Still looking for volunteers for one-day Big Brothers Big Sisters event

The BIG Blast is 3-9 p.m. Thursday (time is flexible), and we would love to have your help as we try to get 500-1,000 flyers up in the Fargo-Moorhead area. The aim is to get the word out about mentoring with Big Brothers Big Sisters. If you can hang up a flyer, you can help Big Brothers Big Sisters!

For more info about volunteering for The BIG Blast, check out this post.

For more info about the local Big Brothers Big Sisters program, check out our website.


Volunteers needed: ‘Big BLAST’ aims to distribute up to 1,000 flyers for FM Big Brothers Big Sisters

Local Big Brothers Big Sisters organizers hope to distribute 500-1,000 flyers across Fargo-Moorhead during The BIG Blast, 3-9 p.m., Oct. 2, and they’re looking for volunteers to help with the effort.

Organizers hope to have 50 to 100 volunteers for the event. The aim is to encourage people in the community to become mentors through Big Brothers Big Sisters.

The BIG Blast kicks off at the Holiday Inn, 3803 13th Ave. S. in Fargo. From there, volunteers will fan out to various parts of the city to hang up and/or hand out posters.

Door prizes include a flatscreen TV, Fargo Force Tickets, various gift certificates and more. For more info on The BIG Blast, visit

To volunteer, email or call (701) 451-4938. Hashtag for the event is #bigblast.


Big Brothers Big Sisters is a program that facilitates mentoring relationships between youth and adults. BBBS in Fargo-Moorhead is a program of The Village Family Service Center. More info at

Free document shredding offered at The Village Oct. 8 and 9

Identity Theft Awareness Shred Days are set for Oct. 7 in Bismarck and Oct. 8 and 9 in Fargo.

Bring your outdated financial records including bank statements, old checks, credit card statements and offers, and other items that contain personal and financial information for free shredding donated by Record Keepers, LLC. You can also have old hard drives destroyed, and an identity theft expert will be on hand. Coffee, juice, and cookies will be served.

The Bismarck event is 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on Oct. 7 in the parking lot of Record Keepers, 2624 Vermont Ave. in Bismarck.

The Fargo events are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on Oct. 8 and 8 a.m.-1 p.m. on Oct. 9 in the parking lot of The Village Family Service Center, 1201 25th St. S., in Fargo.

Material is limited to four banker boxes or shopping bags, and two hard drives (removed from the CPU). We will also be accepting food pantry donations. For more information, contact The Village Family Service Center at (701) 235-3328 or (800) 450-4019.

‘Ask Jane:’ How do I get my kids to go to bed?

By Jane Greminger
Nokomis Child Care Centers of The Village 

Editor’s note: Jane Greminger is the director of Nokomis Child Care Centers, which is part of The Village Family Service CenterNokomis provides a place for all children to thrive and grow, regardless of their needs. The center provides traditional child care for families able to pay for the service, and also fills a need for families with special needs, both financial, emotional, and physical. 

Q: How do I get my kids to go to bed?

A: It’s all about establishing a routine! A routine will help you have a smooth transition to bedtime. You will develop a regular sleep pattern for your children when you choose a bedtime and be consistent with it.

Your procedures for getting your child ready for bed may slightly vary from one night to the next, depending on how tired and ready for bed your child feels. And there will always be times in your life when outings or events cause you to veer from bedtime. However, the basic elements of your nighttime routine should always remain the same.

Establish a household routine early in your child’s life. The following suggestions are common components of a nighttime routine that can be adjusted to fit your family’s needs.

  • Have your child change into a comfortable pair of pajamas.
  • Set the temperature in your home at a comfortable setting.
  • Brush teeth.
  • Give your child a warm bath—it can be calming and relaxing.
  • Pick up toys and clean up.
  • Say goodnight to your pets.
  • Spend quiet time with your child—read stories, sing lullabies, visit quietly, etc.
  • Allow your child to eat a light and healthy snack and/or get a small drink (but no large amounts of liquid).
  • Have your child use the bathroom one last time before bed.
  • Find things to comfort your child such as a stuffed animal, a night light, or soft music.

Setting firm, fair limits with your bedtime routine is also very important. Many times children will “delay” or “extend” what they’re doing in an attempt to stay up longer. For example, if part of your routine is to say goodnight to your pets and your child continues to hold, pet, and play with your pet, then it’s time to set boundaries as to what it means to say goodnight to your pet. When bedtime routines aren’t managed, they can be drawn out to the point to which their purpose is defeated.

Planning for active days can also help at bedtime so that your child doesn’t have built-up energy at night when it’s time to go to bed.

Allow some flexibility when it comes to establishing the routine that works for your family, but set limits and timeframes that help keep your child on a consistent and regular nighttime schedule. The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute says, “Sleep, like diet and exercise, is important for our minds and bodies to function normally.”


























Village offering “Relationships 101″ classes

“Relationships 101″ is a 6-week class beginning Sept. 16, 2014, at The Village’s Moorhead office.

It can often be difficult to know if working hard at your relationship will be enough to save it. Often couples feel like there is nothing they can do that will work to save their relationship, but there is hope. You can move from the brink of despair to find the strong, loving, emotional connection you once had.

Call 701-451-4811 to register. More info at

Video: A Village family program you may not have heard of

The Village’s Family Engagement Programs meet families where they are and work to help them make some very important decisions related to their children. Family Engagement includes Family Group Decision Making and Family Team Decision Making. Learn more about these programs in the video below.

With more than 20 offices in N.D. and Minn., we help individuals and families through a range of counseling, adoption, financial and business services.














How The Village helps children before the damage is done

By Gary Wolsky, President/CEO
The Village Family Service Center

Four villagers working along a river bank see children floating by and out of sight. The first villager works frantically to pull out as many as he can. The second villager decides the best approach is to teach the children to swim. The third villager rallies the rest of the village to understand the plight of the children, but the wise fourth villager marches upriver to find out who is throwing them in.

I heard this story many years ago and have always thought it quite profound. I believe it is worth pondering from the standpoint of The Village’s work with kids and families for the past 123 years.

Sometimes we don’t get the opportunity to go upriver to find the “source” of the children floating by. When that happens, we deal with the reality of the situation—knowing that whatever the source may be, appropriate interventions by trained professionals can be the key in helping kids and families chart a new and successful course.

Many (or most) people don’t show up at one of our offices until the situation that gets them there has been going on for some time. The damage is greater, the problem(s) more ingrained and, naturally, the recovery more difficult, than if the issue were addressed early on. Although nearly all of us have heard that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, not all live by it. It’s probably a simple matter of human nature.

So, we invest a great deal of energy and dollars to “pull kids out of the river.” And we’re really good at it. Our outcome measurements show we are successful in helping people through tough times. Client and referral survey results clearly show The Village has an exemplary reputation, and is very well known for its work in “pulling kids out of the river” and saving them from the dangers downstream.

The other aspect of our work that is equally, if not more, gratifying is when we send people up river. Big Brothers Big Sisters is one example of this work. After four decades of commitment to these kids, we know … (Read the full article on The Village Family Magazine website…)

Village President takes the Ice Bucket Challenge!

Village President/CEO Gary Wolsky was called out for the Ice Bucket Challenge by Village digital marketing guy Shane Mercer. And Wolsky, indeed, took it on. Watch the video here…


5 factors that can alter effectiveness of the medications you take









By Becky Elbert, CNS, The Village Family Service Center

Editor’s note: This article is taken from the First Step Recovery August newsletter. First Step Recovery is a licensed addiction treatment facility in Fargo, N.D., that provides comprehensive, confidential treatment of alcoholism and other drug dependency. For more info, visit

Every day, prescriptions are written for various health problems. Providers spend time with clients talking about the risks, benefits, and side effects of the medications they prescribe. But do providers spend time talking about the importance of medication compliance? Perhaps you are wondering what we mean when we talk about medication compliance. You would be considered med compliant if you took the prescribed medication exactly as it was intended. Medication noncompliance is when you don’t follow the instructions given with the prescription.

I have to admit I don’t spend a great deal of time talking about the importance of medication compliance. I guess I assume most people have all had at least one prescription before and they understand the importance of taking the medication as prescribed. The No. 1 reason for taking the prescription as prescribed is to get the desired effect from the medication. If it is an antidepressant, you should expect that it would treat your depression and thus improve your mood.

Sounds pretty simple, right? Unfortunately, it’s not that simple and medication compliance is a problem providers encounter every day. Why? Because we are human—we make mistakes and we forget things. Research has shown the medication compliance rate for a person taking one medication a day is only 80%. A person doesn’t plan on missing a dose—it just happens. What if a medication has to be taken two, three, or four times a day? Medication compliance rates drop to 50% when a person has to take a medication four times a day. It has been reported that medication compliance rates for antidepressants is approximately 67%. At that rate, you can’t expect the medication to be effective at treating depression. So the first pitfall to avoid is forgetting to take your medication or not taking it as it was prescribed.

Noncompliance with many psychiatric medications has other ramifications. First and foremost is something called “discontinuation syndrome,” which occurs with many psychiatric medications (i.e. like some SSRI antidepressants) if a dose is missed for even one day, or if a medication is abruptly discontinued. A person who experiences discontinuation syndrome can have side effects such as tingling or prickling of the skin, numbness, or electric-shock-like sensations. To avoid discontinuation syndrome you must remember to take your medications at approximately the same time every day and do not abruptly stop taking your medication without first discussing it with your provider.

Lastly, I cannot stress enough the importance of telling your provider everything. That includes such things as missing doses, changing the time you take the medication, or taking lower or higher doses than the originally prescribed dose. It is also important to inform your provider if you just decided not to fill the prescription and you didn’t start the medication. Whatever the case may be, BE HONEST. Honesty will not get you in trouble, rather it will help the provider determine the next step to take in treating your illness.


  1. Diet. Dietary intake can affect how medications are absorbed, metabolized, and eliminated from the body. For instance, the antipsychotic Ziprasadone should be taken with meals because food doubles the bioavailability of the drug. Your provider should discuss any dietary interactions with you at the time of your appointment. It is important to mention that eating disorders, such as anorexia, have a significant impact on medication efficacy.
  2. Smoking. Cigarette smoke can alter the metabolism of many medications, requiring the individual to need higher doses of a medication to get the same effect.
  3. OTC Medications, Herbs and Supplements. It is imperative that you tell your provider about any other preparations you are using. Just because you don’t need a prescription to take them doesn’t mean that they won’t interfere with your other medications. For example, St. John’s Wort has been said to help some types of depression, but the evidence is not definitive. It is well known that taking St. John’s Wort in conjunction with some antidepressants can cause serious risks, and can also limit the effectiveness of many prescription medications. If you have questions or concerns, your pharmacist can also advise you on these issues.
  4. Alcohol. Alcohol may decrease the effectiveness of medications or render them useless. In other cases, mixing alcohol with some medications can be harmful and even toxic to the body.
  5. Caffeine. Caffeine can cause a variety of interactions with different medications. It is important to tell your provider if you are drinking caffeinated beverages. For example Disulfiram (Antabuse) can decrease how quickly the body gets rid of caffeine, which might result in increased effects of caffeine and side effects that can include jitteriness, hyperactivity, irritability, and others.

I encourage you to use the above information and guidelines to get the best response to the medication(s) you are prescribed. And remember…medications don’t work in patients who don’t take them.

First Step Recovery is a licensed addiction treatment facility in Fargo, N.D., that provides comprehensive, confidential treatment of alcoholism and other drug dependency. At First Step Recovery, we believe these are treatable illnesses, and we base our recovery program on this guiding principle:

Alcoholism and other drug dependencies are physical, emotional, social, and spiritual disorders. They are characterized by excessive, compulsive, and uncontrolled use of alcohol and other drugs that affect not only the person who is dependent but also family members and significant others.

Where to find the best free educational videos for children online


Vids that educate...As every good teacher knows, a well-chosen video can fasten a concept into a child’s head much faster than a lecture or a textbook. Happily, this is the golden age for mini videos. Charismatic educators have condensed their best lessons into short segments that are as entertaining as they are educational. Since kids are already snacking on videos of cute animals and favorite music groups, parents might as well expand the menu to include something a little more nourishing.

Bite-size videos have several uses: they can keep young minds engaged in the summer, supplement classroom lessons during the school year, be mini-refresher videos for parents attempting to help with homework, or a valuable teaching tool for homeschool families.

YouTube is bursting with educational videos. However, for parents, this creates a “wheat from chaff” problem because the good stuff is mixed in with plenty of other videos that are, at best, time-wasters and, at worst, inappropriate for kids. The following YouTube channels meet the ABC standard—they are Accurate, Boredom Busting, and Child-friendly—and they are fun! If you find a channel your kids really like, consider subscribing so you’ll know when new videos are posted.

CGP Grey has a simple tagline—“complex things explained”—and it delivers on that promise. These short videos feature stick figures that explain everything from the debt limit and daylight savings time to the Electoral College and net neutrality.

Vi Hart is one of the few vlogs hosted by a woman. Victoria calls herself a “recreational mathem… (Read the full article, on The Village Family Magazine site.)