Family to Family Connection workshops

Family to Family Connection provides infant and toddler workshops for parents and their children. Infant workshops are for parents with babies birth to 1 year. Infant workshops are free and held from 10-11:30 a.m.

The January classes are as follows:

Today: Tummy Time; Thursday: La Leche League: Breastfeeding Support; Jan. 10: Baby-proofing Your Home; Jan. 19: Infant/ Toddler First Aid & CPR; Jan. 24 Make Your Own Baby Food and Jan. 31: Infant Obstacle Course

Toddler Time meets in two sessions on Wednesdays. The program recognizes play as the core element of infant toddler curriculum and is based on developmentally appropriate practice for young children. The 1-year-old group meets from 9:30-10:30 a.m.

The 2-year-old group meets from 11 a.m.-noon. Pre-registration is required and parents must commit to a four week session. The January session begins Wednesday. Family to Family Connection is located in the Ron Wood Family Resource Center at 212 Winnie Lane Carson. Call 884-2669 to register.

CMS teacher recognized for outstanding Innovation

Ellen Fallon, a math teacher at Carson Middle School, is being rewarded for her success in using innovative methods and strategies in her classroom. Fallon has been named one of the three Nevada state finalists for the 2005 Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST), the nation's highest honor for K-12 teaching in these fields.

Established by Congress in 1983, and administered for the White House by the National Science Foundation, the Presidential Awards allow for each state to select up to three mathematics and three science teachers as state finalists. From this field of state finalists, a maximum of 108 Presidential Awardees are selected representing the 50 states and four U.S. jurisdictions. Recipients of the 2005 Presidential Awards will be announced during a week of celebration events in March 2006 in Washington, D.C.

"I was deeply honored," said Fallon about being a state finalist. "Having read about a couple of teachers who have received the Presidential Award, I was very impressed with the science instruction they were doing with their students."

Fallon is one of the 253 state finalists for the prestigious Presidential Award. Her teaching style is key to her success in the classroom.

"I use a constructivist approach when teaching mathematics," she said. "This means that students must construct their own knowledge of how a mathematical concept works. To do this, students build models, look for patterns and discuss their ideas. Teaching this way is very exciting because students frequently have epiphanies about their learning."

Fallon was an accountant for five years before switching to teaching. She said the favorite part of that job was training other people.

"I felt I could make more of a difference educating younger people in mathematics, rather than just a few individuals in the workplace," she said.

Awardees will take part in a week-long series of networking and professional development activities in Washington, D.C. In addition, each awardee will also receive $10,000 from the National Science Foundation. For more information about PAEMST, see forms and instructions available at

Kids who stutter star in video by foundation

Kids who stutter have a lot to say, and friends can show them how in "Stuttering: For Kids By Kids," a new DVD.

Many children who stutter have never met anyone else who struggles with the same disability. But in this new video from the Stuttering Foundation, they meet other kids who recount how they handle challenges such as teasing, speaking out in class, and teaching others about stuttering.

Swish, a lively and engaging animated basketball character designed by students at Purdue University, narrates the video. The children, who range in age from first grade to high school, offer frank and sometimes differing views of stuttering.

For example, Matthew, 10, says "It's no big deal" about his speech difficulties, but Kate, 9, worries about talking and whether or not she'll stutter.

"All those interested in helping kids learn more about stuttering will want to see this tape," said Bill Murphy, speech-language pathologist of Purdue University. "The children featured are a perfect example of how to openly and honestly handle stuttering."

The video is available free to all public libraries in both DVD and VHS formats. For more information, call the Stuttering Foundation (800) 992-9392, or see on the Internet.

University announces $15 million gift for new math and science building

The Davidson Institute for Talent Development founders Bob and Jan Davidson have pledged a $15 million gift towards the construction of a new math and science building that will include a separate portion devoted to the Davidson Academy of Nevada for profoundly intelligent students.

Based on current estimates, approximately half the pledge will be used to construct the academy facility, with the other half going to the math and science facility. The gift is the largest in the University's history.

The Davidson Academy of Nevada will welcome to its interim facility, also funded by the Davidsons, approximately 30 profoundly gifted students in its inaugural class next fall. Aided by the landmark gift, The Davidson Academy will move to the University's planned $50 million Math and Science Building, slated to open in 2008.

Once there, the academy expects to substantially increase its enrollment, graduating up to 100 students a year. Approximately half of the 3 million gifted students in the United States are underachieving because they are not challenged by their school curriculum, and up to 20 percent of high school dropouts test in the gifted range, according to the Handbook of Gifted Education.

"We are excited about this great opportunity, and are very appreciative of the Davidsons' impressive commitment to the University, to our state and to these talented young students" said John Frederick, University provost and executive vice president.


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