Postings for March 2012

Seattle Aqaurium's new baby otterNew otter daughter
There’s a new sea otter in town, born in January at the Seattle Aquarium. The otter (a girl!) is the second born to Aniak and the latest in a long line of sea otters born at the aquarium. Many of the sea otters born at the Seattle Aquarium have been transferred to other aquariums around the country. Really, you “otter” take a little trip to see this cute pup. The aquarium is located at 1483 Alaskan Way in Seattle. Go to for information.

Lunches: Fruitier + fat-free
When the U.S. Department of Agriculture unveiled new school nutrition standards in January, the Seattle Public Schools (SPS) district felt pretty good about it, and here’s why: The district is already in line with some of these new standards. “Seattle has been very progressive with changing the way we offer meals, offering fruits and vegetables every day, as well as whole-grain-rich foods,” says Wendy Weyer, director of nutrition services for SPS. “There is a new requirement that we only offer fat-free or low-fat milk varieties, which we are already doing in Seattle.” The new standards will be phased in over a three-year period, starting in the 2012–13 school year.

Helping teens give back
The Seattle-based nonprofit Teens in Public Service (TIPS) helps teens find work and give back to their community by finding them jobs at various nonprofit organizations throughout the greater Puget Sound area. The organization selects teens for internships by matching their talents and interests with the needs of local nonprofits. Teens serve at no cost to the nonprofit, but earn a paycheck through TIPS, which is seeking applicants (ages 15–19) for its 2012 summer program.

How’s your parenting?
Life Skills Parenting,” coming to the University of Washington on March 17, will focus on ways to improve family dynamics and enhance our effectiveness as parents. Speakers will include Dr. Marsha Linehan, University of Washington (UW); psychology professor Dr. Liliana Lengua, director of the UW Center for Child and Family Well-Being; Dr. Laura Kastner, UW professor and expert on teen behavior; and Anthony P. Dubose, Psy.D., president of the Evidence Based Treatment Centers of Seattle.

New program for gifted kids
The Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Talented Youth (CTY) is enrolling students in its first summer residential program site in this area. Spots are available for 400 qualified students who have completed grades 7 through 10 to attend one of two three-week summer sessions at Seattle University beginning June 24 and July 15. Students can qualify for the summer program by achieving high scores on the college SAT and similar tests they take as middle-schoolers. For information, go to green schools

Schools growing greener
While researching and assembling this special issue, we realized that many schools in our region are environmentally conscious and responsible — and integrate these values into their curriculum. One of these schools is Seattle’s Progressive Preschool (SPP), which was founded in 2009 by two Seattle parents. SPP’s mission is to provide a quality preschool curriculum that emphasizes social and environmental awareness as a building block for change. As SSP states on its website: “It is not about teaching what is wrong with the world, but rather instilling in our kids the understanding that they are capable of making a difference. In time, such awareness enables action, which enables justice.” For a listing of other “green” schools in the area, go to

Don’t wait — read this now
Is your child a procrastinator? Maybe you’re a “not now, I’ll do it later” type yourself. But most of us have learned that, ultimately, we need to get the job done. And we want to make sure our children figure that out, too. How can you teach your kids to “just do it?” Tell them that it’s important to complete tasks that are given to them, then help them create work routines. Here are some tips, from the book, Beyond Smart: Boosting Your Child’s Social, Emotional, and Academic Potential by Linda Morgan.

Help your child . . .
Foster good work habits
Create work routines
Break projects down into smaller chunks
Organize projects and tackle the least appealing step first
Map out deadlines and set time limits for each step
Sep up a reward system for completing a task
If needed, get tutors, outside help or contact the school about the homework load

Inventors! Your time has come
The Boy Scouts of America has teamed up with Edison Nation to sponsor a contest for creative kids. Boys and girls ages 7 to 21 years old are invited to participate in “Innovation Challenge” to discover cool new products they think should be made and sold in stores. Winners will receive royalties from the sale of their products and be named the “inventor” on any issued patents. The search runs through May 7, 2012.

Fab film fest
The 6th annual National Film Festival for Talented Youth (NFFTY) 2012 will be held April 26–29 in Seattle. It is the largest showcase of the best filmmakers, 22 and younger, from around the world. The festival includes more than 200 film screenings in categories including feature-length and short films in narrative, documentary, animation, music video, experimental and action sports.

            —Linda Morgan

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