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Parents Guide 2013

Supplement to The Issaquah Press and Sammamish Review


Parents Guide





INSIDE DISCIPLINE PAGE 4 Experts say to spare the rod and emphasize the positive.

PAGE 19 GET PROGRAM Sign up your children now to fund their college education.

PLAYGROUND SAFETY PAGE 8 With active supervision and some basic safety tips, every day at the playground can be a walk in the park.

LEARNING DISABILITIES PAGE 20 Discover the signs that can help a parent keep their child from falling behind their peers in school.

READING IS FUNDAMENTAL PAGE 12 Reading to children sets an important foundation.

HOLIDAY MEMORIES PAGE 22 Family activities to help develop new traditions.

BOOK LIST PAGE 14 Issaquah’s diverse population is reflected in the recommended reading list from the library.

TEEN PARENTS PAGE 24 Many non-profit organizations offer assistance with teens as their struggle bringing up a child of their own.

ACTIVE, HEALTHY KIDS PAGE 16 Educators are keeping students active and healthy with after school running programs.

PARENT RESOURCES PAGE 26 Learn what organizations help parents in need.


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Make discipline a learning experience By Sherry Grindeland Just when you think you’re got this parenting game nailed, your little darling throws a tantrum in the grocery store. After days of sweet compliance, your child wrecks havoc in a restaurant. Getting the toys picked up before bedtime has become a shouting match — one you lose. What punishment can you use to turn this behavior around? Forget time-outs and swats on the fanny. “Use a lot of praise and very little punishment,” said Kerry Beymer, manager of Parenting Support and Education at Encompass in North Bend. “Show them the behavior you want.” Beymer teaches the “Discipline: Punishment to Learning” class at Virginia Mason Medical Center. One of several free parenting workshops offered to the public, the discipline class is the most popular, Beyer said. She spends the majority of the class telling parents to emphasize what their children do right — not their mistakes. “As a parent, we need to show our children the way we want them to behave,” she said. “Instead of looking at the partially picked up family room and pointing out what they missed, praise what they did. So they didn’t pick up the throw pillows this time. If they picked up their toys, praise that. “If we don’t, we dismiss the effort they put out and the message they hear becomes, why bother, we can never do it right.” Beymer brings more than two decades of parent education experience to the classroom. More

“Our children … want our praise and our affection. They will do anything to keep the praise coming.” Kerry Beymer Manager of Parenting Support and Education at Encompass

importantly, she’s the parent of a 12-year-old and a 22-year-old. Nine years ago, “I had a 13-year-old girl and a 3-year-old boy at the same time,” she said. “That was a tough year.” A 13-year-old is almost always challenging as they try to be independent, and 3-year-olds give parents a run for their money, Beymer said. That’s why Encompass usually has a waiting list for classes such

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No more yelling By Christiane Lavin You wouldn’t normally scream at an annoying friend or neighbor. Yet shouting at a misbehaving or dawdling child is standard for many parents. When sociologist Murray Straus, Ph.D., and his colleagues interviewed 991 families, they discovered more than 90 percent use yelling, screaming or shouting as a way to correct the behavior of a child. “Parents assume that because everybody does it, yelling is harmless,” said Dr. Straus, who co-directs the Family Research Laboratory at the University of New Hampshire in Durham. “That’s not the case. Yelling belittles kids and undermines the parent-child bond.” Another reason to quiet down: Raising your voice is no more effective than other, less harmful, alternatives. “Walking up to a child and repeating ‘Stop it’ works just as well as shouting,” Straus said. “If necessary, hold your child firmly and explain that what he’s doing is not OK.” The reality, say researchers, is that whether you spank, yell or speak in a normal voice, a toddler has about an 80 percent likelihood of repeating his or her misdeed within the same day, a 50 percent chance within a few hours. Repeating your message without hollering is, in the long run, the better, far less harmful, tactic.


From Page 4 as “Discipline: Punishment to Learning.” She wants parents to know they’re not alone. While waiting for help such as this class, go back to praising what children do right. Take the pickingup-the-family-room scenario — just remember the words praise, praise, praise and praise instead of punishment. Reward the behavior you want. “I once worked for a principal who made me feel like I was an important part of the team,” Beymer said. “He would tell me that I’d done a great job with a family that day. That made me work harder. “Our children are like

that. They want our praise and our affection. They will do anything to keep the praise coming.” Some parents need more help figuring out these techniques beyond a one-anda-half-hour workshop, and some children are more challenging than others. Virginia Mason has created an ideal setting for those who want more training, Beymer said. With the help of Encompass, they offer evidence-based parent-child therapy. The parent wears a Bluetooth device and is in a room with his or her child. A parent educator is in a room watching through a oneway mirror. “We coach from the

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Five steps to disciplining your kids Do you need alternatives on how to get through to your children? Are you at the end of your rope? Dr. Phil offers five steps on how to discipline your kids — without spanking. 1. Commit yourself It’s crucial that your child knows that you’re going to do what you say you will. If you explain what a punishment will be, and then don’t act on it, you will have less credibility the next time. Make a commitment to your child’s discipline, and be consistent in your behavior toward him or her. 2. Be realistic in your expectations of your child. Don’t ask your child to do anything he/she cannot do. Make sure

that what you are asking of your child is a behavior within his or her reach — if it’s not, your child will get frustrated and be less likely to listen to you in the future. 3. Define your child’s currency. Find out what your child values — it could be a toy, a particular activity or even a privilege like getting to stay awake to a particular hour. Dr. Phil explains: “If you control the currency, you control the behavior that currency depends on.” Once you understand what your child values, you can withdraw positive things (taking away the toy) or introduce negative things (making them take a time-out) as a form of discipline. 4. Give your children predictable consequences. It’s important for your child to

understand that the same result will come from the same behavior. Make your child feel like he/she has control over their life: If your child behaves in “Way A,” he/she needs to be sure that he/she will always get “Consequence B.” If he/she can count on the rules staying the same, he/she is more likely to abide by them. 5. Use child-level logic. Explain your values in terms your child can understand. Take the time to explain the reasons behind why you are asking he/she to behave in certain ways — if your child understands the kinds of behavior you’d like them to avoid, they’re more likely to apply that reasoning to different situations, instead of learning to stop one behavior at a time. Source:


From Page 6 other room as the parent and child interact,” Beymer said. “We can also do things such as go with a parent to Target or Denny’s to practice skills in a live setting.” These sessions are ideal for a family with a 2 ½- to 6-year-old who is showing extremely aggressive behavior or being defiant. Often, she said, insurance will cover such services. Beymer has taught numerous classes and jokes that there isn’t a parenting curriculum in the past 20-plus years she hasn’t taught. The best, she noted, focus on love and logic and are founded in the latest research. That research, she said, has shown that what par-

ents do with their children from birth through age 5 really matters and can shape a child’s brain. “When we’re pregnant, everyone seems to read books such as “What to Expect When You’re Expecting,” and then whatever is available about babies for the first few months,” she said. “We forget to find out what’s happening as kids develop.” For instance, those temper tantrums you just watched in the grocery store? Normal development in a late 2- and early 3-year-old. Four and 5-yearolds practice lying and may come up with elaborate fibs, often just to gauge their parents’ reactions. Adults forget that chil-

What to know Discipline: Punishment to Learning q 5:30-7 p.m. Nov. 7 q Virginia Mason Medical Center q 100 N.E. Gilman Blvd., Issaquah q Free but registration is required q Register at www.

dren are works in progress and that there is a timeline for growth of brain and behaviors as well as for physical maturity. “Brains do not fully develop until 25,” Beymer said. “But you need a good handle on development to understand what happens.”



Keep your kids from injury, danger on the playground With active supervision and some basic safety tips, every day at the playground can be a walk in the park. Falls are the most common type of playground injury, accounting for more than 75 percent of all playground-related injuries. Lack of or improper supervision is associated with approximately 45 percent of playground-related injuries. q Actively supervise children on playgrounds. It won’t be hard — they’ll probably be calling for you to watch them climb, jump and swing. q Take your kids to playgrounds with shockabsorbing surfaces such as

rubber, synthetic turf, sand, pea gravel, wood chips or mulch. If your child falls, the landing will be more cushioned than on asphalt, concrete, grass or dirt. q Dress them appropriately. Remove necklaces, purses, scarves or clothing with drawstrings that can get caught on equipment and pose a strangulation hazard. Even helmets can be dangerous on a playground, so save those for bikes. q Teach children that pushing, shoving or crowding while on the playground can be dangerous. q Check playgrounds where your children play. Look for age-appropriate equipment and hazards,

such as rusted or broken equipment and dangerous surfaces. Report any hazards to the school or appropriate local office. q Little kids can play differently than big kids. It is important to have a separate play area for children under 5. q For babies who are mostly crawling or at best learning to walk, the play area should have a smooth and easy surface to walk on. q If your baby has fairly good head control and can sit up with support (usually around 9 months old), give the baby (bucket-shaped) swings a try. q Avoid playgrounds

with non-impact absorbing surfaces, such as asphalt, concrete, grass, dirt or gravel. q For swings, make sure that the surfacing extends, in the back and front, twice the height of the suspending bar. So if the top of the swing set is 10 feet high, the surfacing should extend 20 feet. q Double check with your school and child care center to make sure they have age-appropriate, wellmaintained playground equipment. q If there are any hazards in a public or backyard playground, report them immediately and do not allow children to use the

equipment until it is safe. q Report any playground safety hazards to the organization responsible for

the site (e.g., school, park authority or city council). Source:

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Ten activities to occupy toddlers By Shauna Smith Duty Toddlers are busy little people, working hard to explore their new world and learn everything they can. They move from one challenge to another in a matter of minutes and require a great deal of chasing, engaging, cleaning up after and redirection. These 10 creative activities will keep toddlers occupied for at least ten minutes at a time, and they are great for encouraging both an increase in their attention span and developing motor skills. Sorting Machine Most toddlers love to sort things. For a toddler who enjoys organizing, provide a few handfuls of multicolored, O-shaped cereal and a muffin pan. With a little direction, they’ll sort the cereal by color into the muffin pan cups and enjoy a healthy snack. For a nonedible activity, use blocks or colored manipulatives. Future Picasso A bowl of soft, chopped fruit with a little cream cheese and graham crackers is great for an entertaining, edible art project. First, spread the cream cheese on the graham cracker. Then, have the toddler press fruit chunks into the cream cheese to create a nutritious work of art. You may just inspire the world’s next Picasso. Toy Rotation A bin filled with toys can

be stashed away for months in a closet or cupboard. When the forgotten toys are reintroduced, toddlers feel they have rediscovered them. Shake It Up Place toys or treats inside clear containers with the lids attached. Children love to shake and rattle things, and when a toddler realizes a treat is inside, the activity will be even more appealing. Water Colors. Add a drop of blue food coloring to a shallow wading pool or sand and water table. Toss in some sea creature toys. For a change of theme, use green food coloring and jungle creature toys. It makes a great outdoor activity on warm days. Remember to closely supervise any waterplay. Paper Play Consider allowing toddlers to wrap themselves in toilet paper and pretend they are snowmen, or to decorate the room with toilet paper streamers. You may want to use the game as a potty-training introduction or celebration of a potty success. Lid-Le Ideas Try presenting toddlers with a tub of plastic containers and their detached lids. Children can find and affix the matching lids to each container. Cleaned and dried plastic bottles like those used for condiments (ketchup and mustard), and grated cheese have distinctive lids that are easily iden-

tified and attached. Roughin’ It Turn over a table or gather chairs into a circle in the center of the room, and then drape blankets over them to construct tents. Flashlights and a nonsticky snack can create a fun environment while you read a story or sing songs. Obstacle Course Use nap mats on their sides, propped against chairs or tables, to form walls for a maze. Pillows can be hopped over, crawled on or used as stepping stones in an obstacle course. Play Follow the Leader in the obstacle course, changing the leader each time you reach the beginning. Encourage the children to vocalize — can they travel as kittens, as cows, as racecars? Footsteps Place a small amount of washable paint on a pie tin or sturdy paper plate. Encourage the toddler to step into the paint with her bare foot, or feet, and walk across banner paper. She can even have a different color for each foot. This activity can be confined to a wading pool or tarp to ensure easier cleanup. With all their energy, providing constant stimulation for toddlers can be difficult. These inexpensive and easy ideas will afford early childhood educators a few minutes of downtime while encouraging children to use their minds and their bodies to explore, play and learn in their new world.

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By Greg Farrar

Ann Crewdson, children’s librarian at the Issaquah Library on Front Street and Sunset Way, reads ‘Xander’s Panda Party’ by Linda Sue Park and illustrated by Matt Phelan, during a recent Toddler Story Time.

Reading to children sets important foundation By Christina Corrales-Toy Issaquah librarian Ann Crewdson possesses an impressive amount of energy and patience, a requirement for anyone who leads toddler and infant story times at the local library. During one 30-minute session, participants will

likely see Crewdson blow bubbles, sing songs, act out stories, showcase her skills as a puppeteer and, most importantly, read a picture book to a group of boisterous young ones. Her audience has an understandably short attention span, often losing focus during the story time, but

Crewdson doesn’t mind. She understands that no matter how fussy toddlers may get, their time together is an important step toward the child’s literacy development. “I always thank the parents for coming and caring about their child, and I’m grateful that we’re able to

grow the next generation of readers together,” she said. It’s never too early to start reading to a child, according to Cecilia McGowan, the King County Library System’s children’s services coordinator. Reading regularly helps children learn about written language and how to recog-

nize letters, long before they step foot in a school. “Parents should start reading to their children before they’re born,” McGowan said. “They can hear us when they’re still in utero, so hearing a parent’s voice, hearing the parent read, is important. That helps a child’s brain start growing

and making connections.” The King County Library System likes to think of parents as the first and best teacher of their children. As a result, it’s up to them to give their children the best head start possible, McGowan said.

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“Children that are exposed to reading from an early age and see their parents reading are more likely to be readers themselves.” Cecilia McGowan Manager of Parenting Support and Education at Encompass

From Page 10 Parents should read to their children often, and serve as a model by showing them they enjoy reading, too. Keep kids engaged in a story with puppets and silly voices, no matter how awkward it may feel. Read you children books about diverse characters, allowing them to explore different cultures at a young

age. Don’t be afraid of repetition. If a child wants to read the same story again and again, it’s a good thing, McGowan said, because it just cements the sound of language, as they work toward mastering their literacy skills. “Children that are exposed to reading from an early age and see their parents reading are more likely

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Avyay Shankar, 2, a Talus resident, looks at books at the Issaquah Library in the childrens’s section with his mother Shikha. By Greg Farrar


From Page 11

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to be readers themselves,” McGowan said. “Children that read, succeed.” Library story times are a great way to expose children to the art of reading, McGowan said. In her free sessions at the Issaquah Library, Crewdson works with toddlers to sound out words, recognize pictures and identify colors, all basic building blocks in mastering the literacy skill. “We are facilitators and navigators as librarians,” Crewdson said. “We’re there to be supportive and provide all of the materials that are going to help parents in connecting the love of literature with their child.”

q The King County Library System offers a multitude of online resources to help parents get their children ready to read at www. q For parents who can’t make it to an afternoon story time, tellmeastory offers videos and book suggestions to make your own story time. Research shows children who do not get early-learning reading exposure tend to have more difficulty in school, McGowan said. If children aren’t reading,

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By Greg Farrar

Children from 12 to 36 months old dance and learn songs while accompanied by their parents as part of their Toddler Story Time activities, held 10:30 a.m. every Wednesday at the Issaquah Library.


Quick tips when reading to children q Share books every day with your child. q Make book sharing a positive experience. Share them when your child is in a good mood. q Keep books in the toy box or out on a shelf for your child to explore. q Babies and young toddlers often have short attention spans but enjoy repeating favorite activities. Read favorite stories frequently for short amounts of time throughout the day. q Read stories from diverse cultures. q Introduce your child to a variety of reading materials, such as poetry, picture books and magazines. q Encourage your child when he or she pretends to read. q Let your child see that you enjoy reading. q Have your child turn the pages of books you read. q Ask questions about what your child has heard and then answer his or her questions. q Point to words from time to time as you read, so your child learns you are reading the words, not the pictures. Source: King County Library System’s “Ready to Read Handbook.”

From Page 12 they aren’t hearing enough language, and will often start kindergarten at a disadvantage, not knowing their colors, numbers or letters, she added. “Not everyone is going to be an avid reader, but children need to read to learn,” she said. “That’s a skill they have to have in school. So, if they can’t develop the skills from the very beginning, it’s a lot harder.” As children get older, it’s important to make sure they continue reading, especially during the summer, no matter what age they are, McGowan said. “Children that read during the summer go back to

school not having lost their skills,” she said. Kids are exposed to reading every day, whether it’s a book, directions on a game, a milk carton or a sign. The key is showing them that it is a positive, useful skill, and there’s no better time

to start than in a child’s infancy, Crewdson said. “We should try to connect them with books and the love of reading early on, because they will copy anything we do, and that will foster lifelong learning,” she said.


B OO K L I S T The Issaquah Library: Turning leaves and turning pages By Ann Crewdson Children’s Specialist Issaquah Library


hen I look outside the Issaquah Library, I cannot help but notice the color and diversity that surrounds me, the beautiful browns, auburns and gold. We are as proud of our Heritage Maples as well as our Columnar Gingkos and European Hornbeams. Hiking trails abound through the Issaquah Alps. Just across the street from our building is the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery, which prides itself as the most visited salmon hatchery in the state. Rich biodiversity and environmental beauty defines us and makes us beautiful. The Issaquah School District’s student population shows diversity on the rise with 22 percent Asian Pacific Islanders and 7.3 percent Latin Americans in addition to our white and mixed heritages. Issaquah Highlands’ residents hail from all over the United States and other parts of the world, such as India, Singapore, Iran and Australia. We are even sister cities to Sunndal, Norway, and Chefchaouen, Morocco. What can we conclude? Despite our hometown traditions, we are increasingly diverse in nature as we are in people. What you’re about to find out is the fall collection at Issaquah Library, King County Library System, mirrors that as well. Multicultural books are a treasure. Discover a mix of diverse titles with a sprinkle of fun.

‘Harold Finds a Voice’ By Courtney Dicmas

‘Oliver and His Alligator’ By Paul Schmid

Something about Parisian parrots trying to imitate the ambience of flat 4B makes this book irresistible. Harold is tired of repeating the same old noises. One night, as he pensively stares out the window at the Eiffel Tower, he decides to escape into the world of beautiful sounds. The chance he takes on venturing into the city proves to be everything he’s ever dreamed of, including finding new friends and a voice he never he knew he had.

Oliver’s first day of school starts out rough right away when his teacher asks him about his name. Luckily, he had swung by the swamp in the morning to pick up an alligator to say, “Munch, munch!” And magically the alligator takes care of his fear, swallowing it whole. But you also miss what might be fun if you don’t look at the parts but only look at the whole. Coincidentally, the alligator looks just like the stuffed animal he sleeps with every night.

‘Fish for Jimmy’ By Katie Yamasaki Based on the true story of Yamasaki’s family, she tells the story of Taro and his family, who were hauled off to a concentration camp in Amache, Colo. Conditions were so dismal, Taro’s brother Jimmy didn’t want to eat or play. All seems hopeless until Taro discovers a river right outside the fence, teeming with fish. He decides to risk getting caught for the sake of reviving his brother by bringing back the Pacific fish that would remind him of home in California.

‘Mitchell Goes Bowling’ By Hallie Durand Illustrated by Tony Fucile Mitchell loves to knock things down — wood blocks, a bowl of cereal, a stack of important papers. His father has the right idea when he takes Mitchell to the bowling alley where his knack for knocking things down is just what’s needed to win the game. Strike after strike, his father knocks down the pins, while Mitchell gets gutterballs. Teaming up with his dad and doing a little happy dance might get him further than where he was before.

‘The Cat with Seven Names’ By Tony Johnston Illustrated by Christine Davenier

‘Elecopter’ By Michael Slack

We’ve all heard of cats with nine lives, but what about cats with six names? Can a cat be named Stuart Little, Dove, Mouse, Mooch, Kitty-boy, Placido and Regis? This cat knows how to work it and hit up the neighborhood for stories, snuggles, food and music. But most of all, his charm brings together six strangers who otherwise may not have met. Based on the author’s beloved pet named Regis, who is equally as friendly and loving, “The Cat with Seven Names” shows his travails.

Children love silly books and this one is no exception. Elecopter is a flying elephant helicopter with a propeller on her head and skies on her feet. She’s quite busy — twirling above the savannah and patrolling the skies. But you bet — she’ll be the first on the scene. Her firehose nose can detect trouble from far away. She revs, airlifts, zooms and sprays. She’s a hero for all the animals and will work for peanuts.


‘Barbed Wire Baseball’ By Marissa Moss Illustrated by Yuko Shimizu Zeni was only 5 foot, 100 pounds, but he was determined to have the American dream. And it came true because he ended up playing for the Yankees next to Babe Ruth until Pearl Harbor happened. Anyone of Japanese descent was shipped off to internment camps. Zeni and his family were sent to the Gila River Relocation Camp. Zeni decided to make the best of it. He coached, managed and organized many teams from prison. For when he played the game, he truly felt free.

‘Can’t Scare Me!’ By Ashley Bryan Coretta Scott King Award winner Ashley Bryan brings us a tale with a musical twist. It’s a tale of a spirited young boy who doesn’t fear anything, not even manyheaded giants. Grandma leads him to the shade to tell him her stories, but he slips the first chance he gets, eating mangos and playing his flute. When the sun goes down, he bumps into the giants his Grandma warns him about. But he turns out to be more terrified of their singing voice than of their monstrosity.

‘This is Our House’ By Hyewon Yum This is one of the few multicultural books produced this year with Amerasian characters in it. Told from the perspective of a young girl whose mother is first-generation KoreanAmerican and father is American, it traces her roots and validates her mixed heritage; I have no doubt this will be invaluable to many mixed children in America who are discovering their own identity. The facial expressions are endearing and the story, priceless.

‘The Girl Who Wouldn’t Brush Her Hair’ By Kate Bernheimer and Jake Parker Not brushing your hair for days can breed rats. And guess what? They even tell knockknock jokes. They set up secret passageways, cheese cellars and moats in her tussels of dirty hair. Finally, the girl can’t sleep, the knock-knock jokes get old and her teacher put her foot down and says she can only have one friend at naptime. The mice know they have to leave so they sing a mournful song, indicating they will be inhabiting a new head very soon.

‘Grumpy Goat’ Brett Helquist Grumpy Goat arrives at Sunny Acres farm, grumpy, hungry and scowling. Despite the attempts of sheep, pig and cow, to be friendly, Grumpy Goat kicks ups his hindlegs and chases them away. One day he arrives at the top of Sunrise Hill, Goat stopped and was reminded of something. This something that was a remnant of nature would change him for the better. The artist captures Sunny Acres farm as one of the sunniest places you could ever visit. Grumpy Goat’s facial expressions are priceless.

‘Sing’ Lyrics and music by Joe Raposo Illustrated by Tom Lichtenfield Joe Raposo was a Portuguese immigrant who came to the United States in the 1940s. He always felt unaccepted. He wrote “Canta-Sing!” as a gift to children so they never have to feel this way. This timeless, universal song is now a picturebook. Three colorful birds sit in a nest, trying to carry a tune. Two fly away and leave one odd purple bird out until a singer with a guitar comes along to give him the confidence to find his own voice and fly.

‘Peck, Peck, Peck’ Lucy Cousins Daddy woodpecker says to junior woodpecker, “It’s time to peck a tree.” He helps him with the first tree. And this leads to a pecking spree. He pecks through fences, doors, hats, mats, tennis rackets and the jacket. He doesn’t stop there, even pecking through Jane Eyre! He pecks himself into a tizzy and becomes rather dizzy. When he returns to Daddy woodpecker, they exchange love in woodpecker language, which has an uncanny resemblance to pecking.

‘My Name is Celia: The Life of Celia Cruz’ By Monica Brown Illustrated by Rafael Lopez The Queen of Salsa would have been 89 on Oct. 21, 2013. This book covers her childhood in Havana to her fame in New York and Miami. As a child, her father told her to do well in school and her teacher encouraged her to sing. She brought her music, salsa, and blended it with rock, rumba and mamba jazz. When she died, she was so beloved that thousands mourned her loss and the mayor of New York declared July 22 “Celia Cruz Day.”

Parents Guide


Childhood obesity facts and figures Photos by Neil Pierson

Above, Sunny Hills Elementary School students run during cross country club practice Oct. 22. Above right, runners get marks on their hands to count the laps they’ve made around the school.

After-school runs keep students healthy, happy By Neil Pierson With many school districts struggling to meet the costs of basic education, interscholastic sports programs for elementaryschool students have dried up. The Issaquah School District offers sports to its middle-school and

high-school students, but in order to give younger children chances at activities that promote lifelong healthy habits, school officials have had to get a bit more creative. At Sunny Hills Elementary School, physical education teachers Nicole Duncan and Jaime Crothers are leading a cross-coun-

try club. Students in kindergarten through fifth grade are given the chance to run around the school grounds for an hour once a week. The participation rate has doubled this year, Crothers said, from 65 to 130 students, which

Continued on Page 17

Over the past 30 years, childhood obesity rates in the U.S. have more than doubled in children ages 6-11, and have tripled in children ages 12-19, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In 2010, more than onethird of children were overweight or obese. Overweight is defined as having excess body weight for a particular height from any combination of fat, muscle, bone or water. Obesity is defined as having excess body fat. q Being overweight or obese is the result of caloric imbalance — fewer calories burned than calories consumed — and is

affected by genetic, behavioral and environmental factors. q Obese youths are more likely to have risk factors for cardiovascular disease, such as high cholesterol or high blood pressure, and are more likely to have prediabetes, a condition in which blood glucose levels indicated a high risk for developing diabetes. q Obese children are at greater risk for bone and joint problems, sleep apnea, and social and psychological problems, such as stigmatization and poor self-esteem. q Children who are obese are likely to be obese as adults, and are higher risks for adult health problems such as heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, strokes, several types of cancer and osteoarthritis.

Parents Guide From Page 16 represents nearly onefourth of the school’s total enrollment. Kindergarten students have turned out in exceptionally high rates and — somewhat surprisingly, she said — they’ve adapted quickly. “I honestly thought that once they got here and realized all they were going to be doing was running, that they wouldn’t come back the next time,” said Crothers, who came to Sunny Hills this year after eight years teaching in the Kent School District. “But they all showed up with smiles, and that was exciting.” Duncan, who’s in her second year at Sunny Hills,


said older students often put in 3 or 4 miles per session, and many reach their goal of running a full 26.2-mile marathon during the fall. The program is not only well-attended by students, she said, but parental involvement is high, with many showing up sporting their babies in jogging strollers. “They just love that there’s something positive for the kids to do after school, that they can be active while they’re doing it,” Duncan said. “I think it’s positive for kids that maybe don’t excel in sports — group sporting events — so this is something that’s kind of individual but yet they

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Another after school running club option is membership in the Issaquah Gliders. For more information on their activities, go to

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From Page 17 can see their friends and do it with their friends, too.” Sunny Hills’ cross-country club has been around for at least six years, Duncan said, and similar programs have sprouted at other Issaquah elementary schools. Megan Miller, who teaches P.E. at Endeavour and Creekside, said both have jogging clubs to promote physical activity. Creekside’s club has about 150 participants, and Endeavour has about 75 first- through fifth-graders who have been turning out every Monday and Wednesday. The running clubs supplement students’ regular P.E. time, typically 30 min-

By Chris Huber

In a similar after-school program to Sunny Hills, Discovery Elementary School students ran laps around the playground as part Anne Duffner’s track club program on Dec. 2, 2009.

utes twice a week. “It’s not nearly enough,” Crothers said, “and so I’m always encouraging them to fill the week with other activities as well. And my goal, when I have the little kids in my class, is just to wear them out, leave them sweaty.” At Endeavour, Miller gives her students monthly fitness calendars. In October, for example, students got a list of 25 activities to do in their spare time. Most are simple and require little time: Do 15 sit-ups and 15 squats, play catch with a friend, ride a bike or invent a new game. Endeavour completed fitness testing in October, one of three annual tests for

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Issaquah students. Children set goals and monitor their progress throughout the year, Miller said, on everything from cardiovascular endurance to muscular strength and flexibility. “We play games and do activities based on the components of fitness,” Miller said, “and emphasize that physical fitness is fun and you should do things that you enjoy doing to stay fit.” Along with fitness instruction, students receive nutritional lessons in both P.E. and their regular classroom settings. The traditional “food pyramid” that emphasized grains as the healthiest foods was replaced in 2011. Now, schools use the federal “MyPlate” guide that has 30 percent grains, 30 percent vegetables, 20 percent fruits and 20 percent proteins as the daily guidelines. Duncan said it’s important to teach proper definitions about things like protein “to let kids know that it comes in all different sorts and forms, because not every family eats in the traditional way.” Many two-parent working households have little time to spend on exercise and nutrition, but teachers say it’s necessary to set good examples and seek help for children who are struggling with obesity issues. “My role is to be a good example and to show them that, every day, we can be doing things to be physically fit, be it raking leaves or walking the dog,” Crothers said. “Make fitness fun, lead by example,” Miller added. “Provide nutritious, healthy meals and snacks for your children and also eat them with them.”


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Don’t let learning disabilities leave students behind By David Hayes It’s well known that children learn at different rates and through different stimuli — some take written tests well while others can verbalize information without a problem. However, there are those students who fall behind their peers despite the best efforts of the child or teacher. That’s when red flags in the teaching process can point to a common problem regardless the student’s age — a learning disability. Parents need not worry if they suspect their child may have a learning disability. “One of the most common misconceptions about learning disabilities is that it means their child is less intelligent,” said Stephanie Kennedy, owner of the Issaquah Huntington Learning Center. “Typically, there is no relationship between the two. Rather, there’s just a problem with the way information is processed.”

simple motor tasks such as waving goodbye to more complex tasks like brushing teeth. It is not a learning disability but often coexists with other learning disabilities and conditions that impact learning.

According to the National Center for Learning Disabilities, there are several ways the brain’s crossed signals can lead to a learning disability. These include: Dyslexia As with other learning disabilities, dyslexia is a lifelong challenge. This language-based processing disorder can hinder reading, writing, spelling and sometimes even speaking. Dyslexia is not a sign of poor intelligence or laziness or the result of impaired hearing or vision. Children and adults with dyslexia have a neurological disorder that causes their brains to process and interpret information differently. Dysgraphia Dysgraphia is a learning disability that affects writing, which requires a complex set of motor and information processing skills. It can lead to problems with spelling, poor handwriting and

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Students who exhibit signs of a learning disability can work with their teacher to develop and individual education plan to overcome the roadblock. putting thoughts on paper. People with dysgraphia might have trouble organizing letters, numbers and words on a line or page. Dyscalculia Dyscalculia refers to a wide range of lifelong learning disabilities involving

math. There is no single type of math disability. Dyscalculia can vary from person to person, and it affects people differently at different stages of life. Work-around strategies and accommodations help lessen the obstacles that dyscalculia presents. And just like in the area of reading,

math LD is not a prescription for failure. Dyspraxia Dyspraxia is a disorder that affects motor skill development. People with dyspraxia have trouble planning and completing fine motor tasks. This can vary from

Executive functioning Many people with learning disabilities struggle with executive function, which can make activities like planning, organizing, strategizing, remembering details, and managing time and space difficult. Problems with executive function — a set of mental processes that helps connect past experience with present action — can be seen at any age and often contribute to the challenges individuals with learning disabilities face in academic learning. ADHD and other related issues A number of co-occur-

Continued on Page 21

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From Page 20 ring disorders and other issues can impact a child’s learning and emotional wellbeing. While these disorders are not defined as “specific learning disabilities” under federal law, they may mask or make it difficult to properly identify the true nature of the disorder. If parents suspect their child may have a disability, their first contact should be through their child’s teacher, said Lorraine Michelle, Issaquah School District communications director. “The student and parents will work through guidance teams, usually a counselor or principal, to develop an individual education plan for the student,” Michelle said. Students are tested for the most common forms of dyslexia and officials determine if the results can’t be narrowed enough to indicate something broader might be behind the problem. Michelle said individual

education plans can provide several types of accommodations to help students past a learning disability. These include: q Presentation (audio tapes, larger print, designated reader) q Response (verbal, dictated, via computer) q Timing (more time for tests, more breaks) q Test scheduling (change time of day or tested over several days) In addition, students can get their eyes and hearing tested to see if the solution is a hearing aid or eyeglasses. Sometimes, the solution involves additional work that can’t be provided in the classroom. That’s where learning centers, such as Huntington, can step in and work with both teachers and parents to give that extra personalized time. “We view ourselves as

partners with the school district,” Kennedy said. “We provide that extra help, but usually after working directly with the teacher.” Parents often seek additional learning opportunities outside the classroom. Kennedy said one of the learning center’s first questions of the parent is if the student has been diagnosed with a learning disability. Kennedy said learning center counselors can spot red flags, but cannot provide a diagnosis. “For example, we might see a student repeatedly struggling with the same thing long after their peers have moved on,” she said. So, parents no longer have to worry about why their child can’t keep up with their fellow students. With the right diagnosis, the best learning tool can be found, whether in the classroom or in the community.

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Make creating holiday memories a family tradition The holiday season is a time to build lifelong memories for your family. Traditions help you bond and reconnect with loved ones, friends and neighbors. And they take just a little time and energy to plan. q Organize a cookie-baking party. Invite friends and family, or a group of your kids’ friends. Ask everyone to bring their favorite holiday cookie recipe. q Make a gingerbread house with your family. Those pre-made sets make it easy and provide you with everything you’ll need! Another option is to use

graham crackers, some icing and candy. q Get a handful of friends together and go caroling. You’ll be surprised by how well-received your singing group is, even if you’re out of tune. q Go to a tree farm to locate the perfect Christmas tree. At home, decorate it as a family or let the kids do their thing. q Have your child start an “I Am Thankful” list. Have him or her add one thing he or she is thankful for each day. You can turn this into a decoration by having him write it on a paper Christmas tree or

snowflake that you then hang across the fireplace or some other area. q As a family, write your holiday letter. Have each member contribute one memorable moment from

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the year to be recorded to share with friends and family. q Make holiday decorations yourself! Decorate windows with paper snowflakes, glue glitter onto pinecones and arrange in a bowl, and visit kid-friendly crafts sites to get creative and fun ideas that will involve your children. q Volunteer your time as a family at a soup kitchen or a food bank that hands out food to families in need. q Find a giving tree that allows you to sponsor a family in need or purchase toys for children in need. Go shopping for the items together and donate them. q Start a canned food

drive in your neighborhood or at your child’s school. Ask neighbors to donate canned and nonperishable foods, then donate them to a food bank. q Go through closets and donate gently used clothing (coats are particularly useful this time of year) to a local shelter. q Deliver cookies and treats to your local fire station, police department and even the staff at your local hospital. After all, they’ll be working through the holiday. q Don’t forget senior citizens! Volunteer time at your local senior citizens center or see if there is a

giving tree specifically for the residents. q Start a gag gift tradition. Give a funny gift to a family member. Each year, pass the gift on to another unsuspecting family member. q Call or have a video chat with loved ones who aren’t able to be with your family. Source: Michele Johansen is a writer in Bellevue. She is the cocreator of the Ruby Slipper Guide, a website that lists activities and events for families living east of Seattle and blog that delves into the foils of parenting.

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Teen parents get support from non-profits By Dan Aznoff The temporary shutdown of the federal government may have closed national parks and furloughed employees from government agencies, but it did not disrupt the vital supply of nutrition and support for teenage parents in the community. Friends of Youth and other nonprofit groups continued to serve as a resource to young parents despite the fear they would lose funding for programs normally paid for with money allocated by Congress. Paula F. Frederick, the director of youth and family services at the Friends of Youth office on Front Street in Issaquah, said her agency continued to serve as a referral for young parents throughout the shutdown. She was confident the Healthy Start program administrated through her office would have continued to operate through donations and private funding. “The trained professional staff in this office reach out to young parents who may not know what resources are available during this time in their lives,” Frederick said. “Our mentors are able to start working with a mother before the birth of her child to be certain both the mother and baby are receiving proper care and the right type of nutrition.” Helping families get a healthy start Healthy Start is a parent-

Friends of Youth photos

Above, a toddler gets a reading lesson from its teenage parent and a Friends of Youth mentor in April through an interactive parenting class in Issaquah. At right, a mother helps her daughter in a swim lesson in May as part of a Friends of Youth activity for teen parents and their children. ing education and support program for young families designed to assist first-time parents, age 22 or younger. The program includes home visits, group activities, and developmental and health screenings, as well as referrals to other resources available in the area. Last year, the Issaquah office of Friends of Youth provided Healthy Start services to 41 young families in the Issaquah and Snoqualmie Valley communities. In addition to the Healthy Start program, Frederick said Friends of Youth provides free parenting classes, employment assistance and emergency housing for homeless mothers under 21 and their babies. The assistance, Frederick said, is available for both the mother and father for as long as three years. She emphasized that the free services are available to resi-

Get some help q Information about Friends of Youth and class schedules are available at www. q Learn more about Eastside Baby Corner or get assistance at q Find out about the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children at www.fns.

dents throughout the community and are not based on income. The only program for young parents endangered by the government shutdown was the federal grants that fund states for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children. A spokesperson in Olympia for the state said

reserve funds would have been needed for WIC if the shutdown had gone on much longer. Making education a priority In addition to the formal programs in place to help teen parents, Frederick said it is not unusual for individuals or local companies to provide anonymous gifts in the form of necessities or gift cards. The same gifts often come through the school system as well, according to Lorraine Michelle, spokeswoman for the Issaquah School District. She remembers gift cards from Target and Fred Meyer mysteriously ending up in the hands of students who needed the most immediate help. Other necessities came to teen parents through nonprofit agencies like Eastside Baby

Corner. “There are some wonderful, caring souls in our community who have reached out to teens in need,” Michelle said. “The goal of the district is always to help the student complete their education. In some cases, that may include referring them to parenting classes through Friends of Youth or finding another environment where they feel accepted and more comfortable.” School nurses can also be wonderful resources for teen parents. Nurses, according to Michelle, often have direct contact with Eastside Baby Corner to provide cribs and formula for newborns. Amy Wiggins, secretary to the principal at Tiger Mountain Community High School, said the district’s alternative high school used

to be where most expectant parents eventually wound up. But that has not been the case for the past 10 years. “We had programs in place for those young mothers and fathers,” Wiggins said. “Things have changed. Today, most students prefer to stay at their home schools.” The one thing that has not changed are the regulations to cover the expense of daycare from the state Department of Social and Health Services, according to Wiggins. The state will only pay the bill for daycare for children of full-time students. “The state tries to make staying in school the best alternative for young parents,” Wiggins said. “It can often take the equivalent of five to six hours of work-

Continued on Page 25


From Page 24 ing just to pay for daycare. Staying in school is better for the future of the young parents and their baby.” The community helps, too Wiggins recalled several former Tiger Mountain students who have benefitted from help from the community, including one young mother who relied on social service programs while she

finished high school. She went on to pay her own way through college and recently graduated from law school. “We had to push her to stay in school, but once that girl made up her mind there was no stopping her from reaching her goal,” Wiggins said. “That young girl is now in her late 20s and is able to support her baby as well as the rest of her family.”

Wiggins fondly remembered one Tiger Mountain graduate is now a surgical nurse at Valley Medical Center in Renton, while another who graduated early from the school had a job waiting for her when she completed the cosmetology program at Renton Beauty School. “There are so many young people who have benefitted from the investment made in them by our community,” Wiggins said.

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Discover community resources to help with parenting Kindering Center, a not-for-profit neurodevelopmental center, has been providing comprehensive services for children with special needs and their families since 1962. It offers the following programs: q Fathers Network connects men with other dads, resources, information and education, plus opportunities for “all family” celebrations. Meetings are the second and fourth Saturdays from 9:30 a.m. to noon at 16120 N.E. Eighth St., Bellevue. Call 653-4286. q Mother’s Circle is a community of women raising children with special needs, from newborns to age 6, sharing emotional support, promoting advocacy and creating solutions. Meetings are the first and third Wednesday from 6:308 p.m. at 16120 N.E. Eighth St., Bellevue. Call 653-4306. q Unexpected Journey is an 8-week discussion series for parents of children with special health care needs and/or developmental disabilities. Couples are encouraged to attend. Call 653-4286 for meeting times. q Sibshops are fun, kidfriendly workshops for siblings of children with special needs. Typically developing siblings ages 6 through 11 will connect, will share the challenges and celebrate the joys of their special needs brothers and sisters through information, discussion activities and games. Sibshops are held every second Friday from 4-7 p.m. Call 747-4004 for further information. q Pediatric Associates Speaker Series brings pedi-

atric speakers to Kindering. Past talk topics have included oral health, handling the first eight weeks after you bring your newborn home and making sure toddlers get adequate nutrition. Call 6534321 to learn about upcoming speakers. q Parent Education Class is designed for parents of children from 2 to 12 years old. Parents who complete the 10-week program are invited to participate in a monthly support group. The program instructor is available for individual parenting consultation. The next session meets from 6-8 p.m. Nov. 21 through Feb. 6. Call 653-4302. q Mamas and Papas is a support group for foster parents and relative caregivers of children with special needs. The group meets every second Tuesday from 6-7:30 p.m. Call 653-4314 Childcare Resources will help you identify childcare options in your area. There is an income-based fee. Call the referral line at 206-329-5544 or 1-877-512-3948 toll free, or go to Youth Eastside Services presents Healthy Start, a home-visiting program for young, first-time parents ages 22 or younger who are pregnant or caring for their first child who is younger than 6 months of age. Early support and intervention promotes strong parent-child bonding, healthy child development and optimal brain development, all of which lead to school success. Call 747-4937. Encompass is an independent, nonprofit, children’s and family-services organization

that nurtures children, enriches families and inspires community. Encompass Issaquah is in Blakely Hall, 2550 N.E. Park Drive. See a complete list of programs at Programs Encompass offers include: q Mom’s Moment is a support group for parents and caregivers of children with special needs. Participants gather to share information regarding resources and, most importantly, camaraderie with others in a similar situation. Call 888-2777. q The Early Intervention for Infants and Toddlers Birth to 3 program provides therapeutic developmental services for children with special needs. Call 888-3347, ext. 2309. q The Parent-Child Home Program is a national program that supports young children’s early literacy and school readiness. It bridges gaps in achievement, preparing children to enter school as ready to be successful students as their more advantaged peers. In this evidence-based program, participants show significant gains in high school graduation rates. Call 888-2777, ext. 1219. First Choice In-Home Care is dedicated to providing responsive, respectful and caring support to vulnerable adults and children, and adults with disabilities. Call 747-5000 or go to Friends of Youth has been helping youth get their lives back on track since 1951. In addition to operating the only overnight youth shelters on the Eastside,

Friends of Youth offers youth development initiatives, in-home family support for young parents of newborns, parent education, youth and family counseling, substance abuse counseling, therapeutic foster care, residential treatment and transitional housing for homeless young people and teen mothers. The Issaquah office is at 414 Front St. N. Call 392-6367 or go to “Toddler Time” for children ages 3 and younger, is from 8 a.m. to noon Mondays through Fridays. This daytime class, with an indoor playground and interactive toys at the community center, lets children play and parents get a chance to bond. Fee is $2 per child. Call 837-3300. The Cancer Lifeline Program, in cooperation with Valley Medical Center, in Renton, and Evergreen Health, in Kirkland, is for children ages 6-12 whose parent or other significant family member has cancer. Learn more at www. The Kinship Care program helps kinship caregivers understand and navigate the services available for children living with relatives other than their own parents. Call 800-737-0617 toll-free or go to www.dshs. The Eastside Macaroni Kid is dedicated to delivering the scoop on familyfriendly events and activities happening in its communities each week. Sign up to receive your free weekly newsletter at Issaquah Breastfeeding

is a new community-based breastfeeding support group which focuses on infant feeding and development. The group meets weekly on Wednesdays at Village Green Yoga, 317 N.W. Gilman Blvd., from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. The first two visits are free, and subsequent visits are $10, or $30/month. Learn more at www.issaquahbreastfeeding. com. Moms in Prayer International — Mothers meet, grouped by area school, for one hour each week to pray for school concerns, teachers and for their children. Call 1-800949-MOMS toll free or go to to find a group near you. MOMS Club of Sammamish Plateau provides support for mothers who stay at home or work part time to raise their children. Meet other moms who share the same interests while providing a safe environment for children to socialize. Go to MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) is for mothers with children from infancy through kindergarten. Moms have the opportunity to share concerns, explore areas of creativity and learn from various speakers. Find a group near you at The National Alliance on Mental Illness Eastside improves the quality of life of persons affected by acute and chronic mental illness through support, education and advocacy. Free services include support groups, education forums, classes and more. Call 885-6264, email or go to Pine Lake Co-op Preschool is a nonprofit organization sponsored by the Bellevue Community College Parent Education Program, combining parent education with an interactive program for parents and their children. Call 392-0496 or go to Youth Eastside Services is a lifeline for kids and families coping with challenges such as emotional distress, substance abuse and violence. Through intervention, outreach and prevention, YES builds confidence and responsibility, strengthens family relationships and advocates for a safer community that cares for its youth. YES offers the following programs: q Youth & Family Counseling Services is a place for kids and their families to turn for help that is expert, confidential, respectful and effective. q SUCCESS Mentoring Program recruits caring adults to serve as a positive role model to young people who are struggling with their academic, social or personal lives. q LGBTQ Youth Support is a free drop-in support group open to youth ages 12-19 who may identify themselves as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer or who may be questioning their gender and/or sexual identity. The BGLAD group enables youth to meet their peers and discuss life issues in a safe and confidential environment. Call 747-4937 or go to www.