This Week's Facts:
State Tourism Office Offers Tips for Family Fun in the Sun
The kids are out of school and summer is here! Looking for something to do this summer in Indiana? The Indiana Department of Tourism has a list of the Top Ten Summer Gotta-Do’s to help you plan your summer activities right here in Indiana. There are a number of activities ranging from Holiday World and Splashin’ Safari to taking a hike in Clifty Falls State Park. There’s something to do for everyone, whether you’re a lifelong Hoosier or new to the state. Check out some of the great deals and attractions the Hoosier State has to offer.
Summer Jobs+ is a voluntary initiative to encourage business, non-profits, and government entities to provide pathways to employment for low-income youth this summer. These pathways include teaching life skills through coursework and/or experience, work skills through job shadow days and internships, and “learn and earn” by hiring youth and providing them with on-the-job skills. Employers can register with the program and allow students on vacation to search and apply for jobs. See the toolkit to find out what employers can do. Students can sign up to receive updates on new jobs in their area, or search the job bank themselves. There is also a widget your library can add to your website, that allows people to search the bank.
Friday Facts Editorial Team:
It may feel like it’s been summer for months, but the season only officially started this past Wednesday on June 20th. At 5:09 PM MDT on Wednesday, the sun was directly over the Tropic of Cancer, thus marking the Summer Solstice. The sun will maintain a high noontime position for several days, which is actually where the term “solstice” comes from – it is from the Latin solstitium, which is sol (sun) + stit-, istes (standing). Scijinks, a website sponsored by NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association, has a nice explanation of the solstice. Check it out for further details about the solstice, as well as an explanation of the terms “Tropic of Cancer” and “Tropic of Capricorn.”
It’s not just about the science, though. Many societies throughout history have celebrated the longest day of the year. It’s widely believed that one of the purposes of Stonehenge in England was to honor the solstices and equinoxes. Scandinavians and Americans of Scandinavian decent still celebrate the Midsummer Festival as well.
Check out this calendar from the Naval Oceanography Portal to find out the dates of the solstices and equinoxes through 2020. Happy summer!
Starting a garden is a fun way to teach your kids about healthy fruits and vegetables and get some exercise as you work on a project together. You don't have to be horticultural expert to grow a simple garden this year, just use these tips from Kids.gov and you and your kids can be growing your own food in no time.
Find a good site for your garden: You want an area that gets plenty of sunlight, at least six hours each day. You'll also want to make sure your garden is in an area that is protected from animals. You may need to put up a small wire fence to keep hungry rabbits, deer, or other animals away from your growing plants. If you're tight on space, you can grow some plants in boxes on a windowsill.
Pick which plants to grow: Some fruits and vegetables grow better in some parts of the country than others. When you're shopping for seeds and plants, ask an employee for advice on what grows well in your area. You can also get tips from a Master Gardener, someone who has been trained by the USDA and volunteers their time to help people grow gardens.
Be careful when weeding: You don't want weeds to absorb all the nutrients in the soil or choke your crops, but you want to make sure you don't harm any of your crop when pulling up weeds. Weed carefully to preserve your plants.
Get help from your cooperative extension office: Cooperative extension offices are located throughout the country to help answer your questions about gardening and more. Find the office near you to get answers to specific questions.
If you really enjoy the time you spend in the garden with your child, you might want to look into the Junior Master Gardener program. The program offers a full community learning experience through gardening.
Whether you and your child only grow a few herbs this year or if you have an entire gardening bursting with fresh produce, you can have a fun time playing in the garden and enjoy the taste of home-grown food.
These tips are brought to you as a courtesy of the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) via the KIDS.gov website.
Summer in Indiana means sun, fun, long days, and knozone action days. The Indiana Department of Environmental Management has a Smog Watch site to share daily air quality forecasts. Smog Watch offers daily information about ground-level ozone and particulate matter air quality forecasts, health information, and monitoring data for seven Indiana regions. Indiana experiences its highest levels of ground-level ozone from mid-May until mid-September. The Smog Watch site contains information and resources such as Indiana air quality forecasts, Map of Ozone Monitors, information about ozone, and many other links to information about air quality and its effects on your health. Enjoy your summer with these and other tips to keep you and your loved ones safe and healthy.
Cooking outdoors was once only a summer activity shared with family and friends. Now more than half of Americans say they are cooking outdoors year round. So whether the snow is blowing or the sun is shining brightly, it's important to follow food safety guidelines to prevent harmful bacteria from multiplying and causing foodborne illness. Use these simple guidelines for grilling food safely from the USDA.
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