It's report card time, so 'Stop, Look and Listen'
ELEMENTARY school youngsters all over Baltimore tomorrow will be wearing red, yellow and green stickers that say "At Report Card Time: Stop, Look, Listen." It's the latest tactic in the Mayor's Child Abuse Prevention Campaign at Report Card Time, which offers help to parents unhappy over their childrens' report cards.
All public school students will be bringing home a colorful card -- as they have at the end of other grading periods for a year and a half -- with tips on appropriate behavior for parents who are pleased with their children's grades and those who are not. The card also carries phone numbers for help programs such as the Students Helping Students Hotline, Parents Anonymous and Dial-A-Teacher, the homework assistance program at the Baltimore Teachers' Union.
The main message of the stickers and cards is: "Stop whatever you are doing; look at your child's report card; listen to what your child has to say." About 70,000 stickers and 110,000 cards are being distributed this week.
"We're very excited" about the success of the program, says Sara Mandell, who directs the campaign for the Mayor's Office of Children and Youth. Each time the cards are distributed, phones ring at the agencies listed -- between 300 and 3,000 calls are received by each number at each grading period, she says. Also, at least 40 parents have requested counseling from Parents Anonymous, as a result of the cards, she adds.
Mandell says there is also evidence from the state's attorney's office that reports of child abuse perpetrated by bad report cards are down in the city.
The program has also sparked interest in more than 100 other cities that have requested permission to use the "Stop, Look and Listen" campaign in their schools.
The campaign is a project of the Mayor's Office of Children and Youth, the Baltimore City Commission for Children and the Department of Human Resources with grants from other local organizations.
Plan for camp
It may be the dead of winter, but, for parents, it's time to start thinking about summer camp and other activities to occupy the young ones in the warm days. Here are some summer suggestions:
* Tips On Trips and Camps will hold a free open house at Gilman School from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday. Families can learn about camps, travel and study programs for young people 8 to 18 in this country and abroad. The open house will be repeated March 8 at Bryn Mawr School. For more information, phone 301-764-1660.
* The Jewish Community Centers are accepting registration for their summer programs for children 5 to 11. A Summer Place at the Park Heights center runs June 22 to Aug. 14 with swimming, music, arts and crafts and field trips on its program. At the Owings Mills center, the Art Loft will operate during the same weeks. Activities will include woodcraft, watercolor, sculpture and ceramics. For more information, phone Leslie Pomerantz at Park Heights, 542-4900, and Jill Max at Owings Mills, 356-5200.
Child abuse discussion series. Beginning Thursday and continuing for six Thursdays at the Sexual Assault Recovery Center, 2225 N. Charles St. Topics include child pornography, boys as victims and the dynamics and effects of child sexual abuse. These are brown-bag discussions from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. For more information, phone 243-8328.
* "Raising Parents in Difficult Times." Loyola College is presenting a six-part series, on five Saturdays, for adolescents and teen-agers. Beginning this week, each session will continue from 11 a.m. to noon at the college's Center for Family, Work and Education in Columbia. The focus of the series is to help children share leadership roles in the family. For more information, Phone 381-9700.
* Two parenting workshops begin this week at the Jewish Community Center at Owings Mills. Beginning tonight and continuing for three more Tuesdays is "How To Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk." Sessions are from 7:30 to 9. On Feb. 19 there will be a one-time workshop, "Coping with Single Parenthood," with social worker Donna Latta leading the discussion from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Both workshops are open to the public; there are fees for both. For more information, phone 356-5200, Ext. 347.