Press Release
From the Office of State Senator Leticia Van de Putte

For Immediate Release
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Contact: Tiffany Champion, (210) 733-6604

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E-News from the Office of Senator Van de Putte

Dear Friend,

I hope this e-news finds you doing well. Included in this issue is important information on back to school, the new identity theft scam targeting parents, and how you can help to protect our natural resources through community gardens.

Back to School
As summer winds down and summer vacations come to an end, it is a sure sign the new school year is about to start. It is a time for students to catch up with old friends, make new friends, meet teachers, and settle into a daily routine of school work and learning. As you prepare your child for the new school year, here are some helpful health and safety information tips.

Healthy sleeping can help your child learn more easily and reduce many behavioral problems. Generally, between the ages of 6 and 9, most children need about 10 hours of sleep a night, while preteens need a little over 9 hours.

Good nutrition will help provide the nutrients needed to have energy, build strong bones, and fight diseases and other conditions. Pay attention to what and how much your kids eat. A change in eating habits may be an early warning signal for other problems.

Check-ups and immunization routine exams and screenings help you and your kids prevent, identify, and treat health problems when they arise. Talk to your healthcare provider if you have any concerns or questions; be sure to tell your healthcare provider if your child has health problems or allergies to medications or food, and be sure to discuss what specific vaccine schedules are recommended for your child.

For children and teens, regular physical activity has beneficial effects on:

At least 60 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity most days of the week is strongly recommended for children and teens. If you have concerns or questions, please ask your healthcare provider. For more helpful tips and information on helping your child succeed in school, please visit: http://www.usa.gov/Topics/Back_to_School.shtml

New Identity Theft Scam: EPPI Card
There is a new threat affecting Texas Debit Card users accessing their child support payments. The Texas Attorney General’s Office and government agencies in 14 other states use EPPICards, known locally as the Texas Debit Card, to disburse child support payments.

EPPICard users nationwide have reported receiving e-mail, voice and text messages falsely indicating problems with their accounts and then being asked to update their information by clicking on the web link included in the message. The link directs people to a fraudulent website where their personal information is compromised. Others have reported receiving an e-mail message offering payments upon completion of an online survey. At the end of the survey, they are being asked for their account information. By providing the requested information, users put their financial information at risk.

EPPICard providers indicate they are not affiliated with survey websites and do not solicit personal information via e-mail or text messages. If you or someone you know is a Texas Debit Card user, please be vigilant and avoid this new identity theft scam.

More than 280,000 Texas parents use the Texas Debit Card as a convenient way of receiving child support payments. If you receive fraudulent e-mails regarding account information or survey requests you should notify the Internet Complaint Center by filing an online complaint at www.ic3.gov. For more information please call the Texas Debit Card User Program hotline at 1-866-729-6159.

Community Gardens
Green Spaces Alliance of South Texas is a non-profit organization based in San Antonio. Green Spaces facilitates, educates, and advocates for the protection of land and natural, cultural, and historic resources for the betterment of our future generations. They do this by preserving parcels of land, encouraging the development of community gardens, and engaging and educating people on the benefits of the natural world.

Community gardens are on the rise as awareness grows of protecting our natural resources, the food we eat, and the air we breathe. Green Spaces Alliance developed its community gardens program to support local groups wanting to enhance their neighborhoods, encourage interaction between neighbors, and provide a catalyst for healthy activity and good nutrition. Presently, there are nine gardens participating in the Community Garden Network across San Antonio.

To offer your support or volunteer your efforts, please contact Angela Hartsell at angela@greenspacesalliance.org or visit www.greenspacealliance.org for more information.

Please feel free to contact my office regarding any of the above information. I am here representing you, so I encourage you to share your thoughts with me. It is your contributions that allow me to be an effective legislator.

Sincerely,

HOW TO CONTACT SENATOR VAN DE PUTTE
District Office
700 N. St. Mary's St. #1725
San Antonio, Texas 78205
(210) 733-6604
(210) 733-6605 - fax
leticia.vandeputte@senate.state.tx.us

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