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Volume 3, Issue 1 • Late Winter/ Early Spring 2018

Cure Cabin Fever

Back to the Library Tips for the New Dad TS_CNG/FAMILY_TIMES/PAGES [Y01] | 02/14/18

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Get the family

outside this winter


Late Winter/Early Spring 2018

NEPA Family Times

child-safe improvements

2

Helping Kids Find Hobbies

3

getting back to the library

4

cabin Fever cure

5

Teaching children to Save

7

Winter Sun care

9

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For the love of books

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Keepers with christina

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dads and bonding

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Phil Yacuboski

changing Parenting roles

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Today’s grandparent

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Family calendar

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NEPA FAMILY TIMES

NEPA Family Times is published bi-monthly by Times Shamrock Communications.

Feb/March 2018

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The benefits of child-safe home improvements

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ll family members should be considered when home improvements are being planned, especially the youngest household residents who may not be responsible enough to avoid accidents and injuries. According to a recent Vital Signs report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, accidental injuries are a leading cause of death among the country’s youth — with one fatality occurring every hour from something entirely preventable. The CDC notes that the leading causes of child injury include suffocation, drowning, poisoning, fires, and falls. More can be done to keep children safe, and many strategies start at home.

staircases to help children and adults avoid falls, and remove any obstacles.

Install security systems A security system can be just as effective at keeping little ones inside as it is at keeping unwanted guests outside. Alarms can be set to sound anytime a window or door is breached, which can deter curious children from trying to leave the house without permission. Pair the alarm system with secure locks and high latches that can also stop children in their tracks.

Erect fencing around pools and yards Install fencing around pools to keep children from wandering close to the water’s edge. Towns and cities may require certain fence heights or selflatching gates to keep little ones safe. Young children should never be left to their own devices around any source of water, whether it’s a pool, tub or toilet.

Remove fall hazards Safety devices installed on windows that are above ground level can keep children safe. Stair rails should be secure and in good working order. Temporary gates can block kids from getting on stairways. Improve lighting around

Anchor heavy furniture The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission warns that unanchored televisions and top-heavy furniture can tip over onto children and cause severe injuries and even death. Everyday furniture can be tempting to climb; therefore, using anchors to secure furniture to walls for security is a must. Install locking cabinets Locking cabinets can keep medications, household chemicals, home improvement paints and solvents, and other potential poisons out of reach.

Test and replace smoke alarms Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are only useful if they are functional. Homeowners should inspect such devices regularly to ensure proper operation and promptly replace old or faulty detectors to improve safety.


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Helping kids find hobbies

M

uch like adults can benefit from participating in hobbies, children can reap rewards from engaging in hobbies. According to the Child Development Institute, hobbies give children a chance to express themselves. The CDI also notes that hobbies can play an important role in children’s self-discovery and boost their self-esteem. Some children may discover hobbies on their own, requiring little if any assistance on the part of their parents. For example, some kids may display an interest in music that parents, even those with no such musical inclination, can foster by purchasing certain instruments. But some children may need a little more prompting, and parents of such boys and girls can take certain steps to help their youngsters find rewarding hobbies.

n Let kids choose an activity. While some children might take to hobbies their parents favor, others might need to be given some freedom to find their own activities. Afford youngsters this chance, recognizing that it might take some time before kids find an activity that genuinely sparks their passion.

n Involve kids in your own hobbies. Kids look up to their parents and often want to emulate what their mothers and fathers do. If possible, involve children in your own hobbies. Gardeners can teach their youngsters how to grow and tend to a garden, while painters can host family painting nights where everyone is encouraged to create their own masterpiece. Parents whose hobbies are more adult-oriented, like woodworking, can still involve their children. For example, work with children to design a new item, then show them how the item goes from paper to finished product; just avoid allowing them to use any unsafe tools or machines.

n Don’t hesitate to focus on fun. Hobbies can teach kids valuable lessons and provide a sense of fulfillment, but it’s important that parents not overlook the importance of fun in regard to their children’s hobbies. Hobbies can provide children with the same respite from busy schedules that they do adults, and that break should be as fun as possible.

n Be a source of encouragement. Some hobbies may prove more difficult than kids first imagined, requiring some perseverance before they can be enjoyed fully. In such instances, observe youngsters while they engage in the activity. If they appear to be enjoying themselves but are periodically frustrated, encourage them to keep trying. If kids appear to be disinterested in overcoming any struggles, then they might benefit by pursuing another hobby.

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Getting Back to the Library by Phil Yacuboski

never been busier or been a bigger part of the community. “As we become more digital, I see tuck in the house all winter? Cold temperatures got you down? there has been a lot more interest with people coming into the library,” While movie theaters can be warm and ski resorts can be cold, the she said. Garm said they’ve added an ‘online library can be a good place to cozy up branch’ that is pretty much a fullto fend off a long winter’s nap. service library. “Books are still a big deal,” said “You can download e-books and Mary Garm, administrator of the audio books without ever having to Lackawanna County Library System, come into the library. You can look which has eight locations across Lackawanna County. “People still do a at databases and online resources for lot of reading. We obviously continue research,” she said. “As long as you have a library card, you can log in to build strong collections for both from your home, office or wherever print and online.” you happen to be and take advantage She said in an age where iPads, of those resources.” Kindles, iPhones and other digital deGarm said that includes research on vices are attached to us to what seems topics such as health, the law, genealolike all of the time, libraries have

S

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NEPA FAMILY TIMES

Feb/March 2018

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gy — even how to write software code. “You can even learn a language using our software,” she said. She said the library’s website receives about 200,000 hits per month and they circulate about 40,000 ebooks in the same period. “That’s pretty impressive,” she said. Garm said libraries are often leaders in the community when it comes to teaching people how to use technology, including tutoring. “You can make an appointment with us and we can help you figure out how to use your iPhone or your tablet,” she said. She said the library is also a good place for kids learning STEM. “About a year ago, we launched Creation Stations, which uses the Adobe

creative suites,” she said, talking about programs such as Adobe Photoshop. “It works for people who want to learn graphics, audio and video for both personal or business use.” And while Oprah’s Book Club it might not be, Garm said in the past five years, there’s been an explosion of people getting together to talk about a book they are reading. “As we become a more digital society, people want to come in and talk to each other about what they are reading,” she said. With all of the updates and features, Garm said today’s libraries aren’t what they used to be. “We’re community centers almost,” she said. “People really love it.”


hunt is combined with the nature walks for everyone to partake in. RTC also features yoga hikes combined with hiking, breathing, stretching and an awareness of the beauty of winter all in one trip. Families are welcome to partake in this and often find it a great reprieve from the daily hectic schedules they often lead. Cross-country skiing is easy especially on the groomed snowmobile trails or cutting fresh tracks in snow along the trail, notes Conrad. “It’s as easy as walking and learning to glide is fun,” she adds. The RTC offers introductory lessons for those wishing to give it a try. Rentals for cross-country skis and snowshoes are available nearby for rent at Chet’s Place, Union Dale. A variety of trails near Chet’s, a nearby restaurant and bar, offers you a choice of workouts from an easy loop around the lake to a moderate ski through the woods or a rigorous run to the top of a nearby mountain. The Winter Botany Hike at the Thomas Darling Preserve in Blakeslee is another great family time to explore nature. “I think this is a great hike for families with children ages 12 and up. Winter is a great time by Jennifer Butler On Feb. 24, a Veteran’s Hike will be held to look at plants and see their structure and for veterans and their families, at 1 p.m. our Thomas Darling preserve is home to Snowshoeing will be available based on abin fever setting in? Need to get out many animals so hopefully we will be able conditions. To register call 570-945-7110. and enjoy the great outdoors then to see and identify some tracks,” explains Come mid-March another interesting why not make it a family trip? Jenny Case of the Preserve. There is also a family event is the Woodcock Watch where Well, look no further than the great outlarge population of snowshoe hare living families can view the “courtship flight” of doors of Northeastern Pennsylvania. The here, so participants may be able to see one area woodcocks. “It is really neat to see,” weather is nippy, the scenery is gorgeous of them on the hike on Feb. 24. “By this admitted Lambert. and the conditions are perfect. time in February everyone has got a touch Check the park’s Facebook page for its Northeastern Pennsylvania has so much of cabin fever, so a nice afternoon hike is calendar of events. to offer families who wish to spend some the perfect cure,” she added. The Rail-Trail Council (RTC) of Northquality time together as a family in the “The winter botany walk is a great event eastern Pennsylvania offers a variety of great outdoors. Whether it is snowshoeing for families because deep winter is a time or cross country skiing through some mag- winter programs along and off the trail when most folks are suffering from the winnificent countryside to just a walk through that are great for families, according to ter blues and are looking forward to spring. Lynn Conrad, executive director. the woods admiring the wildlife, it can all This event gets them up off the couch and “Snowshoeing is most popular espebe found here in NEPA. outside into the fresh air. The most imporcially when there are six inches or more What a better place to get started then tant step to staving off cabin fever,” said of snow,” she explains and the RTC loans the Lackawanna State Park where a multibotany walk leader Mike Leggiero. Also, he out snowshoes, free of charge, from its oftude of winter festivities abound. admits, many folks are interested in using Angela Lambert, environmental education fice in Union Dale. Snowshoes fit any shoe plants for different reasons, whether it is specialist at the park, says their snowshoeing or boot, but also they provide various sizes for learning about holistic medicine, knowtrails are very popular and families enjoy the based on weight including men’s, women’s ing which plants provide natural foods for 12-mile system together. The park also offers a and children’s. survival situations or learning what that RTC holds winter nature walks to snowshoe loaner program to those interested tree is in the backyard. “Winter is a tough look for deer and rabbit browses, animal in trying out the wintertime sport. time of year to identify plants since most Another great family time at the park is footprint ID’s, winter tree ID’s, and to expeople identify plants by their leaves.” ice fishing. Not only to children have the joy perience the beauty of icy waterways and The Preserve’s winter botany walk nearby forests. “We have had naturalists of catching the big one but many families will teach people to look at plant parts make it an outing with a picnic lunch to go lead walks and our retired Susquehanna which will allow them to be able to with it. In addition, the park has ice skating Co. district forester, Jim Kessler, always atidentify the plant all year long. Likewise, and a sledding hill, as well as cross country tracts a large group when he leads the way,” the Thomas Darling Preserve is home to added Conrad. Sometimes to the delight skiing areas to add to the fun. some interesting animals that few people of children and adults alike, a scavenger

Cabin Fever Cure

Get the family outside this winter

C

get a chance to see such as snowshoe hares and river otters. To register for the walk call 570-643-7922. Leggiero is also founder of Sandcut Outdoors which features a variety of family friendly programs such as fire making, hug a tree, first aid, basic outdoor skills for primitive camping and more. “Most of my programs are geared toward getting people outside to learn about their surroundings. Here in Pennsylvania, we are blessed with millions of acres of public land and private land with public access, and my goal at Sandcut Outdoors is to give people a reason to explore that land because once they start to use it, they are more prone to keep using it,” he explains. Other events he offers include a Wilderness and Remote First Aid class in March especially for families of Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts or families that hunt in remote areas. Another, one of his favorite events, in April is a bird “listening” walk he performs for the PA DCNR. “On this walk we are not bird watching, we’re learning to identify birds by song or call,” he points out. Check out sandcutoutdoors.com for more information. Elk Mountain With a great variety of terrain for everyone in the family, Elk Mountain Ski Resort, is a great place to learn the family-friendly sport, says Bob Deluca, director of marketing and group sales at Elk Mountain. “We are not overcrowded with 180 acres of skiable terrain so even when there’s a large crowd, it’s spread out over a large area,” he adds. By providing a very family-friendly environment, generations of skiers continue to ski at Elk Moutnain. “We are not commercialized and we pay attention one-on-one to our guests,” stated DeLuca. Pocono Mountain Snow Tubing Why not pack that family in the car and head to one of six Pocono Mountain resorts that offers snow tubing? Appropriate for almost everyone, all you have to do is dress appropriately and get ready for some fun. Family size tubes are often available and make a great day outing. For more information and to check age and height requirements for each go to Blue Mountain Snow Tubing, Camelback Tubing, Shawnee Mountain, Jack Frost Big Boulder, Ski Big Bear, and White Lighting Tubing at Fernwood. Shawnee Mountain is conducting a special Military Appreciation Weekend on March 16 to 18, so make plans to go snow tubing with in the Pocono Mountains.

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espite what you may not have done right for your own children when it came to saving money, as a grandparent you want to make changes that will make your grandchildren’s future brighter, especially when it comes to the financial aspects. Teaching financial responsibility is a must for parents and grandparents alike, and children benefit greatly from the things they learn from both. A great way to start is the good old bank — it is satisfying for the child and fun especially with all the coin banks you can now purchase. Every time you find a coin or someone gives you one, put it in that piggy bank. Then head to the piggy bank when it is full. You used to head to the savings account you opened for them as a child, one that decades ago had earned interest on their funds, not so much any more. However, other options are available and can be found at your local bank or credit union. Obviously how to save money is the first thing to teach your child or grandchild. Whatever method you wish to use and works, is great, whether you reward them for chores with an “allowance” around the house or bring them to the supermarket and explain the difference between the $7 shampoo and the $35 shampoo. Do I need that expensive shampoo, or will the $7 one suffice? Are there sales or maybe coupons I can use? All these decisions teach your children to be better thinkers and spenders. Have your children set their sights on a goal. Who does not want that brand new building block set or Barbie doll? Talk to your children and let them know that if they are saving for something that it may take longer than a day, a week or a month. Let’s dash the immediate gratification getting to be all too common, and teach children to work for what they want not to have it handed to them. Have them set up a way to create excitement and a passion to achieve their goal with a list, picture or a chart. Children love to play games. In our family we turned to Monopoly and Life,

but also an eBay auction game and Pay Day were big hits and learning to spend was part of the game. When your children play money-oriented games, try to assimilate their choices with real life ones as well. Children catch on very quickly when you take the time to teach them. As they grow into teenagers, do not assume they know what to do with their money. Point them in directions that will earn interest on their saved money. Talk with them often and see what it is they plan to do with their money as they grow older. Before a trip to the mall depletes them of their hard-earned savings, explain to them the consequences of such. Remind them that college is not far off and can be very costly, but well worth the effort. Practice what you preach and, whether or not there is a best way to save money for the future of your children, the following are some plans that may pave the road to a smoother future for your child or grandchild. Some choices are: A Roth IRA is tax free, has very broad investment options and up to $5,500 a year can be contributed. A penalty will be incurred to withdraw for nonqualified reasons. A Coverdell, similar to the Roth, is also tax-free, you can contribute up to $2,000 a year with broad investment options. There is also a penalty to withdraw for non-education related expenses. There are 529 plans that have tax advantages of being a state tax deduction, are tax free, and have an unlimited amount of contributions limits but limited investment options. There is also a penalty to withdraw for non-education related expenses. The Uniform Gift to Minors Act (UGMA) and the Uniform Transfer to Minors Act (UTMA) has tax advantage distributions, unlimited contribution limits and investment options and no penalty to withdraw funds. Talk to your local financial planner if you have more in depth questions on how to invest in your children’s future.

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s ’ n e r d Chil s g n i n Begin

Why Making Time For Family Meals Is Important

F

amily meals are about much more than what is served for dinner. Research indicates that spending time together around the table as a family promotes a host of benefits. Family meals have been linked to improved communication skills, healthier bodies and even academic advantages for school-aged children. Harvard researchers conducted a long-term study to look at the effects of various components of family life to see which had the most profound impact on children’s development. When compared to story time, family events or even playtime, family dinners offered the most benefits. According to The Family Dinner Project, a nonprofit organization currently operating from the offices

of Project Zero at Harvard University, recent studies link regular family meals with the kinds of behaviors that parents desire for their children. These can include improved academic performance, high self-esteem, low risk of substance abuse, low risk of depression, reduced chances of teen pregnancy, low rates of obesity, and low likelihood of developing eating disorders. Even though scheduling conflicts can sometimes make family meals difficult, 59 percent of families report eating dinner together five times a week, according to the Importance of Family Dinner IV report. Including the above benefits, here are some more

reasons to gather around the dinner table four or more times a week. Designated family time: Family meals allow kids to count on spending time with their parents. Consider turning off all electronic devices and make dinner time all about conversation. Such discussions can improve cognitive skills and linguistic development. Decreased food pickiness: A 2000 survey from the Obesity Epidemiology and Prevention Program at Harvard Medical School found that kids between the ages of nine and 14 who ate dinner with their families ate more fruits and vegetables and therefore consumed higher amounts of many key

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nutrients. Family meals are a great opportunity to introduce new, healthy foods. Controlled portions: Eating at home can help curb calories, fat and salt consumption by giving families greater control over the ingredients in their meals. Discussed problems: Children who routinely eat with their parents may be more inclined to discuss problems that can, if hidden, develop into serious illnesses, such as depression or eating disorders. Curbed dangerous behaviors: Eating family dinners at least five times a week drastically lowers a teen’s chance of smoking, drinking and using drugs, according to Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children. Good grades: Twenty percent of children who eat with their family fewer than three times

a week get C’s or lower on their report cards, according to CASA. Only 9 percent of teens who eat frequently with their families do this poorly in school. Relieved stress: Adults benefit from family dinners, too. Sitting down to a meal can reduce

tension and strain among working parents. Family meals are important for a number of reasons. By understanding the benefits, families can increase their chances of sitting down together for food and conversation.

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ven though it’s winter, that doesn’t mean the sun can’t damage your skin. The cold weather, wind and sun can be brutal on the body’s largest organ. “The ultraviolet light that comes from the sun’s rays is what causes sunburn, skin damage and possibly skin cancer,” said Dr. Michael Brown, a family doctor with Commonwealth Health in Tunkhannock. “Just because it’s colder outside, doesn’t mean the sun stops making those rays.” And for those winter sports enthusiasts – skiers, snowboarders and those who enjoy a nice winter day — that UV light gets reflected off of the snow. “You can even be further exposed,” said Dr. Brown. He said it’s a good idea to take some sunscreen to exposed areas — both face and hands. Dr. Brown said if you’re noticing a lot of dry skin, you’re not alone. “In the winter, there’s a lot less humidity in the air,” he said. “And with everyone being inside, there’s a lot of dry heat, depending on what kind of heat you use to heat your home.” He recommended using a humidifier. “That will moisture to the air,” he said. For people like Bobby Morgan, a member of the National Ski Patrol, who spent many years as a patroller at Tanglewood Ski Area and Montage Mountain, he now is a Nordic patroller on the Upper Delaware within Prom-

iseland State Park. “It’s just part of our gear,” he said of the tubes of sunscreen he carries in his backpack. “Otherwise your face will just get torn up.” He said it’s not just the sun, but the wind that takes its toll. “Use a good sunscreen — an SPF of 15 with 30 being even better,” he said. “Just on your face before you head out so the skin has a chance to absorb it.” As someone who spends a lot of time outside, he said the reflection off the snow can be brutal. “Your face is a target,” he said. “The head is something you have to worry about, especially your nose,” adding that not only the reflection off the snow, but off the goggles, which many people wear while skiing or snowboarding. Morgan recommends something for your lips too. “Everybody has their favorite lip balm. Don’t be afraid to use it,” noting that as spring gets closer, the angle of the sun gets stronger. He said twice this season, he’s seen two cases of frostbite on skiers while getting on the ski lift. “It was on the tip of the nose,” he said, “and it was pretty obvious because we know what it looks like. And the other spot was on the goggle right where it pinched the skin and compromised the circulation.” He did say, however many people do a pretty good job covering up. “You do see the occasional skier who is just unaware of how dangerous it can be,” he said. “It’s not ignorance. They are just unaware.”

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FAMILY READS

For the Love of Books three bookstores (school libraries), with two employees (library assistants), with over 2,000 regular customers (faculty, staff and students) while teaching classes to numerous grades. We have extremely busy schedules where organization and the ability to multi-task are essential. So no, we do not read all day. books with little cards in little draw“The most important myth I would ers and a nearby librarian waiting to like to bust is that kids do not read anyassist. Those little cards were replaced more,” said Celeste Cali, librarian at with a user friendly search box within Lackawanna Trail School District. the online card catalog and encycloAlthough technology has an inpedias were replaced with electronic creasing presence in libraries, the cirdatabases. Today, school librarians culation of print books has not slowed provide invaluable support to teachers, down, especially amongst fiction and students and to the overall curriculum. biographies. Librarians are constantly Technology did not and cannot refinding books for students that match place libraries and librarians — quite their interests while hoping to instill a the opposite. Technology, specifically lifelong love of reading. the Internet, has given libraries and librarians a more important role “Why is instilling the love of within schools and the community. reading so important? Simply put, With the quantity of information while classroom teachers work tireavailable with one click, it’s more lessly with our students every day important than ever to teach informato teach the logistics of reading and tion literacy that promotes critical produce skilled readers, we are given thinking skills. Especially in this age the opportunity and resources to of “fake news,” students need to learn inspire our students to want to read, how to effectively identify sources whether for information or pleasure. and analyze information. In addition, We introduce children to all types plagiarism, which is addressed heavof quality literature that they would ily while teaching research, is an ever never have discovered on their own.” increasing problem with the ease of — Lynn Monelli, Scranton School “copy and paste.” Our responsibiliDistrict Librarian ties have increased dramatically with technological advances, but we love We are constantly promoting the our changing role within education. books on the shelves that students Yes, in addition to managing multimay pass by. Almost all of the World ple libraries (which alone is a full time War II books (nonfiction, historical job), we teach. School librarians are fiction and biographies) are currently highly trained educators with multiple checked-out in my one library simply degrees and teaching certificates. I because I pointed them out to my 6th realized a while ago that I earn more graders who are currently learning respect when I explain my profession about the war. An ongoing responsibilto others as … a district manager of

School Librarians: “So, what do you do?” “I don’t need acknowledgement from the school district or the general public to know that my job as a school librarian matters. All I need to do is look into the eyes of my students.” — Lynn Monelli, Scranton School District Librarian Did you know that during introductions, most librarians dread answering that question? Certainly not because we lack passion for our chosen occupation, but because it is one of the most misunderstood professions today. Some librarians try to avoid comments and follow-up questions by generalizing our profession as an educator, but that tends to lead down the same road. Here are the 3 most common responses: Do you read all day? Didn’t technology replace libraries? Wait, you teach? Perhaps the general public’s perspective of school libraries and librarians is based on their own personal experience when they attended school, but just like many other professions, we have and will continue to change with the times. Most may still think of a school library as a room that houses

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ity of a school librarian is making sure that the collection mirrors and supplements the curriculum. Dear parents, Does your child have library class? Do you know what he or she is learning and how the librarian assists them on a daily basis? Inquire with the librarian … they would love to hear from you. I love receiving emails from parents informing me of their child’s interests so I can direct them to books that interest them. Fact: school librarians increase student achievement. A study by Scholastic in 2016 called libraries “the largest classroom in the school,” and that “Schools with a school library staffed by a full-time certified teaching school librarian have a high impact on increasing student achievement regardless of socioeconomic or education levels of the community.” “If schools eliminate librarians and library curriculum, there are too many negative effects to list. The most devastating effect: there will be a noticeable decline in the number of students who are reading simply for enjoyment.”— Lynn Monelli, Please support HB 740 which requires that every child in a Pennsylvania public school have access to a certified librarian: saveschoollibrarians.org/pslahb740

Maria Voytko Maria Voytko is the K-12 District Librarian for Riverside School District in Taylor.


KEEPERS WITH CHRISTINA

Sausage and Pepper Soup

Creamy Cauliflower Soup

Soup-er Easy Suppers Creamy BLT Soup It seems that Old Man Winter has a firm grasp on NEPA. During these (All of these recipes are available at cold and blustery months, I turn to itisakeeper.com/nepafamilytimes) soups for an easy but filling supper. I like to try new flavors and go beSausage and Pepper Soup Ingredients yond the traditional chicken noodle 1 pound sweet Italian sausageor tomato bisque. casings removed Two of my favorites are Creamy 2 bell peppers, diced Cauliflower Soup and Sausage and 1 large onion, diced Pepper Soup. These can both be 1 (24 oz) jar roasted garlic spamade in 30 minutes which is perfect ghetti sauce for busy schedules. You can also 1 (14 oz) can diced tomatoes double the batch and freeze the 3 cups water extras for another meal. 3 cups chicken broth 8 oz pasta, I used rotini, but any Some of my other favorite soups are: small shaped pasta will work Stuffed Pepper Soup Fresh-grated Parmesan cheese Classic Italian Wedding Soup for garnish Cheeseburger Soup

Instructions Add sausage, peppers and onions to a large skillet. Cook until sausage is browned and cooked through, breaking up sausage into bite sized pieces. Add spaghetti sauce, water, chicken broth and uncooked pasta. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for 12 minutes. Serve with freshly-grated parmesan cheese. Creamy Cauliflower Soup Ingredients 4 cups vegetable broth 1 large head of cauliflower, chopped into florets 2 large potatoes, peeled and chopped 1 onion, chopped 2 carrots, peeled and chopped 2 cloves of garlic, chopped Salt and pepper to taste 1/4 cup milk

La Trattoria

Instructions Add the vegetable broth to a large pot. Add cauliflower, potatoes, carrots, onions, garlic and salt and pepper; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes or until vegetables are soft. Use an immersion blender or food processor to puree the soup to desired texture. Return soup to low heat and add almond milk; heat through. If you want to thin the soup, simply add more broth or milk.

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between father and newborn has as much to do with contact as involvement. Many first-time parents are understandably nervous about holding their newborns, who seem so fragile. But newborns benefit from being held, and Hill notes that a bond will develop between father and baby if there is physical contact.

Tips to help new fathers bond with their babies

T

he birth of a child is a momentous occasion in the lives of parents. First-time parents may be especially moved upon seeing the birth of their child, having never before witnessed something so profound. When the time comes for parents to leave the hospital and take their newborns home, new moms and dads take on different roles. Moms who are nursing or handling the bulk of the bottle-

feeding while spending a few months on maternity leave may appear to have more opportunities than fathers to bond with their new babies. But there are many ways for new dads to bond with newborns as well. n Hold your baby as often as possible. Pediatrician David Hill, author of the book “Between Us Dads: A Father’s Guide to Child Health,” says bonding

n Find ways to spend time together. Fathers might not be able to pitch in at feeding time if mothers are nursing. Because newborns spend so much time being nursed and sleeping, fathers may feel as though they don’t have much time to spend with their babies each day. But any time spent with a newborn can be a time for fathers to develop bonds with their children. Time spent changing diapers can prove to be a great time for fathers to bond with their newborns. Make eye contact with babies while changing their diapers, as Psych Central, an independent mental health social network run by mental health professionals, notes that babies have a preference for eye contact. n Spend alone time with your newborn. Fathers of newborns who are being nursed may feel like there is no

P

Changing parenting roles for dads 12

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arenting roles continue to evolve as families look for solutions that meet all of their needs. In an effort to meet the financial demands of raising a family, parents may be taking on less traditional roles. For example, many fathers are now stay-at-home dads. The number of stay-at-home fathers continues to climb. The Pew Research Center indicates that roughly 550,000 men have become full-time stay-athome parents in the previous 10 years. Economics have forced many couples to make less traditional decisions for their families. The National AtHome Dad Network says the stay-athome dad is a growing trend because men want to be more involved with their kids. The following factors may give families pause to consider swapping parental stereotypes in favor of stayat-home fathers. n Earning potential: Money is very often a factor in deciding that Mom will be the breadwinner and Dad will be the caregiver. In the event one par-

ideal time to spend alone with their children. But mothers, especially those who work and intend to keep breastfeeding after their maternity leave ends, can learn to use a breast milk pump so dads can bottle-feed. Learning to eat from a bottle will help babies in the long run, and dads can get some quality alone time with their newborns while bottle feeding. Fathers of babies who are bottle-fed can spend more time alone with their children, and give moms a muchneeded break, without the fear of having nothing to feed them should they get hungry while mom is away. n Help your baby fall back asleep. Nursing mothers may feel inclined to wake up with their newborns in the middle of the night and let dad keep sleeping. But babies are not necessarily waking up in the middle of the night due to hunger. Some might simply need to be comforted, and dads can comfort their children just like moms can, all the while strengthening their developing bond. New fathers can strengthen the bonds they have with their newborns in various ways. ent earns considerably more money than the other, and paying for childcare so both parents can work would be a detriment to the family, it can make sense to have the higher earner be the sole breadwinner. n Personalities: Some women simply see themselves thriving more in the workforce than as a primary caregiver at home, while some dads want to be home with their children and do not measure success in job titles or income. These scenarios make the stayat-home dad model more plausible. n Open-mindedness: If the situation does not affect the children, and grandparents and other supportive people in the kids’ lives are amenable to the idea, then accepting less traditional roles can be successful. Traditional family roles are increasingly falling by the wayside as both men and women put their families first and make decisions based on what’s best for all members of the family.


How youngsters can GO GREEN

Children often aspire to emulate their parents. Young boys who see their fathers shaving might reach for dad’s shaving cream, while young girls may find their way into mom’s closet in an effort to dress up like their mothers. Kids’ curiosity may be similarly piqued when they see their parents going green. Parents who reduce, reuse and recycle are setting positive examples for their kids, who may inquire about the ways they can follow suit. While going green might not seem like the most kid-friendly activity, there are myriad ways for parents to involve chil- oil, generate enormous amounts of dren in their efforts to live eco-friendly waste that ultimately end up in landlifestyles. fills. In addition, the transportation of such bottles from factories to store Donate clothing and toys shelves requires the burning of signifiChildren outgrow their clothing cant amounts of fossil fuels. Take kids pretty quickly. Rather than discarding along to the store to purchase their items kids can no longer wear, parents own reusable water bottle, explaining can take tots along to donation centers to them how they’re doing their part to or thrift stores to show them how their protect the planet by choosing reusable clothes can be reused. Use this as an bottles over bottled water. opportunity to teach kids how donating or recycling old items cuts down on the Visit the library need to use natural resources to creYoung children who love to read can ate new items. Do the same with toys, borrow books from the library rather which kids tend to outgrow almost as than asking mom and dad to purchase quickly as their clothing. their own copies at the bookstore. ExBike to school Stay-at-home parents, telecommuters or those who have time to escort their children to and from school can bike to school with their children. Teach them how biking in lieu of driving helps to conserve fuel and how such conservation benefits the planet. If biking is not an option due to weather or distance, parents can organize carpools, teaching kids how traveling together instead of individually helps to conserve fuel.

plain how borrowing cuts down on the need for paper, which helps preserve forests and reduce waste.

Spend more time in the great outdoors Many parents want their children to spend more time outdoors and less time on the couch playing video games or watching television. Parents can make an effort to spend more time outdoors with their children engaging in fun activities like hiking, camping or fishing. Such excursions can instill a love and appreciation for nature in Avoid plastic water bottles youngsters, and that love can compel Plastic water bottles might seem them to a lifetime of protecting the more convenient because they don’t planet and conserving its resources. need to be washed after using them, but Kids who want to follow their parthe environmental organization Clean ents’ example and go green can do so Up Australia notes that plastic bottles, in various ways, many of which are as many of which are derived from crude fun as they are eco-friendly.

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We’re All About Eyes! Everything from eye care to eyewear!

TODAY’S GRANDPARENT

Lessons Learned From Grannie

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had resigned and the program would not be offered. My wife came to the rescue and began randparents are a lot of things to their “Grannie Preschool” for the 4-year old, each grandkids. They’re playmates, lunch buddies, sleepover hosts and teachers. day part of our house became a classroom Never underestimate that teaching role. where the basics of education were offered in a structured and loving atmosphere. You play it every time you’re with the We like to think that start played a grandkids even if it’s unintentional. part in developing the honor student she They’re always watching, taking their has become. cues on life from you. And, in many cases, Now the challenge continues. The same that role is more important now than ever. granddaughter has obtained her driver’s It’s common to see both parents worklicense permit. And guess who’s giving ing these days so grandparents are often the lessons? Yep. It’s Grannie. the ones singing the ABC song or readI’m thinking it’s a little more stressful ing those “Golden books” to the kids. than teaching those ABC’s but it’s just as It’s an awesome responsibility as my structured and just as loving. The kind wife well knows. Some years ago our second-born grand of education we grandparents are best at daughter was a day away from beginning offering. Hope all your news is good. preschool when we learned the teacher

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REMINDER: Final 10 Week Session of the Youth Bowling Clubs begins Satt. Feb. 17, ages 5-18. March 3 kicks off our fourth 6 Week Session of the Dragon Rollers for ages 3-4. Try it out for yourself, bowling is always better with friends! Call Idle Hour Lanes or stop in.

Please follow our website and FB page for updates on our spring/summer events too.


Family Calendar New Stories on Saturday with Miss Alyvia, Saturdays, 11 a.m. Story time with books, songs, nursery rhymes and a craft. Older siblings permitted, but program is geared toward kids 18 months to 5 years. Register ahead at 570-654-9565, ext. 26. Pittston Memorial Library, 47 Broad St., Pittston. pittstonmemoriallibrary.org.. Building Club, Mondays, 4 - 5 p.m. Anyone ages 3 to 11 can free build with Legos or Lincoln Logs. Pittston Memorial Library, 47 Broad St., Pittston. 570-654-9565 or pittstonmemoriallibrary.org. Jim Thorpe WinterFest, Saturday, Feb. 17 through Sunday, Feb. 18. Train rides, family activities, special shopping, the famous Jim Thorpe Mug Walk and much more. Historic Jim Thorpe, Broadway and Susquehanna Street, Jim Thorpe. $15 mug walk. 570-325-5810 or jimthorpe. org. Clarks Summit Festival of Ice: The Wizarding World of Ice, through Monday, Feb. 19. Features more than 50 ice sculptures, live ice carving demonstrations, parade Friday night, entertainment, horse and carriage rides and more. Downtown Clarks Summit, Clarks Summit. theabingtons.org. Fireworks and Torch Light Parade, Saturday, Feb. 17, 5 - 9 p.m. Includes entertainment and giveaways. Parade begins at sunset and ends with pyromusical fireworks display. Montage Mountain Resorts, 1000 Montage Mountain Road, Scranton. 855-754-7946 or montagemountainresorts. com. Romping Radishes, Saturday, Feb. 17, 11 a.m.; Saturday, March 3, 11 a.m.; Saturday, March 17, 11 a.m.; Saturday, March 31, 11. The Cooperage, 1030 Main St., Honesdale. Free. 570-253-2020 or thecooperageproject.org. Tooth Fairy Day, Sunday, Feb. 18, 1:30 p.m. Meet the tooth fairy, face painting, storytelling, gifts. Nancy Kay Holmes Library, 1032 Green Ridge St., Scranton. Free. 570-207-0764. Safari Princess Gala, Sunday, Feb. 18, 5 - 7:30 p.m. Register by Feb. 9, 5 p.m. Wear formal attire. Doors open at 4 p.m. for pictures and check-in. Ages 3 - 14. Kalahari Resorts & Conventions, 250 Kalahari Blvd., Pocono Manor. $22. 570-629-0966 or hjparks. org. Preschool Story Time, Monday, Feb. 19 through Monday, April 2, Mondays, 1 - 2 p.m. For ages 3 to 5. Wyoming Free Library, 358 Wyoming Ave., Wyoming. 570-693-1364 or wyomingfreelibrary.org. Four Score and Seven Years Ago, Wednesday, Feb. 21, 10 a.m. F.M. Kirby

Center for the Performing Arts, 71 Public Square, Wilkes-Barre. Free. 570-826-1100 or kirbycenter.org. Teen Night: Learn How to Zentangle, Wednesday, Feb. 21, 6 - 7:30 p.m. Learn the easy-to-learn, relaxing way to created images by drawing structured patterns called tangles. Call to register. Osterhout Free Library, 71 S. Franklin St., WilkesBarre. 570-823-0156 or osterhout.lib.pa.us. Harlem Globetrotters, Saturday, Feb. 24, 2 p.m., 7 p.m. Experience the ball handling wizardry, basketball artistry and oneof-a-kind family entertainment. Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza, 255 Highland Park Blvd., Wilkes-Barre Twp. $15-$115, plus fees. 570-970-7600 or mohegansunarenapa.com. Crystal Cabin Fever, through Sunday, Feb. 25. Sculpted Ice Works, 311 Purdytown Turnpike, Lakeville. $15 adults/$10 children/$12 seniors and military/free for children 3 and younger. 570-226-6246 or sculptediceworks.com. Cardboard Box Sled Derby, Sunday, Feb. 25, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Team sledders compete in categories such as most people inside a sled or the most creative sled. Snow tubing party from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Registration required. Montage Mountain Resorts, 1000 Montage Mountain Road, Scranton. $30. 855-754-7946 or montagemountainresorts.com. Friends of the Scranton Public Library Book Sale, Tuesday, Feb. 27 through Friday, March 2, 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, March 3, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday, March 4, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Marketplace at Steamtown, 300 Lackawanna Ave., Scranton. $5 Fill a tote bag (Sunday only). 570-343-3400 or themarketplaceatsteamtown.com. Marvel Movie Madness, Wednesday, Feb. 28, 5:30 p.m. Screening of “Doctor Strange.” Light refreshments are provided. Open to teens, ages 12 to 18. Osterhout Free Library, 71 S. Franklin St., Wilkes-Barre. 570-823-0156 or osterhout.lib.pa.us. Teen Advisory Board (TAB), Wednesday, Feb. 28, 6:30 p.m.; Wednesday, March 28, 6:30 p.m. Young adults can become involved in the community and express their ideas for programming, book selections, etc. New members always welcome. Grades seven to 12. Carbondale Public Library, 5 N. Main St., Carbondale. 570-282-4281. Dr. Seuss Birthday Bash, Saturday, March 3, 1:30 p.m. Features stories, crafts, and a musical performance by the students of the Creative and Performing Arts Academy of NEPA. Registration required. Lackawanna County Children’s Library, 520 Vine St., Scranton. Free. 570-348-3015 or lclshome.org/childrenslibrary.

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