Tag Archives: Hammonds Plains

Insta-Etiquette: Don’t want my daughter a #WCW on Instagram

Let’s teach our boys and girls some Insta-Etiquette. 

I fought Instagram with my daughter.  She was one of the last in her class (so I’m told).  I always say it takes a village. So I chatted with parents, with my daughter and did some research. When I felt comfortable, we signed her up.

The legal age to get an Instagram account is 13-years-old, despite many of her friends younger siblings snapping and sharing.

She’s in Grade 7 and 13-years-old and along with all her other classmates, she’s cautiously delving into a world of selfie-narcisism, the search for self-validation and image rating, armed with our family house rules for online interaction.

Don't care to a #WCW on Instagram. Don't care to be objectified.
Don’t care to a #WCW on Instagram. Don’t care to be objectified.

Instagram Defined in the Tween & Teen World: A social media app letting users

  • snap, edit, and share photos or 15-second videos
  • both publicly or with their private followers
  • You post the photo and your followers comment, share and converse about it – usually reassuring how lovely you look.

I’ve limited time, but I’m learning the #HashTags, dangers and scanning accounts. Ensuring her stuff is private and secure.  But, last night a new #HashTag appeared with my daughter’s photo — not on her wall:

A boy in her grade had posted an image of her on his Instagram Wall stating she is his #WCW.

photoinsta#WCW refers to ‘Woman Crush Wednesday’ (note the ‘Woman‘) and has been around for a few years.  This is where men share images of celebrities or woman they’re crushing on, they ‘like’, they adore, etc.  There’s also images of coffees, pets and children, but for the most part, it’s men crushing on women.

For the record, there are #MCM ‘Man Crush Mondays’ too and this advice goes both ways.

Take a peak on your own Instagram or child’s account and search #WCW and see what images appear.  Welcome 50 Shades of Selfies.

Needless to say, my daughter’s  mildly embarrassed. She doesn’t like the guy and didn’t ask to be part of a public forum about the merits of crushing on her.  However, she’s on Instagram,  they ‘follow’ each other (along with the rest of the school), so I tell her she’s fair game. But, she has choices as to how she deals with it:

How a #WCW works in a Junior High:

  1. Boy posts image and labels it as his #WCW.
  2. Other boys then comment: “onto the next girl?”, “way to go”, “lucky you,” … or it could be worse like, “why you like her?”
  3. What unfolds is an easy forum for hurt feelings, embarrassment, discomfort.

I’m all for crushes – but is there a healthier forum?

Let’s teach our KIDS some Insta-Ettiquette:

  1. Parents: Are your 13-year-old kids on Instagram?  Take a look now and then and make sure they’re not socializing themselves into murky online territory.  Navigating crushes, likes and social interactions is tricky enough to get right in person. Let’s help our kids along online and save them the embarrassment or worse…
    • I happened to come across a post of my daughter and a few girls from her swim team, in their team change room, in a group photo… in their bathing suits. I immediately flagged this for removal from the online world and my daughter asked her teammate to remove it from her Instagram wall.  She did – no harm, no foul. Her friend hadn’t realized taking images in a change-room is a huge ‘No No’ – and my daughter, caught up in the moment, obviously forgot.  Remind your kids of the Rules: rules are easily forgotten in innocence at this age and it’s our job to help keep them on track.
  2. Boys: Ask before we post: DON’T use a girls image, photo, name online unless there is mutual consent. Maybe she doesn’t want to be labelled as your crush for others to comment about?  Let’s stop objectifying girls online. Same applies for girls.
  3. Boys & Girls: #PTD: Please Take Down: If you don’t like an image out there, it’s your right to ask it be removed.  But, you have to accept this may not happen  — so be careful what image you project, what you snap and allow to be snapped.
  4. Boys: So you have a crush. Great on you!  Now man-up and talk to her in person, have a REAL conversation.  If the feelings are mutual – terrific. If they’re not, you’ve given it a brave shot, shown her your mature enough to connect in person and it’s time to move on – offline.
  5. Girls: BE careful what image you project.  You’re posting to your future and it will be out there and most certainly shared.  Don’t project an image online that isn’t reflective of you. You’re more than the sum of your body parts!

If the Dalhousie Dentistry School FaceBook posting teaches us anything, it’s that teaching boys limits and respect, both online and offline, must begin at an early age.

CommonSenseMedia offers a fab app for parents with ‘need to know info’ on apps, movies, books, games and music. Here’s their ‘Need To Know’ for Instagram, like:

“Public photos are the default … unless privacy settings are adjusted. Hashtags and location information can make photos even more visible to communities beyond a teen’s followers if his or her account is public.”

Some info on recently added Instagram features affecting your teens safety check out uknowkids.com.

Stay safe. Stay informed.

Hammonds Plains ice-skater spins for kids & ‘smashes world GWR’

Speed spinnerCongratulations to Olivia Rybicka Oliver, from Hammonds Plains, NS on smashing the existing Guinness World Record for the fastest spinner on ice skates with 342 RMP in Warsaw Poland today.

She beat the officially recorded speed of 306 RMP.

Read her remarkable story and the children she’s helping here:

Hammonds Plains ice-skater spins for kids.

Watch her world record-breaking spin here:


Sirens in the streets of Hammonds Plains for Station 50 Firefighters annual toy and food drive

Volunteer Santa Keith Cuthbertson helped out Station 50 firefighters with Holly LaPierre giving candy canes to local children.
Volunteer Santa Keith Cuthbertson helped out Station 50 firefighters with Holly LaPierre giving candy canes to local children.

Sirens in Hammonds Plains on Sun. Dec. 7 meant Santa, candy canes and Volunteer Station 50 Firefighters’ annual food and toy drive to support local families.  Even Counc. Matt Whitman (Hammonds Plains-St. Margarets Bay) donned a red suit, walking the frosty streets with volunteer firefighters and local supporters.

Chief Dan Melkert says the event was another success with Station 50 donating goods to Hammonds Plains local food bank,  a few families and community churches.  He says the local support is greatly appreciated and goes a long way.

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Happy team of volunteers sorting the generous donations from this year's toy and food drive.
Happy team of volunteers sorting the generous donations from this year’s toy and food drive.

Vivace children’s choir sings songs of the season


Vivace Choir, apart of Halifax All City Music, rehearsing for their performance at Saint Mary’s Cathedral Basilica on Sun. Nov. 30. Check them out at the Halifax Jazz Festival production Tales of a Charlie Brown Christmas at Citadel High School on Dec. 7 and at Hammonds Plains Farmers’ Market on Dec. 11.




The arrival of an electronic speed radar sign in Hammonds Plains earlier this month flagged drivers clocking more than 70 km/hr; resulted in numerous speed fines; caused mixed reactions; and raised the question, what is Citizens on Patrol?

“I think it was a great addition to community,” says Marty Robar, resident of Highland Park. The speed sign was recently placed near Robar’s house on Pinetree Cres. where his dog was hit earlier this year.

“Hopefully it will spur people to watch their speed limits, although there was already an unfortunate incident where someone in the community was bragging they got it up over 60 km/h,” says Robar.

For the full story including details about COP and local input click here.


Nominated in the Micro Business category for an RBC Womens Entrepreneur Award, Pamela Streeter says it's a highlight of her career.
Creative Kids Education Centre and Birch Hills Academy owner and entrepreneur, Pamela Streeter says being a finalist nominee in the Micro-Business category of the RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Award signifies, “small businesses can have a big impact within the community … this is really the highlight of my career in terms of recognition.”

Innovation, inspiration and advice from one of Canada’s leading female entrepreneurs.

A local entrepreneur and educator from Hammonds Plains is one of 18 finalists from across Canada, nominated for a 2014 RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Award (CWEA).

From 4,000 nominees, Pamela Streeter, executive director of Creative Kids Education Centre and Birch Hills Academy, is one of three regional finalists, and is nominated for a Micro-Business Award at the national ceremony celebrating leading Canadian female entrepreneurs.

Streeter has been setting successful lives in motion for more than 25 years, with a focus on delivering reading, learning and socializing skills through her preschool, elementary, middle school, school-age and day camp programs.

Q: What inspired your entrepreneurial path?

“I’m a mother of three children. I had always seen myself as being at home with my children. Fortunately my field of expertise was in early education. When my children were really young and I wanted to contribute more to my family, and also to challenge myself, I opened up a preschool in my home.

When my children started school, two of them didn’t learn to read in the public school system. It started me on this investigation as to why that was, what we could do better, how could I help them. I learned we can do this easily.

I started implementing pre-reading strategies into our early learning programs. Parents would come back and reinforce the need existed. I was an entrepreneur prior to that, but it helped shape the path I took. Offering the reading through a school setting seemed to make sense.

I also noticed the children who need a more skills-based method of learning to read, have a brain that’s often very creative. So where they often excel is, in the Fine Arts. By offering the fine arts earlier on, they have classes where they can really shine and feel confident.”

Streeters advice to local women entrepreneurs and her thoughts on the nomination in the Halifax Citizen.

The 22nd annual RBC CWEA recognizes women entrepreneurs who make impressive contributions to their local, Canadian or global economy. Winners will be announced an awards gala in Toronto on Nov. 26.

Remembering through the eyes of our students and teachers

IMG_9704Every November my daughter’s school shares in one of the many poignant, heart-felt and emotional Remembrance Day ceremonies enfolding across Canada.

The luxury of freelancing allowed me to watch and capture some of these moments; weaving In Flanders Fields with original poetry, song and Terry Kelly’s video, A Pittance of Time, before a trumpet played The Last Post, followed by silence and then O Canada.

I wanted to share with some of my parent-pals who may have missed this morning.

The school sings ‘We Shall Overcome’ in unison: Poem: Remembrance Day From The Eyes Of A Child: 

To watch Terry Kelly’s video, click the pict:

A Pittance of Time