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Monday, November 30, 2009

Sue Scheff: Cards that Give


Welcome to CardsThatGive.org, the non-profit site that makes it simple to select greeting cards sold by charities.

Americans spend more than $2 billion on Christmas holiday cards each year.* If it were easy for individuals and businesses to buy their greeting cards from non-profit organizations, card sales could generate millions of dollars for worthy causes.
That is the idea behind CardsThatGive.org.

CardsThatGive.org directs you to more than 100 effective non-profit organizations that sell greeting cards to help fund their charitable work.


Every U.S. organization that we include is a 501(c)3 charity. In addition, if the non-profit has been evaluated by Charity Navigator, a respected charity watchdog organization, the non-profit must have received at least two stars out of a possible four.

Listing on CardsThatGive.org is free to qualified charities.

To learn more about our criteria for including charities, click here.

Also read on Examiner.com

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Sue Scheff: School Safety Partners


As part of being a Parent Advocate, I always like to bring you educational and informational websites and books. Yesterday I learned of School Safety Partners and competely impressed with their dedication to keep your children safe in school as well as educate schools about bullying, cyberbullying and other forms of violence and negative behavior. Learn more visit http://www.schoolsafetypartners.org/

About School Safety Partners:

School Safety Partners is dedicated to creating long-term funding partnerships to support school safety best practices.

We are both a community of interest and a facilitator of joint research projects, reaching out to the general public as well as stakeholders in the public, private, non-profit, and academic sectors. Our purpose is to create a space for stakeholders where true partnering can occur in order to make school safety sustainable beyond Federal funding.

Since our start in January, 2008, our projects have addressed the legislative, training, compliance, funding, and public awareness sides of school safety.

1.We created a reference library documenting all aspects of Colorado Senate Bill 08-181, a first-of-its-kind measure introduced by Senator Tom Wiens to modernize emergency planning in schools, so students, teachers, and first responders can act fast in an emergency.

2.For the 10th anniversary of the Columbine High School tragedy, we produced the national media event, "Colorado Rising," focusing on the future of school safety in America, and our guests and speakers were covered by NBC-TV, CNN, NPR, FOX, Oprah Radio, Channel One News, Associated Press, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Los Angeles Times, German Public Radio, the Guardian, and dozens of other news sources.

To read more about this event and download the documents distributed, go to
www.SchoolSafetyPartners.org/colorado_rising.html

3.We assisted in the 2008 Symposium and the 2009 Symposium on the Prevention of School Violence at Johnson & Wales University, and in the tabletop exercises on interoperable communications conducted for these events by one of our partners, SchoolSAFE Communications.

4.We produced over 4 hours of video footage, with 2 video crews, covering a full-scale active shooter and multi-hazard school exercise that involved 18 agencies and over 1,200 persons, and tested interoperable communications in several school-related settings.

5.We co-created the School Response Framework Fund in support of the National Incident Managment System (NIMS) and to help Colorado schools become NIMS-compliant as quickly as possible.

6.In cooperation with Senator Wiens and noted school safety expert, Michael Dorn, we developed a toolkit for schools to introduce them to NIMS, the Incident Command System, and the School Response Framework spelled out in Senate Bill 08-181.

7.At the beginning of the school year, we began offering mini-conferences for schools and school disricts in Colorado to discuss school safety legislation, new developments and requirements, training and other resources, interoperable communications, and school safety funding.

8.We also developed a virtual campus that schools can use as an online training site for their safety teams, and as an action center where schools can build strong relationships with community partners, or local responders.

9.We are currently developing with ABC-TV a nationwide community awareness campaign, giving recognition to educators as first responders, and calling for the creation of public-private partnerships to make school safety sustainable in communities across America.

10.We are also currently developing with the creators of the feature motion picture, "April Showers," the educational and school safety materials to accompany the film as it is released to the worldwide educational market.

For more details, see http://www.schoolsafetypartners.org/Communications/176.html

11.Other states have shown an interest in what we have done in Colorado about school crisis response, and for them we have designed webinars and information kits about improving school safety legislation and finding long-term funding solutions.
We hope that you find our information useful and our contacts productive. We invite you to explore all parts of our website, and also share with us your views, experiences, lessons learned, best practices, and innovations. Please register with us online in order to access all of our sections. Registration is free.

School Safety Partners could not have taken shape without the extraordinary consensus-building process that led to a united Colorado General Assembly in support of Senate Bill 08-181. To read about the many individuals who participated in this effort, we invite you to check out the narrative, Model Law: Coordinated Response, in the Quick Tour section of our site.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Sue Scheff: Learning Curve Dollhouse


Many are struggling financially this holiday season, however it is difficult for the younger children to understand the stress of purchasing pricey gifts.


When considering gifts, I always believe in finding items that offer learning experiences with the fun of the product. Recently I purchased for my granddaughter (2+ years old) an educational dollhouse designed by Dr. Michele Borba to teach and entertain your little princess. Needless to say, my granddaughter loves it! She received it for her birthday this past summer. I cannot say enough about this dollhouse chock full of learning and fun.

The best part is there are always discounts, coupons and specials from the manufacturer, Learning Curve. Mrs. Goodbee Interactive Caring Dollhouse encourages sharing and caring and preparing children for real life activities. Follow Learning Curve on Twitter for specials at @LCShop.

A closer look inside the dollhouse - click here. Also watch the video below, you will see that this product is a perfect gift for your little girl!

Holiday Gift for Parents and all working with children from Michele Borba: click here.

Holiday gifts for teens - click here.
Holiday Safety Tips - click here.

Don't forget to subscribe to my latest articles, and you won't miss the up to date information.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Sue Scheff: SchooGo - Website full of EDUCATIONAL Information!


What a fantastic new website I found - all about education, schools, articles, tips, resources and more!
About SchooGo:
SchooGo is an online resource that provides information regarding pre-k, elementary, middle and high school across the US and allows parents to evaluate public schools based on academic performance, student and teacher statistics, and parent and teacher reviews.
We maintain a comprehensive nationwide database of more than 125,000 public, private and charter k-12 schools and 100,000 preschools across the 50 U.S. states. The data on the site about the schools is very useful to the parents who need to evaluate several potential schools for their children.

Information is key, and putting that information in front of parents gives families the necessary tools to make the best school decisions for their children. SchooGo allows parents to do the following:

Find: A comprehensive database that gives parents the ability to easily search hundreds of school in a community, whether public, private, or charter. Parents can search in a number of different ways including: searching by city, state, zip code; searching by school name or school district; or searching by proximity to an address

Compare: SchooGo allows parents to compare schools side by side. You can compare the public schools on academic scores, student and teacher statistics and student demographics.
Evaluate: Evaluate public schools based on academic performance, student and teacher statistics, and parent and teacher reviews.
SchooGo also lets parents to share ratings and reviews of their children’s schools which in turn help other parents to make the best school decisions for their children.

Follow them on Twitter @SchooGo

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Sue Scheff: NET CETERA - Chatting with Kids About Being Online


In Net Cetera: Chatting With Kids About Being Online, OnGuard Online gives adults practical tips to help kids navigate the online world.

Kids and parents have many ways of socializing and communicating online, but they come with certain risks.
This guide encourages parents to reduce the risks by talking to kids about how they communicate – online and off – and helping kids engage in conduct they can be proud of. Net Cetera covers what parents need to know, where to go for more information, and issues to raise with kids about living their lives online.

OnGuard Online encourages you to use this guide with your kids, in your school, at your PTA meeting, or anywhere else parents might gather. Feel free to order as many free copies as you’d like, put your own sticker on it, reprint sections in a newsletter or on a website, download a button or link to it, or even reprint it with your own logo. These materials are in the public domain.

To order free copies of Net Cetera, visit bulkorder.ftc.gov. To find out more about reprinting the guide, contact OnGuardOnline@ftc.gov.

OnGuard Online is seeking to partner with school districts on a pilot program using this guide. If your school district might be interested, please contact us at OnGuardOnline@ftc.gov.

Friday, November 20, 2009

LIVESTRONG and Ziggy join to help fight Cancer


With the recent news of the controversy of breast cancer early detection, there isn't a better time for you to learn more about how breast cancer effects so many lives.
Tom Wilson II, cartoonist of Ziggy, lost his wife, Susan, on November 18th, 2000 to her battle with breast cancer. Last spring he bravely released his memoir of this painful and spiritual journey through Zig-Zagging: Loving Madly, Loving Badly...How Ziggy Saved My Life (Health Communications, Inc 2009).

Tom Wilson recently announced he is donating 100% of his personal royalties of his book from November 18th (Susan's death) until January 19th (Susan's birthday) to LIVESTRONG.

From Tom Wilson:

Dear LIVESTRONG Friends,
My wife, Susan Shephard Wilson, died in my arms on November 18, 2000. She was forty-four years old. From the moment she was diagnosed with Stage 3b invasive breast cancer, Susan, who had always been my strength, began to teach me what it truly means to LIVESTRONG.
"From the first day we discovered this arch villain called cancer had struck at the very heart of our life together, I witnessed the one constant in my life, my beautiful, sweet, gentle "Tweety Bird" become a hawk so fierce that General Patton himself would have saluted her. Susan went into battle with more strength and courage than any fictional superhero could possibly muster…"
Zig-Zagging: Loving Madly, Losing Badly…How Ziggy Saved My Life, came from the journaling I did in an effort to make sense for myself of the seven years my family battled the consuming, insidious disease that is cancer. The decision to publish the raw, emotional, and painful story of our personal war against cancer and my personal struggle against the crippling grief, was in the hope that telling it might bring comfort to someone else struggling along a similar path of cancer diagnosis.When I recently had the opportunity to meet with the staff at the LIVESTRONG Headquarters in Austin, Texas, I saw an extraordinary chance to allow this terrible tragedy in my family's life to do something truly positive for fellow survivors and co-survivors.
ZIGGY's MILLION DOLLAR LIVESTRONG CHALLENGE is OUR opportunity to come together to make a real difference! Through this campaign starting November 18, the anniversary of Susan's death, to January 19, her birthday, I am donating 100% of my personal royalties to LIVESTRONG, and coupled with the HCI affiliate program, that averages out to roughly $4.50 from every purchase of Zig-Zagging to the LIVESTRONG organization when ordered from this link. My HOPE is that together we will raise a MILLION dollars (or more!)for LIVESTRONG over the next two months!
With love,
Tom Wilson…and Ziggy

I have read this wonderful book. If you haven't, isn't now the time to do so? It is not only a gift to yourself, it is a way to give to a wonderful charity. Holidays are almost here, I am confident there is someone on your gift list that will benefit with a gift from Ziggy. After all, who doesn't love Ziggy?

Read an excerpt from Zig-Zagging - click here.

Order Zig-Zagging today!

Click here to subscribe to my articles and read more.

Also on Examiner.com

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Sue Scheff: Help Take Action Against Hunger


Hunger - How is it possible in today's world?
By Christoper Burgess
Are you hungry? Hunger is a sensation millions experience, daily. We can do something about it, we can do more than you think, you can do something today (right now). Please read on - there is a hungry person and family near you and in this truly tumultuous economic year, every single dollar, minute or food item you donate can put food in to the mouths of those who hunger.
When I was a child I'd sometimes fuss with my food at dinner (the all time fuss-bucket winner was brussels sprouts (Brassica oleracea - Gemmifera Group) my mother loved them, they just weren't my favorite). My mother would have none of it, and would admonish me to clean my plate, eat my veggies and add, "Don't you know, there are starving children in China?" Clearly I didn't and the impudence in me probably offered to envelope and send the food to China vice my stomach, but what I didn't understand is, while there may very well have been starving children in China we didn't have to go so far, there were starving children much closer to home.
Read entire article here - and please consider donating.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Sue Scheff: NameGrab - Do you own your name?



What Can I do with NameGrab?
  • Control and protect your name across the web.
    Own your name on hundreds of social networking sites
    Prevent impostors from posing as you
    Dominate search results for your name
    Ensure that people find the real you
Why Grab My Name?

There are countless websites that allow individuals to sign up, create a profile, and build virtual relationships with people around the world using any name they want. What happens when someone decides to take your name?
It's all you. Make sure it's all yours.

Identity thieves use lax verification codes to masquerade as real people while cyber-squatters hold social networking domains for ransom, effectively blocking your name from its rightful home on the internet. NameGrab prevents identity theft and cyber-squatting and ensures permanent ownership of both your personal and professional brands.
Harness the power of your brand.

Looking after your name online is a full-time job. By using the latest in deep-search technology, NameGrab checks websites for the names you want and then claims them for you. With NameGrab, you can rest easy that both your personal and professional brands stay where they belong - in your hands.
Check out ReputationDefenderBlog and get involved in the chatter!
Follow ReputationDefender on Twitter @RepDef
Recent Press Release on NameGrab.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Sue Scheff: Agents of Change Against Bullying


Connect with Kids Agents of Change: Bullying and Beyond multi-media program outlines a five-step process that helps create a climate of change. School teams learn to understand the problem, identify solutions, create and use tools for change, implement ideas and take action, and measure their success. Accompanying DVDs for both students and parents, and Resource Guides provide tools for change, program ideas, discussion questions, age-appropriate classroom lesson plans, fact sheets and tip sheets for parents.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Sue Scheff: The Kid's Doctor


What a fantastic website for parents!
The Kid's Doctor offers a wide variety of valuable information for your child's health and wellness.
Everyone can use a little advice on the best ways to raise their kids, and there is only one radio show, website and newspaper column dedicated to the health and well-being of children and their families. The Kid's Doctor is an award-winning, trusted resource for all your parenting questions.
Follow The Kid's Doctor on Twitter @TheKidsDoctor


Thursday, November 12, 2009

Sue Scheff: The Friendship Puzzle


Helping kids learn about accepting and including kids with autism
Review from Louise Sattel

I know that many of you have joined SIGNING FAMILIES as a fan because you have an interest in learning more about sign language. However, I know that many of you are here because you have a child with learning challenges or differences, such as Autism. This note is for all, but especially for my friends who have their hearts in the "land of autisim".

I met Julie Coe and Sondara Brassel at the 2009 Autism Expo in Maryland. They were sitting at their exhibitors table with a very engaging book- The Friendship Puzzle. When I saw that this book was based on a true story, had an endearing and important lesson about acceptance and unconditional friendship and was supported by the incomparable Dr. Rebecca Landa from the Kennedy Krieger Institute, I knew that I had to read it and share with you my thoughts.

The Friendship Puzzle is devised to help children learn about the disorder of Autism. Also, in a very wonderful way the story also acts as a teaching lesson for adults as group activities and discussion questions are added to the end of the story. The illustrations are beautiful. The story flows effortlessly as you learn about little MacKenzie and her new friend, Dylan.

As a School Psychologist I would truly recommend this book for any child and adult to read together. A wonderful "tool" for starting discussions whether at home, in a classroom or even a scout troop.

I have read many children's books that address the topic of making friends from different backgrounds, etc. I have not encountered one that has a well developed story followed by added information and content in the form of proactive activities and discussion questions. Also, there is additional information for adults to read and learn, including about the IAN Project.

I highly recommend The Friendship Puzzle. I believe this book will make an excellent addition to libraries, family support centers and of course, your home.

For more information about the book visit either http://www.friendshippuzzle.com/ , or the FACEBOOK fan page for the Friendship Puzzle

For more information about the Interactive Autism Network (IAN) Project go to http://www.ianproject.org/

Thanks for reading this note. Now go and enjoy The Friendship Puzzle.

Order on Amazon today.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Sue Scheff: Perfectly You


Through a wonderful story and colorful illustrations, Perfectly You will teach young readers (and listeners) to accept themselves; treat one another with compassion; and embrace their uniqueness. It provides children with the message that character comes from within while focusing on the importance of self-acceptance, tolerance, and leading an overall healthy lifestyle. http://www.ncyi.org/
Order today on Amazon.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Sue Scheff: Act Against Bullying's CyberKind Campaign



Helping Children who are bullied at school

Against Bullying (AAB) was founded in 2003 by Louise Burfitt-Dons formerly Louise Byres. She is also a director of the The Global Warming Alliance.


Our adviser on criminal law is Detective Inspector (retired) Hamish Brown MBE, retired London Fire Commissioner Brian Robinson CBE and on the effects of bullying are top forensic psychologist Glen Scott Lipson, Ph.D., A.B.P.P., CGP (US), Ivor Burfitt MSc, PhD MBBS and Professor Helen Cowie.
Our physical defence advisor is Grandmaster Sid Sofos, Grandmaster of the Year 2006/2007 American Black Belt Hall of Fame, who has been helping children cut crime in one of London's most deprived areas. We are also supported by Britain's Got Talent Finalist's 2008 martial arts performance team Strike! who are touring schools raising awareness of how martial arts can help develop confidence and improve coping skills.Act Against Bullying founder trustees were Louise Burfitt-Dons, Katherine Scholfield and Margaret Louden Clark. Our current trustees are Mark Garrity, Helen Hewitt and Debra Pearce.

After conducting research during which time she met parents of children who had taken their lives as a result of bullying at school Louise Burfitt-Dons was determined to establish a charity which would help alleviate the suffering and meet the needs of children and parents who face the same difficulties. AAB’s purpose then, and now, is to provide confidential assistance to vulnerable children exposed to bullying and unable to escape their circumstances.


"Bullying can affect anyone, at any age. It causes long lasting psychological damage. It also results in at least 20 child suicides a year. Children will always be the most vulnerable members of our society. Act Against Bullying is the UK’s appointed charity helping children who are bullied at school."

"We are doing this through research into causes, analysis and preventative measures, promotion of the serious affects of systematic bullying through the media, education of public and health professionals, provision of drama material to schools and local community drama groups and promotion of training in anti-bullying provisions for teachers students, parents and carers.

We believe that lack of awareness of the seriousness of the problem, the stigma attached and the repercussions that follow the reporting of incidents has led to the epidemic of psychological bullying that exists in schools today.Within this type of environment children cannot flourish and achieve their full potential during their academic years. We strongly support the Government's anti-bullying campaign.

AAB’s first initiative was to publish a set of monologues for teachers to use in classroom situations highlighting the characteristics of potentially bullying situations normally overlooked by members of staff.

The success of the monologues meant that we were swamped with calls from teachers, parents and children asking for advice on how to cope when in these situations. With the help of many different and diverse authorities we have come up with a whole range of innovative advisory steps for children and parents and are continuing to research new initiatives.We have received an overwhelming response to our positive advice and encouragement.

Building on the success of the AAB monologues and our advice centre, the AAB has become involved with a number of incentives to counteract the growing problem within our society. The Cool to be Kind™ Campaign with its simple message ‘Don’t be rude, Don’t exclude, Don’t push in, Don’t hurt to win’ is up and running and has met with enthusiasm and encouragement from all. We have been invited to speak at Forums and address schools. We have established our web presence and have begun to attract partners and supporters both commercially as well as in the voluntary sector. We have received sponsorship and donations from businesses, individual and schools.

Our current work is focused in three areas; public awareness through our Cool to be Kind campaign and our web site, education of school children, teaching personnel and social workers by way of advisory material, talks and research into the causes of bullying. We are attracting offers from other youth organisations to work in conjunction with themselves and are actively pursuing partners in the self-defence and martial arts areas in order to further our work in the most cost effective and efficient way to help as many vulnerable children as possible as quickly as can be achieved.

In our work Act Against Bullying is seeking to help children that find themselves the unwitting targets of the bullying at school. These young people can be victims for a plethora or reasons as indiscriminate as is the random nature of our evolving society.Your support in our venture will provide the moral and financial necessities required to restore their faith in the world that belongs to all of us."

Louise Burfitt-Dons

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Sue Scheff: Volunteer Spot

About Volunteer Spot
Karen Bantuveris, a management consultant working-mom, became a Girl Scout leader and PTA board member once her daughter entered school. Shocked at all the ‘little things’ that made volunteering a hassle, and fueled by frustration with reply-all emails, clipboards, Online! Groups, and late night reminder messages…she decided to do something about it.

VolunteerSpot launched in 2008 with the mission of enabling ANYONE to quickly mobilize and coordinate volunteers in their community, congregation and social network. VolunteerSpot’s simple sign up application makes it easy for community members to participate and say YES to volunteering. No waiting for approvals and passwords, no software to install, just easy, free scheduling and sign up tools for everyday heroes making a difference.

Make your next activity easier than ever before. Try VolunteerSpot today!! Watch their video and learn more.
Follow them on Twitter @VolunteerSpot

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Sue Scheff: The Butterfly on my Shoulder - A Grief Journey of Love and Growth to Inspire Healing


The Butterfly on my Shoulder: A Grief Journey of Love and Growth to Inspire Healing by Helene Levin
Suicide is a subject that is not easy to talk about.
The Butterfly On My Shoulder is an inspiring book composed of poems and commentary about the grief process. Its purpose is to share the love, pain and growth that so many have lived through and to inspire healing by all who grieve.
This book lets mourners know that they are not alone and they are not going crazy, they are grieving and they can heal. It was written over a 22 year period by a mother after the death of her 24 year old son by suicide in 1986. Many of the poems have been previously published in newsletters, brochures and on the internet.
They have proven to be very encouraging to those who grieve by helping them to deal with and understand their grieving journey. The book offers a clear explanation of the grief journey and grief process as experienced from the perspective of all family members, friends and fellow grievers in fourteen chapters. The chapters are divided by the stages and the friend or family member's perspective. The poems and commentary offer suggestions and information about helpful methods and modalities that a grieving person can use to better negotiate the different stages of grief.
The author uses her experiences and education as the Executive Director/CEO of the Florida Initiative for Suicide Prevention, Inc. and a member of the Florida State Suicide Prevention Coordinating Council to explain and share the experiences of thousands of grieving individuals which she has come in contact with over the last 22 years. The commentary and poems express the perspective of both the author and survivors with which she has worked and describes their pain and ultimate healing. This book is a useful tool for anyone who is grieving the loss of a loved one including those dealing with a death by suicide.
Order on Amazon today.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Sue Scheff: Place Your Name

PlaceYourName.com is a self promotion tool that allows you to be seen in the major search engines such as Google™, Yahoo ® & Bing™ (MSN). Our unique service creates a positive online image and gives you a solid Internet presence when someone searches your name. PlaceYourName is ideal for:

Job Seekers
Award Recipients
Authors
College Applicants
Small Businesses
Actors, Artists & Musicians
Graduates
Athletes
Lawsuit Defendants
Newlyweds
Entrepreneurs & Inventors
Military Veterans
New Parents
Real Estate Agents
Anyone Who Has Ever Searched their Own Name Online


Read my Examiner article on this new service.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Sue Scheff: The Boy's Store

So true - it is harder to buy clothes for boys verses girls! Having both a granddaughter and a grandson, it seems my granddaughter has more to look forward! Recently I found this website and meet the owner on Twitter (Social Networking at work!). Check this out http://www.theboysstore.com/

From The Boys Store:

We are proud to be one of the very few online shopping destinations exclusively for BOYS. Our goal is to provide you with fabulous, functional boy's clothing, and accessories, PLUS make your shopping experience simple and easy. Our store is designed to bring you more boy's clothing options for great style, from traditional sportswear to the trendiest gear, in a wide range of sizes.

Check them out today!

Follow on Twitter: @TheBoysStore