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Fit To Be Taught, Vol. 46

Its Time to Repair Americas Schools


Stories of vermin, mold, asbestos, and water in school classrooms have become all too common in the U.S., according to a report from the American Federation of Teachers. Its time for the nation to commit itself to repairing its aging and deteriorating schools.

Reported conditions have included: Bathrooms and classrooms so damp that mushrooms and mold sprout. Water dripping from ceilings and temperatures so cold that sometimes the drips freeze into icicles. Rats and mice finding their way into schools through building and window cracks.

Do these sound like school conditions in an impoverished nation? Surprisingly, no. These are problems reported by more than 1,000 U.S. school employees in a survey on the physical environment at their schools conducted by the American Federation of Teachers The responses, which came from urban, rural, and suburban teachers, are part of the AFT report, Building Minds, Minding Buildings: Turning Crumbling Schools into Environments for Learning.

In the report, the AFT said that repairing the deplorable conditions in many U.S. public schools should be a national priority. Problems such as mold, poor air quality, fluctuating temperatures and other factors lead to more illnesses among students and staff members, higher absenteeism, as well as hamper childrens ability to learn, according to the report.

This is a health issue, a safety issue, and an educational issue," said Antonia Cortese, AFT executive vice president, in an AFT press release. In the worlds richest nation, every child is entitled to learn in clean, well-maintained classrooms. As we try to build young minds, we also have to mind school buildings."

Read the full article on Education World


Wellness Program Benefits Students, Staff

The goals of the Springfield (Ohio) Elementary Health Team are to improve the health and wellness of staff and students give students the knowledge to develop healthy lifestyles. To help meet these goals, exercise opportunities were scheduled, free breakfast was offered to all students, and health screenings were implemented for staff and students. All students and staff participate in the program.

Each morning the classroom teachers lead their students in a daily exercise routine that includes, but is not limited to, aerobics, walking, running, exercise videos, and calisthenics. This exercise session lasts from 12-15 minutes per day. Following the exercise, the students are offered a free breakfast so they begin their day with a nutritious meal.

Over the past two years since the wellness program was started, there has been an 8 percent decrease in students visiting the nurse's office and student attendance has improved 1.2 percent.

Read more about this program at: Springfield Elementary Health Team.

Click to learn more about Action for Healthy Kids.

Wellness News
Schools to Distribute Cookbooks All 11-year-olds in England will receive cookbooks as part of an effort to help reduce obesity.

State Adopting Healthy School Report Cards New Mexico plans to issue a statewide report card that will measure how the state’s public schools are responding to increasingly alarming child health issues.

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