2015 Karing4kids Child Abuse Prevention Rally and Walk

KARING4KIDS

April 11th 2:00-5:00 PM  816 S Van Buren Amarillo, TX 79101

AAYC Child Safety Initiative

AAYC Child Safety Initiative Take a stand with us against Child Abuse

News coverage:
Interview with Matt Hite
Myhighplains.com Coverage

http://www.myhighplains.com/story/d/story/child-abuse-prevention/19406/Cb7V_H6BfU27cA4b0lD5Ig

Multiple non-profit agencies teamed up today to promote child abuse prevention month at the Amarillo Activity Youth Center.

April is child abuse prevention month and the Amarillo Activity Youth Center held their second annual rally for child abuse prevention today.

13 different non-profit organizations came together with the AAYC to put on this rally for the prevention of child abuse.

These organizations each had a separate booth in the gym at the AAYC where they helped spread awareness.

Matt Hite the Executive Director of AAYC says, “they say one in six females have had some sort of abuse, one of the four. And they say one in ten males have”.

The day began with children dancing to their favorite music, while others were designing banners that would be used later when the group marched down tenth street to spread awareness of how prevalent child abuse is in our country.

Christine Bollinger who’s the Intake Coordinator for Bair Foundation (one of the non-profits helping) says, “it’s wonderful.
This is a great event, there are lots of kids inside there’s music and games and a bounce house and there will be a walk later to promote the prevention of child abuse”.

2015 karing4kids Rally and Walk

AAYC’s 2015 karing4kids Rally and Walk

The group of nearly 2-hundred children and adults then hit the streets with their plan to spread the word about the importance of their cause.

Officials at the rally focused on the four different kinds of child abuse; emotional, physical, sexual, and neglect.

Before interview with Matthew Hite, Executive Director

http://www.onenewspage.com/video/20150407/2730443/Child-Abuse-Prevention-Rally-and-Walk.htm

Event Coverage

http://www.myhighplains.com/story/d/story/child-abuse-prevention/19406/Cb7V_H6BfU27cA4b0lD5Ig

Event details
Child Safety Initiative

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Predator 101 By Angie

Hey guys! It’s been a crazy few weeks, but the blog is back and so are some great information and safety tips on online predators! This information is invaluable not only to kiddos, but also to parents as well. As parents, we sometimes feel overwhelmed at the bombardment of sexual content that infiltrates our children’s lives through media outlets. It comes in the form of advertisements and magazines and movies and even in the music they listen to. One place we do have control however, is online. By using a few safety measures and keeping a watchful eye, we as parents can limit the possibility that our children will become online predator victims.

Great Angie. Let’s do this. But, how do we know who is a predator and who isn’t? They should stand out pretty easy right? After all, they are all perverted old men right? Not exactly. Online predators blend into everyday society as any other person. Most predatory pedophiles are white, male, and middle aged right?  Online predators can be any race, age, or shockingly, any gender. They hold any kind of job, even respectful jobs, like doctors and lawyers. However, hope is not lost. They do share some common traits that may help you identify them.

  • They appear trusting at first.
  • Pretend to share interests with targeted victims.
  • Take part in children’s activities.
  • Look for emotionally vulnerable children.
  • May pretend to be someone they are not.
  • May be very good at Internet lingo.
  • Will become more provocative as victim begins to trust.

The dangers of an online predator can extend beyond sexual deviance. Other dangers can include Identity theft, sexual solicitation, pornography or exposure to pornography, and even kidnapping and rape. Identity theft occurs when the predator tries to get personal information from the victim such as social security numbers, addresses, birthdates, and the like. Teach your kids to never give out personal information. Teach them that what goes on the Internet, STAYS on the Internet. Solicitation is usually started in chat rooms or social media sites. After a connection is made, they try to meet the minor for sex. Parents need to use parental controls and keep in mind that 44% of solicitations come from children under 18 years old. By using seemingly harmless information such as school mascot and town or even just metro area, a predator can find a child. Through a social networking page, this information is usually readily available. Once this information is put together, the predator can track the victim and perpetrate heinous crimes such as kidnapping and rape against the victim. I have seen stickers on the back of cars that not only list the soccer club of children, but their names, team names, and jersey numbers as well. Game schedules are listed online. This is a terribly dangerous thing to broadcast. Anyone can find these children and the parents would be none the wiser. Please parents use common sense when protecting your children. Each trip to the mall you take with your children, one person notices them. If your children are older, they have been followed at least once. These are terrifying facts, and my goal is not to scare, but to arm you with knowledge. Knowledge truly is power.

So, now that you will never take a trip to the mall again, you are asking me, “What can I do to protect my children Angie? How do I keep them safe?” First, teach your kids to be aware of the dangers. Teach them to know the signs and characteristics of predators. Second, get involved and stay involved. Dig deep into the online community and know what is happening. Know the red flags and look for them often. Keep computers usage to common areas such as a kitchen table or living room so children are easily monitored. Third, set boundaries. Set time limits, strict friend guidelines, open communications about actions on social sites and maybe a “no deletion” policy. Finally, everything has parental controls nowadays. Use them.

Common Statistics to be aware of:

  • The majority of internet crimes are initiated in chat rooms
  • In 82% of online sex crimes against minors, the offenders used social networking sites to gain access about the victims likes and dislikes.
  • 65% used victim’s social networking sites to gain home and school information about the victim.
  • At least 100 million BOYS and 200 million girls will be sexually victimized before they reach adulthood.
  • 26% of online predators used the victims social networking sites to gain information of the victim’s whereabouts at a specific time.
  • 1 in 7 kids received a sexual solicitation online.
  • 56% of those kids were asked to send in picture and 27% of those pictures were requested to be sexual in nature.
  • 44% of sexual solicitors were under the age of 18.
  • When a solicitor attempted to meet a victim offline in person or via phone call, 73% met their perpetrators online.
  • And finally, the more risky behaviors kids engage in online, the more likely they will be approached or receive an online solicitation.

Parents, please inform your kids of the real risks of online information sharing and who is ok to interact with. This is a real problem and together we can protect our children and bring light to this terrifying problem. We must be vigilant in protecting our children and the biggest thing we can do for them is to stay INVOLVED.

Find safe places like the AAYC for you children to be at night so that they are not left to find something to “get into”
Until next time AAYC!

The Talk….

The Talk

by Matthew Hite

Amarillo, Texas

 

Parents, if you have not had the “talk” with your child(ern) its time.  NO not that talk.. The Talk about drinking.  Most children between the ages of 9 and 15 have access or friends that have access to drinks.  Does your child know?  Has your child experimented with drinking already?  Many parents turn the other cheek or pretend it’s not going on with “their kids.”  Don’t fool yourself… Have the talk….

Communicating with teens can be difficult.  It is important to lay a good foundation with your child before they hit the teen years…. and NOT JUST ABOUT DRINKING EITHER….  Your child will be exposed to the outside world, prepare them for it and talk to them before they are put into a situation about it.

Please remember that threats and lectures rarely prevent anything and are usually reactionary in nature.  Be proactive, talk with them and not too them.  Citing laws, rules and regulations will not stop most children.  They need to know these things but that in itself will NOT stop them.  One of the most valuable things you can share as a family is time where you speak openly and honestly with one another.  Maybe at dinner or just before bedtime,  find a time to talk with your kids and to become part of there life or they may not turn to you later when they are encouraged to experiment with things.

Talk to your children about your past drinking and share stories about it.  Be factual and let them know a few things that could happen to them if they do drink.  You need rules that are spelled out clearly.  Share your personal opinions, beliefs and thoughts about drinking and then clearly layout ground rules about drinking.  Work with your child and help them feel good about themselves.  Self esteem is vital so that they can say NO to those that admire later when and if approached.  Be a good parent and work on building a positive family environment so that your kiddo will be willing to talk with you.  Also be a good role model and practice what you preach.  Lastly know where you child is going, when they will be home and who they are will and follow up to make sure they are where they are suppose to be.

It’s a lot of work being a parent and I hope this will help you remember that YOU make a difference in your child’s life and that these tips can be applied to any topic; NOT JUST DRINKING!

Family values have NEVER been so important.  Kids today face a different world than their parents.  Family life is different, family structure is different but YOU can’t use this as an excuse.  Parents and children are spending less and less time together everywhere because of technology, social media, TV, video games and parent’s busy personal life.  YOU have to make TIME!   .

Yes the talk…. every talk…. every day… be a positive influence to your child, don’t just talk, listen!

 

 

2014 Karing4Kids; child Abuse Prevention Event

April 5, 2014

AAYC’s First annual Child Abuse prevention event, a part of the AAYC Child Safety Initiative.

The 1st Annual AAYC Karing4 Kids Child Abuse Prevention Event April 5, 2015 photo by Matt Hite

The 1st Annual AAYC Karing4 Kids Child Abuse Prevention Event April 5, 2015

Amarillo Globe News Article:

http://amarillo.com/news/local-news/2014-04-05/youth-center-fights-child-abuse

Nearly 200 came out to support Amarillo Activity Youth Center as it participated in the national March Against Child Abuse on Saturday.

Participants of all ages, including some students from the AAYC, marched several blocks in downtown Amarillo holding handmade signs with anti-child abuse messages.

The AAYC offers many classes for Amarillo youth, including fencing, community service and basketball, and many of the students came out to support the event.

“Our kids made the signs,” said Matt Hite, AAYC executive director.

Although the march had been done before, this was the first time AAYC hosted an event to coincide with the march at its facility at 816 South Van Buren St.

Speakers from the community came out to share personal stories and offer their talents.

Some of the speakers included Tommy the Hacker of Kiss FM, DJ Karaoke Joe, the New Life Church youth band and a guest speaker from CASA.

“We wanted to make it fun,” said Vee Montanez, event coordinator.

Montanez said she helped plan the walk last year, but an event like the one held Saturday had never been done before. She asked friends in the area to participate in hopes of bringing people together and making the event more fun.

The event offered many activities, but the focus was on the prevention of child abuse.

AAYC's Karing4kids, 2013

AAYC’s 1st annual Child Abuse Prevention Event in Amarillo, Texas

“A lot of times the abuse goes unpunished,” said Andria Keelin, event co-coordinator.

Keelin said the event’s purpose was to raise awareness about just how many children are abused.

Youtube Video

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wmxjyyfu2fg

Facebook Pictures

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.682582065142784.1073741842.132243203510009&type=3

A Resolution, really?

A RESOLUTION

By Matthew Walter Hite

Amarillo, Texas

 “You can’t build a reputation on what you are going to do”      Henry Ford

First off I’d like to wish everyone a Happy New Year.  2014 is going to be a great year….. but wait…. don’t we all say that every year….  We all start the year with a huge purge; out with the old, in with the new.  A clean start, cleaning everything, getting in shape this year, saving money, better year “next” year….  We change lanes and speed up to make changes, But wait a minute WHY?

The New Year is a great time to stop and look back at your past year’s accomplishments, it’s a dot on ones timeline that everyone shares but WHY?  I ask again, why? Why is this dot on the timeline so different than any other?

A few questions I pose to each of you.  Please really think about this!  What did you accomplish this past year?  Where are you on your personal time line and how does it look? How can you start a positive change?  Currently are you the type person that you want your child, your neighbors and your love ones to know?  Do you want your child to know the life you have and know who you are?  I’ve always thought if you can’t look yourself in the mirror and said, I’m proud of that, then you didn’t do your best or maybe it’s time for change then.  Even more important, would you do something if your mother (or father) where standing beside you or your child was there.  Why or why not?  Do you honor them with your actions, words, and thoughts?

It’s hard to reflect on everything we do, we all have guilt, we all have issues and we all need to change.  Be that change in your life and those around you, everyday!  I encourage you, not today on New Years, but every day; make the changes in your like so that you can be proud of your actions and deeds and so that others will as well.  Only you can change your outcomes, only you but remember there are always people to help and support you, if you’ll let them in!

I hear people throughout the year saying, I’m gonna focus on that next year.  That’s gonna be one of my “New Year’s Resolutions” next year!  WHY?  When you see something you’d like to change about yourself why wait; make the change then and there or start working toward the change.  You have an opportunity to make change 365 days a year.  WHY create a huge list and hold onto it and then throw your entire life in a crazy stressful mess to make “this year” better?  I challenge you to set goals throughout the year, prep and struggle to make them happen, strive to be a better person, but WHY focus on it today, the first of the year.

Everything you did in 2013 and before is the foundation for 2014.  Your past cannot be purged on the first day of the year each year; simply put, it’s part of you!  You can however ask the Lord to forgive you of your misgivings and pray that he will help make you a better person, because through him all things are possible.

Let’s reflect on the past year today, think of where we are and where we have been and continue down the same old road, making course corrections as we go.   No matter what happens keep your head up and keep moving forward.  Our struggles and failures, as well as our successes create who we are.  Learn from your success and your failings; your strengths and your weaknesses.  Please don’t simply set resolutions today and say today is the beginning of a new me!  Change can’t happen over-night.  Let’s just make our journey on this Earth the best we can and please, let’s all help each other on the way!

Happy New Year everyone, lets give this day, and every day our best and only then will we have the BEST year ever!

www.amarilloyouth.org

 

Winter Weather Advisory

Winter Weather Advisory

By Matthew Hite  of Amarillo, Texas

 

As the days get shorter and the temperature gets colder and colder I think it is important to remind everyone of a few quick facts that may save your life…. Ok a little dramatic for most but at least make your existence been and more enjoyable throughout the Holiday seasons and the cold weather that is coming.

 

Ok let’s put you to a test and see how you do! Before you read on please click and take this quiz

http://firstaid.about.com/library/quiz/bl_hypothermia_quiz.htm

Brrrrr Cold

Do you know why you shiver when you are cold?  When your body temperature drops a few degrees below its normal temperature (~98.6 F) your blood vessels constrict decreasing your blood flow to reduce heat loss from your skin’s surface.  Shivering is your body’s defense and it actually generates beat by increasing the body’s metabolic rate.

To avoid cold emergencies be sure to wear enough clothing to stay warm and dry, dress in layers and don’t forget your hat and gloves .

General advice

Always wear appropriate clothing and dress in layers.  Keep clothing dry, when possible. Did you know you can lose up to 40% of your body heat through your head?  WEAR a HAT!  Wear a facemask, scarf or even a bandana to help hold in heat and to help protect your lungs.  Be aware of icy and slippery conditions.  If you are going to be out in the cold for a long duration of time…. bring a buddy if and when possible. Be sure to drink plenty of water and stay hydrated.

Take a bite out of winter

Avoid prolonged exposure to the cold elements (wind, sleet, rain and snow) when at all possible.  Be prepared for an events that could happen to you.  Do you have a blanket and extra sweater or two in your car, do you have an ice scraper?  Even if your car is normally in a garage many times these few item can save your life if you have car troubles.

Don’t let winter bite you back

If your loosing feeling in your fingers, toes or ears (extremities you could be on your way to being bitten.  I’m referring to frostbite.  Initial symptoms of frostbite include stinging coldness tingling or loss of movement to an exposed area.  The skin may have a waxy appearance and may have greyish white patches on their skin.  You may notice an intense pain when you try to bend or move the extremities and then slowly lose the feeling of pain as that pat of the body begins to go numb.  Blisters and blotches may also appear with prolonged exposure.   Frostbite can be very serious.  Prolonged frostbite can result in amputation or loss of function in that extremities, forever.

Freezing to death

Yes it really can happen.  I was not joking at the beginning of this blog.  When you hear of someone freezing to death or dying of exposure the killer was probably hypothermia.  It occurs when your body loses more heat than it can generate over a period of time (sometimes less time than others based on the weather conditions).  You will most likely NOT get hyperthermia by walking from your house to a heated car without a jacket on but if you decide to walk across town without proper clothing you could be in danger.

What does true hypothermia look like.  The first symptoms are uncontrolled shivering, and the inability to do complex motor functions, mild confusion and lethargy.  As hypothermia progresses the person seems dazed and confused and their speech become impaired.  Their behaviors, motions and actions become irrational, worse than a drunken state even.

If you come across someone that is undergoing hypothermia please calmly follow these steps to help them out.  gently help move the victim into a warmer area away from wind and wetness if possible.  Call 911 or have someone around you call. If they are not coherent maintain airway and circulation and perform CPR if needed (and if you know how) remove any wet or frozen clothing and cover the victim with a dry, warm blanket, remember their body may not be producing much internal heat if any at all.  If the victim is awake and can do so try having them drink something warm.

Other helpful links/information

 

Role Models

When we are growing up we look to our role models for inspiration and use this as a guide for how we should behave when we’re older. In later life when we are striving for that same kind of success our role model showed us, it could bring us happiness. Then having the correct role model will help us learn to be successful and adaptive in later life, and that we are happy when we are older having achieved that aim. It’s very important to get the right role model for yourself, and to provide one for your children.

The most common role models for any child are the parents, followed by other immediate family members. This is why it’s so important to be a good role model– as children imitate your behavior. That means that if you smoke, you can expect your child to take up smoking later in life. If you swear meanwhile they too will swear. They will also find other role models elsewhere, as they grow older, just as you probably have different role models today. This is even more the case if you or they are somehow lacking in immediate role models. When we look elsewhere for role models we are have many options. We have our peers, we have characters from the media – comics, films, books, the music industry, sports and all of these can become a big influence on us and how we present ourselves. This might mean they affect us in a minor way leading us to alter the clothes we wear and our habits, or in a major way, leading us to make important considerations in our career or love life that make us closer to our idols, or changing our views on politics or religion.

So what is a good role model?

A good role model should be someone hard working, creative, free thinking and moral. While you can’t choose role models for your children as such, you can make sure that they are exposed to a better selection to choose from. For example encouraging your child to read ‘Superman’ rather than‘The Punisher’ (who murders his enemies and has a general bad attitude) might have a good impact on the way they turn out. However, it’s important not to put role models on a pedestal, everyone makes mistakes.

Where can I find a role model?

As I have mentioned previously, role models are all around us. They come from unlikely places and different walks of life, they come from media and they come from programs geared towards our youth. It has been said the younger generations have no aim, but what can we do about that? Having someone the youth of Amarillo can look up to as a positive role model benefits the youth and help guide them to become successful adults. There aren’t many organizations in Amarillo for the youth, but the AAYC is making its impact as one of the few. The AAYC is a place youth can come to do community service, take sports lessons or just play ball; whatever the reason maybe that draws the kids there. These kids may show up for an activity, but they go away with more than what they came for. The leaders and coaches take time to talk to everyone who comes in, they take a personal interest in their successes. They teach the kids what it means to be a part of a community by helping others and giving back to society. In my early teen years I met Matthew Hite  and several other leaders of the AAYC, and quickly found a group of people who were willing to sacrifice anything for others. I admired the way they were able to find a way to help those who needed it and wanted to do the same in my life. I began volunteering with the AAYC and used my time there to learn what it means to help others. It may be giving someone food to eat or even listening to someone talk about their day. Having a role model such as the ones I found in the AAYC has taught me I can make a difference to someone, and that I can influence others as well.

carajohnson1  This blog was written by Cara Johnson;  cljohnson8952@gmail.com