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Carve Out More Family Time This Halloween

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(Family Features) By the time Halloween rolls around, many families are deep into the hustle and bustle of the school year. The holiday provides a great opportunity to focus on family and spend some quality time together.

Shared experiences bring loved ones closer, and Halloween is a perfect time for doing something with the people in your life who matter most, whether it’s your immediate family, college family, friends, siblings or extended family.

These family-friendly activities can help you create some special spooky memories this Halloween with your friends and loved ones:

Visit local attractions. Many communities offer seasonal events or destinations where you can find all kinds of family fun while enjoying a refreshing autumn afternoon. Some popular examples include corn mazes, pumpkin patches and haunted houses. You might also find other attractions such as hayrides and petting zoos.

Decorate pumpkins. Designing the perfect jack-o’-lantern or pumpkin creation can be fun for the whole family. Toddlers and younger children can express their creativity through painting, stickers and accessory kits while older children and young adults may find carving kits to be more their style. Consider the options from Pumpkin Masters, which creates new products every year so you can always find something fresh each Halloween. For example, Premium Sticker Patterns make it easy to peel, stick and carve with pattern transfer sheets while options like Mummy Carving and Decorating Kit or Unicorn Decorating let little creatures in on the fun.

Go trick-or-treating together. Participating in this age-old tradition as a family can make for a fun evening of joy and laughter. You can also incorporate numerous teachable moments, including reminders about safety around strangers and when crossing the street, practicing manners like please and thank you or taking turns ringing doorbells with friends or siblings.

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Watch scary movies. Whether you relive your own youth by introducing your kids to the classics or explore more contemporary flicks, gathering the group around the screen for a frighteningly fun movie night can appeal to the whole family. With so many options available, you can easily find something age-appropriate for your little ones – just be sure to add some seasonal snacks to make the night complete.

Find more ideas to inspire quality time with family this Halloween at pumpkinmasters.com.

Recycle Your Pumpkin
Once the holiday fun is done, you may wonder what to do with your leftover pumpkin (and the insides, too). Consider these ideas:

Bake the seeds. Whether you eat them yourself or share them with local wildlife, roasted pumpkin seeds provide a tasty treat. They’re delicious with a light coating of olive oil and salt, or you can get creative with seasonings and spices.

Make slime. The stringy, gooey insides of a pumpkin make for a ghoulish bowl of goopy guts, perfect for Halloween pranks. You can use the pulp in its natural form or search for recipes that add ingredients like glue, water and baking soda for even more texture.

Compost it. Pumpkins generate organic waste, so adding them to a compost bin (or burying them) can be quite beneficial for the soil. Either option returns organic matter to the Earth, rather than heaping it into a landfill where it’s just adding to accumulating food waste.

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Create a planter. If you save the pieces carved from your jack-o’-lanterns, you can use a toothpick to secure them in place. Then you’ll be left with a vessel that’s perfect for using as a seasonal planter. Add some mums or other autumn blooms and enjoy them throughout the fall.

Donate to a nearby farm. Pumpkins can be a tasty treat for wildlife and livestock. If you don’t have animals like bunnies and squirrels to share your pumpkin with in your own backyard, check with area farms to see if they’d like your leftover pumpkins to use as food for the animals.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images (mother and child painting pumpkins)


SOURCE:
Pumpkin Masters

Rebecca Jo is a mother of four and is a creative soul from Phoenix, Arizona, who also enjoys new adventures. Rebecca Jo has a passion for the outdoors and indulges in activities like camping, fishing, hunting and riding roller coasters.

child education

Indianapolis Community Celebration to Discuss Impact of School Choice in Black and Brown Communities

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INDIANAPOLIS /PRNewswire/ — Hoosier families and national education reform leaders will learn from the past and look to the future as they mark School Choice Week 2023 with an in-depth discussion of school choice’s impact in Black and Brown communities on Wednesday, Jan. 25 at the Indianapolis Artsgarden.

“There are many issues our society needs to address with regards to race, equality, and education, and we should look to school choice programs as one solution to actually make things better for people,” said EdChoice President Robert Enlow. “As part of National School Choice Week, we are honored to join education leaders to celebrate how far we’ve come not only in Indiana, but nationwide, and look ahead to the progress yet to come.”

Hosted by EdChoice in collaboration with the Freedom Coalition for Charter Schools, the event will kick off at 5:30 p.m. with drinks, appetizers, and the opportunity for community members to network and discuss the power of choice in K-12 education. It’s part of the annual National School Choice Week 2023, celebrated with events nationwide. As part of the local festivities, the AES Indiana building in Indianapolis will light up red and yellow. 

At 6:15 p.m., EdChoice President Robert Enlow will introduce a panel of esteemed education leaders, including civil rights activist and education reform icon Dr. Howard Fuller, Capital Preparatory Schools Founder Dr. Steve Perry, and Education Leaders of Color Chief Policy Officer Angelica Solis-Montero. Dr. Charles Cole, founder of Energy Converters, an initiative to help students activate their leadership through agency in education, will moderate.

More than 200 parents, educators, and legislators are expected to attend and hear the panelists’ perspectives on recent successes and challenges in expanding education outcomes for Black and Brown students, and how school choice can position students for a successful future. The panel discussion will wrap up with a Q&A.

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“Studies show us that not only are school choice programs integrating schools in better ways than ever before, but they are giving all students – including minority students – greater hope for the future,” Enlow continued. “As we work to restore the learning lost during the Covid-19 pandemic – which was felt most strongly among Black and Brown students – we must give families more choices and agency in their children’s future.”

This event is organized by EdChoice, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that empowers every family to choose the schooling environment that fits their children’s needs best.

Join the discussion on Wednesday at the Indianapolis Artsgarden, located at 110 W. Washington St. The event is open to the press and the public, but registration is required at bit.ly/3WXLsCm.

National School Choice Week (NSCW) informs, inspires, and empowers parents to discover the K-12 education options available for their children, including traditional public, charter, magnet, online, private, and home schooling. Every January, tens of thousands of schools, organizations, and individuals plan unique events and activities to shine a positive spotlight on effective education options in their communities. The Week is a project of the nonpartisan, nonpolitical National School Choice Awareness Foundation.

SOURCE National School Choice Week

https://stmdailynews.com/category/the-bridge/

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Creative, Talented and Inspiring High School Students Chosen for This Year’s Disney Dreamers Academy at Walt Disney World Resort

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Exclusive Walt Disney World Resort mentoring event fosters dreams of Black students and teens from underrepresented communities; 100 outstanding students from New York to California to be part of the multi-day event in March

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. /PRNewswire/ — A budding artist, an aspiring neurosurgeon and a creative storyteller are among the 100 talented high school students selected for this year’s Disney Dreamers Academy, an educational mentoring program hosted at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida.

The 100 students from across the country will descend on Walt Disney World Resort March 23-26 for the 16th annual event, aimed at broadening career awareness and creating exclusive opportunities for Black students and teens from underrepresented communities across America.

Mickey Mouse and Disney Dreamers Academy executive champion Tracey Powell pose with Newark Tech (N.J.) high school student Mosope Aina moments after she was surprised on national TV on January 13, 2023 with the news that she is one of 100 students selected for this year’s Disney Dreamers Academy at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida in March. Also, the names of all 100 Dreamers were displayed on a Times Square billboard. Disney Dreamers Academy is a mentoring program hosted annually at Walt Dis
Mickey Mouse and Disney Dreamers Academy executive champion Tracey Powell pose with Newark Tech (N.J.) high school student Mosope Aina moments after she was surprised on national TV on January 13, 2023 with the news that she is one of 100 students selected for this year’s Disney Dreamers Academy at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida in March. Also, the names of all 100 Dreamers were displayed on a Times Square billboard. Disney Dreamers Academy is a mentoring program hosted annually at Walt Dis
Flanked by her mother amid a sea of confetti, Mosope Aina, an aspiring neurosurgeon, was surprised by Mickey Mouse and Disney Dreamers Academy executive champion Tracey Powell on national TV on January 13, 2023 at her school in Newark, N.J. with the news of her selection to Disney Dreamers Academy at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. Disney Dreamers Academy in late March is a mentoring program hosted annually by Walt Disney World Resort that fosters the dreams of Black students and teens from
Flanked by her mother amid a sea of confetti, Mosope Aina, an aspiring neurosurgeon, was surprised by Mickey Mouse and Disney Dreamers Academy executive champion Tracey Powell on national TV on January 13, 2023 at her school in Newark, N.J. with the news of her selection to Disney Dreamers Academy at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. Disney Dreamers Academy in late March is a mentoring program hosted annually by Walt Disney World Resort that fosters the dreams of Black students and teens from

The full list of students is available at www.DisneyDreamersAcademy.com.

To kick off the announcement of the 2023 class, Mickey Mouse, Disney executives, and international recording star Kelly Rowland surprised one of the students with the news of her selection live on national TV from her school in Newark, N. J. Afterwards, the names of the entire Class of 2023 were displayed on a Times Square billboard.

Rowland, the four-time Grammy Award-winning singer, songwriter, actress and television executive producer, served last year as the program’s ambassador and as an advocate for the students. She shared personal insights, drawing from her own unique experience as a pre-teen performer, then as a teenager in one of the best-selling female groups of all time, Destiny’s Child.

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The Disney Dreamers program is an important part of Disney’s commitment to support diverse communities. By encouraging the next generation to think big, Disney hopes the students will carry what they learn back home and continue pursuing their dreams.

“We’re ready to welcome another outstanding group of teens from across the country for our 16th year!” said Tracey Powell, Disney Signature Experiences vice president and Disney Dreamers Academy executive champion. “They are going to have the experience of a lifetime, setting them on a journey to go out and achieve their dreams, just like the classes who came before them.”

Since 2008, Disney Dreamers Academy has inspired more than 1,500 students from across the country by fueling their dreams and showing them a world of possibilities as they prepare for their futures. In the years following, graduates have become storytellers, artists, engineers, innovators, journalists and more, and have transitioned into mentors to the Disney Dreamers who follow them.

Each year, the Disney Dreamers are selected from thousands of applicants who answer essay questions about their personal stories and dreams for the future. The students and a parent or guardian enjoy an all-expenses paid trip to Walt Disney World Resort in Florida for the four-day event.

The Disney Dreamers embark on a journey throughout the Walt Disney World theme parks and behind the scenes of the 40-square-mile vacation destination. It is a vibrant classroom where students discover new career opportunities, pursue their dreams and interact with Disney executives, educators, business leaders, celebrities and motivational speakers.

Students participate in immersive, career-oriented workshops that explore a wide range of career disciplines while also learning essential skills, such as effective communication techniques, leadership and networking strategies.

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Past celebrity participants have included stars from the big screen and television, noted sports figures and popular musicians, as well as personalities and cast members from across the Disney family, including “Good Morning America,” ESPN, Disney Channel and the ABC TV series “Black-ish” and “Grown-ish.”

For more information, visit DisneyDreamersAcademy.com. Regular updates about Disney Dreamers Academy are also available on social media at Facebook.com/DisneyDreamersAcademyTwitter.com/DreamersAcademy and Instagram.com/disneydreamersacademy. 

The 100 students selected for the 2023 Disney Dreamers Academy are (listed by state):

First NameLast NameCityState
ChelseaWilliamsHooverAL
RadhikaPantHooverAL
TylerChiuNorthridgeCA
EllaMilsteinLa JollaCA
RashadTylerHighlandCA
RyanNelsonConcordCA
TinaMaiNewport CoastCA
OctaviaCareyInglewoodCA
IsabellaCabelloTulareCA
MadisonHendersonLos AngelesCA
BrookeSibalaChula VistaCA
SanviPrakashSan RamonCA
CiscoHernandezNational CityCA
MelanieChoAlhambraCA
AprilOrtizAnaheimCA
CaseyFolauMaywoodCA
XavierForbesSan DiegoCA
AllisonJensenThorntonCO
JonathanDe CaroMoodusCT
YasmeenGalalProspectCT
Mary AmmaBlanksonMadisonCT
MiguelCoppedgeWashingtonDC
SophiaJurovieskyBoca RatonFL
DorseyMillerParklandFL
ZaraLwinOrlandoFL
SophiaDupeyronCape CoralFL
KaitlynJadevaiaSarasotaFL
MeganFajardoDestinFL
KimoraReedSaint PetersburgFL
CynthiaMedinaBradentonFL
CameronWestJacksonvilleFL
SaraKaufmanHollywoodFL
NoahSpinelliOrlandoFL
PamelaMusunguAcworthGA
ZachariahHickeyBonaireGA
AvaFlaniganMorrowGA
AvaAdamsAtlantaGA
JordanAdeyemiDuluthGA
PippaKeySummervilleGA
JadenJenkinsAugustaGA
KirastenPerkinsSavannahGA
ErinShenStatesboroGA
DylanJonesSmyrnaGA
Bradley RossJacksonNormalIL
TamayaMcnealJolietIL
NoraSunChicagoIL
NylaBishopFlossmoorIL
AramiaGutierrezWhitingIN
JaylynnPoweBaton RougeLA
CharlesSteeleSlidellLA
AudreyBrustZacharyLA
TasneemGhadialiLexingtonMA
Xin YueLuLutherville TimoniumMD
AriaSmithUpper MarlboroMD
LindseySandsColumbiaMD
MakaylaJoaquinFort WashingtonMD
SaniyahIkardBowieMD
NatalynTaylorEllicott CityMD
JulianMorrisSaginawMI
KeenanBurnsRedfordMI
PrestonZabinkoAnn ArborMI
AddisonRichmondJacksonMI
KennedyJonesBerkeleyMO
ZaniaStinsonCharlotteNC
JadaStewartWilsonNC
RyanRazonMorrisvilleNC
MosopeAinaNewarkNJ
EliseTaoUpper Saddle RiverNJ
MariaMaioneEgg Harbor CityNJ
ClaudiaMerchanHackensackNJ
AmechiChukwujiorah-StrangeFlushingNY
AutumnTylerChesterNY
MorganLinBrooklynNY
EmilyMelendezRego ParkNY
LoganWilliamsClevelandOH
SophiaBarbeeMainevilleOH
MckinleyMeekerHudsonOH
KyleZhouSolonOH
AzizaMccarterJenksOK
NeighujahHarmonOklahoma CityOK
AmeliaGodardSherwoodOR
ElizaWatkinsPortlandOR
AnjanaPramodWest ChesterPA
PrernaChakkingalMc DonaldPA
JoslynDiffenbaughKutztownPA
TavisSandersPhiladelphiaPA
SydneySimmonsTivertonRI
BenjaminBrownColumbiaSC
HannahHollingsBrentwoodTN
ToluwakitanAkinsolaAntiochTN
SydneyRobertsPlanoTX
YaddeniHailuLewisvilleTX
ShaneMushambiMissouri CityTX
MedhaPulluruCedar ParkTX
AlvaroAlvarezElginTX
ElleChavisDallasTX
NiaCurryTrophy ClubTX
TierraBrownPearlandTX
Eliora MargaretKwakyeOlympiaWA
JuliusZakariaOak CreekWI

About Disney Dreamers Academy:

Established by Walt Disney World in 2008, Disney Dreamers Academy’s mission is to inspire young leaders to dream beyond imagination by providing life-long access to personalized support for the Disney Dreamer, their caregivers and community through insightful content and uplifting experts, mentors, and sponsors. Each year, 100 high school students are awarded a trip to Walt Disney World Resort in Florida to experience the immersive and transformational program.

SOURCE Walt Disney World

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Prince George County Families Meet Independent Schools at School Choice Fair

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Private school fair to feature STEM carnival, workshops for families

PRINCE GEORGE COUNTY, Md. /PRNewswire/ — Families are invited to explore more than 40 independent school options at Prince George County’s first School Choice Week fair on Saturday, Jan. 21. The inaugural event will be jam-packed with resources and fun, from workshops for parents on admissions and financial aid to face painting and a STEM Carnival for children.

Hosted by the Black Student Fund and Prince George Parents Alliance for Educational Options, the free fair takes place 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Bishop McNamara High School. Families will have an opportunity to speak with school representatives, network, and learn about K-12 education options in a positive, supportive environment. While parents “shop” for schools, children can enjoy family-friendly activities and entertainment.

Award-winning influencer Jenny the Voice will be in attendance, covering the event for her 1.2 million followers on TikTok.

The fair is planned to coincide with the celebration of National School Choice Week (Jan. 22-28, 2023), which will feature tens of thousands of school choice celebrations across all 50 states.

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“This in person and virtual event will provide Maryland families with information that makes school choice a reality,” said Leroy Nesbitt of the Black Student Fund.

This event is planned by the Black Student Fund, which serves as an advocate for children and strives to assure that all students and their families have equal access to superior educational opportunities, and Prince George Parents Alliance for Educational Options, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to maximizing independent school options and opportunities for all families in Prince George’s County Maryland.

Bishop McNamara High School is located at 6800 Marlboro Pike in Forestville. Register for the free event at eventbrite.com/e/pg-school-choice-fair-2023-tickets-428637435107. A list of participating schools can be found at pgpaeo.org/participating-schools.

National School Choice Week (NSCW) informs, inspires, and empowers parents to discover the K-12 education options available for their children, including traditional public, charter, magnet, online, private, and home schooling. Every January, tens of thousands of schools, organizations, and individuals plan unique events and activities to shine a positive spotlight on effective education options in their communities. The Week is a project of the nonpartisan, nonpolitical National School Choice Awareness Foundation.

SOURCE National School Choice Week

https://stmdailynews.com/category/the-bridge/

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