Better Brains for Babies

first_imgThe DHR Division of Public Health provides the funding for the program. The GSU Schoolof Nursing coordinates the training. And the March of Dimes provides technical help.Statewide sponsors include the DHR Family Health Branch, Georgia Chapter of the Marchof Dimes Birth Defects Foundation, Universityof Georgia College of Family andConsumer Sciences, Georgia StateUniversity School ofNursing, GPCCF and The Family Connection. People say kids are getting smarter all the time. A group of state public healthleaders intends to make sure that’s true.Starting in October, key public health agencies, universities and others will begin astatewide training program called “Better Brains for Babies: Maximizing Georgia’sBrain Power.”The planners are banking on the latest research on early brain development. Thefindings show that babies’ first three years of life greatly affect how they function formany years afterwards.”Governor Miller called attention to this research when he distributed classicalmusic CDs to parents of newborn children in Georgia,” said Brian Ziegler, statedirector and national adviser for the March of Dimes Georgia Chapter.”We’re taking the next step,” Ziegler said. “We will train communityleaders so they can pass the information on to parents and anyone who cares for smallchildren. We want everyone to know what babies need to help their brains develop.”The first groups of professionals and advocates will attend trainings in Tifton Oct. 6,Macon Oct. 7 and Athens Oct. 9. Child-care providers, licensing staff, parents, fosterparents and others will have similar training.The “Making Change for Children” Summit in Atlanta Oct. 15-16 will kick offthe statewide program. Community leaders there will meet trainers, learn about theresearch and arrange presentations in their communities.”Babies’ brains develop fast before age three,” said Dr. Kathleen E. Toomey,director of the GeorgiaDepartment of Human Resources Division of Public Health. “Unlike other organs,the brain acquires much of its capacity after birth, by extending and connecting billionsof neurons.”Toomey said it’s vital to “do everything we can to see that infants are stimulatedat this critical age.”The trainings will help policy makers, too, said Dr. William Sexson of the Georgia PolicyCouncil for Children and Families.”In the past, we’ve paid a lot of attention to school-age children,” Sexsonsaid. “But we haven’t addressed children’s needs in their first three years. Now wecan make better decisions to help families prepare their children to meet the social andeducational challenges of our society.”What can parents do? Here are some tips. Get good prenatal care. Pregnant women should eat a healthy diet, avoid alcohol and other drugs and have regular prenatal checkups. Breast milk provides the ideal nutritional balance. If you don’t breast-feed, give your baby an iron-fortified infant formula. And always hold her when you feed her. Create a safe environment. Are your baby’s surroundings clean? Are there dangers such as sharp objects or things that could choke him? Does he always ride in a car safety seat? Talk to your baby. Make eye contact. Smile. Play rhyming games. Read aloud. As she gets older, ask questions and explain things to her. Find quality child care. Look for care-givers who provide a safe environment and enriching new experiences. Play rich, complex music. Sing songs. Let your child try musical instruments. Limit television. Children need to interact with real, live people. Take care of yourself. Stressed parents tend to stress their babies. So take some time for yourself. Find people who can support you as a parent. Get the information you need. Ask your pediatrician. Your child-care provider or librarian can suggest good books on child development. And the county Extension Service office can give you more information on parenting.last_img read more

They could have knocked it down, but this corner shop was meant to be a home

first_imgThis corner shop and residence took 10 months and over $1 million to renovate and extend. It goes to auction on Saturday at 9am. Picture: supplied.TERMITES had eaten the heart out of 1 Pier Avenue at Shorncliffe and a palm tree was working hard to push what was left over when Tracy and Tony Watson took their first cautious step on the road to restoration.The local community has applauded the results and there are three serious contenders for the auction which coincides with the opening of polling booths in the 46th federal election this Saturday.“We’re expecting a big turnout,” Jim McKeering Real Estate agent Jacqui McKeering said. “There’s a polling booth just down the road at the school. It will be a great start to the day.” More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus13 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market13 hours agoThe upstairs living quarters as they look today. Picture: supplied.Original windows and doors were reglazed and finished to enhance the streetscape.Tiles from the old Tugun Hotel on the Gold Coast were repurposed and put in the powder room, and an old bridge beam was added as a feature in the middle of the kitchen.The commercial space downstairs was turned into two separate shops with storage space. Brisbane election day houses hot under the hammer Get the beach vibe without hitting the M1 The outside courtyard at 1 Pier Ave, Shorncliffe. Picture: supplied.Upstairs has a dining area, covered deck and second ensuited bedroom with a bath. Termites had eaten the pine floor and VJ walls with only the hardwood beams remaining. Picture: supplied.“The floor was so paper thin, they’d left furniture in the middle of the room because they couldn’t walk into the floor upstairs to get it out,” Mr Watson said.“It was uninhabitable.“We could have demolished it given the state it was in, but we wanted to keep the original building if we could.“This is one of the last standing original commercial properties in Shorncliffe.”That was in 2015 and the next two years were spent seeking council approvals for the restoration that would involve steel bracing to straighten the building, and termite-resistant hardwood timbers. >>>FOLLOW THE COURIER-MAIL REAL ESTATE TEAM ON FACEBOOK<<< The ground level shop in the early days of restoration. Picture: supplied.The upper level was opened out to create a contemporary living and gourmet kitchen area with a bedroom or study, all of which extend over the footpath. The undercover deck is part of the extension and separates the living areas from the ensuited bedrooms. Picture: supplied.The downstairs extension has added a disabled toilet for the shops, a carport and ensuited bedroom with outside courtyard. The downstairs shop space as it looks today. Picture: supplied.“(The original building) was all divided into little smaller rooms with single-skin VJ walls,” Mr Watson said.“What was important to us was the width, to open the living area as much as we could.”center_img Before the renovation, 1 Pier Ave, Shorncliffe looked like this, with a palm tree behind pushing it over. Picture: supplied.It had been a convenience store, a dance studio and a home but the termite nests that had moved in most recently were the largest Tony Watson had seen in 40 years in the building industry. The upstairs ensuite. Picture: supplied.“It has been a privilege to preserve a corner of Shorncliffe,” she said.Having never used the downstairs space as a shop, the couple have bought elsewhere in Shorncliffe and are hoping a commercial and residential vision for the property will be explored by new owners. It took four months for Dane Watson’s ReNew Builders to complete the extension to 1 Pier Ave, Shorncliffe. Picture: supplied.“I really don’t like when old buildings are replicated,” Mrs Watson said.“I’d rather make the old look wonderful and then do something that complements that at the back.” The kitchen has a pantry behind. Picture: supplied.Then circumstances changed for the Watson family.“We were going to do the old part only and lease it. But we were living in Samford at the time and we decided to come back to Shorncliffe because our family was around here, so we came up with the idea of designing the extension.”Their brief to son Dane Watson, who led the build, was to not replicate the heritage look in the extension. It took six months for Shorncliffe couple Tony and Tracy Watson to restored this turn of the century corner shop with a residence above. Picture: Mark Cranitch.The historic corner shop with residence above was built before the sails were unfurled in the first Brisbane to Gladstone yacht race just down the road. The extension partially complete. Picture: supplied.So the turn of the century corner shop with residence above now melds into a modern, architecturally-designed extension to create a property of distinction that has been home to the Watsons since late 2017.Despite the petite nature of the block — a mere 281sq m — the house has 290sq m of living space.“You are living over the street, it’s very special,” Mrs Watson said.“You are right there in the middle of things, but tucked away, it’s a strange feeling, very different to anywhere I’ve lived. Like you’re in your own little world.” MORE REAL ESTATE STORIES AREC Australasian auctioneer of the year Justin Nickerson, who is from the local area, will take the property to auction with high profile bidders expected. Picture: Zak Simmonds.last_img read more