Friday, December 30, 2011

Grandparents as Second Generation Parents by Mrs. Dorothy Barron

                    Grandparents as Second Generation Parents by Mrs. Dorothy Barron

Many grandparents have the responsibility of caregiver to a second generation of young people – their grandchildren. Many have assumed the entire responsibility of raising their children’s children.  There are advantages as well as some barriers for many grandparents.
We want to list on today a few of those barriers in an effort to make others cognizant and attuned to certain needs a good number of grandparents. Most grandparents have much experience and knowledge of which they can offer, yet some barriers faced consist of:
·         Age

·         Lack formal education

·         Health issues and concerns

·         Not prepared to assume full responsibility of caring for or raising grandchildren

·         Lack of support

·         Both grandparent(s) and child/ren may be experiencing or going through a traumatic period
As a grandparent, should you find yourself in need of assistance or support, first determine the type of support of which you are in need and/or in what particular area(s).
You may want to make inquiries of the following for resources or a listing of resources:
·         Your grandchild/ren’s school

·         Grandparent and senior organizations

·         Children’s organizations and clubs

·         Some social services agencies

·         You and/or your grandchild’s physician and/or healthcare network

·         If your family has access to a computer and there is a need for homework assistance, there are many wonderful educational sites available online.  Parents Taking Charge in Education has listed a number of them in various blog posts.
Thanks to grandparents who have been instrumental in assisting and/or are in the process of raising their grandchild/ren.

Mrs. Dorothy Barron, Founder
Parents Taking Charge in Education

Friday, December 23, 2011

Sharing and Giving by Mrs. Dorothy Barron

                                   Sharing and Giving by Mrs. Dorothy Barron
With two days left before Christmas, I imagine many of you still have much to do; if finished with holiday preparations, take some time to relax; enjoy the Holiday and family!
Some Parents will be sharing the Nativity Story this Christmas Holiday; this is traditionally what the holiday season is about- Giving. The wise men brought and gave gifts to baby Jesus, who is Christ and Jesus Christ brought salvation to the world and gave his life that we may have eternal life.
Others may have elected to celebrate the holiday strictly from a secular standpoint; regardless of whether you do or do not and your reason(s), the tradition of giving selflessly to others continues. I would like to pass on a link (below) to a heartwarming story, titled: *Anonymous donors pay off Kmart layaway accounts, featured on Yahoo and reported by the Associated Press. To the featured benefactor whose name we do not know, rest assured that in many homes both you and “Ben” will be remembered and thanked.
Parents, after reading the story, you may want to share it with your child/ren during the Christmas Holiday Season.
Parents Taking Charge in Education offers a special thank you to all benefactors for your acts of kindness; thank you for making someone’s holiday very special.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday to all!
Above story Cite - *Margery a. Beck, Associated Press (December 16, 2011). Anonymous donors pay off Kmart layaway accounts.

Mrs. Dorothy Barron, Founder
Parents Taking Charge in Education

Friday, December 16, 2011

10 Things that Make Many Grandparents Special by Mrs. Dorothy Barron

10 Things that Make Many Grandparents Special by Mrs. Dorothy Barron
Does your child have a grandparent(s) that seem to enjoy having your child around; have a wonderful relationship and seem to have all the patience and time in the world to explain things to your child and his/her grandchild? If so, you and your child/ren are most fortunate; some are not. Some grandparents may not be involved with their grandchildren for a number of reasons- geographical distances; estrangement, health, grandparent(s) deceased and/or other reasons.
We will list 10 things that make many Grandparents special to their grandchildren; now, you grab pen and paper and make your own list! Here are ours:
1.       They seemingly have all the time in the world

2.       Your child gets their full attention

3.       They are patient (probably due in part to their second time around raising kids)

4.       They engage and become involved in the child’s world

5.       They really talk to you, teach and get their points across without being judgmental or condemning; not much surprises them

6.       They have a wealth of experience to draw from and much from which a child can learn

7.       They have been where your child is and often understand what the child is experiencing

8.       They understand the importance of praising a child for the little things, his/her accomplishments and even for trying

9.       They are glad to see the child- just look at how their eyes light up at the sight of your child!

10.   They make the child feel important and special and often provide little treats just for the child
 Grandparents possess that special and unique gift of “being there” for the grandchild in a myriad of ways and when the grandparents are no longer physically present they will live in the hearts and memories of the grandchild and others who succeed them.
Perhaps, if you cannot be with your own grandchild, you can assist the child/ren of another Parent(s). Many organizations need volunteers to spend a few hours a week reading, mentoring or teaching a child a skill. Besides, children keep you young, alert and on your toes in many ways. Each person can make a difference; what are you waiting for- go!
Mrs. Dorothy Barron, Founder
Parents Taking Charge in Education

Friday, December 9, 2011

Weighing in on School Matters by Mrs. Dorothy Barron

                      Weighing in on School Matters by Mrs. Dorothy Barron

Issue: It is my understanding that One School District, the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District (SMMUSD - California) and some members of its School Board proposes to end individual schools’ raising of PTA funds for their individual schools and instead, establish a foundation to oversee all fundraising and create a general pot to distribute funding to and among all schools within its school district.
This was at one point a very hot topic; I can generally tell hot button issues because Parents Taking Charge in Education’s Blog receives a number of Alerts, which I have gathered, are from individuals looking for information on relevant topics at the blog. At least two newspapers had feature articles on the above issue.
Perhaps, and because I have spent an inordinate number of years as a Parent School Volunteer and held a number of other school-community related positions, I have discovered, there are relatively simple solutions to most problems. I also hesitate in providing solutions without all the facts or hearing from both sides. Information thus far gleaned on the above issue does not appear to present all the relevant facts and therefore, weighing in on this matter will consist of a number of questions and observations based on what has been presented thus far, which are:  
1. The school District or System’s Board proposes to end individual schools’ raising of PTA funds for their individual schools; establish a foundation to oversee all fundraising and create a general pot to distribute funding to and among all schools within its school district.
 2. Parents, who arduously raise monies to support their individual schools did not/do not agree with the decision or think it a fair one.
3. The school board felt it was a more democratic way to meet the needs of all schools within the district or system.
Ways to Address this Issue; First
1.      After having ascertained that I understood each party’s position on the issue, I would inquire as to why the school board has chosen this measure as the solution?

2.      Being that School PTAs are separate entities from the Schools; school district or systems and its boards, on what grounds, policy or by law, can a school board mandate such of PTAs?

3.      From school PTA leaders, I would ask that they review their PTA By-laws, mission, purpose and any other clause(s) that relate to the above issue.

4.      From a legal standpoint, what directives have the state and national PTA issued on this issue?
My next set of inquiries would consist of, what does the school board and school system view as the advantages and disadvantages of their above proposal? What are alternative solutions?
It is important to look at the entire picture, which would also encompass the situation being viewed from the perspective that those Parents who are committed to assisting schools with meeting the needs of educating students are being penalized for doing so. It is difficult enough to get Parents involved in their children’s education and schools; this action on the school district or Board’s part could very well discourage and adversely affect many Parents’ involvement and students’ attitudes toward learning.
I would also point out that problems of this nature at times can result from:
1.      Parents and/or school officials’ lack of knowledge and/or failure to understand the education process and/or policies or laws which govern each party in this issue.

2.      Personal agendas getting in the way of what is best for our children and their education.

3.      Those who are too close to the problem to view it from various perspectives and/or select viable solutions that produce a win-win situation for all.
There is a simple and viable solution that affords a win-win solution for parties on each side of this issue and can afford the school board the opportunity to obtain as much additional funding for the deprived schools as needed.
Mrs. Dorothy Barron’s e-mail address is She would be happy to confer with those interested in obtaining additional funding for their schools and/or school activities. She has served as a 16 year (7-9 years full-time) Parent School Volunteer, as well as having served in the following capacities -  PTA President at two school levels, Parents and Educators School Mediator and School-Business Liaison. She also co-founded and served as director of the Organization, Parents Focused on Education.

Links: District-Wide Fund Raising on the table. Ashley Archibald. Santa Monica Daily 10 Oct. 2011.

Suggested article for reading: Parent-School Organization Fund-Raising by Mrs. Dorothy Barron 14 Oct. 2011.
Mrs. Dorothy Barron, Founder
Parents Taking Charge in Education   

Friday, December 2, 2011

Parents Taking Charge in Education Features the Website -

Parents Taking Charge in Education Features the Website –

by Mrs. Dorothy Barron

Parents, there are many choices and quality websites and material on the Internet to assist you and your children, but the problem for many is finding the time to surf for long periods of time and locate the best and most feasible information. That is why when Parents Taking Charge in Education finds such websites, materials and information, we bring them to your attention and/or feature them at our blog. I recently came across Ms. Linda Guterba's Website,; both the site and site owner are engaging and professional. After I requested permission to feature her and her site, I requested information about both. She supplied such a professional introduction, I have decided to let Ms. Guterba tell you in her own words - who she is; what she does and the services she provide at She also operates a sister site for teachers.

Now, from Ms. Linda Guterba –

I have been a teacher for 37 years and have worked diligently to create, a FREE educational web directory that saves parents, students, and teachers valuable time by providing - in ONE website directory - the BEST Preschool and K-12 quality educational websites, videos, and powerpoints. As a teacher, I know how much time it takes to search for quality websites to complete homework assignments, or enhance and reinforce any teacher's given curriculum! Trying to locate appropriate and relevant information on the worldwide web using popular search engines, and then ''sifting'' through key word search results can be tedious, time consuming, and often bring irrelevantresults. This is the very reason I created and its sister site, I have done the searching for students, teachers, and parents, and organized the web for them! is UNIQUELY different from other educational web directories, as it is easy to navigate, and is the ONLY educational web directory that organizes websites according to SPECIFIC, rather than general, curriculum studied in schools throughout the United States, and most countries around the world. The links within and its companion site, Teacher Tidbytes, are checked weekly for dead links, and new links are added on a continual basis.
Since its creation, has become a highly recommended homework and reference resource for students, teachers, and parents. It has been listed in the USA TODAY as a "best educator pick", recommended by Woman's Day magazine as one of the 6 top educational homework help web resources, and recommended by The American Library Association, the Librarians' Internet Index, and the Internet Public Library. In addition, was just recently added as a top homework and reference resource to the UK School Zone (a site reviewed by United Kingdom teachers for relevant curriculum web resources).

         Hats Off to Ms. Linda Guterba; thank you for making a difference in Education!

Notes: 1.) Mrs. Dorothy Barron has listed the above website for information purposes, only; she has not received an endorsement from the above website. 2.) For Access and/or use of materials at websites you visit, please check the specific website’s Terms and Conditions.

Mrs. Dorothy Barron, Founder

Parents Taking Charge in Education   

Friday, November 25, 2011

Parents Taking Charge in Education Presents: Getting Kids to Eat More Fruits and Vegetables - Try Compromising with Your Child by Mrs. Dorothy Barron

Parents Taking Charge in Education


Photo: P. Barron

Getting Kids to Eat More Fruits & Vegetables
Try Compromising with Your Child

                                       Mrs. Dorothy Barron, Author

When it comes to getting kids to change poor eating habits or simply improve, you may want to consider the following:

·        Pick your battles- the more adamant you are, often the more determined the child is to obtain that which is prohibited.

·        Compromise- such can be a positive and winning experience for both you and your child.  It can afford you the opportunity to assist you child with making wise choices, improving social skills and becoming a more independent thinker.

·        Make changes to your child’s diet by substituting your choices with theirs gradually; besides, there are more nutritional choices than ever to select from.

Why gradual changes? There is an aspect of which you may not have given much or any thought to - it is “Food Addictions.” Food Additions are similar to other addictions- certain substances or foods denied after having become a habit over a period of time can induce symptoms of withdrawal, cravings, mood swings, irritability, etc.

Avoid a body system crash which may affect various body functions and/or the ability to function by considering making gradual changes to the diet as oppose to sudden and massive changes.

Photo: P. Barron
Here is a simple exercise for compromising with your child:

Your snack selections v. your child/ren’s

·        The child presents a list of his favorite snacks and you present yours. Determine the number of days your child’s  selection of snacks will be available and your selection (3 v. 4 days)

·        Purchase and make available only enough snacks of your child’s choices for the limited number of day and your selected choices.

·        Stock the refrigerator or cabinet with just enough of each for the week. The child has the choice to select interchangeably from the combined snacks or select only from his/her selected snack, but  should your child eat all of his/her selected snacks on successive days, do not refill. Allow your selection of snacks to be the only available ones.

Often when choices are limited or there are none, most of us are more likely and willing to try that which is available simply because it is convenient and accessible.

If it takes time for your child to adjust to eating more fruits and vegetables, be patient.

                   Remember, moderation is the key

You can be a winner while keeping them healthy and well!

This post is not intended as, nor does it serve as medical advice; seek advice from your physician.

Photos by Mr. Patrick Barron

This Parenting tip for your consideration has been brought to you by

 Parents Taking Charge in Education (PTCnEd)


Mrs. Dorothy Barron, Founder

Parents Taking Charge in Education   


Friday, November 18, 2011

Parents Taking Charge in Education Presents: Healthy Eating Habits - Make it a Family Affair by Mrs. Dorothy Barron

Parents Taking Charge in Education


Healthy Eating Habits - Make it a Family Affair

                                           by Mrs. Dorothy Barron

Healthy eating habits are good not only for kids, but all family members. 6 tips for eating healthier and getting in shape:

·        Many healthy foods can be cooked in a variety of ways – baked, broiled, grilled, steamed or simply eaten raw

·        Experiment with herbs and spices – the key is to allow all the wonderful flavors to mix and blend

·        Try different foods prepared in different forms or dishes

·        If Desserts are part of the meal - do not forgo them; moderation in both preparation and serving sizes is the key. Besides, there are many low-calorie, great tasting desserts to choose from.

·        At the end of the meal, quickly put away left-overs; do not head for your favorite chair - keep moving.

·        Take a stroll around the block or down the street. Eventually, the kids will want to traipse along and you can make it a family affair. Besides, walking is not only good for the physical, but mental being as well.

                        Little changes can make a difference

Here’s to Healthy Eating Habits - Make it a Family Affair!

These Parenting tips have been brought to you by

Parents Taking Charge in Education (PTCnEd)

Mrs. Dorothy Barron, Founder

Parents Taking Charge in Education    

Friday, November 11, 2011

Parents Taking Charge in Education Salutes Dads who Get Involved by Mrs. Dorothy Barron

Parents Taking Charge in Education
                                         by Mrs. Dorothy Barron


             Salutes Dads who get involved!            
          Presents the Video

     “Getting Kids to Eat More Fruits & Vegetables”

        Check it out and give Dad a “thumbs up!”

In addition, we leave you with 3 Tips for keeping down cost when Purchasing Fruits and Vegetables:

  • Shop with and support vendors or grocers that pass the savings on to customers.  
  • Compare cost, quality and quantity and decide in what form(s) is/are best- fresh, frozen, canned, dried, etc.
  • Buy fruits and vegetables that are in season.

These Parenting tips have been brought to you by

 Parents Taking Charge in Education (PTCnEd)

 Mrs. Dorothy Barron, Founder
Parents Taking Charge in Education at

Friday, November 4, 2011

Parents Taking Charge in Education Presents - Tips for Getting the Picky Eater to Eat by Mrs. Dorothy Barron

                Parents Taking Charge in Education Presents
Tips for Getting the Picky Eater to Eat by Mrs. Dorothy Barron

Got a phone or video camera and a viable food tip; the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) may be looking for you. The USDA’s Video Challenge Contest is in progress; a link has been added at the end of this post for those interested.

Whether fruits, vegetables or food in general, often it is a challenge on the Parent’s part to satisfy or get the picky eater to eat. For Parents who enjoy cooking, the specific tip below may be a cinch for you and possibly well worth the effort to select foods the picky eater will eat.

First, some general tips:

  • Keep foods simple - limit or forget the spices, dressings and gravies
  • Keep foods separate – keep each food separated and well- spaced on the plate.
  • Keep food serving portions small – regular size servings can sometimes overwhelm a child.
In order to determine what you picky eater will eat: Conduct a Food Tasting test with your child/ren as the judge(s). Get creative – conduct the taste test with or without blindfolds; design placards with children’s names and place on the table and/or create your own taste test criteria forms, etc. You get the picture.

Specific Tip – Serve one food at a time in various ways to your picky eater(s) to determine what he/she will eat and how best to prepare and serve a particular food. Illustrations using a vegetable and a fruit as examples have been included here:

Cabbage – Lots of Nutritional Value


Photo by Mr. Patrick Barron
Prepare as:

  • Cole Slaw

  • Italian Sausage over steamed Cabbage

  • Cabbage Chowder
Pineapple – Full of Nutrients
Photo by Mr. Patrick Barron

  • Fresh - slices or spears
  • As a shake or smoothie

  • As a dessert- Pineapple Sorbet

Provide each child with adequate utensils and mini-cups (baker’s paper cupcake liners and/or mini-plastic cups) for each “taste of food.” Serve very small amounts; talk about their likes and dislikes, recommended changes, etc., and etc.  

Have fun!

Some advantages of this food exercise:

  • You now know what your picky eater(s) will and will not eat
  • Provides a learning experience for both you and your child/ren
  • Builds social, critical thinking and communication skills
  • As a Parent, you spend some quality time with your child/ren
  • One food equips you with a variety of meals
These food tips have been brought to you by Parents Taking Charge in Education


The URL for the USDA Video Challenge Contest:

Sincere thanks to Mr. Patrick Barron for granting permission to use his photos.

Parents Taking Charge in Education

Mrs. Dorothy Barron, Founder