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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.

Romney will not Focus on the Black Vote

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By Raynard Jackson

NNPA Columnist

Now that Romney is the de facto nominee for the Republican Party, I have been reflecting on the state of the presidential race as it enters the final stretch. As a political strategist, I understand the necessity to run to the right during the Republican primary and then migrate to the center during the general election.

It is common knowledge that Romney has no intention of focusing on the Black vote during the general election. From a raw political perspective, I agree with his approach, but from a strategic perspective, I totally disagree. Below I will detail why this is a terrible strategy. There is absolutely no question that Obama will get in excess of 90 percent of the Black vote (in 2008 he received 96 percent). But this time he will receive 90 percent-plus of a smaller number of Blacks; there will be fewer numbers of Blacks voting because they are disillusioned with him. The first Obama run made history, his governing is a mystery when it comes to Blacks. Obama’s recent endorsement of homosexual marriage and support for amnesty for illegals has infuriated the Black community. The NAACP, Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, etc. have not represented the views of the average Black for decades. The NAACP will continue to hemorrhage support from within the Black community. Many Blacks are publicly withdrawing their memberships and support from this group.

Under skilled Blacks are livid that Obama wants to legalize more than 1 million new people into the workforce to compete with them for jobs. It’s hard enough competing with Americans for jobs, now you have to compete with those in the country illegally? Who in their right minds feeds the neighborhood while their own children are starving? Nobody, but Obama. These issues give Romney an opportunity, by engaging with the Black community, to reach out to White, suburban, middle-class women voters to let them know that the Republican Party is OK to support. In other words, these are the Independent voters who will determine the outcome of the election.

These voters want to support a candidate and party that are not “perceived” as racist or mean- spirited. So, by reaching out to Blacks, they are signaling to these Independent voters that it is OK to vote Republican.

These voters don’t support homosexual marriage or amnesty for illegals, but they don’t want to see or hear harsh rhetoric, either.

Romney, are you aware that Obama has never met with any Black entrepreneurs to discuss the high unemployment rate within the Black community? When will you meet with Black entrepreneurs to listen to them, not to preach to them?

Romney, when will you sit with Black ministers who are with you in your opposition to homosexual marriage and under-skilled Blacks who will be hurt by giving work permits to illegals? Why are you going to address the NAACP and the National Urban League at their respective annual conventions this summer without obtaining concessions from them? Do you have any Blacks on your campaign or consultants who can negotiate concessions on behalf of your campaign? For example, if these groups want you to speak before their membership, then they must have Black Republicans as speakers and panelists or you won’t agree to speak.

Because Republicans typically have no diversity on their staffs, they don’t know to extract these types of concessions, nor can they afford to send a White staffer to do this. Republicans are the only people I know who will send a White male to speak to a group of women about women’s issues! Romney, when you go before these Black groups, will you also have a White speechwriter to draft your remarks? Anyone can write a great speech, but do they understand the nuances when talking with the Black community? A White speechwriter can’t help you with that. This is why Republicans typically receive tepid responses when speaking before a Black audience. Meanings are in people, not in words. So, what I am saying to you, Romney, is that by engaging with the Black community, you are simultaneously engaging Independent voters. You get a twofer out of this approach and you, being the businessman that you are, should see the potential for a nice return on your investment of time.

I would welcome your thoughts on this approach as a first step towards substantive engagement with the Black community. Raynard Jackson is president & CEO of Raynard Jackson & Associates, LLC., a D.C.-public relations/government affairs firm. His website is: www.raynardjackson.com.

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