Ten Tips for Teens to Prevent Cyber Bullying

1.Educate yourself: To prevent cyberbullying from occurring you must understand exactly what it is.  Research what constitutes cyberbullying, how and where it occurs, and talk with your friends about what they are seeing and experiencing.

2.Protect your password: Safeguard your password and all private information from inquisitive peers.  You don’t want to give bullies the opportunity to post false/private/embarrassing information or pictures on your social media pages or send them to the whole school through email. 

3.Keep photos PG: Before sending a racy photo of yourself to a peer or posting it online, consider if this is something you would want others to see, especially your family. Bullies can use this picture as ammunition to make your life miserable. [... whole story]


Fall Festivals and Halloween Happenings 2014

Compiled by Melanie O’Brien

Crisp air, stunning foliage, spooky decorations, creative costumes—whatever you like best about the season, here are lots of ways to make the most of Autumn’s bounty. Just beware of disappointing your trick-or-treaters; take the time to verify the events listed.

Baltimore City

Fall Festival

7th Annual Harbor Harvest Activities include the IKEA Urban Pumpkin Patch, petting zoo, hay maze, face painting, pumpkin decorating, pony rides, and live music. Sun., Oct. 19, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Inner Harbor West Shore Park, www.waterfrontpartnership.org.

Halloween Happenings

Fells Point Ghost Tour An award-winning walking tour of the many ghosts and hauntings in the historic maritime village of Fell’s Point. Fris. & Sats. in October (no tour Oct. 4), 7 p.m. $. Tours start outside Max’s Sidebar, 731 S. Broadway, www.baltimoreghosttours.com. [... whole story]


B'More Healthy - October 2014

Are Apps Appropriate for Babies?

By Joyce Heid.

The developer of the mobile app Infant Zoo Lite: High-Contrast Visual Stimulation for Babies—advertised on Apple's iTunes Store as being “designed specifically for newborns and young babies”—states that this app can “help calm and soothe your baby as well as increase concentration skills, enhance natural curiosity, and stimulate the creation of brain cell connections.” One customer reviewer on the app's iTunes Preview page writes: “My 2 1/2-month-old watches this closely and even tries to grab at the animals. It helps calm her down at times when she is restless.” Another writes: “Great app for young children. I whip it out when my 3-month-old is crying in public, and she gets mesmerized.” [... whole story]

Educational Exchange - October 2014

Only the BEST for These Kids

By Sandy Alexander

For 27 years, the Baltimore Educational Scholarship Trust (BEST) has opened the doors to local independent schools for African-American youth whom it believes would thrive in those environments but whose families lack the financial resources to enroll them there.

The nonprofit organization, headquartered on Charles Street in the city's Mount Vernon neighborhood, was formed in 1987 by the merger of two separate organizations, both of which were comprised of local independent schools focused on offering enrollment opportunities for students, particularly minorities, from low-income homes [... whole story]

Family Matters - October 2014

Triumphing Over Bullying

By Molly Brown Koch

Dear reader, I hope you'll forgive me if this column sounds more like a sermon than an opinion, but, you see, I’m worried about—as well as scared and deeply pained for—the millions of children in America who live in constant fear of being bullied. And I think we can do something about it. I'm motivated by a statement attributed to Edmund Burke: “All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men [and women] to do nothing.”

There are children from all segments of our society who live from day to day afraid of being humiliated or hurt wherever they go—at home, at school, in cyberspace. How do they reconcile being hit or humiliated by people who say they love them, or receiving body blows or insults from former “friends” at school, or being punished or humiliated by teachers they are expected to respect? What kind of people will they grow up to be when they've been stripped of their ability to trust, befriend, love, or care about others? And where are the millions of teenage bullies headed? When will this devastating, destructive, and, at times, tragic epidemic end? [... whole story]

Game On - October 2014

On the Ropes Course

By Patrick Gutierrez

My almost 7-year-old daughter and I recently visited Terrapin Adventures in Savage Mill to preview its new Terrapin Explorer Ropes Course, designed for ages 5 to 9.

After gearing up with a dozen or so other children and their parents, we were led out to the course by one of the guides. Immediately, I was surprised at how high off the ground it was. Like 40 feet or so on the second level. And the whole course hovered over a dried-up embankment. This was definitely nothing like the zip line Alivia plays on at our local playground in Taylor Heights.

While the other parents headed to the observation platform, I followed the children onto the course to get a better view of the action. One at a time, the guides hooked them up to a zip line, sending them out on the course in two rows, left side and right side. A few of the participants in my daughter's group were having a good time as they navigated the course’s different obstacles, which include a rope bridge, tightrope, and, of course, zip-line jump. [... whole story]

Last But Not Least - October 2014

Driving Me Crazy

By Lisa Robinson

Teaching my daughter Grace to drive is driving me crazy.

I taught her older sister, Paige, years ago. When Paige was driving the three of us to the MVA to take her driver's test, Grace started singing the Carrie Underwood song “Jesus, Take the Wheel” in the back seat. When I chided her, she explained that it just happened to be her favorite song.

Well, these days, every time I'm in the car with Grace in the driver's seat, I'm asking Jesus to take the wheel, too.

I took her to get her permit recently. I was praying she wouldn’t pass the test. When she passed, I was praying they would mail her permit to her; that way, I could intercept it. When the man at the MVA said they would be mailing it, I thought, “Great!” Then he said she would be leaving with a temporary card, which meant she could start driving with me right away. Not great. [... whole story]

Let's Eat - October 2014

Catching Up with the 'Cafeteria Man'

By Kit Waskom Pollard

School lunches are one of those hot-button topics that seem straightforward—but really aren't. Everyone agrees that children deserve healthy, tasty food at school, but when it comes to menu planning, all too often logistics, finances, and plain old bureaucracy get in the way.

Occasionally, passionate food lovers will insert themselves into the process, usually resulting in at least a few wins for the kids, especially those in lower income brackets whose families rely on school meals to keep them nourished. One such man, New Orleans native Tony Geraci, was the food service director of Baltimore City Public Schools from 2008 to 2011. [... whole story]

Your Special Child - October 2014

ADHD's Magic Quotient

By Amy Landsman

For years, doctors have searched for an objective test for ADHD. Meanwhile, they have continued to diagnose the disorder mainly through a professional assessment and rating scales.

In 2002, however, the FDA approved an instrument called the Quotient ADHD System, which makes diagnosing ADHD, if not perfectly objective, at least somewhat less subjective. Invented by Harvard psychiatrist Dr. Martin H. Teicher, the Quotient ADHD System isn’t intended to be a substitute for a professional psycho-educational assessment or the traditional rating scales, in which parents and teachers rate whether a child “does not seem to listen when spoken to directly” or acts “like driven by a motor.” [... whole story]