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March 2015 Newsletter
Technology Lunch and Learns

On Wednesday, February 25th, the FRC launched a Technology Lunch and Learn series in an effort to educate staff and affiliates about the technological resources the Family Resiliency Center has available. February's session was provided by IT Manager James Kim and focused on the capabilities of the Mondopad, a giant touch tablet located in the Christopher Hall Conference Room. Participants learned about options to collaborate with others regardless of their location and how to make meetings more productive by visually presenting, capturing, and sharing ideas using this cutting-edge technology tool. 

Health Transitions in Immigrant Families Initiative

Most immigrants are healthy when they arrive in the U.S., but health typically worsens over time among immigrants and their descendants. Changes in dietary patterns and routines related to mealtimes and physical activity likely contribute to this phenomenon. The Health Transitions in Immigrant Families Initiative was created to bring together researchers working on issues of immigrant health. With support from the Christopher Family Foundation Food and Family Program, a group of faculty members, postdocs, and graduate students from multiple departments and colleges started meeting in Fall of 2014 to share ideas and resources, identify areas of potential collaboration, and connect to local agencies serving immigrants. A small grant program was implemented to support new interdisciplinary collaborations; four projects were selected for funding and are currently in the field. Group members are also working on briefs using U.S. Census data to characterize immigrants in Champaign and surrounding counties for use in their future work.

Food 3000

In February, Dr. Barbara Fiese presented The Secret Ingredient to Family Meals: The Dinner Table at Food 3000, an annual conference for discussion about emerging trends, policies, and research in food and nutrition. Held this year in Madrid, Spain, Food 3000 brings together key influencers—including those in nutrition, culinary, agriculture, retail, and food science—to discuss the latest issues impacting food and nutrition communication.

TAPped In

On Saturday, February 14th, The Autism Program (TAP) hosted the Make It and Take It Back to the Classroom workshop. Teachers from the local community and TAP staff and interns gathered at Doris Kelley Christopher Hall to create different types of learning aids for classroom use. These learning aids teach and reinforce concepts, encourage communication, inspire enthusiasm, and create smiles. They help children who have difficulties with listening and attending, understanding and responding, processing sequenced information, and following instructions and routines. They also help reach students with Autism Spectrum Disorder who might not otherwise be able to participate and achieve success and independence. Most of all, the materials make a little magic happen. Click here to read the full article

Did You Know?

The Family Resiliency Center's Research Home is a unique observational facility designed to simulate a family home. Researchers may use a fully equipped kitchen, dining area, living area with a television/DVD player, and an adjoining interview room. The observational area is equipped with seven unobtrusive video cameras and seven wired microphones that allow for 360-degree recording of family, couple, and group interactions. Nine wireless microphones, digital voice recorders, and HD video recorders are also available. 

Upcoming Events
Illinois Kids Count 2015

On Thursday, March 5th, the Family Resiliency Center is hosting the local media release event for the Illinois Kids Count 2015 at 10:00 a.m. in the Christopher Hall Studio. This year’s report, Illinois Kids Count 2015: Confronting Poverty, Creating Opportunity, will focus on trends in child poverty over the past 15 years. The report will include a wide range of indicators on statewide trends, as well as changes in the geography of poverty within Champaign County and the state as whole. The report will also present data on safety net programs and other policies designed to reduce or alleviate child poverty.  Speakers will address how these key trends and issues are impacting our community, how local organizations are addressing them, and what actions our community can take.

STRONG Kids Brown Bag Series

The STRONG Kids Brown Bag Series will resume on April 15, from 12-1 p.m. in the Christopher Hall Studio—more details coming soon!