When Need and Generosity Intersect

YSB Guest Author: Peg Ludtke
Valley Outreach Volunteer – Stillwater, MN

You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, well you just might find, you get what you need. — the Rolling Stones

What do you do when it seems there is bad news everywhere? How does a person fight despair when the  heartache and troubles of the world or maybe just your part of it, take hold and won’t let go? It is from this mindset that I started volunteering at the front desk at Valley Outreach last spring.

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Growing Gratitude

YSB Guest Author: Jenny Friedman
Executive Director of Doing Good Together

Inspiring a sense of appreciation in children means more than tossing off a quick “thank you.” Children who are grateful display a more positive mood and are more likely to provide support to others than those who don’t, according to researchers. Youngsters who are grateful are also happier, more optimistic, and more helpful.

To some extent, self-centeredness is developmental; young children are, by nature, selfish. But research shows that we can cultivate gratitude in children. Appreciation can be learned and practiced. And, besides spelling greater happiness, gratitude can help your child resist the seemingly pervasive sense of entitlement in our world today.

Simple Tips for Building Gratitude in Children

How do you build those gratitude muscles? Here are some family traditions that will help you embed gratitude into your daily routine. Start them now, in this season of giving thanks, and continue them all year long.

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Responding to Gun Violence

By: Dr. Gigi Chawla, Chief of General Pediatrics at Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota


Incidents of gun violence and terrorism are hard to understand and process for individuals of all ages, but especially for children. While years ago it may have been easier for kids to avoid news stories about tragedies, social media makes those catastrophes accessible and more personal. Therefore, it’s critical for parents to talk with their children about these tragedies and help them process what they’re seeing.

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The Golden Rule

By: Kim Richardson, YSB Guest Author and Woodbury Police Detective
reflects on National Bully Prevention Month 


The Golden Rule: “Treat others the way you want to be treated.”

Undoubtedly, everyone has heard this phrase some time in their life. I heard it several times growing up and now tell it to my own children.

Unfortunately, many in this generation are not following wise words. I will never forget the first bullying report I took as a new School Resource Officer. A young female came to my office in tears saying several girls who used to be her friends were telling her to kill herself. I never considered myself old until that moment.

At no point growing up, did I ever think to tell someone I disliked to kill themselves. I soon realized this behavior is “normal” in the teenage world. I also realized how more frequent bullying has become. My goal for this article is for families to understand what to watch for or do if you see or suspect bullying.

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LGBTQ+ Harassment Prevention

By Makehba Nelson, Ashley Holton, and Cassie Hagen – students of South Washington County schools (District 833)

While much progress has been made towards tolerance and acceptance of the LGBTQ community, there still are issues. Harassment is still prevalent, especially within the body of American public schools. Since October is bullying prevention month, it’s essential that parents have a clear understanding of what bullying and harassment looks like, and how to properly address it as an ally, while keeping LGBTQ+ students in mind.

First let’s address the basics:   

What is LGBTQ+?

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