Austin Ed Fund Announces ‘Student Opportunity Fund’ Grant Recipients

- Over $39,000 awarded in grants to support local small campus-based projects in Austin ISD - 

Mr. Min at Akins Early College High School.

Mr. Min at Akins Early College High School.

Austin Ed Fund, a recognized champion of the Austin Independent School District (AISD), has announced today that they will award more than $39,600 in Student Opportunity Fund grants for its fall 2019 cycle. The Student Opportunity Fund supports campus-based projects that provide educational enhancement for students considered economically disadvantaged in AISD.

Student Opportunity Fund grants support time-sensitive campus academic or extracurricular needs not covered by the campus budget. Requests include funds to provide experiences to students such as exposure to colleges, field trips, academic materials and equipment, and cultural opportunities. Since 2013, Austin Ed Fund has awarded over $680,000 in teacher grants.

“Thanks to generous donors to the Austin Ed Fund, these grants help level the playing field for our students,” says Michelle Wallis, Executive Director of the Austin Ed Fund and AISD’s Office of Innovation and Development. “We are thrilled to be able to support these amazing projects and initiatives and congratulate our teachers who go above and beyond to support our students. However, we have to acknowledge the huge gap between available funds and what our students and teachers need. This fall alone, we saw a gap of more than $250,000 in funds needed to support the initiatives that teachers applied for through our Student Opportunity Fund. The needs are great, and we invite the community to give to make sure our students and teachers have everything they need to be successful.” 

Fourteen grants were divided among twelve AISD schools all over the city for a variety of initiatives, including funding for field trips, academic support and musical instruments.

The 2019 Student Opportunity Fund Grant winners are as follows:

AISD AVID Department: $4,752

Off to a Running Start: One criteria for college readiness for students in an AVID Elective is taking the PSAT in 8th grade; this project will fund students in need of financial assistance. 

Akins High School: $1,500

Real World Criminal Justice Experience: The priority of the funding is to cover competition registration fees and allow for equipment purchases to be used to test their knowledge, skills, and abilities in a real world, tangible scenario. 

Becker Elementary: $1,074

It Takes a Village: This funding will go toward field trips, showing students that they have adults who care about them and who will expose them to culturally rich opportunities, making the students more engaged members of their community. 

Blazier Elementary: $1,438

Let’s Build a Community of Readers: This funding will allow children to be exposed to books and start building a love of reading.

Brooke Elementary: $645

Learning to Invest in Our Natural Self: This funding will provide staff with common curriculum and language to remove obstacles to learning for students and support them as they navigate changes.

Casey Elementary: $3,990

ROX (Ruling Our eXperiences) Empowerment Program for Girls: This program is a 20-week, evidence-based empowerment program for girls that focuses on team building and healthy relationships. ROX teaches girls skills required to address the challenges and pressures they face every day. 

Dawson Elementary: $1,497

A Trip to Remember: This will allow students and their parents to go on an end-of-year field trip to Morgan’s Wonderland, an all-inclusive amusement park for kids with special needs. 

Dawson Elementary: $2,850

Community Experiences for Dawson Pre-K and ECSE: This funding will allow all Mollie Dawson Elementary students in Pre-K and Early Childhood Special Education to participate in various study trips connected to thematic units. 

Dobie Middle School: $10,000

Dobie/Northeast Orchestra Reboot: This project aims to provide each student with an orchestra instrument and private lessons, with the goal of resurrecting Northeast High School’s orchestra. It will also strengthen Dobie’s vertical alignment with Northeast and keep students wanting to stay in AISD. 

Eastside Memorial High School: $3,500

Research and Education Activities for Community Health (REACH) Research and Education Activities for Community Health REACH for New Horizons aims to increase awareness of community research around minority and underserved communities in East Austin. Funding will be focused on providing high school students with the real experience of working with a community-based organization that has a history of collaboration with special populations of targeted areas. 

Martin Middle School: $1,000 

AP Test Funding for Spanish College Credit: This funding will pay for each student to take the Spanish AP test in order to earn both high school and college credit. 

Perez Elementary: $4,110

Read. Write. Lead! By publishing their own books, Perez students will become the creators of the diverse books needed in every school library and classroom, as they tell their own stories. These student-written books will serve as mirrors where students can see themselves reflected.

Travis High School: $2,800

Travis ECHS Social Studies Department Creative Learning Field Trips: This will allow all students to go to Blanton Art Museum once per semester. There, students will experience hands-on workshops as a creative learning initiative. Additionally, students will tour the UT Austin campus in order to explore their post-secondary options after graduation. 

Walnut Creek Elementary: $520

Gettin’ Diggy With It: This archeological expedition is designed to give students exposure to one-of-a-kind experiences in STEM fields where they can do hands-on investigations. Our students will be led by researchers through critical archaeological field work and teach them how to get diggy with it.

This funding opportunity is awarded two to three times a year and is exclusively for Austin ISD educators and campus leaders. Projects must be able to measure the impact of the grant and serve a targeted group or campus where the student population is greater than 70 percent economically disadvantaged. The Student Opportunity Fund awards grants up to $10,000. For more information on the Student Opportunity Fund, please visitwww.austinedfund.org/student-opportunity-fund

About Austin Ed Fund:

Austin Ed Fund is a recognized champion of Austin ISD. A 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, Austin Ed Fund develops and stewards meaningful public-private partnerships that promote innovation and support opportunities that prepare Austin ISD students for college, career, and life. The organization has successfully served as a catalyst and facilitated over $20 million in support for Austin ISD strategic priorities and initiatives since 2001. Austin Ed Fund empowers teachers and students through two campus-based grant programs. Through these programs, Austin Ed Fund has awarded over $680,000 since 2015. For more information, visit www.austinedfund.org.

5 Financial Tips for Teens

When it comes to economics, many teens’ mouths write checks their knowledge can’t cash.

While 93% of American teens say they know how the economy works, 29% have had no economic schooling, according to a survey of 1,000 U.S. teens ages 13-18 by Wakefield Research on behalf of Junior Achievement and the Charles Koch Foundation. Even in light of their false confidence, teens are aware of the importance of financial education.

Although the study identified numerous gaps in economic and financial knowledge, it also showed teens do know where to look for credible information. Two-thirds (67%) recognize they should use their school as a resource.

“One of the things we hear often is that some textbooks are written too academically for most students to understand the concepts,” said Jack E. Kosakowski, president and CEO of Junior Achievement USA. “Our programs, which work as a complement to the school curriculum, are written from the perspective of today’s teens and use digital content to help bring economic concepts to life for students.”

Beyond the classroom, another 63% of students believe they should use their parents as resources for economics education. Help influence the financial literacy of a teen in your life with these practical money-management tips adapted from the curriculum.

Set goals. Managing your money is more meaningful when you’re doing it with purpose. This might mean budgeting to ensure you have enough money to maintain your auto insurance and keep gas in your car, or you may be saving for a big senior trip. Knowing what you want to achieve with your money can help you plan how you spend it more wisely.

Weigh needs vs. wants. When you begin making your own money, it’s easier to indulge your own wishes and spend money on things you don’t necessarily need. To some extent, that’s not a bad thing; rewarding yourself is fine when you do so within reason. That means not exceeding your available funds, and not forsaking things you truly need, like gas money to get to and from a job or school.

Get a debit card. Most people find that having cash on hand makes it easier to spend. If you use a debit card instead, you’re an extra step away from spending so you have a little more time to consider your purchase. Another benefit of a debit card is it helps track your purchases in real time so you can keep constant tabs on your balance and ensure you don’t overdraft your account.

Start a savings habit. Even if your income doesn’t allow for much, it’s a good idea to get in the habit of setting aside a portion of each check. It may only be $10, but over time each $10 deposit can build your account toward a long-range goal.

Protect your privacy. Teens who’ve grown up in the digital age tend to be less skeptical and cautious about privacy matters than their elder counterparts. It’s important that young people understand the potential impact of failing to protect their privacy when it comes to financial matters, including the possibility that their identities could be stolen and all of their money siphoned away. Teaching kids about security is an essential lesson in economics.

Visit ja.orgfor more tips and information to help raise your teen’s financial literacy. (Family Features)

SOURCE:
Junior Achievement

How to Find the Right Dog for Your Family

Adding a four-legged friend to the family is no small decision, and it’s easy to get distracted by sweet eyes pleading to be taken home. Becoming a dog parent is a major commitment, so it’s important to do your research and make well-informed choices before deciding on a new dog.

No matter what stage of acquiring a dog you’re in, educate yourself about your options. A resource like Be Dog Smart, an online tool designed to guide consumers through the process of looking for a dog, can help you every step of the way, regardless of whether you’re considering getting a dog from a professional breeder, pet store, friend, family member or adopting from a shelter or rescue.

By asking the right questions, researching credible sources and requesting transparency from those who provide companion animals, you can rest assured you are taking the right steps to bring home a new furry family member.

Take smarter steps to bring your new fur-baby home with these tips from the Pet Leadership Council, the creators of the Be Dog Smart initiative:

  1. Determine the responsible environment you would like to acquire your dog from. One way to ensure those who raise and supply dogs maintain proper care standards is to understand the acquisition process and thoroughly vet breeders, retailers, shelters and rescues before supporting their operations. Ask questions about their businesses, policies, animal care and referral sources. Visit the locations personally to get a sense for the environment before making a decision. Once you settle on a source for your dog, interview several options to determine the best fit.

  1. Consider how a dog fits into your living situation. For example, if you work long hours, you’ll need to consider ways for your dog to be let outside during the day. Although some breeds require less space for exercise, all dogs need daily activity and regular access to relieve themselves.
  1. Think about the time and monetary investment. Dogs typically do not understand being left in their crates because you have a busy work schedule or social life. Contemplate your available time and how you would adjust to accommodate your pet. The same can be said for your finances. Ensure you can afford essentials such as food, grooming items and veterinary care as well as extras like toys and treats before making the commitment.
  1. Learn about the differences between purebred and mixed breeds. With so many breeds of dogs available, it’s tough to know which one is the right fit for you. Purebred dogs, which are dogs whose parents belong to the same breed, offer predictability in size, appearance, temperament, health issues, grooming needs and energy level. Mixed breeds, whose parents come from different breeds or are mixed breeds themselves, have a lower chance of being born with inherited congenital diseases and often inherit only the best traits from each parent.
  1. Weigh the benefits of a puppy versus an adult dog. Puppies are typically sweet and fun, and there are advantages to bonding with a puppy from its earliest stages of life. However, puppies quickly grow and can require a lot of work and training. Puppies are also more likely to be destructive. At rescues and shelters you’ll often find older dogs, many who were abandoned due to their owner’s life circumstances, not anything they did wrong. These dogs can be wonderful additions to a family and may be house trained and have previous basic command training, but there is a possibility of not getting a clear understanding of the dog’s past.  (Family Features)

For additional tips and to learn more, visit BeDogSmart.org.

SOURCE:
Pet Leadership Council

Welcome to the Multi-Award Winning 4th Anniversary Edition of Teen InFluential

William Jackson, MBA, Founder & Chief Business Officer of InFluential Magazine, Spanish InFluential, and Teen InFluential

William Jackson, MBA, Founder & Chief Business Officer of InFluential Magazine, Spanish InFluential, and Teen InFluential

When I sat down to write this note, I was amazed by the thought four years have gone by so quickly. It’s clear time does not stand still — especially when it comes to publishing and deadlines.

During one of our lively team meetings in the spring of 2015 Leonardo D’Almagro, our Fashion Editor at the time, suggested we think about introducing magazines focused on teen and Spanish speaking audiences.  The full team agreed and Teen InFluential and Spanish InFluential were created and premiered in September 2015.

I must say, though the premiere came quickly, it never could have been sustained through these years without the generous support and well wishes from our readers, communities, advertisers, and supporters.  It’s still quite humbling to realize many have been with us from day one. It’s even more humbling to know they confidently demonstrated their support and energy from the beginning and have continued with us for over four years.

We’ve been very fortunate to have talented teams producing our magazines every edition – our contributing writers and editors, artists and photographers, production experts, and marketing and public relations experts.  Many are still with us and others have gone on to make their mark in other ventures, and we love and appreciate everyone.

This 4th Anniversary edition’s cover features teen musician and philanthropist Penelope Robin, who continues to make quite a name for herself on the music scene and inspire many through her philanthropic endeavors.  Of course, there’s a ton of other good stuff throughout our pages.

Thank you to each of you for four years of support.  We truly love what we do and couldn’t do it as well as we do without your consistent support.

Looking forward to many more years with you,

William Jackson, MBA, GQ Insider, 2018 Folio: 100 Honoree

Publisher of Teen InFluential

5 Ways to Empower Kids to End Bullying

From the classroom to the internet, bullying can lead to children developing a poor self-image or lead to bullying others. In fact, members of Generation Z believe bullying is the biggest issue facing their generation, according to new data.

A survey of American youth ages 6-17, commissioned by the Boy Scouts of America, the nation’s foremost youth program of character development and values-based leadership training, found bullying ranked as the top concern for young people in their own communities, across the country and on a global scale. At the same time, 84% of those surveyed said they want to be a part of the solution.

Consider these ideas to help your kids learn how to overcome, avoid and break down the cycle of bullying:

Promote more time unplugged and outdoors. It is important for parents to promote healthy, face-to-face social interactions. Outdoor activities allow children to work together, solve problems and bond in a way that typically can’t be achieved through a screen. They also give children a break from the cyber-world, where bullying is often prevalent.

Encourage kindness. Ninety-seven percent of Gen Z members surveyed said being kind is important. Encourage kids to act on that feeling and remind them that it doesn’t take any extra energy to be kind. Serve as a role model by making kindness a foundation in your family, just as the Boy Scouts of America have done. The Scout Law lists being kind as one of 12 guiding characteristics.

Educate and equip. Parents should educate their children about why bullying is never OK, equip them with the knowledge they’ll need to recognize it and encourage them to report and safely respond to all forms of bullying they observe.

Use the buddy system. In Scouting, the buddy system pairs kids together to help ensure the well-being of one another. This approach is used for practical and safety reasons that can also be applied to everyday life. A pair or group of kids are less likely to get bullied, and buddies can be supportive by being an upstander.

Explore differences. As a family, look for ways to get involved in activities that include families from different backgrounds and cultures. Introducing kids to ideas and lifestyles different from their own can be an enlightening experience, and that knowledge can help break down some of the barriers that contribute to bullying, such as fear and misunderstanding.

Improving Communities

Creating a better community may be a collaborative goal, but as survey data from the Boy Scouts of America shows, the solutions lie much closer to home and can be inspired by the acts of individuals:

  • 97% of those surveyed said being kind to others is important.
  • 84% said they want to be a part of solving community issues in the future.
  • 79% said improving their community is important.
  • 50% said the reason they focus on some of these issues because their parents are passionate about them.
  • Bullying was a top concern among respondents, with 86% of respondents saying that not being bullied is a daily priority and 30% saying that out of 20-plus societal issues, bullying is the problem they most want solved globally.
  • Other top concerns respondents want to help solve are hunger (28%) and care for elders (27%) at the local level; animal rights (28%) and recycling (28%) at the national level; and poverty (28%) and human rights (26%) at the global level.

Learn more about ways Generation Z and its supporters can help put an end to bullying at Scouting.org.

SOURCE:
Boy Scouts of America

Welcome to the 4th Anniversary Edition of Teen InFluential!

Happy 4th Anniversary to our multi-award winning sister publication dedicated to our teen audience, Teen InFluential!

The 4th Anniversary edition features the talented Penelope Robin on the cover complemented by an Exclusive Interview with Penelope which we’re eager for you to read.

TEEN YO.indd

Thank you, our readers, for the consistent support you give to each of our multi-award winning publications.  We hope we’ve continued to inform and inspire!

Visit our InFluential Magazine Family’s official page at www.influential-magazine.com.

5 Cool Ideas for Self-Improvement Month

Photography courtesy of (c) mavoimages / stock.Adobe.com.

There’s no good reason to wait until the new year to focus on self-improvement. There’s also no excuse. September is Self-Improvement Month, and a fine time to learn a new skill, take up an old hobby or set a goal.

Here are five cool ideas to try out over the course of the month:

• Start coding: Whether you want to switch careers and become a software or web developer or simply take up a new hobby, learning to code can open a world of possibilities, while keeping your mind active and vital. And these days, free online tutorials available in dozens of programming languages, can help you get started without any tools required but time and dedication.

• Learn to play piano: Learning a musical instrument can improve focus, enhance memory and reduce stress. For a fast-track to playing songs skillfully, check out the Casio CT-X700, which features a Step-Up Lesson system to easily learn songs from the keyboard’s built-in library. The display shows proper fingering and notation, and a six-track recorder allows you to quickly capture your inspiration.

• Set a reading goal: You don’t have to be a student to complete a reading challenge. Whether it’s to read 5 non-fiction books over the course of the month or get through that classic tome that’s been sitting on your bookshelf for years, give yourself a reading goal to achieve this month.

• Get outdoors: Spending time exercising in nature has powerful physical and mental health benefits. Give yourself the motivation needed to get outdoors with a wearable device, such as the WSD-F30 Pro Trek Smart Outdoor Watch, which includes a built-in compass, altimeter and barometer, as well as a slew of fitness and nature apps designed to promote wellness and help you better appreciate your surroundings.

• Start saving: If you don’t have a savings account, think about opening one during the month of September. Make it painless by having the fund draw automated monthly payments from your checking account. Then sit back and watch your savings grow.

Long before writing up resolutions, celebrate Self-Improvement Month, a perfect mid-year motivation for change and growth. (StatePoint)

Make Your Child’s Vision Health a Priority this School Year

Children’s vision is paramount to their performance in school and life.

One in four children deals with a vision impairment that impacts his or her ability to learn, according to eye health and safety organization Prevent Blindness. Many of these cases are undiagnosed, and failing to identify and treat poor vision health early can lead to difficulties in the classroom, on the playing field and beyond.

One of the most prevalent vision issues in children is myopia, or nearsightedness. The condition causes close-up objects to appear clear, but everything becomes blurry and out of focus at a distance.

“Parents have invested billions this year to prepare their children for school, but without the ability to see their best, children will be at a disadvantage in the classroom,” said Dr. Millicent Knight, senior vice president of Essilor’s Customer Development Group.

Although some schools perform yearly vision screenings, those evaluations aren’t always enough to identify vision issues. Parents can take a proactive role in their child’s vision health with these tips from the experts at Essilor.

Watch for the Symptoms of Myopia

Many kids believe blurry vision is normal because they’ve never known anything different. As a parent, being able to spot the signs is key to managing symptoms and potentially slowing progression, if caught early enough. Keep an eye out for these symptoms:

  • Squinting to see distant objects, like the board in the classroom
  • Sitting too close to the TV
  • Holding books close when reading
  • Experiencing eyestrain or headaches

Schedule a Comprehensive Eye Exam

One of the most effective ways to keep your child’s eyes healthy is to schedule an annual comprehensive eye exam with an eyecare professional. Not only will a doctor check for vision problems that could interfere with school performance and potentially affect safety, he or she can offer advanced lens technology that keeps pace with the changing needs of children’s eye health. Just like annual doctor visits, eye exams should be scheduled once a year as part of your child’s health routine.

“We’ve seen a huge change in children who couldn’t see and when they are given glasses they light up because the world is clearer,” said Dr. Ryan Parker, O.D., director of professional development at Essilor of America.

Avoid Overexposure

“Today, children’s eyes are exposed to harmful blue light, ultraviolet light (UV) and digital eyestrain like never before,” Parker said.

While technology is crucial for learning in today’s digital world, research suggests too much screen time may put kids at risk of developing myopia as well as digital eyestrain, resulting in tired eyes, headaches, itchy eyes, blurred vision and increased sensitivity to light. To help reduce eyestrain, have children take periodic breaks from their devices and head outdoors.

Know Where to Go for Help

“Parents also need to know that where you go matters as much as when you go,” Knight said.

Choosing eyecare professionals, like the network of local, independent Essilor Experts, who prioritize the most advanced lens technologies and are dedicated to their patients’ individual needs, can make a difference in the vision outcomes for your children.

Find more information and schedule a professional comprehensive eye exam at essilorusa.com/your-vision. (Family Features)

SOURCE:
Essilor of America

School Day Solutions

Family-friendly recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner

Morning routines, homework, practices and more are all part of back-to-school season, and even when time is short, flavorful meals can be, too.

Whether it’s breakfast and dinner together as a family or sending your little learner out the door with a nutritious lunch, making tasty recipes in your own kitchen doesn’t have to be a drain on an already busy schedule. With dishes like a new take on French toast to a quickly packed lunchbox and bolder burgers, you can keep your loved ones fueled for everything the school year brings your way.

For more back-to-school recipes, visit Culinary.net.

Freshen Up Family Breakfasts

A truly beneficial start to the day is usually centered around breakfast. Start your family on the right foot with a meal that delivers sweet flavor along with nutritious fruits.

This Honey Leches French Toast recipe swaps out syrup for hot honey combined with the crisp taste of raspberries, blueberries and strawberries.

Visit honey.com for more family-friendly recipes.

Honey Leches French Toast

Recipe courtesy of chef Rob Corliss on behalf of the National Honey Board

Servings: 4

Honey Leches:

  • 2          tablespoons blueberry honey
  • 1/4       cup evaporated milk
  • 1/4       cup light coconut milk
  • 3          large eggs
  • 1          teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2       teaspoon ground cinnamon

Berry Garnish:

  • 1/2       cup fresh raspberries
  • 1/2       cup fresh blueberries
  • 1/2       cup fresh strawberries, sliced

Hot Honey:

  • 1/2       cup blueberry honey
  • 1/2       teaspoon cayenne pepper

Pound Cake:

  • 8          small slices premade pound cake
  • nonstick cooking spray
  1. To make Honey Leches: In mixing bowl, whisk blueberry honey, evaporated milk, coconut milk, eggs, vanilla extract and cinnamon to evenly combine. Keep chilled.
  2. To make Berry Garnish: In mixing bowl, lightly toss raspberries, blueberries and strawberries to evenly combine. Keep chilled.
  3. To make Hot Honey: In small mixing bowl, whisk blueberry honey and cayenne pepper to evenly combine. Keep warm so hot honey is pourable.
  4. Heat electric griddle to 375° F.
  5. Arrange pound cake slices, side by side, flat, in casserole dish or pan with sides. Pour Honey Leches over and around pound cake slices; soak 1 minute.
  6. Lightly coat griddle with nonstick cooking spray. Remove pound cake slices from Honey Leches, allowing liquid to drain off, then place each slice on hot griddle.
  7. On griddle, cook pound cake slices approximately 2 minutes on each side until golden crispy and hot throughout.
  8. To serve, place two overlapping pound cake slices on plate (four plates total). Top each with approximately 1/4 cup mixed berries then drizzle each with approximately 2 tablespoons hot honey.

A Healthy, Happy Midday Meal

Back to school means back to packing daily lunches, and for parents aspiring to send healthier options with their children, look no further than a bento box loaded with the nutritional values of fruits, dairy and protein.

Surprise your little one with this Happy Lunchbox, a sweet treat to help keep him or her hydrated throughout the school day. Start with watermelon, a portable, versatile and easy-to-serve staple composed of 92% water for a hydrating snack. Add in a favorite yogurt flavor, mixed berries, cheddar cheese cubes and smoked turkey breast for a well-rounded lunch to maintain energy all day.

By assembling this nutritious meal using a divided bento box, you can add a little fun to an already flavorful lunch. Find more refreshing recipes for back-to-school season at watermelon.org.

Happy Lunchbox

Recipe courtesy of the National Watermelon Promotion Board

  • Watermelon, cut into sticks
  • yogurt, for dipping berries

Watermelon Kebabs:

  • 18        cubes (1 inch each) seedless watermelon
  • 6          cubes smoked turkey breast
  • 6          cubes cheddar cheese
  • 6          coffee stirrers or beverage straws
  1. In small plate with dividers, assemble watermelon sticks with yogurt in one section and berries in separate section.
  2. To make Watermelon Kebabs: Skewer watermelon, turkey and cheese cubes on stirrers or straws. Assemble in third section of plate.

A Bigger, Bolder Burger

Making a meal everyone loves can sometimes be a challenge when tastes differ and each member of the family craves something different. However, turning to a nearly universally enjoyed staple – a burger – may be just the solution.

Next time your group debates the night’s dinner menu, turn to a customizable creation like the Brooklyn Bacon Bonanza Burger created by celebrity chef and author George Duran for Jarlsberg’s Global Burger Campaign. Topped with melted cheese and optional garnishes like fried eggs and tomato slices, this burger can be personalized to appease the taste buds of everyone under your roof.

Find more back-to-school meal solutions at jarlsberg.com.

Brooklyn Bacon Bonanza Burger

Recipe courtesy of chef George Duran on behalf of Jarlsberg

Servings: 4

  • 4          thick chunks Jarlsberg cheese
  • 1          tablespoon hot sauce
  • 1/4       cup mayonnaise
  • 1          pound ground beef
  • 1/2       pound ground pork
  • 1          onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1          cup chopped cooked bacon
  • 3          tablespoons sundried tomato paste
  • 3          tablespoons breadcrumbs
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • nonstick cooking spray
  • 4          eggs for frying (optional)
  • 4          hamburger buns
  • 8          thin slices tomato
  1. Place cheese in freezer about 1 hour ahead of time.
  2. Heat grill to medium-high heat. In small bowl, mix hot sauce and mayonnaise; set aside.
  3. In large bowl, season beef, pork, onion, bacon, tomato paste and breadcrumbs with salt and pepper. Using hands, mix until well combined.
  4. Using hands, form meat mixture into four balls. With thumb, make indentation in centers of balls and place one chunk cheese in center of each. Begin shaping burgers around cheese until patties form.
  5. Spray grill grates with nonstick spray. Grill burgers, turning frequently, until cooked through and cheese begins to ooze out, about 8-10 minutes.
  6. In nonstick skillet, fry eggs, if desired; set aside. Serve burgers on hamburger buns with chipotle-mayo, tomato slices and fried eggs. (Family Features)

SOURCE:
National Watermelon Promotion Board

Jarlsberg

Tips for Maintaining an Organized Home

This time of year, family life can get a little messy. School schedules and sports activities mix with work commitments, and before long the house is as cluttered as the calendar.

Fall is the perfect time of year to recommit to an organized household so you can keep the chaos contained. With these tips, you can make small changes to help you get organized and stay that way.

Embrace routines. The idea of dedicating large chunks of time to organizing and tidying the house can be overwhelming. However, making time to clean as you progress through the day can help control clutter and keep the time commitment more manageable. Commit to cleaning up the kitchen after dinner each night. Set expectations for kids to pick up their rooms before bed. Before long, routines become productive habits that make a visible difference.

Purge the excess. Over time, nearly everyone collects too much stuff, and clutter is often more an indication of too much volume than poor organization. Items are purchased to replace outdated things, but the old pieces sometimes don’t actually get discarded. Getting control of your clutter starts with eliminating the things you no longer want or need. A good strategy is to create piles of items: keep, sell, donate and discard.

Create a drop zone. In most homes, the entryway is a catchall for family belongings that get shed with each pass through the door. It’s convenient to have shoes, coats, backpacks and other essentials ready to grab as you head out, so instead of fighting the inevitable jumble, find a way to organize it. A stylish drop zone using ClosetMaid’s Space Creations organizers is a solution that attractively contains all those essentials. The line includes a range shelving kits, complementing drawers, baskets, rods and more so you can customize the storage unit to your exact space and needs.

Avoid junk piles. Nearly every home has at least one junk pile, drawer or even room. In most cases, the reason is that the contents are a mish-mash of items that don’t really have any place else to go. Make a point to identify ways to create order, whether it’s adding drawer inserts to contain all the odds and ends or buying a standing file to capture bills and mail.

Be mindful about use. When you’re on a mission to eliminate excess clutter, it can be tempting to go overboard putting things away. It’s important to be realistic about where you store the things you need and err on the side of keeping the things you use regularly within reach. This may mean getting creative about how you organize or even adding new storage containers or furniture, but remember being organized is only helpful if it’s also practical.

Find more ideas for better home organization this busy season at ClosetMaid.com. (Family Features)

SOURCE:
ClosetMaid