Discover the Region Human Interest section will stimulate you to think, know and learn more.

noun
1. a quality of a story or report, as in a newspaper or on a newscast, that engages attention and sympathy by enabling one to identify readily with the people, problems, and situations described.
Kas Winters
,

Easy Ways to Teach Children

Reading is often thought of as something that is connected to school classes, but it can be taught and encouraged at home. When our children were young, we read EVERYTHING! That included street signs, cereal boxes, milk cartons, signs on buildings, words on packages in the grocery store, words on notes on the fridge, and more. Reading happened daily. If children can read and comprehend what they read, there is nothing they can't learn. Being a good reader is the first step to understanding every other class a child attends. Our daughter placed index cards all over the house to label everyday items and her children learned to read words like "clock," "window," and others long before they started school. Of course, reading books aloud with children and letting them become comfortable with words is a perfect way to build vocabulary, spend time together, make memories, and learn how to read. With older children, share books. Read what they are reading and discuss ideas. Have books and magazines available at home. Give magazine subscriptions to students. Let them see you read. Click here for the full article.

Universally Designed Customer Service

Have you ever NOT been able to get into a building or maybe been literally STUCK in a restroom? A lot of people don’t really think about the importance of accessibility…until it affects them or someone they love. If you’ve ever broken a limb or been in a wheelchair temporarily, then you got a small taste what some people experience every day. It's not that people with disabilities are asking for pity or special treatment…just equal access to the world that many of us take for granted. Click here for the full article.
Kas Winters
,

Create Your Own Family Traditions

Most of the time “Family Traditions” just happen. They aren’t usually planned. Often we just repeat activities from our own families of origin, and that can be a very positive thing. We can also give deliberate thought to establishing some especially for our children and grandchildren. I was reminded of this recently when my daughter phoned to ask about words to a song we always sang in the car when she was a child. Her children were singing it and had a question about the lyrics. That call affirmed that those little things we did with our children made a difference. “In our family we always _____.” Fill in the blank. Hopefully, you will have traditions that make memories and help children feel like they belong. Many times we relate these to holiday celebrations. Your list might Click here for the full article.
Kas Winters
,

Make a Memory with a Child

Summer is traditionally vacation time and many families plan expensive travel to theme parks, resort areas and tourist locations. While these can certainly be enjoyable excursions, there are simple ways to make precious memories for everyone with a “stay-cation” that happens at home and needn’t cost anything at all. Click here for the full article.
Kas Winters
,

Choose a Summer Project to Motivate a Child

With the end of school in sight, many parents are putting on their thinking caps trying to come up with ideas for keeping kids from being bored, and maybe even things students can do that will be both fun and educational during summer break. Since “bored” has always been a banned word in our family, we came up with summer projects that were matched to the interests of our children. It was a plan that worked for the kids and for us. We made many memories and expanded our knowledge and skills in the process. Here are some of the things we did. I hope that some will work for your family too. Click here for the full article.
Kas Winters
,

Explore outdoors with your Children

What a delightful time of year to explore outdoors with children! Plant something. Put seeds in the ground or in pots. Add cheerful color to your surroundings with floral bedding plants. Let your child or children dig in dirt or sand. Play with toy cars and empty cardboard boxes, sticks and things. Build cities in the dirt. Our children made many dirt towns and even turned themselves into mud monsters more than once over the years. They loved every minute of it. Fortunately, kids are washable. Click here for the full article.
Kas Winters
,

Kas Winters Don t buy that Toy

Have you ever spent money on a toy only to find that the child who received it had more fun with the box? Does your child ever sit, surrounded by toys and complain that he or she is bored and that there is nothing to do? My thirty-five year-old son recently said that my slogan should be, “You’ll never need to buy another toy again.” That’s a great idea. Of course, he grew up in an atmosphere where there was on-going creative play to stimulate imagination and provide experiences for hands-on learning. Our children did have some toys; but mostly, we spent time doing activities that were, quite honestly, more fun than many toys. These had the added value of building self-reliance and other traits that serve them well as adults. Click here for the full article.
Kas Winters
,

Is there a book in your head

Have you ever thought you should write a book? Would your child or children like to see their words in print? It’s an incredible experience to hold your ideas in book form, and it raises self-esteem at least a couple of notches. The really good news is that it is possible. You usually see my writing in this column, discussing ideas for children’s and family activities, but I have also written a total of 16 books, many on that family topic. My most recent effort, Get that Book out of your Head and into Print, includes innovative methods that can help you or your children accomplish a publishing dream. Click here for the full article.
Kas Winters
,

Kas Winters

It’s a new year and a great time to put systems in place to make your life and that of your children easier. Sometimes, all it takes is a couple of file folders in a set location such as a box, basket, tote, tub, or holder on top of the microwave, near the front door, or in the corner of a kitchen counter. Label a few folders as needed. Choose a place where papers can be moved directly from backpacks to the proper location. This is especially helpful for school papers that need to be returned to teachers, details about assignments and projects, events and other school or extra-curricular activity dates and contact information. Work to establish a habit of putting papers there as soon as students get home from school and also try to remember to check the “Return to Teacher” folder before kids leave for class each morning. Make sure everyone knows that the folders should not develop legs and move to other locations in the house. Click here for the full article.
Kas Winters
,

Change children’s outlook from

This is the season when children are bombarded with gift possibilities through TV, the Web, catalogs, newspaper ads and conversations with friends centered around holiday gift requests. Whether or not money is an issue in your family, experiencing the joy of giving to others is a treasure of its own. Help children get excited about it. Click here for the full article.