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Fit To Be Taught, Vol. 52

"Cracking Open"
Kids' Brains


To introduce parents to the latest in brain research, Lynnhaven Elementary School invited a United Way speaker from the Raising a Reader program to its annual Family Literacy Night in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

The guest speaker presented information on brain development in a very clear, useful, and down-to-earth manner, with vocabulary that was easily understood by all. We were most impressed with how engaged the parents were with the speaker. They found the topic of child brain development fascinating and even asked for follow up workshops to gain further information. "We have never been asked to repeat an event before!" recalls Karen Dragon, Title I resource reading teacher.

The program was not clinical, but focused on the practical. Everyday examples showed parents how they could use the information to be better parents and help their children to learn, and colorful diagrams of brain scans were used to illustrate the speaker's points.

"We received notes and emails the very next day from parents stating that they went home and put the workshop into practice immediately and started interacting with their children in a more brain friendlymanner. We had never received instant feedback like that! It was very powerful," shared Dragon.

During the presentation, staff members and a guest storyteller entertained the children with literacy activities in the library. Community partners helped make the event a success by providing dinner and books for the participants.

Read the full article on Education World

Wellness News
Parents Struggle to Apply Nutrition Lessons at Home While many schools have turned kids on to eating more healthful snacks, rising food prices make it hard for some families to afford fresh fruits and vegetables.

New Physical Activity Guidelines for Kids Children who have at least one hour or more of physical activity a day gain substantial health benefits, according to new U.S. Department of Health and Human Services guidelines for kids.

Coalition Educates Kids, Parents

The Coulee (Wisconsin) Region Childhood Obesity Coalition works to prevent childhood obesity by creating a community environment that encourages healthful eating and physical activity. The program is aimed at children under age 18 and their parents. Coalition members include representatives from public health, two area universities, local medical centers, local school districts, parenting programs, Cooperative Extension, Head Start and area day care centers.

The coalition accomplishes its mission by working with the local media to create awareness of childhood obesity and how it can be prevented, through presentations to community and parent groups offering practical ideas for eating healthy and increasing physical activity, through partnerships with local grocery stores to provide shoppers with healthful eating tips and samples of healthful recipes, and through collaborations with area schools to advocate for healthful school lunch choices and removal of soda machines from schools.

Thanks to coalition efforts, more nutritious foods are now part of the a la carte school lunch choices in the La Crosse School District.

To encourage increased physical activity among children the program sponsored a Walk-to-School-Day Event at an elementary school where parents joined their children at school for a healthful breakfast, attended a short assembly on safe walking and biking to school, and then took a short walk in the school neighborhood.

Read more about this program at: Coulee Region Childhood Obesity Coalition.

Click to learn more about Action for Healthy Kids.

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