Thursday, April 30, 2009


Can you even believe that summer is just about here? May 1st is only days away - so are you still looking for a summer camp or program for your teen or tween?Summer camps can be a great self esteem building opportunity for many kids. If you are still considering summer programs for your child - here are some ideas for your consideration.

Camp Finders® is a free service which matches children ages 6-18 with appropriate overnight summer camps and teen programs.Since 1994, Camp Finders® has personally visited approximately 175 sleepaway camps and various teen programs. During this time period, Camp Finders™ has been placing children in overnight camps and in the following teen programs: teen tours; wilderness camps & outdoor adventure; college enrichment; community service; sailing, SCUBA, & marine biology programs; foreign language programs and more…

For Military Camp Leadership programs - visit

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Sue Scheff: Coping with your Teens Moods

Surviving the Roller Coaster:A Teen's Guide to Coping with Moods
Have you ever been laughing one moment, and crying the next? How about so angry you could throw something, and then suddenly burst out laughing? All of us have experienced mood swings like this, and they're even more common during adolescence. Rapidly changing emotions, from contentment to irritability, anger to despair, euphoria to despondency, are common occurrences during your teen years.
What causes these shifts in mood?
The sources vary, but for most teens, two main agents are involved: brain chemistry and life changes. The same hormonal activity that brings about the body changes teens experience also triggers changes in your brain. At the same time, your relationships with your family and friends are changing, you have more responsibilities and freedoms than ever before, and you face a whole new set of pressures. All these things can turn your life into a series of emotional peaks and valleys. But there is hope. This book will help you understand what's happening to you, and it will offer practical coping mechanisms. Don't worry. You too can survive the roller coaster!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Sue Scheff: Connect with Your Teens with Today's Pop-Culture

I was forwarded this fantastic website/Blog that can has some really great information on today’s teens through pop-culture! Learning about today’s trends, hot items, great books and more!

Visit: and see what Jennifer is talking about today!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Peace Geek - Promoting Peace for our Teens and Stamping out Violence

Make Peace a Priority

Insightful analysis of random news stories related to violence and nonviolence in the U.S. and abroad, with an emphasis on what can be done to make things better (with some occasional humor and random acts of journalism mixed in).

Visit for many information and insightful articles, thoughts and more on stopping teen violence and violence today

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Sue Scheff: The Blue Book - Behavior, Learning and Health

The Dietary Connection
Click here or on the picture to read the entire "Blue Book" on line, or click here to see and print individual pages. You will need an Acrobat reader. If you don't have one, get one here.
Visit for more information.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Sue Scheff: Alliance for a Healthier Generation

About Us The Alliance for a Healthier Generation is a partnership between the American Heart Association and the William J. Clinton Foundation. We have come together to create a new generation of healthy Americans by addressing one of the nation’s leading public health threats – childhood obesity.

Along with our co-leader Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger of California, the Alliance focuses on preventing childhood obesity and creating healthier lifestyles for all children and targets several areas to spark change and reduce the increasing rates of childhood obesity in the U.S.
Our Mission

To eliminate childhood obesity and to inspire all young people in the United States to develop lifelong, healthy habits.

Our Goals

The goal of the Alliance is to reduce the nationwide prevalence of childhood obesity by 2015 and to empower kids nationwide to make healthy lifestyle choices.

The Alliance will positively affect the places that can make a difference to a child’s health: homes, schools, restaurants, doctor’s offices, and the community.

Our Programs

Healthy Schools Program

Increasing opportunities for students to exercise and play
Putting healthy foods and beverages in vending machines and cafeterias
Providing resources for teachers and staff to become healthy role models

Industry Program

Influencing restaurants and snack companies to make substantially healthier meals, drinks and snacks for kids.

Kids' Movement

The empowerME campaign is inspiring kids to make healthy behavior changes and become advocates and leaders for healthy eating and physical activity.Learn More About the Kids' MovementFor kids, check out

Healthcare Program

Giving tools to healthcare providers so that they can better diagnose, prevent and treat obesity.Learn More About the Healthcare Initiative

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Sue Scheff: Florida Suicide Prevention Coalition

Today is April 22, 2009 which is Suicide Prevention Day at the Capitol is a statewide event in which the Statewide Office of Suicide Prevention and the Florida Suicide Prevention Coalition are joined by advocates, survivors, grassroots organizations, youth and other state agencies to bring suicide to the forefront as a public issue. This year, the actual day is Wednesday, April 22 but we are holding several activities throughout the week of April 20th - 24th. Below, you will find the tentative schedule of events, but I encourage you to continue checking our website for the most current updates as they become available.

( Please see the attached flyer and Governor's proclamation.

If you or someone you love is thinking about suicide, please reach out for hope by calling:1-800-273-TALK (800-273-8255)24 hours a day; 7 days a week


April 22, 2009 at 9:00 AM, Capitol Building Plaza Rotunda
Educational Display Booths and Legislative Advocacy

April 22, 2009 at 2:00 PM, Capitol Building Cabinet Room
Suicide Prevention Day Press Conference featuring:
Director Bill Janes, Florida Office of Drug Control
Secretary George Sheldon, Florida Department of Children & Families
Senator Evelyn Lynn, Florida District 7

April 23 – 24, 2009; from 8:00 PM – 5:00 PM; Location TBA
Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) (tentative)
Don't forget to also visit our portable billboard that will be in front of the Historic Capitol all week!

Please take a moment to post these events on your agency websites and forward on to your colleagues. We hope to see everyone there!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Sue Scheff: Teen Entitlement Issues - The Narcissism Epidemic

In their new book, “The Narcissism Epidemic,” psychologists Jean M. Twenge and W. Keith Campbell explore the rise of narcissism in American culture and explain how this can lead to aggression, materialism and shallow values.

We didn't have to look very hard to find it. It was everywhere.

On a reality TV show, a girl planning her sixteenth birthday party wants a major road blocked off so a marching band can precede her grand entrance on a red carpet. A book called “My Beautiful Mommy” explains plastic surgery to young children whose mothers are going under the knife for the trendy “Mommy Makeover.” It is now possible to hire fake paparazzi to follow you around snapping your photograph when you go out at night — you can even take home a faux celebrity magazine cover featuring the pictures.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Sexual Abuse, Sexual Assault and Rape Awareness (S.A.A.R.A.)

As a parent advocate, I don’t only hear from parents, I hear from teens. Joni Poole is someone very special. Joni has possessed strength, dignity and courage through some horrific events. She is no longer a victim - she is a survivor and one that has a strong message to all others. She has created a website and advocacy group (Sexual Abuse, Sexual Assault and Rape Awareness) to educate others and hopefully prevent sexual abuse and assualt. Take a moment to read her story and pass it on - you don’t know who may benefit.

Read Joni’s story - and please read her website at

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Locks of Love - Getting your Teens Involved

Summer is coming - if your child is considering cutting their hair - make it worth something. There is not a better feeling than giving to those in need, especially with an organization such as Locks of Love. See if your child is a good candidate to help out other kids that need their generosity of love.


Locks of Love is a public non-profit organization that provides hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children in the United States and Canada under age 18 suffering from long-term medical hair loss from any diagnosis. We meet a unique need for children by using donated hair to create the highest quality hair prosthetics. Most of the children helped by Locks of Love have lost their hair due to a medical condition called alopecia areata, which has no known cause or cure. The prostheses we provide help to restore their self-esteem and their confidence, enabling them to face the world and their peers.

Mission Statement

Our mission is to return a sense of self, confidence and normalcy to children suffering from hair loss by utilizing donated ponytails to provide the highest quality hair prosthetics to financially disadvantaged children. The children receive hair prostheses free of charge or on a sliding scale, based on financial need.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Sue Scheff: Teens and Sexting

Today’s parents seem to constantly have to keep up with the new concerns with teens today. “Sexting” is a growing and disturbing issue with many parents of teenagers today. What these kids are not realizing is what goes online, stays online and spreads like a virus. Teens today don’t think about college admissions or potential employers 2-4 years from now. In an instant, a not so flattering photo can arrive in thousands of mailboxes! That is, email boxes. Take the time to talk to your kids about the ramifications this can potentially have on their future.

Sex easily and quickly integrated itself into the digital age; and now the teen trend of “sexting” — where a user sends sexually explicit images or messages via text on a cell phone — has parents struggling for a way to address the situation.

“We’re seeing 14, 15 and 16-year-olds and up are very commonly sharing naked pictures or sexual pictures of themselves,” said Internet safety expert Parry Aftab, of Wired Safety. “We’re talking about kids who are too young to wear bras who are posing in them, and then topless and then actually engaged in sex or even in masturbation. So we are seeing a lot of kids who are sexually active.”

There’s nothing coy about this 21st century amorous pursuit. Children as young as 12, who aren’t sexually active, are sending explicit, provocative and even pornographic images to their peers.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

A Mother for All Seasons: A Memoir

By Debbie Phelps
A Mother for All Seasons is the heartfelt, intimate memoir of an everywoman—a single mom and an educator who raised three exceptional children, including the greatest Olympian of all time, Michael Phelps.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Sue Scheff: Don't Sweat The Small Stuff for Teens

Don't Sweat the Small Stuff for Teens: Simple Ways to Keep Your Cool in Stressful Times (Don't Sweat the Small Stuff Series)
By Richard Carlson
Richard Carlson has written numerous books encouraging folks not to "sweat the small stuff", and his title for teens is as warm, wise, and witty as his previous works. His tone is one of an older family friend who manages to advise while still maintaining the minimum level of coolness that teens require from those who intend to guide them into adulthood.
Type the title in the Amazon box and learn more!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Always Looking Up! The Adventures of an Incurable Optimist

By Michael J. Fox
There are many words to describe Michael J. Fox: Actor. Husband. Father. Activist. But readers of Always Looking Up will soon add another to the list: Optimist. Michael writes about the hard-won perspective that helped him see challenges as opportunities. Instead of building walls around himself, he developed a personal policy of engagement and discovery: an emotional, psychological, intellectual, and spiritual outlook that has served him throughout his struggle with Parkinson's disease.
Michael's exit from a very demanding, very public arena offered him the time-and the inspiration-to open up new doors leading to unexpected places. One door even led him to the center of his own family, the greatest destination of all.

The last ten years, which is really the stuff of this book, began with such a loss: my retirement from Spin City. I found myself struggling with a strange new dynamic: the shifting of public and private personas. I had been Mike the actor, then Mike the actor with PD. Now was I just Mike with PD? Parkinson's had consumed my career and, in a sense, had become my career. But where did all of this leave Me? I had to build a new life when I was already pretty happy with the old one..

Always Looking Up is a memoir of this last decade, told through the critical themes of Michael's life: work, politics, faith, and family. The book is a journey of self-discovery and reinvention, and a testament to the consolations that protect him from the ravages of Parkinson's.

With the humor and wit that captivated fans of his first book, Lucky Man, Michael describes how he became a happier, more satisfied person by recognizing the gifts of everyday life.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Sue Scheff: Stop Substance Abuse with Teens Today

Building resilience... Facilitating recovery... A life in the community for everyone

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has established a clear vision for its work -- a life in the community for everyone. To realize this vision, the Agency has sharply focused its mission on building resilience and facilitating recovery for people with or at risk for mental or substance use disorders. SAMHSA is gearing all of its resources -- programs, policies and grants -- toward that outcome.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Sue Scheff: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Building Blocks for a Healthy Future Building Blocks for a Healthy Future is an early childhood substance abuse prevention program developed by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) that educates parents and caregivers about the basics of prevention in order to promote a healthy lifestyle. Designed for parents and caregivers of children ages 3 to 6, Building Blocks will help you open up the lines of communication with young children—and make it easier to keep those lines of communication open as they grow older.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Sue Scheff: The Choking Game - G.A.S.P.

The Choking Game - a teen thing? What is the Choking Game? It is definitely not a game any parent want to learn about the hard way. Learn more now about this horrific game through G.A.S.P. (Games Adolescents Shouldn’t Play).

I received an email from a mother that almost lost her son to this game. She is now part of an advocacy group to help inform and educate others about this choking game. She understands she almost lost her son, as a matter of fact, she thought she had. Miraculously, her son survived after several days in a coma following this incident. As a parent advocate, I always encourage others to share their stories, mistakes, experiences etc in an effort to help others. This is one of the many parents that is hoping you will learn from her firsthand experiences.

Source: G.A.S.P.

It’s not a game at all—just an act of suffocating on purpose.

Adolescents cut off the flow of blood to the brain, in exchange for a few seconds of feeling lightheaded. Some strangle themselves with a belt, a rope or their bare hands; others push on their chest or hyperventilate.

When they release the pressure, blood that was blocked up floods the brain all at once. This sets off a warm and fuzzy feeling, which is just the brain dying, thousands of cells at a time.
Personal Note from this Mother:
Holding my son, as he took his first breath of life, for the second time took my breath away. He got a second chance to make a better choice. What I witnessed defies logic and reason. I made a choice to quit trying to understand, and instead pour my passionate gratitude for his life into advocacy work - to be a ripple in the wave of some much needed change. Stopping this behavior only starts with awareness. Ed4Ed is a program of education for educators. I consider all who possess knowledge, all upon acquiring it who connect with youth, care for and/or guide them, are then in turn ambassadors of that truth – incumbent educators.
When I am personally presenting from the materials of the program, I conclude by passing that torch to those with whom I speak. This deadly activity, masquerading as a “game” is an international problem, with a simple solution, educate! Give our kids the facts and they’ll make a better choice. Once he became aware of what had happened, Levi just shook his head and said “I didn’t know, Mom. People pass out all the time. I didn’t know.” Not one boy in the 500 that attended his boarding school knew the facts. They studied physics, science, biology and anatomy. None thought of it as anything more than a parlor trick, something new to try, not drugs, not alcohol – just a game. When we know better, we do better. When they know better, they will too.
Learn More: * Version 9*Videos - are created in an MPEG-4 Movie FormatQuick Time - Is a compatible free downloadable software, - Current Version 7.6

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Sue Scheff: Helping Keep Your Kids Safe Online


What is MyChild?

MyChild by ReputationDefender scours the Internet for all references to your child or teen - by name, photography, screen name, or social network profiles - and packages it to you in an easy-to-understand report. Worried about bullies? Concerned that your teens' friends and peers are posting inappropriate materials online? MyChild searches every corner of the Internet for traces of your kids. If you want to help your teen manage their online reputation, but have felt powerless to do so, ReputationDefender is your answer!