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This Week's Facts:

  1. Congress in the Classroom Program Seeks Applicants
  2. Poison Prevention Week is Somethin' to Believe In
  3. Local Unemployment Data Available through STATS

Amber Alerts Available through Wireless Devices

Wireless Amber AlertsEvery second that a child goes missing makes it more unlikely that a child will be found. The first three hours after a child's abduction are the most critical to recovery efforts. The National Wireless AMBER alerts initiative is a partnership between the wireless industry, the United States Department of Justice, and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) to distribute Amber Alerts to wireless subscribers who opt to receive the messages on their wireless devices.

The Amber alerts program began in 1997 using radio as its primary means of dissemination. Today, Amber Alerts have gone high-tech, to include television, websites, and electronic highway signs. You can sign up for free Amber alerts on your cell phone; it’s quick and may help save a child’s life.

Friday Facts is a production of the Indiana State Library

Friday Facts is written and edited by:

Katharine Springer
State Data Center Coordinator
Elisabeth O’Donnell
Federal Documents Librarian
Kim Brown-Harden
State Documents Coordinator

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Congress in the Classroom Program Seeks Applicants

Congress in the Classroom is a program designed to Dirksen Congressional Centerinstruct teachers on new methods of teaching about Congress and the United States Government. The program is sponsored by the Dirksen Congressional Center and held in Peoria, Illinois for three days in late July. High school and middle school teachers who teach history, social studies, government or political science are encouraged to apply. The application deadline is April 15, 2009 and forty participants will be selected. While this program is designed for teachers rather than librarians, libraries may be interested in posting this for any teachers in their community.

Those who are not selected for the workshop can also learn about new teaching techniques via the online edition. Children and young adults may be interested in the Dirksen Center’s Congress for Kids website. This interactive site uses activities and fun illustrations to teach kids about Congress. Of course, both the Senate and the House of Representatives have their own websites, both of which provide access to current legislation, as well as information about members of Congress and the history of the institutions.

For more information on Congress in the Classroom, please see the Dirksen Center’s information sheet.

YUCK! Poison Prevention Week Starts Next Week

Poison Prevention WeekMarch 15-21 2009 marks National Poison Prevention Week. More than 2 million poisonings are reported to poison control centers each year. Most of these cases that are non-fatal occur among children under the age of six. National Poison Prevention Week was designed to inform the public about the prevalence of accidental poisonings in the home and elsewhere, and to shed light on ways to prevent such events from happening.

The Poison Prevention Week Council, which was established by Congress in 1961, provides a handy list of materials that discuss the dangers of various poisons – whether they be plants, medicines, lead or pesticides. Many of these materials are downloadable and most are free.

The US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) also provides a list of publications discussing poison prevention. All of these can be downloaded. Check out the Center for Disease Control’s website for additional publications. They provide access to governmental reports on poison prevention. The website also includes a link to the CDC’s Podcast on poisonings. Finally, as summer draws near, adults, children and animals all have easier access to pesticides. Visit the EPA’s website on pesticide safety for more information.

Local Unemployment Data Available Through STATS

STATS IndianaAre you looking for the latest employment data for your county or metro area? The Indiana Department of Workforce Development and STATS Indiana provide Local Area Unemployment Statistics through the updated Hoosiers by the Numbers website, a state-based portal to workforce information. Especially interesting are the line graphs produced automatically which detail the changes in the workforce from last year to this year, for your selected area. You can receive your results in Word, Excel, or by email. Where does your county rank along with other Indiana counties? Select the Publications tab and choose Ranking of Indiana Counties by Unemployment Rate for January 2009.