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KidsPeace Foster Care Fayetteville Wing Event Big Success

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The Third Annual Chicken Wing Cook Off to benefit the foster care office took place Saturday in Fayetteville.
This event gets bigger and better every year! This year, the cook off was held at a different location and was tied to a large community yard sale type event, which proved very effective as the sale generated a lot of additional traffic and increased sales of chicken wings. In addition, our board chair, Pat Talkington, who is employed by Cumulus Broadcasting, did a great job in providing the event and KidsPeace with an abundance of free radio advertising, which also helped to bring many people to the event.

The number of volunteers needed to conduct this event is astounding. From the folk who pay $200.00 to enter their wings and all of the work around setting up booths, grills and everything else necessary to cook and attract customers to their booths (the marketing banners and other attention getters that were developed were amazing). Mountaire Farms again donated all of the 45 lbs of wings per booth. Music was provided free by both a DJ and a live performer. Great gifts/prizes were obtained from community retail vendors for the winning wings categories (categories include: Judges Choice , Most Creative Sauce, The People's Choice and Most Creative Booth). The Judges included: Mayor of Fayetteville Anthony G. Chavonne, Ms. Fayetteville 2011 and our Professional Chef and BOA member Ms. Mia Parker. Approximately 50 teenagers  from a local high school JROTC attended and volunteered to do whatever was needed of them, and countless others were involved in selling tickets, beverages and other food items.

The Fayetteville BOA, and Brian Rixon and his staff from the Fayetteville office, and countless volunteers are to be commended for the tremendous effort that went into this fabulous day and very successful event for KidsPeace. In spite of threatening weather, and rain cutting the event short by an hour, it appears this event will have raised more than $10,000.00!! This is a substantial increase from the $6000.00 totals that we received  the previous 2 years.

It is with great pride we mention that our own KidsPeace Chicken Wing Booth was the picked as the winner of the Judges Choice with our sauce entries of "Sweet and Sneaky" (our Family Consultant Sylvia McKoy's fiancé's secret recipe that starts sweet and finishes with a kick) and our own "Razy Taz" sauce that combines raspberry and heat. Staff members were thrilled, but no prize was accepted. In addition, our Family Consultant Amanda Aubrey's fiancé and his friend set up a booth and entered various different wing sauces and were awarded third place in the Peoples Choice award!

Thanks to everyone who made this great event possible. 

KidsPeace Mesabi Academy Announces Launch of Specialized Residential Program

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KidsPeace Mesabi Academy in Buhl, Minnesota, launched a new program this week to meet the treatment needs of delinquent and non-delinquent males ages 12-17 who have IQs of 50-65, exhibit aggression towards others, demonstrate a need for a highly structured setting and/or require assistance with daily living skills. Youth are referred to this program with a court order that states, beyond a reasonable doubt, that they are delinquent and in need of treatment, supervision and/or rehabilitation and/or in need of services based on a CHIPS petition. Additionally, these young men: require more intensive treatment, have a repeated history of elopement from home or other treatment programs, have a repeated loss of impulse control requiring crisis intervention and stabilization, exhibit excessive social isolation or pathologically dependent interpersonal skills, present a risk to the community, have significant chemical health problems, associate themselves with anti-social peers, exhibit poor social and problem solving skills and have a criminal history. Recognizing that this population is severely underserved, Mesabi Academy associates designed this program to provide adaptive behavior, daily living skills, basic social skills, survival skills and general life skills knowledge to youth who are low functioning and require a more specialized approach toward achieving behavioral goals.

While in this residential program, the young men learn to replace maladaptive behaviors with adaptive skills such as self-imposed timeouts. They also learn living skills such as personal hygiene, laundry tasks and shopping for necessary items, as well as table manners and social norms, all of which will assist them in achieving lives that are as independent as possible.

This program has a staff to client ration of 1 to 4, which ensures that each youth receives excellent supervision and one-on-one interaction and instruction in this highly structured environment. The primary curriculum model is Skill Streaming, which is very effective with adolescents diagnosed with mild and moderate mental retardation and is effective in improving interaction and relationships in this population. Youth learn new skills in a group setting and then transfer and practice these skills in their living area, classroom and community.

Mesabi clinicians introduce new skills to these clients at a pace that matches their learning abilities and emphasize repetition in a highly structured environment. The youth are taught to utilize visual cues such as storyboards for each activity and depict their schedules in pictures and symbols.

For more information on this program or to make a referral, call 218.258.2274 or 800-25-PEACE, ext.2322.

KidsPeace Offers Help in Reassuring Children after Natural Disasters and School Shootings

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Natural disasters such as the one we are witnessing in Japan are disturbing to all of us as we watch helplessly as people lose their lives and their homes. The added threat of nuclear power plants releasing radiation is frightening and the topic of great discussion among adults. Japan is currently the primary topic on many television and radio broadcasts, with many "experts" talking endlessly about the dire consequences of the power plant explosions.

Our children and teens cannot help but be exposed to some of this information, and many of them may become traumatized by the scenes of devastation and discussions about nuclear power safety. Many teachers are talking about the events in school, which leads to kids talking about it among themselves, often not understanding how far away Japan is. They become very concerned that a similar disaster will occur where they live. They worry about being separated from their families, having their homes destroyed and losing friends and relatives in similar fashion.

It is important to recognize that children may not talk about their fears, allowing the worry and fear to become serious contributors to trauma. The following 10 Tips will help parents and educators talk to their children honestly about such events and watch for signs that their children are traumatized.

For more detailed information on helping children and teens deal with natural disasters, explosions and fires and acts of violence, please download the Healing Magazine Crisis Kit here. It is in PDF format and free of charge. Also recommend that teens log onto TeenCentral.Net for expert advise from Master's and PhD level counselors on this issue or anything that may be bothering them. Parents may log onto ParentCentral.Net for assistance with any parenting issues they may be experiencing.

10 Tips for Talking to Children About Natural Disasters and School Shootings

The effects of trauma in children may linger and manifest themselves physically and behaviorally. Will Isemann, President of CEO of KidsPeace, and the clinical experts at KidsPeace have compiled a list of tips to help parents talk to their children about what has happened to upset them and look out for future signs of distress:

1. Listen to children. Allow them to express their concerns and fears.

2. Regardless of age, the most important issue is to reassure children of safety and security. Tell children that you, their school, their friends and their communities are all focused on their safety and that those around them are working for their safety. Have discussions about those dedicated to protecting them like police, teachers and other school officials, neighbors, their government and all concerned adults throughout the community.

3. When discussing the events with younger children, the amount of information shared should be limited to some basic facts. Use words meaningful to them (not words like massive devastation or sniper, etc.). Share with them that weather or geological shifting have caused a specific disastrous event in a certain part of the world or some bad people have used violence to hurt innocent people in the area. Discuss that we don’t know exactly why this was happened, but a natural disaster or violence has occurred. Do not go into specific details.

4. School-aged children will ask, “Can this happen here, or to me?” Do not lie to children. Share that it is unlikely that anything like this will happen to them or in their community. Then reiterate how the community is focused on working to keep everyone safe in the community.

5. Parents, caregivers and teachers should be cautious of permitting young children to watch news or listen to radio that is discussing or showing mass death or carnage. It is too difficult for most of them to process. Personal discussions are the best way to share information with this group. Also, plan to discuss this many times over the coming weeks.

6. When discussing the events with preteens and teens, more detail is appropriate, and many will already have seen news broadcasts. Do not let them focus too much on graphic details. Rather, elicit their feelings and concerns and focus your discussions on what they share with you. Be careful of how much media they are exposed to. Talk directly with them about the tragedy and answer their questions truthfully.

7. Although this group is more mature, do not forget to reassure them of their safety and your efforts to protect them. Regardless of age, kids must hear this message.

8. Be on the lookout for physical symptoms of anxiety that children may demonstrate. They may be a sign that a child, although not directly discussing the tragedy, is very troubled by the recent events. Talk more directly to children who exhibit these signs:

* Headaches
* Excessive worry
* Stomach aches
* Increased arguing
* Back aches
* Irritability
* Trouble sleeping or eating
* Loss of concentration
* Nightmares
* Withdrawal
* Refusal to go to school
* Clinging behavior

9. Parents and caregivers should often reassure children that they will be protected and kept safe. During tragedies like these, words expressing safety and reassurance with concrete plans should be discussed and agreed upon within the family and can provide the most comfort to children and teens.

10. If you are concerned about your children and their reaction to this or any tragedy, talk directly with their school counselor, family doctor, local mental health professional or have your older children visit KidsPeace’s teen help website, www.TeenCentral.Net, which provides anonymous and clinically-screened help and resources for teen problems before they become overwhelming.

FOR EDUCATORS: To help school systems see the early warning signs of danger and deal with the psychological fallout of a disaster or shooting, KidsPeace offers several articles from its national Healing Magazine , including "Building Resiliency in Traumatized Kids: Coping with 21st Century Realities," “Can School Shootings be Prevented?” "Providing Comfort to Adolescents in Times of Crisis" and “Helping Educators Identify Potential School Shooters” In addition, KidsPeace offers highly trained professionals and one of the nation’s leading experts on school shootings, Dr. Peter Langman.

Bully, Bullying, Bullied

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Bully, Bullying, Bullied

By Dr. Julius Licata


Dr. Licata co-founded and has been directing TeenCentral.Net since 1998. This website is free, anonymous and very safe for all teens who log on to “work it out.” Licata has seen a concerning rise in bullying incidents and issues reported on TC.N recently, as well as the distress and helplessness it causes victims. In this article, Licata explores the dangers of bullying and the signs of bullying for which parents should watch in their children.


Dr. Licata recently launched ParentCentral.Net to assist parents in dealing with the issues they face and receive advice from Master's or PhD level counselors. The site also provides access to podcasts and relevant information on parenting.


Social standing and fitting in are very important to teenagers. All too often, maintaining that comfortable role in a group can be ruined by bullies. Bullies are typically bigger physically, but they may also be bigger in terms of personality or viciousness. They typically intimidate through physical or sexual means, but they also can be more subtle and use verbal abuse to inflict pain and intimidation on their victims. They target the weaker, shyer, sensitive kids and usually repeat their hurtful behaviors over time with one goal: to increase their own stature at the cost of destroying the victim’s self-esteem.


Clearly, bullying is far more than simple teasing; it is an aggressive, destructive and very dangerous behavior that also includes harassment and can ruin someone’s life. The victims of bullying and harassment often do not tell parents or report this behavior because they fear retaliation, feel embarrassed about what is happening or just feel so put down that they see no hope of this situation ending. They also fear retaliation if they try to stand up for themselves and frequently attempt to befriend the bully, just to make the punishment stop. This can often result in feelings of inadequacy, low self-esteem, depression and even thoughts of suicide ... >>Read More

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