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Friday Facts: Government Information You Can Use

This Week's Facts:

  1. New Auto Labels Provide Fuel Economy Data

  2. Help Raise Sickle Cell Awareness this Week

  3. Community Volunteer Opportunities Easy to Find

  4. New Government Portal Promotes Digital Literacy

State Offers Labor Guidelines for Teen Employment

Now that school is out for the summer, Indiana’s teens will be looking for summer employment. While gaining work experience is beneficial for future endeavors, it’s important to know your rights and be aware of workplace safety measures. The Indiana Department of Labor, Bureau of Child Labor administers and enforces Teen employment laws. Employers, managers, schools, and teens can receive training and resources on Child Labor Laws and safe workplace practices. Click here for a list of training sessions to ensure your compliance with these important laws. For more information, you can email the Department of Labor or check the Frequently Asked Questions Page. This will also give you directions for obtaining a work permit. By law, Hoosiers between the ages of 14 & 17 are required to get one in order to work. Remember to always ask questions if you or your child is unsure of a work-related issue. Being informed helps to ensure that you are in a safe work environment.

New Government Portal Promotes Digital Literacy

The U.S. Department of Commerce has launched DigitalLiteracy.gov, a gateway to materials, research, and online learning tools for librarians and educators to access and share materials used for training learners of all ages on topics such as computer skills, digital literacy and more. The Dept. of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration created the portal in partnership with nine federal agencies (including the Institute for Museum & Library Services) to provide librarians, teachers, workforce trainers and others a central location to share digital literacy content and practices. Individuals are welcome to visit the site to find resources, upload their own and/or connect with others who are offering training on these topics.

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Friday Facts Editorial Team:

Katharine Springer
State Data Center Coordinator

Elisabeth O’Donnell
Federal Documents Librarian
&

Kim Brown-Harden
State Documents Coordinator

Indiana Federal Depository Library Program

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New Auto Labels Provide Fuel Economy Data

FuelEconomy.govLast week we told you about FuelEconomy.gov. One of their latest projects, a joint effort between the DOT and the EPA, is the manufacturing of new fuel economy labels for cars. Auto dealers have been required to put fuel economy labels on cars for the past thirty years; however, this is the biggest overhaul to the system since its beginnings. The goal of the new labels is to provide the most information regarding fuel economy as possible, thus allowing consumers to make educated decisions about the cars they are buying. According to this press release from the EPA, the new labels will provide new ways to compare energy use and cost between new-technology cars, estimates on how much consumers will save or spend on fuel over the next five years, an estimate on how much fuel or electricity it will take to drive a hundred miles, and more. These labels will start showing up early next year for 2013 vehicles. Dealers can also voluntarily adopt the labels for 2012 vehicles. These are required by the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. For more information, be sure to visit the EPA website.

Help Raise Sickle Cell Awareness this Week

World Sickle Cell Awareness Day - June 19This Sunday, June 19, is World Sickle Cell Anemia Awareness Day. In 2008, the United Nations adopted a resolution to recognize sickle cell disease (SCD) as a public health problem. According to the National Human Genome Research Institute, SCD is the most common inherited blood disorder in the United States. SCD is most prevalent among African-Americans (striking 1 in 500; 1 in 12 carry the gene), but it can also affect those of Mediterranean, Indian, or South American descent. SDC causes abnormal hemoglobin molecules to stick to each other when they normally wouldn’t. These structures cause red blood cells to form a sickle shape, which can cause blockages and other types of damage to organs. In order to get SDC, both of your parents must be carriers. In the past, those who suffered from the disease rarely survived childhood. However, new treatments such as antibiotics and blood transfusions have allowed patients to live well into adulthood. Unfortunately, there still is not a reliable cure. Bone marrow transplants have been known to cure the disease, but the bone marrow must be donated by a healthy sibling of the patient. Only 18% of children suffering from the disease have a sibling without the disease who is also a match. The theme of this year’s Sickle Cell Awareness Day is to “educate and unite.” Its goal is to inform as many people as possible as to the necessity of finding a cure for this disease. To find out further information about it, be sure to check out the Genetics Home Reference page on SCD from the National Library of Medicine.

Community Volunteer Opportunities Easy to Find

United We ServeGoing to camp and school are not the only activities your kids can do this summer. Getting them out of the house to help volunteer in your community is a great alternative to the usual summer routine, and it's something you may be able to do together. There's no shortage of opportunities to do charitable work, from food banks and clothing drives to community emergency preparedness and health events. No matter what you choose, it's relatively easy to join a group of people working for a good cause. Use these tips from the Federal Citizen Information Center to get connected with a charitable group, create your own project or participate in long-term volunteer work:

How to Become a Volunteer

Serve.gov is a great place to start your search for places to volunteer. It was created by the federal government as part of a nationwide initiative promoting community service. Serve.gov can help you:

  • Search for volunteer opportunities by topic of interest and geographical area

  • Learn about volunteer work available in your community

  • Get contact information for organizations seeking volunteers

  • Share your experience with others

How to Create Your Own Volunteer Project

You can also create your own volunteer project tailored to the needs of your community. This might be a good opportunity for parents and children to share a fun and educational new experience. Serve.gov features toolkits with step-by-step instructions to help you create community campaigns for:

If you start your own project, you can also use Serve.gov to promote your initiative and to look for volunteers.

Long-Term Volunteer Work

For some, volunteering is a commitment that goes beyond the summer. There are federal programs that offer volunteer work both in the United States and in foreign countries:

  • AmeriCorps is a network of domestic volunteer programs with full-time volunteer work in different parts of the country. Here you'll find opportunities in urban and rural development, infrastructure improvement and emergency assistance.

  • Peace Corps offers full-time volunteer work in other countries for periods of about 27 months. Volunteers get to work in different areas of interest all over the world.

This article is brought to you courtesy of The Federal Citizen Information Center, connecting people with government benefits, services, and information through its family of websites, including Pueblo.gsa.gov, USA.gov, GobiernoUSA.gov and ConsumerAction.gov; by phone at 1-800-FED-INFO (1-800-333-4636); and with publications by mail from Pueblo, Colorado. FCIC is part of the U.S. General Services Administration’s Office of Citizen Services and Innovative Technologies.

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