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Parents & Kids

Health program planned to fight area childhood obesity

A new health program in Rock County is aimed at combating area childhood obesity. 

An 11-week program called Fit Families Rock will utilize weight loss research to help participants establish healthy behaviors and prevent health problems linked to obesity. 

To be eligible, families must have at least one child between the ages of 8 to 12 who is at or above the 85th percentile of their age-appropriate body mass index, or BMI. In addition, the family must commit to having at least one parent attend all sessions although the entire family is welcome to participate.

The group meets Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4:35-5:30 p.m. at the Downtown Janesville Family YMCA from Sept. 16 to Nov. 25. 

The cost to families is $25, which includes individualized follow-up and a three-month family membership to the Janesville Family YMCA. Class size is limited to allow individual attention for each family. To set up an interview, call 262-472-1836.

Beloit officials remind residents of rules, regulations for swimming pools

Beloit officials remind residents of rules, regulations for swimming pools

City of Beloit officials are reminding residents of some rules and regulations the city has for swimming pools capable of holding more than 2 feet of water.

According to a release, all outdoor swimming pools that can hold more than 2 feet of water must be surrounded by a fence that is at least 4 feet high, and owners must have a valid permit before installing the pool.

Above-ground swimming pools that are available at retailers are also subject to the requirements, officials said.

All swimming pools must also be properly disinfected, and pools deeper than 4 feet must have a throwing buoy and lifeline available, according to the release.

Residents that already have a permit and fence for their swimming pools do not need to take any action, officials said.

Anyone with questions or looking to report an unsafe pool should call 608-364-6700.

Janesville schools see increase in graduation rates

The Janesville School District has seen an increase in high school graduation rates for the past three years. Data released by the Department of Public Instruction this month shows the district is continuing to make improvements, specifically with minority and economically disadvantaged students.

"We believe that when you set goals, when you set a small number of goals and really target those goals, typically you're going to see an increase and that's what we have done," Superintendent Karen Schulte said.

Craig and Parker high schools in Janesville surpassed the state?s 88 percent graduation average. In the 2012-13 school year Parker High School graduated 91.8 percent of students, while Craig High School graduated 95.1 percent, with minorities showing the biggest improvements.

3 area students recognized for academic achievement

3 area students recognized for academic achievement

Three area students were among the nine Wisconsin semifinalists named for the 2014 Presidential Scholars award. If chosen, they could be headed to Washington, D.C., for the White House's annual ceremony for academic achievement. 

Eden H. Girma of Madison, from Middleton High School; Samuel C. Schendel from Parker High School in Janesville; and Breanna N. Aldred from Catholic Memorial High School in Waukesha were among those recognized nationwide as distinguished high school students. 

Edgerton high schooler wins car through safety program

Edgerton high schooler wins car through safety program

An Edgerton High School senior was the winner of a car Thursday as part of a campaign to keep teens safe on the road.

Julia Snell was the excited winner of a 2010 Chevrolet Cobalt at the Rock County chapter of Operation Click, a peer-enforced driver monitoring program aimed at reducing fatalities from crashes involving teen operators.

VIDEO: Watch as teen wins car

Snell was the sixth student from a Rock County school to choose a key and attempt to start the red sedan, valued at $10,000, provided by Burtness Chevrolet of Orfordville.

In addition to Edgerton High School, students from Parker and Craig schools in Janesville, Evansville and Orfordville high schools were at the banquet Thursday in Janesville.

Rock County sheriff to provide free Internet monitoring software

The Internet can be a scary place for children, and that's why the Rock County Sheriff's Office is providing free software that allows parents to monitor their children's Internet history and flag inappropriate words or images.

The Rock County Sheriff's Office will be the first law enforcement agency in the state to introduce the software. The goal is to provide parents with tools that will help keep their children safe while surfing the web.

"We know that cyberbullying is very real. We know that there are chat rooms that exist where pedophiles try to stalk kids. So this gives a tool for parents to use that is relatively easy and effective," Rock County Sheriff Bob Spoden said.

Teenagers are no longer the primary demographic of Internet users. Kids as young as preschool age are learning to use tablets and laptops, which can open up the door to Internet dangers much earlier in life.

Grant will fund mobile food pantry in Beloit

Grant will fund mobile food pantry in Beloit

The Second Harvest Foodbank of Southern Wisconsin has received a grant to fund mobile pantry distributions in Beloit, according to a release.

The $2,000 grant is from the Stateline Community Needs Grant Program, officials said.

"Second Harvest Foodbank is grateful for the Stateline Community Foundation’s support of the Mobile Pantry Program in Beloit," President and CEO for Second Harvest Foodbank of Southern Wisconsin Dan Stein said in the release. "Mobile pantries are a vital source of a variety of types of food including fruit, vegetables, meat and dairy to individuals and families in Beloit who struggle to afford the basics of a healthy diet."

Second Harvest Foodbank operates two mobile pantries in Beloit in partnership with the Masonic Center, according to the release. Last year, the mobile pantries served 36,142 people more than 670,000 pounds of food.

Second Harvest Foodbank’s Mobile Pantry Program operates 29 sites each month.