I Am Protective

Children/Young Adults


Protecting Kids from Themselves Online

One reckless tweet, one mindless Snapchat, one thoughtless text message. That’s all it takes to derail a child’s dreams of going to college, winning a scholarship or landing an internship. That reality, coupled with the amount of time kids spend on devices nowadays, can make parenting in the age of digital technology complicated and overwhelming. More than half of teens saying they feel addicted to their cell phones, according to the nonprofit group CommonSense.org. And 45 percent say they are online almost constantly, according to Pew Research Center’s “Teens, Social Media & Technology 2018” report. If you are concerned about your child’s online behavior, you are not alone. A 2014 survey titled “Parenting in the Age of Technology” conducted by Northwestern University’s Center on Media and Human Development found that the vast majority of parents say new media technologies make parenting more difficult. Almost 80 percent say it caused conflict…

Spinning Tales about Endangered Species

With the details of each spin in his mind from a colorful menagerie of animals on a merry-go-round, Art Ritchie has built or restored at least five-dozen carousels in the 32 years since he and Daniel Jones founded Carousel Works in Mansfield, Ohio. But he specifically remembers the Protective Life Carousel at the Birmingham Zoo, because during his restoration work, one of the South’s infamous spring storms ripped the canopy for the carousel right off its cables. While it delayed the progress, it didn’t put a damper on the centerpiece of the Birmingham Zoo’s Children’s Zoo. Once installed, it immediately began entertaining guests of all ages, including Rusty Keene. Rusty moved from the Busch Gardens in Tampa, Florida to take over as Birmingham Zoo’s vice president of operations. A carousel aficionado, Keene was particularly impressed that Birmingham’s carousel was wooden. Wooden carousels are expensive, costing just over a half million…