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“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”
― Dr. Seuss in “I Can Read with my Eyes Shut!”
We are celebrating reading and Dr. Seuss at the Training Institute! A lot of you reading this will have fond memories of either having a Dr. Seuss book read to you or of reading one to your own children. Dr. Seuss (Theodor Seuss Geisel) was born on March 2, 1904. During his life he published 46 children’s books full of imagination and rhymes. In May 1954 a report came out which concluded that children were not learning to read because their books were boring. William Ellsworth Spaulding, the then director of the education division at Houghton Mifflin, challenged Geisel to “bring back a book children can’t put down.” Nine months later, Geisel completed what many consider his finest children’s book, “The Cat in the Hat.” With its easy to read vocabulary it has been enjoyed by many beginning readers throughout the years. In fact Dr. Seuss’s books still outsell many of the newly published children’s books today.
While we celebrate the literary contributions of Dr. Seuss, we are also busy preparing a NEW training module for home visitors on how they can help parents help their children become successful readers. We know that reading doesn’t begin in kindergarten – it begins at home. A child’s first experiences with literacy are shaped by the literacy they see in their home, so improving family literacy is an important goal. Home visitors can impact the literacy skills of children in a number of ways. We can’t wait to share techniques with home visitors for promoting strategies to get parents reading to their children!
It is important for someone to be reading to every child and for children to have access to developmentally appropriate books. Watch for our new training in the next month that will help home visitors encourage parents to READ, READ, READ to their child!
“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” To this day, especially in times of “disaster,” I remember my mother’s words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world.” – Mr. Rogers
At the Training Institute we sat stunned, as many of you did, when we learned of the events in Connecticut last Friday. Our thoughts go out to the families there as they cope and heal. Friday was a day of immense sadness and grief for everyone who cares for children and families. As home visitors many of you work with children and families who may need help with processing their questions, concerns, and fears. We want you to know about the following resources.
- A resource from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, “Tips for Talking to Children and Youth after Traumatic Events.”
- Advice from the American Psychological Association, “Helping Your Children Manage Distress in the Aftermath of a Shooting.”
- Fred Rogers’ advice from Family Communications, “Helping Children Deal with Tragic Events in the News.”
- Advice from the National Association of School Psychologists, “A National Tragedy: Helping Children Cope.”
After the holidays we will begin offering multiple trainings around the state on stress management. We hope you will join us as we explore resources and techniques to assist home visitors with managing their own stress while helping families with their stress related problems. We strongly believe that home visitors are making a difference in the lives of families. At the Training Institute we want to help you continue to do so by teaching strategies that can build resilience in children and families.
We are working on new training modules every day to assist and help you as you continue to help families. As always, we look forward to seeing you at a future training!
Posted by: Dr. Kathy Pillow-Price on 12/17/12
“But I being poor have only my dreams. I have spread my dreams under your feet; tread softly, because you tread on my dreams.”
~ William Butler Yeats
What does it mean to grow up poor in America? Tonight AETN will air FRONTLINE, Poor Kids, at 9 pm locally. This episode of Frontline follows several of the more than 13 million children in poverty for a glimpse at what life is like for a child in need. There is the near-constant hunger, the stress that comes from watching a parent struggle, and oftentimes, days and weeks spent living in a shelter or bouncing from motel to motel.
The figures from the Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) below underscore many of the challenges facing all of the children living in poverty.
- The federal poverty guideline for a family of four is $23,050. Today’s poverty guidelines compare with a median household income in the U.S. of $50,054.
- Extreme poverty is defined as an annual income of less than half of the poverty level, or $11,511 for a family of four.
- Over seven million children – one in ten – lived in extreme poverty in 2011.
- In 2011, one in four infants, toddlers and preschoolers were poor, at the very same time that their brains are rapidly developing and attention to their developmental needs is so important.
- Nearly two-thirds of all poor children – approximately 10.3 million – lived in single-parent families, with single-mother families facing some of the greatest challenges.
- Child poverty was at its lowest level 40 years ago (14.0%) and has risen nearly every year over the last decade.
- Our youngest children continue to be most at-risk of being poor: the child poverty rate for children under six* increased by 38 percent between 2000 and 2011.
- In Arkansas, 28.1% of our children live in poverty with 12.6% living in extreme poverty.
For more information attend a training session for Home Visitors and find out “What Poverty Does to the Brain.” You can look for upcoming dates on our website, on our Facebook page, and on Twitter.
We look forward to seeing you at a future training!
Posted by: Dr. Kathy Pillow-Price on November 20, 2012
October is SIDS Awareness Month
“Gone. The saddest word in the language. In any language.”
October is SIDS Awareness Month, and the Training Institute wants to provide home visitors with some tools to help families prevent it. Here are a few basic facts about SIDS:
About Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
- SIDS is the sudden, unexplained death of an infant younger than one year of age while they sleep.
- SIDS is the leading cause of death for infants between 1-12 months.
- SIDS can happen anytime during the first year of life, but is most common between 2-4 months of age.
- The exact cause of SIDS remains a mystery.
- SIDS is not caused by immunizations, vomiting, or choking.
Two Things that Help in Preventing SIDS
1. Every time a baby is laid down for sleep — for naps, at night, or any time — they should be placed on their back.
- Also remember to tell all caretakers of a baby how essential it is to lay a sleeping baby on his back each time.
2. Parents should not allow their children to be around secondhand smoke.
- Smoking before, during and after pregnancy is associated with SIDS.
- Babies of mothers who smoke during pregnancy have a 3 times greater risk of SIDS.
- Babies who breathe second hand smoke have a 2.5 times greater risk of SIDS.
We have two new training modules ready that will give home visitors more information about SIDS. One is over Tobacco Usage and Cessation and includes information about SIDS and the effects of secondhand smoke. The other one is an injury prevention module that focuses on safe sleep. Just check our website for available dates if you are interested.
We look forward to seeing you at a future training!
Posted by: Dr. Kathy Pillow-Price on October 30, 2012
“God is closest to those with broken hearts.”
I am quite sure that for many of us the date 9/11 will forever bring back memories of where we were and what we were doing when we first heard the news about the attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and the plane crash in Pennsylvania. Perhaps you worried about the safety of your own family or maybe you had concerns over how you would begin to discuss the events with your children. As a nation we grieved together knowing that other families were in real pain and we looked for ways to show our support all the while knowing that nothing we could do or say would be adequate enough.
At the Home Visiting Training Institute we remember and our thoughts are with those that loved and lost family members. While we hope we never see a tragedy of this magnitude on American soil again, we would like to point home visitors to a resource to help families that are experiencing a stressful situation like a disaster or other type of emergency. The handout, “Helping Parents Cope With Disaster,” is available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in PDF format at:
Also, we are currently working on on a new training module concerning stress and families and how stress impacts children. Look for upcoming training dates on our website in the next few months!
Posted by: Dr. Kathy Pillow-Price on September 11, 2012