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The More You Read

March 1, 2013

“One Fish. Two Fish. Red Fish. Blue Fish.” We can all recall our very first encounter with Dr. Seuss. Whether the book was read to us, or when we read it on our own for the very first time. The animation, colors and rhymes were all so appealing that reading it once was never enough. A reading committee from the National Education Association decided that it would be a great idea to do something to get kids more excited about reading. So they came up with the ‘NEA’s Read Across America’ and picked March 2; Dr. Seuss’ Birthday to celebrate it. Fifteen years later, here we are ready to celebrate ‘Read Across America,’ and what better way to celebrate than reading to a child?

Today, a few of the first graders were read aloud to by some of the staff at our onsite non-public school. Sticking to the Dr. Seuss theme, they read “I Am Not Going to Get Up Today!” and “Mr. Brown Can Moo, Can You?” Filled with gladness, the children were able to interact through the detailed animation, sounds and rhyming techniques. Practically after every “Can you?” question, the students would chime in with a giggly response of “Moo-moo” and “Hoo-hoo.” It was very amusing!

Children are never too old to have a story read to them. It is where intelligence is formed and the stimulation of interest to read is increased. Reading to older children helps them understand grammar and correct sentence structure. It creates the ability to build, comprehend, produce narrative and have imagination. The best part of it all is that it creates bonding time. Words of encouragement will help children stay involved in reading and parents or guardians can get creative by tying the book theme to other activities. We encourage you to celebrate reading everyday and always. 

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.”

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A Culinary Accomplishment

October 31, 2011

Successful Marketing

Rebekah Children's Services Culinary Academy successfully wrapped up a successful Gilroy Farmer's Market season on October 23, 2011.  Chef Carlos and his two apprentices worked every week to bring fresh baked goods to the Gilroy market, establishing regular customers, many of whom couldn't get enough of the sourdough bread.  As the holidays draw closer, keep them in mind for catering projects that you may have.  

Culinary Featured

Our Culinary Academy was featured in The Californian, check out the article at http://www.thecalifornian.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2011110280309.

Prevention, Treatment, and Recovery

September 2, 2011

September is National Recovery Month. This year the theme is “Join the Voices for Recovery: Recovery Benefits Everyone” please join Rebekah Children’s Services and SAMHSA in promoting awareness in your community or search for a local event to attend.   Millions of Americans of all ages experience substance use and mental health disorders; prevention and treatment programs have been proven to work successfully.  We need your help through public awareness to spread the word about available programs and the need for more. 

The following chart from SAMHSA shows the most commonly misused substances in the United States and their adverse side effects.



Other Names5,6

Immediate Intoxication Effects7

Negative Health Effects8

Average Age of First Use in 2009 (vs. in 2008) and Current Rate Among Youth9,10,11

Number of People Who Used it in the Past Month in 2009 vs. in 200812,13

Alcohol, Inhalants, and Tobacco



Depressant: Impaired coordination, memory and judgment; slurred speech; decreased attention and memory

Seizures, chronic sleep problems, respiratory depression, respiratory arrest, damage to vital organs, high blood pressure, negative pregnancy outcomes (including Fetal Alcohol Syndrome)

16.9 years in 2009 (17 years in 2008); (rate of current alcohol use is 3.5% among youth aged 12 or 13, and 13% among youth aged 14 or 15)

130.6 million people in 2009 (similar to 129 million people in 2008)

Tobacco products

Chew, dip, smoke, cigarettes, cigars, smokeless tobacco, snuff, spit tobacco

Stimulant: Increased adrenaline, metabolism, and concentration

Increased blood pressure and heart rate, lung disease, coronary heart disease, stroke, cancer

17.5 years in 2009 (17.4 years in 2008); (rate of current tobacco use is 11.6% among youth aged 12 to 17)

69.7 million people in 2009 (similar to 70.9 million people in 2008)

Gases, nitrites, aerosols (inhalants)

Ether, chloroform, nitrous oxide, isobutyl, isoamyl (poppers, snappers, whippets, laughing gas)

Stimulant: Loss of inhibition, loss of motor coordination, slurred speech, and muscle weakness

Rapid or irregular heartbeat, cardiovascular and nervous system damage

16.9 years in 2009 (15.9 years in 2008)*

0.6 million people in 2009 (similar to 0.64 million people in 2008)

Illicit Drugs

Cocaine (including crack cocaine)

Coke, snow, flake, blow, bump, toot, C, white lady, crack, rock

Stimulant: Increased alertness, attention, and energy

Rapid or irregular heartbeat, stroke, muscle spasm, chest pain, nausea

20 years in 2009 (19.8 years in 2008); (rate of current cocaine use is 0.3% among youth aged 12 to 17)

1.6 million people in 2009 (similar to 1.9 million people in 2008)


Adam, E, X, eve, XTC, decadence, M&M

Stimulant: Increased energy, feelings of peacefulness and acceptance

Involuntary teeth clenching, loss of inhibition, increased heart rate, anxiety, blurred vision

20.2 years in 2009 (20.3 years in 2008)*

760,000 people in 2009 (increased from 550,000 people in 2008)


Big H, dope, smack, white horse

Feeling of euphoria, flushing of skin, dry mouth, and heaviness of the extremities

Collapsed veins, infection of the heart lining and valves, abscesses, liver disease, kidney disease, pulmonary complications

25.5 years in 2009 (23.4 years in 2008)*

0.2 million people in 2009 (same as in 2008)


LSD, peyote, acid, mellow yellow, boomers, shrooms

Delusions, changes in senses, mood, and body temperature

Elevated heart rate, increased blood pressure, persistent mental health problems

18.4 years in 2009 (18.4 years in 2008); (rate of current hallucinogen use is 0.9% among youth aged 12)

1.3 million people in 2009 (similar to 1.1 million people in 2008)


Pot, weed, hash, grass, reefer, Mary Jane, ganja

Distorted perceptions, impaired coordination, and loss of memory

Increased heart rate, respiratory infection, impaired memory, anxiety

17 years in 2009 (17.8 years in 2008); (rate of current marijuana use is 7.3% among youth aged 12 to 17)

16.7 million people in 2009 (increased from 15.2 million people in 2008)


Speed, meth, chalk, ice, crank

Stimulant: Agitation, anxiety, insomnia, and decreased appetite

Rapid or irregular heartbeat, stroke, high blood pressure, delusions, anxiety, hallucination

19.3 years in 2009 (19.2 years in 2008)*

502,000 people in 2009 (increased from 314,000 people in 2008)

Prescription Drugs

Pain relievers (Opioids: Hydrocodone, oxycodone, morphine, codeine, fentanyl)

Vike (Vicodin®), Oxy, O.C. (Oxycontin®), M (roxanol), Schoolboy (empirin with codeine), China white, dance fever (Actiq®)

Pain relief, feeling of euphoria, and drowziness

Restlessness, muscle and bone pain, drowsiness, seizure, respiratory depression, decreased heart rate

20.8 years in 2009 (21.2 years in 2008); (rate of current nonmedical use of prescription pain relievers is 2.7% among youth aged 12 to 17)

5.3 million people in 2009 (increased from 4.7 million people in 2008)


Prozac®, Zoloft®, Ritalin®

Increased attention and alertness, and dizziness

Blurred vision, rapid heartbeat, skin rashes, persistent muscle spasms, tremors

21 years in 2009 (22 years in 2008)*

7 million people in 2009 (increased from 6.2 million people in 2008)


Haldol®, Thorazine®, Navane®, Prolixin®, Mellaril®, Trilafon®

Depressant: Reduced anxiety, induced sleep, and lowered inhibitions

Seizures, chronic sleep problems, respiratory depression, respiratory arrest

19.7 years in 2009 (15.9 years in 2008)*

370,000 people in 2009 (increased from 234,000 people in 2008)


Benzos (Mebaral®, Ativan®, Xanax®, Valium®, Nembutal®, Librium®)

Depressant: Reduced anxiety, induced sleep, and lowered inhibitions

Seizures, chronic sleep problems, respiratory depression, respiratory arrest

22.4 years in 2009 (24.4 years in 2008)*

2 million people in 2009 (similar to 1.8 million people in 2008)

Stimulants (methylphenidate, amphetamines)14

Adderall®, Ritalin®, Concerta®

Increased calming, "focusing" effect

Increased blood pressure, heart rate, and body temperature; decreased sleep and appetite; stroke

21.5 years in 2009 (21.3 years in 2008)*

1.3 million people in 2009 (increased from 904,000 people in 2008)

*Data for current rate among youth not available

Using data from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, The Partnership for a Drug-Free America, and the 2008 and 2009 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, the chart provides an overview of the most commonly misused substances in the United States, including how prescription medications are abused. The chart can be used to raise awareness about the prevalence of these substances and the need for substance use and mental disorder treatment and recovery support services. (taken from http://www.recoverymonth.gov/Recovery-Month-Kit/Targeted-Outreach/Commonly-Misused-Substances.aspx)

Sweet Success

September 9, 2011

It's been a long time coming, but with a lot of support and dedication Rebekah's Culinary Academy now has a retail booth at the Gilroy Farmer's Market.  After 3 sold-out Sundays in a row, the kitchen is gearing up this morning to make Sunday #4 just as successful.  With cookies, scones, foccacia bread, and a turnover or two the Academy is making it's presence known in Gilroy, and teaching valuable skills to it's students.  After months of planning and worries about if they bake will anyone buy Chef Carlos and Rachel Lambert, Culinary Academy Manger have something to be very proud of. 

The Culinary Academy booth is at the Gilroy Downtown Farmer's Market held Sundays from 10am - 2pm on 7th and Monterey Streets. Stop by the booth, visit with Chef Carlos and his apprentices, and pick up a sweet treat for later.  I suggest getting there early for the best selection, this is one time when good things don't come to those who wait. 

The Academy is also available for catering orders, contact Rachel for more information at (408)846-2403.

One Day Into Our New Site

August 20, 2011

This is our inaugural blog post for our new site, www.rcskids.org. Jeremy Britton from ZURB had promised me sometime around 3 am on the day of the ZURBwired build to write this post for me, but I couldn't wait to share some news.  I'll take a raincheck on his promise for now.

ZURB marketing lead Dmitry Dragilev hasn’t quit working for us yet.  Check out our project story on CNET and the NY Times.   For the full project details, photos, and videos of the craziness from that night visit the ZURBwired blog.  

Without further ado...welcome to the brand new rcskids.org!  We’ve put a lot of sweat, tears (literally, Christie tried to take out my toe during the photo shoot pillow fight with her high heel) and hard work into this rebuild.  Starting Thursday morning at 8 am and working straight through to Friday at 8 am, it was a FULL 24 hours for the Rebekah’s team of Ryan Miguel, Scott Olson, Christie Balancier, Serena LoConte and myself. We also had visits by our executive director Mary Kaye Gerski, Jennifer Grier, and Sue Nelson to contribute their 2 cents.

The project with ZURB to revamp our website, logo, brochures and more within a mere 24 hours was completely insane and yet totally obtainable.  We began Thursday morning with limitless energy and dedication to this vast project; by noon we were questioning our decision to tackle so much; by 6 pm we knew that our print deadline had arrived and we were not quite ready yet. However at 8 pm, everything was rolling and we were completed with our first 12 hours and heading into the final 12 with renewed energy and the satisfaction of checking several items off the overly ambitious do list.

2:30 am arrived and we rallied around the newly arrived brochures and postcard, hot off the press.  Who would have thought that in a mere 6 hours we could have sent 3 items to print and got them back?  This ZURBwired thing really does work and get results.

By 3:30 the laundry list of items that we had hoped to accomplish (which Jeremy thought was completely insane at the start) was in various stages of completion and I found myself delegating new tasks to keep everyone busy through the homestretch.  

At 7:55 am the new site was officially launched with 5 minutes to spare, a ZURBwired record.  We have a few tweaks to do over the next week to perfect eveything, but we couldn’t be happeir with the results.

Tell us what you think of the redesign, we’d love to hear from you.