P.C.Pop with Pablo

Posts Tagged ‘education’

Tax-Free Holiday is Needed in Indiana

In Children, Education, Malavenda, Pablo Malavenda, parenting on August 9, 2015 at 10:54 am

Please Sign Petition for a Tax-Free Holiday in Indiana!


Click HERE.



NYLiBFmPIpBympy-800x450-noPadThis weekend – dozens of US states are not charging state income tax on “back to school” needs — but NOT Indiana. Such a simple gesture by lawmakers — is making a significant impact on the budgets of thousands of families — who NEED it. Tax-Free Holidays is one small way to give parents, grandparents, families a little bit of a financial break — at a very stressful time of year for hardworking families who struggle financially.


Education is Important


Since working at Lafayette Urban Ministry — I have learned that most families want the best for their kids, work very hard, and are still struggling. And families who struggle financial — absolutely hate certain times of year. Back-to-School is one of them. Parents want to give their kids the resources it takes to have a better life than they. The key to breaking the cycle of poverty is EDUCATION.


Education is Expensive


But to get the best education you need money — yes, even in the public school systems.

  • FIRST kids need the basics — books, pens, trapper keepers, calculators, computers and more. Indiana Public schools charge families $500+ a year per child just for textbooks — and they rarely have enough books for all of the students.
  • SECOND, kids want to fit in — so, they need new & stylish clothes, smart phone, the latest athletic shoes, tickets to athletic events, tickets to dances, clothes for dances and more.
  • THIRD, extra-curricular involvement costs a lot of money — band, sports, and even student council, debate team, and service clubs require special equipment, uniforms, team photos, snacks, tickets, tournament fees, travel expenses and more.

Research proves that kids get a better education when they have the right supplies, don’t have anxiety about fitting in, aren’t bullied because they are poor, AND are able to participate in athletics, band, music, clubs and organizations, dance, and sporting events. News flash — ALL OF THIS IS EXPENSIVE.

National Retail Federation says on average, parents of kids in grades K through 12 will spend $670 on school supplies this year.  That includes clothes, shoes, and electronics.  PLUS in Indiana — public school “book rental” fees are typically $400+ per child — and if you have a high school athlete or musician, it’s another $40-100 not including personal equipment, tickets to games, team photos, and snack donations. School is very expensive — even public school.


Boost to the Economy


There is also evidence that it boosts the economy. Families love it, Retailers love it — so, if you’re a state legislator, why wouldn’t you just do it? They are very popular — all you have to do is go shopping in a Tax-Free Holiday State — and you will see excitement in the mall. It’s a great idea. Tax-Free Holidays have been adopted by conservative and liberal state legislatures. This is not a democrat or republican issue — this is a way to support families. This is a way of demonstrating as a public official that you acknowledge families, you support families, you support education and you actually want to have a positive impact.


US States with Tax-Free Holidays for 2015:


sales-tax-holiday-usmap-2015


  • Alabama Tax Free Weekend – August 7-9
  • Arkansas Tax Free Weekend – August 1-2
  • Connecticut Tax Free Weekend – August 16-22
  • Florida Tax Free Weekend – August 7-16
  • Georgia Tax Free Weekend – July 31-August 1
  • Iowa Tax Free Weekend, August 7-8
  • Louisiana Tax Free Weekend, August 7-8
  • Maryland Tax Free Weekend, August 9-15
  • Massachusetts Tax Free Weekend, August 15-16
  • Mississippi Tax Free Weekend, July 31-August 1; September 4-6
  • Missouri Tax Free Weekend, August 19-25
  • New Mexico Tax Free Weekend, August 7-9
  • Ohio Tax Free Weekend, August 7-9
  • Oklahoma Tax Free Weekend, August 7-9
  • South Carolina Tax Free Weekend, August 7-9
  • Tennessee Tax Free Weekend, August 7-9
  • Texas Tax Free Weekend, August 7-9
  • Virginia Tax Free Weekend, August 7-9

Please sign this petition asking our Governor and state legislature to pass a similar law in Indiana. PLEASE SIGN & SHARE!


THANK YOU.

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Sign Petition to Eliminate “Hair-Length” Rule for Athletes

In Leadership, Malavenda, Pablo Malavenda, parenting on October 26, 2013 at 6:53 pm

HairLength Petition Flyer


Before his high school career officially began, our son was prohibited by the school principal from joining the Cross Country team or any athletic team just because of the length of his hair.

He tried out for the Marching Band, was accepted, loved it, and was awarded freshman marching band member of the year. But as his parents we were heartbroken about him not being allowed to participate on the Cross Country (Fall) or Track (Spring) teams, and had to do something about it — not just for our son but for all students with long hair today and in the future.

Our journey began on June 13, 2013 — two months before our son’s official first day of high school — when the coach  during summer conditioning informed our son that he would have to cut his hair to join the team. When we questioned the rule, the coach sent us to the athletic director who sent us to the assistant superintendent who sent us to the superintendent who send us to the principal who sent us back to the athletic director. This “finger-pointing” took about three months. Finally the principal informed us that our son was prohibited from being an athlete, the rule would stand, and the rule would not be review again until April 2014 for the 2014-15 academic year.

Since then we have started a Petition to “Eliminate the Hair-Length Rule for Athletes” and spoke at the first “Parent/Teacher Organization” meeting of the year in October 2013. Here is what we plan on doing until April:

  • Attend each PTO meeting and speak during “open discussion” to keep the issue alive.
  • Attend PTO meeting featuring the Principal — have a few parents attend to ask questions about the “hair length” rule
  • Attend PTO meeting featuring the Superintendent — have a few parents attend to ask questions about the “hair length” rule
  • Attend all meetings of the Athletic Council where they discuss next years “rules”
  • Meet with the superintendent if the 2014-15 handbook is submitted with the “hair-length” rule still included
  • Meet with the Board of Trustees if the 2014-15 handbook is submitted with the “hair-length” rule still included
  • Attend the Board of Trustees meeting when the 2014-15 handbook is up for approval — and have several parents speak against it

Here are ways you can help us:

Our son’s biggest battles should be on the Cross Country trail and the track not with the superintendent and Board of Trustees. Please join us in this cause and stand with our son.


“Be the change you wish to see” ~Mahatma Gandhi


Stay tuned. Thanks.


Additional Information:

  • Tippecanoe School Corporation, click HERE
    •  Address: 
      21 Elston Rd
       LafayetteIN 47909
    • Phone: 765-474-2481
  • TSC Board of Trustees, click HERE
  • TSC Superintendent, Dr. Scott Hanback, click HERE to email
  • TSC Assistant Superintendent, Dr. David Notary, click HERE to email
  • Harrison High School, click HERE
    • Address:
      5701 North 50 West
      West Lafayette, IN, USA 47906-9736
    • Phone: 765-463-3511
  • HHS Principal, Dr. Alan Remaly, click HERE to email
  • HHS Director of Athletics, Jerry Galema, click HERE to email

To view a photo gallery of professional male athletes with long hair, click HERE.


LUM Achieve Students “March on Washington”

In Education, History, Lafayette Indiana, Leadership, Malavenda, Pablo Malavenda, social media, Uncategorized on August 26, 2013 at 3:48 pm

PCPopSocialMediaLogoAs a part of PC Pop Social Media, I was asked to travel to Washington DC with a youth group to participate in the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington.

The students on the LUM Youth Trip to Washington are enrolled at an academic enrichment program at the Lafayette Urban Ministry (Indiana) called Achieve! Stay-in-School Program. Achieve recruits middle school students who are at-risk academically and qualify for the 21st Century Scholars program, which entitled them to free tuition in any Indiana state university, if they continue to meet certain award criteria. These student committed in writing to a rigorous learning enrichment program meant to ensure that they succeed. LUM decided that these students would get a tremendous experience by traveling to Washington and experiencing first hand a significant part of our nation’s history.

My role in this trip was to document the students’ experience. I jumped at the chance to travel with these students to Washington for two reasons: first – I personally wanted to “March on Washington” for the 50th; second – I was excited about the opportunity to see it through the eyes of these young Americans. I took hundreds of photos, interviewed the students with each conversation, observed their actions and reactions, coached them on visiting a major event in a big US city, and wrote about their collective journey. I was posting and blogging as it was happening — trying to capture the excitement, the awe, the history and the transformation of each participant in our group.

Although it was only a three day trip — it changed my life. It is a trip I will remember fondly the rest of my life. I believe it had the same, if not greater, impact on the seven LUM-Achieve students who were brave enough and wise enough to take advantage of this once in a lifetime experience. I have a dream that I will travel back to DC for the 100th anniversary with this very same group of students in 2063!

Enjoy this travel blog — and let me know what you think.

Lafayette Urban Ministry

youth trip to washington dc



Travel Blog — LUM Youth Trip to Washington


Friday, August 23, 2013


7 a.m.


Anthony, Lourdes, Makaylah, TK, Cassandra, Noah and Fatima arrived — excited — for the bus ride to Washington DC. They loaded the bus quickly; they were loud for a bit; then, they were all asleep shortly there after.


2013-08-22 LUM Youth Trip to Washington 001 (2)


Left to Right:
(Front Row) Sandra Dunn-El, Makaylah Douglas (Jefferson High School), Fatima Sanchez (Jefferson High School), Lourdes Sanchez (Jefferson High School);
(Back Row) – Joe Tylenda, Joe Micon, TK Young (Jefferson High School), Anthony Hicks (West Lafayette High School), Noah Ortiz (Wea Ridge Middle School), Cassandra Ortiz (McCutcheon High School)


NOON


Their first stop was a quick potty-break at a rest stop off the highway in Ohio.

The next stop was McDonald’s in Licking, Ohio near Buckeye Lake. Quick lunch — recharge devices — and then back on the road.


2013-08-22 LUM Youth Trip to Washington 005 (2)


2013-08-22 LUM Youth Trip to Washington 004 (2)


2013-08-22 LUM Youth Trip to Washington 003 (2)


The road trip east to Washington DC…

View original post 1,503 more words

Purdue Student Leaders attend ESTEEM Capstone Conference

In ESTEEM, Faith & Leadership, Leader, Leadership, Malavenda, Pablo Malavenda, Purdue, Uncategorized on May 19, 2013 at 10:50 am

 


esteem logo


May 19, 2013 (New Haven) Purdue students enrolled in the Boiler ESTEEM program at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Center at Purdue attended a national leadership conference at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut.

During a three-day weekend in April, the future leaders of the Catholic Church gathered to share ideas, learn new skills, network, IMG_6443develop professionally, grow spiritually, and create a shared vision for engaging in the Church as leaders now and forever. The event was the 2013 ESTEEM Capstone Conference, a three-day Catholic student leader gathering at the Saint Thomas More Center at Yale.

ESTEEM Capstone Conference is an annual opportunity for Catholic college student leaders who participate all year long in their campus ESTEEM programs to meet each other and reaffirm the vision of this innovative initiative. The three-day conference began with the students from each school presenting the highlights of their yearlong ESTEEM programs. This created an environment of sharing best practices that carried over into the evening.

On the second day, the conversation continued with two alumni from past ESTEEM programs sharing stories of their personal journeys of getting engaged as leaders in the church after graduation. Next, Kerry Robinson, the executive director of the National Leadership Roundtable on Church Management shared the history and vision of ESTEEM. After an inspiring morning, the students participated in IMG_6462a participatory exercise of discovering their own gifts through taking and discussing the DiSC Evaluation.

The afternoon also included a keynote by author and Catholic TV commentator, Matt Weber. Matt Weber, through personal stories and humor, connected with the students and gave them strategies to stay excited and engaged in the issues and advancements of the Catholic Church. The rest of the afternoon allowed student leaders to meet in small groups to develop new ideas for the national ESTEEM initiative as well as the ESTEEM programs on their own campuses. The second day of the conference ended in celebration. Bishop Peter A. Rosazza led the delegation in Mass in the Saint Thomas More Chapel followed by formal dinner. Following dinner, most delegates took advantage of being on the Yale campus by attending a ballet performance. Networking and fellowship continued after the performance and into the evening.


IMG_6545


During the final morning of the conference on Sunday, the delegates participated in a lively brainstorming session on the key elements of the ESTEEM curriculum. By the end of the conference, the young Catholic leaders were even more equipped to strengthen their campus’ ESTEEM program and more confident to become true leaders in their Church. The ESTEEM advisory committee announced that there are plans to expand ESTEEM to more schools, to create a means for ESTEEM alumni to stay connected with each other and another Capstone Conference at Yale would be scheduled for next spring. A couple of examples that the conference was a success are students from Michigan State and Purdue have arranged to collaborate on a service project next year and the ESTEEM Facebook page exploded with posts shortly after the conference ended from conference delegates from the various schools.


ESTEEM is a nationwide program to develop the leadership skills of young Catholic students at private, Catholic, and secular colleges and universities across the nation. An initiative of the National Leadership Roundtable on Church Management and Saint Thomas More Catholic Chapel & Center at Yale, ESTEEM (Engaging Students to Enliven the Ecclesial Mission) focuses on the core competencies of spirituality, education, community and service. Employing a multifaceted approach, ESTEEM provides college students with the inspiration and tools for deeper engagement in the life and witness of the Church.


The ESTEEM campuses are as follows:

  • Michigan State University
  • Ohio State University
  • Purdue University
  • Robert Morris University
  • Stanford University
  • Texas Technical University
  • University of California at Berkeley
  • University of California at Los Angeles
  • Yale University

St. Thomas Aquinas - PurdueThese future leaders of the Church from St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Center at Purdue were sent home from the ESTEEM Capstone Conference with renewed focus and determination that will surely have an impact on the Catholic world. They are not only committed to becoming Church leaders after graduation but also to sharing their experiences with Boiler ESTEEM with the current parishioners in hopes that the program will grow at Purdue.

The Boiler ESTEEM students are as follows:

  • Maria Lina Andvik (graduate student in Psychology from Bergen, Norway)
  • Tim Brown (senior in Computer Engineering from Kokomo, Indiana)
  • Hannah R Burgess (senior in General Health Sciences/Pre-Medicine from Jasper, Indiana)
  • Juan A. Crespo (senior in Atmospheric Science from South Bend, Indiana)
  • Marie-Catherine Dube (junior in Industrial Design from Goose Creek, South Carolina)
  • Mark Hiew (doctorate student in Veterinary medicine from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)
  • Benjamin J Horstman (senior in Nuclear Engineering from Lafayette, Indiana)
  • Heather E Keegan (first-year Pharmacy doctorate student from Eldersburg, Maryland)
  • Alexander Kosiak (junior in Biochemistry from Westfield, Indiana)
  • Anne E Krasniak (first-year Pharmacy doctorate student from Owego, New York)


Contacts:


Fr. Patrick Baikauskas, OP
Pastor, Director of Campus Ministry
E-mail: fatherpatrick@boilercatholics.org
St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Center at Purdue
Tel: 765-743-0426
 



Katie McKenna
E-mail: katie.mckenna@nlrcm.org
Communications and Development Officer & Program Coordinator for ESTEEM (Engaging Students to Enliven the Ecclesial Mission)


Kerry Robinson
E-mail: kerry.robinson@nlrcm.org
Executive Director


National Leadership Roundtable on Church Management
1350 Connecticut Avenue, NW
Suite 825
Washington, DC 20036
Tel: 202-223-8962
Fax: 202-296-9295


####


This post was recently published in current issue (May 19, 2013) of The Catholic Moment – Serving the Diocese of Lafayette-in-Indiana.

To view a PDF of the article in The Catholic Moment, click HERE.

To view more photos of the Boiler ESTEEM students at the ESTEEM Capstone Conference, click HERE.



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Happy Birthday To You, Theodor Geisel!

In Books, Cat in Hat, Children's Literature, Dr. Seuss, Literacy Month, Lorax, Malavenda, Pablo Malavenda, Story Book Leadership, Theodor Geisel, Uncategorized, Yertle the Turtle on March 2, 2013 at 7:44 am

Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss

March 2nd is the birthday of Theodor Seuss Geisel known worldwide as the beloved Dr. Seuss.

Theodor GeiselDr. Seuss was born Theodor Geisel in Springfield, Massachusetts, on March 2, 1904. While on a family vacation he was captivated by the rhythmic sounds of the cruise ship’s engine and came up with And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street, published in 1936. The Cat in the Hat was published when he turned 50 (in 1954), and the rest is history. Theodor Geisel died on September 24, 1991. Dr. Seuss is eternal with 44 children’s books to educate and inspire many generations to come.

Dr. Seuss famously said, “Children want the same things we want. To laugh, to be challenged, to be entertained Dr. Seussand delighted.” Inspired by this quote and a class project many years ago, I have been using Dr. Seuss to teach LEADERSHIP to college students for close to 25 years. Although, one could easily use any of Dr. Seuss’ stories to teach leadership, my favorite is Yertle the Turtle. I use children’s books (a lot of Dr. Seuss books) in many different ways.  Adults including college students love to regress.  The joy on their faces when you pull out a children’s story book is priceless.  Once they realize you are serious about using a children’s book to teach leadership, students really get into. After reading the book out loud to the group, I lead a discussion using a tried and true “reflection” outline asking three questions: WHAT? – SO WHAT? – NOW WHAT?

 Yertle the Turtle and Other StoriesThe discussion is lively, fun, and meaningful. The insights about leadership the students come up with are incredible. It is magical. Thank you, Dr. Seuss for your wonderful stories which continue to teach and motivate.  Dr. Seuss’ birthday has sparked me to launch a series of PCPop blog posts about “Story Book Leadership” — starting with Yertle the Turtle.

Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss!

{Now off to the movies — The Lorax opened in movie theaters worldwide this past weekend, Dr. Seuss’ birthday — but read the book first, please.}

The Lorax


For more information on Story Book Leadership, read the PC Pop posts as follows:


“Harold and the Purple Crayon” — Story Book Leadership

In Books, Children, Children's Literature, College Students, Education, Harold & the Purple Crayon, Leadership, Malavenda, Pablo Malavenda, Story Book Leadership, Uncategorized on November 12, 2012 at 7:33 am

Story Book Leadership -- Harold & the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnsonby Crockett Johnson (1955, Harper & Row, New York)


{First Read PC Pop post: Story Book Leadership — Getting Started — 8 Steps to Powerful Presentations, which you will give you more specific information on how to use children’s literature in teaching leadership to college students and adults.}


Topics:

  • Controlling your Destiny
  • Crisis Management
  • Creativity
  • Goal Setting
  • Problem Solving

Plot (in six words):

Harold takes adventures with his crayon.


Plot Summary:

The story begins with Harold wanting to take a walk and explore with his purple crayon. Soon Harold is fighting dragons, feeding pie to porcupines and falling off a mountain ledge. Harold uses his purple crayon throughout the story to draw his way out of each of his dilemmas and life threatening accidents. After a while Harold just wants to go home but he is a bit lost. Again he uses his quick wit and his purple crayon and finds his way back to his room and drifts off to sleep.

Despite all of Harold’s adventures, it is an easy paced story. The artwork is simple and so is the story. But the lessons for Leaders are powerful and inspiring.


Getting Started

When I use children’s literature to teach Leadership to college students — I like to surprise them. I keep the book hidden until we are ready to begin. I ask them to take it seriously and be ready to discuss the book and its leadership lessons. I also like to use props like real purple Crayola crayons or a big (3 foot) purple crayon bank. I have also led the students to our room by having them follow a purple line on the floor — made by using colored duct tape.

Once the students are settled and I have selected someone to show the pictures from the story book, I read the book to the students and then begin the reflection. For the reflection discussion I basically use a three step process asking: WHAT?, SO WHAT?, and NOW WHAT? Ask the question and wait for a response. Be ready for creative and insightful answers. As the facilitator you should encourage a lively and meaningful discussion by not being too judgmental but keeping them on track. Practice active listening and clarify and summarize their comments when necessary. For more specific information on the Story Book Leadership method, read the PC Pop post: Story Book Leadership — Getting Started — 8 Steps to Powerful Presentations.

Below are suggestions on specifics questions to direct your discussion and some answers to expect after reading Harold & the Purple Crayon to your group of student leaders.


WHAT.

Question: What was this story about?

  • This is a story about an adventurous and imaginative boy name Harold who has a magic Purple Crayon. When Harold gets in trouble he uses his crayon to draw.

SO WHAT.Story Book Leadership -- Harold & the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson

Now that you know the story — So what? Why do you think the story was chosen for you at this stage in your leadership with this organization.

  • Question: Who is Harold?
    • Person with authority, with titles, with power
    • Leaders, student leaders, bosses, organization officers
    • Team members, committee chairs
  • Student Leaders need to be…
    • Adventurous, Risk takers, daring
    • Innovative, creative
    • Forward thinking, visionary, moving forward
    • Confident, decisive
  • Attitude — Remain positive, calm, and be able to Make the Best of each situation
  • Problem Solving/Dealing with Crises
    • Be able to deal with problems
    • Don’t blame others
    • Focus on solving the problem not who’s at fault
    • Make sound and quick decisions — decisive
    • Be able to Act
    • Use all of your resources and experience
  • Question: What is represented by the Purple Crayon?
    • Your “wits”
    • Resources
    • Decisions, problem solving
  • Question: How did Harold react to the Police Officer? How did Harold react to each dilemma or crisis?
    • Harold kept calm
    • Harold used his Purple Crayon, his resources and experience, to take action and solve problems
    • Harold remained polite — even when others like the police officer were not helpful
    • Harold remained positive — never wasting his time or energy trying to find out “who is to blame”
    • Harold focused on solving the problem
  • Question: What is the meaning of the Moon, the Bedroom Window, Bedroom? What is special about Home?
    • There are things that guide us morally in life — the Moon, Window — and we must always keep them in view
    • Home is a comfort — and we all eventually want to and need to go Home
    • Home represents family and community focused values
    • Even the most adventurous leader must “go Home” and rest — get renewed

NOW WHAT?

Now that the students are aware of the lessons learned from the adventures of Harold and his Purple Crayon — Now what?

  • Question: As leaders, how can you use this information and new insight to make a positive impact on your organization and environment?
    • Encourage the participants to use “I” statements like “In the future I will be more patient when problems arise and focus on the problem and not on who to blame.”
    • As a leader, I will take more risks and use all of my resources and experience to persevere even when times get tough or things don’t go my way.

CLOSING THE SESSION

  • Lastly, ask the group a few closing questions like:
    • How did this exercise make you feel?
    • Did you enjoy learning in this manner?
  • Encourage the student leaders to use Story Book Leadership in their workshops, meetings and retreats.

The information above is merely to give the presenter a better idea of what to expect during the discussion of Harold and the Purple Story Book Leadership -- Harold & the Purple Crayon by Crockett JohnsonCrayon. The key to making this a successful exercise is allowing and encouraging the participants to engage in a meaningful conversation about the Leadership Lessons in the book, how it relates to their current leadership experience, and what they can do NOW to use the ideas from this book to improve their organization and their environment.

College students and adults love to regress with a quality children’s book. If you select a well-written, well illustrated book that is relevant to the leaders — you will get a wonderful response from your participants. They will laugh, learn, and gain new insights while enjoying every minute — what more could you hope for?


For more information on Story Book Leadership, read the PC Pop posts as follows:


How to Say NO to Facebook – Advice for Families and Educators

In Education, Facebook, Family, Malavenda, Pablo Malavenda, parenting, social media, Uncategorized on October 7, 2012 at 7:42 pm


Facebook – Advice for Families and Educators

Each day in the life of a parent of a teenager or tween invites challenges. Parenting today’s youth contains so many contradictions and conflicts. We want our kids to respect us — and like us. Kids need and are begging for boundaries — but we don’t know how to say “No.” We want to protect our kids from worshiping material things but we want them to have better stuff than their friends. We hope our kids will follow the rules but we teach them how to break them every day. Some decisions are easy – say No to drugs, don’t steal, don’t cheat. Others are not so simple, like when it is OK to date, go to an R rated movie, or get on Facebook.

This post can’t possible cover all of those issues adequately – so, let’s focus on one – how to deal with that inevitable question about Facebook. My first reaction to parents and educators is that it is simple – follow the rules and agreement. Most people “agree” and “accept” agreements with online sites and software without ever reading a word. Scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll…click the “I accept” box and submit. So it is no surprise that very few know Facebook has an age minimum. Here is an excerpt from the Facebook Agreement you accepted (but most likely did not read) under the Safety Section, specifically “Registration and Account Security.”


Facebook – Statement of Rights and Responsibilities

Facebook users provide their real names and information, and we need your help to keep it that way. Here are some commitments you make to us relating to registering and maintaining the security of your account:

    • You will not provide any false personal information on Facebook, or create an account for anyone other than yourself without permission.
    • You will not use Facebook if you are under 13.

Facebook and many other online sites like Twitter, Instagram, and all Google products including Gmail and YouTube has age restrictions to show good faith to the US Federal government. These social networking sites have adopted these policies based on their interpretation of the US Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998 also known as COPPA.


Here are some COPPA facts:

  • COPPA is a Federal Law
  • COPPA was Enacted on October 21, 1998
  • COPPA became Effective on April 21, 2000
  • COPPA applies to the “online collection of personal information by persons or entities under U.S. jurisdiction from children under 13 years of age.”
  • It details what a website operator must include in a privacy policy, when and how to seek verifiable consent from a parent or guardian, and what responsibilities an operator has to protect children’s privacy and safety online including restrictions on the marketing to those under 13.
  • While children under 13 can legally give out personal information with their parents’ permission, many websites altogether disallow underage children from using their services due to the amount of paperwork involved.

This doesn’t stop kids under 13 from getting Facebook profiles on their own or asking their parents to give their blessing for a Facebook profile. Facebook doesn’t do too much to prevent kids from creating a profile. Facebook screens out kids by requiring new members to submit their birth month, birth day, and birth year. If the birth year reveals that the person registering is over 13 years old – they make it past the one and only hurdle imposed by Facebook. Most kids savvy enough to know about Facebook are savvy enough to fudge their birth year to get approved for a profile. The only other ways a minor may lose their Facebook account is if another user reports them as being under age or they change their birth date information too often. Otherwise, once a minor gets in they are set.

After surveying the parents of the kids who were already using Facebook, many of these parents admitted to helping their children falsify their information to get a Facebook account — creating what is known as a “Virtual Fake ID.” Parents who actually help their kids commit fraud when registering with Facebook concern me for a couple of reasons. These parents either don’t completely understand the dangers of kids using Facebook, or they know the risk and don’t really care. Most of these parents find it very difficult to deny their kids anything. So when the kids ask for access to Facebook stating that all of their friends are on Facebook, the parents concede. These parents don’t want their kids to have less than other kids, and they really want their kids to like them and think they’re the cool parents. So these parents teach their kids to cheat, lie and commit fraud to get that much desired Facebook account. With these families, saying NO to Facebook is not their real issue. The good news is most parents know that there are risks and know they should say NO but just need some advice on “how to say NO” and information that supports the claim of risk and danger.



As parents, that day arrived for us when our kids were in fifth and fourth grades. My son came home and told us that many of his friends had Facebook profiles and he was wondering if he should get one too. We sat down with both of our kids and told them that Facebook did not allow kids under 13 years old to register – and kids between the ages of 13 and 17 needed their parents’ permission and the parents’ commitment to monitor their activity. We continued the discussion with our two kids about our concerns and about the risks and dangers of the internet. The topics or discussion points we used in our conversation with our two kids are as following:


  • Purpose of Facebook — The original purpose of Facebook which was to assist college students in connecting online – and now any adult. Due to the amount of college students and young adults using Facebook — inappropriate content and language is freely shared, used, and available. Just like we wouldn’t allow them to wander around a university campus at their age, they shouldn’t be allowed to wander around Facebook at their age. Quite simply, Facebook was not designed for kids.
  • Why an Age Restriction – First it is part of a Federal Law and written into the Facebook agreement. We as a family follow rules and obey laws. A lot of research and discussion was involved in passing the law and creating the rule; therefore we will comply.
  • You Don’t Need It – When kids get older and go to college, Facebook is a useful tool to keep in touch with your high school friends and family.  Once you graduate college and/or get a job in the real world, your network of friends, family and colleagues will most likely extend across the country and perhaps will be global. Facebook will then be a useful tool to keep in touch, share information, and develop relationships that may assist you in life and your career development. But until you can show your parents that you need Facebook to communicate or stay connected to your friends – you should not be on Facebook. Go to school and talk to your friends instead.
  • Too Public, Too Many Strangers. Due to the amount of users (more than 1 billion to date), there is a great potential for predators to hurt them, harass them or just pick on them and make them feel bad. Bullying is a real issue, and cyber-bullying is even easier and potentially more damaging. Even though kids are using the internet and Facebook in the safety of their own home – it is a very public place. Kids are just not developmentally ready to be on their own in such a public place with potentially a billion strangers watching them.
  • Waste of Time – Addictive. How it can become addictive and a waste of valuable time – taking away from the true priorities of doing well in school, having friends, and participating in other activities like sports, band and student council. Online addiction is a real issue especially with kids who are easily distracted, seeking attention or validation, or avoiding work. This by the way describes most children, tweens and young teens.
  • But Others Kids are Doing It. Why other kids are doing it and we can’t. In our family, we have already established with our kids through various conversations that other families may make different decisions than us. We are not going to judge other families but typically what other parents do will not have an impact on us. Only we know what is right and good for our family.

That being said, it is great when the parents of your kids’ friends have similar rules about Facebook. It is the Tooth Fairy Syndrome – when you discovered that one kid in your kids’ circle of friends has received $10 for just one tooth from the Tooth Fairy. Those parents ruined it for the rest of us parents whose kids only got 50¢ to a dollar per tooth from the Tooth Fairy. For this reason it is worth having a discussion with other parents, your kids’ teachers, and other family members to see if you can establish some consistency in the messages your kids are getting about social media and social networking. Most parents when they are educated about the dangers and risks of kids using Facebook will also restrict their kids’ usage. Also, most of our parent-friends were clueless that the age restriction was tied to Federal Law and explicitly stated in the Facebook user agreement. If you can’t find common ground though, don’t back down and don’t compromise. After all it is the safety of your kids that is at stake.


So, now that we have this Facebook dilemma figured out – whose going to help me figure out how to talk to my kids about “you know what,” when they could start dating, and when they can go see an “R” rated movie without me tagging along. Somebody Help Me. Please.


Nobody said it was easy — No one ever said it would be so hard.


Read more about Social Media on PC Pop with Pablo:


References & Resources for Parents, Teachers, and Families:


NetSmartz Workshop is an interactive, educational program of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children® (NCMEC) that provides age-appropriate resources to help teach children how to be safer on- and offline. The program is designed for children ages 5-17, parents and guardians, educators, and law enforcement. With resources such as videos, games, activity cards, and presentations, NetSmartz entertains while it educates.


OnGuardOnline.gov is the federal government’s website to help you be safe, secure and responsible online. The Federal Trade Commission manages OnGuardOnline.gov, in partnership with several other federal agencies. OnGuardOnline.gov is a partner in the Stop Think Connect campaign, led by the Department of Homeland Security, and part of the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education, led by the National Institute of Standards and Technology.


Common Sense Media is dedicated to improving the lives of kids and families by providing the trustworthy information, education, and independent voice they need to thrive in a world of media and technology. We exist because our nation’s children spend more time with media and digital activities than they do with their families or in school, which profoundly impacts their social, emotional, and physical development. As a non-partisan, not-for-profit organization, we provide trustworthy information and tools, as well as an independent forum, so that families can have a choice and a voice about the media they consume.


Kids Using Social Media – A Guide for Families and Educators

In Children, Education, Facebook, Family, Malavenda, marketing, parenting, social media, Uncategorized on September 18, 2012 at 8:41 pm


Since the launch of Facebook in 2004, I have been studying the impact of individuals’ Social Media choices on their lives. I have seen time and time again individuals who insist on posting inappropriate content online using Facebook and other social networks. These choices cause problems, anxiety and often severe and irreversible consequences.

In 2005, my focus was on educating college students and college administrators. Facebook was such a new and mysterious internet phenomenon, I was kept very busy working with student athletes, coaches, campus officials in the dean’s office, top administrators, campus police, media relations staff as well as religious leaders and student leaders.

In 2010, there was a shocking increase in the number of middle school and elementary school students joining Facebook despite the age restriction. (Facebook requires that members be at least 13 years old to register.) My kids were in elementary school at the time, and I went on a crusade to get the word out to teachers and parents. As I started to give Social Media lectures and workshops I realized how ignorant most parents and teachers were to the potential dangers and pitfalls of social media and networking.

Today, the problem still exists only the technology is getting more and more advanced, parents and getting worn down, teachers are getting desperate, and the kids are getting more persistent and savvier. So, I am taking my crusade to the place where everyone is and wants to be – the internet.


Families & Parents

Many parents in this generation are intimately involved in all aspects of their kids’ lives and want them to have everything – including the latest cellphone, unlimited texting, and a Facebook profile. A majority of the kids who were altering the “birth year” to gain a Facebook profile had their parents’ consent and in many cases had their parents’ help with the registration process. Parents want the latest gadget for their kids but don’t even know it’s bad. And the pressure is on to equip your kids as well as your neighbor’s kids. Yes, peer pressure exists among parents too. Families must become engaged in social media in order to understand and to help their kids to avoid the pitfalls and navigate the dangers.



Teachers

Teachers on the other hand know the potential dangers when kids use Facebook but most teachers simply don’t know enough about technology to assist the kids or the parents. Teachers have a great deal of training and experience in how to deal with bad behavior but no one prepared them for this. Technology has added a new troubling dimension to student behavior issues. Every issue teachers have been dealing with for decades are still prevalent but with a new twist. Teachers know it’s bad – but get stuck there. Teachers must focus not on where the behavior is occurring but rather on the behavior itself. Whether the incident happens on the playground or on Facebook, the approach should be the same and the discipline, if necessary, should be consistent. Educators will then realize that they already know how to handle this online behavior and already have the resources to combat it. Educators should trust their instincts and rely on their training and experience to proactively work on educating kids on the pitfalls and giving parents the tools to do the same. But they must also be prepared to react swiftly, fairly and firmly, when needed.



Kids

The kids are going to take what they can from their parents – who want to give them everything. Kids will do their best to be safe but will eventually make a mistake. Let’s hope the consequences aren’t too damaging. There’s a reason they don’t have middle school dances at night – and they don’t have them at all in elementary school. Tweens do not have the skills to deal with complex relationships. Elementary school kids aren’t even ready for simple relationships let alone complex ones. Children are just not ready – developmentally – for the skills needed to use Facebook and other social media without getting hurt in some way.  Through my experience I know that social networking environments like Facebook are difficult for adult and college-age students; therefore, it will be impossible for teens, tweens and juveniles to avoid trouble. This new technology has far worse consequences though.  The danger is real, the harm is severe and the results can be permanent and irreversible.



Educating Kids

First, parents and teachers must partner together. The solution is not to ban young adults from using the internet but to make choices as a family – as a community.  For instance, like with PG-13 and R-rated movies we must have conversations with our kids about what’s appropriate, what the boundaries will be and why. Once kids are old enough they must be educated, trained and coached. Parents and teachers must expect mistakes and be supportive and understanding while correcting behavior immediately, equitably, and consistently. Social media is not going away. The best gift we may give our kids is the street-smarts to navigate this new medium successfully.



I plan on posting a series of blogs discussing the issues with kids using social media. My goal is to educate families, school personnel and students on some of the pitfalls. For now I will offer a short list of some of the potential issues with using Social Media for young adults and children. Ponder these and stayed tuned for more.



Now – if you choose to and allow your kids to go online – enter at your own risk – Godspeed.



Glossary of Internet Acronyms:

  • ASL = Age, Sex, Location?
  • BRB = Be Right Back
  • G2G = Got To Go
  • MIRL = (Let’s) Meet in Real Life
  • OMG = Oh My God/Gosh
  • POS = Parent Over Shoulder
  • P911 = Parent Alert
  • TMI = Too Much Information

A complete list of Top 50 Internet Acronyms Parents Need to Know


Read more about Social Media on PC Pop with Pablo:


References & Resources for Teachers, Parents, and Families:


NetSmartz Workshop is an interactive, educational program of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children® (NCMEC) that provides age-appropriate resources to help teach children how to be safer on- and offline. The program is designed for children ages 5-17, parents and guardians, educators, and law enforcement. With resources such as videos, games, activity cards, and presentations, NetSmartz entertains while it educates.


OnGuardOnline.gov is the federal government’s website to help you be safe, secure and responsible online. The Federal Trade Commission manages OnGuardOnline.gov, in partnership with several other federal agencies. OnGuardOnline.gov is a partner in the Stop Think Connect campaign, led by the Department of Homeland Security, and part of the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education, led by the National Institute of Standards and Technology.


Common Sense Media is dedicated to improving the lives of kids and families by providing the trustworthy information, education, and independent voice they need to thrive in a world of media and technology. We exist because our nation’s children spend more time with media and digital activities than they do with their families or in school, which profoundly impacts their social, emotional, and physical development. As a non-partisan, not-for-profit organization, we provide trustworthy information and tools, as well as an independent forum, so that families can have a choice and a voice about the media they consume.


My Story of Pasta Fazool

In Family, fatherhood, Food, health, Italian, parenting, Summer for Renewal, Uncategorized on August 25, 2012 at 12:58 pm


Pasta Fazool aka Pasta e Fagioli — This is My Story


Pasta e Fagioli is one of those dishes in my family that popped up every now and then — and everyone loves it. Later in life I was given more insight into this simple Italian meal from my Grandmother, Phyllis. If I hadn’t lived with my grandmother for a while in college, I might never have heard some of these stories about our family, our heritage, our Pasta e Fagioli. When I was accepted into college my family didn’t have a lot of disposable income to support me 100% — so, I made some tough decisions to make college more affordable. First decision was to attend a regional campus of UConn to save some money.  Commuting to the Hartford regional campus would allow me to live at home and pay a fraction of the cost of tuition/fees compared to the main campus. By the time the first day of classes rolled around I unfortunately no longer had a working car. Just getting to the campus every day was a challenge. I did various things to get back and forth and for part of that time I lived with my grandmother. My grandmother lived in the south-end of Hartford and the UConn Hartford campus was on the west-side of Hartford — actually in West Hartford. I soon became a city kid and got comfortable taking the bus everywhere.

My new home was in one of the oldest Italian neighborhoods in Connecticut. Franklin Avenue is a well-known center of the Little Italy of Hartford — and I live right on Franklin Avenue in an apartment with my grandmother. The street level of her building was one of the best Italian grocery stores on Franklin Avenue and directly across the street from one of the best Italian bakeries in the city. It was a very walk-able neighborhood — everything you needed was within walking distance and downtown Hartford was only a 20 minute bus ride away. My grandmother did not drive or own a car either but never struggled getting by on Franklin Avenue. At this point in her life my grandmother was retired but still very busy. I soon realized that during the day through early evening she had a definitive routine.

My grandmother’s routine was driven by “her shows.” Her first soap opera came on at 11 a.m. so everything had to be done by then. She got up and made breakfast. One of my favorites was French toast made with Italian bread. She often ate hers with salt and pepper — not maple syrup. Once breakfast was done, my grandmother planned the menu for the day and then went shopping for fresh bread and everything else she needed for lunch and dinner. She enjoy really fresh food, so she shopped every day at the small grocery store downstairs, the bigger grocery store a block away, and one of the several bakeries on Franklin Avenue. Her options of places to shop increased on Wednesdays because she walked a couple of blocks up Bond Street to attend early morning mass at St. Augustine’s. My grandmother worked very hard all morning planning the meal, shopping, tidying up the apartment, and making lunch. Her ultimate goal was to be settled in her chair in the TV room with her lunch ready to eat at exactly 11 a.m. when her first soap opera started. The dinner she planned would be pretty traditional with an Italian flair but lunch was consistent — a sandwich and a side dish. My grandmother used fresh Italian bread, fresh deli meat, and fresh cheese usually provolone. She then prepared a hot side dish. Although for most this would be just another lunch — but to my grandmother it was an inspired work of art made with love. The sandwich was toasted or grilled and was a masterpiece.  The side dish could be almost anything like a simple soup (chicken noodle, turkey rice, split pea & ham, minestrone), vegetables (ratatouille or grilled vegetables like peppers, onions, squash, zucchini), pasta (risotto, pastina), or creamy polenta with grated cheese and/or tomato sauce. I learned a great deal about cooking and planning meals during these times. My grandmother shared little tricks and techniques and soon I knew how to turn a good sandwich into a great sandwich.

Most of the time, my grandmother was so focused on getting settled for her soap opera TV show, that there wasn’t much time for chatting. But I learned that if I listened carefully, I could learn a lot. She not only taught me about food but also would tell me the story behind the food. One of my favorite stories is how this is the food that the poor people at in Italy. Most of the ingredients of her side dishes were inexpensive, grown in the garden or from left-overs from dinner. As I mentioned in another blog, we rarely went out to eat at an Italian restaurant because they served we could make better, fresher and much less expensively — for pennies. As Italian chain restaurants started to pop up and become popular it amazed my grandmother that they offered and charged a lot for Italian “peasant” dishes like polenta, pastina, risotto, Pasta e Fagioli, and even pizza with homemade pizza dough.

Another story was about Pasta e Fagioli. Pasta e Fagioli is the ultimate poor-family meal. Among her friends when she was a kid, Pasta e Fagioli was made at the end of the week with the left overs from the entire week. Pasta e Fagioli literally translates into “pasta and beans.” So technically any soup that includes pasta and beans can be called Pasta e Fagioli. It is a delicious, hearty meal that you could make with everything you had on hand. Pasta e Fagioli can include meat but it can also be a vegetarian meal. Now you have to be careful with old time Italians because even though it was served vegetarian most of the time in my family — the flavor in the broth came from pork. A hunk of salt pork, some bacon fat or a ham bone was often used to add flavor. Salt pork or bacon fat was used when sautéing the onions and celery and if you had a ham bone on hand you would include it with the water or broth when you begin simmering the soup.  You then add the first of the two main ingredients — the beans. It can honestly be any bean you like but in my family it was typically kidney, chick peas, canteloni beans or some combination of the three. After an hour or so of simmering, remove the hunk of pork and ham bone and add beans and pasta. My favorite is a mini tube pasta called ditellini. Others in my family prefer a bow-tie pasta. I think you get the idea — frugal families would take all of their leftovers for the week (including hunks of salt pork and bones), add rough-cut vegetables, onions, celery, garlic, broth/water and the magic ingredients — pasta and beans.

Pablo’s Pasta e Fagioli Recipe – click photo

The best part about Pasta e Fagioli is it is the ultimate Italian food for the soul. There is nothing more comforting that a hot bowl of Pasta e Fagioli with grated parmagiana, crushed red peppers, and a slice of crusty Italian bread. So it is not surprising that most Italian restaurants offer Pasta e Fagioli; and it is one of the best things to bring to a carry-in or potluck. And when you want to show your friends that you care about them during tough times or times of joy, nothing says you care more than sending a big pot of Pasta e Fagioli. You’re not only sharing a meal but you are sharing your heritage and a family tradition.

Another quite humorous part of this meal is the pronunciation itself. When I was growing up we ate something called “Pasta Fazool.” Everyone in our family called it Pasta Fazool; our friends called it Pasta Fazool; you could order Pasta Fazool in a restaurant on Franklin Avenue and get what you wanted without the server giving you a strange look. Basically there was no reason for me to question the proper pronunciation of Pasta e Fagioli. It wasn’t until the coordinator of the potluck lunch at work asked me for the recipe of my Pasta Fazool that I actually saw how it was spelled. And then the first time someone ordered it at the chain Italian restaurant, the well trained server of the fake Italian restaurant gave us a funny look and corrected our pronunciation — which by the way wasn’t correct either. I again denied our family mispronounced Pasta e Fagioli because we also didn’t pronounce other foods phonetically — like lasagna, manicotti, mozzarella, or ricotta. I later discovered that the pronunciation, Pasta Fazool, is unique to the American-Italian community in the Northeast. So I now proudly say Pasta FAZOOL!

Our Pasta e Fagioli is vegetarian (often vegan) and a healthy, high protein, low fat meal. Today, I share this story and meal with my family — the next generation. The most wonderful part of this meal are the memories of my grandmother and our time together. The cook that I have become is in large part to my grandmother. She was a creative and confident chef. She loved making meals special and loved sharing meals with others. As a tribute to her and all of the other great cooks in my family, I am committed to not only sharing these meals with my kids but also keeping the stories alive. My grandmother would be very pleased that I have kept many of her traditions alive and I am still sharing her stories and our memories.


Buon Appetito!


If you want my recipe for Pasta e Fagioli, click here.


This PC Pop Blog post is a part of a series called the Summer for Renewal. Read the other Summer for Renewal posts too.  They are as follows:

 


Read more stories about growing up in my family and our traditions, check out these PC Pop posts:


Survivor Leadership: 4 Powerful Lessons from Reality TV

In CBS, College Students, diversity, Exploring Leadership, Group Dynamics, Interaction Process Analysis, Komives, Leader, Leadership, life, Malavenda, Nance Lucas, Pablo Malavenda, Pop Culture, Reality TV, Robert Bales, self-fulfilling prophecy, Survivor, Survivor Cook Island, survivor women, Timothy McMahon, TV, TV shows on May 12, 2012 at 8:22 pm

The Complete Guide



The Complete Guide to Survivor Leadership contains 4 Powerful Lessons.  Studying LEADERSHIP by watching the CBS reality TV show, Survivor will give you powerful insights into how leadership develops in teams AKA tribes. I have taught leadership for close to 25 years.  I have used various techniques to make learning leadership meaningful and topical.  As long as Survivor has been on the air, I have been using the reality TV show to emphasis and highlight the various aspects of several leadership models, practices, and theories.  From the first episode through the live Finale show, Leadership is present, can be observed, predicted and studied. The 4 Survivor Leadership Lessons are as follows:


Survivor Leadership


Lesson 1 — The Leadership Primer


This PC Pop blog post is the quintessential Survivor Leadership primer. In this post you will learn about the basic LEADERSHIP models that give the framework for being able to study leadership and how leadership emerges among tribe members. Using Leadership models and theories that emphasize relationships as much as task completion, you begin to understand how Leadership develops among tribe members.  If you love studying leadership you will love finding out how LEADERSHIP is an integral part of the group dynamics on Survivor.  If you read this before watching Survivor, you will begin to see the relationships and interactions on Survivor in a much different way. It makes watching Survivor a much more exciting experience. READ more…


Lesson 2 — Self-Fulfilling Prophecy


This PC Pop blog post discusses a concept called “self-fulfilling prophecy.” In order to study LEADERSHIP among the castaways on Survivor you must examine some of the variables that will impact the group dynamics.  In this post we look at how casting affects the group development and the tone of the tribe communities. Read this post and learn about how casting can reinforce negative stereotypes and complicate the natural development of teams.  If you are interested in how important diversity and inclusion are in Leadership, you will find this post very interesting. READ more…


Lesson 3 — Family First


This PC Pop blog post focuses on what the members of the tribe must be concerned about if they wish to be a LEADER. The tribes within Survivor resemble in many ways a “family.”  This post explores the concept of LEADERS first know who they are before they may be effective.  Leaders must first must know them-SELVES, then their FAMILY, then OTHERS. Once you become self aware of your own talents and issues, have the love, support and coaching from your family — you then impact your community and change the world. LEADERSHIP is about community and family; and this blog post explores that within Survivor.  As you will see sometimes it works and (like this season) sometimes it doesn’t.  You will enjoy the analysis of the men’s tribe; and it will give you more to think about the next time you tune into Survivor. READ more…


Lesson 4 — Serving Your Community


This PC Pop blog post focuses on the importance of Leaders developing a sense of Community. In order to understand others, you must first understand yourself.  You cannot lead a team or tribe unless you understand others enough to include and empower them.  Once they are empowered they must be coached, challenged, and encouraged. In Survivor, your immediate tribe is your core community (small c) or family.  The entire group of castaways regardless of their tribe affiliation and their alliances is the Community (Big C).  Unfortunately, the castaways become so focused on Leading their tribe and playing the game they fail to become great Community Leaders. To examine this further we must look at various LEADERSHIP models particularly Robert Greenleaf’s Servant Leadership. This season there are some clear examples of castaways completely disregarding their community — and getting eliminated. READ more…


Survivor: One Worldthe twenty-fourth season of the American CBS competitive reality television series, premiered on February 15, 2012. I triple love Survivor for many reasons — but mostly because of the LEADERSHIP lessons learned by observing the group development, teamwork and relationships among the castaways. As a self-proclaimed, cultural anthropologist with a specialization in Pop culture — Survivor gives me great joy.  Tune in and let me know what you think.  If you already planned on watching, I hope these four Survivor Leadership blog posts give you something more to observe and reflect upon.  I hope I’ve convinced you it may be worth tuning into Survivor in future. You might find some value in studying Survivor — some value in studying Pop Culture — some value in studying Reality TV.


To understand more about Survivor Leadership, please read each of the PC Pop blog posts 1, 2, 3, 4. Please check back here often because this list will be updated regularly.


CBS Survivor episodes and videos can be viewed online.