Youth Connections Magazine

Page 1

JUNE 2012


fun summer ideas inside



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JUNE 2012


4 Summertime Fun

6 Home Alone? Proactive Parenting 14 Home Visitation 17 Child Supervision: Is Your Child Ready to Be

2 From the Director 9 Faces in the Crowd 10 Hot Nutrition Tips 11 40 Developmental Assets 12 Assets in Action 20 Q&A 20 By the Numbers 22 Media Literacy: Violence in

the Media


In a Reactive World


An Old Idea Adapted for a New Age of Education

Youth Connections is a coalition of over 700 community members representing parents, educators, churches, youth-serving organizations, businesses, and more who want to make Helena a healthy and supportive place for kids and families. Youth Connections recognizes the need to reduce negative behaviors including substance use and violence while also working to increase positive opportunities and mental wellness for all our local kids. So how do we do that? We know there is no one silver bullet to making communities great, and so we do LOTS of things that we know make communities better. For example, we helped place professionals in the schools to help students who may be suffering from substance abuse or mental health issues. We support agencies and businesses who offer youth activities by helping coordinate transportation and funds for kids to be involved in activities. We support student mentoring relationships. We also know that when kids know better, they do better, so we support classroom education in the areas of bullying prevention and substance use prevention. Youth Connections also understands we must support the adults in kids’ lives and therefore we provide training, education, networks, and collaborative opportunities for parents and professionals to connect with others who care about kids. Youth Connections is well known for its quarterly publication, YC Magazine, a resource for parents and the entire community. These are just some of the projects we’re working on to serve our mission of engaging our community to create environments where youth thrive and succeed. For a comprehensive list of activities, services, and ways you can get involved, please visit our website at




TO ADVERTISE (406) 996-1361

COVER PHOTO BY Wandering Albatross Photography

TO CONTRIBUTE (406) 324-1083 |



JUNE 2012


from the



Connor Casillas, a six-year-old kindergartner at Smith School, was born with cerebral palsy. His childhood has been defined by surgeries, therapies, medicines, doctors’ offices, tube feedings, stress, and fear. For Connor, his mother, Kelly, and the other special needs families in Helena, there is little time to have those vital carefree moments that define childhood – rope swings, climbing trees, and playground fun. But the parents involved in developing Helena’s “Playable Park” are working to change that.

Stacy Sommer, a local special needs parent, has spearheaded the effort to develop a playground where all Helena kids can play together, regardless of ability. She has been working tirelessly with the City of Helena over the past year to create a safe and fun playground where children of all abilities – and their caregivers – can play together without limitations. The City has dedicated an area for the playground in the newly renovated Centennial Park, with adjacent access to a plethora of other community sports, facilities, and equipment. This firstof-its-kind playground will feature a rubber mat system, special touching features, and something for everyone. It will be a place where a child in a wheelchair doesn’t have to stop at the end of the pavement while his friends run up the steps to play on the equipment. A place where an autistic child will be safe to freely explore her world with equipment and enclosed spaces that acknowledge her sensory needs. A place where all children can learn to be independent, explore their world and, most importantly, to HAVE FUN. To be a part of this effort to bring happiness, laughter, smiles, and inclusion to Helena, or to make a donation, email, call Stacy at (303) 949-7055, or visit the group on Facebook at “Helena’s Playable Playground at Centennial Park.”

outh Connections is a coalition that uses a variety of best practice strategies to make Helena a place where youth can thrive and succeed. The main goals of the coalition are to reduce youth substance abuse and violence and to promote drenda niemann mental wellness and supports for youth. It takes citizens from schools, businesses, faith organizations, youth-serving organizations, mental health agencies, parents, youth, state and local government, civic organizations, media, and health care to create the changes in our community that support the growth and development of our youth. Everyone has a place at the table! Youth Connections supports over 30 programs and services in Helena to accomplish these goals and the YC Magazine is just one of those strategies. The Magazine provides resources and tools for parents with children of all ages as a way to support them as they maneuver the various developmental stages. To learn more about the comprehensive list of programs and services supported by Youth Connections, please visit or contact our office at 324-1083. We would not be able to publish this free quarterly magazine without the dedicated support of local businesses that purchase advertisements. We thank these businesses for actively showing youth and families support in this way. We encourage you to return the gesture by shopping locally and supporting these businesses. Thank you Helena! It truly takes each and every one of us working together to ensure our youth have what they need to thrive and succeed. ■

DRENDA NIEMANN, Director email: phone: (406) 324-1032 Front Street Learning Center


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sUMMERTIME fun - by Carla Lott, Small Business Owner & Mother of Four


JUNE 2012





ummer is once again looming for children of all ages — blooming just on the other side of teacher’s last exams and the school bells final chimes! The wonderful idle days of summer are full of possibilities and blistery fun for the taking. However, if you are a parent with two perfectly functioning ears, at some point during the summer, you may hear your children’s cries of the often overused and clichéd term, “I am bored…there’s nothing to do!” And if you are that same parent with those same two perfectly functioning ears, you probably hope to change those cries of boredom to shrieks of glee and happiness as you share in family summertime fun. But where do you start? What do you do to find a fun-filled, low-cost, and rewarding activity to fight the Boredom Blues of summer? With a little pre-planning and research, you can easily solve this predicament. Most likely the tools to fun are right outside in your own backyard, or at a nearby park. You may find fun is just within the kitchen pantry. Wherever you find it, remember that with just a small dose of creativity and preparation, and with safety in mind, hours of family entertainment are waiting to be discovered. If you are looking for fun in your community or neighborhood, utilize the local resources or newspapers to find opportunities or events. Suggestions for quick references are: » Surfing the internet » Newspapers » Libraries » Bulletin boards » Recreation centers » City and parks divisions

the activity and of the fun. Do take detours on the way to your final destination. If your plan is to walk to the park, stop along the way to explore and enjoy the sights of your area. Some of the best ways to get somewhere fun:

» Biking » Walking Be creative with games like Shadow Tag, I Spy, Follow the Leader, Simon Says or try identifying objects along your journey that begin with different letters of the alphabet.

» Hiking » Roller-skating » City bus » Car pooling with friends Summer is an amazing time for families to be together and to play together, and it is also a great time to practice and model safe behaviors. Remember that in all you do as a parent, being a good role model of safety while playing is extremely important. Your children learn from your actions. Keep in mind that some of the best experiences you can have with your children are available without spending money, and the end result is to beat away the Boredom Blues and make lasting memories of summer for your family.

How to Get “Hooked” on Fishing

Helena is an exceptional geographical location to introduce kids of all ages to the sport of fishing because it is surrounded by Hauser Lake, Canyon Ferry, Lake Helena, Holter Lake, Park Lake, the Missouri River, and Spring Meadow. Fishing is a common Montana pastime, but without proper preparation and planning, children can become easily discouraged when the trip turns up an empty hook. Take a few moments to plan for your fishing outing to increase the chances you will reel in the catch of the day. » Know the laws Visit Montana’s Fish, Wildlife, and Parks website at for information regarding who in your party needs to have a Montana fishing license, the dates for the legal fishing season, regulations regarding catch and release, and the limit on

Summertime Easter Egg Hunt Who says a pail full of colorful plastic eggs can only serve as entertainment for one day in April? Toss those eggs in the tall grass and let the good times “roll”!

creativs e idea

Involving everyone in the research and planning of your activities add to the excitement of the process and creates quality time for you as a family. Remember to be adventurous and creative, to be willing to think outside of the box. No matter what age your child is, everyone can appreciate a little silliness and fun in the summer! Remember that how you get there can be a part of the fun. The more adventurous you are in the process, the better the memories your family will have of the experience. Preparing safety measures for the activity you plan, and making sure everyone understands the directions before the fun begins, will ensure a great time and no injuries. If your fun requires a journey … don’t always take the quickest route. Sometimes walking through the neighborhood instead of driving gives you a better perspective of

Helping Helena’s Kids

Back Yard Theatre What about those piles of out-grown clothes? Or the empty boxes in the garage? Turn them into silly costumes and props for hours of theatrical performing fun, right off your back deck! Scavenger Hunt at the Park Make a list, grab a digital camera or even a camera phone, and start hunting! Using a camera to gather clues ensures that no small insects are harmed or kept to be brought home!

fish. Don’t let an oversight on a regulation spoil your fun. » Know the fish Become familiar with the types of fish in each area, and the best time of day to catch each type of fish. » Know your gear Learn when to use a bobber, sinker, spinner, fly, live bait, appropriate weight of fishing line, fishing pole, and reel. » Know how to access Some fishing is better from the shore, while in other areas and with other types of fish, getting out into the water will yield more successful results. » Know how to handle a catch Once a child has been successful with their catch,

Set-up a Cooking Class Turn your children into the instructing chefs, while the rest of the family become the students. Make your kitchen a classroom and reap the yummy benefits!

teach them the best way to remove a hook

Make “Magic Chalk” Put some water in a cup and grab an old paint brush. It’s time to use water as sidewalk chalk! Trace each other’s bodies, draw dinosaurs, flowers, and then watch the ‘magic chalk’ disappear!

Following these simple tips won’t guarantee

and how to properly store the fish, as well as how to clean the fish so they can enjoy their own catch of the day.

you will land a trophy, but it will increase your chances for a successful fishing outing with your children. Once they have had a positive fishing experience, it is certain they will be “hooked” for years to come!

Child supervision Is your child ready to be home alone? here is no magic age when children develop the maturity and good sense they need to stay home alone. Mature children in a neighborhood with several adult friends nearby may be all right alone for a few hours. For younger children, one hour may be too long. YOU need to decide if the time alone is too much, based on your child and your situation. If you answer “yes” to most of the questions on the questionaire, your child shows signs of the physical, problem-solving, social, and emotional skills to stay home alone safely. Your child should be skilled in each of these four areas before he or she can be safe and secure in staying home alone. Whenever possible, ask your child to act out the situation and respond to it. Sometimes a child can give the right answer, but is not able to do what is needed. Even if your child does seem mature enough to stay home alone, you need to think about some other factors: >> Is your home safe? >> Is your neighborhood safe? It’s never a good idea to leave your child alone if your home or neighborhood is not safe. >> How long will your child be alone each day? >> Is there an adult your child knows who is near your home and is willing to provide help if needed? Children must have an adult to call in an emergency, if they need a safe place to go in case of a lost key or a fire, or if they are frightened or injured. >> Does your child have special medical, physical, or emotional needs? >> Is your family going through a difficult period due to a recent move, divorce, or death? >> Children who must care for siblings need to be older and more mature. Younger siblings must be comfortable staying home without an adult.

workplace. Post a list of these important numbers by the telephone. For fire Plan an escape route and practice using it. Tell your child to leave the house first, and call the fire department from a neighbor’s home later. For an injury Teach your child how to wash and bandage a cut, how to apply pressure if there is a lot of bleeding, how to pinch a nose for a nosebleed, and how and when to call 911.

FRIENDS AND VISITORS Entering the home Your child must be able to keep track of keys and know how to lock and unlock doors easily. If a visitor comes to the door or calls Tell your child to let in only people you have said may come in. Make certain your door has a peek hole to see who is at the door. Tell your child when he or she answers the phone, to say, “My mom (dad) is busy right now. May I take a message?” Instruct your child not to tell callers that he or she is home alone, unless your child is making a call for help. Decide if your child is allowed to play outside, go to the park, or go to a friend’s home.

FIND OUT IF IT WORKS (OR IF YOU NEED TO MAKE A CHANGE) The decision to leave your child home alone is a big one. Once your child is prepared to stay alone, set up a trial period to see how he or she adjusts. This will give both of you the chance to make other plans if either of you is uncomfortable.

PLAN A SCHEDULE TOGETHER Discuss things your child can do when you are not there. Let your child choose the activities. Make a long list of “do’s” and a short list of important “don’ts.” Checking in When your child arrives home, he or she should telephone you or a special adult to report he or she is safe. Be available Always let your child know your schedule, when you will be at home, and where you can be reached until you arrive home. Your child needs to know how to tell time.

TALK ABOUT SAFETY Prepare your child to be safe every day. Make directions clear and simple. Post needed information in a place where it can easily be seen and read. Provide a list Provide a list of important adults for your child to call. Include the fire department, police 911, a neighbor, a relative, and your


JUNE 2012




Information provided by the MT Department of Health and Human Services.

Skil s and Maturity Quiz 1. Is your child physically able to: • lock and unlock th e doors and wind ow s of your home? • perform task s such as fix a sand wich, dial the tele • write a messa phone, ge?


2. Can your chil d solve problem s? Can your ch • tell time? ild: • understand what “stranger” and “e mergenc y” mean? • recognize danger and know how to st ay sa fe ? • solve small prob lems alone, but kn ow when and how • understand how to get help? his or her actions affe

ct others?

3. Is your child socially ready to: • solve conflic ts with siblings wi th lit tle he lp from adults? • talk easily to you ab

4. Is your child emotionally rea dy to: • feel confident an d secure when alon e, and willing to st • handle fears, lone ay home alone? liness, or boredom at ho m e alone? • handle responsi bilities, such as ge tt in g re ad y for school on tim • supervise others e? , su for younger siblin







Yes Yes Yes

No No No



Yes Yes

No No



out what happens at school, and ab her feelings? out his or • feel comfortable enough to contac t an adult if a prob lem comes up?

ch as looking out




Yes Yes

No No



St. Peter’s Hospital Safe Sitter Classes A 2 day, 12 hour instructional program for youth ages 11-13. Topics include how to deal with medical emergencies, babysitting as a business, responsibilities, safety, what to do if a child chokes and age appropriate entertainment. Students must pass a written exam and demonstrate rescue breathing/ choking on a mannequin in order to receive a certificate of completion. Enrollment is necessarily limited as directed by the National Safe Sitter Org. Pre-registration and payment required. Cost is $50/student. Scholarships available upon request and will take 3-4 weeks for processing and approval. For information about upcoming classes, contact St. Peter’s Hospital at 422-2480.

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Thanks to Youth Connections for all you do for our community!


JUNE 2012




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


Holden Grove Central elementary school, 5th grade

Holden, a 5th grader in a combination 4/5 Central Classroom, takes an overall lead both socially and academically by quietly displaying a consistently appropriate behavior that is admired by his peers and adults alike. The many assets he possesses enable him to feel comfortable with himself while he enjoys a well-rounded set of attributes and skills. He is able to calmly adjust to existing and novel situations and make the most out of the present. He almost always exhibits model behavior for his peers in a quiet manner. While saying little, when he does speak it is almost always with wisdom, kindness and support for others.

Justin Johnson

capital high school, 9th grade

Justin, a 9th grader at Capital HIgh, recently organized a food drive to benefit Helena Food Share. His efforts inspired school staff and students and garnered about 300 pounds of food. Teachers appreciate his great sense of community and common good. Justin displays maturity beyond his age with his thoughtfulness and caring towards others. Justin is a friendly, hard working student who is helpful to all, often without being asked. He does very well in school and is not content with a mistake until he understands why and how to fix it. Justin is a great student who is always challenging himself, and his work consistently goes beyond the expected.

Mary Sands warren elementary school, Special Education Paraprofessional

Mary is a Special Education Paraprofessional at Warren School, but she is so much more than that for the students and staff with whom she works. Mary takes the time to get to know families to better understand the needs of the children. She has an enormous, giving and caring heart. When working with her students, she has tremendous patience, captivating humor and unfaltering dedication. Her care for her students does not end when they leave Warren after 5th grade. She continues to give her time, care and resources to support these children. Mary has forever impacted the children and families with whom she has worked. Thanks for all you do Mary.

McKinley Winkle Cr Anderson Middle school, 8th Grade

Whether stopping by to give her kindergarten buddy a hug before school or preparing for a particularly tricky math test, McKinley Winkle, an 8th grader at CR Anderson, manages to come to school each day with a smile on her face and a kind word for those around her. She was instrumental in raising money for CRA’s “Race for the Cure” team last year, involving her whole family in fundraising activities and the race itself. Besides her school commitments, McKinley is dedicated to the Martial Arts, where she studies both Okinawa and Kobudo karate, and her church youth group at Friendship Baptist Church. We are fortunate to have a student of McKinley’s character, commitment and compassion at CRA.

Van’s Thriftway

Van’s Thriftway was purchased by the Vander Jagt family in 1997. Since that time Paula Vander Jagt has been a driving force in the Helena community, by not only having a quality store where service is high priority, but also by being an advocate for non-profit organizations. Paula won the 2011 Kay McKenna Community Service award for volunteer work and donations to community non-profit groups! Paula is a great representation of the Van’s high standards.




JUNE 2012


{ { Hot

nutrition tips for a cool, healthy summer

Good ideas for “on the go.” Tuna, chicken, or peanut butter in single serve bags, along with some whole grain rolls or crackers, are lightweight and easy to pack. Throw in some dried fruit, nuts, and cereals for a highenergy, tasty snack.

- by Jennifer Colgrove, RD St. Peter’s Hospital

Summer is right around the corner, and I hope you have plans to pack it full of great outdoor activities! I hope it is also packed with good nutrition to re-fuel all that energy burned, while keeping your body strong and healthy. Here are a few ideas to keep it fresh, fun and easy.

Stay hydrated in fun, healthy ways. Drinking water spritzed with fresh limes, oranges, or lemons is very refreshing and tasty. Make one hundred percent fruit juice ice-cubes to add to your water. Mix up some cool Jell-O with fresh fruit, such as grapes, berries, or cherries added for a nutrition punch. Freezing juice boxes, small milk cartons, and bottled water makes great ice cubes for your coolers and a great, healthy drink for later.

Make it easy to get those fresh fruits and vegetables. To see those fruits and veggies disappear, they need to be washed, sliced, diced and put in easy access bowls or baggies in the fridge. Put cut up cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, and peppers front and center in the fridge to add to salads, sandwiches, or wraps. Fruit cut up in bowls will get eaten much faster than hiding in a produce drawer at the bottom of the fridge. Get kids in a garden to pick strawberries, tomatoes, and peas right off the vine. Yum! Take the challenge of making sure half of every plate or meal is fruits and vegetables.

Ingredients: 2 cups oatmeal 2 cups shredded wheat cereal 2 cups 100% bran cereal 2 cups boiling water 4 eggs 1 teaspoon salt

5 teaspoons baking soda 3 cups sugar 1 quart butter milk 5 cups flour 1 heaping cup shortening

Directions: Mix together the following ingredients: 2 cups oatmeal 2 cups shredded wheat 2 cups 100% bran 2 cups boiling water While still warm, add shortening followed by the remaining ingredients. Bake at 375 degrees for 18 minutes. Batter does not need to be baked immediately - can be stored in sealed container in refrigerator. >Add nuts, fruit, etc. for variation

delicious refrigerator muffins

June 13, Tape and Tools: Using masking tape and everyday items around the store, we will make something AMAZING! Ages 5 and up

SummEr CAmpS

June 18-22, Pottery Painting: Covering all the greats - marbleizing, etching, watercolor, stickers and more! Ages 5 and up

June 27, It’s About Time! We’re making wonderful, functional clocks. Ages 7 and up

July 16-20, Multi Media: A little bit of everything clay, paint, metal, tie dye and canvas. Ages 7 and up

July 11, Come Swirl Away: Using our super fun v to create crazy, swirly bowls! Ages 5 and up

August 15-19, Crazy for Clay: We now have wheels and this class will cover sculpture, hand-building, wheel work and finishing. Ages 7 and up

July 25, Kid-Safe Glass: Finally a glass class for everyone! We will be using pre-fused glass to allow the young kids a chance to try their hand at glass fusing. Ages 5 and up August 1, Monogrammed Mug: This class also uses the Cricut, but combines paper masking with bubble painting to create something really unique. Ages 7 and up

August 22-26, Hot for Glass: This class offers glass fun for beginners or those who have fused before. Ages 12 and up

406-443-3799 411 N Last Chance Gulch

print credit for mentioning this ad

August 22, Puzzle Pottery: Curious? Or just puzzled? Ages 7 and up

40 developmental assets


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

suzie mauro • 406.600.2879

turn the page to learn more!





JUNE 2012


assets in action 12


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.


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


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

14 12

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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 with a picture and the number of the asset the picture represents.

Not all pictures are guaranteed publication.


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.


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.


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.





JUNE 2012


proactive parenting in a reactive world

- by SGT Torey Keltner, Montana School Resource Officer of the Year


s I sat down to research and write about parent and child contracts, I wondered what I could provide from my own experiences. I am a father, a husband, a son, and a police officer. Throughout my life, I have had many experiences that relate very well to the subject. If a contract would have been in place, it most certainly would have been helpful. It has been my experience that open communication is critical to safety and success of the relationship between parents and children. Having the ability to speak honestly about even the toughest subjects can keep children from harm and guide them to safe resolutions before harmful situations are a reality for them. There are times in a child’s life when they feel they can’t talk to their parents because of the situation they are in. It is at those times that it is most important for a child to ask their parents for help. There may be feelings of shame or fear of punished for behaviors or decisions a child has made. Building a foundation

things to consider when writing a contract with your child Is now the appropriate time? Identifying specific details and implementing a contract before a crisis occurs is best. + Household chores (including frequency, deadlines etc.) + How clean a child’s personal space needs to be + Behavior + Choice of friends + Academics + School attendance + What is curfew on weekend and week nights? + What are the weekend nights? + Driving privileges + Electronic communication: cell phones, iPods, internet, social networks + Substance use + Sexual activity + Behaviors that have been dangerous and/or have had a negative impact on your child’s life (running away, lying, etc.)


JUNE 2012




and understanding of how a situation will be resolved before it happens will support a child’s decision to talk to their parents. The general purpose of a contract is to provide a structure for parents and children to follow in a time of struggle. The contract will outline what is expected of parents and children. It will outline the consequences and rewards for behaviors. It’s best to work on the contract when everyone is calm and not in the midst of a stressful event. If a contract is developed during a time of turmoil, it likely will not include all information that is appropriate and complete for many situations. When people are angry, scared or emotionally charged, they are distracted and may lose focus on the overall goal. All affected family members should participate in the preparation of the contract. This includes step parents, siblings, grandparents etc. If all parties are involved and the contract is clearly written and age appropriate, there is a higher chance for success. The consequences associated with violations of the contract need to be reasonable and appropriate. Parents placing harsh penalties risk the child not buying in to the contract. Disciplining a child for an extended period of time, like grounding, can make them give up. It is also hard for parents to enforce and follow through, causing the consequence to lose effectiveness. Taking specific items or privileges away for shorter periods of time is generally easier to follow through with and may have the desired effect. A contract in some cases can be the last step in dealing with a defiant child before requiring outside help. If a child refuses to participate in writing the contract, complete the contract without them. Other family members should participate and agree that

the contract rules are fair. The contract should be presented to the child, and inform them that all family members have agreed upon it. If the child won’t sign the contract, they should be told the rules of the contract still apply and will be enforced. A united front strengthens the contract and the likelihood for success. All parent-child contracts should include the benefits and rewards for a child who chooses to follow the contract. If the desired result is a child respecting the contract and expecting respect themselves, then positive reinforcement is very important. Allowing a child an extra hour of curfew on one weekend night, additional phone or computer time, more driving privileges, attending additional functions like concerts or other social events are possibilities. I look back at the many interactions I have had with families and understand the importance of having clearly defined rules. Often times when children get into trouble, it is because they have had complete misunderstanding of what was expected of them. If children have an understanding of what is expected of them and the ramifications if they don’t follow the rules, they are far more likely to succeed. Providing opportunities for children to be successful with positive reinforcements increases the respect they have for others and for themselves. ■

*Annual Percentage Rate, applies to new loans and those refinanced from another financial institution, based on credit approval, some restrictions apply.

summer library teen programs Grades 6-12

» Youth Bands at Alive @ Five,

June 6, 6pm

reward yourself

auto loans

2.49%aPr as low as


» First Friday Teen Movie Nights -

June, July, August » Special Anime Afternoons, Writers Group and Book Club More info available at or find LCL Teens on Facebook

» Thursday Evenings 7-9pm LCL Large Meeting Room June 14 June 21 June 28 July 5 July 12 July 19

or Payments as low as $175/month

Quidditch Henna Body Art/Zhashki Henna Melted Crayon Art Bleach T-shirts Beaded Jewelry

Dance Workshop/Big Sky Dance Works

Pre-register at the library Information Desk or call 447-1690 ext 5. 406.443.5400

full le scheduble availane onli

9 15 Kessler / / 193 0 Prospect / / 44 0 5 N Montana

best summercamps the



Half Day Camps

full Day Camps

Mon-Fri, 9-12 or 1-4 Includes snack & drink

Mon-Fri, 8:30-4:30 Includes snack & drink

KinderKamp (ages 3-6)


GymJam (ages 6+)

Gold-medal Dreaming

Action-packed theme camp with activities & circuits just for youngsters Gymnastics only recreational camp. Focused on basic to intermediate skills on every apparatus.

Full day of gym events & activities plus a craft session Olympic themed sports camp with emphasis on gymnastics & trampoline

mustangs madness (ages 6+) Learn an all-star routine with jumps, stunts, tumbling & dance at this ultimate cheer camp.

flip factory (ages 6+)

Tumbling & trampoline camp perfect for everything upside-down; handsprings, aerials & more!

Evening Classes

Weekly gymnastics & tumbling classes for ages 2+

3370 Colton Drive ı 442.6782 ı




JUNE 2012


Come ariends wmitahke memo mily! your fa NORTHSTAR AMUSEMENTS CARNIVAL Buy an all day wristband coupon in advance and SAVE $5!


PRCA Rodeos start at 7:30 each night and will feature the ever popular “Mutton Bustin” and “Steer Riding” for youth ages 3-12.


Uncle Kracker with opening act Craig Campbell outdoors in the Grandstand.

FMX/FLAT TRACK MOTOR SPECTACULAR Get your FREE Child’s Coupon to the Thursday rodeo or Sunday’s Motor Spectacular and pre-sale ticket locations online.


Learn more at

Brought to you by the Lewis & Clark City-County Health Department



Timothy C. Ballweber, D.D.S., M.S. l i m i t e d t o o rt h o d o n t i c s f o r c h i l d r e n a n d a d u lt s

creating Dr ballweber smiles for over 25 years 905 Helena Ave 449-5576 New Patients Always Welcome No Referral Necessary Member of American Association of Orthodontics


JUNE 2012




Home visitation An old idea adapted for a new age of education - by Carrie Rose, Executive Director, The Parent/Teacher Home Visit Project

“ Home visits are an excellent way to establish the relationship that is necessary to foster the schools’ and families’ partnership for the benefit and success of their students. ”





JUNE 2012


s long as there have been teachers, there have been home visits. So why is such an old idea making such a splash in the world of education? The answer is simple - home visits work. Research shows home visiting programs work to build teaching skills, to engage families and to boost the academic and social success of students K-12 in diverse communities. So, why doesn’t everyone want home visits? Barriers may exist for both school staff and families. Time constraints, fears, assumptions, language and cultural differences can all be barriers to good home/school connections. Training for home visitors and district-wide strategic planning help move this strategy from individual teachers to a school-wide effort. A dozen states have adopted a home visiting model and are leading the way for a national expansion. It all began in 1997 when a nondenominational, faith-based organization working in South Sacramento, California, heard about the low performance of several neighborhood schools with widespread blame between school staff and community members. The organization decided, along

with the local teachers union and the local school district administrators, to develop a unique school-wide home visiting program. This collaboration became the Parent/ Teacher Home Visit Project. The concept behind the home visiting model is simple. Rather than blaming each other, teachers and parents come together in a unique setting as equal partners to build trust and form a relationship where they share dreams, expectations, and tools concerning the child’s academic success. Once a relationship is formed, both parents and teachers are empowered to work together, making the necessary changes to support the student’s success in school. The visits are not designed to be assessments of families; rather, they are intended to be respectful of families’ strengths, and to support the educator, the family and the student to achieve academic success. A team of two school staff perform home visits two times a year for 30 minutes each. The visits encourage family engagement that truly makes an impact on student success. The first visit at the elementary school level in the fall focuses on building a productive and meaningful connection between the educators and families and helps educators understand the family’s strengths and assets

to assist the student. The second visit, in the spring, focuses on improving academic skills and sharing information specifically tailored for the student and family. The two-visit model has been adopted at the middle and high school level so visits take place during key transitional times, such as the summer before seventh and ninth grades, just before or after testing, or junior year before twelfth grade as students plan for careers after graduation. Teachers who participate in home visiting report better communication with families, greater ability to provide the student with instruction that meets the needs of the student, improved student behavior, increased cultural competency, shared goals and responsibility, and new opportunities for partnerships. For more information, please visit the Parent/Teacher Home Visit Project website at ■


Increasing the success of all students — one visit at a time.


Helena Parent Home Visit Project - by Pam Birkeland, Data Assessment/Title 1 Administrator, Helena School District

Across the country, the way parents are engaging in their students’ learning is being reframed. Schools, the community, and parents are sharing the responsibility for students’ learning and achievement. Parent and family engagement becomes even more beneficial when it starts at birth and continues to college and when it takes place wherever and whenever children learn. Over 40 years of research confirms that family engagement improves school readiness, student achievement, and graduation rates. One way Helena Public Schools is engaging parents in their students’ education is through the Helena Parent Home Visit Project. This initiative began in 2007 when teachers, support staff, administrators, special education preschool staff, nurses, and Headstart were trained by the Sacramento home visiting team in order to cultivate a Helena home visiting team. Home visits are voluntary for the teacher and the family. The Helena home visiting program began with a few kindergarten teachers in a couple schools and has since expanded to include several more schools, as well as Indian Education for All coaches and middle schools. All the teachers who have done home visits report powerful benefits. One benefit is the relationship building that occurs as a result of the visits. By participating in a home visit, parents have an opportunity to build a relationship with their child’s teacher and share their hopes and dreams for their student. The Helena Public Schools has made an allowance for all kindergarten teachers and their partners to conduct home visits for the 2012-2013 school year. Parents can choose to have the home visit or they can meet with the teacher at the school, their workplace, or a place that is comfortable for them. Home visits are an excellent way to establish the relationship that is necessary to foster the schools’ and families’ partnership for the benefit and success of their students. Helena was very fortunate to bring the Sacramento team to our community in our efforts to enhance parent and community engagement to the benefit of our students.

now ente ri ng

H e le na

For more information about the Helena Home Visiting Program, please contact Pam Birkeland at 324-2028.


JUNE 2012




Help Your Kids succeed THis summer!

guitar lesson summer camps

all levels of ability for students 3rd-8th grade sEssion 1: june 11-14 Cost per session: $90 sEssion 2: june 18-21 TaKe one session or TaKe THem all! sEssion 3: june 25-28 sEssion 4: july 9-12 sEssion 5: july 16-19 sEssion 6: july 23-26 sEssion 7: july 30-aug 2 sEssion 8: aug 6-9 session 9: aug 13-16 406.442.3738 (all sessions 9:30am - 1:30pm) SHD Chmb rep 0112


call, stop by or go to to register 4:38 PM

Page 1

A history of caring. Commitment to the future. • Residential and acute psychiatric care for children • Clinical and laboratory medical genetic services for people of all ages Caring for Montana's Families Since 1896

335 N Last Chance Gulch • Helena

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



Cigarette makers target Montana youth. They need to hook new customers to replace the 1,200 smokers who die in the U.S. each day. DON’T START. BE FREE! Lewis & Clark City-County Health Dept. 457-8924 •




JUNE 2012





Q. My kids are not old enough to stay home alone – how do I choose a safe sitter? A. Our best way for choosing a sitter is by word of mouth. I don’t think we’ve ever had a sitter who didn’t come with rave reviews from a close friend that I trusted. Having said that . . . one time I asked a gal to babysit after observing her as a nanny for some kids who go to Hawthorne with my kids. I loved how she talked to the kids, played with them and was patient - so I asked for her phone # (AND asked the family she worked for to give her a recommendation). She has babysat for us numerous times. Darbi, Mother of Three

Q. How do I find a sitter? A. Be selective! (Allow yourself adequate lead time to be selective when finding a sitter). Look for a babysitter within your circle of friends or community. As a last resort, look for someone who is already working with children, or borrow a babysitter from a friend. Always check references.

Q. What should I look for in a sitter? A. Your sitter must: Like children · Be trustworthy · Be able to keep themselves and your child safe · Have the attention span to actively watch and entertain your child · Have the patience to handle difficult behavior such as whining and crying · Be able to stay calm in an emergency · Be competent in rescue skills such as care of the choking child · Know when to ask for help · Be willing to accept responsibility for your child’s life When interviewing a prospective sitter on the telephone, present the basic facts, such as number and ages of your children, your address, any special problems, transportation, pets, etc. Ask the sitter’s age and babysitting experience with children the same age as your child. We teach our students not to babysit for infants less than six months of age until they’ve had at least two years of experience. st. peter’s hospital, Safe Sitter Curriculum

??? 20

JUNE 2012



Number of students who said witnessing physical abuse at home can lead to violence in school. (


Minimum sun protection factor (SPF) that should be used for prolonged outdoor activity (four or more hours of sun exposure). (


Number of times the state of Rhode Island could fit into Alaska.

$58 billion

The amount underage drinking costs the United States every year. (


Students who are 14 and older living with a mental illnes and drop out of high school. This is the highest drop out rate of any disabiity group. (


Number of calories a large frozen yogurt cone, 9-13 ounces, can total per serving. (

If you have a question that you would like our help with, please send it to We cannot guarantee all questions will be published however we will do our best to respond to all submissions.



Big Brothers Big Sisters of Helena. summer 2012

session i: June 11-June 29 session ii: August 13-22 ages 8 and older

Being Little Can Be a Big Job! Big Brothers Big Sisters is a friendship-based program designed to add healthy, positive role models to the life of a child. The children, aged 5-12, meet with a volunteer “Big” for one or two hours per week. These children benefit from the extra friendship and role modeling and studies show that these children show improvement in self-confidence, attitudes towards school, and their ability to form positive relationships with adults and peers.

CindereLLa: June 11-15

Cost: $75 9-10:30 a.m. Ages 3-4 10:30-12:00 Ages 5-7

Interested in Enrolling Your Child? Please Contact:

sLeeping beauty: June 18-22 Wish to be a baLLerina: June 25-29 FanCy nanCy: July 9-13 sWan Lake: July 16-20 pretty, pretty prinCess: July 23-27 Friends oF the nutCraCker: Aug 6-10 my FairyLand: Aug 13-17

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Helena (406)442-7479

RegisteR today at Queen City Ballet 8 W Lawrence 444-5004

city of helena

Parks & Recreation bill roberts golf course 2201 N Benton Ave 442-2191 YOUTH LESSONS

Swing AND Splash Sports Camp 447-8463 TENNiS ANd SwiMMiNG Aug 6-9

GOLF ANd SwiMMiNG Aug 13-17


Kay’s Kids

Free, organized, and supervised recreational activities in local parks for kids ages 6-13 MON-THURS, 10-2 Barney, Lincoln and Kennedy Parks

June 11-28, July 9-Aug 9

MON-FRi, 10-2 Memorial Park


tennis at kay mckenna

Civic Center 340 Neill Ave 447-8463/459-4479

last chance splash waterpark AND pool

SESSiON ONE 1203 N Last Chance Gulch 447-1559


Recreation Swim Swim Lesson Swim League Breaststroke Clinic Butterfly Clinic Diving Class and More

June 11-June 28 & July 9-12 July 16-Aug 9






JUNE 2012


media literacy



on youth violence:

what research tells us - by Jessica Peterson, Violence Prevention Coordinator


iolence in our media is everywhere. A three-year National Television Study, reported by the American Academy of Pediatrics, found that children’s shows had the most violence of all television programming. Reports read some cartoons average twenty acts of violence in one hour, and by age eighteen children will have seen 16,000 simulated murders and 200,000 acts of violence on television. In 2009, the J Kaiser Family Foundation reported findings that 8-18 year olds watch TV and play video games almost five-and-a-half hours a day. How does this affect them? Desensitization Prolonged exposure to violence increases acceptance of violence as a means of solving problems. Children are learning aggressive attitudes and behaviors and are becoming desensitized to real world violence while also developing a fear of being victimized by violence. In one study, participants were referred to as “numb” to violent images after playing violent games. Aggression Violence portrayed on television is shaping the attitudes and manners of society. Thirtyfive hundred studies have examined the connection between media violence and violent behavior; all but 18 showed a link between violent media and violent behavior. Repeated exposure to violence on television and in video games increases the likelihood of responding to others with violence. Performance and decision-making Research has shown television violence to have a negative effect on the academic




What can parents do? 1

Reduce exposure to media violence. Set limits on how much your children watch, and set guidelines on what they watch. Help your children select programs within your family’s guidelines. Seek to add positive programs while limiting negative ones. Record appropriate entertainment for them to watch alone. You can skip commercials if you are concerned about your child’s exposure to television advertising. You can also apply guidelines to media other than television, including movies, video games, magazines, and comic books. Encourage children to become involved in a variety of leisure activities as an alternative to screen time. 2

Change the impact of exposure to violent images. The best way to help children process violent television is to watch with them and talk to them about what they see. Find out what they understand and what they don’t. Media literacy information can provide a variety of tools to help parents and children analyze the techniques used to stage violent scenes and decode violence in different media genres — news, cartoons, drama, sports, and music. It is important for children to learn the difference between reality and fantasy at an early age and to know how costumes, camera angles, and special effects can fool

A polar bear’s skin is black. Its fur is not white, but actually clear. (



performance, sexuality, body concepts, and self-images of young viewers, which can lead to violent or aggressive behavior and substance abuse. While children are watching television, 60 percent of the time they are being bombarded with violent images. Viewing hour after hour of violence increases the likelihood that a child will see the world as a dark and sinister place.


them. Encourage children to be aware of violence when they see it and understand its consequences through their own experience. Critical-thinking skills will stay with kids when you can’t be there. Through guided practice, critical viewing can become an everyday habit for both children and adults. 3 Locate and explore alternatives to violent media. Look for TV shows, movies, and books that provide positive role models to counteract the actions and attitudes of today’s violent super heroes. Scan Better Viewings program listings, ask your local librarian, or see if your child’s teachers or day-care providers know of appropriate books and videos. Talk with your children about different ways to solve problems. Ask them to create non-violent endings to media scenes that commonly show escalating violence. Discuss what makes a “true” hero. Encourage them to hold media heroes up to their own standards of real heroism. 4

Talk with other parents. Talk about TV management with other parents; share tips and provide support for one another. Be aware of what children are watching outside your home. Communicate your standards to neighbors, grandparents, baby-sitters, and others who may care for your child. There is no one solution to the problem of media violence, nor will we ever totally eliminate violence from our lives or from the media. But there are many steps that each of us can take to reduce the amount and the impact of violent images in our lives and in the lives of our children. ■

Each year approximately 5,000 people under the age of 21 die as a result of underage drinking. (

John Lennon’s first girlfriend was named Thelma Pickles. (


Nearly half of all violent interactions on TV depict no harm to victims.

Many of the programs that children watch send the message that a conflict always involves a winner and a loser. There is no area of compromise or walking in someone else’s shoes. Well over half show no pain to victims.

Almost nine out of ten broadcast programs never show long-term effects of violence.

On TV, perpetrators go unpunished 73 percent of the time.

Numerous studies indicate players of violent video games are at greater risk of engaging in aggressive behavior both short AND long term.




JUNE 2012


Helena • East Helena • Townsend • Lincoln • Avon • Wreck Master Certified • Flat Tire Changes • Fuel Delivery • Light/Medium Duty Truck Towing • Lockouts • Jumpstarts • Winchouts • Flatbed Car/Truck Carrier

Helena Towing Service 24 HR TOWING & RECOVERY Licensed • Insured • Dependable

443-4TOW (4869)

Boulder-Basin • Wolf Creek • Canyon Creek • Elliston

hats • scarves • boots • purses

opeN 7 dAys A week No AppoiNtmeNt NecessAry 513-1052 • 39 Neill Ave

Across from Starbucks Downtown 24

JUNE 2012




g n i n War s n g i s

o of someone whk may be at ris e of suicic

what you can do to save a life If you see the signs, ask the person, “Are you suicidal?� Offer hope, don’t leave them alone, and tell others Take the person to the nearest ER, call the police, take them to a health care professional or Call the Montana Suicide Prevention Lifeline at

> Increase in hostility > Difficulty concentrating > Decline in personal hygiene > Abrupt change in personality > Giving away prized possessions > Previous suicide attempts > Increase in drug or alcohol use > Flat affect or depressed mood > Inability to tolerate frustration > Withdrawal and rebelliousness > Sleep disturbance, either too much or too little > Overall sense of sadness and hopelessness > Eating disturbance, either weight gain or loss > Unusually long grief reaction (varies with different youth) > Overall sense of sadness and hopelessness > Decrease in academic performance > Isolating and choosing to spend time alone > Recent family or relational disruption

1-800-273-TalK (8255)

Helena School District #1 Youth Connections 55 S Rodney Helena, MT 59601

Non-Profit Org U.S. Postage PAID Helena, MT 59601 Permit No. 94

9am NoRtH Loop

na’s e l e H h wit

ct e n n o REC-C




JUNE 11 TO AUGUST 10 YouTH AGeS 8-18

Under 8 must be accompanied by a responsible caregiver. Adults with a child ride free.

Made possible by a partnership with the City of Helena, Lewis & Clark County, and Youth Connections

Jim Darcy School rossiter School Treasure State Acres Park

10am & NooN East Loop HATS Lincoln Park Sherron Park Smith School Lockey Park Last Chance Waterpark/YMCA Great Northern Bus Stop Fuller Ave. & Placer St. Main St & Broadway

11am & 1pm wEst Loop Mt. Helena Trail Head Cunningham Park Salvation Army Northgate Park Skelton Park Last Chance Waterpark/YMCA Great Northern Bus Stop Fuller Ave. & Placer St. Main St. & Broadway HATS


324-1032 or

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