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Kristen Pekarek

Stand Up for Others

According to current statistics, more than 30 percent of our school-age young people—approximately 5.7 million children—are bullied in schools, on playgrounds, and in recreational facilities each year. Research shows that these numbers can be reduced by nearly half through the use of effective bullying prevention programs.

During the month of October, in observance of National Bullying Prevention Month, schools and organizations across the country will join STOMP Out Bullying to encourage communities to work together to stop bullying and cyberbullying and to increase awareness of the prevalence and impact of bullying on children. As part of the observation, the week of October 21, 2013, is dedicated as STAND UP for Others Week. It's a week-long commitment to stand up for victims of bullying that ends on Friday, October 25, the internationally observed STAND UP to Bullying Day.

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Kristen Pekarek

How We Help Students Develop Resiliency

"Resiliency is the ability to overcome challenges of all kinds—trauma, tragedy, personal crises, plain 'ole' life problems—and bounce back stronger, wiser, and more personally powerful" (Henderson, 2012). It is important for kids to develop resiliency so they can cope with the various hardships they will encounter throughout their lives.

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Kristen Pekarek

September Is Childhood Obesity Awareness Month

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, obesity now affects 17 percent of all children and adolescents in the United States. Research shows that childhood obesity puts kids at greater risk for health problems—including type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease—and, once a child enters school, can undermine classroom and overall lifetime success. Encouraging new research indicates we are making some progress to reverse this epidemic: a new report on childhood obesity shows obesity among low-income preschoolers has declined slightly in 19 states and territories, and a new report on school health shows there have been improvements in the way we teach nutrition and physical activity in schools. But there is still a lot of work to be done.

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Kristen Pekarek

Better Mental Health = More Successful Students

According to current statistics, fewer than 10 percent of children who identify as needing mental health services get them within three months of the recommendation. This is a startling statistic that proves our mental health system for children is as fragile as the at-risk youth it is intended to serve.

The good news is that a new national conversation is happening around the importance of children's mental health, and a recent report, Improving Access to Children's Mental Health Care: Lessons from a Study of Eleven States, authored by experts from George Washington University's Center for Health and Health Care in Schools and funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, highlights ways in which policymakers, advocates, and service providers must work together to elevate children's mental health on the public agenda.

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Kristen Pekarek

What Does the Mediterranean Diet Tell Us About School Reform?

In an article on the Washington Post's Answer Sheet blog, author Martin Blank shares his belief that diet research shows us how education reform needs to be more broadly focused. "A Mediterranean diet, like educating our children," he says, "is like a black box in which a number of ingredients—together—are needed to achieve the desired outcomes."

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Kristen Pekarek

April is School Library Month!

AASL - School Library Month

School libraries are critical to every child's education and career—with nearly 31 million elementary, middle, and high school students relying on school library services each week. This April, join whole child partner American Association of School Librarians for School Library Month. The month-long celebration will showcase the vital role and resources school libraries provide to students to support their education and career endeavors. This year's theme, "communities matter @ your library," shows how libraries can help students, individuals, and families discover new and exciting things through library collections, digital resources, and more.

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Kristen Pekarek

National School Breakfast Week 2013

National School Breakfast Week

This week, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and the School Nutrition Association are cosponsoring National School Breakfast Week!

Launched in 1989, the event is used to educate students, parents, and the community across the United States about the benefits of a healthy school breakfast. A recent study titled Ending Childhood Hunger: A Social Impact Analysis by whole child partner Share our Strength in collaboration with Deloitte, confirmed the benefits of a healthy, balanced breakfast at school—showing that school breakfasts are associated with positive, large-scale outcomes in education, economics, and health. This gives us even more reason to celebrate this week's events.

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Kristen Pekarek

February Is National School-Based Health Care Awareness Month

This February whole child partner National Assembly on School-Based Health Care (NASBHC) and communities across the nation will celebrate National School-Based Health Care Awareness Month. School-based health care centers work to redefine health for kids and teens by providing access to mental health services and oral health care, working to prevent obesity, and addressing other issues that affect young people's lives.

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Kristen Pekarek

Words Can Hurt: No Name-Calling Week 2013

Inspired by the young adult novel The Misfits, where characters work together to create a no name-calling day in their schools, this annual event aims to end name-calling of all kinds in schools and communities everywhere. The No Name-Calling Week Coalition, created by whole child partner the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, provides students and educators with opportunities and resources to help celebrate the event. Below are 10 simple ways you and your school community can participate.

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Kristen Pekarek

Play Well With Others ... Be Active Against Bullying

Bullying is a major societal issue affecting everyone worldwide. According to current statistics, more than 30 percent of our school-age children—approximately 5.7 million children—are bullied in schools, on playgrounds, and in recreational facilities each year. Research shows that these numbers can be reduced by nearly half through the use of effective bullying prevention programs.

Read more »

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