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This Week's Facts:

  1. Celebrate National Parks and Recreation Month

  2. ICJI Encourages Motorcycle Safety

  3. Agencies Offer Advice to Beat the Heat this Summer

  4. Federal PSA Highlights Benefits of

State Department Offers Website for Future Diplomats

The future of the U.S. depends on the knowledge and attitudes of generations to come. The U.S. Department of State manages a website for youth based on the idea that, “Youth are the world’s future diplomats, Start now!” This is a portal especially for the under-18 crowd that describes the functions and importance of the State Department around the world. Librarians can lead young patrons to State Department biographies, fun activities for grades K-6, the latest news, and future career opportunities.

Check out the Parents and Educators page for lesson plans, links to publications, and other online resources.

Friday Facts is a production of the Indiana State Library

Friday Facts Editorial Team:

Katharine Springer
State Data Center Coordinator

Elisabeth O’Donnell
Documents Librarian
Kim Brown-Harden
Documents Coordinator

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Celebrate National Parks and Recreation Month this July

National Parks and Recreation Month

In 1985, July was designated as National Parks and Recreation Month.  Since then, parks and recreation facilities around the country have organized events to celebrate.  The National Recreation and Parks Association lists several health benefits to frequenting local parks: it can reduce stress, improve cardiovascular health, ward off obesity and reduce feelings of depression.  Increased exercise and sunshine is linked to all of these.

Not quite sure what to do or where to go?  If you’re interested in history, check out the National Register of Historic Places Travel Itineraries.  They list itineraries of historic locations by state as well as by topic.  You may be more interested in visiting national forests.  There’s a site for that, too!  For those of you doing a lot of traveling, an Annual Pass to US Recreational Lands may be the thing.  These cost $80 apiece and are available on the US Geological Survey website.  The United States is full of national trails.  The National Park Service has a website with information about those trails and how to get there.  Hoosiers interested in fishing and/or hunting will want to visit the Division of Fish and Wildlife to get their licenses.  Finally, those of you who know you want to do something but aren’t sure what should go to  This is a great clearinghouse site that gives information about camping, historic sites, day tours and more from around the country.  So celebrate National Parks and Recreation Month and get out and have fun!

Criminal Justice Institute Encourages Motorcycle Safety

Indiana Criminal Justice InstituteThere’s nothing better than riding your Harley or your Chopper on Indiana’s roads and country sides, but do you know how to protect yourself and others on the road from accidents and fatalities?  The Traffic Safety Division of the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute (ICJI) is responsible for developing and implementing programs to help reduce the number of motorcycle accidents.  In 2008, motorcycles and mopeds were involved in 3,814 collisions in Indiana, resulting in 133 fatalities. These deaths included 118 motorcycle operators, 12 motorcycle passengers, one driver and one passenger of another vehicle, and one pedestrian. The number of persons killed in motorcycle crashes in Indiana continued to increase in 2008.  In the spring of 2007, The Traffic Safety division was awarded Section 2010 Funds from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to implement motorcycle safety programming in Indiana. These funds allowed for the purchase of training motorcycles to be used by students at rider training courses.  Enjoy the freedom and excitement of the open road this summer and remember to keep safe on the road.

Agencies Offer Advice to Beat the Heat this Summer

Indiana State Department of HealthYou can keep a cool head when the weather is hot by following tips from the Centers for Disease Control about preventing heat-related illness. Their Emergency Preparedness and Response Extreme Heat website includes a Prevention Guide, Heat Stress Resources for Workers and the Elderly, and FAQ about Extreme Heat. The Federal Emergency Management Agency also has an Are You Ready? website that describes heat terminology and encourages citizens to prepare for extreme heat. You can also view tips for beating the heat on the Indiana Department of Homeland Security’s Extreme Heat and the Indiana State Department of Health’s Health Tips for Hot Weather websites.

New Federal PSA Highlights Benefits of

Anyone looking for a good laugh should look up the General Services Administration’s new Public Service Announcement: “For the people.”  Following the success of nearly thirty years of public service announcements, this new one is an oddly apropos spoof of Michael Jackson, et al’s “We are the world.”  This short video is designed to extol the benefits of  It even comes complete with “celebrity” vocalists.  Last year’s video was a spoof on The Wizard of Oz

PSAs in the past appeared on television and promoted government information services such as the Federal Citizen Information Center.  In addition to appearing online, the new one has also been provided to local television stations on DVD.