Author: Nora Rhoades

County Fair Season

Individuals of all ages are encouraged to exhibit a prized item, creation, and/or skill in Open Class at your county fair. The fair is a great place to see local talent on display and to enjoy entertainment with your friends and family. Contact your local Post Rock District Office for the complete fair schedules and exhibiting guidelines. You can also visit http://www.postrock.k-state.edu/4-h/county-fairs/.

Post Rock District Fair DatesSee you at the fair

Jewell County (Mankato): July 10—13th

Smith County (Smith Center): July 14—18th

Lincoln County (Sylvan Grove): July 27—30th

Osborne County (Osborne): July 28—August 1st

Mitchell County (Beloit): July 27—30th

By:  Nora Rhoades

Fathers Matter

Research shows that a father’s positive efatherngagement can improve child well-being whether they live full-time with their children or not.

Fathers make important contributions to their kids’ development—and do so in ways that are different from mother’s contributions. Fathers are more likely to use advanced language around young kids, which promotes vocabulary development. Fathers also tend to prioritize rough-and-tumble play, letting kids explore, and playing more than caretaking, which establish independence and positive social skills. Positive father engagement has been linked to better outcomes on measures of child well-being, such as cognitive development, educational achievement, self-esteem, and pro-social behavior.

Positive fatherhood experiences provide great value for kids. Child Trends shares more information explaining why fathers matter at http://bit.ly/1YvwZuz.

By:  Nora Rhoades

Take Care of Your Mental Health

Some people believe only individuals diagnosed with a mental illness need to pay attention to their mental health. In reality, all people need to pay attention to their mental health. Mental health is a valuable part of a person’s wellness throughout every stage of life, from early childhood and adolescence through adulthood.

It is not necessary to wait until you are in a crisis to reach out for help. Many people discover great benefits from seeking professional help and utilizing community services on a regular basis.

Build strategies into your daily routines and rituals that promote positive mental health. Outlined below are a few strategies that can help you take care of your mental health.

• Connect with others. Developing and maintaining connections with others provides assistance when you need an extra hand. Connections also provide emotional support, perspective, advice, and validation when you need to process an experience or develop a plan-of-action.

• Stay positive. Everyone experiences stressors throughout day-to-day adventures. Approaching life in an optimistic fashion doesn’t mean you ignore danger signs and run from problems. Choosing to have a positive outlook helps you focus on finding solutions rather than dwelling on the issue. It also increases gratefulness and promotes recognizing strengths as tools to achieve goals.

• Create joy and satisfaction. Identify a special interest that makes you happy. Maybe it is spending time with family at the supper table, playing a sport, or reading a good book. Maintaining positive mental health is achieved when you take time to have a little fun, laugh, relax, and put creativity to work. Activities that incorporate joy and satisfaction into your daily routines encourage flexibility, offer a break from life’s stressors, and boost confidence.

• Take care of your spirit. The spiritual dimension of mental health provides a connection to whatever helps a person recognize their meaning and purpose. Many people choose to care for their spirit through a religion, interaction with nature, volunteer service, or by practicing meditation and art. Whatever you focus on, spirituality can improve your mood, help set and accomplish goals, and provide a sense of belongingness.

To learn more strategies, visit Mental Health America at http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/

-Nora Rhoades

Tips to Avoid Getting Scammed

If you spot a scam it is important to report it to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). By filing a complaint, you can help the FTC’s investigators identify scammers and stop them before they can get someone’s identity and hard-earned money. Call the FTC at 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357) or TTY 1-866-653-4261. To file a complaint online, visit https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/.

To protect yourself from fraud, consider these tips from the FTC:

• Know who you’re dealing with. Try to find a seller’s physical address (not a P.O. Box) and phone number. Research the company and look for reviews.

• Don’t reply to messages asking for personal or financial information. It doesn’t matter whether the message comes as an email, a phone call, a text message, or an ad. If you didn’t initiate the contact with a trusted organization/business, chances are it is a scam.

• Don’t click on links or call numbers included in a message because scams often try to trick you into revealing sensitive information. It is best to simply hang up on a robocall or imposter.

• Read your monthly statements. Scammers steal account information to run up charges and commit crimes in your name. If you see charges you don’t recognize or didn’t approve, contact your bank, card issuer, or creditor immediately.

• Use a calendar to record all of your medical appointments and any tests or prescriptions that you get. Compare this information to insurance explanation of benefits documents and any bills you receive. Be sure the details of each service are listed correctly.

• When enrolling in a health insurance plan, cell phone plan, subscription, housing agreement or other type of contract be sure you understand the terms and conditions clearly before making a commitment. Verbal promises are not binding; make sure any agreement is in writing.

• Remember that nothing is ever “free.” Don’t accept offers of money or gifts for free care, products, and services.

• Never wire money to someone you don’t know and can’t fully trust. Wiring money is like spending cash. It is nearly impossible to reverse the transaction or trace wired money.

-Nora Rhoades

Mold, Moisture and Your Home

A Brief Guide to Mold, Moisture, and Your Home is a guide provided by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The guide provides information and guidance for homeowners and renters on how to clean up residential mold problems and how to prevent mold growth. The guide can be viewed online at https://www.epa.gov/mold. Find other helpful resources about mold and general home care are listed on the Post Rock District’s website at http://www.postrock.k-state.edu/home-family/home-care/.

-Nora Rhoades

School’s Out… Let your Child’s Learning Continue!

School may be out for the summer, but that doesn’t mean your child’s growth and development is taking a break. Libraries across the Post Rock District are hosting many summer reading programs and activities. Visit your library and get involved today! Take advantage of summer opportunities to learn and grow with your child. Parents play a crucial role in building their child’s reading and thinking skills. Checkout the KSRE Emergent Literacy resource to explore strategies to help you encourage young minds to grow! It is available at http://www.bookstore.ksre.ksu.edu/pubs/MF3161.pdf.

-Nora Rhoades

Summer Gardening Series

A “Lunch and Learn” series will be hosted throughout the Post Rock District this summer. Participants are invited to bring a sack lunch and eat while learning about the basics of horticulture and gardening. All sessions will be from 12:10-12:40p.m. Contact your local office for more information and to RSVP.

• Vegetables 101 — June 3, Jewell County Courthouse Meeting Room
• Garden Pests — June 10, Lincoln County Courthouse Meeting Room
• Landscape Design Tips — June 17, Beloit Municipal Building Trail Room

-Nora Rhodes