Tagged “Health And Learning News And Updates”

Healthy School Communities

Health and Learning News and Updates

News

School Ends Policy of Tying PE Grade to BMI Measurement: Parents at a Chicago-area school get together to pressure school officials to discontinue linking students' body fat measurements to fitness grades. The BMI Index will remain a tool used to track physical fitness levels, but will no longer be shared with the students on progress reports.

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Healthy School Communities

Health and Learning News and Updates

News

NIH Initiates Biggest Children's Health Study in United States: Researchers involved in the National Children's Study—the largest health study related to children in the United States to date—will monitor more than 100,000 Americans from the time before they are born until they are age 21 to understand how environmental and cultural conditions affect health and development. The study, led by the National Institutes of Health and other agencies, will use interviews, blood samples, and umbilical cords as part of its data-gathering methods.

USDA Proposes New Standards for School Meals: The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) proposed a new guideline for subsidized school meals that includes a 50 percent reduction of salt in food and more servings of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and nonfat or low-fat milk. The USDA guideline is only a proposal, and it could be several years before any changes are required.

Ontario's School Nutrition Standards Get an Upgrade: Get the facts on Ontario's new nutrition standards for schools that will likely take place in September this year. The new standards will divide foods into three categories: not permitted for sale, healthiest, and healthy. Eighty percent of the content in a school meal and beverage must be in the "healthiest" category, and the remaining 20 percent must be categorized as "healthy."

How Do Counselors Affect the School Environment? A study last year found that 20 percent of elementary school students have a mental disorder, but there is a significant shortage of counselors in U.S. schools, education blogger Valerie Strauss writes in this post. Most states do not require schools to have mental-health professionals on staff, but Strauss points to another study that shows students in schools with strong school-counseling programs have higher test scores. Also, teachers in those schools report more peaceful school environments.

Take Action

Ontario Launches Healthy School Recognition Program: The Ontario Ministry of Education will be accepting applications for its Healthy School Recognition Program. Exemplary public schools that have pledged to take on health-promoting activities will receive a certificate and be publicly recognized on the Ministry's website.

Scholastic, Inc. awards Welch's Harvest Grants to U.S. Schools: The purpose of Welch's Harvest Grants is to help teach the value of sustainable agriculture and healthy eating through school gardens. Hands-on experiences with planting, tending, and growing gardens provide children an engaging learning environment.

Two schools in every state will be selected to receive a customized indoor or outdoor garden package filled with a variety of tools, seeds, educational materials, and more. Eligible schools and organizations include public and private schools, accredited homeschool associations (K–8), public libraries, religious educational centers, and Head Start centers. Deadline: February 11, 2011.

Community-Based Partnerships for Childhood Obesity Prevention and Control: The National Institutes of Health is providing funding to support childhood obesity research through the forming of research teams composed of stakeholders such as researchers, policymakers, community representatives, public health practitioners or officials, and educators. The research teams will conduct relevant research for potential policy efforts in the area of childhood obesity prevention and reduction. Deadline: May 7, 2012.

Healthy School Communities is a worldwide ASCD effort to promote the integration of health and learning and the benefits of school-community collaboration. It is part of a large, multiyear plan to shift public dialogue about education from a narrow, curriculum-centric and accountability system focus to a whole child approach that encompasses all factors required for successful student outcomes. Visit the Healthy School Communities group on ASCD EDge and share everything from ideas and solutions to common concerns.

Healthy School Communities

Health and Learning News and Updates

News

School Trains Sixth Graders in CPR: A Massachusetts school spent the last two days before winter break training 6th-grade students in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), the Heimlich Maneuver, and other life-saving techniques. The curriculum, usually taught in 9th grade, has been simplified to train more individuals. "This is a new and innovative program that we hope will really catch on in other surrounding communities," a lieutenant with the fire department said.

Developing Emotional Resiliency Could Benefit Stressed Teachers: Teaching is a stressful profession and the retention rate—especially in struggling schools—often is low, says a school-improvement coach. Elena Aguilar writes that teachers would benefit from developing emotional resilience—knowing when to let go and how to adapt to stressful situations. She recommends that building these emotional skills be incorporated into teachers' professional development and cites research that shows mentoring and collaborating could help, too.

Why Do We Need Physical Education in Schools? Healthy School Communities Director Sean Slade illustrates the two sides of the debate in his blog post on the Whole Child website. Although research shows that healthier students learn better, there are others out there who seem to believe PE and recess are a waste of classroom time. Go to ASCD EDge and tell us how you defend the role of physical education and physical activity in your school.

Resources

Mental Health Resources for Schools: The Center for Mental Health in Schools at UCLA provides a free online toolkit, Practitioner and Professional Development: Virtual Toolbox for Mental Health in Schools, that reflects on the role of mental health in the well-being of students for school personnel involved in preservice and inservice professional development.

Take Action

Get Nutrition Education in Your Classrooms: Attend this free 45-minute webinar on Wednesday, January 19 at 3:00 p.m. pacific time, 6:00 p.m., eastern time, from SPARK, a whole child partner, to learn how you can integrate nutrition education into other core subject areas like math, science, language arts, and physical education. Register now!

Get Into It and Fight Childhood Obesity: Special Olympics and Youth Service America is offering Get Into It grants. The purpose is to bring together students of all abilities to fight childhood obesity in their schools and communities. The Get Into It curriculum helps to develop a service-learning program that gives youth the opportunity to make a change by creating and implementing local, hands-on programs to fight childhood obesity. Maximum award: $1,000. Eligibility: U.S.-based teams that include a teacher and a unified pair of students (one with and one without an intellectual disability). Deadline: January 19, 2011.

Excellence in Summer Learning Award: Whole child partner the National Summer Learning Association will be awarding its Excellence in Summer Learning Award to an outstanding summer program that "demonstrates excellence in accelerating academic achievement and promoting positive development for young people between kindergarten and 12th grade." Award winners will receive national recognition, increased press opportunities, conference presentations and complimentary registrations, professional development opportunities for staff, and increased publishing opportunities. Public or private organizations or agencies (schools, community-based organizations, libraries, universities, faith-based organizations, etc.) serving young people between the ages of kindergarten and 12th grade over the summer months are eligible to apply. Deadline: February 11, 2011.

Healthy School Communities is a worldwide ASCD effort to promote the integration of health and learning and the benefits of school-community collaboration. It is part of a large, multiyear plan to shift public dialogue about education from a narrow, curriculum-centric and accountability system focus to a whole child approach that encompasses all factors required for successful student outcomes. Visit the Healthy School Communities group on ASCD EDge and share everything from ideas and solutions to common concerns.

Healthy School Communities

Health and Learning News and Updates

News

Social Isolation in School Increases Children's Depression Risk: A study shows that children who did not have any friends were the most likely to be depressed during their teenage years and that those who were socially withdrawn had the highest risk of having a depressive affect. The lead researcher said that social relationships are an important factor in a child's emotional health that is often overlooked in the academic setting.

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Healthy School Communities

Health and Learning News and Updates

News

Survey: Only 23 Percent Want Feds to Set Child Nutrition Standards: A Rasmussen Reports survey of U.S. adults found that 23 percent said the federal government should set nutritional standards for public schools, while 31 percent said they want parent-teacher groups to do it and 17 percent said it should be left to state governments. Data showed that 53 percent of adults said they followed reports about the childhood-nutrition law at least somewhat closely.

More States Are Allowing PE Waivers or Substitutions: The number of states that allow students to substitute extracurricular activities or otherwise opt out of physical education has increased since 2006 from 27 to 32, data show. One physical education professor says a push for students to take more academic courses and districts' efforts to save money are behind the trend, which occurs amid greater worry about childhood obesity.

Better Grades May Mean Better Health: Findings from a study published in the December Journal of Health and Social Behavior support already existing evidence that links higher student achievement with long-term health. The study shows that not only is there a correlation between greater educational attainment and physical well-being, but also that a higher level of academic performance proved to be a significant factor as well. Read more.

Resources

Promising District Practices: Are you looking for strategies that schools and districts across the United States are using to effectively address school health? The National School Boards Association's (NSBA) Promising District Practices website shares success stories addressing a wide range of school health–related policies and practices in a practical and easily accessible way.

Enhancing Student Learning by Supporting a Coordinated Approach to Health: Whole Child Partners NSBA and the American School Health Association (ASHA), with ASHA's Council for Administrative Support for School Health, have developed parallel documents to help school boards and administrators enhance student learning by supporting a coordinated approach to health. The documents can be used to communicate how school board and administrator support for a coordinated approach to health contributes to academic achievement and why and how school leaders should have a coordinated approach to the health of students.

Youth Substance Use Interventions: Where Do They Fit Into a School's Mission? This report addresses differences between use and abuse and briefly summarizes some major issues and data relevant to substance use and treatment of abuse and dependency. It also highlights the importance of adopting a broad perspective in understanding the causes of substance problems seen at schools.

Take Action

Reducing Risk Behaviors by Promoting Positive Youth Development: The National Institutes of Health is offering grants to institutions and organizations that "propose to enhance our understanding of effective positive youth development programs and the mechanisms responsible for positive health and developmental outcomes." Award amounts vary and eligible applicants are public or state controlled or private institutions of higher education; nonprofit organizations with or without 501(c)(3) IRS status; for-profit organizations; and various other organizations, including non-U.S. entities. Deadline: February 5, 2011.

School Employee Wellness Awards Program: The Directors of Health Promotion and Education (DHPE)is now accepting applications for the 2010–11 School Employee Wellness Awards Program that recognizes schools and school districts that implement school employee wellness programs. Monetary awards will be granted in the amounts of $250 (bronze), $500 (silver), and $1,000 (gold) to be reinvested in their employee wellness programs. Review an archived webinar from DHPE that further explains the grant application process. Application materials must be postmarked by February 1, 2011.

Get Green With Planet Connect: Interested in integrating environmental health awareness into your school? Planet Connect announces the 2011 Get Green Video Contest. In partnership with the Leaders of Environmental Action Films, the Get Green Video Contest is asking U.S. high school students to make a 30–120 second video that shows how everyday actions impact the ocean. Deadline: February 23, 2011.

Healthy School Communities is a worldwide ASCD effort to promote the integration of health and learning and the benefits of school-community collaboration. It is part of a large, multiyear plan to shift public dialogue about education from a narrow, curriculum-centric and accountability system focus to a whole child approach that encompasses all factors required for successful student outcomes. Visit the Healthy School Communities group on ASCD EDge and share everything from ideas and solutions to common concerns.

Healthy School Communities

Health and Learning News and Updates

News

Schools Prepare for Likely Implementation of Child-Nutrition Law: Some Colorado schools are preparing to implement the new Healthy, Hunger-free Kids Act, which is expected to be signed into law by President Barack Obama. If approved, the law will increase the free-lunch subsidy for schools that improve nutrition standards. Some people are concerned the additional funding may not be enough for schools to meet the bill's goals, and restricting unhealthy items typically sold in school vending machines could affect schools' fund-raising.

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Healthy School Communities

Health and Learning News and Updates

News

ADHD, Bullying, and the Destruction of Childhood: Last month, the Whole Child Podcast and blog focused on child development. In this video interview, Canadian physician Gabor Maté provides interesting points of discussion on the issues of childhood behavioral disorders resulting from a social problem and not just a physiological one, contrary to traditional assumptions. Read the video transcript.

Is the increase of ADHD, bullying, and oppositional behavior the result of "the destruction of childhood" and a decline in nurturing conditions for successful child development? Share and discuss your opinions on ASCD EDge.

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Healthy School Communities

Health and Learning News and Updates

News

Giving Thanks for Teachers Who Help Hungry Students: Educator Susan Graham describes a lesson in which students share Thanksgiving meal traditions, from turkey and mashed potatoes to pumpkin pie and even pizza. But recent data show that close to a quarter of U.S. schoolchildren regularly struggle with hunger, and Graham gives thanks to teachers who often use their own money to help them get through the school day. Read more.

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Healthy School Communities

Health and Learning News and Updates

News

Should Canadian schools continue to label students as gifted? Some parents and educators are concerned about the commonly overlooked downsides that come along with the "gifted" label, and some are questioning whether the designation should be applied at all. Many schools in Canada and elsewhere have increased their focus on student-centered education, which aims to capitalize on the students' needs. Many schools also have fewer available resources for separate gifted-education programs. Read more.

New Report Confirms Recession Will Have Lasting Impact on Children's Health: Whole Child Partner America's Promise Alliance's policy affiliate, First Focus, released a new report that underscored the lasting impact of even temporary spells of poverty on children's long-term health. The Effect of the Recession on Child Well-Being, authored by researchers from PolicyLab at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and commissioned by First Focus, examines four areas—health, food security, housing stability, and maltreatment—and reviews the relationship of each to the well-being of children during recessions both past and present.

Report on Kids' Health Shows Mixed Results: National Children's Hospital and its partners have published a report based on reviewed data from 10 indicators for pediatric health in the Columbus, Ohio, community. The good news is that more children appear to have access to health care and early births are decreasing, while the bad news is that obesity in some populations has not decreased and teen suicide and asthma have increased. Read more about the report.

Resources

About KidsHealth: Browse this database to find hundreds of articles on a variety of child health topics in the AboutKidsHealth Health A–Z Library. Articles include topics such as common health problems, first aid, safety, nutrition, child care, behavior school, and relationships.

Tips for Launching SEL After School: This article on the Edutopia website provides practical advice for planning and fundraising to launch your own after-school social and emotional learning (SEL) program. Whole Child Partners the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) and Educators for Social Responsibility (ESR) are referenced as good resources for getting your program started.

Take Action

Peaceful Pathways: Reducing Exposure to Violence: The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is partnering with local grant makers to offer grants for community-based projects to improve the health and health care for vulnerable populations and to reduce violence in traditionally underserved communities.

Up to eight matching grants of between $50,000 and $200,000 each will be awarded. Organizations must be nominated by a diversity-focused funder that is principally concerned with the community to be served. Projects should be planned and led by members of the specific racial, gender, tribal, or other disadvantaged community to be served, and projects must be culturally appropriate. The grantee is expected to work with the nominating funder and/or additional grantmakers (who need not be diversity-focused funders). Funding partners may include independent and private foundations, family and community foundations, and corporate and other philanthropies. Matching funds must represent new funding specifically designated to support the proposed project. Up to 25 percent of the match for Peaceful Pathways may consist of in-kind services. Deadline: Rolling.

Healthy School Communities is a worldwide ASCD effort to promote the integration of health and learning and the benefits of school-community collaboration. It is part of a large, multiyear plan to shift public dialogue about education from a narrow, curriculum-centric and accountability system focus to a whole child approach that encompasses all factors required for successful student outcomes. Visit the Healthy School Communities group on ASCD EDge and share everything from ideas and solutions to common concerns.

Healthy School Communities

Health and Learning News and Updates

News

Student Wellness Council Promotes Healthier Choices for Teens: High school students at Lackawanna Trail High School have created their own Student Wellness Council to promote wellness and healthy eating in their school district. Read how students have included broadcasting health tips on a radio show and selling fruit smoothies during lunch at school in their activities.

Las Cruces Mayor Helps Kids Stay Healthy: Las Cruces, N.Mex., Mayor Ken Miyagishima is showing his support for the Healthy Kids Las Cruces program by encouraging the town's 3rd graders to develop healthy habits and live healthy lifestyles. Read more about the 5-2-1-0 Challenge and how the mayor is spreading the word about healthy eating and physical activity to the community.

Ending Childhood Hunger: Actor Jeff Bridges hopes to end childhood hunger in America by 2015. Read about his No Kid Hungry campaign to learn how you can take part in the movement.

ADHD Rates Rise Among Children, CDC Says: A U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report indicates that about 9.5 percent of 73,000 parents surveyed in 2007–08 reported having a child diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, up from nearly 8 percent in 2003. The report, involving children ages 4 to 17, shows that about two-thirds of those with ADHD are receiving medication.

Resources

Dribbling Drills from Whole Child Partner SPARK: This month we're featuring Dribbling Drills from the Basketball unit in the SPARK 3-6 PE Manual, which includes a free lesson plan, assessment tool, and instructional video.

Energy Balance 101: Energy Balance: 101 offers teachers, families, and communities resources, lesson plans, and tips to support healthy eating and physical activity for children.

Bully Free Canada: Canadians will recognize November 14–20, 2010, as National Bullying Awareness Week. BullyingAwarenessWeek.org offers resources for planning local bullying awareness campaigns. Example day plans are available for each day of the week.

Middle School, a Developmentally Critical Time for Health Education: The Michigan Departments of Education and Community Health developed a two-page fact sheet to help administrators, teachers, and parents speak about the importance of health education at the middle school level. The fact sheet discusses why the middle school is a developmentally critical time and includes risk-behavior data and other online resources. It also serves as a response to measures some districts are taking to cut or reduce middle school health education due to limited resources.

Take Action

Sixth Biennial Childhood Obesity Conference: The California Department of Public Health, California Department of Education, the University of California-Berkeley, Dr. Robert C. and Veronica Atkins Center for Weight and Health, The California Endowment, and Kaiser Permanente have joined together to host a conference on childhood obesity from June 28 through July 1, 2011, in San Diego, Calif. Leading experts in pediatric obesity will showcase the latest research, evidence-based best practices, and policy and environmental change strategies. Early discount registration ends January 1, 2011. Register and find out more.

Healthy Playground Makeover Sweepstakes: Enter the sweepstakes from Energy Balance:101 and get a chance to win the grand prize of $10,000 to redo a playground, $25,000 in merchandise from Sports Authority, and more. Five runner-up prizes are also available. Deadline to enter is December 1, 2010.

Are childhood hunger, ADHD, bullying, and safe places to play important issues in your school or community?

Healthy School Communities is a worldwide ASCD effort to promote the integration of health and learning and the benefits of school-community collaboration. It is part of a large, multiyear plan to shift public dialogue about education from a narrow, curriculum-centric and accountability system focus to a whole child approach that encompasses all factors required for successful student outcomes. Visit the Healthy School Communities group on ASCD EDge and share everything from ideas and solutions to common concerns.

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