What is a teachable moment? It's learning through family. That's what Boys Town provides to tens of thousands of children and parents everyday. And that's what we'll focus on here. Stories of those who we've seen succeed, and ideas on how to help bring Teachable Moments to your home and family, too.

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Boys Town Contributor

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Six Discussions to Start the School Year Right

Every school year is your child’s opportunity for new success. If your child was less than successful the previous year, the school year ahead offers a clean slate. If they’ve been doing well throughout the years, then the new school year means a path to continued success, building on the positive skills and habits they’ve acquired. To help start things off on the right foot, it’s a good idea to sit down with your child and discuss the upcoming school year. ...

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Boys Town Contributor

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Boys Town Partnership with Lincoln Electric Helps Forge Bright Future for Grads

Thanks to Josh Temple — television host, licensed contractor and vocal Boys Town supporter — and his friends at Lincoln Electric, young men and women who are learning to weld at Boys Town’s Career Readiness Center are now using the latest high-tech equipment and gear. Since its founding 100 years ago, Boys Town has supported trade education for youth, at various times teaching carpentry, farming, machining and other skills as part of Father Flanagan’s vision to give at-risk youth every opportunity ...

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Greg Snyder, Ph. D. | Boys Town Staff Psychologist

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A Toy by Any Other Name Is Still a Toy

Are fidget spinners or other toy-like devices helpful in reducing restlessness, inattention and motor spillover behavior in the classroom setting? My answer is unequivocally, NO. Don’t buy in to the hype. Fidget spinners, fidget cubes and small handheld manipulative devices produced by toy manufacturers and co-opted by advocacy groups and children themselves are not helpful for children — unless they are used solely for enjoyment during free time. Many children with ADHD and other neurodevelopmental delays oftentimes present with excessive motor ...

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Dr. Reznicek | Superintendent, Boys Town High School

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What Teachers Wish Parents Would Do at Home

When parents and teachers work together to achieve the same goal — the education of the student — success is much easier to achieve. It wasn’t always this way, of course. Not too long ago, parents would send their kids off to school, assuming their job was done. They thought that once their children were in class, it was the teacher’s job — and his/her job alone — to provide their education. Today, we know better. We understand that while teachers ...

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Father Steven Boes, Boys Town National Executive Director

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Invest in Their Future This Giving Tuesday

Imagine growing up with absent parents, surrounded by gang violence and rampant drug activity. Imagine having to steal food just to survive day to day. Today is your chance to give these children hope by donating on Giving Tuesday. Boys Town works with the kids who have slipped through society’s cracks. Just like all children, they have potential – they just need hope and someone to believe in them. Boys Town provides both to thousands of at-risk children each year. Make ...

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Boys Town Contributor

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Saving Children by Empowering Our Schools

“I feel like everybody has come together. It’s like a family here. I’m happy to come to school every day.” — Robert, High School Student Father Flanagan believed that children aren’t inherently bad; they’re only as bad or good as their environment and education. Nearly a century later, Boys Town is still guided by his forward-thinking philosophy — although it has expanded beyond residential care for at-risk youth to include a variety of services. One such service is the Boys Town Educational Model®, ...

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Kristin Bieber, Ph.D., Boys Town Child and Adolescent Psychologist

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Make the Most of Parent–Teacher Conferences

Parent–teacher conferences play an important role in the education of your child. First quarter of the school year typically ends with a 15-minute conference. For many parents, these conferences are the first time they hear that their child is struggling in class or with peers, and there just isn’t much time to discuss the details. In general, communication with your child’s school is important. So, attending parent-teacher conferences is one way to send a message to your child and to teachers ...

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Dr. Reznicek, Superintendent, Boys Town High School

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Countering Bullying in the Boys Town Schools

Who are bullies?  What leads these individuals to bullying? These are often students who have witnessed physical or verbal aggression in their own homes.  They have seen other people push or hit children or adults.  A bully is often a physically strong individual.  A bully may or may not be popular with their peer group.  Bullies generally have trouble following rules.  They show little concern for the feelings of others.  And, sadly, many bullies do not understand how wrong their ...

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Tom Lynch, Director of Community Programs and the Boys Town Hall of History

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Education Has Always Been the Cornerstone of Success at Boys Town

In 1917, Father Edward J. Flanagan founded Boys Town in Omaha, Nebraska, as a revolutionary home for children. At Boys Town, children were valued, nurtured and cared for with compassion and understanding. Why were Father Flanagan’s ideas and practices considered to be so contrary to America’s prevailing child care system? Boys Town was conceived through years of research by Father Flanagan as a response to the American concept of eugenics. The philosophy of eugenics stated that a child’s race, religion or social ...

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Julie Mooney, Boys Town Teacher

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It’s All in the Organization!

Would you like your child to be more successful in school? There is one key skill all students can learn that can contribute to their classroom success: Being organized! This may sound simple to someone who is a “naturally” organized person. But for students whose thoughts can often go off in random directions, being organized can be tough. Here are a few tips I use with my students at Boys Town that you can share with your children to help them stay focused ...

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Jo Ann Flaxbeard, Boys Town National Training Consultant

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New Grades Bring Big Transitions

With the new school year just around the corner, now is a great time to discuss how children can best transition from one school to another. After all, kindergarten, grade school, middle school, high school and college are distinctly different social and academic stages that mark a youth’s progression from childhood to maturity. And the transition between each requires a new and unique set of skills. If your child will be going through a transition year, the following social skills may ...

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Samantha Whaley, MPA, Boys Town Expert

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Avoid ‘Summer Slide’ and Make Learning Fun

Now that the school year has ended, what are your kids up to? If they’re like most, they’re sleeping late and spending extra time watching television and playing video games. Maybe they’re spending some time with their friends. Chances are, they’re not doing a whole lot of learning, though, and this contributes to summer learning loss, also called “summer slide.” Did you know that the equivalent of one month of overall learning is typically lost after summer vacation? Here are some ...

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Superintendent

Dr. Reznicek, Boys Town High School

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Preparing for a Real-World Future

Graduating from high school can often evoke both a sense of elation and uncertainty. We’ve made it . . . now what? At Boys Town, we try our best to remove that uncertainty from the equation. Our kids typically go on to college or the military or into the workforce, prepared to reach their potential – whatever that may be. For those not on the college or military tracks, entering the workforce is the primary goal. For these students, Boys Town offers a ...

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Allix Catlett, Director, Summer Enrichment Program 

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Youth Learn, Grow, and Contribute Through New Summer Enrichment Program

Boys Town for many years has provided our youth with opportunities to learn and grow over the summer months. In the past, the kids were involved in a program that was lovingly referred to as “Summer Work.” The boys and girls learned job-related skills by lending a hand in the Horticulture, Garden, and Farm Departments, helping to beautify the campus by planting flowers and completing landscaping projects. They also maintained a large garden, harvesting and selling vegetables at a Farmer’s ...

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Joey and Heather Butler, Boys Town Family-Teachers

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Jennifer’s Journey to Leadership, Self-Confidence and Success

Jennifer came to Boys Town as a junior in high school. When she moved into our Boys Town Family Home, she was quiet and very reserved. Toward the end of her junior year, she began to step out of her comfort zone and step into a leadership role on campus. That new role included being chosen to represent Boys Town youth at the Blue Water Bash, a fundraising event to support Boys Town’s Okoboji Camp in Iowa. Every summer, Boys Town ...

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Father Steven Boes, President and Executive Director, Boys Town

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Steering Your Teen Toward Safe Driving

Most parents see it as a blessing when their teen can finally start driving. They love the thought of not having to play chauffeur anymore, and welcome the convenience of having someone who can drive to the store for a few groceries or give a younger sibling a ride to school. What parents must realize, however, is that the biggest threat to the safety of a teen with a driver’s license is sitting right in their own driveway. Consider these sobering statistics: In ...

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Boys Town Contributor & Gavin, 2016 Boys Town Graduate

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2016 Graduates Reflect on Time Spent at Boys Town

This past weekend, 86 boys and girls walked across the stage to receive their diploma from Boys Town High School. These kids come to Boys Town, Nebraska from all over the country. Some come from toxic home environments, others have gotten into trouble with the law. But what brought them to Boys Town doesn’t matter once they get here. What matters is that they work hard for a chance at a bright future. We couldn’t be more proud of their accomplishments. Below ...

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Scott Butler, Director of the Boys Town Day School

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6 Summer Activities to Promote Learning

This article was previously featured on Momaha.  One of my fondest childhood memories is the incredible feeling of freedom I experienced each May on the last day of school. I walked out of the school building carrying the remains of my school year, a back pack full of half-used pencils, broken crayons and used up notebooks. The entire summer was in front of me. My child eyes refused to focus far enough ahead to see the next grade looming in August. In ...

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Boys Town Contributor

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Life After Boys Town: Choosing a Third Path

Portions of content found at nytimes.com At Boys Town campuses all across the country, young men and women are embracing a second chance at life and preparing for the road ahead, armed with skills that will serve them throughout their lives. While many aspire going on to college after they graduate high school, there are those kids for whom this is not an option. For many years, the military was the classic alternative to higher education. But as admission standards have risen and ...

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Corren Kopp – Boys Town National Training

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The Little Things That Matter – Showing Appreciation for School Staff

For many of us who have children, the month of May has come to be known as the time to honor and appreciate our educators. While we often celebrate Teacher Appreciation Day or even Teacher Appreciation Week, it might be a good idea to spread our appreciation to include other school staff members such as counselors, janitors, cafeteria workers, administrative assistants and other employees who interact regularly with our students. Six Ways Your Appreciation Benefits Your School Letting your school staff members ...

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Father Steven Boes, Boys Town National Executive Director 

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Teaching Citizenship to Kids in an Era of Attack Ads

I am so tired of seeing attack ads from politicians. Between all the name calling and unsupported claims, what are we modeling to our kids? That if you tear a person down enough, people will like you more? I don’t think so, and I know most parents don’t either. At Boys Town we instead find ways of teaching youth citizenship through class elections. Each year since 1935, the youth of Boys Town elect a Mayor and Vice Mayor from the upcoming ...

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Submitted  by Janet Goodman, print buyer and mentor at Boys Town

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Mentor Gets ‘Incredible Feeling’ Helping to Improve Children’s Lives

This article was originally posted in the Omaha World Herald.  I absolutely love mentoring because it’s a one-on-one opportunity to show these kids that someone cares. Everyone needs help once in a while and I want these kids to know that it’s okay to need help and ask for help, and that someone (maybe even a stranger) will be there to offer it to them. These are just kids, after all. How they got here really doesn’t matter. Whether they’ve made mistakes in ...

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Erin Green,
Director, Boys Town National Training & Boys Town Press Services

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One Size Does Not Fit All When It Comes to Teaching Students Social Skills and Behavior Management

Every year, Boys Town National Training provides training and consultation services to hundreds of schools and thousands of educators across the United States and throughout the world. These services are based on the Boys Town Education Model®, which focuses on skill-teaching, relationship-building and implementing effective discipline procedures. With a multi-tiered intervention approach, our services assess a school’s or district’s needs; develop a service plan, training and consultation to support the school’s or district’s goals; and, when necessary, build capacity within ...

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Boys Town Contributor
Mother of six-year-old daughter and five-year-old son

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My Youngest Starts School. Wait, am I Supposed to be Sad?

Teachable moments can come from a wide variety of sources, including other parents. From time to time parents write blogs for us that we think you will find interesting, useful, or entertaining. Please enjoy this post from a fellow parent. My baby started Kindergarten a couple of weeks ago. He is my second and last to go off to school. As I was leaving the school after drop off on the first day, I encountered other moms in the hallway fighting ...

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Julie Mooney, Boys Town High School Teacher

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Back to School at Boys Town

A new school year is beginning at Boys Town. That means new faces, new expectations and new beginnings for many of our students. Some have been with us over the summer, while others are just joining us. Our students, like those everywhere, are usually ready to settle into the routine and structure of the school environment. They are looking forward to being involved in good, positive activities. Those who have been to school at Boys Town already know that they will ...

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Julia Cook, Children’s Book Author

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Civility Wars: Helping Your Child Battle Rudeness and Learn Positive People Skills

Rudeness damages others by creating stress, eroding self-worth, creating relationship problems and making life difficult. When we are treated rudely by others, we often become vulnerable and self-doubting. Teaching children to be polite is not an all-or-nothing proposition, but instead is a continuum that starts at birth and continues throughout life. Teaching a child just one single strategy toward politeness will better that child! The most important skill we can teach our children to help them succeed in life is the ...

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Julia Cook, Children’s Book Author

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That’s Just RUDE!

According to The Washington Post,  a recent research study indicates that children who scored well on social competence indicators were four times more likely to get a college degree by age 25 than children who scored poorly. The study goes on to state that children who interact well as kindergartners are more likely to make friends and get positive feedback from teachers, and therefore are more likely to like and stay in school. Teaching children at a very young age how to ...

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Boys Town Contributor,
Mother of nine-year-old son and seven and two-year-old daughters

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Stranger Danger – Keep Them Safe and Kind

Teachable moments can come from a wide variety of sources, including other parents. From time to time parents write blogs for us that we think you will find interesting, useful, or entertaining. Please enjoy this post from a fellow parent.   The other day I was in an elevator and a nice little boy looked up to me and said, “Hi.” He was about five years old and with his father. I said, “Hello, how is your day going?” He then ...

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Jennifer Bell, Manager of Boys Town Reading Center

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Summer Reading: What Should My Kids Read?

Keeping our children reading throughout the summer is important. We recently looked at ways you can encourage your children to read, but you may now be wondering what exactly your children should be reading. As the Manager of the Reading Center at Boys Town High School and a parent myself, I have compiled a list of book your kids (no matter their age) are sure to love reading this summer, along with descriptions. Don’t forget to come back and let us ...

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Superintendent Dr. Reznicek, Boys Town High School

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Thoughts on Graduation

Graduation 2015 from Boys Town on Vimeo. Recently, more than 80 Boys Town seniors walked across the stage to receive their diplomas, signifying the start of their journey from adolescence to adulthood. Though I have been a part of this ceremony many times during my tenure at Boys Town, it never ceases to fill me with pride and hope for the future. You see, graduation is a rite of passage experienced by millions of teenagers across the nation every spring. And ...

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By Dan Daly, Ph.D., Executive Vice President and Director of Youth Care at Boys Town

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Ensuring Quality Residential Care for Kids Is Our Top Priority

Throughout Boys Town’s history, one of our most important guiding principles has been to always do what is in the best interests of children or families so they have the greatest opportunity to find healing and success. This is why we developed our Integrated Continuum of Care®. The Continuum includes in-home and community-based programs that allow more children to get the help they need while remaining with their families (whenever possible) or during short-term stays in foster care. Still, Boys Town ...

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Laura Buddenberg, Manager
Training and Community Outreach, Mother of two

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4 Tips to Help You – and Your Senior – Survive Graduation

This article was first published on Momaha on May 21, 2015. http://www.omaha.com/momaha/tips-to-help-you-and-your-senior-survive-graduation/article_81501410-fd99-11e4-8059-0b9233b66128.html It’s graduation time! Everywhere, parents of high school seniors are in high preparation mode, getting ready for ceremonies, parties and visits from family members. High school graduation is a big accomplishment and rite of passage (for kids and parents alike!) – and well worth celebrating. Here are some tips for maintaining your sanity (and your graduating senior’s safety) during this season. Communicate! 1. Get in touch with your child’s school and do one ...

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Chris Miller, Boys Town National Admissions

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Boys Town Admissions: Finding the Kids Who Need Our Help

Boys Town is a place where kids get second chances and learn how to make good choices. At Boys Town Admissions, we work every day to find boys and girls who are ready to turn their lives around and experience success in school, at home and in their community. Our residential program at Boys Town is made up a diverse population of youngsters who come here from all over the country. Some have gotten into trouble with the law and have ...

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Boys Town Contributor
Mother of eight-year-old son, and six and one-year-old daughters

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Josh Temple Talks Parenting

As the host of several popular home improvement reality shows, Josh Temple is a familiar face on television these days. But did you know that in addition to his day job, Josh also is a parent. When he needs help and advice with his kids on anything from discipline to household chores, he trusts the parenting experts at Boys Town. Here are a few of his favorite Boys Town parenting articles. 2-Year-Old Getting Kids to Sleep Using a Bedtime Routine Eight Ways to End ...