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As a Hudson Valley Parent I can personally attest to the importance of having trustworthy and reliable childcare. However, what happens when your work schedule doesn’t fall neatly into a 9 to 5 template? Thankfully, there are facilities like Hunny Bee’s Daycare to help pick up the slack.

Hunny Bee’s Daycare is run by Anne Monahan, who is just about the warmest person you could ever hope to meet. In addition to boasting a well-trained, caring, and family oriented staff, Hunny Bee’s can accommodate your ever-changing schedule with weekend and overnight care available upon request. Her kind and caring staff also offers a Pre-K curriculum which includes instruction in American Sign language.

Hunny Bee’s Daycare was established in 1994, and has been an important part of the community ever since. For more information or to make an appointment contact Anne at (845) 569-8665 or amonahana@yahoo.com.

Monroe-Woodbury  High School has been rocked by two student suicides which occurred nine days apart. As grief counselors fan out to help students and families cope, they’re also scrambling to prevent copycat cases from occurring.  A high-profile teen suicide can cause others to follow suit. In fact, in some countries, teen suicides are not reported, in an effort to keep other teens from getting any ideas.

School officials say they don’t believe the two deaths were related. A 14-year-old freshman killed himself on Tuesday. The 16-year-old junior who committed suicide earlier was on the school’s football team. Friends and families have been left asking why, especially since the cases are not isolated. There has also been an attempted suicide by one student and a suicide threat by another.

Studies show that suicide is the third leading cause of death among teenagers. Experts say that the onset of winter poses a dangerous time for those susceptible to depression. Combined with the fact that teenagers can be impressionable; mental health specialists have plenty cause for concern.  Parents who think their child is at risk, should look for warning signs, such as depression and changes in behavior. The school is planning to hold sessions with parents this week to explain risk factors in detail. It’s important to seek counseling quickly.

Friends of both teens have set up Facebook pages in remembrance of them. One page posts a reminder to visitors about the importance of telling others if they’re considering suicide, while the other makes reference to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) and the Jason Foundation, which is another suicide prevention organization. If you know of someone who is at risk, contact Orange County’s 24-hour mobile mental health clinic at 888-750-2266, the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK or email AFSP at afsp.org.

Tater tots- Healthy eats or school lunch menace?

There is a national crisis afoot… tater tots are coming under fire as junk food and potato farmers are not happy. Healthy food advocates say they’re not against the potato, but they believe that “children need a greater variety of fruits, vegetables and whole grains to fight a tripling of child obesity rates in the past 30 years.” Potato growers feel that  the potato “is loaded with potassium and vitamin C and shouldn’t be considered junk food.” Where do you stand?

I personally think that tater tots aren’t exactly the healthiest food, but can be enjoyed  in moderation (come on they are a classic school food!), but I’m all for getting more variety of vegetables in schools also. We try to stay on top of nutrition news here at Hudson Valley Parent, and have featured a bunch of healthy food articles in the past. We haven’t done an article on the tater tot crisis yet, but I can feel an exciting exposé occurring in the near future.

It’s no secret that education is a hot topic in the news. Local test scores are down, they just got rid of the “D” grade, and schools are still slashing budgets left and right. Things have to change. NBC News recently announced that it is “convening its own summit with education and political leaders in September to talk about ways to improve schools in light of statistics showing the U.S. lagging in student achievement.” Do you think the summit will improve things?

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