Tagged “Community Engagement”

Klea Scharberg

Reducing the Effects of Child Poverty

In today's global economic state, many families and children face reduced circumstances. The 2008 economic crisis became a "household crisis" (PDF) when higher costs for basic goods, fewer jobs and reduced wages, diminished assets and reduced access to credit, and reduced access to public goods and services affected families who coped, in part, by eating fewer and less nutritious meals, spending less on education and health care, and pulling children out of school to work or help with younger siblings. These "new poor" join those who were vulnerable prior to the financial shocks and economic downturn.

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Ruth Taylor

Healthy Eating: In Fulton Schools, It’s All About the Marketing

The Challenge

Placing attractive fruit bowls on the serving line, and prompting students to take one, is one of the many ways Fulton County School Nutrition is encouraging healthier food choices in the lunchroom.

The school nutrition program at Fulton County Schools in Atlanta, Georgia, already goes above and beyond U.S. federal nutrition standards, serving 50 percent whole grains and plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. The challenge was how to get to the next step: getting kids to actually select the healthy foods. After all, food isn't nutritious until it's eaten. The problem was not about changing menus or the food offered, as the menus and the food choices are already healthy. As area supervisor of Fulton County School Nutrition, my challenge was, how do we engage the students to want to eat healthfully? I believe it's about marketing the food.

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ASCD Whole Child Bloggers

Implications of the New “Poor”

Post written by Pam Capasso, Sara Gogel, Tracy Knight, and Janine Norris of Holly Glen Elementary School in Williamstown, N.J.

Holly Glen Elementary School serves approximately 580 students with one-third on free or reduced-price meals. Our school houses English language learners, students with autism, and students from low-income housing. In the past, Holly Glen comprised various socioeconomic levels ranging from upper class to lower income.

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ASCD Whole Child Bloggers

Kids in High-Poverty Communities: 5 Ways It Affects Us All

Post written by Laura Speer, associate director for Policy Reform and Data at the Annie E. Casey Foundation

Success should be in the grasp of all children, no matter where they live. However, the opportunities available to children based on their neighborhood vary dramatically across the United States. For the 8 million U.S. children living in high-poverty neighborhoods, critical resources for their healthy growth and development—including high-performing schools, quality medical care, and safe outdoor spaces—are often out of reach. The KIDS COUNT project at the Annie E. Casey Foundation tracks the well-being of children and families in the United States and provides information for data-based advocacy. This means being the go-to place for data on children and families, and we do that by partnering with local child-advocacy organizations to track data on children at the national, state, and local levels.

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Melissa Mellor

Teachers and Principals Can’t Do It Alone

"As long as some children are routinely assigned the least-prepared teachers, attend schools in disrepair, make do with outdated technology and instructional materials, and have limited access to a broad and rich curriculum, our nation is still at risk," writes ASCD Executive Director and CEO Gene R. Carter in his recent column.

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Walter McKenzie

Connected Community

The hallmark of this brave new Information Age is the interconnectedness of everything: ideas, information, and people. Relationships are key. It's no longer what you know or how much you know, it's who you know and how to connect with them. Interactions are more immediate, fluid, and dynamic.

On an individual basis, it is happening as I write. But what about on an institutional scale? Don't we eventually have to affect change in our public institutions so that they will morph from their successful Industrial Age mind-set to this new way of living and working? This is the biggest challenge of making the shift: finding institutional incentive for becoming more interconnected, agile, and responsive.

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Klea Scharberg

Today Is National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day

National Children's Mental Health Awareness Day, May 9, 2013

What does it take for children to be mentally healthy? Being mentally healthy is not just about being free from serious emotional and behavioral difficulties. It's also about being mentally strong and resilient and having the skills and supports to deal with stressful issues when they arise. Today is National Children's Mental Health Awareness Day, established and promoted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The Awareness Day national event seeks to raise awareness about the importance of children's mental health and that positive mental health is essential to a child's healthy development from birth.

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Klea Scharberg

Throughout May: The New Poverty

In today's global economic state, many families and children face reduced circumstances. These "poor kids" don't fit the traditional stereotypes—two-thirds live in families in which at least one adult works, and the percentage of poor students in many rural districts equals that in inner-city districts. In the United States, the economic downturn has dramatically changed the landscape, and districts that were previously vibrant are now dealing with unemployment, underemployment, and more transient families.

Join us throughout May as we share what new—and old—solutions we are using to support learning and ensure that each child, whatever her circumstances, is healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged.

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Ember Conley

Promising Whole Child Practices in Arizona

Nestled between the Gila River and Ak-Chin Indian Communities 30 miles south of Phoenix, Ariz., the city of Maricopa had a population of 1,060 in 2000, according to U.S. Census Data. In 2010, the population was 43,482. This exponential growth of more than 4,000 percent created new challenges and opportunities, including transitioning a small one-campus school district into a successful medium-sized district. Today the district has nine school sites with state-of-the-art facilities, including top-rated athletic fields, a state-recognized performing arts center, and a community facility for large forums.

Using ASCD's Whole Child Initiative framework, the Maricopa Unified School District (MUSD) has reached a new level of success. The staff and community in Maricopa are focused on ensuring that each child in the district is healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged with a written, sustainable plan to continue the students' success.

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ASCD Whole Child Bloggers

What Makes or Breaks a Principal?

In this Educational Leadership article, Gordon Donaldson, George Marnik, Sarah Mackenzie, and Richard Ackerman focus on the relational skills school leaders must use to build strong, sustainable, solid relationships and thriving schools—skills not typically taught in workshops or courses, so many principals have to figure them out on their own.

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