Mobile Farmer's Market Helping the Hispanic Community
With the help of Beet Box volunteers, Puentes de Esperanza: Bridges of Hope is providing healthy options, social opportunity, and something the community can look forward to. Puentes uses the ecologically-oriented CARE principle by meeting our Hispanic community members where they are physically and situationally.
Since the start of last summer, Puentes de Esperanza has partnered with the Land of Goshen Community Market located in Edwardsville, IL. Through this partnership, the community served by Puentes can receive fresh produce from local farmers at a low cost. The volunteers of the Goshen Community Market drive to Fairmont City the “Beet Box.” This food truck attracts the attention of the community, and the word is spread on produce being sold. The members of the community can walk down the street from their homes to choose their produce. Clients can choose from a variety of vegetables, fruits, and nonperishable items to take home for 25 cents. Everyone in the community is welcome to choose their own produce.
Famer’s markets have increasingly become a staple in most towns, and they continue to expand as years go by. With the use of the Beet Box, the community of Fairmont City can have access to fresh fruit and vegetables, without having to travel far. In Fairmont City there are not many grocery stores that can provide fresh produce. This results in members of the community turning to unhealthy options of food. Within the Hispanic culture, many individuals from their country of origin are used to choosing their own produce and knowing how fresh it is. In most Hispanic countries the use of mercados is an essential part of living. Mercado in English means market. Mercados are not just a place where people buy and sell produce, but they also provide a place where social events occur. They bring joy and liveliness to a community and create a sense of belonging.
Farmworkers In the United States contribute to the production and distribution of crops. They play a key part in the nation’s economy. Migrant farmworkers have helped feed America and have faced obstacles throughout the years. At times, when people grocery shop, they seldom forget the backstory behind the farmworkers who work long hours to provide us with produce. Within the Puentes family there are many migrant farmworkers who work long hours in the fields to provide for their families. The clients even think of Puentes and if produce is in abundance, they bring them some as well. Team members have been happy going home with fresh corn to enjoy with their own families. Puentes de Esperanza is thankful for the clients they serve and continues to support them and provide resources to better suit their family needs.
With the help of Beet Box, they proudly can continue to provide produce and something to look forward to for the community. They also take into consideration the opinions of the clients and look for more produce available that they may prefer. Mothers of the families are thankful that they do not have to leave their homes to buy produce but rather can get it at a low cost right outside their doors. Puentes de Esperanza will hope to continue to continue this partnership for years to come and continue to expand their resources.
Learn more about our Hispanic community support here: https://hoyleton.org/programs/hispanic-community-support/
Hoyleton | ParentSmart Program
Hoyleton Announces ParentSmart Program
Due to a 40% increase in infant deaths through 2018-2019, Hoyleton Youth and Family Services started its ParentSmart initiative in September, 2019. The ParentSmart program takes aim at educating young parents and guardians of infants on the dangers and risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, or commonly known as SIDS. SIDS became a common term in 1969 to bring national awareness to unexplained deaths in infants that shared common characteristics in their passing.
The ParentSmart program is headed by Haunah Vanlaningham. Haunah works and is a volunteer at Hoyleton Youth and Family Services Prevention Department, and is the administrator and moderator for the growing ParentSmart community on Facebook. Haunah is currently in the process of obtaining her Master’s degree. As a mother of one, and with another child on the way, Haunah brings with her a passion for children, a desire to take an active role in the prevention of infant death, and is an advocate for the safety of all children.
The ParentSmart program focuses on topics such as the ABCs of Safe Sleep practice. The ABC’s are that the child should sleep Alone, on his/her Back and in a Crib. ParentSmart coordinates speakers for safety seminars, and provides a variety of resources for SIDS awareness. ParentSmart takes an active role in the community via social media with its primary focus being on education, communication, and plans to introduce interactive classes with partners in the community.
There are a variety of ways to become involved with ParentSmart. Follow their page on Facebook (@ParentSmartCDITF) to learn more about what Sleep Safe for infants and children includes, how you can educate on the prevention of infant deaths, and more importantly, how you can help other young couples and new guardians of infants keep children safe.
If you have questions about Hoyleton’s ParentSmart program, please reach out via Facebook messenger or you can email Haunah at email@example.com. If you witness the mistreatment of a child or have concerns about the safety of an infant, please reach out to the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services 24 hour hotline immediately at 1.800.25ABUSE.
#Hoyleton125 #ParentSmartCDITF #HoyletonCAREs
Informational: ParentSmart is part of a cooperative with the Illinois Child Death Investigation Task Force of which Hoyleton Youth and Family Services is a fiscal agency thereof.
The school’s cafeteria is buzzing with noise and excitement as students are chatting with friends and swapping stories of summertime glories. Your eye catches the kid at the long cafeteria table contemplating the lunch box in front of them with a pitiful look on their face implying, “What will lunch be today?”
As caregivers, we have each been there…the lunch box dilemma. Preparing lunches can quickly become a dreaded task. We have to balance nutritional lunch options with picky eaters, food allergy considerations, or just the everyday monotony of a quick PB&J. However, lunch preparation does not have to be this way.
First, let’s get back to the basics of what lunch is meant to be, a nutritional, balanced way to keep minds and bodies fueled and ready to do the tasks at hand. The formula for a great lunch is ½ fruits and vegetables + ¼ whole grains + ¼ lean protein + 1 serving of low-fat dairy this equals one balanced lunch box. This simple design provides a foundation for us as caregivers to take the dietary needs (caloric intake), allergy restrictions, and portion sizes and give a successful roadmap to make our jobs easier. However, all of these factors are dependent upon each child’s age, weight, and activity level.
Now, that we have the basics in hand, let’s play around with food options to create a lunch for even the most discerning palate.
Picking an option from each section sets you up for lunch box success. For example, veggie wrap with hummus, apple slices, and string cheese, along with water for hydration makes for the perfect lunch. It is that simple! Armed with healthy and exciting food options will make lunchtime meal planning something that both you and your child can enjoy. Happy eating!
If you or someone you know needs help or additional resources, please contact us at 618.688.4727.
With August being back to school month, that means it is also an excellent time for you to go over safety tips with your youth. With the business of back to school shopping, planning after school care/transportation, and creating meal plans – sometimes it can be easy to overlook the things that seem natural; like safety tips. It is always a good idea to go over a safety plan with the children you care for as they start back at school.
Walking or Biking – If your student is walking or biking to school, be sure to go over the best navigation to get there. Go on the walk or bike ride with them before their first day, so that you are familiar with the path they will take as well. Find places that have minimal traffic and always find sidewalks for your student to take. Teach your child what a crosswalk area is and where it is not a safe place to cross.
Driving – If you are the caregiver of a teen who can now drive, go over safe driving tips with them. There can be lots of traffic in the mornings as people travel to school and work, so teaching your teen the importance of school zone speeds and how to drive in traffic is essential. There are also numerous apps, like Driving by Life360, that may be beneficial to have so that you can ensure your teen is safe.
Fire escape plans – One of the first things that are established at the beginning of the school year is a fire safety plan, but are you doing the same within your home? Create a fire safety plan with your kids and discuss the best escape route and what to do in case of an emergency.
Stranger Danger (In-person or Online) – It may seem obvious, but you can never stress enough the importance of educating your child on the dangers of talking to strangers. If you plan on having your child picked up from school by a friend or family member, be sure to communicate that with them. Go over a safe code word with your child so that they know if that person was sent by you to pick them up. Various online apps create many dangers for children. With your kids starting back to school, their peers may introduce them to new apps to download, which is why you must be aware of apps like: Tagged, TikTok, Snapchat, and many more.
Although it may seem small, by reiterating these safety tips with your children, it could prevent a crisis from happening. We always encourage parents to create an open line of communication within their family so that the youth know boundaries and can keep themselves safe.
If you or someone you know needs help or additional resources, please contact us at 618-688-4727.
Starting back to school can be demanding as you prepare your child both physically and mentally. August is back to school month, and we want to remind you of the importance of early preparation as you ensure that your child is up-to-date on all their medical requirements. Below is an updated list of requirements for each child based on their grade level.
Again, it is crucial to ensure that your child is ready to start school both physically and mentally. As your physician examines your child, view it as an opportunity to address any developmental, emotional, or social concerns you may have.
In addition to preparing your child for back to school, this is also a great time for you to prepare yourself as well. In order to be the best parent you can be, you must also take care of your own physical and mental health. If you are struggling, meet with your physician as you schedule your annual check-up for you and your child.
With the expertise from our Behavioral Health team, we can offer you and your family the assistance you may need. For more information, give us a call today at 618-688-4727.
State of Illinois Health Requirements for the 2019-2020 School Year
A Parent’s Guide for Talking to Teens About Drugs and Alcohol
Talking to teens about drugs can seem intimidating, but having these conversations can be greatly impactful. Now that they’re older and have a bit more freedom, they’ll likely encounter situations or environments where drug and alcohol use are prevalent. However, parents have more influence over their kids’ choices than they know.
Here are a few steps from our substance abuse prevention specialists that can help parents work with their teens in order to help them make smart decisions regarding drugs and alcohol.
Step 1: Stay Engaged
Regularly asking your teen questions opens up a dialogue about the things going on in their lives, which may include experiences with drugs and alcohol. Even if the subject of substance use doesn’t immediately come up, asking open ended questions creates those opportunities for be responsiveness. Additionally, knowing who their friends are and checking in on those friendships establishes a familiarity of those relationships.
Step 2: Creating a safe word
If your teen is at a party or outing where they are encouraged to use drugs or alcohol, creating a safe word (via a text or phone call) that signals they want to leave, can give them a way out of a situation that makes them uncomfortable. Because they are older and may have more responsibilities attributed to them, using an excuse like, “My parents need me to pick up my sibling” or “I need to leave early to help my grandma’ can serve as a plausible reason to exit an uncomfortable situation.
Step 3: Setting Expectations
Beyond discussing drugs and alcohol use with teens, setting expectations in the household about drug and alcohol use can be highly influential in their decision to not experiment with substances. Whether it’s the understanding that alcohol will not be consumed in the home until 21, or that cigarettes are not to be used regardless of the legal age, setting expectations promotes an understanding of acceptable standards that teens can be encouraged to uphold.
Step 4: Practicing Healthy Coping Skills
Adolescence can be a fraught time, and teens may end up turning to substances to cope with the stress or social pressures they may be dealing with, or to gain social capital with their peers. Make a plan with your kids about new ways to cope through yoga, journaling, music, exercise, drawing, or other healthy outlets. Also, parents should be mindful of their own usage so that their teens can follow a good example. Parents prefacing a glass a wine or a can of beer with a comment about how stressful a day it was, sends a signal their kids that drinking is an appropriate way to cope with stress.
Step 5: Be Informed
It’s valuable to check the news and research what drug and alcohol use trends are currently popular across the teenage demographic. Despite the misconception that teens don’t want to talk to their parents, their desire to be heard will often prompt them to share. Ask teens what they know about a certain drug, what it is, and if they know anyone who’s tried it. If a child knows that their parents are aware of a certain drug, they’re less likely to try it.
In the end, parents cannot control their kids’ actions, but through communication and preparation, they can assist them in having the right tools to make smart, informed decisions.
A Parent’s Guide for Talking to Kids, Aged 11 – 14, About Drugs
As children grow, so does their concern for the approval of their peers. Despite this, parents often have more influence over their children than they realize. A talk with kids about drugs is not necessarily an easy one, but it can be an invaluable conversation to have as they approach the age of curiosity about drugs or first use.
Here are some steps parents can take to be proactive in preventing drug use in their children:
Step 1: Take the Lead
Around the ages of 11 to 14, kids are at a period where they may have heard things about certain drugs, and are curious. More than ever, now is the time to inquire about what children already know through their own research, from peers, or the media. Don’t be afraid to bring up the topic to them and ask what they’ve heard about a specific drug at school, in music or on television, and ask if they have any questions.
Step 2: Create An Open Dialogue
A lot of times adults ask questions, but then quickly try to answer themselves. By giving youth the the chance to speak, it reveals what they do or don’t know. Listening to what kids have to say about drugs is a helpful opportunity to expose their misconceptions on the topic and replace them with the proper information, which can be put into a context they can understand.
Step 3: Write A Script
In their youth, kids may find themselves in situations where they are faced with peer pressure. Helping them to come up with a safe way to get out of uncomfortable situations can give them the confidence to navigate these difficult moments. Help them practice what they will say if they encounter someone who wants them to use drugs or alcohol. Another strategy is creating some sort of text script that kids can send to their parents, which signals for their help to get out of an uncomfortable situation. Role playing these scenarios not only helps prepare kids for what to say, but also helps them get more comfortable navigating those moments of peer pressure.
Step 4: Get Familiar With Friends
Most often, kids from ages 11 – 14 are using substances in someone’s homes – not out in bars – therefore it’s important to get to know the people a child is spending their time with. Even if parents are familiar with the parents of their child’s friends, it’s important for them to get a sense of what substances are or aren’t allowed in the house, and what the attitude is in regard to the use of those substances.
This age range, 11 – 14 years old, can be a pivotal time in life, and it’s important for parents to lend their guidance to help their kids through it. These points will create effective dialogue with kids.
Three Simple Nutrition Tips That Promote Behavioral Health
Across all ages and demographics, keeping the body nourished is necessary for proper development, which can last until early adulthood. For both children and young adults, some of which may be dealing with behavioral challenges, this is especially important. With many studies proving a strong connection between behavior and diet, the need for proper nutrition is stronger than ever.
Here are some tips to help keep youth nourished and functioning to the best of their abilities:
People have different ways of coping with the trauma in their lives, and some are unhealthier than others. One of these methods is stress eating, which is eating without hunger as a response to stress and/or trauma. Unfortunately, this unhealthy coping mechanism isn’t just reserved for adults and can affect children dealing with “early life stress” as young as four years old.
Enjoy some “comfort food” after a bad day isn’t necessarily troubling, but habitually consuming unhealthy foods to escape unfavorable feelings or circumstances is not a healthy or sustainable way to deal with things. In addition to therapy, an easy way to start implementing changes is to swap out the usual snacking foods with healthier choices.
Catch Some Zzzzs
It’s common knowledge that a good night’s sleep is necessary, but its value is often underestimated, especially for children and young adults who are most strongly affected by lack of sleep. Sleep deprivation is nothing to take lightly, as it can cause difficulty learning due to inattention, forgetfulness, lack of motivation, and irritability. For youth who already struggle with behavioral issues, or intellectual and developmental disabilities, sleep should be prioritized.
To aid with a restful night’s sleep, consuming natural teas with calming properties, like (chamomile or lavender), before bedtime and avoiding caffeinated beverages, like coffee and sodas, that can keep the body awake, interrupt natural sleep patterns, and cause sluggishness that negatively affects performance in school or at work are recommended.
Get a “Boost”
With the daily stresses of school and/or work, coupled with other challenging life circumstances, it’s easy to slip into a routine of eating cheap and convenient fast food. But, a regular diet of high cholesterol, high fructose food affects more than just weight – it can add to an already stressed lifestyle by failing to restore energy levels, which impacts one’s mood. Fortunately, there are some specific foods that can boost energy levels and, in turn, happiness.
Instead of consuming fast food that causes sluggishness, try consuming energy and mood boosting foods rich in Vitamin C, such as oranges, strawberries and broccoli. With more energy, kids and young adults can have an easier time paying attention at school and/or work and become less irritable while doing so.
These are just a few simple tips that can help keep kids and young adults healthy and functioning to their highest abilities.