. are considered overweight or obese. (www.newsinhealth.nih.gov).
With the rates of weight gain in young people going up, there is increased interest in the subject. The American Medical Association (AMA) is pushing for yearly instruction aimed at preventing obesity for schoolchildren and teens. The AMA has agreed to support legislation that would require classes in causes, consequences and prevention of obesity for first through 12th graders.
Not only is there a push for increased awareness and education in the schools, but there is new research that suggests obesity may affect school performance. According to a report in the Child Development journal, 6,250 children from kindergarten through fifth grade were followed and it was discovered that those who were obese throughout that period scored lower on math tests than their non-obese peers.
"I think it's been established that there's a link between obesity or physical fitness and academic achievement," says Rebecca London, a senior researcher at Stanford University's Gardner Center for Youth and Their Communities. However, London and other experts caution that this link is much more complicated than it might seem.
No one knows why obesity and school performance are related, or whether one directly causes the other.
As London states, "Is it the actual state of obesity — those extra pounds — that are somehow influencing students' achievement, or is it something related to the obesity but not the actual pounds?"
As parents, mentors and youth workers, we need to provide the tools to help young people live healthier lifestyles. The NIH News in Health article provides some healthy habits for kids that they can practice throughout their lives. The following tools are suggested for young people:
high-calorie foods that don't provide nutritional value.
• Make fruits and vegetables accessible at every meal.
• Look at the nutrition facts labels to compare foods.
• Enjoy smaller portions at home and in restaurants.
• Drink water or low-fat milk instead of sweetened beverages.
• Plan and schedule physical activity for the whole family.
• Give toys (such as jump ropes, balls, etc.) that encourage physical activity.
• Limit computer and TV time to no more than two hours a day.
Jessica Fehrenbacher is a program manager at Youth Resources of Southwestern Indiana. Since 1987, Youth Resources has engaged more than 145,000 youths in leadership development and community service through its youth-led TEENPOWER, Teen Advisory Council, Teen Court and Make A Difference Grant Programs
2 July 2012
Professor Speaks on
Importance of Affordable Care Act for Children
As the U.S. Supreme Court upholds the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), Florida State University’s nationally recognized experts in law and medicine are available to discuss the ramifications of the decision.
Among the available is Paolo Annino, J.D., Ph.D., a clinical professor and co-director of the FSU Public Interest Law Center.
At the Public Interest Law Center, Annino supervises students who represent children in foster care, juvenile delinquency, health care, special education, disability, Social Security and criminal law cases. His special interest is health care access for young people and children, and he also works on legal issues involving Medicaid.
“There are 50 million uninsured in this country, and the ACA is the right step in trying to address this shameful condition," Annino said.
Press release: newswise
29 June 2012