Friday, February 26, 2010

Sue Scheff: Florida Gang Reduction

Florida Gang Reduction organization was formed to help reduce gangs in Florida. This Strategy outlines a comprehensive plan for communities to develop specific solutions to dramatically reduce gang membership and gang-related activities by:

  • Empowering youth to lead productive gang-free lives;
  • Improving law enforcement suppression efforts; and,
  • Addressing rehabilitation and re-entry issues.
The Strategy calls for the formation of seven Gang Reduction Task Forces throughout the state of Florida.

The prevalence of gangs and gang-related violence in Florida is a growing threat to the safety and security of all Floridians. Law enforcement alone cannot stop the threats to public safety brought about by gang violence. In order to achieve real impact in the reduction and deterrence of gang-related crime and violence, targeted response must involve the active engagement of local and state leaders from the faith-based community, education, prevention and intervention organizations, the business community, criminal justice, government, and other concerned citizens.

Learn more at

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Sue Scheff: Cutting Myself in Half: 150 Pounds Lost, One Byte at a Time

Cutting Myself in Half: 150 Pounds Lost, One Byte at a Time
By Mary Branson, Jack Branson and Taylor LeBaron

At age fourteen, Taylor LeBaron was nearly 300 pounds. He had difficulty just getting to the mailbox without becoming short of breath. A chubby kid from birth who was prone to obesity, Taylor allowed his weight to skyrocket through mindless 'whatever' eating and his sedentary techie lifestyle. But a membership to the Y, a keen imagination, and an indomitable spirit changed all that.

Approaching proper eating and weight loss as he would a new video game, Taylor made fitness into a fun challenge with his creation of THE ULTIMATE FITNESS GAME (UFG)—a method of tracking calories, avoiding pitfalls, overcoming obstacles, and working out by following hard-andfast rules that literally helped him shed half of his body weight in a matter of a year and a half.

Cutting Myself in Half is Taylor's motivational strategy guide to THE ULTIMATE FITNESS GAME.Taylor shows kids who are currently where he was that weight loss and fitness are within reach . . . one workout, one calorie, one 'byte' at a time.

Order on Amazon today!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Sue Scheff: Teen Moms - 16 and Pregnant

Parenting today can be one of the most difficult jobs any adult will have. "Adult" being the operative word, when a teenager has a child it can be even more stressful and complicated.

16 and Pregnant, which airs on MTV and is hosted by Dr. Drew, will give you a birds-eye view of teenagers having babies. From deciding on whether to keep the baby, to giving birth, 16 and Pregnant will take you inside the lives of girls living through the difficult process being pregnant and having a baby.

In 16 and Pregnant, you will see a variety of girls with a variety of decisions. What works best for them, and what is best for their child. Will the father be involved, or does he want to be involved?

These teens learn that being pregnant means having to grow up very fast. The new challenges they face, the financial responsibilities compounded with the emotional roller coaster ride of having a baby and still being a child (teen).

What about school? What choices will they make? 16 and Pregnant will take you through the lives of several young teens and definitely can be an eye-opener to those that believe that having a baby is easy. From going out to party to growing up real fast, being pregnant is a responsibility that is not easy.

These are expecting teens experiencing the consequences of unprotected sex and learning about the unexpected challenges of being pregnant raising a baby.

Be an educated parent, talk to your teens about sex. Talk to your kids period.

Watch the trailer and read more on Examiner.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Sue Scheff: Sexual Assault Awareness Week (Feb 22-25)

Sexual Assault Awareness Week: February 22-25, 2010

Sponsored by Georgia Southern University's Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) and the Sexual Assault Prevention Advocates (SAPA)

Sadly this is a subject that all parents need to be aware of and their teens need to be educated on. Teen sexual abuse is not prejudice. Whether you believe in a very safe area, or go to an excellent school or college, learning about sexual assault and abuse is a difficult topic but necessary to learn about.

Joni Poole, currently 18 years old, is a survivor of a sexual assault and rape. She is a hero and a voice for those that are suffering silently. She testified against her rapist and put him away. Joni Poole created Sexual Abuse, Assault and Rape Awareness (S.A.A.R.A.) organization following her horrific experiences. She was also featured in my Teens That Inspire series.

Joni Poole has been invited to be the guest speaker for Sexual Assault Prevention Advocates on Thursday 7:30 pm, February 25th, 2009 at Russell Union Rotunda at Georgia Southern University. Learn more.

Read more about this event.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Sue Scheff: Daily Parent Tip

Are you on FacebookTwitter?

If so, you may have seen "Daily Parent Tip" consistently offering educational, sound, and informational advice for parenting today.

Daily Parent Tip finds the best of the best in articles, Blogs, forums and more about issues surrounding raising kids today.

If you follow them on Twitter, they will follow you back.  If you offer great advice on the topic of parenting, they are always right there to RT you (RT = Re-Tweet). 

Learn more today and follow them and join them on Facebook.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Sue Scheff: A Thin Line - MTV Series to Help Educate You in the Digital World

The Web and cell phones help us communicate, connect and learn in ways we never could before, but they've also forever changed how we interact with others. Things we used to share in person – and in private – can now be broadcast to thousands, instantly. Sometimes we type things we would never say to someone's face. As a result, new issues like forced sexting, textual harassment and cyberbullyiing have emerged, which now affect a majority of young people in the U.S.

MTV's A Thin Line campaign was developed to empower you to identify, respond to, and stop the spread of digital abuse in your life and amongst your peers. The campaign is built on the understanding that there's a "thin line" between what may begin as a harmless joke and something that could end up having a serious impact on you or someone else. We know no generation has ever had to deal with this, so we want to partner with you to help figure it out. On-air, online and on your cell, we hope to spark a conversation and deliver information that helps you draw your own digital line.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Sue Scheff: ED4ED - Parents Helping Parents - Be an Educated Parent


PROVIDING FREE; PUBLIC ACCESS TO A COHESIVE CURRICULUM for parents (and other educators) to use to teach their kids about risk behaviors. There is a resource for all, free for all, always. No matter the age of the children in your care, there is something here that can help you approach the subject of risk behaviors. We are Educators reaching out to Educators with Educational Resources and Research about risk behavior trends. The most important educators we seek to connect with ARE YOU, the M.O.M.s and the D.A.D.s of the world – your child’s safety IS priority #1!

Program Covers Risk Behaviors [current topics]

• “EMO”

We constantly monitor for other little known (to adults) risk behaviors and take on education about them as they emerge and evolve. Some members of the group have been personally affected by the death or injury of our children to “The Choking Game”. We have all been so deeply affected in some way that all have sprung into intervention action!


Learn more - click here.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Sue Scheff: Give yourself a Valentine's Day Gift of Longer Life - Quit Smoking

Florida's Quitline: A helping hand when you need it the most.

Each year, thousands of Floridians quit using tobacco. Many more try, but fail. The Florida Quitline was established to help those with a desire to free themselves from cigarettes, smokeless and all other forms of tobacco to successfully reach their goal, and offers all of its services free of charge in both English and Spanish. Here's how it works:

  1. With a single, toll-free call to 1-877-U-CAN-NOW, you can schedule an appointment with one of the Quitline's trained counselors.
  2. At an approximate time of your choosing, one of these skilled professionals will call you back to work with you one on one. Together, you'll develop a plan to finally rid yourself of tobacco for good.
  3. Our tobacco specialists will be there for you 24 hours a day, seven days a week to support you, offer tips and provide any information you may need.
If you're ready to Be Free, call 1-877-U-CAN-NOW today and join other Floridians in living a happier, healthier life. If you know others who need help, click the link below to send them an email message encouraging them to call the Quitline today.

Be an educated parent, you will have a healthier family.

Read more on Examiner.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Sue Scheff: Fool Proof Teacher - Real Financial Education for Classrooms

Fool Proof Teacher

FoolProof Teacher promotes honest financial literacy instruction in High Schools. We offer a free interactive online curriculum developed by consumer advocates, teachers and students.

FoolProof is owned by FoolProof Financial Education Systems, Incorporated.

The not-for-profit Education Credit Union Council & Credit Union Strategic Partners have partnered with FoolProof to offer FoolProof to credit unions and other not-for-profit educational institutions.

FoolProof Financial Education Systems, Inc. is responsible for all editorial content in the FoolProof program.

Join them on Facebook.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Sue Scheff: Radical Family Workbook: Activity Journal for Kids, Teens and Parents

Radical Family Workbook: Activity Journal for Kids, Teens and Parents
By Vanessa Van Petten

We are very excited to announce that Radical Parenting has a new book! It is a family workbook. We are always asking our readers what they need from us and one thing that kept coming up was the need for a more interactive book for families. Parents are constantly looking for ways to bond with their teenagers and lessen age gaps between kids.

So…the Radical Parenting teens and I put together a workbook with 30 days (or weeks or months) worth of activities for families with kids of all ages!

Learn more at

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Sue Scheff: Thats Not Cool

Your cell phone, IM, and social networks are all a digital extension of who you are. When someone you're with pressures you or disrespects you in those places, that's not cool.


Recognizing Abuse?
Not sure if a situation is abusive or not?
Ask yourself if your boyfriend or girlfriend:

is overly jealous or possessive?
puts you down or criticizes you?
threatens or scares you?
hits, slaps, pushes, or kicks you?
controls where you go, what you wear, or what you do?
tries to stop you from seeing or talking to friends and family?
tries to force you to have sex?

What Can You Do...If you're being abused?

Call the police if you are in danger and seek medical attention if you are hurt.
You are not alone and the abuse is not your fault.
Talk with somebody you trust: a friend or relative, someone from school or your community.
Think independently. Remember that you are the expert about your own life. Don't let anyone talk you into doing something that's not right for you.
Have a safety plan in the event you are abused again.

Here are some tips.

Find out more about being a Tech Savvy Teen

If you think you're being abusive?
Know that there are people and organizations that are equipped to help you.
If you truly care for someone, you will not allow him or her to be abused, by you or anyone else.
Talk to someone you trust, like a close friend, family member, or someone you respect, like a teacher or counselor at school. Ask his/her honest opinion about your behavior.

If your friend is being abused?

If necessary, help your friend get medical attention. Encourage your friend to contact a professional or an adult they trust for help.
Offer your unconditional friendship and support. Be clear that you are there to listen, and not to judge.
Tell your friend it's not his/her fault.
Don't spread gossip. This could make your friend's situation more dangerous.
Don't try to confront the abuser or rush your friend into a decision he/she isn't comfortable with.

If your friend is abusive?

Visit for advice and answers to the above concerns.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Sue Scheff: Choking Game -Games You Don't Want Your Teens Playing

CHOKINGGAME.NET  is an educational and informational website for parents and teachers as well as anyone that works with kids today.

Auto asphyxia and oxygen deprivation practices need to be addressed in the same manner as other current teen risky behaviors. Todays youth are taking risks. They are car surfing, abusing over the counter and prescription medication, inhaling and ingesting common household products. All in an attempt to achieve an altered consciousness, to complete a dare or just out of teen curiosity. Without the knowledge of exactly how dangerous these activities are and what the potential consequences could be, we will continue to lose valuable members of our society.

We work co operatively with Advocates nationwide who volunteer their time and expertise to provide Choking Game Education to all who request it. No group is too small or too large. Advocates have met with a handful of students after it was discovered they had been 'playing'. Other advocates have been the keynote speaker to audiences of 500 or more. Some venues wish to reproduce materials from The DB Foundation and cover the presentation themselves - this is perfectly acceptable, the material is FREE for download and print for this purpose.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Sue Scheff: PARENTS - The Anti-Drug was created by the National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign to equip parents and other adult caregivers with the tools they need to raise drug-free kids. Working with the nation's leading experts in the fields of parenting and substance abuse prevention, serves as a drug prevention information center, and a supportive community for parents to interact and learn from each other.

The site provides parents and other adults caregivers access to:

  • Helpful articles and advice from experts in the fields of parenting and substance abuse prevention;
  • Science-based drug prevention information, news and studies;
  • Support from other parents striving to keep their children drug-free;
  • Perspectives of teens themselves.
About the Media Campaign:

Since its inception in 1998, the ONDCP’s National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign has conducted outreach to millions of parents, teens and communities to prevent and reduce teen drug use. Counting on an unprecedented blend of public and private partnerships, non-profit community service organizations, volunteerism, and youth-to-youth communications, the Campaign is designed to reach Americans of diverse backgrounds with effective anti-drug messages.

For additional information on the Campaign, visit .

Friday, February 5, 2010

Sue Scheff: The FCAT's in Florida Education

Every February, parents and students alike cringe when they hear that dreaded four-letter word -- FCAT.

What exactly is the FCAT? According tot he Florida Department of Education, the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test, or FCAT, is part of the state's overall place to increase student achievement by implementing higher standards. The FCAT, administered to students in Grades 3-11, consists of criterion-referenced tests (CRT) in mathematics, reading, science, and writing, which measure student progress toward meeting the Sunshine State Standards (SSS) benchmarks.

Because the state uses the results for a variety of purposes, including student retention and school funding, a great deal of emphasis is placed on the FCAT. This can be quite stressful for both the children and the parents.

Some tips were supplied by Weston teachers and school counselors in Our City Weston.

  • Practice makes perfect. It is beneficial for parents to provide an opportunity for daily FCAT practice.
  • Consider tutoring. If your child needs extra help, take advantage of after-school tutoring and Saturday FCAT camps. Ask your schools about the times.
  • Encourage "active reading." This means reading with a pen or pencil in hand. Use your Post-It notes to designate spots you need to review or that need attention.
  • Find the "proof." Encourage your children to find the proof that answers are correct. Referring to text for textual support.
  • Don't skip school. Emphasize good attendance and punctuality for your child.
  • Read test questions carefully.
  • Instill confidence. According to the American School Counselor Association the most important thing a parent can do is encourage their child to do his or her best. Tell them you are proud of them.

February 9-11th the FCAT Writes exam starts. The reading, math and science exams start on March 9-19th. For more information visit Florida Dept of Education.

Being an educated parent will help you have prepared children!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Sue Scheff: ThinkB4YouSpeak

Parents play a crucial role in teaching their children about the negative impact of bullying and harassment. Talk about these issues with your children and within your community. Parents are also encouraged to Say Something Original and pledge to support safe schools efforts, and speak to your children’s teachers about using the Teacher's Guide to the Campaign (available in the For Educators section of the site).

More information is available at .

Visit today for more information.

Read extensive article on Examiner with video.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Sue Scheff: Lotsa Helping Hands

Lotsa Helping Hand's mission is to provide the communication resources facilitating a world where caregivers feel empowered to ask for help, and in so doing, improve their own health and quality-of-life; volunteers can become part of the solution when family, friends, neighbors or colleagues are in need of help, and community becomes a recognized way to find meaning in both giving and receiving.

Lotsa Helping Hands community helps build emotional and spiritual support as you face the many issues surrounding everyday caregiving. They offer assistance for military families, elderly, schools, parenting, religious groups and more.