Thank you for taking the time to read this issue of Parents Guide of Las Vegas. As another summer in Las Vegas turns into fall, children are back in school. The challenges and rewards of teaching our children become more evident as the first report cards come home.
This year as my wife and I signed the Nevada State “Education Involvement Accord” for our children, I was impressed at the effort made by the Clark County School District to engage parents in the teaching process. Whether your child is in public school, private school or home school, the tenants of this document are applicable. In part here’s what it says:
I understand that as my child’s first teacher my participation in my child’s education will help his/her achievement. Therefore, to the best of my ability, I will continue to be involved in his/her education by:
• Reading to my child or encouraging my child to read;
• Being responsible for my child’s on-time attendance;
• Reviewing and checking my child’s homework;
• Monitoring the activities of my child, such as the amount of time spent watching television, using a computer, playing video games, etc.; and
• Communicating with my child’s teacher(s) regarding his/her progress, as needed.
Giving our children a lifelong love of learning begins at home. As good as the teachers are, and so many in Clark County are outstanding, nobody can care about a child’s education as much as their parents. Engaging our children and their teachers offers the best prospect for our children to learn. Remember as you are faced with helping your child with those long hours of homework that it really is worth it.
The best bit of parental wisdom I’ve hear in a while was recently given to an overwhelmed mother by a Grandfather who was on the back-end of raising his children. He said, “If you are trying you are doing”.
Keep up the good work.
by Harvey J. Simon, M.D
October is here and with it comes one of the favorite holidays for our children – Halloween. What is better than costumes and treats? While Halloween is great fun it also carries some risks. There are many ways to minimize the risks of trick-or-treating.
No child, regardless of age, should trick-or-treat by themselves. Your young children should always be accompanied by an adult or a responsible child. You should instruct your child to never enter someone’s home.
Costumes should be flame retardant. This will be indicated on the costume label. All children should wear a reflective strip on both sides of their clothing. Do not dress your children in any costumes which may make them trip and fall, such as those with clothing that reaches the ground or that use high heel shoes. Face masks should always have openings large enough for your child to breathe comfortably and to see easily. Instead of a mask you can decorate your child’s face with make-up. If your child’s costume includes a sword, spear or other pointy object, these should always be made of soft and flexible material.
Street safety is very important on Halloween. Your child’s route should be planned in advance. Your child should carry a flashlight at night. Your child should not walk between parked cars to cross the street. Your child should not walk near lit candles or luminaries. Your child should always walk on the sidewalk, not in the street or in unlit areas. Encourage your child to walk, not run. A responsible person should carry a cell phone.
It is best if your child can trick-or-treat at homes or apartments which have signed up to be available. Your child should not approach any house which is not lighted.
Your child may receive a lot of candy and other unhealthy snacks. Encourage your child to not eat a large quantity of these. You can help by feeding your child before they leave to trick-or-treat. If your children are young they should not eat anything before it is examined by you or another adult.
A favorite Halloween activity is carving pumpkins. This activity can create a risk of injury or fire. Your young children should not carve with a knife. They can draw a face on the pumpkin and you can do the carving. Older children can carve with a safety knife. A stable candle, such as a memorial candle, should be used if you are placing a candle in the pumpkin. Lit pumpkins should be placed in a stable position out of reach of young children and away from fire hazards.
Halloween is great fun for your children but remember to make it safe fun.
Further information can be obtained from the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (www.cpsc.gov), the Centers for Disease Control (www.cdc.gov) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (www.aap.org).
Harvey J. Simon, M.D., is the Chief Medical Director of Good Night Pediatrics, which provides pediatric urgent care every night of the year from 5 P.M. to 5 A.M.
By Dr. Sabra R. Smith
As adults, we rarely think about the importance of reading. Innately, automatically and oftentimes without thought, we read headlines of newspapers before picking them up to read entire articles, the written parts of commercials as they flash across the screen during one of our favorite TV shows, the selection of menu items at one of our most frequented restaurants, albeit we’ve read it several times before, and the green and white street signs as we aimlessly drive through unfamiliar neighborhoods. And that’s only the material we read automatically. What about those things we read intentionally like a good novel, an engaging non-fiction, reference, or business book, The Wall Street Journal or articles in a magazine?
As a literate society, reading is a must. British playwright and novelist, Henry Fielding, said it best when he said, “Read in order to live.” Whether you read out of necessity or passion, you can instill a love for reading in your children.
A child’s first exposure to books and reading should be fun, enriching and exciting and can be achieved in many ways like:
Listening to others read to them while looking at the colorful, picturesque pages of the book.
Watching enriched learning products like “Baby Einstein” and “Your Baby Can Read.”
Taking trips to the bookstore and/or library to pick out a book they would like to read.
Receiving books of interest, such as ones about puppies, cars, dolls, or their favorite cartoon character, as a birthday gift or Christmas present.
Children grow to understand the books being read to them when reading material and subsequent discussion evokes the five senses and provokes thought. For example, when reading a book about the lifecycle of butterflies, such as Eric Carle’s, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, children can be asked simple questions like: “When does the moon come out, at night or in the day?” or “What color is an apple?” With time, they can be asked more advanced questions like, “How do you feel when you’re hungry?” and “What day of the week did the very hungry caterpillar eat through three plums?”
After reading and answering relevant questions about the books they read, children can be further engaged in comprehending the material by watching a DVD animation of the book. Making stories come alive through puppetry or animation can add an additional element of fun and excitement to the reading process.
Repetition is also vital to developing the skill of reading and the subsequent love of books. As children read the same book over and over again, not only do they become more and more excited about the book but, they also begin to identify with the words and pictures on the pages, which allows them to take ownership of the reading process.
When early reading experiences are fun and engaging, children develop not only a need to read but a love for books and reading. In today’s information society, children will need to read in order to live.
Kidz Matter teamed with Lowery’s Multisport and Brandon’s ATA Academy to host the Run for L.I.F.E., a 5k race and 1 mile Fun Run, at The District Green Valley in Henderson on September 18. The event connected individuals, family members, and local businesses through a shared community experience dedicated to Leadership, Integrity, Fitness & Education (L.I.F.E.).
Nearly 500 individuals participated in the event by either running the 5K race, or walking the 1-mile course. Participation varied from avid racers to joggers to families with children in strollers – all joining together to promote L.I.F.E.
The Run for L.I.F.E was a fundraising event to support the H.U. Lee Memorial Foundation (HULF), which provides college scholarships to deserving students locally and across the country. The HULF also promotes educational opportunities to students who display qualities of community leadership. $1,500 was raised for the foundation, with 100% of the proceeds going directly to funding scholarships.
The success of the race was largely due to Lowery’s Multisport, which hosts multiple events each year. The team at Lowery’s handled all of the race coordination, organization, and management. To learn more about Lowery’s Multisport and to find out about their next event, visit them at www.lowerysmultisport.com
Brandon’s ATA Black Belt Academy in Henderson served as a prime race promoter and provided martial demonstrations throughout the event. Master Leland Brandon and his staff have been serving the community for over 20 years, and offer the top-rated family martial arts program in the valley. You can learn more about their programs at www.ATAVegas.com
As with most successful community events, sponsors play a vital role. Findlay Volkswagen was the key sponsor and hosted the registration event at their dealership in Henderson. Other sponsors included; City of Henderson Parks & Recreation and Healthy Henderson, Lowery’s Multisport Races, Brandon’s ATA Black Belt Academy, Nevada School of Massage Therapy, Escobar’s Jumpers, Eastside Cannery, Green Scene Productions, Performance Footwear, 3 Brothers Pizza, Rachel’s Kitchen, REI, Republic Services, Evergreen Recycling, Whole Foods, Bruno Group, and our host site, The District at Green Valley Ranch.
The race was another event hosted by Kidz Matter, a local company dedicated to developing and supporting positive programs for kids. Kidz Matter is all about making a difference for kids with a simple purpose – Empower kids by creating and supporting programs that teach life skills, health and fitness, child safety and leadership. They reach kids directly through their schools, activities and education materials; and indirectly as a resource for parents, educators and community organizations.
You can learn more about Kidz Matter at www.mykidzmatter.com