Archive for May, 2015

A Great Summer Read

Library Summer Reading Programs of Heroic Proportions!JAK-tastic read (2)
by Just Add Kids Founder,
Paula Herrmann

Reading over the summer months can make a huge difference for kids when they get back to school in the fall. With a lack of summer reading, children can actually loose up to three months in reading skill. Summer reading loss is cumulative, leaving some kids years behind as they get older. By the end of 6th grade, kids who lose reading skills over the summer may end up being two years behind their classmates.

Wow! I know, you don’t want your kid to end up on the low end of the reading spectrum. Don’t let your kiddo’s reading skills take a blow this summer. Read more…Our area libraries have once again come to the rescue in offering summer reading program incentives under “Every Hero Has a Story” and/or “Escape the Ordinary”,  this years themes for a nationwide summer reading program collaborative of public libraries.

POW! Pretty Outstanding Wins for the kids:

Summer Reading KABOOMChildren who read over the summer, do better in school. Reading 4 or 5 books over the summer can have a significant impact for middle school readers.

Summer Reading BANG!Summer reading programs usually take special needs into account and make adjustments for individual children.

Summer Reading WhamOne advantage of public library summer library programs is that they are not located in school buildings, which helps reduce the negative perception about summer learning for students who are struggling.

Summer Reading SPLASHKids learn more, when they do more and many of the library summer reading programs offer a lot free in-library, or library sponsored events all summer long.

Summer Reading BOOMSummer reading programs in public libraries usually encourage readers, especially those who are struggling, to use alternate formats such as magazines, recorded books, graphic novels, craft projects and material on the Internet. Plus, the libraries offer comfortable
places to relax and read.

Summer Reading POOFLibrary staff has in interest and is dedicated to motivating children to read.

Summer library programs see high return rates year after year, building reading into the child’s summer routine.

Here are a list/links and info for our local libraries offering summer reading programs:

Kenosha Public Library – Pick up your summer reading record available on KPL website and at all locations. Several categories to participate in: Early Literacy Program (birth-preschool); Elementary  Program (Grades K-5); Teen Program (Grades 6-12); Family Program (New!); Adult Summer Reading Program. Kick-of event is Saturday, June 6 from 10am-3pm at the Southwest Library.

Racine Public Library – Summer Reading Program Kick-off event will take place at Memorial Hall Plaza (72 – 7th Street) on Saturday, June 13th from 11am-3pm. Enjoy crafts, performers, face painting, games, fire truck, and meet some super heroes. Open to all ages! Free Event! No registration required.

Oak Creek Public Library – Register for the Summer Reading Challenge. You will get a reading record and valuable coupons for fun summer-long activities to do in the Oak Creek area! When your reading record is full, bring it back to the library for a chance to win a GRAND PRIZE! Registration opens June 8. First day turn in your reading records is June 15. Last day to turn your reading records is August 15.

Franklin Public Library – Join us for the Children’s Summer Reading Program kick-off party: “Super Hero Training Camp” on Friday, June 12th from 1-4pm.  The Children’s Summer Reading Program is for children birth to 5th grade. Games, snacks, crafts and more! Dress like your favorite super hero, yet costumes are not required. No registration for event necessary.

Community Library – It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s Super Summer Reading! This year’s program is all about superheroes at our library! Leap into new books and materials in a single bound! You’ll be at our fantastic programs for all ages. Do you have super powers? Find out through our reading challenges and activities. Summer Reading Program Finale will be Saturday, August 8th from 10am – 2pm at the Salem grounds. Enjoy different activities and attend the grand prize drawing at the end of the day. You do not need to be present at the Grand Prize Drawing to win.

Graham Public Library – “Every Hero Has a Story” Story Wagon will take place on Tuesday mornings at 10am in the gym at Union Grove Elementary School, 1745 Milldrum Street, Union Grove. No registration required. Additionally, Superhero Training Camp story & craft activity will happening on Friday mornings at 10am at the library.

Burlington Public Library – Join us for “Every Hero Has a Story” this summer! Registration begins June 15h for the reading program, where children of all ages can earn prizes by completing six weekly bookmarks of fun reading activities.

Waterford Public Library – Program begins on June 8th.

Rochester Public Library – Summer Reading Program Sign-Up starts at 9:30am on Saturday, June 6th. This program kickoff is free and advance registration to attend is not required. Special summer program sign-up will also start. Programs fill up fast!

Cudahy Public Library – Summer reading starts June 1st! Stop in to register anytime before August 22nd for our free reading program.

St. Francis Public Library – Summer Sign-up Picnic in the Park will take place/begin on Monday, June 11th from 3:30 – 4:30pm.

Have a blast kiddos! It’s going to be a JAK-tastic summer of reading! Summer Reading SMASH






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Allergies!WFH_All Saints 2Cstk_Co (2)
Sponsored by
Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare- All Saints

It’s spring in Wisconsin and for many of us that means allergies. And with seasonal allergies comes sniffing, sneezing, and watery eyes… which can mean months of misery. 

Allergies are not only annoying; they can affect your quality of life. At All Saints, our allergy/immunology physicians work with patients of all ages who are suffering from allergies and other immune system diseases. Allergies are the leading chronic disease in the United States. Often allergy symptoms develop gradually over a period of time, so sufferers may become so accustomed to these chronic symptoms that they don’t consider their symptoms to be unusual. Read more…

Allergists can help prevent or control a variety of chronic symptoms including:

  • Sneezing
  • Nasal congestion
  • Wheezing
  • Coughing
  • Asthma
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Eye irritation
  • Skin irritation

How is an allergy diagnosed?

This begins with a clinical examination and taking a medical history. An allergist may also use skin or blood testing to measure the patient’s level of IgE antibodies to specific allergens. A food allergy causes an immune system response, causing symptoms that range from uncomfortable to life threatening. These should not be confused with a food intolerance that does not affect the immune system, although some symptoms may be the same as in food allergies.

What can you do about allergies?

The allergists at All Saints can help improve your quality of life. They offer treatment options to help you and your family get relief from your allergy symptoms.

  • Avoidance
  • Staying away from substances that cause allergic reactions, such as staying indoors, not petting animals, or avoiding certain foods.
  • Immunotherapy (allergy shots)
  • Injections for allergic patients with rhinitis (hay fever), conjunctivitis, asthma, or stinging insects. An allergist will establish the appropriate schedule of injections to meet your medical needs.
  • Medication  
  • Antihistamines, decongestants, bronchodilators (nebulizers, inhalers), anti-inflammatories, anti-leukotrienes, and anti-IgE antibodies.


Don’t suffer through another allergy season.

Allergists, Dr. Giana Nicoara de la Garza and Dr. Srilatha Lazzaro are  ready to see you. Call the All Saints’ Allergy/Immunology department at (262) 687-8354.

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Ham & Cheese, Please.

With Miracle Whip:Fun Times Mom Dad grandkids September 7 2011
The Sandwich Generation
by Just Add Kids Founder,
Paula Herrmann

That’s the life I’m being served up, at this time. That of the “sandwich generation”.  I’ve recently stepped into the role of caring for my aging parents while supporting my own children. Wowza, did that happen fast! Thank God I have siblings that are pitching in.

To recap… (

2 weeks ago…”Then finally, on the path to back surgery, my dad’s health has significantly diminished. Not sure what exactly has happened here. But he surely isn’t the same man he was only a short month ago. So with this intro, I’ve gotta run. It’s back to my parents place to help my mom navigate through this strange, unwanted new world as we work with professionals to figure out….what the heck is going on?”


Last week…”Above was the introduction to last week’s JAK Happenings weekly e-newsletter. That next day, Friday, May 1st, my dad was taken to the hospital via paramedics and admitted, diagnosed (well, not completely) With primary central nervous system lymphoma…cancer in the brain. There are dark spots revealed on an MRI taken on his back that pathology will soon uncover. We should have a course(s) of treatment presented this weekend.    

This is not anywhere near what we expected. But who does expect to have cancer enter your world? What I do expect is a miracle, our family to grow closer, and for you to be kept in the loop. This is life. Cancer sucks!”

At this moment…and dang how fast things change. 😦
As I was typing this out and anticipating sharing with you that my dad had a great week, the hospital just called my mom to get consent on doing a scope procedure this evening. Yes, like 10:30pm, to find out why my dad’s stomach is filling up with air. He may have an ulcer in his stomach. If that’s the case, it’ll be patched. If in the bowel, that part will be removed and dad will have to have a colostomy bag. All this, and a change of events that likely will prevent his leaving the hospital for room 39 at a rehabilitation facility. Yup, that was all set up for tomorrow, pending his discharge.

Chemo was administered last Saturday, seemingly, without any side effects. Dad was “coming along” quite well…if I only took the time to describe where he was, to how he was doing right before today’s setback. It has been nothing short of a miracle. I believe in miracles. I witnessed a couple during this process.

So while dad is at the hospital being cared for, thankfully my younger sister is on FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act) and is staying with my mom who has suffered setbacks in part, as a result of my dad’s situation. For most of this week, I’ve been able to be at home with my husband and kids. I felt a bit more normal than I did the two weeks prior.

When your parents are healthy, you take life for granted. Eat it up, by golly! I’ve have friends who have crossed over into the caregiving role for their parents, whether they come to live with them or having to be involved in life decisions on their behalf. As always, it comes so fast, it just consumes you. Not sure how I could’ve prepared for it. So I (we) take it as it comes. And apparently it keeps coming.

Thank you for allowing me to share my life with you. Typically, when I write, it’s about my kids, parenting, situations. This is part of the circle of life, most of us will experience. #AMiracle4Dad

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At This Time

Human Trafficking is not a “Crime du Jour”
by JAK’s guest mom blogger from Racine,
Karri Hemmig

Human Trafficking is not a “Crime du Jour”

Recent sentencing in the Riverside case has caused human trafficking in Racine County to once again be in the news. Mr. Richards, Weatherspoon’s attorney, referred to it as the “crime du jour”, and dismissed it as a passing phase. The sentence handed down was 6 years in prison with 10 years probation. Four of those years were due to possession of a weapon with a felony, again supporting the idea that illegally possessing a gun is a more severe punishment than selling another human.

 Read more…


We understand that these cases can be very difficult to prosecute and commend the DA’s office and the Judge for the harshest sentence given to date on human trafficking crimes in Racine County. The juvenile trafficking charge was dropped in a plea agreement and carries a much harsher sentence.


Simply put: If you sell yourself and keep 100% of the profits, it’s prostitution. If you sell someone else and financially benefit from it, it’s trafficking. It’s a complicated criminal industry with many levels of force, fraud and coercion that may lead a victim to end up in that circumstance. Human trafficking victims often do not identify themselves as victims or may not be in a position to leave, creating confusion for service providers and family.


Across the nation human trafficking has been receiving more attention these days. But we know like all causes, this one will not always be in the spotlight. This does not mean it’s going away. It means we need to work harder now to set up networks of support for victims and education for everyone else on preventing, identifying, recovering and helping to restore victims of human trafficking.


Human Trafficking, or slavery, is one of the oldest crimes in the world and currently the second most profitable criminal industry behind drugs (guns rank third). It’s estimated to surpass drugs in the next five years and become the largest criminal industry. Today, it’s a 9.2 billion dollar profit in the United States. Sex trafficking occurs in all countries, all fifty states and territories, and in towns both large and small. It affects people of all ages, races, genders, education and economic levels. The average age of entry into the sex industry is 9-11 for boys and 12-14 for girls. This puts our middle and high school students in high risk. The term “trafficking” was coined in 2000 when The Victims Protection Act made it a federal crime. In 2015, we are now beginning to see more resources available on a federal level. It’s a start.


It’s often called a crime that is Hidden in Plain Sight as it is all around us and yet it takes an average of 5-7 times before a victim will be identified by a service provider. Trafficking is all around us and can be hard to recognize. It’s in our agriculture, restaurants, massage parlors, strip clubs, hotels, schools, manufacturing, among many others. To sum it up, it’s everywhere. The good news is that Racine is ahead of the curve and has developed a nationally recognized model of law enforcemant and social service partnership between the Racine Coalition Against Human Trafficking and the Racine Police Department to eradicate sex trafficking in Racine. We need your support.


It’s only the “crime du jour” to people who do not understand human trafficking. The good news is that there is education out there and the support and awareness is starting to increase. We plan to bring trainings, speakers, films, conferences, meetings and events to Racine to better support the community.


The Racine Coalition Against Human Trafficking is working hard to put resources in place and support agencies that assist victims. The Southeastern Wisconsin Human Trafficking Task Force that investigated this case is also working in partnership with us. For more information on RCAHT visit



Hemmig, Bitting and Meibers Family picturesAbout our guest blogger :

Karri Hemmig is the mother of three children and founder of the Racine Coalition Against Human Trafficking. Karri has a BA in Mass Communication from the College of Charleston and has spent most of her 25-year career in non-profit marketing and public relations. While serving as the Marketing Director for the Cincinnati Area Red Cross in Ohio, she has also worked for National American Red Cross as a member of Disaster Services public affairs team. Currently co-leader of the Dining for Women Racine Chapter, she supports international organizations working to eradicate slavery around the world. Karri is a member of the Racine Police Department’s Human Trafficking Task Force and most recently worked as a victim advocate during the FBI’s Operation Cross Country 2014.


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