What Stanfield Is Reading & Watching: Summer 2015 Edition

Football Town Nights: “No Raping”

We previously posted the “What Constitutes Consent?” piece on our blog, because we realize that for many, understanding what “consent” truly means is difficult. Often, it’s labeled as a “misunderstanding”, an “accident”, a “but she said yes before, and then she changed her mind”, or a “but the way she’s dressed and the way she keeps looking at me made me think she wanted it.” As mentioned in our previous post, consent is NOT what you assumed someone’s body language or vibe was giving off.

Sometimes a humorous spin gets a serious point across better than anything else. This video from Inside Amy Schumer- Football Town Nights, is an excellent example of this. The video takes a controversial subject, rape, and uses humor to dissect and point to common misunderstandings and assumptions. But why use humor? Amy Schumer says, “If anything, I hope [the use of humor] will raise more awareness and make people feel more comfortable having a conversation about it.”

At Stanfield, we agree that humor makes people more comfortable an open to conversation, and we believe that those conversations can lead to some impactful changes. While keeping its funny dialogue, this video demonstrates very real consent “assumptions.” For example, “What if it’s Halloween and she’s dressed as a sexy cat?” We hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

Source: Comedy Central


Hey Teachers & Students, Get Your Learn On!

If you’re looking to get motivated for the new school year, but you also want to have a few laughs, look no further! Let Kid President brighten your day with his hilarious back to school pep talk. So young & so wise!

Source: MindShift


Motivational Monday

Chester's Motivational Monday

A little dose of motivation for your Monday morning! Don’t wait until tomorrow, start today!


How Do You Laugh Online?

3 teens laughing and building social skills

Happy Friday! We want to share a post full of “haha’s” this morning.

Adios “LOL”! Apparently very few people actually use “lol” as their go-to online laugh these days. According to a Facebook study, the new way to laugh online is through “haha” or through emojis.

Though the winning laugh is “haha” (with 51% of online users using this), the way online users laugh varies widely by region. Apparently, how we laugh depends on location AND gender.

Find out how your state prefers to laugh in the virtual/online world, here!

Source: Business Insider


20 Things You Didn’t Know About Pencils

Back To School Pencils

With back to school season in full force, here are some interesting facts of one of the oldest & most popular writing utensils.

“1.  There is no risk of lead poisoning if you stab yourself (or someone else) with a pencil because it contains no lead—just a mixture of clay and graphite. Still, pencil wounds carry a risk of infection for the stabees, lawsuits for stabbers.

2.  And bad juju for anyone linked to Watergate: In his autobiography, G. Gordon Liddy describes finding John Dean (whom he despised for “disloyalty”) alone in a room. Spotting sharpened pencils on a desk, Liddy fleetingly considered driving one into Dean’s throat.

3.  Graphite, a crystallized form of carbon, was discovered near Keswick, England, in the mid-16th century. An 18th-century German chemist, A. G. Werner, named it, sensibly enough, from the Greek graphein, “to write.”

4.  The word “pencil” derives from the Latin penicillus, meaning—not so sensibly—“little tail.”

5.  Pencil marks are made when tiny graphite flecks, often just thousandths of an inch wide, stick to the fibers that make up paper.

6.  Got time to kill? The average pencil holds enough graphite to draw a line about 35 miles long or to write roughly 45,000 words. History does not record anyone testing this statistic.

7. The Greek poet Philip of Thessaloníki wrote of leaden writing instruments in the first century B.C., but the modern pencil, as described by Swiss naturalist Conrad Gesner, dates only to 1565.

8.  French pencil boosters include Nicolas-Jacques Conté, who patented a clay-and-graphite manufacturing process in 1795; Bernard Lassimone, who patented the first pencil sharpener in 1828; and Therry des Estwaux, who invented an improved mechanical sharpener in 1847.

9.  French researchers also hit on the idea of using caoutchouc, a vegetable gum now known as rubber, to erase pencil marks. Until then, writers removed mistakes with bread crumbs.

10.  Most pencils sold in America today have eraser tips, while those sold in Europe usually have none. Are Europeans more confident scribblers?

11.  Henry David Thoreau—American, but a confident scribbler all the same—used pencils to write Walden. And he probably got them free. His father owned a pencil-making business near Boston, where Henry allegedly designed his own pencils before becoming a semi-recluse.

12.  In 1861, Eberhard Faber built the first American mass-production pencil factory in New York City.

13.  Pencils were among the basic equipment issued to Union soldiers during the Civil War.

14.  The mechanical pencil was patented in 1822. The company founded by its British developers prospered until 1941, when the factory was bombed, presumably by pencil-hating Nazis.

15.  Je suis un crayon rouge. After the 1917 Soviet revolution, American entrepreneur Armand Hammer was awarded a monopoly for pencil manufacturing in the USSR.

16.  More than half of all pencils come from China. In 2004, factories there turned out 10 billion pencils, enough to circle the earth more than 40 times.

17.  Pencils can write in zero gravity and so were used on early American and Russian space missions—even though NASA engineers worried about the flammability of wood pencils in a pure-oxygen atmosphere, not to mention the menace of floating bits of graphite.

18.  Those concerns inspired Paul Fisher to develop the pressurized Fisher Space Pen in 1965. After the Apollo 1 fire, NASA banned pencils in favor of his pen on manned spaceflights.

19. The world’s largest pencil is a Castell 9000, on display at the manufacturer’s plant near Kuala Lumpur. Made of Malaysian wood and polymer, it stands 65 feet high.

20.  At the other extreme, engineers at the University of California at Santa Barbara have used an atomic force microscope as a kind of pencil to draw lines 50 nanometers (two millionths of an inch) wide. Just because they could.”

Source: Discover Magazine


Should Teens Snooze & Start School Later?

Teenager Girl Falling Asleep During Class

Over the last few years, many parents and educators have pushed for a later start to the school day for teenagers. According to the nation’s pediatricians, “making middle and high schoolers start classes before 8:30 a.m. threatens children’s’ health, safety, and academic performance.” Currently, only about 18 percent of public schools start class at 8:30 or later.

NPR reports how “changing the starting time for schools isn’t so easy. Bus fleets that serve children from elementary to high school have to be scheduled to accommodate more than just the sleep-deprived teenagers. Later starts also push after-school activities later into the day — and potentially into dark winter evenings.”

In the mean time, since teens are biologically inclined to stay up later, parents can help teens get more sleep by “enforcing earlier bedtimes, the report suggests, and by limiting the use of TVs, game consoles, smartphones and other screens in the bedroom (which parents know is far more easily said than done).”

What do you think, should school start later for middle school and high school students?

Source: NPR


Motivational Monday

Chester's Motivational Monday

Sometimes we just need a little motivation to kick start our week! We hope you find something to be enthusiastic about this week.


Back-To-School Haircut Special: Iowa Barber Gives Free Haircuts To Kids Who Read To Him

Back To School Reading Special

So much goes into getting your kids/students ready for the new school year. Educators have to set up their classrooms, parents have to go back to school shopping; and kids always want to look their best on their first day of school, so a lot of the time, back to school haircuts are needed as well!

Well Courtney Holmes is making sure that local kids look their best before returning to school while also supporting reading! This Iowa barber is giving back to his community in a big way by providing kids who read to him with a free hair cut! Holmes even helps them sound out words if they have a hard time pronouncing certain words.

He states, “I just want to support kids reading.”

Read the rest of this positive story, here! Happy back to school season!

Source: Vibe & The Associated Press


Why Helping Cut Your Child’s Screen Addiction Starts With YOU!

Screen Addiction impairs a child's social, emotional, and intellectual growth

How many times have you had a friend or family member say, “she’s just like you!” or “he’s just like you!” when describing your daughter or son? Most of the time, as kids grow up, you’re the person they look up to, the person they learn things from. So it’s no surprise that “Parents are often at fault, directly or indirectly, when children and teenagers become hooked on electronic media, playing video games or sending texts many hours a day instead of interacting with the real world and the people in it.”

A couple of weeks ago we discussed the dangers of screen addiction on children and teenagers in our blog post, Screen Addiction: A Curse For Social Skills & Brain Development. We recently stumbled upon a follow up article written by The New York Times that discusses what parents and educators can do to cut a child’s screen time.

This article emphasizes the fact that young children learn by example, stating “I often see youngsters in strollers or on foot with a parent or caretaker who is chatting or texting on a cellphone instead of conversing with the children in their charge. Dr. Steiner-Adair said parents should think twice before using a mobile device when with their children. She suggests parents check email before the children get up, while they are in school, or after they go to bed.”

Click here to read the rest of the article and find out what other things you can do as a parents or educators to help a child’s screen addiction.

Source: The New York Times


Motivational Monday

Chester's Back To School Motivational Quote

A little friendly Monday message from Chester! Don’t spend years and year trying to “find” yourself, just work hard and follow your dreams so you can be the person you aspire to be!


The Benefits Of Learning More Than 1 Language

There are so many benefits to being bilingual! Not only that, but learning more than one language as a child is actually much easier than as an adult. Watch this educational video featured on TedEd to find out how being bilingual helps with Alzheimer’s and Dementia, along with the other benefits of a bilingual brain!

Source: TedEd


What’s The Best Way To Teach Sex Ed?

Sexual Education & Relationships Skills For Students

…That’s one way. For more information on comprehensive sexuality and relationship education visit our family life and relationship library, here!

Source: SomeEcards


In A World of Cyber Bullying & Digital Cruelty…

Teenage Girl Being Cyber Bullied By Text Message On Cell Phone

We live in an era where social media and electronic gadgets have become such a staple that NOT checking your phone or your new Facebook notifications is almost abnormal. New York Times reports that roughly 70% of adult social media users claim to “have seen people being mean and cruel to other on social network sites.” And that’s just the number for adult social media users, the negative or mean social media activity from teenagers and adolescents is much higher. Why does digital cruelty seem to increase year after year?

“In the virtual world, anonymity and invisibility help us feel uninhibited. Some people are inspired to behave with greater kindness; others unleash their dark side. Trolls, who some researchers think could be mentally unbalanced, say the kinds of things that do not warrant deep introspection; their singular goal is to elicit pain…”

Being behind a screen makes many people feel superior, and unfortunately it also causes people to make nasty and mean comments.

Not only is consistent digital/social media time harmful (consistent use of media can lead to issues ranging from depression to lack of social skills) but it also jeopardizes people’s emotional health, making them feel insecure or somehow not good enough.

To read more about digital cruelty from the perspective of the New York Times, click here!

Source: New York Times


What Picky Eating Might Mean For A Child’s Future

Picky Eaters Are More Likely To Deal With Depression & Anxiety

Many young children tend to be picky eaters, initially rejecting many foods besides sweets/dessert or salty foods. Though most outgrow their picky eating habits, roughly 12% of children continue with their picky ways for years and years to come.

A recent article published by the Wall Street Journal found that “moderate and severe cases of selective eating were associated with elevated symptoms of anxiety and depression in later years.” Many of the moderate cases were also associated with symptoms of separation anxiety and ADHD.

To find out more, read the full article here!

Source: Wall Street Journal


Motivational Monday

Chester's Motivational Monday

A little dose of motivation for your Monday morning! Don’t just go through life, enjoy life!


What Are Teens Doing Online?

Special Ed Teens & Their Screen Addiction

Special Ed Teens & Their Screen Addiction

Last week we explored the screen addiction phenomenon in our blog, Screen Addiction: A Curse For Social Skills & Brain Development.

We discussed how we live in an era where social media and electronic gadgets have become such a staple that parents and educators seem to be unaware of just how much time children and teenagers are spending in the virtual world.

But what exactly are children & teens doing online? Selfies, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, etc!

We included a few sections from an info-graphic published by PBS above. To see more, click here!

PBS News

Illustrations: Cecily Taylor


Local News: Haggen Lays Off Developmentally Disabled Employees

Haggen Lays Off 31 Developmentally Disabled Employees

In the last 2 weeks, Haggen- a relatively small grocery chain known for its health food options and higher end offerings- has laid off 31 developmentally disabled employees in the Santa Barbara County & in Paso Robles, CA.

This comes directly from Santa Barbara’s Indepedent, “According to a written statement from PathPoint, an advocacy group for ADA members, every Haggen store in the Santa Barbara area has terminated long-term developmentally disabled employees: one in Carpinteria, two in Five Points, four on the Mesa, one at Turnpike, and six at the Fairview location. In the first round of layoffs, employees received notices of termination during the week of July 17 and were let go 4-5 days later. In the second round of layoffs, employees received notices on July 21 and were let go on July 24.

PathPoint stated that Haggen has laid off “all” of the “courtesy clerks with developmental disabilities that PathPoint had placed with the original corporations.” Those who have been let go will lose seniority and will be forced to rebuild workplace relationships from the bottom up, according to PathPoint. Furthermore, the organization said, there has been talk of an agreement between Albertsons, Vons, and Haggen that prohibits laid-off employees from seeking work at any of the affected stores for one year.

PathPoint CEO Cindy Burton said, “I understand that businesses make decisions based on profitability goals, but the impact of a layoff on the people we support is so much broader than Haggen has considered.”

New Haggen store managers, many of whom recently transferred to the Santa Barbara area, claimed to know nothing about the layoffs. In Paso Robles, the new Haggen store has also laid off 17 developmentally disabled employees after dramatically cutting their hours, according to the Paso Robles Daily News.

Haggen Pacific Southwest CEO Bill Shaner declined to comment on any of the layoffs, but said they were made “to ensure we’re operating as efficiently as possible.” “We have made the difficult decision to temporarily cut back on staffing at our stores, with specific reductions varying by store. We value the contributions these employees have made and are committed to treating all employees respectfully and professionally through this transition.”

As the Specialists In Special Education, it’s very heartbreaking and sad to hear about this. And it also reminds us that this is the reality and fate of many developmentally disabled adults. With the passing of the Workforce Investment & Opportunity Act last July, we had hoped that students and adults with disabilities would find the transition into the workforce a lot easier, as well as gain the core soft skills and work skills needed for success.

Over the last year, we had even noticed an increase in diverse opportunities related to the workforce, as more and more reports showed that a growing number of companies were providing jobs to people with developmental disabilities, grocery stores being one of them.

We can only hope that the developmentally disabled and special needs population can secure more employment opportunities in the very near future.

We would like to see ALL people have the same opportunities!

Source: Santa Barbara Independent


Mothers & Teenage Daughters: Why Do They Fight?

Mothers & Daughters: Why Do They Fight?

Backtalk. Yelling. “I hate you!”. Slamming doors. The silent treatment.

The aforementioned sums up a typical fight between a mother and her teenage daughter. Experts identify the mother-teenage daughter bond as one of the most consistently fraught relationships of any given household. Most of the time, the problem is that a mother sees her daughter as an extension of herself, while the teen is trying to stray away from that and develop her own individuality and independence. This in turn, brings a clash between the two from time to time.

“A mother sometimes identifies much more closely with a daughter than a son, both physically and emotionally, experts say. She wants to protect her daughter from making the same mistakes she’s made. She wants to give her daughter opportunities she never had. She wants her daughter to like—and to be like—her.

Typically, an adolescent daughter wants none of this. She’s trying to separate from her mom, and she sees the protection as controlling. And she may view her mom’s attempted guidance as criticism or disapproval.

The mother-daughter conflict is starting earlier than ever these days—often when daughters are as young as 10 or 11, experts say. Girls are starting to go through puberty, and can be exposed to social pressures at a younger age. Moms are sometimes going through hormonal shifts of their own in perimenopause or menopause.

Social media plays a part, too. “Teens can be connected with everyone in their world in a moment,” says Lisa Brateman, a clinical social worker in New York who sees mothers and daughters in her practice. Because of this, she says, moms feel they need to monitor their daughters even more closely now.

To read more on why mothers and teenage daughters sometimes fight, click here!

Source: Wall Street Journal


Motivational Monday

Chester's Motivational Monday

Chester shares some wise words with us on today’s edition of Motivational Monday! Don’t give up on yourself or your dreams if (or when) things get a little rocky. Always get back up and persevere.


7th Grader Only Has 2 Weeks Left To Acquire “COOL” Identity For The New School Year

7th Grader Has 2 Weeks To Acquire Cool Identity

Happy Friday everyone! With the new school year soon approaching, we thought we would share this hilarious post by The Onion. Perhaps this will help ease your students’ back to school anxiety!

“Expressing concern that his summer vacation is too quickly passing him by, local incoming seventh-grader Matthew Valentine told reporters Tuesday he now has just two weeks left in which to acquire a cool new identity before school starts.

The 13-year-old acknowledged that he must dedicate all his remaining free time to developing a socially acceptable persona he can display to his classmates, noting that he still has a lot of work to do if he is to assemble a recognizable combination of attitudes, style choices, interests, and favorite bands that will win his peers’ approval during the upcoming school year.

“The clock is ticking, and I still haven’t figured out who I’m going to be yet,” said Valentine, adding that he hopes to remake himself as a popular kid, a scenester, a rebel, a hip-hop head, or a member of some other respected social category prior to his first day of classes at Thomas Jefferson Middle School. “At one point, I was going to try to come back as a skater punk, but I never did learn to skateboard, and after that I kind of lost track of the days. Now, I’ve really got to scramble if I’m going to put together a cool personality.”

“I mean, school starts August 20th!” he continued. “I’ve only got a few days left to get down to work and change myself into the person I want people to think I am.”

The middle-schooler confirmed he is currently considering which speech patterns, mannerisms, clothing preferences, and hangout spots to adopt. He stressed that he must select between a variety of potential identities—from intellectual to class clown—carefully hone his presentation of his new personality, and then convincingly sell that persona to his fellow TJMS students when school starts.”

Read the rest of this article, here!

Source: The Onion


Music: The Brain’s Almighty Power Button

Generally, most activities (whether it’s reading a book, swimming in a pool, or completing a math assignment) utilize just one specific region of the brain. However, music makes the brain do some extraordinary things!

“Not only does listening to music cause the brain to light up in multiple areas, but when subjects begin to play music, practically every section of the brain goes to work in an explosive jubilee of activity!”

Check out the TedEd Video below to find out more about this fantastic discovery!

Source: The Literacy Site


What Stealing Cookies & Marbles Teaches Us About Kids, Empathy, & Fairness

kids have a sense of empathy & fairness

Most parents & educators view age 3 as a year full of tantrums. These little minis want to own their new-found independence, but they also want attention and every item down the grocery aisle. And when we don’t give in, we can surely expect a temper tantrum. No empathy, no sense of fairness, & no patience; that’s what being 3 is all about right?

It turns out that by age 3, many kids already have a growing sense of empathy, justice, and are inclined to right a wrong.

“When they see someone being mistreated, children as young as 3 years old will intervene on behalf of others nearly as often as for themselves, a study published this month in Current Biology suggests. Just don’t ask them to punish the perpetrator.

In one experiment, a devious puppet stole cookies that were originally intended for the child. In another, an innocent puppet cried out in distress when its marbles were snatched by a troublemaker puppet.

It turned out that the children weren’t just concerned about their own precious cookies or toys; they would jump in to assist the wronged puppets, too. Given the opportunity, 3-year-olds would intervene to return items a puppet had stolen to the original owner nearly 60 percent of the time. They would take back their own stolen items almost 80 percent of the time.”

Read more about how 3 year olds and 5 year olds reacted to these scenarios, here!

Source: MindShift


Chester’s Monday Morning

Chester is that you?!

Chester had a difficult time getting up this morning. Talk about a serious case of the Monday Blues…

We hope this video brightens your morning!


It’s Friday & The Greek Gods Have Gone Wild!

Greek Gods Gone Wild

We recently stumbled upon a hilarious article from NPR, which inspired us to get some new decor at the Stanfield office!

Instead of giving you some Monet or Van Gogh, we thought we’d share some Wtewael, who worked in Utrecht in the late 1500s and early 1600s. Wtewael enjoyed painting stories from the Bible & mythology- giving them ridiculously buff assets at times. But more than anything, Wtewael loved exploring the God’s malicious behavior throughout his paintings.

Take the image above, for example: “In the efforts to maintain the line and keep the line going, Lot’s daughters got Lot drunk. … This [painting shows] the moment when they’re all partying. Lot doesn’t know what’s going on,” Wheelock explains. The daughters end up with two sons. Incest! Booze! Lust! Adultery! And to make it even more intriguing— the painter himself was such a proper 16th century fellow — a very strict Calvinist, a pillar of the community. But with his paints and brushes, he embraced the fullness of life.”

That’s what people enjoyed about Wtewael, he always depicted a good time!

See & read more hilarious captions from different Wtewael paintings, here!

Source: NPR


Why Reading Aloud Is A Gift For Your Kids

reading out loud brings benefits for special needs students

Parents, we hope you are reading out loud to your kids this summer! And educators, we hope you’re reading out loud to your students throughout the year!

In an era of electronics and social networks- where every person is drawn into his or her own virtual reality, “there is something quaint about a grown-up and a child (or multiple) sitting in a silence broken only by the sound of a single human voice.” Reading out loud pulls people of different ages (whether it’s a mom and son, dad and kids, teachers and students) towards one another both emotionally and physically. It allows kids to build social and emotional intelligence. Not only that, but a child who grows up hearing stories out loud is more likely to succeed academically.

For many kids, the Internet wins, but there’s so much they miss out on when they choose the Internet over a book.  “Both grown-ups and children are missing something when there is no reading aloud. The children’s loss is hateful to contemplate: the fabulous illustrations they will not see, the esoteric vocabulary they may never hear, the thrilling epics they will never embark upon. But grown-ups lose too: They forgo a precious point of sustained connection and a lot of goofy fun (one friend’s father used to read “The Happy Lion” in a John Wayne drawl), as well as the opportunity to pass on literary favorites.”

Read more about the benefits of reading out loud, here!

Source: Wall Street Journal


Want A Longer Life? Then Get SOCIAL!

social skills improve life spans

It’s not just about eating healthy or having good exercise habits, new research suggest that our social skills and social lives also determine our life spans.

According to a recent Wall Street Journal article, people who: live alone (for most of their lives), spend much of their time alone, or often feel lonely are more likely to live a life that’s 7 years shorter than people who don’t fall into any of the aforementioned categories. Having good social skills and active social lives keeps people from being isolated, thus they are less likely to have hidden problems such as depression. Our “happy hormones”(endorphins) that we get when we hang out with people we like “reduce stress, kill pain, and allow us to let down our guard, all of which contribute to long-term resilience.”

Read more about the health benefits of social interactions, here!

If you need to brush up on your social skills, or know someone who could use some social skills training, click here to see our social and life skill library!

Source: Wall Street Journal


Motivational Monday

Specialists In Special Education Reading Quote

A little reminder/motivation for your Monday morning! We can’t stress how important reading is.


Recess for High School Students

We love this idea that Special Educator, Bill Laidlaw, spearheads at Montpelier High School. Fifteen minutes for students to knit, meditate, practice yoga, jam, and more! What are the benefits? Check out the Edutopia video below to find out what this 15-minute “recess” is all about.

Source: Edutopia


Why Do We Wrinkle In Water?

Have you ever wondered why your fingers and toes get wrinkly after they have been in water for a long time? Like if you take a long shower, while swimming, while washing a week’s worth of dishes?

If so, this video is meant for you!

Source: Ted Ed


Elem. Teacher Encourages Fitness While Battling Budgets!

Exercise and life skills for special needs students

With kid’s (ages 10-17) obesity rate increasing over the last few years, an elementary teacher in Arizona is pushing for fitness with the Brinton Elementary School Run Club!

Aside from being the phys ed teacher throughout the school year, Mindy Przeor, founded the Brinton Elementary School Running Club as an after-school and summer running club in which the first rule of the club is to keep those legs moving, and the second rule is to have fun! Since most kids only get a half an hour of PE twice a week, Prezor wants to help change that by promoting a more concrete link between exercise, learning, and run. “Sitting in a classroom for eight hours with no activity is not going to produce the results people want” says Przeor.

Read more about Prezor’s students and running club, here!

Source: NPR


Motivational Monday

We thought we would share a different type of “Motivational Monday” today. This is truly an inspiring and motivational video. Watch what happened when Natalie wrote an email to the New York City Ballet about a dance program for children with special needs.

This just goes to show that dreams can come true!



Categories: Sexuality & Sexual Health , Special Education , What Stanfield Is Reading