30 November 2007

Adoption: Love From the Heart

If photos of children in need melt your heart, you'll need to bring a bucket to Heart Gallery of North Texas photo exhibit at Fort Worth's Gladney Center for Adoption. These heart-warming photos of children who are in foster care and awaiting adoption is on display at the Gladney Center for Adoption from Nov. 27-Dec. 31 from 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Admission is free.

The Gladney Center is partnering with the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services to bring foster kids closer to their dream of becoming part of a loving family. Professional photographers volunteer their time and talents to produce beautiful portraits for the Heart Gallery. The traveling exhibit provides a photographic journey into the souls of children in foster care, capturing their spirit of hope and courage.

The Heart Gallery originated in Santa Fe, New Mexico, providing a visual medium for raising community awareness about the need for adoptive families for children awaiting adoption.

~ Lisa

27 November 2007

Log in! DallasChild.com and FortWorthChild.com

We're live! Click over to our redesigned Web sites at DallasChild.com and FortWorthChild.com. We've got all the features you love on our pages (check out what's new for November right now) plus a growing menu of Web-only features.
  • Articles and features from our magazines
  • Exclusive online features, available only on the Web
  • Reader polls
  • Local parenting resources
  • Searchable calendar of local family-friendly events
  • Dining reviews, with a focus on family-friendly eateries
  • Movie reviews
  • Getaways
  • Top local attractions
... and so much more! Check back regularly, because we add fresh, new content every week, all month long. We're so excited to connect with you online -- come see us today!

26 November 2007

Dallas on $1 a Day

I won't be sailing through the tollbooths on the way home from the office in a few hours as light-heartedly as usual -- not since the holiday awareness materials from the North Texas Food Bank (NTFB) scrolled onto my screen. A lot of scary statistics about hunger for an upcoming news piece are accumulating on one side of my desk, but the sobering fact that sliced through all the holiday hubbub was this one: For the cost of my next toll, the NTFB can feed five children. That's right -- five hungry children.

The North Texas Food Bank definitely puts its money where its mouth is, literally and figuratively. The NTFB's Food 4 Kids and Kids CafĂ© programs both specifically benefit local children. And the need is stronger than ever: new figures released this month by America’s Second Harvest: The Nation’s Food Bank Network show that Texas is now tied with New Mexico to have the highest rate of childhood hunger in the nation.

Already working under a 17% increase in demand over the same time period last year, the NTFB needs our help stocking its shelves for the upcoming cold and holiday season. Learn more, donate or get involved today!

~ Lisa

16 November 2007

Photo Stamp Your Way to Smiles

If you're one of those prolific family photographers who has way more photographs than you'll ever be able to use in holiday greeting cards, newsletters and gifts, then you need PhotoStamps! PhotoStamps will transform your photo into a custom, U.S. Post Office-approved postage stamp that you can use to enliven your holiday correspondence.

The soft-hearted types at our office were sweet on PhotoStamps' new Anne Geddes stamps, shown above. Who can resist an Anne Geddes image? Now there's no reason not to put a pretty face on your mail all year long! For more information, head to PhotoStamps.

~ Lisa

15 November 2007

Behind the Scenes: Holiday Trivia

Information overload is a way of life today -- and sitting at at editor's desk is no exception! In the interest of filing tantalizing tidbits of knowledge somewhere, we thought we'd share with you some of the interesting holiday-related facts that slipped across our desks this week during the first crush of pre-holiday publicity (all things that nudged my Mommy Brain into thinking, "Hmm, maybe I should take care of this now ...").
  • 20 billion The number of letters, packages and cards the U.S. Postal Service delivered between Thanksgiving and Christmas in 2006. The busiest mailing day last year was Dec. 18, with more than twice as many cards and letters being processed as the average on any given day. (Source: U.S. Postal Service)
  • 12 million The number of packages delivered by the U.S. Postal Service every day during the holiday season last year through Christmas Eve. the busiest delivery day: Dec. 20. (Source: U.S. Postal Service)
  • $21 billion The value of retail sales by electronic shopping and mail-order houses in December 2006 -- the highest total for any month last year. (Source: Service Sector Statistics)
  • Holiday names Places whose names are associated with the holiday season include North Pole, Alaska (population 1,828 in 2006); Santa Claus, Ga. (245); Noel, Mo. (1,555); and for those reindeer fans among you, Rudolph, Wis. (419) and Dasher, Ga. (803).
~ Lisa

12 November 2007

Report Card for the Schools

Want an early peek at how our schools are doing? The 2007 Gold Performance Acknowledgments have been released at Texas Education Agency's Web site. Spotted among the exemplary listings: Arlington Classics Academy, Harmony Science Academy, Highland Park ISD, Richland Collegiate High School of Math and Sunnyvale ISD.

Word is that the 2006-07 Academic Excellence Indicator System (AEIS) Reports will be publicly released the week of November 26, 2007.

~ Lisa

07 November 2007

Bull's-Eye for Education

Skeptical shoppers may raise an eyebrow at programs that claim to donate a part of purchase totals to local causes -- but here's one that pays off. Target's Take Charge of Education program recently paid out a whopping $221,844.95 to Dallas/Fort Worth-area schools. To date, Metroplex schools have received more than $3 million through this school fundraiser. The funds are given to participating schools for anything they need — technology, books, school supplies and more.

If you're as big an addict of this superstore as I am (because who can resist browsing hip designer duds while enjoying a fountain drink and getting ready to pick up the weekly groceries?), you'll want to make sure your purchases benefit local schoolkids. Designate an eligible K-12 school of your choice, and Target will donate an amount equal to one percent of your REDcardSM (Target® Visa® Credit Card and Target Credit CardSM) purchases made at Target. Target also donates 0.5 percent of Target Visa Credit Card purchases made everywhere else Visa credit cards are accepted.

I'd say those are some educational benefits that are right on target!

~ Lisa

06 November 2007

Fort Worth Kindergarteners Win National Contest

Chalk one up for the class of 2020 at Fort Worth's Sycamore Elementary, where kindergarteners were winners in VTech’s Whiz Kid™ Class of 2020 contest -- because they are "full of inspiration, yet short on technology resources."

VTech® donated a $1,000 college savings bonds to each student, a Whiz Kid Learning Center to their classroom and a celebration with Erin Sanders of Nickelodeon’s® “Zoey 101.”

The Whiz Kid Learning Center comes complete with new PCs, printers and VTech’s Whiz Kid PC Learning Systems, a new interactive learning system.

“For the past 30 years, VTech has been committed to providing children with electronic learning toys that that enrich their development through fun and smart play,” said Samara Tuchband, senior marketing director with VTech Electronics North America. “We’re proud to extend our commitment through investing in the class of 2020 at Sycamore as they embark on their education."

Kudos to all of Sycamore's kindergarten whiz kids as they embark upon a lifetime of education!

~ Lisa

01 November 2007

Drink up!

Is organic food healthier than the stuff with all the pesticides? Preliminary results from a four-year study funded by the European Union point to yes. Research uncovered more antioxidants and fewer fatty acids in organic food. Organic milk scored big, with up to 80 percent more antioxidants and more Vitamin E than conventional milk.

Final results from the study won't be out for another year, but Grist reports that advocates hope the research will sway Britain's Food Standards Agency to change its current advisory that "the balance of current scientific evidence does not support" the contention that organic food is more nutritious than conventional.

~ Lisa