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Kids: How to Keep School Friends During the Summer.

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With summer vacation right around the corner, will the friendships you have made at school stay or will they disappear when the last school bell rings? One of my favorite authors, Dr. Seuss, often talked about the value of friendship and the need to keep friends. He said, "To the world you may be one person, but to one person you may be the world." So how do you keep those friends? 

When summer comes, life gets busy. There are soccer games, baseball games, vacations, swim practice, and hundreds of other activities that take time. There is also the probability that either mom or dad, or both, still have to work, and your summer time is spent with grandparents, aunts, or the dreaded babysitter. Or maybe, you've been enrolled in a week long or month long summer camp. So with all of that going on, is it possible to stay in touch with those valued school friends?  The short answer is YES, but even short answers need a little motivation and lots of effort. Here is the best way…

Kids: Be The Courageous You!

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When you see a picture of a knight fighting a dragon do you think, "Now that's courage?"Depending on the circumstances, you may be right. But what is courage really? And, do you have to be a knight in shinning armor before you can be courageous? The answer is "NO!"  Courage is the ability to do something even though it scares you. It's being bold, brave, and determined to face a situation that might make your knees shake and your palms sweat. Courage is that part of your mind and heart that says, "I have to do this," and it takes all forms. I see kids just like you show their courage every day. There are kids who stand up for a friend when another kid tries to be the bully. There are kids who know when to back down from a fight. There are kids who know words cannot hurt. There are kids who raise their hand in class even though the thought of answering in front of their peers makes their stomach queasy. There are kids who walk up to the new kid an…

Knowledge is Power Series: Refugee or Immigrant?

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With all of the discussion on immigration, the one term that needs to be clarified is "refugee". What does it mean to be a refugee? What circumstances occur that create refugees? And, where do refugees go? First, let's define the term. A refugee is a person who is so afraid to stay in his/her country that he/she is forced to leave.  This fear can be caused by war, religious persecution, the threat of death,  a natural disaster like a flood or a volcanic eruption, or even starvation. In other words, the situation is so bad in the person's home country that he/she is no longer safe to live there. When that occurs, the person or persons flee to another country often with little more than the clothing they are wearing.  As you have probably seen on television or heard on the news, thousands of people have fled Syria in the last few years because of war. These people have lost their homes, family members, everything they own, and are afraid they will lose their lives or …

Knowledge is Power Series On Immigration: Why is Illegal Immigration Sometimes Worth the Risk?

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We have discussed what is meant by immigration and why you should not be afraid of immigrants. We've also discussed illegal immigration. However, those are only terms used to describe an action. The more important question is, "WHY". Why do people risk jail, deportation (sending a foreigner back to their original country), separation from family and friends, and in some cases, their lives to enter a country illegally? There are as many answers to this question as there are people willing to take the risk. Yet, there are a few common factors, and they include the same things that your parents, your future self, and I feel are the necessities to life. WorkShelterFamilySafety Work. Thousands of illegal immigrants enter the United States to find work--any work. They pick vegetables and fruits, clean houses and businesses, do construction, mow yards, take care of someone else's children, become maids, work in the clothing industry, and willingly do any job that will pay …

Kids: Knowledge is Power Series: Should You Be Afraid Of Immigrants, Part 2 Illegal Immigration

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There is a tremendous amount of discussion going on today about illegal immigration, and it is easy to get confused and even worried. However, knowledge is power, and understanding the simple facts can dispel any fears of immigration--legal or illegal. Simply put, illegal immigration occurs when someone violates a country's immigration laws, or enters another country without permission. Every nation in the world has rules that define how people from other countries can enter their country. If you travel to a foreign country for vacation or to visit, you need a passport. A passport is a government document that certifies who you are and which country you are a citizen from. If you are planning on staying in the foreign country for a specific time period, you may need a Visa. A Visa is another government document from the country you are visiting that says you are allowed to enter, leave, or stay.  Illegal immigration is when people plan on moving to another country, but do not hav…

Kids Knowledge is Power Series: Should You Be Afraid of Immigrants? Part 1

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There has been a lot of talk in the news about immigration. Some people are loudly for it, and some are loudly against it.  The arguing back and forth is enough to make anyone shiver, but should you be afraid? The answer is"No" especially when you understand what immigration, and even emigration, is all about. First, let's look at the definition of each of those terms. Immigration is when a person comes to a country that is not his/her own to live permanently. Emigration is when a person leaves his/her country to live permanently in a different one. So immigration is coming, and emigration is leaving. Immigration is not new. In fact, we are all immigrants in one way or another, and it happens in every country throughout the world. Let's just look at America.  Scientists believe that the first immigrants to this country crossed the Bering Land Bridge from northeastern Asia more than 13,000 years ago. Their immigration led to the Native American tribes. The next wave …

You Have a Right to an Education, So Use It!

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One of my 2017 Bill of Children's Rights, is your right to an education. Now I know for some of you the idea of school makes you roll your eyes and sigh. However, for 101 million children, according to UNICEF, the ability to go to school is denied. 
For them there are no books, no teachers, no homework, and no education. They will not be able to read or write, and for a large number they will not be able to even add or subtract simple equations. There are many reasons they are denied an education. For some, there are no schools. For others, school is a luxury that only a minority can afford. For even more however, they are denied school because they are girls, or their culture is different that the government's, or the government just does not have enough money to provide all their citizens with an education. These kids are destined to become part of the growing illiterate (not able to read or write) adult population of almost 760 million adults who do not have the means to m…