full show

Show 26: The Part-time Single Parent

With uniquely Alaskan industries like fishing, mining, oil and a large military contigent, it's not uncommon in two parent households to see moms or dads working out of town on a regular basis for part of the year. We invited three parents who are familiar with this arrangement to share their knowledge and tips for flying solo, part-time.

IN-STUDIO GUESTS: Joining host Shana Sheehy in the studio are three guests.

Amanda Rothbarth is a mother of three whose husband works a regular North Slope rotation.

Brooke Scalzo from Seward is raising her two youngsters at home and managing the family business while her husband fishes throughout the summer and fall.

• Air Force Chief Scott Frickson shares the unique struggles military families, including his own, face during long separations.


- Parenting in the legislature - Among those jobs that mean parenting from afar are legislative positions in Juneau that see one parent working seasonally in the state's capitol. Reporter Scott Burton brings us this dispatch from Juneau where he checked in with two legislature parents - Rep. Bryce Edgmon (D-Dillingham) and Karen Schluesser from the office of Rep. Anna Fairclough (R-Eagle River).

- Supporting military families of the deployed - For many part-time single parents, there’s a predictable schedule of work weeks, and weeks at home. But when members of the military are deployed their spouses may be single-parenting for many months. KTD Contributor Jessica Cochran has a look at some of the military resources available to help ease the burden for families during deployment. [Full story]

- Chef KTD: Care package cookies - Chef KTD Liz Madsen shows KTD Producer Sarah Gonzales how to make colorful and delicious personalized sugar cookies that are perfect for care packages for far away mom or dad. [Full story + pix]


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Show 25: Competition & Youth Sports

Just in time for March Madness, we take a look at how competition and sports play significant roles in the lives and development of kids and teens. We're talking about the positive effects of playing sports: fitness, learning to balance athletics and academics, and character and relationship-building. And we'll also explore the darker sides to competition like cheating, drug use or putting too much pressure on student-athletes. Also, what is the role of the sports parent?

IN-STUDIO GUESTS:  Joining KTD Host Shana Sheehy in the studio are two guests.

Gary Matthews is the executive director of the Alaska School Activities Association (ASAA).

Michael Josephson is the founder of the Josephson Institute Center for Sports Ethics. He joined us by phone from California.

Did you know? Alaska's kids are successfully competing in many ways outside of sports, too. In fact the ASAA also oversees competitions in non-athletic activities such as art, music, drama, debate and language, in addition to the fourteen sports it sanctions.


- Paralympic youth sports in Alaska - Kids in wheelchairs are competing in basketball, soccer, skiing and snowboarding through the Paralympic Sports Alaska program which is designed to let athletes with physical disabilities compete with one another while preparing for national, even international, competitions. KTD Contributor Jessica Cochran has the story.

- Competing with robots - The FIRST Lego League is an international competitive robotics program that is all about getting kids 9-16 excited about science, engineering and technology. FIRST stands for - For Inspiration & Recognition of Science and Technology. Listen to learn about how the FLL Alaska students are programming to win! KTD Host Shana Sheehy brings us the story.


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Show 24: Family Law 101

When families with children fall apart the legal system will most likely become involved to help sort out the details of divorce, child custody, visitation and support. So how does family law work here in Alaska? What's the first step (and subsequent steps) to take when seeking legal assistance? On this program we're learning about the basics of Alaska Family Law.

IN-STUDIO GUEST:  Joining KTD Host Shana Sheehy in the studio to discuss family law is...

Steve Pradell is a local attorney and author of The Alaska Family Law Handbook.



- Affordable & DIY legal resources - KTD Contributor Jessica Cochran reports on local, affordable legal resources available to families in Alaska. [Full story + links]

- Emancipation 101 - Since 1976 in Alaska youth ages 16 and older are able to gain legal emancipation which allows minors to sign for school and medical procedures, obtain housing through a lease, sue and be sued. Paul Flahive explains how it works.

- Helping kids understand divorce - Julia Jackson, Director of Family Services at thread discusses helping kids through divorce and recommends Was It the Chocolate Pudding? as a great book resource.


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Show 23: Education & the Iditarod

March in Alaska is here bringing with it more sunlight, hints of Spring and of course - The Last Great Race which has been inspiring fascination in people of all ages for years. But did you know that the Iditarod also inspires classroom lessons in math, geography, science, reading, technology, history, social studies and the arts? It's true! There's nothing like dogs to get kids all over the world interested in learning.

IN-STUDIO GUESTS: To talk about the educational opportunities provided by the world's biggest sled dog race we invited

• Diane Johnson is the Education Director for the Iditarod Trail Committee.

• Herb Brambley is the 2010 Target Teacher on the Trail, to share the many lessons they've learned, developed and taught from the Iditarod trail. (See a slideshow of Herb's trip.)


- Competing in the Junior Iditarod - Every year teenage mushers from all over the US and Canada ages 14-17 compete in the Junior Iditarod. Seiji Takagi, a 14-year old freshman at South Anchorage High School, spoke with Alaska Teen Media Institute's Ishmael Streever for Kids These Days! before the race about what it's like to be a teenage musher preparing to run his first Junior Iditarod! [Full story]

- Teaching STEM in the modern classroom - The Iditarod is being used to creatively educate children all over the world, while here in Alaska contributor Jessica Cochran takes a look at a new way educators are approaching Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) in the modern classroom. (Hint: it involves power tools and marshmallows!) [Full story]

-KTDontheGO: Awesome race viewing - Erin Kirkland, brings us another fun-filled installment of KTDontheGO, this time it's all about when and where to experience the best of the Iditarod with the whole family.


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Show 22: School Choice

With all the great school choices available to families in the Anchorage area it can be a daunting task knowing which one is right for your children. We attempted to make the process of choosing a school a little easier by inviting three knowledgeable guest panelists to share information and answer questions.

GUEST PANELISTS: Speaking with KTD Host Shana Sheehy in front of a live audience are three guests.

Linda Carlson from the Anchorage School District

• Missy DeRivera of Chugach Homeschool

Sandee Hough of the Alaska Association of Independent Schools.


- How charter schools affect the neighborhood - Where your kid goes to school affects more than just their education - it affects who their friends are and, where you find community. KTD Contributor Jessica Cochran looked at some of the by-products of a rich school choice environment. [Full story]

- Talk Back: the Go-to-Work Mom's POV - After last week's show on Dads These Days aired, listeners wrote in to tell us what they thought about the modern roles of fathers. One local mother shared her perspective on being the Go-to-Work Mom - that other half of the Stay-at-Home Dad trend we explored - so we called her for the mom's POV. Her thoughts top the hour on this show. [Full story]


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Show 20: Love & Family Relationships

Valentine's Day is right around the corner, so in honor of this day celebrating all things love - Kids These Days! is talking about the loving relationships in our family lives - and not just the romantic ones, either. We're exploring the intricacies of all those relationships that we encounter as a spouse, child, parent, friend, grandkid, or even in-law.

IN-STUDIO GUEST: Joining KTD Host Shana Sheehy in the studio is a guest who knows a lot about helping families get along. 

Dr. Susan Newman draws from her experience as a social psychologist, blogger for Psychology Today and best-selling author of 14 books to answer listener questions about every kind of familial relationship. She offers advice on maintaining a strong marriage after kids come along; learning to play nice with the in-laws; the upside of having and being an only child; keeping a family strong after the death of a matriarch or patriarch and so much more!


- For as Long as We Both Shall Live - Les and Berneice Kelm have been married for 64 years and they are still going strong after building an Alaskan homestead, a family and a life together. They share their years of wisdom on love and commitment with KTD Producer Sarah Gonzales. [Full story + pix]

- The Secrets of the Alaskan Teenager -Fearless young reporter, Aviva Hirsch, brings us the teen's eye view on love and marriage from the halls of West Anchorage High School. What they have to say might surprise you! [Full story]

- Did Someone Say Chocolate? - Meet Liz Madsen, sous chef at the Crow's Nest and our very own Chef KTD! She and her 5-year old son teach us how to make a simple and delicious Valentine's Day treat that both kids and adults will love. [Recipe & pix]

- Attachment & Bonding - Forming strong bonds with parents early in infancy is important for a child's healthy emotional development, but when there isn't enough love or a strong relationship early in a child's life it can lead to attachment disorders, complicating the ability to have healthy relationships later in life as KTD Contributor Jessica Cochran reports. [Full story + links]


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Show 19: Foster Care in Alaska

This time on KTD we're focusing on new state legislation concerning foster care that went into effect on January 1, 2011, asking how it will affect the nearly 2,000 children currently in care. The new legislation increases the age-out age from 18 to 21 and mandates that children be allowed to remain at the same school if their home placement should change. The bill (HB 126) also establishes a mentoring program, provides funds for additional Independent Living Program staff and funds to assist the 40% of aged-out youth who become homeless upon leaving foster care. The legislation increases funds for scholarships and job training and allocates funds for increased public awareness about the need for foster parents, especially those that are Alaska Native, as in the video PSA below.

IN-STUDIO GUESTS: Joining host Shana Sheehy to talk about the foster care system in Alaska are three guests.

Representative Les Gara, once a foster child himself, has been an advocate for foster kids currently in Alaska's system by sponsoring legislation. He joined us by phone from Juneau.

Travis Erickson is the Anchorage regional manager for the Office of Children's Services.

• Amanda Metivier is the Director of Facing Foster Care in Alaska, a foster parent and a former foster child.

For more information about becoming a foster family,
please call 800-478-7307



- The Indian Child Welfare Act & foster care - In Alaska, 62% of the kids in state custody are Alaska Native – well above their proportion of the state’s population as a whole. With so many Native children in custody, it’s hard to talk about foster care in Alaska without talking about ICWA. ICWA is the Indian Child Welfare Act; KTD Contributor Jessica Cochran reports. [Full story]

- Growing up foster in Alaska - Two young Alaskans who have spent most of their childhoods in foster care tell of the ups and downs of being a "foster kid." KTD Producer Sarah Gonzales spoke with twenty-one-year-old Kyle who is struggling to find his way on his own after leaving the foster care system, and with seventeen-year-old Tia who shares her candid thoughts about what makes for a loving and supportive foster home. 


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Show 18: The Value of Music

Music is good for the brain and it's good for the soul, that's why this week we're celebrating all things musical on Kids These Days! We'll meet young musicians and hear their music throughout the hour while we also speak with  educators about why music matters.

IN-STUDIO GUESTS: Joining KTD Producer Sarah Gonzales in the studio to talk about all things musical are two guests. 

Frank Hauser is the Director of the Music Department at the Anchorage School District. He shares how the schools are teaching music and the many ways children can be involved in learning and playing throughout their school years.

Mary Schallert is a longtime teacher and the founder of Alaska City Folk Arts camp. She fills us in on the community music scene and explains the many side benefits of music education like increasing a child's confidence and providing an outlet for self-expression.

Sprinkled throughout today's program we heard music by three local, teenage bands - two of which are now grown up (The Emeralds, Evergreen) and one of which you can still catch playing around Anchorage - The Asteroids.



- The Brubaker family band - The family that plays together, stays together in the case of one local musical family. KTD Contributor Jessica Cochran meets the four Brubaker kids and their dad to find out how – and why – they became such a musical family. [Full story + pix]

- Almost famous: Selah Rees - You will very likely be hearing about "Selah Rees from Alaska" in the music news within the next few years. Sarah Gonzales introduces us to this young singer/songwriter. [Full story + pic]

- KTDontheGO: Folk Festival - Erin Kirkland shares her picks for getting out and about to experience the best of Alaska's music.


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Show 17: Emergency Prep & the Big Bad World

If the "big one" hit today how ready would your household be? Is your emergency kit put together, and will the whole family know what to do or where to go should there be a fire or flood? This time we're talking about getting prepared for an emergency - both logistically and mentally.

IN-STUDIO GUESTS: Joining KTD Host Shana Sheehy in the studio are two guests.

Merry Carlson is the Preparedness Manager for the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management for the State of Alaska and Presidential-appointee to the National Commission on Children and Disasters.

• Rick Calcote is the Behavioral Health Disaster Response Coordinator for the State of Alaska. He addresses the psychological and emotional sides of this topic by answering the question: How do we speak to our children about the "Big Bad World" in a way that helps them to be ready, empowered and cautious, but not afraid?



- Where we were in 1964 - Alaska's seniors recall where they were the exact moment the 9.2 magnitude 1964 "Good Friday" earthquake struck in a 2004 piece from from the former radio-magazine AK.

- Sesame Street helping kids around the world - The Sesame Workshop is the group behind the production of Sesame Street. It has developed tips for parents and caregivers, kits to help families prepare for emergencies and deal with tragedies - not just in the US, but around the world. KTD Contributor Jessica Cochran learns more. [Full story]

- ASD's emergency plan - The Anchorage School District has made disaster preparedness a priority with any of the schools certified safehouses, stocked to house students and neighbors in the case of an emergency. [Full story]

- Dr. KTD: Bedbugs - It seems that bedbugs have made their way to Alaska. Dr. KTD is back to talk about how to have a good night, sleep tight and not let them bite. [More Dr. KTD]


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Show 16: Bereavement

The loss of a loved one - whether family member, friend or pet - can be a devastating and life-changing event for anyone, and especially for children. This week on KTD we're exploring how children grieve at different developmental ages, how to help them heal and what services are available to help families who are mourning a loss.

IN-STUDIO GUESTS: Joining KTD Host Shana Sheehy in the studio are two guests.

Jane Barber is the Program Coordinator at Hospice of Anchorage.

Shirley Valek-Wilson is an Advanced Nurse Practitioner and an instructor of Psychiatric Nursing at the University of Alaska Anchorage who volunteers with the Hospice's Forget-Me-Not Grief Program for children and families.


Hospice of Anchorage's Bereavement Services

Camp Erin

Forget-Me-Not Grief Program


- Grief counseling from a faith perspective - A person's faith can play a big part in coping with the death of a loved one and during times of loss many believers will seek guidance from within their church. Julia Seymour, pastor of the Lutheran Church of Hope in Anchorage, spoke with KTD Producer Sarah Gonzales about counseling and comforting grieved children. [Full story]

- Losing mom as a teenager - When Caroline Willis was 18 she lost her mother to cancer. Filled with what she calls "teenage rage" about the loss, it took years for Caroline to process her grief. Now in her 30's, she shares an intimate essay about her personal journey from loss to finding peace. [Full story]


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Talking about raising Alaska's future today!

Mental Health & the Alaskan Family

Being Young in Rural Alaska





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