Bulletin Board

Honors for Jobs Well Done

Eleven-year-old Mason Park, a sixth-grader at Raleigh’s West Millbrook Middle School, has been honored along with 101 other youth volunteers from across the country as part of The 2007 Prudential Spirit of Community Awards. At a ceremony at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, Mason was recognized for his work over the last five years raising money for the American Diabetes Association, the American Heart Association and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

Mason’s volunteer efforts started with a local school walk when he was only 6. Since then he has raised nearly $48,000. He engages in several fund-raising campaigns a year, including car washes, lemonade sales, yard sales, can recycling and canvassing for donations. He has given speeches in front of audiences of up to 3,000 people and, one year, asked birthday party guests and Santa Claus to make donations rather than giving him gifts.

“It’s the greatest feeling in the world knowing that I am part of someone else’s success,” Mason said. “If everyone would take the time to help change someone’s life, the world would be a much better place filled with happiness and hope.”

Action for Children North Carolina also extended honors recently. Tom Lambeth was presented with the organization’s second annual North Carolina Children’s Lifetime Legacy Award at a ceremony in Chapel Hill.

Lambeth, a Clayton native and former executive director of the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation, was recognized for his tireless advocacy on behalf of children and youth throughout the state. Lambeth was founding chair of the National Center for Family Philanthropy’s board of directors. He is a member and former chair of the boards of the Public School Forum of North Carolina and of Leadership North Carolina, and Lambeth is a member of the board of the N.C. Community Colleges Foundation.

Packing Up

Whether moving houses or going on vacation, there’s always lots of packing going on during the summer.

If your children are among the 13 million who will move to a different home this year, a new book offers advice on ways to ease your family’s transition. “Moving With Kids” (The Harvard Common Press, $9.95) offers 25 tips for a smoother move, including:

•Empower your children to make as many decisions as possible.

•Use the move as a chance to reorganize.

•Don’t wait for new friends to come to you.

The book’s author, Lori Collins Burgan, is a social worker who moved five times in seven years with her family because of her husband’s career.

If you’re packing for a shorter trip, the Coin Laundry Association has some advice to keep your suitcase light.

•Coordinate your outfits around a single color theme so that you can mix and match clothes.

•Check the weather and pack only the most appropriate items.

•Pack one solid color sweater that matches almost every outfit and keeps you warm.

•Layer, layer, layer so you can leave your coat at home.

•Call ahead to your hotel to see if items such as robes, hairdryers and shampoo are available in your room.

•Save space by taking miniature toiletries and by packing socks and underwear inside your shoes.

•Locate a laundromat where you can wash your clothes so you can travel for two weeks but pack for one. Visit www.coinlaundry.org to locate a self-service coin laundry.

Never Leave Your Child Alone

Over the last nine years, 13 children have died from heat stroke after being left alone or becoming trapped in cars in North Carolina. The outside temperature was as low as 76 degrees at the time of these tragedies.

Safe Kids Worldwide and General Motors have created the Never Leave Your Child Alone campaign to educate families about the dangers kids face in hot vehicles. Even when it’s not that hot outside, the temperature in a car or truck can rise 19 degrees above the outside temperature in 10 minutes.

To avoid such tragedies, Safe Kids recommends:

•Teach children never to play in, on or around vehicles.

•Never leave a child unattended in a vehicle, even with a window slightly open.

•Always lock a vehicle’s doors and trunk, especially at home, and keep keys and remote entry devices out of children’s reach.

•Place something that you’ll need at your next sop, such as a purse or briefcase, on the floor of the backseat where your child is sitting — a simple act that could help prevent you from accidentally forgetting your child.

Support for Those Who Love Children with Special Needs

Two North Carolina authors have recently released books about living with siblings who have autism.

At only age 10, Sam Frender has published “Brotherly Feelings: Me, My Emotions and My Brother with Asperger’s Syndrome” (Jessica Kingsley Publishers, $14.95). Written with his mom, Robin Schiffmiller, when he was 8 years old, it describes the Raleigh-area boy’s different feelings toward his older brother, Eric.

Anne Clinard Barnhill, of Dunn, has written “At Home in the Land of Oz: My Sister, Autism and Me” (Jessica Kingsley Publishers, $17.95). When Barnhill and her sister were growing up in the 1960s, autism was rarely diagnosed. Her sister Becky was considered emotionally disturbed and was not properly recognized as autistic until she was 37.

The authors will appear together at two Triangle book signings, at 2 p.m. July 22 at McIntyre’s Fine Books in Fearrington Village and at 7 p.m. Aug.14 at the Barnes & Noble, 760 S.E. Maynard Rd., Cary.

For parents of a child with special needs, Debbie Feit has created a Web site that offers support, resources and humor. Feit, herself a parent whose children have special needs, started the virtual community www.ourspecialkids.com because “parents have needs, too.”

The site features book reviews, profiles of people making a difference and articles on topics like choosing a summer camp, all with a focus on the special needs community.

Virtually High School

Whether your child needs a class their high school doesn’t offer or a second chance at a class their high school does offer, the launch of the North Carolina Virtual Public School is good news for you.

As part of the state’s progress toward 21st-century learning, the program began offering online summer classes in June, and registration for fall semester classes is underway.

The 90 courses offered to middle and high school students range from basic graduation requirements to rigorous accelerated courses. All classes are certified to align with state standards and to meet expectation for quality and academic integrity. Classes are free to students, who may participate by way of computers at home or at school.

For more information or to register for a class, visit www.ncvps.org.

Baby Love

Several new books for new parents or soon-to-be new parents aim to make the job easier or sweeter.

A book from one of the What to Expect gurus is meant to help track and organize all of the information that comes with being pregnant. “The What to Expect Pregnancy Journal and Organizer” (Workman Publishing, $12.95) offers space to record thoughts, emotions and cravings as well as the results of prenatal tests and notes from visits to hospitals and birthing centers. There are places for pictures, possible baby name combinations and a list of who gets those first calls after the baby arrives.

For moms faced with bed rest, whether pregnancy-related or otherwise, Annette Rivlin-Gutman has written “Mommy Has to Stay in Bed” (BookSurge LLC, $15.95). Based on her experiences when confined to the bed while pregnant with her second child, Rivlin-Gutman lacked resources to entertain her older daughter. That experience inspired her to write her book in the hope of providing encouragement to families in similar situations.

No one can resist a picture of a baby, so photographer Karen Henrich has captured a bunch of them in a book that is helping raise money for the Moment by Moment Foundation. Proceeds from the sale of “The Wonder of Babies: The World Through the Eyes of a Child” (Cumberland House, $14.95) help the foundation provide free portraits to families of children with life-limiting illnesses.

Almost 60 professional photographers donate their time to the organization, which Henrich founded in 2005. The book features pictures of healthy children with quotes like the Chinese proverb, “There’s only one pretty child in the world, and every mother has it.”

If you’re really stumped by this whole baby thing, then The Baby Owner’s Starter Kit (Quirk Books, $24.95) might be what’s needed. Neatly self-contained in its own box, the kit includes “The Baby Owner’s Manual” with helpful tips like “installing’ a diaper and “configuring the baby’s nursery.” It also offers serious advice on things like CPR. The kit also contains a pad for leaving the sitter notes, stickers to mark important milestones and a growth chart.

Coloring Contest Winners

Congratulations to these winners from our May coloring contest. For their hard work, they enjoyed four tickets to Sesame Street Live:
Jonathan Vasquez, 6, Durham
Lauren Lane, 4, Zebulon
Hannah Davis, 4, Raleigh
Mara Bryan, 3, Knightdale
Kyle Reardon, Clayton