Posts Tagged ‘
Hurricane Sandy ’
Wednesday, May 8th, 2013
When Hurricane Sandy blasted the Jersey Shore last fall, my thoughts immediately went to Cape May. I took a family vacation there the summer before and was completely charmed by the town. After seeing news footage and Facebook photos of the devastation of the New Jersey coast, I had assumed the worst had happened. Fast-forward three months: I’m researching a Parents magazine story on the 10 Best Beach Towns for Families. I’ve narrowed my picks to a “short list” of a hundred or so towns that have great water quality. Cape May is on the list. So I made a call to find out what shape the town is in now. And much to my delight, I learned that Sandy largely spared Cape May, taking a last-minute turn in the other direction.
Cape May stayed in the running to be included in the story, and when other factors—like inland family fun and nature activities—were considered, it ended up being number five on Parents best list. Here are a couple of highlights from my family’s long weekend in Cape May, and you’ll find many more family-friendly activities in my story on the town.
My daughter’s favorite memory from the trip was an inexpensive program we signed up for at the Nature Center of Cape May. Staff cast a net in the ocean to see what creatures they could find, and then told the kids about them. The kids got to touch the little critters before safely returning them to the water. By the looks of it, all the kids in the program that day had a blast and learned quite a bit from this hands-on experience.
We went to the beach that was across the street from Congress Hall, where we stayed. Even though we were there in mid-August (peak season!), it didn’t feel crowded. And it was very clean!
At night, we checked out the shops at Washington Street Mall, a three-block outdoor promenade filled with adorable, independent shops like Bath Time (where we bought custom-blend bubble bath). For a treat, we ended up enjoying egg creams (a combo of chocolate syrup and seltzer) from Dellas 5 & 10.
Wednesday, February 27th, 2013
Philadelphia School Lunches Get Fancy With ‘Eatiquette’ Program (Photos)
It sounds more like a restaurant order than a school lunch menu: baked ziti with a side of roasted fennel salad and, for dessert, cinnamon apple rice pudding. But that’s one of the meals offered in the cafeteria at People For People Charter School in Philadelphia. And it’s served family-style. Students pass serving dishes around circular tables, where they eat off plates, not cafeteria trays, and use silverware instead of plastic utensils. (via Huffington Post)
NYC Schools After Sandy: Destruction, And Restoration Showcased in New DOE Images
Hurricane Sandy ravaged public schools in low-lying areas across the city — and new photos released by the Department of Education Tuesday show just how bad that damage was. (via Huffington Post)
The Legacy of Lead: How the Metal Affects Academic Achievement
Lead exposure may be on the decline, but it’s still taking its toll on children’s performance in school. Legal requirements to remove lead from gasoline, paint and other common products have led to decreases in lead exposure. But remnants of the metal remain, according to the latest study, and this legacy may be enough to affect children’s cognitive functions. (via TIME)
Sleep Reinforces Learning: Children’s Brains Transform Subconsciously Learned Material Into Active Knowledge
During sleep, our brains store what we have learned during the day ‒ a process even more effective in children than in adults, new research shows. (via Science Daily)
Increased Risk of Sleep Disorder Narcolepsy in Children Who Received Swine Flu Vaccine
A study finds an increased risk of narcolepsy in children and adolescents who received the A/H1N1 2009 influenza vaccine (Pandemrix) during the pandemic in England. (via Science Daily)
Categories: GoodyBlog, News | Tags: Hurricane Sandy, lead, lead poisoning, narcolepsy, New York City schools, News, Nutrition, Parents Daily News Roundup, school lunch, sleep, sleep disorder, swine flu, swine flu vaccine
Friday, December 21st, 2012
Last week’s tragedy left so many of us drowning in sorrow and feeling helpless to do much about it. What on earth could we do to make things better, when confronted with such an overwhelmingly sad event? It’s not like Hurricane Sandy, when you could pitch in to help a neighbor clean out their home, or donate toward helping those who lost so much rebuild. There’s nothing we can do to help the families affected in Sandy Hook get back what was lost.
And that’s when I read about Ann Curry’s brilliant plan—to accomplish acts of kindness in honor of those who died. Many people are doing 26 kindnesses, for the children and teachers who died at the school. Others are including Nancy Lanza, the mother of the shooter who also lost her life. I’m choosing 28, in part because there can’t be enough kindness in the world, and in part because I believe strongly that Adam was a victim of his own, untreated mental illness.
I’m hoping to accomplish all of my 28 in the next week, before the new year…and I’m drawing inspiration from the Twitter feed #26ActsofKindness. So far, I’ve managed four:
1. Sent an extra gift and a heartfelt note to my daughters’ teachers (we already went in on group gifts for them with the rest of the class).
2. Donated to Toys for Tots in honor of the students of Sandy Hook.
3. Hosting a friend’s daughters over for the afternoon, after her regular babysitter fell through.
4. Left a Starbucks gift card and a note on a random car in our school’s teacher parking lot.
(Actually, I could kind of count #5, which was—against my better judgement—caving and getting an Elf on the Shelf for my daughters, who have been begging for one all week. Because basically, this week, I’d probably get them a pony if they asked.)
Imagine if we all committed to doing just a few acts of kindness this week…maybe it would become a habit. Let me know if you’re on board—and share your ideas for sharing the love.
Photo: Margaret M Stewart /Shutterstock.com
Monday, December 3rd, 2012
One month after Hurricane Sandy hit the Northeast, many families are still struggling to recuperate from the damages they suffered from the storm.
To help, two women (Joy Huang and Kimberley Berdy) launched Secret Sandy, a Secret Santa-type endeavor for affected families who need extra help this holiday season.
Children and their families can register on the site and write letters to Secret Sandy with their wish lists, which will be sent to registered people who wish to donate. This is one example of a letter by a 3-year-old boy from Gerritsen Beach, N.Y.:
When we were hit by Hurricane Sandy, I was so scared.
The first thing I thought was the water was coming in my house fast.
When Hurricane Sandy was over, all I saw was all my toys broken. All I felt was sadness.
For the past few weeks, we have been living in different places & now a hotel.
The thing that I miss most is my Thomas & friends scooter & Thomas trains.
The one thing I really want for the holidays is to be back home, in my own room.
To get a Secret Sandy or to give a gift, register today at SecretSandy.org. To read letters and receive more information, check out Secret Sandy on Facebook and Twitter.
Image: Pile of gift boxes of various colors isolated on white background, via Shutterstock
Wednesday, November 7th, 2012
Obama Win Clears Health Law Hurdle, Challenges Remain
President Barack Obama’s re-election eliminates the possibility of a wholesale repeal of his signature healthcare reform law, but leaves questions about how many of the changes will be implemented as the national focus shifts to tackling the U.S. debt and deficit. (via Reuters)
What Obama Win Means for Education Reform
President Barack Obama—who pushed through an unprecedented windfall of education funding in his first term and spurred states to make widespread changes to K-12 policy through competitive grants—has been re-elected. With education issues, including funding and college loans, a steady though never central theme on the campaign trail, there is a lot left on President Obama’s to-do list. (via Education Week)
Children, Teens at Risk for Lasting Emotional Impact from Hurricane Sandy
After Hurricane Sandy’s flood waters have receded and homes demolished by the storm repaired, the unseen aftershocks of the storm may linger for many children who were in the storm’s path, particularly those whose families suffered significant losses. (via Science Daily)
FDA Grants Priority Review to Roche’s Breast Cancer Drug
Roche, the world’s biggest maker of cancer drugs, said U.S. health regulators granted a priority review to its experimental breast cancer drug TDM-1, expediting the review process for the marketing application of the drug. (via Reuters)
DNA Sequencing of Infants and Children With Anatomical Defects of Unknown Causes
A one-year-old research initiative brought together researchers, clinicians and policy experts to tackle the challenges of incorporating new genomic technologies into clinical care of newborns, infants and children with anatomical defects whose causes are unknown. (via Science Daily)
Categories: GoodyBlog, News | Tags: anatomical defects, breast cancer, DNA, education, Hurricane Sandy, infants, Noelia de la Cruz, Obama, Parents Daily News Roundup, president obama
Friday, November 2nd, 2012
Yesterday, our blogger Rosie Pope wrote a great post about talking to her kids about Hurricane Sandy. The devastating storm inspired them to reflect on the things that are really important, like the safety of the people they love. Even though the storm can help us put things in perspective and re-evaluate our priorities, it’s a stressful time for the millions of families impacted by it. You may feel overwhelmed by the news coverage–not to mention the lingering power outages, property damages, and transportation delays. New York City’s Department of Health has created some great resources to help families reduce and cope with disaster-related stress. To make this scary time easier for kids, limit their exposure to news coverage, and be sure to talk to them about the footage that they do see. Hopefully these tips will help the people in Sandy’s wake stay a little calmer as we rebuild.
Image: Family talk via Shutterstock
Thursday, November 1st, 2012
Check out blog posts by Rosie Pope, star of Bravo’s “Pregnant in Heels,” every week at Parents.com!
In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, I’m left answering lots of questions from my 4-year-old. We live in New York City, and have a beach house on the Jersey shore. My husband and I went into the storm with optimism, minimizing the threat of a hurricane and the possible damage, because I simply didn’t want my big boy to worry. So while we talked a little about the winds and the waves, we focused more on the fact that we’d be able to stay home, play, and bake plenty of cookies. Still, with the nonstop reporting that we were all hooked to during the last few days, he witnessed a lot of the devastation on TV. We then received the news that we were going to lose our beach house, due to the water surge on the coast. So my son heard us talking extensively to neighbors, friends, and family.
Knowing how attached my son was to the house, I decided to address this disaster and use it as an opportunity to talk about what really matters. It’s so easy to focus on the disappearance of things and the overwhelming loss so many are feeling today, as they have lost their homes, and for some, so much more. My son’s focus was on what matters in his 4-year-old world: his favorite toys that he knew were washed away. So we talked (and talked) that while we were sad about losing these things, what is important, what truly matters, is that our friends and family are safe.
This opportunity reminded me not to underestimate the ability of a child to understand what’s going on around him, and to take on and feel the emotions that we’re going through, no matter how hard we try to hide them. I remembered it’s always better to talk to children so they understand what’s really happening, instead of letting their beautiful and wild imaginations fill in the blanks. This morning my son is a secure little boy knowing exactly what’s happened to our home and his toys, not worried about what he is seeing and hearing, because he understands what is truly important — and is back to playing search-and-rescue with his fireman figurines, which I’m sure is his way of working through his emotions about all that’s happened. So if I can share anything from my personal experience this week, it’s to protect your children, but be brave and answer their questions, empower them with the understanding of their environment, and most of all hold them close. If Sandy has brought any good, it’s to remind us what is really important.
Thursday, November 1st, 2012
Five Year Olds Are Generous Only When They’re Watched
Children as young as five are generous when others are aware of their actions, but antisocial when sharing with a recipient who can’t see them, according to new research. (via ScienceDaily)
Dentists Offering Cash for Halloween Candy to Benefit Troops
While many children are chowing down on their Halloween candy, dentists are hoping to provide kids with some incentives for trading in their sugary treats—all in a way to help the troops. (via Fox News)
Is Childhood ADHD a Gateway to Smoking in Adulthood?
Children diagnosed with ADHD are twice as likely to pick up smoking than youngsters without the disorder. (via Time)
Breast Milk During The Storm: With Power Gone, Moms Safeguard their Stash
With power out in much of New Jersey and swaths of New York in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, breast-feeding moms have been frantically making arrangements, scouting out freezers and using Facebook to link up those with thawing breast milk with those who have electricity and freezer space to spare. (via Time)
Technology Changing How Students Learn, Teachers Say
There is a widespread belief among teachers that students’ constant use of digital technology is hampering their attention spans and ability to persevere in the face of challenging tasks, according to two new surveys of teachers. (via New York Times)
Many Women Stop Their Asthma Meds While Pregnant
Almost a third of women on asthma control medications stop using them during the first few months of pregnancy, despite advice that a mother’s uncontrolled asthma is more dangerous to the developing fetus than the drugs. (via Reuters)
Categories: GoodyBlog, News | Tags: ADHD, asthma, breast milk, dentist, education, five year olds, Halloween candy, Hurricane Sandy, medication, Noelia de la Cruz, Parents Daily News Roundup, Pregnancy, smoking, technology