Online Resources to Keep Skills Sharp
These two websites will provide students (and adults) with a variety of online games and quizzes to keep their number and spatial skills sharp over the summer.
There is an almost unlimited series of number-related games on this site for people of all ages and math skill levels. Games for single or multiple players are included, as are games where players can test their skill against a computerized opponent. The section on jigsaw puzzles is particularly innovative, and the difficulty level of each jigsaw can be modified by quickly changing the settings. A link is provided to a 2012 study from the University of Chicago that correlates the understanding of spatial relationships in young children to their math performance.
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary is considered by some to be the ultimate authority when it comes to word definitions. As well as the free online dictionary, this website offers a series of word-related games and quizzes, geared to all ages. There are also links to free apps for mobile devices.
Internet Safety for Canadians
There is good information on this site to help Canadians use their computer systems and mobile devices safely. There are tips on how to recognize and combat cyber bullying, and separate sections for parents and for teens detail items relevant to each group. The website also includes information on how to protect yourself and your personal computer(s) from malware attacks, and provides steps to take if a system has been infected. A downloadable publication that addresses the specific needs of small- and medium-sized business owners is available.
Canadian Centre for Child Protection
The Canadian Centre for Child Protection is a registered charity based in Winnipeg and dedicated to promoting children’s safety. The Centre hosts a number of national programs and provides grade-specific resources for educators and students. Resources included on the website are www.cybertip.ca, a recent national campaign for reporting cases of online sexual abuse of children; and www.missingkids.ca, a site with resources and supports to help families reunite with lost or missing children. In October 2013, the Centre launched the “Find Me ID” app, which is free to download and allows parents to send relevant information to authorities immediately.
Frontiers for Young Minds
Frontiers for Young Minds, a new online journal that launched in April, hopes to kindle a love of science in young people. Bob Knight, a professor of psychology and neuroscience at the University of California, Berkeley, and the journal’s editor-in-chief, recruited children as young as eight years old to review the submissions, involving them directly in the scientific process. The articles are written specifically for Frontiers for Young Minds by researchers at universities across the globe, including Dr. Daniel Ansari, a professor of psychology at the Brain and Mind Institute at the University of Western Ontario in London and Kathy Murphy, a neuroscientist at McMaster University.
Children and young people ages eight to 18 can apply through the website to review an article and will be paired with a scientist mentor to guide them through the process.
Creating Jobs for Youth
A program launched by the Ontario government in September 2013 is helping the province’s unemployed youth and provides incentives for prospective employers. Under the Ontario Youth Employment Fund, young people get much-needed work experience, and a support package includes an allotment to help with transportation expenses and costs of purchasing work tools. Funding for employers covers wages and training costs.
The fund forms a part of Ontario’s Youth Jobs Strategy, which is investing $295 million over two years to stimulate job growth for 30,000 young people ages 15 to 29. According to a memo released in January, the Youth Employment Fund has created close to 400 job placements per week since September.