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Dear Kids, It’s May, and that means Mother’s Day! What are you going to do with your Mom on her special day? Maybe make her breakfast in bed, or have a cookout to celebrate? May is “Get Caught Reading Month,” so you could also spend some time reading together. You could share your copy of Kidsville News! I love the outdoors and spring, so I like to do something special with my mom outside, like go for a hike, or visit a zoo. Have you ever wondered what it’s like to take care of zoo animals? This month, I talked with Doc Rives. He’s a veterinarian at Wild Safari Animal Park, and he has a great job! Remember, for fun and games all month, visit the Kidsville News! website at Have a magnificent May! Your friend,

Copyright ©2011 by Kidsville News! Incorporated. All rights reserved. No part of this issue may be reproduced in whole or in part in any form without permission of the publisher or copyright holder. Neither participating advertisers nor the publishers will be responsible or liable for misinformation, misprints or typographical errors. The publishers reserve the right to edit any submitted material. Kidsville News! Incorporated is not responsible for unsolicited manuscripts, artwork, or other material. Children’s submissions should include name, address, telephone number, and permission to publish signed by a parent or guardian.

MAY 2011



Kidsville News!


Happy Mother’s Day! It’s time to say “I love you” to your mom! Of course, you probably say that every day, or even twice a day! But Mother’s Day is a special day just for Mom. How do you celebrate Mother’s Day? Maybe you make your mom a special card or a delicious breakfast, or pick her a bouquet of flowers. However you say it, be sure to say “Happy Mother’s Day” on Sunday, May 8. History of Mother’s Day Mother’s Day is celebrated on the second Sunday of May each year. The earliest Mother’s Day celebrations were held in ancient Greece in honor of Rhea, the mother of the Gods. During the 1600s in England, Mothering Sunday was held on the 4th Sunday of Lent (the 40-day period leading up to Easter). Back then, many people in England worked as servants for wealthy people. Most of their jobs were far away from their homes, and they didn’t have good transportation then, so the servants lived at the houses of the employers. On Mothering Sunday, the servants would have the day off and were able to spend the day with their own families and their mothers. Sometimes they even made a special cake, called the mothering cake, to celebrate the occasion. As the Christian religion spread throughout Europe, the celebration changed to honor the Mother Church. Over time, the church festival blended with the Mothering Sunday celebration, and they once again honored their mothers on this day. In the United States, Mother’s Day was first suggested by Julia Ward Howe in 1872. Ms. Howe wrote the words to the “Battle Hymn of the Republic.” She wanted the day to be dedicated to peace and organized Mother’s Day meetings in Boston, MA, every year. Later, in 1907, Ana Jarvis campaigned to establish a national Mother’s Day. She persuaded her mother’s church in Grafton, WV, to celebrate Mother’s Day on the second anniversary of her mother’s death, the second Sunday of May. The following year, Mothers Day was also celebrated in Ms. Jarvis’s home city of Philadelphia. There are lots of special days in May to show appreciation for the people that work at your school! May 1 is School Principals’ Day, May 2 is National Teacher’s Day, and May 11 is School Nurse Day. Teacher Appreciation Week


She and her supporters wrote to ministers, businessmen and politicians. This campaign was successful, and by 1911, Mother’s Day was celebrated in almost every state of the United States. In 1914, President Woodrow Wilson made the official announcement proclaiming Mother’s Day as a national holiday to be held each year on the second Sunday of May. The countries of Australia, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Italy and Turkey also celebrate Mother’s Day on this day. Ideas to Celebrate Here are just a few ideas on how to celebrate Mother’s Day! There are lots of things that you can do that don’t involve money and a trip to the mall. • Make a handmade card. A handmade card will mean more to your mom than a store-bought one. But take your time and do your best. Put some love and effort into it, and tell your mom how much she means to you. Decorate it with glitter paint, crayons, ribbon or whatever you have on hand. • May is Bike Month, so how about a Sunday afternoon bike ride with your mom? Tell her that for Mother’s Day, you’d like to spend some time doing something fun together, like a bike ride! • Picnic! How about packing a picnic to take along on your bike ride? Ride to a neighborhood park and have a picnic. But to make it extra special and easy for your mom, YOU pack the picnic (or at least help!). • Start a new tradition. Maybe it’s making breakfast in bed for your mom, buying her a new rose bush every year or having a family cookout on Mother’s Day. Traditions are something that you continue every year, and your mom will look forward to them. • Be extra sweet. No matter how you celebrate Mother’s Day, remember that actions speak louder than words. Be sweet, treat your mother with love and respect and do what you are asked! Make it a stress-free Mother’s Day, and your mom is sure to have a great day that the whole family will enjoy! begins May 1, and School Support Staff Week begins May 22. Say “Thank you” to the special people at your school! Limerick Day is May 12. It is celebrated on the birthday of author Edward Lear, who was born in 1812. He loved the limerick! The limerick is a poem with five lines. Lines one, two and five usually rhyme and have a distinctive rhyme and rhthym pattern. See to learn how to write one. Then send it to me!


MAY 2011




The first day of May has been celebrated since ancient times. The ancient Romans used to offer flowers to their goddess of spring. As they traveled the world, they brought their spring festival with them. In England, people gathered flowers and tree branches to decorate their homes. A Maypole with streamers was made in the middle of the town. Dancers held the streamers and danced around the pole, weaving the streamers into patterns. Later, May Day became a holiday for workers. Many countries now celebrate it as a labor day.


You’ve probably heard of the holiday Cinco de Mayo or 5th of May. This is a national holiday in Mexico recognizing May 5, 1862. This was the day that the Mexican Army, which was outnumbered three to one, defeated invading French forces at the city of Puebla. To celebrate this day, Mexicans have parades and festivals with dancing, music and food. In the United States, the holiday is a day to celebrate Mexican heritage.



On May 14, windmills are celebrated in the Netherlands. On National Windmill Day, as many windmills as possible are in operation. There are about 950 windmills in the Netherlands. Three hundred of them are still used occasionally, and some of those have been named national monuments. Windmills are sometimes used to generate electricity and to pump water over the dikes. This is necessary so that the land is farmable and not flooded by seawater.


Did you know May 23 is World Tortoise Day? It’s a day sponsored by the American Tortoise Rescue to bring awareness to turtles and tortoises and help protect their habitats. Tortoises are much like turtles. Both animals are reptiles with shells that they can hide in. Tortoises are a little different from turtles because tortoises do not live in the water Kingdom: Animalia and always stay on land. Tortoises eat green leafy plants, like alfalfa, Phylum: Chordata clover and dandelions. There are 40 species of tortoise, and they live mostly in Africa and Class: Reptilia Madagascar. Some are found in southern Europe and North America. Order: Testudines Turtles and tortoises are ancient life forms. The earliest fossils Family: Testudinoidea recognized as turtles date from the Triassic Period, about 220 million years ago, even before the dinosaurs! All tortoises have domed shells and large hind legs. North American tortoises are called gopher tortoises because they burrow in the ground. They are found in desert areas like New Mexico. Giant tortoises live in Africa and the Galapagos Islands. These animals are rare — some species are even extinct (meaning not around anymore). They can weigh up to 700 pounds! Tortoises also have very long lives. Harriet, shown here, was a giant Galapagos tortoise. Sir Charles Darwin collected Harriet from the island of Santa Cruz in the Galapagos and took her back to England for scientific research, and then she was given to the zoo. She lived at the Australia Zoo until her death in 2006. It was believed that she was born in 1830, which would make her 176 years old when she died. Most tortoises are on the endangered species list, which means that they are in danger of becoming extinct. When an animal is extinct, it is gone from our world forever. Photo at right: Harriet, taken by Cory Doctrow at Australia Zoo. Sources: Brittanica Student Encyclopedia; Wikipedia,; Phoenix Zoo,; Australia Zoo,

MAY 2011




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! If you take out your globe and locate longitude 34° 45’ E, latitude 31° 30' N, you will find the relatively young country of Israel in the Middle East, situated between Egypt and Lebanon and bordering the Mediterranean Sea. About the size of the U.S. state of New Jersey, Israel’s terrain consists of a low coastal plain, mountains and the large Jordan Rift Valley and the Negev Desert in the south. The climate is temperate, though hot and dry in the desert areas. About 7.5 million Israelis live in Israel, and the official language is Hebrew, though Arabic and English are also used. About 75% of Israel’s citizens are of the Jewish faith; the remaining citizenry are primarily of the Muslim religion. The area is also known as the Holy Land and is holy to many religions, including Judaism, Christianity, Islam and the Bahá’í Faith. While Israel has limited natural resources, agricultural products, cut diamonds and high-technology equipment are its leading exports. The area has endured difficult times and frequent conflicts over sovereignty –– who “owns” and may be allowed to live in the land. On May 14, 1948, the Jewish Agency declared its independence from the League of Nations’ British Mandate of Palestine. They named the country Israel, making it only 63 years old this year. Although Israel named Jerusalem as its capital in 1950, all other countries maintain their embassies in Tel Aviv. Israel celebrates its Independence Day, or Yom Ha'atzmaut in Hebrew, this month, but it isn’t always celebrated in May! The Jewish calendar is lunar; that is, each month begins in the new moon, so the holiday may occur in April or May. This year, Israel’s Independence Day is Monday, May 9, but according to the Jewish calendar, a holiday begins at sunset the day before, so observing Jews will actually celebrate at sunset on Sunday, May 8. Since it is a formal holiday, almost everyone enjoys a day off. During a ceremony a few minutes after sundown on Mount Herzl in Jerusalem, the Israeli flag is raised from half-staff (for Memorial Day), followed by the president’s speech and military parades. A torch lighting (hadlakat masuot) ceremony follows, marking Israel’s achievements in all aspects of life. Israelis then celebrate their independence in various ways, including nighttime festivities in cities, free public shows, Israeli folk dancing and singing, hikes and picnics. Yom Ha'atzmaut ends with a ceremony during which individual Israelis are recognized with the “Israel Prize” for their contributions to Israeli arts, culture, humanities and science.

Sources: “Israel,” CIA – The World Factbook,; Jewish Holidays,; “When is Israel’s Independence Day 2011,”; “Yom Ha-Atzmaut, Israeli Independence Day,” Judaism/yomhaatzmaut.html.


It’s Tennis Month! Get a QuickStart! Love. Serve. Rally. What is all this racquet? It’s all part of tennis! May is Tennis Month, so it’s a great time to learn a little bit about this sport. While it does involve a ball, tennis is a sport like no other. The rules are very important in tennis and can be a little difficult to understand at first. The purpose of the game is to score more points than your opponent. You do this by using a tennis racquet to hit the tennis ball to strategic locations on the opposite side of the court so that your opponent isn’t able to return the shot. It involves a lot of running back and forth and quick reflexes to hit the ball. The US Tennis Association has introduced 10 and Under Tennis. Using the QuickStart Tennis play format, it takes a new approach to introducing kids to the game. Balls are lower in compression; they bounce lower and don’t move as fast so they are easier to hit. This allows kids time to get to the ball and helps them develop swing patterns. Racquets are sized for small hands, and the courts are smaller and easier to cover. Tennis requires at least two people, but can also be played with four people — that’s called “doubles.” The sport is played on a court with a net that goes across the middle. There are two types of courts. The quick-start court measures about 36 feet. The difference between the two is that the quick-start


courts do not have doubles alleys, so boundaries are different. The quick-start courts are usually used by kids under the age of eight. The standard court is used for older kids, who are playing with traditional scoring. To put the ball in play, one person serves the ball from behind the baseline. This person is called the “server,” and the person on the opposite side of the net is called the “receiver.” When you serve the ball you get two attempts to get the ball across the net. If you fail twice, a point is awarded to your opponent. If the server steps on the line while serving, that is called a “foot fault” and he must try again. Scoring in tennis is a little hard to understand. It’s best to watch a match, or watch the game played on TV. Tennis players play a match, which is comprised of sets, which consist of games. Games are made up of points. For the quick-start court, the player who earns seven points first wins the game. This type of scoring system is used for kids 10-and-under. The player, who wins two sets wins the match. In this type of scoring, kids do not use the traditional 15-love scoring method that is used in adult play. Kids use a simple 1-2-3 point pattern for every serve. The first player serves for two points, then his opponent serves for two points, they then switch sides. They keep alternating until one player reaches seven points. In quickstart tennis there is no deuce and players do not need to win a game by two points. If you like to hit the ball around the driveway or court, or think you might, ask your gym instructor for ideas on where to learn how to play. There are also special kids’ tennis camps and there’s probably one in your area. To learn more about tennis, visit the US Tennis Association’s websites at and Sources: USTA,


MAY 2011

A ZOO ANIMAL VETERINARIAN? I love animals, and spring is a great time to take a trip to the zoo. Have you ever wondered what it’s like to work with all of those amazing, exotic animals? This month, I talked with Dr. William Rives. He’s the Director and Chief Veterinarian at Six Flags Wild Safari Animal Park. It’s the largest drive-thru safari outside of Africa. This 350-acre wildlife preserve is home to more than 1,200 exotic animals, including several endangered species. Doc Rives took the time to tell me all about what it’s like to be a big animal veterinarian.

TRUMAN: What does it take to become a veterinarian?

your job?

DOC RIVES: It takes, on average, a total of eight years of college in order to become a veterinarian. That’s four years in undergraduate studies — preferably in an animal-related discipline such as biology, zoology, animal science, etc. — and four years of veterinary school. The veterinary profession is still the most difficult to get into because of the limited number of vet schools in the U.S. And the class sizes are less than 100 per year per Above: Doc Rives (on the right) with brown bear school, so it is an cubs.To the right: Doc Rives checking out an extremely competi elephant. How would you like to have your hand tive field to enter. in that mouth? Most successful applicants are highly motivated, in the top of their class and animalloving individuals. A general grade point average, starting in high school, should be a 3.5 and higher.

DOC RIVES: Deciding when, how or if to intervene in helping animals that are just not “quite themselves” according to the wardens (and the animals just can’t tell us “Doc my stomach hurts!”). The wardens know the animals better than anyone else and are able to pick up any slight change in behavior, which is always a potential sign of illness or discomfort. Some of these animals, in order to get more diagnostic information, need to be tranquilized so we can safely get our hands on them to perform a thorough physical exam. But tranquilizing animals can be very risky and dangerous for the animal, so we have to be careful in making the right decision when we intervene, as we don’t want to make matters worse.

TRUMAN: When and why did you first become interested in this profession ? DOC RIVES: I officially became interested in becoming a veterinarian during my sophomore year in high school. My biology teacher encouraged me to pursue a career as a vet as he knew I had a strong passion for animals and loved science. However, my love and fascination for zoo animals began when I was very young, like kindergarten or first grade. I never missed an episode of Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom on Sunday evenings. After I saw the Ringling Brothers Circus in Madison Square Garden when I was nine years old, I was hooked forever.

TRUMAN: What’s the best part of your job? DOC RIVES: The reward is seeing healthy animals romping in the park. It’s knowing all of our hard work has made a positive impact on our animals’ lives, either through individual treatments or as a result of our overall park preventative medical program. TRUMAN: What’s the strangest thing that has happened to you as a veterinarian? DOC RIVES: Once, we tranquilized a female baboon to look at a swelling alongside her mouth. We found just a nice collection of small shiny rocks. This habit of “collecting” objects in her mouth was something that she eventually passed on to her offspring, once she was fortunate enough to have her own babies. TRUMAN: Are you ever afraid of the animals you work with?

TRUMAN: What do you do every day? Describe a typical day on the “job.”

DOC RIVES: I have never been afraid, but always respectful because every animal in the park can potentially injure you.

DOC RIVES: The greatest thing about my job is every day is different. You never know what surprises await in the morning. There really is not a typical day, but in general, we do have an outline for how we would like the day to go. It usually starts with treating and caring for any animals that are in the hospital, followed by arranging daily medications with the warden/keeper staff. That’s followed by morning veterinary rounds in which we look at every animal possible in our vast collection, with an emphasis on the animals that are already being treated. After rounds, any scheduled procedures such as foot trims, immobilizations, health checks, surgeries and radiographs (X-rays) are performed. The afternoon is occupied with staff meetings to discuss any and all animal issues, whether medical or husbandry related. By the end of the day, we do our evening vet rounds and do a review of the animal cases and plan any appropriate future procedures.

TRUMAN: What is your favorite animal at Wild Safari?

TRUMAN: Wow, that sounds like a busy day. What’s the hardest part of

MAY 2011

DOC RIVES: This is a tough one. I have a lot of favorites, but probably number one today would be Crabtree, one of our female Siberian tigers. TRUMAN: What is your favorite thing to do when you are not working? DOC RIVES: Being with my family is my favorite thing to do when I am not at the park. TRUMAN: What advice would you give to kids who are interested in becoming a veterinarian? DOC RIVES: Work hard in school in every subject and try to learn as much as possible every day. But make sure you balance the academics with your hobbies by making sure you take the time to do the fun things you enjoy doing. We learn much better when we are happy. TRUMAN: Thanks for sharing with us what it’s like to be a veterinarian. It sounds awesome to work with zoo animals!



May Word Find

Mad May Math

Fill in the missing numbers in this math square. Use the numbers 1 through 9. Each number is used only once. Each row and each column is a math equation. Remember: Multiplication and division are performed before addition and subtraction.

Find the hidden words in the puzzle that relate to the month of May. BABY BLOOMING CHILD CINCO DE MAYO




Planet Earth Trivia Every couple of years, Earth, Mars and the Sun line up. It is called opposition.

planet e third h t s i h Eart . he Sun from t




is 4.6 The Earth rs old. billion yea

70 per cent of the Earth i s cover ed in water.














There are about 7 billion people living on our planet. The surface area of planet Earth is 197 million square miles.

The Earth’s atmosphere is mostly oxygen and Source: nitrogren. Source:

Answers: 1. food 2. sprinkler 3. roots 4. insects



MAY 2011

Coloring Corner Celebrate National Hamburger Month. Color in this picture to create your own masterpiece.

Image: Truman Tru-

Truman’s Tricky Picture

Find these items! Be sure to find Truman’s hat!

MAY 2011



Remembering Our Country’s Heroes at Memorial Day y If you think that Memorial Day is just the day when public pools open and families gather for picnics and stores have giant sales, you need to think again. Memorial Day is actually a solemn holiday that started shortly after the Civil War in the United States. It commemorates the men and women who died while in military service. Memorial Day was previously known as Decoration Day. It was declared a Federal Holiday in 1971 by President Richard Nixon. The traditional Memorial Day holiday is May 30; however, it is observed on the last Monday of May. Back in the 1800s, people wanted to find a way to honor those who had given their lives in battle, so they decorated the graves of those lost in the Civil War. There are many traditional observances on Memorial Day. Visits to cemeteries and memorials are made across the country. Volunteers often place American flags on the graves of fallen veterans. A national moment of remembrance takes place at 3 p.m., and the president visits Arlington National Cemetery. Flags around the country are also flown at half-mast from dawn until noon as an honor to lost heroes. Some towns host Memorial Day parades and other fanfare. The National Memorial Day Concert takes place on the west lawn of the United States Capitol. Music is performed, and respect is paid to the men and women who gave their lives for their country. Although it’s a solemn holiday for some, Memorial Day isn’t supposed to be sad all the time, and it’s okay to enjoy a family get-together. But if your family prays before digging into the potato salad, remember those who gave their lives so you could be free. Because that’s what Memorial Day is all about. Source:

MAY 2011



The Celebrity Comet Comet Tempel 1 has received more attention than any other comet in the universe — as far as we know! On July 4, 2005, a spacecraft named Deep Impact released an 820-pound probe right into its path — on purpose. The impact made a crater on the comet’s surface and sent a plume of comet dust into space. Meanwhile, the Deep Impact flyby spacecraft took pictures from below. Other instruments studied the dust plume to figure out what the comet was made of. But there was so much dust, the spacecraft couldn’t see the crater Comet Tempel 1 as seen by Deep Impact (left) on July the impactor 4, 2005, and Stardust-NeXT (right) on February 14, 2011. The dashed lines point to the same two craters. had left. Too bad. (The Deep Impact crater is just above the bottom of the But wait! two large craters.) Another spacecraft, called Stardust, had finished its mission at another comet, called Wild 2. Stardust still had lots of pep and no place to go. “Let’s put Stardust back to work,” the NASA scientists said. So they planned another mission for Stardust, now called Stardust-NExT (for New Exploration of Tempel 1). It would have another look at Comet Tempel 1, which had finished its trip around the Sun since its meeting with Deep Impact. So, on February 14, 2011, NASA again met Comet Tempel 1. By this time, Tempel 1 was a little older and a little more “worn out.” Like all comets, when it was closest to the Sun in its orbit, it had warmed up, and some of its surface had evaporated, creating the comet’s coma and tail. Stardust-NExT found the 500-foot crater left by Deep Impact. Scientists are studying the crater’s rim to see if it’s a little worn down. The blasted-out material had settled into a mound in the center of the crater. Other formations had also changed. Scientists are studying the information from the two missions to Comet Tempel 1. What else will they discover about comets? The Space Place has lots of fun facts, games and puzzles about comets and NASA’s comet missions. Go to spaceplace. and enter “comets” in the “Find it @ Space Place” field. This article was written by Diane K. Fisher. It was provided by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under a contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

MAY 2011



Art Gallery Thomas Gainsborough: The Master of the Portrait Thomas Gainsborough was an 18th-century portrait tunity for Thomas to study the paintings of Sir Anthony van Dyck, who had painted and landscape painter. He is one of the most famous English famous portraits of the English and Scottish King Charles I and his family. Thomas’ portrait artists in history. style grew stronger and more skilled with his studies. In 1761, he started submitting Thomas Gainsborough was born on or just before May paintings to major art exhibitions in London. With this, he became famous throughout 14, 1727, the date when he was baptized. He spent his England, and Thomas was honored with an invitation to become a founding member childhood in Sudbury, a small town of the Royal Academy of Arts. about 60 miles away from London, In the mid-1770s, Thomas moved to England. His family was very artisLondon. As his fame grew, he started painting tic; in fact, Thomas’ father was a portraits of royals, like the Duke and Duchess weaver who made and sold wool of Cumberland. Soon, he painted a portrait of items. Thomas developed his drawKing George III and became a favorite artist ing skills at an early age. When he of the royal family. However, his first love was was 13, his father allowed him to still landscape painting. As he grew older, he go to London to study art. There returned to painting simple landscape scenes, he worked with several which made him one of the best-known artists artists and helped paint public in the 18th-century British landscape school. works for places like the Thomas Thomas died on August 2, 1788. His Coram Foundation for Children, childhood home now serves as the official A portrait by Gainsborough titled Mr. and Mrs. one of the oldest children’s charities Thomas Gainsborough museum and gallery, Andrews (1748-49). National Gallery, London. in Great Britain. and his paintings hang in museums throughout During his early career, Thomas painted mostly landscape the world. Written by Tamar Burris, a former elementary school teacher who now works as scenes. However, these were difficult to sell. So in 1748, he moved back to his homea freelance writer and curriculum developer for PBS, the Discovery Channel and other town of Sudbury and began painting portraits of people. There he painted his first education-related companies. Sources: Gainsborough’s House: Thomas Gainsborough known masterpiece. Called Mr. and Mrs. Andrews, the portrait of a couple now hangs Biography,; Thomas Gainsborough, in the National Gallery in London. The Complete Works,; Thomas In the early 1950s, Thomas moved to the town of Ipswich, where he earned more Gainsborough on Wikipedia, money for his portraits. Because he was interested in improving his painting techniques and making more of a name for himself, Thomas moved to the upscale city of Bath a few years later. Bath offered higher-paying customers as well as an oppor-



MAY 2011

Conservation o r n e r Go Green with All-natural Baking Soda

Going green often means making little lifestyle changes to improve the planet. Limiting the use of chemical products in everyday life can reduce their harmful impact on the world. There are many items, like vinegar and baking soda, that can replace harmful chemicals for cleaning and other purposes. In a traditional sense, baking soda, or sodium bicarbonate, is a leavening agent used in baking. Beyond cookies and cakes, baking soda has a number of useful purposes. It is all-natural and can be ingested, so it can be used safely. Here is a look at some of the other ways to put baking soda to use. • Mouthwash: Mix a glass of water with one teaspoon of baking soda. Swish and spit out the solution, then rinse. • Deodorant: Pat baking soda under the arms for a natural body odor deterrent. • Itch remedy: Shake baking soda onto the hand and pat it on damp skin after a shower. • Deodorize: Sprinkle baking soda on carpets before vacuuming. Keep a box in the refrigerator or closet to absorb stinky smells. • Soft scrub: Sprinkle baking soda on a clean, damp sponge. Use it to scour tiles, sinks, tubs and counters. Rinse and wipe dry. • Gentle baby-clothes cleaner: Soak baby items in water and 1/2 cup baking soda for a gentle cleaner. • Vegetable wash: A food-safe way to clean dirt and residue off of fresh vegetables and fruit is to sprinkle baking soda on a clean, damp sponge, scrub and rinse. Source:

MAY 2011




Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (In Theaters: May 20) The mythical Fountain of Youth presents a dangerous and romantic adventure for Johnny Depp’s crafty pirate, Captain Jack Sparrow. Captain Jack encounters a beautiful woman from his past, Angelica (played by Penelope Cruz), who takes him aboard Blackbeard’s fabled ship, Queen Anne’s Revenge. However, Jack is intent on tracking down his lost ship, the Black Pearl. Ian McShane does honors as the dastardly pirate Blackbeard. Geoffrey Rush returns as the grizzled revenge-minded pirate Barbossa. Zombies and a long-tailed mermaid contribute to this watery voyage. Produced by Jerry Bruckheimer and directed by Rob Marshall, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides sets the summer blockbuster movie season to sail. Not Rated at Press Time. (Walt Disney Pictures) The Lion of Judah (In Theaters: May 20) This Easter-set animated children’s movie is a religion-based story about a group of animals attempting to avoid the sacrificial altar during the week before the crucifixion of Christ. Judah (voiced by Georgina Cordova) is a fearless young lamb who enjoys spending time with his farm stable buddies. Horace the pig (Omar Benson Miller), a sensitive horse named Monty (Anupam Kher), a dancing rooster called Drake (Alphonso McAuley), a rat called Slink (Ernest Borgnine) and a donkey known as Jack (Scott Eastwood) are some of the animals who join Judah on his journey from Bethlehem to the great temple in Jerusalem, and beyond. Biblical accounts of Palm Sunday inform the story that covers the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Rated PG for some mild thematic elements. (Rocky Mountain Pictures)


Kung Fu Panda 2 (In Theaters: May 26) Jack Black takes another go at giving voice to the chubby kung fu panda Po, also known as the Dragon Warrior, in this animated martial arts sequel. Since the first movie ended, Po has found his place in China’s Valley of Peace, where he lives with the group of kung fu experts known as the Furious Five — the Tigress, Crane, Mantis, Viper and Monkey. Trouble comes with the arrival of a powerful villain with plans to take over China and crush kung fu once and for all. Po and his five companions must travel across China to do battle with their frightening rival. Po will have to look toward his past to find the answers he needs to defeat his fierce opponent. The film’s all-star cast of vocal talent includes Angelina Jolie, Dustin Hoffman, Gary Oldman, Jackie Chan, Seth Rogan, David Cross, Lucy Liu and Michelle Yeoh. Animation artist Jennifer Yuh makes her feature-film directing debut with a flamboyant movie that should be fun for kids of all ages. Rated PG for sequences of martial arts action and mild violence. (Dreamworks) MOVIES ON DVD The Adventures of Tom Thumb and Thumbelina (Available May 3) Thumbelina (voiced by Jennifer Love Hewitt) and Tom Thumb (Elijah Wood) are two tiny children living in a peaceful forest kingdom. The pair are kidnapped by an evil circus owner with big plans for the tiny people. Tom Thumb escapes, but Thumbelina isn’t so lucky. The miniature girl is made to perform a trapeze act in the circus opposite a monkey and a rat until she, too, escapes. It isn’t long before fate reunites Tom and Thumbelina even as moles and insects pursue them. The Adventures of Tom Thumb and Thumbelina is an animated movie that combines characters from two classic fairy tales to create a musical children’s adventure. Peter Gallagher and Jon Stewart contribute voices to the escapades. Rated G. 75 mins. (Echo Bridge Home Entertainment) Cole Smithey, also known as “the smartest film critic in the world,” has been a film critic for 11 years and writes for over 50 publications, in print and on-line. Truman loves to watch movies and has the highest appreciation for great popcorn.


MAY 2011


Together Time — Ask an adult for help with projects!

Fun Ways to Fiber Up! Fiber is something everybody needs to be healthy. Why is fiber so important for kids? Fiber helps keep kids healthy by helping to keep the digestive system healthy so it can absorb nutrients and turn food into energy! Here are some yummy ways to enjoy eating some nutritious foods that have fiber. • Snack on an apple or pear (leave the peel on!). • Make homemade trail mix with higher-fiber whole-grain cereal, raisins and nuts. (Try the Pick-a-Mix recipe below.) • Make sandwiches on higher fiber, whole-wheat bread piled with sliced veggies.

PICK-A-MIX Mix and match ingredients for a custom blend. WHAT YOU NEED: • 4 cups Kellogg’s Frosted Mini-Wheats cereal (Maple & Brown Sugar, Strawberry Delight, Bite Size or Cinnamon Streusel Bite Size) • 1 cup miniature pretzel twists, corn chips or dry-roasted mixed nuts • 1/2 cup candycoated chocolate pieces, chocolatecovered almonds, chocolate-covered peanuts, cookies-andcream candy bites, semi-sweet chocolate morsels or butterscotch morsels • 1/2 cup dried cherries, dried cranberries, dried mixed fruit bits, dried pineapple pieces or raisins HOW TO MAKE IT: 1. Toss together all ingredients. Store in airtight container. Done! For more fun recipes, visit Recipe courtesy of Kellogg’s and Family Features.



MAY 2011

MAY 2011





Early Financial Education Offers Better Security Later

Una Temprana Educación Financiera Ofrece Mejor Seguridad en el Futuro

Recent studies about Americans’ retirement-saving behavior point to an alarming trend: Americans of all ages, ethnicities and social groups are not sufficiently saving for their retirement. “Most personal financial experts agree that when people reach their mid-30s, they should be already saving for retirement,” said Suzanne Poole, executive vice president, retail sales strategy and distribution, TD Bank. “However, according to a financial literacy poll TD Bank conducted this summer, a major reason for poor retirement planning and lack of financial literacy in general by consumers is the absence of financial education at an early age.” TD Bank surveyed 2,160 consumers in the northeast, Florida and mid-Atlantic. About 81 percent of those surveyed wished they would have started saving earlier, and about 55 percent of them feel they were definitely not taught enough when young. Here are a few suggestions for parents wondering what they can do to teach children to manage money and understand the importance of saving: * Become a role model. According to TD Bank’s survey, more than one-quarter of consumers struggled to identify any financial role models. Parents need to do their best to have their finances in order. Once they do, they should sit down with their kids to go over the process of balancing bank accounts and developing a household budget. * Use a piggy bank. Saving coins in a piggy bank is one of the most basic tools parents can use at home to begin teaching their kids about saving. * Take kids to the bank. Visiting a bank should not be for adults only. Many financial institutions have unique features inside their locations that can make banking fun for kids. * Open a savings account. One of the best ways to teach children healthy financial literacy skills is to go through the process with them of opening their first savings account, making their first deposit and explaining to them what all of it means. * Enroll in financial literacy programs. With thorough research, parents can find programs in their area that offer financial literacy training. They should first check with the schools their children attend and their local library. After that, parents may consider finding out if their bank offers such a program. For example, TD offers a program named “WOW! Zone” that helps children ages 5-18 develop strong financial skills. It is available online at Trained bank instructors are also available to visit schools and after-school and weekend programs for free. Source: NewsUSA and TD Bank.

Estudios recientes sobre el comportamiento de los Americanos con sus ahorros de retiro apuntan a una tendencia alarmante: Americanos de todas las edades, grupos étnicos y sociales no están ahorrado lo suficiente para su retiro. “La mayoría de los expertos financieros personales están de acuerdo en que cuando una persona llega a los 30 años deben de empezar a ahorrar para su retiro,” dijo Suzanne Poole, vice-presidenta ejecutiva, estrategia y distribución de las ventas al por menor, TD Bank. “Sin embargo, según una encuesta de la instrucción financiera que TD Bank condujo este verano, la razón principal de la mediocridad del planeamiento de retiro y la falta de instrucción financiera del consumidor en general, es la falta de educación financiera a una temprana edad.” TD Bank examino a 2,160 consumidores en el nordeste, Florida y Medio-Atlántico. Cera de 81% de los examinados desearon haber comenzado sus ahorros antes, y el 55% sienten que no les enseñaron lo suficiente a temprana edad. Aquí hay unas sugerencias para los padres que se preguntan que pueden hacer para enseñarles a sus hijos a manejar su dinero y a entender la importancia de ahorrar: • Conviértete en el ejemplo, según la encuesta de TD Bank, más de una cuarta parte de los consumidores tuvieron problemas al identificar un ejemplo financiero. Los padres tienen que esforzarse por mantener sus finanzas en orden, una vez que lo logren, deben de sentarse con sus hijos y repasar el proceso de equilibrar las cuentas bancarias y desarrollar un plan financiero para la casa. • Utilice una alcancía. Ahorrar monedas en una alcancía es una de las herramientas más básicas que los padres pueden usar en casa para empezar a enseñar a sus hijos sobre el ahorro. • Lleve a los niños al banco. Visitar el banco no debe de ser solo de adultos. Muchas instituciones financieras tienen características únicas en sus localidades que puede hacer las transacciones bancarias divertidas. • Abre una cuenta de ahorros. Una de las mejores maneras de enseñar a los niños sobre instrucción financiera sana es pasar por el proceso de abrir su primera cuenta de ahorros, hacer un depósito y explicarles lo que significa. • Inscríbete en programas de instrucción financiera. Investigando a fondo, padres pueden encontrar programas en su área que ofrezca entrenamiento de instrucción financiera. Primero deben checar en las escuelas de sus hijos y la biblioteca local. Después investigar si su banco ofrece ese tipo de programas. Por ejemplo, TD ofrece un programa llamado “WOW!ZONE” ayuda a que los niños entre 5 y 18 años de edad desarrollen fuertes capacidades financieras. Está disponible en línea: wowzone. Instructores entrenados del banco están disponibles para visitar las escuelas y programas extracurriculares y de fin de semana gratuitamente.



MAY 2011

P ARENTOWN’S K ID S HAPE How to Beat Bedwetting Just in Time for Summer Camp If you’re like most parents, the welcome rise in temperatures has reminded you that school will be out in no time. And that realization has probably galvanized you into signing your children up for summer sports, classes, camps and more to fill up their out-of-school schedules. However, if you have a bedwetter in the family, things are considerably more complicated. Sleep-away camps, sleepovers and even some vacations present major obstacles — or may be out of the question entirely. Before you and your child resign yourselves to a summer of daytime-only activities, Renee Mercer has some welcome advice: Now is actually the perfect time to start working on bedwetting so that you can experience some dry nights by summer! “Many parents think that bedwetting is something that can’t be controlled and that their child will just have to grow out of it — or they blame themselves or their child for the recurring problem,” says Mercer, a certified pediatric nurse practitioner and the author of the new book Seven Steps to Nighttime Dryness: A Practical Guide for Parents of Children with Bedwetting, Second Edition. “And because many parents don’t talk to their children’s pediatrician about bedwetting, they don’t realize that all of those assumptions are false.” Mercer, who has over 25 years of experience in pediatrics and specializes in enuresis, or bedwetting, is adamant that bedwetting is not a sign of poor parenting or of a lazy child since it is not done consciously. Actually, nearly one in 20 children under the age of 10 wet their beds, so you’re not alone in living with this often-frustrating condition. It’s true. According to a 2007 study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 6.6 percent of children from ages four to 10 are diagnosed with ADHD. Compare that to 13 percent of six-year-olds who wet the bed, which decreases to eight percent of eight-year-olds, and five percent of 10-year-olds. “The good news is, you can start treating bedwetting and potentially decrease how long it lasts by years,” promises Mercer. “Through a series of easy-to-tackle steps and with the help of a bedwetting alarm, you can work with your child to achieve dry nights in as little as 10 weeks. So if you start now, you’ll both be able to rest easy when it comes time for summer camp…and all year through.” Read on to learn about some of the bedwetting best practices that Mercer has developed over the years: Make your job easier now. As you ease into the steps that will help your child stop bedwetting, do what you can to make nights, mornings and cleanups as easy as possible on yourself and on your child. If you aren’t already doing so, decrease your workload by using disposable pants, waterproof pads, vinyl mattress covers, etc. Get the whole family on board. This isn’t just your child’s challenge to overcome —he’ll need your continued help, support and encouragement. Keep in mind that you’ll be waking up during the night as your child learns to establish a nighttime routine, as well as helping him get used to any alarms he might use and monitoring his food and liquid intakes before bed. Establish a bedtime routine. Some children are more likely to experience a pattern of dryness when they have a regular nightly routine. To the extent that it’s possible, try to start working toward dryness at a time when no disruptive events such as holidays, vacations, moves, the birth of a sibling, etc., are on the horizon. “I recommend eating dinner at the same time each night and drinking only water

MAY 2011

afterwards,” instructs Mercer. “Don’t restrict fluids entirely; just stay away from soda and sugary drinks! Children should also urinate twice before bedtime and be involved in any pre-bed rituals, such as placing extra pajamas behind the bed and attaching the bedwetting alarm.” Refrain from punishment. It is crucial to realize that kids do not wet their beds voluntarily. Bedwetting can be caused by a multitude of factors, including genetics, small functional bladder capacity, food sensitivities, high nighttime urine production and even constipation — but a wet spot in the morning is not a result of your child being too “lazy” to get out of bed. For this reason, punishing a child for bedwetting is ineffectual, and potentially harmful. Invest in an alarm — a bedwetting alarm, that is! Unlike conventional alarm clocks, bedwetting alarms don’t ring at a pre-set time. A moisture sensor triggers the alarm, which wakes you and your child. At this point, you can make sure that your child gets up and goes to the bathroom. And after a few weeks of associating the alarm with the need to urinate, your child’s brain will begin to understand the feeling of a full bladder, and she’ll wake up on her own. Record your child’s progress. During your efforts to achieve nighttime dryness, track your child’s progress from the time you start to use a bedwetting alarm. As accurately as you can, record the frequency of his bedwetting episodes, the size of the wet spot, the time the alarm sounds and the number of dry nights in a row he achieves. Also, keep a log of what he eats and drinks, how tired he is and if he’s sick — these things can help you identify possible bedwetting triggers. Create a reward system. A little incentive never hurt anyone, and when it comes to bedwetting, having a reward system in place can keep your child motivated and help her to persevere when she becomes discouraged. Set up a system that acknowledges both cooperation with your evening and nighttime routine (something your child can control) and dry nights (something she can’t). Do a sleep-away trial run. Once your child has achieved dryness, consider doing a “trial run sleepover” with grandparents or another trusted relative before leaping right into overnight birthday parties and camps! In many cases, this allows children to get used to sleeping in an unfamiliar place without worrying they might slip up and have a wet night. Stay the course! Your child will probably experience some victories as well as some setbacks on the journey to dry nights. Remember that each child progresses at his or her own rate, and that most continue to wet nightly and have little, if any, independent response to the alarm the first few weeks. Don’t be discouraged — eventually, you will see a decrease in the frequency of wetting episodes. “Ultimately, each child and each family is unique, but there is hope that wetting can be ‘put to bed’ once and for all,” promises Mercer. “Be patient, remain informed, and continue to encourage your child. And sooner than you ever thought possible, your child’s bedwetting can be solved. Here’s to a positive, dry summer!” Renee Mercer is a certified pediatric nurse practitioner specializing in the treatment of children with enuresis, or bedwetting. Renee has more than 25 years of experience in pediatrics. After years of frustration finding suitable products for children with bedwetting, Renee co-founded the Bedwetting Store,



Kidsville News - may 2011  


Kidsville News - may 2011