Tag Archives: Need

Dr. Edward F. Dragan, Writer of Soon to be Published Book, ‘Keeping Kids Safe in School: What Parents and Teachers Need to Know,’ Addresses the Issue of School Bullying


Lambertville, NJ (PRWEB) April 19, 2007

Dr. Edward F. Dragan education expert and founder of Education Management Consulting, LLC recognizes the importance of cooperative efforts to prevent school bullying.

“All children are entitled to courteous and respectful treatment by students and staff at school. Educators have a duty to ensure that students have a safe learning environment,” says education expert and school liability consultant Dr. Dragan.

In American schools, more than 16 percent of students say that they have been bullied by other students during the 2000-2001 school year, according to a survey funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. The study appears in the April 25, 2001 Journal of the American Medical Association.

In the U.S. many states are finally recognizing the urgent need to take a firm stand against bullying. In February 2007, the New Jersey Supreme Court unanimously ruled students have the right to attend school without being subjected to repeated taunts from other children. The ruling makes school districts in that state responsible for stopping bias-based harassment. A school district may be found liable if it knew about a “hostile educational environment” and failed to take reasonable action to end it.

Eighteen additional states, Guam, and Puerto Rico have passed anti-bullying laws and require public schools to have an anti-bullying policy in place. These laws generally define harassment and bullying as any conduct toward a student which is based on any actual or perceived trait or characteristic of the student and which creates an objectively hostile school environment. The list includes age, color, creed, national origin, race, religion, marital status, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, physical attributes, physical or mental ability or disability, ancestry, political party preference, political belief, socioeconomic status, or familial status.

According to Dr. Dragan, “The key for the protection of both the victim and the school is that the school takes affirmative action whenever there is an observation or report of bullying.”

“Schools must have clear policies and procedures and train students and staff in the detection, reporting, and prevention of bullying. No amount of laws will stop the practice of bullying. Effectiveness is achieved when students, parents, teachers, and administrators join together to confront bullying and harassment. Each must take responsibility to take part to protect students and to make schools safe.”

About:

Edward F. Dragan, Ed.D. is the founder of Education Management Consulting, LLC, providing consultation and education expert witness services to school administrators and attorneys on education-related issues including school management, safety, bullying, education law suits, and school risk assessments. His book, Keeping Kids Safe in School: What Parents and Teachers Need to Know, is scheduled for publication in 2007.

Contact Information

Edward F. Dragan, Ed.D.

Education Management Consulting, LLC

609.397.8989

http://www.edmgt.com

###







Survey Shows Parents Need To Do more To Protect Their Children Online

(PRWEB) September 20, 2007

Parents are relying too heavily on their children doing as they are asked to keep them safe online according to new research from UK broadband comparison service BroadbandChoices.co.uk.

84 per cent of parents polled across the UK said that they rate verbal agreement with their children on safe Internet usage as their number one means of monitoring online activity. This comes in the wake of a worrying Government report that one in four children has put themselves in potential danger by secretly meeting strangers they have contacted online1.

Michael Phillips, product director of BroadbandChoices.co.uk, said: “It’s surprising that so many people rely heavily on their child doing what they ask – it just isn’t going to happen in most cases and the Government’s research proves this.

“However, there are a few simple steps parents can take to bolster protection for their child when online. Rather than relying on a single approach, they should use parental control and security software, combined with education, to stop inappropriate material – and people – reaching their child.”

Our research shows that the top four ways parents monitor their child’s online activity are:

1. A verbal agreement to use the Internet safely (84 per cent)

2. The use of parental control software such as McAfee and Norton (63 per cent)

3. Restricting the amount of time children spend online (62 per cent)

4. Manually checking the computer to see what they have been doing online (59 per cent)

This represents a three-fold increase on a similar study carried out two years ago.

Behind their parents’ backs

The poll also asked children aged 11-16 what they had actually been doing online during the school holidays. The top three activities were:

1. Downloading music and photos (48 per cent)

2. Joining in with chat rooms and making new friends online (45 per cent)

3. Using social networking sites such as MySpace, Bebo and Facebook (40 per cent)

“The wide availability of the Internet has made ‘stranger danger’ omnipresent. Parents need to be made more aware of the simple checks that they could put in place to safeguard their children who are increasingly using the Internet to build new relationships.

“As well as the possible safety threats posed by the Internet, your child’s online activities could land you a bigger bill at the end of the month. With 48 per cent of children regularly downloading from the Internet, usage allowances could easily be exceeded and parents could find themselves out of pocket at the end of the month if they aren’t able to monitor it,” concluded Phillips.

BroadbandChoices.co.uk’s top five tips for protecting your children online

1. Parental control software: Some ISPs like AOL and BT offer parental controls as part of their service, while other users can get them with their antivirus and security suites. Parental controls allow you to block certain sites and keywords, apply different settings for different age groups and monitor your child’s online activity. You can also use the Messenger Plus! program to keep a log of conversations they might be having using Instant Messenger.

2. Education: Completely banning older children from the Internet is unlikely to stop them from using chatrooms and social networking sites, so instead, explain why they need to be careful on the Internet and make sure they know never to give out personal information or meet strangers without an adult around.

3. All on one PC: Keeping the family computer in the living room is a great way of ensuring that your children stay safe online. They’re far less likely to spend time in chatrooms or downloading illegally if their parents are in the same room. Also, make sure that you’re set as the administrator on any PC in the home, so that only you can change the settings on your parental control software.

4. Antivirus and firewall software: Using security software to protect your PC will also protect your child from spam emails with inappropriate content, and phishing emails where they could give out personal information including bank details.

5. Monitor downloads: If you’re concerned about the affect your children’s downloading is having on your monthly usage allowance, use a Broadband Download Monitor such as ours to keep an eye on downloads and set alarms to alert you when you near your limit.

BroadbandChoices.co.uk’s download monitor can be accessed at http://www.broadbandchoices.co.uk/broadband-download-monitor.html

About BroadbandChoices.co.uk: http://www.broadbandchoices.co.uk

BroadbandChoices.co.uk is the second biggest broadband comparison service in the UK. Unlike other comparison sites, BroadbandChoices.co.uk doesn’t just focus on price but total package value. Consumers can now refer to this impartial Website to access the latest broadband advice and deals, to help them make the right choice.

What makes BroadbandChoices.co.uk different:

Most comprehensive range of consumer guides and advice
Emphasis on value rather than cost alone
Variety of ways to rank products according to individual priorities
Detailed product information
A community of like minded people where you can read reviews or share your thoughts
Up-to-date information regarding key industry developments
Access to bespoke interactive tools – [http://www.broadbandchoices.co.uk/speed-tester.html speed tester & broadband download monitor)

# # #







Social Security Disability Insurance Recipients Need Better Understanding of Pros and Cons of New Debit Card, Allsup Says


Belleville, IL (Vocus) March 27, 2008

Starting next month Social Security Disability Insurance recipients in some states will have the option of receiving their benefit payments electronically on a debit card, rather than via a paper check. However, eligible individuals — many of whom are “unbanked” — should have a clear understanding of the pros and cons of opting for the debit card, particularly the financial ramifications, according to Allsup (http://www.allsup.com), which represents tens of thousands of people in the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) process each year. It also offers services that support the financial and health well-being of individuals with disabilities.

“Before signing on to or totally dismissing the idea of the debit card program, potential cardholders should look at how they are likely to use a card,” said Paul Gada, personal financial planning director of the Allsup Disability Life Planning Center. “For some, the card may make sense. For others, they may realize after looking at their spending habits that getting a bank account may really be the best option. And there will be others that will always operate with cash only, regardless of the drawbacks it presents.”

The debit card program, called Direct Express, is run by the U.S. Treasury Department through Comerica Bank with the intent to encourage Social Security recipients who do not have a bank account to elect to have their benefits loaded electronically onto a debit card. The Direct Express program will be introduced this spring in Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas before being phased in across the nation during the summer.

The cost savings for the government could be significant, based on estimates from the Treasury’s Financial Management Service. For example, it cost 89 cents for the government to issue a paper check in 2006 compared with 9 cents to process an electronic payment. As a result, if the 4 million recipients of Social Security, SSDI and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) who don’t have bank accounts were to sign up for the debit card, the savings could be $ 44 million annually.

Having monthly benefits electronically deposited onto debit cards also has its advantages for recipients, most notably convenience and security. In the case of individuals with disabilities who may have limited mobility, for example, having the debit card would mean that they would not have to make a special trip to cash their SSDI award or be concerned if they were hospitalized or otherwise unable to retrieve their benefit payment when it was due to arrive. Additionally, funds on the card are FDIC insured, just like money in a bank account, so the money is fully protected if the card is lost or stolen; though a card replacement fee will be assessed the second time a card needs to be replaced in any given year.

Evaluating the Costs

While cost savings for the government — and taxpayers — are obvious, the cost savings may not be as clear-cut for debit-card recipients. They might end up paying even more in transaction fees than the average $ 6 to have a paper check cashed, especially if they don’t pay attention to how they’re using the debit card.

Among the questions Gada recommends potential cardholders consider before signing up for a debit card include:

Social Security Disability Insurance Recipients Need Better Understanding of Pros and Cons of New Debit Card, Allsup Says


Belleville, Ill. (Vocus) June 10, 2008

The nationwide rollout has begun and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) recipients in some states already have the option of receiving their benefit payments electronically on a debit card, rather than via a paper check. However, eligible individuals many of whom are unbanked should have a clear understanding of the pros and cons of opting for the debit card, particularly the financial ramifications, according to Allsup, which represents tens of thousands of people in the SSDI process each year. It also offers services that support the financial and health well-being of individuals with disabilities.

Before signing on to or totally dismissing the idea of the debit card program, potential cardholders should look at how they are likely to use a card, said Paul Gada, personal financial planning director of the Allsup Disability Life Planning Center. ”For some, the card may make sense. For others, they may realize after looking at their spending habits that getting a bank account may really be the best option. And there will be others that will always operate with cash only, regardless of the drawbacks it presents.”

The debit MasterCard program, called Direct Express, is run by the U.S. Treasury Department through Comerica Bank with the intent to encourage Social Security recipients who do not have a bank account to elect to have their benefits loaded electronically onto a debit card. Direct Express has been introduced in 10 states: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Texas. The rest of the nation will be phased in throughout the summer.

Cost savings for the government could be significant, based on estimates from the Treasurys Financial Management Service. For example, it cost 89 cents to issue a paper check in 2006 compared with 9 cents to process an electronic payment. If the 4 million recipients of Social Security, SSDI and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) who dont have bank accounts signed up for debit cards, the savings could be $ 44 million annually.

Having monthly benefits electronically deposited onto debit cards also has its advantages for recipients, most notably convenience and security. For example, people with limited mobility who have the debit card would not have to make a special trip to cash their SSDI check or be concerned if they were hospitalized or otherwise unable to retrieve their benefit payment. Funds on the card are FDIC insured, just like money in a bank account, so the money is fully protected if the card is lost or stolen, although there will be a fee the second time a card needs to be replaced in any given year.

Evaluating the Costs

While cost savings for the government and taxpayers are obvious, it may not be as clear-cut for debit-card recipients. They may pay even more in transaction fees than the average six dollars to have a paper check cashed, especially if they dont pay attention to how theyre using the debit card.

The following questions are among those that Gada recommends before signing up for a debit card:

How accessible to you is an ATM in the Comerica network?
How often would you make ATM withdrawals and would they be at in- or out-of-network ATMs?
How often would you use the electronic bill payment feature?
Will the companies you are paying electronically charge you a fee for electronic payment?
Is there a bank in your area that could provide you with a more cost-effective solution for the features you want, such as ATM, electronic bill pay or direct debit?
If you are concerned about opening a bank account, have you spoken with a local bank to see if they can help alleviate your concerns?
Social Security recipients participating in the Direct Express program are allowed one free ATM cash withdrawal per month from a designated ATM. They are assessed a 90-cent fee for each additional ATM withdrawal. Cardholders may be charged an additional surcharge fee by ATM owners outside of the Comerica Bank network, which issues the debit cards. Additionally, program participants have access to online bill payment for a fee of 50 cents per online bill payment and can receive a paper statement for a 75-cent monthly fee.

Gada advises potential cardholders to consider how they would use the debit card. For example, rather than having to pay for a cashier check or carry large amounts of cash and pay bills in person, incurring a small transaction fee for electronic bill payment may be worth it, particularly for individuals who have a difficult time getting around. However, Gada noted, individuals should check to see if the organization they are paying will assess an additional charge for accepting electronic bill payment.

On the other hand, people who are going to head for an ATM every time they need cash will find transaction fees quickly adding up to little added value.

”In these cases, its time to seriously consider what is preventing you from getting an account at your local bank, because that probably would be your best option,” said Gada. ”Many banks offer no minimum balance checking accounts where you can have your Social Security benefits direct deposited and electronically pay bills or use their ATMs at no additional charge.”

Overcoming Banking Barriers

One of the reasons that some Social Security recipients continue to insist on paper checks is the fear that their bank accounts could be attached by creditors. However, under federal law, Social Security benefit payments are protected from attachment, meaning creditors do not have the right to take these funds from a recipients bank account. The same rules will apply to funds placed on Direct Express debit cards. There are a few explicit exceptions to the rules guarding against attachment of Social Security benefits. For example, Social Security funds can be taken to pay child support or alimony payments the individual owes.

”At any given time, there are likely millions of dollars in Social Security payments that are at risk because people on fixed incomes got into debt or are having a dispute with a creditor,” said Gada. ”Unfortunately, they are acting on inaccurate information that has them afraid to put their money into bank accounts where it can be protected and they can be afforded other benefits of being banked.”

About Allsup

Allsup, Belleville, Ill., is a leading nationwide provider of financial and healthcare related services to people with disabilities. Founded in 1984, Allsup has helped more than 100,000 people receive their entitled Social Security Disability Insurance and Medicare benefits. Allsup employs more than 500 professionals who deliver services directly to consumers and their families, or through their employers and long-term disability insurance carriers.

For more information, visit http://www.Allsup.com .

###







Rain Bird Crowns Winners of the 2008 Intelligent Use of Water Film Competition : Glass Half Full and Water Thicker Than Oil Take Home the Environmentally Focused Competition’s Top Awards for their Insightful And Clever Take On The Need for Water Conservation


Azusa, Calif. (PRWEB) October 12, 2008

“All of the finalists in the competition have taken on the world’s water issues through a personal lens that will undoubtedly encourage discussion on the efficient, effective and responsible use of Earth’s most precious resource,” said Dave Johnson, Rain Bird’s Corporate Marketing Director. “In sponsoring the 2008 Intelligent Use of Water Film Competition we aim to provide filmmakers like these six finalists with a forum to exercise their influence, and actively raise awareness of this important issue in a manner that will inspire others to take action in their own way.”

As the winner of the Jury Prize, David Sutera was awarded $ 6,000 for his film entry, Glass Half Full, a mockery of the film noir genre that drives home an important message of water conservation in an entertaining and comedic manner.

Michael McGuire, the Audience Choice Prize winner, was awarded $ 3,000 for his film entry titled Water Thicker Than Oil, a simplified approach to water conservation as seen through a child’s eyes.

This year’s Jury Award was chosen by a panel of judges consisting of Gary McVey, executive director of the American Cinema Foundation, documentarian Jim Thebaut and Timothy Brick, chairman of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.

Shalini Kantayya, director of the 2007 Audience Choice Award Winner “A Drop of Life,” served as the master of ceremonies for the evening’s event.

Prior to the screening of the finalists’ films, the evening’s guests were treated to a special showing of The American Southwest: Are We Running Dry?, critically acclaimed writer, director, producer and competition judge Jim Thebaut’s definitive look at how the water crisis is affecting the American Southwest and its escalating economic toll.

In addition to this evening’s awarding of the film competition winners, Rain Bird presented Christopher S. Gray Sr. with a check for $ 10,000 in recognition of his being selected as the winner of Rain Bird’s 2008 Intelligent Use of Water Award for his role in the development and implementation of an innovative wastewater recapture program as Superintendent at Marvel Golf Club in Benton, Kentucky.

The Intelligent Use of Water Film Competition is part of a range of programs and initiatives to boost awareness of the need for water conservation. Rain Bird devotes significant resources to its Intelligent Use of Water public initiatives, which include The Intelligent Use of Water Award; biannual Intelligent Use of Water Summits; a series of white papers; public service announcements; membership on the Alliance for Water Efficiency and the steering committee advising the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on its WaterSense product labeling program; partnerships with nonprofit organizations; development and support of elementary and middle school curriculums; and participation in the Tournament of Roses Parade

Education.com Partners with Leading Organizations to Give Parents the Resources They Need to Become More Involved in Their Kids’ Education


Redwood City, CA (Vocus) May 19, 2009

Education.com , a leading web destination for parents of school-aged children, today announced partnerships with some of the nation’s leading family-focused, not-for-profit organizations. In teaming up with organizations like the Autism Society of America (ASA) , Boys Town National Hotline, Hand in Hand Parenting , the National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD) , and PBS Parents , Education.com has increased its capacity to provide information, ideas, and inspiration to help parents effectively address the unique educational and developmental needs of their children.

“Many parents agree with President Obama and Secretary of Education Duncan that responsibility for our children’s education must begin at home,” commented Education.com CEO Dr. Ronald Fortune. “However it’s not always obvious to parents how they should get involved. Education.com and our partners are committed to making sure that all parents can easily access the resources they need to be active and effective participants in the education of their children.” Fortune noted that Education.com leverages the expertise of its not-for-profit partners in a number of innovative ways.

In addition to creating its own content, Education.com acquires original articles from partner organizations. Before being published to the site, all articles must receive Education.com’s stamp of approval to indicate that the content is evidence based, credible, timely, and easy to understand. NCLD, an organization that provides information, promotes research and programs, and advocates for policies, and PBS Parents, PBS’s online resource, have contributed hundreds of articles to Education.com’s information centers.

In addition to contributing articles to Education.com, the Autism Society of America, the nation’s leading grassroots autism organization, will also serve as Guest Editor of an upcoming Education.com Special Edition on Asperger’s Syndrome. The Asperger’s Special Edition will give readers access to the latest information on Asperger’s Syndrome along with original articles from world experts and educators.

Boys Town National Hotline and Hand in Hand Parenting, an organization devoted to helping parents acquire the skills they need to build and rebuild close connections with their children, both participate as experts in Education.com’s new question-and-answer resource, JustAsk. Ginny Gohr, Director of the Boys Town National Hotline explains her organization’s interest in contributing to JustAsk, “Over the past two decades, Boys Town has had the privilege of helping millions of parents who have made calls to our hotline. We’re really excited to participate as Education.com JustAsk experts because now, with hundreds or thousands of parents reading each answer, we’re able to provide more parents with the high-quality advice and support they need.”

Education.com’s Fortune notes the importance of these organizations’ contributions “We believe all parents want to do what’s best for their children. We’re here to provide world-class information, resources, ideas, and inspiration to help parents get involved, stay involved, and be powerful advocates for their children’s education. No organization on its own could generate the volume of credible resources required to meet the incredibly diverse needs of parents, so we’re thrilled to partner with the leading experts in each topic who can help us get parents what they need.”

About Education.com: From kindergarten readiness to college prep, Education.com is the leading destination for involved parents. More than a million parents a month come to Education.com to get the information they need to support their children’s unique educational and developmental needs, and to find ideas for how to make learning more fun. The company has teamed up with leading universities, nonprofits, and research organizations to offer highly credible parenting, developmental, and educational information. The site also offers printable activities, community resources, access to best-of-breed educational services, and SchoolFinder – a tool that gives parents comprehensive data on the nation’s 125,000 public, private and charter schools. Education.com was founded in 2006 and is headquartered in Redwood City, CA. The company is backed by leading venture capital firms, Azure Capital Partners, TeleSoft Partners, and California Technology Ventures. For more information, please visit http://www.education.com.

About ASA: ASA, the nation’s leading grassroots autism organization, exists to improve the lives of all affected by autism. We do this by increasing public awareness about the day-to-day issues faced by people on the spectrum, advocating for appropriate services for individuals across the lifespan, and providing the latest information regarding treatment, education, research and advocacy. For more information, visit http://www.autism-society.org.

About Boys Town National Hotline: The Boys Town National Hotline was established in 1989 and answers nearly 175,000 calls for help every year. A service provided by Boys Town, founded in 1917 by Father Edward Flanagan, offers trained, professional counselors to callers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Callers problems range from relationship and parental discipline issues to depression and suicide. In crisis situations, counselors assist callers and provide community resources and emergency intervention. The Hotline provides referrals to agencies throughout the United States and responds to anyone in need of assistance, with a special focus on children and families. Anyone in a crisis situation, especially children and families, can call 800.448.3000 for help anytime. For more information visit http://www.boystown.org/hotline.

About Hand in Hand Parenting: Hand in Hand (formerly Parents Leadership Institute) helps parents acquire the skills they need to build and rebuild close connections with their children. We also encourage parents to build close connections with other parents, so they are able to learn and share with others, and work together to build a healthier community. For more information, please visit http://www.handinhandparenting.org/.

About National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD): NCLD provides essential information to parents, professionals, and individuals with learning disabilities; promotes research and programs to foster effective learning; and advocates for policies to protect and strengthen educational rights and opportunities. For more information about NCLD, please visit http://www.LD.org.

Pregnant Pakistani Women Need Lifesaving Care; UNFPA Works to Fill the Gap


Islamabad, Pakistan (Vocus) September 7, 2010

Thousands of pregnant women uprooted by floods face heightened risk of death and disability unless relief efforts can be scaled up quickly to meet their needs, UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, warned today.

Nearly 500,000 of the 21 million flood-affected Pakistanis are pregnant, UNFPA estimates. Every day, some 1,700 will go into labour; more than 250 of them will experience complications that call for lifesaving medical intervention.

Yet most of those displaced in the crisis still lack access to proper health services, including skilled delivery assistance.

Noor Bano, 32, is an exception. She was anaemic and exhausted when her labour pains started on Sunday. Her flight from the flood had included a three-hour trek carrying two small children and two days sheltering beneath a bridge without food or water.

But Noor ended up in a camp in Sukkur visited regularly by a UNFPA-supported medical team. The team gave Noor a prenatal exam and left a phone number. Noors mother-in-law called, and community midwife Farzana Sarki came quickly to help Noor deliver her sixth baby in the familys tent.

It was Farzanas 18th delivery in two weeks. Since early August, UNFPA has deployed obstetricians and midwives in 23 mobile teams and 14 health centres in flood-affected areas. They have attended some 1,500 births, treated 300 women after suffering miscarriages, and referred nearly 200 mothers to hospitals for Caesarean sections.

Shahnaz Seelro, Noors neighbour in the camp, gave birth before reaching the camp — in the trailer of a truck hired to carry her family away from the flood. With no skilled birth attendant, her life would have been at risk had anything gone wrong.

Maternal mortality is high in Pakistan in normal times; the UN estimates that 320 women die for every 100,000 live births. Trauma, malnutrition and poor hygiene make flood victims more vulnerable.

As part of the coordinated humanitarian response to Pakistans emergency, UNFPA is focusing on safe delivery and other reproductive health concerns. It is helping assess needs for basic services as the floods continue to displace people, and for restoring damaged health centres and hospitals after waters recede.

We urgently need to scale up reproductive health care to the flood victims,” says Dr. Naseer Nizamani, UNFPA Assistant Representative in Pakistan. ”The number of women who still lack assistance is enormous.

Besides supporting health authorities in flood-affected provinces, UNFPA is conducting reproductive health training and offering critical supplies to nongovernmental service providers. These range from clean delivery kits for births outside health facilities to medical instruments and essential medicines for clinics offering safe deliveries.

The Fund is also, among other things, providing personal hygiene supplies and working to protect displaced women and girls from violence.

As estimates of flood damage and displaced people continue to grow, so do estimates of the resources required to respond. UNFPA is currently seeking $ 12.6 million for relief and early recovery activities in the next 12 months. International donors have pledged $ 3.5 million to date.

UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, is an international development agency that promotes the right of every woman, man and child to enjoy a life of health and equal opportunity. UNFPA supports countries in using population data for policies and programmes to reduce poverty and to ensure that every pregnancy is wanted, every birth is safe, every young person is free of HIV/AIDS, and every girl and woman is treated with dignity and respect.

UNFPA because everyone counts

http://www.unfpa.org

For more information, please contact:

In Islamabad, Sara Raza Khan, tel. +92 (0) 51 835 5766, mobile +92 (0) 345 522 2707

In New York, Omar Gharzeddine, tel. +1 212 297 5028

###







Smart Horizons Career Online High School Provides Critical Education for Students in Need of an Accessible High School Diploma

Tallahassee, FL (PRWEB) October 6, 2010

Smart Horizons Career Online High School(SHCOHS) opened last May with the specific intention to help adults in our nation who have not completed a high school education. This is a significant population, and now more than ever, with jobs being scarce, a high school diploma, coupled with a career certificate is critical. The schools goal is to quickly and in a cost effective manner provide students the education they need so they can compete in the work force. SHCOHSs inaugural cohort of students is finishing up their graduation requirements. These students are encouraged about the opportunities that will now be available to them.

Betsaida Marrero is one of these students. Marrero is a twenty-four year old, single mother of three. She is completing the education process that was interrupted after her tenth-grade year by the birth of her first child. It was hard to go back to school after I had the baby, Marrero said. You have to make a lot of decisions when you become a parent and I decided I needed to work for my child, but I never lost the dream of completing my education. I am now able to work on this goal thanks to the Smart Horizons Career Online High School program. I can do it on my own time and in my home, which is very convenient. Taking online high school courses works extremely well with my busy schedule.

In addition to earning her high school diploma, Marrero is also completing course work for a career certificate in office management through the Smart Horizons Career Online High School program.

I completely love the way the program is designed, Marrero said. I am able to understand everything very well, and I also love the fact that I am able to finish high school and get a career certificate as well.

Marrero said that the SHCOHS program is helpful because it allows her to both read and hear all the information she needs on a given topic. She also likes the way the program helps her to understand a topic by showing her the parts of the topic she did not understand.

Just knowing that Im accomplishing this goal to finish school helps me to know that I can look forward to a brighter future both mentally and economically, Marrero said.

Another student, Vaughn Jones is about to celebrate her 50th birthday, but shes already giving herself a valuable gift by obtaining the high school diploma that eluded her so many years ago. Smart Horizons Career Online High School is making it possible.

Smart Horizons Career Online High School is giving me the opportunity to obtain something Ive been trying to get since 1978, Jones said, referring to that high school diploma. Jones, who lives in Pahokee, Florida, is also completing course work for a career certificate in Childcare & Education. The ability to earn online high school credits has helped simplify her life.

I started out with the career certificate part of the program and Im almost done with that, Jones said. Ive just started the high school classes and I think this is going to be the most interesting part. Its a good program and I especially like the math courses.

Jones, who is married and has four grown children, said it was hanging with the wrong crowd that cost her high school diploma in her youth. I was trying to fit in and I let myself be influenced, she said. Jones completed the eleventh grade, but left school shortly after starting her senior year.

Getting this accredited online diploma is going to give me more opportunities than Ive had, Jones said. Most jobs require a high school diploma and this is going to open doors for me.

About Smart Horizions Career Online Education: Smart Horizons Career Online Education, a private adult online high school district, is a national leader in delivering affordable, career-based online education to students throughout the world. Founded in 2009 and located in Pensacola, Florida, Smart Horizons Career Online Education offers complete career-based online high school diplomas and career (credentialed) certificates in the fields of healthcare, childcare and education, transportation services, homeland security, protection services, and office management. For more information, visit our Web site at http://www.smarthorizonsonline.org , call our office at 800-261-6248 or email our office at hliebman(at)smarthorizonsonline(dot)org.

# # #







Stay-At-Home Parents Need Life Insurance Too America’s Top Insurance Lawyer, Frank N. Darras Offers Tips


Ontario, CA (PRWEB) March 12, 2012

Parents spend years driving the kids to soccer practice, cooking, and cleaning. If a child gets sick at school, they are there in 10 minutes to pick them up. Imagine if a parent wasn’t there to fulfill these duties. Those who have been a stay-at-home parent know that it is as much of a job as going to work every day.

It may seem obvious that parents should purchase life insurance on themselves to cover their kids should anything happen to them, but many assume that only the family breadwinner needs insurance. Consider the costs to the family if a non-employed parent was no longer there. Suddenly, there is now the need to pay for a nanny or after-school care, or the parent will have to take days off if a child gets sick and has to stay home from school, and might even pay a cleaning service to tidy up around the house. These many extra responsibilities can negatively affect the career of the working parent who is now left alone.

People dont realize that even if youre a stay-at-home mom or dad, you contribute in an exemplary way to your family with the valuable services that you provide. The costs add up over time. With more than one life insurance policy in place, your family is protected from the unforeseen costs of single parenting, says Frank N. Darras.

When purchasing life insurance for a stay-at-home parent, consider the following:


Think about all of the responsibilities they take on and how those responsibilities would be distributed if something devastating happened.

Price out any services parents would need to purchase to cover those duties. From there, figure out an average salary and use this amount to decide how much life insurance coverage should be purchased.

Will a parent’s current job still be manageable without another parent to lighten the load?

Does your job allow that parent to take time off to be with your young children after the death or when they get sick?

If a parent travels often for work, are paid per project, or work odd hours, he/she may not be able to keep up the same workload without a parent at home with the kids. Breadwinners have to be prepared for this if a spouse is no longer around.

It is never too early to invest in life insurance:

No matter how young parents are or how many years they think they have left, it is never too early to purchase life insurance. Whether you are a teen mom or waited until your forties to have children, your kids cannot afford to wait for you to purchase life insurance. The longer you wait, the less likely you are to get the coverage you want, at the price that you can afford, says Darras.







Two Recent Infant Abductions Shed Light on Need for Infant Protection Systems in Hospitals


Franklin, WI (PRWEB) September 05, 2012

It is a new mothers worst nightmare; in the days after giving birth, her newborn baby is abducted from the hospital or birthing center as she rests. While this threat is rare, it is real, as recent incidents including one at Magee-Women’s Hospital in Pittsburgh, PA on August 23rd and another attempted infant abduction in Southern California make clear. As is common with infant abductors, Breona Moore, 19, of McKeesport had been telling her family that she was pregnant for months. Last Thursday, she entered the room of Rhonda King and her 3-day old baby Bryce at the Magee-Womens Hospital after telling a nurse she was Ms. Kings sister. According to Ms. Kings grandmother, Thelma Broughton, the suspect entered the room posing as a nurse. “She said she was taking the baby to get a checkup, that she would bring the baby right back. But she never came back.”

A press release from Magee-Womens Hospital states that a nurse removed the infants security tag at 12:34 p.m. just prior to the mother and baby being released. A security camera shows a woman later identified as Breona Moore leaving the hospital with the baby at 1 p.m. “At 1:15 p.m., the father alerted the staff that the family was ready to depart and then it was determined that the baby was missing. Hospital staff immediately searched the unit and followed other internal security procedures. Police were called at 1:44 p.m.” A tip from the suspects family led police to the suspect and the successful recovery of the infant unharmed. “The baby abducted today from Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC has been examined by our physicians and found to be in good health,” said the release. “Mother and baby have been reunited.” The statement goes on to say that, “While we will review our security procedures, it was obvious that our training and internal drills prepared us to respond quickly in cooperation with both the Pittsburgh Police and the FBI. Everyone did a great job and we are grateful for a positive outcome.

In a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article about the abduction, the reporters interviewed several people who have given birth at Magee-Womens Hospital about security procedures. While all acknowledged the protocols in place, one father of triplets, who spent two months in Magee’s neonatal unit, commented on the frequent number of false alarms he heard during his time there. When a mother and baby reach the postpartum room, a tag with an RFID security chip in it is placed around the infants ankle. The security chip triggers an alarm if it ever gets loose or cut: lights flash, doors lock, and an announcement comes over the public address system that “a ‘hugs’ band has come loose.” Several other parents said that the security tags often fell off and created false alarms.

False alarms can be caused by security bands falling off of infants in the days after their birth due to improper application, postpartum weight loss, or by radio frequency interference caused by nearby machinery or other outside signals. Maintaining a safe environment can be a challenge when persistent false alarms reduce the urgency of addressing each new alert. False alarms on maternity floors are disruptive and upsetting to new parents and can harm the quiet environment fostered by nursing staff. They may also lead to alarm fatigue, which reduces the urgency required to respond. Infant protection systems must be sophisticated enough to overcome these challenges and remain a trusted and effective security tool. The Cuddles system from Accutech Security addresses these issues with several key features. The Cuddles infant protection system self-adjusting soft band bracelet compensates for postpartum weight loss and avoids the false alarms that come with slippage. The soft, cushioned band is also comfortable and wont irritate newborn skin, so it can be applied snuggly when the baby is born. Cuddles has the lowest interference rate of any infant protection system as it operates at a unique frequency thats just below the maximum mandated by the Department of Defense, making the system less prone to outside influences that cause false alarms. In addition, there is a mother and baby match option to protect against accidental baby switching.

While incidents of babies being switched or abducted from a hospital or birthing center do not happen often, when they do, it serves as a reminder for the importance of a vigilant, well-trained staff and protective technology that triggers an alarm if an infant is taken out of the unit or their wristband is cut. Mother and baby match technology also ensures that there is never a mistaken identity leading to parents taking home the wrong child. These critical technology components must work consistently, be operated easily and be trusted by nurses and staff in order to be effective in keeping maternity wards secure and new patients safe.

About Accutech

Accutech has engineered, manufactured, distributed and serviced radio frequency identification (RFID) and wireless products since 1985. They are an industry leader in the infant protection, resident wandering and pediatric elopement fields, with ongoing development, implementation and integration of healthcare related security systems. Their markets primarily consist of hospitals, birthing centers, assisted living facilities, skilled nursing homes, sub-acute facilities and even residential homes. All Accutech systems are manufactured in the U.S. and backed by the industrys most comprehensive customer support program.