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Issue Home August 25, 2010 Site Home

Boost Chances For School Success
Cabot Launchers New Web Site
Control Allergies & Breathe Easier
Friends Honor Student Volunteerism
Susky PIC Update
Back to School Shoe Program A Success
Library Announces Story Hour Registration
Medicare Covers Flu, Pneumonia Shots
Metroaction Announces New Staff Member
Stockholm Family Holds 54th Reunion
Summer Reading Program Complete


Boost Chances For School Success

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Your mother was right - breakfast is the most important meal of the day, according to an expert in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences.

Eating breakfast improves concentration, memory and problem-solving ability, said Katherine French, registered dietitian and extension educator in Mercer County. "Eating breakfast improves the brain's ability to function and gives you the energy to get you going and keep you going throughout the day."

This is especially important for school-age children because those who eat breakfast are more alert, less irritable, participate more fully in learning activities and have better behavior, noted French. "These kids have longer attention spans, get better test scores and are tardy and absent less often," she said. "Breakfast-eaters even make fewer visits to the school nurse."

Since breakfast-skippers consume more calories and fat later in the day than breakfast-eaters, researchers suggest that eating a nutritious breakfast helps to control body weight.

Despite the advantages of eating breakfast, some children (and adults) choose not to. They believe they don't have time, aren't hungry or just don't like breakfast foods. "But when it comes to kids not eating breakfast, the main reason they may not eat is that there may not be a parent or caregiver around at breakfast time," French said. "They need encouragement to eat and to help them to put together a quick, easy breakfast."

To encourage breakfast-time consumption, French suggested having quickly accessible breakfast items, such as ready-to-eat cereals, instant oatmeal, fresh fruits or juices, mini-bagels, muffins, toast, yogurt, string cheese and milk. "Set the breakfast table the night before," French urged. "For children, just seeing the bowl, spoon and box of cereal on the table is a good cue that they will be eating breakfast."

Parents can think outside the cereal box, too. "Breakfast choices do not have to be 'traditional' breakfast foods," said French. "Items such as sandwiches - grilled cheese, turkey, or peanut butter and jelly - or leftovers from last night's supper, such as a slice of pizza, taco, a stuffed baked potato, rice or noodles, still can make for a balanced healthy breakfast when accompanied by a glass of juice or low-fat milk."

Eating breakfast jump-starts a body's metabolism from an overnight fast, replenishing blood glucose stores. "When kids don't eat breakfast each day, they are unable to reach their full learning potential," said French. "It's hard to 'make up' for missed nutrients by eating later in the day. Skipping breakfast makes it difficult to get the adequate fiber, vitamins and minerals that are important for growing bodies."

"While any breakfast food is better than nothing, healthier choices will stay with a child longer until they eat their next snack or meal," explained French. Higher-fiber foods such as whole-grain breads and cereals digest more slowly, creating a more stable blood-sugar level and greater "staying power," according to French.

"Look for cereals with less than 5 grams of sugar per serving and shoot for 5 grams of fiber."

Enjoy high-sugar cereals and drinks sparingly, as they cause a quick rise in blood sugar and energy followed by hunger symptoms within an hour. The same for traditional breakfast foods such as bacon, sausage, biscuits and gravy, and fried hash browns - they are typically high in fat, cholesterol and salt, so look for lower-fat versions, or consume them in moderation, suggested French.

To combat the tendency of some homes to eschew breakfast, most school districts offer breakfast programs. These programs may or may not be based on income level, and they offer varying menu selections. Check with your local school district for more information.

"Just don't make breakfast complicated," cautioned French. "It doesn't have to be time-consuming or expensive. Plan ahead. Use your freezer: make a batch of muffins at the beginning of the week and pull out a few each night to have for breakfast the next day. You also can make your own French toast, waffles or pancakes and freeze them. When it's time for breakfast, just take them out of the freezer and pop them in the toaster."

Lots of quick, easy recipe ideas are available in Penn State's "Brighten Up with Breakfast" publication, which is available online at

For information on appropriate portion sizes, go to

"No one ever said that dinner had to be the 'family' meal," said French. "Turning off the TV in the morning and getting up just 10 minutes earlier can help make breakfast together a reality. Even just sitting down a few days a week together around the breakfast table can be a good time to check schedules, discuss upcoming events or just share with each other. A good breakfast can get everyone started on the right foot - nutritionally and emotionally."

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Cabot Launchers New Web Site

Montrose, PA - Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation premiered a new and improved website at the Cabot Community Picnic held on the grounds of the Montrose Area High School. The updated website incorporates a new layout with enhanced functionality and expanded access to information resources and educational materials especially helpful to residents of communities where Cabot operates.

“The new website was developed as a response to a number of comments we have received from community members here in Susquehanna County and from other communities where Cabot operates,” said George Stark, Director of External Affairs for Cabot. “This new site does a great job in making available the types of information the public wants to know about Cabot and our Marcellus Shale operations,” Stark added.

Information and resources provided on the website include company data and operations descriptions, investor information, media center, facts about natural gas energy, industry background, community resources, royalty owner information and key contacts. The enlarged library of educational resources includes videos, fact sheets and community event information. Additional resources and materials will be added to the site over time as it is available. The website maintains a range of items contained on the earlier version of the Cabot company website including employment and career opportunities.

The new website also adds enhanced interactive functionality. “We are excited about our ‘Ask Cabot’ page,” said George Stark. “Cabot is very interested in opportunities to interact with community members and ‘Ask Cabot’ is one of a number of channels Cabot is utilizing to promote dialog,” Stark added.

The new and improved website went live on August 14. Local residents who participated in the Cabot Community Picnic were able to see the new Cabot website on-screen at the event. Interested individuals can visit the site on the web at

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Control Allergies & Breathe Easier

(StatePoint) Many people battle allergies when the weather first warms. But the summer and fall seasons aren't exactly a symptom-free walk through the park, either!

Characterized by dry conditions and high humidity levels, these months can be just as troubling for allergy sufferers as the difficult spring season.

This year in particular is proving tough for many allergy sufferers. Itchy eyes, stuffed-up noses and profuse sneezing can detract from the fun of the warm-weather months. But a few simple tactics can help keep your sinuses clear and your days pleasant:

Get Tested. By consulting an allergist or isolating the causes of specific symptoms, you can get started by knowing exactly which allergens cause which symptoms. Whether it's hay fever, food allergies, asthma or eczema, the right knowledge can set you on your way towards a relatively allergy-free existence. Only then can you get the proper shots and take the proper measurements to avoid allergy triggers.

Change Your Diet. Most people don't consider how the foods they eat can contribute to allergy symptoms. Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, like fish oil and walnut oil, fight allergies and are all-natural anti-inflammatories. Fiber also can help with allergies related to your gastrointestinal tract, while apples and other antioxidant-rich foods improve lung health. Foods with zinc, including yogurt, chicken, tofu and ham, also are shown to help with breathing.

Use an Air Purifier. A strong air purifier is a quick and easy way to effectively eliminate many of the airborne impurities that exist in everybody's home.

If you are an allergy sufferer, be sure to use one with multiple filters, such as Amway's Atmosphere Air Purifier, an Energy Star Qualified product which relies on a three-filter system to eliminate 99.99 percent of airborne contaminants that pass through it. "The Atmosphere Air Purifier was the first air purifier certified by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America and Allergy Standards LTD," says Andy Gamm, a Brand Manager at Amway. "It effectively filters a number of bacteria and viruses out of the air, and its technology even can monitor the air quality in a room, detecting the level of contaminants such as pollen, dust and smoke."

An air purifier with different settings also helps. "When you want to clear the air of cooking, pet odors, smoke or other contaminants quickly and efficiently, turn on turbo power. You'll be able to clear and clean the air in a 390-square-foot room in approximately 30 minutes," he points out.

Be Vigilant. Before going outside, check the news to learn the pollen count and avoid the outdoors if the number is high. Peak pollen time is early in the morning from 5 a.m. to 10 a.m. When you come back, a shower can eliminate many outdoor contaminants.

Avoiding bothersome allergies and breathing easier is about being vigilant both inside and outside your home and monitoring your own body.

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Friends Honor Student Volunteerism

While 2010 graduating seniors received many scholastic and athletic awards at the county's high schools, one community group honored seniors for their involvement in community service.

“The Friends of Susquehanna County,” presented five individual awards of $250 to students from the six school districts within Susquehanna County, (Blue Ridge, Elk Lake, Forest City, Montrose, Mountain View, and Susquehanna Community). These students made an effort, along with their many scholastic and athletic responsibilities, to give time and service to assist those in need within their communities.

Pictured (l-r) above: Elk Lake Guidance Counselor Jaclyn Litwin, Friends Volunteer Award winner Cody Anderson, Friends of Susquehanna County Chairman Alice Deutsch.

Friends member Carol McNamara, who oversaw the selection process, states," I was so impressed with the applicants. Along with carrying a full study load, being involved in extra-curricular activities and working part-time, these young people found time for volunteer efforts, which circled around their high school passions and piggy-backed organizations they had belonged to since the 9th grade." The students carried a full load of subjects in their senior year, including Advanced Placement courses and Dual Enrollment courses.

The various volunteer activities for these five students included weekly projects with the Big Brother/Big Sister program, Students Against Drunk Driving, Student Council Feed a Friend, 4-H, Girl Scouts, Hospital work and assisting the elderly, State Park improvement and clean up activities, the Recycling program, and outreach events for their individual Churches. The recipients were:

Jocelyn Oakley, Blue Ridge School District, she will attend Utica College in the fall.

Cody Anderson of Elk Lake School District will be attending Broome Community College.

Elaine Mackey of Mountain View School District will attend Lackawanna Community College.

Montrose Area School District, Mackenzie Dearborn, will attend Ithaca College.

Susquehanna Community High School recipient TJ (Thomas) Kelly will attend Binghamton University.

Friends of Susquehanna County is a non profit organization dedicated to helping residents and organizations of Susquehanna County through fund raising for charitable and educational purposes.

The Friends of Susquehanna County meets monthly May through November, holding one major fundraiser, a Harvest Fest, set this year for Saturday, Sept. 25, at the Colonial Brick parking lot in Hallstead. New members are always welcome. Contact Chairman Alice Deutsch at (570) 756-2044 for information.

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Susky PIC Update

The Susquehanna Community School Parent Involvement Committee would like to thank all those individuals that helped out in making the elementary yearbook a success. By now, all students should have received their copy in the mail along with the sponsors. If by chance you did not receive a copy, please email the PIC at Additional copies will be made available at the beginning of the school year.

The PIC is reaching out to the seniors of the high school and to school organizations for assistance with upcoming activities. If interested please email PIC. The committee will be holding a free dance for the 4th, 5th and 6th graders in September along with a free dance for the 7th, 8th and 9th graders.

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Back to School Shoe Program A Success

"This is done out of the kindness of people's hearts." The words of Susquehanna County Interfaith's office manager Dawn Fearnley were spoken out of excitement and awe at the delivery of 100 brand new backpacks sent by an anonymous donor. In so many ways, this phrase describes perfectly the team effort and generosity of Susquehanna County as many churches, clubs, businesses and individuals give to make Interfaith's annual Back to School Shoe Program a reality.

In 2009, 317 children received new shoes, and about half of those children also received backpacks. Unfortunately, there was not enough funding to provide backpacks for every child, and the program ended with about 50 children on a waiting list who could not receive shoes. Interfaith's goals this year were to eliminate a waiting list and to provide backpacks for every child in the program who needed one.

Pictured above from left: Sandy Llewellyn, Susan Gesford, Colleen Wilkes, Tina Roe, Friends of Susquehanna County Chairman Alice Deutsch, Sharon Kinsley, Susquehanna County Interfaith Director Rachel Pratt, Barbara Hinkley, Paulette Rafferty, Friends Treasurer Suzanne Cobb, Mary Lee Dayton and Carol McNamara.

When the Friends of Susquehanna County non-profit charitable organization learned of these needs, they responded in a moving way. They collected and presented a special gift of $1,000 to Interfaith's Director Rachel Pratt. "Many people have told me that this is a great place to live and that you could find no more generous people than those in Susquehanna County. This year's School Shoe Program has given me a beautiful illustration of this caring love in action," Pratt shared, as members presented her with their gift on August 16.

Friends of Susquehanna County has been in existence for about 12 years, and has a history of generously supporting many charitable efforts. As Chairman Alice Deutsch recounts, "we have assisted Big Brothers/Big Sisters, the Women's Resource Center, the Caring Cafe, and many other organizations in the county." The organization was also instrumental in starting the United Way of Susquehanna County, which contributes annually to countless worthy groups and causes.

This year's gift to the shoe program is not the first time Friends of Susquehanna County has helped with Interfaith's programs. Most recently, they also gave toward the 2009-2010 Fuel Program. This gift played a part in providing heating assistance to 108 families in need.

The collective partnership of so many people has produced impressive results. This year a little over 300 children received brand new school shoes, leaving no waiting list at the close of the program. Two hundred-fourteen backpacks were given, which provided for every child who needed one. The excitement on so many children's faces as they chose their own backpacks and shoes, and the gratitude that so many parents expressed over and over again prove that the sacrifice of many people has made a difference.

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Library Announces Story Hour Registration

The Pre-School Story Hour Program at the Susquehanna County Library location in Montrose held graduation ceremonies on Tuesday and Wednesday, May 25 and 26, at which children received diplomas certifying attendance during the '09-'10 school year. Story Hour at the Montrose location of the Susquehanna County Historical Society & Free Library Association runs each year from September through May. For an hour each week, 3 1/2 to 5 year olds listen to a story, watch a movie, play games, and make a craft to take home. There are two sessions, Tuesdays or Wednesdays. Special programs during the year celebrate holidays and occasions like National Library Week. "Story Hour is often a child's first introduction to group activities," said Amy Johnson, Story Hour Director. "It's wonderful to see how much they change and grow over the year. We all have a lot of fun."

Pictured (l-r) above, Tuesday Story Hour graduates: Mrs. Karen Reed, Nicholas Barlow, Alexandra Dietz, Paige Brewer, Gelina Smith, Velena Gardner, Ronnie Raffensberger, Mrs. Amy Johnson, Christopher Losier. Photo courtesy of McVaugh Photography.

Pictured (l-r) above, Wednesday Story Hour graduates: Aspen Smith, Mrs. Karen Reed, Dilan Rafferty, Jessa Hall, Andrew Chidester, Matthew Carrier, Hayleigh Krupinski, Rachel Hunter, Ryan Stallings, Gavin Mooney, Mrs. Amy Johnson, Riley Keihl, Kyle Oleniacz. Photo courtesy of McVaugh Photography.

This past spring, special visitors came to Story Hour: Dr. David Rechlicz, dental health; Vince Birchard, Jim Krupinski, Ryan Tator and Justin Tyler, Montrose Minute Men Emergency Medical Services; Doug Lotten, United Fire Company; and Trooper Bill Satkowski, Pennsylvania State Police Dunmore.

Registration for the '10-'11 Story Hour program, which runs during the school year, is now underway at the library location in Montrose. Call 570-278-1881 for details (registration must be in person).

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