Karnella Bicknell


When Netflix’s popular “13 Reasons Why” series about a teen suicide prompted the Palm Beach County School District Superintendent to send a warning letter to parents on its negative impact, Stand UP Foundation’s teens were inspired and have launched a positive campaign – #13ReasonsWhy#WeStandUP for Social and Emotional Health.

Timed to coincide and work with the Great Give Palm Beach & Martin Counties online fundraising campaign on May 17, 2017, Stand UP Foundation teens are bringing awareness to programs they already have in place that address adolescent social and emotional wellness topics and provide ways to keep healthy teens healthy and resources for and support to those struggling.

“Our teens put together 13 Videos, 13 Blogs and 13+ Resources to share their story why an organization like Stand UP is so critical to continue to thrive,” said Ashley Le Grange, a licensed mental health therapist who founded and directs the nonprofit organization Stand UP Foundation. “Watching the Netflix series may leave you asking well now what? This “catalyst for conversation” can be good but we go beyond shock and talk to promoting prevention, teaching leadership skills, mentoring and building connections and collaboration among teens and the community.”

“When you see Royals Prince William and Princess Kate, our own First Lady Melania Trump and pop icons like Demi Lovato all pushing for taking the stigma away from different aspects of social and emotional health conditions and assuring people that asking for help is OK, you know our culture and communities need to change,” added Le Grange. “SUF’s programs teach high school students to be leaders, peer advisers and mentors to middle school students and stress prevention, responsibility and resiliency. By starting to work with middle school students today, we hope to make their lives happier now and later and help avoid the current problem we are now seeing at our state colleges that have long waiting lists for students who want to see campus counselors because they are struggling adjusting.”

Stand UP Foundation has organized conferences, awareness walks, retreats and camps addressing topics such as suicide prevention, bullying, eating disorders, healthy highs, and stress management. This summer Stand UP with Camp H2O partners SUF with Blue Line Surf and Paddle Co. to provide healthy water-based physical exercises in combination with themed social and emotional growth topic activities. The camp is for ages 6-14. High school students interested in training to become volunteer counselors and receive community service hours are encouraged to attend an information meeting with their parents on May 22, 5:30pm at the Stand UP Foundation office. Register at www.standupfoundationfl.org or call (772) 263-3974.

Although the Great Give Palm Beach and Martin Counties 24-hour online fundraising event doesn’t begin until midnight on May 17, donors interested in supporting Stand UP Foundation may make a pledge now as well as view the 13 Videos, 13 Blogs and 13+ Resources at www.standupfoundationfl.org. Donors will be directed on May 17 to give at the official Great Give website at www.GreatGiveFlorida.org . Stand UP Foundation will also have an information table at the Great Give CityPlace Takeover from 10am-9pm on May 17 at the CityPlace plaza in West Palm Beach.

Photo Caption

(back row left to right: Mason Adams, Charles Brenner, Mark Hanna, Jeremy Loomis, Boys Director, Cameron Hanna; front row left to right: Owen Blackwell, Clara Sullivan, Brianne Jordan, Lindsay Kehl, Haley Rothman) Teen leaders from Stand UP Foundation, a nonprofit organization providing prevention, leadership and mentoring programs, are fundraising with the Great Give Palm Beach and Martin Counties on May 17 online and at CityPlace plaza in West Palm Beach. www.standupfoundationfl.org and www.GreatGiveFlorida.org

A Step-By-Step Guide To Moving With Kids And Pets

A Step-By-Step Guide To Moving With Kids And Pets

You might be excited about moving into a new home. Maybe the new house is bigger, or it has that large yard you always wanted. Perhaps you’re moving because you found a new job, and you’re excited about the opportunity. Maybe you’re just tired of paying rent or dealing with all the little defects of your prior home. But where you see the excitement of a new life ahead, children and pets might see something scary in the impending future.

For your kids and pets, moving into a new home throws their world for a curve. Familiar feelings and sights are very important for children because their evolving minds need something to hang on to as their world changes around them. Pets become very attached to their environment, and often have a hard time responding to change. If you don’t take the time to help your kids and pets cope with the move, their stress and anxiety will be added to the mix as you work to get everything done.

Fortunately, there are some tactics that can help ease the stress young children and pets may experience during a move. They require some patience and understanding, but they can make the process of moving into a new home much less stressful for your children, pets and for you. For a complete look, check out the infographic created by University Moving and Storage below:


Terrorism – How to Talk to Our Children About It


Terrorism is the unlawful and threatening use of violence used against a country, state or the public; fueled by religious and political means. This may be the answer you find yourself giving your teenager after much thought, when they simply ask you as a parent ‘what does the media mean when it talks about the word terrorism?’ For every parent, this topic of conversation has become a real reality in the wake of such terrorism around the world. Instinctually, like animals, we have this compulsive need to protect our young. So much so, that most of our parenthood is learning how to let go of those invisible reins; appreciating the older our children become the more they strive for independence. So, what should we do when we are faced with a strong, compelling urge to push everything out of harm’s way to protect our loved ones and most precious, our children when plagued with repetitive footage in every social media corner? When does receiving important information that keeps us alert become damaging to our mental state?

Unfortunately, I have been asked this question one too many times in the face of the dreadful terrorist acts we have all been witness to over the last several years and now presently. I believe the real answers to this challenge lie in the realization of how much we can realistically control. Meaning, the realistic measures we can make for our family without fearing them into a place of hibernation. Even for someone like myself who has had thousands of hours’ practice talking to families about difficult situations; the fact still remains that this subject is a trying one because emotionally it is so hard for us all to comprehend that such monstrosities are happening time and time again. The truth is though, as tough as these conversations are they need to be had, even if you don’t want to have them. Keeping these lines of communication open and honest with your children keeps you close as a family and helps your children to feel reassured and informed with the facts and advice you share at times like this. Please read below some advice and tips that will help you make this conversation a smoother easier.

  • It’s okay that you do not know all the answers as a parent. Like anyone else right now, when tragic events like this happen you are gathering information like everyone else to assess the situation. It is in your assessment that you can truly make important decisions moving forward for your family family’s safety. Let them know you don’t have the answers to some of their questions but that you will look into it so that you can give them more answers to the ongoing questions they are asking.
  • Your knee-jerk reaction inside could be one of hysterics, trying desperately to keep yourself grounded. Your composure and how you deliver your information will allow you to articulate with more clarity and that energy conveyed will feel safe to your children. Think of little children, when people are running around manic, they sense the panic and become very fretful. This is not to say that you cannot express the situation at hand is not worrisome or concerning but, this composure shows a sense of stillness and comfort to your children listening.
  • Be mindful that your responses and explanations are age appropriate. Ask your children what they have seen and heard before you throw too much information their way remembering small children like toddlers will not necessarily be aware of what is going on around them. So, there is no need to have this conversation, as to part with such information would just make them frightened. However, your 7 or 8-year-old may have heard bits and pieces from school. Finding out what they have heard FIRST is most important as it gives you the chance to dispel any fake news.
  • Use your instincts to answer questions and reassure based on the information your children give you; keeping the dialogue open for them to feel comfortable to ask another question. Please keep in mind that your children could be showing you outward or inward emotions. So be sure to comfort and validate their feelings with lots of affection and hugs, letting them know they can ask you questions anytime.
  • Monitoring media will be very important as overplay can certainly lead to a lot of emotional regression. Which in turn can create even more stress and anxiety. What we want as parents is to support and keep conversations open to create an understanding, ultimately building more mental resilience.
  • Information and attitude should always be kept positive. For example, what has happened is tragic but, the community is coming together and the country is coming together to support one another at such times. Kindness is strength and together we stand.
  • Perspective is always key, geographically we need to look at where these attacks are taking place, what impact that has on our daily lives, and even though we may keep away from certain places, there are other daily activities that we will continue to do like work, school, and sleep-overs. This shows our children the sense of realistic measure we take when things happen like this in the world. The older your children are the more they will understand.
  • The bottom line is, your kids want to know, ‘what happened, why is it happening, and am I safe?’ We know as adults that we live in a world that is volatile. But, I believe it is every parent’s duty to reassure their children they are safe, because let’s face it if we can’t as their parents who can? http://www.jofrost.com

Copywritten Jo Frost

Encourage Reading


When children are reading it can have a wonderful calming effect on them. Reading doesn’t just give children a head-start in learning; the ritual of sharing a story and providing special time for parents and carers to build a strong and loving relationship with their children is vital.

I believe every childhood should be enriched by books, and all children should get to experience the joy of a story. Reading for pleasure has a dramatic impact on educational outcomes, well-being and social mobility and enables children to develop their speech and language skills, their literacy skills and their imaginations with escapism to jump into a fantasy world of books they will love to read.   http://www.jofrost.com

Keeping in Touch When Away


Homesick is the word that most parents tell me they feel if they have to work away often or for long periods of time if they are in the military. There is no right or wrong or any quick fix to this except to live through it. Obviously allowing yourself to feel a little sad about this is a necessary part of moving forward while living with the circumstances. It is also important to work on adapting to the situation so you are focused on the work at hand that you have to do, and by example to show your children that they need to do the same, focusing on their school work and having fun with their friends. If you expect to get down about it then you will and it can be especially difficult around the holidays with all the festivities. Recognize that the people at home naturally feel the same way and always let your children know that it is about mom/dad going to work. As leaving or going away are words that children can take very literally. Remember when you are back home don’t organize huge get together, focus on the family time that you need with one another. http://www.jofrost.com



If you are a parent in a relationship and have become a primary or secondary child carer and guardian for the children you are raising from a previous marriage, then I do believe you have every right as your dutiful obligation to raise these children well. Most parents avoid this conversation as they are fearful of the confrontation it may bring. Allocating time to communicate with your partner helps to strengthen the partnership and resolving these issues leads to better parenting together. When children see one parent feel helpless it is easy for them to manipulate the situation based on the breakdown between the parents. In turn this doesn’t benefit the child but create and uneven ground for them. Being on the same page and having healthy boundaries in place leads to healthier relationships where there is a love and respect mutually between you and your partner and your children. The key to all resolution is communication so don’t let the fear cripple you and be encouraged to talk.


Three-year-old son sleeps only in our bed

I have a three-year-old son, Monty, who has been climbing out of his crib for several weeks now and only wants to sleep in our guest bedroom, which has a twin bed. So we figured it was time to replace his crib and got a toddler bed for his room.

To make it fun, we went and bought him Mickey Mouse Sheets and Diego Sheets and a new blankey just for bedtime. The first night he slept no problem. The 2nd and 3rd nites he came out about 50 times each, we used positive reinforcement for the 1st 15 times and after that, we threatened taking away toys. Finally, we took all the toys out of his room. And then he finally fell asleep.

The next morning, I decided to try and make a chart for the days of the week and each morning if he stayed in his bed, he’d get a sticker and then we’d do something on the reward list. So he stayed in his bed for 1 nite and then we went to Chuck E Cheese as a reward, but that following night, again he was out until all hours of the evening until I finally said to my husband, let’s put him in our bed, and he fell asleep right away.

I am not the type of mommy to have kids stay in my bed; I am not a softy at all! We’re trying everything, we stopped napping him so he’d be tired for bedtime, but that is turning out to be a disaster because he is a wreck by 2pm. I even put on some lullaby music and that put him to sleep, the next night, but failed to work last night. My son, husband and myself are exhausted and need sleep!

Hi Monty’s Mom,

When I read this letter, it made me feel dizzy. One minute he was in the guest bedroom, then he was in a toddler bed, then in your bed, then he was going to Chuck E Cheese and then he was up all night. Now, you’re giving him a concert with music and he’s wondering what else you’re going to give him the next time!

It’s because there’s no consistency. You want it to be on your terms that he falls asleep and you’re not in control of the situation right now, so you keep trying other things. But the reality is that you haven’t committed to one technique and stayed with it.

What I suggest is this: make up your mind that you’re not giving in, one way or the other. I would put a bedrail on the side of his bed so he doesn’t fall out of it. I would create a proper bedtime routine for him so that he doesn’t feel like he’s being rushed to bed. I would read stories, come out of the room and continue to do the stay in bed technique and STAY WITH IT. No technique takes longer than seven days.

I bet Monty is the same as him mom and that it’s a battle of the wills. He knows that now he has you wrapped around his finger. And right now, he doesn’t have one thing consistent and it’s hard for them to have that. He slept in the big bed because it was new and different and mommy left him in there. Trust me, Diego sheets aren’t going to get him to go to sleep, but a consistent response is. It doesn’t matter how many times he comes out, you have to be consistent with your response.

I’ve just put a three year old, still breastfeeding (who has never been in her bedroom) in bed with the stay n’ bed technique. It took an hour and forty-five minute the first night and the second night it only took three attempts. The third night, she just went in her bed and stayed in it. He’s going to keep pushing unless you stay consistent. Children like routine and consistency; it makes them feel safe and secure. He will go to sleep if you follow through!


Jo x


Newbridge Prep Preschool Instilling a Love of Reading in its Students and Families

Newbridge Prep, a preschool owned by experienced educators where students actively participate in a holistic preparatory education program, recently hosted its Happy Camper Scholastic Book Fair. “Book fairs are rarely implemented in preschools, so this is something very special that we do at Newbridge,” said Jackie Matzirakis, owner/founder of Newbridge Prep. “It’s a great way to generate excitement about reading, create a fondness for books, an interest in quality reading time, and an opportunity to develop early literacy skills.”

Prior to the fair, Newbridge Prep engages its students and their families by decorating the school with the theme of the book fair. “The teachers talk to the students about exploring new books,” added Matzirakis. “We also engage families with eblasts, letters home, and we send home a craft activity that is later returned and displayed with our book fair decorations.”

Furthermore, throughout the book fair week, parents are welcomed as guest readers, which the students enjoy, as it enhances their interest in story time. It is also an opportunity for the students to learn about new titles and characters and have new “reading adventures.”

As in years past, the Newbridge Prep book fair included an exciting family night, where families came in and shopped for new books. “This night is a wonderful opportunity for the kids to get excited about reading, parents are able to chat with other parents, and many of our staff are on hand to guide parents on what books might be best for their children,” noted Matzirakis. “It’s a night that really builds excitement for the love of reading and gets the whole family (even older siblings) involved. It shows the children that books and reading are important to their families.”

In fact, there are numerous studies showing that family involvement, specifically reading together, has many beneficial outcomes. “We want to give students the opportunity to explore new books and choose books that they are interested in,” concluded Matzirakis. “At this young age, it is critical to develop a love of reading and literacy readiness.”

Newbridge Prep families in 2017 are also teaching their little ones the importance of giving back by participating in Operation Book-Bear, a service started by siblings Nicolas and Annaleisa Matzirakis. While families fill their shelves with new books, they are also donating like-new books and gently used teddy bears to children of deployed servicemen and servicewomen through the efforts of Operation Book-Bear.

About Newbridge Prep
The Newbridge Prep philosophy is that all children can and will succeed, and it encourages parental involvement in the classroom and via numerous activities throughout the year. Newbridge faculty works diligently to create a positive environment that enhances children’s self confidence and empowers them to succeed. Discounts are available to law enforcement, firefighters, military personnel and teachers. For more information, please call (561) 966-2644, or visit http://www.newbridgeprep.com


How Much Water Do You Need Daily?

How Much Water Do You Need Daily?

We’ve all heard that drinking 8 cups of water a day is the right amount for us, but is that really true? Let’s check how much water do you need daily!

I know I drink water like a horse, and I drink 3 to 5 cups with my midday meal alone. If I were to drink just eight glasses of water per day, I’d probably shrivel up and die from thirst. So how much water do I really need? How much you do you need?

Hydration is also important in order to cut cellulite on your stomach!

Your Body Knows Best

When it comes to drinking water, listen to your body. It will tell you, “Hey pal, how about some hydration? I’m getting a bit parched over here!”

Your mouth will get a bit dry, and you’ll find that your head feels full of wool when you need to drink water bad. When it reaches this level, it means that you’re in serious need of hydration. In fact, if you notice that your mouth is very dry, your body is probably already suffering from a lack of water.

Your thirst is only noticeable when the concentration of your blood increases by about 2%, and dehydration only starts at about 5%.

Very few of us notice that our mouths are leathery and dry throughout the day, as we are fairly busy people. When we do notice, we usually take steps to drink more water, and we feel great that we’re solving our thirst problem.

However, drinking more water than we’re accustomed to can actually be good for our health!

You’ve probably heard that drinking water can help to make weight loss easier, and studies in 2003, 2007, and 2008 proved that increasing water intake can help your body burn more calories, reduce the amount of food you eat, and speed up your metabolism.

Water can help you to lose weight, but the primary way that it does so is by filling your stomach and stopping you from eating and drinking things that will increase your body’s calorie count.

Check here what is fat flush water and what does it do

So How Much is Enough?

The Institute of Medicine has determined how much water the average man or woman needs to drink to be healthy:

Men — The average man should drink 3.7 liters or 15 cups of water per day.

Women — The average woman should drink 2.7 liters or 11 cups of water per day.

That’s a lot more than the 8 cups that you’re used to drinking! The good news is that you don’t need to get all of your water just by drinking!

The recommendations above is for total water intake, which means liquid in all of its forms. The water can come from fruits, vegetables, coffee, tea, and, yes, even beer! (I know what I’m going to do to increase my liquid intake this weekend!)

Lifehack: Make drinking water every hour on the hour a habit. If you drink one cup every hour, you’ll get more than your 8 glasses per day. Once you get used to drinking one glass every hour, it will be easy to drink 2 or 3 glasses per hour. You’ll have to pee a lot more, but it will help regulate your body!

You might also like: Bottled Water VS Tap Water: Is The Extra Money Really Worth It?

A Word for the Wise: Cut Out Flavored Drinks

Did you know that drinking lots of water is one of the natural remedies against cellulite?

Drinking more water is just the smart thing to do, but many people opt to drink other liquids in order to increase their total water intake throughout the day.

While drinking soda, coffee, tea, beer, and other drinks will help you to get more liquids in your body, you’re doing two things wrong:

  • Adding Calories — All of the drinks above have calories, which means that you’re adding extra calories to your diet and giving yourself more energy to burn to avoid gaining weight.
  • Adding the Wrong Nutrients — Coffee and tea both contain healthy nutrients, but they usually are accompanied by sugar and milk. Beer and soda both have lots of sugar and calories, so they’ll just go straight to your gut.

The truth is that water is the best thing for you to drink if you want to get more liquid and hydrate yourself properly!

It’s a calorie-free beverage, so you won’t have to worry about increasing the amount of food you eat every day. There’s nothing harmful in clean drinking water, so toxins and chemicals aren’t a concern with water.

Related- What Happens When You Drink Water on an Empty Stomach.


Pro Tip!

Find the fruits and vegetables that are rich in water and low in calories, and stay hydrated the tasty, low fat way. Watermelons and strawberries are both 92% water, and you can get about 115 grams of water from an apple or a red tomato. Get enough water and keep that calorie consumption low by eating these healthy fruits and veggies!


Add more water to your diet, and don’t be content with just the 11 to 15 cup minimum. It will do your body a whole lot of good to get more water, so bottom’s up!

Here’s an interesting infographic I have found at skinnyms.com

Slumber Party Planning Tips

Image result for slumber partySlumber Party Planning Tips

As much as you want to give your child a fun slumber party, let’s face it — inviting a bunch of kids into your home (not just to hang out for a few hours, but also to sleep overnight) can be daunting. You have to think about sleeping arrangements, food, activities and more. How can you minimize stress? What are some good tips for slumber party planning? To help answer these questions, here are some key ideas to keep in mind:


  1. Determine the guest list. Decide ahead of time how many kids you can logistically fit in your home, and ask your child who he or she wants to invite accordingly. If you already know your home can’t accommodate 12 kids, it’s best to say so upfront and minimize the guest list to the number you can handle. Likewise, if kids will need to sleep in more than one location, draw names about who sleeps where in order to avoid hurt feelings.
  2. Plan a simple, fun menu. Typically at a slumber party, you can expect to provide the evening’s dinner, a variety of snacks, and the next morning’s breakfast. Save yourself some stress by keeping the food simple: Find out if any kids have allergies ahead of time, and then create a kid-friendly menu. Dinner could be pizza or takeout. Snacks could be items that are easy to pick up at the store like chips, crackers, fruit, candy, desserts and so on. Then, in the morning, you can provide store-bought muffins, a prepped breakfast casserole you can pop in the oven, fruit, donuts, juice and milk.
  3. Stick to disposables. Especially if you’re planning a slumber party for lots of children, skip washing dishes and go with disposable plates and utensils. This will make cleanup easier and simplify meal times.
  4. Plan a few fun activities. There are lots of ways to keep kids entertained at a slumber party. You might ask your child to pick a movie or two that everyone can watch, or you could get everyone involved in meal prep by having them top their own pizzas or put together simple sandwiches. Set out board games and card games. Provide a stack of mad libs. Another idea is to have the kids take on some sort of DIY project like using fabric markers on T-shirts or making their own jewelry.
  5. Make nighttime less scary. For those kids who are afraid of the dark but embarrassed to say so, leaving a nightlight or hallway light on can be a real comfort. Likewise, you can make the party more fun and add illumination by ordering glow sticks or other glow-in-the-dark products that you hand out to participants.
  6. Communicate expectations. Be in touch with parents about your expectations — what time to drop off kids, what time to pick them up, what kids need to bring to the party, etc. The better you communicate, the less chance for misunderstandings. Likewise, make sure all the parents have your phone number and you have theirs in case something comes up and you need to reach them.
  7. Get backup. If you’re at all unsure about being able to handle the party alone, enlist backup by way of a spouse, friend or other parent. Having other adults on hand to manage logistics, answer questions, comfort kids, etc., will help ensure everything goes smoothly.


The good news, when it comes to a slumber party, is that you don’t have to be overwhelmed by the prospect. With ample preparation you can minimize stress and everyone can enjoy a safe, fun experience!


Author bio: Jeremy Thompson is a born entrepreneur and Partner at Premier Glow. His many businesses include a DJ company, selling bubble gum and novelty toys.