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Hi, Kids!

TRUMAN’S LETTER

December is such an exciting time of ye ar! There are many celebrations happening around the world this month. In this issue, we look at some of the different festi vities that take place in December and how different cultures celebrate their special days and se asons. Did you know that reindeer come from Lapland? In fact, there are more reindeer than there are people in this countr y! The people of Lapland have some interesting traditions, too. What are some traditions your family practices during this special month of the ye ar?

Where in the World is... Lapland It’s time to get out your globe! You need to know about the imaginary lines on globes and maps. These lines are called lines of latitude and longitude, and they tell a pilot or ship’s captain exactly where in the world a certain place is located. Basically, latitude lines (also called parallels) are the horizontal lines on your map. Lines of longitude (also called meridians) are the vertical lines that run from the North Pole to the South Pole. This mapping system is written in degrees and uses the symbol °. Get ready to travel the world! On your globe, locate longitude of 23°51’E and latitude of 66°34’N, and you’ll find the area of Lapland, the largest and northernmost region of Finland. Lapland shares borders with Norway, Russia and Sweden, and to the north are the Norwegian and Barents Seas. The Arctic Circle, one of the five circles of latitude marked on maps, goes through the southern part of Lapland. You can actually explore the Arctic Circle in Rovaniemi, the largest city and administrative capital of Lapland. At least once a year, the area experiences a polar day, with 24 hours of sunlight, and a polar night, with no sun for 24 hours! Lapland’s continental climate includes snowy winters and warm summers as a result of the Gulf Stream ocean current. The four seasons are very distinct, but winters are long and cold, with 175 to 225 days of snow per year! Temperatures range from -4ºF in wintertime to 68ºF in the summer. The terrain varies greatly in elevation, from the coast to the highest hill in Finland, Halti Fell, at more than 4,300 feet. Outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy eight national parks. In addition to forestry, metals and tourism, reindeer husbandry is an important livelihood. Lapland has a population of nearly 185,000 people (about 3.5 percent of the population of Finland) and approximately 200,000 reindeer! More than 6,500 people own or herd reindeer. Many of these reindeer herders are indigenous Sámi who mostly live in the northern part of the area. The Sámi region also includes part of Sweden, Norway and the Kola Peninsula. The Sámi people are believed to have lived in the northern arctic and sub-arctic region for 5,000 or more years, but in the early 1900s, they suffered a great cultural loss during attempts to make the Sámi like everyone else in the region. Their land was taken, and they were not allowed to speak their language or practice their beliefs and traditional livelihoods, like fishing. Today Finland, Sweden and Norway promote the Sámi culture and language. The Sámi culture includes duodji, the Sámi handicraft. Using antlers, bones and wood, men create scrimshawed (intricately carved designs) drums, guksi (burl wood cups) and knives. Women fashion colorful gákti or clothing from leather and roots, as well as woven baskets from birch and spruce roots. Sámi music includes yoik/joik, song-chants without musical accompaniment. The Sámi hold numerous festivals, like the Easter festivals that occur before the reindeer migration to the coast in the spring, to celebrate different aspects of the Sámi culture. Some combine traditional culture with modern ideas, like snowmobile races! Today, museums and exhibitions present Lappish and Sámi culture for all to see.

Sources: Arctic Circle, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arctic_Circle; Lapland, www.lapland.fi; Lapland, www.laplandfinland.com; Lapland (Finland), http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lapland_%28Finland%29; Sámi people, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sami_people.

DECEMBER 2012

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Connections The word “culture” has many different meanings. It can be a verb to mean the raising of plants or animals. In biology, it can mean the growing of microorganisms. It is also used as a noun, to mean the customs, beliefs and behaviors of a particular group or society. It can also mean the taste in fine arts and manners that are preferred by a certain group. In 1952, anthropologists Kroeber and Kluckhohn gathered 156 definitions of culture, and there are even more now! You are probably most familiar with the word as it is used to define the customs and beliefs of certain people. During the holiday season, there are many traditions that come from different cultures. Even in the U.S., there are many different traditions and cultures from region to region. Families usually have their own traditions around the holiday, such as decorating a Christmas tree, singing Christmas carols, having a big family meal, opening gifts and attending church with the family. A trip to The Nutcracker ballet is a tradition for many during the holiday season. Some families include traditions from their ancestors or their native culture, such as burning a Yule log, kissing under the mistletoe or burying good-luck trinkets in a cake. How do other cultures celebrate Christmas and other holidays during December? Let’s take a look at a few cultures around the world.

oil lasted eight days. As a result, Jews today light candles on the menorah for each of Hanukkah’s eight nights, and often they exchange gifts. Originally, Jews gave monetary presents to teach children about sharing, and in Israel that sentiment remains. Parents often give their children “gelt,” which are coin-shaped chocolates wrapped in gold foil. Potato latkes and jelly doughnuts are the holiday’s signature foods.

Israel

During the week before Christmas, Navidad Eve (Dec. 16-24), friends and families get together for a special celebration called Posadas. They form a parade, carrying candles and little dolls of the baby Jesus. They sing carols and walk to a neighbor’s house, commemorating Mary and Joseph’s journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem.

Every December, Jews around the world celebrate Hanukkah, the festival of lights or celebration of the Macabees’ victory over the Greeks, who wanted the Jews to give up their culture and faith in favor of a Hellenistic life in 166 B.C. After the Macabees won the war, they needed to rededicate their temple but had only enough oil for one day. Miraculously, the

Netherlands

The Dutch exchange gifts on Sinterklaas, or Santa Claus Day. This holiday falls on December 5 and celebrates the actual feast day of Saint Nicholas for whom Santa Claus was named. On this day, people indulge in traditional Dutch cookies and candies. Adults often make little presents or write poems for one another and children receive a piece of chocolate in the shape of their first initial. And instead of Christmas stockings, they put out wooden shoes!

The happy end to each Posada is the piñata — a jar covered in paper maché and filled with goodies. It is traditionally made in the shape of a star to represent the star that guided the three kings to the baby Jesus.

China

Using red wrapping paper and envelopes will delight those in China, who think the color brings good fortune and wards off evil. Traditionally, on the Chinese New Year, people exchange red envelopes filled with money.

Portugal

In Portugal, and in other parts of Europe, handmade gifts are often seen as the most sincere. Although Christmas is the most popular time of year to exchange gifts, most people bring homemade baked goods or knitted tablecloths, shawls or blankets whenever visiting someone’s home.

India

Mexico

In Hindu countries, Pancha Ganapati is an important December holiday. This five-day Hindu festival celebrates the Lord Ganesha, Patron of Arts and Guardian of Culture. During each of the five days of Pancha Ganapati, which is celebrated from Dec. 21- 25, a different spiritual discipline is studied by the entire family.

There are approximately 21,000 Christmas tree farms in the United States. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the tallest Christmas tree ever cut was a 221-foot Douglas fir that was displayed in 1950 at the Northgate Shopping Center in Seattle, Wash. In 1979, only the top ornament on the National Christmas Tree was lighted. This was done in honor of Americans being held hostage in Iran.

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DECEMBER 2012


AR O UND THE W O RLD Iran

United States

Canada

Yalda is a celebration of the winter solstice in Iran. It is celebrated on Dec. 21, and has been celebrated for thousands of years. This night is the longest of the year, and Iranians believe that Light and Good are battling against Darkness and Evil. According to Iranian mythology, Mithra was born at the end of this night after the long-expected defeat of darkness against light. Traditionally, people kept fires burning all night to help the sun claim victory over darkness. There were prayer ceremonies and feasts. Today, the holiday is mostly a social occasion for family and friends to get together.

Kwanzaa is a week-long celebration of African culture and heritage that begins the day after Christmas and continues to New Year’s Day. Kwanzaa was first celebrated from Dec. 26, 1966, to Jan. 1, 1967, and was initially an effort by professor Ron Karenga to create a specifically African-American holiday.

The day after Christmas is a legal holiday known as Boxing Day in Canada, the United Kingdom and many other countries. It is thought that Boxing Day received its name because churches open the boxes of money, food and other items donated during the Christmas season and deliver them to the poor on this day. Another legend is that the name came from the old custom of noblemen giving their servants boxes with gifts on this day. People who performed public service often carried around boxes on Dec. 26 to receive tips.

Kingdom Phylum Class Family

Animalia Chordata Artiodactyla Cervidae

Reindeer

Legend has it that Santa and his team of reindeer fly through the sky on Christmas Eve delivering presents to good boys and girls. Because the reindeer is associated with Christmas, it’s a great month to learn more about them. In North America, reindeer are called caribou. They are a species of deer found in the Arctic tundra and forests of Alaska, Canada, Greenland, Scandinavia and Russia. The tundra is a very harsh place to live. Tundras are cold, treeless plains in Arctic regions, where the ground is frozen. Reindeer are usually brown, and whitish in the winter. Male reindeer are also very large and can weigh 550 pounds or more. Reindeer are known for their antlers. They are the only deer species in which both males and females have antlers. Males can grow antlers up to four and a half feet long! Their antlers fall off each year, and they grow new ones. The new ones grow under a layer of fur called velvet. Forest reindeer usually live in groups of 6 to 13. Reindeer gather together into huge herds for migration to the tundra in the spring. The migration can be as far as 3,000 miles. The herds can include up to half a million reindeer. During the summer, reindeer eat grass, leaves and mushrooms. In the winter, they eat reindeer moss, which they find by digging in the snow. They have an excellent sense of smell which they use to find food buried under the snow. One quarter (1/4) of the Earth’s land is used for reindeer herding. In

DECEMBER 2012

some areas of the world, reindeer are used as pack animals to carry heavy loads. Sometimes they are even used for riding. They also are used for milk. In other places, they are hunted for their meat, hide and antlers. In Scotland, wild reindeer were hunted to extinction in 1200 AD.

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What’s It Like to Be… A Ballet Dancer? One of my favorite things to do during the holiday season is to go see The Nutcracker ballet. Have you ever been to a ballet? This month I thought it would be fun to see what it’s like to be a ballet dancer. The Carolina Ballet is one of America’s premiere arts organizations. Carolina Ballet has staged 80 world premier ballets and toured internationally in China and Hungary. Eugene Barnes is a soloist with the ballet and has been with the organization for nine years. Barnes was born in Louisville, Ken., but was raised in Baltimore, Md. He studied dance for five years at Baltimore School for the Arts before joining Carolina Ballet. Ashley Hathaway has been with Carolina Ballet for five years, but even performed with them as a child. Hathaway is a native of Raleigh, N.C., where she attended the North Carolina School of the Arts through high school. She spent several summers at the School of American Ballet in New York City and the Pacific Northwest Ballet. Truman: What does it take to become a professional ballet dancer? Barnes: A lot of dedication, determination and mental strength. Hathaway: To be a dancer, you have to be dedicated and focused. Ballet is a physically demanding sport that requires a lot of practice. When I was 6 and told my friends and family that I was going to be a ballerina, I had no idea what it would take for me to become one. Choosing a knowledgeable ballet school isimportant. I attended the Raleigh School of Ballet and I have my teachers to thank for my development into a professional ballet dancer. Even though ballet is difficult, it also teaches you grace, poise, responsibility and respect, which are all valuable qualities. Truman: When, and why, did you first become interested in this profession? Barnes: I was 12 or13 when I began ballet. I started through sports (I had a coach who recommended me to take a dance class to gain coordination). However, when I was 16, I saw an open rehearsal of the San Francisco Ballet at the Kennedy Center (in Washington, D.C.). That’s when I knew I wanted to dance professionally. Hathaway: My mom loves the arts, and she exposed

DECEMBER 2012

me to ballet at a very young age. I always loved going to the theater and thought that ballet was the epitome of art; it had beautiful movement, acting, live music, costumes, sets and lights. It was the complete package. It was a magical world that I wanted to be a part of. Truman: What do you do every day? Describe a typical day on the job. Barnes: It depends. On a regular rehearsal day, we have class from 10 to 11:20 a.m., but I like to get to the studio 45 minutes to an hour early to warm up. Then we have rehearsals from 11:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., with an hour for lunch. When we have performances, class starts at noon, and we could perform twice in a day. Hathaway: We start every morning with an hourand-a-half ballet class that hones our technique and warms up our muscles for the day. Then rehearsals range from one to six hours depending on what program we are preparing for and the different parts we are cast in. Carolina Ballet performs 7580 shows every season, so it’s likely that we might

have to head to the theater to perform, especially if it’s a weekend! Truman: What’s the hardest part of your job? Barnes: Coping with injuries. Hathaway: Making it look effortless! What we do can be strenuous and difficult at times, but I always try to make it look easy. Truman: What’s the best part of your job? Barnes: Performing a difficult ballet (successfully) and mastering new technical steps. Hathaway: Performing and creating a character. I love to act, and being onstage lets me create a persona for any role. It’s an escape from normal life for a couple of hours! Truman: What is the one accomplishment in your career of which you are most proud? Barnes: Dancing the Prince in Cinderella and the

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Cavalier (of the Sugarplum Fairy) in The Nutcracker. Hathaway: I am proud that I have a job I love. I enjoy going to the studio and theater every day and hope that is shown through my dancing. Everyone should be able to have a job that is fulfilling. Truman: What is your favorite piece to dance? Barnes: I love dancing roles that I have to act. I really enjoyed dancing the role of Count Dracula also the role of Caliban in Tempest Fantasy. Hathaway: It’s hard to name just one, but I really enjoy dancing anything by George Balanchine. He was a famous 20th-century choreographer who brought ballet to America. His ability to unite movement and music is uncanny, and he knew exactly how to manipulate the body to make it look beautiful. I recently performed in two of his ballets, Who Cares, which is a jazzy and playful piece, and Valse Fantasy, which is flowing classical ballet. They are very different but equally fun to dance. Truman: What is your favorite hobby or thing to do when you are not working? Barnes: I love to cook. I really enjoy creating new recipes and having small dinner parties. Hathaway: Even though I love to perform, it’s always nice to reverse the role and be an audience member. I love going to plays, rock concerts, Broadway shows, symphonies, movies and art exhibits. Truman: What advice would you give to kids who are interested in this profession? Barnes: Keep working hard. I wasn’t the favorite dancer in my class, but I wanted to be a professional dancer, so I worked to get where I am now. Also, once you do become a professional dancer, never stop striving to be the best. I constantly set goals for myself. I’ve seen many dancers who stop setting goals, and their work ethics suffered from it. Hathaway: Hard work will pay off, so don’t give up on your dreams! Don’t limit yourself — try all types of dance because you might find one that you like better than another. Truman: Thanks so much for telling us all about your career as a ballet dancer. You both are amazing!

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PUZZLEVILLE! Whats the Difference? There are five things different in Picture A and Picture B. Can you find them all?

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Crossword Puzzle

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DECEMBER 2012


r

bers 1 through 9 to er is used only once. a math equation. are performed n.

December Word Find

Can you find all the words that have to do with December? ANTARCTICA CHANUKAH CHRISTMAS FAMILY

E Q K S N E H P L Y G R S U U

,

E E R T A A L S U X Z E T P D

L G U A A M Q T L S M I F Y Q

F A M I L Y T L A C D N I Q C

December Word Find

Can you find all the words that have to do with December? ANTARCTICA CHANUKAH CHRISTMAS FAMILY

E Q K S N E H P L Y G R S U U

E E R T A A L S U X Z E T P D

L G U A A M Q T L S M I F Y Q

F A M I L Y T L A C D N I Q C

GIFTS PACKAGES REINDEER SANTA

B W A U S U O S H W G D G P N

DECEMBER 2012

A D N J Y H C G I L S E V Z O

Z U T L O K W H H R P E S R T

F F A M T L R S A A H R W Z T

G X R S A N T A C N B C S E Q

SNOW TOYS TREE WINTER

G J C K W N E K E Q U R D R D

G B T N I K A D I E E K G S N

A U I E C G G J E T K H A T I

G I C W E D D M N O S F G H M

A Z A S U A H I W O N S U I E

GIFTS PACKAGES REINDEER SANTA

B W A U S U O S H W G D G P N

A D N J Y H C G I L S E V Z O

Z U T L O K W H H R P E S R T

F F A M T L R S A A H R W Z T

G X R S A N T A C N B C S E Q

SNOW TOYS TREE WINTER

G J C K W N E K E Q U R D R D

G B T N I K A D I E E K G S N

A U I E C G G J E T K H A T I

G I C W E D D M N O S F G H M

A Z A S U A H I W O N S U I E

W T U O L S W B M Q S B Q Y W

Coloring Corner Truman loves to sing! Do you have a favorite holiday song? Write a paragraph about it and finish coloring this picture!

W T U O L S W B M Q S B Q Y W

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By Jan Buckner Walker

The Original Crossword Puzzle for Kids and Their Favorite Adults

The across clues are for kids and the down clues are for grown-ups!

Kids Across

1. A hat helps keep the sun out of your face while you are at this sandy place 4. Kids wear pointy hats and sing songs at this kind of party 6. A hat is what you need to keep your hair dry whenever ____ falls from the sky 7. Imaginary hat: To figure out the answer to a tough problem, put on your thinking ____ 9. An evil woman with a crooked nose who wears a tall, black hat 10. The string on a sombrero lets it hang behind your ____ when it's not on your head 11. It's the month 5D was born (abbr.)

13. A magician can pull this animal out of a hat 14. The big guy who makes December deliveries wearing a red and white hat 17. Winter hint: Wearing a hat will help keep your body ____ from escaping through your head 18. In the movie, "Shrek," Puss in Boots somehow managed to hold his sword using his ____ 19. A brave worker who puts on a hard, red hat while he puts out flames

Parents Down

1. Smokey, who focuses on forest fires 2. Motivator in the hand of a cowboy (or farmer's yield

Hats Off!

from the field) 3. Wizard's special effect 4. Accessory around a leprechaun's trademark hat 5. Prez who rocked a stovepipe hat 8. Jacqueline Kennedy's signature hat style 11. Piece of plumage in the 7A of an achiever 12. It all came together to make the Scarecrow's hat 14. "Dr." who wrote "The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins" almost 20 years before his classic about a feline in a topper 15. Head and shoulders: Winter hat's cozy companion 16. 14A's little assistant whose hat has a ball 18. Leprechaun's gold-holder

This Week’s Solution

kris@kapd.com

KAPD ebooks now available on www.kapd.com

© 2012 KAPD, LLC

9/30/12

Befriending the Bullied (and the Bully) by Barbara Gilmour

Ms. Gilmour greeted each of the kids as they arrived for the “Cool Kind Kid” class. Tanner, Nicole, Rudy, Carmen, Stephen and Truman the dragon all greeted her and were excited to share what they had been doing since the last meeting. Each one wanted to talk about how they were being friends to kids who bully at their schools. “Last time, we talked about how the “Cool Kind Kid” Challenge could help kids who bully learn how to be kinder and nicer,” said Ms. Gilmour. “Did you find that being friends with them helped?” she asked. The kids all wanted to share. Tanner was first and said, “I learned some things about one kid in my class that I didn’t know before. I don’t want to tell what they were, but he was glad that I talked to him.” Nicole added, “I had the same situation with a girl, who I found out, had been teased and picked on at another school. She thought that if she started bullying in her new school, then no one would bully her.” Rudy looked confused and said, “So she was the one bullied and then became a girl who bullied?” Ms. Gilmour explained, “Some kids are so hurt by the way they’re treated, that they try to do the same to other kids.” Truman spoke up and said, “That’s not The Golden Rule. That’s ‘Do to others what they do to you.’” Stephen added, “We really need kids to be challenged to live The Golden Rule: ‘To treat others the way we want to be treated.’” Everyone agreed. “I think you are on the right track with being friends with kids who bully,” said Ms. Gilmour. “How do you think that will work with the kids who have been bullied or who are being bullied?” Carmen waved her hand. “They are the ones who really need a friend.” Rudy added, “We can let them know that we will be their friends.” Truman stood up to his full height and said, “I’ll be their friend and protect them. We can all do that.” Nicole added, “A cool and kind friend is someone who sticks up for someone who is being bullied!” Tanner added to that, “A friend tells someone who is being bullied that no one believes what a bully says.” Stephen said, “A tough friend gets help for a kid who is being bullied. He knows it isn’t tattling to tell a teacher, principal, coach or parent that someone needs help.” Ms. Gilmour added, “A good friend doesn’t get help for just physical bullying. It’s just as important to get help for someone who is being teased, picked on or excluded. That hurts just as much as physical bullying.” Truman finally said, “I became friends with a younger kid who was bullied. Soon he was able to stand up to the kid who bullied him. And then the kid who was bullying him stopped and wanted to be his friend.” Nicole added, “See? Being friends works!” Barbara Gilmour, Tanner’s grandmom, is the creator and developer of the “Cool Kind Kid” Social Skills, Character Values and Anti-Bullying educational materials and the awardwinning “Cool Kind Kid” Audio CD. She also writes the Children’s Manners Blog, offering tips for teaching your children manners and social skills. www.CoolKindKid.com.

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DECEMBER 2012


Conservation o Composting r n e r

Composting is a natural method for recycling organics like yard trimmings and food scraps, which comprise nearly a quarter of municipal solid waste generated. According to the U.S. EPA, composting diverted 7.1 percent, or 16.9 million tons, of municipal solid waste from landfills in 2003. Nearly half of all U.S. states now ban yard waste from landfills because it represents such a large volume and because it can be productively composted. There are about 3,225 community composting operations nationwide.

Nearly all organic byproducts, including food scraps, leaves, grass, yard clippings, non-recyclable paper (paper towels, napkins, etc.) and sawdust and other wood products can be composted. More than 56 percent (16.1 million tons) of yard trimmings were recovered for composting in 2003. This is a fourfold increase since 1990. About 2.7 percent of discarded food scraps were recovered in 2003. Find out more at www.epa. gov/garbage.yard.htm.

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DECEMBER 2012


Cultural Connections: The Nutcracker Christmas is a magical time of year. People of every age look forward to it. In addition to Santa Claus and Christmas presents, many people eagerly await Christmas for the ballet. Ballet is a style of dance that has been around for hundreds of years. It uses specific movements and music to tell a story. Usually there are not any words in a ballet performance, but the dancers use costumes, music and movement to tell long and beautiful stories. The ballet that most people think about at Christmas is The Nutcracker. The Nutcracker was based on the story The Nutcracker and the Mouse King written by E.T.A. Hoffman. It first came out as a ballet in 1892 in Russia. The first time it was performed in America was 1944, and it has been popular ever since. The man who wrote the music was the famous Russian composer Tchaikovsky. The tale of The Nutcracker is about what happens to a family on Christmas Eve. In the story, while the family is sitting around the beautiful tree opening presents, Clara’s godfather comes in and gives the children life-like dolls he has made. He takes the dolls back after the children play to keep them safe and then brings out a little nutcracker that Clara loves. After everyone is in bed, Clara comes back out to the parlor to find the nutcracker she loves so much. When Clara gets to the room, the clock strikes midnight, and something

magical happens. She shrinks to the size of the nutcracker and finds herself in the middle of a battle between gingerbread soldiers, tin soldiers and dolls and the evil Mouse King, who has an army of mice. The Nutcracker leads the army of gingerbread men. Clara throws her slipper at the Mouse King. It distracts him long enough that the Nutcracker is able to stab him, and the army of mice retreats. After the battle, the Nutcracker turns into a handsome prince. He takes Clara into a nutshell boat pulled by dolphins as they travel to the Land of Sweets over which the Sugar Plum Fairy rules. The Prince tells everyone how Clara saved him from the Mouse King, so they have a celebration and a feast of sweets. Everybody dances, and finally the Prince and Clara are crowned the rulers of the Land of Sweets, and they live happily ever after. For years, people enjoyed watching this ballet right before Christmas. Happy and full of Christmas joy, lots of amazing dancing and tons of beautiful music, it is a great show for kids and adults and has been so popular that there are even movies and books made for people to watch and read all year round. Even though there is no Santa Claus or reindeer in a performance of The Nutcracker, it is a ballet that many consider a beautiful and classic Christmas tradition.

Find out more about the Nutcracker at www.nutcrackerballet.net.

DECEMBER 2012

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In Theaters The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey In Theaters: December 14

J.R.R. Tolkien’s classic children’s fantasy book makes it to the big screen by way of Peter Jackson, the same filmmaker who turned Tolkien’s popular Lord of the Rings trilogy into movies. Gandalf the Grey (Ian McKellen) visits the dwarf Bilbo Baggins to enroll him and 13 other dwarves on a journey to “reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor” from the dragon Smaug. Giant spiders, goblins, shapeshifters, sorcerers and talking animals lie in wait for the not-so-fearless crew. Of course, a meetup with the Gollum is on the menu for Bilbo, who could come into ownership of a very special gold ring that Gollum calls his “Precious.” Young readers might even be inspired to read Tolkien’s well-loved children’s book The Hobbit. Rated PG. 160 mins. (New Line Cinema/Warner Bros Pictures)

Monsters, Inc. 3D

In Theaters: December 19

The 2001 animated favorite Monsters, Inc. gets pushed through Disney•Pixar’s 3D machine in time for Christmas. In the town of Monstropolis, monsters of all kinds live at a safe distance from the human children they like to scare. Big, blue, furry Sulley (voiced by John Goodman) and his one-eyed pal Mike Wazowski (voiced by Billy Crystal) work at a scream-processing factory named Monsters Inc., where they harness the power of screams. But Sulley and Mike meet their match in a pint-sized girl named Boo (voiced by Mary Gibbs) after she follows Sulley inside Monstropolis. Rated G. 92 mins. (Disney•Pixar)

DECEMBER 2012

Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away 3D In Theaters: December 21 Here’s a chance for families to experience the legendary Cirque du Soleil in ways you could never imagine without seeing it. Andrew Adamson, the director of Shrek, takes you on a trip to a fantasy universe filled with acrobats dressed in strange costumes, performing all kinds of mid-air tricks. Mia (Erica Linz) is a visitor at an old-fashioned bigtent circus. Mia is curious about the trapeze artist. He sees her, too. The ground opens up and takes the love-at-first-sight couple down a tunnel to a dreamlike land of wild and beautiful mystery. You’ve never seen a movie, or a circus, like Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away 3D. Rated G. 97 mins. (Paramount Pictures)

Children’s DVDs The Odd Life of Timothy Green

Available December 4

The Odd Life of Timothy Green is the magical tale of a boy created out of love and hope. Jennifer Garner and Joel Edgerton play Cindy and Jim Green — a young married couple attempting to adopt a child. They tell their story about a 9-year-old boy named Timothy who mysteriously appeared in their garden after they planted a wooden box containing notes about what their perfect child would be like if they ever had one. Little Timothy is indeed the stuff of dreams. Leaves grow from his ankles. Newcomer CJ Adams is great as the boy who gives Cindy and Jim some very important lessons in parenting. Rated PG for mild language. 100 mins. (Disney)

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Exploring Nature!

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Match ch the storm type to its description description.

�� These storms forms when cold air moves down from Canada and hits the moist air over the Great Lakes and drops deep snow.

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These storms form from moist winds off the Pacific Ocean that hit the freezing temperatures of the Northwest and Rocky Mts. and drop heavy snow.

�� These storms form as warm, moist air moves up the Atlantic coast, cools and condenses into heavy clouds. When it hits the freezing temperatures, heavy snow falls.

What’s Missing?

C. Nor’easter B. Lake-effect Storm A. Blizzard

Circle 8 things that are different in the snowy scene on the right.

Snow storms come in many forms. If snow is light and doesn’t fall for long, it is called snow flurries. If it falls enough to leave snow on the ground, it is called snow showers. Short, intense snowfall with gusty wind is called a snow squall. If the wind makes the snow blinding and drifting, it is called blowing snow. If the wind is over 35 mile per hour and the blowing snow makes it impossible to see, it is a blizzard.

PAGE 18 - KIDSVILLE NEWS

1. fox switched direction, 2. weasel shortened tail, 3. hare missing ear, 4. pinecone missing, 5. small tree missing, 6. grass top missing, 7. top right snowflake different, 8. ptarmigan missing tail

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Exploringnature.org is an award-winning resource that inspires learning about science, conservation and the ���������������������������������������������������������� books and online resources. Explore outside today!

DECEMBER 2012


Build It, and the Universe Will Come “I have looked further into space than every human being did before me. I have observed stars of which the light, it can be proved, must take two million years to reach the earth.” William Herschel Born 1738 – died 1822 The Herschel Space Observatory was named for Frederick William Herschel. What did he do to deserve such an honor? Herschel was an astronomer, but he didn’t set out with that idea in mind. He was a musician and a composer. He played oboe, cello, violin, harpsichord and organ. He composed symphonies, concertos and church music. His music led him to become interested in mathematics and astronomy. He met an interesting new astronomer friend. Soon, Herschel was off and running, building his own telescopes. Herschel did such a good job building telescopes that when he looked through them, he saw things no one else had seen. He discovered and recorded hundreds of double and multiple star systems. Eventually, he built a “40-foot telescope” — 40 feet long, that is. Because it used a slightly different design from previous telescopes, it was called the Herschelian telescope. Herschel discovered the planet Uranus. He catalogued thousands of new objects. Later, Herschel discovered two new moons of Saturn and two new moons of Uranus. But perhaps his most important discovery is infrared light. Scientists knew that sunlight was composed of light of different wavelengths — or colors — like the colors you can see in a rainbow. But no one thought there was light that humans couldn’t see at all. A prism is a piece of glass that, when sunlight shines through, it is split into all the colors of the rainbow. This is called a spectrum. Herschel discovered that a thermometer held just beyond the red light at the very edge of the spectrum showed a higher temperature than any other part of the spectrum that he could see! He thus discovered infrared — or, beyond red — light! Drawing of Herschel’s The Herschel Space Observatory was giant (for the time) 40-foot (focal length) telescope. named for Frederick William Herschel because it is an infrared telescope. In space, infrared light shines through dusty, gassy clouds that visible light cannot get through. This telescope has made many new discoveries by examining the infrared universe. The Herschel Space Observatory is a mission of the European Space Agency, with important instrument technologies contributed by NASA. One fascinating study from Herschel data shows where our ocean may have come from. Read about it at http://spaceplace.nasa.gov/ comet-ocean. Regarding the quote from Herschel above, we have since seen light that has been traveling over 13 billion years! This article was written by Diane K. Fisher and provided through the courtesy of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under a contract with NASA.

DECEMBER 2012

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KIDSVILLE NEWS - PAGE 19


KIDSVILLE KITCHEN

Together Time — Ask an adult for help with projects!

Christmas Crunchies 2 lb. white chocolate bark or white chocolate 2 tbsp. vegetable oil 3 c. Wheat Chex 3 c. Rice Chex 3 c. Corn Chex 1/2 lb. sm. pretzels 1/2 lb. pretzel nubs 3 c. Crispix 10 oz. red & green M&M’s 10 oz. dried cherries Melt white chocolate bark in double boiler on low heat. Pour melted white chocolate over all other ingredients. Stir gently and spread on waxed paper. Break into pieces and store in covered containers.

PAGE 20 - KIDSVILLE NEWS

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DECEMBER 2012


DECEMBER 2012

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KIDSVILLE NEWS - PAGE 21


P ARENTOWN’S K ID S MAR T

Financial Planning Helps Manage Student Debt In an increasingly competitive global market, education is becoming more important. But many families find the cost of education to be outside their grasp. According to a study commissioned by the U.S. Department of Education, from the 2001-02 to the 2010-11 academic year, the cost of attending a 4-year undergraduate in-state school rose by 47.3 percent. With ever-increasing education expenses, many families are accumulating significant debt, putting students further behind. However, with planning and financial management, students can control their finances. Here are some tips for parents of soon-to-be college students. Start the conversation. Talk with other parents, teachers and guidance counselors about the cost of education. Make contact with the student financial aid offices of the colleges on your child’s list and get an accurate estimate of the cost of each institute. Most importantly, talk with your child. It is imperative your child learns the budgeting process as they will soon be managing his or her finances away from home. Set the budget and stick to it. Once you have a set budget, add wiggle room for other unforeseeable expenses. Make sure you set this budget realistically. Calculating the cost of pens and pencils may seem ludicrous, but if you’re on a tight budget, every expense counts. Get connected. Tracking your financial spending is easier than ever. From smart phone apps to free financial planning software, you can get an accurate financial report at any time. Research banks to determine which ones offer services to help you can stay on top of your budget. Also, consider linking your banking account with your child’s, to easily transfer funds online. Make a plan. When taking on debt, it is important to have a plan for paying it off. Calculate the monthly payments and time it will take your child to pay off the debt. Research salary ranges for the field in which your child plans to pursue a career to understand the debt he or she can realistically carry. Find more information and calculators to help determine payment schedules and interest rates at www.direct.ed.gov. Do your research. Before taking out a student loan, look to other options, such as financial aid and scholarships. While some scholarships are awarded on academic merit, others are given based upon both academic performance and community service. ForestersTM, a life insurance provider committed to the well-being of families and their communities, is one organization that provides a competitive scholarship program open to eligible members or their dependent children, including grandchildren, worth up to $8,000. Recipients can use the scholarship to attend accredited universities, colleges and vocational schools, as long as they are pursuing their first post-secondary degree or diploma. There are up to 350 Foresters Competitive Scholarships available, in the U.S. and Canada, including five Ken Peterson Awards for Community Service. These awards are worth up to $11,000. Learn more about the scholarship opportunities awarded by Foresters at www.foresters.com/membership/scholarships.asp.

PAGE 22 - KIDSVILLE NEWS

En un mercado mundial cada vez más competitivo, la educación está adquiriendo más y más importancia. Sin embargo muchas familias hallan el costo de la educación fuera de su alcance. Según un estudio conducido por el Departamento de Educación de Estados unidos, del año académico 02-2001 al 11-2010, el costo para asistir a una universidad estatal durante cuatro años aumentó en un 47,3 por ciento. Con los gastos de la educación siempre en aumento, muchas familias acumulan una deuda considerable, poniendo a los estudiantes en mayor desventaja. Sin embargo, con planificación y administración financiera, los estudiantes pueden controlar sus finanzas. A continuación algunos consejos para los padres de los futuros estudiantes universitarios. Inicie la conversación. Converse con otros padres, maestros y consejeros de orientación acerca del costo de la educación. Póngase en contacto con las oficinas de ayuda financiera para estudiantes de las universidades en la lista de su hijo y obtenga un estimado correcto del costo de cada instituto. Lo que es más importante, hable con su hijo. Es imprescindible que su hijo aprenda el proceso de preparar un presupuesto ya que muy pronto tendrá que administrar sus finanzas fuera del hogar. Establezca un presupuesto y ajústese al mismo. Una vez que tenga un presupuesto establecido, añada flexibilidad para otros gastos imprevisibles. Asegúrese de preparar este presupuesto de modo realista. El cálculo del costo de bolígrafos y lápices puede parecer ridículo, sin embargo si su presupuesto es limitado, todo gasto cuenta. Conéctese. Monitorear sus gastos financieros es más fácil que nunca. Desde las aplicaciones de los teléfonos inteligentes a software de planificación financiera gratuito, puede obtener un informe financiero correcto en cualquier momento. Haga una investigación en los bancos para determinar cuáles ofrecen servicios para ayudarle a mantenerse al tanto de su presupuesto. También, considere conectar su cuenta bancaria con la de su hijo, para transferir fondos online con facilidad. Haga un plan. Cuando se asume una deuda, es importante tener un plan para cancelarla. Calcule los pagos mensuales y el tiempo que le tomará a su hijo cancelar la deuda. Investigue las escalas de salario en el campo en el que su hijo planea seguir una carrera para comprender la deuda que pueden cumplir realísticamente. Puede encontrar más información y calculadores para ayudar a determinar los programas de pago y tasas de interés en, www.direct.ed.gov. Haga su investigación. Antes de sacar un préstamo de estudiante, fíjese en otras opciones, tales como ayuda financiera y becas. Aunque algunas becas se conceden en base al mérito académico, otras se conceden sobre la base tanto del rendimiento académico como de los servicios comunitarios. Foresters(TM), un proveedor de seguros de vida dedicado al bienestar de las familias y sus comunidades, es una organización que ofrece un programa de becas competitivas (1) abierto para los miembros elegibles y sus hijos dependientes, incluyendo los nietos, por un valor de hasta $8.000. Los beneficiarios pueden utilizar la beca para asistir a universidades acreditadas, colleges e institutos vocacionales, siempre y cuando estén estudiando para obtener su primer título o diploma post-escuela secundaria. Se ofrecen hasta 350 becas competitivas de Foresters, disponibles en Estados Unidos y Canadá incluyendo cinco Premios Ken Peterson a los servicios comunitarios. Estos premios tienen un valor de hasta $11.000. Para más información acerca de oportunidades de becas concedidas por Foresters visite, www.foresters.com/membership/scholarships.asp.

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DECEMBER 2012


P ARENTOWN’S K ID S HAPE

Toy Buying During the Holidays As Christmas approaches, buying the right toy is a big deal, but buying the safer toy is even more important. Consider these guidelines when choosing toys, and share them with anyone who may be buying gifts for children. Is it suited to your child’s developmental level? Most toys bear a “recommended age” sticker, which should be taken as a starting point in the selection process. Be realistic about a child’s abilities and level of maturity when choosing an age-appropriate toy. Toys that have projectiles, for example, are never suitable for a child under age 4 — and even some 6-year-olds aren’t mature enough to handle them. Likewise, if your 3-year-old still puts everything into his mouth, continue to steer clear of toys and games with small parts and pieces. Think big. Until a child turns three, toy parts should be bigger than his mouth to avoid the possibility of choking. To determine whether a toy poses a choking risk, try fitting it through a toilet paper roll. If a toy or part of a toy can fit inside the cylinder, it’s not safe. Is the toy too heavy? Could your baby be harmed if it fell on him? If so, pass. Look for toys that are well put together. Make sure tails are securely sewn, seams of stuffed animals are reinforced and paint is not peeling. Stuffed animals should also be free of buttons, yarn, ribbons and anything else a child could yank off and put in her mouth. Is your child physically ready for this toy? For example, parents of older kids may buy a bike one size too big so as not to have to buy a new bike the

next year. This tactic can lead to serious injury if a child doesn’t have the physical skills to control the bigger bike. Is the toy in good condition? Used toys passed down from older relatives or siblings or bought at yard sales can be worn or frayed, which can sometimes pose a danger. Examine all new or used toys for buttons, batteries, ribbons, eyes, beads, and plastic appendages that could easily be chewed or snapped off. Does the toy have a string or cord longer than 12 inches? A cord can too easily be wrapped around a young child’s neck, causing strangulation. Once your child can climb up on his hands and knees, remove crib gyms and hanging mobiles from his crib. Be particularly vigilant about older toys. For example, an older model of a popular play kitchen may have a phone attached with a potentially deadly cord, while the latest model of the same kitchen has the more current and safer cordless phone. Does the toy use small magnets? In 2007, the Consumer Product Safety Commission named magnets the number one hidden home hazard. Small, powerful magnets are often used in toys and may fall out of the toy and be swallowed by a child. Two or more swallowed magnets (or a magnet and a metal object) can be attracted to each other through intestinal walls, causing twisting and pinching of the intestines, holes, blockages, infection and worse if not discovered and treated promptly. As of August 2007, one death and 86 injuries from magnets had been reported to the CPSC, and 8 million magnetic toys had been recalled. The agency recommends keeping toys with magnets away from kids under 6 years old.

Source: Babycenter.com

DECEMBER 2012

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KIDSVILLE NEWS - PAGE 23


December 2012 - KV  

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