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TIPS AND TOOLS

how to keep your childREN safe A STUDENT’S PERSPECTIVE

Above the Influence STOP. WALK. TALK.

Expect Respect WHAT TO WATCH

BROUGHT TO YOU BY

A Healthy 2011


Live Life Smiling with Invisalign Teen f r e e c o n s u lTaT I o n

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March 2011

FEATURES

4 6 10 20

TIPS AND TOOLS

Keeping Your Child Safe A STUDENT’S PERSPECTIVE

Above the Influence STOP. WALK. TALK.

Expect Respect KIDS’ HEALTH ISSUES

What to Watch in 2011

BROUGHT TO YOU BY

COVER PHOTO BY Wandering Albatross Photography

2 From the Director 3 YC at CADCA 8 Find Your Spot 9 Faces in the Crowd 12 Assets in Action 15 By the Numbers 16 Make Media! 18 Q&A 21 Backpack Safety 22 Tobacco Quit Line 24 Important Dates

stop walk

talk PRODUCED IN CONJUNCTION WITH

TO ADVERTISE call (406) 285-1274 TO CONTRIBUTE call (406) 324-1032

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director

drenda carlson

from the

substance use among their peers.

adults accountable for allowing

outh Connections

One of the most successful

has a vision to

events occurred over the Martin

empower youth and

Luther King holiday weekend

is advocating the passage of

their property. Their testimony

promote positive

when four teen bands and two

several bills during the 2011

was heart-felt and passionate

youth development.

solo acts performed at the

Legislative session which will aid

when the teens articulated the

Music Splash.

in creating a healthier and safer

need for this law. Legislators

environment for youth to grow

applauded the strength of

So what does that mean anyway?

The young talent showcased

Over the past three months,

In addition, Youth Connections

minors to consume alcohol on

Youth Connections, in partnership

that evening was an incredible

and thrive. We have informed,

character shown by the teens

with the Montana National Guard,

inspiration for all youth to seek

encouraged and empowered

through citizen participation in

has empowered eight high school

out and develop their talents. Due

several local youth to participate

the law making process.

students from the tri-county area

to the dedication and motivation

in the law making process.

to raise money to cover expenses

of the students and other

for travel to Washington, DC,

volunteers, this event brought

as a panel in front of the Law and

for youth to have a voice, to build

for the Community Anti-Drug

in over $750. We appreciate all

Justice Interim Committee seeking

skills and to make a difference

Coalition of America (CADCA)

the support given to this group

to draft bills to strengthen DUI

in their communities. We are

National Youth Leadership

in time and resources to ensure

laws. Recently, youth from the

extraordinarily impressed with

Institute. With our support, eight

a successful experience. Upon

western part of Montana joined

the level of passion and action we

youth and three adult advisors

return from the National Youth

youth from the tri-county area

have seen this past year from our

raised over $16,000. The teens

Leadership Institute, these

to testify in support of draft

local youth. Youth Connections

developed a fundraising plan to

students will be empowered to

legislation which would allow

is proud to have the opportunity

include business sponsorships,

make a significant difference in

counties the authority to pass

to work so closely with such

raffles, food sales and events.

their local schools preventing

social host ordinances holding

outstanding young leaders. ■

Last summer four teens spoke

Youth empowerment to us means providing opportunities

UrgentCare-Plus.com

DRENDA CARLSON, Director email: dcarlson@helena.k12.mt.us phone: (406) 324-1032 Helena Middle School, Room 210

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MARCH 2011

513-1052 • 39 Neill Ave • Across from Starbucks Downtown

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YOUTH CONNECTIONS

AT CADCA

Community Anti-Drug Coalition of America

Youth Leadership Institute Washington, DC F E B RUA RY 7 – 1 0, 20 1 1

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keeping your child

SAFE - By Derek VanLuchene, Ryan United

t’s every parent’s worst nightmare: your child is missing. You immediately begin to look and, as you do, the fear builds and you think about the unimaginable. You begin to think about the breaking news stories involving a child who has been abducted or who has gone missing and is never found. Luckily, most children who disappear are found within a short time and the incident is never reported to police. This scenario happens daily in our community and across the county. Unfortunately, in this country there is the opposite extreme when a child is abducted by a stranger. Although these cases are rare (about one percent of all child abductions), they are the worst of the worst and require the most amount of resources to investigate and solve. This horrific ordeal happened to my family in 1987, when my eight-yearold brother, Ryan, was abducted and murdered by a repeat sex offender. Ryan was playing in our backyard and

literally disappeared. His body was found a day-and-a-half later, and the offender responsible was arrested. Having been through something like this, it is my family’s mission to educate communities on how to stay safe and how to prevent a situation like this from happening again. The key to educating parents and communities when it comes to child abduction is to differentiate myth from reality, but at the same time give the tools that can prepare them for the worst case scenario. Every year about 800,000 children go missing in the United States, but this statistic can be misleading in the sense that most don’t know this number includes events that stem from a custodial parent violating a parental agreement. Of those 800,000 children reported missing, about 200,000 of them are abducted by a parent or legal guardian who is in violation of a custody agreement. About 58,000 children fall victim to non-family abduction. In this

category, the child is usually taken by someone who they may be familiar with. Included in this category of abduction is the worst of the worst, and what my family faced when Ryan was taken. About 115 other children in the non-family abduction category were taken by complete strangers. These crimes are the most dangerous in that the end result is likely death or serious injury to the child (75 percent of these children were murdered in the first three hours after abduction). The remaining missing children who make up the 800,000 fall into the category of runaways, throwaways or the cases where there is simply no answer to the child’s disappearance. Our children are our future; we must come together as families and communities to protect them. While you may never face this situation in your family, it is vital that you have the conversation with your children about ways to stay safe. ■

 Know where your child is and what they are doing at all times.  Talk with them about things and people that make them feel uncomfortable.  Create a unique password or phrase that is unique to only you and your child that will prevent them from going with someone who does not know the correct response.

 Let your child know that it is their right to be safe and protected from dangers.  If anyone puts them in a danger, they need to get away and tell someone they are not safe.

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There is a slim chance that your child will become a victim of a stranger abduction; however it is vital to have

the tools to communicate with your children and keep them from becoming a victim.

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A STUDENT’S PERSPECTIVE By Coral Thurstrum, Capital High School Senior

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I hope someday this will all come to an end. I hope they can see the benefits to living above the influence.

s a high school senior, I’ve experienced a lot in school, from difficult tests to friend drama and alcohol to drugs. One of the most prevalent drugs I’ve experienced is indeed marijuana. Now, I’ve never personally done it, but I have multiple friends who have used and have heard endless stories. It seems to be one of the most popular drugs for students to do. Occasionally, I get a little mixed up on my opinions of pot because I would never want my friends to get in trouble, and many people put the best spin on it they can, but I remain above the influence. I’ve never felt like I’ve needed a mind altering substance to have fun, and I have lots of friends who feel the same way. However, I do have friends who feel and act differently. The saddest thing in my opinion is the absolute control this substance has over their lives. Sometimes it can really take hold and cause them to do stupid things. One of the biggest problems I’ve seen is the ever-rising number of people with access to “medicinal” marijuana. It seems to be the new “z-pack.” Doctors seem to give it to anyone with any sort of pain. This may not be realistic, but pot should not be given as the new pain medication. It should be reserved for the people who really truly need it, not just someone who’s in a little bit of pain. With the increase of medicinal marijuana comes an increase in availability to people who really don’t need it at all. The increase in demand means an increase in drug dealers thus continuing a cycle in our schools of illegal use. I walk down the halls and smell pot on the students who just come in after smoking, I see deals happen in our own school parking lot, and I go into classes and see kids who seem permi-fried. It’s honestly quite tragic. I am very disappointed in our generation, and the society that has made this “ok.” I know our schools have made an effort to stop the dealing and the usage, but they have yet to make enough headway. The younger end of my generation is clever and finding new ways to use and deal without getting caught. I hope someday this will all come to an end. I hope for my generation and their brain cells’ sake, medicinal marijuana can become more exclusive. I hope people who smoke pot realize the high isn’t worth the consequences. I hope they can see the benefits to living above the influence just as I have and find something in life they can be passionate about so they don’t feel the need to get high. ■

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student power

FIND YOUR SPOT

campaign kickoff

ABOVE: Find Your Spot campaign poster photo shoot by Lisa Kunkel Photography. BELOW: Two of the posters that will be on display at Capital High School and Helena High School.

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ccording to the 2010 Montana Prevention Needs Assessment, 63 percent of eighth, tenth and twelfth graders in Helena have never used marijuana. Find Your Spot is a campaign to create awareness among area students, showing more of their peers are NOT smoking pot than are. Social norming is a media campaign technique to bridge the gap between perceived use and actual use. Often there is a disconnect between how many students are perceived to be using marijuana compared to the number of students who are actually using. This misconception of use can actually precipitate use. People tend to gravitate toward what they perceive most people are doing. Changing the perception of how many students are using marijuana can help prevent further student use. Find Your Spot is a positive peer pressure campaign where non-using students are taking a stand on the issue regarding marijuana. They are positively pressuring their peers into understanding that smoking pot is not the cool thing to do. At both Capital High School and Helena High School, students will see their friends wearing Find Your Spot sweatshirts and t-shirts, displaying stickers, and using water bottles. They are helping to represent the majority of students who are not using marijuana. Find Your Spot supporters will also be on posters around the schools, conveying the message that they want to remember their high school experience and reinforcing they are part of the majority who choose not to smoke pot. Although the campaign is being supported by the Youth Connections and Safe Schools Healthy Students office, Find Your Spot is studentplanned and student-implemented. â–


Check out who’s standing out in our community. IS THERE SOMEONE YOU’D LIKE TO NOMINATE? Please email tkechely@helena.k12.mt.us and tell us why this individual has stood out in your crowd.

FACES IN THE CROWD

Bret Hamlin Helena martial arts and fitness Brett has been a spokesperson and a vital part in the violence prevention work for Youth Connections’ “Keep It In the Ring Campaign.” As a coach of Heltown Hybrid MMA fight team, he has always believed in discipline, honor and respect and thinks it’s crucial for parents to talk to their children about the difference between professional fighting and that which is done on the streets. He has also helped serve the community by bringing at-risk kids into his gym to mentor them and help them make healthy choices.

Elyse Ramirez capital high school

Elyse, who had over 100 hours of community service during the first semester alone, spends her time volunteering in and out of school and raising money for local, national and international organizations through her leadership roles in six different organizations including Key Club, CYC and Americorp. On top of her community service hours, Elyse works two nights a week to support a student in a third world country. As a senior, Elyse organized a statewide Key Club conference that focused on topics such as anti-bullying and suicide prevention. Elyse stands up for her values and brightens the halls of Capital High with her radiant personality and constant smile. She inspires other students and teachers to do what is right, to get involved in our community and, above all else, to help others. (Nominated by Mrs. Sieminski)

Coby Smith rossiter elementary Coby is a fifth grade student who has worked in the library every day since he was in first grade! He has helped with processing withdrawn books, keeping supplies stocked, taking care of computers and, most recently, managing our interlibrary loan. Coby comes in every morning with a smile and a spring in his step, eager to help. And he does help our library run more smoothly. I am so thankful for him! (Nominated by Laura Trapp)

Judd Patrick Thompson Para professional, smith school Judd recently took immediate action to protect students when a car came onto the school grounds narrowly missing some of the students in the play area. Judd’s quick response helped avoid a tragic situation for the children.

Remington Snezek helena middle school Remy is a caring and compassionate young lady with a genuine smile that instantly lifts the attitude and morale of any class. She places a high value on helping her peers and is actively engaged in the classroom. Remy is not afraid to stand up for her beliefs and is truly a unique individual. Outside of school, she is involved in art classes, the Mount Helena Cheer Team and Youth Group; she is a true asset to each of these programs. (Nominated by Mrs. Mooney)

Caroline Burk broadway elementary From the time Caroline was a first grader, she has shown that she can make positive, healthy choices even in the face of adversity. She easily makes friends, solves conflicts in a peaceful, fair way, has integrity, is a hard worker and has a love of learning. Classmates seek her out as not only a friend, but a teacher, too. When a younger student in the class doesn’t understand something or needs help, they often ask Caroline because she is not only smart and nice, but also a good teacher. (Nominated by Mrs. Tague) youthconnectionscoalition.org

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stop walk

talk expect respect

By Susan Dotter

For students to thrive in their schools and communities, they need to feel safe and be safe – socially, emotionally, and physically. Youth, parents, schools, and communities have a role to play in building positive, supportive environments. Though research on preventing and addressing bullying is still developing, we know that efforts to improve school climate and encourage positive interactions among students and staff can significantly reduce bullying.

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ffective programs require strong administrative leadership and ongoing commitment on the part of the adults in the school system and at home. Programs that show the most promise are comprehensive in approach. Many Helena schools are working with the Montana Behavior Initiative. MBI is supported by the Montana Office of Public Instruction and the National Center on Positive Behavior Supports and Interventions. The MBI approach focuses on teaching students to show respect to one another instead of telling them not to bully. It begins by establishing respect – or being respectful – as one of the school’s positive expectations. The science of behavior tells us that most humans respond better when being told what to “do” instead of what to “don’t.” The schools’ MBI teams develop lesson plans to define and teach respect. All students and staff spend time examining and discussing examples and non-examples of respect, making sure that everyone in the school community knows what it means to expect respect. The school also creates a system to reward and recognize students who show respect, knowing that positive reinforcement helps to establish these behavior expectations. Students are given a strategy to use if they receive or witness disrespect. “Stop … Walk … Talk” encourages students to tell the perpetrator to stop, walk away, and tell a trusted adult. Clear distinctions are drawn between “tattling” and responsible reporting. Teachers are trained in the appropriate ways to respond to such reports. A systematic approach to teaching and expecting respect does not ignore that clear and consistent consequences need to be in place for students who continue to display bullying behaviors. In addition, students who feel threatened or unsafe need extra support. Some people might think that students, especially older ones, should already know how to be respectful. However, just as many, if not more, might believe that respect is not a behavior that is frequently observable in today’s society. Disrespectful behaviors are not limited to students and school grounds. Adult bullies continue to exist in the movies, the news and the workplace. Being respectful can be viewed as a life long skill that needs constant reminders, practice and reinforcement. It takes time and it takes effort. But the bottom line is this: Schools and communities can benefit when we expect respect. ■

HOW TO TEACH RESPECT AT HOME Model it Parents are their child’s number one role model. If your child sees you treating others with respect, he or she will be much more likely to display that behavior.

DISCUSS it Make it clear that respectful behavior is something you value. Have conversations with your child about what you think is respectful and what you think is disrespectful. Make sure he or she understands… don’t assume that they do. POINT IT OUT Identify respectful and disrespectful behaviors that you see when you and your child are together. You can use examples from TV, movies, books and real life. Talk with your child about your observations. Ask him or her to point examples out to you. recognize it Praise your child when he is she is being respectful. Offer specific feedback about what you saw and how that behavior displayed respect. Catch him or her being respectful and acknowledge it. Positive reinforcement helps to ensure that the desired behavior continues. expect it Provide clear and consistent consequences when your child is not respectful. But before you do, remember to make sure that your child understands your expectations around the issue of respect and that you are also recognizing his or her successes, not just disciplining the times when he is she is disrespectful. celebrate it Enjoy the relationships, attitudes and the atmosphere that can be created when you expect respect!

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assets in action 3

40 DEVELOPMENTAL ASSETS

external assets 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.

Empowerment

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.

7

Boundaries & Expectations

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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

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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 tkechely@helena.k12.mt.us with a picture and the number of the asset the picture represents.

Not all pictures are guaranteed publication.

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internal assets 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.

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.

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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.

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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.

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comfort zone - neale donald walsch


BY THE

NUMBERS

500+

To date, number of children who have been recovered nationally as a direct result of the Amber Alert Program.

2 63%

Average number of birthdays a child spends in foster care.

Percentage of Helena students who report that they don’t smoke pot.

41%

Percentage of Montana schools that have less than 50 students attending that school.

570

Consider This... Consider This... BEFORE LIGHT UP U BEFOREYOUYOU LIGHT Secondhand smoke causes asthma attacks. Secondhand smoke

Secondhand smoke causes asthma attac

causes asthma attacks.

You already know that smoking isn’t healthy for you, but you may not know how dangerous it is for those around you, especially your children.

You already know that smoking isn’t healthy for you, but you may not know

Give your Secondhand worsenyou, asthma attacks in children. dangeroussmoke it is can fortrigger thoseand around especially your children. Youaalready that smoking isn’t healthy for you, but child smokefreeknow environment.

you may not know how dangerous it is for those around you,

Secondhand smoke andtoworsen The Montana Tobacco Quit can Line trigger has free tools help youasthma quit: attacks in children. Give y especially your children. • aFREE nicotine replacement therapy child smokefree environment. • FREE telephone coaching Secondhand smoke can trigger and worsen asthma attacks in • Montana FREE personalized quitQuit plans The Tobacco Line has free tools to help you quit: children. Give your childmedications a smokefree environment. • Reduced-cost cessation • FREE nicotine replacement therapy

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Miles west to east in the state of Montana.

315

Miles north to south in the state of Montana.

1 in 3

Number of students statewide that poverty indicators show are eligible for free and reduced lunch.

1 in 6 Number of Montana kids who participate in 4-H.

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media literacy

make media! By Jodi Delaney

Imagine what happens if you continually eat a high calorie diet without exercise. It won’t take long before you physically see your health deteriorate. Now consider the seven and a half hours per day that young people spend consuming media without exercising their creativity to produce media of their own. Making our own media is just like exercising – the more the better. aking media’ doesn’t have to be expensive or require complicated technology. It can be something as simple as making a poster, postcard, sticker, t-shirt or button. There are no-cost ways to communicate online, such as Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. Every day, the tools used by professionals to make videos are becoming cheaper and more accessible than ever before. Just a generation ago, you had to join the established media makers to have an opportunity of possibly working with video cameras and sound equipment. Now a flip-cam, cell phone, iTouch etc. offer the chance to make the Internet’s next viral video viewed by millions. Whatever media format you choose, it’s all about the message: if you care about an issue,

share your opinion, ideas and suggestions with others. ‘Social marketing’ is when you are selling an idea or trying to convince people to do something. For example, if you are concerned about deforestation, you might be persuading people to plant trees. There are any number of possibilities for sharing your message. You can focus on a certain target market, a section of the overall population you want to hear your point, or craft a broad message that will appeal to a wide variety of people. Helena offers a great opportunity for media-making youth ages five to eighteen. You can submit your media to the next imMEDIAte Generation Festival, MGenFest, and see your work displayed at the ExWorks Museum. There will be a free night at the museum for community members to enjoy

jointeensuccess MEETING LOCATION 901 n Harris, Helena

+ 12 pregnant and/or parenting teens + nutritious snacks and free childcare + $10 incentive at the completion of each weekly group and $100 bonuses at the end of each 25 weeks attended + Help setting and working toward achieving future goals + easy access to family planning services

CONTACT Amanda Walker 406 442 6950 x251

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If you are a pregnant or parenting teen, you can become a member of our weekly support group.

MEETING TIME tuesdays, 5:30–7:30 PM

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these media messages, as well as prizes for the best submissions. For more media literacy information (including MGenFest registration forms and judging rubric), please contact the Youth Connections office, (406) 324-1032, or check out the website at: YouthConnectionsCoalition.org Communication is the most effective tool in creating change. You can join a group working on the same cause you are interested in, lending your voice to make the message more powerful. Or maybe there’s something more individual you’d like to share about. Perhaps you are just looking to entertain others around you. Any which way or why you choose to communicate, whatever your message is, get out there and start making media. You don’t want to end up an unhealthy couch potato. ■

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morning media messages

Part of your Complete Breakfast! Cereal is a big business. Cereal makers work hard to sell it. Now it’s your turn. Here are some things to consider.

Have fun and make it yours!

DYK

DID YOU KNOW?

1. Select a color for your cereal box: • Red helps people feel like they have the power to make choices. • Orange stimulates the appetite and is the most popular box color. • Yellow makes people feel cheerful and energized.

2. Select a Character: • Select a character that will appeal to your audience. If you want to influence girls, use a female soccer player; to influence boys, use a football players. If you are targeting a younger audience, cartoon characters might be the way get their attention.

3. Name Your Cereal: • People need to tell their friends about it right? Make it catchy and something easy to remember.

4. Select a description of your cereal: • Outrageous Crunch! Makes your cereal seem fun and exciting to eat. • Delicious and Nutritious! Likely to appeal to parents because they want their kids to eat healthy. • New and Improved! Because people like to try new things.

A twillionaire is a twitterer with a million or more followers.

There are more TV sets in the US than there are people in the UK.

youthconnectionscoalition.org

A dime has 118 ridges around the edge.

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Q A A. Recent student surveys indicate increased teen marijuana use in our state. As Montana’s medical marijuana card numbers swell from less than 4,000 to over 27,000 since the poorly written voter initiative passed – it’s not hard to reason that availability is affecting teen use. It seems logical to infer that the more available marijuana, the more kids will be smoking it. Hopefully good prevention work, including the hundreds of high school students involved in groups like Montana Teens Against Drugs (MTAD), will encourage more teens to live life to the fullest, above the influence of drugs and alcohol. Parent of an 8th grader

???

Q. How do you think the increased availability of marijuana affects teen use?

A. It is tough to discuss marijuana with our students, especially now with the availability of medical marijuana. Over the past few years, marijuana has become more available and use more acceptable, which has led to student attitudes that it is healthy and helpful. But what they do not realize and are not told by many is that this drug is harmful. While marijuana may aid in pain relief, research shows use may lead to mental health issues, cancer, problems with memory and impaired decision making. The younger the age a student begins using, the more likely these negative effects will occur. Due to the social acceptance of medical marijuana, many of our students view daily use as acceptable. However, they are using the drug to get high and to “make life easier.” For many, marijuana use is becoming daily and addiction is rampant; grades may be declining, mental health may be declining, and drop out rates increasing. Dana Meldrum: Project Success Counselor

If you would like to submit a question to Youth Connections to be answered by someone on our panel, please email the question to tkechely@helena.k12.mt.us. Not all questions are guaranteed to make the magazine, but we will do our best to answer your question via email.

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A. Medical marijuana has created a normalization of the drug. I have had a handful of students whose parent is a green card holder, and each student has friends that come over and watch the whole process like it is no big deal, and all those students come back and talk to their friends. Soon enough, everyone knows and thinks it’s no big deal. Perhaps it isn’t a big deal for the parent who does legally smoke, but what is has done for students is to make them think that marijuana is like any other drug. They aren’t aware of the cons associated with drug use. I fear that because marijuana is becoming normalized, more young people will use the drug recreationally. I don’t believe lawmakers have thought that piece through, and we as Montanans need to do something to educate ourselves and our youth about the risks associated with marijuana use. Jesse Franzen: 7th/8th Grade English Teacher, Helena Middle School

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HELENA’S MEDIA FESTIVAL

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MARCH 2011

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KIDS’ HEALTH ISSUES

what to watch in

Obesity-Related Health Problems in Kids >> Obese teens are 16 times more likely to become severely obese in adulthood compared with those who are normal weight or overweight. It’s vital that parents do all they can to help kids reach and maintain a healthy weight. It’s not just about their future – it’s about their right now.

Cyberbullying: New Problems, New Tactics >> Bullying is an old problem that remains difficult to bring under control, in part because technology offers new ways for kids to pick on one another. Despite the torment, some kids don’t tell their parents about cyberbullying because they are afraid they’ll lose their online privileges. Understanding Health Care Reform >> Millions of U.S. kids, mostly from low-income and workingclass families, have no or insufficient health coverage. It’s important for parents to understand health care reform legislation, especially since it has benefits for kids that many parents aren’t aware of or don’t understand. Teens & Sexting: What Parents Need to Know >> It’s easy for teens to get caught up in the idea of capturing – and sharing – their exploits, but it can be hard for them to grasp the permanent consequences of their tech interactions. It’s up to parents to explain to their kids, early and often, that once an image or message is sent, it is no longer in their control and cannot be taken back.

Fighting Nature Deficit Disorder >> Parents are all too aware of how much time their kids spend parked on the couch watching TV or glued to a computer/cell phone/gaming system. Mix this with parental fear of “stranger danger” and you get kids spending less and less time exploring and enjoying the great outdoors.

Epigenetics – How Grandma’s Health Affects Your Child’s >> Transgenerational epigenetic inheritance – or epigenetics, for short – doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue. Yet this idea that environmental factors (such as diet, stress, lifestyle choices, and behaviors) can change the health not only of the people who are exposed to them, but also the health of their descendants, is something we’ll be hearing more and more about.

What Electronic Records Mean for Health Care >> In this increasingly paper-free era, medical records have lagged behind, but that’s changing. The government has established rules and financial incentives to spur adoption of electronic records, which are expected to reduce paperwork and administrative burdens, cut costs, reduce medical errors, and improve the quality of care for patients. The Rise of Psychiatric Diagnoses in Younger Kids >> A recent study found that the rate of antipsychotic medications given to kids 2 to 5 years old doubled between 1999 and 2007. While the number of younger kids affected still is very small, the growing trend alarms mental health experts. Acting Locally to Help Globally >> Major disasters around the world not only generate heavy news coverage – they also move people to lend a helping hand to those affected. Away from the limelight, however, are countless smaller everyday health crises that also need attention. Helping others lets parents teach kids important lessons about the value of sharing and sacrifice.

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youthconnectionscoalition.org


BACKPACK

safety

teen advisory group Thursdays, 7 PM Mezzanine Meeting Room. Grades 6-12 welcome. Snacks! Info at 447-1690 x132

March 3

March 24

April 28

May 12

May 26

w w w. l e w i s a n d c l a r k l i b ra r y. o rg

By Dr. Nicholas Smith, Active Life Chiropractic Centre

By their teen years, 50 percent of youths will experience at least one episode of low back pain. he Consumer Safety Commission estimates that there are almost 5000 emergency room visits annually due to injuries related to backpacks and book bags. When a backpack is carried, abnormal stresses and strains are imposed to the spine, not to mention many other skeletal joints such as the feet, ankles, knees, hips, shoulder girdle, etc. There are some simple steps that can be taken to mitigate a backpack's effect on a growing (or even mature) spine:

April 14

Always seeking new members and new ideas to make your Lewis & Clark Library a better place! Help guide and promote teen programming and let us know what’s hot and what’s not – give your recommendations on what to add to our book, magazine, DVD, and graphic novel collections.

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Pain? Numbness? Tingling?

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For the expertise and compassion that will get you back to an active life, call today for an appointment with Dr. Nicholas Smith

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1. The pack needs to be sized appropriately for the child's body. An adult pack will have too widely spaced straps and be too long to fit the child's torso.

2. A pack should never be worn with only one of the straps. Both shoulder straps and the waist strap (provided there is one) should be used at all times.

3. The pack's load should be distributed evenly using any pockets to even the load.

4. The pack should not exceed 15 percent of the carrier's weight. This means if your child weighs 100 pounds, the pack should not exceed 15 pounds.

443.3965 103 E 6th Ave Downtown Helena

youthconnectionscoalition.org

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YC MAGAZINE

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MARCH 2011

21


quit tobacco

and i quote

MONTANA TOBACCO USERS:

extra help available

When I get sad, I stop being sad and be

• Free six-week supply of nicotine replacement therapy, reduced co-pay for Chantix and bupropion to be available for a limited time only. • The Montana Tobacco Quit Line helps smokers and smokeless tobacco users alike. • Quit Line participants have a higher success rate than those who try to quit alone. As of January 1, 2011, the Montana Tobacco Quit Line will offer six weeks of free nicotine replacement therapy (gum, lozenges or the patch). The Montana Tobacco Quit Line is a free service available to smokers as well as individuals who use other tobacco products. Calling the quit line is toll-free at 1-800-QUIT NOW (784-8669). ■

DYK

In Denmark there are twice as many pigs as people.

DID YOU KNOW?

awesome instead. TRUE STORY.

Walter Payton was the first football player to be put on the Wheaties box.

Recycling one glass jar saves enough energy to watch TV for 3 hours.

Timothy C. Ballweber, D.D.S., M.S.

ACCEPTING NEW PATIENTS

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Creating SmileS for over 25 YearS 905 Helena ave

449-5576

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Member of American Association of Orthodontics

youthconnectionscoalition.org


funny bone

countries that should cry for me

countries that should not cry for me

youthconnectionscoalition.org

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YC MAGAZINE

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MARCH 2011

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spring clothing

in sizes maternity through kids’ size 10 • Carriers • Cloth diapers • High-quality,

pre-loved toys 443-PIPS (7477) 639 Helena Ave, Ste C pipsqueakhelena.com

SHD IR Youth Connections 0211

1/31/11

9:53 AM

important dates March 28-April 1 Spring Break

April 4

4th Period Begins

April 22 & 25

No School, Easter Break/Easter Sunday, April 24 Page 1

May 6

115Years of Caring • Residential and acute psychiatric care for children • Clinical and laboratory medical genetic services for people of all ages Proud to be Montana’s only Children’s Miracle Network Hospital

406-444-7500 1-800-447-6614 2755 Colonial Drive Helena, MT 59601

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youthconnectionscoalition.org

K-8 Released at 11 AM/HS No School/Vigilante Day

May 30

Memorial Day, No School/District Closed

june 4 Graduation

june 8

Last Day & Noon Early Dismissal, Students K-8 P.M. K-8 Inservice Day/Records Day Last Day for Staff K-12

june 9

Last Day for Students 9-11

june 10

HS Inservice/Records Day/Last Day for 9-12 Staff


If you or a loved one are in crisis and want help, call the Montana

Suicide Prevention Lifeline

1-800-273-TALK (8255)


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Subaru, Forester, Outback, Tribeca, Legacy, Impreza, WRX, STI and SUBARU BOXER are registered trademarks. *Based on Kelley Blue Book’s kbb.com 2011 Best Resale Value: Brand Award. For more information, visit kbb.com. 2EPA-estimated fuel economy for Legacy 2.5i with available CVT. Actual mileage may vary. 3EPA-estimated fuel economy for Outback 2.5i with available CVT. Actual mileage may vary. 4EPA-estimated fuel economy for Forester 2.5X models. Actual mileage may vary.

Youth Connections Magazine - March  

Youth Connections Magazine - March

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