Learn About Concussions
Concussions can happen in an instant. From toddlers falling at home to teenagers participating in sports. Concussions are traumatic brain injuries that can hurt a child’s brain and may impact their development. Understanding the signs and symptoms of a brain injury may help you quickly address the situation. Learn more about concussions.
Breakfast After the Bell: Healthier Kids and Healthier Budgets
By Jon Barry (Director, No Kid Hungry Missouri)
Today, like most weekday mornings, I made my breakfast and coffee and read the day’s news. On the same morning, millions of kids across America went to school without breakfast.
In Missouri, approximately 50 percent of our students come from low-income and food-insecure households and rely on a free or reduced price lunch each day. However, of those kids, less than half of them are eating breakfast at school. Too many of these students miss out on breakfast because it is served before they arrive, or they do not want to face the stigma of eating alone in the cafeteria.
In April 2016, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon announced the launch of No Kid Hungry Missouri to immediately tackle these hunger issues, he stated, “Child hunger is a serious problem – but it’s a solvable one. The No Kid Hungry Missouri campaign will work to break down the barriers that stand between kids and the nutrition they need to grow up healthy and strong.”
School breakfast is important for all kids regardless of their economic situation. No kid Hungry partnered with Deloitte to conduct a social impact analysis which found that kids who eat breakfast at school are 20 percent more likely to graduate!
The best way to increase participation in school breakfast is by switching to a breakfast after the bell service model. Whether it’s “Breakfast in the Classroom” for elementary kids, “Grab-n-Go Breakfast” for middle school students, or a “Second Chance Breakfast” for high school students, breakfast after the bell makes sense. It leads to better health and educational outcomes for kids, and it means healthier budgets for schools.
One school in southeast Missouri went from 17 to 86 percent participation in breakfast within two months! Imagine what a similar increase in participation rates could do for your students, your nutrition programs, and your revenues. The more breakfasts served equals lower per-unit costs and greater reimbursement income.
The No Kid Hungry Breakfast Challenge offers funding to qualified schools to help offset the costs of making the switch. Schools with a free-and-reduced-eligible population of at least 60 percent can apply for funding up to $3,000 to cover the cost of equipment like rolling carts, kiosks, and insulated bags. Applications are due no later than September 30, 2016. You can learn more about the Breakfast Challenge and complete your application by visiting us as http://dss.mo.gov/NoKidHungryMO.
Thanks to our partnership with the Midwest Dairy Council and Share Our Strength, we are happy to offer incentives to the highest performing schools. As part of the Breakfast Challenge, participating schools that see the highest increases in breakfast participation over the school year will be eligible for awards of up to $1,000.
I want to end childhood hunger in our great state. I hope you will join me.
Your Skin is In!!!
Are you looking for a new way to promote Health & Safety at your school through education and prevention? The Melanoma Foundation of New England MFNE) is passionate about preventing skin cancer. They have two projects that you could bring to your area. For teens and young adults, they have created an informative course available for free on their website about sun safety and early signs of melanoma, called Your Skin Is In. They are also setting up sunscreen dispensers in parks, beaches, and schools around the country through their Practice Safe Skin program. Check out their website mfne.org
Students who get at least 60 minutes of physical activity each day are fitter, healthier and have better focus in class. The Fire Up Your Feet Activity Challenge is a program that offers new opportunities for physical activity before, during and after school for students and families. Participating in the challenge is easy—simply log any type of physical activity: Yoga, gardening, P.E., dance, biking, walking, anything active! This spring, K-8 schools in select states and regions can win cash awards to support physical activity and health programs.
Sign up for the free program at FireUpYourFeet.org.
School is about to start soon. You have all the supplies needed: pencils, paper, backpack, etc. But are you missing something else? Maybe it is a good time to check that your kids are up to date on their Immunization shots, too. When your kids are younger, they have a series of shots required to protect them from measles, polio, chicken pox, and hepatitis, but preteens should also have shots for a variety of illnesses, as well.
Check out these immunization resources to learn more about which shots are required for your child and get tips on how to reduce your child’s anxiety about getting shots:
National PTA has officially launched a Smart Snacks webpage where you can find many resources regarding Smart Snacks. You can access these resources at PTA.org/SmartSnacks.
A number of tools and resources are available to help schools identify food items that meet Smart Snacks criteria. See the resources for info about the Smart Snacks requirement, helpful tools and ways to encourage children to make healthier snack choices that give them the nutrition they need to grow and learn on the USDA website.
View a recording of the Smart Snacks Overview webinar and click download the Powerpoint presentation. If your state or local PTA would like a web or in-person training, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. For additional resources and more info on Smart Snacks, please visit PTA.org/SmartSnacks.
Going back to school may be exciting to some students but there are still those who have butterflies when that first bell rings. According to KidsPoll, on most days, 65% of kids liked school and 35% said they did not. Talking with your child about their thoughts and feelings can help to alleviate some of those butterflies. Also, getting in touch with their teacher from time to time, not waiting for quarterly Teacher Conferences, can help you understand any potential problems early on and allow for you and your child to work on them sooner rather than later. Often times, children are dealing with an issue way before you or a teacher hear about it. Don’t wait, get engaged, be proactive when it comes to helping or understanding what your child is going through. Taking the initiative and talking things out can prevent a lot of stress for everyone involved.
So the next time you sit down at the table to share a meal with your family consider these topics to help get conversation started:
- When Tests Make You Nervous
- Moving to Middle School
- Talking About Your Feelings
- Getting Homework Help
- Getting Along With Teachers
- Going Back to School
- What to Do if You Don’t Like School
While our families all gather to remember what this holiday means to them, it’s also a good time to remember to go over the safety steps again for handling fireworks. This is especially if children are experiencing the excitement of the colorful bursts, loud booms and writing their own name in sparklers for the first time.