31 December 2007

Aiden, Braden and Kaden Not Fadin'

Expectant parents searching for the hottest new baby names -- or trying to avoid names that are too trendy -- can expect to see a lot more of Aiden, Braden and Kaden in 2008. The trio continues to dominate the top three spots on BabyNames.com.

Top-10 lister Jaden dropped from fourth in 2006 to seventh in 2007, while Hayden dropped out of the top 20 most popular boys' names altogether. "People now perceive Hayden as more of a girls' name -- most likely due to the popularity of actress Hayden Panettiere from the TV show Heroes," says BabyNames.com's Jennifer Moss. Also dropping off the lists was former top-20 girls' lister Madison, which seems to have been replaced by sound-a-like Madeline.

Moss notes that parents are starting to avoid choosing names that are too popular. "Because of the desire to choose more unique names," says Moss, "the popularity trends are changing faster than they have in previous years."

Here are the complete Top 10 lists for boys and girls from BabyNames.com (in order):

Boys Aiden, Braden, Kaden, Ethan, Caleb, Noah, Jaden, Connor, Landon and Jacob

Girls Ava, Abigail, Cailyn, Madeline, Isabella, Emma, Caitlyn, Olivia, Chloe and Brianna.

~ Lisa

27 December 2007

Turn Downtime into Family Time

Most days, you probably try to squeeze 25 hours' worth of activities into each 24-hour day. This coming year (yes, New Year's resolutions are just around the corner!) and during the rest of the holidays, resolve to target small pockets of time to enjoy the company of your kids.

Lissa Coffey, a family and relationships expert for Hasbro games and author of Getting There! 9 Ways to Help Your Kids Learn What Matters Most in Life, offers the following tips to take advantage of any small amount of time together:

Green therapy Most young people spend too much time indoors, developing what Coffey calls "nature deficit disorder." Spending even 10 minutes outside is one way for parents to eliminate the indoor distractions of the Internet and video games and help children learn to appreciate the outdoors. Instead of sending kids to watch TV after dinner, take them outside to toss a baseball or rollerblade around the cul-de-sac.

Congregate in the kitchen Another way to create quality family time is to take advantage of the one thing that all family members have to do -- eat! Cooking and eating a meal together promotes conversation fosters family connections. Ask kids to be "kitchen helpers" by giving them simple cooking tasks such as washing vegetables, setting the table or mixing cake batter.

Fun and games Everyone loves games! Coffey recommends that families create an "activities" closet or bin where favorite games and puzzles can be stored, making a "go-to" place for family fun. For times when families have only a small window of down time, try Express games -- abbreviated versions of board game favorites that can be played in 20 minutes or less. Small puzzles or a few rounds of charades also work well for spontaneous, quick games.

Get crafty Coffey recommends that families find hobbies to enjoy together. Knitting, building model airplanes and scrapbooking are examples of "blast from the past" hobbies that promote family togetherness. Hobbies like these lend themselves to projects that can be worked on for a few minutes at a time over a period of days or weeks.

~ Lisa

24 December 2007

While Visions of Sugarplums Danced in Their Heads

'Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house, not a creature was stirring -- except for your kids, who keep appearing for one more question about just how Santa Claus manages to get down the chimney, anyway.

Apply a little pseudo "peer pressure" with (of all things!) your TV. Everyone else is asleep waiting for Santa, you can assure the kids -- including their friends from PBS's Sprout. Flick on Sprout's first holiday Snooze-A-Thon, an 11-hour, uninterrupted block showcasing popular nighttime host Nina and her puppet sidekick Star from The Good Night Show(R) snoozing comfortably on the set. So, no matter what time of night the kids are up checking for the sound of reindeer hooves on the roof, parents can tune into Sprout to show them that even their favorite television friends are fast asleep waiting for Santa to arrive with their presents.

This preschool version of holiday TV's virtual fireplace runs from 7:00 p.m. ET on Dec. 24 straight through to 6:00 a.m. ET Christmas morning. For additional information and programming schedules or to find out where Sprout is available in your area, visit Sprout online.

21 December 2007

A Chance at the Spotlight

Energetic kids who like to dance might be interested in being in a music video for David Chicken’s song “Book A Trip.” If you haven’t heard, he’s a family-friendly music performer with a DVD and three CDs out. The video will be shot at the Allen Public Library January 19 at 5 p.m., and it will appear on the new David Chicken DVD coming out in 2008. If January 19 doesn’t work for you or your kids, you can contact David Chicken about future video shoots.

David Chicken

- Jessica

20 December 2007

Fantasy New Year’s Eve

It’s New Year’s Eve. What are your plans? You could stay at home with the kids, put them to bed early and watch the ball drop in Times Square from your living room. Or you could be adventurous and give yourselves some kid-free time while celebrating at one of the many options around the Metroplex. Hotels, clubs and bars are all getting into the New Year’s party spirit and offering great entertainment or get-away options. Don’t forget to book your night out as soon as possible because they are filling up quickly! Here are a few:

Gaylord Texan Resort’s “Gala to Gridiron” Fantasy New Year’s Eve Package: A two-day package for twelve people that includes a Grand Presidential Suite, five deluxe suites, two New Year’s Eve Parties, a personal resort chef, a VIP helicopter transportation to and from the Cotton Bowl, 20-yard line tickets at the Cotton Bowl and plenty more. It starts December 30 and goes until January 2. $75,000 or bid on eBay.com starting at $55,000. 817/722-9220, www.gaylordhotels.com/gaylordtexan.

W Important Person (W.I.P.-NYE) Package: The W Dallas offers access for two to Ghostbar; New Year’s Eve party favors; dinner for two at Craft, Nove, or N9NE Steakhouse; and a hotel room. Make reservations by December 24. 214/397-4106, www.starwoodhotels.com/whotels/index.html.

Hotel ZaZa Heaven and Hell New Year’s Eve Party: You can walk through the pearly gates to enter three party areas: heaven on the tented patio, purgatory in the grand gallery and an underworld in the uptown ballroom. It includes live entertainment, party favors and a champagne toast. 9 p.m. – 2 a.m. Tickets $50. 214/468-8399, www.hotelzaza.com.

The Ritz-Carlton and Fearing’s: This new Uptown hotel package includes a suite or guest room, dinner for two at the hotel’s four-star restaurant Fearing’s, champagne toast and party favors, and New Year’s Day breakfast. $819 - $1,229 per couple. 214/922-0200, www.ritzcarlton.com.

Glass Cactus: Celebrate the New Year with party favors, champagne and the band Le Freak covering ‘70s dance hits. 8 p.m. – 2 a.m. Tickets from $75 - $150. Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center, 817/778-2800, www.glasscactusnightclub.com.

Zubar: Celebrate with a video montage, a balloon drop, and a midnight champagne toast. 5 p.m. – 2 a.m. Cover charge is $10 or $20 after 10 p.m. 214/887-0071, www.zubar.com.

Big D New Year’s Eve: Start the night with a pre-game Dallas Stars pep rally at 6 p.m.; live music on the plaza; fireworks at midnight; and big screens with live feeds from the House of Blues. 6 p.m. – after midnight. Free. www.bigdnye.com.

So relax, and enjoy a fantasy New Year’s Eve.

- Jessica

Texas low in supporting tobacco prevention programs

Texas ranks an abysmal 42nd in the nation in funding programs to protect kids from tobacco, according to a national report released this month by a coalition of public health organizations. Texas spends $11.8 million a year on tobacco prevention programs -- just 11.4 percent of the minimum amount of $103.2 million recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Sadly, this low ranking represents an improvement for the Lone Star state; last year, Texas ranked 45th.

The annual report from the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, the American Heart Association, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network and the American Lung Association revealed these ugly notes about tobacco and kids in Texas:
  • Tobacco companies spend more than $884 million a year on marketing in Texas. This is 75 times what the state spends on tobacco prevention.
  • Texas this year will collect $2.1 billion from the tobacco settlement and tobacco taxes but will spend less than 1 percent of it on tobacco prevention.
Are that many kids really smoking? Unfortunately, yes.
  • Currently, 23 percent of high school students and 20.8 percent of adults smoke in the United States.
  • Nearly 90 percent of all smokers start at or before age 18.
  • Every day, another 1,000 kids become regular smokers, one-third of whom will die prematurely as a result.
  • In Texas, 24.2 percent of high school students smoke, and 35,900 more kids become regular smokers every year.
Get more information at www.tobaccofreekids.org.

16 December 2007

More holiday hazards

I’m not a worry-wart – really. But as a mom, I’ve been around enough family gatherings and enough kiddos to know that holidays plus distracted parents plus excited little ones can add up to some crazy situations. Even safe homes can become hazardous for curious children and pets with the addition of attractive decorations.

Make sure the seasonal delights festooning your home are safe for the whole family with these tips from the North Texas Poison Center at Parkland Memorial Hospital.

Poinsettia This plant is actually not very toxic, but the sap can be irritating. If a piece has been chewed, clear the mouth of plant material and offer something to drink.

Christmas berry The leaves and crushed pits are poisonous if a large amount is swallowed.
Holly Eating a few berries can cause vomiting, cramps and diarrhea.

Mistletoe Eating berries can cause vomiting, cramps and diarrhea. Large amounts can cause high blood pressure, seizures and confusion.

Christmas trees Evergreens are non-toxic with the exception of the yew, which has red, cup-like fruits on its branches. The leaves and seed pits are toxic. Be careful what you add to the water in the Christmas tree stand; pets may drink it, and some preservatives are toxic.

Christmas tree ornaments Antique or imported ornaments may have toxic, lead-based paint.

Tinsel While tinsel is non-toxic, shiny icicles can cause airway or intestinal blockage if eaten by children or pets. Veterinarians perform at least one operation each holiday season to remove tinsel from pets' intestines.

Angel hair This tree decoration is made of spun glass, causing irritation upon contact.
Bubble lights These lights contain a poisonous liquid called methylene chloride. It can be a danger if the fluid from several lights is swallowed.

Alcohol Alcohol poisons children by causing a drop in their blood sugar and making them dangerously drowsy. A combination of these two factors can cause a coma. Holiday alcohol is available in many forms: perfume given as a gift, mixed drinks at a party or even mouthwash left by the bathroom sink.

Turkey Thaw turkey in the refrigerator, allowing one to three days for complete thawing. If time is short, immerse the bird in a water-tight wrapper in cold water, continue adding ice to prevent the turkey from reaching room temperature. Wash hands thoroughly before dressing the bird to minimize chance of contamination from bacteria on hands. The safest method to determine when the turkey is cooked is to place a meat thermometer inside the thigh muscle or thickest part of breast. It should read 180 to 185 degrees for a normal turkey. For a stuffed turkey, place the thermometer in the stuffing. The thermometer here should register at 165 degrees. After cooking, remove the stuffing; do not allow it to cool inside the turkey. Refrigerate the turkey, gravy and stuffing after meal; room temperature is insufficient.

North Texas Poison Center 1-800-222-1222, 24 hours a day

For a free poison prevention packet,
call the North Texas Poison Center administrative line at 214/589-0911.

~ Lisa

London Calling!

First stop on the European trifecta was Dublin, Ireland, now we’re off to London to see the sights and scenes around the home of Queen Elizabeth II and the royal family. Don’t be put off by the stiff Brit upper lip and distant demeanor, there’s plenty of places to explore with kids in tow. Look for Elizabeth’s write up in Sights & Scenes on UK’s capital city in January’s issue of DallasChild. Find out more about London on our website in an extended version and more extras beginning in January.



13 December 2007

Light Up the House Without Lighting a Fire

Most of us think we’ve got a handle on holiday fire precautions, but it’s easy to gloss over the basics when we’re being hurried and harried by excited young helpers. The National Association of Child Care Resource Referral Agencies (NACCRRA) offers these holiday safety reminders – be sure to share them with your young decorating assistants!
  • When using live trees for the holidays, use a fresh one that is kept in water at all times. Do not have it up for more than two weeks.
  • Place your tree away from heat sources such as a fireplace or heat vent.
  • Check for frayed wires or any cracks in sockets or plugs before using lights as decorations. Turn off all lights when you are not at home.
  • Do not overload electrical outlets.
  • Choose nonflammable decorations. If you choose an artificial tree, choose one that is flame retardant.
  • Avoid using candles. If you do use candles, make sure they are in a stable candle holder and never leave them burning unattended.

11 December 2007

Be a Sport this Season

Just a few weeks ago, North Texas native Pete Burks was killed by a roadside bomb in Iraq. The news of one more death in that region is troubling, but hits particularly close to home when the victim and his family are so closely tied to the community. Both Pete and his fiancée attended area high schools (two of us at DallasChild were their classmates), and part of Pete’s pre-military career was spent working with FC Dallas.

Before his death, Burks had asked family and friends to send supplies and treats to his fellow soldiers, as well as the Iraqi kids. Now FC Dallas is continuing his mission, and you have one more week to help out, too.

Drop off soccer balls at Pizza Hut Park before Monday, December 17, and they’ll make sure the toys make it overseas.


10 December 2007

Entertainment On the Go

How did parents survive road trips in the prehistoric pre-DVD days? Portable entertainment helps the miles breeze by -- and if you're caught without a portable DVD player for your holiday travels, Nickelodeon and Hertz have come to the rescue. Nick on the Go is a fully portable, pre-loaded, touch-screen media player for vacationing families. The Nick-branded units are available exclusively from Hertz at 21 top leisure travel airport locations across the United States, including Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.

The take-it-anywhere units are designed for kids' hands and can be used in the car, at the pool on vacation or wherever travel time takes your family. Nick on the Go is preloaded with more than 40-hours of top programming from Nickelodeon and Nick Jr., including popular episodes from SpongeBob SquarePants; Drake & Josh; Avatar: The Last Airbender; El Tigre; Danny Phantom; The Fairly Odd Parents; Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius; All Grown Up; Catscratch; Rugrats; My Life as a Teenage Robot; The X's; Unfabulous; and Zoey 101. Preschoolers can view Dora the Explorer; Blue's Clues; Blue's Room; and The Wonder Pets!. Programming and content will be regularly refreshed to meet the needs of frequent renters.

A mounting system for back-seat viewing keeps things handy while traveling. Outside the car, the hand-held system is completely portable. A long-life battery can be recharged with either a car or a/c charger, both of which are provided.

Nick on the Go can be reserved on Hertz.com or by calling 1-800-654-3131. Players will be available at Hertz airport locations as of Saturday, Dec. 15.

Bon voyage!

04 December 2007

Jumping Across the Pond...

It’s a rare treat for kids to have the opportunity to see the history they study in school, up close and personal. And better yet when the whole family can make a “holiday” of it and fly across the pond (aka, the Atlantic Ocean) to take in the breathtaking views of a different country and culture.

Look for upcoming online exclusives on our website that guide you as a family, through three European cities, filled with so much culture to experience, it’s hard to want to sleep!

Our first stop is Dublin, Ireland (my most favorite city in the world) where there is a lot more to do than just hit the pubs (contrary to most people’s beliefs). The Irish have so much character and resilience, that it’s quite obvious throughout the city and in their current day economy. Be sure and take a walk down the River Liffey (pictured above) and down O’Connell Street where the Dublin Spire stands (although unliked by the locals) as a replacement for Nelson’s Pillar (blown up in 1966).

Next stop…London, UK!

Liz and Lauren

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 Café 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

31 October 2007

How Many Seeds in a Pumpkin?

If you're like me and still scrambling through the stores to get your candy stash in place for trick-or-treating tonight (although my daughter has had her fabulous woodland fairy costume in hand for a couple of weeks now -- she's going to be a hit!), you may want to pick up this cute read as a last-minute gift for your kids. How Many Seeds in a Pumpkin? combines a festive holiday theme with a timeless counting lesson.

Author Margaret McNamara (winner of the Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Best Book Award) and illustrator G. Brian Karas (recipient of the New York Times Best Illustrated Book award) offer an endearing tale of children working toward a common goal, happily learning about pumpkins -- and the risk of making assumptions.

Speaking of assumptions, I just remembered that my laundry is not clean and I'll need to go wash the green pants my daughter will wear underneath her gauzy fairy skirt -- I'm off! Have a wonderful and safe Halloween.

~ Lisa

30 October 2007

Staying in the Pink

It's not too late to show support for Breast Cancer Awareness Month by shopping pink! Looking for ideas? Check out a few more of the items that have passed through our offices this month.

Pink Pony is Ralph Lauren's initiative in the fight against cancer.

Get into the swing of things with Golf Pride's limited-edition golf grip supporting Y-ME National Breast Cancer Organization.

Girls4Sport's Pink Store features active swimwear and sportswear benefiting Boarding for Breast Cancer.

And my personal family favorite: Munchkin.com's Project Pink ducky raises money for Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Buy a pink rubber ducky; dress up your own computerized ducky and e-mail it to your friends or enter it in a contest; or bid on a celebrity-decorated quacker.

Your purchases help women everywhere enjoy a few more moments. For the cure!

~ Lisa

29 October 2007

Superbug Strategies

Drug-resistant staph infections -- methicillin-resistant S. aureus, or MRSA -- have struck local schools, from Southlake to Flower Mound. The new strain of bacteria can cause severe infections that can send even the healthiest kids to the hospital. Breaks in the skin are the most common entry point for MRSA, making contact sports -- and contaminated locker rooms -- a frequent source of infection.

Carroll ISD, which has confirmed two cases of MRSA among secondary-level students, has posted a staph fact sheet and action report on its web site, in addition to taking a number of steps to combat the problem:
  • Disinfecting locker rooms, dressing areas and restrooms regularly.
  • Asking students/athletes to keep cuts and lesions covered.
  • Requesting parents/students report possible staph infections and/or confirmed cases to athletic trainers, nurses and principals.
  • Fogging locker rooms weekly with an industrial fogger designed to kill staph.
  • Requesting athletes/students empty PE/athletic lockers every Wednesday evening for a more thorough cleaning.
  • Having all coaches meet with their athletes about washing their towels, socks, uniforms, pads, etc., regularly.
  • Discouraging the sharing of clothing, equipment, towels, razors or soaps, etc.
  • Providing Clorox wipes to coaches/PE teachers to wipe down weight rooms, etc.
Parents should encourage frequent hand washing at home and school, instruct young athletes to avoid sharing personal items such as soap and towels, encourage showers after PE and athletic practices, wash sports clothes in hot water and teach kids to avoid contact with other children's open wounds.

~ Lisa

Jerry Seinfeld Buzzes About Bee Movie

Jerry Seinfeld hits the big screens this weekend (Nov 2) in his new animated feature Bee Movie. Seinfeld lends his voice to Barry B. Benson - a bee who leaves his hive and explores the human world.

DallasChild got to ask Seinfeld a few questions about the movie, what it's like to be a bee, and his real life as a dad.

DallasChild: What message should kids take away from Bee Movie?
Jerry Seinfeld: That everything in nature is related is one lesson that comes out of the movie. And they [bees] never realize that that little job that they’re doing has this huge effect on nature and biology and the world of pollination and produce, and it affects all these other things because they take their little job so seriously. And that’s the other message that I like in the film - take a little job seriously.

DC: Did your children influence your decision to make this movie?
JS: No, not really. I really kind of thought that this just would be a really funny movie, and it would be fun to make. But now as I’m finishing it, I’m thinking more that this is going to be a wonderful gift to children of the world, just a funny little movie about a subject that no one has ever made a movie about before. So now I’m really excited about it as a gift to children.

DC: How do you balance work and family?
JS: Oh, that’s a good question. Well, the answer for me is I am unable to. And, as a result, I’m not going to work as much after this because I have worked a lot in my life, and now I want to make my family more important. So after this movie, I don’t know if I’m going to do anything for a while besides perform stand-up which doesn’t require that much time. You know you can go out for a night or two and come home.

Enjoy the movie!

26 October 2007

No Leads on Lead

In the face of unrelenting recalls for lead-contaminated children's toys and products, you may have been tempted to run to the hardware store for a home lead-testing kit. The latest recommendation from the Consumer Product Safety Commission: don't bother. The home testing kits, which were designed to test paint, are not reliable for children's products, the CPSC said this week.

The CPSC tested more than 100 home kits on toys and found that 56 failed to detect lead, while two others warned of lead where it didn't exist. "Based on the study, consumers should not use lead test kits to evaluate consumer products for potential lead hazards," concluded the CPSC.

~ Lisa

25 October 2007

What's Your Treat?

You want to give out treats the neighborhood kids will love -- but you don't want to fill them up with sugar and candy, set off an allergic reaction with nuts or risk contaminating kids with lead from toxic Chinese-made trinkets. What's a thoughtful neighbor to do?

Many parents are getting creative, filling their goody trays with holiday pencils, markers and other crafty tidbits. Stickers and temporary tattoos are another safe and popular standby. Other parents have had success breaking up decks of trading cards and allowing children to take their pick.

Are you changing your tactics on what will be in your goody stash this Halloween? What will you be giving away to trick-or-treaters who come to your door this year?

~ Lisa

24 October 2007

Bully, Bully

This week is National Bullying Prevention Awareness Week, and the folks at Hazelden Publishing have put together a free, downloadable toolkit for parents to help end bullying. Topics include defining bullying, what to do if your child is being bullied, what to do if your child bullies others, and how to help if your child witnesses bullying.

The kit also offers information about online bullying ("cyber-bullying"), talking with school staffers and developing a bullying prevention program at your child's school. Download the kit now and learn how to help your child deal with this all-too-common problem.

~ Lisa

Soles for Souls

Cheers to General Growth Properties, which collected 3,583 pairs of shoes -- yes, that's nearly 4,000 pairs of shoes! -- for charity at Collin Creek Mall, Hulen Mall, Stonebriar Centre, The Parks at Arlington, Town East Mall and Vista Ridge Mall. The shoes went to Soles4Souls, which aims to impact as many lives as possible worldwide with the gift of shoes.

That's walking the walk, indeed!

~ Lisa

23 October 2007

Think You Know the Facts?

Despite the relative success of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month in getting Americans to “think pink,” a new survey from the National Breast Cancer Coalition (NBCC) reveals potentially critical knowledge gaps among American women. Despite the fact that 61 percent of those surveyed reported having recently heard or read something about breast cancer and 76 percent consider themselves knowledgeable about breast cancer, the survey shows that awareness is not translating into knowledge.

A majority of respondents (56%) believe that most breast cancers occur among women with a family history or a genetic predisposition to the disease. The reality is that over two-thirds of women diagnosed have no known risk factor. Even though having an inherited mutation in certain genes is the most potent risk factor, the National Cancer Institute states that these genes are rare in the general population and are estimated to account for no more than 5 to 10 percent of breast and ovarian cancer cases overall." Breast cancer is expected to claim the lives of some 40,000 women in the United States this year.

Want more facts? Visit the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation's fact page.

~ Lisa

18 October 2007

A Step at a Time

Just one bite of an allergy-causing food can trigger a life-threatening reaction in a child with food allergies. Strict avoidance of allergy-causing ingredients is the only way to prevent a reaction. There is no cure in sight -- but you can help scientists work toward solutions.

Lace up your walking shoes this weekend at the local Walk for Food Allergy, sponsored by the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network. The 2.2-mile walk begins at 10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 20 at Bob Woodruff Park in Plano. Help raise funds for allergy research, learn more about food allergies and connect with others who are living with food allergies. Be sure to stay and play after the event at the after-walk carnival. Click here for more local event information.

In three years, the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network has raised more than $2 million from walk events and hopes to raise another $2 million in 2007. When you contribute to FAAN you are helping us further our mission. Eighty-one cents of every dollar is spent on innovative research and programs that help give families struggling with food allergies a fighting chance.

See you at the park!

~ Lisa

17 October 2007

Take Time for the Cure

It's raining pink at our offices, as companies continue sending tips and teasers for all sorts of Breast Cancer Awareness Month goodies. From pink vacuum cleaners to pink surfing shorts, it seems that virtually everyone has a spin on Pink Ribbon Month this year.

Every now and then, a product will rise above the rest to make an especially chic impression. Here's something every time-pressed mom can get behind: a Coach Bridle Classic Watch. A full $100 of your purchase for one of these rosy-hued classics goes to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation. So take a Swarovski-crystal shining to pink this year, and be fashionably on time.

~ Lisa

16 October 2007

Bookmark This!

Impress with the best as you pull up in a Dana Buchman-designed custom 2008 Cadillac SRX, now up for raffle at NorthPark Center. Proceeds of this unique fundraiser will benefit Bookmarks, a new Dallas Public Library opening soon in NorthPark Center.

The new library opening in NorthPark Center is a one-of-kind creation designed by award-winning Dallas architects design associates. Bookmarks: A Dallas Public Library will be a “kid-friendly” space, with an abundance of bright colors, plenty of places to curl up with a book, and unique artwork. The 1,993 square-foot library is for children through age 12 and will be located on the first floor.

“I am thrilled to have designed this Cadillac SRX,” said Dana Buchman, “It’s a beautiful piece of machinery. It is my hope that donating the car to Bookmarks will raise sufficient funds to keep reading at the forefront of our children’s education.”

Tickets to win the Dana Buchman 2008 Cadillac SRX are available at the NorthPark Center Concierge through Oct. 31. from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. Tickets will be limited to the first 1,000 sold and are available for $100 per ticket. All proceeds from the sale of the tickets will benefit Bookmarks. The winning ticket will be drawn on Friday, November 2 at NorthPark Center; you need not be present to win.

Worth bookmarking, indeed!

15 October 2007

Not Just Any Manic Monday...

It's Monday...and that means...It's Dancing With the Stars night, and also the night where your attention and fingers count the most. By now, I'm sure no one needs a reminder, but I'll say it anyway...vote for Dallas' Mark Cuban at 1-800-VOTE-411 or 3411 by text for AT&T Customers as many times as possible. He needs Dallas' (and Fort Worth's) votes!

Now what can be more entertaining than Mark in round 5...vote tonight!

Fun at the Fair

I stopped by the State Fair this weekend, just to check in on the big guy (Tex) and grab a funnel cake. Having not been to the fair in several years, though, I wasn’t sure what it might hold for a city girl who does not like heat or crowds. To my delight, I had a wonderful time! The weather was perfect, the grounds were pristine, the exhibits were fabulous, and the fried foods were just to my liking.

My family particularly enjoyed the Texas Skyway. It’s a welcome addition to the fair, and really, an unexpected treat. The ride is short, but the view is spectacular.

Also spectacular: The Neiman Marcus Fortnight exhibit in the Hall of State. Photos and memorabilia from the downtown store’s famed fortnight celebrations are on display here, and if anyone knows how to throw a party, it’s Neiman’s. A 1969 note from Stanley Marcus to the store’s visual director at the time strongly instructed him to keep within the $70-80,000 budget in the future. That’s about a $400,000 party, by today’s standards.

Only six more days to experience this year’s fair! Because, like Stanley Marcus, Dallas knows how to put on a show.


12 October 2007

Who's Your "Number One?"

Once again this year, we’ll be tallying up the crème of the crop for the best all over Dallas and Fort Worth. The results will appear in our December issue of each respective magazine letting you know who’s on top for 2007. Make your opinions count…vote now at dallaschild.com and fortworthchild.com to get your voice heard!

Voting ends Nov 1!


11 October 2007

Manufacturers Pull Infant Cough and Cold Meds

If you have any over-the-counter cough or cold medicine for infants lurking in your medicine cabinet -- throw them out! The Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA) announced voluntary market withdrawals today on behalf of the leading makers of over-the-counter infant cough and cold medicines. The withdrawal affects only "infant" oral medicines, not those intended and labeled for use in children age 2 and up.

At issue is concern that consumers could misuse the medicines in infants, causing a serious or even deadly overdose. Government scientists have said that there is little evidence the medicines actually relieve cough and cold symptoms in infants. The FDA will meet next week to consider adding the words "do not use in children under two years" to product labels.

Your best strategy for giving relief to the very youngest cough and cold sufferers are the old-fashioned remedies you've always relied on: humidifiers, nasal bulb syringes or saline nose spray -- and lots of hugs and kisses along with some tincture of time!

10 October 2007

Off the Page: Raising Athletes for Life

North Texas families are crazy about competition and team sports -- so it can be easy to overlook the rainbow of "lifetime sports" and recreation available in our area. But kids are more likely to continue sports like rock climbing, swimming, walking ... running, fishing ... racquetball and hiking after their school years.

"Certainly organized sports provide children with a sense of team and a sense of belonging, but they can find that in other activities and hobbies like riding a bike or rollerblading, too." -- Dr. Pete Stavinoha, child psychologist, Children's Medical Center Dallas

Read more about what the experts think -- and what the kids think! -- about finding the right sport, and check our list of 8 Questions to Find the Right Sport, in "Raising Athetes" from the October 2007 issue of DallasChild and FortWorthChild. Be a good sport and pick up a copy today!

08 October 2007

Dance Dance Mark Cuban

Don’t forget to vote for Mark and Kym as they tackle the jive on tonight’s Dancing with the Stars. On his blog, Cuban expresses concern that we Dallasites will forget about him tonight, while the Cowboys are battling the Bills on Monday Night Football. So, call 1 800/VOTE-411 to help them stay in the game; or, AT&T customers can text “VOTE” to 3411---as many as 11 times.

No excuses for stopping at seven votes, either.


Care About "the Cure?" Take a (Pink) Seat...

When the pink ribbons come out, it can only mean one thing…it must be October, breast cancer awareness month. There are hundreds and hundreds of pink products advertised everywhere this month, but one caught my eye in particular – the Florence Knoll bench at Design Within Reach (DWR). Their company, like many others around the world, have been “severely impacted,” says a statement on their website, and would like to give back. An online auction of the bench will begin Oct 16 and go through Oct 25; the in-studio auctions will be held in 9 studios (including Dallas) across the country on Oct 25. All proceeds from the auctions will be donated to Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation.
Visit www.dwr.com to get the details.


04 October 2007

Off the Page: Surviving Childhood Cancer

Jennifer Hardy was only 2 when she was diagnosed with Wilms' Tumor; through treatments and time, the tumor disappeared (she's now 24), but she and her mother still carry the battle wounds on their hearts.

"(Jennifer) became a model patient, offering her hand and taking her treatment like an adult. I discovered then, and throughout the treatments, that children have a profound way of protecting their parents." -- Mary Ann Hardy

Read these reflections of a mother and daughter on a journey marked with hope and haunted by fear, in "Surviving Childhood Cancer" from the latest issue (October 2007) of DallasChild and FortWorthChild.

What would you do for love?

The October issue of Babytalk magazine features a poignant page of quotes from parents whose children have lost their loveys -- blankies, teddies and all manner of beloved items. My family's keepsake chest contains an entire section especially for retired loveys. Doggums, my own patched grey poodle from what my kids call Ancient Times, holds court over an assortment of dingy, patched seals, bears and other barely identifiable creatures. When I open the chest to take out a new season's worth of hand-me-downs, the whole family inevitably gathers around to greet and pay homage to our dearly departed loveys.

There's nothing sweeter than a reunion with a lost lovey. Have your children ever lost a lovey? What did you do to get it back? Leave us a comment and share your sweetest lost-lovey reunions!

~ Lisa

03 October 2007

The Good Book

The Neiman Marcus Christmas Book was unveiled yesterday, which, for some of us, means the holiday season starts NOW! It also means my Christmas (and birthday) lists just got a little bit longer.

One of this year’s ultimate fantasy gifts is a private concert by Russia’s famed Kirov Orchestra ($1.59 million). Or, there’s the Montana Wilderness Package ($2.3 million). Both unforgettable experiences, I am sure, but if you are looking into purchasing either of these options for me, please understand that I will need something to wear!

See page 11 of The Book for a frock suitable for the Kirov concert. Alexander McQueen’s red silk dress with pleated insert just begs for a night of music and culture. The dress looks superluxe, and McQueen’s exquisite, Savile Row tailoring takes center stage.

And, Manolo Blahnik’s black, sequined Carolyne sling back (named for designer Carolyne Roehm) is a perfect complement, seen on page 10.

For staying warm in the Montana wilderness, I think the Pologeorgis Lippi cat fur coat (see page 8) would do the trick.

Happy browsing and fantasy list-making!


01 October 2007

Hometown (Dancing) Hero

It’s showtime again tonight for Mark Cuban and his dancing partner, Kym, tonight as they tackle the Mambo. They were in the bottom two, barely missing the boot last week, so call to vote at 1.800.VOTE.411 tonight after what is sure to be another entertaining performance by the duo. On that note, want to hear Cuban’s thoughts on being a dancing daddy? Read his latest post on www.blogmaverick.com…it’s a softer side of the “bouncing bionic billionaire” that the media doesn’t tend to capture. It’s also cool to read about a dancer’s thoughts/emotions from that show…it’s a rollercoaster ride for us viewers at home, and now we know for the dancers too.... Blog or no blog, one thing is apparent...they're all having fun out there!


27 September 2007

Time goes by so slowly ...

Time is a recurring theme throughout our October issue. To give you some perspective on how precious it is, you’ll want to read our very special story written by a local mother/daughter about their journey with childhood cancer. Jennifer Hardy was only 2 when she was diagnosed with Wilms’ Tumor; through treatments and time, the tumor disappeared (she’s now 24), but she and her mother still carry the battle wounds on their hearts.

The family who sweats together stays together! Competitive sports are great, but check out our ideas for engaging your kids in fitness activities that they can enjoy (and crave) long after their glory days fade.

Also in this issue, Lauren Niebes sits down for a rare interview with Tiffany Cuban, the wife of Dallas Mavericks owner and mega-entrepreneur Mark Cuban. And of course, it’s the month of all things orange and chocolate! We’ve culled all the best harvest events and (non-scary) Halloween activities in town.

Read it all in our October issue, on the newstands now.

~ Shelley

26 September 2007

Have pump, will travel

Nursing moms, take to the skies! If you’ve been holding back on traveling (or even hesitating to begin plotting out holiday plans) for fear of difficulties getting pumped breast milk through airport security – worry no more. The Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) now permits breast milk to be carried in any quantity, as long as you declare it for inspection at airport security checkpoints.

Moms who’ve traveled since the change of policy in August warn that not all security agents have caught up on the relatively new policy. Be prepared! Make visual inspections easier by using clear containers, which may help prevent agents from pouring breast milk into another container in order to inspect it. The milk may also be X-rayed. Print out a copy of the TSA's information on traveling with breast milk, formula or juice and be prepared to show the policy to agents or ask for a supervisor if you run into any difficulties.

Bon voyage!

~ Lisa

No More 3x5s

Last month, we shared with you some websites for building the ultimate digital scrapbook. But, if you’re like me, you probably have some older snapshots (Polaroids…slides, maybe?) from your disposable camera days collecting dust.

Now, I don’t need to display the 47 shots of the Eiffel Tower I took when I was 16 on my Shutterfly. That moment has long since passed. But it would be nice to preserve those memories in a digital way and add them to my personal photo library.

This is where ScanDigital can help. Just sign up on their site, print out a UPS shipping label and send them your pics of Christmas 1998, your first car, etc. They’ll scan your photos and return your originals, along with a CD/DVD, within a week. It also provides an online gallery, should you choose to share these treasures. Prices start at about 50 cents per photo, but as we all know, aren’t they all priceless?


24 September 2007

Dancing With...DallasChild?

I have to say that I’m very excited about the debut of one of the top shows in America tonight…Dancing With the Stars!! This season, Mark Cuban, Dallas’ sole representation this time around, has big shoes to fill since Emmitt won over America (as a dancer), winning the Championship with partner, Cheryl Burk. Beloved and embraced in Dallas for elevating our Mavs from worst to best, the dynamic Cuban is up for the job…so says his wife, Tiffany, when I chatted with her about motherhood, the public eye and of course, Mark on Dancing With the Stars. See what else she has to say about being a mommy of two, philanthropist, and wife to such a high-profile “maverick,” and why he decided to Dance in front of America in October’s issue of DallasChild and FortWorthChild magazines (out on streets today).

Don’t forget to watch our Dallas “maverick” tear up the dancefloor tonight on ABC at 7pm!

Cheers –

Swing into consignment season

If your wallet is just beginning to perk up again after the initial onslaught of back-to-school purchases, you'll be thrilled to know that fall consignment season is here! Pass off last winter's outgrown kid duds and pick up some gently used, new-to-you items at bargain prices.

Check out our list of some of the most well-known sales. If you know of others, please leave us a comment and share the scoop!

Divine Consign Grapevine, Sept. 25-26; Arlington, Oct. 5-6

Outgrown Treasures Plano, Sept. 26-28

Rocking Horse Children's Consignment Sale Coppell, Sept. 27-29

Just Between Friends McKinney, Sept. 28-29

Sweet Repeats McKinney, Sept. 29

Lil' Lambs Allen, Oct. 18-20

Carousel Children's Consignment North Dallas/Farmer's Branch, Oct. 18-20

Happy bargain-hunting!

~ Lisa

21 September 2007

Pinwheels for Peace

If you're driving down Camp Bowie in Fort Worth this evening on your way to treat your family to dinner after a long, hard week, you may notice a field full of ... is that pinwheels? Science students at the International Newcomer Academy planted approximately 300 pinwheels on the school soccer field earlier today in recognition of World Peace Day and inspired by the Pinwheels for Peace event.

INA staffers say the pinwheel event not only helps student work through various math and science exercises but serves as a pointer toward the importance of all cultures working together to achieve a common goal. The INA is an intensive English language immersion school for new immigrants ages 12 to 19.

To make your own pinwheel this weekend, visit Pinwheels for Peace for a pattern and Quick-Time how-to movie.

Have a peaceful weekend!

~ Lisa

20 September 2007

Got milk?

The Mothers' Milk Bank of North Texas (one of only 11 U.S. donor banks certified by the Human Milk Banking Association of North America) supplied nearly 75,000 ounces of breast milk to local babies last year. How do they do it? Donations from moms like you!

Got milk? You may be able to donate unused breast milk from your freezer or fresh milk if you're still pumping. When talking to mothers who call to see if they can donate frozen milk, MMBNT volunteer Lysta Haynes adds, "Don't stop pumping! Call the Mothers' Milk Bank of North Texas!"

MMBNT makes it easy to deliver donated milk to their facility, with nine drop-off locations scattered throughout the Metroplex.

* MMBNT, Fort Worth
* Harris HEB, Bedford
* Dallas Co. Health and Human Services, Dallas
* Baylor University Medical Center, Dallas
* Presbyterian Plano Hospital, Plano
* Richardson Regional Medical Center, Richardson
* Denton Co. Health Department, Denton
* Outreach Health Services, Waxahachie

To be screened as a potential milk donor or to learn more about donor breast milk, visit the Mothers' Milk Bank of North Texas or call 817/810-0071.

~ Lisa

18 September 2007

It's sniffles season again

If you’re one of the thousands of North Texans who suffers through the misery of fall allergies, hold on to your handkerchief: Allergy researchers at Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas say the upcoming ragweed season could be the worst in decades.

“The unusually wet weather this summer means ragweed plants are big and healthy, and that’s bad news for a lot people in the local area,” says allergist Gary Gross, M.D. “Ragweed tends to be one of the worst pollens in North Texas, and I think this fall could be the worst in recent memory.”

Dallas-Fort Worth is annually ranked among the worst cities in the United States for allergies by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.

So are your little snifflers suffering from allergies – or could they have a cold or virus? Here are some pointers from Presbyterian Hospital on how to tell the difference:

* Colds usually go away within a week. Allergies can persist for days, weeks, even months.
* Persistent sneezing usually signals allergies, not a cold.
* Allergies symptoms do not include fever initially, which is common with a cold.
* Itchy eyes, nose and even ears are signs of allergies.

Finally, if you’ve narrowed it down to the ragweed sniffles, try these tips:

* Keep kids indoors during the early-morning hours, when pollen counts are highest.
* After they play outside, give your child a bath or shower to wash off pollen that accumulates on her hair and skin.
* Use saline nasal sprays to wash pollen out of your child's nose.
* For mild symptoms, over-the-counter medications can be effective. If your child appears to be having a particularly troublesome reaction, see your physician.

Here's hoping your fall isn't filled with red eyes and noses!

~ Lisa

11 September 2007

Putting math skills to the test

Last year, we told you about a new program called "Math Can Take You Places" that’s helping North Texas grade-schoolers target the five most common problem areas in fundamental math concepts. Designed by KERA with support from Travelocity, the program tackles low TAKS scores and arms fourth- through sixth-graders with the math tools they’ll need for middle school and beyond.

This year, KERA is ready to see who was paying attention! "Do the Math" is a new contest that puts both math teachers and students to the test. Formal, professional math teachers and students in grades 3 through 6 are invited to submit math words problems and original activities that illustrate how math is used in the real world. It all adds up to a chance to win cash and prizes!

The deadline for Do the Math entries is Nov. 2, 2007. Submissions will be judged by a jury of educators, and winners will be named by Nov. 30. For complete contest details and downloading entry forms, visit Do the Math.

~ Lisa

31 August 2007

Fort Worth schools star on TV

Tune in this Labor Day weekend to Reading Rockets, a public TV show featuring a segment with two Fort Worth ISD elementary schools. A Chance to Read is hosted by actress Molly Ringwald (Pretty in Pink, The Breakfast Club) and is part of the award-winning series Reading Rockets: Launching Young Readers. Produced by WETA in Washington, D.C, the series looks at how children learn to read, why so many struggle and what we can do to help.

Watch our local kids and teachers in the "Untapped Potential" segment, airing on KERA on Sunday, Sept. 2 at 8:30 a.m. It examines students at Versia Williams ES and Westcliff ES. The “Untapped Potential” section of the program highlights how the study approaches teaching cognitively disabled students and shows how the students respond to the instruction.

Enjoy your Labor Day weekend!


28 August 2007

Boys' and Girls' Clubs

Now that you’ve gotten the kids back to school, you may have a little more time on you hands, but you’ll still need to figure out what you’ll do with them after school.

That’s where scouting comes in. The Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas are enrolling girls now for this school year. Stop by a recruitment event, happening Sep 6, at various locations including Andrews Elementary, Brinker Elementary and Prince of Peace, in Plano.

Check out www.gsnetx.org for more info and for details on these, and other, recruiting events.

And for the boys, there’s the Circle Ten Council, encompassing all of Dallas and Collin Counties. The official Join Scouting Night is Sep 11, and you can read more at circle10.org.

Happy scouting!


15 August 2007

When Life Hands You Lemons...

If it seems like we’ve been distant lately, we’re really not neglecting you! Once again, we’re just getting ready to finalize an excellent fall issue—and, we’ve got lots to say. So, stay tuned—September’s almost here.

But, for now, it’s still August, and it’s still very hot. Cool off with a glass of lemonade this Sunday (8/19) at a lemonade stand with a purpose. Dallas sisters Mackenzie and Madison Meadows (7 and 6, respectively) are hosting this summery fundraiser with the help of Half Price Books, and all proceeds will benefit the North Texas Food Bank’s Food 4 Kids program.

The Meadows girls aren’t the only ones dabbling in non-profit causes and making a difference. We’ve discovered families across North Texas are exposing their kids to philanthropy, and in some very surprising ways…and you'll read all about it next month.

Mackenzie and Friends Lemonade Stand
Sunday, August 19
Half Price Books
5803 E. Northwest Highway