Thursday, March 24, 2011

Borders Stores in Greater Atlanta Host Afternoon of Free Fun with LEGO® Event for Kids Saturday, March 26

 Saturday, March 26 at 2 p.m.

Great LEGO® building fun is in store for kids ages 8-12 at Borders stores in Atlanta and surrounding areas. Up to 50 kids who attend Borders' free LEGO event will receive a free LEGO Racer, which they will have fun assembling at the event! Youngsters will also enjoy a number of racing-themed activities including a Checkered Flag art project, Pit Crew games as well as other games. (Events and activities may vary by store.)

Kids are encouraged to sign up at their local Borders to attend the Borders LEGO event. Visit www.borders.com and click on the Store Locator link for participating locations.


Borders – Midtown
650 Ponce de Leon, Ste. 500
Atlanta, GA 30308

Borders – East Cobb
4475 Roswell Rd.
Marietta, GA 30062

Borders – Lithonia
8000 Mall Pkwy.
Lithonia, GA 30038

Borders – Douglasville
6594 Douglas Blvd.
Douglasville, GA 30135

LEGO and the LEGO logo are trademarks of the LEGO Group. ©2011 The LEGO Group 

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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Kids at Brookhaven Boys & Girls Club Take on the Guinness World Record for Jumping Jacks

/PRNewswire/ -- Records are made to be broken and a Guinness World Record was likely shattered thanks to the help of kids right here in Atlanta. On March 22, more than 153 members of the Brookhaven Boys & Girls Club joined their peers from more than 1,000 Boys & Girls Clubs across the country to break the Guinness World Record for the most people doing "jumping jacks" – or "star jumps."

As part of National Boys &a Girls Club Week (March 20-26), Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) embarked on this initiative with its Clubs across the country through the organization's Triple Play program. This program, supported by founding sponsor, Coca-Cola, and the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia (BCBSGa) Foundation, encourages kids to eat healthier, become more physically active and increase their ability to engage in healthy relationships.

"Living healthy, active lifestyles puts young people on a pathway to a great future," said Missy Dugan, Interim CPO, Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta. "By jumping their way into history, they proved that you don't need fancy equipment or a gym membership to get active and be healthy. Fitness can start with something as simple as a jumping jack!"

To break the current record, more than 278 kids needed to complete the attempt. While the official verdict will come from Guinness in a couple of weeks, all indications are that the record has been broken.

"The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia Foundation is committed to improving health in our communities and is proud to help bring the Triple Play program to Boys & Girls Clubs throughout the state," said Morgan Kendrick, president, BCBSGa. "By helping our kids learn healthy habits at a young age, we can give them the tools they need to live their healthiest, longest lives possible, and maybe even break some records along the way."

"Coca-Cola is proud to support the Triple Play initiative in partnership with the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia Foundation," said Quinton Martin, vice president, community marketing. "Research shows that this program is working – Triple Play is succeeding in getting kids to exercise more, eat a variety of foods and feel good about themselves. We are committed to promoting programs that help children, teens and adults live active, healthy lifestyles."

Nearly one-third of children and teens in the U.S. are obese or overweight, according to multiple studies. Children and adults can avoid these devastating diseases by adopting and maintaining healthy habits early on.

Jumping jacks are called star jumps in some countries, because the arms, legs and head form a five-pointed star. The record is defined as, "the most people star jumping simultaneously at multiple venues for two consecutive minutes," according to Guinness World Records.

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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

How to Talk to Kids About Tragedies, Disasters: Tips From World Vision

/PRNewswire/ -- As information increases about the devastation of Japan's earthquake and tsunami, our children will likely see disturbing news footage and have questions about this tragedy. Below are several suggestions on how to talk with children about this disaster and its impact.

These tips are provided by Christian humanitarian organization World Vision. World Vision has worked in Japan for more than two decades and responded to the massive Kobe earthquake in 1995, and now has staff assisting in the relief efforts in Sendai.

For more information on World Vision's efforts please visit www.worldvision.org/press.

Talking to kids about tragedy

Talking to children about tragedy is a job most parents would love to avoid. If only our children did not need to hear about things like this past week's devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan. But of course, they do hear. And they are full of questions: Could this happen to me? What's going to happen to the children? Can I do anything to help the children I see on TV?

World Vision US, a Christian humanitarian relief organization with staff on the ground in Japan now and in numerous other relief responses each year, suggests eight ways to make a tough job a little bit easier.

1. Start by listening.

Find out what your child already knows. You can then respond in an age-appropriate way. The aim is not to worry them with the devastating details, but to protect them from misinformation they may have heard from friends or disturbing images they may have seen on television.

2. Provide clear, simple answers.

Limit your answer to the question asked and use simple language.

3. If you don't know the answer, admit it.

If your children ask questions that you can't answer, tell them so, and then do some research to try and help them sort it out. If they ask "Why did this have to happen?" don't be afraid to say "I don't know." If you are part of a faith community, the reassurance offered there can be invaluable in helping your child sort through the truth that awful things happen.

4. Follow media reports or online updates privately .

Young children in particular are easily traumatized, and seeing or hearing about the horrifying details of the quake may be more than they can cope with. Adults, too, should ensure they are dealing with their own emotions by talking to others, so they can continue to respond well to their children's needs.

5. Concentrate on making them feel safe.

When tragedies occur, children wonder if the same event could happen in their hometown. If it was an act of nature that could not be repeated in your area, tell children that. Placing themselves in the situations of victims is not all bad—it is a sign of empathy, an essential life skill, but watch for signs of excessive worrying.

6. Give children creative outlets.

Some children may not be prepared to speak about what they have heard, but may find drawing or other creative activities helpful to deal with their emotions and stress. Their drawings can be helpful starting points for conversation.

7. Model involvement and compassion.

Tell your child that, as a family, you will be helping the people in Japan by giving a donation to a reputable charity such as World Vision.

8. Give your child a chance to be involved.

Being involved in the solution will help relieve some of their anxiety. Invite them to contribute to the family's gift by giving something out of their piggy bank.

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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Still Time to Register for Youth Birding Competition

Young birders have only until March 31 to sign up for this year’s Youth Birding Competition, a fun and free Georgia bird-a-thon set for April 16-17.

The Youth Birding Competition is open to teams from kindergarteners to high school seniors. Everyone from experienced birders to first-timers is welcomed.

The sixth annual competition starts at 5 p.m. Saturday, April 16, and ends at 5 p.m. Sunday, April 17. Teams, competing against others their age, can use as much or as little of that time to count as many birds as possible throughout Georgia. But all must arrive at Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center near Mansfield by 5 p.m. Sunday. A banquet and awards ceremony is held that evening at the wildlife center.

The competition is sponsored by the Georgia Wildlife Resources Division and The Environmental Resources Network Inc., or TERN, the friends group of the Nongame Conservation Section. Georgia Ornithological Society and Atlanta Audubon Society also provide generous support. The event is aimed at focusing children on birds and cultivating a deep interest in wildlife and conservation.

For registration details, go to www.georgiawildlife.com/node/951 or contact Lacy Mitchell at Charlie Elliott Conference Center, (770) 784-3152 or lacy.mitchell@dnr.state.ga.us. Tim Keyes, at (912) 262-3191 or tim.keyes@dnr.state.ga.us, can answer questions about the competition.

2011 Youth Birding Competition

** What: Free bird-a-thon and fundraiser for youth from kindergarten through high school.

** When: April 16-17. Registration is open. Deadline to enter: March 31.

** Where: Teams can bird anywhere in the state, but must arrive at the finish line at Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center in Mansfield by 5 p.m. April 17.

** Registration: Lacy Mitchell, Charlie Elliott Conference Center, (770) 784-3152 or lacy.mitchell@dnr.state.ga.us

** Competition contact: Tim Keyes, (912) 262-3191 or tim.keyes@dnr.state.ga.us

** More online: www.georgiawildlife.com/node/951


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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Brains Before Bullets: Former State Trooper Teaches Students to Think It Out, Don't Shoot It Out

/PRNewswire/ -- Orrin "Checkmate" Hudson, founder of BE SOMEONE, is 980,000 students away from his lifetime goal of reaching one million youngsters with his message of "making every move in life count." BE SOMEONE's latest interview on CNN speaks for itself: http://tinyurl.com/4b9ckm6

Hudson will hold his annual Spring Break Leadership Chess Camp from Monday, April 4 through Friday April 8, 2011 at 949 Stephenson Road, Stone Mountain, GA 30087. This week-long leadership camp will be from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., with early drop-off and late pickup available. Hudson will teach his signature chess skills and offer insight and advice on the importance of making every move in life count.

Hudson has trained more than 20,000 students and is dedicated to the goal of reaching one million youngsters before he turns over the responsibility to others coming behind him. Hudson is a believer in the "paying it forward concept." He explains, "I was a young know-it-all teenager in Alabama and I was on the road to certain destruction and possibly even a premature death. But I had a teacher who saw potential in me. I'm not sure what that was but he taught me the game of chess." Hudson is quick to say that seemingly simple act "saved my life."

"By using the game of chess, my teacher showed me that for every move I make on the chess board there are consequences," he adds. Hudson then stresses what is the bottom line of this game. "I not only learned how to play chess but I also gained self-esteem and realized I could be someone if only I chose the right moves in my life."

Hudson went on to serve as an Alabama State Trooper but later realized his true calling. "I knew I had to give back. I saw too many young African American males headed down the wrong path - gangs, drugs, crime, sexual irresponsibility, no education and focus, the same path I was on until someone cared enough to set me straight."

Hudson deftly uses the thinking man's game of chess to both teach and mentor. It is a combination that is both effective and unobtrusive. "These kids love this game and it opens doors. They often are surprised that they can handle the game that many educated adults shy away from but more importantly they naturally learn life lessons along the way."

Working from his Atlanta training site and armed with signature phrases like "Push Pawns, Not Drugs" and "Heads Up, Pants Up, Grades Up," Hudson can often be found moving back and forth from multiple chess boards making moves and offering advice at the same time. "Successful people are not people without problems," he stresses. "They are people who learn to solve their problems." This is the lesson Hudson so adamantly teaches with his BE SOMEONE program. He is resolute in his prediction: "We will reach these teens through this game and teach them how to think on their feet. They will be somebody and we will all win because of it!"

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