check out our
MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2010
CELL PHONE SAFETY
Exercise Your Parental Controls CAMPAIGN KICKOFF
Keep it in the Ring A PARENT’S PERSPECTIVE
BROUGHT TO YOU BY
How to Save a Life
Discipline. Honor. Respect.
MMA is about the competition not fighting out of anger. MMA is a potentially dangerous sport; preparation, safety and conditioning are essential. Honor your family by talking to your kids about keeping violence off the street.
4 6 10 16
CELL PHONE SAFETY
Exercise Your Parental Controls CAMPAIGN KICKOFF
Keep it in the Ring A PARENT’S PERSPECTIVE
How to Save a Life
BROUGHT TO YOU BY
COVER PHOTO BY Wandering Albatross Photography
2 From the Director 9 Faces in the Crowd 12 Assets in Action 14 5 Under $3.00 15 By the Numbers 18 Q&A 19 For the Love of Reading 20 Media Literacy 22 Donate Your Bikes 23 Important Dates 24 All Around the School PRODUCED IN CONJUNCTION WITH
TO ADVERTISE call (406) 285-1274 TO CONTRIBUTE call (406) 324-1032
director elena Youth Connections has been in existence for nearly ten years empowering youth and promoting positive youth development. We have been
successful in creating a coalition structure where substance abuse and violence among youth are
addressed through a comprehensive approach to include six prevention strategies: building awareness, educating,
For Tickets Call (406) 442-1860 o r v i s i t w w w. h e l e n a s y m p h o n y. o r g
collaborating, identifying and referring, providing pro-social activities and changing policies and practices. Recently, the Helena community was awarded $5.3 million to fortify and expand these efforts. Youth Connections in partnership
Happy Holidays! Honor your favorite teacher and support public education with a donation to the Helena Education Foundation.
with the Safe Schools Healthy Students Initiative have identified system and service needs in the areas of violence, substance abuse, social/emotional health, mental heath and early childhood. Through this collaborative effort we will begin to see many positive impacts for families and youth in our community. With support and participation from various community partners, there will be less violence and substance abuse, an increase in pro-social behaviors, more students receiving the help they need and children 0-5 years will be prepared to start school. To learn more about Youth Connections and the Safe Schools Healthy Students Initiative or to get involved, please contact our office at 324-1032.
hefmt.org â€˘ 406.443.2545
DRENDA CARLSON, Director email: email@example.com phone: (406) 324-1032 Helena Middle School, Room 210
local shop local
S D E I F I S S A L C S D A T N E M Y O L EMP G N I T S I L T N E V E about l l a ’s it t a h w e Se
m o c . a n e l e H l a BeLoc
-owned, d supporting locally an g in ot om pr t ou be local is all ab hard-earned money ur yo g in ak m t ou ab sses. It’s eserve the independent busine y and helping to pr om on ec l ca lo e th g r details. go further, fuelin ity. Call 285-1274 fo un m m co r ou of r unique characte
fan ‘be local’ on
call us for a
free decal |
parental controls By Paul Oâ€™Reilly, www.theonlinemom.com
If you decide your child is ready for a cell phone, then you might want to investigate some of the parental controls that are now commonly available. ll the main cellular providers have various levels and types of parental controls. Usually, some kind of family plan is necessary but this is not always the case. Parental controls for cell phones fall into three distinct categories:
Content filters These allow parents to set filters for what multimedia content their children can download to their phones. While content filters are more important for smartphones with full web access and video download capability, most cell phones now have some kind of browser. However, parents should be aware that content filters are not foolproof and inappropriate content can also be received via text, IM or e-mail.
AT&T’s main parental control product is AT&T Smart Limits for Wireless which allows parents to set limits on the number of text and instant messages; the dollar amount of downloadable purchases (ringtones, etc.); the amount, if any, of web browsing; the times of day the phone can be used; who can call or be called (blocking); and the type of content that can be accessed. With the usage controls, the child receives a warning notification as pre-agreed limits are approached. Once a limit is reached, that particular service will be suspended until the next billing cycle. One drawback with Smart Limits is that you can’t restrict the overall number of minutes, just the volume of calls, which might be a problem with talkative teenagers! Smart Limits works with any active AT&T post-paid plan and costs $4.99 per month per line.
Sprint’s parental controls are less developed and there is no complete package of controls that can be accessed online. Instead, selective blocking features for incoming calls, text messages and content purchases are managed through a user’s My Sprint account. Parents are also able to restrict incoming and outgoing calls and prohibit the use of the camera through programming the phone itself. Internet access can be managed online or on the phone. Sprint Family Locator allows parents to track the whereabouts of a child’s location through GPS systems. The service includes notifications on specific days and at precise times, and the ability to send text messages from your phone or via the web. Sprint Family Locator costs $5 per month per family, which covers up to four locatable phones.
Usage controls Usage controls put the parent in charge of a child’s cell phone usage, regulating the number of calls and text messages. They can also block certain numbers or restrict outgoing calls to a pre-approved list, and even disable the phone during certain times of day, like school hours or after 9 pm.
Location and monitoring controls These can be used to monitor a child’s whereabouts through built-in GPS systems. Some systems can even send alerts when a child’s cell phone moves out of a pre-agreed zone or range. Don’t forget to remind your child that owning or using a cell phone is a privilege not a right, and continued use depends entirely on their being able to demonstrate responsible behavior. As long as you are paying the bills, you are entitled to call the shots! ■
DID YOU KNOW?
Ants stretch when they wake up in the morning.
Verizon has by far the most comprehensive menu of parental controls, which are organized along the lines of the three main categories listed to the left. Their usage controls and content filters put the parent in complete control of when and how their child’s phone is used, even syncing the filters with their custom services like V CAST Music and Video. The Verizon usage controls allow you to set limits for the volume of both minutes and messages during a billing cycle, as well as restricting the times the phone can be used. Full blocking services are also available. Verizon offers age-appropriate filters for multimedia content, with options for 7+, 13+ and 17+ age groups. Usage controls are $4.99 per month per line, while the content filters are free. Verizon also offers Chaperone, a highly sophisticated tracking and monitoring service. Chaperone costs $9.99 for monthly access and requires a compatible phone.
Scientists say that Einstein’s brain was 15% wider than the average human brain.
More people use blue toothbrushes than red ones.
f f o k c i k n g i a p cam
During the Montana Prevention Needs Assessment administered to a random population of 8th, 10th and 12th graders in the Helena School District, students were asked:
Do you think it’s ok to try out fighting moves (e.g., those seen on Ultimate Fighting or WWF) with other kids?
32.0% said “it’s never ok” 31.0% said “it’s usually not ok” 26.8% said “it’s sometimes ok” 10.2% said “it’s always ok” 6
outh Connections, in collaboration with the Safe Schools Healthy Students Initiative, have partnered with Bret Hamlin, a mixed martial arts (MMA) instructor, to send a message of discipline, honor and respect to keep teen violence off the streets with their Keep It in the Ring campaign. This sixmonth campaign kicked off on October 30. Hamlin explains, “I am fully invested in seeing teen violence in our community decrease. It’s important for parents to be talking to their kids about the difference between the structure and safety of MMA and creating their own violent fights on the street.” Hamlin is known in the Helena community for being a person who embodies his message of discipline, honor and respect. He demands these same characteristics in his fighters as well. The Keep it in the Ring campaign will be present at The Quarry Bar and Grill. Tracy Moseman of Safe Schools Healthy Students Initiative is excited: “We appreciate The Quarry’s full support to encourage parents and young people to talk about the differences between street fighting and what professional MMA fighters are doing in the ring.” ■
For more information or to get involved with our violence prevention efforts, please contact Jessica Peterson at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (406) 465-6214.
here’s a new drug trend among youth that parents should be aware of – an herbal and chemical product that mimics the effects of marijuana. It’s best known by the brand names K2 or Spice, and some are referring to it as herbal incense or “fake weed.” This drug is a combination of herbs and spices that have been sprayed with several synthetic chemicals that mimic the effects of marijuana. It creates an unpredictable “high” depending on the chemicals. Emergency rooms are seeing kids who have used this drug presenting with racing hearts, blood pressure problems, vomiting, hallucinations, paranoia and anxiety – not typical side effects of marijuana. ■
Memorial Park Warming House & Ice Rink
The youngest pope was 11 years old.
DID YOU KNOW?
PUT ON YOUR
Operates December 22–February 18
• Warming house open during Winter Break, weekends, and some holidays. • High school-aged broomball pick up games 7 - 8 PM / Fridays / Dec 3–February 18 • Closed Christmas Day / Closes Early Christmas Eve • 50¢ Fridays starting December 31 • Call 447-8077 for more information
Q is the only letter in the alphabet that does not appear in the name of any of the United States.
Fortune cookies were actually invented in America, in 1918, by Charles Jung.
Creating beautiful smiles for patients of all ages BEFORE
ABOVE: Actual Patients of Jackson Orthodontics
We make orthodonitcs comfortable and fun!
Advanced technology braces for children and adults
» Interest-free payment plans, insurance accepted « » Ask us about Invisalign and invisible braces «
442-1899 301 Saddle Dr, Ste A www.helenabraces.com
Check out who’s standing out in our community.
FACES IN THE CROWD Shaina Silvonen
Four Georgians Elementary Shaina always includes others and helps others in need. She is sensitive to all peers especially those with learning disabilities. She cares and is very empathetic. Shaina asks to read to a student in kindergarten and buddy with a student who cannot speak. She always stops to help others in class and out of class. (Nominated by: Ms. Jones)
East Helena Rodeo Association Positive changes were made this past summer at the East Helena Rodeo in order to support a more family friendly environment. During the junior barrel racing, the beer barrels were removed and replaced with Pepsi barrels, and they made announcements throughout the rodeo to encourage participation in ongoing positive activities.
IS THERE SOMEONE YOU’D LIKE TO NOMINATE? Please email email@example.com and tell us why this individual has stood out in your crowd.
Jordan is a caring and kind student who always is looking out for others. It is not unusual for him to point out that someone in our class is being left out, may need a band-aid, or some words of encouragement. It is uncommon for a 2nd grade student to have a sense of social justice, but Jordan does. He is aware of inequalities for all students in our class. (Nominated by: Ms. Hatthorn, 2nd grade teacher)
HELENA HIGH SCHOOL PROJECT SUCCESS COUNSELOR Holly is one of four Project Success Counselors located at each of our high schools and middle schools. Holly is helping the Youth Connection team as an adult advisor for the “Find Your Spot” social norming campaign targeted at teen marijuana use. Also, she is advising and traveling with three Helena High students to the Youth Leadership Institute in Washington, D.C., February 2011.
director of youth life Ben exemplifies how a single caring and dedicated adult can positively impact the lives of young people in Helena. Between Build A Bridge and Young Life high school programs, Ben shares his passions and high spirits with hundreds of teens. Ben helps teens consider the direction of their lives, and offer hope for their future. He loves crazy, fun art therapy and service projects, and he enjoys lasting friendships with the young people he works with.
A PARENT’S PERSPECTIVE
G N I Y L L U B By Helena Mom of Two
ullying is aggressive, persistent, and intentional behavior involving an imbalance of power or strength. For a young child or teen who is bullied, it robs them of self-esteem, innocence, confidence, self-worth, and equal access to a full education. As a parent of two children, both targets of bullying, I have learned a lot about this topic by doing my own research, talking to teachers and administrators, supporting my children, not losing faith in my belief in the power of kindness, and never giving up. Much has been written about the targets of bullying, but I believe not enough is focused on the bully. Preventing bullying is a community effort where schools, parents and students each play a vital role. Parents must teach tolerance and respect at home. Schools should continue teaching early and often that bullying behavior is a violation of students' civil and human rights. Bullying is not a right of passage. Bullying is abuse. Pay attention to kids’ behavior and take steps to ensure they are not violating others' rights to a safe and healthy community and school environment. ■
some observations that may hint of potential bullying behavior Talking negatively about other students when with friends. Jokes and comments that degrade or ridicule minority groups, the opposite gender, or students who are different. Children or teens that aren’t being taught at home to respect others.
Creating Smiles for Over 25 Years Orthodontics for children and adults Regular or invisible braces Accepting new patients Member of American Association of Orthodontics
Timothy C. Ballweber, D.D.S., M.S. 905 Helena Ave 449-5576 drtimballweber.com
Personalities that lack compassion or empathy for others. Aggression combined with intolerance of people that are different. Children and teens who view themselves as physically attractive and popular with an over-emphasis on these attributes. A pressure to overachieve. Competitive sports combined with an obsession with winning.
A target of bullying with low selfesteem can become a bully out of fear of being bullied themselves.
P M a C ganIzatIoncisng r o H t u o Y t n e Dan 3 DIffer ity Ballet • Image
• Queen C
0 3-5, 9am-11am, $5 MInI CaMp: ages , $75 18, 11am-2:30pm 6es ag : p M a C senIor y rve your spot toda se re so d ite lim is Space 1840 or 439-2605 Call Denny at 442-
assets in action 15
40 DEVELOPMENTAL ASSETS
external assets Support
1. Family support: Family life provides high levels of love and support. 2. Positive family communication: Young person and her or his parent(s) communicate positively, and young person is willing to seek advice and counsel from parent(s). 3. Other adult relationships: Young person receives support from three or more nonparent adults. 4. Caring neighborhood: Young person experiences caring neighbors. 5. Caring school climate: School provides a caring, encouraging environment. 6. Parent involvement in school: Parent(s) are actively involved in helping young person succeed in school.
7. Community values youth: Young person perceives that adults in the community value youth. 8. Youth as resources: Young people are given useful roles in the community. 9. Service to others: Young person serves in the community one hour or more per week. 10. Safety: Young person feels safe at home, at school, and in the neighborhood.
Boundaries & Expectations
11. Family boundaries: Family has clear rules and consequences and monitors the young person’s whereabouts. 12. School boundaries: School provides clear rules and consequences. 13. Neighborhood boundaries: Neighbors take responsibility for monitoring young people’s behavior. 14. Adult role models: Parent(s) and other adults model positive, responsible behavior. 15. Positive peer influence: Young person’s best friends model responsible behavior. 16. High expectations: Both parent(s) and teachers encourage the young person to do well.
Constructive Use of Time
17. Creative activities: Young person spends three or more hours per week in lessons or practice in music, theater, or other arts. 18. Youth programs: Young person spends three or more hours per week in sports, clubs, or organizations at school and/or in the community. 19. Religious community: Young person spends one or more hours per week in activities in a religious institution. 20. Time at home: Young person is out with friends “with nothing special to do” two or fewer nights per week.
If you or your child would like to submit a picture that represents one of the 40 Developmental Assets, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with a picture and the number of the asset the picture represents.
Not all pictures are guaranteed publication.
internal assets Commitment to Learning
21. Achievement motivation: Young person is motivated to do well in school. 22. School engagement: Young person is actively engaged in learning. 23. Homework: Young person reports doing at least one hour of homework every school day. 24. Bonding to school: Young person cares about her or his school. 25. Reading for pleasure: Young person reads for pleasure three or more hours per week.
26. Caring—Young person places high value on helping other people. 27. Equality and social justice—Young person places high value on promoting equality and reducing hunger and poverty. 28. Integrity—Young person acts on convictions and stands up for her or his beliefs. 29. Honesty: Young person “tells the truth even when it is not easy.” 30. Responsibility: Young person accepts and takes personal responsibility. 31. Restraint: Young person believes it is important not to be sexually active or to use alcohol or other drugs.
32. Planning and decision making: Young person knows how to plan ahead and make choices. 33. Interpersonal competence: Young person has empathy, sensitivity, and friendship skills. 34. Cultural competence: Young person has knowledge of and comfort with people of different cultural/racial/ethnic backgrounds. 35. Resistance skills: Young person can resist negative peer pressure and dangerous situations. 36. Peaceful conflict resolution: Young person seeks to resolve conflict nonviolently.
37. Personal power: Young person feels he or she has control over “things that happen to me.” 38. Self-esteem: Young person reports having a high self-esteem. 39. Sense of purpose: Young person reports that “my life has a purpose.” 40. Positive view of personal future: Young person is optimistic about her or his personal future.
5 $3.00 under
your Drop off
ES USED BIK ng
i ky Cycl to Big S
FOR KIDS IN NEED 801 N Last Chance Gulch 442-4644 www.bigskybikes.com
THE PLACE: Costco THE EATS: Quarter Lb Hotdog + Soda THE PRICETAG: $1.50
be green. save green.
Shop at Pipsqueak this holiday season. • Carriers • Cloth diapers • High-quality,
pre-loved toys Put a little “squeak” under the tree 443-PIPS (7477) 639 Helena Ave, Ste C pipsqueakhelena.com
THE PLACE: The Bagel Co. THE EATS: Pizza bagel THE PRICETAG: $3.00 THE PLACE: RB Drive In THE EATS: Hamburger with mustard, ketchup, pickles THE PRICETAG: $2.65 THE PLACE: Great Harvest Bread Company THE EATS: Cup of soup THE PRICETAG: $1.75 THE PLACE: Steffano’s THE EATS: 1/4 Veggie Sandwich THE PRICETAG: $2.85
Dec: Blue Topaz Nov: Citrine
December Feature Sept: Sapphire
Number of recorded volunteers within the Helena School District in 2009/10, and of those, 113 of them were students, reporting more than 1651 hours of volunteer hours.
Mar: Emerald June: Pearl
Approximate number of youth suicides each day in the United States.
Percentage of Montana students (grades 9-12) who report wearing their seat belt regularly.
Percentage of parents who report they do not drink at all.
blue topaz earrings
S e e u S F o r m o n t h ly S p e c i a l S
601 Euclid Ave Helena 449.5657 imaginedesignsmt.com
SHD ir yth cn 510
A history of caring. Commitment to the future.
â€˘ Residential and acute psychiatric care for children and adolescents
Amount per year the alcohol industry receives from underage drinking.
â€˘ Clinical and laboratory medical genetic services for people of all ages
Additional number of hours of television that youth 8-18 years old will watch each day by having a TV in their bedroom.
Caring for Montanans since 1896
Percentage of middle and high school students (grades 7-12) in the Helena School District who skip school because they did not feel safe (in school or on the way to or from school).
(406) 444-7500 1-800-447-6614 2755 Colonial Drive Helena, MT 59601
By Karl Rosston, Montana Suicide Prevention Coordinator
how to save a life Know the Signs of Suicide and What to Ask Every two hours, a person under the age of 25 completes suicide in the United States.
Ryan vanluchen, 1979-1987
Montana is ranked number two in the nation for suicides for youth 10-24 years old.
uicide is a serious public health matter that may affect many of us in our lifetime. In order to help prevent future losses, we must be willing to talk about what is very difficult for many. Thoughts of suicide are dangerous. All persons with thoughts of suicide should be taken seriously. While thinking about suicide may be difficult if not impossible to prevent, preventing thoughts of suicide from moving to suicidal actions is possible. Almost all persons at risk actively invite help and keep within them the desire to live. All forms of help-seeking about suicide need to be encouraged. A decision to live is far more likely when a person at risk can make it in the company of a helper who is comfortable talking about suicide. The simple and yet profound first approach to any person at risk should be, “Let’s talk.” We need everyone, working together, to bring an end to the long history of youth suicides in our communities. The first step is to know the warning signs. Second is to ask the question, “Are you thinking of suicide?” And third, connect the person with professional help. It’s simple, and we can all play a part in saving a life of a family member, friend, neighbor, co-worker or stranger. ■
406-439-8748 / 800 E 6th Ave / Helena
have the conversation learn how at ryanunited.org Ryan United is a 501 ( c ) 3 Non-profit Organization
know the warning signs • Abrupt change in personality
• Uncharacteristic theft or vandalism
• Giving away prized possessions
• Flat affect or depressed mood
• Previous suicide attempts
• Exaggerated or extended apathy
• Increase in drug or alcohol use
• Complaints of being bored
• Eating disturbance, either weight gain or loss
• Carelessness or increase in accidents
• Sleep disturbance, either too much or too little • Inability to tolerate frustration • Withdrawal and rebelliousness • Isolating from friends or choosing to spend time alone
WHAT YOU CAN DO
• Unusually long grief reaction (varies with different youth) • Overall sense of sadness and hopelessness • Increase in hostility • Decrease in academic performance • Difficulty concentrating
• Unwillingness or inability to communicate
• Recent family disruption
• Sexual promiscuity
• Recent history of running away
• Decline in personal hygiene
• Abrupt end to a romance
Ask the question, “Are you suicidal?” and be persistent if you see the signs. Don’t leave the person alone, tell somebody else, offer hope, and get a commitment to get help. Take the person directly to the emergency department, a mental health professional, a physician, call the police, tell a teacher, ANYBODY.
• • •
Intermountain_Family Recruitment ad youthconnectionscoalition.org |
Q A Q. Shouldn’t parents decide if their child has a cell phone in school? A. I agree that parents should have a say in when our children can use their phones, although I also feel that, as a parent, I need to do whatever I can to make sure appropriate boundaries are taught and enforced. I recently heard of a texting service called ChaCha (242-242) where anyone can text a question, and a real person sends you an answer back in three minutes or less. At first this seemed like a great thing. I can ask about movie times, calories in fast food, who the other guy in Pearl Harbor was, anything at all! I was so intrigued by the concept of ChaCha that I spent some time texting very random questions and soon realized that there are NO restrictions on the kinds of questions I could ask. Yes, I can ask about movie times, but I could also ask about ANYTHING else and the answers were sometimes very graphic! As I started to think about the vast amount of information that could be accessed for basic questions or even test questions, I realized how important it is that I continue to use the parental controls on my child’s phone. When her line is restricted (at school and late at night), she can always call anyone on our family plan, as well as 911. After all, keeping in touch with me and being able to call for help were the reasons she got the phone in the first place. Jenny Senn: Parent
A. I would create options for alternative pathways that can be explored early on in a middle school/high school student’s career to help ensure that more students will graduate from high school. The act of trying to reengage students once they have given up and are frustrated with conventional education systems is a difficult task indeed. Likewise, I feel that by creating a more personalized learning environment through smaller learning communities and advisory programs, students will feel as though someone at school cares about them. Brett Zanto: Assistant Principal, Helena High School A. I got kicked out of regular high school for having too many tardies. I wanted to be in school but didn’t have a ride. I would walk but was always late. Everyone seemed to be too busy when I needed the most help. My high school counselor helped me get into the Access to Success program at the UM-Helena. What I like about Access to Success and what has kept me in school are teachers who really care and are willing to help when times are tough. This program helps me succeed because class sizes are smaller and they are flexible when life happens. Teachers are very respectful of each student and understand where we are in life. The respect, caring and understanding are a big deal to me. So, I just ask that teachers, counselors and administrators try to walk in our shoes once in a while. I think that would help keep students in school. Mitsi Gelina: Student
If you would like to submit a question to Youth Connections to be answered by someone on our panel, please email the question to email@example.com. Not all questions are guaranteed to make the magazine, but we will do our best to answer your question via email.
HELENA WRESTLING CLUB
Q. What would you change about high school to keep students in school?
We invite your child (ages 5–high school) to join the USAW-sanctioned Helena Wrestling Club for the 2011 season Full SeaSon: January 3–april 24, 2011 $85 - First Child / $55 - Second Child FolkStyle SeaSon only: February 14–March 15, $60 Call 475-3787 or visit helenawrestlingclub.com for more information DECEMBER 2010
for the love of reading By Daylinda Radley, MA, CCC-SLP, Speech-Language Pathologist, Shodair Children’s Hospital
ant to develop literacy now in your youngster? Read with him or her. The developmental asset of Reading for Pleasure starts in early childhood. The Kids and Family Reading Report, published in 2008, discusses the factors shaping children’s relationship with reading. When it comes to kids and reading, their results indicated the following: Most kids like to read books for fun; one in four kids ages 5-17 read books for fun every day; and reading frequency declines after age eight. Although many parents understand the significance of reading and its correlation to children’s future academic success, they may not know how they can influence their child’s literacy. Keeping the momentum going for reading appears to be a challenge, especially now, when high-tech
distractions pull children away from the love of print. Increasingly, speech language pathologists and other professionals are advocating for adult-child shared storybook reading. This trend has been influenced in part by research and changing perspectives on early childhood development and the speech-pathologist’s role in enhancing literacy skills. Numerous studies have shown that shared book reading is an effective tool for promoting early literacy skills for both typically developing children and children with disabilities (Justice & Kaderavek, 2003). Even very young children, who are not ready for print and written instruction, are very capable of acquiring those emergent literacy skills that will help them read and write successfully later on. With young children this is done by reading with
them. Not only is book reading important in their early life, it’s also important in their later life. That’s why reading for pleasure is highlighted as one of the 40 developmental assets that promote academic success. So how do we sustain reading for fun beyond age eight? Scholastic and Yankelovich (2008) offer the following suggestions: Allow kids opportunities to choose their own books and use technology to heighten their book experience by expanding their interest (i.e. author sites, message boards, and search and sample books online); parents should be good reading models for their children; continuing to read books with their children even when they are older is also helpful; more importantly, in spite of their busy adult lives, they should also take time to nourish their own love of reading. ■
Welcoming All Patients Minor Illnesses & Injuries Sprains, Fractures, & Lacerations Vaccines • X-rays Physical Exams Sports Physicals
513-1052 • 39 Neill Ave • Helena
Women’s Park Urgent Care Plus
Natural Medicine Plus
No AppoiNtmeNt NecessAry 15
Across from Starbucks Downtown
media literacy By Jesse Franzen, 8th Grade Teacher, Helena Middle School
What is it?
ur modern technological life has amazing benefits for connecting people around the world instantaneously. With this explosion has come a dramatic increase in media consumption by people of all ages around the globe. Media itself is neither good nor bad, it just is, but how we interpret the messages is under our control. Media literacy provides a framework to access, analyze, evaluate and create messages in a variety of forms — from print to video to the Internet. It gives control to the consumer – you and I – taking some of the power away from the sender of the message – the advertisers and promoters. For a simple definition, media literacy is the ability to think about messages.
it is Critically analyzing media
it is not
Watching carefully, thinking critically
Bashing the media
Saying ‘don’t watch’ or ‘protection’ against media
Teaching about media
Just learning to use technology
Awareness of personal media habits
Just about TV
Just showing media in a class
THE GREAT NORTHERN CAROUSEL & ICE CREAM COMPANY—HELENA’S FAVORITE PLACE FOR FAMILY FUN & HOMEMADE ICE CREAM ! Visit our Gift Shop! We’ve stocked up on: * NEW Toys * NEW Games, * NEW Puzzles * NEW creative craft projects And MUCH, MUCH more! We’ve got FUN things for all ages! COME PLAY!
Delicious!! HOMEMADE... ICE CREAM & GOODIES: * Shakes & Malts * Sodas & Sundaes * FUDGE
* Don’t forget...we make our own! BOTH LOCATED AT THE CAROUSEL in the Great Northern Town Center Helena, MT—Across from Carroll College www.gncarousel.com 406-457-5353
What is the point?
Take a look at this alphabet. How many letters can you identify with their product? Then think of an empty map of the United States. Most will find the alphabet to be a much easier task than naming many of the states. Why is that? It is called media influence. Every one of us has spent more time familiarizing ourselves with these products (mostly through repetitive commercials) than we have with the names and shapes of the states, which is known as brand awareness. Advertisers want us to know their products and trust that the “name brand” is somehow better than all the other options. Think about when you are trying to pick out toothpaste and you are standing in front of a wall of different types of toothpaste. How do you decide what to put in your basket? Is it a name brand? Why did you choose it? Is there an equal product with a different name that may be less expensive than the one you choose?
This type of questioning is media literacy. Many people implicitly know most of this knowledge, but rarely do people put it to use, and putting our brains into action is increasingly more important. For example, the amount of time school age children spend watching TV is 10 times greater than the time they spend interacting with their mothers and 44 times greater than the time they spend interacting with their fathers, according to the National Institute on Media and Family. Those numbers are only increasing, and media literacy can help us mitigate that influence.
How well do you know the American alphabet of brands? answers on page 24
What can you do?
Talk to your child about what they see on TV, movies, billboards, and the internet. Talk to them about advertisers and name brands. When you are with friends, talk about the influence of media on your lives. Learn more about how to become more media literate by contacting Youth Connections or asking your favorite librarian. Share this article and look for the next issue, where we will continue with more media literacy. ■
Helena • East Helena • Townsend • Lincoln • Avon • Wreck Master Certified • Flat Tire Changes • Fuel Delivery • Light/Medium Duty Truck Towing • Lockouts • Jumpstarts • Winchouts • Flatbed Car/Truck Carrier
Helena Towing Service 24 HR TOWING & RECOVERY Licensed • Insured • Dependable
Boulder-Basin • Wolf Creek • Caynon Creek • Elliston youthconnectionscoalition.org
donate your bikes
Big Sky Cycling and fitness takes lead in fixing them and finding them a new home. ig Sky Cycling and Fitness offers to take that bike your child has outgrown and find a new home for it. You can drop off bikes at their new location, 801 North Last Chance Gulch, during their regular business hours. Their service department will fix up the bikes. Big Sky Cycling and Fitness is a member of the Helena Safe Routes to School Committee. They are working to improve the health and well-being of children, including children with disabilities, by enabling and encouraging them to walk and bicycle to school. The committee will work closely with Big Sky Cycling and Fitness to find new homes for these bikes with kids who need and want them. Mary Cheryl “M.C.” Beeby is coordinating this year’s Safe Routes to School efforts. She can be contacted at 406-4313152 or firstname.lastname@example.org. ■
Get FREE, one-on-one help completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)!
Stop by anytime - It’s FREE! Wed., Feb. 9, 2011 4-7 p.m. UM Helena College of Technology Sun., Feb. 13, 2011 1-4 p.m. Carroll College, Simperman Hall to bring to College Goal College What Montana Goal Montana
(for both students and parents):
In association with
Register for a chance to WIN a $500 scholarship!
• FAFSA PIN — to obtain PIN, log on to www.pin.ed.gov • Correct Social Security numbers • 2010 Federal Tax Returns • 2009 Federal Tax Returns, if 2010 not complete • W-2s, tribal income, other aid information (TANF, child support, other benets) • Additional asset information (money market funds, stocks, other investments)
To nd out more, contact Student Assistance Foundation 877-COLG4ME • SmartAboutCollege.org Text Montana to 41411 for updates!
2010 Parent/Teacher Conferences Thanks for attending!
important dates December 23-31
Winter Break, No School
Martin Luther King Day, No School
No School, Grades K-12 Half Day, Staff School Improvement Planning Half Day, School Records for All K-12 Staff
More Than a Competition It’s An Accomplishment!
For information contact Candice Morris at 447-1690 X115 or log onto lewisandclarklibrary.org
3rd Period Begins
President's Day, No School
Late Start, Grades 9-12 CRT Testing
March 28-April 1 Spring Break
4th Period Begins
April 22 & 25
No School, Easter Break/Easter Sunday, April 24
H E L E N A
K-8 Released at 11 AM/HS No School/Vigilante Day
Memorial Day, No School/District Closed
Last Day & Noon Early Dismissal, Students K-8 P.M. K-8 Inservice Day/Records Day Last Day for Staff K-12
We’re connecting people interested in volunteering to non-profit and public agencies in Lewis & Clark, Broadwater and Jefferson Counties. www.volunteerhelena.org
Last Day for Students 9-11
Brought to you by
HS Inservice/Records Day/Last Day for 9-12 Staff youthconnectionscoalition.org
Answers to Alphabet: All Detergent; BubbleYum; Campbell’s; Dawn Dish Soap; Eggo; Fritos; Gatorade; Hebrew National; Icee; Jell-O; Kool-Aid; Lysol; M&M’s; Nilla Wafers; Oreo; Pez; Q-tips; Reeces; Startburst; Tide; Uncle Ben’s; V-8; Wisk; X-Tra; York Peppermint Patties; Zest
BRIGHT YOUNG MINDS HARD AT WORK
SCHOOL ALL AROUND THE
If you or a loved one are in crisis and want help, call the Montana
Suicide Prevention Lifeline
1515 Euclid Ave, Helena
Main Phone: 406-442-2603 | Toll-Free: 888-433-0119
$250 gets Get thethe bestbest deal of the of year on year any new andSubaru Get deal the on Subaru any new and $250 gets donated donated to your choice of fivecharities. charities. Now January 3, 2011. to your choice of five Nowthrough through January 3, 2011.
Get a great deal and support a great cause. Get a great deal and support a great cause.
share thelov e share the love
youth connections, winter 2010