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Hudson Valley Parents and teachers are welcome to take advantage of this special educational offer. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) has designed this program specifically for Middle and High School teachers, counselors, social workers, youth advisors, and after-school program directors to help their students recognize depression in themselves or their friends, and to encourage them to get help for this common and treatable problem.

This free 60-minute webinar on Teen Depression and Suicide Risk is designed to show school personnel how they can effectively incorporate depression education into the classroom, using AFSP’s ground-breaking new film, More Than Sad: Teen Depression.

The film features vignettes of four teens that will help students recognize the varied signs and symptoms of depression, reduce their misconceptions and apprehensions about treatment, and promote help-seeking behavior. Each participant will receive a free copy of the film More Than Sad: Teen Depression (valued at $49.99)*

To accommodate your busy schedule and give you more options, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s New York chapters have joined together.   Please note that: registration is mandatory for this event, you may enter the event up to 15 minutes before the start of the event but you cannot enter 15 minutes after the event has started

March 28th, 3pm

Register for March 28th Webinar

March 30th, Noon

Register for March 30th Webinar

April 4th, 3pm

Register for April 4th Webinar

April 6th, 11am

Register for April 6th Webinar

April 7th, Noon

Register for April 7th Webinar

April 8th, Noon

Register for April 8th Webinar

April 12th, Noon

Register for April 12th Webinar

April 19th, 9am

Register for April 19th Webinar

Please note that each offering of the webinar is limited to 250 registrants, so register today!

According to the latest results from the 2009 National Assessment of Education Progress, less than half of U.S. students are proficient in science. To help cultivate our nation’s next generation of great thinkers and innovators and keep them interested in STEM-related issues, Discovery Education and 3M have teamed up once again to reward students for their science acumen and curiosity, while encouraging them to share that passion by creatively communicating their findings through this national science competition.

Discovery Education and 3M are proud to announce the 2011 call for entries for the 13th annual Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge, the nation’s premier science competition for students in grades 5th through 8th. Ten finalists will be selected to receive an all-expense paid trip to the 3M Innovation Center in St. Paul, Minn. to compete in the final challenge in October, 2011. The winner will receive $25,000 and the title of “America’s Top Young Scientist.”

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.

In an effort to encourage young women to explore career opportunities in typically male-dominated fields, Dutchess Community College will host its 15th Annual “Math and Science Matter … Especially for Young Women” program on March 5. The program runs from 8am to 1pm and is open to girls in grades 5-8. The registration fee is $10.

The program offers hands-on workshops in science, technology, engineering, and math. Workshop descriptions and the registration form are available at www.sunydutchess.edu/msm. There will be programs for parent as well.

Check-in will take place at 8am in the Dutchess Hall Lobby, followed by a welcome in the James and Betty Hall Theatre. Pre-registration is required. The program is presented with support from Hudson Valley Credit Union.

 

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.

Dr. Annette Saturnelli

My husband came to me early this morning to let me know that Annette Saturnelli died on Monday. She has been the school superintendent of the Newburgh School District for the past 6 years.

Whenever I called to ask for help, Dr. Saturnelli always replied with supportive information. As the publisher of Hudson Valley Parent magazine and a small business owner, I found her support of our programs second to none. For several years, she opened the schools to us so that we could hold parenting conferences. When I was looking for key people to interview, she and her staff were right there with information.

In a 2007 article in Hudson Valley Life, Dr. Saturnelli was identified as  one of the power people in Newburgh.  According to the article Dr. Saturnelli believed that the challenges facing today’s youth are formidable. “As hard as it was for us to grow up, it’s harder for them to grow up,” she said. “Things are not so clear. Violence is prevalent and they are not able to distinguish between real and not, or good and bad. They go everywhere and they are bombarded.

“If these children are to grow to take over Newburgh and guide its future,”  she explained,” then their lives have to be properly guided in the present.”

I am proud to have known Dr. Saturnelli and know that the City of Newburgh has lost a key community leader.  We send our condolences to her family and hope that they feel they can use this time of sadness as a period to celebrate her accomplishments.

The Tutor Whisperer gives students, parents, teachers, and other tutors an innovative line of attack in improving academic skills and our educational system as a whole. The site is intended  for parents who are looking for tips and strategies to help their children academically. However, it is also a resource for students who are searching for ways to heighten their learning experiences, as well as tutors, teachers, and administrators who are interested in alternative, innovative educational methods.  The helpful sections are broken into different grades which make finding the help faster and more efficient. This site is definitely worth a look if you are in need of extra homework assistance. No apple for the tutor is necessary.

In the film “Race to Nowhere,” first-time filmmaker Vicki Abeles delves into the issues of the consequences of overscheduled children.  The film was recently shown at Mount Saint Mary College in Newburgh to a crowd of parents, teachers and kids.

The medical and emotional problems of Ms Abeles own three children spurred her to find out what is going on in the world of our kids. Through interviews of kids, their teachers and parents and other professionals, she asks whether our kids are being pressured by too much homework and over scheduling.  

Many professionals interviewed, from educators to physicians, suggest that our kids are so stressed that they have no time to just be kids.  Clubs. Practice. Homework. Community Volunteering. Does it leave children time to ride a bike, have fun running around or to do nothing?  

Although the film brought to light many important issues, it tried to cover them all with one broad brush. For example, Abeles asks several teachers about their role in the classroom and gets the classic “I am being encouraged to teach kids how to pass tests.”  From that the filmmaker leaps to teaching for tests encourages too much homework which causes too much pressure on our kids which leads to stomachaches and headaches. For me there were just too many leaps.

According to Mount Professor and Hudson Valley Parent columnist, Paul Schwartz, “The greatest stressors for kids, especially for teens, are relationships not the stress of school.” Dr. Schwartz says that 90% of kids love what they are doing, including school.

12 articles from HV Parent offer help

While browsing our Facebook page, a status line from one of our parent friends caught my attention. It was a link to a blog called Single dad laughing and the post was about the blogger’s struggle with being bullied as a child.  I found myself tearing up a few times because his story is so raw.  The post made me wonder how many cases go undetected  in Hudson Valley schools. I also wonder what local efforts are being done to prevent cases like this dad blogger from happening again. Here are 12 articles about bullying from Hudson Valley Parent, including advice on how to deal with internet or cyber bullying from Paul Schwartz. You’ll find useful information here about this problem, which has been getting lots of attention lately.

There is a great new show that I started watching on the Style Network called Too Fat for Fifteen. It’s a reality show following a group of overweight students at the Wellspring Academy in North Carolina and the struggles they face on their weight loss journeys. The show is filled with a lot of insight on what it is like to be overweight and a teenager. The family dynamics are especially interesting. The parents featured on the show seem to be nothing more than supportive of their children. However, I read an article today that said even parents of overweight children occasionally discriminate against them. For example, they may be less likely to help pay for their college education or a new car. What are your thoughts?

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