December 29, 2011

The Present Situation For Writing And Publishing Creative Writing For Children In Africa

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Africa has been marked by a dearth of books, especially picture story books for younger children reflecting an African environment both in textual context and illustration. Problems militating against a rapid growth in writing and publishing for children in Africa include the following:

(1) The bulk of reading matters available to the African child are textbooks rather than books for pleasure and enjoyment.

(2) Most children’s books are still imported. Such imported works are mostly insensitive to local culture, and unreflective of the social realities of the African child and his aspirations.

(3) Not enough African published children’s books are available.

(4) If they are available the illustrations in them are either

(a) of poor quality

(b) not in full colour

(c) Do not have beautiful dust jackets.

(5) And if they are in full colour, and of good quality, they are either much too expensive or for an elitist few and well beyond the reach of most African children, especially those in the rural areas.

(6) Most serious African authors do not bother to write for children since it is not accorded the same status as writing for adults.

Africa has very little concern for written literature. Even Nigeria which is rich in award-winning authors is marked by neglect of her authors. Writers are seldom as honoured.as footballers are. Hardly any foundations exist to boost the creativity of African writers. Prizes for literature are also in short supply. Book Development Councils seem to be either non-existent or collapsing except in Ghana. In Sierra Leone and the Gambia its absence is still being bemoaned. Whereas in Nigeria where one was once set up to develop indigenous book publishing, it hardly made any impact until it was swallowed up by the Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council. In Africa generally adults seldom read children’s books – not even parents. Compared to the over 2,000 titles published every year for children in Britain, the output in Nigeria is hardly up to 60.

In spite of the over 100 publishers in Nigeria the situation remains bleak for children’s literature. This is due mainly to their textbook orientation which makes them lazily rely on a captive school market. It has been proven that if only African children had access to more books they would read outside the classroom. An illustration of this fact could be seen from the 1985 Ife Book Fair where the Children’s Literature Association of Nigeria (CLAN) held a special exhibition of books

Visitors to that stand were fascinated by the colourful poster illustrations of folktales decorating the wall, the top and back of shelves. Some even wanted to buy the poster-sized illustrations made by a very gifted woman artist from the Nigerian television authority. The festive air given to the stand by the balloons decorating it along with the colourful posters attracted many children. There was the astonishing sight of three children of varying ages reading one picture book at the same time, visibly very fascinated by this picture book entitled No Bread for Eze by Ifeoma Okoye and published by Fourth Dimension in Enugu. It was one of those picture books where both story and illustrations were ideally integrated. It was about a young boy Eze who loved bread and could not eat enough of it. He wanted bread all the time. So his exasperated parents made him eat nothing but bread. Eze was at first very happy. Nobody was pressurizing him to eat nourishing food. But he soon grew tired of eating bread all the time and pleaded with his parents to give him other types of food. But they would not relent. So Eze became tired of bread and stopped eating. He grew hungry and weak and could not even play football with his friends. In the end his parents relented and Eze began to enjoy a balanced diet, having learnt that boys shall not live by bread alone. This emphasizes the importance of illustrations in children’s books, for those children were fascinated not only by the story of Eze but also by the imaginative and sometimes humorously drawn pictures. If children are to acquire the reading habit, they must be given attractive books which also mean well-illustrated books. Even a two-year old baby can enjoy looking at a picture book. Picture books could indeed be expensive to some extent if one insists on printing in four colours which is ideal as could be seen in the lavishly illustrated folktale The Drum specially written for children by Chinua Achebe. But even line and wash drawings could be so well drawn that they too could be captivating.

Half-tone illustrations as in Adagbonyin’s The Singing Ashes (1981) can also be effective due to the masterly shading of the artist. Even one-colour children’s books could infectiously hold young readers as does Just in Case (1983) By Sandra Slater, illustrated by A.L. Satti.

Other good picture books include the colourful Amina the Milkmaid (1988) by Fatima Pam illustrated by K. Ofori Pam, a Ghanaian, The First Coin (1989) by Mabel Segun illustrated by the same artist and How the Leopard Got His Claws (1982) by Chinua Achebe and John Iroaganachi. This has two illustrated versions, the one in full colour being by Adrienne Kennaway.

Although Nigeria has a few good illustrators, most of the good illustrations there have been done by expatriates. It appears that many Nigerian illustrators cannot draw children’s faces and have problems with interpreting texts. In order to remedy these defects, CLAN has run two illustrators’ training workshops with UNESCO funding and published a book on Illustrating For Children (1988) edited by Mabel Segun.

But this problem can only be solved permanently by integrating text and illustrations, a feat best accomplished by an author illustrator The cost of publishing in full-colour could even be reduced through co-publishing with, a number of publishers working together to increase print runs and reduce the unit cost of books. Sometimes a book is published with texts in different languages using the same colour illustrations. In Nairobi, five publishers across Africa including Nigeria’s Daystar Press came together in 1983 under the auspices of the World Association for Christian Community (WACC) and co-published a number of children’s books in full colour under the imprint DUCCA.

The dearth of good children’s authors is also militating against the publishing of children’s literature in Africa. For, writing for children, is much more difficult than writing for adults, for not many adults can either enter into the child’s world and interact with him with understanding and lack of condescension whilst adapting the contents and language of her writing to the child’s age, experience and background… A good writer for children must understand a child’s psychology for the story not to ring false. Good children’s literature arouses a child’s imagination and extends his horizon giving him a knowledge of the past in relation to the present and imbuing him ideals and values necessary for national development. Work ethics. selflessness, loving relationships, acceptance of responsibility are amongst the values which can be so taught, not in a didactic, off-putting manner but with subtlety so that children can be mobilized towards national and international development. Good children’s literature develops a child’s creativity and inventiveness without which a people cannot hope to move into the technological age.

Good literature can also give a child personal identity in a continent which has been subjected to cultural imperialism through mass importation of foreign literature. Achebe does this through his well-written folktales such as The Flute, The Drum and the earlier How the Leopard Got His Claws co-authored with John Iroaganachi and published in 1972 by Nwamife Publishers. The latter was one of the first children’s picture story books published in Nigeria and remains one of the best and most successful ones, with an East African Publishing House. Chinua Achebe is quoted as saying it.. ‘Is one of the best things I have ever done.’ Mabel Segun does this through character-building books such as Olu and the Broken Statue (1985).

In neighbouring Ghana many other problems including the country’s balance of payments difficulties which cause constant short supplies of essential raw materials and

spare parts to repair defective printing equipments. Amongst The Ghana Publishing Corporations’ substantial number of children’s books published, one of the earliest and most attractive was Mesheck Asare’s picture story book, Tawia Goes to Sea published in 1970. This was probably the first African-published children’s book to gain world-wide recognition and it was also the first book from an African publisher to be translated into Japanese. Better still was the welcome news that a Ghanaian children’s book was the winner of the 1982 Noma Award. This $3,000 prize went to Mesheck Asare, for his engaging picture story book The Brassman’s Secret published by Educational Press and Manufacturers United of Kumasi in 1981.The jury in selecting it were impressed by its’ exciting and unusual children’s story, beautifully and imaginatively illustrated by the author, himself an artist, to bring out important aspects of his Asante culture. They also thought it remarkable that a book of such high quality was produced under such difficult conditions then prevalent in Ghana. Asare has like Achebe been rehabilitating the African child’s mind through literature designed to reveal to him his cultural heritage through all these fantasies as well as the adventure book Chipo and the Bird on the Hill and his more recent Sosu’s Call

Another G.P.C. item Mercy Owusu-Nimoh’s The Walking Calabash published in 1977 was singled out for ‘Honourable mention’ in the first Noma Award for Publishing in Africa competition

Inspite of its many problems Ghana manages to maintain a lively and enterprising local book industry. Firms such as Aframs Publications, Adwinsa Publishers and the Wielerville Publishing House are among those whose list includes occasional children’s books.

In East Africa, the bulk of the children’s book publishing output is from Kenya. The East African Publishing House in Nairobi in particular, has an extensive list of picture-story books illustrated in full colours, as well as readers, and traditional stories and folklore. Especially appealing is their series called ‘Lioncubs.’ Charity Waciuma, Pamela Kola, Asenath Odaga and Cynthia Hunter are amongst the most prolific authors in the EAPH list. Another prolific children’s writer is Barbara Kimenye who publishes with the East African branch of Oxford University Press, some titles one of which is Martha the Millipede recounting the story of Martha who fed up with getting sore feet decided it was about time to get herself some shoes.

The Kenyan Literature Bureau taking over from the East African Literature Bureau has produced a few children’s books among which is Ray Prather’s A is for Africa A Colouring Book for Africa which contains forty full-page drawings depicting the various people of Africa, accompanied by small maps showing their geographical locations.

Foremost Kenyan writer, Ngugi Wa’Thiongo has joined his Nigerian counterpart, Achebe, in writing and publishing his first children’s book but unlike Achebe in his native Gikuyu language but later translating it as The Great Hero and the Flying Bus.

In Southern Africa, Zimbabwe Publishing House have already built up a most impressive collection. A government supported private commercial undertaking, it publishes books on education, politics, literature and creative writing, Zimbabwean history but with books for children featuring prominently. It sponsored a splendid magazine for children ANTS started by a panel of Zimbabwean children but which I have learnt with much regret has stopped publishing more than 15 years now.

Other publishers catering for children here are Mamba Press and the Zimbabwe Literature Bureau, the latter having a wide range of materials in Shona and Ndebele comprising novels, poetry, short story booklets, children’s comics and material for literacy development.

In Malawi another firm actively developing children’s books in the indigenous languages publishes the popular publications of Limbe.

In Lesotho the church-sponsored Mazenod Book Centre similarly has a substantial list of books for children in African Languages,

In Zambia and in Tanzania some children’s material is coming from the National Educational Company of Zambia and the Tanzania Publishing House.

In South Africa initially the small local market did not make it feasible to publish local children’s books in English. English children’s books written with a South African background or by a South African were usually published in England. Jock of the Bushveld (1907) written by Sir Percy FitzPatrick, is generally regarded as the first English South African children’s book. .This was published in South Africa during the second half of the twentieth century. Only during the 1970s did local publishers realize the need for indigenous children’s books in English and start exploiting the market. This change was brought about single handedly by the writer Marguerite Poland with her Mantis and the Moon which was published in 1979. The rise in price of imported children’s books made the publication of indigenous material more competitive. The political changes during the 1980s then brought improvement of the quality of education of African children and the decision that they could receive tuition in English. This created a large potential market for English children’s books in which some publishers specialize. At the end of the 1980s English children’s books were prominent in dealing with the political and socio-economic conditions in the country. The English children’s book was more explicit with regard to criticism of apartheid. with authors like Lesley Beake, Dianne Case and Lawrence Bransby taking the lead.

As a result of the small local market, few original books with full colour illustrations are published. Collaboration with overseas publishers and the simultaneous publication in various indigenous languages is often the only way to make a publication viable. Also, publishers of children’s books concentrate on the publishing series, beginner and second language readers.

The change in government in the country and the elevation of the African languages to official status, one should have expected would have led to the development of children’s literature in the African languages, but for several reasons this has not yet occurred. The rise of African consciousness and nationalism in the battle against apartheid has rather led to the identification of English as the language for education and freedom. For many African children prefer to read in English, and many African authors prefer to write in this language. Also only a small minority amongst African children read for recreation. Some publishers nevertheless try to publish children’s books of a high quality in African languages, but due to a shortage of indigenous writers most books are translations from English or Afrikaans.

This suggests the problem of language as another factor hindering the rapid development of children’s literature in Africa. The language problem posed by writers being forced to write in foreign languages which they have not really mastered raises the issue of writers being trained to write in their indigenous languages. But then this creates yet another problem as some of the authors of books written in African languages cannot distinguish between concepts for adults and concepts outside the experience of children. Similarly they use an off-putting adult language.

There is also an imbalanced attention to the various ages of childhood. For far more books are being written for the middle-aged (8-12) while very young children remain largely neglected. Very few books for adolescents have been written. One is Angi Ossai’s Tolulope (1979). Another is Joined by Love by Joy Ikede. The Kenyan Asenath Odaga’s work Jande’s Ambition is about choice of career which should be a prime concern at that age. Macmillan’s Pacesetter Series also appeals to young adults but their works are said to be of varying quality, featuring crime, espionage and love tangles.

There is in addition the chronic absence of children’s magazines in most parts of Africa. In Sierra Leone the attempt by The Sierra Leone Writers and Illustrators to establish one did not survive its second issue. But the invaluable role they could play in inculcating the reading habit in the child because of their wide variety of subjects, the form of presentation and the fact that children love to read what their peers have written and thus start having similar creative impulses is recognized.

Most parts of Africa are not book-friendly for there are few if any bookshops where the African child can buy books. Neither is his access to libraries especially so in rural areas easy. School libraries are a phenomenon of a distant past. Where public libraries are still available and functioning their children’s sections are poorly housed, poorly furnished, poorly ventilated, poorly equipped, poorly staffed and poorly sited. There is therefore an obvious need for thorough overhauling of library services in Africa. And efforts should be made to make it an essential public service from the central on to local government levels so as to give every community the opportunity of accessing and growing on books. Similarly every school should have a library that is well stocked and well-equipped.

The distribution of books is another area of difficulties. For this is usually left to private enterprise although some governments purchase textbooks in bulk to distribute to schools. Wholesale bookselling is best handled by private entrepreneurs trained in the discipline. But the main problem hindering this is that the book distributors tend to restrict themselves to using distribution methods more suited to countries with a high level of literacy where the wider citizenry is already converted to books. In Africa, publishers and book distributors cannot afford to wait for buyers to come to them. They must rather take their products to the people wherever they are. In Tanzania, therefore, enterprising publishers take books to the local markets. There shoppers mingle with books and enjoy lively discussions with the publishers on all aspects of books. The huge sales at these exhibitions have proved the usefulness of such innovative activities. This kind of promotion will no doubt create in adults an awareness of the need for literature.

Efforts made to promote and sell books in the West could be extended with adaptations, if necessary, to intra-African book distribution so that print runs will be longer for the prohibitive costs of books to be brought down. Why cannot children in Nairobi, for instance, read literature published by an indigenous publisher in Nigeria? Much is lost through the compartmentalization of African children’s literature. In 1976 an attempt to sell African books from all parts of the continent at the Second Pan African Trade Fair in Algiers collapsed when 4,000 such books had to be brought back because the Algerian government’s imposition of a 120% tax on the books had made them too expensive. Such tariffs need to be removed with communication and transport systems improved to facilitate trans-African movement of books.

The situation however seems poised for major changes with the intervention of a series of bodies and institutions thus complementing the efforts of others such as UNESCO that had been working assiduously in the field. There is a wide network of organizations geared towards supporting the growth of publishing in Africa. One of them is APNET which network exists to help strengthen book publishing by Africans in Africa. APNET has been working closely with the Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA) and has been supported by Bellagio. The Bellagio Group of donors has been exploring ways of improving support for a number of cultural industries, which it is hoped will eventually include African books for African children as there is now recognition among policy makers that culture of which books are an integral part is much of a key to development.

Book Fairs in Africa have been fastly becoming established institutions with a concerted series of initiatives to redressing the otherwise parlous state of books in Africa. The Pan African Children’s Book Fair (PACBF) started in Nairobi, Kenya in 1991 through the initiative of the Foundation for the Promotion of Children’s Science Publications in Africa (GHISCI). The fair has been trying to stimulate a learning environment that captures and nurtures the African child’s inherent qualities of imagination, curiosity and creativity. It has created a dynamic atmosphere to enhance the preciousness of books in the learning life of the child. Through a variety of activities such as art, toys, fun with science, debates, quizzes, creative writing, story-telling, and reading aloud, Kenyan children have come to love and comfortably identify with this event with increasing numbers thronging it every year. In 1994 a children’s library introduced within the fair further whet the children’s appetite by enabling children who could not buy books to have the opportunity to read a couple of books at the fair. Since 1994 the Reading Tent has been a major attraction to all children visiting the fair. This has resulted in other African book fairs widely emulating this innovation. Exhibitors also have been steadily improving their marketing skills thus reaching out to the children in more proactive ways, engaging them into books with new titles introduced. The 1998 PACBK had a spectacular advance with each stand becoming a mini library. Yet another innovation – A Children’s Home Library Campaign – was launched with children responding with tremendous enthusiasm, buying books and promising to start their own home libraries.

The Zimbabwe International Book Fair has been another important stimulant for the development of the book industry in Africa.The1998 fair was of especial significance because its theme and that of the accompanying Indaba was ‘BOOKS AND CHILDREN’

At the sessions of the inaugural Indaba it was emphasized that up to the 1990′s book production for children has been weak if not non-existent in some countries. But since 1987 spectacular growth in children’s publishing, in both European and African languages have been reported. In Kenya, Uganda and Nigeria production has notably increased in the last ten to twenty years. Print runs have also increased significantly averaging 3,000 to 5,000 copies per title with possibilities of frequent reprinting.

This progress has been attributed to the following:

1. The creativity of African publishers enabling them to produce well-made children’s books in terms of content, production quality and price.

2. Continuing increases in state purchases of books for schools and libraries.

3. Appreciable support being provided to publishing and book acquisitions by development agencies, international organizations and N.GO’S.

4. Noticeable increases in sales resulting from efforts publishers are making to promote their books nationally and internationally.

5. Co-operation between publishers and distributors enabling the development of export sales.

But in spite of this difficulties still remain or have been created in the following areas:

1 Wide differences between countries. The situation in South Africa, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Kenya and Tanzania is very much better than in other countries in their regions. In francophone West Africa, Ivory Coast, Senegal, Mali and Togo stand out clearly.

2 Difficulties in finding good authors and illustrators still persist.

3 Readership is not sufficiently developed, given the level of illiteracy and the lack of a reading culture or habit.

4 Even where a readership exists, its purchasing power is limited. For books is not as high a basic priority as basic needs.

5 The library network is not developed, especially in the rural areas.

6 The distribution network is not developed.

7 The intense political situation in Zimbabwe has negatively affected the most favorable climate created there for the growth of books not only there but the whole of Africa and has robbed The Zimbabwe International Book Fair of its international flavour.

Arthur Edgar E. Smith was born, grew up and was schooled in Freetown, Sierra Leone.. He has taught English since 1977 at Prince of Wales School and, Milton Margai College of Education. He is now at Fourah Bay Collegewhere he has been lecturing English, Literature, as well as Creative Writing for the past seven years rising to the rank of Senior Lecturer.

Mr Smith is widely published both locally as well as internationally with his writings appearing in local newspapers as well as in West Africa Magazine, Index on Censorship,Focus on Library and Information Work amongst others .

He was one of 17 international visitors who participated in a seminar on contemporary American Literature sponsored by the U.S.State Department from June to August 2006. His growing thoughts and reflections on this trip which took him to various US sights and sounds inLouisville,, San Francisco, Cincinnatti and Washington D.C. could be read at http://www.lisnews.org

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December 28, 2011

Fly Fishing Supplies And Tackle

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An experienced fisher knows, in order to fully enjoy the fishing expedition, all the necessary fly fishing supplies must bring along. If you has engage a guide, some time the company may supply you some fly fishing supplies, such as vest, reels, fly lines and leaders, flies, tackle storage and dry shakes. However, some touring companies may request you to bring your own fishing supplies, such as fishing clothing, watercraft, combos, and as well as your own waders.

Buying Fly Fishing Supplies

There are many fishing stores that sell fly fishing supplies. For fishers who live in cities close to the ocean, to extensive lakes, or to major rivers, where fly fishing is a popular sport, you should much easy to locate the fishing stores that sell fly fishing supplies or you can have them deliver to you thru online ordering.

Fishers can buy the fishing supplies thru internet, it is very convenience for those who need to travel outside of their own city to enjoy fly fishing trip. Online shopping means that you can get all the fishing supplies you want right from home. There are many websites on the net that are just as trustworthy as your old neighborhood fishing stores. You can get everything from flies to hooks, and reels to whole fly fishing kits and benches, all at different prices. Whatever you need to do is just a mouse-click away.

The fact is that you cannot check and test the supplies out yourself online. So, for the new hand fisher, try to purchase the supplies at a physical store when possible. The trick to getting good fly fishing supplies is to have a place you trust, where you can ask questions, you can get great rods and lures, well-made, effective flies and materials to tie flies with. You can test out the various reels and choose the ones you are most comfortable with. For inexperienced fishers, it is better you do some research online, in books or asking experienced friends before purchase any fly fishing items.

How to maintain Fly Fishing Supplies?

It is not so difficult or time consuming to carry out the maintenance of fly fishing supplies. But one important thing you must know is always wash and clean all equipment in warm water and mild detergent, particularly when you have used the equipments in saltwater. Next thing is before storing the equipments, make sure there are completely dry. Always protect and take good care for all the equipment away from the sun, rain, dirt, humidity, cold, heat, and any other conditions that may cause corrosion.

Collecting fly fishing tackle

Collecting fly fishing tackle can be fun and very enjoyable in many ways. Nowadays, the enthusiastic fisher is also become a collector of antique and classic fly fishing tackle.

For the new collectors, you should have, at least, had some knowledge on how the equipment was adapted for different types of angling.

History of Fly Fishing Tackle

Did you know that fly fishing can trace its roots back to nearly 2,000 years ago? The first account of fly fishing tackle is commonly credited to a Roman named Claudius Aelianus, a 2nd century teacher of rhetoric and roman author. When he described a fishing technique used by the Macedonians fishers on the Astraeus River used an artificial fly lure to catch fish.

Fly fishing as known today, beginning at the Scotland and Northern England, and expanded to the rest of England, the Scandinavia, Canada, United States and the Alpine mountain regions of Europe. As is naturally expected, the expansion of fly fishing to such different parts of the globe, the advent of the machine age and other advances in technology resulted in different styles and development of fly fishing tackle. A clear example is with high-tech carbon, fiberglass and steel replacing the stick and nylon replacing the horsehair line, but the goal is still the same. Numerous of those old reels were crafted by the hands of artisans with both great precision and great beauty.

Finding Collectible Fly Fishing Tackle

Finding collectible Fly Fishing Tackle is not tough, but it will take some time for searching. So, just relax and prepare to spend money and time; with some luck, you may able to find a significant and valuable assortment of such Fly Fishing Tackle. Following are few ways to look for collectible and valuable Fly Fishing Tackle.

First, try to subscribe to one or two magazines that talk about the fishing collectibles. The magazines usually will touch on the different kinds of collectible fly fishing tackle, and it will also provide information, like where to purchase, the manufacturers were, the suppliers, use, give the history, and the tradition of such collectible equipment.

Second, is the online internet market? The Ebay.com has more fishing gear than you could ever imagine, new and used one. No of auction houses also have several fantastic fly fishing tackles at auction. Langs Sporting Collectibles is one of the best for this. You also can try the some bloge and other online collector websites.

Third, another helpful source of information are books that can be found at bookstores or libraries, fly fishing clubs, friends, relatives and stores that specialize in collectible and antique items. Another place you can try is some old fishing stores, they still may have classic and antique fly fishing tackle, and the owners of such stores usually has stories to tell, just as each fisherman does.

The fly fishing collectors should also invest time, study and learning about common defects, monetary value, ratings on condition, construction techniques and maintaining, all this information definitely will help add value during your searching of the fly fishing tackles.

Cindy Heller is a professional writer. Visit Fly Fishing Women to learn more about vintage fly fishing tackle and arkansas river fly fishing.

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You Can Take Advantage of Cooking Schools

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A healthy dish is the first start to cooking a great meal and about finding the right balance of ingredients to create a succulent meal; which will leave your taste buds craving for more gourmet meals. If you have always dreamed of becoming a culinary chef there are endless possibilities in making your dreams come true.

You can take advantage of cooking schools located across the world which will provide you with the tips and pointers on how to make a great meal. It is about knowing how and when to baste turkey to make moist and juicy or how to sift your flour to get your biscuits nice and fluffy. All of this and more you can learn from an accredited cooking school based on the fundamentals of cooking to help master your culinary feats.

Most cooking schools will provide you with the understanding that getting started isn’t easy and will provide you with information and resource so you don’t feel overwhelmed about cooking. Cooking is enjoyment in life and indulging in fine foods that enhance your senses to a new level. You should love every minute of cooking and enjoy the time and preparation it takes to make the perfect meal.

A healthy dish is the first start to cook a great gourmet meal and will leave you feeling good about yourself after you are full from a dish of nutritious value. It is about taking the time to invest in the research to help you succeed in cooking in the right cooking school that will teach you the important basics to healthy eating. Cooking is a lifestyle and you should understand the basics of nutritious content in each meal you cook.

At the cooking school you select they should keep you motivated to explore new dishes and try new flavors in all of your meals. A great chef understands the value of a good recipe and the right resources to make you’re cooking great. It is about taking the time to learn the small tricks to enhance the flavors of your foods, and how to cook them slowly to bring out the best taste in aromatic spices.

Almost all cooking schools are accredited throughout the world and will train you to be the head chef of your own fabulous restaurant. They will not only teach you the necessary skills to making a great meal but also provide the basics to running your own business. If you are ready to make a career choice in cooking you need to do the research to decide which school is right for you and how it will help to be the best chef in your own restaurant.

The valuable resources you will learn from cooking school are priceless in teaching you about the necessary tasks to succeed at being a great chef in your own home or restaurant. They understand the importance of cooking and love to cook themselves which is why they provide you with the best resources to learn to cook satisfying meals.

A healthy dish is the first start to cooking a great meal and about finding the right balance of ingredients to create a succulent meal, which will leave your taste buds craving for more gourmet meals. If you have always dreamed of becoming a culinary chef there are endless possibilities in making your dreams come true.

You can take advantage of cooking schools located across the world which will provide you with the tips and pointers on how to make a great meal. It is about knowing how and when to baste turkey to make moist and juicy or how to sift your flour to get your biscuits nice and fluffy. All of this and more you can learn from an accredited cooking school based on the fundamentals of cooking to help master your culinary feats.

Most cooking schools will provide you with the understanding that getting started isn’t easy and will provide you with information and resource so you don’t feel overwhelmed about cooking. Cooking is enjoyment in life and indulging in fine foods that enhance your senses to a new level. You should love every minute of cooking and enjoy the time and preparation it takes to make the perfect meal.

A healthy dish is the first start to cook a great gourmet meal and will leave you feeling good about yourself after you are full from a dish of nutritious value. It is about taking the time to invest in the research to help you succeed in cooking in the right cooking school that will teach you the important basics to healthy eating. Cooking is a lifestyle and you should understand the basics of nutritious content in each meal you cook.

At the cooking school you select they should keep you motivated to explore new dishes and try new flavors in all of your meals. A great chef understands the value of a good recipe and the right resources to make you’re cooking great. It is about taking the time to learn the small tricks to enhance the flavors of your foods, and how to cook them slowly to bring out the best taste in aromatic spices.

Almost all cooking schools are accredited throughout the world and will train you to be the head chef of your own fabulous restaurant. They will not only teach you the necessary skills to making a great meal but also provide the basics to running your own business. If you are ready to make a career choice in cooking you need to do the research to decide which school is right for you and how it will help to be the best chef in your own restaurant.

The valuable resources you will learn from cooking school are priceless in teaching you about the necessary tasks to succeed at being a great chef in your own home or restaurant. They understand the importance of cooking and love to cook themselves which is why they provide you with the best resources to learn to cook satisfying meals.

Did you find this article useful? For more useful tips and hints, points to ponder and keep in mind, techniques, and insights pertaining to Google Adsense, do please browse for more information at our websites.

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December 27, 2011

Health Insurance Fraud: What You Should Know

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Health insurance fraud represents one of America’s largest taxpayer rip-offs ever, costing Americans literally billions of dollars every year.

Due to rampant deception, scams and abuse in the health care system, consumers are forced to pay the price–literally–through escalating medical costs and rising health insurance premiums.

And government programs like Medicare and Medicaid, designed to help the low-income and elderly, represent two of the biggest losers of all.

Health Insurance Scams

According to the Insurance Information Institute, health providers and facilities such as doctors, hospitals, nursing homes, diagnostic labs and attorneys routinely attempt to defraud the health insurance system…with devastating results.

How do they do it? In a number of ways, including:

  1. Billing health insurance companies for expensive treatments, tests or equipment patients never had or never received
  2. Double- or triple-billing health insurers for the same treatments
  3. Giving health care recipients unnecessary, dangerous, or life-threatening treatments
  4. Selling low-cost health insurance coverage from fake insurance companies
  5. Stealing medical information and using it to bill health insurance companies for phantom treatments

If health insurance fraud knocks on your door, these types of scams may leave you with medical debts, damaged credit ratings, falsified health records, a high level of stress and overpriced health insurance premiums…or the inability to get any health insurance at all.

So what can you do about it?

Report it; then fight back!

What to Watch For

The first step to fighting health insurance fraud is keeping your eyes and ears open for abuse.

Be especially watchful for providers who:

  • Charge your health insurance company for services you never received or medical procedures you don’t need
  • Give you prescriptions for controlled substances for no justified medical reason
  • Bill your health insurance company for brand-name drugs when you actually get generics
  • Misrepresent cosmetic or other health care procedures not usually covered by health insurance plans as covered

If you notice a health care provider doing any of these things, keep all supporting paperwork handy for reference, and then contact your health insurance company to let them know.

Then, if you’re a Medicare or Medicaid recipient, call the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services and report the abuse.

Finally, contact your state department of insurance or the local police.

Fighting Health Insurance Fraud

To keep yourself from falling victim to health insurance fraud, take the following steps to fight back:

* Check with your state insurance department to make sure your health insurance company is licensed in your state.

* Check out your health insurance company for consumer complaints, fraud convictions and bankruptcies through your state department of insurance.

* Keep detailed medical records.

* Carefully review your billing statements.

* Never sign blank insurance claim forms.

* Avoid salespeople offering free health services or advice.

* Protect your medical records and information.

* Make sure you know what your health insurance policy covers–and what it doesn’t.

* Never pay your health insurance premiums in cash.

* Be wary if you’re asked to pay a full year’s premium up front.

* Be on guard against medical providers claiming to be connected with federal programs or the government.

* Beware of health insurance companies offering you coverage at an unreasonably low price.

* Ask your health insurance provider about anything you don’t understand regarding your bills.

Making a Difference

Protect your right to health insurance, lower your premiums and keep your medical information safe. All it takes is a little education, a watchful eye, and the willingness to make a difference!

About InsureMe Penny Hagerman is a copywriter and insurance information expert with InsureMe in Englewood, Colorado. InsureMe links agents nationwide with consumers shopping for insurance quotes. Specializing in auto, home, life, long-term care and health insurance quotes, the InsureMe network provides thousands of agents with insurance leads every year. For more information, visit InsureMe.com.

Article Source:
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December 22, 2011

Team Building Celebration Plan — Perfect For Any Time of Year

Author: admin - Categories: Uncategorized

When was your last team celebration? Have you been way too busy to bother? Sometimes we get so caught up in day-to-day work that we don’t take the time to step back and celebrate success. Some teams may even consider team celebrations as “silly.”

It’s critical to celebrate success if you want your team to maintain their high performance. Successes are the “motivating fuel” that keeps all of us pushing toward achieving the “bigger and better” goals that we set.

What types of team interaction and discussions normally occur on a day-to-day basis with your team? If you’re like most businesses, it’s along the lines of the following:

- What’s going wrong with the current project.

- Recovering from changes that impact your product or service schedule negatively.

- How to satisfy a disgruntled customer.

If all of your team interactions focus on what’s wrong with your business, what happens over time? Team members lose sight of the positive things they do. This can have a demoralizing effect on a team and your business.

Team celebrations help a team bond together. This helps the members maintain focus on their common goals and direction. And, celebrations often help team members deal with stressful changes and prevent “burn-out.” They provide revitalization for the team.

Has your team celebrated any successes lately? What did they celebrate? How did they celebrate? For some teams, it’s necessary to add structure to the celebration process to ensure that they make the time. To do this, use our three-step process:

1. Identify What To Celebrate

2. Determine How To Celebrate

3. Create A Celebration Action Plan

1. Identify What To Celebrate

It’s important to determine what events or activities the team should celebrate. These can be major events or events that help the team reach a milestone. Get your team together and brainstorm a list. Your list might look like the list below.

- Identifying and solving a major roadblock (e.g., customer or quality related issue).

- Taking on added responsibility.

- Adding new team members.

- Dealing with a project crisis.

With the group together, determine the activities your team wants to celebrate.

2. Determine How To Celebrate

Next, identify how you could celebrate. Again, with your team together, brainstorm some celebration activities. These don’t have to be major. They could be fun stress relievers or activities that help make your team more visible to upper management. Some ideas are included below:

- Create a presentation for upper management highlighting the team’s achievement. Present with all team members in attendance.

- Have the entire team meet with a customer during an on-site visit.

- Invite a senior manager to your team meeting.

- Bring snacks to a team meeting.

- Put congratulatory posters on the wall.

Determine how your team would like to celebrate. Remember, team celebrations don’t have to be expensive, time consuming, or difficult to plan. Team celebrations can be formal or impromptu. The key of the team celebration is that it must be sincere.

3. Create A Celebration Action Plan

Create a celebration action plan for the team for (at least) the next six-month time frame. Once the action plan is created, have your team plan the first celebration that will occur in the coming months. This gives them something to look forward to while accomplishing team objectives.

It will take a little effort on your team’s part to complete this process, but the pay back in productivity will be worth it. Get going. It’s time to celebrate!

Denise O’Berry (aka ‘Team Doc’) provides tools, tips and advice to help organizations build better teams. Find out more at http://www.teambuildingtips.com

Article Source:
http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Denise_O’Berry

December 12, 2011

Why KidKraft is the Number One Company For Children’s Furniture

Author: admin - Categories: Uncategorized

KidKraft is honored to be known as a leading creator, manufacturer and distributor of childrens furniture and toys. Established in 1968, KidKraft has been a proven pioneer in the industry for 40 years. KidKraft Takes this role of leadership seriously and they have a great deal of appreciation for their wonderful customers who continue to select their fine products.

KidKraft was founded by engineers,the integrity of their designs is apparent beyond what the eye can see, resulting in low product returns and high customer satisfaction. Thanks to KidKraft’s exceptional leadership and an uncompromising commitment to quality, they lead and exceed in the world of wooden toys and furniture. I invite you to experience their products!

The time that goes into each piece of furniture starting from the design to the finished product is what makes KidKraft Products so special. It’s like each item was designed just for your kid, from a simple chair to a bed shaped like a boat, there is always something that fits your kids needs. They stand behind their products which is why they are the number one company in furniture for children. The company itself realizes that children are the ones who interact with their products; therefore every product must be safe.

The fact that KidKraft specializes in children’s furniture should make you comfortable with them. Everything they do is to make your child’s life easier the number of different products they manufacture very from simple chairs and tables to fun rockers and beds shaped to be fun and inspiring. Our goal is to inspire children with the power of their imagination through unique and creative heirloom-quality wooden toys and room furnishings. The fun toys and furnishings create an active imagination that will take your child on a fun filled ride each and every day. Knowing that the people and things surrounding your child impact them the most is why KidKraft designs their products they way the do making them perfect for each and every child.

Jason Quick is an expert in KidKraft children’s furniture.

Article Source:
http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Jason_Quick