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Learning to Share

Gardening How Does A Seed Grow?


A Cosmic Adventure

0 Y2 R A U JAN


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appy New Year! There’s always something special about the start of a new year as we look with hope and optimism toward the future. New year. New adventures. As today’s family is often on the go, Raise Magazine is the South Valley’s number one resource for busy parents who want valuable tips on health, education, development and general topics about raising children, and it’s absolutely free. Although our Central Valley winters can be too cold or damp to spend much time outdoors, it’s not too early to start a spring garden. Seeds planted now, indoors, if properly cared for and nurtured will be ready for transplanting outdoors when the weather warms. In just a few months you’ll have delicious and healthy vegetables but even better is the benefit to our kids in tenderly caring for something and watching it grow. On page 10,“How Does a Seed Grow?” explains how to get your garden started. Many of our articles focus on encouraging positive relationships at home and at school. This month’s “The Importance of Having a Mentor” on page 18, provides positive insight about the value of having a mentor. Even as adults having positive role models in our lives has significant value in our journey as human beings. With 2013 in our rearview mirror, we look forward to a new year and all the exciting additions to Raise in 2014.

KAREN TELLALIAN, EXECUTIVE EDITOR For more information or to submit a story idea, email or call (559) 739-1747 or fax (559) 738-0909.

P.S. For What’s Fresh now check out our bookmark on page 21.






I Like to Oat, Oat, Oat.


0 Y 2



in this issue




12 Adventures

Learn to Share

16 Arts & Crafts



22 Achievement

A New Year’s Resolution: Read to Your Children

23 Dental Health

10 Gardening

How Does A Seed Grow?

14 Humor

A Cosmic Adventure

18 Positive Parenting

The Importance of Having a Mentor

24 Development

A Different Journey

26 College Prep

27 Kids’ Corner 28 Calendar 31 Resources


Financial Aid: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

30 Reading List

It’s Not Too Late to Shop for Book-Related Gifts ON THE COVER: Sawyer Joseph Starbuck of Visalia Photo by Studio 317




Obstetrics Sonography Infertility Midwifery Gynecology Birth Control Novasure Essure Outpatient Surgery

An Independent Practice Association providing

excellence in mental and behavioral health care delivery in Central California Kristin Sorensen Alldredge, LMFT

Melinda L. Mauro, LCSW

Ross M. Becker, PhD, LCSW

Mary K. McDonald, PhD

Frances E. Becker, LCSW


Paul C. Bennett, LCSW

Lisa A. Miller, PhD

Sandra T. Bennett, LCSW

Lori Pasion-Gonzales, PhD

Linda Del Rio, LMFT

Diane B. Post, LCSW

Lynn W. Gonzales, LCSW

David G. Richards, LCSW

Sue Enterline, LCSW

Colleen Richards, LCSW

Jacquelyn Harris-Groeber, PhD Kent Henry, LMFT

John A. Mauro, LCSW

559.741.1202 1700 S. Court St., Suite B, Visalia, CA 93277 |

Mike Mayo, LCSW

Frony Ritter, LMFT

Michael H. Shaffer, LCSW, LMFT Barry Sommer, LEP, LMFT

1212 W. Main Street Visalia, CA 93291 559-738-0644








Text by Barry Sommer, Licensed Educational Psychologist and Psychotherapist


oliday time provides an excellent opportunity to teach and reinforce the social skill of sharing with your children. Learning how to share is a big challenge for most children because it often means putting aside one’s own needs in order to consider someone else. Sharing is not a skill children have when they are born. They need to be taught how to share and how to see that their efforts have helped someone else feel happy, solved a problem, or contributed to fairness and peace. True sharing implies empathy, the ability to see things from others’ viewpoints. Children are seldom capable of true empathy under the age of five. Prior to that time they share because you teach, model and reinforce them to do so. Given guidance and generosity, the selfish two-year-old can become a generous three- or four-year-old. As children begin to play with each other and cooperate in their play, they begin to see the value of sharing. In order to learn this skill, children need adults to provide them with many different opportunities where they can practice how to share with others and see other children in the act of sharing: • Read books about sharing with your child. Talk about how the characters might feel as the story unfolds. All feelings are healthy and normal. A character might be feeling a variety of emotions – from frustrated and sad to happy and joyful. A good example is the CSEFEL Book Nook based upon the book I Can Share by Karen Katz. This resource has many activities for preschoolers that go along with the book to teach about sharing: http://csefel. • Avoid forcing your child to share, but notice and point out when other children are sharing. “I see that those girls are sharing their snack.” Plan ahead if sharing might be a concern. “Jeff is coming over to

our house today for a play date. I know how special your toy truck is to you. We can put your truck in a special place that is just for you and you can share other things with Jeff.” Young children get a much better sense of what you want if you use the term “taking turns,” – everyone gets a turn. • Notice and let your child know that you see the many moments in the day when he is sharing. “When I came to pick you up from school, I noticed that you were sharing the soccer ball with Sophie. What a good friend!” • Model generosity. Find opportunities to teach and model to your child “Oh no! For dessert tonight we only have three cookies left for you, Cara, me and Daddy. I wonder what we can do?” When someone asks to borrow one of your “toys,” make this a teachable moment. A child gives as he is given to.

When a child learns how to share with others he feels more confident and is better able to play with other children independently. Additionally, learning how to share gives a child a very important and solid foundation in successful friendship skills he can continue to build on as he grows. Knowing and accepting that sharing is a normal part of healthy development is the first step in helping your child grow up to be a generous person.





READ TO YOUR CHILDREN Text by Family HealthCare Network


ccording to Reach Out & Read, a leading national literacy advocacy organization, one out of every three children in America enters kindergarten without the basic language skills needed to learn to read. Fewer than half of young children in the United States are read to on a daily basis and the children who come from low-income families are even less likely to be read to than their higher income peers. So why should parents read to their children and what are the benefits of reading to your children at such an early age? Before diving in to its benefits, it’s important to know some of the reasons why most children are not getting the head start they need prior to entering kindergarten. Depending on social and economics backgrounds, the following factors can play a part in why some parents are not reading to their children.

• Purchasing books is not really an option for families who live in lower income households who often lack the funds to purchase them.

• Let your child turn the pages.

• Parents who may have not been read to as children just don’t see the benefits of reading to their own children.

• Run your finger along with the words as you read to them.

• Between the busy work schedules, extracurricular activities and community involvement, parents find it difficult to take the time out to read with their children.

Reap the benefits of reading to your children. Reading out loud to young children is highly encouraged and promotes the development of literacy and language skills that prepare children for school and life in general. Studies conducted by researchers of the Reach Out & Read Program have shown that the relationship between a child and parent is supported when interactive shared reading takes place. Being read to at an early age can also stimulate a love for reading, which can last throughout your child’s lifetime. Opportunities that promote positive attitudes towards literacy for children are likely to be created when parents hold positive attitudes toward reading.

Reading Tips for building better brains. Just in case you’re wondering, “How do I get involved with reading to my child?” Here are some tips provided by Reach Out And Read to encourage literary interaction between parents and children. • Make reading part of every day, even for just a few minutes. • Talk about the pictures. You don’t have to read the book to tell a whole story.



• Show your child the cover page and explain what the story is about.

• Silly sounds, especially animal sounds are fun to make. • Choose books about events in your child’s life such as starting preschool, going to the dentist, getting a new pet, or moving into a new home. • Make the story come alive. Create voices for the story characters. • Ask questions about the story. What do you think will happen next? What is this? • Let your child ask questions about the story. Talk about familiar activities and objects. • Let your child retell the story. • Visit your local library often. • Most of all, HAVE FUN! When books are shared with children, the impact it has on them is literally life changing and positive, for both the parents and children alike. So if you’re looking for worthwhile resolutions this year to impact the lives young children, read to them and it will leave a lasting impression for many years to come. To learn more about the Reach Out & Read program, check out the webiste at




HOW DOES A SEED GROW? Text by Susan Schieferle, Master Gardener, University of California Cooperative Extension





anuary is typically a cold and foggy month here in the valley. But it’s also a month when you can plant seeds indoors for transplanting outdoors in spring. The soil and climate are too cold outdoors for seeds to germinate. This month you can “plant” a seed indoors and watch how the roots and stem are formed! Vocabulary:


Seedcoat: A thin, outside layer to protect the seed before planting.

Day 2: tiny stem with root

Cotelydon: [co-tee-lee-done] Contains the food supply to the seed until the roots are established. The cotelydon becomes the first seed leaf of the seedling. Root: The part of the seed that grows into the soil to support the plant and bring nutrients to the plant. Stem: The part of the seed that grows up through the soil and develops a strong stem with leaves and flowers. Germination: When the stem of the seed peeks out of the soil.

Day 2

Day 12: seed leaf visible and many roots Day 14: seed leaf (below) and stem with new leaf forming; many roots

Follow-up activity: 1. Take the soaked lima bean seed and carefully peel off the seedcoat. It may just fall off! 2. Split the bean in half carefully.

You will need:

3. One half of the seed contains the root and stem. Handle carefully!

Lima beans (a few), a clear plastic cup, and a coffee filter or paper towel.

Directions: 1. Soak the lima beans overnight in water. 2. Keep 1 or 2 soaked lima beans for a follow-up activity. 3. Arrange the moistened coffee filter or paper towel in a cone shape inside the cup. 4. Put the lima bean(s) on the outside of the filter, near the top of the cup. 5. Put the cup in a sunny window. Keep the filter or paper towel moist daily. 6. Watch the seed grow! This is an amazing activity! After roots are developed, your child can actually plant the roots in soil (indoors) and transplant outdoors in early spring!

January monthly tip: If there are leaves to rake, adding some as compost to flowers and veggies will help keep the warmth in the soil and the weeds out. Cold-sensitive plants need to be protected either by moving to a sheltered area or covered with frost cover or burlap.

Day 4: root developing [stem is the green part above root]

Day 4

4. Explain that the stem will grow upwards (germinate) with the cotelydon becoming the first seed leaf! The root will grow downwards, developing more “feeder” roots to bring water and nutrients to the stem.

Chart the growth of your seed(s): Make a chart with Day 1, 2, 3, etc. Have your child measure and/or drawer the growth of the stem and root daily. This is a fascinating activity to watch!

Day 12

December follow-up: Hopefully, you still have your seed ornament! Put it in a safe place to plant outdoors in March or April. Be sure to tear it in small pieces before planting in the ground.

Day 14




Fresno Chaffee Zoo


ions, tigers, and bears, oh my! Follow the yellow brick road, or CA 99 North, to the Fresno Chaffee Zoo and see all three, plus so much more! When was the last time you went to the zoo? If it’s been over a year, it’s time to go back. You don’t have to drive to San Diego to experience wildlife and beautiful natural settings; the Fresno Chaffee Zoo is home to approximately 125 species of animals with more always on the way. Eighteen of these species are part of the Species Survival Plan – a program created by Association of Zoos and Aquariums-member zoos to systematically develop breeding management strategies to help protect some of the planet’s rarest animals. It’s open 364 days a year, so don’t let a little rain or a cloudy day keep you from your zoo plans this year – no matter the month! It’s amazing how going to the zoo at age 8, 28, or 48 still has the ability to open your eyes wide and put a smile on your face. Be entertained standing below the big orange orangutans, or reach up to feed a sleepy giraffe. As if being only a few feet away from a tiger or a bear isn’t adventure enough, the zoo has plenty of other activities to take in. Enjoy Ross Laird’s Winged Wonders Bird Show. This incredible free-flight bird show is designed to promote awareness of the natural behavior of birds, and gets audience members up close and personal as the birds fly overhead, examining you as much as you’re examining them. One of the best features of going to the zoo is making your own schedule. The zoo is yours to explore however you want, so long as you don’t hop any barriers and find yourself staring straight into the face of Simba. In addition to seeing the animals throughout, there are special habitats developed for specific species and settings like the Sea Lion Cove, Tropical Rain Forest, and the Sunda Forest. When you get hungry, if you didn’t pack a lunch to enjoy in the many grassy picnic areas, there are of course delicious cafes on site as well including the Safari and Nosara cafes.

The zoo is open this winter from 9a-4p with ticket prices only $7/adults, $3.50/children ages 2-11 and seniors 62 and over, and FREE for children under two. For more information and to plan your zoo adventure visit



The Fresno Chaffee Zoo was originally formed in the early 1900s, but was officially recognized by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums in 1929 as the Roeding Park Zoo. There have been many changes and additions to the grounds since then, but one thing continues to stay the same: the Chaffee Zoo strengthens the bond between people and wildlife. It’s an experience not to be missed and to be enjoyed time and again.

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ards R. Edw . R l a t rys xt by C


et me take you back to 2005. This was when we only had Birdie Sue and Hedgehog, back when parenting and marriage and life in general still had the pale pink blush of promise and love. Sure, things could be tough at times, but we were a couple in love with one another, in love with our children, and really, what more do you need than love? Life would sort itself out.

It was the last week of January, cold and rainy. Donald handed several items through the car door to me, then helped Monk strap in to his booster seat. Monk, the 4-year old son of my best friend, Taffy, was joining us at Chuck E. Cheese for Birdie Sue’s 4th birthday. The two children were infants together, then toddlers together. This was the first time we were treating them like “kids” instead of “babies.” Monk was a bit of an anomaly then. Now an intelligent and thoughtful 11-year-old young man, he was at the time just this side of a paranoid. During moms’ nights out at the local sushi joint, Taffy would tell hilarious tales of hauling him through the checkout area of Target while he screamed, “Don’t step on the red line! Not the red line, Mommy!” He often wouldn’t eat food until it was positioned just-so on his plate. His imaginary friend, Jimmy, who Taffy once threw out the car window, would tell Monk to do ridiculous things that left the adults astounded and, frankly, a little worried about his future. But back to the birthday supper. Monk’s dad had helped him pick out a gift. While they were checking out, Monk espied chocolate roses on long plastic stems, wrapped



in red foil. He begged to get one for Birdie Sue, and so there we were with one baby in her car seat between two newly minted “big kids,” and a pile of objects stacked between us in the front of the SUV. Donald picked the chocolate rose out of the pile and handed it to Monk, who then handed it across Hedgehog to Birdie Sue. “Oh, Monk!” she exclaimed. “This is lovely!” I don’t know what had happened between the battle of getting her shoes on and her hair brushed and this very moment, but she somehow sounded so proper and grown-up. I suspected Donald had been reading her Pride and Prejudice at bedtime. I wasn’t going to complain. We all need a little Darcy in our dreams. Monk giggled. “Do you like it?” His voice was tinged with worry and ... hope? “I like it very much, Monk.” “I know you like chocolate.” “I do. Thank you, Monk.” I glanced at Donald. He was staring straight ahead at the road. His jaw muscle jumped like Richard Gere’s


in – well, any movie, really. The point is, he was grinding his teeth. I looked back at the road myself. I’d learned not to interfere with a daddy and his firstborn daughter. “Do you like roses?” It was becoming clear Monk was working himself up into a state. “Not the red line, Mommy!” rang through my head. My fingers hovered over the buttons on my cell phone. This might require Taffy’s intervention. “I like roses. Yes, thank you.” “I thought it was pretty.” “It’s beautiful. I like chocolate and I like roses. Thank you, Monk.” We thought the conversation was ended there. We drove a further few miles down the road while the kids chattered for a few moments about the latest adventures of Rollie Pollie Ollie and that clever dog Blue. They giggled with Hedgehog, strapped into her own car seat, over some silly toy. I turned sideways in my seat and smiled at the sweet little picture the trio made. Hedgehog was a natural flirt and did her best to keep Monk’s attention. He was having none of it. His eyes were on Birdie Sue again, a faint crease pinching his eyebrows together over those large, luminously brown eyes. “Birdie Sue,” he began. “I like chocolate, Monk. The rose is beautiful. Thank you so much for it.” “I want you to like it, Birdie Sue. It’s very pretty. It’s almost as pretty as y--” Donald coughed loud enough to startle us all and make Hedgehog cry. We pulled into the parking lot of Chuck E. Cheese. Shaken and somewhere near a total, giggling collapse, I helped children unstrap and tumble out of the vehicle. Donald met the older two at the front of the car while I straggled behind, carrying Hedgehog. And then I noticed something peculiar. Donald had the hand of each 4-year old and they began to walk toward the restaurant doors. Birdie Sue still carried her chocolate rose. Monk would lean behind Donald to look at her. She would look over at him with her cheeky grin. Donald would look down and notice, mostly because the children’s speed had diminished enough to cause him to nearly drag them both across the parking lot. He coughed again. Both kids snapped to attention and walked properly. For a few steps, anyway. This was repeated three or four times until we entered the restaurant.

This was the first time I’d seen our own story, Donald’s and mine, played out right in front of me. That it was being enacted by our daughter and my good friend’s son was like a cosmic nod of approval. I was all for this. What could it hurt? They weren’t even in kindergarten yet, and they weren’t going to be at the same schools. They would only see one another at play dates and parties. They’d forget this in time (probably weeks) and we’d all just bumble along the same as we’d always done, two families with four children between them and a lot of fun to be had. One look at Donald’s face told me that avuncular cosmic nodding notwithstanding, this Was Not Going To Happen On His Watch. Despite his jaw-throbbing and coughing, Donald never did manage to get the two children separated. Birdie Sue, irrepressible even at that age, would circle back to the table to grab Monk’s hand and drag him to the dance floor while Chuck E. and the band played “Today is Your Birthday” and other ridiculous songs. Monk had to be dragged, you see, because there were cameras projecting the dance floor images onto a large screen up front. He seemed terrified of being turned into a giant. Or something. As I said, it was difficult to figure that kid out back then. Now they’re both 11. Monk and Birdie Sue see one another maybe once a year. As the kids have grown, the moms have all stopped having play dates and just stick with sushi and way too much sake a couple of times a month. About two years ago, there was a friendship triangle when one of our other close friends daughter Abigail was in love with Monk and emailed Birdie Sue about it. Birdie Sue did what I now understand is her thing: she complimented Monk to Eve, explained that he’s a good friend, and that she likes him very much, but that Eve could have at him with her blessing. Too bad she never felt that way about the chocolate rose when Hedgehog wanted some. Was that ever a battle! (p.s. I happen to know that the chocolate rose is in a box, in the corner of a middle shelf, under a pile of sports jerseys and stuffed animals, in a certain young lady’s bedroom in this house. The birthday card is still in there, too. Uncle Cosmo is still nodding, somewhere. Poor, poor Donald.)







Dragon PUPPETS Text by Lindsey Harrison, Museum Intern, ImagineU Interactive Children’s Museum


anuary is a month of beginnings. This year, January lucky to host the Western New Year at the beginning of the month and the Chinese New Year at the end. To help celebrate the occasions, here is a fun and easy dragon craft great for kids of all ages. What You Need: • Two Paper Cups • Tempera Paint and Paintbrush • Invisible Tape • Tissue Paper (Optional: Multiple Colors) • String or Yarn • Googly Eyes • White Non-Toxic Glue • Hole Punch • Scissors • (Optional) Pipe Cleaners or Construction Paper

Directions: 1. Paint the outside of the two paper cups with any color you prefer. These will be the head and bottom of your dragon. Leave to dry. 2. Cut long strips of tissue paper about an inch in width. This will become your body. If you have more than one color of tissue paper you wish to use in the body, make sure to cut out an equal amount of all colors. 3. Take a long piece of invisible tape, somewhere between 6 to 10 inches in length. 4. Stick the strips of tissue paper so that they cross the tape making an x. Leaving half an inch on either end of the tape, stick down as many pieces of tissue paper as possible.

6. Laying the cups on their side so that the tape hangs between them, use the hole punch to create one hole on the top of each cup. 7. On one cup, below the hole, glue on two googly eyes. 8. On the other cup, take some of the extra strips of tissue paper and make a tail by gluing them on the back (what used to be the bottom of the cup). 9. Tie pieces of string in each hole. 10. Optional: Take a strip of yellow, red, or orange tissue paper and glue it on to the very front of the dragon to make it look like it is breathing fire.

5. When the paint on the cups is dry, stick a clear edge of the tape to the inside of each cup. All the tissue paper should be visible and hang down towards the floor.




The Importance of Having a MENTOR Text by The Children’s Services Network


any of us look back on our childhood and realize there were individuals at certain points in our lives who influenced the decisions we made, and thus the directions we went. For those of us fortunate enough to have positive experiences as a result of these people, we know how important it was to have their guidance when we were most impressionable. This guidance could have been social, emotional, academic, spiritual or career oriented, but the important thing is that there was someone who gave us direction in ways our peers weren’t able to. The younger generations, especially teenagers, often need someone other than their parents with whom they can talk with. One who may be able to relate to what they’re experiencing, or maybe it’s just someone who can provide them with an outsider’s perspective on certain situations. A positive role model can sometimes be the difference between a child experimenting with alcohol and drugs, not reaching their full potential at school, or hanging out with the wrong crowd. Navigating childhood and adolescence is a difficult task, and sometimes it is a challenge for children to communicate openly with their parents about the struggles and pressures they experience at school or among their peers. Research has been conducted on the importance of children having mentors and results indicate the significance of having a mentor. Marilyn Price-Mitchell, Ph.D. stated in “The Moment of Youth” that a five-year study “found that children with mentors were more confident and had fewer behavioral problems. Girls in the study were four times less likely to become bullies than those without a mentor and boys were two times less likely. In general, young people showed increased belief in their abilities to succeed in school and felt less anxiety related to peer-pressure.” If your child seems to be having difficulties socially or academically and does not have a consistent mentor, search for opportunities to help them find one. Whether it is someone they can have an individual relationship with, or participating in an activity that allows them to be exposed to a positive leader (such as a sports coach, or dance teacher), the benefits can be remarkable. If you’re unable to find potential options on your own, organizations like the



Boys and Girls Club of the Sequoias and programs offered by Tulare County of Education give opportunities for children to build relationships with individuals by participating in life-enhancing programs, and character development experiences. These types of organizations also offer after school activities such as tutoring and curriculum/programs to help youth make wise choices, adopt healthy lifestyle behaviors and develop positive character traits. Whether it is with a teacher, coach, neighbor, etc. encourage your child to build a relationship with someone (an individual whom you trust) who can be their mentor. This individual can be a source of support for your child through various situations that arise during childhood and adolescence, offer career or education advice, and even prevent your child from making poor decisions that may lead them down the wrong path. A mentor can have a long lasting impact on your child’s life, and although no one can replicate a parent’s role, sometimes they can provide motivation for your child to achieve their full potential. The more support that a child has throughout their life, the more they will be able to mature and develop the skills to become independent adults. If you are interested in becoming a mentor to youth, contact your church or community organizations to explore the opportunities available in your town. Many mentors state that the youth they have mentored have had just as much of a positive impact on themselves as they’ve had on the youth.


A License to Care

Tulare County Health & Human Services Agency

We heard you!

We are now offering one-on-one orientations for people interested in becoming a foster parent. Please call Foster Care Licensing, 623-0581, to schedule an orientation AT YOUR CONVENIENCE. Foster care homes are needed throughout Tulare County. We especially need foster parents ready to take in siblings or teenagers, and to respond to emergency placements. Foster Care Licensing will provide: • Ongoing training • Support and mentors • Networking with other foster parents

Children in foster care are going through a scary time in their lives. Are you ready to be their shelter in the storm?









what’s FRESH?



Tangelos Brussel Sprouts Kale

Source: Tulare County Farm Bureau


anuary is National Oatmeal Month, and what better way to start the new year than by preparing this healthy breakfast with your kiddos. There are many oatmeal recipes out there that include guilt-free ingredients and keep the whole family coming back for seconds. Always start with a fresh batch of rolled oats, about 1/2 cup. Next, add in what you wish to make plain oats into a delicious meal. Here are a few recipes that will get the taste buds jumping and begging for more!




1/2 cup oats

1/2 cup oats

1 cup milk (of your choice)

1 fresh apple, chopped

3 tsp chopped almonds or pecans (any nuts your prefer)

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 cup brown sugar

3-4 squirts of honey

1 ripe banana

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 cup milk

1/4 tsp vanilla extract



sweetener (agave, sugar, stevia, etc.)

Take chopped apple and put in a large sauce pan. Add 3 cups water, boil and stir in oats. Once oatmeal is thick, remove from eat and stir in the cinnamon and brown sugar. Optional: For children who prefer a creamier texture, add milk or applesauce. To get a sweet and salty flavor, mix in 1/8 tsp salt, or top with slivered almonds.

Prepare oats as recommended on packaging. While cooking the oats, chop the almonds or nuts of choice and set aside. When oats are finished, drizzle with the honey, and add in milk. Add less milk, depending on what consistency is desired. Top with chopped oats, and serve.

1/2 cup oats

2 tbsp peanut butter

Directions: Pour in salt and milk into the cooked oats. While cooking, blend the peanut butter and banana together. Next, add the vanilla, sweetener and 1/2 of the cooked oats to the blender, and re-blend. Add the blended mixture to the rest of the oats, and serve. If you wish, you can slice bananas on top.

Fill up tummies with warm, healthy ingredients to get a jumpstart to the day. Breakfast is the most important meal and oatmeal is a great way to experiment with different ingredients with the family. Each week, pick one day that is oatmeal day! Have different toppings and flavors set out, and let your child’s imagination run wild as they spoon and pour their choice of the week.




Student Achievements

Character COUNTS

Text by Kelley Petty, CHARACTER COUNTS! Coordinator, Tulare County Office of Education




Ciara Wong

Christian Long

Kacey Seeger

Redwood High School Senior Ciara Wong knows how to reach out, bridge gaps and encourage students to believe in themselves. As Vice President of Redwood Ranger ASB, Ciara wears many hats. Ciara has been captain of her volleyball team all four years. Coach Alana Montgomery says, “Ciara is a hard-working athlete, dedicated to being the best she can be. She is a great teammate and awesome leader both on and off the court.” Off the court, Ciara makes sure freshmen are feeling connected to school by being active in Link Crew. Ciara says, “It is important to encourage others to break out of their shell and get involved. It may seem scary at first but it is worth it.” Off campus, you will find Ciara volunteering her time to the Blind Babies Foundation, as well as co-founding the first California Chapter of Skate for Change Club. Be on the lookout for skateboarders in our community stopping to visit homeless on the streets and donating food and clothing items.

What makes a 17-year-old young man hurry without reflection to the aid of another in distress? The answer is simply having compassion for another human being. A senior at La Sierra Military Academy (LSMA), Sergeant Christian Long believes that this is something everyone ought to do. Christian was a first responder to a man in need, thanks to his innate desire to help those in distress. He also credits his CPR training and a Mental Health First-Aid course offered at LSMA. Christian says, ”This class helped me see others in need – not just as an observer, but as a first responder.” While attending LSMA, Sergeant Long uses his experience and knowledge to lead his company, drill team and special forces platoon. Principal Anjelica Zermeño says, “Christian has a keen sense of awareness.  This is part of who he is, always looking out for someone else.” It should also give us great comfort to know that following graduation, Christian plans use his very special talents and character to serve our country as a member of US Navy.  

Attend a Golden West High School sporting event and you are sure to find yourself in a sea of school spirit. Leading the chants of Blazer Pride you will find Rally Commissioner is Kacey Seeger. Kacey is a senior with plenty of activities that keep him donning the Blazer ‘unitard’. Activities director and teacher Mr. Mc Donald says, “Without hesitation, Kacey will push his peers to contribute to school service, attend games, and promote positive school spirit whenever possible.” Kacey is well-liked by his peers and respected for his enthusiasm and leadership on campus. In addition to school spirit, Kacey maintains a 4.0 GPA and is a standout student athlete in Varsity Blazer Water Polo and Baseball. At times there are not enough hours in a day for Kacey to fit everything in, but that doesn’t stop his passion to promote Golden West High School in a positive manner. “Win or lose, we always try to keep spirit and support positive for our teams and not promote negativity for the opposing side.”

If you know of an outstanding student, contact Kelley Petty, Tulare County Office of Education CHARACTER COUNTS! Coordinator at (559) 740-4303




THUMBSUCKING Text by Keith E. Williams, DDS, Williams Family Dental

Help Your Child Break the Habit


abies at birth will reflexively suck any object placed in their mouth. This reflex is responsible for breastfeeding. Ultrasound scans show thumbsucking starts as early as 15 weeks after conception. Most children stop on their own between two and four years of age; for those who don’t, peer pressure at school usually does.

Parents often ask if they should intervene. Generally, thumbsucking isn’t a concern until the child’s permanent teeth start to erupt. At that time, continued aggressive thumbsucking can affect the shape of the palate and the alignment of the teeth. Consider intervention if the sucking continues past the age of four to five, or if there are obvious dental problems, like the front teeth tipping toward the lip.

AT TEN TION Tulare Count y Photographers

Techniques to encourage your child to stop include: 1. Don’t mention it. Sometimes it’s being done for attention. 2. Use positive reinforcement. 3. Identify triggers. If the sucking is related to stressors, identify the issue and provide comfort in a different way. 4. Gentle reminders. Positive reinforcement is usually more effective than negative. Resist the temptation to use aversive techniquess. Finally, if you’re concerned with thumbsucking’s effect on their teeth, check with your dentist. In some cases your dentist may recommend a dental appliance to interfere with the habit.

Plan today for their future

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Your baby steps today can mean big changes in your child’s future Beginning a college savings program or preparing for your own retirement is an investment in your child’s future. Call to learn how you can turn small change into big opportunity.

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. Also ask about: • Budgeting • Investment/retirement planning • IRS collection matters Schedule your consultation today!






A DIFFERENT Text by Central Valley Regional Center


hen you learn that your child has a disability or a chronic illness, you begin an unplanned journey and you may feel utterly alone on this road.

Any unanticipated news regarding your child’s health and future can be shocking. Parents who have been in this situation report that one of their initial reactions was denial – “This cannot be happening to my child, to me, to us.” Denial can rapidly turn into anger. That anger can be focused in many different directions. It can be directed at the source of the news; the medical professionals working with your child. Anger can also become the language you now communicate with. Those feelings can become so intense that they touch everyone with whom you come in contact. You are confused – “What does this mean? What does the future hold?” In that confusion you may also have intense feelings of guilt – “Was this something I caused? Why my child? Why us? Why now? Am I being punished?” There is fear of what the future will hold for your child, for yourself and your relationships. The unknowns create such fear that parents imagine the very worst possible, for all concerned. You feel powerless because you cannot control what is happening or change that your child has an illness or disability.





You are sad, very, very sad.

This constellation of feelings that floods your heart and mind is uniquely yours. Not every parent who must walk this road will feel the same. What is important for parents to be aware of is that these feelings, and others, can arise, and to know that they are not alone. There are many resources, sources of help, information, communication, and of reassurance. Parents who have weathered this storm recommend that you seek the assistance of another parent or parents who have children with the same illness or disability. Parent support groups can assist with information, resources and their personal stories, which can bring hope and a sense of peace to the parent of a newly diagnosed child.

can provide the names of disease- and disability-specific organizations that can provide invaluable information on your child’s specific diagnosis. Children’s Hospital of Central California has multiple resources available on their website. The National Information Center for Children with Disabilities is a valuable website that offers links to multiple organizations. The Parenting Network, Visalia Family Resource Center is a partner of Central Valley Regional Center that provides support to families with children who have disabilities. They can be reached at (559) 625-0384. Central Valley Regional Center provides services for specific disabilities. For information call; in Visalia (559) 738-2200, in Fresno (559) 276-4300, in Merced (209) 723-4245.

In Tulare County, there are several organizations that can provide support for families. Your health care provider





The Good, The Bad and The Ugly Text by Missy Yavasile, Independent College Consultant, SOAR College Planning and Consulting


ow am I going to pay for college? is a question that keeps many parents awake at night. Some parents are wondering if they will qualify for enough financial aid. Others are questioning whether or not they should bother filing since they probably won’t qualify anyway. Still others are contemplating whether or not they have saved enough while others believe they can only afford a public institution. So let’s take a look at financial aid. First of all, there are basically two types of financial aid: • Grants and scholarships (free money; can be need based or merit based) • Self-help (loans or work study)

What is the FAFSA? The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a form that needs to be filled out by college students in order to determine their eligibility for need-based financial aid. By calculating how much your family will be expected to contribute (EFC), and knowing the cost of a particular college, your “need” can be determined. The EFC is based primarily on parent and student income and assets, although there are other factors to consider as well.

Who should file the FAFSA? The good news is that almost every student will qualify for an unsubsidized Stafford loan. These loans have more favorable terms than private commercial loans. In addition, payment on the principal does not begin until six months after the student leaves college. These loans are in the student’s name. A little “skin in the game” may help some students stay focused. If you (the parents) choose to, you can help pay back the loans after graduation. The bad news is that many families who do not think they will qualify for financial aid, do not bother filling out the forms. After all, they are a lot of trouble. Families who do not fill out the FAFSA are not eligible for these loans. There are many reasons why every family should fill out the FAFSA. Sometimes the family situations change. If you don’t file the FAFSA, you may not be able to adapt to changing circumstances. And did I mention that some colleges require the FAFSA for the student to qualify for non need-based aid as well? So unless you have enough money to pay “full boat” without flinching at the cost, every student should apply for aid by filling out the FAFSA.

Will applying for financial aid affect my chance for admission? The answer to this question? It depends. It depends on the college and how much financial aid you require. Many colleges adhere to what is known as “need-blind” in which



case there is no impact on the admissions process. However, at some colleges that are “need-aware” the student with higher need may have their chances impacted, but typically only if they are a borderline applicant. So for the most part, simply applying for aid will not hurt your chances for admission. According to the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) approximately 81% of private colleges and 93% of public colleges practice need-blind admissions (2008).

How do I get the most merit aid possible? So here we go again with the families who are “in the middle” making too much money for much need-based aid, but not making enough to pay for everything in college. This is when merit aid comes into play. Merit aid is the general term for grants, scholarships, and discounts that a college awards without regard to financial need. In order to get the most merit aid at a college, a student must have something exceptional to offer. It might be a special talent (music or athletics) or it might be extensive leadership skills or community service involvement. In order to find merit scholarships, students should look for colleges that offer the most merit aid and they should be in the top 10-20% academically. That means looking for a great college that does not necessarily have the most well-known name. It also means comparing GPA and test scores to other students who have been admitted to that school.

Should I search for private scholarships to help pay the bill? The fact is that typically only 3 percent of student financial aid comes from private scholarships and most of these scholarships are quite small. If you feel so inclined to spend countless hours searching on line, then go ahead, but do not expect much return. And watch out for scams. never pay a fee for a scholarship search! A better idea is to search for local scholarships. If your high school offers a scholarship application, fill that out. Inquire at your parents’ workplace. Oh, and the ugly is that if you qualify for need based aid and then receive an outside scholarship, most colleges will subtract that from your financial aid package.


Try Your Hand at Our





january 2014

calendar of events dates to remember

Friday Night Fun!


Winter Trout Derby


Super Bowl Sprint








A fun-filled night, for kids ages 5-12, of rockwall climbing (child must weigh at least 30 pounds to climb the rockwall), games and interactive play. Wireless dance pads provide a fun and interactive atmosphere! Pre-Registration: $10 members/$15 non-members; day of the event: $15 members/$20 non-members. Registration closes at 3 p.m. the day of event. Space is limited to 20 participants. When: Jan. 3; 5:30-8p Where: The Lifestyle Center, 5105 W. Cypress, Visalia Contact: 624-3416


The fish are jumping and ready for the first Winter Trout Derby. Youth are invited to Plaza Pond to compete for a cat of their own. Reel ‘em in as prizes go to the top three total stringer weights in each category. Participants much bring their own fishing poles, bait and tackle. Let’s catch them hook, line and sinker. When: Jan. 11, 8a-10a Where: Plaza Park Pond Contact: 713-4365 RESPECT: A MUSICAL JOURNEY OF WOMEN This delightful show is a high-energy, musical review of the history of women from the early 1900’s to today as illustrated through Top 40’s songs. It is a lively and engaging celebration of women, as they go from codependence to independence, from “I Will Survive” to “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.” Peppered with talwa of real women, this promises to be a delightful evening filled with song and story. When: Jan. 24-25, & 31, 7:30p Where: Ice House Theatre, 410 E. Race Ave., Visalia Contact: 734-3375


Disney on Ice presents Rockin’ Ever After, featuring a Scottish jig from a group of royal contenders from the latest Disney Pixar film, Brave. Experience a show-stopping performance as Sebastian breaks out of his shell for one night only to make waves with Ariel. A chorus of harmless hooligans from Tangled unleash musical mayhem, and get your feet moving as the Beast and his castle’s entourage take center stage for Belle. When: Jan 29-31, 7:p Where: Selland Arena, 700 M. St., Fresno Contact: 445-8200


Come join The Creative Center in their annual event, the Super Bowl Sprint. The Creative Center provides a creative outlet and instruction for developmentally challenged adults. This fun 5k Run and 1K walk is a fun event where the community can get together before the Super Bowl and run off all those anticipated calories of the upcoming day. When: Feb. 2, 8a Where: Mooney’s Grove Park, Arbor 6 Contact: 733-9329

IMAGINE U INTERACTIVE CHILDREN’S MUSEUM Imagine U offers a variety of weekly interactive exhibits, events, and activities designed to entertain and engage your preschool child. Cost: $5 ages 2 & up When: Wednesday-Friday, 10a-4p & Saturday, 12-4p Where: 700 E. Main St., Visalia Contact: 733-5975 or AGVENTURES AT HERITAGE COMPLEX Agricultural Learning Center and Farm Equipment Museum with nearly 15 professionally designed interactive displays. Children learn about science and technology, food and nutrition, environmental issues, social studies and more. When: Mon.-Fri., 9a-4p Where: International Agri-Center, 4450 S. Laspina St., Tulare Contact: Venue Phone, 688-1030

THE BOYS & GIRLS CLUBS OF THE SEQUOIAS Offering children ages 6-18 a safe and fun place to go to after school. Programs focus on education, sports, arts, healthy life skills and character building. $10 annual fee. When: Monday – Friday, hours vary by community Where: Visalia, Exeter, Tulare, Porterville, Farmersville and Ivanhoe Contact: 592-4074 or


FUN RUN Join in the famous Tule fog as we run the St. John’s River. With an annual attendance of over 500, this event provides runners a great race, chip timing and healthy snacks. Kick off your New Year the right way! Participants that sign up by Jan. 17 are guaranteed a commemorative event shirt. When: Jan. 25, 7a Where: St. John’s Trail - Ben Maddox Entrance Contact: 713-4365


Wed-Fri 10am-4pm / Sat 12pm-4pm

Admission $5 per person / Annual Family Memberships $100

Available for Private Parties!!! 700 E. Main St., Visalia • 559-733-5975

visit: for details




It’s Not Too Late to Shop for Book-Related Gifts Text by Lee Littlewood


hese new children’s sets incorporate books, toys, pop-ups and imaginative additions to make reading fun.

The Dwarf in the Drawer: A Mischievous Parody by L. van King. For those afraid of or not fans of The Elf on the Shelf, comes this tongue-in-cheek, grittier holiday tradition. The plush dwarf and hardcover picture book aim to let kids breathe a little, reinforcing the idea he’s not a spy for Santa, like Elf. Though families worldwide embrace The Elf on the Shelf tradition, blogs and newspaper articles suggest there are just as many who don’t. In the witty, rhyming book, Dwarf means well, acknowledging rooms get messy and kids aren’t always perfectly polite. But that doesn’t mean he snitches on them and takes their gifts away, as the popular Elf tries to do. A fun read-aloud with zesty cartoonish illustrations, plus a super soft, plush 4-inch-tall dwarf toy, make this “mischievous parody” a fun relief for young children.

The Story of the Little Mole Who Knew It Was None of His Business by Werner Holzwarth; illustrated by Wolf Erlbruch. A bit crude for some young children but hilarious for most, the story tells of a little mole who has something sausage-like plopped onto his head. After he discovers a bird’s white splatter is what landed on him, Mole interviews other animals to find out the identity of the poop-flinging culprit. Kids will laugh out loud at the descriptions and drawings of cow, rabbit, horse and pig excrements, and will sigh with relief when Basil, the butcher’s dog, is found guilty. An often-neglected side of animal life proves entertaining, and the funny plush mole and book are perfectly sized for toting about. There’s also a board game printed on the box, with game pieces included, too.



Peter Pan from the story by J.M. Barrie; illustrated by Nicola L. Robinson. Most non-Disney “Peter Pan” books are long and detailed; great for older readers, but not ideal for younger ones. This whimsical version includes funny, edited text, such as, “Suddenly, the nursery window blew open and a boy did drop on the floor. He was accompanied by a strange light, no bigger than your fist, which darted around the room like a living thing.” Detailed 3-D scenes star in this cool book, which can be pulled out to reveal The Arrival of Peter Pan, Keeping Watch, The Big Fight! and The Homecoming. Robinson’s pen and ink drawings are full of childlike wonder, too. Have Peter Pan fans in your midst? This is the perfect gift for them, as well as collectors.

Transformers: The Ultimate Pop-Up Universe by Matthew Reinhart; art by Emiliano Santalucia. Elaborate Transformers actually transform as kids pull tabs to watch them change into entirely new paper creations. The metallic planet Cybertron changes into an epic battle on Earth, and the mighty Autobot Omega Supreme is pop-up master Reinhart’s tallest pop-up ever! With smaller side books and sturdy pop-ups on each page, all spreads feel like the main event. The title, Ultimate Pop-Up Universe, is really exactly that. Starring more than 35 iconic Transformers characters, this is a book more fun than the toys themselves.

Where’s Waldo? The Magnificent Mini Box Set by Martin Handford. With five miniature Waldo books, this little boxed set makes a wonderful large stocking stuffer gift. Also toteworthy for holiday travel, the set should thrill Where’s Waldo? fans, especially with the assistance of the magnifying glass, included free with the book. The books included are Where’s Waldo?; Where’s Waldo Now?; Where’s Waldo? The Fantastic Journey; Where’s Waldo? In Hollywood; and Where’s Waldo? The Wonder Book.


important numbers at a glance: Fire & Police

• Tulare County Fire Department, (559) 747-8233 • Visalia Fire Department, (559) 713-4266 • Tulare Fire Department, (559) 684-4300 • Exeter Fire Department, (559) 592-3714 • Woodlake Fire Department, (559) 564-2181 • Tulare County Sheriff’s Department, (559) 636-4625; (559) 733-6218 • Visalia Police Department (Non-Emergency), (559) 734-8116 • Visalia Police Department, Gang Suppression and Narcotics Unit, (anonymous tip hotline) (559) 713-4737 • Tulare County - End Gang Hotline, (888) 363-4264 • Tulare Police Department, (559) 684-4238; (559) 686-3454 • Exeter Police Department, (559) 592-3103 • Woodlake Police Department, (559) 564-3325 • Kings & Tulare County California Highway Patrol, (559) 4415400


• Family HealthCare Network, (877) 960-3426; • Kaweah Delta Medical Center, (559) 624-2000 Emergency Room, (559) 624-2213 • Visalia Walk-In Medical Clinic, (559) 627-5555 • Tulare Regional Medical Center, (559) 688-0821 • Tulare County Health and Human Services Agency, (559) 624-8000 • Children’s Hospital Central California, (559) 353-3000 • Dignity Health, Mercy & Memorial Hospitals, Lauren Small Children's Medical Center (661) 327-4647 • Sierra View District Hospital, (559) 784-1110


• Tulare County Library, (559) 713-2700; • Tulare County Office of Education, (559) 733-6300; • Visalia Unified School District, (559) 730-7300; • Tulare City School District, (559) 685-7200; • Exeter Union School District, (559) 592-9421; • Woodlake Public Schools, (559) 564-8081;

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City Information

• Tulare County website • City of Visalia website • City of Tulare website • City of Exeter website • City of Woodlake website • Visalia Parks & Recreation, (559) 713-4365

Other Important Numbers County & City

• Tulare County Services - United Way, Dial 2-1-1; • Delta Vector Control District, (559) 732-8606; www.deltavcd. com • Tulare & Kings Counties Suicide Prevention Task Force (Non-crisis), (559) 624-7471; • Child Abuse Prevention Council, (559) 735-0456; • Child Abuse 24-hr Hotline, (800) 331-1585 • Domestic Violence/Shelters, (559) 732-5941, (559) 685-9515; • Sexual Assault 24-hr Confidential Hotline, (559) 732-7273; • Alcohol/Drug Programs, (559) 733-6123 • Parenting Network, (559) 625-0384; • Tulare-Kings Right To Life, (559) 732-5000; • The IRMA Network, (559) 732-5000; • Latinos4Life, (559) 732-5000; • 5ive5ive9ine (Teen Health), • Tulare County Animal Control, (559) 636-4050 • Visalia Animal Control, (559) 713-4957


• American Association of Poison Control Centers, (800) 222-1222; • Center for Disease Control and Prevention, (800) 232-4636; • California Poison Control, (800) 222-1222; • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, (800) 273-8255; • The Trevor Project (LGBTQ), (866) 488-7386; • Missing Child Hotline, (800) 843-5678 • Road Conditions, (800) 427-7623



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A Church For The Community visaliaďŹ rstassembly P: 559-733-9070 | E: 3737 S. Akers St. | Visalia Ca. | 93277 Saturday | 5:00pm Sunday | 9:00am 10:45am 12:30pm

January 2014  

Raise Magazine is the primary resource guide for parents raising kids in the Central Valley.

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