Tagged “Nutrition”

Learning and Health

School Nutrition Environment and Services

Nutrition is essential for student success. Healthy, active, and well-nourished children are more likely to attend school and are more prepared and motivated to learn. Although the primary responsibility of schools is to foster academic achievement, schools have an exceptional opportunity to guide children toward healthier lifestyles by creating a healthy nutrition environment.

The school environment should encourage all students to make healthy eating choices and be physically active throughout the school day. We know schools cannot be responsible for the health and safety of their students at all times (such as when students area at home or out in the community); however, schools can and should ensure that students learn the knowledge and skills needed to make healthy decisions. School leaders can help encourage this by helping students make healthy choices using policies and practices that create a school environment that supports clear expectations for healthy behavior by faculty and staff, as well as students.

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Kristen Pekarek

Join the Summer Learning Movement!

Summer Learning Day 2014 - National Summer Learning AssociationThe summer learning movement, as promoted by whole child partner National Summer Learning Association (NSLA), is part of a whole child education as it takes into account a child's education and overall well-being all year long, including the summer months.

According to the NSLA, each summer the well-being of millions of children is put into jeopardy. The research shows that students lose close two months of what they learn during the school year and many more do not have access to healthy food and wellness programs. View an achievement gap infographic (PDF) for additional data on the importance of summer learning.

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Eric Russo

Putting the Child into Whole Child: Give Students Voice to Improve Your Practice

Recently I was having a discussion with a colleague who is new to the building. This teacher is confident, self-assured, and has decades of experience more than me. We teach the same children, so we meet frequently for RTI and team meetings. This is the type of teacher that takes pride in being "old school," which roughly translates to a no-nonsense, quiet-equals-learning, behavior-should-have-negative-consequences type of environment. It's the model that many of us grew up with. Although I was able to navigate through this system because I was a so-called "good student," many friends were not particularly successful, with the logical assumption that they were "bad students." This model puts the system itself as the driving force for success, which is disempowering both to educators and to the students alike.

Now, the conversation in question did not go smoothly, especially when I insensitively insisted that the teacher "would not be successful" using this old school approach. Realizing that I was working against my goal, I quickly concluded with a final statement that I paraphrased from a Maya Angelou quote: People don't remember what you say; they remember how you made them feel. It is a statement that I share with staff and students, and for me it is at the foundation of the type of teacher I strive to be. It is also at the core of the safe and supported tenets of the whole child approach.

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Melanie Olmstead

Food for Thought: What the SNAP Cuts Mean for Students and Schools

Research shows that students with access to good nutrition have higher school attendance records, are better able to focus, and are consistently more engaged than students with poor nutrition. Even so, Congress approved and President Obama signed a farm bill reauthorization that cuts funding to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), commonly known as food stamps.

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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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Kelli Windsor

Resilience Starts with School Breakfast

As kids head back to school, educators are focused on how to best ensure students succeed in the classroom and in life. That involves students being stronger, wiser, and more powerful. New findings from a national survey released by whole child partner Share Our Strength's No Kid Hungry campaign show that breakfast is key to academic success and ensuring resilience for students. The findings also show that rethinking how we serve school breakfast is crucial to enhancing the educational experience for all.

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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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Pam Allyn

Field Notes: Raising Learning Warriors

Moses was my student in Brooklyn, N.Y. He came from Guyana, was 10 years old, and deaf. His mother, who spoke no English and knew no one in New York, had made the treacherous journey to the United States to give him the opportunity to go to school. He was the skinniest boy I had ever seen, with longer-than-long legs that he sometimes tripped over when he ran. Moses was not getting enough to eat at home, so I started bringing him food. Some days, he did not eat from the time he left me until the next morning at school.

Moses and his mother lived in one tiny room where the heat sometimes did not work. His mother worked two jobs and was rarely home for more than an hour when Moses returned from school. Yet here he was, at long last, in a school for the deaf where he could finally thrive and learn.

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ASCD Whole Child Bloggers

Summer Meals Programs Help Stretch Summertime Food Budgets

No Kid Hungry - Share Our Strength

Post written by Kim Caldwell with the No Kid Hungry Center for Best Practices

Teachers, parents, and kids tell us all the time that childhood hunger doesn't take a vacation during the summer months. That's because kids who normally get a lunch or breakfast at school lose access to those meals when class lets out for summer break. This loss of healthy school meals means, for some families, summertime can be a time of financial uncertainty.

New findings by Share Our Strength's No Kid Hungry campaign show that low-income families find it harder to make ends meet during summer months. In our national survey of 1,200 low-income families in the United States:

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