Immunizations required for USD 259 students

Wichita-Public-Schools-LogoWichita Public Schools students must have their immunizations up-to-date by Monday, November 16.

USD 259 students who are out of compliance with their immunizations will be excluded from school until they receive the proper immunizations.

School nurses have been in contact with parents to inform them that their children can get their immunizations before being excluded. 

Immunizations are the most effective means of preventing many serious communicable diseases and are required for school attendance and before- and after-school programs. Families should contact their school nurse for more information.

For 2015-16, there are changes in the Varicella (chicken pox) requirement: Two doses for students grades K – 12. See more information about immunizations.

Free admission Sunday at Exploration Place

Exploration Place

Have you been wanting to check out everything Exploration Place has to offer? Well, Sunday is your chance to test drive the science and discovery center for free.

From noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday, Exploration Place is hosting a free admission day.

By taking advantage of this opportunity, you and your family can experience all Exploration Place exhibits for free, including the new permanent preschool exhibit Kansas Kids Connect and the current traveling exhibit Design Zone. Encounter Live Science Shows and demo activities throughout the museum.

Plus, Boeing Dome Theater and Planetarium shows are just $2 (per show, per person, plus tax).

Guests can also shop the Explore Store, including a special Sidewalk Sale with select items up to 75 percent off. (No other discounts are allowed on sale items.)

Active and retired members of the military will also receive a 10 percent discount at the Explore Store, Snack Bar and dome theater concessions by showing their military ID.

Exploration Place is located at 300 N. McLean Blvd., in Wichita.

For more information, visit www.exploration.org. You can also find Exploration Place on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ExplorationPlace, on Twitter via the username @DiscoverAtEP, on Pintrest at www.pinterest.com/explorationpl, or Instagram via the username @ExplorationPlace.

Christian Camping

By Todd Vogts

Wichita resident Jennifer Farley, a former Kanakuk staffer and camp director, poses with Kanakuk campers.
Wichita resident Jennifer Farley, a former Kanakuk staffer and camp director, poses with Kanakuk campers.

Summers of generations past meant spending time outside to climb trees and ride bicycles. The youth’s skin tanned to a golden, sun-kissed brown. When the street lights came on, it was time to head home, even if you were in the middle of an intense game of pick-up basketball or touch football.

However, nowadays, when youth aren’t in school, they aren’t as likely to be outside enjoying nature. Nowadays, they are usually glued to a screen. Maybe it is a cellphone, or maybe it is a television. Maybe they are surfing social media, or maybe they are playing video games.

Don’t you wish this generation could experience summers like before the influx of electronic devices?

One summer camp offers just that.

Kanakuk, which bills itself as “developing next generation leaders,” is Christ-centered sports camp, offering campers the opportunity to learn new skills and enjoy the outdoors in a safe and supportive environment with God at the forefront.

Wichita resident Jennifer Farley, a former Kanakuk staffer and camp director, is now a mother to children taking part in the transformational experience the camps offer.

“It’s a very encouraging environment,” she said. “It encourages a kid to reach his or her fullest potential, and it provides a summer fun camp experience.”

Farley said Kanakuk is one of the largest Christian sports camps in the country, and it serves children from the age of 6 to 18 years old.

Kanakuk offers opportunities in nearly every sport your child could want, such as baseball, basketball, cheerleading, cross country, dance, golf, football, soccer, tennis and volleyball. There are also opportunities for watersports such as canoeing, kayaking and fishing.

With so many offerings, Kanakuk is a great option to help your child learn skills or develop further skills in the various sports, but Farley emphasizes the point that the camp is about more than athletics.

“Sports is just a vehicle. It encourages the kids to have fun,” she said. “For some kids it’s just a great time to try new things, but it is a Christian camp, focused on Christian-spiritual training.”

Farley said the focus is family, fun and faith, and the staff camp counselors are intent upon encouraging the campers to have fun and develop their spiritual walk with Christ and their character.

“Camp is set up in a way to encourage the kids,” she said. “The staff is encouraged to get to know the kids and encourage them to be who God wanted them to be. They make sure their words are always positive and encouraging to the campers.”

Counselors are with the same group of campers for the duration of each camp. Camp programs can last one week, two weeks or an entire month.

The length of stay can vary depending upon the age of the camper and the family chooses for the camper, Farley said.

Campers are split into camps based upon their age and length of stay, and when they are older, all the campers get to interact with each other during some events. However, they only stay in cabins with people who are the same age and staying the same amount of time. When the campers are younger, they are only with campers their own age.

Junior high and high school campers are mixed a bit more, but they are given a schedule and get to choose which activities they want to take part in at any given time.

Farley compared it to getting to choose electives at school.

“You get more freedom when you get older,” she said.

There is also a family version of the camp where the whole family unit can attend. Farley said it is a good choice because it comes along side with what is happening at home, and it allows families to all experience Kanakuk together and grow as a group.

And if your child isn’t quite ready for an overnight camp, there is a new offering called Kanakuk Kampout. It is a day camp that travels from town to town. One stop is Wichita.

Farley got started with Kanakuk as a camper. She attended for seven years, and she said she is excited for her son to experience it as well.

“It was great for me to have a Christian role model,” she said, “and it’s fun to have that generational experience of my son attending as well.”

Farley said it is a chance for her son to “fly on his own” and be encouraged in his faith.

Being around older people who showed their faith lead to her working at the camp.

“There was this cool college kid who loved Jesus,” she said of her time as a camper. “I wanted to be that for someone else.”

Farley said being on staff was just as transformational as being a camper.

“It’s an experience where you get to see kids grow and take that next step in their faith,” she said. “It really develops kids into leaders. I really saw what camp did for kids in developing Christian leaders.”

And that is why Farley sends her son to the camp.

“I really believe in what Kanakuk’s camp experience can have for a child or teenager,” she said.

Farley said her entire family attends camp as well, and she highly recommends it for other families.

“It’s really exciting and fun for our family,” she said. “Kanakuk says a lot of what is being said at home, but it sounds coolers from a college student.”

For Farley and her family, they treat attending Kanakuk camp as their family vacation. Though she admits it’s even better than what they could do on their own since there is no activity planning or meal preparation needed because the camp is all-inclusive and handles all the events for every day.

“What vacation can you get that?” she said. “It’s so much less stress.”

Though the prices vary depending upon the camp chosen, ranging from a little more than $1,000 to just shy of $4,000, Farley said it is worth it if for nothing else than the Christ-centered experience.

“It’s an investment in our kids,” she said. “It’s pretty comparable to what it would cost to go to Disneyland.”

Because Kanakuk has such a stellar reputation, Farley said spaces fill up fast, so she encourages being proactive in getting your children signed up.

“If you are even thinking about the camp, sign up,” she said. “The later you wait to enroll, you’re pretty limited in what is available.”

If you are on a tight budget but still want to make this investment in the growth of your children, Farley said Kanakuk can still be an option. You can make monthly payments, and the deposit isn’t very much. What’s better is you can get your deposit back if your summer schedule gets too hectic.

Of course, you and your children have many camp options to choose from, so why pass on the others and go to Kanakuk?

Farley said the answer is simple because of the camp’s commitment to developing Christian leaders by using college students who are really encouraging, living what they believe and sharing Christ while helping the campers in their spiritual walks.

“I really think what sets Kanakuk apart is the staff,” she said.

For more information about everything Kanakuk has to offer, visit www.kanakuk.com.

Fiancé and Finances

June2015_Finances

Marriage is a milestone in life; yet, many enter into the next phase without asking their spouse some vital questions about money.

If you are among the soon-to-be wed, consider starting a conversation using the questions below.

Couples who plan their expenses ahead of time are more likely to enjoy their earnings, and less likely to need credit repair intervention.

Men, women and weddings

Females are often portrayed as materialistic or over-the-top when it comes to their big day, but recent findings from an online Harris Poll tell a different story.

Surprisingly, the study found that twice the number of men stated they would or did go into debt to pay for their dream wedding.

The study also found that both men and women valued financial responsibility.

In fact, 91% indicated a preference for entering marriage debt-free as opposed to having a dream wedding.

“Marriage is a lifelong commitment built on trust, clear communication and honesty,” said John Heath, Directing Attorney for Lexington Law. “While some may find financial discussions unnecessary, understanding each other intimately in terms of what you both bring to the table – be it wealth or debt – will strengthen your relationship and help to avoid potentially serious friction to your marriage down the road.”

Discussing money matters

So how does one go into a marriage with a solid financial standing? Those soon-to-be-wed couples who converse openly about their finances are more likely to enjoy their big day with an understanding of their mate’s views on money. The experts at Lexington Law offer these questions every newly engaged couple should ask before the big day:

1. How do you view money?

This is a loaded question, but your fiancé’s answer will help you understand their perspective and how it aligns with yours.

Here are a few conversation starters on the subject:

• How do you budget your money?

• Are you meticulous about your bills and expenses, or are you comfortable to just “wing it?”

• What’s the most you would ever spend on a home, car, piece of clothing, etc.?

2. How should we budget for a family?

Kids are expensive, especially if you haven’t planned for them.

Talk to your partner about how many kids you would both like to have.

Plan for child living expenses and how they will impact your budget, i.e. clothes, food, activities, medical expenses, schooling, etc.

3. How should we communicate about money?

Some couples are content to let one person handle the finances, and others like to split up the bills and share household responsibilities.

Regardless of what you decide, it is important to have a plan in place before getting married.

4. What should we do when we disagree about spending?

You and your spouse won’t agree on everything. In fact, you may completely disagree on how to spend, save, and generally manage your money.

The question is: What should you do when these disagreements arise?

Avoiding the subject will put you at greater risk for financial (and marital) trouble.

There’s no easy answer for this one, but presenting the topic during your conversation is a good start.

5. Do you have any debts that I should be aware of?

Secrets aren’t the best addition to a marriage, especially when it comes to debt.

Be sure you and your soon-to-be put the credit cards on the table before walking down the aisle.

Marriage is a life partnership; start by dealing with your debt together.

You’ll head into your new life as a married couple with ease when you have an open and honest dialog about your financial situation.

For more tips for managing your money, or your credit, visit www.LexingtonLaw.com.

— Family Features