For most kids, Halloween is all about costumes and candy, but it can also be a chance to demonstrate how helping others brings its own set of rewards.
Trick-or-Treat for a New Kind of Thrill
(Family Features) For most kids, Halloween is all about costumes and candy, but it can also be a chance to demonstrate how helping others brings its own set of rewards.
This October, children, families and schools across the country will join in Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF, a month-long celebration of the power and impact of kids helping kids. Throughout the month, kids, parents and teachers can add purpose to their Halloween activities by collecting donations in support of vulnerable children.
Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF encourages children to be "scary good" this Halloween and help their peers around the world. Equipped with iconic orange collection boxes, kids can raise funds that add up to lifesaving change: $8 can buy a kit to give one family clean water to drink; $15 can buy a box of five mosquito nets to protect kids from deadly malaria; and $55 can buy one box of therapeutic food treatment to save a child from severe acute malnutrition.
Sharing the caring
This year, HSNi Cares, as a national partner, will continue to raise funds and awareness to support UNICEF through all of its brands: Ballard Designs, Frontgate, Garnet Hill, Grandin Road, HSN and Improvements. Throughout September, customers will be able make a donation to the children's humanitarian organization online or over the phone at all brands.
Key Club International will participate by raising funds for The Eliminate Project, which seeks to eliminate maternal and neonatal tetanus, a deadly disease that claims the lives of thousands of babies and mothers each year. Key Club International, a student-led service leadership program of Kiwanis International, is the oldest and largest service program for high school students. For more information, visit TheEliminateProject.org or KeyClub.org.
American Airlines will support the campaign through UNICEF’s Change for Good program, which converts customers’ donations of foreign and domestic currency into lifesaving services for children. From Oct.16-31, American Airlines flight attendant volunteers will make Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF-themed announcements and collect donations from customers on select international flights.
Scholastic, the global children’s publishing, education and media company, will team up with Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF to celebrate the 25th anniversary of its best-selling children’s book series “Goosebumps.” Popular character Slappy and his monstrous friends will be featured on the collection boxes as well as trickortreatforunicef.org.
Make it social
Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF – the original kids helping kids campaign – has raised nearly $177 million since 1950 to help UNICEF provide children around the world with lifesaving nutrition, water, vaccines and more. For more information, visit trickortreatforunicef.org.SOURCE:
Yes! Screen time can be good for young kids: Experts agree digital education may help young kids learn
(BPT) - For years, parents and pediatricians fretted over how much screen time was too much, especially for very young children. Many child health experts advised minimal screen time for elementary-aged kids and none at all for children younger than 2. New research, a revised policy from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), and the personal experience of millennial parents who grew up in the digital age, have changed the way parents view screen time for youngsters.
"Research now shows us that not all screen time is equal," says Barbara Peacock, managing director of School Zone Inc., a recognized leader in creating innovative multimedia learning tools to prepare children for a lifelong love of education who recently launched AnywhereTeacher.com, a "Digital Educational Playground" for kids 2-8. "Everyone agrees it's important for children to maintain healthful levels of physical activity, but studies also show educational screen time can be an effective way to supplement children's learning. As the American Academy of Pediatrics recently noted, 'the effects of media use are multi-factorial and depend on the type of media, the type of use, the amount and extent of use, and the characteristics of the individual child."
The AAP and other child health experts have long counseled parents against allowing very young children to have much screen time. However, the AAP recently revised its stance, citing "evidence regarding health media use (that) does not support a one-size-fits-all approach" to media use by children.
Rather than keeping young children off devices entirely, the AAP now advises parents to develop a Family Media Use Plan that takes into account children's developmental stages, and uses that information to create an appropriate and individual balance for media usage by each child. The AAP encourages parents to establish boundaries for how and when children may use digital devices, ensure they understand the importance of not sharing personal information online, and openly talk with children about media use.
In revising its recommendation, the AAP looked to a growing body of research that shows digital media use can help facilitate learning. Writing in the Hechinger Report, a highly regarded watchdog media outlet that covers inequality and innovation in education, Lisa Guernsey, director of New America's early education initiative, and Michael H. Levine, founding director of the Joan Ganz Cooney Center, a nonprofit literacy and digital media research organization, explained the shift in thinking.
"Literacy rates and toddlers' media use may seem unrelated, but they are inextricably tied," the co-authors noted. "The important connections between media and reading must be brought to light in schools, households, and in the public's imagination ... children at very young ages can gain important skills in literacy and language development if the content on the screen is designed for learning and if they have a parent or educator who talks with them about what they are doing and seeing."
Making media work for learning
Parental involvement in media use is the key difference between programming that benefits children's educational development, and valueless screen time, research shows.
The National Head Start Association recently stressed that "family engagement is integral" to successful learning. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of Education agreed in a joint policy statement issued in May 2015: "Families are children's first and most important teachers, advocates and nurturers," the statement said, calling family involvement in kids' education "critical" to their long-term success.
Busy tech-savvy parents recognize how easy technology can make it to access high-quality supplemental learning tools for their children, but finding a trusted source of curated content is not always easy. Speaking to her company's newly launched site, Peacock comments, "AnywhereTeacher.com features content that has been developed exclusively by School Zone based on decades of research and broad-based experience working with educators, dating back almost 40 years when our founders, James Hoffman, Ed.D and his wife Joan, MA, recognized the need for at-home learning materials." The subscription-based AnywhereTeacher.com is an easy to navigate site for youngsters that combines the power of video with traditional learning tools such as flash cards, games, interactive worksheets and printable activities. Original episodic programming like Charlie & Company engages children with educational messages in a fun, familiar way.
The service, which starts at just $6.99 per month, allows parents to manage their children's activities and view their progress, creating an opportunity to talk about learning goals and improvement. The service is compatible with most devices and you can buy a subscription through iTunes, Google Play or PayPal to gain access from any device. There's no limit on the number of devices families can simultaneously use to access the site. Visit AnywhereTeacher.com to learn more.
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