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JANUARY–MARCH 2016

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making the most of your t.i.m.e.

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» Talking WITH Kids About Drinking » Know the Signs of Depression » Alcohol Use by Youth Has Consequences


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. ©2014 Dow Corning Corporation. All rights reserved. AV18912.

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JANUARY–MARCH 2016

FEATURES

6 Making the Most of Your T.I.M.E. 14 Talking WITH Kids About Drinking 16 Know the Signs of Depression 20 Alcohol Use by Youth Has Consequences 23 Academic Résumés: Different...But Not 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 PRINTED BY

PRODUCED IN CONJUNCTION WITH

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

COVER PHOTO BY Jill Amsk Photography

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The Legacy Center is partnering with the ROCK to bring the Above the Influence campaign to Midland. The national campaign encourages teens to stand up to negative pressures and influences. The ATI program will take place at ROCK after school sites once per month. There is no cost to participate.

About the legacy center The Legacy Center for Community Success (TLC) was established 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 four 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 reach their potential. Early Childhood: Our Preschool Tool Totes are a cost-effective intervention designed to reduce the readiness gap experienced by many economically atrisk 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 also coordinates the activities of the Community Alliance 4 Youth Success, a group of local community leaders who are committed to preventing teen substance abuse. Evaluation Services: Evalution of program outcomes is one of our core competencies. While many organizations are proficient at assessing their activities, many are requesting assistance in understanding and measuring the benefits for participants in their programs.

director from the

here are so many great articles in this issue, I’m not sure where to begin. On average, parents have 12 minutes of meaningful conversation a day with their children. With such little time, parents have little to no room for error. Common Sense Parenting® provides a framework for making the most of your time with your child. Read about the four jennifer heronema skills that effective parents share. There are real, long-term consequences of underage drinking, so you might want to consider what type of role model you are, or want to be, for your children. There is no ideal age to talk with them about drinking, but approaching it as a dictator can cause pushback. However, with a little empathy, the conversation will reap more rewards than grief. Sadly, nearly 10 percent of young people face depression. The good news is that depression is a treatable illness. The challenge for parents is knowing when to be patient and knowing when to act. Learn more about how to identify signs of depression in children. Divorce is difficult on all parties, especially the kids. Even in the most amicable divorce situations, it’s difficult to offer a united front when it comes to house rules. The best thing you can do is agree on some basic ground rules for both households and keep the lines of communication open. While most people know what a resume for employment entails, resumes for scholarships or college are not as widely understood. Experts from the Student Assistance Foundation share some tips on how to develop a resume that will impress scholarship selection committees and college admissions staff. Lastly, I’d like to put a call out to parents, coaches, teachers, youth leaders and others to submit photos for Assets in Action and nominate middle and high school kids for Faces in the Crowd. I always find myself chasing down photos to complete these features. I know there are great kids and great things are happening in our community. Let’s hear from you! I hope your year is filled with happiness and success!

Follow us:

w w w.tlc4cs.org w w w.facebook.com/tlc4cs Community Alliance 4 Youth Success w w w.drugfreemidland.org

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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


RACE ON OVER! DISCOVER the science of engines, aerodynamics and motion! EXPLORE the technology of auto racing through hands-on activities! TEST your skills in a race simulator and determine if you have what it takes to become a professional driver! OPEN

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This exhibition is created by Scitech Discovery Centre, Perth, Australia, and produced by Imagine Exhibitions Inc.

We provide a healing environment through peer support to children, teens and their families who are grieving a death

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15 miles of trails Visitor Center open 7 days a week FREE Admission | FREE Wi-fi

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confessions from The kitchen table his month we’re tackling the issue of dual households. Here are the perspectives of a parent and a child (not related). a mom’s perspective: When my ex-husband and I divorced, foremost in our minds — aside from putting our doomed relationship out of its misery — was the well-being of our six-year-old daughter. Fortunately, one thing we agreed upon was that, while we weren’t good for each other, we were both loving and dedicated parents who should spend equal time with our child. Thus, the alternating week parenting plan was born. Every Friday after school, the kiddo would pack a few items she wanted to take to the other parent’s home (she had clothes, toys, etc. at both houses) and head off for the week. As a parent, this wasn’t an entirely unappetizing scenario. After all, if you can’t have domestic bliss, why not take advantage of spending a week of quality time with your child, and then have a week to yourself? It sounds simple enough, but it wasn’t without its challenges. For example, what happens if your child gets grounded at the other parent’s home and it carries over into your week (every… single…time)? How do parents cope with the transition days after your child returns home from the other parent’s house? What happens when the rules are different at each household? Then enter significant others, who were completely loving and wellmeaning, but stepped on toes or egos.

It didn’t take my ex and I long to realize that communication was the key to keeping our daughter feeling comfortable, adjusted, and loved. We didn’t communicate particularly effectively when we were married, and it certainly didn’t get easier after we divorced. That said, we made it happen because we love that girl fiercely. It helped that we had our own separate corners to go to when the negotiations broke down. Eventually, we both remarried and had the benefit of our spouses to offer relatively impartial advice and a taste of reality when we strayed too far into the mire of our unsuccessful relationship. Eventually another important voice entered into those conversations — our daughter’s. While spending alternating weeks with our child wasn’t always easy, my ex and I believe it worked out overall. Our daughter is 21 and has had the benefit of getting to know both of us in our own environments. She is an independent young woman who is comfortable in her own skin, with the knowledge that her parents stand behind her fully. We weren’t perfect in parenting her, and it wasn’t without struggle, but it helped her become the person she is today. A Child’s perspective: “Maggie” is a 12-year-old girl in middle school who splits her time between Mom’s and Dad’s house. She and her two siblings move residences on a rotating basis, based on her mom’s work schedule. They started this arrangement four years ago when her

parents weren’t getting along and decided to separate, and eventually divorce. Maggie said that going through the divorce was a little hard. She was happy before the divorce, had mild depression during the divorce, and was happy again once it was all done. She likes seeing her parents happy again. She doesn’t mind going between houses, and states she likes it because she gets to spend time with each parent. She liked painting and decorating her new room at the new house. It’s helpful to have sets of clothing and household items at each house, so she doesn’t have to pack bags. Each house has the same rules and same expectations of her, which makes the transition much easier. One of the major benefits of having two sets of parents is she gets four Christmases – one at each parent’s and then at each set of grandparents’ house. In addition, she gets to celebrate her birthday twice. Maggie has a few words of advice for parents who are going through the same situation with kids. She says that having a central location is nice. She’s lucky that both parents live in the same town and not too far from each other. Also, parents having a positive attitude and not bad talking about the other parent is important. Maggie has been lucky to have positive parents who have helped her through this. Her advice to the kids who are in the same position as she is: talk to your parents. If you can’t talk to them, talk to your friends or a counselor if you need to. Also, stay happy. ■

You can submit your story at: 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.

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making the most of

your t. Ta l k , i n s t r u c t,

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.i.m.e. m o n i to r , e n co u rag e

By Shari Morin-Degel, Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor, Clinical Director for Youth Dynamics and certified Common Sense Parenting® trainer

We dream children will experience a childhood full of laughter and adventure in a safe, supportive, and nurturing environment. We want children to develop into adults who are self-disciplined, motivated to achieve, kind, tolerant of others, and who have the capacity to develop strong bonds and lasting relationships. ut the demands of life put tremendous strain on parents and families, making it challenging for parents to realize the dreams they have for their children. Between financial and extracurricular demands, the amount of time parents have to invest in the development of their children is limited. Dr. Harry Wong, author of The First Days of School and a leader in establishing behavior management techniques for successful schools, states, “On average, parents have 12 minutes of meaningful conversation a day with their children.” With only 12 minutes a day, parents have little to no room for error. Parents’ skills must be highly tuned in order to be effective. Fortunately, social scientists have studied and identified four key parenting skills that promote support, encouragement, guidance, mutual respect, and a strong bond while minimizing the conflict that creates arguing, strife, shame, and distance in the relationship. Common Sense Parenting®, a program developed by the Nebraska-based Boys Town Education Model, provides a framework for making the most of your time with your child. The research supporting the effectiveness of this program indicates there are four skills effective parents share. This does not suggest children are perfect, but it does suggest, more often than not, children behave in ways that are pleasing to parents continued on page 9

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THE LEGACY CENTER

Parents: Set a Good Example By PAMELA SINGER

Mean spirited comments from kids are nothing new. Cell phones and social media give teens a more effective and powerful weapon to deliver an assault. All it takes is a few taps on a screen, and comments about a young person’s appearance, their weaknesses, or their failings can quickly become overwhelming and devastating. You would have to live under a rock to have missed the social media storm that swirled around UofM kicker Blake O’Neill at the big game against MSU in October. After a botched punt during a critical part of the game, a firestorm of mean-spirited, devastating comments were blasted out toward this young man through social media (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook). One minute he’s an all-star, the next he found himself on the receiving end of a litany of debilitating comments.

We can’t stand between our kids and the world, but we can (and should) help them develop a strong foundation. This is where assets like self esteem and personal power can make a big difference. Seek out those opportunities and experiences that build on your child’s strengths. The more confident our kids are, the more resilient they will be, and the less likely it is that they will be the victim of bullies.

Pay attention to your kids’ social media activity. Load the apps on Our teenagers are all too familiar your phone. Friend them. Follow with scenes like this. The deal is, them. And keep each other we never know who the next accountable. Involve the whole target is going to be. It can start family in establishing family with what you did, how you look, boundaries and expectations what happened to you, and one about use of technology. tweet, two tweets, KABOOM! Because let’s face it, this It feels like the whole world is epidemic has no age limits. against you!

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Social Media Tips Set a good example Don’t practice the “do as I say, not as I do” philosophy. Keep it positive. Start young! It is much easier to set boundaries and expectations and to teach respectful use of technology when kids are young. Privacy is limited! When kids know parents are reading and watching their posts, they are more likely to avoid risky on-line behavior. Be present Look up and pay attention to the people in front of you. Set limits and follow through You’re teaching them little if you don’t follow through on the consequences you’ve established.

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continued from page 7

and communities. Additionally, there is less strife in these parents’ relationships with their children and more time for mutually enjoyable conversation and activities. The four skills these parents share are best summarized as Talk, Instruct, Monitor, and Encourage (T.I.M.E.). Skill #1: Talk The number one skill of an effective parent offering the most significant return is talk. Sometimes the most challenging part of talking with someone you love is taking the first step to break the silence. One of my fondest memories is about this concept: striking up conversation. When I was in high school, my dad and I were driving in the car for about 15 minutes without a word spoken (this was in the days before cell phones, mind you), and we still had about 40 minutes left. I’m sure I was deep in thought about something to do with my friends’ and my latest crush. I’m sure my dad was more aware of the silence and the growing awkward “someone should be saying something” feeling. Looking back, I can imagine my dad racking his brain for a conversation starter, knowing whatever he came up with would be met with a sigh and a couple of rolled eyes. But my dad, never ceasing to amaze me, mustered up the courage to jump out on a limb. The next thing I knew, Dad interrupted my deep and important thoughts of what to wear to my friend’s party this coming Friday night with, “So…Shari, tell me…what are your thoughts on life?” Thoughts on life!? Really, Dad, that’s what you came up with? I remember laughing, followed by, “I don’t know.” I recollect we talked a bit, but mostly I remember thinking I loved the fact my dad wanted to know what I thought. I can’t finish this story by stating the next forty minutes were spent in meaningful conversation and I could talk to him about anything, but I can say that a few years later, he came to Missouri to help me drive home from college and we missed our turn and drove more than 40 minutes out of our way because we were deep in meaningful conversation. Some people are naturals at striking up conversation, but for those of us who are not, the good news is, striking up conversation can be learned, and the more it’s practiced, the easier it becomes. Skill #2: Instruct Often parents fall into the trap of making assumptions about what children know and don’t know. How many of us can hear the voice of our parents ringing in our ear, “What were you thinking? You know better than that!” How many of us still ask that of our children and even ourselves? Usually, the answer is,

“Yes, I know I shouldn’t have done that, but either I didn’t know what else to do, or I don’t know how to do something else.” Rather than to punish or consequence the inappropriate behavior, an effective parent teaches their child how to be successful next time. One of the most important things an effective parent does is not assume children should always know what to do; rather, they take the time to instruct. Instruction is useful in anticipation of a tough situation or after a mistake has been made. There are many skills that can be taught, such as accepting no for an answer, staying calm, accepting feedback, following instructions in several different settings, asking for help, dealing with bullies, resisting peer pressure, handling responsibility, and even getting a job. Effective parents understand children are more successful with proper preparation. skill #3: Monitor Monitoring is probably the most challenging key to implemen because monitoring requires TIME. To illustrate monitoring, I’d like to share a personal experience that I imagine most of us can relate to. Nowadays, I can barely remember this, but there once was a time I could workout and feel great afterwards. However, after a certain age, my workouts became associated with incessant, never-ending, unremitting, relentless, and persistent soreness. When I was younger, after my workout, if I felt sore I’d think “Oh, this is a good sore…means I’m getting in shape.” At some point, I either didn’t get in shape or being in shape also meant being sore. Soon, I realized soreness wasn’t about getting in shape; it was about getting older. This is when aspirin and ibuprofen became my friends. Returning to my point about the challenge of monitoring: I noticed I was acutely aware of the pain in my body, but not as aware of the relief of pain once the pain killer took effect. Sometimes my husband will ask me how I’m feeling, and it is only then that I suddenly realize the pain has subsided. Effective parents are skilled at remaining aware of even the slightest progress. By remaining aware and rewarding positive behaviors in their children, these parents get to enjoy positive interactions with their child and increase the chances the child’s positive behavior will continue to happen and happen more often. skill #4: Encourage All four skills take TIME, but the last one —encourage—should be given the most TIME. Research indicates the odds of behavior happening more often increases when parents use positive reinforcement rather than negative consequences. The challenge with this skill is to respond to

the child with positive encouragement before there is a problem rather than responding with correction when there is a problem. To use positive reinforcement is to notice when behavior happens and reward accordingly. Positive reinforcement encourages children to continue positive behavior. Rewarding behavior, rather than punishing it, displays to a child appreciation and respect. It communicates value and a sense of self-worth. A fun illustration used to teach encouragement to our employees is “The Clicking Pen.” When training a group, one volunteer is asked to leave the room. The remaining participants decide a task they want the volunteer to accomplish—like picking up a pen on the table or sitting in an open chair. (One time a very gregarious, outgoing, volunteer was asked to dance. It was beautiful!) The volunteer is asked to come back into the room and is given the following instructions, “We have chosen a task for you to accomplish. I am going to click the pen each time you do something wrong.” Typically, the volunteer simply stops trying after a few failed attempts. The volunteer is then asked to leave the room again. The group chooses another task and asks the volunteer to return. This time, the volunteer is given the following instructions, “We have chosen a task for you to accomplish. I am going to click the pen each time you do something right.” Inevitably, the volunteer sticks with it until he or she accomplishes the task. Every time we practice this exercise, the volunteer reports the second option feels the best. When I told my mom about the T.I.M.E. parenting model incorporated into our programs, she was jealous she didn’t have this resource available when she and my dad were raising my brothers and me. She expressed having so many regrets about some of the ways she and my dad parented. I reminded her she did the best she could with what she had, and if you don’t mind my saying, I think her four children turned out pretty great. Yet she realizes if she had learned the T.I.M.E. techniques, she may have experienced less stress and fewer regrets. Being the amazing person she is, she plans to attend the next class realizing she is never done raising children; there are now nine grandchildren in the family! If you are interested in learning more about specific techniques that will help you Talk, Instruct, Monitor, and Encourage, the Common Sense Parenting curriculum is available through Boys Town Press at www.boystown.com ■ www.tlc4cs.org

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Check out who’s standing out in our community. IS THERE SOMEONE YOU’D LIKE TO NOMINATE? Please visit our website http://tlc4cs.org/faces-in-the-crowd/ and tell us why this individual has stood out in your crowd.

Emily Deese

FACES IN THE CROWD

MIDLAND HIGH SCHOOL, 12TH GRADE

Emily Deese is a remarkable young woman, with a huge heart and amazing determination. Earlier this year, she embarked on a project to build a pavilion at the local splash park in memory of much-loved Breckenridge teacher, Douglas Sowle. Sowle passed away in January 2015. Deese has managed all aspects of the project, from writing grants and hosting fundraisers, to collaborating with local Village officials and pulling permits. She expects to unveil the pavilion – appropriately named The Douglas Sowle Memorial Pavilion – during Memorial Day festivities in May. For more information about the project, visit the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/The-Douglas-Sowle-Memorial-Pavilion-1539626366301828.

Jack Somers

MIDLAND HIGH SCHOOL, 12TH GRADE

Jack Somers has served on the High School Outreach Team at Blessed Sacrament Parish for three years. In order to have greater student involvement in the planning stages, the church has created a student leadership position. Jack graciously accepted this role and is excited to establish a structure for the role that can be used in the years to come. In this role, he will help run meetings, foster community and teambuilding, and bring forward ideas or comments on behalf of the team. With his leadership, the preparation and participation in their 2016 mission trip to Racine, Wis., will be meaningful for all the students and adults involved. Thanks for stepping forward, Jack!

Luke Drumright

HH DOW HIGH SCHOOL, 12TH GRADE

Luke Drumright is a well-rounded individual with an amazing work ethic. He works hard to maintain his grades while participating in a variety of activities. He is on the Dow High Varsity Swim Team, as well as the Dow High Marching and Concert Bands. He volunteers at his church and the Midland Community Center. He also works summers at the Midland Country Club. Luke has been on two mission trips and plans to go to Kentucky this summer. Luke was voted by his peers to be on the homecoming court the past two years and was named homecoming king this year. You are a great role model, Luke. Thanks for all you do for our community!

Buffy Hall

COMMUNITY Volunteer

Buffy Hall is an art teacher by day and passionate swim coach by night. She is an art teacher at Woodcrest Elementary. In 2014, she received the Midland Public Schools Shining Star Award for her work as a teacher. She has been involved with the Midland Dolphin Swim Team for 20 years and currently serves as the team’s head assistant coach. She also is head coach for the boys and girls teams at Jefferson Middle School and Midland Country Club, as well as the girls’ team at Midland High. She expects her swimmers and students to put forth their best effort, and she is committed to doing the same for them. Thanks for all you do, Buffy!

Girls on the Run

organization

Girls on the Run is a character development program for girls, grades 3-5, that uses physical activity as a tool to introduce healthy lifestyle choices. The focus of the program is on increasing the girls’ self-respect and enhancing their confidence through an experience-based curriculum facilitated by trained Coach Mentors. The program is hosted in the spring and fall seasons. The season runs for 12 weeks, with the girls meeting twice a week. At the end of each three month session, the girls participate in a 5K run. For more information about the program or to locate a site near you, visit www.girlsontherunmidland.org.

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Nursery Care

On Sunday mornings, newborns to age three play in the nursery with excellent, consistent caregivers.

Bible BLAST Sunday School

Children ages three to grade five explore God’s word and grow in God’s love through games, music, science, art, and mission.

Movin’ Up Club

Once a month, this special fellowship group for fourth and fifth graders focuses on relationships and community service.

Family Fellowship

Once a month, families with young children share a meal and friendly conversation.

Vacation Bible School: June 20–24, 2016 1310 Ashman Street • Midland, Michigan • 989-835-6759 • mempres.org

In the beginning, you saw a bright future. Great family. Great job. Great health. All the toys. Life doesn’t always go as planned. The stress. The pain. The arguments. The need to escape. More and more, life feels out of control. It leaves you afraid to look at reality. Don’t like what you see because of your alcohol or drug use? We can show you a new way to look at life, and help you recover a vision for a brighter tomorrow. For confidential help, please call 631.0241.

40 developmental assets

row G n re Child

d’s Love o G n ing i

40 Developmental Assets are essential qualities of life that help young people thrive, do well in school, and avoid risky behavior. We utilize 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, our community will continue to be a place where Great Kids Make Great Communities.

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assets in action

40 DEVELOPMENTAL ASSETS

5 Meridian named coolest marching band in Michigan

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

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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 Bullock Creek salutes Lancer Leader Award nominees

The Northeast-Jefferson Middle School Girls Cross Country Team

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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

Family members share tradition, quality 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 submit the information through http://tlc4cs.org/assets-in-action/ with a picture and the number of the asset the picture represents.

Not all pictures are guaranteed publication.

21 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.

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.

The Chamber of Commerce 2015 Young Entrepreneurs Academy participants

38

Key Club members volunteer at The Open Door

Young people participate in 2015 United Way Color Run

26 36

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.

Local students take part in Non-Violence Week activities

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Talking WITH Kids

about drinking By Art Becker, LAC

Yay, another talk with the kiddos about something they don’t want to hear. Talking with kids about drinking alcohol equals talking to them about the birds and the bees. Approaching it as a dictator can cause push back, but with a little empathy this is a conversation that will reap more rewards than grief.

hen do we have this talk, is there a point when it’s too early, what if I’m already too late? There is not an ideal age for every child. The age is not important, the time is, and it is now. Our children learn much more from watching us than from the jargon we cleverly try to throw at them. So what have we been teaching our children through our behaviors? Do we drink? If so, how often? Have they seen us intoxicated, does drinking happen when celebrating, does drinking make people happier, does drinking come with being an adult, etc.? This isn’t to judge. On the contrary, we are looking to communicate with our children from this point forward through both our actions and our words. If we enjoy a glass of wine with dinner, could we reduce the frequency? Do we have beer with pizza? Could we swap it out for a soda occasionally? Kids will see the difference in behavior without us ever having to mention it to them. Adjusting the frequency will help them see that using alcohol is not the norm at home. Leading by example makes it valid when it comes to talking with children. They already know that other kids drink and they are pretty sure that we weren’t locked in our room throughout our high school days. Not drinking now is our biggest selling point. The “scared straight” talks about drinking and drug use will go in one ear and out the other. The “just call me if you’ve been drinking because I don’t want you to drive” talk is viewed as a permission giving statement, and the “if your friends jumped off of a bridge would you do it too” talk is just annoying. From sixth grade forward,

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they will be testing their limits and decision making abilities. If we lead by example our children will listen to what we have to say. Even when it doesn’t seem like they’re listening, keep communicating healthy normalcies through actions and words. Rewards vs. Consequences It is easy for parents to tell children that none of their perceived drama will matter in five years. The problem is that our wisdom comes from having had those experiences, and our children see us as trying to take these experiences away from them. How will they ever know if this was important or not if they don’t even get to experience it? Welcome to FOMO, the Fear Of Missing Out. This is significant when we talk to our children about their decisions surrounding alcohol and/or other drugs. A child’s emotional state hangs immediately in front of them and it relies heavily on their sense of acceptance. We as parents need to understand that our children believe they will be missing something great. We do not need to try to understand why they feel this way, we simply need to understand that they do. There is a definite reward/benefit perception by kids when it comes to drinking/drugs. How does this reward measure up with the logical, but in no way believed, possible consequences for drinking/using other drugs? This is where we can really help our children through our communication and empathy. When we talk with our children it is extremely important that we guide our questions carefully surrounding their believed benefits of substance use. Children will likely shut down surrounding this subject so it is best addressed on the sly. Asking a

child about what is so great about going to a party will most likely result in the form of an argument about not being understood. Talking with a child about any girls/boys they’re interested in, what movies they’ve seen lately, what kind of car they would like to get someday, will open doors of communication which are normally under lock and key. We obviously need to bring up the possible consequences associated with substance use but we never need to address it as something our children have no control over. Children think consequences associated with substance use will never happen to them. They only think they won’t be accepted. Being excluded is terrifying but children can overcome such FOMO with our support. Offer to have friends over for movies, take them bowling, have them over for a BBQ, and just let them be kids. Establishing an environment where kids can do what they like where there is no substance use promotes their social development within a controlled setting. If kids feel as though they are having fun and being accepted by their peers, they are not missing out. There will always be fear of something but through our efforts to include, accept, and promote our children’s social wellbeing, the fear will not surround missing out on life. Only when they recognize they’re being accepted can we sneak in some words of advice about not drinking or using drugs because at this point it will not fall on completely deaf ears. Leading by example through our behaviors, open communication, and social support of our kids will nudge them in the right direction. ■


Have beer or wine with pizza? Swap it out for soda or juice occasionally. Kids will see the difference in behavior without us ever having to mention it, showing them that alcohol use is not the norm at home.

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know the signs of

depression By Alana Listoe, Director of Community Relations, Shodair Children’s Hospital

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wareness about mental illness has made tremendous gains in recent years, but there is still a stigma attached that society could do a better job to curb. Fact: depression is a treatable illness that sometimes has lifelong implications, much like diabetes or asthma. It’s okay to talk about depression. It’s okay to ask about depression. And, it’s okay if you or someone you know has faced it. The prevalence of Major Depressive Disorder is approximately two percent in children under the age of 12 and between four and eight percent in adolescents. Combined, that means that nearly 10 percent of young people face depression, and Dr. Keith Foster, medical director of psychiatry at Shodair Children’s Hospital, believes that is significant. “People often think that depression only happens to certain groups or within certain demographics,” he said. “But that couldn’t be further from the truth because depression affects everyone, and all racial, ethnic, and socio-economic groups.” Additionally, between five and ten percent of children and adolescents have some depressive symptoms but do not meet the full criteria for Major Depressive Disorder, Foster said. Depression is defined as an illness when the feelings of depression persist and interfere with a child or adolescent’s ability to function. Foster said it’s normal for all people to have feelings of sadness, gloom, and hurt. And sometimes that can increase during the holidays, or times of transition like back-to-school. It’s when those feelings don’t subside over time and start impairing relationships that it raises concern. The symptoms of depression lasting for more than two weeks may include decreased or increased sleep, and appetite; decreased energy; decreased concentration; feelings of guilt; diminished interest in friends or activities previously enjoyed. For younger children nonverbal symptoms such as increased intensity or number of temper tantrums, or physical complaints such as bellyaches may occur. Depression is equally common in boys and girls at young ages, but the risk increases significantly for girls after puberty. One of the most significant risk factors is a family history of mental illness. Children with histories of abuse or neglect—physical or emotional—are also at greater risk. The good news is that depression is a treatable illness; the challenge for parents and caregivers is knowing when to be patient, and knowing when to act. If parents are worried, don’t be afraid to ask a professional. Life can be difficult and circumstances such as bullying, moving, death or divorce are key components that can play a role in the development of depression, experts say. Negative, stressful life events can be triggers, especially for those who are genetically sensitive to mental illness. Foster said people often want to find blame, but depression does not happen because of some moral failure. “It’s a medical illness that has treatment options,” Foster said. Acting sooner prevents more harm If parents are concerned that their child may have depression, a good first place to start is with his or her pediatrician or primary care provider. But when a child makes a serious threat, it should not be dismissed as idle talk. If a child makes a threat and then refuses to talk, is argumentative, responds defensively, or expresses dangerous thoughts or plans, an immediate evaluation is required by a mental health professional specializing in children and adolescents, according to the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry. Children who have made serious threats must be carefully supervised while awaiting professional intervention to reduce the risk of selfharm, harm to others, or suicide.

Signs that may indicate depression in children Change in personality, such as increased anger, irritability, moodiness, or whining Change in appetite, usually a loss of appetite Change in sleep patterns, such as difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, or excessive sleeping Loss of energy, or lethargy Loss of interest in friends, play, activities, and sports. Or an absence of pleasure derived from relationships Low self-esteem, frequently expressed through self-deprecating and negative talk Indecisiveness Difficulty with concentration (not to be confused with attention deficit disorder) Feelings of helplessness, occasionally expressed through suicidal talk

Karl Rosston, Suicide Prevention Coordinator at the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS), says it’s important to recognize warning signs and risks such as feelings of hopelessness, being a burden to others, and talk about not being afraid to die. He adds that when there is risk, homes need to be suicide proof (firearms and prescription medication stored safely). Early interventions include teaching kids as early as first and second grade coping and resiliency skills to deal with adversity in life, Rosston said. No matter if the treatment includes therapy, medication, or hospitalization, parent involvement is paramount, and not just because they are the personal chauffeur to appointments. Foster believes communication is critical. “Adults sometimes want to see kids and teens as oppositional, but let’s think and talk about what else might be going on,” he said. “As a society, let’s ask our friends and neighbors who are dealing with depression how they are doing. Let’s send them cards and take their families food just as we would if they had cancer. It will be uncomfortable, but do it anyway.” There is hope and most episodes of depression in children and adolescents last about eight months, and 70-80% recover after one year. “The majority of children do get better,” Foster said. ■

Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255) www.tlc4cs.org

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BY THE

NUMBERS

Q. How can I keep my child(ren) safe online? A. In my career in law enforcement, one of the questions I get

asked most frequently is what are some simple things I can do to keep my kids safe using technology? The question actually is very simple to answer. As a parent, be involved in knowing what your children are doing and ask them questions about the technology they use. As an officer, I spent a considerable amount of time working in the field of internet crime and technology-based offenses involving kids. As a School Resource Officer, I encounter this problem almost daily. As a parent, technology affects my children, as well. As I look back on my experiences, I have identified common factors of how children get in trouble with technology. The biggest tip I can give to parents is to be actively involved in what technology children use. The majority of kids have access to some type of tablet or smart device. Internet access is easily at their fingertips. Let’s face it, kids are curious and they talk about the newest sites and applications they’ve come across. Even as adults who utilize social media, we send links to videos, sites or pictures that we find interesting. As a parent, if you allow your child to have a device, set ground rules for what the child can and can’t do with the device. Establish boundaries for kids and stick to them. Taking away use of technology is not the end of the world, even though the child may feel unplugged or disconnected. Sometimes it actually does a child good. Here are some other tips:

» Ask your children about their technology use. » Look at their technology and social media usage. » Research applications and websites you aren’t familiar with. » Inspect pictures and videos on a device. » If you notice changes in behavior of your children, ask about

their online life. It may be a warning sign.

Finally, if you do find something troubling or suspicious, contact law enforcement and speak to a professional about what you find concerning. In addition, there are many resources for parents that provide great tips on keeping kids safe online:

3

The number of years the average person spends on the toilet. www.funfactz.com/top

18

The area in square feet that your skin will cover if laid flat. www.funfactz.com/random-facts

1000

The number of birds that die a year by smashing into a window. www.funfactz.com/top

300

The length of a tunnel a mole can dig in one night. www.strangefacts.com/facts1.html

1460

» www.netsmartz.org/Parents » www.ncmec.org - National Center for Missing & Exploited Children » www.wiredsafety.org » www.connectsafely.org » www.cyberbullying.us » www.cyberbullying.org/resources/parents Senior Officer Bryan Fischer is an SRO with the Helena Police Department in Montana.

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.

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The number of dreams an average person has each year. www.strangefacts.com/facts1.html

100

The number of times per second the earth is hit by lightning. uselessfacts.net/page/2


Grace A. Dow Memorial Library Cram Night

Sunday, January 24, 5:30pm–8:00pm Grades 9–12 Study time for teens with pizza, snacks & drinks provided.

{

STAY WITH THAT PERSON LISTEN, REALLY LISTEN GET THEM TO HELP OR CALL SOMEONE WHO CAN HELP NEVER KEEP A SECRET ABOUT SUICIDE. IT IS BETTER TO LOSE A FRIEND THAN FOR A FRIEND TO LOSE THEIR LIFE.

www.cmhcm.org ∙ 800.317.0708

{

A Novel Way to Explore the Past Saturday, April 9, 1:15pm–2:45pm Grades 8 & up Secrets...WWI...shell shock...Stay where you are and Read This Book! Then come to the Library to discuss Stay Where You are and Then Leave by John Boyne. Co-sponsored by the Midland County Historical Society. Book is available in Youth Services. Registration required.

Youth Services 837-3466 www.cityofmidlandmi.gov/library

Helping Families Grow and Thrive Preschool for three- and four-year-olds at four locations Childcare for children ages 12 and under After-school and summer programs for youth and teens Summer food program from the USDA for youth ages 18 and under Dow College Opportunity Program to support and mentor high school students Parent education and social services Community computer lab with Internet access Call us for details at 989.832.3256, or visit WMFC.org Located at 4011 West Isabella Rd. (M-20) 14 miles west of Downtown Midland

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alcohol use by teens has

consequences By Joelle Johnson, LCSW, LAC

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s parents, we naturally want to protect our children from everything we can, sometimes even the consequences of their own choices. After watching the news and seeing another story about a local high school student dying in an alcohol-related car crash or college kids being taken to the emergency room for alcohol poisoning, we cannot help but think of the best ways to protect our children from the harmful, sometimes fatal consequences of underage drinking. We may believe that underage drinking is an inevitable right-of-passage and decide the only way to protect our children from the consequences is to allow them to drink at home, where parents are able to control both their access to a car and how much alcohol is being consumed. While these parenting decisions are wrought with good intentions, they do nothing to protect teens against the more unseen but often times, just as dire, long-term consequences of alcohol use on the developing brain. Consequences include the development of addiction and other long-term mental health problems. Once these consequences are weighed and considered, it becomes clear that adult-monitored, underage drinking is no safer than teens drinking at a kegger with their friends. With that in mind, parents’ goals must shift from simply reducing immediate consequences of teen alcohol use to discouraging and preventing it in all circumstances. When living in a culture where alcohol use is legal and acceptable, it can be difficult to understand, let alone communicate to our children, why alcohol is okay for adults, but not for teens. Parents who engage in social drinking themselves may find this discussion additionally difficult. However, research has shown that, much like the wellknown negative impacts of alcohol on the developing fetus, frequent or even occasional use of alcohol on the developing teen brain will result in impaired development. While science has yet to understand addiction completely, research built over the last several decades has taught us a lot. We now know there is not an “addiction gene” but that a number of biological and environmental factors interact together to create substance abuse disorders. In addition to a family history of substance abuse, the age at which someone begins to use alcohol (or other substances) is predictive of the later development of substance abuse. Research from the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse shows those who begin drinking at age 15 are four times more likely to develop addiction as those who wait until they are 21. Although there is not definitive research to explain this connection, we do know that alcohol directly impacts the

areas of the brain that are developing during adolescence; areas associated with impulse control, decision making and the reward systems of the brain. Over time, teens learn (at a biological level, rather than a conscious one) that when they drink, they feel good in some way. When this “learning” occurs in a still developing brain, a brain that has yet to “learn” other ways to relax or feel good, there is an increased likelihood the youth will develop a pattern of behavior that will include alcohol. This pattern is the first step to developing an abusive relationship with alcohol where, not only is alcohol one way to relax, it becomes the only way. The impact of alcohol on the developing brain is not only predictive of substance abuse problems, but of an entire array of mental health concerns into the future. In the example above, a youth whose brain begins to rely upon alcohol to “feel good” may experience high levels of depression or anxiety when alcohol is not present. But the impacts of teen alcohol use are not always so direct. Instead, it can be the very first domino in a series of events that contribute to mental health disorders. When engaging in alcohol use, teens increase their engagement in a number of high risk activities including unprotected sex and increased exposure to or engagement in violent behavior. These behaviors increase teen’s exposure to stressful or sometimes even traumatic events, which further increases the risk of the development of mental health issues in the long and short term. Let’s also examine the common belief that underage drinking is a “right-of-passage.” Nationwide data from the “Monitoring the Future” study shows over the past five years the number of high school seniors reporting alcohol use in the past 30 days has decreased from 43.5% in 2009 to 37.4% in 2014. The same study has also shown a steady decrease in binge drinking among teens since its peak in 1998 (31.5%) to a low of below 20% in 2014. This data suggests the opposite of what many parents believe. Teen alcohol use is not the norm, which gives us good reason to hope our teens do not experiment with alcohol. But we must do more than hope. We must communicate our expectation that they do not drink before they are legally old enough to do so. Research shows teens will live up to the expectations set for them by parents and other adults. If we communicate to our children that we expect for them to drink alcohol, drink they will. But, if we communicate firmly and often that underage drinking is unacceptable behavior, we can greatly reduce the chances our children will engage in underage drinking and really protect them from all the consequences that come from that choice. ■

Data suggests the opposite of what many parents believe: teen alcohol use is not the norm, which give us good reason to hope our teens do not experiment with alcohol. But we must do more than hope. We must communicate our expectation that they do not drink before they are legally old enough to do so.

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GREATERMIDLAND.ORG #BEGREATER

This Winter be greater

scholarships

Apply online! www.midlandfdn.org

at greater midland!

S: ERATIN G UNIT VISIT OU R OPNIS CENTER CORPORATE WELLN ESS

CUR LIN G CEN TER FAMILY CEN TER TER COLEMA N TH FAMILY CEN NESS CEN TER NOR NORTH-END FIT

TER TEN COM MU NITY CEN

MACF scholarship funds will award nearly $500,000 to Midland area students in 2016. Find yours today. Apply online today through 3/1/16 Find out more at www.midlandfdn.org

RECOVERING YOUTH FUTURES

YOUR

CHILD ON

IS COUNTING

YOU

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

NOW.

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

A substance use evaluation & treatment program for Midland County youth

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academic rÉsumÉs Different ... but not By Carolynn Bright

hile most people know what a résumé for employment entails, résumés for scholarships or college are not as widely understood. Their purposes may be different, but much of the information included in both types of résumé is similar. “You want your résumé to make you look like a superstar!” said Schylar Canfield-Baber, outreach manager for nonprofit Student Assistance Foundation (SAF). “This is your opportunity to take the highlights of your life so far and use them to impress scholarship selection committees and college admissions staff.” It’s best to start building an academic résumé sooner rather than later—cramming four years of opportunity into senior year isn’t practical. Students should begin their high school careers with the knowledge that what they do, in and out of class, counts toward their future goals. The basis for any academic résumé is academic performance. Grades matter, but so does the willingness by students to challenge themselves by taking Advanced Placement and honors classes. Canfield-Baber encourages students to reach higher, knowing that scholarship and college selection committees reward students for pushing their academic comfort zone. “Participation in athletics or school clubs is another way to attract positive attention,” Canfield-Baber said. “Helping to sell ads for the

yearbook, playing in your school’s pep band, or being a member of the tennis team highlight a willingness to dedicate time and effort to be productive within the school community.” Canfield-Baber also suggests that carving out time to volunteer demonstrates a student’s ability to identify need in the community, outside of the school environment. By volunteering, students have the opportunity to gain new and different skills, make important connections, and help the community. Employment is another key element of many academic résumés. Whether that employment involves babysitting for a family friend, filing papers at an office, or flipping hamburgers, Canfield-Baber said a job exhibits reliability and work ethic. Hobbies and classes, like CPR or first aid, also have a place in academic résumés. “You want to use your résumé to show scholarship and college admission committees that you are a well-rounded individual,” he said. “Focus on the quality of your experiences and put forth your best attitude in order to convince decision-makers that you are the right choice for them!” Canfield-Baber recommends beginning to track accomplishments like volunteer work, awards, certifications, and similar items early on in order to ensure a comprehensive list to include on academic résumés. ■

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Serving Midland, Bay, Saginaw and Isabella Counties

Orientation & Studio Training

Discover how to shoot, edit, produce and direct a TV show, and have fun! Volunteer as a family and change the life of a child, for the better, forever! www.bbbsgreatlakesbay.org (989) 631-5360

Second Saturday February 13 or March 12 10:00am–1:00pm, $45. Must be 12 years or older.

Call 837-3474 • www.cityofmidlandmi.gov/mctv

CHALLENGE YOURSELF IN TWO WAYS

Through RYLA, you can  Develop your leadership skills and character  Gain exposure to a variety of issues and people  Meet active community leaders  Learn valuable information and career skills

A Chance to Lead

A Chance to Travel

RYLAs are designed for young adults with proven leadership ability and a commitment to community service. Camp RYLA is held for 5 days in June and will help you discover your potential and develop the skills needed to be a leader in your community, career, and everyday life.

RYE gives students between the ages of 16 and 18 the opportunity of a lifetime! It’s a chance to spend one year in another country learning the language and culture. Students typically stay with two or three Rotary-approved families and receive a monthly stipend for incidental expenses. Potential RYE students need to be above-average students who are eager for the chance to try new things and meet new people. You will learn about other cultures, about other people and about yourself.

You’ll also have fun, build friendships, and create memories that will last a lifetime.

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For more information, contact the Midland Noon Rotary Club at admin@midlandnoonrotary.org or check out our website: http://midlandrotaryclub.org/.

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Community Education & Engagement

Treating ADHD: Methods and Risks Appropriate testing, diagnosis and treatment for ADHD is important for success at home, school and work. During this presentation you will learn how ADHD is diagnosed, what medications are prescribed and how they work, as well as behavioral therapies that are utilized. The potential dangers and legal ramifications for those who take ADHD medication that is not prescribed to them will also be discussed, including teens who take ADHD medications to help them perform at higher levels academically and in sports.

Community Program

Wednesday, February 17 6 - 8 p.m. MidMichigan Medical Offices - Midland Towsley Auditorium 4009 Orchard Drive • Midland, Michigan

Guest speakers include Thomas Fluent, M.D. and Scott Zimostrad, Ph.D. Dr. Fluent is a child/ adolescent and adult psychiatrist from the University of Michigan with clinical interests in diagnosis and treatment of ADHD and associated conditions. As a treatment provider of ADHD for many years, and the father of a son with ADHD, Dr. Fluent offers a unique view of the special challenges and considerations faced by parents and children with this disorder. Dr. Zimostrad is a clinical neuropsychologist. He received his PhD from Ball State University and interned in the Henry Ford Health System in child psychiatry and neurorehabilitation. Dr. Zimostrad is known both nationally and internationally for his assessment and treatment of both children and adolescents with neurological and neurodevelopmental disorders.

Please join us for this informative discussion provided by MidMichigan Health and the Community Alliance 4 Youth Success.

To register for this FREE program, visit www.midmichigan.org/treatingadhd.

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

Prevent Injuries and Get Back In the Game Quicker In addition to injury prevention, the WellSport program is designed to help expedite the assessment, referral and treatment of athletes with strains, sprains, contusions, fractures, joint injuries and concussions.

Program Goals § Prevent injuries through education and training. § Help athletes of all ages achieve their highest potential and prevent illness and injury through comprehensive sports physicals. § Help injured athletes get back in the game as safely and quickly as possible. § Manage medical conditions that can affect performance, such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease, weight or arthritis. § Promote the use of “exercise as medicine” to maximize health and wellness.

Locations MidMichigan Medical Offices - Campus Ridge 1 4401 Campus Ridge Drive, Midland MidMichigan Health Park - Mt. Pleasant 4851 E. Pickard Street, Mt. Pleasant To make an appointment, call (989) 837-9350.

For more information, visit www.midmichigan.org/wellsport.

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Youth Connections - Legacy - January 2015  
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