Friday, July 30, 2010

Sue Scheff: Ask a Librarian - Helping Your Teens with Studying

Ask a Librarian provides Florida residents with live virtual reference services via local library customized web sites from 10 a.m. to midnight Sunday through Thursday (EST), and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday (EST).

Take time before school opens to introduce your kids to Ask a Librarian.  It is a fantastic point of reference for many projects, homework and essays.

Ask a Librarian offers real people, real help, real fast!

What is  Ask a Librarian:
Ask a Librarian is a free online service that allows Floridians to chat live with a librarian for immediate assistance. A trained information professional can guide you to the answers you need in minutes rather than your wasting hours navigating hundreds of unhelpful and irrelevant web sites. More than 100 libraries statewide collaborate to provide this service to their patrons and the patrons of other participating libraries.

What is Ask a Librarian Mobile?
Ask a Librarian’s email service is optimized for your handheld device. Visit our mobile interface at, then choose your local library from the list. E-mail your question anytime, and a librarian from your library will answer you via e-mail.

How does Ask a Librarian work?
When you click on the chat button, your question enters a queue for the on-duty librarians. Librarians answer questions in the order they receive them. Typically, depending on the expected traffic, between two and six librarians staff the Ask a Librarian desk during the hours we are available for live chat. When the librarian accepts your question, you are able to chat one-on-one with that librarian while he or she helps you find what you need by guiding you through the myriad of resources available. The librarian might screen-share these resources with you. Screen-sharing allows the librarian to co-navigate resources on your PC.  Read more and watch demo.

Check to see if your library is listed.  Click here.

Be an educated and prepared parent, your teens will have a better school year!

Read more.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Sue Scheff: PTA Fundraisers - Village Soap Company

Village Soap Company is a handcrafted and luxurious soap retailer based in Pinehurst North Carolina. We proudly offer the highest quality of soap products for your pleasure and enjoyment. Our products also make wonderful gifts for those you truly care about.

As school is opening, here is another practical and great idea for PTA Fundraising!

Raising funds for your PTA or Educational Event has Never Been Easier!
Read below to learn more about our 10% For Education Program.

How does it work?
As a retailer we sell fine luxury soap products online. When products are purchased from our website, customers receive a confirmation email which contains an Order Number and a Transaction Number. The customer may then go to the 10% For Education Program page and designate which PTA or Educational Event to support with their purchase. It is just that simple.

How can my PTA be added to the list?
Simply go to the “Program Participation Request” page and fill out the form. We will review the request and, if approved, we will add your PTA to our list.

I have been added to the list, now what can I do?
The next step is to let folks know about it. Let your community know that gift shopping with us will support your PTA or Educational Event.

Follow Village Soap Company on Twitter - and watch  for their new Facebook page coming soon!

If you have a cause you would like to raise funds for, contact them for their fundraising programs. Click here.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Sue Scheff: How Kids Learn - FREE EBook

How Kids Learn

From More4Kids

Tips to Facilitate Top-Notch Learning
More4Kids were selling this, but we decided that knowledge like this should be given to all parents.  Information on how to get this eBook free will be available very soon. Its our way of giving back to the Parenting community. 

Over 75 pages of jam packed information. This is in eBook format and will be delivered in PDF format.

We all want our children to succeed at what they do. By understanding how kids learn and process information we can help motivate our kids by creating an optimal learning environment. This is not only a great resource to help your kids learn better, but is also a great tool for the home-school environment. This eBook is over 75 pages long. You will learn the following:
  • Learning Styles & Preferences
  • Information Processing
  • What Research Shows
  • What Motivates Children
  • Creating an Optimal Learning Environment
  • How We Process Our World
  • What Do We Arrive With?
  • Recognizing Temperaments and Processes
  • Learning Styles & Preferences
  • From Infancy To Preschool Years
  • Motivation
  • How Motivation Begins
  • How Does Motivation Work?
  • What Encourages School-Age Children?
  • Parents, The Motivating Factors
  • Teaching Methods that Motivate
  • The Millionaire’s Mindset
  • Learning Environment & Activities
  • Success Factors in Early Learning Environments
  • Varied Teaching/Learning Approaches
  • Critical Thinking
  • Mentoring or private instruction
  • Managing Stress & Emotionality
  • What Stresses Children?
  • Coping Skills and Resilience
Learn more by visiting

Friday, July 23, 2010

Sue Scheff: FEMA Website for Kids

If you are a resident of South Florida, have been through the past decade or so of Hurricane Andrew or more recently Hurricane Wilma, you are no stranger when these tropical storms start hitting our news waves.

Hopefully many have their preparations in place, however are you mentally prepared and are your kids ready for when or if a storm or hurricane hits?

This can be a very traumatic experience for adults, for kids it can be more upsetting since they are not mature  enough to understand either the seriousness of it or truly fear from all the media attention.
Talk to your kids about the preparations.  Get your teens involved with helping you prepare your home and your pets.

FEMA for Kids has a great website for kids to better understand hurricanes and storms.  Here are some beneficial talking points:
  • Listen to a radio or television for weather updates and stay in touch with your neighbors about evacuation orders.
  • Plan a place to meet your family in case you are separated during a disaster. Choose a friend or relative out of state for your family members to call to say they are OK.
  • Assemble your disaster supplies kit. Store extra water now! Check to make sure you have enough food.
  • Storm shutters are the best protection for windows. If your house does not have them, help an adult board up windows with 5/8" marine plywood. Tape does NOT prevent windows from breaking!
  • Bring in outside furniture. An adult should remove roof antennas, if they can do so safely.
  • Help an adult shut off your utilities -- water, electricity and gas.
  • Make sure there is gas in the car and you are ready to evacuate immediately, if you are told to do so.
  • If you don’t need to evacuate, be sure to STAY INDOORS during a hurricane. You could be hit by flying objects. Don’t be fooled if there is a pause in the wind. It could be the eye of the storm, and the winds will come again.
  • Avoid using the phone except for an emergency so the phone lines can stay open for others.
  • If you do evacuate, do NOT go back home until local officials say it is safe.
  • Hurricanes can be very scary. If you are scared, be sure to talk to someone about it.
Be a good neighbor, pass this on to your friends and family.

Read more.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Sue Scheff: HacKid - Learn To Protect Your Kids Virtually

Kids are our future, why not give them that spark that will set them on a journey that only “hacking” can inspire?

HacKid was created to educate, stimulate and develop children and adults in a variety of educational areas in order to raise awareness and understanding of technology, mathematics and engineering and the impact on society and culture.

HacKid is a 501.3c Non-Profit organization.

The idea really revolves around providing an interactive, hands-on experience for kids and their parents which includes things like:

  1. Online safety (kids and parents!)
  2. Make a podcast/vodcast
  3. How to deal with CyberBullies
  4. Physical Security
  5. Gaming competitions
  6. Interactive robot building
  7. How the Internet works
  8. Food Hacking
  9. Basic to advanced network/application security
  10. Website design/introduction to blogging
  11. Manipulating hardware and software for fun
  12. Meeting & interacting with law enforcement
  13. Building a netbook
  14. Low-impact martial arts/self-defense training

The format of our conference is really interesting -- we mix advisory board recommendations with a crowd-sourced concept based on submissions via our Wiki...

If you have additional ideas for cool things to do, let us know via @HacKidCon (Twitter) or better yet, PLEASE go to the Wiki and contribute there!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Sue Scheff: Help--My Kid is Driving Me Crazy: The 17 Ways Kids Manipulate Their Parents, and What You Can Do About It

Nationally renowned family psychologist, Dr. David Swanson, offers parents clear and simple techniques for disarming the strategies kids use to manipulate them - restoring peace and happiness back into the home.

Every parent knows that children quickly learn how to push their buttons. Now, this invaluable and insightful book, written by a prominent clinical psychologist, identifies the specific ways kids manipulate their parents-and how to stop each tactic. These uncannily sophisticated and undermining strategies include:

  • Emotional blackmail
  • Shutting down
  • Negotiation
  • Protest
  • Playing the victim
  • Dividing the parents
Filled with informative and practical advice, this insightful guide is designed to help parents restore harmony, discipline, and healthy relationships-and put an end to selfish, manipulative behavior for good.

Order on Amazon today.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Sue Scheff: The Socially Networked Classroom by William Kist

The Socially Networked Classroom 
By William Kist

This book demonstrates how pioneering teachers have successfully integrated screen-based literacies into instruction and how you can harness students’ social networking skills for learning.

Read complete review by Britt Watwood: Click here.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Sue Scheff: The Children's Trust - Helpline 2-1-1

During National Make a Difference to Children Month it is a time to recognize and learn more about local resources to assist families that may be struggling or need help parenting their children.

The Children's Trust Helpline 2-1-1 was established to assist families by educating and bringing awareness to health issues and children that may be having difficulties at home.

As The Children's Trust moves ahead launching new programs and initiatives, it's ever more critical to raise awareness - to keep parents and caregivers informed. They are committed to changing the lives of children and families, and are utilizing new and traditional media to communicate our message to those who need to know.
From toddlers to teenagers, The Children's Trust Helpline has answers and resources for you. Simply dial/press 2-1-1 from any phone and you will have resources to call on.

As more families face losing their homes, loss of jobs, financial difficulties, etc... South Florida is working diligently to help children that need a little extra help.  Whether it is finding appropriate daycare or experiencing a teen that is out-of-control, call 2-1-1 for help.

Learn more about The Children's Trust Helpline by visiting

Being an educated parent leads to having safer and healthier children.

Read more and watch video.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Sue Scheff: National Make a Difference In Children Month

July is National Make a Difference to Children Month.

As families are enjoying their summer vacations, time at the beach, time with friends, and simply having fun in the sun, there are children that are suffering.  Children that are hungry.  Children that are being harmed and children that need you to help them make a change.

During National Make a Difference to Children Month, find it in your heart to dig into your wallet and make a difference to a child today.  Every dollar counts, every donation can help bring a smile to a child somewhere.

Nationally, Love our Children USA has brought an awareness to violence among children.  Since 1999 they have been the leader in violence prevention and continue to expand through STOMPOutBullying.orgBullying and cyberbullying is a growing concern today, and again Love Our Children USA is taking a stand to educate and inform people about bullying prevention.

Learn how you can donate today. Is there someone that is special to you? People that are hard to buy for or have everything they need?  Make a personal gift, a gift in honor of someone or in memory of someone.  Giving a little can mean a lot, don't delay, send what you can today!  Click here.

Let's help show how much South Florida cares about our future.  Remember, children are our future.

Watch video and read more.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Sue Scheff: TeenTruth

Today teens, parents, teachers and others need as much as assistance in helping our children navigate through adolescence during a time of heightened peer pressure that can lead to very bad choices.

Teen Facts:

  • According to a 2009 Florida Youth Risk Behavior survey, 50.6 percent (365,700) of teens surveyed have had sexual intercourse.
  • 37 percent of students surveyed have had sexual intercourse with one or more people during the past 3 months.
  • 16.6 percent of students surveyed have had sexual intercourse with four or more partners during their lifetime; the number was significantly higher among males surveyed.
  • According to the Florida Department of Transportation, in 2008 there were more than 32,344 crashes. Of those crashes, 216 teens were killed.
The Florida Department of Health recently joined forces with WAHI Media to provide parents and teens with information to make good choices when facing critical decisions.

WAHI Media with the partnership of The Florida Health Department, developed an interactive website called 

The WAHI uses real actors to target young people, parents, and citizens on a number of topics, including drug prevention, relationships, and healthy relationships betweens parents and kids” said Glenn Hallam, founder of WAHI Media. “The WAHI allows participants to respond to different situations and gain an understanding of the best ways to handle those situations in the future, in a way that traditional communication methods simply cannot achieve.
Visit today and experience the knowledge to help you help your teens today!

Be an educated parent, you will have safer and healthier teens.

Read more.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Sue Scheff: VolunteerSpot - Giving To Your Community

It is VolunteerSpot!  The place that everyone can be part of.  It is about time management, it is about giving and it is about being part of your community.

Whether you are part of an outreach program in Duval County or a youth group in St. John's County, VolunteerSpot can help you organize your community to benefit your cause and activities.  Fundraising can be a stressful time, however with supporters behind you, it makes everything a little bit easier and your success that much greater.

A little history of this young organization:

VolunteerSpot launched in Spring, 2009 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. 

Learn more about VolunteerSpot at and visit their Blog. Follow them on Twitter and join them on Facebook.

Watch quick video and read more.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Sue Scheff: Cuss Control - The Complete Book on How to Curb Your Cursing

Cuss Control: The Complete Book on How to Curb Your Cursing
By James V. O'Connor

Faced with an epidemic of profanity, our country is in need of practical suggestions for breaking a habit that has ordinary citizens contributing to the decline of civility and good manners. It's not always easy to resist the urge to cuss, but foul language creates an unfavorable image, is damaging to relationships, and goes hand-in-hand with a negative attitude.

Now, James V. O'Connor--founder of the Cuss Control Academy--offers the first book to explain why we swear and how we can learn to hold our tongues. Cuss Control doesn't call for the total elimination of swearing, just for its confinement to situations where extreme emotion (think hammer, think thumb) or poetic license (think Rhett Butler's "Frankly, my dear. . .") demand it. His program for easing us off the gutter-talk highway involves alternative "potent phrases" for classic curses, including the F-word; ways to communicate clearly rather than use lazy language; and tips on adjusting your attitude and abolishing obscenities.

Packed with practical exercises and tips, as well as thoughtful reflection on how we've worked ourselves up into such a state of affairs, Cuss Control is a refreshing celebration of the joys of a civil tongue. 

Learn more and order on

Read more.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Sue Scheff: The Path to Purpose

The Path to Purpose
By William Damon

Drawing on the revelatory results of a landmark study, William Damon -- one of the country's leading writers on the lives of young people, whose book Greater Expectations won the Parents' Choice Award -- brilliantly investigates the most pressing issue in the lives of youth today: why so many young people are "failing to launch" -- living at home longer, lacking career motivation, struggling to make a timely transition into adulthood, and not yet finding a life pursuit that inspires them.

His groundbreaking study shows that about one-fifth of youth today are thriving -- highly engaged in activities they love and developing a clear sense of what they want to do with their lives -- but approximately one-fourth are still rudderless, at serious risk of never fulfilling their potential. The largest portion are teetering on the brink, in need of guidance to help them move forward: some are "dabblers" who pursue strings of disconnected interests with no real commitment; others, "dreamers" who have no realistic plans or understanding of what success will require.

What makes the difference? Damon shows that the key ingredient for the highly engaged is that they have developed a clear sense of purpose in their lives that motivates them and gives them direction. Based on in-depth interviews, he takes readers inside the minds of the disengaged and drifting kids and exposes their confusion and anxiety about what they should do with their lives. He then offers compelling portraits of the young people who are thriving and identifies the nine key factors that have made the difference for them, presenting simple but powerful methods that parents and all adults can and must employ in order to cultivate that energized sense of purpose in young people that will launch them on the path to a deeply satisfying and productive life.

Read more.

Order today.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Sue Scheff: Bitten By The Business Bug - Teen Entrepreneur

"Bitten by the Business Bug: Common Sense Tips for Business and Life from a Teen Entrepreneur" is a practical approach to business and life with straightforward tips for kids and adults alike. It is the complete opposite to the negative, self-serving attitude of government and the corporate world that has been so prevalent in recent years. Success comes in many forms and is defined in many ways. Regardless of age, achieving success is not brain surgery or rocket science. It does not have to be complicated. Sometimes it just means simplifying things, getting back to the basics, and taking one step at a time.

At age nine, Jason O'Neill did not set out to become an entrepreneur but when an opportunity arose to make and sell a product for a craft fair, he jumped on it and Pencil Bugs were quickly born. As soon as Jason established his business, he realized the importance of giving back to his community. He continues to donate a portion of his proceeds to help other kids. Now fourteen, Jason has achieved what many people only dream of. Through short personal stories, Jason shares his values, creativity, strategies, and advice for those who have wondered, "Can I do it?" Whether you are a young entrepreneur, a high-level executive, or a parent looking for ideas to share with your family, this book is filled with many "ah-ha" moments. Doing nothing guarantees nothing. "Bitten by the Business Bug" is sure to inspire and motivate readers of any age. Try your ideas! You might surprise yourself.

Learn more about Jason O'Neill on his website  and read my interview with this teen businessman! Click here.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Sue Scheff: ASVAB - Career Exploration Program

The ASVAB was developed by the U.S. Department of Defense. The ASVAB Career Exploration Program was developed with input from a panel of career development experts and designed to encourage students to increase their level of self-knowledge and to understand how that information could be linked to civilian and military occupational characteristics.

The ASVAB Program recently was re-designed to be helpful to virtually all students, whether they are planning on immediate employment after high school in civilian or military occupations, or further education at a university, community college, or vocational institution.

Learn more at

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Sue Scheff: Fireworks over the Matanzas - An Event for the Entire Family

Like Christmas at Disney, fireworks in the Historic City of St. Augustine is an experience everyone should do at least once.

Here are some quick facts from the Historic City News:

Schedule for Sunday, July 4th:

6:00pm The All Star Orchestra in the Plaza de la Constitucion
Big Band Sounds with a Patriotic Flair, the All Star Orchestra, returns to the Plaza de la ConstituciĆ³n for a two-hour show filled with Big Band and Swing music along with all the traditional patriotic favorites. The performance runs from 6:00pm until 8:00pm. The concert is free and those attending should bring lounge chairs for seating.

9:30pm Fireworks Over The Matanzas

Stunning fireworks display over the Old City’s historic Bayfront and set to a stirring soundtrack of patriotic and popular favorites. The best vantage point for both sight and sound is between the Castillo de San Marcos National Monument and the Bridge of Lions. But if you can be there, take an AM radio with you wherever you go and share the experience with the help of WFOY/1240-AM’s simulcast.

Getting in, parking, and getting out:

Fireworks Over The Matanzas draws more people (an estimated 45,000+) and cars into the downtown area than any other single event all year long. A growing trend in recent years has been the use of bicycles by those who live close to downtown or carpooling with friends to minimize the number of cars in need of a place to park.

Rerouting of traffic will begin at 8:30pm and will include closing of the Temporary Bridge of Lions, Avenida Menendez and South Castillo Drive to all vehicular traffic to accommodate the vast number of pedestrians.

The best advice is to arrive early, explore the city, enjoy the show, and be patient during departure.

After the show…stay ‘n stroll

Each year more and more people are remaining downtown after the fireworks for dessert, to browse shops that have extended hours for the holiday or simply to enjoy the Old City.

Sticking around for a while has become the preferred alternative to sitting in traffic. Many have a late night sandwich, an ice cream cone or simply enjoy a leisurely stroll back to the car. Why not join the thousands who choose to stay ‘n stroll after the show.

Keep it Safe! Keep it legal!

Please remember two important safety rules that will be strictly enforced:
  • Alcohol is prohibited on public property, including parks, streets and sidewalks; and
  • Possession of fireworks that explode or leave the ground is illegal. Those found with such fireworks will be subject to citation or arrest and will have prohibited fireworks confiscated. The cost of the citation is $100.00.
Have a safe and exciting holiday with  your entire family!

Read more.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Sue Scheff: Fireworks Over the Matanzas - 4th of July in St. Augustine

Fireworks Over The Matanzas

St. Augustine’s Great July 4th Tradition Continues

6:00pm - The All Star Orchestra in Concert in the Plaza Gazebo
8:30pm - Traffic detours begin
9:30pm - Fireworks Over the Matanzas

Holidays are built around traditions and few holidays have more great family traditions than the Fourth of July: great food, outdoor band concerts, a day with friends and family, and of course, fireworks! They all come together in a grand celebration and there’s no better place to celebrate Independence Day than in the Nation’s Oldest City.

First, There’s Music

Starting at 6:00pm one of the region’s most popular big bands, The All Star Orchestra, returns to the Plaza de la ConstituciĆ³n for a two-hour show filled with Big Band and Swing music along with all the traditional patriotic favorites. The All Star Orchestra’s performance from the Plaza’s Gazebo runs from 6:00pm until 8:00pm. The concert is free and those attending should bring lounge chairs for seating.

Then there’s fireworks!

Fireworks over the Matanzas, the highlight of St. Augustine’s traditional July 4th activities has become synonymous with celebrating Independence Day in the Nation’s Oldest City. The spectacular aerial display of pyrotechnics high over Matanzas Bay begins at 9:30pm.

The 20-minute display is tightly choreographed to a stirring soundtrack of great popular music delivered over an extensive sound system transforming the entire Bayfront between the Castillo de San Marcos National Monument and the Bridge of Lions into a theatre of sight and sound.

Enjoy downtown after the show

Since July 4th falls on a Sunday this year, it is expected that many people will remain downtown at the conclusion of the show for a late dinner or to visit the shops that have learned the value of extended hours after the fireworks. Given the choice between spending time strolling downtown with friends and family or sitting in traffic wasting gas, more and more people are taking their time.

Source: City of St. Augustine

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Sue Scheff: Sorry!

By Trudy Ludwig
Illustrations by Maurie J. Manning

Have you noticed how apologizing has become almost a lost art these days? A great number of adults lately (not kids!) seem to have forgotten how–from government officials to movie stars to plagarizing authors to “poor-sport” athletes. And if the offender does give an apology, notice how it often sounds insincere?

How are kids going to learn this great skill unless we model it ourselves?

Rarely do children’s books model for young readers personal accountability and responsibility the way Sorry! does. Trudy’s thoughtful, one-of-a-kind story on the power of apology shows how a child can take ownership of a hurtful behavior and then right his or her wrong.

The story also offers invaluable life lessons on empathy and compassion to children (and adults) alike. Trudy’s story helps kids see from the other side — how their actions were hurtful and why they should make amends.

Pick up a copy! Use it in your classroom, Boys and Girls Club, or with your kids at home. It’s one of those perfect books you want to keep on your shelf for the perfect moment.

Review by Michele Borba, Parenting Expert