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How to encourage kids to read

Sportsmanship is an important lesson Children who play sports often walk away with important lessons in teamwork and sportsmanship. Sportsmanship can be defined as playing fair, following the rules of the game, respecting the rulings of referees, and treating opponents with respect. During the heat of competition, it can be challenging to be a good sport, particularly when the goal is to win. However, sportsmanship is something that should be a priority for players, parents and coaches. Here are some of the ways to be fine sportsmen. •Abide by the rules of the game. Rules are there for a reason, to promote fairness and to keep play organized and in check. Many sports are a team effort, and the team cannot work effectively if players have their own agendas. •Practice anger management. Anger can take over when an official makes a questionable call or a teammate makes an error. But arguing with officials or teammates can get in the way of camaraderie and good performance. •Be a team player. Players have different skill levels and abilities. There will always be the players that excel and those who may not be the MVP. Players should not "hog" the ball or make attempts to exclude others from the game. Enabling everyone to have their chance to shine is a good way to be a good teammate and friend. •Offer words of encouragement. Even the star player can have a bad game once in awhile. A true sportsman will not tease others when they are down. Teammates should always be encouraging of one another. •React well to a loss. There will be winners and losers in competition. Bursting into tears or jeering at the winning team reflects badly on you and your teammates. It may not feel good to lose, but be able to share in the joy of the other team and congratulate them on their success. Use a loss as a learning experience that shows you what you and your teammates need to work on going forward.

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Reading can have a profound impact on a child's life in and out of the classroom. Reading can help a young student develop a more extensive vocabulary, and a study from the Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics found that reading to young children promotes language acquisition, making it easier for them to learn a foreign language. That's a significant advantage for children growing up in a world that's increasingly global. But reading has benefits outside the classroom as well. Reading can provide an escape from the daily grind, which is something even today's youngsters can appreciate. Reading also is a great way for kids to relax and unwind while simultaneously giving their brains a workout. While many parents recognize the impact reading can have on their children, it's no secret that getting kids to embrace reading can be difficult. Distractions such as video games, social media and even the great outdoors are all there to draw kids away from reading. But parents who want to instill a love of reading in their children can still take steps to ensure their kids don't miss out on the benefits of a good book. • Read to your children. Numerous studies have discovered various benefits of reading to children when they are young. The National Center for Education Statistics notes that children whose parents read to them typically become better readers and perform better in school. Reading to children early on is the first step toward fostering a love of reading kids will develop and continue throughout their lives. Many parents read to their children at night before bedtime, but any time of day will suffice. • Don't be discouraged if kids are not interested in books. While reading fiction can help develop a youngster's imagination, parents should not be discouraged if kids don't want to read books. Reading the newspaper, magazines and even comic books can help kids develop strong reading skills and an extensive vocabulary and, in the case of comic books, inspire their imaginations. Young sports fans might be more inclined to read the sports page than a novel, so let them do so. Kids are more likely to embrace reading if what they're reading interests them, so encourage kids to read up on those interests, even if that reading does not involve picking up a book. • Get your youngster his or her own library card. Thanks to the popularity of e-readers, many adults would be hard pressed to locate their local library if asked to do so. But visiting the library is a great way

Youngsters who have their own library cards might be more excited about visiting the library and more likely to develop a love of reading. to encourage kids to read, especially if kids have their own library cards. Kids with their own library cards tend to look at visits to the library as shopping trips where they get to make their own choices about what they're taking home with them. And once kids reach a certain age, they can visit the library on their own. • Share your own reading experiences with children. Kids look up to their parents and often want to mimic their behavior. So parents can set a good example by reading as well. On trips to the library, check out your own book. While you might not want to discuss every book you read with your children, discuss the books they're reading. Chances are you read many of those same books yourself when you were a child, and discussing books with your child is a great way to improve his or her reading comprehension. Distractions abound for today's youngsters, who might not embrace reading as readily as they do video games or social networking. But parents can take many steps to instill a love of reading in their kids that will last a lifetime.

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The Bonanza is published twice a month by Timeless Designs Inc., located at 1214 Mohawk St. in DeRidder, LA 70634. Locally owned and operated by Wytonya E. Willison. The publisher reserves the right to edit or reject any advertisement considered to be inappropriate for the purpose of this publication. Neither the publisher nor the advertiser will be responsible for unintended information, typographical errors, etc. appearing in this publication. Any opinions expressed by writers or advertisers are their own and not necessarily endorsed by the Bonanza Publication and/or Timeless Designs, Inc. Entire contents copyright Š 2013. Publishing rights are reserved for the publisher.

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Learn the early warning signs of bullying Children grow and develop their personalities in various ways. While many youngsters are teased or receive some good-natured ribbing at some point in their school careers, some teasing can eventually turn into bullying. The National Education Association estimates that 160,000 children miss school every day due to fear of attack or intimidation by other students. Furthermore, more than 70 percent of students report incidents of bullying at their schools. Although children in lower grades have reported being in more fights than those in higher grades, there is a higher rate of violent crimes in middle and high schools than in elementary schools. According to the association Make Beats Not Beat Downs, harassment and bullying have been linked to 75 percent of school shooting incidents. Bullying can take many forms, and learning the warning signs as a parent can help prevent harassment and potentially

dangerous situations. Verbal: If your child reports being called names, being the recipient of racist, sexist or homophobic jokes, or being spoken to in an offensive or suggestive way, this can be a form of verbal bullying. Cyber: Social media, email and text messaging has become a way for bullies to spread malicious messages or photos. In the era of digital media, this type of bullying has increased considerably. Physical: Some bullies engage in physical attacks, including hitting, kicking, spitting, or other forms of physical confrontation. Destroying personal property also is considered physical bullying. Indirect: Gossiping and spreading nasty rumors about a person is another form of bullying. This type of bullying may go hand-in-hand with cyber bullying. Signs your child is being bullied Parents can recognize certain signs that their child is being bullied at school. Bullied children frequently make excuses

to avoid going to school. While the desire to stay home is something many children may express, those who are bullied may do so much more frequently. Bullied children tend to avoid certain places and may be sad, angry, withdrawn, or depressed. They may have trouble sleeping or experience changes in appetite, and bullied youngsters' academic performance may suffer. Also, parents may notice that children return from school missing some of their belongings. Signs your child is the bully Parents may not want to imagine their children bullying other students, but bullies do exist. Children who bully other kids have strong needs for power and negative dominance. They may find satisfaction in causing suffering to others. Some signs that your child may be a bully include: •easily becoming violent with others •having friends who bully others •blaming others quickly

•comes home with belongings that do not belong to him or her •getting in trouble with teachers or school administrators •picking on siblings •not accepting responsibility for actions There are ways parents can teach their children to act properly when faced with a bully. First, parents should explain that bullying is not the child's fault and he or she does not deserve to be picked on. Next, parents can let children know that being assertive but not violent with bullies may diffuse the situation, as some bullies thrive on the fear of their victims. If the bullying behavior continues, the student should speak to an adult or authority figure. Parents of bullies may need to be especially mindful of their children's behavior. Counseling could be necessary to determine what is compelling kids to bully other students.

How parents can get involved at children’s school Research indicates that children whose parents get involved with their education are more likely to earn better grades and less likely to have behavior problems in the classroom. There are many different reasons for parents to get involved with their child's school and the community. Helping their children succeed is just one of them. The choice is just how to go about connecting with the school. Here are a few ideas. Work with the teacher: Teachers are increasingly facing obstacles with regards to time and funding. Many must preside over large classes and are responsible for outfitting their classrooms with certain supplies. This presents ideal opportunities for parents to step up and pitch in. Volunteering in your child's classroom is a good way for you to help his or her teacher and get a firsthand account of what your child is doing in class. You may be asked to prepare and package homework assignments or put together materials for craft projects. Some teachers welcome parents who come in to read books to the class

or even give spelling tests. Think about chaperoning a field trip or helping with the set-up and clean-up of class parties. If you keep an open dialogue with the teacher through phone calls or e-mail, you may be presented with plenty of opportunities to get involved. Attend meetings: Parent-teacher associations or organizations are often instrumental in helping a school to run smoothly. They are the people behind fundraisers and special activities outside of the classroom. The PTA is also privy to information on upcoming events before the rest of the school community. Attending monthly meetings can keep you up to speed on the goings-on at your child's school. It will also ensure your voice is heard with regards to school policy. Showing your face at meetings will also give you the opportunity to meet other parents. Attend special events: Not every parent can serve on the PTAor be present in the daily activities of the classroom. However, you can show your support by attending special events hosted by the school -- such as fundraisers

or field-day activities. Volunteer your time with the setup of teacher-appreciation lunches and bake sales, serve as a tour guide for the school when new parents are invited, build sets or make costumes for a school play, or take pictures of events and create a collage to be put on display in the school. Volunteer your skills: Some schools can benefit from the specialized skills of parents. Ask if you can come in and talk about your job or hobby and demonstrate it to the class. Individuals who have technology skills can volunteer to install computer software or to run networking throughout the school. If you have a background in print layout, find out if you can help design and publish the school newsletter or yearbooks. Anytime a parent volunteers his or her time, that means less funding has to go to hiring an outside vendor for the job, saving the school money it sorely needs. Being involved in your child's school sets a positive example for your kids and provides their school with some much-needed assistance.

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Strange, but true

By Samantha Weaver

It was stand-up comedian Lenny Bruce who made the following sage observation: "All my humor is based on destruction and despair. If the whole world were tranquil, without disease and violence, I'd be standing in the breadline." You might be surprised to learn that a flamingo cannot eat unless its head is upside-down. While in the Capitol rotunda attending the funeral for Congressman Warren B. Davis in January 1835, President Andrew Jackson was the victim of an assassination attempt. Richard Lawrence, a 35year-old house painter, pointed two revolvers at the president and fired. In an incredible stroke of luck, both weapons misfired, at which point President Jackson began to beat the man with his cane. The Dead Sea isn't actually a sea; it's a lake. It's been reported that the Paul Simon found the inspiration for his hit song "Mother and Child Reunion" in a chicken-and-egg dish he was eating in a Chinese restaurant. More than 60 percent of the 50 most common words in the English language

contain three or fewer letters. Natives of Finland drink more coffee per capita than citizens of any other country in the world. The Hula Hoop fad swept the globe in the 1950s, but the toy did not find a warm welcome everywhere. In Indonesia, Hula Hoops were banned because they "might stimulate passion." China's official news agency called it "a nauseating craze," and the Soviets declared the toy to be "a symbol of the emptiness of American culture" (despite the fact that the Hula Hoop originated in Australia).

Sports quiz By Chris Richcreek

1. In 2012, Matt Harrison tied the mark for most victories in a season by a Texas Rangers left-hander. Who else holds the record? 2. Who was the last Reds pitcher before Homer Bailey in 2012 to toss a no-hitter? 3. In 2012, Washington's Robert Griffith III had the fourth-highest passing yards (320) by a quarterback in his NFL debut. Name two of the top three. 4. Who succeeded John Wooden in 1975 as coach of the UCLA men's basketball team? 5. How many Conachers are in the Hockey Hall of Fame?

6. Who has won the most NASCAR Sprint All-Star Races? 7. Which of the two Williams sisters was the first to win a Grand Slam tennis title?

Bible trivia By Wilson Casey

1. Is the book of Nahum in the Old or New Testament or neither? 2. When the Holy Spirit descended on Jesus after His baptism, how did it appear? Whirlwind, Dove, Angel, Burning bush 3. Moses said the Lord will have war with whom from generation to generation? Meribah, Lucifer, Heathens, Amalek 4. What heavy priest fell off his seat backward and died on hearing the ark had been captured? Eli, Nadab, Ezra, Ahaz 5. What of yours did Paul say is called to be the temple of God? Soul, Body, Doings, Children 6. From Proverbs what does a soft answer turneth away? Untruths, Enemies, Wrath, Justice

Flashback By Mick Harper

1. Which group released "Going Underground," and what's the song

about? 2. Who released "Hot Pants" in 1971? 3. "Kisses of Fire" was the B-side single for a 1979 ABBA hit. What was on the A-side? 4. Who recorded "Gimme Shelter," and when? 5. Name the song that contains this lyric? "Salty Sam was tryin' to stuff Sweet Sue in a burlap sack, He said, "If you don't give me the deed to your ranch, I'm gonna throw you on the railroad tracks!"

Trivia test By Fifi Rodriguez

1. MATH: What is the length of the boundary of a closed plane figure? 2. ASTRONOMY: What is the sixth planet from the sun? 3. HISTORY: What was the native city of explorer Marco Polo? 4. GAMES: How long is a standard bowling lane? 5. ENTERTAINMENT: Which singer was the first to record a "Greatest Hits" album? 6. LANGUAGE: What is a mountebank? 7. U.S. PRESIDENTS: Who was Andrew Jackson's first lady? 8. GEOGRAPHY: What is the second most populous country in the world? 9. FAMOUS QUOTES: What Irish playwright once said, "If you cannot get rid of the family skeleton, you may as well make it dance"? 10. MUSIC: What 1960s pop music group featured singer Cass Elliot?

Moments in time By The History Channel

• On Aug. 11, 1856, a hurricane hits Isle Derniere, a resort community on the Louisiana coast, killing more than 400 people. The storm first brought blinding and torrential rain, then storm surges and finally a tidal wave. Upward of 150 people were carried off with the wave, with some bodies ending up 6 miles away. On Aug. 6, 1890, at Auburn Prison in New York, the first execution in history by electrocution is carried out against William Kemmler. It didn't go as planned. With the first charge, the current failed. A second charge was required for two minutes before Kemmler was declared deceased. On Aug. 7, 1944, under the threat of Allied bombing during World War II, the German car manufacturer Volkswagen halts production of the "Beetle." Volkswagen, under the control of the British military, began turning out Beetles again in December 1945. On Aug. 5, 1957, rock 'n' roll television show "American Bandstand" goes national with teens dancing and rating records on a scale from 35 to 98. The show was broadcast from Philadelphia to 67 ABC affiliates across the country. Dick Clark was host, a slot he held for 27 years. On Aug. 9, 1969, members of Charles Manson's cult kill five people in movie director Roman Polanski's Beverly Hills, Calif., home, including Polanski's pregnant wife, actress Sharon Tate. Polanski was not the cult leader's intended target. Manson, an aspiring musician, chose the Polanski house because he had once unsuccessfully tried to get a recording deal from a producer who used to live there. On Aug. 10, 1978, three teenage girls die after their 1973 Ford Pinto is rammed from behind by a van and bursts into flames. It was known as far back as 1972 that the Pinto's gas tank, which sat behind the rear axle, was particularly vulnerable to damage by rear-end collisions. On Aug. 8, 1986, actor, writer and director Spike Lee's first feature-length movie, "She's Gotta Have It," opens in theaters around the United States. The movie launched Lee's career and established his reputation as an outspoken filmmaker who often tackled controversial subjects.. (c) 2013 King Features Synd., Inc

See Page 11 for Answers

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How to improve test-taking skills Students are periodically tested to gauge their progress on a variety of subjects. Although testing can be an effective way to determine a student's understanding of a given subject, not every student performs well on tests. Test-taking comes easily for some but not so for others. Nerves or trouble concentrating can foil the best students. However, there are ways for students to improve their test-taking skills. Preparation: Most tests are given with prior notice, enabling students to prepare for them well in advance. Sometimes teachers and professors will surprise students with a quiz. These pop quizzes are used to judge how well students are absorbing the information and if they have been paying attention. When in class, continually jot down notes and create an outline of important information. The teacher may provide hints about the upcoming test, including emphasizing specific areas of focus or even revealing the format of the test. Contrary to what some students believe, teachers want their students to succeed. Therefore, your teacher may offer a review session the day before. Studying with others can shed new light on a subject. Studying difficult subject matter with peers may help students grasp the materials better than they did in class. The day before and the day of the test: Prior to a test, make sure you eat and get enough rest. While it may be tempting to pull an "all-nighter," you will not perform well on the test if you are tired from having studied all night. Review the material and put the main ideas or formulas onto a sheet that can be quickly reviewed. Review it many times and then put it away. Have a good meal, relax and try to get at least eight hours of sleep. On the day of the test, wake up and arrive on time or even a few minutes early for your class. This can help to calm your nerves and enable you to squeeze in some last-second studying. The test itself: Make sure you have the supplies needed for the test. This may include pens or pencils, a calculator, a textbook if you are allowed to reference, or any other supplies the teacher allows. Have a watch available so that you can pace yourself during the test. Try to remain positive through the test. In addition to these tips, there are other ways to approach the test. •Do the easiest problems first. If you do not know a question, skip it and move on. There may be clues later on in the test that help you go back and answer skipped questions. •Always read the entire question. •Look for words that may help you determine the answer, such as "all,""never" or "none." •Pay attention to your work and only your work. •If there is time, go back and look over the test. Make sure that all the questions have been answered and check for any careless mistakes.

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Wrap up a quick summer meal By Angela Shelf Medearis

Many of the world's grilling cultures, from Asia to Central America, wrap foods in banana leaves for grilling. Use heavyduty foil the same way -- to help seal in flavor and moistness. Here's some great tips courtesy of Reynolds Wrap for using heavy-duty foil to make your summer grilling easier and tastier: •Make containers to heat beans, glazes or sauces on the grill with foil. Stack two sheets of foil. Flip over a saucepan, flatbottom bowl or deep baking dish. Shape the double layer of foil over the base of the pan, bowl or dish. Remove the foil and crimp the edges to make a rim. Use a tray to transport to and from the grill. This same technique also can be used to make grilling containers for peppers, onions or seafood. •Foil drip pans are indispensible for soaking wood chips, marinating and indirect grilling. Make drip pans by molding Reynolds Wrap Heavy Duty Foil over an inverted baking dish. •Shield foods by making a foil tent to help prevent them from overbrowning or drying out during grilling. •When grilling or roasting chicken, if the breast or wingtips brown too much, cover them with foil. Bones on pork chops, veal or rack of lamb can be covered with foil to help keep them from burning, too. •Sugar-based glazes and sauces will burn quickly and should be brushed on during the last 15 minutes of grilling. Use foil to make bowls (see first tip) so sauces and glazes can be kept within easy reach. Here are some fabulous recipes using Reynolds Wrap Non-Stick Foil. Happy grilling!

2 sheets (12-by-12-inches each) aluminum foil 2 (8 inches each) pre-baked pizza crusts 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 teaspoon chopped garlic (about 2 cloves) 1/2 medium red onion, sliced thin 1 thinly sliced vine-ripe tomato 1/4 cup marinated artichoke hearts, sliced thin 4 baby portabella mushrooms, sliced thin 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

1. Preheat grill to medium-high. Place each pizza crust on a sheet of foil; set aside. 2. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and onion; cook, stirring frequently, until onion is softened. Brush pizza crust with oliveoil mixture; arrange the onion, tomatoes, artichoke hearts, mushrooms and basil on crust. Sprinkle with cheese. 3. Grill pizza on foil sheets in covered grill for 5 to 7 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Grilled Ranch and Herb Chicken with Veggies

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Grilled Mediterranean Pizza

Get the flavor of a brick-oven-baked pizza right on your own grill. Line the grill with foil to prevent the pizza from sticking. The crust is extra-crisp with a slightly smoky flavor.

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1 cup ready-to-eat baby-cut carrots, cut in half lengthwise 1/4 pound fresh green beans, trimmed 1/3 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar 1 teaspoon sugar Chicken Cutlets: 4 medium (about 1 1/4 pounds) chicken-breast cutlets 2 tablespoons sugar 2 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped 1 tablespoon fresh mint leaves, chopped 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon vegetable oil 1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper 4 slices pumpernickel bread, warmed

1. Heat gas or charcoal grill. Cut 4 (18by-12-inch) sheets of heavy-duty foil; spray with cooking spray. Sprinkle chicken with garlic-herb blend; place 1 breast on each sheet of foil. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of the dressing over each breast. 2. In medium bowl, mix remaining 1/4 cup dressing and the water. Stir in potatoes, carrots and green beans. Divide vegetables among chicken breasts. Sprinkle with cheese. 3. Bring up 2 sides of foil so edges meet. Seal edges, making tight 1/2-inch fold; fold again, allowing space for heat circulation and expansion. Fold other sides to seal. 4. Place packets on grill over medium heat. Cover grill; cook 10 minutes. Rotate packets 1/2 turn; cook 5 to 15 minutes longer or until vegetables are tender and juice of chicken is clear when center of thickest part is cut (170 F). 5. To serve, cut large "X" across top of each packet; carefully fold back foil to allow steam to escape.

1. Prepare Mustard Sauce: In small bowl, mix all sauce ingredients until blended; set aside. 2. Prepare Chicken Cutlets: If necessary, pound cutlets to uniform 1/4-inch thickness. In medium bowl, stir sugar, dill, mint, vinegar, salt, oil and pepper until mixed. 3. Put chicken in bowl with herb mixture, tossing to coat well. Place chicken on grill over medium-high heat and cook 8 to 10 minutes or until juices run clear when thickest part of breast is pierced with tip of knife, turning over once. 4. Serve chicken with Mustard Sauce and pumpernickel bread.

Angela Shelf Medearis is an award-winning children's author, culinary historian and author of seven cookbooks. Her new cookbook is "The Kitchen Diva's Diabetic Cookbook." Her website is www.divapro.com. Recipes may not be reprinted without permission from Angela Shelf Medearis.

Cantaloupe Boats

Drizzle honey and toasted almonds over raspberries, frozen yogurt and sweet melon for a simple summer treat. 1/4 cup sliced almonds 1/4 cup honey 1 medium ripe cantaloupe, cut into quarters, with seeds removed 1 pint vanilla frozen yogurt 1/2 pint raspberries

(c) 2013 King Features Synd., Inc., and Angela Shelf Medearis

Herbed Chicken Cutlets with Mustard Sauce

Serve these tasty cutlets with a creamy, slightly sweet mustard sauce and pumpernickel bread for a meal inspired by Swedish gravlax, which is traditionally prepared with salmon.

1. In small nonstick skillet, toast almonds over medium heat just until golden, stirring frequently. Remove skillet from heat and stir in honey; set aside. 2. To serve, place cantaloupe quarters on 4 dessert plates. Top with frozen yogurt, raspberries and warm almond mixture.

Mustard Sauce: 2 tablespoons light mayonnaise 1 tablespoon fresh dill, chopped 1 tablespoon fresh mint leaves, chopped

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Make the morning rush to school a lot less hectic can be the most indecisive meal of the day. Kids likely won't want to eat the same thing for breakfast every day, but give them fewer options so you aren't wasting time discussing what they are going to eat. The more closely your breakfast options resemble those of a diner, the more time your child is liable to waste choosing what to eat. •Limit time in the bathroom. Spending too much time in the bathroom is another way families waste time on weekday mornings. Bathroom time should be limited to a set amount of time per person so everyone can get where they need to go on time. How much time adults and children spend in the bathroom each morning should depend on how many bathrooms you have and how many people are sharing those bathrooms. But even if everyone has their own private bathroom, try to limit the time you spend in the bathroom to 15 minutes per person. That should be plenty of time to shower, use the restroom and brush your teeth. •Locate must-have items before going to bed at night. Your school-aged youngsters and you will need certain things before you can leave home every morning. Car keys, cell phones, wallets, eyeglasses, and backpacks are a handful of items all of you will need at some point during your day. Locate these items before you go to bed each

Weekday mornings during the school year can be hectic. Parents who must get their youngsters ready for school while preparing for their own day often find themselves rushing through the morning and wishing there was just a little more time before they had to run out the door. While parents can't add another hour to the morning unless they wake up earlier, there are ways they can be more efficient in the morning. An efficient morning is typically a less hectic morning, and the following are a few ways families can work together to make more efficient use of their time on weekday mornings during the school year. •Get a head start the night before. Perhaps the most effective way to make mornings less hectic during the school year is to accomplish as much as possible the night before. Instead of making kids' lunches each morning, make them at night right before you go to bed. Along with your kids, lay out their clothes for the next day before they go to sleep each night. This way kids won't waste time in the morning agonizing over what to wear, and they're liable to put up less of a fuss in the morning if they had a hand in choosing their attire for the day. •Avoid turning your kitchen into a diner each morning. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but it also

night and place them in the same convenient place each night. This saves you the trouble of running around in the morning looking for lost car keys or wondering where your youngster's eyeglasses ended up the night before. •Turn the television off in the morning. Watching television in the morning can be very distracting, which can make it harder for adults and kids alike to get out the door on time in the morning. Kids might want to watch cartoons, which may keep them from preparing for school or brushing their teeth. And adults can grow easily distracted by news programs and morning shows, which will eat up time they need to get ready for the day ahead. •Gas up the car the night before. A pit stop at the gas station en route to school or the office will only add to the hectic nature of the morning. Check your fuel gauge each night before arriving home and refuel your vehicle if it's running low. This gives you a little extra time to relax in the morning and reduces the risk that you or your child will be late for work or school, respectively. Weekday mornings during the school year can quickly become frenetic. But a few time-saving tips can ensure you and your youngsters start each morning off a lot more relaxed.

The pros and cons of using the Internet to complete schoolwork The classroom atmosphere familiar to today's children is likely very different from the atmosphere their parents were accustomed to when they were students. Many of these changes can be traced to technology, which has gradually had an increasing presence in the classroom over the last several decades. But technology has not only changed the classroom experience for kids, but thanks in large part to the Internet, technology also has changed the way kids approach their schoolwork at home. Though a potentially valuable learning tool, the Internet also poses some problems for today's students. The following are some of the advantages and disadvantages of relying on the Internet to complete schoolwork. The Pros The accessibility of the Internet can be

a significant benefit to students. Students have a wealth of resources available to them online, and those resources can make it easier for kids to understand key concepts on nearly every subject. Whereas students might once have been forced to trek to the library to research a given subject, now they can do so from the comforts of home. And unlike the library, the Internet never closes, so information is at students' disposal regardless of when they sit down to do their schoolwork. Another advantage to using the Internet to complete schoolwork is that the Internet can be an extension of the classroom beyond school walls. Educational Web sites abound on the Internet, and many of these sites are written and monitored by professional educators. These sites can be valuable resources for students who may find themselves struggling with certain les-

sons. Many of their questions or concerns may already be addressed, and certain topics may be more easily explained on a Web site written by a professional educator or scholar in a given field. Rather than waiting to address an issue in class, students can visit such Web sites to answers to their questions immediately. The Internet also can provide students with a forum to discuss their studies which does not always exist in the classroom. That forum may engage students and make them better students. A passionate online discussion about a reading assignment may encourage kids to approach such assignments more fervently. Though such discussions may exist in a traditional classroom atmosphere, many students might be hesitant to express themselves in front of their classmates, feeling the anonymity of the Internet is a more inviting and less stress-

ful forum than a classroom of their peers. The Cons As beneficial as the Internet can be to students, it's not always what it's cracked up to be. Much of the concern about using the Internet to complete schoolwork is the reliability of the information on the Internet. Many sites offer reliable and well-researched information, but many do not. Students, especially younger students, may not be capable of discerning fact from fiction and will simply take the written word on the Internet as truth. That may land students in hot water or make it more difficult for them to understand their subjects. Another significant disadvantage to using the Internet to complete schoolwork is that students may be tempted to cheat. Because the Internet is so vast, students See INTERNET, P14

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School bus safety tips to impart to kids

Sports Quiz Answers: 1) Kenny Rogers won 18 in 2004; 2) Tom Browning tossed a perfect game against the Dodgers in 1988; 3) Cam Newton (422 in 2011), Otto Graham (346 in 1950) and Ed Rubbert (334 in 1987); 4) Gene Bartow, who went 52-9 in two seasons; 5) Three Charlie, Lionel and Roy Conacher; 6) Jimmie Johnson, with four (2003, '06, '12 and '13); 7) Serena won the 1999 U.S. Open. Trivia Test Answers: 1) Perimeter; 2) Saturn; 3) Venice, Italy; 4) 60 feet; 5) Johnny Mathis; 6) A charlatan; 7) Rachel Donelson Robards Jackson; 8) India; 9) George Bernard Shaw; 10) The Mamas and The Papas. Flashback Answers: 1) The Jam, in 1980. The lyrics comment on the British arms policy and the spending of public dollars on weapons instead of social programs; 2) James Brown. The song's full title was "Hot Pants (She Got to Use What She Got to Get What She Wants)." It was a three-part single; 3) "Does Your Mother Know," an older man's responses to the flirting of a younger girl; 4) The Rolling Stones, in 1969. The opening track on their "Let It Bleed" album, it was never released as a single; 5) "Along Came Jones," by The Coasters in 1959. The joke song is about damsels in distress on television shows, all rescued by "Jones." Salty Sam was the villain in each case. Bible Trivia Answers: 1) Old; 2) Dove; 3) Amalek; 4) Eli; 5) Body; 6) Wrath.

Each day thousands upon thousands of children board school buses to take them to and from school. Parents and caregivers entrust their children's well-being to the care of school bus drivers and aides. Although parents may worry about school bus accidents, such accidents are few and far between. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration advises that school buses are designed to be safer than passenger vehicles in avoiding crashes and protecting against injury. Buses are arguably the safest mode of transportation for getting kids to and from school. By keeping millions of cars off the roads surrounding schools, school buses contribute to less crowded roadways, which are less conducive to accidents. Danger zone: Though parents may feel buses are most likely to be in accidents while in transit, experts advise that children are more likely to get hurt during pickups and drop-offs when they're in the "danger zone" of the bus. The danger zone is a 10-foot radius around the outside of the bus. Bus drivers and other motorists find kids in the danger zone are more difficult to see, and children can get struck by either the bus or oncoming cars that fail to stop when the bus is picking kids up or dropping them off. Knowing the safety rules: While a large part of protecting children is on the shoulders of the school bus driver, it is also vital for passengers to learn the basics of school bus safety. Kindergarteners or children who are riding the bus for the first time should be taught the rules of school bus safety. Some schools offer a school bus tour prior to the new school year. This lets youngsters acclimate themselves with the look and feel of the school bus. This introduction also may include information about bus safety, but parents can also educate their children (and themselves) about using caution in and around the bus by following these guidelines. •Get to the bus stop 5 to 10 minutes prior to the assigned pickup time. Rushing last-minute can lead to injury, especially if you're chasing down the bus. •Remain on the sidewalk or grass at the bus stop. Do not step off the curb into the street until the bus has arrived and is completely stopped. •When boarding the bus, go directly to a seat and sit down. Buckle up if there are seatbelts on the bus. •Remain seated while the bus is in motion. •Keep voices low so as not to distract the driver. •Keep your head and hands inside of the bus, and never hang out of the window.

Internet

Continued from P10 might be tempted to cut and paste answers to homework problems from the Internet or copy information from Web sites and claim it as their own, feeling as if there is no way their teachers will ever find out. Some students may not even understand that such cutting, pasting or copying is wrong. But in addition to being wrong, such behavior, whether students are caught or not, also makes it harder for students to learn the material, which will make it more difficult for them to grasp key concepts going forward. The Internet can also be a significant distraction to students. Social networking sites can quickly distract kids from their schoolwork, costing them valuable time they should be devoting to their studies. For more than a decade, the Internet has proven a valuable resource for students across the globe. But students must recognize there are advantages and disadvantages to relying too heavily on the Internet when pursuing their studies.

•Do not throw things on the bus or play rough with friends or classmates. •Keep the aisle clear at all times. •Be careful when getting off the bus. Hold on while going down the stairs. •Only get off at your designated stop unless you have permission to get off elsewhere. •When exiting the bus, walk at least 10 steps past the front of the bus and cross in front where the driver can see you. Do not cross behind the bus. •Wait for the driver to give you a signal that it is safe to cross. Be sure to check that all cars on the road have come to a complete stop. •Get to the sidewalk or off the street as quickly as possible. •If you've forgotten something on the bus, do not run back and attempt to retrieve it. The driver might not see you and start the bus. Rather, call the bus company and see if you can pick it up at another time. •Do not get into the cars of strangers waiting around bus stops, even if they offer to take you home. Parents can arrange to meet with bus drivers so that they will recognize their faces. Adults also can encourage schools to host bus safety courses to further ensure their youngsters are safe.

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Ready kids for school A child's first day of school is a momentous occasion, one that parents and children alike will never forget. For parents, the day might stir memories of their own first day of school all those years ago. For youngsters, the excitement of the first day of school might be accompanied by a little anxiety, as kids don't know what to expect. Anxiety may decrease as kids grow more acclimated to their school and their classmates, but that first day can be difficult for some youngsters. Here are a few steps parents can take to prepare their children for school. •Discuss the schedule with your child. Having a schedule can be a difficult adjustment for youngsters, especially those who have never attended preschool or another structured program. To help kids handle this adjustment, discuss the schedule with your children ahead of time, explaining when school begins and ends each day and how activities are likely to be scheduled during the school day. In the weeks leading up to the first day of school, help kids get in the swing of things by waking them up earlier and scheduling some activities so kids can get used to a more structured environment. •Visit the school. The school itself might also be a cause for anxiety. Kids who have never been inside of a school might benefit from a visit to the school in advance of their first day. Arrange a tour with the local school district so kids can see the bright classrooms and the playgrounds, which should settle any fears they might have about leaving the comforts of home for the classroom. •Let kids know their classmates will likely be nervous as well. For youngsters who seem especially nervous about their first day of school, parents can point out that other kids are likely just as nervous. Parents can even share stories of their own anxiety with regard to school and explain to kids how the nervousness was quickly calmed. •Remind kids you're just a phone call away. Going to school and becoming independent is an important step for kids, but children might be reassured if their parents remind them Mom and Dad are just a phone call away. Soon enough, kids will adapt to the classroom and won't need that reassurance, but those initial nerves might be calmed if kids are reminded that their parents are still nearby. •Consider carpooling with another family. One thing that's certain to calm a youngster's first-day-of-school jitters is the presence of a fellow friend or neighbor who is also going to school for the first time. Consider carpooling with another family so children forget about their anxiety and spend their school day mornings talking or playing with a friend.

Injury prevention tips for child athletes The dawn of a new school year is an exciting for school-aged youngsters. Though many kids may not look forward to homework or getting up early, a new school year is often exciting for young athletes who long to get back on the playing fields and compete with their teammates. As valuable and exciting as participating in team sports can be, they can just as easily prove dangerous for athletes who aren't prepared for the rigors of physical activity. A summer spent lounging poolside might be just what kids need after a long school year, but that relaxation can put youngsters in jeopardy of suffering an injury when they return to team sports in the fall. Many a young athlete has pulled a hamstring or suffered a shin splint when returning to athletic competition after a long layoff. But such injuries are largely preventable, and the following tips can help schoolaged athletes ensure their return to competition is as painless as it is pleasurable. •Condition your muscles in the weeks heading up to tryouts or the start of the school year. Many fall sports feature tryouts near the end of summer or at the very beginning of the school year. That means athletes must start conditioning their muscles early. Discuss with your parents, coaches and physicians which muscles you will be working when playing a particular sport. Adults should help you develop a conditioning program that gets the right muscle groups ready for the rigors of your sport. A properly conditioned athlete has a much lesser risk of injury than one who is not. Your offseason conditioning program should begin slowly and gradually grow more challenging as you draw closer to the school year. •Stretch, stretch, stretch. Always stretch your muscles before any strenuous activities, whether it's an offseason conditioning program or an in-season competition. Stretching significantly reduces your risk of injury and can improve your performance on the field. •Get geared up. The right gear is essential for young athletes looking to avoid injury. Though summer might seem tailor-made for flip-flops, such footwear should never be worn when exercising and preparing for the coming sports season. Athletic shoes specific to your sport are made to provide the support you will need as you train and compete. The same goes for the clothing you should wear when getting ready for the season. Wear the appropriate athletic attire to reduce your risk of injury.

•Weight train in the presence of your coaches or parents. Many athletes begin weight training for the first time when they are in high school. Weight training can be beneficial to young athletes, but such athletes should never lift weights unsupervised. Parents, trainers and coaches can explain the equipment to young athletes while ensuring they don't overdo it in the weight room. Lifting too much weight or having bad form when weightlifting can cause serious injury that can sideline youngsters for the coming season, if not longer. So young athletes should always weight train in the presence of an adult and always work with a spotter to help them should they struggle to finish a repetition. •Don't try to match your fellow athletes. The human body develops differently for everyone. Young athletes must recognize that there's a chance their classmates and teammates may be developing more quickly than they are. These classmates may be more capable of performing certain physical activities. For example, a teammate might be able to lift more weight than you. Do not try to match your fellow athletes if your body is uncomfortable performing a certain exercise. If you must endure substantial pain to perform a given exercise, then your body is likely telling you it simply isn't ready for that exercise. Don't force the body to do something just to keep up with your teammates. •Take a break. Even if you rested for most of summer, you still will need to rest when you begin getting ready for the upcoming athletic season. Take at least one day off per week to allow your body to recover and recharge. Your body needs that recovery time to reduce its risk of injury. School-aged athletes often look forward to a new school year as a chance to get back on the playing fields. But such athletes should emphasize safe training as the season draws closer.

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Establishing a positive homework environment Though it might not be something students look forward to, homework is an essential element of the learning process. Homework allows kids to apply the lessons they learned in the classroom while giving educators a chance to determine if students are grasping the concepts discussed in class or if certain lessons need to be revisited. Students often seek their parents' help when doing their homework, but parents can start helping even before their children bring any assignments home. Creating a homework environment where kids can concentrate and put forth their best effort is a great way to help them throughout the school year. The following are a few tips for parents who want to ensure that home is as conducive a place as possible for students to do their best on homework assignments. •Find a quiet space with little or no distractions. A quiet place in the home where kids can concentrate is essential when kids are doing homework. While a youngster's bedroom might have sufficed years ago,

today's children tend to have bedrooms that mimic the showroom floor of an electronics store. If kids have televisions, video game consoles and stereos in their bedrooms, then that's likely not the best environment for them to do their homework. Kids can too easily grow distracted, so find a quiet area where kids can focus on their studies without being tempted by television, video games or other distractions not conducive to studying. •Designate a time each day when kids do their homework. Another way to make your home more amenable to homework is to designate a time each day when kids will study. Let other members of the household know that this is a quiet time in the house so kids aren't distracted. Once kids get comfortable in this routine they likely won't need much prodding to do their homework, and this designated quiet time in the household can be a relaxing time for other members of the household as well. •Have healthy snacks available. Few people do their best work on an empty

stomach, so if kids will be doing their homework immediately after school, make sure you have some healthy snacks on hand. Elementary and high school students tend to eat lunch earlier than adults, so they're liable to be hungry when they arrive home from school in the mid- to late-afternoon. Have plenty of fresh fruit on hand so kids can satisfy their hunger. Less healthy snacks might satisfy youngster's hunger pangs, but such snacks may also make kids drowsy, negatively affecting their ability to concentrate and indirectly hindering their schoolwork as a result. •Let kids know their work will be checked nightly. Parents who want to create an environment where their children approach homework seriously should let their kids know their work will be checked each night, and they will need to redo any assignments that were not completed correctly. This prevents kids from rushing through assignments without giving their best efforts. Few youngsters look forward to home-

Many students need a quiet environment that's free of noise and distractions to perform their best on homework assignments. work. While parents might not be able to change their kids' attitudes toward homework, they can change their home to make it as positive an environment for kids to pursue their studies as possible.

Are school lunches becoming healthier for children? Grilled cheese on a pretzel bun; maple burst pancakes; cold nachos; breaded chicken nuggets -- these are some of the lunch options in school cafeterias across the country. Following streamlined government regulations aimed to make school lunches healthier, some parents are left scratching their heads wondering if anything has changed. In January 2012, First Lady Michelle Obama and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack unveiled new standards for school meals that will result in healthier meals for kids across the nation. The new meal requirements will raise standards for the first time in more than 15 years and are expected to improve the health and nutrition of nearly 32 million kids that participate in school meal programs every school day. The healthier meal requirements are a key component of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, which was championed by the First Lady as part of her Let's Move! campaign and

signed into law by President Obama. The new standards align school meals with the latest nutrition science and the real-world circumstances of America's schools, according to the United States Department of Agriculture. The USDA indicates that there are a few main components of the new lunch and breakfast standards: •Offer students both fruits and vegetables every day of the week. •Substantially increase offerings of whole grain-rich foods. •Offer only fat-free or low-fat milk varieties. •Limit calories based on the age of the children being served to ensure proper portion size. •Increase the focus on reducing the amounts of saturated fat, trans fats and sodium. These changes are not perfect, but many believe they are a step in the right direction. Some parents, however, feel the new stipulations are not stringent enough, partic-

in

ularly when it comes to work-arounds for some of the new policies. Sodium content is another bone of contention. Research indicates that lowering sodium levels can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and hypertension. To adhere to the new lunch program, schools will have to cut sodium in lunches by more than 50 percent within 10 years. Currently, elementary school lunches contain roughly 1,300 mg of sodium. The goal is to lower that to 1,230 mg by the 2014/2015 school year, gradually dropping to 935 mg by 2017. The new plan will also extend nutrition standards outside of the cafeteria. Foods and beverages sold in vending machines and through other venues on campus must also be modified to adhere to a healthy diet. Although many changes have been put in place to make school lunches healthier, not all parents think these changes are sufficient.

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