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School health & wellness news roundup: Week of Oct. 13, 2014

October 17, 2014

From this week’s news:

  • Mentoring kids in poverty helps lower their health risks, study says
    Fox News:
    Overall, the teens living in areas with worsening poverty during the study had the highest allostatic load, which put them at greatest risk for chronic diseases later in life. Having strong emotional support during adolescence appeared to protect the participants from any possible effects from living in areas with worsening poverty.
  • Bullying Threatens Academic Achievement and Healthy Children
    Ed Week Leadership 360 Blog: Bullying is a very destructive act that can destroy the learning environment for the bully, the bullied, and the witnesses to bullying. Much research exists to show the physical and psychological effects of bullying. The health of children and their success are interrelated; bullying is harmful to both.
  • Updated Cyberbullying Prevention Book Provides New Strategies for Educators
    Ed Week Digital Education Blog:
    As schools and districts start using more technology in their classrooms, cyberbullying continues to be ongoing problem for educators. But dealing with online negativity can be difficult and school officials are still determining how to navigate existing laws and school policies.
  • Teenage Girls Battle With Higher Amounts of Stress than Boys
    Science World Report: Girls tended to show higher depressive symptoms at follow-up periods than boys did-while boys’ symptoms seemed to decline following the initial assessments. Furthermore, girls seemed to be exposed to a greater number of interpersonal dependent stressors, suggesting that it is this exposure to stressors that maintained girls’ higher levels of rumination that put them at risk for depression over time.
  • Neighborhood Influences on Girls Obesity Risk Across the Transition to Adolescence
    Robert Wood Johnson Foundation:
    Children living in low-income neighborhoods have less access to physical activity opportunities and more access to fast food than those living in high-income neighborhoods. Future efforts to reduce childhood obesity must address not only individual-level behaviors and family-level practices, but also consider design and planning characteristics of environments that may promote or threaten healthy development.
  • Homelessness Has Outsize Effect on Youngest Learners
    Ed Week Early Years Blog: Homeless children under the age of 5 are more likely to suffer from what’s known as toxic stress, a prolonged activation of a child’s stress response system, and run a heightened risk of starting kindergarten unprepared, according to a recent report by The New America Foundation.
  • Medical Providers Tie Early Literacy to Health Outcomes
    Ed Week Early Years Blog: “Reading is a major public health issue,” said Laura Bailet, who oversees the BrightStart initiative for Nemours. Studies have shown a connection between low literacy and poor health, and children who struggle to read in school often manifest physical and emotional problems.

School health & wellness news roundup: Week of Oct. 6, 2014

October 10, 2014

From this week’s news:

  • Why Schools Should Screen Their Students’ Mental Health
    The New York Times: Schools should be a first line of defense for catching young people at risk for mental health issues from depression to ADHD, a pair of new reports says. Related: Medical News Today 1 in 10 schoolchildren ‘require mental health interventions‘”
  • Researchers and Schools Diverge in Definitions of Bullying
    Education Week:
    There’s a tremendous disconnect between how the term bullying is used colloquially by students, teachers, and parents, and how researchers and advocacy types define it. That gap can often mean evidence-based interventions fall short of expectations in schools. This gap will likely never fully close, but some coordination will likely be necessary as state and federal policies increasingly include measures of school climate issues in school accountability plans.
  • When Anxiety Hits at School
    The Atlantic: As the number of teens who suffer from anxiety disorders continues to grow, mental-health care is increasingly part of school nurses’ job descriptions. Seemingly recognizing the important role school nurses have the potential to play, IES earlier this year awarded a grant of more than $1 million to Johns Hopkins University to study ways school nurses can reduce anxiety.
  • The Next Battleground for Soda
    The New York Times op/ed: The soda industry does not really want to fight obesity. Of course if it could replace all of its sugar with air, or make its profits by selling water, that would be fine. But if it were really interested in changing the status quo, it could stop marketing soda to children who are too young to figure out that it’s essentially poison .
  • As Lobbyists and Politicians Shout It Out Over School Lunch, Can Parents Be Heard?
    The New York Times Motherlode Blog: Ultimately it’s those kids — the ones who can’t just bring a healthy lunch from home — whose lives are most affected by what’s served in the cafeteria. But even if parents want to speak out on behalf of those children, and all children, or if we demand change at our own children’s schools one at a time, will our collective voices be heard above the political fray?
  • Family Meals May Mean a Healthier Weight
    The New York Times Well Blog:
    Research found evidence that teenagers who eat dinner with the family two or three times a week may reduce their risk for obesity in young adulthood.
  • This School Has Bikes Instead of Desks–and it Turns Out That’s a Better Way to Learn
    Fast Company: The Read and Ride program supplies one classroom with enough exercise bikes for a full class of students, and as they ride, they read. In a specific school, students who had spent the most time in the program achieved an 83% proficiency in reading, while those who spent the least time in the program scored 41% proficiency. Related: The Washington Post The right — and surprisingly wrong — ways to get kids to sit still in class”
  • Why Does Sitting Still Equal Learning?
    Huffington Post: Today we have research showing that the more senses used in the learning process, the higher the percentage of retention, we have research showing that the brain is far more active during physical activity than while one is seated, and we have research demonstrating that sitting in a chair increases fatigue and reduces concentration. Yet policymakers and schools implement policies (more testing; no recess; even fewer bathroom breaks) that require students to do more sitting.
  • How Exercise Can Boost Young Brains
    The New York Times Well Blog:
    Research supports that extended physical education classes during school hours could help ensure that children engage in sufficient physical activity for brain health. But school districts nationwide are shortening or eliminating P.E. programs for budgetary and other reasons.
  • Invalidation During The Teenage Years Increases the Risk of Self-Harm in Young People
    Science World Report: Recent findings show that invalidation from a family member or peers can potentially determine whether or not a teenager may hurt themselves.

School health & wellness news roundup: Week of Sept. 30, 2014

October 3, 2014

From this week’s news:

  • More Active Play Equals Better Thinking Skills For Kids
    NPR Shots blog:
    A study published in Pediatrics shows 7- to 9-year-old children who run around and play for at least 70 minutes a day show improved thinking skills, particularly in multitasking, compared to children who aren’t as active.
  • Children With Autism Are More Sedentary Than Peers
    Science World Report:
    Recent findings published in the journal Autism Research and Treatment show that children with autism are more likely to be sedentary than their peers. Researchers found that on average, they were likely to spend 50 minutes less a day involved in moderate physical activity and 70 minutes more each day sitting.
  • Kids And Screen Time: Cutting Through The Static
    NPRed:
    Social skills require constant maintenance. The good news, according to a recently reported study, is that we can improve those skills in relatively short order, with practice. The bad news is that screen time often comes at the expense of that vital face-to-face time.
  • Homeless High Schoolers Face Barriers to Education
    US News Education Blog: Young people who experience homelessness were 87 percent more likely to stop going to school, according to the 2014 Don’t Call Them Dropouts report. Schools on Wheels of Massachusetts provides homeless teens with additional support to help them graduate high school and continue their education.

Education Week: “Learning Payoff Found for City Connects Program”

October 2, 2014

Education WeekThe work of City Connects was featured today on the front page of Education Week: Learning Payoff Found for City Connects Program.”

The catalyst for the story was a paper authored by our Evaluation Team that was recently published in the American Educational Research Journal (AERJ). The paper demonstrates City Connects‘ positive impact on elementary and middle school students’ academic achievement.

City Connects Executive Director Mary Walsh says:
While schools have always made efforts to address students’ out-of-school needs, the City Connects AERJ paper shows that using evidence to inform practice, making effective use of community resources, and tailoring a plan for every student can alter trajectories for children. It’s a call to action to change the way we address the achievement gap and the ‘poverty gap’ in our most challenged schools and to rethink how school counselors, social workers, and other student support staff meet the needs of students.

School health & wellness news roundup: Week of Sept. 22, 2014

September 26, 2014

From this week’s news:

School health & wellness news roundup: Week of Sept. 15, 2014

September 19, 2014

From this week’s news:

School health & wellness news roundup: Week of Sept. 8, 2014

September 12, 2014

From this week’s news:

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