Posts tagged with "Children"

Kidrobot × Keith Haring

Continuing the celebration of inspirational artists of the 20th century, Kidrobot in collaboration with the Keith Haring Foundation brings art to life with the first collectible 3-inch tall Dunny mini figure series featuring the work of Keith Haring. Each of the 12 Dunnys in this Kidrobot x Keith Haring Dunny Series features one of Keith Haring’s iconic art pieces from his short but impactful career. 

The series is now available at select Kidrobot retailer stores and for order online at Kidrobot.com.

Each blind boxed figure retails for $11.99 each.

ABOUT KEITH HARING

Keith Haring was an iconic pop artist and graffiti artist inspired by the New York City street culture of the 1980s. Inspired by the originality and spontaneity of spray-paint graffiti Haring began producing chalk drawings on blank NYC Subway advertisement boards. As his career progressed his art spread to other mediums and he rose to the top of the art world with mass appeal. Haring continued to create public art with the intention of making art accessible to all, which resonates with the mission of Kidrobot.

Haring was involved in numerous charities and causes and hosted drawing workshops for kids around the world. After being diagnosed with AIDS in 1988, he founded the Keith Haring Foundation. His later works leading up to his death in 1990 contained political and societal statements that encapsulate the era. His art has since become iconic and remains relevant to this day.

Rita Azar illustrates homeschooling article for 360 MAGAZINE

Homeschool Experts Recommend

Camping as a Virtual Learning Tool

With virtual schooling and family camping both skyrocketing as the result of COVID-19, Hip Homeschool Moms, a Parents magazine 2020 “Best Homeschooling Resource,” and Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park have teamed up to help struggling parents create fun, educational learning opportunities.

According to Jellystone Park, reservations are spiking as many schools open virtually and parents work from home, allowing families more flexibility to travel.

“Whether parents are using online curriculums provided by schools or are homeschooling, it’s important that they find ways to make learning fun,” said Trish Corlew, co-founder of the website HipHomeschoolMoms. “Most kids need to do more than sit in front of a screen to learn, which is why we are such big fans of camping. It provides so many great, hands-on educational opportunities.”

Hip Homeschool Moms has these tips for parents on how to include a late summer or fall camping trip in their virtual or homeschool plans:

  1. Look for family friendly campgrounds, such as Jellystone Park.They offer activities that entertain and educate kids, such as Bingo and arts and crafts, which supplement planned learning. They also provide socialization opportunities that are needed with classrooms closed and homeschool field trips and other activities on hold.
  2. Involve the kids in planning and managing the trip.Part of the learning experience is allowing kids to help with researching campgrounds, setting the budget for the trip and buying necessary supplies. And once you’re at the campground, let the kids help take care of the RV or cabin. They love responsibilities like these because it makes them feel grown up. These are life skills they will soon need.
  3. Check the campground’s Wi-Fi in advance.
    Call the campground to make sure it offers sufficient Internet access. If not, rent or buy a mobile hotspot to make sure you have enough bandwidth for online lessons, movie streaming and staying in touch with friends, family and work.
  4. Use online lessons and apps.Online lessons perfect for camping are widely available to help children study leaves, trees, rocks, flowers and wildlife. There also are apps designed for outdoor learning, as well as printable activities and games to take with you.
  5. Read and walk together.Camping provides the ideal environment to spend time as a family. Read aloud together, taking turns on different pages to help reluctant readers improve their skills. Or have the kids read independently and share what they learned. Scavenger hunts with printed or app-based guides encourage togetherness and learning.
  6. Visit local attractions.Many campgrounds are located near natural and historic sites. Consider stopping at some on the way to or from your campground. Museums and science centers can make for great day trips, especially on rainy days.
  7. Encourage your children to share what they learn.Kids love to tell stories, take pictures and produce videos. Have them record the weather, plants and animals they observe, and their activities. Journaling and scrapbooking also are great ways to get the most educational value from a trip and to preserve memories.

“Even before the pandemic, fall camping had become extremely popular with families, especially with most Jellystone Park locations offering special fall events, such as Halloween weekends,” said Trent Hershenson, Jellystone Park vice president of Marketing. He encourages parents to book trips now and to consider weekday visits, as weekends book up quickly. Weekday rates also may be lower.

For more advice on educational camping and links to free lessons and guides, visit here.

For tips on planning a family camping trip and to book a reservation at one of more than 75 Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Camp-Resorts, visit here.

Links to video of kids learning while camping here and here.

Gabrielle Marchan illustrates Dianne Morales for 360 MAGAZINE

Dianne Morales

As of late, one of our team members had the opportunity to sit down with New York City mayoral candidate Dianne Morales for an interview. After eight years under Mayor Bill de Blasio, New York City will see someone new in the position in 2021, and Morales, a member of the Democratic Party, is jumping at the opportunity.

360: What are the major points of inspiration throughout your life, so far, that have led you to where you are today?

Morales: At my core is a commitment to community, and I learned community at home. I am the youngest of three girls and the daughter of Puerto Rican parents. My mother, a secretary for the Leather Workers’ Union, and my father, a building manager on the waterfront, created a working-class life for us in Bed-Stuy. But our home was not just for me and my sisters. My grandmother, Mami, lived with us my whole childhood. In fact, she and I shared a bed until the day that I left home for college. Our home was a resting place, a layover, a transition point for whoever needed it. There was always someone new sleeping on the couch or joining us at the dinner table. Whether they had just arrived from Puerto Rico, were in between jobs, had just returned from the military or from being incarcerated, there were always other people staying with us while they “got back on their feet.” My parents opened their arms and their front door to whoever needed it. I never questioned this way of life. I was taught, “If you have, then you provide.” We took care of each other. I saw, firsthand, the opportunity created when we each take responsibility, not just for ourselves, but for our neighbors and for our communities. This belief has spurred me on through 30 years in the public sector, as an educator, a foster care worker and a leader of nonprofits.

As I established my own home in Bed-Stuy as a single mom, my children and I recreated the dynamic my parents had built. We always have a few extra people living in our home – whom we often refer to as our “chosen family.” These extended family members have filled my home with love and reciprocal support. In a twist of fate, since the pandemic hit, I have shared my home with my parents and my children. I envision a New York City where we take care of each other, where everyone is welcome to the dinner table, where neighbors provide more support than extra sugar and all of us have a warm place to rest our heads. Although NYC is vast with diversity, we are all inextricably bound together and are only as strong as our most vulnerable link.

360: How can a mayor, as opposed to any other civic official, lead unique positive changes for equity?

Morales: Over the past several months there is a mantra I have been repeating consistently: a budget is a reflection of our values. The mayor has executive power over what gets funded in the city and by how much. Funding for services that contribute to true public safety (access to housing, medical/mental healthcare, economic stability, job training, education) will provide access and opportunity to those who have historically been left behind by our elected officials. Line by line, the budget reveals the values of a city and government. The NYC budget passed in June was a failure. It failed the residents of NYC, who have been raising their voices in protest and demanding a divestment from law enforcement since May 29. It failed those whose lives have been lost at the hands of the NYPD. It failed communities of color that have been disproportionately impacted by violence and brutality.

The budget highlights the need for NYC leadership to put New Yorkers first by investing in communities. The NYC Mayor also has the ability to work to desegregate public schools and impact the quality of education provided to over 1.1 million students, many of whom are students of color living in poverty. This alters the course of a student’s life and provides an entry point to economic mobility and a true career trajectory. New Yorkers deserve a bold, transformational leader who is unapologetically committed to prioritizing justice in the budget’s bottom line. I fundamentally believe that those closest to the problem are closest to the solution. Our city needs a mayor that is in tune with her people and provides a vision for and direction for what is possible.

360: What are some of the most pressing or urgent issues that need attention within New York City, and how would you address them?

Morales: New York’s problems all stem from structural oppression by Race, Gender and Class, so our solutions must go deeper, all the way to the root causes. Too many New Yorkers are living in a time of scarcity, and that’s been going on since long before the virus hit. The are working two jobs, just barely surviving and always one misfortune away from losing everything. Instead of this “Scarcity Economy,” we need a “Solidarity Economy,” and that requires bold action. First, transforming public safety in the city by providing access to the same critical resources found in wealthy communities will be a critical step toward creating the long-term change we need for all to live in dignity. True public safety includes ensuring that every New Yorker has access to “life essentials,” like quality transportation, affordable housing, excellent and equal education and human-centered healthcare. All New Yorkers deserve access to these fundamental resources in order to live in dignity, and it is the necessary floor needed to break through glass ceilings.

Next, we must enhance and overhaul vital infrastructure requiring multi-part, creative solutions that address the deeper issues embedded in the fabric of NYC. To break the racist cycle of poverty that divides our city into the “haves” and the “have-nots,” we will establish a guaranteed minimum income. We will push for universal healthcare and eliminate inequities in the health system faced by women, and especially women of color. We will work to address the persistent segregation of our schools and disrupt the school-to-prison pipeline by replacing school safety officers with trained mental health professionals. The driving force behind all policy initiatives is the experiences, needs and voices of women of color. Particularly, Black women. As the Combahee River Collective wisely wrote in its 1977 statement, “If Black women were free, it would mean that everyone else would have to be free since our freedom would necessitate the destruction of all the systems of oppression.” We know that if New York does right by Black women, the entire city will be better for it.

360: How can you use your personal experiences with serving as a single mother and observing the many other challenges that face New York City residents to enact policy reform?

Morales: So many of New York’s problems have impacted me directly, and so much of who I am and what I know comes from being a mom. My greatest joy is being the mother of my two children, Ben and Gabby. They constantly push me, teach me and nourish me. As a single parent, I share experiences with hundreds of thousands of other New Yorkers. A 2018 study found that single-parent households are the second largest household type in New York City. I navigated New York City’s systems – economic, health and education – on my own. I balanced a budget for my family each month, figuring out how to make it work. My greatest challenge was parenting my children through the NYC education system. The rigid and unforgiving education that my children received did not allow any space for their learning differences. They did not see themselves in the white-centric curriculum and we struggled to find support during their developmental years. Advocating for my children was a full-time job on top of my paying-full-time-job. Again and again I have stood with parents for a more equitable and life-affirming education for our kids. It is with this same community spirit of coalition building, advocacy and bettering of our social safety nets that I will push for policies that support all types of families in NYC.

360: What is one of the most significant components of your background or experiential knowledge that separates you from any other candidate?

Morales: I am, in so many ways, the average New Yorker. I was born and bred in Bed-Stuy. I am an Afro Latina single-mom of two children who survived the New York City public school system. I am a first generation college graduate who came back home to my city after school. I am a woman of color who discovered that I was not being paid the same as my white male counterparts. I’ve watched my neighborhood change, I’ve seen Starbucks replace the corner bodega, and I have spent my weekends marching side by side – 6 feet apart – with my fellow New Yorkers demanding justice for those killed at the hands of a racist policing system. Because I am the average New Yorker, my voice reflects the voices of thousands of others. We share our lived experiences, frustrations and joys. I love New York City because I see our full potential for all of us.

360: How does your previous extensive work with social service nonprofits inform your motivations and goals to serve as Mayor?

Morales: For decades, I worked within the community to address structural inequities burdening communities of color. I worked alongside those experiencing the symptoms of our broken system most acutely – poverty, lack of access to education, homelessness and mental health services. I witnessed firsthand the day-to-day struggles of New Yorkers that are perpetuated by cycles of poverty and oppression. I worked from the ground, up and from the inside, out. But as I hammered away, I recognized these structural and institutional barriers, and began to ask, “So how do we burn them down?” It felt as though I was only tinkering around the edges of the problem and providing Band-Aid solutions to deep, deep wounds. The core, perpetuating issues were centralized and foundational. I realized that if I want to create lasting, effective change, I must address these systemic and political problems at the root. As Mayor, I would carry with me the voices of those I have served.

360: In outlining your points of action and reform for New York City, how does the COVID-19 pandemic affect any of these potential strides for change?

Morales: As we know, COVID-19 is a catastrophe that illuminates all of the cracks and splinters in our broken systems. At first, many claimed the COVID-19 was a “great equalizer,” affecting all people, regardless of race, class or gender. Instead COVID-19 disproportionately impacts people of color and low-income communities. This is not a coincidence or personal failing, but rather the direct result of racist systems, putting structural oppression in stark relief. While some New Yorkers are able to escape crowded areas, arm themselves with personal protective equipment and work remotely, others, namely people of color, are on the front lines providing essential services to our city.

As COVID-19 has had devastating consequences that will leave a lasting impact for years to come, it has also provided us with a unique moment. As we saw after the murder of George Floyd by the Minneapolis police, being homebound and isolated forces us to pay attention. We have paused. We have slowed down. With fewer distractions and a center of focus, folks all across the country have had the veil lifted. People are noticing the interconnected webs of oppression I have lived with and that I have been fighting to dismantle my entire life. In this moment, we need leaders in office who are of, by and for the movement for social change. There is a momentum and hunger for justice that can no longer be ignored. As we overcome the challenge of the disease, I will never let the city forget who is truly essential. Together we will create a world in which front-line workers are truly valued as indispensable. A world where we accompany our applause and platitudes with a livable wage, unquestionable dignity and real community power.

360: What are some of the most rewarding takeaways you have gained from leading several momentous organizations?

Morales: I’ve learned firsthand about the barriers and challenges that people have to overcome in order to gain access to opportunities that are alleged to be available to everyone. I also have watched as community members care for one another to bridge the gaps in access to those opportunities. This is testament to the power of our communities to be true partners in determining the solutions they face when given the resources to do so. Finally, I have been able to bear witness to what is possible when people finally gain access and opportunity and how that has the potential to change the trajectory of people’s lives and transform families and communities.

360: Regarding the national and global movement, Black Lives Matter, how will you utilize your unique identity to empower minorities in the City of New York?

Morales: Like many people of color, I have lived years of my life trying not to take up space. I have seen the ways that my identities – my Blackness, my Latina roots, my politics, my womanhood – make people, namely white people, uncomfortable. In these spaces I would constantly ask myself, “Do I seem too opinionated, too articulate, too aggressive?” I would contort and deflate myself to fit into tight corners and small boxes. I would shrink myself so that others could feel big. When making the decision to run for Mayor of NYC, I decided it was important for me to run as my full, unadulterated, unapologetic, multi-hyphenated self. There would be no more shrinking, questioning or self-doubt. I recognize that by the very nature of stepping into this space, I am opening up a path of possibility. As the first Afro-Latina running for mayor of New York City, I recognize the awesome responsibility I hold. I know that when I speak, unfairly or not, I am representing all Afro-Latina women. Missteps become mass stereotypes. Accolades become communal achievements.

This is both beautiful and deeply terrifying. But in moments of fear, I am guided by a greater purpose to bring with me those whom have been devalued and made to feel small, as I have been; to elevate the voices of those with shared experiences and claim our rightful place in democracy and representation in leadership. People like me, individuals and communities of color, women of color, we must be at the forefront of our politics and policies. I am deeply committed to divesting from racist systems and investing in Black and Brown communities. I am committed to reimagining public safety on our streets and in our schools. I am committed to shifting wealth opportunities to those who have been historically marginalized. I am committed to redressing and repairing the wounds of oppression that scar our city. I am in this race to stand taller in the face of a world that tells me to shrink. I am here to tell them that Black lives are beloved. We matter today and every day forward.

360: To all of the NYC citizens following your efforts to better numerous communities, what are some of the best ways individuals can support your campaign?

Morales: The best way to help me is to join the campaign with a small contribution. I am not a career politician, and unlike other candidates, I have not spent decades cultivating a war chest of people, networks and resources to kickstart my run for mayor. I want to be responsive to the people, not the special interests.. My campaign was born out of my home in Bed-Stuy, out of conversations with my neighbors, friends and colleagues. Our campaign is 100% powered by the people, not the 1%. We are an intersectional coalition of Black and Brown, Latinx, LGBTQIA and working class New Yorkers. We are backed by the people being hit the hardest at this moment in time. I am so incredibly humbled that in the middle of a pandemic, without employment, people are finding a way to donate to our campaign. I know what is at stake and the choices they have had to make to do so. If donating to our campaign is not possible for you during this financially uncertain time, we understand. Visit my website, dianne.nyc, for information and volunteer opportunities. Spread our mission to your fellow New Yorkers. Reach out to join our team. Remember me in November 2021.

To learn more about Dianne Morales, you can click right here. To learn more about her stances and solutions, you can click right here. To support Morales through donations, you can click right here. You can also support her on Twitter and Instagram.

Childhood Mental Health illustration done by Mina Tocalini of 360 MAGAZINE.

Childhood Mental Health Webinar

SAMI-Aid Webinar: Childhood Mental Health 101

Featuring child psychiatrist Dr. Sara Heron, M.D.

Friday, August 7, at 11:00 a.m. PT

Free to join, Register Here 

Amidst the coronavirus pandemic, disruptions to school schedules, and reduction of social interactions, experts say the mental health of children in the United States is at greater risk than ever before. SAMI-Aid, a patient-focused telemedicine platform and healthcare concierge company, is hosting a free webinar titled “Childhood Mental Health 101” to aid parents in knowing the signs of mental health issues and identifying resources to help children navigate mental health issues they are experiencing. This webinar is the first in a series to help patients be more informed about their health options.

The Childhood Mental Health 101 webinar will be held on Friday, August 7, at 11:00 a.m. PT and will feature Child Psychiatrist Dr. Sara Heron, M.D., who is Board Certified in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and General Psychiatry.

“As we’ve seen an increase in demand for behavioral and mental health services through our telemedicine platform, we identified a need to educate parents about caring for their children’s mental health during these challenging times,” said John Farhangui, CEO and Founder of SAMI-Aid. “We’re pleased to have Dr. Sara Heron, M.D., share her expertise so that families and children can learn to cope with common stressors.”

SAMI-Aid offers on-demand access to medical professionals of a variety of specialties, including pediatrics as well as mental and behavioral health. SAMI-Aid’s mental health professionals are highly vetted, licensed, and certified in various areas of mental health expertise.

Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reveals that millions of children were already suffering from mental health disorders, such as ADHD, depression, and anxiety, before the coronavirus pandemic became prevalent in the U.S. A new Gallup Survey asked parents how long they could follow social distancing practices and COVID-19 closures before their child’s emotional or mental health would suffer. The survey found that 29% of parents say their children are already suffering. The survey also found that 37% of parents also say their children’s mental or emotional health would be at risk in the next few weeks or months.

“By offering an affordable option to easily access trained behavioral health professionals for children as well as adults, we hope to be a small part of the solution to address our country’s mental health crisis,” added Farhangui.

As an additional resource, SAMI-Aid created an infographic to help parents understand important information about childhood mental health including data on how prevalent the issue is in the United States, signs to watch for that may indicate a mental health disorder, and how parents can help their children. 

Founded in 2014, SAMI-Aid is an online healthcare concierge platform that features a searchable medical procedure pricing database, a dedicated call center for patient support, and 24/7 access to telemedicine doctors and nurses. Its platform is secure, HIPAA-compliant, user-friendly, and mobile-friendly, offering members 24/7 access to doctors and nurses, and exclusive medical pricing information which helps them save money on care. Based in San Jose, California, SAMI-Aid serves the entire US. The acronym SAMI stands for Smart Affordable Medical Information. 

Follow SAMI-Aid: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | YouTube

Family illustrated by Mina Tocalini for 360 MAGAZINE.

I Miss My Grandfather

By DH Cermeno

Relationships between grandparents and their grandchildren is something that families take great pride in and enjoy to immeasurable degrees. Unfortunately, the current quarantine has put many grandparents into situations where they are unable to see their families, and I went through something similar with my own grandfather years ago.  But the difference is that today’s grandparents are doing what they can to ensure they can see their grandchildren once the quarantine is over, just as referenced in this article by Robin Marantz Henig. But that does not mean that the process is not difficult.

I miss my grandfather. He has been gone for almost 40 years but our relationship is one that I have treasured all of my life.  I remember his warmth, his wisdom, and above all his affection. My grandfather introduced me to wonderful things life had to offer such as jazz and the comic genius of Charlie Chaplin. We had our own private jokes which made us laugh and no one else could understand. I found a tremendous amount of comfort going to his house to just enjoy talking and playing together.  Something simple as sharing a bag of M&M’s or a Snickers bar was a treat. And then once we had enough and were tuckered out, I found great comfort falling asleep with him in his recliner as he crooned “Shortnin’ Bread” in my ear. Then my parents had to ruin it by coming to pick me up. 

I will never forget the last time he was in the hospital.  At eleven years old, I couldn’t understand why I couldn’t see my beloved “Atun”, as I called him. His immune system was low due to the disease he was fighting and the doctors were hesitant about having too many people visit, especially children. All I know is that I was unable to see my grandfather and in my young mind, it didn’t make sense. All I wanted was to see Atun. In an article by Colleen Temple, I understand exactly how the children referenced feel.  

Daily I kept hearing from my family that Atun was getting better, and that I would be able to see him once he came home.  I held that thought in my head, had tremendous hope and I looked forward to seeing him reclining in his favorite chair.  I started drawing pictures of us together and making cards to show him how much I missed him.  I listened to jazz records that he loved, and I even watched Charlie Chaplin films, and imagined him next to me.  I did get to hear his voice on the phone, but he sounded weak and tired, not as peppy as he always was.  But he reassured me that he would be home soon and what wonderful times still lie ahead of us. I told him I couldn’t wait.

But God had other plans and, one morning, I was awoken by my sister and she and I had our first difficult discussion. She shared the news that Atun was not coming home. I bawled my eyes out. I felt cheated and betrayed. Who was to say that the last time that I saw him prior to his going into the hospital was the last time I would ever see him? 

I am grateful for the fact that I was able to speak with him over the phone to hear his voice.  And as modern technology has evolved, grandkids and their grandparents are able to see each other’s faces through Facetime and other inventions.  However, these means are not a substitute for human contact and the warmth we feel when those we love are close to us.  We miss kisses, long warm hugs, and just the solace of cuddling and sitting next to our family members. 

During these times, we need to hold on to the memories and the times shared to get us through this pandemic.  We don’t know how long this will last and that is the other factor that makes this experience so difficult.  If we had a deadline we could work towards, it might make it easier. But we don’t.  All families are trying to do now to remain healthy so that once the quarantine is lifted, they can be reunited.

Since I haven’t seen my grandfather in years, the memories and experiences I shared with him live in my mind and my heart daily.  It was because of everything he taught me and the love he gave me that I felt compelled to write Coffee and Cedar: Finding Strength From Memories. As difficult times arise and we feel helpless and unsure about what the future holds, we need to look to the teachings of our elders, whether they are either alive or have passed, to help us persevere.  Their wisdom and insight help us overcome hurdles and hard times just as they did.  They build us up, make us feel secure and uncover the confidence and resilience that exist in each of us. Whenever I am met with a challenge, I think of Atun and how he would tell me, “El sol no se tapa con un dedo.” He was telling me that the talent and gifts that I had inside of me were impossible to be denied, no matter what criticism or obstacle came my way. And that gave me confidence and the ability to move forward to pursue my dreams.  Our mentors instilled confidence in us and the strength to overcome anything, and that is what we all need to remember.  This situation will come to an end.  And once it does, we will rejoice and truly take advantage of the time together. But until then, we need to be strong.  Because the more we do to control the pandemic, the sooner we can be reunited. So, remember, hold onto those memories of the past and use them as a way to warm your soul to have hope for many more wonderful times to be shared in the coming months. 

Mina Tocalini, 360 Magazine, Beach Amusement Park

Make Summer Memories  at WonderWorks!

After months of being quarantined at home, mixed with the tribulations of online learning, families are ready to get out, have fun, and make a memorable summer. The good news is that there are plenty of ways to make that happen in Myrtle Beach, starting with WonderWorks.

“In lieu of everything that has happened this year, we want to offer families and guests a place to come and have fun for the summer,” explained Robert Stinnett, general manager of WonderWorks Myrtle Beach.  “At this time, our goal is to keep guests safe while still giving them summer memories to remember forever.”

Soar + Explore. WonderWorks offers an exciting outdoor zip line course that will take you 50 feet above water, giving guests a breathtaking view of Myrtle Beach.

Get hands-on.  Whether you are learning about the Tesla Coil or laying on a bed of nails, WonderWorks makes learning fun. Families can check out the many STEM-focused activities and exhibits that WonderWorks has to offer that will bring their online curriculum to life.

Learn origami. The art of origami is great for enhancing math skills, problem-solving skills, patience, and attention. WonderWorks Myrtle Beach recently opened a new exhibit that explores the art form’s connections to STEM.

Flip Upside-down. The indoor attraction offers the thrills of a roller coaster without ever leaving the walls of the building. Pick your desired intensity and get turned upside-down on this virtual experience.

Take a Wild Ride. Get strapped in to the 6D XD Motion Theater at WonderWorks and go on an epic adventure back in time to a Dino Safari, travel down a Wild West Mine train, or get caught on canyon coaster misadventure with twists and turns that will feel like you’re actually there. 

Discover space. WonderWorks gives guests a space experience without ever leaving Myrtle Beach. The Space Discovery Zone offers an Astronaut Training Challenge, a Mercury capsule, a shuttle lander experience, and more.

“As kids and families adjust to new ways of learning, we want to be a place where learning and education can be fun and exciting,” added Stinnett. “Myrtle Beach offers a great mix of indoor and outdoor fun for families who want adventure and hands-on learning.”

WonderWorks Myrtle Beach opened following the pandemic with new safety measures in place. This includes reduced hours, enhanced cleaning regimens, spatial distancing protocols, employee health screenings and employee personal protective equipment (PPE). 

Current promotions include free admission for doctors, nurses, first responders, and healthcare workers with valid identification now through August 9, 2020. Teachers and all education support staff also receive free admission through August 9, 2020, with valid credentials. Guests with doctors, nurses, teachers, and education support staff will receive 50% off admission price. The offer cannot be combined with any other offers.

WonderWorks continues to add programs and exhibits in an effort to further expand its educational offerings. WonderWorks offers 50,000 square feet of “edu-tainment” opportunities, billing itself as an amusement park for the mind. It offers over 100 hands-on exhibits covering natural disasters and space discovery, an Imagination Lab, a physical challenge zone, a Far Out Art Gallery, and a light and sound zone. For more information, log on here.

WonderWorks, a science focused indoor amusement park, combines education and entertainment. With over 100 hands-on exhibits, there is something unique and challenging for all ages. Feel the power of an 84 mph hurricane–force winds in the Hurricane Shack. Make huge, life–sized bubbles in the Bubble Lab. Get the NASA treatment in our Astronaut Training Gyro and experience zero gravity. Nail it by lying on the death–defying Bed of Nails. WonderWorks has locations in Orlando, Pigeon Forge, Panama City Beach, Myrtle Beach, Syracuse and Branson. 

Follow WonderWorks: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

Mina Tocalini, 360 Magazine, Detention Centers Must Release Children

Detention Centers Must Release Children

On Friday, U.S. District Court Judge Dolly Gee ruled that the Trump administration must release 124 children who have been held for more than 20 days in family detention facilities. Judge Gee’s ruling cited the threat of COVID-19 and insufficient protections in the crowded facilities, writing that “family residential centers are on fire and there is no more time for half measures.”

While the ruling is a positive development, it also sets up the possibility that the Trump administration will, as Families Belong Together noted, “use this court victory as grounds for a new family separation policy.” Judge Gee confined her ruling to children because of her role in adjudicating child safety issues related to the Flores Settlement Agreement. 

Instead of replaying the systematic separation of children from their parents – one of the darkest chapters of this or any other presidency – it’s time for the administration to allow all the families held in detention to be released.

According to Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice: We call on the administration to do the right thing, and to do it right now. In fact, there has never been a reason for family detention in the first place. Now that the virus is sweeping through these facilities, the urgent imperatives are to save lives and keep families together. 

Don’t force families to choose between forced separation and forced exposure to COVID-19. Release families to proven alternatives that are effective, humane and that keep families together. These case management programs lead to almost universal compliance by those seeking asylum with all appointments and decisions.  

In the summer 2018, a huge public backlash forced the Trump administration to publicly walk back their family separation practices. Given the administration’s immigration cruelty and the Trump campaign’s relentless xenophobia, we shouldn’t be surprised if President Trump uses this moment to again embark on a policy of family separation.

America faces yet another moment of truth. Are we going to rip children away from their parents again, or are we going to keep families together and safe?

Follow Frank Sharry, Douglas Rivlin Twitter: @FrankSharry and @douglasrivlin 

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Parenting Tips During COVID-19

While this summer may look different than you and your family imagined, it can still be a happy, healthy time for growth and positive development. The Children and Screens network of experts is here to help you have the best summer possible with tips for managing summertime with your children and tweens on- and off-screens.

Read on for details, and be sure to tune in to the next “Ask The Experts” interactive webinar series brought to you by Children and Screens: Institute of Digital Media and Child Development this coming Friday, June 5th, at noon EDT, when an esteemed panel of experts will talk about how to navigate this unique summer with your school-aged children and teens and answer your questions via Zoom. RSVP here.

The workshop will be moderated by Dr. David Hill, a national authority on Child Development, Hospital Pediatrician at Goldsboro Pediatrics, Adjunct Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at UNC School of Medicine, and the author of the new book Co-parenting Through Separation and Divorce.

  • FIND A BALANCE
    Kids thrive in environments that help regulate their sensory systems—sight, sound, touch, hearing, taste, smell, vestibular, and proprioceptive, among others—because it makes them feel calm and ready to learn. Understand that kids may be using media devices to help regulate sensation when ordinary supports like playgrounds and resource rooms are unavailable. Instead of viewing media use as inherently problematic, work with your child to explore other environments, inside and out, that support their sensory regulation so that media use is just one of many options available to them.         

 -Kristen Harrison, Professor of Communication and Media, University of Michigan

  • KIDS PITCH IN
    Parents need help around the house, and children need variety, so take this summer as an opportunity to show your kids how to pitch in. Cooking, cleaning the car, watering the plants – these all give your child a sense of purpose and new skills they’ll need as they grow up. Plus, it provides a welcome hand for overburdened parents and guardians!                                                                                                           

-Susan Tapert, PhD, Professor of Psychiatry and Associate Director, Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development, UC San Diego.

  • KEEP IN TOUCH
    As your child progresses from early to middle childhood, peer interactions become even more important. Peer relationships help children develop important skills like cooperation, conflict resolution, emotional management, perspective taking, creativity, and identity presentation. Even if your family is social distancing, encourage your child to engage with other kids. This can be through video chat (e.g., Zoom, FaceTime, Skype), online games (e.g., Minecraft, Roblox), walkie-talkies, or even talking across fences or through windows. Children need social interactions, and peers are important social partners. Even if parks and camps are limited or closed, social interactions should still be encouraged, and the thoughtful use of technology can help facilitate them.                       

 -Stephanie M. Reich, Associate Professor of Education, University of California, Irvine.

  • GO OUTSIDE
    Strangely enough, stay-at-home orders seem to have reminded people how important it is to get outdoors. Being outside is generally regarded as safe, so long as basic public health guidelines are still observed. Playing in nature promotes curiosity, initiative, and creativity, and it’s a great way to take a break from the screen. The Children in Nature Network (CINN) provides resources for parents and guardians who want to promote exploration and unstructured play in backyards, parks, and other wild spaces during the pandemic. With many local and state parks starting to open back up, families can take advantage of this opportunity to instill a lifelong interest in nature.           

-Jayson Seaman, Associate Professor of Outdoor Leadership and Management, University of
New Hampshire.

  • ENCOURAGE EXPLORATION
    It is important to remember that learning happens through interaction with our environment. We learn through what we do. Letting children come up with ideas important to them, avoiding prescribed activities, taking time, and being patient provides space for creativity to emerge. Whatever the activity – whether a walk in the woods, drawing a picture, experimenting with a recipe or what might seem like just fooling around- letting kids, particularly young ones explore in unstructured ways helps them understand their world and cultivate deeper interest.                 

-Stephen Uzzo, Chief Scientist, New York Hall of Science and Adjunct Professor, Teaching and Learning, New York Institute of Technology Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

  • EXPECT AN ADJUSTMENT PERIOD
    Your child has been using screens to fend off boredom, but that’s not all. Screens are an easy way to distract ourselves from all those uncomfortable feelings during a pandemic: Disappointment. Sadness. Anxiety. Fear. Annoyance. Anger. So be sure to build in antidotes, like daily roughhousing, to help kids work through emotions. And you can expect a certain amount of volatility from your child as they begin spending less time with screens, so ratchet up your patience level. But after this transitional time period, you’ll see your child becoming less irritable and aggressive. You’ll notice more initiative, self-discipline and focus when they play. And best of all, you’ll see your child developing their inner life and discovering who they are by playing, learning and engaging with the world, instead of losing themselves to a screen.             

-Laura Markham, Editor of Ahaparenting.com, Author of Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids: How to Stop Yelling and Start  Connecting and Peaceful Parent, Happy Siblings: How to Stop the Fighting and Raise Friends for Life

  • USE YOUR TOOLS
    Families can find a great tool to help them have a screen-use discussion with their kids by checking out the interactive Family Media Use Plan
    at HealthyChildren.org. Not sure how much time your kids really have? Would it help to have some visuals? It’s all there!   

-David L Hill, Hospital Pediatrician at Goldsboro Pediatrics, Adjunct Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at UNC School of Medicine, and the author of the new book Co-parenting Through Separation and Divorce.

  • DETOX FROM SCREENS
    Consider setting aside a full day (perhaps Saturday or Sunday) as screen-free time. If you can’t commit to a day, at least try a designated evening. This regular break allows children to do a “screen detox” and creates a void to be filled with other activities. Not a bad routine for the whole family to do together.   

-Daniel G. Shapiro, M.D., Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics

  • FAMILY FUN WITH MEDIA
    When you do watch media, make it a family affair. We know from research that when children and caregivers watch screens together, children are more likely to learn from what they are viewing. So, bring out the popcorn and have a special movie night, or designate some time during the day when you can sit down and watch educational media together to help make it a positive experience for kids. Children are more likely to learn from what they are viewing if you direct them to specific content (“Elmo is red”) and make it relatable (“that car is blue, we have a blue car too!”).  For older children, you can get them talking or thinking about what’s on the screen by asking engaging, open ended questions (“The dragon seems upset, why do you think that is?”). When family screen time is over, try to engage children in offline activities that get them playing or moving, to help keep their brains and bodies healthy.             

-Sheri Madigan, PhD, Clinical Psychologist, Canada Research Chair in Determinants of Child Development, Associate Professor, University of Calgary and Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute

“Just as resources have been recently prioritized to the transition from work to home,” says Dr. Pamela Hurst-Della Pietra, President and Founder of Children and Screens: Institute of Digital Media and Child Development, “for the foreseeable future, parents need to explore new avenues and adapt their child-rearing techniques to best serve their children’s needs in an uncertain and challenging milieu. It is a lot of ask, especially with fewer outside resources, less time, near constant change, circumscribed opportunities and, on top of it, the constant allure of screen time for everyone, but the payoff is worth the extra effort. We are here to support parents in coping with the new reality.”

Parenting Tips

Summer is fast approaching, and while that usually means barbecues, beach days, and family vacations, this summer promises to be very different due to the COVID-19 pandemic. States around the country are slowly beginning to open back up, but everyday life is still far from being back to normal, which means parents will need to get more creative than ever to keep their young children healthy, happy, and mentally stimulated in the days and months ahead.

As part of our ongoing series aimed at helping parents navigate these uncertain times, Children and Screens teamed up once again with some of the top experts in the fields of parenting, education, and child psychology to bring you some new tips for the summer season that will help you make the most of this critical time in your child’s development. Read on for details, and be sure to tune in to the next installment of Children and Screens “Ask The Experts” interactive webinar series this coming Wednesday, June 3rd, at noon EDT, when an esteemed panel of experts will talk about how to navigate summer with your toddler while observing social distancing and answer your questions via Zoom. Moderated by Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, PhD, Director of Temple University’s Infant Language Laboratory and Professor of Psychology.

STOP, DROP, AND PLAY

Parents are the first and most influential teachers a child will ever have, but more than that, they’re also first responders during this pandemic. Play is medicine for young children, so be sure to stop and drop what you’re doing regularly for short bouts of play. – Mary Gordon, Founder/President, Roots of Empathy

TELL ME A STORY

With some prompting and support, you can help your child develop their language and storytelling skills while spending quality time together. Take photos and videos next time your child is playing with puppets or stuffed animals, building with blocks, or drawing with chalk on the sidewalk. Later, you can review the photos or videos together and invite your child to tell a story about what was happening in the town they built with their blocks, or what they drew with the chalk, or how they used the hose to fill up the plastic pool. – Katie Paciga, Associate Professor of Education, Columbia College Chicago

FLIGHTS OF FANTASY

Most children delight in letting their imagination run wild. Give them the ‘driving seat” and belt up for a pretend adventure to the jungle, the Egyptian desert, the North Pole, or even the moon. Turn a room upside-down to create “caves” and let the fun begin! – Claire Hughes, Professor of Psychology and Deputy Director of the Centre for Family Research, University of Cambridge

GET CREATIVE

Kids get the most out of play when they can use materials like sand, water, paint, playdough, dress-ups, markers and paper, generic animals and people, and building materials like blocks. That’s because these items encourage children to tell their own stories and invite them to incorporate their own feelings, imaginations, and experiences as they play. Media-based and defined toys overly influence how children play, which edges out kids’ needs and ideas, dampens their creativity, and minimizes the benefits of high quality play. – Nancy Carlsson-Paige, Ed.D., Professor Emerita Lesley University, co-founder Defending the Early Years

MAKE THE MOST OF MEALTIME

Children who engage in more conversations at home are better at processing language, which is essential for learning. Mealtimes are an excellent opportunity to talk with your kids, so try to put all devices aside at the table and focus on conversation. You can talk about something fun you did together recently, discuss plans for a future event, ask your child questions about how they’re feeling, share interesting facts you recently learned, or see if they have any questions for you. – Meredith Rowe, Saul Zaentz Professor of Early Learning and Development, Harvard University Graduate School ofEducation

FRESH AIR & FACETIME

We all need fresh air, and kids especially need to run and jump and build those bones. If you have children who are reluctant to go outside, tell them you’re going to make a video together to send to a family member who’s far away. Ask them to tell you about what they’re doing and get them talking. Using this medium to solicit language from children accomplishes three things: it gets them outside and exercising, it invites them to narrate their activities, and it makes a far-away grandparent, aunt, or uncle very happy! When your children talk about what they’re doing, they’re improving their language development, especially when you ask them to clarify what they mean. – Roberta Michnick Golinkoff, Unidel H. Rodney Sharp Professor of Education at the University of Delaware

NURTURE IN NATURE

Outdoor time is great for parents and kids alike. The evidence is clear that nature-based experiences contribute to relaxation, reduced stress, and overall health and well-being. Playing outdoors stimulates children’s creativity, self-confidence, and resilience. Time together in nature also helps make shared memories and strengthens family ties. Wherever you live, look for ways to get outside with your children in order to learn, play, explore, and adventure. From birdwatching to growing a garden, making mud pies to having a picnic, nearby nature isan endless source of healthy and healing connections. – Cheryl Charles, Ph.D., Co-Founder and CEO Emerita, Children & Nature Network

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ROYBI ROBOT – AI-powered EdTech

A growing number of states say their schools will stay closed for the rest of the 2019-20 academic year to stem the Coronavirus outbreak. At Roybi Robot, a leader in AI-powered EdTech and personalized education, they know first hand the importance of AI in connection with remote education and learning.

At ROYBI, they’re already noticing a big shift towards remote learning due to the recent circumstances and headlines. And throughout this all, one thing seems inevitable: school settings, as they stand today, will change. Online and remote learning will be systems that educational institutions will adopt for future emergencies. They envision a future where the new culture of learning begins at home through devices with sophisticated AI technology such as Roybi Robot. Artificial Intelligence allows educators to follow the child’s progress in a smarter way and provides a personalized approach to each child individually. Additionally, it provides a closer collaboration between parents and educators, because it can connect in a joint force to education.

With many uncertainties around the school closures, many educators have already started approaching distance and remote learning in the long term, but lack of personalized attention and progress tracking has been a major challenge for them. The role of artificial intelligence becomes even more significant for a modern world as it can monitor each child individually and provide feedback to educators more accurately than traditional approaches.

At Roybi, they are NOT saying to eliminate school and the classroom. They are saying that to save time and cost, we can be educating children more at home (by the educators) and use AI to personalize the educational experience for each child. They envision a future where they can connect learners, parents, educators, and even their Roybi Robots together while creating an engaging and interactive learning experience.