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25 Days Left Until School Begins

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By Jordan Brown

Less than 25 days till I begin high school. My stomach is bubbling up with excitement and anxiety. Summer has been a time for me to gather my thoughts about the new school year and to get ready to become a high school student. High school sounds like it will be very intimidating, much like being an ant at a picnic. But when you get to know more people and your way around the campus, you won’t feel like that anymore. I also feel excited about taking the next step in my education and life. High school shouldn’t make you feel any lesser than you are; here are 4 tips that helped me get prepared for the next school year.

1. One thing that has helped me to get ready is meeting new people also going to my high school. I did this by joining the cheer squad at Pacific High School in San Bernardino. You can join teams or clubs before you start school so you have friends and acquaintances on campus. There are many campus activities, including: The National Honor Society, Drama & Art Club, school athletics and many more that may fit your needs. Ask yourself, what do I want to be involved in?

2. If you’re worried about the work, don’t be. Get your schedule early. I know exactly what to start studying for. I used a very helpful site, Khan Academy. It helps you study in areas of math and science. Also, Quizlet helps you create flash cards for any subject you need. If you can, access your class reading list you know what your in for during English. There are many others, just take time and search for what best fits your needs. In a recent focus group, I asked eight Jack and Jill members from different high schools if they used a study aid or website to help them prepare for their next grade. I concluded that 87% of the group studied so they are prepared for their next grade.

3. Get your parent, guardian, or mentor involved. Their help would be tremendous and they could find out what you need to succeed in high school. Talk to them about upcoming events, homework, and projects so they can be involved. Also, let them meet your teachers and other staff so if anything comes up that concerns your grades or behavior, your parents know what’s going on in your school life.

4. Finally, I suggest you talk to upper classmen from your high school. They can inform you about campus tips. Upper classmen are valuable resources that have the knowledge of their past to pass down to you. No matter what grade your going into, you can use these helpful tips to help ease your way into a new grade, or school.

How to Raise a Reader

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By Kris Perry Executive
Director of First 5 California

Kids start learning from the moment they’re born. In fact, 90 percent of their brain develops in the first five years.

When parents read, sing and talk to their child, the child's brain is filled with words, sounds, and emotions that help make the brain cells grow stronger. This will have a lifelong effect on his ability to learn language and communicate with others.

Reading is an enriching shared activity you can continue for years to come. Get inspired with these tips from First 5 California:

Start at Birth: While your baby doesn’t know what a book is yet, it’s still important to read to your child every day, even for just a few minutes. Choose brightly colored board books that have pictures of familiar objects like toys and animals. Reading will build a stronger bond between the two of you and the words, pictures and stories stimulate the part of your baby’s brain that enables him to learn vocabulary. Be Patient with Toddlers: It can be challenging to get an active, squirming toddler to sit still while you read a book. That’s okay. A toddler’s attention span gets longer, especially once they reach 2 – 2 1/2 years. Read whichever book your child chooses, even if it’s the same one for weeks on end. This repetition is helping your child make connections between words and pictures. Keep on reading even if your toddler stands up or goes to play. It may not seem like it, but your child’s listening as you read aloud.

Engage Preschoolers: Ask “who,” “what,” “where,” “when” and “why” questions to develop analytical and thinking skills. For example, “Who is your favorite character?” or “Where did the hero go?” Move your finger under the words as you read and encourage your child to sound out simple words or phrases with you.

Create a “Book Friendly” Home: Fill the bottom shelves of a bookshelf with kid-friendly books and coloring pages. Stack some books on an end table or coffee table. Encourage daily reading habits with a monthly tracking calendar. Put a star or sticker next to the date on the calendar after daily story time has been completed. Incorporate reading into everyday activities: Make reading a part of your child’s everyday life by reading the world around them. Check off items on your grocery list together and read the food labels on everything from soup cans to cereal boxes while out shopping. Bring books with you wherever you go --keep a few books in your diaper bag to fill time while waiting at the doctor's office or a bus stop.

For more reading tips, visit first5california.com/parents.

New Joy Baptist Church Hosts Two Major Events Car Show and Women's Day 2012 Celebration

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We are inviting the community to attend two major events: New Joy Car Show on Saturday, July 21 from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and Women's Day on Sunday, July 22 at 10:15 a.m. New Joy Car Show will have all makes of antique Cars on display. There will be food for sale and lots of fun for everyone.

The next day Sunday, July 22 at 10:15 a.m. will be our Women's Day Celebration. Our guest speaker will be Minister Patricia Ashley an Associate Minister at Faithful Central Bible Church, Los Angeles, where the Bishop Kenneth Ulmer is the Pastor. Min. Ashley is a great, dynamic and outstanding speaker. You will be blessed by her message. Our women's Day Chorus will sing and there will be a Fellowship Dinner after morning service. New Joy Baptist Church is located at 5694 Jurupa Avenue. Rev. Paul S. Munford, Pastor. For more information call 951-779-0088.

Jack and Jill Annual Teen Conference Huge Success

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By Jordan Brown

Jack and Jill of America’s Inland Empire Chapter hosted this year’s annual teen conference of future leaders. Jack and Jill is an organization for African American families that promotes the cohesiveness between mothers and their children. This year’s 58th Annual Teen Conference was held at Pitzer College in North Claremont, CA. Over 350 teens attended from the following states: California, Arizona, Nevada, Washington, and Alaska. The teen conference targeted incoming freshmen to graduating high school seniors. Teen Conference 2012 was a success. The teens had a great time and learned things they can take on with them later in life. Teens participated in daily plenary sessions, events and many workshops, such as an Aim For Fitness obstacle course where teens were put on teams and competed in several physical activities on the campus. The teens also volunteered with various community service projects.

The Aim For Fitness Day was a way for the teens to meet new jack and jillers that aren’t in their chapters. Each team of nine or ten teens competed in races like: Giant tricycles and a Bounce house obstacle course. In the activities they had to use team-building skills to attempt winning each challenge. The winners received recognition and bragging rights at the end of the event. Teens also competed in skit, short film, and oratorical contests. Those competitions were associated with the theme of the conference, “Black History: Yesterday, Today and Forever. With many motivating speakers on hand, Azure Antoinette, who is a youth literacy advocate spoke about social media and its influence on today’s youth. All 350 teens gave back to the community by participating in Habitat for Humanity, Sunrise Assisted Living, Ability First in Claremont, and the Boys & Girls Club of Pomona and multiple other community service projects.

“Giving back is very important, I’m glad I’m able to volunteer at events like teen conference,” said Cierra Gilmore an incoming sophomore at Cajon High School in San Bernardino. Graduating seniors were awarded for all of their hard work and celebrated publicly among their peers at the senior banquet where 100% of students graduated have been accepted into college. If you have any questions on how to join the Jack and Jill family experience you can contact Ange Saunders at AngeSaunders@inlandempirejackandjill.com or go to the Inland Empire Chapter website: www.inlandempirejackandjill.org.

2012 Jack and Jill Annual Teen Conference Arrives in the I.E.

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Jack and Jill of America’s Inland Empire Chapter is set to host this year’s annual teen conference of future leaders.

Jack and Jill is an organization for African American families that promotes the cohesiveness between mothers and their children. Jack and Jill of America Incorporated, is an organization of mothers, who have children from ages 2 to 19, dedicated to nurturing future leaders. They do this by supporting their children through leadership development, volunteer service, giving and civic duty. The organization was founded in 1938. Today, Jack and Jill of America have over 220 chapters nationwide, representing over 30,000 members and their families. This year’s 56th Annual Teen Conference will be held at Pitzer College in Claremont, CA from June 28 to July 1. Over 350 teens will be attending from the following states: California, Arizona, Nevada, Washington, and Alaska. The teen conference is for incoming freshmen to graduating seniors. “Teen conference is a great learning experience where you get to make new friends,” stated past attendee Brianna Watson.

The goal of the conference includes the reinforcement of all areas of leadership. The members will take part in hands-on workshops that train future leaders in personal, career, business, citizenship, and social responsibility. “Our goal is to foster excitement in the students and parents creating lifelong learners,” said conference chair, Leslie Hughes.

During the conference, the teens will be giving back to the community by volunteering at over 10 projects including: Habitat for Humanity, Sunrise Assisted Living, Ability First in Claremont, and the Boys & Girls Club of Pomona. Outside of the goals of the conference, teens will network and come together to have an enjoyable time. At the end of teen conference is the senior’s graduation from Jack and Jill. Students will be awarded for all their hard work and celebrated publicly among their peers.

“I think teen conference will be fun and I hope to be surprised and learn things I can take with me in life,” said Cierra Tillman first time attendee and sophomore at Cajon High School. If you have any questions on how to join the Jack and Jill family experience you can contact Ange Saunders at Ange’Saunders@inlandempirejackandjill.com or go to the Inland Empire Chapter website: www.inlandempirejackandjill.org.

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