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• September/October 2021 •
LEADING SHOT Photo courtesy of Josh Loomis
2 POCONO FAMILY MAGAZINE© SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2021
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Pocono Magazines, LLC PUBLISHING
Pocono Living Magazine© & Pocono Family Magazine© 1929 North 5th Street Stroudsburg, PA 18360 570-424-1000 firstname.lastname@example.org www.poconomagazines.com PUBLISHER/EDITOR Larry R. Sebring email@example.com ACCOUNT REPRESENTATIVES firstname.lastname@example.org MAGAZINE & WEB DESIGN Smart Blonde Creative Food & Wine Editor Jamie Marra PHOTOGRAPHY & ART John Anzivino Gayle C. Brooke Ray Caswell Pat Coyle Randall FitzGerald Ashley Hall Maurice Harmon Susan Hartman Marlana Holsten Ann H. LeFevre
Barbara Lewis Marie Liu Harry Loud Regina Matarazzo Janet Mishkin John L. Moore Michael Murphy Justine Nearhood Roseanna Santaniello Tom Stone
CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Kimberly Blaker Roseanne Bottone Kathy Dubin-Uhler Brian Hardiman Amanda Kuhn Amy Leiser Marie Liu
Jamie Marra Suzanne McCool Janet Mishkin John L. Moore Allison Mowatt Jim Werkheiser William M. Williams
Marty Wilson ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANTS Kristen Sebring Linda Spalluto
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The information published in this magazine is believed to be accurate, but in some instances, may represent opinion or judgment. The publication’s providers do not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of any information and shall not be held liable for any loss or damage, directly or indirectly, by or from the information.© 2016 Pocono Magazines. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be copied, reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without the expressed written permission of the publisher.
WHAT’S INSIDE FAMILY 6 10 12
14 18 22
• Teaching Kids About Kindness • Returning To School • Spooktacular Halloween
• Back-To-School Basics • Diploma In Hand • Tips From Teachers
• Getting Enough Fresh Air
• Pet Friendly Fire Safety
• Go Plant Based • Brain Food
• Easy DIY Upgrades • Attract More Birds
• Super Foods
• Tips To Teach Children
• Trends for New Vehicles
• Navigating Your Health
• In & Around the Poconos SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2021 POCONO FAMILY MAGAZINE© 5
6 POCONO FAMILY MAGAZINE© SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2021
Teaching Kids About Kindness SMALL GESTURES THAT MAKE OTHERS SMILE By: Kimberly Blaker
With our busy lives, it's easy to lose sight of the little things we can do to make the world a kinder, gentler place. As a result, kids miss out on golden opportunities to emulate kindness and experience its rewards. So, why not set a goal with your kids, and see how many acts of kindness your family can rack up in a single day or week? Here are some ideas to get your kids started.
Call grandparents or great-grandparents.
This is a big one because often, grandparents are the ones to initiate calls. So, make your grandparents' day by giving them a call.
Visit an elderly neighbor. Many seniors are shut
in because they can no longer drive. Often, even those who do drive don't get the social interaction they need. Likely, someone in your neighborhood could use some company.
Photo Courtesy of Shutterstock
Offer a compliment. It doesn't get any easier than this. But don't offer praise you don't mean. Otherwise, it'll come off as disingenuous. Notice what someone is wearing or doing, or think about the person's personality or something they've done. Then offer a compliment that you really mean. Make a donation. It can be a small monetary
donation to a good cause. Or you can donate items you no longer need to a homeless shelter, animal rescue, or toys for tots collection.
SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2021 POCONO FAMILY MAGAZINE© 7
Photo Courtesy of Shutterstock
Help someone with their homework. Do you know a
Offer to help out a mom. Do you know someone with
classmate who struggles in a particular subject? Offer to help them study for a test or to understand a concept for a homework assignment.
young children? Offer to spend a couple of hours watching and entertaining them while the mom catches up on chores.
Take an extra lunch to school for someone who forgets. When you get to school, ask your teacher to help you
appreciation by baking their favorite goodies.
find a student who needs it.
Stand up for someone. Do you know a student who's
bullied or always left out? Look for an opportunity to tell those who are being judgmental to be a little kinder or that they're being unfair.
Offer your support. Do you know someone going through
a hard time, such as a serious illness or whose parents are going through a divorce? Lend them your shoulder, and offer to listen.
Make friends with someone who's left out. out Is there
a classmate who's always standing alone on the playground or who sits alone at lunch? Offer to join that person.
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Bake cookies for your teacher or boss. Show your Buy a homeless person a meal. If you see someone
wandering who clearly looks homeless or is standing on a street corner with a sign, pick up a meal and take it over to them.
Hold the door for someone. This is another super easy
gesture that's sure to be appreciated by someone who's elderly, disabled, or really anyone.
Write an apology to someone you've hurt. We've all
said and done things on occasion that hurts someone's feelings. So, take ownership of it, and write a heartfelt apology.
Help someone carry something. When you see someone
struggling to carry multiple items or something heavy, offer your assistance.
Post something nice on the social media page of someone who needs a friend. Do you know someone
who no one ever pays attention to? Make that person's day with a positive comment on their page.
"Do you know a student who's bullied or always left out?"
SHOP NEW. SHOP VINTAGE .
SHOP LOCAL .
Take a neighbors dog for a walk. Is there a dog in
your neighborhood that never gets to go for walks? Be sure to ask about the dog's energy level, so you're able to handle it. Also, find out how far it can walk and run to ensure you don't overexercise the dog, which can be dangerous to dogs' health.
Do a chore for your brother or sister—what a great
way to get back in your sibling's good graces. And although you shouldn't expect it, who knows, maybe they'll return the favor sometime.
Buy a friend a candy bar. This is a simple
way to show your friend you're thinking of them.
Volunteer for a good cause. There are
many opportunities right in your community. You could volunteer at a soup kitchen, pick up trash at a park, or help with a canned food drive.
Help someone with yard work. Do you know a
handicapped or elderly person? Offer to mow, rake, pull weeds, or shovel their snow.
ABOUT THE WRITER
It’s not just a day of shopping here in the Pocono Mountains—it’s an experience. Wander our historic streets. Explore our art galleries. Find unique local goods. And stop for a bite at one of our top-rated neighborhood restaurants along the way. Discover all of our shopping and sights now at PoconoMountains.com.
Kimberly Blaker is a freelance parenting and lifestyle writer. She's also founder and director of KB Creative Digital Services, an internet marketing agency, at kbcreativedigital.com SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2021 POCONO LIVING MAGAZINE© 9
Photos Courtesy of Family Features
HOW TO NAVIGATE Family Feelings About RETURNING TO
10 POCONO FAMILY MAGAZINE© SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2021
hether it's your child's first day of kindergarten or the start of middle school, back-to-school season can bring a range of feelings - from worry to excitement - for the entire family. This year may be more emotional as many families spent the better part of the past two school years at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic. "It's important to remember that even in the best of times, it's normal for children to express feelings of sadness, isolation or stress," said Tyreca Elliott, from KinderCare Learning Centers' inclusion services team. "Learning how to address those feelings helps us build self-confidence, resilience and independence. What's important is the way adults respond to children's stress. Offering comfort, reassurance and assisting with problem solving will help children learn and grow from stress in a positive way."
As an added bonus, Elliott said many of the most effective ways to help children learn to navigate their feelings work just as well with adults. Consider these three tips to help your children (and yourself) manage emotions during the transition back to school.
PLAN AHEAD: The fear of the unknown can be stressful.
Children who aren't able to clearly articulate their feelings likely won't be able to make the connection between new, uncertain situations - like going to school and being around other people - and their feelings. Instead they may become overwhelmed by emotions, which might look like more meltdowns, clinginess or a variety of other behaviors. Talk with your children about how they feel about going back to school ahead of the first day of class. Ask questions to help them determine why they feel particular feelings when they think about school then work together to solve potential issues. That could mean finding a way to meet your children's teachers ahead of time, whether virtually or in-person, or practicing introducing themselves to classmates.
"It's important to remember that even in the best of times, it's normal for children to express feelings of sadness, isolation or stress"
BUILD A CONSISTENT ROUTINE: Routines
can give children (and adults) a sense of security and structure, which in turn make it easier to cope with big emotions like stress and anxiety. Try to stay consistent, and if you need to make adjustments, talk them through with your children. Be sure to mention key milestones instead of times, particularly if they can't tell time yet. Make sure your children have opportunities to ask questions about any changes to routines. They may need reassurance before they're ready to face something new.
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CREATE SPECIAL FAMILY MOMENTS:
As important as routine is, it's just as important to prioritize quality time together. That could mean a vacation or something as simple as Saturday bike rides or Sunday morning pancakes. Plan a family outing or special time together to celebrate completing the first week of school. Family rituals and celebrations can give children and adults something to look forward to. Quality time together also helps families build resiliency. Courtesy of Family Features
Edge of the Woods Outfitters 570-421-6681 www.WaterGapAdventure.com 129 Main St. Delaware Water Gap, PA 18327 SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2021 POCONO FAMILY MAGAZINE© 11
Photo Courtesy of Shutterstock
TIPS TO KEEP KIDS SAFE FOR A
Spooktacular Halloween 12 POCONO FAMILY MAGAZINE© SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2021
By: Kimberly Blaker
For decades, parents have heeded warnings of the dangers of trick-or-treating: wives tales and gross exaggerations about apples containing razor blades and poison-filled candy worry countless parents every Halloween. Experts, however, have debunked these mistaken notions and hoaxes. The one case in which a child's candy was poisoned occurred in 1974. It turned out, the boy's father poisoned the candy so he could collect on a life insurance claim. Since that time, there has been nothing more than a few false reports.
Stranger and acquaintance dangers One risk to children on Halloween, or any time of year, is child predators. Though studies have shown the incidence doesn't increase on Halloween. Still, parents should take precautions and educate their kids before they head out without adult supervision. To keep your kids safe from stranger and acquaintance dangers on Halloween:
• Young children should be attended by an adult when trick-or-treating.
Halloween safety tips for a fun-filled evening without incident:
• Make sure costumes, masks, and shoes fit well.
Costumes shouldn't drag the ground posing a tripping hazard.
• Avoid masks. Instead, use make-up and well-fitting hats or wigs, so vision isn't obstructed.
• Avoid high heels. • Try to find flame-resistant costumes, and make sure kids keep their distance from lit pumpkins and luminaries.
• If walking on roads, walk facing the oncoming traffic. Where possible, stay off the road completely.
"Keep props such as swords, short, soft, and flexible to avoid injury to self or others." • When crossing streets, use crosswalks if possible, and look both ways twice. If at a stop sign or light, make sure traffic comes to a complete halt before crossing.
• Older kids should trick-or-treat with a friend or preferably
• Don't cross the street between parked cars or where
• Tell your kids not to step inside the homes or cars of strangers
• Carry a flashlight so cars and bicycles can easily spot you.
what to say if they're invited in, so they're prepared. Your child
costumes and bags. Wearing a glow stick is another option.
in a group.
or even acquaintances you haven't pre-approved. Also, tell them can be direct and just say, 'my parents told me I have to wait outside.'
drivers' views might be obstructed.
Also, wear something reflective or add reflective tape to
• Keep props such as swords and knives, short, soft, nd flexible to avoid injury to self or others.
• Give your kids a curfew, so you know what time to
• Don't wear colored contact lenses unless they're prescribed for
• Know what route they plan to take. Make sure it's in safe
damage even if they're non-prescription sold solely to change
expect them home.
neighborhoods, and they won't have to walk through secluded areas to get there.
• Only go to houses with porch lights on. • Have kids carry a cell phone, and make sure they know how to use it to dial 9-1-1.
• Add a tracking app to their phones, such as Family Tracker, Glympse, Footprints, FamilySignal, or Life360.
Traffic and costume dangers Most risks to your child on Halloween are safety issues involving traffic and costumes. Have your kids follow these
the child wearing them. Otherwise, they can cause severe eye eye color.
Safety tips for visiting trick-or-treaters • Keep cords and tripping hazards out of your driveway and walkway. • Use glow sticks or solar lights in pumpkins and luminaries rather than candles. • Pass out sealed candy. Otherwise, many parents won't allow their children to eat it. • Keep pets away from trick-or-treaters. Costumes and excited children can scare pets and lead to unexpected behavior.
SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2021 POCONO FAMILY MAGAZINE© 13
Back-to-School Basics Simple hacks for a successful year
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Photo courtesy of Getty Images
SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2021 POCONO FAMILY MAGAZINE© 15
ach new school year brings a chance for fresh beginnings and an opportunity to get the family organized for a smooth transition back to the classroom. Easing back into a more structured schedule after a laid-back summer may be easier than you think. From devices that make classwork simple to snack and meal ideas for busy school nights, these tips and products can help the whole family feel ready to jump back into the school year for lots of learning and fun. Find more tips for a successful school year at eLivingtoday. com.
A Durable Device Designed for Learning
Keep your kids focused on what's important this school year learning - with distraction-free devices. Students can explore math and science with the new TI-84 Plus CE Python graphing calculator, now enhanced with the power of Python to introduce them to one of the fastest growing, most popular programming languages in the world. Built to withstand the demands of the classroom and available in bold colors, it can help students grasp important STEM concepts for years to come. To find more information, visit education.ti.com/84ce.
Make Weeknight Dinners Simple
The start of the school year is often busy, but you can bring relief to dinnertime with simple weeknight meals using an option like The Little Potato Company's Microwave Ready Kits, which include fresh little potatoes and a seasoning package. Available in Savory Herb, Garlic Parsley and Lemon & Garden Herb, they can be paired with protein for easy, kid-approved dinners that are ready in minutes with no recipe required. Visit littlepotatoes.com for more weeknight recipe inspiration.
An Easy School Day Meal Idea
Make time for things that matter most during back-to-school season with a quick and easy mealtime solution like Minute Ready to Serve microwavable cups. Ready in just 1 minute, they're available in several choices - brown rice, brown and wild rice, brown rice and quinoa, and multi-grain medley - and pair well with a variety of dishes for easy, on-the-go lunches, snacks or dinner sides. Visit MinuteRice.com for additional meal ideas.
A Winning Organization Strategy
One key to back-to-school success: organization. You can choose from the options of Mixed Material Cubes by ClosetMaid, which come in multiple finishes and size formats to
match your style and storage needs. The cube organizers can accommodate 13-inch fabric drawers for clutter-free school supply organization, or you can use them to stash a backpack, decorate with plants or display books. The easy-to-assemble organizers are ideal for entryways, living rooms and home offices to help keep your spaces functional and organized. Find more organization solutions at closetmaid.com.
Start off Right with a Sturdy Backpack
Photo courtesy of Getty Images
Nothing takes a beating over the course of a school year quite like a backpack, so it's a good idea to start with a quality choice that stands up to some wear and tear. Look for strong seams and sturdy zippers. If your student will be transporting technology, like a tablet or laptop, be sure there's adequate padding to protect the device. Also pay
attention to pockets and built-in organization so your student can keep supplies tidy during transport to and from school.
Healthy Snacking Made Simple
Photo courtesy of Family Features
With at least 7 grams of protein in five varieties that don't sacrifice taste or nutrition, healthy snacking can be easier with Chiquita Bites. These kid-friendly and parent-approved snacks are perfect for lunchboxes or as grab-and-go snacks between after-school activities. Each single-serve tray contains a bite-sized mix of sweet and savory items like fruits, cheese and pretzels. Visit freshexpress.com for more information. Courtesy of Family Features SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2021 POCONO FAMILY MAGAZINE© 17
Photos Courtesy of Family Features
Diploma in Hand POST-HIGH SCHOOL GUIDANCE FROM ONLINE
school graduates 18 POCONO FAMILY MAGAZINE© SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2021
Before a global pandemic reshaped education across America, many students followed the "expected" path: complete primary education, earn a high school diploma and transition into a career or further learning. Now, after an unexpected year (or more) of online learning, many students are embracing more nontraditional routes for their education and considering new options for life after high school graduation. A valuable first step for high schoolers is envisioning the future they want.
"Looking at different avenues and taking an interest inventory really help with the exploration process," said Morgan Champion, head of counseling for Pearson Virtual Schools. "I recommend completing a career cluster interest survey, which are widely available online for free, to give guidance on which types of careers align to your interests and skills, such as a service-related or scientific field." Next, consider these choices and tips for preparing for life after high school from alums of fully online K-12 schools Connections Academy and Reach Cyber Charter School.
KEEP OPTIONS OPEN FOR DIFFERENT PATHS Beyond the traditional four-year college degree, there are many ways students can progress toward a long-term goal or successful career. Community or two-year college is an option for some because it's often closer to home and tuition can be more affordable. Others enroll in a trade school or secure suitable jobs and step directly into the workforce. Some graduates enlist for military service while others take some time off to figure out their next step before making a move. Keeping an open mind about all options is something graduate Angel Bennett supports fully. The flexibility of online learning allowed her to get a jump on her college education. She earned an associate of arts degree and associate of science degree through her local community college before graduating high school, giving her an edge in admission to her top choice fouryear college. She now attends a private liberal arts college and is well on her way to a career fueled by a passion for clothing and inclusive fashion design. The ambitious pace served as inspiration to Bennett's younger sister, as well; Amber completed her own associate of arts and associate of science degrees as a 14-year-old high schooler and will start attending a private four-year university at 15 as she simultaneously completes her diploma. Students should ask their high school about these types of dualenrollment options.
DON'T BE AFRAID TO ACT ON YOUR DREAMS For some high school students, one of the most intimidating decisions to make is which colleges to apply to. However, law graduate Strider Kachelein, top of his undergrad class and top 4% in his law class at a prestigious institution, said to take that chance and apply to your dream school, even if you think you can't afford the tuition. Kachelein, who started online school in sixth grade, knows paying for college can be challenging for many high school students and their families. He recommends researching financial aid policies first and carefully. "So many people believe they can't get in and are shocked when they do," Kachelein said. "Money can also be a big issue, but there are so many resources available, like the college match I applied to in high school. A key stat I also looked at while researching colleges was the school's 'percent of financial need met.' There are a number of schools that will meet 100% of your determined financial need, which can make a world of difference. For example, at these schools, if your family is deemed unable to pay tuition, room or board then 100% of these expenses are covered by the school." High schoolers can reach out to their school's college counselors to help navigate the application process.
KNOW IT'S OK TO TAKE A BREAK Pausing in the middle of one's education is a practice that's more common in other parts of the world, but is growing in the U.S. According to data from Pearson, nearly 17% of U.S. high schoolers were considering a gap year, which enables the graduate more time to evaluate options and priorities, save money and plan for the future.
SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2021 POCONO FAMILY MAGAZINE© 19
Photo Courtesy of Family Features
COVID-19 heavily influenced 2020 graduate Stormy Kaiser's decision to take a gap year between high school and college. Choosing to accelerate her online curriculum allowed Kaiser to complete high school graduation requirements a year early, so even after taking the year off to realign plans the pandemic disrupted, she's on schedule to enroll in a four-year college with her peers.
CAREER-RELATED COURSEWORK IN HIGH SCHOOL Nontraditional school models often offer nontraditional curriculum options, like career and technical education courses, that students can put to work right away. For example, Amya Meekins, who also graduated high school a full year early, took business classes at her online school that helped her learn about contracts, finance and other elements to successfully start and run her own business. 20 POCONO FAMILY MAGAZINE© SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2021
She now runs a boutique in addition to being a performer and motivational speaker. She's also nearing completion of her second book, all as a 19-year-old undergrad pursuing her first college degree.
CONSIDER JOB SHADOWING OR INTERNSHIPS Flexible scheduling is one of the most commonly cited advantages of online school among enrolled students. The extra free time can have big implications for students planning their futures, especially if they use the time to explore career choices. That's exactly what Becky Bressen did, shadowing a music therapist at the urging of her brother, who is a physical therapist. After initially feeling the career wasn't for her and attending college with plans to become a music engineer and producer, a
music therapy class made it into her course list, and it clicked for her. Right after college, she built a successful music therapy program from scratch at a hospice facility and finds her current role highly rewarding. For more information about full-time online public schools, and tips for making post-graduation decisions, visit ConnectionsAcademy.com.
THE BENEFITS OF A GAP YEAR When COVID-19 upended college plans for students across America, Stormy Kaiser knew she wasn't alone. Even so, she never anticipated how using an unplanned year to regroup could benefit her future. Initially, Kaiser planned to start her pre-med journey at New York University, but after seeing the effects of the pandemic in urban areas, she shifted focus. A year of recharging and selfexploration, writing short stories and volunteering took her in a new direction. She now plans to attend Baylor University, where she'll double major in chemistry and mathematics as a pre-med student.
"Looking at different avenues and taking an interest inventory really help with the exploration process" Due to her time management skills, personal diligence and involvement in volunteer opportunities, she was offered scholarships at many colleges and universities - a whopping $600,000 overall. She is now on her way toward becoming a neurosurgeon. Courtesy of Family Features
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Photo Courtesy of Family Features
Tips from Teachers for Choosing Quality Child Care As families across the country get ready for back-to-school season, many are also preparing to return to in-person work, which means finding the right program to support their children's ongoing learning and development. According to "The Current State of Scientific Knowledge on PreKindergarten Effects" report, choosing a quality preschool helps children start elementary school prepared for success. Knowing what to look for when choosing the right child care provider for your family can be stressful. However, these
22 POCONO FAMILY MAGAZINE© SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2021
insights from KinderCare teachers with 40-plus years of classroom experience and Teacher of the Year honorees can help remove some of the mystery.
Make a list of what matters most
Before beginning your search, take some time to think about specific wants and needs for your family and children, whether that's kindergarten-readiness, social and emotional development or convenient location. Write down the things that matter most
to your family and refer to that list when you're speaking with potential providers and asking questions.
Put yourself in your child's shoes When you look around the classroom, be sure to look for child-sized furniture and age-appropriate books and toys within children's reach. This can help inspire their natural curiosity, encourage independence and build confidence. It's also important to know how play is incorporated, how it's facilitated and to see purposeful opportunities for play in each classroom. "There should be areas set up with enhancements that incorporate toys, blocks, art materials and dramatic play," said KinderCare Teacher of the Year Sara Fouriner. "Teachers should share how they're fostering social and emotional skills, executive function, problem solving, language and regulation skills in children by offering clear examples and putting evidence of learning on full display." Ensure safety and quality are priorities Health and safety took center stage in 2020 and remain top priorities for many families. Ask questions about each potential provider's safety rules and practices in addition to their curriculum. It may also be beneficial to ask if their programs are accredited by a third-party agency, such as the National Association for the Education of Young Children. Accreditation means the center's program is held to high standards and exceeds basic requirements set by state licensing. "As a mother, grandmother and teacher, I believe families should
"High-quality education starts with open, caring teachers who understand the expectations of the age group they represent"
look for a center that is clean and accredited," said Dorothy Ellison, an early childhood teacher of 40 years. "Families should also inquire about child-to-teacher ratios, staff training and hiring practices, supervision, emergency prep, illness policies, communication and the quality of caregivers in each program."
Look for teachers who love what they do Great teachers have a natural ability to connect with every child in their care. If children love their teachers and school is a safe, happy place for them, there are typically few limitations on what they can learn. "High-quality education starts with open, caring teachers who understand the expectations of the age group they represent," said Dana Davin, a KinderCare Teacher of the Year and center director. "A genuine welcome when children arrive, a clean and engaging classroom and a culture of inclusion all stem from great teachers who believe in what they do." For more tips on choosing the right child care for your family, visit kindercare.com.
Courtesy of Family Features
"Fresh air is essential for mental and physical well-being."
Photo Courtesy of: (c) Serhii Sobolevskyi / iStock via Getty Images Plus
ARE YOU GETTING
FRESH AIR? 24 POCONO FAMILY MAGAZINE© SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2021
Photo Courtesy of Pixabay
Fresh air is essential for mental and physical well-being. However, Americans on average spend approximately 90 percent of their time indoors, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Here are some great tech tools that can help you incorporate more outdoor hobbies into your life, as well as reimagine traditionally indoor activities:
› Work al fresco: Still working remotely? A few
adjustments can allow you to take your labors out of the house. Whether you’re on your own patio or enjoying a coffee shop’s sidewalk tables, be sure to sit in the shade, or use an an antiglare screen or screen filter for your laptop. Avoid ergonomic woes by using a table and chair of approximate height to your regular indoor setup.
› Play music anywhere: Whether you’re a budding musician or a seasoned virtuoso, consider portable instruments that you can take with you everywhere you go. For example, the lightweight 9-pound design of the CT-S1 keyboard from Casio is powered with six AA batteries and features strap pins that make it a go-anywhere piano. Powerful and versatile, it’s a great choice for practice and performance alike.
› Make a picnic lunch: There’s nothing more
pleasant than a picnic lunch, that is, until the bugs get wind of the party. While bug spray most certainly works, you can forgo the spritz -- and the DEET -- by using a portable, battery-operated, bug repellent device instead.
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Photo courtesy of Getty Images
Tips to Prepare a Pet-Friendly Fire Safety Plan
fter more than a year of nearly constant companionship, many pet parents are preparing to leave their pets at home while they transition back to the office. With more time away from home, it's important for families to be prepared in the event of a fire. As COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, a vast majority of pet owners (91%) said they will leave pets home alone more often, according to a survey commissioned by Kidde and conducted online by The Harris Poll. Of those, more than 1 in 3 (35%) said they are nervous about doing so.
According to the American Veterinary Medical Foundation, 500,000 pets suffer from smoke inhalation and 40,000 die due to home fires. "We know people will do anything to keep their furry family safe," said Sharon Cooksey, fire safety educator for Kidde. "We're committed to ensuring pet owners are equipped with the right products, resources, tools and confidence to prepare their family members - both two- and four-legged - in the event of an emergency as we transition to more time out of the home."
"To successfully train your pets, make sure you keep training fun, short and always end on a good note."
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To help protect your pets from the dangers of home fires and train them to respond positively to the sound of smoke or carbon monoxide (CO) alarms, consider these tips from Kidde. Include pets in fire escape plans: Pets should always be included in a family's evacuation plan. Stay aware of their typical hiding spots or locations where they often nap in case you must evacuate quickly. When you are not home, keep pets in areas near entrances where firefighters can easily find them. Train pets to appropriately respond to alarms. In the event of an emergency, ensure your pets are familiar with the sound of smoke alarms. According to celebrity pet trainer Sara Carson, you should pair the sound with a command that instructs your pets to proceed "outside" or whichever term you use to identify the best way for them to exit the home. As you practice the routine, reward your pets for positive responses.
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"As a proud dog mom of five super collies, I know pets are like our family, so it's important we take proactive steps to keep them safe in the event of a home fire," Carson said. "To successfully train your pets, make sure you keep training fun, short and always end on a good note." For a full demonstration on how to train your pet to respond positively to a smoke alarm, visit kidde.com/petsafety. Use window clings to alert first responders: In an emergency, first responders need to be able to quickly assess the number of pets in a home. Consider attaching a non-adhesive decal to a window near your front door to let rescuers know how many animals are inside. Maintain smoke alarms: Smoke alarms must be replaced after 10 years. In addition to testing alarms once each week, check the manufacturing date on your alarms to make sure they are current. If they are older than 10 years, it's time to replace them. Courtesy of Family Features
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Go Plant Based FOR HEALTHY SCHOOL DAYS Filling the kitchen with plant-based ingredients is an easy way to nudge kids toward nutritious after-school snacks and make busy weeknight dinners as healthy as they are delicious. When you consume foods that boost your energy and give your body the fuel it needs, you can expect to feel healthier, both physically and emotionally. In many cases the foods that deliver are plant-based, and you can create delicious and healthy meals while adhering to a plant-based eating plan.
Photos Courtesy of Family Features
Make Easy Substitutes Having a vegetarian meal once a day is a great start, or even try "meatless Mondays" at home. Swap out ice cream and instead go for frozen blended bananas as an after-dinner treat. Try a nut- or grain-based milk in place of your normal dairy.
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Photos Courtesy of Family Features
Make Gradual Changes Drastically changing your eating habits can be challenging. Small, sustainable changes are easier to manage and simpler to implement. Even one change per day can lead to healthier eating, like swapping the meat in a normal sandwich for a plant-based protein, such as a salad made with chickpeas or lentils, for a quick and easy lunch.
Start Meal Planning Meal planning can reduce the time you spend in the kitchen and cut the cost of your groceries while making plant-based 30 POCONO FAMILY MAGAZINE© SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2021
eating easy. When you plan meals in advance, you can buy in bulk and do the prep work ahead of time, which means you can whip up tasty plant-based meals in minutes. Keep healthy staples on hand like vegan, cholesterol-free and trans fat-free Toufayan multi-grain pita bread. The pre-split pita is perfect to keep on hand and fill with your favorite plant-based ingredients for a quick meal or pair with hummus, chickpea salad or apples. Made with quality, wholesome ingredients, each bread is hearthbaked to a golden brown for a tasty, convenient and versatile complement to a wide range of plant-based foods. They're easy to find in your local grocer's deli section. Get inspired to create family-friendly, plant-based dishes with these recipes and more at Toufayan.com. Courtesy of Family Features
Apple Pie Stuffed Pitas Prep time: 10 minutes Cook time: 17 minutes Servings: 4
Filling: • 4 green apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced • 1 teaspoon cinnamon • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg • 2 tablespoons plant-based butter • 1/3 cup white sugar • 3 tablespoons water • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
Oat Crumble Topping: • 1/2 cup flour • 1/2 cup rolled oats • 1/4 cup brown sugar • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon • 1 tablespoon orange juice • 1 pinch salt • 2 tablespoons plant-based butter • 4 Toufayan Multi-Grain Pita Bread Preheat oven to 350 F. To make filling: In large saute pan over medium heat add apples, cinnamon, nutmeg, butter, white sugar, water and cornstarch. Cook apples down about 10 minutes until they begin to get gooey. To make oat crumble topping: In medium bowl, mix flour, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, orange juice and salt. Cut in butter and mix until crumbs begin to form. Cut pitas in half and line baking sheet. Fill one pita half with apple filling and lay on its side, being careful to not let apples fall out. Top with oat crumble. Repeat with remaining pitas.
Roasted Chickpea Cauliflower Sandwiches Prep time: 10 minutes Cook time: 45 minutes Servings: 6
• 1 can chickpeas, roasted • 1/4 teaspoon salt, plus additional, to taste, divided • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper, plus additional, to taste, divided • garlic salt, to taste • 1 head cauliflower, cut into florets • 1/4 cup plant-based yogurt or sour cream
• 1/2 red pepper, diced • 1/3 cup shredded carrots • 1 cup corn kernels (optional) • 1/4 teaspoon dill • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder • 1/4 teaspoon paprika • 3 Toufayan Bakeries Multi Grain Pitas, halved • parsley, for garnish Preheat oven to 425 F. Season chickpeas with salt, pepper and garlic salt, to taste. Roast chickpeas 40-45 minutes. In bowl, mix chopped cauliflower; yogurt or sour cream, diced pepper; shredded carrots; corn, if desired; 1/4 teaspoon salt; 1/8 teaspoon pepper; dill; garlic powder and paprika. Once chickpeas are roasted, add to bowl and mix well. Spoon mixture into six pitas and garnish with parsley.
"Keep healthy staples on hand like vegan, cholesterol-free and trans fatfree Toufayan multi-grain pita bread."
Bake about 6 minutes. If desired, broil 1 minute for additional color. SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2021 POCONO FAMILY MAGAZINE© 31
Photos Courtesy of Family Features
Brain Food FOR BUSY SCHOOL DAYS 32 POCONO FAMILY MAGAZINE© SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2021
tarting a new school year, whether in the classroom or online, brings excitement for kids of all ages. Opportunities to see friends, make new acquaintances and explore new areas of interest abound. Along with the exciting times can also come early mornings with hectic moments getting ready, including making sure that lunches and snacks are packed for the day ahead. Keep fresh grapes from California on hand as an easy, fresh staple ready to drop into lunches and pack as a portable snack no need to peel, cut or slice.
Photo courtesy of: Family Features
Heart-healthy grapes are brain food too, and a healthy choice any time of day to help fuel young minds in the classroom or after school.
Grapes also pair well with other healthy ingredients to create fun and tasty snacks such as these Peanut Butter Grape Bites. Involving your kids in the process can be beneficial, and is as simple as asking them to complete one of several childfriendly tasks: rinsing grapes, measuring ingredients or, perhaps the most fun part, dipping grapes in peanut butter, coconut, dark chocolate or almonds. Providing children with ways to help in the kitchen can give them a sense of accomplishment while teaching them important skills like math and how to follow instructions. To find more back-to-school recipes for kids and families, visit GrapesFromCalifornia.com.
Peanut Butter Grape Bites
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• 12 California grapes, any color, chilled • 1/3 cup natural peanut or almond butter • 1/4 cup shredded coconut • 1/4 cup chopped dark chocolate • 1/4 cup chopped almonds Place wax paper sheet on baking sheet. Dip each grape in peanut butter or almond butter to coat half then dip in either coconut, dark chocolate or almonds, alternating with each grape. Transfer grapes to baking sheet then chill until ready to serve. Nutritional information per serving: 70 calories; 2 g protein; 4 g carbohydrates; 5 g fat (64% calories from fat); 1.5 g saturated fat (19% calories from saturated fat); 0 mg cholesterol; 25 mg sodium; 1 g fiber.
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"Pick up paint brochures at your hardware store for color scheme ideas, and notice how unexpected colors are paired together to create fabulous designer looks."
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Easy Updates You Can Do Yourself MOST FOR UNDER $100 By: Kimberly Blaker
So you've been dreaming of updating your home, but the cost of new flooring or a kitchen remodel doesn't fit your budget? Don't despair. There are lots of ways to revitalize and update your home without breaking the bank. Check out these simple updates and fixes that'll give your home a fresh new look, inside and out. Just a few inexpensive fixes, and you'll be eager to show off your beautiful abode.
Replace your front door. This is the first thing guests see when they walk up to your home. So it's a great place to begin your updating. A higherend wooden door will add beauty to your entrance. But even a new steel door painted in an attractive color will add a lot of curbside appeal to your home.
Repair window screens. Torn window screens detract from curb appeal. Fortunately, they're inexpensive and easy to fix. Buy a package of replacement screen and a screen rolling tool to do-it-yourself. If you're not up to the task, hardware stores often do screen replacement at a reasonable cost. Just drop off your damaged screen, and they'll have it ready for you in a couple of days.
Cure dirty or crumbling grout. The wonderful thing about tile is not only its luxurious look but also its longevity. But filthy or broken down grout can spoil the look. Make your tile floor or shower look new again by freshening the grout. If it's just dirty, you can clean it. For
instructions, visit www.bobvilla.com. If the grout is broken down and needs to be replaced, find grout removal instructions at www.thespruce.com.
Update switch plates & outlet covers. This is a super-easy way to update a room, and there are so many choices for every decorating style. If you like the look of metal switch plates but don't want the expense, buy some metallic spray paint in bronze, brushed nickel, or silver. Just remove the covers, spray them, and in an hour, they'll be ready to put back on.
Replace ceiling fan blades. Do your ceiling fans look decrepit? The blades often deteriorate faster than the fixtures. So buy new blades to make your fans look new again.
Liven it up with paint. Fresh paint goes a long way toward updating and freshening a room. With hundreds of shades to choose from, there's lots of room for creativity to achieve the designer look you want. Pick up paint brochures at your hardware store for color scheme ideas, and notice how unexpected colors are paired together to create fabulous designer looks. Then play around with different colors against the color of your room's flooring and furnishings. You might be pleasantly surprised to discover an unexpected color pairing creates a beautiful new look. SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2021 POCONO FAMILY MAGAZINE© 35
Photos Courtesy of Pixabay
Freshen trim & doors. Paint the trim and doors throughout your home in a single color. Not only will this freshen your home, but it'll also give your home a cohesive look. If your home is small, then white or light grey paint will keep your home bright and make it feel more spacious. If you have a larger home, you can go bold with a medium or dark color. This will add richness to your living space. Medium grays and tans or dark charcoal and coffee colors are good choices. But before you get your paint mixed, pick up plenty of sample cards with various undertones. Hold them against the walls (or new paint colors) in each room to find a color that blends well with every color scheme in your home.
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Wallpaper a small room.
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Wallpaper is in again and can transform a small space, such as your bathroom or foyer. Choose from the latest patterns, textures, and colors for a great new look. Replace vent covers. Over time, banged up and painted-over vent covers become an eyesore. So new vent covers will go a long way toward making your home feel like new.
Freshen bathroom caulk.
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Old stained and deteriorating caulk can make a bathroom unsightly. It can be removed and replaced relatively easily with a little patience. Visit www.houselogic.com to find simple removal instructions and the correct way to apply fresh caulk.
Clean hard water stains. If you have hard water, your toilet bowl and bathtub may be hideous. Luckily, there are several options to remove hard water stains. CLR calcium, lime, and rust remover does wonders on porcelain. If your bathtub is vinyl or acrylic, CLR must be diluted and can remain on the fixture for only a couple of minutes. So read instructions carefully. For more hardened buildup on porcelain, buy a handled pumice stone and sand off the accumulation. But don't use pumice stones on vinyl and acrylic because pumice is too abrasive and will leave scratches.
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Update cabinet hardware. New cabinet knobs and pulls can give your bathroom or kitchen a facelift, and there are tons of styles from which to choose.
Revitalize or paint cabinets. If your solid-wood bathroom or kitchen cabinets look worn, you can revitalize them by rubbing them down with Old English. Painting them is a good alternative since white or gray cabinets are the trend. You can also get creative and choose a bold color to liven up your kitchen or bathroom.
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Install a kitchen backsplash. A tile backsplash will add richness to your kitchen. Find doit-yourself instructions at www.diynetwork.com. If that's more work than you want to invest, choose from a wide selection of faux tile backsplash panels to add dimension and character to your kitchen.
Update doorknobs. Do your doorknobs look shabby or dated? This is another easy fix. Brushed nickel is the latest trend in hardware. Doorknobs come complete with instructions and are easy to change with just a screwdriver. Also, consider replacing the hinges to match the doorknobs.
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Attract More Birds to Your Backyard
Photos Courtesy of Family Features
BASIC TIPS FOR FEEDING WILD BIRDS
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With all the constraints people lived through in 2020, many turned to their own backyards - nature, in particular - for hope, solace, wonder and even entertainment. Despite the worldwide crisis, nature's normalcy remained intact; flowers continued to bloom, bees continued to pollinate and birds continued to fly and forage food. Feeding birds can be enjoyable for any age group and provide stress relief for all who partake. A University of Exeter study, focused on nature's impact on humans in suburban and urban areas, found lower levels of depression, anxiety and stress were associated with the number of birds people saw during afternoons at home. The benefits of birdwatching come from seeing lots of birds - quantity not "quality" - the study found. People "felt relaxed and connected to nature when they watched birds in their gardens," researchers said. These feelings increased with the level of bird feeding in the yard. For millions working and schooling from home, this stress reduction was an unintended bonus. Data from 2020 shows sales of bird feed, feeders, nesting boxes and bird houses spiked as interest in backyard birds soared while people spent more time at home. Interest in birding isn't slowing down. If you haven't tried attracting birds to your backyard, now is a perfect opportunity to start. The experts at Cole's Wild Bird Products Co. offer these bird feed and feeder basics to attract more birds to your backyard.
FEEDERS A variety of bird feeder types placed at different heights attract more birds than one feeder featuring one seed type. Start with two feeder types that accommodate most feed options. Bowl feeders serve not only seeds but also dried mealworms, fruit and suet. An option like Cole's Bountiful Bowl Feeder comes with an adjustable dome cover you can raise or lower to prevent larger birds and squirrels from getting to food and protect it from rain. Traditional tube feeders are all-purpose options for bird feeding, especially for small birds that cling. For example, the Terrific Tube Feeder is made with state-of-the-art materials to prevent warping and discoloration and includes a quick-clean,
"People felt relaxed and connected to nature when they watched birds in their gardens" removable base to make cleaning fast and easy. Just push a button and the bottom of the feeder pops off for easy access to the inside. Rinse the feeder with soapy water, dunk it into a water-bleach solution at a concentration of 9-to-1, rinse, dry and reattach the bottom. Regular cleaning of feeders is essential for preventing mold, germs and disease.
POPULAR FOODS Birdseed: Not all birdseed is created equal. Look for quality
blends without cheap filler like red millet and oats. All-natural seed containing no chemicals or mineral oil is safe and more appealing to birds. Top seed picks include all-natural black oil sunflower and Cole's "Hot Meats" (sunflower meats infused with habanero chili peppers that birds love and squirrels dislike). Or an option like Special Feeder blend, packed with favorites including black oil sunflower, sunflower meats and pecans, attracts the greatest number of wild birds. Offering a wide variety, Cole's feed is researched and specifically formulated to attract certain bird species, the largest number of birds and the greatest variety of birds.
Insects and Worms: A healthy, lush lawn is one of the
best ways to feed birds that prefer insects and worms. You can supplement birds' diets by serving dried mealworms in a packaged variety that's easier to feed and less messy than live mealworms. Mealworms are packed with energy and contain essential nutrients, fat and protein.
Fresh Fruit: Apples, orange halves and bananas
are favored fruits.
Suet: Perfect for insect-eating birds, suet is a high-fat food that provides abundant calories, rich nutrition and is a highenergy treat.
Using the right feeders and high-quality feed can enhance your backyard and entice more birds, bringing stress relief and enjoyment. For more information on attracting birds to your backyard, visit coleswildbird.com. Courtesy of Family Features SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2021 POCONO FAMILY MAGAZINE© 39
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"The health community has long praised the benefits of vitamins and nutrients derived from natural sources."
Super Foods The health community has long praised the benefits of vitamins and nutrients derived from natural sources. For those looking to improve their health or take preventative measures, these 10 natural super foods can be incorporated into your daily diet to help support your health:
for a Nutritious Diet
Rosemary Studies have shown this powerful spice can reduce the risk of stroke, as well as protect against Alzheimer's disease.
Armed with a special type of antioxidants called polyphenols, green tea can decrease plaque formed in the arteries and can fight prostate cancer.
Full of plant sterols and amino acids, almonds can help lower high cholesterol and promote muscle growth. These handheld treats are also rich in vitamin E, which can protect skin from sun damage.
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Fatty Fish Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, fatty fish such as salmon, flounder and sardines can lower the risk of heart disease.
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These powerful body defenders have been known to boost immunity, protect against various cancers and reduce cholesterol.
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Eggs These energy-packed breakfast favorites contain a special type of protein that helps build muscle strength more than other proteins. When compared to other breakfast foods, eggs can also keep you feeling fuller longer with fewer calories and fat.
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Chock-full of magnesium, potassium and various vitamins and nutrients, spinach can prevent clogged arteries and protect against prostate and colon cancers.
Top Crops P RO D U C E
This protein-packed food contains isoflavones, which can aid in treatment and prevention of prostate cancer. Also, research from the Food and Drug Administration shows that 25 grams per day can help lessen the risk of heart disease.
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This easy, portable snack is loaded with essential potassium, which regulates the nervous system. Bananas also offer loads of vitamin B-6, which aids immunity and metabolism.
Naturally Grown Vegetables & Herbs Hydroponic Lettuces Home Made Jams, Jellies, Pickles & Relishes Dried Fruit, Herbs & Herb Blends Home Made Pies, Cheese Cakes & Bread
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Satisfy your sweet tooth and improve blood flow to the brain at the same time. Dark chocolate can also lower blood pressure and increase skin's resistance to UV rays.
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Find more health-conscious tips at eLivingToday.com. Courtesy of Family Features SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2021 POCONO FAMILY MAGAZINE© 41
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hildren often dream of the day they can call themselves grown-ups, but few look forward to - let alone think about - the financial realities of independence. It's never too early to start teaching your children how to save money and spend responsibly.
C Financial Tips for Parents to Teach
Their Children 42 POCONO FAMILY MAGAZINE© SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2021
"As parents, our job is to set our children up for success," Bank of America's Head of Deposit Products Erin McCullen said. "Giving our kids a strong foundation of financial skills like budgeting and saving is a key part in ensuring they thrive as adults and can concentrate on the things they love." Consider these financial tips from McCullen:
• Establish a budget.
Budgeting is a lifelong skill. Teaching young adults how to budget can help them plan spending, save money, create goals and address financial anxiety. According to a Bank of America survey, 52% of Americans said they didn't start budgeting until they began their first full-time job.
If your kids are on the younger side, they likely don't have a steady income, but you can still help them practice budgeting with allowances or gifts from relatives or friends. Keep it simple: teach them to track the money they receive and separate it into spend-now and spend-later categories.
"Giving our kids a strong foundation of financial skills like budgeting and saving is a key part in ensuring they thrive as adults and can concentrate on the things they love." Later, when you're helping your kids create an adult budget, you'll need to expand those categories to track expenses like housing costs and groceries. From there, measure these categories against their total monthly income. Ideally, they should have more money coming in than going out. This process can help identify must-have vs. want-to-have purchases while highlighting areas to cut back on spending or finding room to save.
• Save regularly & consistently.
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Making consistent, automatic contributions to a savings account can create a mindset that will be valuable as your children get older.
THE MOUNTAINS FOR THE HOLIDAYS.
"It is never too early to open a savings account," McCullen said. "Even if your children don't yet have any bills or financial obligations, teach them to set aside some of the money from their allowance or even gifts from family or friends. Helping children learn to save early-on, even for a small purchase, can help them develop a consistent savings habit over time."
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Young adults should also consider programs like Keep the Change, which helps build savings automatically by rounding up debit card purchases to the nearest dollar amount and transferring the change from a checking account to a savings account.
SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2021 POCONO FAMILY MAGAZINE© 43
Photos Courtesy of Family Features
• Emphasize the importance of safe credit. • Make a finance checklist.
Young adulthood is the right time to begin building credit because establishing good credit takes time. Building credit from a young age can help pave the way for major purchases and life moments, since credit impacts future living arrangements, the ability to purchase a car and even employment opportunities.
This list can include creating a budgeting and tracking strategy, opening a savings account to begin setting aside money from future paychecks or checking in with a financial planner to discuss transitions and what's to come.
Teach your children about the steps they can take to start building credit like planning their credit card usage, never spending outside their means and paying off their credit card bills on-time and in-full. They can also earn rewards while spending by ensuring their credit card rewards their spending. An option like the Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards card offers flexibility to earn rewards in the category of your choice and can help maximize rewards while building credit.
Young adults have a lot on their minds at the end of their final semester at school. As they begin to transition from student life to the working world, one way to help them stay on track is to prepare a checklist of things to do before they graduate and start their jobs.
Taking time now to teach your children strong financial habits can help them develop lifelong financial skills and prepare them for their next adventure. The healthy habits they build today can help carry them to tomorrow and beyond.
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Find more tips for teaching your children financial skills at BetterMoneyHabits.BankofAmerica.com.
Financial Lessons at Every Age From preschool through college, every stage of school is designed to prepare kids for life-long success, but learning about finances is one area that can be especially impactful for children in the long term.
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Focus on basics like saving small change and planning how to spend it. As kids begin to learn fundamental math, you can introduce them to the concept of making a spending plan. Apply these lessons to toys or gifts they want and teach them to set aside money until they have enough to buy the toy of their dreams.
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Those early mathematical lessons around spending can be expanded to include real-life decision making and budget creation, including what should be accounted for and considered before making a purchase. Before children go to the mall with their friends, highlight the thought process involved in spending before they make impulse purchases.
As adulthood begins to draw nearer, it's worth exploring the fundamentals of credit scores, credit cards, investing, saving for retirement, homeownership and more so that, upon graduation, teens can start putting those lessons into practice. High school seniors should also educate themselves on student loans, as debt often becomes a reality for those who attend college, and understanding the facts can help them make more informed choices. Bonus tip: If your high schoolers have jobs, even if it's just part-time, it can be helpful to discuss taxes and how to manage receiving consistent income. It can guide them in creating balanced and accurate budgets in the future.
Build credit by opening a credit card account to help achieve goals later in life, such as purchasing a home. With a career just a few years away (or less), college is also a smart time to begin reading into the basics of 401(k)s, starting an emergency fund or even learning the basics of investing. Courtesy of Family Features
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5 trends driving new vehicle purchases
uying or leasing a new vehicle involves plenty of planning and consideration. We think about what features we'd like to add, like self-parking technology or heated seats. And we ask how our needs might be changing, which could mean moving from a compact to an SUV, or from gas to electric. According to the latest Hankook Tire Gauge Index, nearly twothirds (62%) of Americans would change something about their current vehicle, such as the size, safety features or even the color. So what are the biggest drivers for Americans entering the new vehicle market?
Eye on safety The most important feature for Americans looking at new vehicles is safety, with nearly a quarter (24%) saying that a new vehicle has to protect them and their loved ones. That's especially true for women, who place a higher premium on safety than men when choosing a new vehicle (30% vs 18%). A great way to ensure that a new vehicle will offer the best protection is to research safety ratings from both the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Both 46 POCONO FAMILY MAGAZINE© SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2021
organizations test and rate the most popular vehicles on the market, and provide independent, detailed reports on how they perform in a variety of accident scenarios.
Saving at the pump - and the socket A close second to safety is fuel efficiency, with good mileage ranking as the most important element for 23% of Americans when choosing a new vehicle. It's also important to consider both city and highway fuel economy, and make a decision based on the most likely type of driving that will be done. Efficiency isn't just for gas-powered cars, either: electric mileage is just as important for drivers shopping for new electric vehicles (EVs) and hybrids. The EPA offers an informative section on its fueleconomy.gov site to determine not just what an EV's range is, but the equivalent annual costs in electricity.
Going green With so many of us focused on the efficiency of our next vehicle, it's no surprise that over half of all Americans (52%) either currently own or lease a hybrid or EV (18%), or plan to in the future (34%).
This trend is already growing, especially among younger drivers. Most millennial (69%) and Gen Z (71%) respondents either already or plan to own or lease a hybrid or EV. Hybrids and EVs are also popular among Americans living in the western part of the country (65%). That's likely because of new regulations, such as California's plans to phase out gas-powered car sales by 2035.
Gearing up with gadgets
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It can be hard to choose from the assortment of bells and whistles available on the newest vehicles, but for many Americans, there's a clear list of must-haves. Back-up cameras were the top necessity for 29% of Americans, followed by Bluetooth connectivity (16%) and blind spot detection technology (14%). Not all tech is a must-have, though. Only 6% of Americans would consider self-parking technology as a necessity, and 15% say they don't have any technological deal-breakers when looking at new vehicles. That could still change: After all, back-up cameras were introduced to the U.S. in 2002, and have quickly become the top choice for in-car tech!
Sticking with what works As the saying goes, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. And for 34% of Americans who wouldn't change anything about their current vehicle, that holds true. So when this third of Americans need to buy or lease a new car, it's likely that they'll stick with what they know and like, including body style, color and features. That's less so for younger Americans, though. Just 18% of Gen Z and 20% of millennial respondents are happy with what their current vehicle provides, compared to 49% of boomers and 56% of silent generation Americans. As they get older and gain more purchasing power, we could see millennial and Gen Z drivers make a move for the features they want in a new vehicle.
Thinking outside the cabin
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Hankook Tire asked Americans what unusual feature they'd love to have in their vehicles: 38% said they would add a refrigerator, and 19% would take a coffee maker! That brings a whole new meaning to a cup o' joe to go! Courtesy of Brand Point
9080 Franklin Hill Road East Stroudsburg, Pa www.psgaragepa.com SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2021 POCONO FAMILY MAGAZINE© 47
Photo courtesy of Getty Images
NAVIGATING YOUR HEALTH
aking care of your health, especially over age 65, requires an understanding of your personal needs. Proper medical care isn't one-size-fits-all, so finding the right services and providers may take some research and thoughtful consideration as it relates to your unique circumstances. Consider these tips from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to find the right care for you:
STAY ON TOP OF YOUR HEALTH.
An important part of managing your health is being aware of any current medical concerns or those that might affect you 48 POCONO FAMILY MAGAZINE© SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2021
in the near future. That's why it's important to stay on top of your health care needs - like preventive services that could help identify any issues early. Arming yourself with knowledge can help you be better prepared to make decisions about the type of doctors or health care providers you need and how they work with your health insurance.
Choosing a health care provider can be time consuming and confusing. Medicare.gov makes it easy to find and compare providers like hospitals, home health agencies, doctors, nursing homes and other health care services in your area that accept
On your laptop, tablet or mobile device, enter your location to search for local health care providers and services. A clean and uniform design makes it easy to review and compare providers.
KNOW WHAT TO LOOK FOR.
It's important to understand everything you're considering when searching for care for yourself or a loved one. Search filters allow you to personalize your search based on what's most important to you, like services offered, quality ratings, inspection reports and doctor affiliations. Other features include suggested next steps and checklists to help choose the best provider for you. Knowing what providers accept Medicare can also give you peace of mind.
"It's important to understand everything you're considering when searching for care for yourself or a loved one."
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Don't put off researching your health care provider options. When you're feeling well is typically the best time to consider your health care needs. With a clear mind, you'll be able to thoroughly explore pros and cons about providers and facilities and get the information you need to find the best fit for you, such as practice locations, specialties, contact information and more. You can also save your favorite health care providers to refer to later when you're logged into your online Medicare account.
MAKE YOUR WISHES KNOWN.
Whether you're planning ahead for yourself or finding care for a loved one, it's important to share your preferences with others who are part of your care team. This might include sharing which doctors you like, what hospital you prefer or selecting a nursing home close to family and friends.
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Planning for medical care can seem like a challenge. By keeping tabs on your health and using available tools to research your options and compare providers, like the resources at Medicare.gov, you can create a plan that best fits your needs. Paid for by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. Source: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Courtesy of Family Features
SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2021 POCONO FAMILY MAGAZINE© 49
course. We’ll show you the basics before you set out to try and find all the points. Space is limited – call early! peec.org
Sunday, September 12, 2021, 1:00pm - 3:30pm Join an Environmental Educator at 1pm at the Bog parking lot and take a 2 ½ hour guided journey into the unique Tannersville Cranberry Bog. Along the way, our environmental educators will explain the Bog's formation, its interesting plant and animal life and the role the local Preserve Committee and the Nature Consevancy play in its continued protection. Please wear appropriate footwear, closed-toed shoes or sneakers that can get wet. Rain or shine (Raincoats are preferred instead of umbrellas). mcconservation.org
Bridge the Gap: River Paddle
Sunday, September 12, 2021, 09:00am - 03:00pm Join us for a paddle down the Delaware! Bring a lunch and a water bottle and dress for the weather. We will provide extra water and snacks. Choose between a canoe or kayak. Preregistration is required and begins at 8:30am on August 12th. Lead support is provided by the William Penn Foundation. peec.org Photo courtesy of William McKee
In & Around the Poconos Dutot Museum Plein Air 2021 September 1 - September 15
Painting days Sep. 1-15. In-person auction with silent bidding and extended show. Artists' reception and bidding will open on Sep. 17. Show will run thru Oct. 3, Closing reception and final bidding on Oct 3. poconoarts.org
Volunteer Day – Pike County Day of Caring Saturday, September 11, 2021, 10:00am - 01:00pm
Lend a hand and help us out with some seasonal projects. This is the perfect day to become involved with our volunteer program! Preregistration required. Lunch will be provided. peec.org
Introduction to Orienteering
Saturday, September 11, 2021, 01:00pm - 03:00pm Come learn how to use a map & compass on our orienteering 50 POCONO FAMILY MAGAZINE© SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2021
11th Annual Butterfly Release for Peace Wednesday, September 15, 2021, 5:30 pm - 6:30 pm
Loved ones remembered, honored and celebrated at Women's Resources of Monroe County's 11th Annual Butterfly Release for Peace. Butterfly-themed art exhibition at Pocono Cinema Sep. 16-Oct. 29, 2021, coordinated by the Pocono Arts Council. poconoarts.org
Butterfly-themed Art Exhibition September 16 - October 28
Butterfly-themed art exhibition in support of Women's Resources of Monroe County's 11th Annual Butterfly Release for Peace in the Yetter Family Gallery of the Pocono Cinema. Joint effort between Women's Resources, Pocono Cinema, and the Pocono Arts Council. poconoarts.org
Tobyhanna Lake Paddle
Friday, September 17, 2021, 1:00pm - 4:00pm The 170-acre Tobyhanna Lake, one of Monroe County's largest public lakes, is derived from an American Indian word meaning 'a stream whose banks are fringed with alder.' And it's true-alder trees thrive in the boggy areas and damp woodlands surrounding the lake. Join us while we explore, observe and discuss the plants, animals and history of the lake. Meet at the
Tobyhanna State Park boat launch area at 1pm, or come early and enjoy your lunch by the shore before we begin. Participants must provide their own kayak or canoe, paddle and PFD (life jacket). mcconservation.org
Intro to Tent Camping
Sunday, September 19, 2021, 10:00am - 12:00pm Learn everything you need to know about camping right here, from basic shelters to common knots, and even how to build a fire from scratch. It’ll be great practice for any future family vacations. peec.org
Fall Flights: Birds & Brews
Friday, September 24, 2021 to Sunday, September 26, 2021 Come out for a wonderful weekend of bird watching and beer tasting. Enjoy guided hikes that teach how to identify birds by sight, sound, and habitat. Program is geared towards beginners and experts alike. Saturday night we’ll provide beverages from local breweries while you relax around our campfire! Includes two nights of lodging and meals from Friday dinner through Sunday lunch. peec.org
Cranberry Creek Paddle through the Bog Friday, October 01, 2021, 10:00am - 1:00pm
Autumn colors will be on display for our tranquil yet slightly challenging 3-hour excursion into the Bog Preserve on Cranberry Creek. Learn about the special plants and animals that call the bog home as we follow the twists and turns of the creek and traverse beaver dams.Cost: $15/non-members, $10/ EE Center or Nature Conservancy members and children under 12. Pre-registration is required and limited. Call 570-629-3061 to register. mcconservation.org
Saturday, October 02, 2021, 07:00pm - 08:30pm Pennsylvania is home to a number of different species of owls. There are a handful of different species that live around PEEC. Let’s explore and see who we can find! peec.org
Red Cross Blood Drive
Saturday, October 02, 2021, 09:00am - 02:00pm We are proud to be hosting another blood drive from 9am to 2pm. Call Barbara at MCCD at 570-629-3060 for more information. To register or learn more about American Red Cross blood drives, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS. mcconservation.org
Online Auction – Pocono Arts Council October 8 - October 22
Fall for the Arts 2021 Online Auction to benefit the Pocono Arts Council and arts and cultural activities in our community. Website to come. poconoarts.org
Harvest Family Camp Weekend
Friday, October 08, 2021 To Monday, October 11, 2021 Columbus Day Weekend: October 8-11 Bring your friends and family to experience PEEC in the splendor of autumn. Animal presentations, canoeing & kayaking, nature hikes, crafts, campfire and more! Price includes three nights of lodging and meals from Friday dinner through Monday lunch. peec.org
Saturday, October 23, 2021, 10:00am - 12:00pm Learn some beginner techniques on how to frame a picture, and we’ll take you out to practice those skills on our campus. Great for children and those starting from scratch. Participants will need a camera for pictures, even a phone camera will do. peec.org
Introduction to Orienteering
Sunday, October 24, 2021, 10:00am - 12:00pm Come learn how to use a map & compass on our orienteering course. We’ll show you the basics before you set out to try and find all the points. Space is limited – call early! peec.org
Ecozone Discovery Room!
Sunday, October 24, 2021, 01:00pm - 04:00pm Climb into a bald eagle’s nest, crawl into a bat cave, explore a beaver lodge, and dig in a fossil pit! Explore this indoor discovery room and enjoy hands-on exhibits on natural history, sustainability and the local environment. No registration required. *Limited to 15 people at a time* peec.org
Saturday, October 30, 2021, 10:00am - 12:00pm Animals leave behind clues that give us glimpses into their lives. Explore our natural areas for tracks, trails, scat, territory marks, chew marks, and other signs animals leave as they travel through the fields and forests of the Poconos. peec.org
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PARTING SHOT Photo courtesy of Jason Richardson
52 POCONO FAMILY MAGAZINE© SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2021
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Now! ACCESS YOUR FAVORITE
Dr. William Martin
POCONO MAGAZINES ONLINE
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It’s Easier to Stay Well than to Get Well Maintain your Health through Chiropractic
1015 Congdon ave. Stroudsburg, pa 18360
570-421-2977 Adjusting to the Flow of Health
and Pocono Family Magazine
ANY DEVICE, ANYTIME, ANY PLACE go to: Barrett Paradise Friendly Library Cresco, PA 570-595-7171 www.barrettlibrary.org
Pocono Mountain Public Library Tobyhanna, PA 570-894-8860 www.poconomountpl.org
Clymer Library Pocono Pines, PA 570-646-0826 www.clymerlibrary.org
Western Pocono Community Library Brodheadsville, PA 570-992-7934 www.wpcl.lib.pa.us
Eastern Monroe Public Library Branches Hughes Library (main branch) Stroudsburg, PA 570-421-0800 www.monroepl.org Pocono Township Branch Tannersville, PA 570-629-5858 Smithfield Branch Marshalls Creek, PA 570-223-1881 Bookmobile 570-421-0880 x49
54 POCONO FAMILY MAGAZINE© SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2021
www.PoconoMagazines.com • READ CURRENT & PAST ISSUES • SUBSCRIBE FOR FREE • NEVER MISS ANOTHER ISSUE
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