Friday, November 7, 2008
In my town, we were invited to an election party last night to celebrate election week. The hosts were having the kids make noise makers for a parade.
Regardless of how you feel about the results, it's kind of cool to celebrate our country and the right to vote.
I saw red,white, and blue balloons on several mailboxes on election day.
My children came home from school with many "interesting" comments as I am sure your kids did too. It was very surprising.
My second grader has been digesting the rumors at school and trying to make sense of everything she had heard during her school's mock election.
"Mom, I heard if Obama is elected we will have two more hours of school per day.
I heard that Obama says bad things about McCain"
There is a lot to talk about.
Her Scholastic flyer came home with profiles of the candidates including the candidates' favorite foods,childhood books, and activities.
This made quite an impression on my second grader.
McCain likes Mexican food.
Barack likes Harry Potter.
It was a hard choice!
from Stacey Carroll of Holden: What are your kids saying?
My husband and I talked with our 4 ½ year old, Ryan, about the candidates and about how it’s important to learn about both candidates and then to vote for one’s personal choice. We identified the candidates to Ryan from time to time, and we always vote as a family in an attempt to have our children learn the value of voting. We were proud of our educational efforts. Then, the weekend before the election, my husband had the football game on and there were two commentators: one an older white man and the other a younger African American man. Ryan said “Oh, look! It’s Barack Obama and John McCain.” He added, “they’re running for president of the world.”
Monday, November 3, 2008
Congratulations to our winners!
Steven Rousseau, Leominster
Cassandra Stejskal, Millbury
Jhonyel Galvis, Framingham
Thomas Mazeika, Sturbridge
Anna Bonin, Spencer
Pick up the November issue for more free contests!
Friday, October 31, 2008
Our November issue is very special because of our coverage of the Jorge Family in Ayer.
Please pick up a copy of our November 2008 issue.
If you'd like to post a message for the Jorges, please leave a comment here.
We'll share your thoughts with them.
In our November issue, columnist Kerri Augusto explores the issue of when children answer the phone in, "Mom, Some Lady is on the Phone!" She points out that it's never too early to start teaching your kids to use the telephone properly. It's so simple but makes you think: Do you let your children use the phone? Do they know how to use the phone properly? Moreover, do you let them leave the voice mail message? ? Augusto points out that this is her pet peeve.
I have been "guilty" of letting the kids talk in their baby voices and sing songs on the machine. It's usually our message for a day or two. Is it cute? Or obnoxious?
I do know that one of my favorite "kid" messages is on my friend's machine: two kids clearly "yelling" into the machine, "We won't let Mom come to the phone right now. Leave a message." Beep.
So, let's hear it out there. What message is on your answering machine right now? Leave a comment here.
P.S. And if you are curious about Augusto's answering machine? Here's what she said after writing this month's article:
Truth be told, I have a terrible habit of answering the phone like this: "Kerri
Augusto speaking. How may I help you?" Too many years of being a receptionist.... But it beats my mother who has 45 years of being a nurse to thank for her slip: "Labor and Delivery. Is this an emergency?" Needless to say, we both get a lot of ribbing from the family.
My answering machine is simple: "You've reached the Augusto residence. We are unable to answer the phone right now. Please leave a message."
But if I were to say what was REALLY on my mind, it would be: "You have reached Kerri Augusto. If you need a ride, I'm already on the road. If you need money, I'm broke. If you need answers, I'm out of ideas. If you're offering free coffee or want to schedule a playdate, leave a message and I'll call you back right away!"
baystateparent's contributing writer, Sue Lovejoy of Holden, wrote a strong special needs story for our November 2008 issue entitled: Hosting the Holidays: When Little Guests Have Big Needs. Her very helpful story on how to welcome families with special needs children into your homes this holiday was inspired by the following letter.
We hope it helps you this holiday season.
The following letter was written in 1999 by Viki Gayhardt, mother of two teens on the Autism Spectrum and Autism Family Support Specialist for The Family Place, a program of Easter Seals, NH. It takes the perspective of a child on the autism apectrum, providing a clear overview of the challenges that individuals with autism may face during the holiday season.
-Sue Lovejoy, contributing writer to baystateparent
Dear Family and Friends:
(by Viki Gayhardt)
I understand that we will be visiting each other for the holidays this year! Sometimes these visits can be very hard for me, but here is some information that
might help our visit be more successful.
As you probably know, I am challenged by a hidden disability called autism, or what some people refer to as a Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD). Autism/PDD is a neurodevelopmental disorder which makes it hard for me to understand the environment around me. I have barriers in my brain that you can’t see, but which make it difficult for me to adapt to my surroundings.
Sometimes I may seem rude and abrupt, but it is only because I have to try so hard to understand people and at the same time, make myself understood. People with autism have different abilities: Some may not speak, some write beautiful poetry. Others are whizzes in math (Albert Einstein was thought to be autistic), or may have difficulty making friends. We are all different and need various degrees of support.
Sometimes when I am touched unexpectedly, it might feel painful and make me want to run away. I get easily frustrated, too. Being with lots of other people is like standing next to a moving freight train and trying to decide how and when to jump aboard. I feel frightened and confused a lot of the time. This is why I need to have things the same as much as possible. Once I learn how things happen, I can get by OK. But if something, anything, changes, then I have to relearn the situation all over again! It is very hard.
When you try to talk to me, I often can’t understand what you say because there is a lot of distraction around. I have to concentrate very hard to hear and understand one thing at a time. You might think I am ignoring you — I am not. Rather, I am hearing everything and not knowing what is most important to respond to.
Holidays are exceptionally hard because there are so many different people, places, and things going on that are out of my ordinary realm. This may be fun and adventurous for most people, but for me, it’s very hard work and can be extremely stressful. I often have to get away from all the commotion to calm down. It would be great if you had a private place set up to where I could retreat.
If I cannot sit at the meal table, do not think I am misbehaved or that my parents have no control over me. Sitting in one place for even five minutes is often impossible for me. I feel so antsy and overwhelmed by all the smells, sounds, and people — I just have to get up and move about. Please don’t hold up your meal for me — go on without me, and my parents will handle the situation the best way they know how.
Eating in general is hard for me. If you understand that autism is a sensory processing disorder, it’s no wonder eating is a problem! Think of all the senses involved with eating. Sight, smell, taste, touch, AND all the complicated mechanics that are involved. Chewing and swallowing is something that a lot of people with autism have trouble with. I am not being picky — I literally cannot eat certain foods as my sensory system and/or oral motor coordination are impaired.
Don’t be disappointed if Mom hasn’t dressed me in starch and bows. It’s because she knows how much stiff and frilly clothes can drive me buggy! I have to feel comfortable in my clothes or I will just be miserable.
When I go to someone else’s house, I may appear bossy and controlling. In a sense, I am being controlling, because that is how I try to fit into the world around me (which is so hard to figure out!) Things have to be done in a way I am familiar with or else I might get confused and frustrated. It doesn’t mean you have to change the way you are doing things — just please be patient with me, and understanding of how I have to cope.
Mom and Dad have no control over how my autism makes me feel inside. People with autism often have little things that they do to help themselves feel more comfortable. The grown ups call it “self regulation,” or “stimming.” I might rock, hum, flick my fingers, or any number of different things. I am not trying to be disruptive or weird. Again, I am doing what I have to do for my brain to adapt to your world. Sometimes I cannot stop myself from talking, singing, or doing an activity I enjoy. The grown ups call this “perseverating” which is kinda like self regulation or stimming. I do this only because I have found something to occupy myself that makes me feel comfortable. Perseverative behaviors are good to a certain degree because they help me calm down.
Please be understanding of Mom and Dad if they let me “stim” for awhile as they know me best and what helps to calm me. Remember that my Mom and Dad have to watch me much more closely than the average child. This is for my own safety, and preservation of your possessions. It hurts my parents’ feelings to be criticized for being overprotective, or condemned for not watching me close enough. They are human and have been given an assignment intended for saints. My parents are good people and need your support.
Holidays are filled with sights, sounds, and smells. The average household is turned into a busy, frantic, festive place. Remember that this may be fun for you, but it’s very hard work for me to conform. If I fall apart or act out in a way that you consider socially inappropriate, please remember that I don’t possess the neurological system that is required to follow some social rules.
I am a unique person — an interesting person. I will find my place at this celebration that is comfortable for us all, as long as you’ll try to view the world through my eyes!
The malls are Solomon Pond in Marlborough, Greendale Mall in Worcester, and Auburn Mall in Auburn.
We will be there with our November issue and plenty of candy.
See you there!!
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Reach Out and Read's 5th Annual Read and Romp will be held at the Seaport Hotel, Plaza Ballroom, in Boston. Read and Romp is a unique family event which allows children to travel through the pages of some of their favorite storybooks. Activity booths, games and arts and crafts based on such family favorites as Charlotte's Web, The Jolly Postman and Runaway Bunny are designed to provide hours of fun for children and their families. Along with interactive storybook stations, there will be a buffet lunch, and a visit from storybook characters like Clifford the Big Red Dog and Clifford author, Norman Bridwell.
The cost of the event is $50 for individual tickets and children under the age of 2 are free.
Web site: http://www.readandromp.org
Readers, please check our BLOG throughout the month. We'll post the latest information on happenings and need-to-know info for families in Massachusetts.
WHAT: This Halloween, families can take to the harbor for an unconventional and fun trick or treat extravaganza aboard The Spirit of Boston. The luxurious cruising vessel is spicing up their traditional brunch cruise with some Halloween festivities. In addition to a scrumptious buffet brunch, families can delight in games; a live DJ as well as a kid’s costume contest and trick or treat goodies.
WHEN: Sunday, October 26th
Board 11:00 a.m. - Cruise 12 noon – 2 p.m.
WHERE: The Spirit of Boston
Seaport World Trade Center Marine Terminal
COST: From $37.90 per adult
From $9.90 per child (3-11 yrs old)
Reservations Required: Call 866-307-2469 or log on to www.odysseycruises.com/boston and click on Special Offers.
ABOUT THE SPIRIT OF BOSTON:
Spirit Cruises, LLC, is recognized as the largest harbor cruise company in America. The fleet of 12 beautiful ships offers dining, entertainment and sightseeing cruises in seven of America's most popular port cities including Boston, Chicago, New York, Weehawken (NJ), Norfolk, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.
Keep checking our BLOG throughout the month for bonus calendar listings for Halloween and other fun events!
10 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Choate Park, Oak Street, Medway, MA
This 4th annual Halloween Touch-A-Truck event welcomes children to come in their Halloween costumes to climb aboard many different trucks from around town including fire trucks, police cars, a big yellow school bus, tractors and more. A Halloween Parade is at 12:30. Admission is $5 per child.
A Jack-O-Lantern and Water Fire Walk around Choate Pond will be held from 6 - 8 p.m. Bring a flashlight. Admission is free, but donations are welcome. Concessions are available.
Web site: http://choatefriends.blogspot.com/
What is Your favorite feature in Bay State Parent magazine? Calendar
Which feature could Bay State Parent eliminate from its magazine? Fashion Reports
The New England Cord Blood Bank is pleased to present an educational
television program on cord blood banking. This special is hosted by Liz
Walker and will air on CBS TV - WBZ Channel 4 on Saturday October 18th @ 8:00pm on WSBK Channel 38 -in the Boston area.
For anyone who cannot watch the show,it will be available to watch online at www.wbztv.com/cordblood.
New England Cord Blood Bank, Inc.
153 Needham Street, Building One
Newton, MA 02464
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Local husband and wife team, artists Kim Poler and Marc Albanese, proudy present BEEHIVE ART gallery and art studio for classes, workshops and parties.
Located at 339 Boston Post Road in the Country Living building, its bay window looks right onto Route 20, just a couple buildings down from the Mill Village retail complex.
They've created an open spaced, visually exciting and stimulating setting where artists and budding artists can come and be exposed an ever-evolving variety of materials, techniques and projects. Their objective is to inspire with and to share their love and passion for the creative process of making art.
Art Classes for children ages 2 to teens and for adults start October 20.
The studio will be open to the public with an OPEN HOUSE Ooctober 11-17,
Saturday & Sunday 11 a.m. - 4 p.m., Monday to Friday 9 - 11 a.m. & 4 - 6 p.m.
All are welcome to bring friends and the kids to see what the buzz is about! There will be free, hands-on activity stations set up and the staff will be available to meet, greet and chat art.
A variety of workshops and events are scheduled throughout the holidays starting with...
HALLOWEEN TRICKS, TREATS and GHOSTLY TALES
Saturday, October 18 3-5:30pm.
This features painting festive trick or treat bags, decoupaging jolly jack-o- lanterns, spinning glittery ghost or bat garlands, spook-tacular snacks and the artistry of ghost storyteller KEVIN MAHONEY.
Saturday, October 18th from 1-3 p.m.
This event is free and open to the public
The Trustees of Reservations invite families to the opening of their 100th reservation, Cormier Woods, a 175-acre farm located on the border of Mendon and Uxbridge on Saturday, October 18th from 1-3 PM. Bring family and friends and be among the first to walk new and enhanced woodland trails, learn about the native grasslands and rich cultural history of this iconic farm, and enjoy free ice cream to the sounds of local folk band, Blackstone Run.
Visitors may be intrigued to explore several miles of trails looping through a wooded landscape, laced with stonewalls, some large glacial boulders marking the last ice age, and cellar hole remnants of the old White homestead. Some may even reap the bounty of an informal “pick-your-own” activity at the blueberry patch and orchard trees that remain in the meadows.
Cormier Woods was bequeathed to The Trustees as a gift from D. James Cormier. The 175-acre, largely intact farmstead landscape consists of an 18th century house, barn (with an active bat colony), and shed surrounded by stone walled meadows. These features help tell the story of modest farmers settling the Colonial frontier and later immigrant groups working the farms, which supplied the industrial enterprises spread along the Blackstone River.
DIRECTIONSc: Cormier Woods is located right down the road from Southwick’s Zoo.
For more information and to view the range of activities possible at Cormier Woods and other Trustees properties, visit www.thetrustees.org.
Tickets are still available for American Girl fashion shows sponsored by the Medway Foundation for Education. And models are wanted (size 6X - 10...Keep reading for details).
The Medway Foundation for Education (MFE), a non-profit, volunteer organization committed to promoting excellence in the town’s public schools, is holding the events at the Medway VFW, 123 Holliston Street,in Medway.
It will feature shows at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 1 and Sunday, Nov. 2. Show highlights will include a fashion show, raffle prizes, doll hairdressers, show souvenirs, holiday shopping opportunities and refreshments.
An American Girl Fashion Show is a fun-filled event for girls, their families, friends and favorite dolls. Participants share the experience of being a girl, whether yesterday or today, through a colorful presentation of historical and contemporary fashions. Attendees will learn how clothing has changed over the years to reflect history, culture and girls’ individual styles.
Tickets are $40 per person and can be purchased online by visiting the Foundation’s website at www.medwayeducation.org. Fashion show tickets are limited and will be issued on a first come first-served basis. Parties who wish to be seated together should purchase their tickets on the same order. Every ticket order must include at least one adult. A ticket order confirmation will be provided upon purchase.
According to Ann Williams, event coordinator, the MFE is looking for character “look-a-like” models. Girls must wear size 6X or Size 10. Models must purchase a seat and a model spot. Applications are available online at www.medwayeducation.org. No phone calls, please.
Adult and teen volunteers are also needed to help staff and organize the program. Anyone interested should contact Ms. Williams at 508-533-1122, or online at firstname.lastname@example.org. All proceeds go directly to the MFE.
Formed during the summer of 2002, the Medway Foundation for Education (MFE) is a non-profit organization charged with raising capital to fund innovative, educational projects throughout Medway’s public schools. Using moneys generated from community events, contributions, and educational grants, MFE allocates funds through a grant process to teacher-sponsored projects that dramatically impact the quality of education that students receive.
Since its inception, the all-volunteer organization has raised more than $220,000. A total of over $100,000 in grants has been awarded in recent years, and an endowment fund exists with over $35,000. More information is available at www.medwayeducation.org.
baystateparent will be there with balloons, tattoos and magazines on Saturday, Oct. 18, from 9 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. Visit munchkin-land.org to view a full line-up of events.
Here's how owners, Michael and Liz Giguere describe their new family destination:
"Munchkin Land is a respite from boredom on a rainy day, a meaningful shared experience between an adult and a child, a hands-on learning experience in a relaxed environment, laughter among childhood friends, and so much more…
Munchkin Land is the culmination of ten years of research and the fun family day trips of the Giguere family of Northborough, Massachusetts. Michael and Liz Giguere, the parents of four children, drew on personal experience in creating this unique children's gym and play facility!
The Munchkin Gym is a children’s gym that has developed an age-specific curriculum for young children. Each of the classes has been designed to engage and challenge your child while keeping their age and developmental level in mind. The classes incorporate games, music, fitness and parental interaction as they develop your child’s coordination, and fine and gross motor skills!!!
Tiny Town is a 4000 square foot interactive play area with elaborately designed "Theme Rooms". We have combined the most creative toys and playground equipment, to provide hours of playtime for your child, whether through dramatic or manipulative play.
We are planning:
* An Interactive Horse Farm
* A Captain's Ship
* Doll Boutique and Hair Salon
* Tiki Beach Grille
* Soft Play Toddler Area
* Mock School Room
* Planes, Trains, Automobiles and so much more"
How to Get a Full Heart and Tired Legs
Here are all the details about how you can change lives by signing up for the May 2009 7th Annual Avon Walk for Breast Cancer.
By Leslie Castillo
The 2008 Avon Walk for Breast Cancer greeted me much like it had in 2007: the opening ceremony included an inspirational video, animated speakers, a wide array of breakfast foods, and, a side order of dousing rain. Still, I could barely contain my enthusiasm.
I grabbed a banana and coffee and scanned the crowd for Christy. When I finally spotted her navy-blue rain gear, I ran to meet her, thrilled to once again see my friend from New York. In less than thirty minutes we would set out on another adventure, catching up on each other’s lives and motivating one another over the next two days and forty miles.
At 7:30 a.m., a winding caterpillar of pink hats, tee-shirts, and rain gear from some 2,900 participants made its way from the campus of UMASS Boston on a journey which would pass by Carson Beach and meander through the streets of the North End. It would include sights such as M.I.T and the Museum of Science before reaching its final first 26.2 mile destination at Prowse Farm in Canton.
Husbands, wives, sisters, brothers, moms, dads, sons, daughters, and friends, including 200 survivors, some native Bostonians, others from different states and even different countries, set out to participate in this 6th annual event to raise money, awareness and hope. We walked as one, sharing stories and songs, band-aids, tears and smiles.
Along our route we encountered the wonderful crew members that made the walk possible, some of whom had traveled many miles by motorcycle in the pouring rain to make it to Boston; others would honk and cheer us on from bra-clad vans, keeping an ever-present vigil on our progress. Some manned the rest stops and kept us laughing with their creative costumes and interesting themes.
And then there were the survivors who clapped us on and thanked us, and the residents whose homes lined the routes, generously supplying us with their never-ending coolers of water, Gatorade and other goodies.
Like Boston’s walk, all other Avon Walks for Breast Cancer, (now hosted in nine cities throughout the US) take place over a weekend. Participants register on Friday night. An opening ceremony on Saturday and an optional 13 or 26.2-mile walk are followed by a night spent in the Wellness Center. Walkers then head back to the starting destination on Sunday, trekking the last 13 miles.
The day no one really tells you about is Monday. You may walk a little different for a while but you’re filled with a sense of pride and accomplishment like no other. This year, after Christy and I rested a bit too long at Mile Marker 24 and cramped up a bit, my new shirt, which read “Full Heart – Tired Legs,” seemed especially fitting for Monday.
Walkers must raise a minimum of $1,800 in order to participate. This year’s Boston participants raised over 6.9 million dollars. As a result, grants were awarded to different hospitals and organizations throughout the city.
The Avon Walk for Breast Cancer will always be my walk of choice. It is superbly structured and caters to the comfort and safety of the walkers by means of informative literature and instructions, well-spread out stops and the ever-present van patrol. If ever hope were tangible, nowhere has it seemed more visible than in the faces of the participants in the weekend’s parade of pink.
Leslie Catillo is a Wayland-based freelance writer and mother of two boys. She regularly contributes to baystateparent.
Ready, Set, Hope: May 16 – 17, 2009: Walk for 2 days and 39 miles. To RSVP for an introduction meeting or to get more information, please go to www.avonwalk.org or call 617-576-3113.
Meeting Friends along the Way
Rosemary Akin, Yarmouthport
For a stretch I walked with Rosemary Akin, an incredible woman who made me feel that all good things are possible. Her tee-shirt first caught my eye: two appropriately placed baseballs with the phrase, “Save Second Base.”
Akin, survivor of colon and breast cancer, has faithfully participated in the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer every year except for 2007 when her daughter underwent open-heart surgery. This spirited wife, mother and grandmother refers to her breasts as “bionic boobs,” rides a motorcycle and works as school nurse. Her strength comes from her faith, especially prayer, and from the everlasting support from husband and best friend, David, who constantly assures her that no matter what she looks like on the outside, she’ll always be beautiful on the inside.
Although this year’s walk broke cold and damp, Akin found inspiration early on.
“An elderly woman was waving and cheering from her porch,” says Akin. “I waved and she told me to stop (I was proudly wearing my Avon survivor hat). She made her way down the stairs and gave me the biggest hug and said, ‘God Bless You.’ My feet and damp clothes did not matter because my heart was warm.”
At the Wellness Village where she is always amazed by the number of tents, an exhausted Akin was soon sound asleep after a welcome shower and dinner.
On Sunday she hit the road again for the 13-mile trek from Canton back to UMASS. Her excitement built as the mile markers got closer and closer to thirteen. Akin who admits never being able to walk the entrance to UMASS without tears running down her face, met her daughter, Danielle, and granddaughter, Preleigh, at Malibu Beach where they walked the final mile together.
Akin proudly gushes, “I did it – walked 39 miles and raised over $4,100 for breast cancer research. The closing ceremony was very powerful. All the walkers were parading in, making a horseshoe followed by all the Survivors wearing our light pink tee-shirts and shaking our white pom-poms. We were one that afternoon hoping that soon a cure for breast cancer will be found… I look at my daughter and granddaughters and hope they never have to face the pain of breast cancer.”
Daniel Flaherty, East Walpole
Christy and I met Daniel Flaherty on a long, straight stretch of hill in Dorchester. Flaherty remembers that hill well. “That hill was the worst part…it never seemed to end! It was so long and when it was over, I was thrilled!”
Nevertheless, although Flaherty was unable to train for his first walk due to his final schedule as a sophomore at Babson College, he completed all 39 miles and plans to make it an annual event.
Clad in a gold “Men with Heart” tee-shirt, this cheerful and pleasant young man decided to walk after his mother, Elaine, was diagnosed with Stage III breast cancer in October 2007. Flaherty, who initially thought that raising the $1,800 would be difficult, will not forget how generous people were. In total, he raised nearly $4,000.
“Throughout this experience I was astonished by my mother’s strength and her ability not to allow her illness to consume her life. Throughout her treatment, she worked as a full-time nurse. It’s amazing that even though she was going through this, she was still there to help others.”
Flaherty, who found that the walk “ran smoothly, especially for the amount of people present,” met “kind, generous, and strong people” along the way and felt warmly welcomed by “Men with Heart,” a team of men dedicated to helping raise money and awareness for breast cancer (To learn more, visit menwithheart.org)
Robin O’Leary, Amesbury and Paula Kelly, Plaistow
A close-knit quartet is clad in customized wings and embroidered hats with halos, thanks to a creative streak by team captain Sherie Bourgeois. It was Bourgeois who also coined the group’s name, the Pink Angels of Hope.
Robin O’Leary joined the Angels when her sister Diane was diagnosed with breast cancer for a second time after a ten-year respite from the disease. “I heard an ad on the radio and decided in that moment that if she was going to have to go through the ordeal she was facing then the least I could do would be to walk 39 miles to raise funds and awareness. “ Soon thereafter she connected with Sherie Bourgeois, Bev Gaudet, Paula Kelly and Julie Hagel, via an Avon website bulletin board, and the North Shore women became fast friends and team members.
This year marks O’Leary’s third year participating in the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer, and she is committed to walking until either a cure is found or she is no longer able to walk.
She credits the Avon Foundation for its dedication.“It never ceases to amaze me that the primary funds for breast cancer research and support programs come from ground up efforts such as the Avon Walk. There are many other organizations that run similar programs but the Avon Walk is the only one that returns over 90% of funds raised directly back into the community.”
Angel Kelly credits the walk with changing her for the better. “I’m in the best shape of my life at 49, and this is a gift the walk gave me.”
She adds, “The people I’ve met, the lives I’ve touched in both fundraising and in actually walking have enriched my life so much…My wonderful friends, the Pink Angels of Hope, are people I would have never met without doing this walk. They are truly special to me.”
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
Thank you for entering our online contests.
Here are some of our winners:
Gina Fields of Worcester won a Red Sox hooded baby towel.
Elive Burke of Boxford and Mary Jacquith of Franklin won the EcoTarium's Siegfried books.
Jeanette Lundgren of Worcester won a hard-cover Mother Goose book.
Kelley Davis and Denise Mejia of Fitchburg and Ann Lasoskie of North Grafton won Bob-the-Builder DVDs
Cathy Mealey of Lynnfield, Heidi Boyle of Webster, and Michelle Maley of Grafton won lil' Bratz DVDs
Anne Bembenek of Dudley and Michael LaFerney of Lakeville won Carrie Rowan's Almost Home CD.
Prabhu Iyer of Ashland won a Barney DVD.
Congratulations to all of our winners.
If you won an item and have not received it in the mail yet, please double check that we have your mailing address and first and last names.
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Monday, August 11, 2008
On Saturday, Aug. 16, anytime between noon and 2 pm learn what goes on inside a tree? How do water and food in the soil feed the top leaves on a 100-foot tall Scholar Tree? Learn the answers to these questions and more through fun, hands-on science experiments at the Hunnewell Visitor Center. One of the activities will even result in a colorful flower for you to take home.
While there, pick up a Tree-of-the-Month guide and explore a different, fascinating tree each month. August’s focus: The Scholar Tree.
Activities are at the Hunnewell Visitor Center. Children must be accompanied by an adult.
Free, no registration required.
For more information, call 617-384-5209 or contact email@example.com.
Thursday, August 7, 2008
Consumers should immediately take these recalled toys away from children and examine the bottom of the blue pan. The pan should contain six screws. If all six screws are installed, no further action is necessary. If any screws are missing, the consumer should contact Fisher-Price to arrange for the return of the blue pan for a replacement. For additional information, contact Fisher-Price at 888-521-0820 anytime, or visit http://www.service.mattel.com/
*Laura Adams of Lowell. A reader of the magazine online. Her favorite features are Pondering Parenting, Mom's Plate Date, and the calendar.
.**Heidi Boyle of Webster. A reader for the last 4 years, her favorite feature is Day Trip Destination.
** Pam Koskovich of Natick. A reader for 5 years, her favorite features are the calendar & Adoption Insights, and the featured articles.
** Karen Peters of Leominster. A reader for 5 years, her favorite features are the calendar and Day Trip Destination.
The DVD is the first-ever movie featuring the Yummi-Land Girls. The DVD also contains several special features including a build your own sundae game, a gooey guessing game, a sing-a-long, and sweet secret surprises.If your are unfamiliar about Yummi-Land, here is quick synopsis about it and the DVD movie: When Betsy Bubblegum arrives in Yummi Land for the first time, she is overwhelmed by the super-delicious sights and scents. Flowery fragrances, fruity flavors, and sweet sounds tempt Betsy to explore the mouthwatering metropolis! After returning with her Uncle, Mayor Marshmallow, Betsy meets the Candy Pop Girls, the Flower Pop Girls, and the Ice Cream Pop Girls. Even as she makes new friends and helps out with a major Yummi-Land event, Betsy discovers her own unique talents.The movie is about 45 minutes. Manufacturer's recommended age is 4 an older.
Congrats to everyone who entered!
To see current contests offered to Bay State Parent readers, visit http://www.baystateparent.com/common/contests.html
**Heidi Boyle of Webster. A reader for the last 4 years, her favorite feature is Day Trip Destination.
**Mary Jaquith of Franklin. Her favorite feature is Day Trip Destination, too.
**Jen Lee of Newton. A reader for 3 years, her favorite features are Parenting 1-2-3 and the Calendar.
**Patricia Minton of Shrewsbury. A reader for two years, her favorite feature is the calendar.
**Stacy Smith of Waltham. Her favorite features are Working Mom & the calendar.
The Walt Disney Records CD features a score written by 8-time Academy Award-nominated composer Thomas Newsman and the original song Down to Earth written and performed by Peter Gabriel. (It's my personal favorite song on the CD.) The soundtrack also includes two songs from Hello Dolly performed by Michael Crawford (It Only Takes A Moment and Put On Your Sunday Clothes and the Louis Armstrong classic La Vie En Rose.
To see current contests offered to By State Parent readers, visit http://www.baystateparent.com/common/contests.html
This program combines a hike with fun activities and explorations. Make solar pizza ovens, learn how solar panels produce electricity, and explore different ways we can use the sun’s energy. Cost & pre-registration: $9 adults, $7 children (discount for Mass Audubon members available). For more information or to register call 978-887-9264 or visit the sanctuary's web site at www.massaudubon.org/ipswichriver
Shyiesha Brown, Worcester
Cam Smith, Natick
Trinity Carlson, Barre
Grace Knutson, Oxford
Sydney Davey, Sturbridge
To enter current Bay State Parent magazine contests visit: http://www.baystateparent.com/common/contests.html
"We're thrilled to be opening our 30th location! This is truly a milestone as we continue to be the region's fastest growing furniture retailer. Bellingham is such a great area to celebrate this event. By offering pure value, our customers have remained customers over and over again, and I look forward to welcoming our new Bellingham area customers on Thursday, August 7th," said Bob Kaufman, president, Bob's Discount Furniture.
The new location is situated near Exit 18 off I-495 in the Crossroads Shopping Plaza, 221 Hartford Avenue, Route 126, Bellingham, Massachusetts, phone 774-328-3333.
The store is open on Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Today, Bob Kaufman, president and TV personality, Bob's Discount Furniture, will make an in-store appearance to meet and greet the public.
On Saturday, August 9th, Bob's Discount Furniture TV personalities Cathy Poulin and William Newton along with the new Bob's Discount Furniture Community Outreach Van will make a special appearance and welcome customers. Coffee mugs, balloons and T-shirts will be given away while customers can also enjoy free food and beverages at the store's Café and along with entertainment in the video arcade.
For more information, visit www.mybobs.com.
About Bob's Discount Furniture Charitable Foundation: Through the Bob's Discount Furniture Charitable Foundation and its many charitable contributions and sponsorships, Bob, Cathy and all of Bob's Discount Furniture employees support hundreds of nonprofit organizations. Among the many supported charities are Nutmeg Big Brothers Big Sisters, American Cancer Society, March of Dimes, Salvation Army Marshall House Youth and Family Emergency Shelter, National Conference for Community Justice, American Red Cross, Connecticut Children's Medical Center and many more. In March 2006, Poulin participated in the "Dance for a Cause" competition in Hartford to raise money and awareness for the National Pajama Program and Lil' Iguana's Children's Safety Foundation. Poulin was also awarded Woman of the Year for 2006 by the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. In April 2008, Kaufman was presented with the prestigious 2008 Biomedical Achievement Award from the American Red Cross as the "Bob Squad" was recognized for collecting over 20,000 units of blood during its 11 years of promoting blood drives. For more information about the foundation and Bob's Discount Furniture, visit www.mybobs.com/charity.
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
Encouraging kids to invent new creative peanut butter sandwich recipes is a great way for parents to foster creativity in their children. At the same time, moms and dads you will be spending quality time with your child and having fun in the kitchen.
Sandwiches will be judged on the following criteria: creativity, taste, appearance, nutritional balance, and ease of preparation.
The grand prize is a $25,000 scholarship fund.
Four runner-ups will each receive a $2,500 scholarship fund.
For complete rules and how to enter visit http://www.jif.com/
Last year’s winner was Samuel Sosa, 11, of Riverside, California.
He created the “Crunchy Chinese Fortune Cookie Sandwich,” made of Jif Creamy Peanut Butter, celery and apple on wheat bread crimped into the shape of a fortune cookie.
The “fortune cookies” are served with a dipping sauce of Jif Creamy Peanut Butter, coconut milk, soy sauce, brown sugar, lemon juice, sesame oil and chili powder.
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
Early puberty in girls is related to conduct problems, delinquency and substance use, according to background information in the article. Many of these problems persist through adolescence and into early adulthood.
“As adults, early-maturing girls demonstrate lower academic and occupational achievement and report lower relationship quality and life satisfaction,” the authors write. “It is thus important to identify protective factors that may mitigate negative effects of early maturation on girls’ adjustment.”
Sylvie Mrug, Ph.D., of the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and colleagues interviewed 330 fifth-grade girls (average age 11) and their parents from three metropolitan areas.
The girls reported how often they engaged in aggressive behavior, such as hitting, teasing and spreading rumors to hurt others; whether they displayed delinquency (fighting at school, getting injured in a fight or inflicting injuries); how often their mother was affectionate and how often they did things together; whether their parents had talked to them about violence, tobacco and sex; and whether and when they had started their periods. Parents responded to seven items measuring the extent to which they knew their child’s friends and how he or she spent her free time.
One-fourth of the girls had matured early, defined as beginning their period one year before the average age for females of their racial and ethnic group. Those who did were more likely to be delinquent, but not aggressive. However, those who matured early and also had low levels of parental nurturance, communication and knowledge were more likely to be aggressive. “Also, early maturation only predicted physical aggression when combined with low maternal nurturance,” the authors write.
Early-maturing girls may be at higher risk of aggression or delinquency because they are more likely to be accepted by and form relationships with older boys, who are more likely than younger children to engage in undesirable behaviors, the authors note.
“Parental nurturance may decrease girls’ susceptibility to negative peer influence,” they write. “Also, parental nurturance may help girls cope with challenges associated with early puberty. By listening to their daughters’ difficulties and providing support and encouragement, nurturing parents can help them develop better coping skills and diffuse negative emotions that might otherwise manifest as aggression.”
Parental communication and knowledge may also protect girls from aggressive behavior, they continue. “By discussing difficult peer situations (e.g., provocation, peer pressure) and ways of dealing with them, parents may help their daughters develop a repertoire of adaptive responses that will minimize the need for inappropriate (i.e., aggressive) behavior,” they write. “In addition, knowing how their daughters spend free time may help parents identify and prevent negative peer and other influences.”
STUDY: Less Time Spent in Rapid Eye Movement Sleep Associated With Being Overweight Among Children & Teens
The obesity rate has more than tripled among children aged 6 to 11 years in the past 30 years, and approximately 17 percent of U.S. adolescents are now overweight or obese, according to background information in the article. Obesity results from an imbalance between calorie intake and energy expenditure from physical activity, but little is known about other factors that can alter this balance. A number of studies have documented an association between fewer hours of sleep and higher body mass index (BMI) in both adults and children.
Xianchen Liu, M.D., Ph.D., of the Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, Pittsburgh, and colleagues studied 335 children and adolescents age 7 to 17 years (average age 10.8). For three consecutive nights, participants’ sleep was monitored through polysomnography, which assesses total sleep time, time spent in REM, the time it takes to fall asleep and other variables. Weight and height were measured to calculate BMI.
A total of 49 participants (14.6 percent) were at risk for becoming overweight and 45 (13.4 percent) were overweight. Compared with children at a normal weight, those who were overweight slept about 22 minutes less per night and had lower sleep efficiency (percentage of time in bed that an individual is asleep), shorter REM sleep, less eye activity during REM sleep and a longer wait before the first REM period.
After adjusting for other related factors, one hour less of total sleep was associated with two-fold increased odds of being overweight and one hour less of REM sleep was associated with three-fold increased odds.
“Although the precise mechanisms are currently under investigation, the association between short sleep duration and overweight may be attributed to the interaction of behavioral and biological changes as a result of sleep deprivation,” the authors write. Sleep loss causes changes in hormone levels that may affect hunger, and also provides an individual with more waking hours in which to eat. In addition, sleep loss contributes to fatigue the following day, which may decrease physical activity and calorie expenditure.
“Given the fact that the prevalence of overweight among children and adolescents continues to increase and chronic sleep insufficiency becomes more prevalent in modern society, family- and school-based sleep interventions that aim to enhance sleep hygiene and increase sleep duration may have important public health implications for the prevention and intervention of obesity and type 2 diabetes in children,” the authors conclude. “
Furthermore, our results demonstrate an important relationship between REM sleep and high BMI and obesity, suggesting that the short sleep–obesity association may be attributed to reduced REM sleep time and decreased activity during REM sleep.”
“Because of a dramatic increase in the prevalence of childhood obesity and diabetes mellitus during the past two decades, physical activity has assumed an increasingly prominent role in disease prevention and health promotion efforts in the United States and is considered one of the 10 leading health indicators for the nation,” according to background information in the article. This has resulted in a closer monitoring of physical activity and sedentary behavior levels in children and adults in the U.S.
With immigrants now accounting for 12.6 percent of the total U.S. population, “it is important to know how patterns of physical activity, inactivity and sedentary behaviors for this increasing segment of the population differ from those of the majority native population,” the authors note.
Gopal K. Singh, Ph.D., of the Health Resources and Services Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Rockville, Maryland., and colleagues analyzed data from the 2003 National Survey of Children’s Health, a telephone survey measuring regular physical activity, inactivity, television watching and lack of sports participation in U.S. children.
Of the total participants, more than 11 percent of U.S. children were found to be physically inactive, while 73.5 percent engaged in physical activity three or more days per week.
More than 42 percent of children did not participate in sports and 17 percent watched three or more hours of television per day.
“Physical inactivity and sedentary behaviors varied widely among children in various ethnic-immigrant groups,” the authors write. “For example, 22.5 percent of immigrant Hispanic children were physically inactive compared with 9.5 percent of U.S.-born white children with U.S.-born parents.” Immigrant children were more likely to be physically inactive and less likely to participate in sports than native children; “they were, however, less likely to watch television three or more hours per day than native children, although the nativity gap narrowed with increasing acculturation levels.”
“Given the health benefits of physical activity, continued higher physical inactivity and lower activity levels in immigrant children are likely to reduce their overall health advantage over U.S.-born populations during adulthood,” the authors conclude. “To reduce disparities in childhood physical activity, health education programs designed to promote physical activity should target not only children from socially disadvantaged households and neighborhoods but also children in immigrant families.”
Friday, August 1, 2008
American Repertory Theatre Performs Shakespeare Slams!
Shakespeare Slams is a modern-day, plugged-in Shakespearian mash-up featuring 18 performers from the American Repertory Theatre's A.R.T. Institute for Advanced Theatre Training in a multidisciplinary, electric, energetic approach to the Bard's verse. Marrying Shakespeare with a wide range of contemporary music, movement, and culture, Shakespeare Slams seeks to bring the lives of Shakespeare's characters to a diverse 21st century audience.
When: Friday, August 1st 6 pm, Saturday, August 2nd 4:30 pm, Sunday, August 3rd at 7:45 pm.
WHERE: Winthrop Park (corner of JFK and Mount Auburn Street).
Actors' Shakespeare Project Presents Love's Labour's Lost:
Actors' Shakespeare Project will present an encore presentation of their highly successful interpretation of Love's Labour's Lost in conjunction with the Harvard Square Business Associations' Shakespeare in the Square. Shakespeare's Love's Labour's Lost is a sweet and hilarious dance of courtship. Four young lords swear an oath to give up the company of women for three years and devote themselves to study. Soon after, the Princess of France arrives with her three friends and the four lords are instantly smitten. The women decide to torment the men, and boy, are they easy marks! In ASP's rendition of this classic comedy, six actors play sixteen roles-dancing back and forth between male and female, pursuer and pursued!
WHEN: Friday August 1st at 7:15pm, Saturday 2nd at 7:30pm and Sunday 3rd at 3:00 pm
WHERE: Winthrop Park (corner of JFK and Mount Auburn Street).
REVELS REPRESENTS at SHAKESPEARE IN THE SQUARE
The area immediately around Shakespeare's Globe Theatre was filled with musicians, jugglers, dancers and other disreputable street performers. Revels is proud to represent the earthy side of Shakespeare in the Square, and under the leadership of the disgruntled former Shakespeare employee and Morris dancer, Will Kemp, will provide entertainment for the groundlings. Expect lusty music from Tom Zajac and friends, fine singing from Tapestry with Doug Freundlich, instrumental fireworks from Renaissonics, as well as Morris and Sword dancing and expert heckling of the actors.
Shakespeare in the Square Event Schedule
5:00pm - 7:30pm: Commonwealth Morris Men and Orion Sword Dancers perform around Harvard Square.
6:00pm - 6:45pm Shakespeare SLAMS - American Repertory Theatre's A.R.T. Institute.
7:15pm - 9:45pm Loves Labour's Lost - Actor's Shakespeare Project.
2:45pm - 4:15pm Renaissonics Performance.
4:30pm - 5:15pm Shakespeare SLAMS - American Repertory Theatre's A.R.T. Institute
7:30pm - 10:00am Loves Labour's Lost - Actor's Shakespeare Project
1:30pm - 3:30pm Commonwealth Morris Men around Harvard Square
3:00pm - 5:30pm Loves Labour's Lost - Actor's Shakespeare Project
5:00pm - 7:00pm Orion Sword Dancers around Harvard Square
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm Tapestry and Tom Zajack Trio performs
7:45pm - 8:30pm Shakespeare SLAMS - American Repertory Theatre's A.R.T. Institute
Shakespeare in the Square Restaurant and Shopping Events from Aug 1-3, please see www.harvardsquare.com for special menus and offers.
About our Distinguished Local Performing Companies:
The AMERICAN REPERTORY THEATRE (A.R.T.), one of the country's most celebrated resident theatres and the winner of numerous awards, including the Tony Award and the Pulitzer Prize, was recently named the third best theatre in the country by Time magazine. Over its twenty-eight-year history the A.R.T. has welcomed Major American and international theatre artists whose singular visions generate and define the theatre' s work, presenting a varied repertoire that includes new plays, progressive productions of classical texts, and collaborations between artists from many disciplines. The Company has performed throughout the country, and worldwide in twenty-one cities in sixteen countries on four continents. The A.R.T. recently inaugurated its second stage at Zero Arrow Theatre, also in Harvard Square.
The A.R.T. INSITITUE FOR ADVANCED THEATRE TRAINING was established in 1987 by the A.R.T. as a training ground for the professional American theatre. In 1998, the Institute began an exclusive collaboration with the Moscow Art Theatre (MXAT) School. The union of the two schools has created an historic program that provides unparalleled opportunities for training and growth. Upon graduation, students receive a Certificate of Achievement from the A.R.T. at Harvard University and a Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) degree from the MXAT School. Institute students have toured their productions throughout Europe, performing in Russia, Italy, Germany, and Switzerland.
ACTOR'S SHAKESPEARE PROJECT: The Actors' Shakespeare Project was founded in 2004 by Benjamin Evett and actor-colleagues with the intention of creating a resident acting company in Boston that would produce Shakespeare in intimate, stripped-down productions that celebrate the relationships between actors, audience and text. Since then ASP has produced 13 plays in venues all over Boston and Cambridge to critical acclaim and the company's productions have been honored with three Elliot Norton awards. In 2006, Ed Siegel of the Boston Globe wrote, "This is Shakespeare the way it's supposed to be performed. The troupe plays to the crowd hilariously, speaks Elizabethan verse beautifully, and posits a smart interpretation of the play. Actors' Shakesp eare Project has to be listed as a local treasure." Jeremy McCarter of New York Magazine called ASP's King Lear "A triumph of classical acting" and in spring 2008, The Wall Street Journal's Terry Teachout called ASP "one of America's finest Shakespeare troupes."
For More information: www.actorsshakespeareproject.org or 617-547-1982
*Member, Actors' Equity Association
REVELS: Now, in its 38th year of performances, Revels is a non-profit performing arts company producing Music Theater, recordings and educational materials.
At the heart of each Revels production are the singers, actors, dancers, and storytellers who preserve the arts and traditions of their own cultures. Through its respect for the customs of many cultures, Revels has created its own traditions. Widely known for the annual Christmas Revels, our organization celebrates the cycles of life and the seasons through the arts. Revels' productions of Spring Sing, RiverSing, and SummersDay Revels bring together a community of professional actors, musicians, designers, and directors, along with a volunteer chorus of children and adults. Celebration is at the core of Revels and audience participation is an organic consequence of that impulse.