A Madison-area parent’s guide to everything kids!

A 2013 special supplement by

2 – Unified Newspaper Group

March 28, 2013

Cool off in the ol’ swimming hole
By Derek Spellman
Unified Newspaper Group

If this summer is as hot as the last one, people will be looking for places to cool off. Fortunately there are swimming spots in the area where people can find refuge from the summer sun. In the Stoughton area, people can enjoy another year at Troll Beach, a local landmark that got a makeover last year along with a new name (if was formerly known as Mandt Park Pool, and before that, the “mud hole,” although it has been a long time since it had any mud in it). The Stoughton landmark last year welcomed new inflatable play equipment, including a giant inflatable slide; pool chairs and umbrellas; a new shelter; a rebuilt concessions stand; and a space to host gatherings, including birthday parties.

File photo

Swimmers cool off at Fireman’s Park Beach in Verona during the annual beach bash last year.

The changes helped the Outstanding Aquatic Facility from noon to 5 p.m. every City of Stoughton land the Design Award. day during the summer. 2012 Wisconsin Parks & Troll Beach opens this Turn to Beaches/Page 3 R e c r e a t i o n A s s o c i a t i o n year on June 8. It is open

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March 28, 2013

Unified Newspaper Group – 3

Beaches: Beat the summer heat
at local swimming areas
Continued from page 2 Daily rates for individuals last year ranged from $2.50 to $4, depending on age and residency. Season pass rates last year ranged from $60 to $100, depending on residency and on whether they were for one person or a family. The Oregon Swimming Pool, 249 Brook St., is open year-round. The indoor pool – a 25-meter, six-lane and 177,000-gallon pool – was built in 1989 on the site of the original outdoor pool. The pool depth ranges from three to five feet, with a 12-foot diving well, according to the pool website. The pool also has a separate hot tub that is kept at 100-104 degrees. The pool offers classes in swimming, log rolling, water aerobics, scuba diving, water safety instructor and lifeguarding. The pool is also the home for Oregon High School men and women’s swim team, the Oregon Community Swim Club, and the Oregon Kid’s Triathlon. Daily rates are $1.50 a day for children and $3 a day for adults. Verona offers Fireman’s Park Beach, an outdoor swimming venue from June through August, according to the city website. The beach offers two water slides, one for kids and one for adults, as well as picnic tables, a beach house with changing rooms and a concessions stand, according to the city website. Membership rates last year ranged from $35 for youth to $90 for a family for Verona residents and from $60 to $140 for non-residents. Daily rates were $2 for youths and $3 for adults for city residents and $4 and $5 for non-city youth and adults, respectively. Fitchburg, too, will have a place for residents to cool off this summer. The city gave approval to plans for a splash pad earlier this month, with construction slated for completion by July. The $655,000 project includes $170,000 from the Fitchburg Optimists Club, Photo by Mark Ignatowski $235,000 from the City of Fitchburg, and $250,000 from Swimmers slip into the water at Troll Beach in Stoughton last summer. Cover photo: New inflatables held draw more swimmers to the beach. Dane County. The Optimists aim to keep fundraising to buy more water jets, shade structures, benches, bike racks, and other amenities. And there are plenty of public beaches with nice lakefront views around the Madison area. Madison alone has 14. Swimming season there runs from Memorial Day to Labor Day. For a list of those beaches, visit www.publichealthmdc. com/environmental/water/ beaches.

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4 – Unified Newspaper Group

March 28, 2013

Eat the peas or no dessert?!
Kicking bad habits and starting better ones when it comes to parents trying to get kids to eat healthy
Victoria Vlisides
Unified Newspaper Group

Super foods. Most parents have heard that phrase by now, whether it’s a pomegranate “packed full of antioxidants” or an avocado that has “the right type of fats” to feed your kids. But is one fruit of vegetable really better than another? Especially when it comes to including them in kids’ diets? The answer may surprise you. University of Wiscon-

sin-Madison professor and dietitian Susan Nitzke warns that the claim “super food” is more marketing Nitzke than truth. “It’s almost implying they’re better than other fruits and vegetables,” said Nitzke, who has almost three decades at the UW and is the author of “Rethinking Nutrition: Connecting Science and Practice in Early Childhood Settings,” published in 2010. That’s just not the case, she said. Instead of trying to incorporate more of one certain food, it’s important to have a balanced diet that follows guidelines for healthy living. And what can be just as important is for kids to form habits to not only

Photo submitted

Nutritionists reccomend giving kids a balanced diet, rather than focusing on so-called “super foods.”

The CARING CENTER/ Verona Montessori House

eat but enjoy healthy foods. Parents should be role models for this, too, Nitzke said. It also suggests ways to make healthy good habits. For instance, using sweets and processed foods as rewards can be detrimental to forming healthy habits. “It’s really valuable to start at an early age,” Nitzke said. “Just instill into them what’s good food and what isn’t. Everyone’s way happier if the default habit is that they’re are healthy to begin with.” Nitzke stresses the importance of parents being the exemplary role model for healthy eating habits. “You might as well not bother if you’re going to sit

there and say eat your vegetables, and you drink a Diet Coke,” she said. But Coke can still be OK, she says – just not all the time. Instead, show kids that eating their fruits and vegetables is just normal. Don’t make a big deal out of it, Nitzke says. For example, give mild praise to your son or daughter if they eat their peas, but don’t go overboard and don’t reward them with sweets. Rather, continue to lead by example and eat your peas, too. “If everyone’s eating peas … pretty soon they’re not going to want to miss out on

Turn to Eating/Page 5

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March 28, 2013

Unified Newspaper Group – 5

Source: ChooseMyPlate.gov vegetables • Rinse vegetables or fruits Having your preschooler help you • Snap green beans in the kitchen is a good way to get At 3 years: your child to try new foods. All that a 2 year old can do, plus: At 2 years: • Add ingredients • Wipe tables • Talk about cooking • Hand items to adult to put away (such • Scoop or mash potatoes as after grocery shopping) • Squeeze citrus fruits • Place things in trash • Stir pancake batter • Tear lettuce or greens • Knead and shape dough • Help “read” a cookbook by turning the • Name and count foods pages • Help assemble a pizza • Make “faces” out of pieces of fruits and

Kitchen Activities

At 4 years: All that a 3 year old can do, plus: • Peel eggs and some fruits, such as oranges and bananas • Set the table • Crack eggs • Help measure dry ingredients • Help make sandwiches and tossed salads At 5 years: All that a 4 year old can do, plus: • Measure liquids • Cut soft fruits with a dull knife • Use an egg beater

Eating: Giving kids the right balance of nutrition is key for growth
Continued from page 4 eating peas,” she said. But where to start can seem overwhelming to busy families on a budget. The key is to start small and employ a few helpful tools along the way. Nitzke suggested the first step for a family who wants to eat healthier is to write down what you and your kids eat in a day or a few days. From that list, pick out one or two things you want to work on. For example, maybe you want to eat more whole grains. Nitzke reminds that the key is to not “turn your life meal plans, activity plans, upside down” trying to eat and see how to build healthy healthier but take it day by habits with your kids. day. Once your kids get used to a diet with more whole grains, set another goal and so on. However, some parents may want some tips on healthy eating to know Would your children learn better in a non-traditional classroom? where to start. For that, We provide a quality full circle program that keeps your children Nitzke highly suggests lookin one location, teaching infants through Preschool! ing into ChooseMyPlate. Yes! We have summer programs for school agers. gov. Run by the United States Department of AgriArt - Music - Literacy - Science - Team Building - Sports culture, the website has Nature Walks - Outdoor Sensory Activities - Animal Husbandry easy-to-understand tips and We offer parents a flexible schedule guidelines on eating habits DPI teacher certified in special education for kids of all ages. The site includes ways you to make Go to: www.joanstotspot.com for more information. Located near Epic in Verona

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6 – Unified Newspaper Group

March 28, 2013

Libraries keep kids reading all year long
Mark Ignatowski
Unified Newspaper Group

The old end-of-the-schoolyear adage promises “no more teachers, no more books,” but that’s not the case for kids who participate in local libraries’ Summer Reading Program. Despite its name, the programs offer a lot more for kids than just books. Kids can earn prizes for the amount of reading they log, and they can take advantage of entertainment, food, games and more at their local libraries. In the coming months, librarians will be visiting local schools to drum up participation for the programs. Starting dates vary by location, but typically run from June through August. Young kids, teens and even adults are welcome to participate. The premise is simple – kids and adults keep track of how many hours they read. Then they turn their logs into

Summer Reading Programs
When: June - August Where: Local libraries Info: Verona Public Library - 845-7180, Oregon Public Library - 835-3656 and the Stoughton Public Library 873-6281 the library in exchange for prizes and rewards. Prizes range from coupons to local merchants to free books and more. Special events are held throughout the summer. The Oregon Public Library is known for its annual worm race. Stoughton residents might have a chance to meet creatures from the Henry Vilas Zoo again.

File photo by Mark Ignatowski

Turn to Reading/Page 7

As part of the Summer Reading Program, libraries often host special programs like magician Jim Mitchell at the Verona Public Library last year.

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March 28, 2013

Unified Newspaper Group – 7

Reading: Prizes,
programs for all
Continued from page 6 Verona youth might be treated to a magic show. Other popular past events include ice cream reading parties, science demonstrations, comedy shows, stunts and more. Young readers can also log hours by attending storytime programs and reading with their parents. Support has been growing steadily at each of the local libraries. Oregon drew nearly 1,600 participants last year and logged almost 13,000 hours of reading. Verona easily draws more than 2,000 readers while Stoughton usually has nearly 1,000 participants. Rural residents who can’t make it to a nearby library aren’t left out either, as the Dane County Bookmobile often makes rounds during the summer. More information about summer reading programs can be found by calling the Verona Public Library at 845-7180, the Oregon Public Library at 835-3656 and the Stoughton Public Library at 873-6281.

Tips to turn children into regular readers
With all the gizmos, gadgets and electronic media available these days, it can be tough for parents to get kids to sit down with good old-fashioned books. But regular reading, done for fun, is linked to better school performance and can expose kids to a world of knowledge. Experts advise parents of reluctant readers to, above all, keep the activity enjoyable. “Reading should never feel like a chore,” says David Borgenicht, father of two young children, author, and publisher of Quirk Books. Here are some ways you can encourage your child to drop the remote and pick up a book instead: • Start early: Good habits start young. So set aside time daily to read together until he or she can do so alone. Visit the library regularly to attend story time and other children’s literacy events, and to check out books. • Set an example: Children learn by watching. If you aren’t already a regular reader, become one today. • Stock up: The more types of reading materials in a home, the better students perform in reading proficiency, according to the Educational Testing Service. So stock your home with newspapers, mysteries, biographies, poetry, historical fiction and every genre of interest to your family. • Think ahead: Serial novels can keep kids continually engaged in books. Look for something full of action and adventure that’s fraught with suspense, like the new Lovecraft Middle School series by Charles Gilman about the strange world of a creepy middle school. A nod to H.P. Lovecraft, the iconic horror author of the 20th century, the book is appropriate for boys and girls ages 10 and older. • Make it easy: Give your child the right tools he or she needs to read comfortably. An armchair pillow and a bedside reading lamp will make reading a comfortable experience. • Tune out: Be sure to have a period each evening where no television, gaming systems or gadgets are allowed. Make this “reading time,” go hand in hand with something fun – like dessert – so there’s no protest. You can find a children’s reading list of recommended books from the American Library Association at ala. org. After school, homework and extracurricular activities, reading may not be a child’s top priority. But by taking a few key steps, you can instill a lifelong love of reading. - StatePoint

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8 – Unified Newspaper Group

March 28, 2013

Get out and play
Youth recreation programs abound in the area
Compiled by Anthony Iozzo
Unfied Newspaper Group

Do you want your child to get off the computer or put down the video game controller? Check out some of the youth sports/recreation programs below offered in the area, designed to teach your child skills for sports and to promote recommended exercise. Note: Each recreation website has a brochure for activities other than sports.

Photo by Jeremy Jones

A youth soccer player celebrates with teammates during the post-game handshake following a win at the Oregon Internationale tournament.

Recreation Contact: Director Casey Dudley, 848-6815 Office info: 410 Investment

Court (hours: 7:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Mon-Fri), 845-6695 Website: ci.verona.wi.us/ recreation Verona Little League, Inc Contact: Eric Buzza, vllpresident@gmail.com Website: veronalittleleague.org Verona Boys Wildcat Basketball Club Contact: Amy Huseth, 8482610 Website: leaguelineup.com/ welcome.asp?url=wbc-verona Girls Wildcat Basketball Club Contact: Randy Blaisdell, 444-8129 Website : leaguelineup. com/welcome.asp?url=verona girlswildcatbasketballclub Wildcat Youth Football Contact: Scott Largent, 206-9215, slargent@wildcatyouthfootball.com Website: wildcatyouthfootball.com

Turn to Recreation/Page 9

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March 28, 2013

Unified Newspaper Group – 9

Recreation: In Verona, Oregon
Continued from page 8 Southwest Eagles Youth hockey Website: southwesteagles. com Lacrosse Contact: Paul Ludwig, 2745258, pludwig@charter.net Website: veronalacrosse. com Verona Soccer Club Contact: Mary Mattison, 848-7616, admin@veronasoccer.org Website: veronasoccer.org Verona Area Girls Softball Association Website: vagsa.org Verona Aquatic Club Website: swimvac.com Youth wrestling Website: freeteams.net/ veronawrestling/ jmathias@tds.net 5th grade: Marsha Hobson: dmhobson@charter.net or Teri Skavlen: tskavlen@yahoo.com 6th grade: Heather Wahlin hswiggum@aol.com 7th grade: Chris Kotlowski jeanjacketgirls@gmail.com 8th grade: Amy Slaby amys@seastoughton.com Website: stoughtonyouthfootball.com Youth hockey Contact: Bill Vinson president@stoughtonhockey.com/ 239-2411 Website: stoughtonhockey. com Grades: 6-17 yrs old Lacrosse Website: stoughtonlacrosse.com Grades: Sixth-12th Stoughton Area Youth Soccer Contact: Tracy Zeichert, 877-2678 Website: stoughtonsoccer. info Ages: 6-16 Girls fastpitch softball Contact: StoSoftball@att. com Website: eteamz.com/ stoughtonyouthsoftball Grades: Third-eighth Stoughton Aqua Racers Contact: Admin@StoughtonAquaRacers.com Website: stoughtonaquaracers.org Ages: 6 and up Youth wrestling Contact: Chelsea Dahmen, stoughtonwrestlingclub@ stoughtonwrestling.com

File photo by Jeremy Jones

Kids enjoy throwing a frisbee to a border collie named Wham-o during an event in Stoughton.


Recreation Office: 381 E. Main street, 873-6746 Website: cityofstoughton. com/rec Stoughton Baseball Org. Contact: Kevin Markgraf, kevin.markgraf@swib.state. wi.us, 957-9707 Website: stoughtonbaseball.com Grades: K-12th grade Stoughton Youth Basketball Association Contact: Thane Anderson, drthaneanderson@tds.net Website : stoughtonyouthboysbasketball.com Grades- Third-eighth Youth football Grade Representatives 4th grade: Julie Mathias

Website: stoughtonwres- recreation director, alm@oretling.com gonsd.net, 835-4017 Office: 123 E. Grove Street Oregon Baseball Contact: Dan Dean danRecreation Contacts: Amy Mill- dean@cornhusker.net / er, community education/ Turn to Recreation/Page 12

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10 – Unified Newspaper Group

March 28, 2013

Making the case for foreign languages
Dane County company offering classes to children as young as 2
knowledge and understanding of international issues, appreciation of diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds, and skills to compete in an interdependent world community, DeGollon said in a news release. To instill these skills in their children, more parents are seeking out foreign language classes that begin early – as young as 24 months. “Education experts agree that there is a short window of opportunity for children to achieve fluency in a second language – and early exposure is the key,” she said. Unfortunately, DeGollon said, budget shortfalls are forcing many schools nationwide to cut or reduce foreign language programs from their districts, including FLES (foreign language Today’s children need to learn more than reading and writing to thrive as future leaders – many experts say they should also learn a foreign language. Cindy DeGollon is director of Education and owner of Lango Foreign Language for Kids, Wisconsin, which offers classes in Dane County to kids ages 2-11 in French, Spanish and Mandarin Chinese. DeGollon says she started her company in 2011 with the belief that every child can – and should – learn another language. According to the National Education Association (NEA), learning a foreign language is one of the four key elements of global competence – a 21st century imperative that includes to teach their kids Spanish. Since 2011, enrollment is up 300 percent, she said. Classes are “full-immersion,” meaning they are taught in the foreign language, and are offered in Waunakee and Middleton but have also expanded to community centers, daycares, preschools and elementary schools throughout the county, she said. Learning another language young can have long-lasting benefits academically, she said. Research has shown that students who learn a foreign language score higher in both the math and verbal portions of the ACT, and students across all socioeconomic levels who study a foreign language perform better on the verbal section of the SAT, with scores increasing in tandem with years of foreign language study. “The world is changing rapidly and it’s critical for our children to be fluent in other cultures and languages,” DeGollon said. “We’ve known for years that the U.S. lags behind other countries in foreign language education – and it is time to make a change for the sake of our children’s futures.” For more information, check outLangoKidsWI.com.

Photo courtesy Fotolia.com

Teaching kids a new language can open a world of possibilities.

in elementary schools) and FLEX (foreign language experience). A national survey by the Center for Applied Linguistics reported the number of elementary schools offering foreign language classes in the US dropped from 31 percent in 1997 to 25 percent in 2008, according to the news release. According to the U.S. Census (2000), 82 percent of Americans speak English only. In comparison, 66 percent of the world’s children are raised as bilingual speakers. “Parents are frustrated by the lack of options to teach their kids another language,” she said. DeGollon said she founded the Wisconsin Lango center after being asked by parents

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March 28, 2013

Unified Newspaper Group – 11

A century on, Vilas Zoo still a ‘go-to’ spot for kids
It has been more than a century since the Vilas family established a free zoo on the north shore of Lake Wingra on Madison’s west side. Today, Vilas Zoo remains one of the “go-to” places to take the kids for some free, fun entertainment. One of the newest highlights is the Children’s Barn, a $1.3 million facility that opened in 2011 inside the “children’s zoo” area of Vilas. The 3,500-square-foot, timber frame barn – built with Douglas Firs from sustainable forests – uses geothermal energy, solar panels, radiant flooring and rain water harvesting, according to the zoo’s website. Aside from its green-friendly pedigree, the barn is home to goats, alpaca, and other animals exhibited year round in both indoor and outdoor exhibits. Adjacent to the barn are new outdoor exhibits to host birds of prey and other birds and animals. Here’s a look at some other kid-friendly sites at Vilas to check out this year, taken from Vilas’ website, vilaszoo.org.

Children’s Zoo Animal Exhibit

This exhibit is home to the Zoo’s Indian Crested Porcupines, Red-necked Wallabies, White Handed Gibbons, White Cockatoo, Red Pandas and Meerkats.

Tree House and Adventure Area
Photo courtesy NCI Roberts Construction

The electric zoo train is one of many kid-friendly attraction at the Henry Vilas Zoo in Madison.

This area will get the kids active and exploring as they discover all the neat places to climb, crawl, swing and jump in a safe environment.

Learning Adventures

passengers, travels through a tunnel and around the perimeter of the children’s zoo animal exhibits and new barn. When the engineer blows the train horn near the gibbon exhibit, it’s not uncommon for gibbons to come ogle train passengers.

The crown jewel of the Children’s Zoo, the conservation carousel began spinning in 2006. It begins operation, The Electric Zoo Train weather permitting, each March and runs The electric train holds about twenty daily from April through Halloween.

The Conservation Carousel

The zoo also hosts summer classes for kids that aim to have students learn about and develop positive attitudes toward animals. Experienced zoo staff use the zoo as a “living laboratory” to teach students where animals live, what they eat, how they socialize and the role they play in the larger animal kingdom. Registration opens April 15 and is processed on a first-come, first-served basis with electronic registration receiving preference over paper registration. Check out the website for more information.


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12 – Unified Newspaper Group

March 28, 2013

Recreation: Activities in Oregon, Brooklyn, Fitchburg
Continued from page 9 217-3528 Website: oregonyouthbaseball.org Grades: First – eighth grade Registrations: Feb. - March; approximately $50 to $150 Oregon Basketball Association Website : oregonbasketball. org Registration: Starts June 30, ends in early Sept. or early Oct. Oregon Youth Basketball Contact: Dave Jameson Djameson255@gmail.com Grades: First – sixth grade boys & girls Traveling boys basketball Contact: admin@oregonbasketball.org Grades: fourth – eighth grade boys Traveling girls basketball Contact: admin@oregonbasketball.org Grades: Fourth -eighth grade girls Youth football Contact: Tony Ricker oregonpantheryouthfootball@gmail.com Website: oregonyouthfootball.com Grades: First –fourth grade – flag / fifth – eighth grade – tackle Registration: Nov. 1 - June 1 for Aug. - Oct. play Approximately $150 tackle / $40 flag Youth hockey Contact: Dan Hefty Daniel.Hefty@yahoo.com / 2120418 Website: oregonhockey.org Grades: 4-18 yrs old Registration: Early Sept.; Fees vary by age Oct. for Learn to Play and Dec. for Rec. League Lacrosse Contact: Dan Bertler dan@ supremestructures.com, 5168430 Website: oregonlacrosseclub.org Grades: Sixth-eighth and ninth-12th Registration: Winter for spring play Oregon Special Olympics Basketball, Golf, Track & Field, Swimming, Softball, etc. Contact: Amy Verheyden, 692-1428 / averheydenSO@ charter.net Website: oregonspecialolympics.yolasite.com Grades: Ages 2 and up Registration: On going; please call or email Girls on the run Contact: Kelly Petrie, 8352509 Website: girlsontherundaneco.org Grades: Third-fifth girls Registration: Aug.; program begins early Sept.; approx. $150 Oregon Youth Soccer Contact: Lee Christensen Website: oregonsoccerclub. com Grades: Kindergarten-12th grade Registration: Feb. – March (Kindergarten.); $70-100; May – July 31, 1st-12th grade Girls fastpitch softball Contact: Dana Leikness, oregonyouthsoftball@gmail. com / 444-8595 Website: oregonyouthsoftball.com Grades: Kindergarten - 11th (current grade) Registration: Jan. - March 1; approx. $45-$130 Oregon Community Swim Club Contact: Rachel Aunet, aunetswim@gmail.com / 575-3430 Website: oregonswimclub. org Grades: Kind. (passed 4/5 lessons) - 12th Gr. Registration: Nov., April, June and Sept.; approx. $25 Acers volleyball Contact: Carol Smith acersvbc@gmail.com, 217-1722 Website: Acersvbc.com Grades: Gr. 5-6 class; 13-18 years club Registration: Gr. 5 - 6: Play begins in Sept - $75 Ages 13-18: Tryouts begin week of Nov. 11; seasons runs Dec.- March - $675 Youth wrestling Contact: Brian Culles, bculles4806@yahoo.com / 719-7470 Website: oregonyouthwrestling.com Grades: 1st – 8th Grade Registration: Practices begin early Nov.; approx. $100 Oregon Kids Triathlon Contact: Deb Bossingham, oregonkidstri@yahoo.com / 835-4086 Website: oregonkidstri.com Grades: 5 - 17 years Registration: Feb. - Aug. 1 for Aug. 10, 2013 event - $33


Website: brooklynrecreation.org


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March 28, 2013

Unified Newspaper Group – 13

How to give your child a head start in math, science and beyond
Throughout the busy school year, many high school students across the country are already taking steps to explore college and other post-graduation opportunities. In fact, in today’s challenging economic climate and competitive job market, it has become increasingly important to begin planning for future career options at an early stage. One area that is particularly ripe for opportunity is in the STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). In August, U.S. News & World Report reported that there will be a need to fill over 1.2 million STEM jobs in the U.S. by 2018. STEM careers offer lucrative and stable opportunities. STEM fields are also drivers of innovation. Despite the promise these career paths offer, less than one-third of eighth graders in this country are proficient in mathematics and science and fewer than 15 percent of U.S. undergraduates receive science or engineering degrees. This academic lag has resulted in the country’s STEM workforce hovering under 3 percent of the total working population. “It is important to close these gaps because STEM fields have an enormous impact on our country’s growth and also provide rich opportunities for our youth,” says John Jones, R.Ph., J.D., who is a senior vice president at OptumRx and the chair of the Pharmacy is Right for Me educational initiative. “We should reach students early in their education to get them thinking about the opportunities the sector has to offer, and begin taking those first steps toward building careers in the diverse STEM arena.” So how can parents and caretakers help kids embark upon successful professional journeys in STEM and related fields? Jones recommends taking the following steps: 1. Engage young students early on and provide them with an educational roadmap. -Students may not consider careers in STEM fields because they simply do not know about what those pathways can offer. Help expose kids as early as elementary and middle school to the types of unique and exciting options found through STEM. Work with your children to build a strong foundation in math and science skills, which are essential to pursuing STEM opportunities at every level - from technical positions to those requiring advanced degrees. 2. Encourage hands-on learning. Gaining real-world STEM experience through internships, summer jobs, or even participation in student innovation competitions can help kids get excited about future possibilities and apply their science and math education in creative ways. Shadowing STEM professionals in the local community can also provide a deeper understanding of what STEM professions involve on a dayto-day basis. 3. Seek out additional support both in your local community and online. Preparing for post-high school and postcollege life can be extremely challenging, even with parental support. Encourage children to seek additional help at school by speaking with their guidance counselors. Find mentors at school or in the local community to provide professional guidance. Use credible Webbased resources for educational and financial information. Online resources, such as those offered through Pharmacy is Right for Me’s website, Facebook and Twitter channels, can help young students navigate through the challenges of reaching their long-term goals. Despite the challenging job forecast, there is a wide range of prospects open to students in the thriving STEM industries. Engaging the next generation of STEM leaders by getting kids excited about these careers can help secure successful futures for youth. - Brandpoint

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Oregon Preschool Inc. has openings available for children ages 3-4 for the 2013-14 school year.
OPI is Oregon’s only parent cooperative preschool. The parent co-op setting is a great way to meet other parents and playmates for your child.

Contact us now so your child can get a head start on learning!
835-9216 or www.oregonpreschool.org

14 – Unified Newspaper Group

March 28, 2013

Why children need summer camp
It is not easy for parents to make the decision to send their child away into the waiting arms of strangers who promise to take care of them – people who promise to show them the wonders of nature, fun, new skills, and friendships. As a parent of two children even I struggle with the idea, and I have been an owner of a summer camp for over eleven years. There is something magical about a summer camp experience. Each and every camp in the world is different. As caregivers we can choose a camp that gives our kids an experience to grow and a chance be the best they can be. Campers experience a place designed to create happy memories and encourage self expression. They have the opportunity to climb ropes, shoot an arrow, and experience the success of winning the big game! It stays

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There is something magical about a summer camp experience.

C.C.’s Clubhouse School-Age Program is Now Enrolling For Summer & Fall Programs Kindergarten to Age 12!

The Caring Center

with them forever. Camp- homesickness, friendship, their own belongings, tryers will learn a full range of disagreements, teamwork, ing new activities, and takemotions and human expe- frustrations, jubilant success. ing risks. It is often said that Caring Counselors help camps are in the “child develrience at camp; including children create new connec- opment” business. Play may tions and reach outside of serve as the underlying fountheir comfort zone to try new dation of that business. Play things. Laughter bubbles as is the business of childhood, jokes are shared with new learning and experiencing life friends. Campers unplug from firsthand. technology to commune with nature, realizing their roles in Socially/Emotionally stewardship of the land. Skills Play can help teach our are developed throughout children how to relate to othcamp, both in physical things ers. It helps set ground rules like swimming and field and boundaries concerning sports and emotional things their dependency on, and like team work, creativity and interacting to others. Play self confidence. can also provide a venue Children need a break from through which children learn organized learning and the key socialization skills such pressures of school, which as how to be a part of a group is why summer day camps (team) how to manage conare a way for children to turn flicts, how to display selftheir minds off and just be discipline, how to channel kids. It is absolutely essential their own sense of competithat children be afforded the tiveness, and how to deal with opportunity to play enhancing anxiety and stress. their physical, intellectual, and psychosocial develop- Intellectually ment. Play can stimulate a heightPerhaps no entity addresses ened sense of curiosity. The 402 W. Verona Ave. this opportunity more effec- capacity of children to create tively then the camp commu- a universe of their own makVerona, WI nity. ing can help them expand A child can strengthen their intellectual boundaries. (608) 845-8620 emerging skills of making www.caringcenter.com Turn to Camp/Page15 new friends, taking care of

March 28, 2013

Unified Newspaper Group – 15

Camp: Expose your child to a new learning experience
Continued from page 14 When imagination and curiosity connect, the boundaries to creativity are endless. Having our children outside and enjoying themselves in their environment will help them do better in school. a problem with their weight. From the American Pediatrics Association, 17 percent of American children are obese and another 16 percent are deemed overweight. This current generation of children is the most sedentary group in American history. Among the more disturbing trends is the fact that the average child sits in front of the computer screen, TV, or video game for roughly 7.5 hours per day. That translates into 50 hours of sedentary activity each week. If the precept “children move to improve” has validity, then the converse is also true. Summer camp is an opportunity for children to be exposed to the best of human character. The world needs the next generation to be more tolerant of each other’s views, ideology, and beliefs. Carefully selected role models are dedicated to showing your child new ways to have fun, learn from others, and make friends in person rather than online. I still remember my 4H camp when I was 12, my counselor explained, “The world is full of excuses. It does not matter where you come from or what happened to you. At the end of the day you choose how you treat others.” With a day of camp, the parent still plays a large role in the child’s daily life. In the evening, parents can work through obstacles that their children face and help them shape their solutions. This gives the child practice for when they have to work through issues on their own. As parents, our hopes and responsibility is to ready our kids to be productive, independent, and capable people – to prepare them to thrive without us. Camp offers a way for kids to start developing those skills in the best possible environment. It makes me a bit sad every time my son runs off to join his friends when we arrive at camp, without even a look back, at the same time, I burst with pride watching him growing into a happy, independent, tolerant, open confident and capable person. Every day that my son comes home from camp dirty and sweaty, I feel that I have given him a priceless gift. I look forward to the stories of his day, sharing in the experiences of his moments of joy and simple successes; these are the memories that will be a part of him for the rest of his life. At the end of the summer he will be ready to sit in the classroom at school and absorb all the knowledge being thrown at him. - Submitted by Karen Kittelson, Founder and CEO of Swim&Gym Summer Camp LLC.


Camps have an unequaled opportunity to affect the physical development of children. Where else can a child experience the joy of purposeful movement? Where else can a child learn the true performance capabilities of their bodies? Where else can learning carry over into activities that may provide for a physically active lifestyle later in their lives? The need for camps to facilitate the physical component of the whole child has never been greater. One in three children has


Take the SUMMERTIME Checklist Challenge!
Does your child need tutoring this summer? Has your child’s teacher or school counselor recommended help? Is your child struggling in reading or math? Are your child’s grades starting to fall? Is homework neither complete nor accurate? Does your child lack confidence and/or motivation? Has your child lost interest in learning? Does your child exhibit anxiety for tests and exams? Does your child say things like: “I’m too stupid to do the work,” or “I give up”? If you’ve checked one or more boxes, your child may experience difficulty at the start of the next school year. Tutoring during the summer months will help your child be prepared! Call to schedule your FREE diagnostic Assessment. Fitchburg Center, 6309 McKee Road, Suite 800



16 – Unified Newspaper Group

March 28, 2013

Feeding… the Leaders of Tomorrow!

210 South Main Street, Verona Monday-Saturday 6:30 am - 9 pm Sunday 6:30 am - 7 pm


Proud supporter of today’s kids.

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