Legacycenter ycoct2014 issuu

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Rx Drug Abuse: Silent Epidemic


kids & stress: how to help


» Allowing the Gift of Failure » Sleep, Exercise, & Nutrition Tips » E-Cigarette Truths

Empowering generations of dreamers and innovators Dow Corning Corporation is proud to support The Legacy Center for Community Success and its mission to connect children, adolescents and families with opportunities to learn, thrive and succeed. Together, we can encourage and support those who will help lead us into the future. For more than 70 years, Dow Corning has helped our customers invent the future and has worked to promote the success of our friends, families, neighbors and employees. We’re harnessing our belief in the power of people and our passion for silicon-based technology to help solve some of the most important challenges facing our world. Learn more at dowcorning.com/community.

Dow Corning is a registered trademark of Dow Corning Corporation. We help you invent the future is a trademark of Dow Corning Corporation. Š2014 Dow Corning Corporation. All rights reserved. AV18912.



6 Helping Kids Deal with Stress 14 Allowing Our Children the Gift of Failure 16 E-Cigarettes: Gateway to Nicotine Addiction? 20 Ready, Set, Learn! 23 Rx Drug Abuse: The Silent Epidemic IN EVERY ISSUE

2 From the Director 5 The Kitchen Table 10 Faces in the Crowd 11 40 Developmental Assets 12 Assets in Action 18 Q&A and By the Numbers BROUGHT TO YOU BY


TO ADVERTISE OR CONTRIBUTE Barb Swierzbin: (989) 496-1425 bswierzbin@tlc4cs.org


Wandering Albatross Photography www.tlc4cs.org




October 2014


About the legacy center The Legacy Center for Community Success (TLC) was established in 2004 to identify outside-the-classroom barriers to learning and development and to collaborate with other organizations to provide interventions that allow all children, youth and families to flourish and thrive. TLC has five areas of focus: Literacy Services: We provide free and confidential tutoring in reading, spelling, math and English as a Second Language so that people of all ages can read their full potential. Early Childhood Development: Our Preschool Tool Totes are a cost-effective intervention designed to reduce the readiness gap experienced by many at-risk children when they enter kindergarten. Youth Development: We support initiatives and programs that ensure area youth excel and become productive members of society. TLC has adopted the concept of Developmental Assets, which we believe immunize youth against risk-taking behavior. TLC coordinates the activities of the Community Alliance 4 Youth Success, a group of local community leaders who are focused on preventing teen substance abuse. Healthy Families: Whether it’s developing parenting programs, working with youth-serving organizations to build Developmental Assets or adapting the concept of Developmental Assets for use with the senior population, we continue to focus on positive outcomes. Evaluation Services: Evaluation of program outcomes is one of our core competencies. While many organizations are proficient in assessing their activities, many are requesting assistance in understanding and measuring the benefits for participants in their programs both during and following program activities.

Follow us: The Legacy Center w w w.tlc4cs.org w w w.facebook.com/tlc4cs Community Alliance 4 Youth Success w w w.drugfreemidland.org w w w.facebook.com/ca4ys


October 2014





from the


elcome to our first issue of Youth Connections – a quarterly magazine for parents of 6th through 12th grade students in Midland, Mich. We hope the magazine will serve as a resource for parents who are looking for timely information and advice, as well as events and activities for their kids. The magazine is produced by The Legacy Center for jennifer Community Success in partnership with heronema Midland County public schools. Now let’s turn our attention to our first issue! As much as we love summer in Michigan, we also enjoy sending our kids back to school, arms full of school supplies, hoping for another successful year. But how often do we get a list of resources to help our kids be successful in life? Kids need to learn more than their ABCs and 123s to be successful, and this issue of Youth Connections has just that. We have an article that provides parents with advice on how to help kids deal with stress caused by school performance, bullying, fitting in, lack of sleep, and major life changes (page 6). Speaking of helping our kids – it is possible to “help” them too much. Part of learning about dealing with adversity is learning coping skills. By swooping in to fix every little problem, we are doing them a grave disservice (page 14). You, as a parent, play a crucial role in educating your child about the dangers of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs. We have two articles in this issue that are must reads: e-cigarette dangers (page 16) and prescription drug abuse (page 23). A new school year offers a fresh opportunity for kids to start off on the right foot – and parents too! Take advantage of that and encourage healthy eating, getting enough sleep and staying on top of homework (page 20). This issue is packed with helpful information, but we are always looking for article ideas, as well as examples of kids doing great things that we can highlight in Faces in the Crowd and Assets in Action. Please email me at jheronema@tlc4cs.org with your ideas. Here’s to a successful school year!

The Legacy center for Community success Jennifer Heronema, President/CEO (989) 496-1425 jheronema@tlc4cs.org 3200 James Savage Rd, Ste 5 Midland, MI 48642

Grace A. Dow Memorial Library “Teen Spot”


•Study •Meet friends •Popular teen fiction •Comfortable seating •Friendly, helpful staff •Computers for online homework help

2015 World’s Greatest Mardi Gras Feast Date: Time: Location:

February 17, 2015 6:00—8:30 p.m. Great Hall Banquet & Convention Center

Sample a selection of Mardi Gras-inspired entrees and desserts from the area’s finest chefs as the smooth sounds of jazz soothe your soul!

For programs and events, go to: www.cityofmidlandmi.gov/library

Proceeds benefit The Legacy Center for Community Success

Nature at Night October 24-25 6-8:30 pm FREE! Puppet show Stories in the wigwam Jack o’ lantern trail Nature Music Crafts • Activities Games • Treats

Fall Exploration Days

Winter Winter Exploration Solstice Days Celebration December 20January 4

November 26-30

MeMbers Only Fri, Dec 5 | 6-9 pm Mon-Sat 8 am-5 pm Mon-Sat 8 am-5 pm Public WelcOMe Sun & holidays Sun & holidays 12-5 pm 12-5 pm Sat, December 6

FREE Indoor Activities!

8 am-5 pm

Free admission!

FREE Indoor Activities!

December 20 6-8 pm FREE!

Roll a beeswax candle • Make an evergreen wreath • Make a small Yule log

Free vents! 400 S. Badour989.631.0830 Rd., Midland E g n i www.chippewanaturecenter.org Upcom www.tlc4cs.org




October 2014


Pharmacies cleared to collect unused, expired prescription drugs, but it will take time to implement Over the past five years, Midland County Law Enforcement, in conjunction with the Community Alliance 4 Youth Success, has collected more than 8,000 pounds of unused and expired prescription drugs. The drugs have been collected via the 24/7 drop box at the Law Enforcement Center and mobile Dump Your Drugs! events. Some local pharmacies also participate in the Yellow Jugs Old Drugs program sponsored by the Great Lakes Clean Water Organization. If not disposed of properly, these drugs may have ended up in the garbage, flushed down the toilet or, worse yet, in the hands of someone who would abuse them.

The new DEA rule appears to be a step in the right direction, but many questions remain. For example, who will pay for the storage receptacles and subsequent disposal of the drugs? And how will independently owned pharmacies manage security issues? In the meantime, residents can continue to dispose of their medications at the Law Enforcement Center drop box, Dump Your Drugs! events or pharmacies that participate in the Yellow Jug program.

Collecting and disposing of unused or expired prescription drugs is complicated, but recent efforts by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) to expand collection options could make it easier. Effective Oct. 9, 2014, retail pharmacies will be able to participate in mail-back programs and maintain collection receptacles.

CVS puts customer health ahead of profits CVS Health, the second largest pharmacy chain in the country, is officially tobacco free. As of Sept. 3, the chain stopped selling cigarettes and tobacco products at its 7,700 stores nationwide and launched a new smoking cessation campaign to help customers quit. CVS is the largest company to make such a move, which is estimated to cost the company more than $2 billion in annual revenue. Many people are saying that customers will purchase their cigarettes elsewhere, but that’s not necessarily the case.


October 2014





According to Troy Brennan, CVS Health’s executive vice president and chief medical officer, research shows that cities such as Boston and San Francisco—that ban retail stores with pharmacies from selling tobacco—have seen up to a 13 percent reduction in tobacco use. And, more importantly, it helps keep tobacco out of the hands of kids. Construction of CVS’s new Midland store is slated to begin in the next several weeks. The store will be located at the corner of Eastlawn and S. Saginaw roads on the south end of town.

confessions from The kitchen table

how I learned to embrace different veryone knows that no two children are the same — that’s easy — even for someone like me. To give you a little perspective, the first time I was left alone with a baby for more than a couple of hours was when I gave birth to my daughter. Even then, I put her diapers on backwards once or twice. But seriously, every parent knows that each of their children has different strengths and weaknesses and should be valued for those. I guess what surprised me is how far apart on the spectrum two children can be, and still come home each night to eat dinner at the same table. Or like my friend, have two girls from the same two parents and the kids seem to be polar opposites! When my second husband and I got married, we each brought one child to the relationship. My daughter was seven at the time, and my step-son was five. My daughter had always been an extremely social child. Every weekend involved birthday parties, sleepovers, and if possible, some kind of little kid team sport. Whether she was happy, sad, excited, or worried, it was no mystery. For good or bad, her relationships with her friends consumed her, and she would much rather nurture those

connections than focus her attention on such mundane activities as homework. My step-son, on the other hand, was and is, in all honesty, a genius. At any given time, that young man has more instantaneous access to knowledge than I could ever dream of possessing after a lifetime of learning. While his grades haven’t always been stellar, he has the ability to focus in so closely on a topic of interest to him that nothing else matters. That said, the inner workings of social situations often elude him. I recall one evening as my husband was trying to help my daughter work her way through a math problem, (I have a math deficiency, so I was keeping my head down) the boy child — who had finished the problem in his head minutes ago — commented that he couldn’t believe she didn’t get it and asked if she was stupid. Nurturer that I am, I took my youngsters under my wing and sat them down for a teachable moment. First and foremost, we never call anyone stupid. Why, you ask? Well, every person is good at some things, so everyone is smart in his or her own way. While my step-son may be able to calculate the square root of 2,564,763 in his head in mere seconds, my daughter can walk

into a room, identify a complete stranger who needs a friend, and warmly bring that individual into the group. Hmmmmm. I saw it in their eyes, if only for an instant. They got it. I’d like to say we never had that conversation again, and that both of them emerged from that situation with a perfect and enduring understanding of people’s differences. Nope. And I’d like to say that neither of them called the other stupid again. Not a chance. I guess we as parents need to take a page from this book as well. We can’t treat all our kids the same. We need to embrace their differences - and practice what we preach. Social situations can make my step-son cringe so I can’t be surprised if he’s not jumping up and down to attend parties. He may, however, leap at the chance to attend a science camp, whereas my daughter would rather fall on a fork than be subjected to that torture. But maybe that’s the key — little life lessons every day. A childhood filled with gentle reminders (for all of us) that everyone is different, and that isn’t a bad thing. Don’t expect an epiphany. Expect the development of knowledge, acceptance, and eventually, a better community for it. ■

You can submit your story to: jheronema@tlc4cs.org For many of us the kitchen table represents the typical family experience. We have laughed while having family game night. We have cried over our children’s choices. We have blown out the candles on many cakes. We have argued our way out of doing the dishes. We have struggled through those “three more bites.” We have learned hard lessons and celebrated many deserved successes. One thing is for sure though – if our kitchen tables could talk, there would be plenty of stories! So often it is in relating to others’ stories that we realize there isn’t always one answer, or even a right answer. Parenting is hard work! If you have a story of lessons learned, we invite you to share it with our readers. Sometimes, knowing we aren’t the only ones struggling to find the answer is all the help we need.





October 2014


helping kids By Heidi Palmquist-Scanlon, LCPC




As another school year begins, it is important to consider the causes of stress for our kids, its symptoms and how we as parents and caregivers can help reduce and alleviate it and help our kids know when to access

their “off” switch.

hen I ask people to describe an image of “stressed out,” most often they describe versions of an adult multitasking, trying to meet a deadline and keep up with family events. Too often, we as parents overlook the possibility of our own children and teens experiencing a similar level of stress. Because children exhibit the symptoms of stress in different ways than adults, their level of stress may go unnoticed or be brushed off as a tantrum, grumpiness or teenage hormones. Stress, a normal reaction of our body, is triggered when we meet situations that we may find challenging, exciting, uncomfortable, or out of the ordinary. While stress is not always negative and can actually help us perform in certain situations, it can also become overwhelming and lead to mental and emotional issues if there is an inability to cope with these situations. At times, we may be quick to assume that today’s children live perhaps a care-free life as many of us may have been fortunate to experience during our childhood. While many parents work hard to create this care-free environment for their children, the fact is that the environment in which our children are living is different from the one in which we grew up. While some stress that our kids experience is brought on by school, friends, homework, divorced/separated families and hormones (just as it was decades ago), kids today have additional issues such as social media/technology, worrisome issues in world news, and the constant pressure to excel. The steady stream of information pouring in throughout the day (and sometimes night) delivered by technology such as phones, television, electronic games, iPods and social media can trigger stress in some cases. While technology creates wonderful access to learning, it can also serve as a “petri dish” for stress to develop and grow if not monitored by a caring adult. continued on page 9



October 2014


“To the world you may be one person, but to one person, you may be the world.” JOSEPHINE BILLINGS

GIVE. ADVOCATE. VOLUNTEER. unitedwaymidland.org

United Way of Midland County



If you are thinking about suicide, talk to someone or call for help or call a crisis hotline. Locally call: (989) 631-2320 Nationally call: 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or go online to www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org When it seems like there’s no hope, there is help!


CRISIS HOTLINE: 800-317-0708 8

October 2014





continued from page 7

As humans, we have the innate ability to access an “on/off ” switch which allows us to be in “thinking/working” mode or “relaxing/decompressing” mode. Before technology became such a huge factor, we found it easier to “turn off ” after school and allow our brains to relax. We would take the time to go outside to play or hang out with the next door neighbor. If we needed to make a call, we would wait for our turn to use the one phone in the house and probably have a time limit if our sibling or parent needed to use it. We may have helped make dinner or have gone to our room to read a book. During these hours, we were “turned off,” allowing our brains to relax. For many, a great deal of time after school is spent texting friends, watching TV, playing electronic games and Facebooking friends, (many of these are done simultaneously). For kids who fall into this category, their brains are turned to “on” and are not resting. In addition, not all of these interactions present positive interaction. For example, having a friend ignore a text or seeing a rumor being spread on Facebook can cause a kid’s stress level to go up. Some are not able to turn their device off to give themselves a break from the negativity, or they lack the motivation to say, “Hey, it’s time for me to take five and decompress.” When the brain is turned on for so many hours of the day, it is difficult to relax and experience downtime. This is when stress and anxiety can begin setting in. While technology and social media contribute to stress, there are other causes that can affect kids too. There are many events going on in the world that can cause worry and confusion in kids such as natural disasters, terrorism, and war. If viewing these events are not being monitored by a parent for age appropriateness or discussed with an adult in order to help create an understanding and sense of security, stress can develop and reach an unhealthy level. For many kids, there is a pressure to perform both academically and athletically. We live in a world where there is a constant need to compete for trophies, scholarships and positions on teams. For some kids, high expectations of themselves can create a great deal of anxiety. Some have difficulty when they experience losing to another team, getting a poor grade on a test, or not getting into the college they had hoped. While these situations are very disappointing, not all kids cope with disappointment as well as others and they become very distraught or anxious. How can we, as adults, help our kids manage stress? As adults, we are key figures in recognizing, addressing and helping our kids cope with stress. As parents, it can be a daunting task to determine when our child is experiencing normal developmental

hurdles, and when they are experiencing stress overload. With anxiety and depressive disorders on the rise, having some warning signs to look for can be helpful. WHAT ARE THE MAJOR CAUSES OF STRESS FOR KIDS TODAY? » Major life change or life events that affect those around them (death, divorce, new school, new family member, family finances)

» Bullying » School performance » Body image/feelings of inadequacy » Peer pressure/dating » Too many activities; not enough down time

» Lack of sleep/nutrition If you believe that any of these causes of stress are affecting your child, see if you can help reduce the cause. For instance, if you believe that something in the news is triggering fear in a young child, simply turn the TV off, and catch the late night news after they are in bed. If your teen is not getting enough sleep, revisit the time they are required to have homework completed and be in bed with electronics off. WHAT ARE THE WARNING SIGNS OF STRESS? » Excessive sleep or inability to sleep that goes on for several days/weeks

» Social isolation » Change in eating habits » Acting out and bedwetting (younger kids)

» Physical complaints (stomach aches/ headaches)

» Avoiding school/activities

3. Set and enforce regular bedtimes (yes, even for teenagers). Studies show that 10 hours of sleep for our kids’ and adolescents’ busy brains is necessary. 4. Require that all electronics be turned off during sleeping hours. Ask kids/teens to place gaming devices, phones, iPods, iPads, laptops, etc. in the kitchen, parents’ bedroom, or elsewhere at a specified time each evening to avoid the temptation of using them when they should be sleeping. 5. Limit activities to some degree. If your child/tween/teen is feeling overwhelmed and complaining that they don’t have time to complete tasks, relax or sleep, it may be time to step in and help them arrange their schedule and limit some activities. Monitor the time spent on electronic games, phones, TV and social media. 6. Take time to relax and laugh with your child. Model “downtime” or the “off switch” for them. This can be done through relaxing activities such as taking a walk, working on a project together, or even taking long, deep breaths. 7. Access help. If your child exhibits several warning signs of stress and does not seem to be improving, make an appointment with your child’s doctor and/or a counselor to address your child’s needs. WHAT CAN KIDS/TEENS DO TO ALLEVIATE THEIR OWN STRESS? » Talk to a caring adult

» Go for a walk or run » Journal, draw, paint, or play an instrument

» Take a long, hot bath or shower » Take long, deep breaths (inhaling

slowly through nose, exhaling slowly through mouth)

» Decline in grades

» Watch a comedy or uplifting movie

WHAT CAN I DO TO HELP? 1. Be available and listen, listen, listen. Try not to judge or be too quick to give advice and “fix” things for them. Many kids just need to be heard and have their feelings validated.

» Read a book or listen to relaxing music

2. Be involved; support and show interest in activities they enjoy! Consider several family dinners per week. Turn phones/TV off during this time. Consider monitoring the amount of time they spend on electronic devices as well as what they are doing on these devices. If your son/daughter is going to have a Facebook account, require that you are “friends” with them to help monitor their activity and see with whom they are exchanging information.

There is hope! In spite of some of the negatives we hear in the news, the constant drive for success, and social media kids are surrounded by today, there is a great deal of assistance available to help all of us identify positive approaches to stress as we encounter some of the negatives. Approaching the obvious signs of stress and talking about it with our kids is essential. Accessing support outside of the family through a doctor, counselor or clergy can make the difference for your child. Listening and empathizing with our children let them know that we care! ■ www.tlc4cs.org




October 2014


Check out who’s standing out in our community. IS THERE SOMEONE YOU’D LIKE TO NOMINATE? Please email Kaitlyn Pake at kpake@tlc4cs.org and tell us why this individual has stood out in your crowd.

Luis Springer


northeast middle school, 7th grade

Luis came to the United States from Guatemala at the age of seven. His smile, outgoing character and love for people have helped him transition easily into the American culture. He loves music and is a talented percussionist. Luis plays the drums and the marimba, and he has been performing with the Resonators for three years. He also is interested in hip-hop and has seen his favorite group, the Jabbawockeez, an eight-member, all male, hip-hop dance crew, perform live. Luis participates in the ROCK Center for Youth Development’s after school program at Northeast Middle School.

Meredith Donnelly

jefferson Middle School, 8th grade

Meredith’s life was turned upside down back in June when she was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Surgery followed a week later, and she did so well that she was able to leave University of Michigan Mott Children’s hospital only three days after major surgery. She was blessed with a speedy recovery. She found out the great news that the tumor was benign, and no further surgeries or treatments were needed. Since this major life event, Meredith has been more willing to try new things and to live her life to the fullest!

Seth Lane

bullock creek High school, 12th grade

Seth is dual-enrolled at Bullock Creek High School and Delta College. He is currently taking German and psychology at the college level and aspires to be a psychologist. Seth has been involved with Boy Scouts since he was in first grade and has been involved with the Bullock Creek Community Theatre. He has a huge heart, which shows in his volunteer efforts for others. He is a huge fan of the BBC show Dr. Who! Our friends at the ROCK said that no matter where Seth ends up, he will be doing some amazing things!

Jennifer Brown


Jennifer works hard to develop positive relationships with students in the Bullock Creek Community and beyond. Her love for kids is evident as she makes every effort to help guide students and their families when making educational and life choices. Her support extends beyond the classroom, as she volunteers for many activities that benefit kids in the community. She leads a group of high school students called Creekers for a Cause, whose goal is to raise money for a local cause. In all of this, Jennifer has worked hard to make a difference in the lives of kids and has developed some great relationships along the way.

The ROCK Center for Youth Development

We’d like to give a shout out to our friends at the ROCK Center for Youth Development, now located at the Midland Community Center. The ROCK is constantly evolving to meet the needs of Midland youth. Through ROCK Grounded (after school), ROCK Exposure (classroom-based) and ROCK Unplugged (after hours activities and events), the ROCK is building Developmental Assets, teaching tangible life skills, instilling confidence and a sense of belonging, and encouraging healthy life choices and relationships. One teen enrolled in the classroom-based ROCK Exposure program said, “I learned a lot. It taught me leadership skills, more about respect, responsibility and others.” Thank you ROCK staff for making a difference in the lives of our local youth!


October 2014





Know where to turn. We are here to help. www.prcmidland.org 835-1500 4818 N. Saginaw, Midland


The Midland County Health Department offers a variety of health-related services, including the flu vaccination, travel vaccinations, hearing and vision screening and other services. To schedule an appointment, call the following numbers: Immunization Clinic (all ages)··············832-6655 Vision & Hearing Screening (3-18)·······832-6673 General Information····························832-6380 Sliding fee scale

Visit the website for more information about the 2014 Flu Clinics:


40 developmental assets


40 Developmental Assets are essential qualities of life that help young people thrive, do well in school, and avoid risky behavior. The Legacy Center utilizes the 40 Developmental Assets Framework to guide the work we do in promoting positive youth development. The 40 Assets model was developed by the Minneapolis-based Search Institute based on extensive research. Just as we are coached to diversify our financial assets so that all our eggs are not in one basket, the strength that the 40 Assets model can build in our youth comes through diversity. In a nutshell, the more of the 40 Assets youth possess, the more likely they are to exhibit positive behaviors and attitudes (such as good health and school success) and the less likely they are to exhibit risky behaviors (such as drug use and promiscuity). It’s that simple: if we want to empower and protect our children, building the 40 Assets in our youth is a great way to start. Look over the list of Assets on the following page and think about what Assets may be lacking in our community and what Assets you can help build in our young people. Do what you can do with the knowledge that even through helping build one asset in one child, you are increasing the chances that child will grow up safe and successful. Through our combined efforts, we will continue to be a place where Great Kids Make Great Communities.

Turn the page to learn more! www.tlc4cs.org




October 2014


assets in action


14 Support

1. Family support: Family life provides high levels of love and support. 2. Positive family communication: Young person and her or his parent(s) communicate positively, and young person is willing to seek advice and counsel from parent(s). 3. Other adult relationships: Young person receives support from three or more nonparent adults. 4. Caring neighborhood: Young person experiences caring neighbors. 5. Caring school climate: School provides a caring, encouraging environment. 6. Parent involvement in school: Parent(s) are actively involved in helping young person succeed in school.

Dow High School principal takes the ALS Challenge



Friends offer encouragement on the rock wall

7. Community values youth: Young person perceives that adults in the community value youth. 8. Youth as resources: Young people are given useful roles in the community. 9. Service to others: Young person serves in the community one hour or more per week. 10. Safety: Young person feels safe at home, at school, and in the neighborhood.

Boundaries & Expectations Swimmer in the Tri-City Kids Triathlon



11. Family boundaries: Family has clear rules and consequences and monitors the young person’s whereabouts. 12. School boundaries: School provides clear rules and consequences. 13. Neighborhood boundaries: Neighbors take responsibility for monitoring young people’s behavior. 14. Adult role models: Parent(s) and other adults model positive, responsible behavior. 15. Positive peer influence: Young person’s best friends model responsible behavior. 16. High expectations: Both parent(s) and teachers encourage the young person to do well.

Constructive Use of Time

Bullock Creek High School Challenge Day activities


October 2014





17. Creative activities: Young person spends three or more hours per week in lessons or practice in music, theater, or other arts. 18. Youth programs: Young person spends three or more hours per week in sports, clubs, or organizations at school and/or in the community. 19. Religious community: Young person spends one or more hours per week in activities in a religious institution. 20. Time at home: Young person is out with friends “with nothing special to do” two or fewer nights per week.

If you or your child would like to submit a picture that represents one of the 40 Developmental Assets, please email Kaitlyn Pake at kpake@tlc4cs.org with a picture and the number of the asset the picture represents.

Not all pictures are guaranteed publication.

38 Commitment to Learning

21. Achievement motivation: Young person is motivated to do well in school. 22. School engagement: Young person is actively engaged in learning. 23. Homework: Young person reports doing at least one hour of homework every school day. 24. Bonding to school: Young person cares about her or his school. 25. Reading for pleasure: Young person reads for pleasure three or more hours per week.

U-12 girls take championship at the 2014 Fusion Invitational Soccer Tournament

Positive Values

26. Caring: Young person places high value on helping other people. 27. Equality and social justice: Young person places high value on promoting equality and reducing hunger and poverty. 28. Integrity: Young person acts on convictions and stands up for her or his beliefs. 29. Honesty: Young person “tells the truth even when it is not easy.” 30. Responsibility: Young person accepts and takes personal responsibility. 31. Restraint: Young person believes it is important not to be sexually active or to use alcohol or other drugs.


Back-2-School Prayer at Midland Community Stadium

Social Competencies

32. Planning and decision making: Young person knows how to plan ahead and make choices. 33. Interpersonal competence: Young person has empathy, sensitivity, and friendship skills. 34. Cultural competence: Young person has knowledge of and comfort with people of different cultural/racial/ethnic backgrounds. 35. Resistance skills: Young person can resist negative peer pressure and dangerous situations. 36. Peaceful conflict resolution: Young person seeks to resolve conflict nonviolently.

Girls On the Run at the Dow Run/Walk


Positive Identity

37. Personal power: Young person feels he or she has control over “things that happen to me.” 38. Self-esteem: Young person reports having a high self-esteem. 39. Sense of purpose: Young person reports that “my life has a purpose.” 40. Positive view of personal future: Young person is optimistic about her or his personal future.

Midland Youth Law Enforcement Academy workout

15 www.tlc4cs.org




October 2014


By Kathleen Gazy, CLC, Parent Educator

an you imagine actually hoping that your child will make mistakes? Have you thought about being glad when your children make poor choices? Do you have a tendency to rush in during these moments and “over parent,” determined to save your child from even the tiniest failure? One of the greatest barriers to our children’s successes is our own fear of their failures, but what if we did begin to think of these failures as a gift? Learning to embrace this way of thinking can help us to let go of overprotective tendencies. When we can watch our children experience these life lesson opportunities, and respond with empathy if they do fail, our kids learn that a successful life is facing and walking through the natural consequences of their choices. There have been numerous studies about the issue of over parenting. These are parents who don’t allow their children to make any choices on their own, and attempt to protect their children from real and potential consequences. One study done at Queensland University of Technology by Judith Locke characterized over parenting as a “misguided attempt to improve [a] child’s current and future personal and academic success.” Some examples of over parenting from the Queensland study included:

» Cutting up a 10 year old’s food. » Bringing a separate plate of food for a 16-year-old to a party as he is a picky eater.

» Not allowing an older child to use

public transportation, attend a school camp, or learn to drive.


October 2014





» Carrying a child instead of allowing him to walk.

» Parents fighting for the child to have what they want rather than tough it out and face the consequences.

» Monitoring an adolescent child who

is hanging out at a coffee shop, not leaving the teen with any autonomy.

» Preventing the child from problem

solving by racing to his rescue, and never allowing for failure or struggle.

» Rushing to school at the whim of a

phone call from their child to deliver items such as forgotten lunches, assignments, or uniforms, etc.

» Coming to a student’s locker to check on whether a daughter has all she needs to take home in the afternoon.

» Do student’s homework for them. These parents have a habit of stepping in and taking control of situations in order to help their children avoid difficulties. Ultimately, what over parenting succeeds in doing as these parents step in to save kids from their mistakes, is to undermine their children’s own sense of independence and destroy their self confidence. Wise parents understand that children who are allowed to learn from mistakes while they are still at home will be less likely to make terrible mistakes later on. These parents are allowing their children to learn healthy decision making skills through real life consequences. Jim and Charles Fay, co-founder and president, respectively, of Love and Logic Institute have been teaching these ideas for decades. Although they have many parenting

techniques, Love and Logic basically teaches these two rules: 1. Set firm limits in loving ways without anger, lecture, or threats. 2. When a child’s choice causes a problem, the adult hands the problem back to the child in loving ways. Their premise is simple: “Children learn the best lessons when they’re given a task, allowed to make their own choices, and given the opportunity to fail.” Love and Logic further challenges parents by actually asking them to look forward to their children’s mistakes, and even be excited when this happens. Giving our children choices and allowing them to have the opportunity to fail can be a win-win situation. If their choices are successful, wonderful! We want our children to experience many successes in life and have the satisfaction of knowing that the success came from their own efforts. If they fail, Love and Logic reminds us that it’s okay. Their failure is taking place while the children are young and still living in the home and when the cost of the failure is still small, coupled with love and empathy from their parents. When we take away the fear of failure, we create a fundamental change in our approach to parenting. If we see our children’s mistakes and failures as opportunities for learning rather than something to be mad or embarrassed about, this can take enormous pressure off of parenting. This new way of thinking may even open us up to the possibility that parenting our kids through difficult times can actually be kind of satisfying. Maybe even fun! That is a gift for everyone. ■

When we take away the fear of failure, we create a fundamental change in our approach to parenting. youthconnectionscoalition.org




June 2014




to Nicotine

Addiction for Youth? By Katie wagner, Health Educator

As a parent, you play a crucial role in educating your children about the dangers of using tobacco. But what should you tell them about products that contain nicotine but aren’t tobacco – like electronic cigarettes?

-cigs, as they’re often called, are a controversial topic these days. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) hasn’t determined yet whether they’re safe to use, but that hasn’t stopped the tobacco industry from marketing them aggressively. These ads often appear to target young people, who may not have the maturity to make wise decisions about their health. That’s why it’s important for you to learn more about the safety, health impacts, and marketing practices surrounding electronic cigarettes – and to share that information with your kids. What’s an E-Cig? While e-cigs often look like cigarettes, there are distinct differences. E-cigs contain a cartridge of liquid nicotine that’s often flavored to make it more appealing. One part of the e-cig contains a heating coil, called an atomizer, that heats the nicotine liquid, or “e-juice,” to its boiling point. This turns it into a vapor that e-cig users “smoke.” That’s why some people refer to the use of e-cigarettes as “vaping.” Big tobacco companies are marketing e-cigs as a tool to help people quit smoking – and consumers are buying the sales pitch. Sales of e-cigs have

increased significantly since 2011, as more and more people try to give up their unhealthy smoking habit. Marketing e-cigs as harm reduction or cessation devices is a smart sales move, but is it true? Completely Unregulated Since the FDA hasn’t yet approved the use of e-cigs, they’re completely unregulated. As a result, researchers have found a big difference in the amount of nicotine from cartridge to cartridge and brand to brand. This makes it hard for users to gauge just how much nicotine they’re actually inhaling. So while the tobacco industry advertises e-cigs as cessation devices, the opposite may be true. Nicotine is a very addictive drug, and e-cigs could serve as a gateway to a lifetime of nicotine addiction and to the use of other tobacco products. According to the Federal Trade Commission, the tobacco industry currently spends $8.8 billion advertising its products in the United States every year, This equals about a million tobacco advertising dollars spent every hour! Although there are strict federal regulations banning tobacco advertising in the media, there are no

such prohibitions against advertising e-cigs. There’s also no federal age restriction on who can buy e-cigs, although individual states and stores can set their own restrictions. Some states, like California, have prohibited their sale to minors, but youth can simply buy them over the internet instead. So, theoretically, a fiveyear-old could buy an e-cig. And tobacco companies appear to be luring youth with bright-colored packaging and candy-flavored products like Gummy Bear, Cotton Candy, and Cookies and Cream. Young people were bombarded with 256 percent more e-cig advertising in 2013 than in 2011, according to RTI International, an independent, nonprofit institute that provides research, development, and technical services. The popularity of e-cigs among middle- and high-schoolers doubled from 2011 to 2012. Easy Access The combination of easy access and uncontrolled nicotine content make e-cigs especially dangerous for children and youth. A deadly dose of nicotine for adults is around 60 milligrams, but the lethal dose for children is much lower. Nicotine cartridges for


e-cigs typically contain 18-24 milligrams – enough to poison a child. Poison centers are reporting an uptick in calls about exposures to e-cigarette devices and liquid nicotine. Slightly more than half of them have involved children under the age of 6 who inhaled, ate, or simply touched the products. Some of these children became very ill, mostly with nausea and vomiting, according to the American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC). Some even required emergency room visits. The AAPCC recommends that e-cigs and liquid nicotine should always be locked up and out of the reach of children. If you think someone has been exposed, call your local poison center at 1-800-222-1222 immediately. So be savvy about the products your kids are using. Until the FDA fully researches e-cigs, any claims about them being tools to quit smoking or reduce its harm are not backed by science. Researchers simply don’t know enough about them right now to confirm whether they have any positive uses. One thing we do know for sure is that youth are a primary target of e-cig marketing. They’re also the ones most likely to suffer harmful effects from their use. ■




October 2014


BY THE Q. When should we start looking for


scholarships and how do we find them?


A. Scholarship deadlines arrive quicker than you think, so

students should get started soon in their search for some muchneeded cash for class. Visit with your guidance counselor and contact the financial aid office at the schools you want to attend. (About 90 percent of scholarships are awarded locally and at the schools that students attend.) Search websites including your college financial aid office website or office, FastWeb.com, scholarships.com or Collegeboard. com to find scholarships for which you might qualify. Remember, scholarships aren’t just available to students with the greatest financial need. Some scholarships are available to students based on academic success, athletics or volunteer efforts. Identifying scholarships now gives you time to ask coaches, teachers, and others for letters of recommendation. Plus, you won’t be rushed to complete application forms, write essays (if required), and put your best effort to obtain money to help pay for school. Pay close attention to deadlines — don’t waste your time preparing applications for scholarships that are passed deadline, and don’t miss out on scholarships with deadlines that are looming. Many scholarship committees place a lot of emphasis on the essays that accompany scholarship applications. Keep the following in mind:

The number of eyelids camels have to help protect themselves from sand blowing in their eyes. www.buzzfeed.com/adamdavis/useless-facts


The number of types of cheese in the world. www.uselessfacts.net

1 in 15

The number of people who take prescription pain relievers for non-medical reasons and will try heroin within 10 years.

» Grammar and spelling matter. » Promote yourself by talking about extra-curricular activities and paid or volunteer jobs.


» Share your personality and creativity through your essay to set your application apart from others.

» Be enthusiastic about the scholarship for which you are apply-

ing and explain how receiving it will help you achieve your goals.

» Ask for help. Have a teacher, parent or friend edit and critique your application.

» Follow up. Make sure your application was received, and ask if additional information is required.

When applying for scholarships, it’s important to remember that there are no “guaranteed” scholarships and that legitimate organizations don’t charge a fee to apply. Once you are notified that you have received a scholarship, accept it in order to assure those funds are reserved for you. Should you decide to attend a different school at which certain scholarships don’t apply, notify the other schools promptly so that they can free up that financial aid for other students in need. Finally, remember to extend your gratitude for the investment in your academic future by sending a thank-you note. Donors enjoy hearing from students and learning how their scholarship funds are making a difference.

Have a question?

email: jheronema@tlc4cs.org We cannot guarantee all questions will be published; however, we will do our best to respond to all questions submitted.


October 2014






The number of meanings the verb “run” is calculated to have./www.buzzfeed.com/adamdavis/useless-facts


The number of knives, forks and spoons in the White House! www.uselessfacts.net/interesting-facts

1 million to 1 The amount by which Insects outnumber humans. www.uselessfacts.net






Since you first held that tiny bundle in your arms, you’ve wanted to protect your child from harm. Why stop now? Misuse of alcohol and controlled substances could harm your child’s health, impair judgment and even lead to criminal charges. The time to intervene is


Call today to schedule a free, one-on-one evaluation. 989∙832∙6855

A substance use evaluation & treatment program for Midland County youth


November 14 • 7:30 pm Little Theatre

Be entertained and be part of something special with hauntingly beautiful folkfusion music from Southwestern China. Tickets: $15

mcfta.org 800-523-7649 989-631-8250 Locally sponsored by


Support provided by A PROGRAM OF





October 2014



learn! Kickstart a successful school year with easy-to-implement tips for proper sleep, nutrition, and exercise. 20

June 2014




By kathy boutilier, rn, BSN



Sleep is food for the brain. During sleep, important body functions and brain activity occur. It’s similar to when you conduct a backup on your computer. Skipping sleep can be harmful — even deadly, particularly behind the wheel. It can cause moodiness and reduced performance. Sleepiness can make it hard to get along with family and friends. It can hurt scores on school exams, on the court or on the field. No pills, vitamins or drinks can replace good sleep. Adequate sleep: » Improves memory. Sleep strengthens the connections that form our memories.

» Improves the heart. Lack of sleep will increase calcium build up in the heart arteries, increasing the chance of heart disease.

» Decreases depression. When we go to sleep and whenever our

body is relaxed it releases hormones that help eliminate the stress hormone, making us happier. A lack of sleep puts our body in a stress mode.

» Increases creativity. With the memory at its peak, the mind restored, and the hormones all balanced, we have healthier imaginations.

» Supports weight loss. Lack of sleep creates a lack of the hormone

leptin, which tells us when to stop eating. The hunger hormone is then stimulated, and tells us we’re hungrier than we are.

» Makes you healthy. The immune system relies on sleep to regain strength to fight against the next day’s toxins. With a sluggish immune system, our guard is down to fight germs.

Five to twelve year olds need 10-11 hours of sleep a night. Sleep problems and disorders are prevalent at this age. Poor or inadequate sleep can lead to mood swings, behavioral problems such as ADHD, and cognitive problems that impact their ability to learn in school. tips for parents:

» Teach school-aged children about healthy sleep habits. » Continue to emphasize need for regular and consistent sleep schedule and bedtime routine.

» Make child’s bedroom conducive to sleep – dark, cool and quiet.

» Keep TV and computers out of the bedroom. » Avoid caffeine. Teenagers need 9.25 hours of sleep each night to function best. Teens tend to have irregular sleep patterns across the week, staying up late and sleeping in late on the weekends, which can affect their biological clocks and hurt their quality of sleep. Lack of sleep limits their ability to learn, listen, concentrate and solve problems. If they are an athlete, sleep is even more vital. Lack of sleep makes teens more prone to pimples, and leads to aggressive or inappropriate behavior toward family, friends, teachers and coaches.


A healthy diet helps children grow and learn. It also helps prevent obesity and weight-related diseases, such as diabetes. To give your child a nutritious diet:

» Make half of what is on his/her plate fruits and vegetables. » Choose healthy sources of protein, like lean meat, nuts, and eggs.

» Serve whole-grain breads and cereals because they are high in fiber. Reduce refined grains.

» Broil, grill, or steam foods instead of frying. » Limit fast food and junk food. » Offer water or milk instead of sugary fruit drinks and sodas. Consider these nutrient-dense foods: » Protein. Choose seafood, lean meat and poultry, eggs, beans, peas, soy products, and unsalted nuts and seeds.

» Fruits. Encourage a variety of fresh, canned, frozen or dried fruits — rather than fruit juice. If your child drinks juice, make sure it’s 100% juice and limit his/her servings.

» Vegetables. Serve a variety of fresh, canned or frozen vegetables — especially dark green, red and orange vegetables, beans and peas.

» Grains. Choose whole grains, such as whole-wheat bread, oatmeal, popcorn, quinoa, or brown or wild rice.

» Dairy. Encourage your child to eat and drink fat-free or low-fat dairy products, such as milk, yogurt, cheese or fortified soy beverages.

Aim to limit your child’s calories from solid fats and added sugar, such as butter, cake and soda. Look for ways to replace solid fats with vegetable and nut oils, which provide essential fatty acids and vitamin E. Oils are naturally present in olives, nuts, avocados and seafood. For more information visit: www.nutrition.gov/life-stages/children.


In a recent study it was determined that the more physically active schoolchildren are, the better they do academically. Everyone can benefit from regular exercise. Exercise benefits every part of the body, including the mind. Exercise increases blood and oxygen flow to the brain, increases the hormones that reduce stress and increases growth factors that help to create new nerve cells, all of which positively influences academic performance. Active kids will: » Have stronger muscles and bones.

» Have a leaner body because exercise helps control body fat. » Be less likely to become overweight. » Decrease the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. » Possibly lower blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels. » Have a better outlook on life. Besides enjoying the health benefits of regular exercise, kids who are physically fit sleep better and are better able to handle physical and emotional challenges — from running to catch a bus to studying for a test. Aim to incorporate the three aspects of exercise:

» Endurance. Playing “tag.” » Strength. Playing on the monkey bars. » Flexibility. Bending down to tie shoes.

The National Association for Sport and Physical Education recommends two hours a day for a pre-schooler. One hour should be structured and the other hour free play. School aged children should have one hour a day, which can be broken up into 15 minute intervals. Getting started on the right foot for the school year means committing to sleep, eating right, and exercising for kids to perform at their best. ■





October 2014


The ROCK Center for Youth Development Teen-focused organization that helps each youth succeed and thrive

ROCK GROUNDED after school programs *Jefferson Middle School *Northeast Middle School *The ROCK Underground at MCC

ROCK Exposure

life skill & character development programs

Various schools and venues near you!

ROCK unplugged special teen events

Check out our website for upcoming events www.therockc4yd.org 989-835-2542 * 2205 Jefferson Ave. Midland, MI (Offices in The Midland Community Center)


October 2014





rx drug abuse:

the silent epidemic By Maria braman, m.d.

rescription drug misuse and abuse is reaching epidemic proportions, especially among our youth. While there has been a marked decrease in the use of some illegal drugs, data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health show that nearly one-third of people aged 12 and over who used drugs for the first time in 2009 began by using a prescription drug non-medically. Teens find prescription drugs are easily accessible – available in medicine cabinets at home and grandparents’ or friends’ houses. Research shows that over 70 percent of people who abused prescription pain relievers got them from friends or relatives, while approximately five percent got them from a drug dealer or over the internet. Prescription drugs are also easy to hide from parents, law enforcement and teachers. Unlike alcohol or marijuana, there is no odor on the user’s breath or clothing. Law enforcement report youth having “pharm” or skittles parties where kids raid the accessible medicine cabinets, bring the pills and put them in a bowl. Kids take a handful, oftentimes with alcohol, not knowing what they are consuming. Teens believe these substances are safer than

illicit drugs because they are prescribed by a healthcare professional and dispensed by a pharmacist. What can we as parents and community members do?

Doctors prescribe medicines based on a person’s specific symptoms, body size and medical history. A medicine that works for you could be dangerous for someone else.

» Follow disposal guidelines. Crush up

» Talk to grandparents. They are often

unused pills and mix them in used coffee grounds or kitty litter and put them in a sealable bag then put in the trash. Don’t flush them down the toilet – it may contaminate the water supply.

» Don’t keep unused medications

for use at a later time. Having drugs around the house makes accessibility much too easy for kids.

» Talk to your kids. It’s important they learn about the dangers and misuse/ abuse of prescription drugs. Visit this website for tips for parents: www.drugfree.org/the-parent-toolkit.

» Take advantage of community drug

take-back programs. They allow you to bring unused drugs to a central location for proper disposal.

» Do not give your medicine to friends.

unaware that their medicine cabinet is a goldmine to a teen looking for prescription drugs.

» Lock up medicines. If you’re hosting

an open house because you’re selling your home or having a holiday party, lock up any medications. People misusing/ abusing prescription drugs will look for any opportunity to obtain medications.

Parenting a teenager has never been an easy proposition, and the rising popularity of prescription and over-the-counter drug abuse makes this difficult endeavor all the more challenging. Learning all you can about the emerging threat of prescription and over-the-counter drug abuse will put you in the best position to stop your children from making the wrong choice, or get them the help they need if they have already taken their first steps down this dangerous path. ■





October 2014


Preschool (3 & 4 year-olds, 5 sites) Childcare (0-12) After School Programs & Summer Programs (youth & teens) Summer Food Program (18 & under, through USDA) Dow College Opportunity Program (high school students) Parent Education and Social Services Community Computer Lab with internet access

Find out more at 832-3256 or visit us at wmfc.org 4011 West Isabella Road


October 2014





Parents: What do you really know about today’s marijuana? There’s a lot of misinformation out there about marijuana, so join us for an informative discussion with Kevin A. Sabet, PhD, former drug policy adviser to the Clinton, Bush and Obama administrations. Sabet has studied, researched and written about drug policy, drug markets, drug prevention, drug treatment, criminal justice policy, addiction, and public policy analysis for almost 18 years. He, along with former Congressman Patrick J. Kennedy, founded Smart Approaches to Marijuana, an organization dedicated to a health-first approach to marijuana policy. Sabet’s first book Reefer Madness: Seven Great Myths About Marijuana, was published in 2013. He has been featured on the front page of the New York Times and in virtually every top media publication and news channel.

Dr. Kevin Sabet

Event Details Date:

Tuesday, November 18


7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

The first 25 people to register will receive a free copy of Kevin’s book!

Where: H Hotel, Indigo Ballroom The event is free, but all attendees must register in advance at www.drugfreemidland.org Presented by: An affiliate of The Legacy Center for Community Success The Legacy Center for Community Success · Phone: (989) 496-1425 · email: cays@tlc4cs.org

The Legacy Center for Community Success 3200 James Savage Road, Suite 5 Midland, MI 48642

Shopping around for car insurance? Auto-Owners Insurance offers broad, flexible protection for your car and you! We have many discounts available such as multi-policy, multi-car, and good student discounts.

Midland • 989-631-3511 www.baileyinsurance.net MARK BONE

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