Even cartoon parents blab about their kids. The mother of Greg Heffley, unlikely hero of the popular “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” books, writes a parenting column for the local newspaper. In it, she shares life lessons based on anecdotes from her own family. The column has given Susan Heffley “a sense of celebrity which she enjoys,” says Jeff Kinney, author of the “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” series. “In her articles, she refers to her kids by their names, which adds to the humor,” Kinney says. But you can imagine her son’s dismay when Mrs. Heffley writes an article called “Puberty Is a Difficult Time.”
What Compels Parents to “Tell All”?
Although fictional, Susan Heffley’s tendency to spill the beans about her kids mirrors the habits of a significant majority of parents—that is, if their online activity is any indication. According to a 2010 study by Internet security firm AVG, 81 percent of children around the world have an online presence before the age of two. In the United States, that figure jumps to 92 percent. Such an astounding number of young children with parents blogging, Facebooking, or tweeting about them is surely a cultural milestone.
Is blogging about one’s child simply the modern-day version of pulling out the wallet photos, or does the “tell-all” nature of social media put the phenomenon in a league of its own?
Brooke Miller, a San Francisco-based advice columnist, believes social media have triggered an onslaught of parental insecurities. “Even if [parents] are fairly secure with their parenting and their children’s successes,” she says, “social media has become the official second opinion: ‘I think I’m doing a good job raising my kids … but let me find out for certain [by sharing on] Facebook.'”
Calling all geeks!
PAL is thrilled to be hosting a Geek Squad Academy on August 2 & 3. This two-day camp is for youth ages 10-15 and will be a ton of fun. Camp classes include Programming with BB8, 3D Design, Digital Citizenship, Web Knowledge (HTML & Design), and Digital Music! Lunch is provided both days and all campers get cool swag, including a t-shirt.
Camp runs 9:00 am to 3:30 pm each day and is located at Beaverton PAL, 12500 SW Allen Blvd, Beaverton, OR 97005. Space is limited and pre-registration is required.
Due to the generosity of the Best Buy Foundation, there is no fee for the camp. PAL asks that youth who are not PAL members consider a $10 donation to help cover food expenses. If any adults are interested in volunteering for this event, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
We all know that getting kids to make healthy choices when it comes to food can be a struggle. We wanted to share this blog, Healthy Eating Habits for Kids, with you to provide some pointers for healthier eating at your home. Our PAL Summer Camp provides breakfast, lunch, and an afternoon snack to all campers and we noticed we are already following a few of the rules on this list, including incorporating more than one food group into snack time, having a set routine of meal and snack times, and growing food together in our PAL garden.
In this blog, dietitian Jill Castle shares nine tips to help kids develop healthy eating habits.
“Many parents I talk with have a common concern. They want their kids to eat better. That is, eat healthier. When we drill down, their desire is that their child eat more vegetables, or more whole grains, more fruit, or fewer items they deem unhealthy.
Luckily, eating healthier isn’t just about vegetables. Or healthier food, for that matter. Helping kids eat healthier can include this, of course, but it can also be helped along through how you handle feeding.”
Today’s blog is from Cruz Solano, a Beaverton PAL boxer, who placed second twice in National Silver Gloves competitions before taking a title in 2014. He shares why boxing is important to him.
My name is Cruz Solano. I was eight years old when I walked into the Beaverton PAL Boxing Gym for the first time. At first, I was disgusted by the sweaty smell of the people training in the gym, but then I grew to appreciate it because it was the scent of hard work and dedication. I fell in love with boxing because it was the only way I could fight without getting in trouble. Thank to PAL, I found a passion that keeps me away from drugs, violence, and gangs. It’s a completely safe environment where discrimination and harassment are not tolerated. I have been involved with Beaverton PAL for half of my life, eight years, and I am grateful to be part of it. It has had a significantly positive influence on my life and has helped me grow as an individual. It disciplined me to become respectful, responsible, and to be a role model for the younger kids who look up to me.
Today’s guest blog is from Jocelyn Simpson, who worked at Westside PAL for many years before becoming the executive director for Beaverton PAL in 2013. She stepped back to spend more time with her family, but misses the youth and their energy at PAL, so much so that she wrote this guest blog and is even coming back to volunteer at the Spring Fundraiser on May 20th!
PAL will always have a piece of my heart. I had the privilege of working at PAL for many years and seeing first-hand the positive impact that PAL had on so many children and families. I heard testimony from parents on how their children’s academic performance had improved or how their child had more self-confidence in themselves due to their involvement with the program. I witnessed kids go from being shy and quiet to wanting to be a leader of a group or to be the first one to raise their hand when the team needed help with something.
PAL is a magical place for kids, a safe haven, and a place to be around positive adult role models. PAL is such an important program to the community. Not only does it keep kids safe and out of trouble, it teaches kids to invest in their own community and become good citizens. PAL encourages youth to respect the local law enforcement and to build a bond with the police officers. I truly believe that the Beaverton community is better off by having a PAL chapter.
I miss PAL every day and the smiles on the kid’s faces when they used to walk through the front doors or pop their head in my office to tell me about their day. I always knew PAL was something special and to say that I was a part of this program is a highlight of my life. I miss seeing new members start their journey at PAL each year and knowing that doors are going to open for them because of their participation in PAL. I am proud of the program and happy for the families and community members who have been impacted by PAL.
Joan Garry is widely known as the “Dear Abby” of nonprofit leadership, Joan works with board and staff as a strategic advisor, crisis manager, change agent and strategic planner. Joan also teaches at the University of Pennsylvania with a focus on nonprofit communications and leadership.
In other words, Joan is a total rock star in the non-profit world. Here at Beaverton PAL, we are looking to expand our board of directors, so we’re hoping Joan’s words may inspire you!
“I have a big chip on my shoulder. It’s not very attractive.
It’s about folks who have time but do not volunteer to serve on a nonprofit board.
And I’m not just talking about folks who are retired, are philanthropic, and have time. I’m talking about pretty much everyone who doesn’t have babies spitting up on them or elderly parents living with them.
OK, I’m exaggerating but I’m trying to make a point. Everyone is busy and there are always excuses.
I am here to tell you that solid citizens who are committed to making their community, their school, and their world a better place — those willing to raise their hand for board service — are among the single biggest needs in our society.”
Interested in joining the PAL board? Contact Jules.
Blog from PAL Boxing Gym Coach Mac Galloway
I started boxing at the age of 13. It was 1994, over at the gym of West Portland and Charlie Rios was one of my coaches. I went to the gym for two years, just hanging out, but then I started competing, even advancing to national events.
Those years in the boxing gym were very instrumental to me as a young man. It taught me skills such as hard work and commitment. I did not have a father figure growing up, so the coaches in the boxing program.were what I needed. They helped me be the man I am today.
I ran into Charlie almost 10 years ago at Washington Square and he said I should check out his gym. Shortly after, I walked into the Beaverton PAL Boxing Gym for the first time. I have been a dedicated volunteer coach since then, sacrificing my time, family, and work to help make the program successful.
I volunteer at PAL it to give back. We have worked with thousands of kids over the years, teaching hard work, self-control, and discipline just to not make great boxers, but to make great members of the community. Children need a positive outlet and activities to occupy their time. It is critical that Beaverton finds a new home for the boxing gym and after school program.
We have produced national champions in our gym, but not every kid we have will achieve that level. Many may not even get in the ring to spar, but most children are there because it gives them a positive social outlet with their friends and it provides a healthy workout. Kids in the gym lose weight, gain self-confidence, and find positive adult role models. The biggest reason kids through come through the door is because we challenge them to be a better version of themselves.
All of the coaches in the boxing gym are volunteers. Boxing shows in our gym give our kids a chance to compete against athletes from other clubs and raise money to support traveling to events and equipment. THIS IS A GOOD PROGRAM THAT GIVES BACK TO THE COMMUNITY AND WILL CONTINUE TO DO SO FOR GENERATIONS. I believe this is how you make communities better: By giving back and investing in future generations like Coach Charlie invested in me.
We are unbelievably blessed with the boxers, coaches, and the support of the City of Beaverton and Mayor Doyle. This program needs a home so it can continue. Our next boxing show is Saturday, March 18, at the PAL Boxing Gym. I encourage all of you to come by and see the effects of the hard work of these kids.