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Cooking with your kids: a few simple hints

Cooking with your kids always sounds like a great idea, but in practice we often decide to skip it and just get the meal made without the "help" of little hands. The kitchen seems like a dangerous place for a preschooler. Hot surfaces, sharp things, potential messes ... Continue reading

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Healing Through Transformation: Art show at Aimee’s Coffeehouse

Stories have the power to move hearts, minds, and communities. The Willow Domestic Violence Center's Phoenix Project is both a collection of narratives and interpretive art intended to connect the community on a personal level to decrease violence and promote healing through transformation. The show is on ... Continue reading

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Protective Factor 5: Supporting Healthy Social and Emotional Development in Young Children

In the last few years, in my work at Ballard Community Services and in collaboration Strengthening Families Network and The United Way, I have become very clear about a few things regarding educating young people. One of the most crystal clear "A-ha!" moments occurred in a discussion ... Continue reading

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Protective Factor 4: Increasing knowledge of child development and parenting

"You are the number one expert on your child." This is a mantra I hear myself and the staff at The Ballard Center repeating almost daily. Parents sometimes need to be reminded of this. We wring our hands and rely on doctors and other professionals, which is ... Continue reading

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Protective Factor 4: Increasing knowledge of child development and parenting

"You are the number one expert on your child." This is a mantra I hear myself and the staff at The Ballard Center repeating almost daily. Parents sometimes need to be reminded of this. We wring our hands and rely on doctors and other professionals, which is ... Continue reading

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Protective Factor 3: Concrete Supports

The Ballard Center started out as a childcare center for low income families. Because childcare can cost upwards of $900 a month in this community, the need for an affordable, quality, and safe environment is key to the success of children and families who can't afford that ... Continue reading

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Protective Factor 2: Strengthening Social Connections

A smiling neighbor, a ready babysitter, a local grandparent, a best friend at work; these are all connections that many of us take for granted. Having a friend or family member to call on when we have questions or need support is invaluable, and because those connections ... Continue reading

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Encouraging Resilience: The most challenging job

Ballard Community Services employs a framework of 5 Protective Factors to prevent child abuse and encourage healthy families. The factors are: Enhancing Parental Resilience Strengthening Social Connections Providing Concrete Support in Times of Need Increasing Knowledge of Parenting and Child Development Supporting Healthy Social and Emotional Development ... Continue reading

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Take Back the Night Brings the Community & Campus Together Against Sexual Assault

With sexual assault capturing the nation's and the local community's attention, there is no better time to come together to take a stand. Take Back the Night will bring community and campus together with guest speakers, a solidarity march, a resource fair, and a Speak Out Circle. ... Continue reading

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LUNAFEST 2015 Celebrates Women in Short Film Festival at Lawrence Arts Center

LUNAFEST®, the fundraising film festival dedicated to promoting awareness about women's issues, highlighting women filmmakers, and bringing women together in their communities, will be hosted by GaDuGi SafeCenter. GaDuGi SafeCenter is proud to partner with the Lawrence Arts Center and Women of Lawrence Film. LUNAFEST will be ... Continue reading

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What do families and children need? Grit.

I recently watched a Ted Talk by Angela Lee Duckworth about [grit][1]. It struck me that I have always had a sense that "grit" (or what I might have called resilience) is the "x" factor that makes or breaks people in all manner of challenging situations. The ... Continue reading

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Ballard Community Services works to fight child abuse

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Friday Evening: Dating Violence Prevention Workshop at Lawrence Public Library

One out of every three teenagers between the ages of 13 and 17 will experience some form of physical, sexual, emotional, verbal, or cyber abuse in their dating relationships. February is Teen Dating Violence Prevention Month, and The Willow is hosting a workshop for teens, parents, professionals ... Continue reading

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Give Gifts That Give Twice This Valentine’s Day

Share your love with gifts that give twice this Valentine’s Day by celebrating the work of The Willow Domestic Violence Center and Ten Thousand Villages Lawrence at a community shopping event downtown on Feb. 12 from 5 to 8 p.m. Ten Thousand Villages will donate 15 percent ... Continue reading

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Put on your own oxygen mask first

I’m not a big fan of unsolicited parenting advice. It makes me uncomfortable, annoyed, and even anxious. Does that stop me from receiving it? No. Does that stop me from doling it out to others? No. It’s a sickness. As soon as we become parents (and sometimes ... Continue reading

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My parenting has reached an all new low

There are most definitely hills and valleys to this parenting gig. I’m in a very low and dark valley right now. My days are exhausting and I feel as though I yell more than I laugh with my children. They’re testing boundaries and my brain is desperately ... Continue reading

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Parents, Stop Parenting Other Parents

It never ceases to amaze me how people ignore or completely throw out the idea of social norms when it comes to parents. Fellow moms and dads, so-called experts and relatives don’t hesitate to offer advice and seem to love to tell people how to do their ... Continue reading

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Safer Streets

The City of Lawrence has a critical need for safe pedestrian infrastructure. Too many of our controlled intersections and major thoroughfares are downright hostile to pedestrians. They lack sidewalks, dedicated turn signals, pedestrian barriers and other safety features. The City's plan to fix this problem? Address it ... Continue reading

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Break the Running Rules

Looking to run your first 5k, marathon, or maybe simply stay motivated to move? Intimidated by all the information on how to do it? Don’t worry. Truth be told, I follow almost no “rules” of running and have been a strong, lifelong runner. The points below are ... Continue reading

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How do you spread holiday cheer?

Our family is still trucking along with our whole “less is more” Christmas makeover. The girls are loving the holiday activities we’ve planned and don’t seem to care that their Elf on the Shelf does little more than move locations. She’s kind of lazy. However, as we ... Continue reading

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