The Benefits of Preschool Art Programs

Pre-schools do not only have the responsibility of imparting early education on children, but also to develop their skills, talents as well as personality. This is the reason why it is quite important for all pre-schools to focus on extra-curricular activities, especially art. It has been seen that all kids love art and are able to be creative in its various shades. Where some can draw beautifully with a pencil, others can come up with fantastic clay work or colorful paintings. While participating in art activities enhances the child’s creative talents, it also provides him/her with a chance to develop their personality and self confidence. Here are some visible benefits of indulging kids in art programs.1. Mental StimulationArt education helps stimulate a child’s mental capabilities and poses challenges for him/her in a positive manner. It helps refine cognitive senses and encourages creativity skills. It also keeps them interested and they do not succumb to boredom. This is why young kids are always encouraged with colors and art tools.2. Develops a Child’s LearningWhen children involve themselves in artistic pursuits, they become more aware of the environment and also get to learn more about it. They also tend to respect nature more than adults do and with proper guidance, can gradually learn to be a responsible person. When children are asked to draw their family, friends or any other natural object, they tend to become more observant and attentive. They also acquire a better and deeper understanding as they play with shapes and colors.3. Creates Problem Solving SkillsArt helps a child to think clearly and promotes their analysis power. This later helps the children tremendously in problem solving skills. The more analytical their minds become, the better it is for them to perform academically.4. A Source of MotivationChildren often find art to be their recluse and a form of expression. When preschools encourage art activities, it creates a source of motivation for such children and they learn to deal with their problems effectively. It is also one force that prevents the child from going on to disruptive behavior.Pre-school art programs are excellent for the developmental power of kids. Art can help children find expression to thoughts which they are otherwise too shy to say out loud. A school that focuses on extracurricular art activities is actually helping in bringing out the best in every child.

Life in a “Surveillance Society”

Governments throughout history have maximized their power by pointing to threats, internal and external, as justifications for “increased security measures” – also known to some as “diminishing freedoms.” The issue is not whether the threats are real or not – there are plenty of real threats in the world, from malignant bacteria to nuclear weapons – but the way in which we respond to them. Does battening down society’s hatches by limiting mobility and surveilling the populace even work? Does it make us “safer”?One of the consequences of the 9/11 attack was to bring issues of freedom vs. security to the fore once again. The international boogeyman of communism having been half-slain with the demise of the USSR (China, once the junior partner, is holding on by a thread), the Islamofascist threat ratcheted up the terror to provide yet another common enemy. Let’s take a look at how two Western nations, Britain and the U.S., responded to the threat.You’re on TV! The British can now exclaim with egalitarian glee that all of its subjects (they aren’t “citizens,” you know) are TV stars. Perhaps it’s more accurate to say that they are all on TV. London, by various accounts, has some four to six million close-circuit television (CCTV) cameras keeping tabs on its 7.5 million inhabitants. They are getting close to having one camera for each person. Now there’s equality!But has the constant surveillance helped keep crime and terrorism in check? Apparently, in a few “terrorism cases and several high-profile murders, London’s ubiquitous CCTV cameras have played a key role” – but only in “reconstructing what happened,” and only “after the fact.”"CCTV was originally seen as a preventative measure,” according to Detective Chief Inspector Mike Neville, head of the Visual Images, Identifications and Detections Office of Scotland Yard. According to his speech at a London conference last May, Neville considers the entire CCTV project to have been “an utter fiasco: Only 3% of crimes were solved by CCTV.” Not very good results for a system that was sold as video security for “law-abiding citizens.”People not “fearful” enough In an unintended bit of Orwellian candor, the Inspector admitted that Londoners have “no fear of CCTV.” Instead of being on their best behavior for the eagle-eyed constables working in the numerous “monitoring stations” in the city, people appear to be going about their usual business, whether felonious or innocent. Neville says they do so because they know that “the cameras are not working.”Actual camera failures are soon corrected, so in that sense they are “working.” What the good Inspector meant was that, in court, the quality of the images is often less than what is required for a positive identification. In addition, investigators are not willing to slog through hours of video to prosecute petty crimes.The verdict? London’s CCTV experiment has failed in its stated goal, but has mitigated the particular failure by having a general effect with which the government is quite pleased. There is little discussion of the principle at stake – that is, liberty – and the tension between it and security that has been at the root of Americans’ distrust of government surveillance efforts.North American inroads That innate distrust may be a North American trait, as our neighbors to the north, the Canadians, are still individualistic enough (or enough of them are) to at least stoke a national debate on the topic. The Toronto police are experimenting with CCTV right now, and the city’s Transit Commission is completing work on an $18 million camera system it claims will “capture every one” of its “2.5 million daily users on video.” And the op-ed columns and letters to the editor are fairly blazing with controversy. Well, a small, polite blaze, at any rate.Unfortunately, judging from the column inches devoted to each side of the issue, it appears that Canadians in general, and the “privileged press” in particular, are solidly behind the notion of surveillance. Apparently they believe that they will find a “nice Canadian way” of doing it that respects rights, uses renewable resources and takes flattering portraits.Americans, of course, are another breed entirely, a breed of a thousand contrarian bloodlines. As the asylum and haven of the world, our national character has a wide streak of individualism, and an instinctive distrust of power and people who like wielding it. Still, surveillance cameras, traffic cams and other CCTV installations are proliferating here, too, and are sold as examples of “Yankee ingenuity” and the natural evolution of “good government.”Refining the terms of debate The important thing for supporters of privacy rights to recognize is that video security technology has not reached the power-to-price ratio that would allow widespread installation in any Western country. Higher-resolution cameras and better lenses raise the cost substantially, while the low-end optics used in police surveillance cameras, at least in London, capture images that usually don’t help capture the crooks.Opponents of government snooping can use utilitarian arguments now, as well as philosophical ones. The fact is, the cameras don’t do what they’re advertised to do, notwithstanding that, in America, what they are asked to do seems quite Constitutionally questionable. And the utilitarian argument that the cameras don’t work anyway does not counter the pro-surveillance argument that newer, better, more powerful and even cheaper technology is becoming available.Therefore, opposing surveillance on merely utilitarian grounds is a losing proposition, especially with the pace of technological progress today. Principled opposition is required. Benjamin Franklin’s great insight on freedom vs. security, having been mauled and misquoted by so many writers and politicos in the last few years, is here in its original form for your consideration:The man who trades freedom for security does not deserve nor will he ever receive either.Compromise is not always possible. That is the challenging subtext here, a message that speaks to the sense of personal responsibility that is fast vanishing in the world. Of course, video surveillance itself is neither good nor evil. It is the application that counts. In the hands of government, surveillance cameras will end up doing damage, great and small. In the hands of individuals, however, they can be a true boon and have various uses.A thousand or a million or even 20 million CCTV cameras installed in the U.S., hither and yon and under the control of a vast range of different people, shouldn’t raise a single hair on the back of a dedicated civil libertarian’s neck. It’s when all of the cameras are centralized and controlled by one entity that people, and not just civil rights activists, should get concerned.From concern, one should move to education. Read all you can about the subject and stay informed on what local, regional and state governments are doing in this regard, in addition to the ongoing shenanigans in Washington, D.C. Whatever you ultimately decide in this matter – and you may or may not agree with everything in this article – you will at least be an informed participant in an important national discussion. We have to be able to hash out all these issues without reaching for our opponents’ throats.As long as we can still “agree to disagree” there is hope. But if it takes the courts disagreeing with the executive branch – here with a lower case “e” as it deserves – to stop police-state BS in its tracks, well, hey! That would give me a little bit of hope. Indeed it would.

Considerations to Make When Buying Children’s Clothes

Buying clothes for young children is not as straightforward as it first appears to be, and the challenges can often start before the child is even born. For instance, if you choose not to know the sex of your baby before they are born, buying clothes is complicated, you can buy neither boys clothes, nor girl’s clothes, but must buy unisex items. Then, once you have paid for all those starter-clothing packs, you will find that within the first month of birth, they have outgrown their new clothes… the challenges begin straightaway, and they continue for years to come.Young children outgrow their clothes every few weeks until the age of around two, where they continue to grow exceptionally fast, but not to the degree of their first couple of years. There are many other factors that increase the rate at which we buy children’s clothes, for example, clothes are easily stained or ripped, children are not the most careful of people, and it is fair to say that they do not look after their clothes, thus meaning that they will require more items than an adult will.There are some things that you can do to reduce the volume of clothes needed, however, such as buying clothes in darker colours, this way, they will not show stains as obviously. Never buy children’s clothes in white, unless it is absolutely necessary, you can always tell who the wise parents are simply by studying a group of schoolchildren, those who wear grey school shirts, as opposed to white, are generally that little bit savvier. To ensure that clothes are hardwearing, always buy them in materials that are hardwearing and durable – the higher the quality of the fabric, the less likely they are to be damaged.The current economic climate has ensured that financial worries are part of everyday life, and the expense of children’s clothes can be a burden on the family budget. Nonetheless, there are steps you can take to reduce costs. Bargain hunting is always essential in families with young children, and the ideal time to buy clothes is during the winter and summer sales. Plan ahead when shopping in the sales, for instance, if you know that in a few months time your child will require new school trousers, purchase them now in a larger size that they will have grown into when the time comes.For bargain hunters, the internet is also a fantastic place to buy clothes. Online retailers offer much better prices on their merchandise than bricks-and-mortar shops do. Many people believe that the lower prices online are indicative of lower-quality goods, but this is simply not the case. There are many reasons why online retailers can offer better prices, but it boils down to the fact that online shops are cheaper to run than offline shops, and these savings can be passed on to the customer. Online retailers pass on these savings, rather than pocketing them, because, by offering the best prices, they ensure that people are more likely to purchase from them.It is a win-win situation, they get more customers and thus more profit, and the customer gets a better price. Moreover, shopping for children’s clothes online means having a greater choice in styles, colour, and material – there are millions of clothes to choose from online, as oppose to the reduced number of clothing you will find in a shop.