This Week's Facts:
Raise Autism Awareness in April
April is National Autism Awareness Month, sponsored by several national and state-level organizations to create awareness about a neurological condition that continues to be more prevalent in the U.S. The Centers for Disease Control defines Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) as a group of developmental disabilities that can cause significant social, communication, and behavioral challenges. As stated by the CDC, the data tell us one thing with certainty—more children are being identified as having ASDs than ever before and these children and their families need help. According to the American Academy of Neurology, Autism begins in childhood, with signs and symptoms most likely noticeable before age 3. There are several screenings and tests a pediatrician can do. Treatment can start early and can change as young patients grow and mature. The national Autism Society, the Autism Society of Indiana, and the charity Autism Speaks are key online resources for information locally and worldwide. Use the AutismSource search for resources near you.
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Celebrate Arbor Day with these Online Tools
Spring is finally here! This is the time of regeneration, renewal, and all things green! In addition to planting flowers and grass, it’s time to celebrate Arbor Day and plant trees. National Arbor Day is today, the last Friday in April. Some states observe the day at different times to correspond with the best tree planting weather. Nebraska Citizens planted more than one million trees in celebration first Arbor Day, April 10, 1872. This fulfilled the dream of J. Sterling Morton, a newspaper editor and former governor of the Nebraska Territory. He had lobbied for a holiday to encourage planting trees. In 1885, thirteen years after Arbor Day was first celebrated, Nebraskans changed the date to April 22nd in honor of his birthday. By 1907, Arbor Day was observed in every state in the Union, mainly through school programs.
Through these celebrations, students were urged to consider the planting of a tree as a patriotic, even pious, act as well as a sound investment and a contribution to community aesthetics. There are many ways to celebrate Arbor Day. You can organize group celebrations or you can celebrate individually. There’s the obvious act of planting a tree, but you can also celebrate by reading about trees, attending a class about tree and plant care, volunteering with local tree-planting organizations and community beautification projects. The ideas are endless! If you need tips on how to keep your trees healthy, click here. Remember to celebrate Arbor Day and help the environment. Happy Arbor Day!
Investment Watch Travels State to Combat Fraud
Indiana’s Investment Watch is an investor education program designed to increase financial literacy for Hoosiers and educate them about investment scams, different types of fraud, and basic personal finance concepts. The program is run through the office of the Indiana Secretary of State. For this reason, the office is an active participant in Money Smart Week 2014, April 5-12. This year, Indiana Investment Watch, Secretary Connie Lawson, and members of the Securities Division all took part in a number of programs across the state. In partnership with Mental Health America of Greater Indianapolis, Indiana Investment Watch held a financial literacy workshop for persons in recovery. At that event, we showed participants how to create and use a budget, how to start the debt repayment process, and how to cut expenses.
Indiana Investment Watch also traveled to several community libraries to teach senior citizens about how to detect and avoid investment fraud. In partnership with the CFA Society of Indianapolis, Secretary Lawson, Chief Deputy Securities Commissioner Alex Glass, and Investor Education Coordinator Kelly Griese talked with people in Indianapolis and Carmel about the investment fraud cases our office investigates and discussed the red flags of fraud. The office also took part in several screenings and discussion panels for the WFYI-produced documentary “Fleeced.” Finally, our office partnered with the Indiana Council for Economic Education in hosting the $mart Indiana Financial Literacy Summit. Participants took part in workshops to learn how they might implement or improve financial literacy programming in their schools and organizations.
This article was submitted by Kelly Griese, Investor Education Coordinator for the Indiana Secretary of State.
DNR Welcomes Back Visitors to Indiana's State Parks
The weekend features outdoor programs; free admission for veterans and active duty military personnel on Saturday, May 3; free admission for everyone on Sunday, May 4; and an invitation to share pictures and tweet about your state park visit. The free admission also applies to state forest recreation areas.
Sunday, May 4 also kicks off Travel Indiana Week, sponsored by the Indiana Office of Tourism Development. Most entrance gates at state parks and reservoirs will still be staffed May 4 so visitors can purchase their annual pass, lake permit, or horse tags for the season. An Annual Entrance Pass costs $40 for a state resident and $20 for state residents ages 65 and older. An out-of-state pass costs $60. Special SPR Go! Value Packages that include Annual Entrance Passes can be purchased at innsgifts.com.
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