Blog

5 Ideas for Earth Day- April 22nd

 

Earth day is tomorrow! Here are 5 simple and fun Earth Day activities to spend the day enjoying and supporting our wonderful planet:

  • Spend some time in your garden- planting a tree or small garden is a great way to spend Earth Day. Trees are not only beautiful, but also beneficial to the environment! Vegetable and/or flower gardens can be simple to create and also provide healthy foods and beautiful flowers.
  • Make an earth friendly meal- shop your local farmers market and try out a new recipe utilizing only ingredients found from local sources.
  • Litter clean-up- individuals, groups, and families can band together to clean-up their neighborhood, a park, and communities by picking up litter.
  • Attend a green event- there are many events throughout communities. Here are two events happening this weekend, one in Kern county and the other is Los Angeles county:
    • Greater Bakersfield Green Expo-showcases recycling and renewable energy businesses and services throughout Kern County, and also includes a recycled art competition for high school students https://gbgreenexpo.org/
    • Calabasas Earth Day Celebration/Green Expo- includes fifty exhibitors from all over Los Angeles County and Ventura County and also will have numerous children’s activities to teach kids about the environment while they have fun http://www.cityofcalabasas.com/earth-day.html

#HEAL

If you follow LDInc on social media you might have noticed our inclusion of #HEAL on every post after our agency hashtag (#LDInc). Here’s a little insight into its meaning- #HEAL is an acronym for Hope, Empower, Achieve, and Learn- pillars of our agency’s mission and values.

Hope
Our agency aims to instill and encourage hope in everyone we serve. We strongly believe that hope is instrumental to the work we do. We want to inspire our clients to maintain hope in all situations- hope that they can instill change; hope that they can be, do, and feel better; and hope that they can reach their goals.

Empower
We want to empower each and every person who walks through our doors. Empowerment means that each person believes that they have the competency, capability, and strength to enact the necessary changes to improve the themselves and their relationships.

Achieve
Success for us, is helping our clients to achieve the goals they set for themselves. As much as someone may want to reach their goals, we know there are times when their energy may be limited. We partner with our clients; working tirelessly to match their efforts, and provide them with emotional and tangible resources, to help them meet and exceed the goals they set for themselves.

Learn
Learning is a never-ending journey, that is energized through the sharing of knowledge between our staff, clients, and community members. As an agency, we strive to continue learning and developing, as individuals and as a team. Our aim is to continuously seek out knowledge, resources, and strategies to strengthen our ability to effectively serve others. We use this as a tool to promote the well-being of others and disseminate helpful information throughout the community.

#HEAL
It is our “HOPE” that we are able to “EMPOWER” others to “ACHIEVE” their goals when they “LEARN” new ways of thinking and doing, that are personally meaningful and culturally-harmonious.

We are faithful that the confidence gained will inspire them to share their talents and skills with others, so one day we are all able to #HEAL.

 

Help Prevent Child Abuse

Every child should feel safe and experience a childhood that is free of abuse and neglect. While that is not the case today, we have the opportunity to work towards a better tomorrow where this is our reality. April is Child Abuse Awareness and Prevention Month. Let us take this opportunity to remember that that we can make a difference in the lives of children across this country.

We may think that child abuse does not affect the children in our family or the families of those we know. Statistically, everyone that thinks this cannot be right. Every day, five children in the United States die because of child abuse1. Sadly, almost 80% of these cases involve at least one parent1.

Whether we are providing prevention or intervention, our efforts can make a big difference in the lives of children today, and the families they grow up to have tomorrow. Fostering healthy parenting and positive family interactions within our own families, and those of our family and friends, is an excellent place to start. Need some ideas? The Washington State Department of Social and Health Services put together a great list of 10 things that we can do to help prevent child abuse2.

  1. U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Administration on Children, Youth and Families, Children’s Bureau. (2017). Child Maltreatment 2015. Available from: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/research-data-technology/statistics-research/child-maltreatment
  2. Washington State Department of Social and Health Services (n.d.) Child Abuse Prevention Tips. Available from: https://www.dshs.wa.gov/ca/child-safety-and-protection/child-abuse-prevention-tips

Congratulations Sara!

When Sara started working with us, she had not attended school in over two weeks, due to her anxiety. Her parents tried everything they could think of, but she would either hide in the bathroom or attempt to leave the school grounds. We worked together with Sara and her parents, and were all so proud when she was willingly attending school for a full day. We were excited to hear that she has not only continued to attend school, but she successfully spoke in front of her class for an assignment. Well done Sara!

Strengthening Skills & Bonding Through Reading

Reading with children has been shown to have many benefits including expanding vocabulary, increasing attention, improving logic and reasoning, and can also help strengthen relationships and foster communication between caregiver and children. Spending just a few minutes of quality time (QT) reading with a child can make a world of difference. Often, caregivers say that their children “don’t like to read,” “it’s a struggle” to get children to read outside of school materials, or that children prefer “screen time.” There are different strategies and approaches that can help make reading fun and strengthen the caregiver-child bond. Kids can learn reading is fun and positive! This will help avoid any resistance or aversion to reading. Here are some strategies that can be helpful:

  • Start early. Reading aloud to infants is a great way to start to expose young ones to language and reading.
  • Make it consistent. Reading every day can be easily incorporated into it daily routines. Read one short book or chapter together nightly as the child is settling down into bed, right before bedtime. This can be a great way for everyone to spend some quality time and wind down together. Consistent, quality time spent promotes bonding and calm activities such as reading can be soothing.
  • Is your child resistant to reading aloud? Reading to them is a great start, and then slowly encouraging them to identify and/or sound out words, taking turns.
  • Use intonation. Let your inner bear, grouch, or silly voice out! This can help engage them, sustain and strengthen their attention, and create special memories together.
  • Books are great conversational tools. Focus is not just on reading the words but also engaging the child in conversation. Talk and ask questions! Describe or ask questions about the pictures, elaborate on the story- ask any questions and also give your thoughts. For example, if the story talks about someone being mad and there’s a depiction of the character, ask how can we know the character is mad by looking at him?
  • Predict to promote logical thinking skills. As your reading, ask your child to guess what is going to happen next before turning the page! Ask how and why they came up with their prediction, so they can explain their thinking. This can also give you a window into seeing how your child thinks and connects ideas.
  • Praise, praise, praise! Giving your child positive feedback by reflecting their thoughts, encouraging their efforts, and making positive statements can help keep them engaged, strengthen attachment, and build self-esteem.
  • Think books are too expensive? Public libraries still exist! You can join a library and there are endless books you can borrow FREE! Make an outing of it- take them to the library to pick out a book (many libraries also have story times which can be fun), have a treat (snack, ice cream, etc.), and enjoy the book together! Read it at the library, at a park, at home; books can be read anywhere.