Tip of the Week

The nation’s high school graduation rate continues to rise. With more than 84 percent of students graduating on time in 2016, it is at a record high, according to recent data from the U.S. Department of Education.

In addition, the National Center for Education Statistics is expecting that 3.6 million students will graduate from high school in 2017-18. With the growth in graduates, graduation parties are increasing and the bar is being raised on how to best honor and commemorate this special milestone.

For graduating high schoolers, this is the year they will be moving on to life’s next big adventure. It’s a time to be excited, a time to be nervous, but above all, a time to celebrate.

The season for grad parties is here, but for many parents, planning can be a bit tricky. Everyone wants a truly unique experience to recognize the accomplishments of their graduate, but at the same time, life can be hectic, and party planning can become stressful.

The good news is that with a little know-how, it’s possible to throw a meaningful graduation party without going over the edge. These five tips will help any time-starved host create a truly memorable event and stay sane at the same time!

Create personalized, printed invitations and announcements. Digital invitations might seem like the most convenient way to go, but there is an easy, more personalized and meaningful way to get the word out. One way to create photo cards is by visiting a Kodak Picture Kiosk, many of which can be found at most CVS and Target locations. Here, in a matter of minutes, party planners can upload a favorite photo, select from dozens of designs and make an announcement that reflects the graduate’s personality. Envelopes are included with the cost of the card, making this a truly one-stop shop for everyone’s invitation and announcement needs.

Music, tunes and jams. Music is an essential component of any party. To create an ambiance that conveys a graduate’s style, have the graduate make a playlist of their favorite hits and most memorable school songs. Then all that’s needed is a Bluetooth speaker and a smartphone (or any other audio device with pairing capabilities).

An answer to your dining needs. More restaurants are offering catering services, so whether the graduate wants a taco bar or pizza buffet, it’s likely that one of their favorite restaurants can accommodate a crowd and many offer delivery services as well.

Create a message board. A novel way to share memories and create new ones is to set up a message board where guests can jot down stories and memories. For example, display a number of pictures, in any number of sizes — from mini prints to banners — that can be printed out at a Kodak Picture Kiosk or easily upload images to KodakMoments.com or the Kodak Moments App and order prints at home or on the go.

Make it social media friendly. It’s the 21st century, and that means there’s going to be sharing of the graduation party on social media. Embrace it! Ask those attending to tag their posts and photos with a distinctive and easy-to-remember hashtag. This will allow everyone to have a selection of easy-to-look-at pictures, and later, can be used to create an archive of memories.

It’s not often that there’s a chance to gather so many people together in one place to celebrate your child’s achievements. With these tips, it’s easy to create a graduation party everyone will remember for years to come.

— Brandpoint

Family Movie Night

“Overboard”

Rated: PG-13

Length: 112 minutes

Synopsis: A remake of the 80s rom-com about a spoiled, wealthy yacht owner who is thrown overboard and becomes the target of revenge from his mistreated employee (Anna Faris).

Book Report

“Good Night Yoga: A Pose-by-Pose Bedtime Story”

Ages: 3-6

Pages: 22

Synopsis: Adapted for children under the age of four, the Good Night Yoga board book shares the beautiful poetry and yoga poses from the original bedtime favorite. Relax and unwind with your youngest, following the natural world as it comes to rest at day’s end.

— Sounds True; Brdbk edition

Did You Know

According to a new report, the prevalence of autism has increased from 1 in 68 to 1 in 59 in the Centers for Disease Control and Preventions’ Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network. The surveyed communities represent about 8 percent of 8-year-old U.S. children.

Some of the change could be due to improved autism identification in minority populations. But the data suggests that more work needs to be done to identify children with autism at a younger age to refer them to early intervention.

The network estimates are combined from 11 communities Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Wisconsin. The ADDMN tracking system provides estimates of the prevalence and characteristics of autism spectrum disorder among more than 300,000 8-year-old children. It is the largest population-based program to monitor autism and the only autism tracking system that examines health and education records.

— More Content Now