A program providing diapers and wellness care to low income families residing in Greenbelt
CARES is a community based, family oriented counseling program focused on developing positive growth and understanding for all family members. The work is a collaboration between family members and counselors, focused on promoting positive youth development, reducing juvenile delinquency, and resolving issues that lead to family conflict and tension.
Some common issues for which families seek help:
- Aggression/Anger/ Violence
- Delinquent Behaviors
- Depression/ Anxiety
- Family Conflict
- Grief/ Loss
- Parenting Concerns
- Poor Decision Making
- School Related Problems
- Social Skills
- Suicide Ideation
All counseling services are free of charge and available to residents of Greenbelt and families in surrounding communities on an appointment basis. Family counseling sessions are held at the CARES Family Clinic every Wednesday evening.
Telephone CARES at 301-345-6660 for additional information.
The City of Greenbelt has a new program to offer savings on prescription drugs to residents who are without health insurance, a traditional benefits plan, or have prescriptions that are not covered by insurance.
The Prescription Discount Card is made available to residents by the City of Greenbelt in collaboration with the National League of Cities (NLC) and is made possible through City of Greenbelt membership in NLC.
The card is free to all Greenbelt residents, regardless of age, income, or existing health insurance. By using this card you may save an average of 20% off the regular retail price of prescription drugs at participating pharmacies.
To discover the savings and learn more about the program, access the program online and print a card, check drug prices and locate participating pharmacies. Residents may also pick up a card at the following locations:
- Greenbelt Library
- Greenbelt Municipal
- Greenbelt Youth Center
- Greenbelt Community Center GHI Business
- Greenbriar Business Office
- Greenbelt Pool
For more information, call toll free at 888-620-1749.This is not insurance. Discounts are only available at participating pharmacies. By using this card, participants agree to pay the entire prescription cost less any applicable discount. Saving may vary by drug and pharmacy.
TALKING TO YOUR KIDS ABOUT DRUGS AND ALCOHOL
Our children are now being exposed to drugs and alcohol earlier than ever. This makes it even more important that they hear about potential dangers from their parents.
Children are most likely to listen to their parents if their parents listen to them. Listening to our children’s feelings, ideas, thoughts and concerns makes talking about difficult subjects a bit easier and more comfortable for them.
When you begin this difficult conversation tell your child that drugs and alcohol are not acceptable to you. A clear family position is very important to establish. Let them know that you want them to be happy and healthy and one of the easiest ways to do this is to abstain from drugs and alcohol. Be truthful with your child. Tell them about the dangers—health, legal and otherwise. Be an informed parent and teach your child, but do not exaggerate. Talk about the alternatives to drugs and alcohol with your child such as sports and hobbies.
Be creative in your teaching. Give your child an opportunity to practice saying no. Role play different potential situations involving drugs and alcohol so your child is adequately prepared to respond appropriately.
The most important part of the conversation you have with your child about drugs and alcohol is that it should be continuous. Do not give one lecture, but encourage an ongoing, open dialogue about drugs and alcohol in your family. And do not forget that the biggest influence in a child’s life is their parents and that you set the example.
See also: www.theantidrug.com
Family rules can make raising children and running a household easier and smoother. However, many parents are stumped when it comes to how to make family rules and how to stick to them. There are many advantages to having established family rules. Rules let children know what is expected of them. They provide consistency and structure in the home which helps to create a safe and nurturing environment. Family rules about chores give everyone a role and responsibility in the functioning of the home and help members feel they are an important and contributing part of the family. Finally, family rules about communication can head off problems, such as a child asking permission from dad after mom had said no.
Here are some general guidelines for establishing family rules:
- First parents or parent come up with a list of FEW family rules. These can include chores and
manners and should be realistic and age appropriate.
- Family rules should apply to EVERYONE in the household.
- Family rules should be in the positive rather than negative (“You may watch TV for one hour
after completing homework” is better than “you cannot watch TV unless you completed your
- Rewards and consequences should be linked to family rules. Rewards can include praises,
allowances, special treats, and playing games with parents or going to the park. Rewards do not
have to cost anything and in fact one of the best rewards is verbal praises. Family rules, rewards
and consequences should be written and then be introduced to children in a family meeting.
- Children can have a input in the rules, rewards and consequences, however parents have the
- Family rules are a work in progress and can be changed or modified as necessary.
- Weekly family meetings are a good place to assess how the rules are working.
- Finally in order for parents to be successful at implementing family rules, parents MUST BE
If parents have any further questions, please contact Greenbelt CARES at 301-345-6660
THE IMPORTANCE OF HOMEWORK
Homework is…..ask a student and he/she will provide you with a list of descriptive words…..most of them not very positive!
Younger students say homework is fun. Older students say homework is tedious, annoying, boring, repetitive, difficult, not necessary, punitive and unhealthy!
What is homework? Homework:
- Teaches good study habits
- Reinforces skills
- Creates discipline
- Keeps the information fresh in the student’s mind
- Helps students with memorization
- Gives students a chance to absorb information presented in class
- Stimulates students to learn more about a subject
Here are suggestions to help make homework a learning experience:
Allow the student to study in a way he/she does best. Some students study better with noise while other students need a quiet area. Some students work better at a desk or table while others prefer working on the floor. Know which environment works best for the student.
Create a learning environment. Make sure there is good lighting. Make sure the student has the right supplies (appropriate textbooks, adequate paper, sharpened pencils, working pens, rulers, etc.). Make sure the student is well nourished and well rested before working on assignments. Encourage the student to use resources: the library, the computer, homework hotlines, etc. Ultimately, students should learn to complete homework independently, with the knowledge that parents and other resources are available as needed.
Parents are an important part of homework. Parents can help by taking a positive interest in the child’s schooling and by giving positive reinforcement to the student for her efforts. Parents can support the process by helping the student read and understand directions and/or the assignment, discussing assignments with the student, and checking over homework. Parents can remind the student of the importance of education and model this by keeping in close contact with the school and teacher and participating in the school PTA. Parents should be aware of homework policies and talk to teachers about their ideas about homework. This includes being aware of a homework hotline and how much time a student should be spending on specific assignments. Finally, parents should know the policy regarding assignments turned in late or missed due to illness.
Teaching homework skills and incorporating positive learning strategies provides a structure that the student can use for the rest of his/her life. The more the student puts into it, the more he/she will get out of it. The more involved the parent, the better off the student.
Good luck and do the homework!
WHEN YOUR CHILD IS HAVING PROBLEMS IN SCHOOL. . .
Children who have developed normally prior to school age, may still begin to exhibit learning problems as early as kindergarten and first grade. Parent and school staff can work together to determine what is impacting the child’s progress, and how best to address it.
The first thing to remember is that all children want to succeed and do their best. If they are not, it is because something is hindering their ability to do so. There are various factors parents need to consider when a child is not doing well in school. What specific school tasks are difficult - learning letters, how to put letters together into words, or beginning computations? A sustained difficulty in a particular academic area may indicate the need for evaluation of a “learning disability”. Parents should not panic at the word “disability”, as this can also be viewed as an alternative learning style. Once the teaching approach matches the learning style, these children will learn and even excel. Address concerns to the teaching team, in written form, and ask for evaluation.
Did the learning difficulty surface following an illness or family crisis? Caregivers may want to
consult with the teacher and school guidance counselor to determine if the child is distracted or
preoccupied by emotional issues. If there is tension in the home because of a job loss or even a
seemingly positive event such as the birth of a sibling, they may show their worries in poor academic
performance. Allowing the child an opportunity to talk about concerns, being reassured that they are
not at fault, and that caring adults are there to support them can alleviate upset. They may then need
remedial help, in the form of tutoring, if they have fallen behind.
What if the problem is more annoying, taking the form of seemingly willful misbehavior, such as shouting out answers, throwing tantrums, or getting into fights with peers? The idea that these children want to succeed and do their best still holds true, and should guide parent and teacher investigation of the problem. Does the child need additional training and guidance from parents and guidance staff in
how to handle frustration, or conflict with peers? Could caregivers benefit from family counseling to help them better model and teach these skills? Does the child have opportunities to interact more appropriately and enjoyably with peers after school - play dates, trips to the playground or organized recreational activities? Children want to have friends, and be like by their peer group in general. What does the child gain from throwing the tantrums - attention, dismissal from a subject they do not enjoy?
Attempts to consequence a behavior can sometimes reinforce it. Behaviors such as these may also be
another indicator of a learning disability or alternative learning style. When the child feels unsuccessful
in their attempts to learn, they may act out their frustration.
The Greenbelt community has many resources for evaluating and addressing such school issues, counselors at Greenbelt CARES, a wide variety of recreational programs, and concerned principals, guidance staff and teachers at the local schools. The key is to bring the issues to the attention of the appropriate resources in a timely way, so the child can experience the success and recognition they naturally seek.
Teresa Smithson, LCSW-C
A program for residents that helps with home health and free baby items
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