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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

An Unimaginable Act by Erin Merryn

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"An Unimaginable Act is a wake-up call to society on a silent epidemic one brave confident woman refuses to stay silent about. Through the trauma and obstacles she has faced in her life, Erin takes readers on a remarkable journey of resilience, faith, courage, and forgiveness. She shares how she turned tragedy into triumph, which has led her on an unstoppable crusade to give children the voice she never had as a child through a very important law that will protect children for generations to come."- Actress Julianna Margulies 

By Sharing her personal struggles through the pain she has suffered at the hands of her perpetrators, author Erin Merryn proves that one person can make a difference. Simply by speaking out and bringing the subject of child sexual abuse to the forefront, she has created a wave of change.

An Unimaginable Act follows Erin on a remarkable journey in rousing America from its dormant stance on sexual-abuse education through her self-proposed mandate known as Erin's Law. This thought-provoking book serves as an extension of this law by providing victims, parents, families, and educators with the knowledge they need to stop and prevent this silent epidemic.

Inside you will find


*A list of key organizations that offer essential support for victims and caregivers
*Crucial warning signs that an abused child might display
*Seven steps to protecting children (Darkness to Light)
* Recommended reading to aid in healing

Erin recounts how she suffered in silence as a childhood victim of rape and molestation, and her struggles with a rare brain disorder. Bravely, she rebuilt her life through sheer determination, faith in God, and using positive outlets. Finding her voice at last. She transformed herself from a struggling frail victim to the 2012 Glamour Magazine Woman of the Year. Her ongoing mission to assure the passing of Erin's Law in all fifty states has garnered her the attention of politicians and celebrities across the nation.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Kindr: The App that Pays It Forward with Kindness

It's Bullying Prevention Month and a perfect time to download a FREE app that brings kindness into your daily life!

Recently I was thrilled to be able to ask Matt Ivester, the creator of Kindr, this amazing app, a few questions about this latest creation:

1.  What is Kindr, and what inspired its creation?

Kindr is an iPhone app that makes it fun and easy to send compliments to friends and family.  The compliments range from range from hilarious to light-hearted to sentimental. “You’d have a real shot at winning America’s Next Top Instagrammer, if that were a thing,” and “You always pick the best songs when riding shotgun” are two of my personal favorites.

Also, through a partnership with the Huffington Post, the app also provides a “Good News” feed featuring the inspiring acts of kindness that take place all over the world.

The inspiration for Kindr really came from thinking about cyberbullying, and asking ourselves “What’s the opposite of cyberbullying?”

We think the answer is kindness, and we’re excited about using the same technology that has enabled cyberbullying to become so pervasive to now make kindness go viral.

2. Your press release describes Kindr as “a technology company dedicated to making the world a kinder place.” Creating a kinder world is a very ambitious goal. Aside from creating the app, how do you envision making that happen?


At this point, we’re not sure what will come after the app. But our work with the app is far from over.  Building version one was the easy part.  In order to actually achieve our goal of making the world a kinder place, we’ve got to get a lot of people using the app.  We’ve got to get feedback from our users about what aspects they like and which could be better.  We’ve got to make it work outside the US.  And we’ve got to make it super viral.  We’ve had tens of thousands of compliments sent in just the first couple weeks here, but we want millions.  So for now we’re going to keep fine tuning it, listening to our users, and thinking up new ways to facilitate kindness through the app.


3. Increasing kindness online is obviously important to you. Some would say that compassion is even more important. Do kindness and compassion mean the same thing to you?


Kindness and compassion are certainly closely related, but to me they aren’t the same.  Compassion is the ability to empathize with others, understand that we all fall short sometimes, and that bad things can happen to good people.  Compassion is the emotion we feel when we see someone who needs our help.  Kindness is the action part that follows compassion – it’s what we do in reaction to that emotion.

That said, I’m a big believer in everyday kindness.  We don’t need a reason to be kind.  Sometimes the best kindness is kindness for its own sake.  There’s a great video called This is Water, which is derived from a commencement speech by David Foster Wallace.  You’d have to watch it to really understand, but basically, it likens fish swimming in water to us living our lives.  It points out that our “water” is made up of all the everyday situations we encounter like grocery shopping, waiting in line, driving in traffic, etc.  Kindr isn’t about any particular event, group of people, or period of time, that triggers compassion in us and leads to kindness. Instead, it’s about making every day better – to make the water a little more enjoyable to swim in.

4. Kindr is currently an iPhone app. Will you be creating a version for other platforms as well?
We would love to have an Android app (and Blackberry and Windows apps, too).  But with such a small team it just wasn’t feasible for launch.  It would be great if some big company heard about Kindr and offered some help to get us up on those platforms.  Barring that though, it will probably be a few months before we are available on any other platforms. It’s definitely a high priority for us, and in the meantime, everyone can always read the compliments sent to them, regardless of platform.

Order today!
Thanks Matt!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

National Bullying Prevention Month: STAND the Anthem - willUstand




The music video for Stand the Anthem united youth across 17 states & 6 countries. Performed by Charleigh and Justin Gere "Stand" http://www.willustand.com Help us share the message of Stand with schools all across the nation and worldwide during October's National Bullying Prevention Month. Use hashtags #willUstand and #StandtheAnthem, please share generously.

Our hope is to get Stand the Anthem screened in schools nationwide. You can help us with this goal by sharing the video using hashtags #willUstand and #StandTheAnthem

Visit www.willustand.com.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

The 5 W's of Special Education

We all have certain inalienable rights, help represent your child, even if they’re different. The 5W's Of Special Education
Source: Special-Education-Degree.net

The 5 ‘W’s of special ed

Or, why special needs treatment is a right.

Who?
People…
Of households with children
23% Have a special needs child
77% do not.[1]

Make that a lot of people…

That’s 11.2 million children with the following disabilities:[1]

In the Following Categories:
1.) Physical– Muscular Dystrophy, Multiple Sclerosis, Chronic Asthma, Epilepsy, etc.
2.) Developmental–Down syndrome, Autism, Dyslexia, Processing Disorders.
3.) Behavioral/Emotional–ADD, Bipolarism, Oppositional Defiance Disorder
4.) Sensory impaired–Blind, Visually Impaired, Deaf, Limited Hearing.
5.) Other health impaired–A child whose strength, endurance, or stamina cannot keep up with school activities.

What?

Deserving equal opportunity
Requiring the following treatments:[1]
76% Prescription Meds
42.1% Extra Services
31.8% Emotional, Behavioral, Developmental therapies
23.5% A limitation in what the child can achieve
21.5% Physical, Occupational, or Speech therapies
With most special needs children included in normal classroom activities, just with a few accommodations.
38.5% Daily activities moderately affected some of the time[1]
27.1%Daily Activities consistently affected a great deal
34.4% Daily Activities never affected

When?

When everyone needs help. WHEN THEY’RE CHILDREN.

Identifying Developmental Delays is KEY:
Check for:
Motor skills
Sensory and Thinking Skills
Language and Social Skills
At 3,6,12,and 24 months

Early detection and intervention is A MUST because:

Lesser deviation from normal child behavior
Brain Plasticity is greater when younger

Where?
Diagnosis: Doctors, Psychologists, Teachers, School Nurses, Therapists
[% health providers who notified parents as to their child's condition]
7.9% Psychiatrist
8.7% Multidisciplinary Team
12.4% Neurologist
14.7% Developmental or Specialist Pediatrician
18.3% Other Health provider
18.5% Psychologist/school psychologist
19.5% Generalist
Essentially: School, specialists, support groups, conferences, consultations, therapists.

Why?
1.) (1776)Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
2.) (1973)Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act:
–Prohibits schools from discriminating against children with disabilities.
–Requires schools to provide accommodations for disabled students.
–Students with impairments that substantially limit a major life activity can qualify as disabled (learning and social development deficits too).
3.) (1990)The IDEA Act (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act):
–Students with disabilities must be prepared for further education, employment, and independent living.
–If a child’s strength, endurance, or stamina cannot keep up with school activities, they can qualify for “other health impaired” special education status.
4.) (1990)Americans with Disabilities Act(ADA):
–Schools must meet the needs of children with psychiatric problems.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

National Bullying Prevention Month: How Cyber-Gossip Can Lead to Bullying

In today’s internet age, gossip can be spread at lightning speed to hundreds, thousands or millions of people. The new “party line” is cyberspace where millions of people can all access the same information instantaneously. Just get on your computer, iphone, ipad or blackberry and let the rumors fly.

Here are 10 ways people (including kids) can us new technology to rapidly spread gossip in (in no particular order).
  1. Email – One way to spread a rumor quickly is to send an email to all the contacts in your account, except the one the rumor is about, of course. Then they can forward it to all their contacts and on it goes from there. You better hope they delete your name when they forward it, or you might get blamed for starting it.
  2. Facebook – Post your gossip on facebook and all your friends will know about it instantly. If they “like” it, comment on it or repost it, all their friends will see it too. Pretty soon you’ve got the rumor spreading quickly.
  3. Myspace – Another social networking sight great for gossiping is Myspace. Post that rumor on a bulletin or your group’s message board and watch it spread like wildfire.
  4. Twitter – You can tweet a rumor and all your Twitter followers will know your juicy gossip in 140 characters or less. They can re-tweet it to all their followers and in no time the gossip is flying through cyberspace.
  5. Blogs – Some people love to spread gossip through their blogs. Even unintentional rumors are sometimes started by bloggers.
  6. Website – You won’t believe some of the stuff you find posted on websites, and you shouldn’t either. There are whole websites put on the web just for the purpose of spreading misinformation. Always remember to check their sources.
  7. YouTube – If you have a registered YouTube account you can upload an unlimited number of videos. If you have a video of someone doing something dubious, this is the best way to spread that rumor to millions of viewers.
  8. Comments – A great way to anonymously spread gossip is to post a comment on a website, blog or YouTube video. You can log in under an assumed username and say all kinds of outrageous things without revealing your identity.
  9. Chat rooms – Another anonymous way to spread rumors are internet chat rooms. You can start with an offhand comment and embellish it as you go.
  10. Texting – If you see or hear something juicy to gossip about, you can send a text message to all your friends. That will get the thumbs flying as the rumor gets spread.
The new social media available has taken gossiping to a whole new level. Unfortunately this can lead to cyber bullying and be very traumatizing to vulnerable people. Celebrities and politicians are easy targets for internet gossip and careers are ruined by unintended tweets. Everyone should use the new technology responsibly, but many abuse their newfound privileges. Be careful what you put out into cyberspace or it may come back to haunt you and always check the sources of what you see or read. Chances are it’s just more cyber-gossip.

Source: Internet Providers
Be an educated parent, you will have safer teens.

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Thursday, October 3, 2013

Technology Being Used for Good

Stories about young people doing good things online rarely make headlines.

So, to showcase some of that good, a Platform for Good an infographic highlighting the amazing ways Millennials are using technology to make a difference.

Are Millennials Using Technology for Good?
By Christian Brink 

Christian is the Project Assistant at the Family Online Safety Institute. As a believer in technology as a tool for positive change, he hopes to empower parents, teachers, and teens with the resources they need to responsibly navigate the digital world and make a difference.

 Infographic credit Platform for Good

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

National Bullying Prevention Month

Charleigh and Justin Gere "Stand" http://www.willustand.com Help this message reach schools all across the nation and worldwide during October's National Bullying Prevention Month. Using hashtags #willUstand and #StandtheAnthem, please share generously.