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"Back to School" Tips
September, 2009 - Issue #59
Score Scholarship Money
Castaic Lake Water Agency (CLWA) is offering a Water Challenge Scholarship program. The semester-long program will award five student teams or individuals $15,500 in scholarships next February. Last year's program netted projects ranging from water conservation to drought-tolerant gardening. This scholarship program is open to all students in the SCV, regardless of GPA, who attend a high school within CLWA's service area. With guidance from CLWA education staff, projects will address a water issue affecting the SCV and propose improvements. Upon completion of an orientation meeting, students will have a semester to work on the project. Five scholarships are available ranging from $500 to $7,000. Applications can be found at www.clwa.org (click on "Education") and are due by Friday, September 25, 2009.

Learn How to Survive the Teen Years
On September 23 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., attend "Teen Scene Unplugged: Surviving the Teenage Years" at the Hyatt Regency Valencia. The City of Santa Clarita and the Blue Ribbon Task Force are pleased to host Susie Vandelip, nationally-renowned speaker and expert on teen and family issues. In her unique, thought-provoking presentation, Susie will address teen stress, peer pressure, drugs, alcohol, sex, gangs, self-harm, depression, etc. and the underlying emotional issues and stressors that lead to unproductive choices. Learn how teens and adults make decisions, and how parents and teens can cope, improve their communication, make healthy choices and survive the teenage years. A resource fair starting at 6 p.m. will precede the presentation. Parents are encouraged to bring their teens along; www.santa-clarita.com/blueribbon

Make the "Back to School" Transition Easier
Many children, especially those with autism, have difficulty with changes in routine or transitioning to new ones. Here are some ideas to make this time easier for everyone.

Take a practice trip a day or two before school starts. Use your usual morning routine at home and drive the same route to the school. This gives everyone an opportunity to become familiar with the drop-off place and classroom location.

Ask your teacher to meet and conduct a practice run the day before school starts. No crowds, it's quieter, and your child will have a chance to become familiar with their classroom without the usual "first day back" chaos!

Minimize the number of changes. If they have favorite clothes, make sure they're ready. A favorite lunch food and familiar backpack... These provide security during a time filled with change.

Get there early on the first day. When things start out calm, increasing activity as others arrive is easier to accommodate.
Tips courtesy of Noah's Friends 888-620-NOAH (6624).
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