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____ 1 about families

Your Teen’s Quest for




April 2009

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April 2009

Volume 13, No. 8 April 2009

About Families bringing families together since 1995

Page 31



Fitting In: Your Teen’s Quest for Social Acceptance


April Event Planning Guide


Birthday Party on a Budget


Party Directory


Teens and Sleep: Turn Off Your iPod and Go To Bed

HOW TO REACH US Berks Phone 610-670-2300


toll free: 800-673-2454 fax: 610-670-9251

Lebanon Phone 717-273-8127


Why Day Camp?

Web site:


What A Half-Million Teens Read Each Month

toll free: 800-673-2434 fax: 717-273-0420

To reach the editor and to send a calendar event item: Editor Mari Conners

To find a copy of our magazine or to arrange home subscription: Publication Coordinator Judy Fetterolf


Cycle of Child Abuse


Fun Ways to Bond With Your Child


Is the Economy Triggering Potential Eating Disorders?


Camp Directory


Health News: Kids Should Know About Lyme Disease


Virtuous Consumer


Classified Directory


Party Page


Recall Roll Call


Marketplace Directory


Recipe Page: Playing with Food Page 9


Prenatal Learning…When Does It Begin?


Advertising Sales:

James Snyder

Marketing Consultants: Berks Edition Linda Earnshaw Lebanon Edition Susan Zeller About Families is published twelve times a year by Kapp Advertising Service, Inc. All rights are reserved. Reproduction in whole or part without written permission is prohibited. We welcome correspondence and editorial submissions but are not responsible for the return of any unsolicited materials. About Families does not necessarily endorse the products, services or viewpoints offered. All material in this publication is provided for information only and may not be construed as medical advice or instruction. We reserve the right to reject any advertisement.




Dear Teacher


Wesley Wonders: Books for Babies


The Tot-Secret to Hitting


Immunization Clinics

Page 20


Creative Crafts


Buy The Book


Reel Life With Jane


April It Figures

From the Editor’s Desk


almost feel like breaking out in song. As I sit here writing this column, I am thinking about the weekend weather forecast, sunny and 50s. That my friends, is a most hopeful sign of things to come… Planning a Party? If you are one of our many parent readers who is planning a party this year, you will be delighted with this month’s edition. The editorial on planning a child’s birthday party on a budget should prove most helpful in pointing to ways you can cut costs without cutting fun. Utilize the party guide to locate those businesses who specialize in children’s parties. Many of them offer a variety of


From the Editor’s Desk


Teacher of the Month

package prices to help you plan a party that fits your family’s budget. Child Abuse Prevention Have you ever considered how many times parents are pushed to the point of nearly “losing it” with their children? Sadly, it happens more than we know: Good families, next door neighbors, even friends from work or church, whose behavior with their children turn them into people we would no longer recognize. Maybe it has even happened to you. In order to bring awareness to this problem, and hopefully to stem the tide, April has been designated as Child Abuse Prevention Month. We can all help by educating

ourselves about the signs and symptoms of child abuse. You owe it to the abused child to recognize their silent plea for help. None of us would consider walking away from a child in a burning building. I urge you, if you know of a child who needs help or an adult who you suspect might be abusive – even if it is yourself – reach out, get help. You can do so anonymously. We can all help to stop the abuse cycle. Have something to share? We are always excited to hear from our readers. So if you have something to share, or comments to make, please email me at: I’d love to hear from you.

Mari Conners

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April 2009


the funnest place in town

Routes 61 & 73, Leesport 5 miles from Reading


Over 25 Years of Providing The Best Family Fun in Berks!

Summer Day Camps 2009


(Ages 5 – 12)

Monday thru Friday 9am – 5pm Early drop off (7:30am) & late pick up (6:00pm) available for an additional $15 per week. Registration Forms available at For more information call Laura at 610-916-4113.

A $35.00 non-refundable/ non-transferable deposit is required to reserve your child’s spot in each week of camp. All camp balances are due in full the Monday of each camp session.

Ozzy’s Day Camps Feature: * 22 great years of camp * 10 acres of outdoor recreation area * 60,000 sq. ft. indoor air conditioned facility * * indoor sports field * rock wall * * ropes course * 3 story play unit * * mini golf * roller skating * * bumper boats * field trips * * laser tag * swimming * MORE THAN ANY OTHER CAMP!

THANK GOODNESS IT’S SUMMER Trade your backpack for a pool bag. Let’s get this summer started!


GAMES GALORE Ball games to board games. We will play them all!


ANIMAL FUN Everything to do with animals. We will explore barn life to wild life.


ART ATTACK Uncover the hidden Picasso inside of you through the “art” of having fun.


CELEBRATE SUMMER A week full of fun and goofy times to celebrate what summer is all about.


GREEN WEEK Learn to care for our Earth. Natural crafts, games and nature activities.


ALL AMERICAN Celebrate America with some good old fashioned summer fun.


CRAZY CAMP What is it? It’s just crazy fun!


Lunch is available for an extra fee or you can bring your own.


WET AND WILD Everything involves getting wet. We hope it rains too!


SUMMER WRAP UP We’ve taken the best of the summer and packed it into one fun week.

Berks County’s #1 Place for Parties For Family Entertainment

SPORTS AND MORE Everyone’s favorite sports and games. Great for girls and boys.

■ We Do All the Work, ■ You Have All the Fun

SUMMER CAMP OPEN HOUSE Saturday, March 28 11 & Saturday, April Saturday, 11 Noon toApril 5 PM Register attoOpen Noon 5 PM House and at save $5 on Register an Open House each week and save $5 on eachof week of camp booked! camp booked! FIELD TRIPS Each week (usually Thursday) we will load the campers on the Ozzy’s bus and we will be off on a full day of fun, adventure and learning. Campers must pack a lunch and wear their free camp T-shirt. Every Tuesday and Friday we will take the campers for an afternoon of swimming (weather permitting) at the Shoemakersville pool. Cost of field trip and swimming included in camp fee.

All New For 2009

Jump, Bounce & Slide Parties

■ 3 Great Inflatables ■ 10 Game Tokens ■ Pizza & Soda ■ Party Host or Hostess

■ The Giant Adventure Challenge ■ Party Table & Supplies ■ 11/2 Hours of Fun for Everyone

(Stay & Play on Adventure Challenge after your party for FREE!)


Fun Center

der 0” & un ildren 4 stic h c r fo l place ll new & Funta A A specia

Book Your Moon Bounce Party and receive $10 off the Party Package Special with coupon only. Not valid with any other offers. Expires 05-31-09


Family Wing Night

Every Sat. Starting at 5 pm Order 24 wings & get a 50% off coupon for any Ozzy’s attraction the night of your visit OR get an order of fries with your wings for only $1.00 with this coupon. Cannot be combined with any other offers. Expires 05-31-09


Interactive Inflatable

for children ages 3-12

1/2 Price Activity

Buy one activity, get second at half off. Special with coupon only. Not valid with any other offers. Expires 05-31-09


$35 Pizza and Play

over $40.00 Value

1 Large Pizza, 1 Pitcher of Soda, 4 Attraction Passes & 10 Arcade Tokens Special with coupon only. Not valid with any other offers. Expires 05-31-09


Moon Bounce

Fun for all ag es!

Parties & Rentals

Great for • Birthdays • Private Events • Day Care Centers • Pre-Schools • Churches • Elementary • Field Trips Schools

Winner For Family Entertainment

Why Day Camp? ____ 4 about families

by Marla Coleman


hildren learn life skills that become habits of the heart. One mother wrote that when the family was on a ski trip, her son got to the top of a steep hill and started to

in the 50s and 60s, today we live in the first moment when humans receive more of their information second-hand than first! We are in a climate where it is harder to know what we need to sur-

Day camp is a terrific first experience. Reminiscent of less complicated days, when people connected with nature… panic. The mom said, “What would you do if you were at camp?” and he proceeded to engage himself in positive self-talk that was part of the camp culture: “It may take time, it may be hard; but stick with it, and you’ll be fine!” He skied down with a huge sense of accomplishment and perseverance. It’s tough to be a kid these days. It’s tough to be a parent. In a society where the nature of the family, the work place, and the community have changed dramatically, we can no longer assume that the natural process of growing up will provide children with the experiences and the resources they need to become successful, contributing adults. In sharp contrast to the traditions of growing up

vive, so drawing on experiences that give children healthy alternatives and opportunities to instill capabilities – the hallmarks of thriving – is the greatest gift you can give a young child. ■ Does it really matter if my child doesn’t go to day camp, especially since she will go to overnight camp in a few years? She is only four years old — why does she need day camp? Camp provides one of the very few links with a world larger than the consumer culture we inhabit — and day camp is one important choice in a quiver of options. The camp experience helps children and youth develop an appreciation of their place and their responsibility in a much larger universe.

April 2009

A preschooler — or even an older child who might be reluctant to go to overnight camp — can join a community that is created especially for her to practice growing up. Why wait until age ten when the benefits of feeling connected and being able to contribute and navigate at an earlier age can be reaped? Under the supervision of inspiring guides and passionate coaches, children can feel successful and make new friends while having the time of their lives; they can experience belonging and contribution; they can have a sense of consistency a n d pre-

dictability in times of turbulence and change. Day camp can begin as early as age three, and is geared to children who get to experience camp and still return home each evening! They have the best of both worlds — the camp community which is built exclusively for kids and their own home which provides the security they need at a tender age. One day camp parent said, “While my children and I are constantly bombarded by the news which is focused on what is wrong with the world, camp is a living example of what is right.” Day camp is a terrific first experience. Reminiscent of less complicated days, when people connected with nature, thrived on inter-generational relationships, and made new discoveries, everything is designed and scaled to ensure that children feel included, cared about, and capable. Beginning camp at an early age provides important advantages.

Camp is the best demonstration of moral and spiritual order — democracy is the core purpose. Children learn life skills and behaviors that become habits of the heart. While many then move on to overnight camp, others will be content to continue the day camp experience: after all, there is a camp for everyone — and that might well be day camp! To learn more about camp and child development, please visit the American Camp Association’s family-dedicated Web site, or call the toll-free number 1-800-428-2267.

Marla Coleman is the parent liaison at Camp Echo in Burlingham, New York. The immediate past president of the American Camp Association, she is a co-owner of Coleman Family Camps, which includes Camp Echo and Coleman Country Day Camp. Originally printed in CAMP Magazine, reprinted by permission of the American Camp Association © 2005 American Camping Association, Inc.

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Preparing Early for Reading; Programs for the Gifted; Helping Children to Say What They Mean in Writing

April 2009

Dear Teacher

Question: My daughter just turned four, and I was wondering if this is the right age to start teaching her to read? – Book Lover Answer: You began preparing your daughter to learn to read the fist time you read a story to her. Continuing to prepare her to read is probably the single most important thing that you can do for your child at this age. Before beginning any type of formal reading instruction, you must make sure that your child is very familiar with nursery rhymes and can recite them and also that the child knows how to recognize rhyming words. Part of your preparation should also include calling your daughter’s attention to the printed word in such things as stop signs and grocery items so she gets the idea that print carries a message. Predictable pattern books should be the next step. Children love hearing the repeated words and phrases in books, such as Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? and The Gingerbread Boy. She can repeat with you lines from these books. You can also start to teach your daughter to recognize the letters of the alphabet and some of their sounds. There are definitely a lot of books, alphabet blocks, and musical videos that will make this more enjoyable. Remember that most children will not know all of the letters of the alphabet nor their sounds when they enter kindergarten. Some children are more eager to learn

to read than others. There is no particular age when formal reading instruction should begin. In fact, some children teach themselves to read before they are four while others are not ready until they are six or even older. You must limit what you try to teach your daughter about reading to that which interests her. You don’t want to turn her away from books and reading. After all, she will be taught to read in kindergarten and first grade. ❦❦❦ Question: My 12-year-old daughter is very gifted. She could actually enroll in college now, but we are totally against this. Last year, she attended a summer program for the gifted and was absolutely delighted by the challenge. She has found the gifted program at school quite boring this year. The local community college has a gifted program; however, she is too young for it. What type of program should we be looking for to give her the challenge that she needs next year? - Want Ideas Answer: We like the idea of supplementing what she is doing in the gifted program at middle school with one or more online classes designed especially for gifted children by universities. In fact, she could even earn college credits. There now are many programs that would allow her to do this. Some are quite expensive, but they may offer scholarships. The gifted coordinator at your daughter’s school is likely to know

the names of several of these programs. You could also use a search engine or contact a parent organization for those who have gifted children to find a school. One great advantage of working with a parent group is that you talk to others who are facing and solving problems like the one you have. In addition, more and more school districts now offer advanced classes for gifted children online. These classes are typically for high school students, but your daughter might be allowed to take one. Too often, parents of gifted children concentrate solely on academics. There is a big world out there filled with other things that could fascinate your child. Would she like to play chess or bridge? What about doing something in the arts if she has a talent, skill, or interest in this area? Is there some area such as computers that she could delve into and become an expert? Do try to help your daughter expand her horizons. ❦❦❦ Question: My children are always complaining that they never can say what they mean in their writing. Is there any way that they can learn to do this? – Searching for an Answer Answer: Fortunately, there is something simple that may help your children express their thoughts better when they write. What they need to do is to really hear what they have written. For some, it works to read their writing out loud to themselves,

paying attention to whether words or ideas are missing, Dear Teachers columnists thoughts are ex- Peggy Gisler & Marge Eberts pressed in the right order, and they have said what they want to say. This doesn’t work for all children as they may not hear any flaws when they read their own work. However, they certainly will if someone else reads their writing to them. If your children are young, they should try to perfect their message to the reader by reworking one paragraph or even a sentence at a time. Often, just a few sentences in a paragraph need to be rearranged, another sentence added, or more description to make a paragraph meaningful. This is far easier to do if children can use a computer. They should always reread the changed copy out loud to make sure they like their revisions. Parents should send questions to Dear Teacher, About Families, PO Box 395, Carmel, IN 46082-0395 or ©2008 Compass Syndicate Corporation Distributed by King Features Syndicate

Great Value, Great Views, Great Fun…

Great Golf for Families!!! ✔ Juniors play FREE

16 & under, accompanied by paying adult (weekdays anytime, weekends after 3:00 pm)

✔ Junior Golf Camps & Clinics April through August!

Our Sticks Fore Kids Camps/Clinics had over 100 golfers swinging last summer, ages 4-15. No sticks needed, we supply the clubs through a unique partnership with Spring Township. Here is what they had to say:

“I Loved golf camp!” “You do a fabulous job of getting kids excited about golf!” “You rock with teaching golf!” ✔ Family Foursome 9-N-Dine

Check out all our camps and clinics by visiting our website,

is a great way to get your family on the links! This is our third ✔ Family Golf Clinics year of this extremely popular program on Sat. and Sun after Learn to play together! 4 pm. For $8.50 each, you get 9 holes, cart, hotdog and A Family Tradition Since 1953 small drink. (Adults must be accompanied by youth). Please call to make a tee time, 610-678-9597. 153 Bran Rd., Sinking Spring


G O L F • C L U B

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Reading Royals Ice Hockey – 610-898-7825 (, Sovereign Center, 7th & Penn Sts., Reading. 4/3 vs. Trenton Devils; 4/4 vs. Dayton Bombers @ 7:05 pm. Hershey Bears Ice Hockey – 717-534-3380, Giant Center, 550 West Hersheypark Dr., Hershey, 3/11 vs. Phila. Phantoms @ 7 pm; 4/12 vs. Wilkes Barre/Scranton Penguins @ 6 pm. MOMS Club of Sinking Spring – 610-927-9491 (Kate, membership VP). Monthly meetings and weekly playgroups for local at-home parents and their young children. Call for more info. Miscarriage, Stillbirth, and Infant Death Support Group – 610-401-5773, Immanuel Church of Christ (UCC), Shillington, first Monday of every month, 6-7 pm. Parents Without Partners – 610-373-2215, Met-Ed on Rt. 61, first Wednesday of every month, 7 pm. Annville Moms and Tots – 469-0975 (Tina), Annville Church of the Brethren, East Maple & Zeigler Sts., Annville, Wednesdays 9:15-10:45 am. A place for moms and their children to socialize and make new friends. Parents Time Out Parenting Support & Information Group – 610-683-7790 voice mail #3, meets first Thursday of every month. Sponsor: Friend Inc. Community Services. MOMS Club of Southern Berks County – 484955-9671 (Mary) or southernberksmomsclub@ for location, 10 am, second Tuesday of each month. All moms welcome! Foster Parent Orientation – 717-560-1775, Northlink Family Services, 24A East Roseville Rd., Lancaster, third Thursday of every month, 5:30-6:30 pm. Allentown Art Museum – 610-432-4333, Payne Hurd Gallery, 31 North Fifth St., Allentown, “Slow Clay: The Ceramic Art of Willi Singleton through 4/12. “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Exhibition” – or 215-448-1254, The Franklin, Philadelphia, through 4/19/09. Offers the perfect mix of education and entertainment. DiscoverE – Explore, Experience, Enjoy – Hide & Seekers – 610-796-3699, Nolde Forest Environmental Education Center, 2910 New Holland Rd., Reading, 10-11 am. For children ages 4-5, must be accompanied by adult. First Wed. & Thurs. of each month through May. Birth Circle Lancaster County - James Street Mennonite Church, Lancaster. For women to share thoughts, feelings, wisdom, fears, joys, etc. the second Tuesday of every month, 7-9 pm. Cherry Blossom Festival - 610-375-4085, 800443-6610, or 610-373-4131, Take a ride on the Schuylkill - celebrate spring! Two weeks of events for the entire family in Reading and West Reading. Call for details.




The Power of Parenting Talk, John Rosemond speaker, Wilson High School Auditorium, 2601 Grandview Blvd., West Lawn at 7 pm (doors open at 6:15).Log on for registration information


Smucker’s Stats on Ice “On the Edge” – 201760-0200 ext. 104, The Giant Center in Hershey, 7:30 pm.


Hot Buffet Meal, Square Dance & Country Music – 610-378-1327, Hamburg Field House, Hamburg (Exit #30 off I-78), dinner buffet: 7-8 pm; Square Dance and music by “The Majestics:” 8-11 pm. Identifying Plants of Nolde Forest - 610-7963699 (email, Nolde Forest Environmental Education Center, McConnell Hall (adjacent to Park Office Rd. parking lot), 2910 New Holland Rd., Reading, 9-11. Victorian Fashion Ball - 610-921-7715, Albright College, Scholl LifeSport Center, 13th & Bern Sts., Reading. The evening of living history through fashion, dance and social graces will begin at 6 pm. Guests may come dressed in period attire or black tie/formal wear. Log on at ionBall/index.html Becoming a Big Brother/Big Sister – 610-9884357, The Reading Hospital Conference Center, 5th Avenue Lobby entrance, 10-11:30 am. Egg & Art Show 2009 - 610-777-4552, La Salle Academy, 440 Holland St., Shillington, 11 am-6 pm. Also on 4/5, 11 am-4 pm.


Easter Musical “Thank You For The Cross” 717-866-5704, New Beginnings Grace Brethren Church, Rt. 422, Myerstown (east of Rts. 422 & 501 intersection), 6 pm. Egg & Art Show 2009 - 610-777-4552, La Salle Academy, 440 Holland St., Shillington, 11 am-4 pm.

6 Foster Care Meeting – Concern Professional Services, Greater Berks Office, 1 West Main St., Fleetwood, 6-8 pm.


Exeter Community Library – 610-406-9431, 4569 Prestwick Dr., Reading. Family Night Event on 4/7 at 6:30 pm. Storytime, chance to take a picture with a penguin character, hands-on activities, crafts for kids and parents, door prizes and more. Every child that attends will also receive a free paper back copy of the book, If You Were a Penguin, to take home. Free, registration required as space is limited!!!! Breastfeeding Education – 610-988-HELP, Health Education Center, Reading Hospital, 6:30 pm-8:30 pm, also on 4/19. Infertility Support Group – 610-988-HELP, Women’s Clinic, Ltd., The Reading Hospital and Medical Center Doctors Office Building, Suite 245, 7 pm.

9 Postpartum Depression Support Group – 610988-4357, Reading Hospital, Doctors Office Building, Suite 125, 7 pm-8 pm.


Train Ride with Easter Bunny – 410-752-2490, Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Museum, 902 West Pratt St., Baltimore, MD, 11 am, 1 pm & 3 pm, also 4/11. Easter Bunny Train - 717-687-7522, Strasburg Railroad, Rt. 741 East, Strasburg, Lancaster Co. Also on 4/11 & 4/`12.


Train Ride with Easter Bunny – 410-752-2490, Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Museum, 902 West Pratt St., Baltimore, MD, 11 am, 1 pm & 3 pm. Identifying Plants of Nolde Forest - 610-7963699 (email, Nolde Forest Environmental Education Center, McConnell Hall (adjacent to Park Office Rd. parking lot), 2910 New Holland Rd., Reading, 9-11. Grands Are Grand! - 717-291-3941, North Museum of Natural History & Science, 400 College Ave., Lancaster ( 10:30 am. Program for grandparents and their pre-school aged grandchildren. Bring your favorite bear and touch real pelts, skulls claws! Using the book, Blueberries for Sal, we’ll learn about big, big bears. Easter Bunny Train - 717-687-7522, Strasburg Railroad, Rt. 741 East, Strasburg, Lancaster Co. Also on 4/`12.

12 Easter Bunny Train - 717-687-7522, Strasburg

Railroad, Rt. 741 East, Strasburg, Lancaster Co..

14 Adoption

Meeting – Concern Professional Services, Wyomissing Office, 1120-B Hobart Ave., Wyomissing, 6-7 pm. Journey Through Pregnancy - The First Seven Months– 610-988-HELP, Health Education Center, Reading Hospital, 6:30 pm-8:30 pm.


Springtime Scavenger Hunt – 717-865-5523, Matthews Library, 1 pm. Register ahead of time in either 3-7 age group or the 8-13 age group. Kids will be challenged to find all kinds of pictures, illustrations, and much, much more, all related to books and reading. We’ll end it all with prizes and refreshments. A Visit With Henry David Thoreau - 717-6923699, Gamut Classic Theatre, 3rd Floor, Strawberry Square, Harrisburg. Also 4/19. Nolde Volunteer Workdays - 610-796-3699 (email, Nolde Forest Environmental Education Center, 2910 New Holland Rd., Reading. Option of working 9 amnoon, 1 pm-3 pm, or all day. Dress for the weather and wear suitable footgear, no sandals or open-toed shoes. Also May 16. Pancake Breakfast – 717-866-4939, Grace UCC Church, 22 Church St., Richland, to benefit the Richland Library, 6 am-11 am.


Earth Day Celebration – 610-916-2928 (email, Riverfront Park, Riverfront Dr., Reading, noon-5 pm. Outdoor, family-oriented event features educational, business exhibits, music, food and children’s activities. A Visit With Henry David Thoreau - 717-6923699, Gamut Classic Theatre, 3rd Floor, Strawberry Square, Harrisburg. Girls with Gears: A Women’s Cycling Event, Limerick Community Park, registration opens at 7 am. This event offers something for everyone and is open to everyone. Food, fun, door prizes and raffle to give away 3 Trek Bikes! Breastfeeding Education – 610-988-HELP, Health Education Center, Reading Hospital, 6:30 pm-8:30 pm.

20 Foster Care Meeting – Concern Professional Services, Wyomissing Office, 1120-B Hobart Ave., Wyomissing, 6-7 pm.


Two-Part Seminar for Women - 717-866-5704, New Beginnings Grace Brethren Church, Rt. 422, Myerstown (east of Rts. 422 & 501 intersection), 7 pm-9 pm, part 2 on 4/23. Journey Through Pregnancy: Preparing for Delivery and Baby – 610-988-HELP, Health Education Center, Reading Hospital, 6:30 pm8:30 pm.

22 Journey Through Pregnancy - Cesarean Birth Night– 610-988-4357, Thunn/Janssen Auditorium, Reading Hospital, 7 pm-8:30 pm.


Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work® Day -

Two-Part Seminar for Women - 717-866-5704, New Beginnings Grace Brethren Church, Rt. 422, Myerstown (east of Rts. 422 & 501 intersection), 7 pm-9 pm, part 1 on 4/21.


Schuylkill Valley Middle School Musical - 114 Ontelaunee Dr., new theatre space/LGI in the Middle School, Leesport, 7 pm. Also on 4/25.


2nd Annual Scrapbooking Spectacular - 610944-1225, Berks County Mothers of Boys fundraiser to raise money for the Autism Society of America. For more information, call. Schuylkill Valley Middle School Musical - 114 Ontelaunee Dr., new theatre space/LGI in the Middle School, Leesport, 7 pm. Clothing Consignment Sale - email, St. Gabriel’s Episcopal Church, 422 E. Douglassville. Proceeds benefit the church.




may 1

OV PTO Preschool Story Hour – 610-987-4100, Oley Valley Elementary School lobby, 10 am, stories, games, rhymes, crafts and snack. A Visit With Henry David Thoreau - 717-6923699, Gamut Classic Theatre, 3rd Floor, Strawberry Square, Harrisburg. Also 4/18 & 4/19.

April 2009

Journey Into Parenting - Your Newborn Baby – 610-988-HELP, The Reading Hospital Conference Center, 5th Ave., Lobby entrance, 6:30 pm-8 pm, free. May Day Fairie Festival - Spoutwood Farm, continued on page 7

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April 2009


o help make your child’s birthday party a special event to be remembered, check out this directory of party businesses that cater to children! Keep this list handy and call upon these advertisers when you begin to plan your child’s party.

Party Entertainment/Entertainers * Appalachian Pet Farm Art Bus, The Big Bright Bounces Eddy Ray Magician & Illusionist K&B Stables Kats Character Express Max’s Moonwalk Party Drums

* Party Facilities *

610-554-8678 610-913-0862 717-664-5055 610-775-2493 610-488-0710 484-664-9515

(See ad on page 17)

(See ad on page 9)

Berks Lanes/ Hiester Lanes 610-678-8044 (Colonial Sports)

Happily Ever After


(See ad on page 16)

610-779-4258 (See ad on page 17)

(See ad on page 16)

Jump Factory, The

(See ad on page 17)

Ozzy’s Family Fun Center

(See ad on page 17)

Paisley & Company Bath Boutique


(See ad on page 16)

Reading Planetarium


Spring Valley Athletic Club


484-332-3671 610-698-1709

(See ad on page 16)


(See ad on page 16)


(See ad on page 3)

(See ad on page 17)

(See ad on page 16)

(See ad on page 9)

(See ad on page 17)

Food, Products/Treats Gougler’s Ice Cream Truck


(See ad on page 17)

Noah’s Ark


(See ad on page 17)

Calendar of Events… continued from page 6

Glen Rock, noon-7 pm. Also 5/2 & 5/3 10 am-6 pm. Festivities include Maypole dancing, music, parades, Artisan marketplace, hands-on-crafts, tours, storytelling and much more. Summer in the City Art Stroll: It’s Not Easy Being Green - 610-562-3106, Downtown Hamburg, 6-8:30 pm. Local artists display their work along the streets, local businesses leave their doors open to strollers, and performers and musicians enhance the atmosphere of the evening. Free admission.


Identifying Plants of Nolde Forest - 610-7963699 (email, Nolde Forest Environmental Education Center, McConnell Hall (adjacent to Park Office Rd. parking lot), 2910 New Holland Rd., Reading, 9-11. May Day Fairie Festival - Spoutwood Farm, Glen Rock, noon-7 pm. Also 5/3 10 am-6 pm Details 5/1. Sesame Place Opens – 215-752-7070, 100 Sesame Road, Langhorne.

Library Activities Berks County Boone Area Library – 610-582-5666, 129 N. Mill St., Birdsboro. Preschool story time for ages 3-6 years old held on Mondays, 3/30, 4/6, 4/13, 4/20 & 4/27 at 10:30 am, 1:30 & 6:30 pm. Basic computer class held on Wednesdays, 4/1, 4/8, 4/15, 4/22, 4/29 at 1:30-2:30 pm and on Thursdays, 4/2, 4/9, 4/16, 4/23 & 4/30 at 6:30-7:30 pm. Note: There will be a special book sale/plant & puzzle swap on 4/11, 10 am-2 pm. Exeter Community Library – 610-406-9431, 4569 Prestwick Dr., Reading. Family Night Event. Details under 4/7. Also, 4/29 J. Patrick Lewis,

author of many popular books for young readers, will be sharing his poetry with adults & school age children. His books include “Please Buy Me inthe Library,” “The Bookworm’s Feast A Potluck of Poems,” “ArithmeTickle,” and more, 6-8. Muhlenberg Community Library – 610-9290589, 3612 Kutztown Rd., Laureldale. Used book sale on Saturday, 3/28, 9 am-4 pm; on 3/30 & 3/31, 10 am-8 pm. Preschool Story-times for children 3-6 years old every Thursday, 4/2, 4/9, 4/16, 4/30, 10:30 am & 1:30 pm. Toddler Storytimes for children 6-36 mos. old and their adult caregiver on Tuesdays & Wednesdays, 4/7, 4/8, 4/14, 4/15, 4/21, 4/22, 4/28 & 4/29, 10:30 am. Reading Public Library – 610-655-6355, 100 S. 5th St., Reading. Children’s Programs: Chess Club, Mondays at 4:15 pm; Family Night Storytime, Mondays at 7 pm; Movie night, Tuesdays at 6 pm; Crafty Corner, Thursdays at 4 pm; Storytime, Saturdays at 2 pm. Log on at Village Library of Morgantown – Walnut Street, Morgantown. Toddler story time for ages 18 mos. to 21/2 yrs. on Mondays, 3/30, 4/6, 4/13, 4/20, 4/27 at 11 am-noon; Toddler story time for ages one to 21/2 yrs. held on Tuesdays 3/31, 4/7, 4/14, 4/21 at 10-11 am; Preschool story time for ages 3-4 yrs. held Wednesdays 4/1, 4/8, 4/15, 4/22, 4/29 at 10-11 am; Author story time for ages 3-4 yrs. held on Thursdays 4/2, 4/9, 4/16, 4/23, 4/30 at 4-5 pm. Wernersville Public Library - 610-678-8771, 100 N. Reber St., Wernersville: Preschool story hour on Wednesdays. West Lawn/Wyomissing Hills Library – 610678-4888, West Lawn. Womelsdorf Community Library – 610-5891424, 203 W. High St., Womelsdorf. Storyrider Joy for preschool on 3/31, 4/7, 4/14, 4/21, 4/28 @ 11:15 am-12:15 pm. Evening story time on 4/14 @ 6:30-7:30 pm; Story time on 4/1, 4,8, 4/15,

4/22 & 4/29 @ 10:30-11:15; Family movie night on 4/15 @ 6-8 pm; Classic Movie Afternoon on 4/9 @ 2:30-4:30 pm. Meet the Easter Bunny & Craft Night 4/7 @ 6:30-7:30 pm. Wyomissing Public Library – 610-374-2385, 9 Reading Blvd., Wyomissing. Preschool/ Elementary Story time 4/7, 4/14, 4/21 @ 4 pm for ages 3-11 yrs; Special Storytime “Yoga Pretzels for Kids” @ 4 pm; Preschool Story time 4/1, 4/8, 4/15, 4/22 & 4/29 @ 10 am for ages 3-5 yrs.; Toddler Story time 4/2, 4/9, 4/16, 4/23 & 4/30 @ 10 am for ages 18 mos. to 3 yrs. Earth Day Celebration at Happy Hollow Park on 4/25 @ 10 am-1 pm. Lebanon County One Book Every Young Child Program 2009 - The Lebanon County Libraries will host author visits and hold penguin-themed activities and events throughout April for children and their parents. See individual libraries for more info. Mark your calendar for 4/4 Lebanon County Library System: penguin stories, crafts & book give-away at the Children’s Festival, Lebanon Valley Mall, 10 am-2 pm 10th Annual Poetry Contest for children up to 8th grade and children up to 9th grade level. Contestants must live in Lebanon County and be member of the Lebanon County Library System. Deadline for entry is 4/17/09. The Lebanon Community Library now open 64 hours a week. The new library hours are Monday through Wednesday, 8 am-8 pm; Thurs. 8 am-6 pm; Friday and Saturday 8 am-5 pm. Family Story Time with Penguin activities on 4/22 @ 6:30 pm. Annville Free Library – 717-867-5754, 216 E. Main St., Annville. Hrs.: M-Th 10-8; Fri. & Sat. 105. Author Florence Minor and illustrator Wendell Minor, If You Were A Penguin, will visit on 4/3 at 10:30 am. • Spring 2009 story times: Preschool, 15 week program on Tues. or Thurs. at 10:15 pro-

gram ends April 30 (no story times on 4/7 & 4/9). Baby storytimes 4/14, 4/21 & 4/28 for pre-walkers (0-12 mos.) @ 10:15 am; for walkers (12-24 mos.) @ 11:15 am. Lebanon Community Library – 717-273-7624, 125 N. 7th St., Lebanon. 4/22 Family story time with Penguin activities, 6:30 pm. Story time held each Tues. at 11 am and each Thurs. at 9 am. Geared for children 3-5. Due to limited space, parents are asked not to attend the story times with their child. Matthews Public Library – 717-865-7492 (Cindy), 102 W. Main St., Fredericksburg. Hours: Mon-Thurs. 9-8; Fri. 9-5; Sat. 9-4. Story time for toddlers and preschoolers–includes story and craft–every Wednesday at 10 am. Springtime Scavenger Hunt, 1 pm. Details under 4/18. Myerstown Community Library – 717-8662800, 199 N. College St., Myerstown. Penguin Play 4/24 @ 10 am and 1 pm. Spring Magic Silent Auction on 4/4 @ 6 pm-9 pm. Meet Mr. Lincoln on 4/14 @ 6 pm-8 pm. Palmyra Public Library – 717-838-1347, 325 S. Railroad St., Palmyra. Author Florence Minor and illustrator Wendell Minor, If You Were A Penguin, will visit on 4/3 at 1:30 pm. Penguin party, 4/14. Games, crafts and food. Registration required; attendance limited to 50 children. Storytime for 3-Year old: 4/1@ 10;30-11 am, also 11:30 amnoon. Storytime for 3-Years old thru kindergarten 6:30 pm-7 pm. Storytime for 4-Years old: 4/3 @ 10:30-11 am and 1:30-2 pm. Meet the Authors Event geared for children ages 3-6 4/3 @ 1:302:15 pm. Storytime for 4-Years old thru kindergarten, 4/3 @ 1:30-2 pm. Richland Community Library – 717-866-4939, 111 E. Main St., Richland. Penguin Pajama Party on 4/14 @ 6:30 pm. Participants are encouraged to come in their pjs and bring their favorite stuffed animal.

Archie Comics

____ 8 about families

April 2009

What A Half-Million Teens Read Each Month by Lauren Shapiro


hey’ve been in Riverdale High School for 67 years, and there’s still no graduation or retirement date in sight. I’m speaking, of course, of Archie, Jughead, Betty and Veronica.

Grundy (English), Professor Flutesnoot, Coach Cleat, Ms. Beazley (cafeteria), and Pop Tate who runs the Chocklit Shoppe, “the perfect place for quality time wasting;” students Dilton (brainy), Reggie (wise-guy), Moose (dyslexic), Ethel (boy crazy), and

Archie Comics have partnered with high schools and colleges for art internships. Interested in getting kids to read for pleasure? Archie comics range from 32page magazines, to 176-page “doubledigests” – in other words, books. Although Archie is an average student, in a suburban, non-magical world, his readership numbers rival those of Harry Potter. While they are very dissimilar – one is epic literature, one is a comic book – both have the magical pull of the series; and both draw readers with recognizable school-life characters. Archie’s world is populated by Principal Mr. Weatherbee, Miss

Church (cartoonist). Fred Mausser, Co-President/Director of Circulation at Archie Comics Publications, says about 515,000 mostly 7-14 year olds, buy an Archie comic per month; and there is a significant passalong readership. Archie Comics Publications receives “thousands of letters a month, running the gamut from comments, criticisms, and suggestions regarding the characters and storyline, comparisons to things in the life of the reader, questions on the history of the Archie characters and requests for

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additional characters. These are in addition to the “Dear Betty” fashion questions. Readers even send their pictures. The website,, publishes selected letters and “fan art.” Some is quite impressive; all of it shows voluntary effort. With or without the optional mailfor-me!-thrill of a subscription, Archie’s noteworthy education tool. Mr. Mausser says, “Archie’s been used in curriculums. We’ve done custom comics: Archie & His Friends Help Raise Literacy Awareness in Mississippi; Archie & Friends vs. Toxic Waste – for San Diego city and county of; Archie & His Pals In The Peer Helping Program, for the FBI and the ELKS; Archie and His Friends in Westchester - on drinking for Westchester County; Energy & Safety Adventures - join project with DC Comics for Con Edison. “We don’t get preachy in the

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comics,” Mausser continues, “ but we can come up with a curriculum or a custom comic on anything. Some regular (non-custom) books were: The Archies go to the Los Angeles Public Library; Archie Visits The World Famous Salt Lake City Library. Archie’s a role model. Everything’s always on the up and up, there’s never any violence. Archie respects the law, his teachers, his elders, his parents. There are little pranks, but they never get beyond that. He’s kept up with the times in terms of clothing, cell phones, and iPods. He uses everything that’s current; he’s always contemporary.” The girls are fashion-obsessed (I told you it was not a magical world) but they care about getting good grades; and they have no eating disorders. They like to eat and are drawn to look 120 pounds. Archie Comics have partnered with high schools and colleges for art internships. Stephen Oswald, Associate Art Editor says the interns do “copying, a lot of the art work, helping out the production artists, scanning, photocopying, some of the hand coloring.” In 1995 the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service brought four grizzly bears from the wild to the Bronx Zoo and they were named Jughead, Archie, Betty, and Veronica. In 2004 Archie Comics Publications sponsored Extreme Survivors Weekend at the Zoo, giving cartooning lessons and creating a special comic. Jughead, Archie, Betty, and Veronica are on the cover at their eponymous bears’ exhibit and Jughead says, “There’s something familiar about those bears.” There’s something familiar and reassuring about Archie. Lauren Shapiro is a dance accompanist at Dance Theatre of Harlem and at Columbia University. She has a B.A. from Queens College, and a B.Mus. from Manhattan School of Music. Previous notable publications include "Tempo Primo" in "I Thought My Father Was God – NPR’s National Story Project" 2001 and numerous articles on dance music. She may be reached at

____ 9 about families Wesley Wonders by Wesley J. King


Books for Babies!

hat do you think of when you hear these words: presents, cake, and balloons? Those things go with birthday celebrations! We’re getting ready for Helen’s fourth birthday and we do not want anyone to bring presents for her! That might sound a little bit funny, and maybe a little bit mean, but we have done something special to celebrate Helen’s birthday at all her parties. Helen’s party invitation always says something like this: “Instead of bringing a gift for Helen, please bring a new book to give to a baby in the hospital where Helen was born. Helen and her family will deliver the books to the NICU so that mommies and daddies can read to their sick children.” Let me explain why this is important to us. Helen was born earlier than we expected. Most babies should grow inside their mommies until about 40 weeks but Helen was born early at only 28 weeks. At first, she was tiny and very sick. She stayed in a part of the hospital called the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit for over two months. She had lots of doctors and nurses taking care of her and needed special beds to help her with breathing and keeping warm. Even though I was her big brother I wasn’t allowed to visit her there. I cried about that because I wanted my little sister to come home so I could love her!

April 2009

I made pictures to decorate her bed. Mom dies. I’m really proud of Helen because I and Dad spent lots of time with Helen. For heard her tell Mommy that she wants to many days they were not allowed to hold her empty her piggy bank to use that money until she got stronger. There were only a few to buy more books. If Helen is only things they could do during that time – read- four years old and can do that, I think ing to her, singing to her and praying for her. I should see what money I have in my They even took in a recording of me reading bank to add more books to her box! the book “Goodnight Moon” and singing a Wesley J. King lullaby so Helen could hear my voice! Wesley’s Note: This story is based When Helen finally came home we still on a yearly event that happens for a had to be careful about keeping germs away premature boy born into our family, from her fragile, tiny body. I changed my clothing and scrubbed up my hands when I got home from school. We didn’t take Helen anywhere. Visiting nurses came to our house to check her weight and talk to Mom. Now you know more about Helen’s birthday story. Four of Helen’s preschool friends and three neighborhood children are coming to the party. Our grandparents and aunts and uncles are coming, too. Helen is excited about the book colEmail: lection for the babies. She ed a box labeled “Books for Babies” using her paint set and stickers. She understands that her birthday party presents will be gifts for children that need to hear the Website: voices of their mommies and dad-

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____ 10 about families

April 2009


Bounce U – 717-838-0848, 318 Taxiway

Dr., Annville (website: Camp gives kids a daily balance of playtime and artistic expression, the perfect tandem for any growing imagination. It’s part inspiration, part perspiration, and a whole bunch of fun. In addition to bouncing, laughing, and exploring their inner artists, kids will enjoy an array of games and activities, plus lunch and snacks. Create and Bounce is a one-of-a-kind camp experience they’ll simply never forget. See ad on page 16. Colonial Sports Summer Day Camp 610-777-9651, Rte. 724, Sinking Spring (website: (for ages 5-12 years. The proper balance of exercise, learning and fun in a safe, structured environment. Weekly field trips, swimming and park days. Large, air conditioned indoor sports and play area.

Outdoor playground and pavilion. Themed activities each week. See ad on page 30. Summer Day Camp at Creative Beginnings - 610-375-9080, 2390 Bernville Road, Reading. For ages 6-12 years. Activities include arts & crafts, science, & nature, special visitors, water day, cooking, and much more! For enrollment information call. See ad on page 28. Heron Mead Farm Summer Horse Camps - for all levels and ages (5-18) 610-488-8978 – located near Bernville and Blue Marsh Lake. Campers enjoy learning about the world of horses and developing the lifelong skills of riding and horsemanship. With 20+ years of experience teaching horsemanship through lesson and camp programs, our former students include successful show riders through national levels, professional

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instructors and trainers, vet school graduates and many more who simply enjoy riding for pleasure. ( See ad on page 20. History Day Camp at the Daniel Boone Homestead - 610-582-4900, 400 Daniel Boone Rd., Birdsboro. For ages 8-11 years. History Day Camp is a colonial adventure where kids will experience and learn what Daniel Boone did while he was growing up here. Each day of camp will cover a different theme of Daniel’s childhood life–from his chores to his free time, to his time in the great outdoors–and will feature many hands-on activities and demonstrations. See ad on page 15. Institute of the Arts – 610-376-1576, 1100 Belmont Ave., Wyomissing, log on at Music, dance, theater, visual arts, Literature for Toddlers to Young Adults. Create, Explore, Grow, Learn, and Fun. Register by 4/25 for $10 discount per camp. See ad on page 10. Irish Creek Stables - 610-926-1261 or 484-955-0869, Mohrsville. Summer day camps. Riding, crafts, and games daily. June 25-29, July 16-20, and July 30August 3. Visit our website at See ad on page 15. Kenbrook Bible Camp – 717-865-4547, 190 Pine Meadow Road, Lebanon, Summer just wouldn’t be the same without a great summer camp experience. Ad on page 23. Link Center, The – 610-372-7310, 201 Noble St., Reading (online at Appropriate for ages 1017. Summer basketball clinic, ages 1017. Teens activity week, sports. music, fun, ages 13-17. See ad on page 18. Ozzy’s Family Fun Center - 610-9266162 (610-916-4113), 5411 Pottsville Pike, Leesport,, for ages 5-12 years. Ozzy’s Summer Day Camp is hailed by all its participants as “the best summer camp in the world.” Great staff, great weekly themes, swimming, field trips and of course a giant 10acre property with 80,000 sq. ft. under roof for a great time, rain or shine. See ad on page 3. Riverview Christian “Kids Camp” 610-921-0285, Reading. Summer “Kids Camp” 2009, for ages 5-13 years. June 8-August 14, 9 am-4 pm with before and after care available. Kindergarten - 7th grade. Come one week or attend all 10 weeks. Bible adventures, music, art, drama, nature, field trips and fun!!! See ad on page 20. Summer Day Camp Albright College 610-921-9324, 3040 Kutztown Rd., Reading. Appropriate for ages 6-12 years. Activities include cooking, water day, special visitors, science & nature, arts & crafts and much more! For enrollment information call! Ad on page 28. Tutor Time - 610-320-9995, 2250 Ridgewood Rd., Wyomissing, ages 5-12 ( Weekly themes

and events, field trips. See ad on page 33.


Camp Manatawny – 610-689-0173, 33 Camp Rd., Douglassville. Week-long program in a beautiful Mana-tawny Creek setting for school age grades 112. We exist to provide a wholesome, enjoyable experience to help young people spiritually, mentally, physically and socially with Jesus. (Also General Interest Day Camp). See ad on page 18. DDS Summer Stars Day Camp – 717274-3493, 1126 Walnut St., Lebanon, Appropriate for ages 4 and up. Developmental & Disability Services of Lebanon Valley is offering day camps for the summer. This is an inclusive program to serve children of all abilities. Day camps will include a wide range of activities & day trips. Gretna Glen Camp & Retreat Center – 717-273-6525, 87 Old Mine Road, Lebanon, We offer both residential & day camps for general interest, sport and art/music. Appropriate for ages 4 & up. Our mission is to share the joy of knowing and following Jesus Christ.

SPECIALTY CAMPS: Car Race Video Game Creation – 1888-652-4377,, Philadelphia, Springside School: 6/29-7/2. Ad on page19. Chess Camp – 888-65-CHESS. Three locations & dates: Wyndcroft School, Pottstown, June 15-19; Springside School, Philadelphia, June 29-July 2; Harrisburg Academy, Harrisburg, July 610. Chess is a great way to hone strategic thinking skills! Morning, afternoon & all-day sessions are available. Anyone (co-ed ages 5-16 yrs.) including beginners are welcome. Group & sibling discounts available. Register at Ad on page 19. Computer Animation Story Camp – 1888-652-4377, In Pottstown Wyndcroft School: 6/15-6/19 & Philadelphia, Springside School: 6/29-7/2. See ad on page 19. Gamebuilder Creation Camp – 888652-4377. Wyndcroft School, Pottstown, June 15-19; Springside School, Philadelphia, June 29-July 2; Harrisburg Academy, Harrisburg, July 6-July 10. We combine learning and fun and bring it to a whole new level. Your child (co-ed ages 5-16 yrs.) will actually design, develop and create a one-of-a-kind video game. Who thought learning could be this fun? Register at continued on page 23

____ 11 about families

10 Things Kids Should Know About Lyme Disease

April 2009

Myths are common and potentially dangerous

Greenwich, CT


yme disease is the most common vector-borne disease in the United States, with more than 20,000 new cases reported every year. Lyme has been found in all 50 states, and a high percentage of its victims are children, says Debbie Siciliano, cochair of Time for Lyme, Inc., a research, education and support group in Greenwich, CT.

comes in from the outside. (Don’t mistake the ticks that transmit Lyme with the common dog tick, which is much bigger, although dog ticks may carry diseases). ■ Ticks Dig Plants. You’ll also find plenty of ticks in wooded areas, parks and forests as well as your own backyard and in dune grasses at the beach. Kids should stick to the trails and open areas and avoid wet, wooded areas, tall grass and leaf-littered areas.

If you find a tick, grasp it with fine-tipped tweezers and pull away from the skin without crushing its body. “Children are particularly vulnerable because they are outside a lot, especially in the early summer, when ticks are most plentiful,” she adds. If they do get infected, kids can experience headaches, fatigue and flu-like symptoms, and if the disease is left untreated, can also develop learning and behavioral problems, depression, nerve damage, memory loss and other cognitive, psychiatric and neurological problems. But many children — and their parents — don’t know much about Lyme disease. Following is a list of 10 things every kid (and parent) should know: ■ Lyme Comes From Ticks. Technically speaking, Lyme disease is caused by bacteria called Borrelia burgdorferi, which are carried by parasitic (blood sucking) ticks called Ixodes, also known as black-legged or deer ticks. The bacteria live inside the tick, and can be transmitted when the tick attaches itself to a host and begins to suck up blood. ■ Ticks Are Everywhere. Lyme disease got its name from the town of Lyme, Connecticut, where it was first identified, and it’s most common in the Northeast, mid-Atlantic and Great Lakes regions. But it’s been reported all over the United States — and in 50 countries around the world. ■ Ticks Are Tiny. Ixodes ticks are very, very small, especially in the first and second stage of its life (larval and nymphal). In fact at this stage, unless they’re already engorged (full of blood), they’re much smaller than the head of a pin and nearly impossible to see. Ticks are especially good at hiding in dark places like the scalp and underarms, where you’re even less likely to find them. Kids need a head-to-toe check every time they’re out in tick territory. ■ Ticks Are Animal-Lovers. Lymecarrying ticks are typically stowaways on deer, squirrels and mice and are most often found in areas where these animals are common. Ticks can also catch a ride on the family pet, so you should be sure to check the dog or cat every time he

■ Summer is Tick Time. The ticks that transmit Lyme disease are most active (and plentiful) in May, June and July and most difficult to find as they are typically in the nymphal stage. They are also out there when the ground temperature is above 35 degrees F. ■ DEET Works. You wouldn’t want to bathe in the stuff, but it’s the most effective way to repel Lyme-carrying ticks. Just use it wisely: Use just enough to cover exposed skin, apply it to your own hands and then rub them on your child (avoid his eyes and mouth), don’t apply to a young child’'s hands (little kids often put their hands in their mouths) and don’t apply to cuts or irritated skin. ■ Light Clothes are the Right Clothes. Kids should wear light-colored clothing, which makes it easier to spot ticks, with long sleeves and legs (tuck pants into socks). ■ Timing is Everything. The chances of contracting Lyme disease from an infected tick increases with the length of time it’s attached. If you find a tick, grasp it with fine-tipped tweezers and pull away from the skin without crushing its body. If you think your child was bitten by an infected tick, see the doctor right away: The sooner you begin treat-

ment, the better. ■ Rashes Aren’t Required. Lyme disease is associated with a red, bullseye-shaped rash, but many people never see one (and don’t remember being bitten by a tick). Also know that not all Lyme rashes have a bullseye. So if your child starts to develop symptoms of a Lyme infection, see your pediatrician — rash or no rash. About Time for Lyme Time for Lyme is an organization dedicated to eliminating the devastating effects of Lyme disease and other tick-borne illness. Our mission is to prevent the spread of disease, develop definitive diagnostic tools and effective treatments, and to ultimately find a cure for tick-borne illness by supporting research, education, and the acquisition and dissemination of information. In addition, we will continue to support Lyme disease sufferers and their families through legislative efforts

on the federal, state and local levels. For more information on our organization, please visit

April 18, 2009, Time for Lyme will present its bi-annual Gala event – The Dream, Creating a Lyme Free World--at the Hyatt Regency in Greenwich, CT. Proceeds from the Gala will go towards combating the devastating effects of Lyme and other tick borne illnesses. Call 203-969-1333 or go to for more information and tickets.

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____ 12 about families

April 2009

The Tot-Secrets to Hitting? See You in Class

by Coach Pickles, Youth Sports Instructor

Mr. Ryan



r. McGinley is the best third grade teacher. He is nice and funny. He helps kids with their work. He loves the Eagles and the Phillies. He is great.” submitted by Kassidy Bonenfant Mr. Ryan McGinley teaches third grade at Tilden Elementary Center, in Hamburg Area School District.

If you know an outstanding teacher who deserves recognition, let us know! Tell us in 50 words or less what makes your favorite teacher special, and if your submission is drawn from our pool of entries, your teacher will receive a wonderful assortment of gifts. Each “Teacher of the Month” will also receive special acknowledgement for the positive impact he or she is making in his or her students’ lives. Any student can enter their teacher for the monthly award, and the contest is open to all eligible educators who teach in grades K-5. Simply fill out the entry coupon below, attach it to your letter, and mail them both to us at:

Reader Question: My four yearold plays baseball. The only area he’s been slow developing in is hitting pitched balls. Even when he does hit the ball, I’m not sure if it’s by luck or because he has good control of his bat. His hitting is 50/50 so I’m really not sure. What exercises can I go over to improve his hitting? Kevin M. Answer: Hi Kevin. First and foremost, it is great you are spending time one-on-one with your son. This can be a difficult thing to do in the busy adult lives we lead today. Bravo! As I considered about your question one thought kept echoing in my head, focus on the small wins; I am a big believer in them. Small wins are easy for children to produce. As a parent, it requires a little more deliberate thought on your part, but the advantage comes when small wins are strung together. What they can create are the big wins you most look for within your son. Herein, it becomes a win-win for everyone. Your expectations are kept in check and your son’s confidence flourishes. As a coach, focusing on the small wins takes the luck, you speak of, out of the equation as I evaluate talent. Kevin, there is something pretty sensational happening here. As a 50/50 hitter, your son’s performance, in baseball terms, gives him a .500 batting average. Major leaguers only dream of hitting so well. While 50/50 hitting is only a “small win” for you as a parent, it definitely is a “big win” for your son. Don’t compare I don’t want to lead you down the wrong path and compare your child against other children his age. This is a serious pitfall many sports parents, and coaches alike, are guilty of. As performance begins to be examined more closely, the intensity and expectations can quickly rise and take the fun out of sports for kids. With that said, be proud of your son. If he is standing still and letting you pitch him baseballs, he is exhibiting more patience for fun then

many four year olds have to give. Please consider my other suggestions and recommendations below. Thanks for your email question. Coach’s Recommendations Make learning fun. Challenge them to use other things to hit the ball off the tee— foam noodles, their hand, their elbow, their head. All of this is improving hand-eye, or in this case, body-eye coordination. Remember the basics. It is alright to pitch him baseballs, however, always have a hitting tee available. The tee, although shamefully forgotten by many youth coaches, is still used at the college and pro levels to maintain solid hitting form. Keep a tee on-hand at all times and integrate it into your backyard practice sessions. Repitition. Throwing, hitting and then retrieving one or two baseballs at a time never allows for a flow to be established. I always have a ball bag full of tennis balls ready when practicing hitting. Go to your local tennis club and ask them for a garbage bag of old tennis balls. They typically are giving them away anyway. Numbering and Coloring. Although tedious, always, always, always number and color the baseballs or tennis balls you use. This is a major league hitting technique I picked up along the way and have had great success introducing to beginning hitters. What it does is cause kids to focus on the ball better. You can measure their focus by asking what color (for the younger ages) or what number (for the older ages) as you pitch or they hit off the tee. Use these techniques and recommendations and watch tot-hitting improve. See you in class! Brad Kayden is a Chicago-based youth sports expert and child wellness advocate who designs age-appropriate sports programming for children ages 2-8. He is a member of the National Youth Sports Coaches Association. Any inquiries can be sent to

Every child has the right…

Your Name _______________________________________________________

pub•lic school (pub'lik skool) n Community institution for the instruction of children; where quality education and dedicated educators help students to achieve, advance, excel, and succeed.

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____ 13 about families

The Good, the Green… and the Confusion by Leslie Garrett

April 2009 There’s nothing to do around here.

I am so bored. My friends are no fun. There is no place to go.

Where do you expect me to meet

My life

my life.

is a drag.



ven with our bank accounts shrinking faster than the polar ice caps, studies reveal that we’re still willing to pay more for products that are good for the planet…and, it follows, for our own health as well. Unfortunately, though there are a lot of great eco-products, there’s also plenty of confusion. Let The Virtuous Consumer take on two persistent ecomyths…and show you the green light: Compact Fluorescent Lightbulbs: There’s a lot of controversy surrounding these spiral eco-saviors. With everyone from Al Gore to Oprah touting the benefits, plenty of people have twisted them into place. But a whiff of scandal continues to surround them. Why? They contain mercury, which according to not-for-profit Toxic Nation, is a recognized developmental toxin, neurotoxin, suspected hormone disrupter and respiratory toxin. Nasty stuff. What people often overlook, however, is that coal-fired power plants – which is where most of us get the energy that lights our bulbs – emits more mercury in the process of powering a conventional incandescent than exists in a CFL. What’s more, if we dispose of CFLs properly (it’s much easier now that Home Depot and IKEA both accept them), we can contain the mercury. That’s not the case for mercury that gets spewed into our atmosphere. If you happen to break a CFL, the Environmental Protection Agency offers up instructions for how to clean it up safely. Log on to htm#fluorescent The verdict? CFLs are still a smart green choice. Hybrid? Or Hummer…: In 2008, newspapers trumpeted a study that “proved” that “Hybrids consume more energy in lifetime than Chevrolet’s Tahoe SUV.” Hummers wrongly entered the equation when a widely syndicated columnist cited the study under a headline that read “Use a Hummer to Crush a Prius.” However, the study raised concerns when it was revealed that the data it relied on was…umm…questionable, to say the least. The study assumed that a Hummer would last 379,000 miles and last 35 years, while a Prius would die at 12 years with only 109,000 on its odometer. An odious assumption that – on a


Nothing exciting ever happens in I’ve already done that.

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If you thought orthodontics were too expensive... per-mile basis – is clearly going to put the Hummer on top. Prius took a hit because it’s largely new technology. As more cars embrace this technology, these new tech start-up costs will diminish. The energy costs associated with building a Prius decrease with every new Prius (or similar hybrid) made. Yet a Hummer/Tahoe/insert-other-big-SUVhere will always guzzle an enormous amount of gas. The study’s researchers also point to the nickel metal hydride battery in the Prius, noting that nickel mining is a dirty business. Yes, it is. Yet the hybrid batteries currently in existence require less than one percent of the world’s annual nickel production. Prius batteries are also 100% recyclable. The upside of all the debate this rumor inspired is that it encourages conversation (if not conservation!) about fuelefficiency and perhaps lets the halo over the Prius slip a wee bit. While it remains the poster car for the environmentally concerned, it still is a car – with embodied energy and a reliance on fuel. The verdict? Any car with good gas mileage is better than a gas-guzzler. But none are as environmentally friendly as taking a bus, or as healthy as walking. Leslie Garrett is an award-winning journalist, author and mother of three children. Her most recent book, The Virtuous Consumer: Your Essential Shopping Guide to a Better, Kinder, Healthier World (and one our kids will thank us for!) recently won the Green Prize for sustainable literature. Visit her at

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____ 14 about families

April 2009

Business Opportunities WILDTREE: A young direct sales company with a full line of all natural preservative-free, delicious, easyto-prepare foods. Home tasting parties are fun and easy. Now is the perfect time to give us a test drive! Risk free. If you love to eat,

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CHILDCARE in my Palmyra home, Monday-Friday, 7 am-5 pm. Meals and snacks provided. Twelve months through five years. For more information 717-648-1014. BIRDSBORO LICENSED CHILDCARE Monday-Friday 6:30 am-4:25 pm. I also have evenings and weekends available; evenings until 9:30 pm. I’m licensed with the State as a safe childcare provier. Looking to fill part time positions at the moment and I will also be interviewing for full time starting in August. Call 610-404-7646.

Mark Your Calendar When you are making summer plans, don’t forget… Vacation Bible School!

BRENDA'S DAY CARE Childcare in my West Reading home, near hospital. Reasonable rates! Experienced provider! Fun and learning, safe enviroment. Full or part-time. Call Brenda, 610-375-3227.

June edition of

CHILDCARE Inn my Mount Penn area home. Safe, loving environment. Call Tammy, 484-663-0648.

About Families

EXETER MOTHER Of two providing full-time, part-time, before and after school childcare. School bus transportation available for Jacksonwald Elementary. Reasonable. 610-689-9078.

will include a VBS Directory!

For inclusion and more information, call 717-273-8127 ext. 1130 or 1-800-673-2434

NORTHEAST CHILDCARE 1116 Perry Street, Reading has openings, child-ren 18 months to 12 years. Toddlers do not need to be potty trained. Will walk to 13th and Union, and 12th and Marion Schools. Low rates. 610-374-8442. ANYTIME CHILDCARE: Available every shift, Union Canal bus stops at house. 8 years experience, lots of fun and learning activities. CCIS contracted. Reasonable rates. Call for details. 717-4504862. CHILDCARE State certified family daycare home in Fredericksburg has opening for one preschool child. Twenty five years experience. Quality care and reasonable rates. Call:Barb at 717865-5319. CHILDCARE $2/HR Monday-Friday, 6am-6pm, Large yard away from street, Fort Indiantown Gap Area, Call Jody, 717-865-5791 CHILDCARE OPENING(S). Christian mother of three has first shift opening(s) for childcare in her Cleona home. Meals and snacks included. Fun, warm, loving atmosphere. Contact Amy 717-272-5750.

Miscellaneous SELLING OR REMODELING Your home? Need help with repairs? Affordable rates! Call 717-866-4025 or 484-529-0452.

Classified Line Ads Select Category Below… Baby Items Business Opportunities Camp Childcare

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Print Line Ad in form below, printing one word per box. No abbreviations. 1




























Wanted FOSTER FAMILIES NEEDED Strong families are needed for sibling groups and older children. Excellent training, support and reimbursement provided. Call Families United Network at 1-800-722-0136 or email cstevison@families4kids FOR FOSTER CHILDREN Want a kitchen play set (would be delighted with Step 2 LifeStyle Dream), a play workbench sturdy quality with tools. Please call only if yours is in good condition and priced cheap please! 717-360-0285

Toys Wanted Yard Sale



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Clip out, include your check and mail to: About Families Classified Ad, PO Box 840, Lebanon, PA 17042

____ 15 about families

April 2009

by Tammy Ruggles


ecky is a mother who loves her two-year-old son Gabe, but several factors have been stressing her lately – her husband’s affair, their

because it is a pattern of behavior that they have learned. They have no other set of coping skills to use. Most parents don’t plan to harm their children. Abuse comes about when a crisis or frustration arises, and the parent

“I knew there were other things I could do besides hit, but I didn't know how to handle my anger. Hitting Gabe was wrong. I felt like such a bad mother…” financial situation, the loss of her mother to cancer – and this morning she did something she swore she would never do: She lost control of her temper and slapped Gage when he wouldn’t stop crying. She felt nothing but shame afterward, because she had been abused as a child, knew what it was like to be hit, and vowed that she would find other ways to parent. She found herself crying along with Gabe, wondering how she would explain the red hand print to her husband Jim when he got home from work that evening. Becky’s story is typical of abused children. While it is true that not all children who are abused grow up to hurt their own, in some cases it is true. states that about onethird of abuse victims grow into adults who victimize their own children. This is called the cycle of abuse because it is handed down from generation to generation. Children truly do learn what they live. If they live in a home where they witness abusive behavior or domestic violence on a daily basis, they will practice this in adulthood REPORTING CHILD ABUSE Any person can contact Berks County Children and Youth Services at any time to make an allegation of child abuse or neglect. An assessment will be made to assure the child’s safety and determine if further investigation or serv-

reacts in the only way they know, which is usually the way they have witnessed or learned while growing up. These parents lack the skills for alternative, non-violent discipline. Some abusive parents won’t acknowledge or aren’t aware that they are being abusive until it is pointed out, and even then some deny that their behavior has reached a harmful level or could have a negative, long-lasting impact on their children. This cycle of abuse can be broken, but it rarely takes place without some sort of intervention, usually in the form of parenting classes or family counseling; either ordered by the court or protective agency. Even then, it takes a willing parent who is involved enough to want to change how they interact with their children. These parents are asked to set aside their shame, guilt, and old set of parenting ideas. Parenting classes and family counseling teach parents non-physical forms of discipline, such as time-out, grounding, and redirection, rewards and consequences, etc. These classes also teach parents ways to manage anger and crises, and improve their interpersonal

ices are needed. The State of Pennsylvania maintains an office, Childline, to receive and track reports of child abuse and neglect. Childline can be accessed 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Their toll-free telephone number is 1-800-932-0313.

situation and you feel a family member or yourself are not safe and it has become a crisis, a trained counselor is ready to take your call 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Your conversation may stay anony-

For Kids 8-11 At The

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Junior History Workshops

July 29 - Camp Cooking • August 5 - Hearth Cooking & Dairying

(610) 582-4900 or go to

Tammy Ruggles, BSW, MA, is a freelance writer and retired social work-

CRISIS INTERVENTION If you are going through a difficult



communication skills. Preventing child abuse is the key to stopping the cycle of violence. There are many success stories from parents who have found a better, safer, healthier way to parent. One such outcome belongs to Becky, the mother mentioned at the beginning of the story. She knew she couldn’t hide the mark on Gabe’s face, and rather than lie about it, called her pastor, who encouraged her to talk to child protective services and ask for help. She told her husband what happened, and he went to the agency with her, where they both enrolled in parenting classes on their own. A year later Becky says, “I was so fixed on how I parented. I knew there were other things I could do besides hit, but I didn’t know how to handle my anger. Hitting Gabe was wrong. I felt like such a bad mother. But I know now that all mothers make mistakes. The thing is, do we learn from our mistakes, or keep repeating them?" If you know or suspect that a child is being abused, do something. It is not up to you to prove it, but your concern could save a child’s life, and could help prevent the cycle from continuing. For more information, log onto,, or

mous and the services are confidential. A counselor will listen to your concerns, assess the situation and will then refer you to the appropriate service you need at the time, depending on your situation. Residents of Lebanon County call 717-274-3363

er based in Kentucky. Her first book, Peace, was published in 2005. Log on

The Facts

■ An incident of child abuse is reported every 10 seconds. ■ Child abuse occurs in all racial, socioeconomic, financial, religious, and cultural groups. ■ About 40% of all women incarcerated, and 15% of all men incarcerated, were victims of child abuse. ■ Children who were sexually abused are more likely to use alcohol and drugs and engage in promiscuity or prostitution.



Advanced/Intermediate Camps - June 29 to July 3 Beginner Camps June 15 to June 19 • July 13 to July 17 • July 27 to July 31 Personal Instruction Qualified Assistants

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____ 16 about families

April 2009

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BIG BRIGHT BOUNCES (717) 664-5055

Moonwalk Rentals for Any Occasion! Reserve Your Date Today 484-332-3671

____ 17 about families

April 2009

Theme Parties

For Your Party or Special Event

CHOOSE FROM: Pirates, Princesses, Wizards, Knights & Dragons, Superheros or Dinosaurs Rock Star: American Idol, Camp Rock, Hannah Montana Cheerleading: High School Musical

The Appalachian Pet Farm will bring to you our endangered, exotic and miniature animals, including Monkeys, Zebu, Lemurs,Wallabies & Kinkajou

Available all year long Our parties are educational & fun


will bring a pony to your home for your child’s birthday party!

For more information or to book your special day, call Kyle or Brenda Loder at


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at Dance Center, in Mt Penn





For group tours

Call (610)

The Absolute Best Parties!

(610) Pony Rides are also available for picnics, carnivals, school events & more!

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PKG. #1 - One pony for one hour. Your child will receive a cowboy hat, picture of their enjoyable ride, a birthday card, and a gift bag. Price $150 (local parties) PKG. #2 - Give all of the children a hat and a photo as a party favor. Price $150 + $3 per child. PKG. #3 - All the above in Packages #1 & #2, plus a gift bag filled with special treats for all the children. Price $150 + $7 per child

Birthdays • Corporate Events Picnics • School Events Grand Openings E-Mail:

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610-944-0597 484-332-6522

ur lovely Victorian room hosts up to 20 guests who create their own bath and body products, room sachets and delicious custom lip balms from our selection of over 120 fragrances.

Kids have a hands on blast building a rhythm village with drums, shakers, voice and movement. For Details And Pricing Of Birthday Parties/Special Events Contact: Michael Clipman

(610) 698-1709

We don’t just throw a party – we give them an experience they’ll talk about all year! It’s fun, it’s friendly, it smells fabulous!

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Fitting In

____ 18 about families

by Beth Walsh Eriksen


ooking at the animal kingdom, it’s easy to see how the social instinct can mean the difference between survival and extinction. Bees and ants are innately social creatures. They are wired to take their places in colonies where each individual will perform its given task to facilitate survival of the whole group. More complex creatures share this inborn call to operate as a team as evidenced by the specialized words we use to describe these groups.

April 2009

Your Teen’s Quest for Social Acceptance Unabridged (v 1.1)

in•stinct1 [in-stingkt] – noun an inborn pattern of activity or tendency to action common to a given biological species.a natural or innate impulse, inclination or tendency.

for babies to be touched in their first three months of life. Those who lack this basic interaction can suffer and die. The failure to thrive is rooted in a lack of human contact. Clearly, the social instinct plays a vital role in early infant health. As we mature, an instinct this primal can and will influence behavior and decision-making. Now, consider that your teen has arrived at puberty with this social instinct intact. Hormones screaming, the teen

Don’t make the mistake of taking the role of “friend.” Children have many friends, but only two parents. Wolf packs, lion prides, cattle herds, whale pods, rabbit warrens and quail coveys terms used to express the special social connection between animals of the same species. Man also shares this instinctive need to socialize. Like other animal groups, man is born into a family, and his family joins with others to create a community. Truly, it is natural that we want to fit in. From the moment we arrive on the scene, we are in need of human interaction if we are to survive. We need other people, and not just for sustenance. Studies have shown how important it is

begins a time-honored dance choreographed in creation. In this dance, the teen must begin to break away from the familial group ties that have supported him this far in search of new social outlets. Believe it or not, the dance started years ago. In kindergarten and early elementary school, children begin to hone in on others based on personality, shared interests or abilities. Lauren T., a first grade teacher in Joliet, IL notes, “Children connect with others who have certain skills. For instance, last year I had a student who could read a number of

words by herself at the beginning of the year. Her grasp of phonics made her a leader in the classroom, and this made her self-esteem soar.” Fast-forward seven years. The welladjusted child’s face has just begun to break out. Emotionally, in her self-view she may jump from class leader to zitfaced loser overnight. Of course, as adults we know this is just a short season in life, but to a child it can seem like the end of the world as they know it, so great is their instinct to fit in with their peers. Often, as puberty mounts, self-confidence wanes. Tweens and young teens look to others for assurance that they belong. If ninety-nine people tell them they do, and one tells them they don’t, many children will take the one negative comment to heart. When natural order leads the teen to make other major changes, such as moving from middle school to high school, some children will scramble to find a group that will accept them. It is important for parents to stay involved at this stage, though not underfoot. Pay attention to the new friendships your child develops. Watch for the changes that will inevitably occur as your child “tries on” new social niches. This is often the time when experimentation with drugs, alcohol and sex can materialize, so be on your toes. Keep communication open, even if there are days when your best efforts produce only one- word answers from your adolescent. Don’t take their social tension personally, and try to shore up their self-esteem with words of praise. At this stage, some children will work hard to “blend in” with the crowd while others will opt to make a statement. Social groups will emerge, and you’ll find your child talking about the Goths, punks, geeks and emos. You’ll notice many of the group names of your era have been replaced, while some have survived. Surely, most parents know what to expect from a “jock” or “prep” crowd, but you might not be ready to

welcome your daughter’s date when he shows up sporting dyed jet-black hair and eyeliner. Don’t assume the “costume” means your daughter is at risk. Many eccentric dressers turn out to be in the top 20% of their high school class. In the end, as long as a student’s social statement isn’t disrespectful of school rules and schedules, reserve your judgment until you get more information. “Be more concerned with activities that are detrimental to the student’s health,” says Byron A., a math teacher from Lexington, Kentucky. “Students that smoke cigarettes or are chronically late due to lack of sleep should make a parent take notice.” According to the University of Michigan’s Monitoring the Future Project, this high school math teacher may be right. Following students as they develop through 8th, 10th and 12th grades, this study suggests that if young people can be successful in school it can improve their ability to resist peer pressure to use drugs. “Non-smokers make it to more classes than smokers. Students that get enough sleep not only make it to class, but can focus once they’re there,” clarifies Byron A. The Harvard Family Research Project had some interesting findings concerning academic success for teens. Of crucial importance in this area are the expectations of parents. Data showed that the further in school parents believed their adolescent would go, the higher the adolescents’ academic achievement. Could it be that in their struggle to fit into society at large, teens are still influenced by their first social group-the family? Studies indicate this is the case. So, what’s a parent to do? The answer is simple: be the parent. Don’t make the mistake of taking the role of “friend.” Children have many friends, but only two parents. In some cases, circumstances have reduced this to only one continued on page 23

____ 19 about families

by Denise Morrison Yearian


irthdays are like milestones that mark another year of growing, another year of change. But for many parents, these milestones are more like millstones when deciding how to celebrate their child’s birthday. But it doesn’t have to be. Today there’s a

April 2009

When selecting games, consider the number of children, their ages, and whether the games will be held inside or outdoors. Choose ones that are easy to explain, fun to play, and will involve all the children. Cooperative games are best because they take the spotlight off any one child and focus on the team as a

Unless the party is a sleep-over, it’s best to keep it to two or three hours at the most. plethora of do-it-yourself books for the brave at heart. In fact, the biggest decision parents have to make is where to have the party and what the theme will be. So where do you begin? Your child. Several weeks before his birthday, ask your child how he would like to celebrate his big day. Tell him what the options are based on your time, budget, and preferences. Brainstorm together, considering his interests and hobbies. Can the party be centered on one of these? Chances are you can incorporate something that lets part of your child’s personality shine. After considering your child’s interest and deciding upon a theme, make a guest list. The recommended number of children will depend upon whether the party will be held inside or outdoors. If the weather is nice and you’d like to have the party outside, you could easily invite 15 guests. However, if the party is indoors, it’s best keep to no more than ten children. Another way to determine how many children to invite is to consider the birthday child’s age. Some experts recommend using a formula where the number of guests coming is equal to one to oneand-a-half times the child’s age. For example, a 4-year old’s party would have four to six friends; and 8-year-old’s would have eight to twelve guests. Whatever number you choose, keep it manageable. You know your child, your home, and your party-quotient capacity. Unless the party is a sleep-over, it’s best to keep it to two or three hours at the most (one-and-a-half hours for children 4-years and younger). To help you decide how long the party should be make a list of activities you're planning and the approximate length of time each one will take. Remember that a wellplanned party allows for both quiet activities and active play. Guests should be given time to warm up to the setting upon arrival, release energy during the party, and calm down before heading home. Since the children will be arriving at slightly different times, plan a simple but flexible activity, such as decorating goody bags, coloring a picture or making a beaded necklace. This will keep them busy and free you to welcome other arriving guests.

whole. Whatever activities you choose, remain flexible. If the children aren’t enjoying themselves, stop, and move on to something else. Most important, plan more activities than you’ll need. Nothing spoils a party quicker than too much time and little to do. In serving food, it is best to stick to the basics-sandwiches, pizza, veggie strips and pretzels. If you want to make the menu special, spruce up the way it is presented. For example, sandwiches could be cut into interesting shapes, or a pizza could turn into a clown face with pepperoni eyes, a cherry tomato nose and a strip of green pepper for the mouth. The cake can be special, too, by allowing the children to ice and decorate their own cupcake. You don’t have to go all out on decorations, either. A few helium balloons and crepe paper can make any room look festive. When it comes to party favors, there’s plenty of room for flexibility. On a tight budget? Choose one fun, but inexpensive toy related to the theme of the party, or fill a bag with a blend of fun-to-eat, but healthy treats. An activity such as painting t-shirts or planting flowers in pots is fun. The idea here is to be flexible, creative, and still stay within your budget. What is the party theme? Is there an activity or item you can purchase that will reflect that theme? If you are giving the party by yourself, get help on the big day. An extra pair of hands (or two or three!) is essential no matter what age the children are. As you prepare a guest list, ask a few close friends or relatives to come and help. If there are no willing volunteers, hire a teen. Chances are, he or she needs the money and would enjoy the event. Above all, remember that because your child’s birthday comes only once a year, it deserves recognition. The kind of celebration you have will depend upon your time, budget, and preferences. Whatever you choose, make it special. Birthdays are, after all, like milestones. They celebrate another year of growth, another year of change.

Denise Yearian is the former editor of two parenting magazines and the mother of three children, who frequently writes for About Families and other parenting publications.

June 15-19, 2009 June 29-July 2, 2009 July 6-10, 2009 Pottstown, PA Philadelphia, PA Harrisburg, PA The Wyndcroft School Springside School Harrisburg Academy

June 15-19, 2009 Pottstown, PA Wyndcroft School June 29-July 2, 2009 Philadelphia, PA Springside School July 6-10, 2009 Harrisburg, PA Harrisburg Academy

June 15-19, 2009 Pottstown, PA Wyndcroft School June 29-July 2, 2009 Philadelphia, PA Springside School

June 29-July 2, 2009 Philadelphia, PA Springside School

____ 20 about families

April 2009

Recall Roll Call T

he U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with the following businesses is recalling the following toys based on excessive levels of lead which violates the federal lead paint standard. To report a dangerous product or a product-related injury, call CPSC’s hotline at 1-800-6382772 or CPSC’s teletypewriter at 1-800638-8270, or visit CPSC’s at Consumers can obtain recall information at CPSC’s website at For more information on these and other recalls, visit the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission at

by Diane Moorhead

Stained Glass Easter Card

Materials Needed: ✔ Crayons (3-4 colors works best) ✔ Wax Paper ✔ Scrap paper (paper grocery bags or computer paper) ✔ Construction Paper ✔ Pencil Sharpener (one with a larger hole for crayon size) ✔ Iron and Ironing Board (with adult help) ✔ Cross Template ✔ Craft Glue Directions: 1. Set iron to medium heat. 2. Take a piece of wax paper, fold in half, open up and lay wax paper on top of scrap paper. 3. Sharpen crayons and put shavings on the wax paper, fold wax paper and place another piece of scrap paper on top of the wax paper. Hold heated iron on paper for about ten seconds. Make sure wax is melted. 4. Let Cool.

5. Trace and cut out desired size of cross. Cookie cutters make excellent patterns. 6. Fold construction paper in half and glue cross on to the front of the card and add your greeting on the inside.

Riverview Christian


Christian Curriculum Affordable, child-friendly, home-like environment

a good beginning never ends

Summer “Kids Camp”

A developmental music program for children - newborn to 7 years.

With Before/After Care Available Kindergarten - 7th grade Come for 1 week or attend all 10 weeks! Bible Adventures, Guest Presenters, Music, Art, Drama, Nature, Field Trips Participant of Keystone Stars Program

Kindermusik at Trinity Lutheran Church

June 8 - August 14 9:00 am - 4:00 pm

3301 Stoudt’s Ferry Bridge Rd. Reading, PA 19605 Muhlenberg Township


Tama Dewalt McConnell


Alpargatas USA Inc., of New York, NY, is voluntarily recalling about 210,000 children’s flip flops. Decorative paint on the sole of the flip flops can contain levels of lead in excess of the federal standard. Flip flops of the Havaianas brand containing decorative paint were sold under the following model names: Baby Estampas, Baby Pets, Kids Apple, Kids Fairy, Kids Flores, Kids Lighthouse, Kids Monsters, Kids Surf, Baby Letrinhas, Kids Sports, Kids Candies, Kids Fun, Kids Love, Kids Sereias, Kids Speed, Kids Lucky Bug, Kids Pets, Kids Rock, Kids Slim, Kids Wonder Woman, Kids Small Flowers and Kids Tropical w/Kit. Havaianas flip flops without decorative paint are not being recalled. The flip flops, which were manufactured in Brazil, were sold by department and specialty stores nationwide from November 2006 through February 2009 for about $15 to $24 a pair. Consumers should immediately take the recalled flip flops away from children and return them to Alpargatas USA, Inc.

to receive a replacement. For additional information, please contact Alpargatas USA at 1-888-289-5306 between 9 am and 6 pm ET Mon.-Fri., or visit the web site at

CBB Group Inc., City of Commerce, Calif., is voluntarily recalling about 39,000 Fishing Games, Rattles, Pull-ALong Cars, Mini Pull Back Cars, and Cartoon Bubble Guns. The fishing games, baby rattles and pull-a-long cars contain small parts, which can detach and pose a choking hazard to children. The mini pull back cars and bubble guns have surface paints which contain excessive levels of lead, violating the federal lead paint standard.The recalled toys were manufactured in China and are listed in the chart below: They were sold at Dollar stores and toy stores nationwide from July 2007 through December 2008 for between $1 and $5. Consumers should take the recalled products away from young children immediately and return them to the place where purchased for a full refund. For additional information, contact CBB Group, Inc. toll-free at 1-866-6286238 anytime, or visit the web site at

____ 21 about families

April 2009

Saturday, May 16, 2009 at the

• Preliminary Crawl Offs At 10:00 AM • FREE to the first 54 entries DIAPER DERBY ENTRY FORM

Winners will receive Prize Value of: 1st Place: $250 2nd Place: $150 3rd Place: $100

DATE:__________________________ PARENT/GUARDIAN: ______________________________________________________ BABY’S NAME: _______________________________ AGE: ___________(AS OF 5/17/09) PHONE NUMBER (RES.) ________________________ BUS. _______________________ ADDRESS: _______________________________________________________________ PARENT/GUARDIAN SIGNATURE: ____________________________________________ Parents/guardians of contestants authorize the release of his/her baby’s photograph to sponsors of this event for use in advertising purposes relating to the contest. No compensation shall be paid. The parent/guardian shall release sponsors of this event from all claim actions, liabilities and expenses in connection with personal injury to their child while participating in the Four-On-The-Floor Diaper Derby. office use only

Drop this complete entry or mail to: Baby Depot At Burlington Coat Factory 3050 North 5th Street Highway Reading, PA 19605

Called: _____________ Heat #: ____________

Registration Deadline is May 14, 2009 Limited Spaces Available

CONTEST RULES: 1. Contest is limited to babies 12 months of age and under to the first 54 entries received. Proof of child’s age is required. Parents will be contacted prior to May 15 for details. 2. All prizes must be accepted as awarded. Cash or substitutions will not be allowed. 3. Judges’ decision regarding contest winner is final. 4. Contest is open to all residents of Greater Reading area with the exception of sponsors, their employees or members of their immediate families. 5. All contest entry forms become the property of Baby Depot.

____ 22 about families

April 2009

Don’t Be Left Out in The Dark About XP by Jon Buzby


s parents, we hope for certain traits in our children, some more important to us than others. We constantly try to instill polite manners, good morals, and a sense of caring — sometimes with success and other times not. And depending on the parent, certain traits might be more significant than others. But ask any parent what is the one thing they want their children to have and the answer is the same no matter

be on the lookout for signs of poor health in our children, and to take preventative measures against potential health problems, from the moment of conception. One of the easiest things we can do as parents of infants and toddlers is to protect their skin from the sun. Research has shown that early overexposure to the sun can lead to skin problems down the road. And while some children’s skin problems caused by early overexposure to sunlight might be

“My daughter’s skin was very, very dry and she had a very odd freckling pattern…” their background, income level, or where they live: good health. And while there are many elements we can control to keep our children healthy, there are just as many that we cannot. We can keep them snuggled up in the winter, covered with suntan lotion in the summer, and make sure they wear sneakers outside to play. But we can’t control if they are born with or develop a disease or disability. And we can’t always protect them from common cold germs. It is our responsibility as parents to

easily treated or cured, for nearly 250 children in the United States with the rare disorder known as Xeroderma Pigmentosum (XP), the sun’s ultraviolet rays on their infant skin has led to severe skin cancer complications. Of those cases, 30% suffer from neurological deterioration. When her daughter was born, Michele Milota saw early signs of skin trouble. She only wishes that she knew then, what she knows now, about XP. “My daughter’s skin was very, very dry and she had a very odd freckling pattern,” Milota says. “Having had two

other children, I knew her skin was different and it was finally the bump on her nose that made me get it checked out and it was finally diagnosed as XP. “She has since suffered from 22 skin cancers as a result of the XP disorder, and I’m convinced early detection could have prevented many if not all of them,” she adds. “If she had been diagnosed earlier, maybe at two or three months of age, and had much less exposure to the sun, she may not have had to endure as many skin cancer surgeries.” XP is a rare genetic condition whereby a person’s DNA lacks the ability to repair damage from ultraviolet light. The disorder leads to skin cancer as early as childhood. Unless sun exposure is minimized, XP victims are likely to die of malignant melanoma or squamous cell carcinoma. In just about every one of the 250 cases, early detection could have prevented future cancer-related complications down the road, or at the very least, minimized them. But with a disorder so rare and sunburn such a common problem among children, it’s not something parents usually think about … until it’s too late. The symptoms of XP are obvious, if you know them. And thanks to Milota and her nationally-recognized XP Family Support Group, more and more parents are on the lookout for early indications that their child might have this rare disorder, and not just suffering from a bad case of sunburn. “I started the organization with a group of parents who have children with XP,” Milota says. “After meeting several parents we all realized that there was a huge need to get a support group together that focused on research, skin protection for families, and a yearly family retreat that educates parents and offers a camp-like atmosphere for our kids.” According to Milota, one of the most obvious indications or symptom to look for is if your infant son or daughter is getting sunburned — or signs of it — even in a very short period of time under very protected conditions. Two parents share similar stories … “My daughter received her first severe burn when she was six weeks

old,” says a parent of an XP patient who wasn’t diagnosed until after her third birthday. “Jessica was in a stroller that had a canopy over it and was under a tent. The reflection burned her face and arms. She had blisters on the exposed skin.” “At the age of six weeks we knew something was wrong with my daughter,” shares another parent whose child was finally diagnosed with XP at the age of 12. “She had the worst burn we had ever seen. Her eyes were swollen shut, and the peeling was so terrible she looked like a monster. And we thought we had protected her skin very well.” Milota says the important thing to realize is that it’s not the sun that causes XP. XP is a condition that a child inherits. However, exposure to the ultraviolet rays from the sun is life threatening if your son or daughter is born with the disorder. And that’s why early detection is so important. “All responsible parents protect their children from the sun,” she says. “But just like any other situation with our kids, if we know that by not doing something we are putting them at risk, we naturally do a better job making sure it gets done.” As one parent says with a smile, “For our children with XP, playing outside after dark isn’t such a bad thing.” All kidding aside, many parents are in the dark when it comes to XP disorder. Milota’s hope is that through education and awareness, although the disorder might never be cured, early detection will prevent diagnosed children from becoming future cancer patients. You can’t prevent your child from becoming an XP statistic. But by keeping them out of the sun, you can ensure they have a fighting chance for a bright future. For more detailed information about XP, including facts about skin protection and additional information about symptoms and treatment options, visit the XP Family Support Group’s Web site at Jon Buzby is a syndicated columnist and freelance writer. Reach him at

____ 23 about families

April 2009

SPRING CLASSES STARTING IN APRIL! continued from page 10 See ad on page 19. Goggle Works Center for the Arts – 610-374-4600, 201 Washington St., Reading, Ceramics, painting, drawing and more. See ad on page 11. Splat Studio Kid’s Art Camps - 717679-4294, Paramount Sports Complex, 21 Landings Dr., Annville, Appropriate for ages 5-12. Spirited people learning artfulness together. Camps have been designed to provide children with a broad spectrum of quality creative opportunities. Kids can express their individual ideas through the use of unique materials & techniques. Open House on Sunday, May 3, 1-3 pm. Tuition discounts for summer camp at open house. See website for description of each camp. Ad on Young Villagers Workshop – 717-9492244, Alexander Schaeffer Farm, Historic Schaefferson. For children entering grades 4, 5, 6, & 7. July 27-30, 10 am-3 pm. Hands on experience learning the crafts of the 1700s; Fraktur, cooking over an open fire, horses, homemade ice cream, colonial games and toys, trapping, weaving & spinning wool.


BNW Tennis Camps - 484-824-5029.

Tennis Camps for junior players ages 715. Instructed by Brian Wardhammar, USPTA, BNW Tennis Service, Sinking Spring. Six weeks to choose from, beginning June 15. Camps held at Green Valley Counry Club. Call for registration form. Dance Team Bootcamp - 610-2074682 or 610-914-0713, 1037 A.

MacArthur Rd., Reading (website, for ages 13-18. Pro staff from NBA dance team. You will learn 3 full routines with fresh choreography, plus talk to current pro dancers, ask them questions, and get advice. Performance showcase at the end of 3 day’s camp. Will receive a 2009 camp t-shirt, 3-days of lunch & 2009 camp CD. See ad on page 32. Hillcrest Racquet Club - 610-779-7900, 4401 Perkiomen Ave., Exeter. For ages 7-15. Program is designed to teach foundation for ground strokes, volley, and serves in a fun, innovative way. Ad on page 22. Manor Golf Club, The - 610-6789597, 153 Bran Rd., Sinking S p r i n g ( w w w. t h e Appropriate for youth to adult. Golf clinics taught by professional golfers. See ad on page 5. Martial Arts Summer Camp - 717-2729890, at Lebanon Isshinryu Karate School Inc., Quentin Circle, 970 Isabel Drive, Lebanon. Ad on page ??. Movement Mania Camp - 610-9140713 or 610-207-4682, 1037 A. MacArthur Rd., Reading (website, for ages 5-12. Learn exciting cheers, dance to hip hop and your favorite tunes. All dancers receive 2009 camp CD & t-shirt. Camp will culminate in performance showcase for parents. See ad on page 32. Parisi Speed School (Spring Valley Athletic Club) - 610-678-0484, 4920 Penn Ave., Sinking Spring, Combine speed and agility training with sport specific skills. See ad on page 9.

parent interacting in the life of the teen. Commit yourself to being the constant assurance that your child is enough. Buffeted by the storms of peer group acceptance, your child needs sanctuary. Be that and more. Stay involved, speak words of praise, set consistent boundaries and guidelines, and see them through their search for acceptance. It is so important that they know what love and acceptance feels like because they learned it at home. Everyone needs to feel like they belong. In an effort to meet that need, your teenager may feel attracted to social niche groups. Remember, these


ACT 48 Credit for Educators


:DVKLQJWRQ6WUHHW‡5HDGLQJ3$ Our mission... to nurture the arts, foster creativity, promote education and enrich the community



Location! It is no secret!

Your Teen’s Quest for Social Acceptance continued from page 18

Spring classes are now open IRUHQUROOPHQWIHDWXULQJ

bonds are usually temporary, and as your child matures he/she will be able to enjoy friends from different groups. Let your home be a safe haven, a place where your child will always be accepted and loved.

Beth Walsh Eriksen is a freelance writer specializing in encouraging successful family life, and the Publisher of the Florida Parenting News. She and her two children enjoy life on Florida's Treasure Coast. Her motto is: "Live Your Priorities!"

Location is important!

A prime piece of real estate draws many interested buyers. The more buyer interest, the more valuable the real estate. The About Families’ Market Place page is an important piece of real estate.


YOUR DISPLAY AD ON OUR MARKETPLACE PAGE and watch your business grow!


Growth. Value.

Make sure your retail business is seen!

____ 24 about families

Teachers: Are Your Kids Stuttering? 8 Tips for Teachers I

April 2009

Stuttering Foundation –

t’s the first day of school and one of your pupils stutters. If you’re the teacher, what should you do? Kids aren’t the only ones who are apprehensive on the first day of school. Teachers are too. If a student stutters, should you call on him in class, or will that make it worse? Do you talk with him about his stuttering, or ignore it hoping it goes away? Does it help to tell the student to relax or slow down? A new tip sheet, 8 Tips for Teachers, published by the Stuttering Foundation, helps educators work with students who stutter. If you’re a parent of a student who stutters, give the teacher a copy before the first day of school. “Young children are busily learning to talk,” explains Lisa Scott, Ph.D., of The Florida State University and author of the tip sheet. “As such, they may have effortless repetitions and prolongations of sounds. In most instances, this is very normal. If parents and teachers listen to and answer these young children in a patient, calm, unemotional way, the child’s speech will probably return to normal.” “Some children, however, will go beyond the normal and begin to repeat and prolong sounds markedly,”

explains Scott. “They may begin to struggle, tense up, and become frustrated in their efforts to talk. These children need help.” “Any time teachers are concerned about a child’s fluency,” notes Jane Fraser, president of the Stuttering Foundation, “they should consult with the school speech clinician as well as

the parents to make sure their approach is consistent. Talk with the child privately and reassure him or her of your support; let them know that you are aware of their stuttering and that you accept it – and them.” For more answers to questions about stuttering, contact the Stuttering Foundation at 800-992-9392.

About Families We are pleased to be distributing About Families through schools, daycare centers, doctor and dental offices and these convenient locations throughout our County: ■ Adamstown Adamstown Area Library ■ Bechtelsville Brookside Montessori ■ Bernville Day Spring Child Care St.Thomas Preschool ■ Birdsboro Aquabilities Birdsboro Christian Preschool Calvary Christian Preschool Live and Learn Smile Ctr. Turkey Hill ■ Blandon Aquabilities Turkey Hill ■ Boyertown Boyertown YMCA Growing Dreams Daycare Turkey Hill ■ Denver Historic Farmhouse Treasures Weaver’s Store ■ Douglassville Douglassville Children’s Ctr. Kindercare Learning Ctr. ■ East Earl Shady Maple Complex ■ Exeter Exeter Community Ctr. Dairy Queen McDonald’s Play It Again Sports Reading Pediatrics - Exeter Valhalla Health & Fitness Club ■ Fleetwood Beacon Home School St. Paul’s Lutheran Preschool Touching The Future

■ Fleetwood Turkey Hill YMCA/Tri-Valley Branch Your Children First, Inc. ■ Gilbertsville Turkey Hill ■ Kenhorst Dairy Queen ■ Kutztown Back Again For Kids Early Learning Center Joseph M.Viechnicki, DDS, MSD Paisley & Company Shaynak Kinner Day Care Sittler’s Golf St. John’s Lutheran Day Care and Preschool Turkey Hill ■ Laureldale Albright Child Development Ctr. B.C.I.U. Bldg. Berks County Libraries Can Do Karate Creative Beginnings Ctr. Educational & Fun Grand Slam Holy Guardian Angels Ken-Crest Services Kindercare Learning Ctr. McDonald’s Turkey Hill ■ Leesport Hobby Horse Preschool Jump Factory,The Little Lambs Nursery School Leesport Farmers Mkt. Ozzy’s Family Fun Center Rocking Horse Preschool Turkey Hill

■ Mohnton Adahi Council Brecknock Orchard Camp Fire USA Cozy Corner Cumru Township Build. Hop On Over Beads Robeson Lutheran Preschool Tiny Treasures Preschool Turkey Hill Wyomissing Valley Preschool & Calvary Before & After School ■ Mohrsville Irish Creek Farm Kings Academy ■ Morgantown Weaver’s Orchard ■ Mt. Penn Antietam Academy Dairy Queen Dance Center Kindercare Learning Ctr. McDonald’s Mt. Penn Primary Center Turkey Hill Winston Hall World Gym ■ Pottstown 422 Sports Plex,The Genesis Pregnancy Care Ctr. Turkey Hill YMCA Child Care Ctr. ■ Reading Albright College Athletic Bldg. Albright College Athletic Ctr. Allied Health Academy Baby Preview Company Berks Counseling Ctr. Bob Fisher Chevy Cabrini Academy

■ Reading Catholic Charities Catholic Society Agency Citadel Cottage Community School of Music Community UCC Preschool Creative Kids Nursery Schl. Diversified Family Interventions Early Intervention Fairview Counseling Svc. GoggleWorks Good Shepherd Preschool Historical Society of Berks Humpty Dumpty Daycare Jacksonwald Learning Ctr. Jewish Community Ctr. Kidspeace Kidz in Motion Mary’s Shelter McDonald’s-9th & Spring Nativity Child Care Olivet Boys & Girls Club Of Reading & Berks County PA. Counseling Service Reading Public Library Reading Even Start Family Literacy Program Rdg. High Child Development Riverview Christian School Salvation Army Schwartzwald UCC Preschool Service Access & Management, Inc. Spark/Christ Episcopal Church Trinity Learning Center Turkey Hill United Way Of Berks County YMCA Child ■ Reinholds Swamp Christian Fellowship

■ Robesonia Little People’s Nursery Schl. St. Daniel’s Preschool ■ Shillington Academy for Early Learning Flying Hills Preschool Fred’s Music Friendly’s Immanuel Preschool Jr. Skateaway La Salle Academy Little Lambs Preschool Nothing’s New Children’s Store Reading Birth & Women’s Ctr. Shillington Commons Apts. Styles On The Avenue Tiny Treasures Preschool Turkey Hill ■ Sinking Spring Big Bertha’s Grill Charlotte Shoppe Colonial Berks Lanes Colonial Fitness Ctr. Cuddly Cottage Child Care Dairy Queen Genesis Preschool at St. John’s Lutheran Green Valley Nursery Jake’s Greenhouse Kindercare Primrose Child Care Shurfine Market Spring Twp. Parks & Recreation Spring Valley Athletic Club St.Alban’s Christian Learning Ctr. ■ Strausstown Blue Mtn. Massage Therapy Ctr. Gentle Rain Preschool - Zion Blue Mtn. Church

1. Don’t tell the child “slow down” or “just relax.” 2. Don’t complete words for the child or talk for him or her. 3. Help all members of the class learn to take turns talking and listening. All children – and especially those who stutter – find it much easier to talk when there are few interruptions and they have the listener’s attention. 4. Expect the same quality and quantity of work from the student who stutters as the one who doesn’t. 5. Speak with the student in an unhurried way, pausing frequently. 6. Convey that you are listening to the content of the message, not how it is said. 7. Have a one-on-one conversation with the student who stutters about needed accommodations in the classroom. Respect the student’s needs, but do not be enabling. 8. Don’t make stuttering something to be ashamed of. Talk about stuttering just like any other matter. Compiled by Lisa Scott, Ph.D., The Florida State University

■ Temple A-Z Express Lube Epiphany Preschool at Emmanuel United Church ■ Temple Grand Slam Sports Complex Hobby Horse Preschool Ice Cap Ice Rink Little Angels McDonald’s Turkey Hill Victory Christian Academy ■ Wernersville A Wrinkle In Time Berks Family Eyecare Stepping Stone Educational Childcare Trinity Lutheran Preschool ■ West Lawn Berks Deaf & Hard Of Hearing Services D&J Sandwich Shop Friendly’s Kindercare Learning Centers Lakeside Christian Early Learning Center Lebo’s Pedal Parlor St. Peter’s Preschool Sunshine & Stars Child Care ■ West Reading Ages Obstetrics & Gynecology Alvernia Montessori Barrer & White Orthodontists B.C.I.U. Berks Gymnastic Academy Child Development Ctr. Ebersole Headstart His Kids Preschool - Calvary Baptist Church La Retro Gifts Payer, Dr. Reading Hospital - Children’s Health Ctr. Reading Public Museum Reading Planetarium Villa At St. Elizabeth,The Volunteer Services Women’s Center

■ West Reading Wyomissing Pediatrics ■ Womelsdorf Bethany ABC Childcare Crayon Corner Elco Storytime LJ’s Fitness ■ Wyomissing AAA Adventist Whole Health Wellness Ctr. American Dental Babies “R” Us Berks Co. Parks & Recreation Berks ENT Berks Eye Physician & Surgery Berks Plastic Surgery Berkshire Psychiatric Body Zone Borders Bookstore Center for Pediatric Therapy Challenge Arcade Dosie Dough Eye Consultants of PA Family Guidance Ctr. Friendly’s Goddard School,The Gymboree Homewood Suites Hotel Huntington Learning Ctr. Karate for Kids Kindercare Lime Light Dance Studio Muallem, Dr. McDonald’s Mulberry Child Care Once Upon A Child Pediatric Opthamology PA Counseling Services Progressive Vision Institute Reading Crowne Hotel Reading Orthodontics Reading Pediatrics Inc. Shri Yoga Spring Township Library Sylvan Learning Center Tutor Time of Wyomissing Turkey Hill Works,The Wyomissing Children’s Clinic

____ 25 about families

April 2009

Fill Your EASTER BASKETS With Treats From


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Flea Market 7 AM to ? Livestock Auction at 1 PM

Wednesday, April 8th 4:00 pm to 6:30 pm

Children get a FREE coloring book!

**Don’t Forget Your Camera! Plan a fun family outing at the Market… Visit the livestock auction! Have dinner! Enjoy the many Easter, Spring and Garden Bargains!

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1235 Penn Ave., Wyomissing, PA


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____ 26 about families

April 2009

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Autism Society of Berks County


e provide information and support to those affected by autism. We hope to generate a greater awareness and understanding of autism, so that individuals can be diagnosed early, receive appropriate treatment, and be met with patience and understanding in our community. Volunteer Run Phoneline Emotional Support Family Mentors Information/Referral Services Informative Monthly Meetings Conferences/Workshops Lending Library with County-wide Access Newsletter, “the Puzzle” Comprehensive Website Yahoo Online Support Forum Family Recreational Activities Community Awareness Projects Theatre Camps Music Therapy Groups Art Workshops





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____ 27 about families

April 2009

Spring Clothes

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now available


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plus much, much more! 1000's of items on 2 Floors in our Historic Farmhouse


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f your child has struggled with school this year, take action now to make his or her grades better. Huntington ILearning Center can help. Our certified teachers can pin-

point your child’s strengths and weaknesses and tailor a program of instruction to meet his or her needs. Just a few hours a week can improve your child’s skill, confidence and motivation. Call Huntington today. Your child can learn.

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Easter Bunny

in His Brand New Tree House and Garden!

March 21st-April 11th


he Easter Bunny has arrived at the Fairgrounds Square Mall and has brought along his tree house and friends for photo memories that will last a lifetime! Call for set hours and details! 3050 N. 5th St. Hwy., Reading, PA 19605 610-921-9277

____ 28 about families

April 2009

Childhood Immunization Clinics T

he Berks Visiting Nurse Immunization Clinic, funded by the Pennsylvania Department of Health and administered through Berks Visiting Nurse Association will be holding the following childhood immunization clinics at 1170 Berkshire Blvd., Wyomissing, during the month: ■ Wed., Apr. 1, 9:00 am-1:00 pm ■ Mon., Apr. 6, 1:00 pm-5:00 pm

■ Thurs., Apr. 16, 9:00 am-1:00 pm ■ Tues., Apr. 21, 1:00 pm-5:00 pm *Please note that the immunizations are for children only. Immunization records are required. Please call for an appointment. Additional information regarding clinic times and locations is available through the Berks Visiting Nurse Immunization Clinic at (610) 3780481, extension 3294.

North Woods Poachers by Max Elliott Anderson (Tweener Press) Teen – YA $10.95 Rating: ★★★★ At last I’m beginning to locate some good books for boys and among the very best are those in the Tweener Press Adventure Series by Max Elliott Anderson. A self-des-cribed reluctant reader as a young man, Max Elliott Anderson had a hard time buying into stories about the same two kids saving the world every weekend. In response, he has created a series of mystery/adventure books featuring different characters and new locations for each title. The fact that each book concludes with a Christian message is wonderful bonus parents will applaud and kids will absorb without even noticing. North Woods Poachers features Andy and C.J. Washburn, young cousins who have come to dread the annual family fishing trip where they are doomed to spend hours each day in a boat with their parents. Andy is determined that this year will be different. Unfortunately his longing for adventure results in much more excitement and adventure than either boy expected. In the end, the boys discover how much they depend on family and God to guide them and that even a wily fish like Big Wally can teach them a valuable lesson. Highly recommended – for boys (and girls, too) who crave action in their reading. Other books in the series include: Mountain Cabin Mystery, Big-Rig Rustlers, Long Island Smugglers and Terror and Wolf Lake. Enchanted Thyme – The Delicious Adventure Series by Ariane Smith with Recipes by Chef Michael Wilson (Big World Press) Young Reader $17.95 Rating: ★★★★ Enchanted Thyme is a delightful mystery with the potential to nourish both mind and body. Peter and Belinda Phair love to pick a bedtime story for their father, Chef Michael, to read to them each night. When a brand new title containing endless stories and recipes mysteriously appears on their bookshelf the kids have no idea what’s in store for them. “That night, as Peter and Belinda drift off to sleep, they’re visited by three winged kitchen mice named Marjoram, Basil and Rosemary who whisk them off to the land of Enchanted Thyme.” Once there they must help the master chef find the right recipe to break the curse of eternal hunger the Fricassee Fairie has put on Queen Topstead. Kids and parents alike will enjoy solving the mystery and recreating the simple,

healthy recipes in their own kitchens. Protect Your Child on the Internet by John Lenardon (Self-Counsel Press) Parenting $12.95 Rating: ★★★ It’s not news to anyone that the internet can be a dangerous place for children. Yet it’s become impossible to shield children entirely from using it. “For many it’s become the main communication line to their friends.” Protect Your Child on the Internet is a guide for parents looking to educate themselves in order to protect their children. Chapters include information about chat rooms, blogs, newsgroups and webcams and much more. Adware and spyware are addressed along with how to identify sites targeting children. The CD-Rom contains checklists, forms and resource lists to aid parents in communicating with their children about the internet and signs that indicate a child may be in danger. Buy the Book, talk with your kids and please, monitor their viewing habits. Sisterhood of Faith - 365 Life-Changing Stories about Women Who made a Difference by Shirley Brosius (Howard Books – A Division of Simon and Schuster) Women’s Interest $14.99 US $18.99 Canada ★★ For every woman who can use a bit of quiet time to refresh her spirit the Sisterhood of Faith is the perfect tabletop companion. “Each daily devotion features an inspirational sister of faith.” “Meet women like: Mary Kay Ash, Elizabeth H. Dole, Lisa Beamer, and others. Each day I hope you will make some time to spend with your sisters. You’ll be glad you did.

RATING SYSTEM ★ Good ★★ Very Good ★★★ Recommended ★★★★ Reviewers’ Choice Bobbi Carducci is a writer and an editor/publisher of the Young Voices Anthology Series of short stories written by students in grades K-12. Contact her at

____ 29 about families

Nine Fun Ways to Bond With Your Child

by Julie Steed


onding with your child can be fun, free and easy. Spending time together also helps your child develop appropriate relationships, empathy and self-esteem. “Oneon-one time makes the kid feel cherished, loved, acknowledged, and understood,” explained Dr. Celeste Frank, a psychologist with over 20 years of experience counseling parents and children. Dr. Frank suggested one hour as the ideal amount of time to spend each day, one-on-one, with your child, “I know that is really hard to do, but if you could even get in half an hour or 45 minutes where you’re not doing anything else, you’re not cleaning the house or cooking or answering the phone, that would be ideal.” Don’t have an hour each day? Consider incorporating quality time with your child while accomplishing daily tasks. Use these suggestions for fun, convenient ways to bond with your young one. 1. Play In The Dirt. Gardening is a wonderful opportunity for children to see the fruits of their labor. Help your child learn to dig, plant and care for flowers or vegetables by including them when you work outdoors. Consider giving your child a section of the garden to cultivate and always leave plenty of time for your child to talk and ask questions. 2. Read A Book. The National Children’s Reading Foundation recommends spending a minimum of 20 minutes a day reading with your child. Reading together not only improves your child’s ability to read and learn, but it also presents an opportunity for bonding. “Reading allows a child to pose questions about things she doesn’t understand and to get your thoughts on what you are reading. That is a way for parents to impart their values and beliefs to their children, and that is crucial,” said Dr. Frank. For school age children, you can assist your child in achieving daily or weekly reading requirements while spending time together. Enjoy reading to your younger child, allowing them to select the book of their choice. 3. Let Your Child Take Charge. Children live in a world that is governed by adults. Allow your child to make the rules (within reason) while you play along without correcting or criticizing. You will be pleasantly surprised with your child’s vivid imagination, and you may find a bit of your inner child as

well. 4. Share A Meal. Studies indicate that children who eat meals with their parents are much less likely to develop substance abuse problems and eating disorders. Eating together also opens the lines of communication. Be creative when engaging children in conversation by asking them specific questions about their day. You can also involve children in mealtime preparations as a cook or kitchen helper. Request input about upcoming meals, discuss favorite activities, books or upcoming family events at the table, and remember to allow kids to ask you questions, too. 5. Take a walk. Taking a walk with your child provides an opportunity for uninterrupted communication. Enjoy moving along at your child’s pace, noticing the things he sees and examines along the way. “Cultivate an open attitude toward your kid where you’re just going to listen. Kids will talk endlessly if they have the arena to do so,” said Dr. Frank. 6. Cook Together. Invite your child into the kitchen for measuring, stirring and recipe reading. Cooking together allows your child to feel involved in meal preparation, while learning measurements and following directions. 7. Star Gaze. Choose an evening for your child to stay up past their bedtime so that you can star gaze together. All you need is a blanket and a cloudless sky. Enjoy gazing silently into the night, providing your child with ample opportunity to ask questions and share thoughts. 8. Play Ball. Enjoy playing a sport together, one-on-one. With older kids, play a game of basketball, kick around a soccer ball or throw a football. Younger kids can enjoy a game of toss or rolling a ball back

and forth. Be careful to not criticize or coach your child. Relax, have fun and get in some all-important exercise while creating an opportunity to talk with each other. 9. Establish a Ritual. Provide security and structure for your child by establishing rituals. “[Children] need to know that everything else is taken care of and just expand their endlessly curious minds. If their lives are chaotic and they don’t have routine, structure, rituals, then they can’t do that,” explained Dr. Frank. A ritual can be as simple as a bedtime routine, sharing a secret handshake before school or saying prayers together each night. Spending time with your child allows you to see the person inside that small body. It also provides an opportunity to relax and see the world from a child’s perspective. Blow bubbles,

Location: 4600 Penn Ave. Sinking Spring, PA 610-678-4800

April 2009

examine bugs, and play games together. Challenge yourself to relinquish your worries long enough to have fun. Julie Steed enjoys writing about parenting, fitness and her adventures as a military spouse. You can contact Julie at

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____ 30 about families

Kids Who Watch R-rated Movies are More Likely to Smoke

Washington, DC –

A new study finds that kids who are allowed to watch R-rated movies are much more likely to believe it’s easy to get a cigarette than those who aren’t allowed to watch such films. “We don’t know why this is so. It may have to do with a parenting style that is permissive of activities that are not ageappropriate. Or it may be an outcome of all the smoking scenes in R-rated movies,” says lead author of the study Chyke Doubeni, PhD, with the University of Massachusetts Medical School. The study appears in the February 21 issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. “But we do know that kids who believe it is easy to get a cigarette are at risk of smoking. Our prior research has already shown that kids who perceive cigarettes as readily accessible are more likely to end up as regular smokers,” Doubeni said. The researchers found that parental permission to watch R-rated movies was one of the strongest predictors of the perception that cigarettes are available, about as strong as having friends that smoked. If allowed to watch R-

rated films, nonsmokers were almost twice as likely, and smokers were almost three times as likely to say it would be easy for them to get cigarettes. The researchers looked at data from the second Development and Assessment of Nicotine Dependence in Youth, a four-year study of 1246 sixthgrade students in Massachusetts who were interviewed 11 times from 2002 to 2006. Students were asked if they agreed or disagreed with the statement: “It would be easy for me to get a cigarette.” They were also asked “Is anybody allowed to smoke inside your home?” and “How often do your parents let you watch movies or videos that are rated R?” The study was funded by the Substance Abuse Policy Research Program (SAPRP) of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. “Parents need to be mindful about the movies their children watch for a variety of obvious reasons. This study points out one more reason for not allowing children to watch movies that are not appropriate for their age,” added co-author Dr. Joseph DiFranza

April 2009

with the University of Massachusetts Medical School. The study also found that having a favorite tobacco advertisement was significantly associated with perceived accessibility, as was knowing the Joe Camel cartoon mascot for Camel cigarettes. Unsurprisingly, kids with parents who smoke or allow smoking in the home tended to think it would be very easy to obtain cigarettes. “This implies that parental smoking likely contributes to youth smoking through increased perceived accessibility,” says Doubeni. “Parents need to understand that your kids are more likely to get cigarettes if you smoke, particularly if you smoke in the home or allow someone else to smoke in the home.” The Substance Abuse Policy Research Program ( of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

funds research into policies related to alcohol, tobacco and illegal drugs. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation focuses on the pressing health and health care issues facing our country. As the nation's largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to improving the health and health care of all Americans, the Foundation works with a diverse group of organizations and individuals to identify solutions and achieve comprehensive, meaningful and timely change. For more than 30 years the Foundation has brought experience, commitment, and a rigorous, balanced approach to the problems that affect the health and health care of those it serves. Helping Americans lead healthier lives and get the care they need—the Foundation expects to make a difference in our lifetime. For more information, visit

Jane Louise Boursaw annah Montana arrives in theaters, along with some Earth families and their cute offspring. Here’s a sneak peek at April movies:

Earth Rated G. In theaters April 22. Ok for kids 6+. 4.5 out of 5 Reels James Earl Jones narrates this stunning film – the first in the Disneynature series. It tells the remarkable story of three animal families and their amazing journey across the planet. This isn’t just another documentary. It features some really rare footage in very cool locations. And note the release


Hannah Montana: The Movie Rated G. In theaters April 10. Ok for kids 7+. 3.5 out of 5 Reels Miley Cyrus has weathered her share of scandals over the past year, but she’s still turning out fun, innocent movies for girls. This one by Walt Disney Pictures finds Miley Stewart (Cyrus) struggling to juggle school, friends, and her secret pop-star persona, Hannah Montana. But when Hannah’s popularity threatens to take over her life, her dad (Billy Ray Cyrus) takes the teen home to Crowley Corners, Tennessee for a dose of reality. It’s a sweet adventure with a bit of romance thrown into the mix.

date: Earth Day, April 22, 2009. JANE’S REEL RATING SYSTEM: One Reel – Even The Force can’t save it. Two Reels – Coulda been a contender. Three Reels – Something to talk about. Four Reels – You want the truth? Great flick! Five Reels – Wow! The stuff dreams are made of.

Jane Louise Boursaw is a freelance journalist specializing in the movie and television industries. Visit her online at or email

____ 31 about families



ccording to the 2007 Produce For Kids study, 96 percent of children don’t get the recommended five servings of fruits and vegetables every day. That won’t surprise a lot of parents. Getting children to eat any fruits or vegetables at all can be a big challenge. With 39 percent of all U.S. children overweight or obese, getting kids to make better food choices is more important than ever. Fruits and vegetables are loaded with vitamins, nutrients and fiber, are low in calories and can help prevent many diseases, including high blood pressure, heart disease and some cancers. But kids aren’t compelled by the nutritional benefits of produce. They want to have fun eating food they like. So they need some help to become healthy eaters. How can a parent get fruit-phobic or veggie-avoiding kids to eat more of what they really need?, a Web site dedicated to helping people make smart food choices, has some tips for coping with picky eaters. ■ Let your kids be “produce pickers.” Let them help pick out fruits and veggies at the store. ■ Kids like to try foods they help make. All of that mixing, mashing and measuring makes them want to taste what they are creating. ■ Make meals a stress-free time. If meals are times for family arguments, your child may learn unhealthy attitudes toward food. ■ Offer choices. Rather than ask “Do you want broccoli for dinner?” ask “Which would you like for dinner: broccoli or cauliflower?” Another suggestion, from The Produce For Kids study, is to use dips to get kids to eat more fruits and vegetables. Sixty-eight percent of the moms surveyed said that their children ate more fruit and vegetables when they were served with dip. One of the latest items on the market to help meet this need is Marzetti Disney Dips, a line of fruit and veggie dips for children that makes eating produce fun and nutritious. Each portion-control package contains the right amount of dip for a serving of fruit or vegetables. The packaging also features favorite Disney characters, games and trivia questions – all of which make eating healthy a lot more fun. Picky eaters don’t have to stay picky eaters. With some encouragement and creative ideas from parents, they can learn to love eating what’s best for them. For more information, visit

Helping kids learn to love healthy eating Turn PB & J into PB & A — peanut butter and apples! This lunchtime treat is a great way to please picky sandwich eaters and make sure they get some healthy fruit.

Put some crunchy fun into snack time with this fruity rice cake. This is one treat the kids will love making themselves — just set out the ingredients and let them build a fruit-filled snack!

Open Face Caramel Peanut Butter Sandwich Prep Time: 5 minutes Servings: 2 2 tablespoons (1.25-ounce individual container) Marzetti Disney Cinnamon Caramel Apple Dip 2 tablespoons favorite peanut butter 2 slices favorite bread Sliced apples, peanuts, dried cranberries or raisins In a small bowl, mix together dip and peanut butter until smooth. Spread two tablespoons of caramel mixture on each slice of bread. Arrange sliced apples, peanuts and dried fruit atop each sandwich and serve.

Do your kids turn up their noses at fruits and veggies? Here are some fun and smart ideas to please even the pickiest of eaters: Bagel snake – Split mini bagels in half. Cut each half into half circles. Spread the halves with tuna salad, egg salad, or peanut butter. Decorate with sliced cherry tomatoes or banana slices. Arrange the half circles to form the body of a snake. Use olives or raisins for the eyes. English muffin pizza – Top half an English muffin with tomato sauce, chopped veggies and low-fat mozzarella cheese. Heat until the cheese is melted. Potato pal – Top half a small baked potato with eyes, ears, and a

Rice Cake Snack Prep Time: 3 minutes Servings: 1 2 tablespoons (1.25-ounce individual container) Marzetti Disney Cinnamon Caramel Apple Dip 1 rice cake Topping options: Diced red or green apple, chopped bananas, favorite dried fruit, mini chocolate chips or favorite chopped nuts Spread 2 tablespoons dip onto a rice cake. Top with one or two topping options and serve.

smile. Try peas for eyes, a halved cherry tomato for a nose, and a low-fat cheese wedge as a smile. Fruit smoothies – Blend fresh or frozen fruit with yogurt and milk or juice. Try 100 percent orange juice, low-fat yogurt, and frozen strawberries. Ants on a log – Thinly spread peanut butter or apple dip on narrow celery sticks. Top with a row of raisins or other diced dried fruit. Fruit kabobs – Spear chunks of pineapple, banana and melon on skewers or chopsticks. Let kids dunk them in a fruit dip.

____ 32 about families

April 2009

Is the Economy Triggering Potential Eating Disorders? The Truth about Unhealthy Relationships with Foods in Times of Stress

by Dr. Stacey Rosenfeld


ife is tough right now and as a result, people are turning to food. Job loss means more time on your hands to eat. Fear and anxiety over paying the bills can mean turning to food for comfort. Stressed out men and women are eating more than their bodies need. Just like turning to alcohol, many people overeat during stressful times in order to cope with difficult emotions. And this economic environment is triggering it more than ever before between job loss and making ends meet. We all nosh occasionally when we are sad, anxious, angry, or have too much time on our hands. However when it becomes the norm – every day with no control – it could be a sign that you are using food more than you should. This is not only dangerous for people who are struggling with their weight or have a history of issues with food, but also for those with no previous issues. Here are some suggestions to return

to a healthier relationship with food: Trash the diet: The more you try to restrict your food, the more you are likely to find yourself compensating by overeating. Diets do not work because it makes us feel deprived, especially during stressful times. Nourish your body: Make sure you are nourishing your body the right way by eating breakfast, lunch and dinner daily and that each meal includes protein, fats and carbohydrates. Snacks are important, particularly when you are craving a certain taste or texture. Allow yourself sweets in moderation. You will overdo less if you do not have a deprivation mentality. Practice the art of intuitive eating: Only eat when you are hungry and always stop when you are full. Listen to your body and learn to identify your own hunger and fullness. Acknowledge that food will not solve the problem: If you are eating when you are not hungry, ask yourself “Is this going to solve my problem?” Instead, seek out social support from family and friends, exercise regularly,

The Historical Society of Berks County & Rainbow Theatre presents…

held at the

Historical Society’s grand Hendel House, 746 Centre Ave., Reading


elebrate Everybody’s Birthday at one Happy Party.

Child actors of the Rainbow Theatre will perform a play about a birthday party that includes everybody! After the play, light refreshments will be served, including, of course, a birthday cupcake for everyone. Appropriate for children five and older. Must be accompanied by an adult.

April 24 at 7:00 PM • April 25 at 1:00 & 3:30 PM April 26 at 2:00 PM $12 per person, reservations required.

For more information, Call 610-375-4375 Visit our website:

and focus on taking practical steps toward improving your situation. This might involve redoing your resume, talking with your boss about another project you might start, looking into refinancing your home, etc. Seek professional help: If you cannot do it on your own, it is okay. You are not alone. Schedule a consultation with a therapist or counselor for support and to learn healthier coping skills to get you through.

Stacey M. Rosenfeld, Ph.D. is a licensed clinical psychologist with a private practice in New York City. She is also a staff psychologist at Columbia University Medical Center and the Chief Psychologist for the New York City Triathlon. She specializes in the treatment of eating disorders, addictions, anxiety and depression, and relationship issues, as well as sports psychology. For more information on Dr. Rosenfeld or to schedule an appointment, visit

■ Percent who say their delivery went Childbirth Chatter the way they dreamed it would: 16 ercent of mothers who had a birth plan they discussed with their ■ Percent increase in births involving practitioner: More than 70 midwives since 1990: 100 ■ Typical cost savings from delivering at a midwife-run birthing center over a hospital: $1,500 ■ Percent increase in twin births since the 1980s: 60 ■ Percent of pregnant women who experience morning sickness: 50 ■ Percent increase in a woman’s aerobic capacity during pregnancy: 5-10 ■ Pounds supermodel and actress Elizabeth Hurley gained during pregnancy, then promptly lost: More than 50 ■ Months after giving birth to her first child that England’s Paula Radcliffe won the New York Marathon: 10 ■ Cost of a BabyPlus Prenatal MOVEMENT Education System, recorded rhythmic MANIA CAMPS sounds to give baby an “intellectual, August 12th - CHEERMANIA developmental, creative and emotionCheer, dance, and pompoms too! al advantage” from birth: $149.95 August 13th - DANCEMANIA Hip-hop and bop to your favorite tunes. ■ Number of articles mentioning Brad *Ages 5-12 • 9-11 AM* Pitt and Angelina Jolie’s son Shiloh, *$30 p/day or $50 for both days* Hollywood’s “most influential baby,” Each day will culminate in a Performance Showcase for Parents. in his first year: More than 2,000 ■ Percent of 3-month-olds who regularDANCE TEAM ly watch television, videos or DVDs: BOOTCAMP 40 *August 11th-13th • 10:30-1:30 Ages 13-18 • Only $160* ■ Cost of a Chelsea sleigh crib by Bratt PRO Staff from the NBA, 3 full routines with Décor, children’s furniture purveyor fresh choreography, Chalk Talk with current to the likes of Sarah Jessica Parker pro dancers, performance showcase, a 2009 camp t-shirt, 3 days of lunch and camp CD! and Courtney Cox: $1,452




Contact AOM today to register for our 2009 Summer Dance Camps

For more information go to

AOM is located within Grand Slam, USA, 1037 A MacArthur Rd., Reading, PA 19605 610-914-0713

Sources: Baby Talk, Harvard Reviews of Health News, Insight on the News,,, Chicago Athlete,, Associated Press,,, Reader’s Digest,

Prenatal Learning

____ 33 about families

April 2009

What Is It and When Does It Begin?

by Lisa Jarrett


ducators and health professionals alike have long stressed the importance of cognitive development for children ages zero to three. While this period of development is undeniably crucial, it is impor-

“down beat,” the babies’ brains produced an electrical response indicating that they had expected to hear that missing downbeat, but had not. The study explains: “So it appears that the capability of detecting beat in rhythmic sound

“…it appears that the capability of detecting beat in rhythmic sequences is already functional at birth.” tant to note that a baby’s brain actually begins to form cells during the third week of pregnancy – a time when the brain is also open to stimulation and learning and a time when such an enriched environment is absolutely necessary in every regard. During weeks 13-16, a child’s first brain waves become detectable, a connection-building process that persists at breakneck speed through the first few years of life. Most moms-to-be who read about baby’s development will know that the baby can also begin to hear sounds in the second trimester – predominantly the constant beat of the mother’s heart, but also muffled noises that are heard outside the womb. Learning, or cognitive development, is simply the construction of thought processes, including perception, remembering, language abilities, problem solving and decision-making. Traditionally, society has accepted the theory of cognitive development advanced by Swiss psychologist Jean Piaget in the 20th century. Piaget held that cognitive development consists of four stages throughout a person’s lifetime. The first, the sensorimotor stage, begins at birth and lasts until age two. Now there is yet another recent study that confirms cognitive stimulation actually begins in the womb. Researchers at the Institute for Psychology of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and the Institute for Logic, Language and Computation of the University of Amsterdam found that the auditory system is at least partly functional approximately three months before birth, and that produced beats can be distinguished and perceived in the womb by the developing baby. Because we cannot feasibly observe behavioral reactions in the womb, the researchers studied the brain activity of neonates - newborns two to three days old. Through electrodes, the researchers measured electrical brain signals. Several variants of a basic rock rhythm were delivered through adhesive earcouplers worn by the newborns. When the rhythm was changed to miss the

sequences is already functional at birth.” “Our results show that although learning by movement is probably important, the newborn auditory system is apparently sensitive to periodicities and develops expectations about when a new cycle should start (i.e., when the downbeat should occur). Therefore, although auditory perceptual learning starts already in the womb, our results are fully compatible with the notion that the perception of beat is innate.” According to this study, simple rhythmic sounds - like those similar to the maternal heartbeat - are easiest for the unborn child to understand, if not already innate. What we can infer through this study is that a developing baby’s brain is responsive to beats – a simple rhythm that is, developmentally, something a baby can comprehend. The maternal heartbeat, constantly heard pulsing through the placenta at 95 decibels, is a true language that a prenatal baby can understand and benefit from. Music would not strengthen a baby’s cognitive development because the combined sounds, rhythms and beats are too complex, and, while the spoken word can create a bond between the parents and child before birth, speaking to an unborn child would not promote such cognitive development because the

voice is soft and muffled by the amniotic fluid. After birth, babies stimulated prenatally through simple rhythmic sounds can exhibit “a range of key differences from typical infant traits,” said Dr. Brent Logan, author of Learning Before Birth and developer of the BabyPlus curriculum – which utilizes such simple beats. Much like moms-to-be take prenatal vitamins to aid in physical development, parents report consistent benefits from using age-appropriate auditory stimulation to aid in baby’s cognitive development. So, next time you are deciding between Mozart or a bedtime story for daddy to read to your developing baby in the womb, keep in mind that simple, repetitive rhythms are best for development. There are prenatal learning systems available, and it can be anticipated that the demand for these systems will increase as more research becomes available.

Lisa Jarrett is President of the BabyPlus Company, and a mother of four BabyPlus children. BabyPlus is a universal prenatal education system that introduces patterns

of sound to prenatal children in their natural language—the maternal heartbeat. BabyPlus is available at



We are collecting cartridges at both events

Berks County Earth Day


Green & Growing Fest PA Renaissance Faire

A full day of interactive and fun, learning about our environment and how to preserve it!

April 30 & May 1, 2009 9 AM - 3 PM

Help The Environment Refill Not Landfill

Sinking Spring Plaza • 4748 Penn Ave.


100% Satisfaction Guaranteed

____ 34 about families

Teens and Sleep:

April 2009

Turn Off Your iPod… by Martha Wegner


ust when I thought I was nearing the end of my parenting challenges, along came my daughter’s adolescence; a whole new challenge unto itself filled with questions about sex, drugs, curfew, college entrance, and, well, the list goes on. But who could have anticipated this challenge: sleep. We’ve trained these kids for sleep since they were babies! But something hap-

World War III could not have gotten Allison started in the morning. I wondered just how many times can a person hit the snooze button? And every morning she was late as she grabbed her toast and ran to the bus stop. I pleaded with her (over and over), “Why don’t you go to bed earlier so that you can wake up earlier and so that you are not nodding off in class?”

Students whose report cards showed mainly As and Bs were the same youngsters who usually went to bed earlier on both school nights and weekends. pened to my daughter’s ability to enter peaceful slumber as she entered her teenage years. Every night was a battle to get her to go to bed. She had to listen to her iPod. She needed to solve the latest problem with her friend via text messaging. When we told her “lights out,” she whined and procrastinated. The mornings? Don’t even get me started on the mornings, because I sure couldn’t get my daughter started in the morning.


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It turns out that Allison is not alone. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)’s book, Guide to Your Child’s Sleep: birth through adolescence (Villard, 1999), although most teenagers need between 9 and 10 hours a sleep a night, they get on average closer to 7 hours. Many teenagers experience what the AAP calls “delayed sleep phase syndrome”: “Biological changes during puberty bring about shifts in the sleep phase [the number of hours in a 24-hour period devoted to sleeping] that encourage teenagers to stay up late and consequently oversleep. Further complicating the matter, teenagers don’t like to be told what to do, and many parents, respecting their children’s urge toward independence, tend to hold back advice for fear of being accused of nagging.” Because of this delayed sleep phase, adolescents sleep less than they need to on weeknights, and then try to make up for it on weekends. How did this happen? AAP places the blame for this common sleep phase shift on two culprits: first, the hormonal surges of puberty that reset the adolescent body clock in such a way that youngsters may not only feel sleepy progressively later, but may also be inclined to wake later. Second, teenagers are much more likely to take part in social activities in the evening, some as structured as athletic or play practice, some unstructured, but stimulating nonetheless, such as time spent on the internet chatting and texting back and forth to friends. Many teenagers hold down a part time job in addition to their studies and social life. Why does it matter? Other than the fact that I was yelling at my daughter at the end of the day and at the start of every morning, and this put us all in a very bad mood, what does it matter? Hold on to your hat, the findings are astounding. AAP cites a number of studies which found that school grades were a reliable indicator of the hours spent sleeping. Students whose report cards showed

mainly As and Bs were the same youngsters who usually went to bed earlier on both school nights and weekends. These high achievers averaged about 35 more minutes of sleep nightly than those who got mostly Ds and Fs. In addition, teenagers who got the most sleep, and who went to bed at about the same time on school nights and weekends, were more alert all day long. Also, those who slept less and had erratic bedtimes were not only drowsy during the day; they were also more likely to be depressed. Finally, several studies have also shown that teenagers who don’t sleep enough have a higher rate of car crashes. What Can We Do? Patrick Friman, author of Good Night, Sweet Dreams, I Love You: now get into bed and go to sleep! (Boys Town Press, 2005) tells us that our responsibility for setting and enforcing rules does not end, just because our kids have hit their teens: “You should set and enforce bedtimes for your children, even when those children are in middle school or well into high school...Why? The biggest reason is that middle school-aged and high schoolaged children do not often place rest high on their list of priorities. True, if left to their own devices, they would probably get enough sleep to be able to function for a week or maybe even two. But most likely they would quickly be using the weekends to catch up on lost sleep.” Specifically, he suggests setting a strict bedtime and then limiting the extent to which extracurricular activities, homework, and undone chores interfere with that time. David Walsh, author of Why do They Act That Way?: a survival guide to the adolescent brain for you and your teen (Free Press, 2004) suggests removing stimulation at night. “Limiting caffeinated beverages, TV, video games, and phone after nine or ten can help convince the adolescent brain that it’s time for bed. ...Quiet reading, quiet music, and other mellow activities are good ways to make the transition to sleep time. She still may not fall asleep till eleven, but that’s a lot better than one a.m.” The truth is, we can do what we can to set a climate for better sleep habits, but as the AAP suggests, “A key to success is requiring the teenager assume control over her bedtime and waking...You can even lead her toward a solution by explaining how to shift the sleep phase back, and you can provide the tools she needs, such as a clock radio and a loud alarm...However, if the program is to work, your teenager has to want to

change and be prepared to take responsibility for following a new sleep schedule, including weekend wake-ups, on her own.” You can lead a horse to water, well, you know the rest. For a year I led Allison to the water, with few results except comments on how I was “ruining her life” and “punishing her.” Then after a full year of us enforcing a bedtime routine, Allison started to go to bed on time without complaint! I was, I am, beside myself with joy. I asked her, “What made you start going to bed at 10:00?” Her reply, “Oh, I just got sick of falling asleep in class all the time.” I’d like to think my efforts made her see the wisdom of a good night’s sleep. A word of caution, children who continue to have problems adjusting their sleep phase may be experiencing other problems such as depression, school avoidance, or other medical issues which should be dealt with by your pediatrician. As Patrick Friman so kindly reminds us, “Children who have clearly set expectations, consistency in their schedules, and routine requirements (chores), all established by or flowing from their parents, have much greater access to happiness than children who are left to their own devices.” Do not give up! The results, although sometimes long in coming, are worth it. Copyright Martha Wegner

Martha Wegner lives in St. Paul, Minnesota with her husband and 2 children. To read more of her essays go to

____ 35 about families

April 2009

Spinal Taps Carry Higher Risks for Infants and Elderly, Study Shows


An X-ray-guided spinal tap procedure fails more than half of the time in young infants and should be used sparingly, if at all, for those patients, according to a new study done by researchers at Wake Forest University School of Medicine. The study also shows that the X-rayguided form of spinal tap, called fluoroscopy-guided lumbar puncture, causes a doubling in risk of bleeding for patients older than 80 compared to younger patients and that the risk of bleeding caused by the procedure can be reduced by doing the puncture at the middle of the lower back rather than at the lowest levels of the spine. The full study appears in this month’s issue of the American Journal of Neuroradiology, published by the American Society of Neuroradiology. “The purpose of this study was to look at which factors related to doing a spinal tap result in a greater chance of bleeding caused by the needle,” said Annette J. Johnson, M.D., M.S., the study’s senior researcher and an associate professor of radiologic sciences. “We are trying to figure out how to minimize the number of times we cause bleeding when doing this procedure.” Fluoroscopy-guided lumbar puncture is used most often to diagnose patients who have sudden severe headache, possible meningitis infection or cancers around the brain. Doctors perform this type of spinal tap to analyze cerebrospinal fluid, which can help determine why a patient is sick. A patient who has a fever and stiff neck, for example, might have abnormal white blood cells in his cerebrospinal fluid, indicating that the symptoms are caused by meningitis, whereas the cerebrospinal fluid of a patient with a severe, sudden headache might contain a significant amount of blood, a sign of possible ruptured aneurysm. During the lumbar puncture, a small needle is inserted into the patient’s lower spine. Fluoroscopy is the use of radiation in real time to take a picture that more precisely locates where to put the needle, avoiding bone spurs and bony narrowings related to scoliosis. Sometimes the placement of the needle during the procedure causes some bleeding into the cerebrospinal fluid. This type of problem, seen in up to a quarter of cases, makes it more difficult to diagnose the patient, Johnson said, because it is hard to determine if the blood is a symptom of the condition or a result of the lumbar puncture. “Because cerebrospinal fluid tests provide very valuable information in

making the diagnoses of several serious diseases – such as bleeding in the head, cancer of the brain or spine, meningitis, infection of the brain, or multiple sclerosis – and because obtaining the fluid involves insertion of a long needle into the spine, it is important that we optimize the most safe and effective methods of doing this procedure,” Johnson said. For the study, researchers reviewed the files of more than 750 patients ranging in age from less than 1 year to 90 years old. All had received a fluoroscopy-guided lumbar puncture in emergency room, outpatient or inpatient settings. Results show that fluoroscopy-guided lumbar punctures failed in about 60 percent of the cases that involved very young patients, meaning that no cerebrospinal fluid could be obtained at all. The needle caused bleeding into the cerebrospinal fluid in about 25 percent of the infant cases where the doctors were able to obtain the fluid, according to the study. “This finding suggests that in infants, physicians may opt to use ultrasound to guide the needle for lumbar puncture or work without the cerebrospinal fluid altogether,” Johnson said. “It’s just not worth the radiation and high chance of failure or bleeding that fluoroscopyguided lumbar puncture carries in these very young patients.” For patients older than 80, the researchers found that such bleeding happened in about 26 percent of cases – twice the rate seen in patients ages 1 to 80. Johnson said clinicians in those cases should attempt to insert the needle in the middle of the lower back, where the study found risk of bleeding is less likely. Clinicians should also double check to make sure these elderly patients are not taking medications that thin the blood and increase the chance of bleeding, she added. Regardless of age, punctures in the lower part of the low-back were twice as likely to result in bleeding as were those in the middle low-back. “We were somewhat surprised that needle size was not related to rate of bleeding caused by the needle,” Johnson said. “This result may be related to the fact that only two sizes of needles were commonly used in our study and both were small. However, we did find that the risk of bleeding was higher as you went lower in the spine. “Lumbar punctures will very likely continue to be a common medical procedure,” Johnson added. “The findings of this study should help ordering physicians decide how best to order this test and should help radiologist physi-

cians choose at which levels to perform the procedure.” Michael Y. Chen, M.D., also of the School of Medicine, and Samuel D. Yu, M.D., of Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis, co-authored the study, which received no external funding.

Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center ( is an academic health system comprised of North Carolina Baptist Hospital, Brenner Children’s Hospital, Wake Forest University Physicians, and Wake Forest University Health Sciences, which operates the university’s School of Medicine and Piedmont Triad Research Park.

Own it on DVD 3-3-09! 12-year old Ace Ventura Jr. Like father, like son, it’s in his nature to be a pet defective detective! And when a zoo’s baby panda is stolen and Ace’s mom is Suspect #1, our young hero sets out to clear the family name. Ready for fun? Alrighty-then. Ace-Ace Jr. is on the case!

ACE VENTURA, ACE VENTURA PET DETECTIVE, DESIGN and CATCHPHRASES are trademarks of Morgan Creek. Ace Ventura Jr. Pet Detective © 2008 Morgan Creek, Supplementary Material Compilation © 2009 Morgan Creek and Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Distributed by Warner Home Video, 4000 Warner Blvd., Burbank, CA 91522. All Rights reserved.

____ 36 about families

April 2009

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About Families Berks April 2009  

About Families is a publication devoted to families in Berks and Lebanon Counties serving as a comprehensive, central resource with informat...

About Families Berks April 2009  

About Families is a publication devoted to families in Berks and Lebanon Counties serving as a comprehensive, central resource with informat...