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Fit to Be Taught, Vol.15

Girls and Sports -- A Winning Combination!


Can playing with dolls deliver harmful messages to young girls? Why are noncompetitive sports important for girls' development in the early years? How can educators encourage girls to embrace sports? Those are some of the questions Education World posed to husband-and-wife team Gil Reavill and Jean Zimmerman, authors of Raising Our Athletic Daughters: How Sports Can Build Self-Esteem and Save Girls' Lives. Learn why girls and sports are a winning combination and what you can do to level the playing fields for the girls in your life.

In their book, Reavill and Zimmerman demonstrate how sports empower girls and create positive self-identity. "If Ophelia had been on the swim team," they wrote, referring to Mary Pipher's book Reviving Ophelia, "she might not have needed reviving." Education World chatted with the authors about why sports are so important for girls and how educators and parents can help girls develop the skills and confidence to play and compete.

Read the full article on Education World

Wellness News
PTA Funds Healthy Lifestyle Programs The PTAs national office is awarding $500 to 39 PTA schools, and a grand award of $1,000 to one PTA school, to help celebrate PTA Healthy Lifestyles Month in November.

Lack of Sleep Hurts Teens on Different Levels When teens get too little sleep, their ability to function well at school is impaired as are their interactions with people at a social level, studies show.

Replacing Soda With Water

Administrators at North Community High School in Minneapolis, Minnesota, revamped the schools beverage offerings before the 2001-2002 school year. One assistant principal gathered information indicating that more African-American youth (who make up the majority of North's student body) are overweight and obese than white youngsters. Using these statistics, and with the support of the administrative team, he contacted the district's Coca-Cola representative, who was willing to work with North to provide more healthful choices.

The changes included:

  • Increasing the number of vending machines from four to 16.
  • Stocking 13 machines with water or 100 percent fruit or vegetable juice.
  • Stocking two machines with sports drinks.
  • Limiting soda to one machine, with limited hours of sale.

Water was priced at 75 cents a bottle, sports drinks and juices at $1, and soda and fruit drinks at $1.25. The water machines were placed in high traffic areas. A policy change now allows students to drink water in the classroom; prior to this, no beverages were allowed

North reported that when the vending changes were announced at the ninth-grade open house, parents applauded. Since the introduction of water and juice machines, staff and administration have made an effort to praise students who are seen making more healthful beverage choices.

At the same time, vending machine sales more than doubled that year, with water the top seller. Whether due to limited access to soda, or increased availability and lower prices of more healthful beverages, North students bought fewer cans of soda at school.

Read more about this program at: Minneapolis North High Schools Beverage Vending Model.

Click to learn more about Action for Healthy Kids.

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