January 29, 2010
by Daniel Neal
Three and a half years ago my wife, Heller An, and I met our now 14-year-old son, Alex, through an amazing organization: Kidsave International. Kidsave’s motto is “Because every child needs a family.” Simply put, that is why kidsave exists. It helps kids without families find them.
In their own words:
“Kidsave gives kids who are hidden from public view in foster care and orphanages the opportunity to visit with families and build relationships. We work as a catalyst for change, training social workers, orphanage workers and volunteers to help kids find permanent families, and change practices, laws and public financing to increase permanent family care for orphans and youth in foster care.”
Since 1999, more than 2700 individual children have found parents and lasting connections with adults because of Kidsave programs. Thousands more orphans and children in foster care around the globe have parents and lasting connections because of Kidsave’s training and advocacy efforts.
One of Kidsave’s most successful programs is its Summer Miracle Program.
Our family participated in this program in 2006. Yes, you probably guessed: our beloved son Alex was the child we hosted that magical summer.
Kidsave is now seeking Host Families for its 2010 Summer Miracles Program. If you know someone who may wish to learn about this program, you can find out more here .
If you want information about the Kidsave organization and its other programs, you can learn more here .
January 22, 2010
by Carol Politi
Wow. Even those of us focused on kids and media were surprised with the recent Kaiser Family Foundation Study on kids and media use. The study, called “Generation M2: Media in the Lives of 8- to 18-Year-Olds“, indicates that kids spend more than 53 hours a week consuming media (counting a blend of TV, computers, gaming devices, cell phones, etc.). And that count does not include multitasking – which brings the media use count up to 10 hours and 45 minutes per day.
Much of the increase is driven by the accessibility of media on mobile devices – ipods and cell phones (though the increase in social media use is also a factor). Note that text messaging is not considered media use in this study – and that “7th-12th graders report spending an average of 1:35 a day sending or receiving texts”!
Clearly, media consumption is a fact of life. So what’s wrong with this picture?
1. Kids that are heavy media users report getting lower grades.
2. Kids that are heavy media users report being less personally content.
What’s the upside here? One bit of upside is that parents can have an impact! The study indicates that “When parents set limits, children spend less time with media. Those young people who say their parents have some rules about their media use are exposed to an average of nearly three hours (2:52) less media content per day than those who say they don’t have rules.”
Most parents get cell phones for their kids for safety reasons. But doing so can put more media – and another device with which to multi-task – in the hands of kids. kajeet customers can set limits – on both the type of content/service used on the cell phone and the time spent using the cell phone. This includes limiting access at night, during school, and during home work time. To set these up simply login at kajeet.com or call kajeet customer care (1-866-452-5338).
Please comment here to let us know what you think of the Kaiser Family Foundation study and how you manage media access and use in your household. We could all benefit from some good ideas!
January 11, 2010
by Carol Politi
We have been keeping our eyes open for mobile web sites that are appropriate for kids and have made available additional sites in the “Other Great Mobile Sites” category on the handset. As our mobileweb users know, the service supports four categories of sites:
- Category 1: Free sites
- Category 2: Other “kid appropriate” mobile sites
- Category 3: Social Networking and IM Sites
- Category 4: Open Internet
We have opened access to number of new sites in Category 2 – including sports, style, several magazines, Thesaurus, etc.
Enjoy! Please let us know if there are other mobile sites we should include in this category.