Happy Fourth of July

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.

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June – National Safety Month

However, it is important to be safe all year long.  National PTA and Safe Kids Worldwide created a downloadable toolkit that might be helpful for your family, your school and your community.

The toolkit has everything from tip sheets to handouts, maps to program planning guides.  There is something for everyone to use and get further involved in safety awareness.

Go to – http://www.pta.org/safetytoolkit for more details and additional information.

 


Alcohol Awareness Month

How Do We Teach Them to Resist Peer Pressure When It Comes to Alcohol?

Research shows that most young people, 12- to 20-year-olds, do not consume alcohol.  However, when it comes to underage drinking, many tweens and teens tend to believe the myth that “everyone is doing it.”  This misconception could easily lead them to conclude that they should be trying alcohol too, so they will fit in.

Giving students the facts about alcohol, both the dangers and the statistics on how much drinking is really going on, and arming them with coping strategies to handle peer pressure can help in the fight to prevent underage drinking.

April is Alcohol Awareness Month. Parents and teachers may find the resources listed below useful in educating kids, tweens and teens against underage drinking:

·The Cool Spot

·Laws in Your State – National Minimum Drinking Age Act

·Too Smart to Start

·Activities: Reach Out Now (PDF)

·Booklet: I Wasn’t Having Fun Anymore (PDF)

·Lesson Plan: Reach Out Now (PDF)

·Lesson Plans: Stop Underage Drinking

Kids.gov: A Safe Place to Learn and Play


Snack Facts: Raising the Bar on Nutrition Standards in Schools

While some schools have already implemented higher nutrition standards for food and beverages sold in vending machines and a la carte food lines, the US Department of Agriculture has not updated their rules since 1979.  New rulings will go into effect in September 2014, so some schools may see nutrition improvements in the future.

The USDA’s new standards are required by the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act passed in 2010, and limit vending machine snacks or “competitive snacks” to 200 calories per item, and sodas and sports drinks sold in high schools to 60 calories or less in a 12-ounce serving.  Elementary and middle schools can sell water, 100% fruit or vegetable juice and low-fat or fat-free milk.

For more information about snacks sold in schools, please see Snack Facts: Raising the Bar on Nutrition Standards in Schools.


Summer Food Programs

When schools close for summer vacation many children loose access to breakfast and lunch meals.  To support low-income families and ensure students return to school ready to learn in the fall, the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Agriculture are promoting increased awareness to federal summer meal programs.  More information regarding the summer programs and how you can get involved can be found at www.fns.usda.gov/summer-food-service-program-sfsp