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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The Death of Us

The Death of Us

Our Sedentary Lifestyles

 Are you tired all the time, stressed and have a hard time doing things that use to be easy for you?  Do you feel that YOU are not all you can be?  Did you know that many Americans has adapted to a sedentary lifestyle and that this is killing us.  A sedentary lifestyle is more than just spending an excessive amount of time sitting each day.

This lifestyle has negative health influences including increased anxiety, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, depression and more.   Some people have jobs that require them to sit all day, others sit in front of the TV all the time. A sedentary lifestyle is a type of lifestyle with no or irregular physical activity. We joke a call people couch potatoes, well that’s what we are doing turning our body’s into curved, rounded versions of the image God created us in.

State of mind

As a kid I would go to school and sit most of the day but at least at school you get to get up every 45 minutes and move around; then there’s PE/athletics, Band, lunch and other activities as well.  Our problem is that then many youth in today’s society then go home to sit in front of a TV or computer screen all night and in their free time.

Why?  Well its simple we are training our kids this way.  When they are young, very young; we stick kids in front of the TV to entertain them and keep them busy.  As they grow up they get more and more technology; as adults we get busier and busier and spend less time out of the house doing things with people.  We mentally enjoy that time sitting, doing NOTHING in from of the TV; but it’s at the cost of our health.

Coupled with our changing diets, as we eat less fresh, more processed foods without paying attention to what we are putting into our bodies.

Obese but full

Did you know that just because you are full does NOT mean you are being nourished?  Fatty food seem to fill you and keep the hunger away longer but it’s not putting anything in your body you need.

Today’s society is overweight but under-nourished because we are putting junk in our bodies.  In school we learned Garbage-in/Garbage-out when working with computers.  It’s the same with our bodies.   What are you putting into your body.

Activity

As our population grows heavier and struggles more and more to do daily activities we all have to look at our activity levels.  Yes, YOU, and me and everyone we know.  I’m not saying we all need to goto the gym and become the next Arnold but we NEED to become active.  We need to take time with our kids going places, doing things, and getting out of the house.

Since man was created we have been walking….. Walking, walking, walking.  We all need to remember that our bodies are built to be in an horizontal (sleeping) or vertical (standing)  position; not the bent over form you have when sitting down.  Let’s all try to spend more time up and moving, on our feet.

Ultimately I thin it is imperative to get involved with an activity that requires movement that you enjoy on a regular basis if you want to stay with it.  Whether it be a sport, hobby or activity; its up to each of us to find SOMETHING to get us more active.

Desk Jobs

Ultimately, experts urge people to get out of their chairs and start doing something.   While this may not seem practical for those stuck in an chair or cubicle but small, simple changes like taking phone calls standing up can help. I encourage you to redefine our workouts into all moments, have a weight or stretch-band at your desk.

I spent five years sitting in a call center environment and growing chubbier and chubbier for it.   It’s so easy to grab a bag of chips from the vending machine or a coke from the machine.  if you have been on a job where you’re on the phone all day you understand the need to have something to drink.  Well let’s all try water.  I know yeah, water.  A friend of mine, Patty, introduced me to putting fresh fruit (cucumber, watermelon) into water to give it flavor without the additives and such that are in a lot of the drink mixes.  YUM!  It tastes good too.  I need to start doing more of this; but so do YOU!

Let’s do it!

This is not something easy for you to do alone, get your whole family involved, your co-workers and those that are around you!  Lets make a positive change in our lives TODAY!

Well I have been sitting here typing this for too long, time to walk around and do something less sedentary.  Same to you, right now DO IT!  Let’s go up, on your feet.  Right NOW!

Written by Matthew Hite  Amarillo, Texas

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!

Are you a bully? Are you a victim?

It’s been part of society since the beginning of time, bullying.  One person is bigger or more dominate and they take advantage of someone else.

Who is a bully?

The dictionary says to  bully is  to frighten, hurt, or threaten (a smaller or weaker person) : to act like a bully toward (someone): to cause (someone) to do something by making threats or insults or by using force.  (Source Merriam-Webster Dictionary http://www.merriam-webster.com/).  There are many degree’s and levels of bullying.  A few common examples are:  physically hurting/attacking someone, Malicious teasing, spreading hurtful rumors or gossip, cyber bullying, harassment of sorts, ganging up on someone or isolating someone and intimidating them.  Sending malicious or threatening text, emails, instant messages, blogs, social media and other electronic media is also bullying.

Are you a bully?  Are you hurting, threatening someone or using your strength, size or social status in a mean way? Chances are you are a bully.  It takes a lot of maturity to step back and admit that you are a bully!  The first step to correcting your behavior is to admit that you are a bully.

If bullies would just stop and put themselves in the other person’s shoes and really think about how that would make them feel. if you are a bully you may need to seek guidance from a trusted adult, school official or professional.  There is NOTHING wrong with asking for help to stop a cycle of bullying for the victim or the bully.

School and clubs

Bullying happens in all schools, it’s almost not avoidable.  If you or your child is being bullied, chances are others are as well.  many schools have bullying prevention programs that can help reduce bullying.  It is ALWAYS ok to go to the school’s councilor, coach, trusted adult or family member and talk about any bullying that has occurred.  The person being bullies is NOT at fault,  that person is a victim and needs help!

Adult intervention at school

Parents and adults please don’t be afraid to step up and be the adult in any situation where bullying occurs.  It’s best to keep a writing record documenting the bullying with details, times, dates and whom was there. DO NOT blame the victim, it’s not there fault.  Calling the school and reporting bullying is a great start.  Talk directly to the teacher(s) let them know what you have information on and make them aware of the situation.  Once the teachers are aware of the situation you can expect action to be taken by the school.  Ask the teacher(s) what procedures, rules and actions are in place to help the child.  If this does not help please go to the school’s administration and talk with the child’s assistant principal. The school wants to stop bullying but they can’t without YOUR help, adults.

On-line

On-line many times a bully will hid behind a fake profile, name or account to spread rumors, lies, and false information.   A quick and easy way to help solve this issue is to report and block anyone that you don’t know that sends you a random message or information that appears to be attacking or harming someone else.  Sometimes bully’s think they are trying to “help” others but usually if they are bent on hurting or spreading this type info, they are probably in it for another reason.

Are you being bullied?

If so it is important that you tell someone, a  trusted adult.  Your peers usually cannot help you and that might make it worse.  Get another adult involved.  Don’t be afraid to stand up to the bully in a public place in a non-aggressive posture, Don’t fight them, if if becomes physical get away.  There is NOTHING wrong with walking away from a physical encounter, heck RUN if you need to!  Another strategy to help you is to stay in a group when possible and to always try to have a few friends around.

As a bully it is important NOT to fight back or bully the other person, or find someone to bully them.  I know it’s NOT your fault, they are the one in the wrong.  Keeping it to yourself will not make it go away.  Avoid the bully if possible but don’t skip school or miss other activities because they might be there!

Written by: Matthew Hite, Amarillo, TX

Additional resources:

Stop Bullying
http://www.stopbullying.gov/kids/

Stop Bullying now
http://stopbullyingnow.com/

Stop Bullying Pledge and games
http://www.cartoonnetwork.com/promos/stopbullying/

 

 

Bullying

Bullying

By Vee Montanez

 

WHAT IS BULLYING?

According to Webster’s bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Both kids who are bullied and who bully others may have serious, lasting problems.

I disagree with “aggressive behavior among school aged children”
Why? Because bullying can also happen in the work place among adults.

There are 3 main types of bullying:
1. Physical – involves hurting a person’s body or possessions.
2. Verbal – saying or writing mean things.
3. Emotional – distress resulting in someone developing low self-esteem, avoiding situations and becoming withdrawn.
Other forms of bullying include cyber, disability, gay, parental and sibling bullying.

I’ve found that cyber bullying is the most common in our day and time because of the popularity of social media. Kids are now doing something they call “blasting or outing” on Facebook. The person will share private/trusted information using pictures, online communication and/or screen shots. The person is considered blasted once the private information has been shared publicly. Most kids find this type of bullying amusing and soon after the post has been made the comments start pouring in. Some comments are positive but a majority of them are very negative and degrading. This type of bullying is there for the world to see and can sometimes lead to suicide because the embarrassment and humiliation is too much to handle for the individual being blasted. I can’t imagine what it’s like to be a teenager today. Let me rephrase that, I would hate to be a teenager in 2014. Which is sad because I myself have a 16 year old.
There are also other types of cyber bullying which include cyber stalking, exclusion, flaming and masquerading.

What are the statistics?
There are two sources of federally collected data on youth bullying:
• The 2011 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) indicates that, nationwide, 20% of students in grades 9–12 experienced bullying.
• The 2008–2009 School Crime Supplement (National Center for Education Statistics and Bureau of Justice Statistics) indicates that, nationwide, 28% of students in grades 6–12 experienced bullying.

Although statistically the numbers did drop from 2008-2011 I feel the numbers should be zero percent. I know, that’s asking a lot especially in today’s society but wouldn’t it be amazing if we could live in a world with peace and harmony? Where we could all get along and not judge one another. Yes, I’m a dreamer! And I’ve seen this world change tremendously thru the years and unfortunately not for the better. I will continue to dream of a world where our youth can live in peace. A world where they don’t have to be scared, worried or live in fear. A world where they can be themselves! We must teach our youth to love, respect and help one another. We must teach them core values. Otherwise we’ve lost all sense of humanity and may God help us all including myself. This is my very first blog for the AAYC and I’ve taken weeks to even talk myself into writing it because I didn’t want to be judged. But last weekend I spent 12 hours at a lock in with our Youth Cabinet Leaders and they taught so many things. They helped me conquer my fear of standing up in front of a class to teach for the very first time. They also inspired me to write this blog without the fear of being judged. I thank you guys for becoming my family and inspiration in a matter of 12 hours. I hope this blog was helpful to at least one person. Please check out the information below including the videos. Thank you for taking the time to read this blog and if you have any topics you would like me to cover please email them to veepromotions@aol.com.

If you or someone you know is being bullied there is help. I’ve listed a few people you can reach out to that will be more than happy to listen. Our youth leaders are amazing individuals from different walks of life with different stories that you may be able to relate to.

Who can I talk to?
If you are being bullied you can talk to anyone at the AAYC (806) 373-2992 whether it be one of our Youth Leaders, or one of our adult mentors/advisors:  myself ( Vee Montanez ), Cody Perez, Christina Lee, Ryan O’Dell, Shelly Heugatter, Matt or LaRue Hite. You can also reach out to Tommy the Hacker of KISS FM by calling (806) 320-0969 or contacting him via Facebook.

VIDEOS:
Amanda Todd’s Story: Struggling, Bullying, Suicide, Self Harm
http://youtu.be/vOHXGNx-E7E
LIVE DIFFERENT – KINDNESS CHANGES EVERYTHING http://youtu.be/9gLuXt_GHUQ

RESOURCES:
STOP Cyber Bullying – www.stopcyberbullying.org

The Author of this blog is Vee Montanez

veepromotions@aol.com

Vee

Vee

 

Social Media; Tricks of the trade

Safe Internet?

There is no such thing as safe internet.  Almost anyone can create a website and sometimes it’s hard to verify fact from fiction.  Even true news sources leave out details or put a spin on things to make it sound different, if it will help sell the paper.  So the question becomes……. What can we do to be safe on the Internet.  Today I’m going to address the Social Media Aspect of things.

Social Media Tips

  1.  Don’t give out personal information that you don’t want the world to know
    1. Examples, birthdates, full name, address, phone number, etc
    2. It may seem harmless at the time but it can become dangerous
    3. Be leery of talking to people that you don’t know in the real world
      1. If someone sends you an URL (web link) and you don’t know them or what it is

                                                              i.      DON’T Open it

ii.      REPORT it as SPAM and delete it.

  1. If you get a message from someone and you are uncomfortable or just don’t know them

i.      Take a moment to BLOCK them.

ii.      Do NOT play around and message them back, you could be asking for trouble.

  1. 3.       Pictures
    1. Watch what you post on your site.

i.      Would you be ok with your grandparents seeing it?

ii.      What about a police officer seeing it!

  1. If you are excited about a document and you want to scan it and post it, THAT’s Great

i.      Be sure to black out info on it before posting it, if there is something on it that others should not see.

  1. 4.       Your Character
    1. Lots of people learn about your character by what and how you post on your social media site.

i.      When you apply for jobs, the bosses may search you out and look what you have posted.

ii.      If you didn’t know you and ALL you could see is your profile and what is on there, what would you think of you?  This is the image you are sending the world

  1. 5.       Rumor mills
    1. I call this middle School Drama

i.      If you are not 100% sure it’s true don’t spread it.

ii.      Even if you are 100% sure it’s true,  think WHY am I posting this drama.

iii.      IF you spread rumors about people, people are less likely to want to talk to you if they have issues and it makes it hard to have good honest friendships

iv.      An adult thing to do is to approach the person about the rumor and ask them about it.  Get both sides of the story instead of blindly believing something.

Just remember that most bad things on the internet start because someone says or does something that they shouldn’t and the other person responds.  The ONLY way to make it safer is for YOU to follow these steps and share them with all of your friends!

Author:  Matthew Hite