Tag Archives: Ready to Learn

Cardiff University study: Significant positive associations between breakfast consumption, educational outcomes

17 Nov

The first thing I do when I get up, I have breakfast.

Karl Lagerfeld

Everyone from Mom to Grandma talks about the importance of breakfast. Nutrition provides the fuel for children to be ready to learn. Erica Lesperance, RD, LD of the Diet Channel wrote in 5 Important Reasons Your Child Should Eat Breakfast:

Benefits of breakfast

The following are key reasons why breakfast should be made a priority for every child:

Breakfast equals better behavior

Children who skip breakfast are more tired, irritable, or restless by late morning. These symptoms lead to aggressive behavior that causes children to get in trouble in school. Children who regularly eat a morning meal have more energy, are less likely to exhibit aggressive behavior, and have a better attitude toward school.

Breakfast leads to higher test scores

A study published in 1998 in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine showed significantly higher math test scores after children ate breakfast. This and other research has clearly shown that children who consistently eat breakfast test higher in most academic areas. (See also Brain Food for Kids.)

Eating breakfast led to better class attendance

Children who eat breakfast are absent from school fewer days. They also spend less time in the nurse’s office complaining of stomach pains. Ironic as it may be, children who claim they don’t eat breakfast due to a lack of time in the morning are tardy more often than those who take time for a morning meal.

More nutritious intake by eating breakfast

Breakfast eaters generally meet vitamin and mineral requirements for prevention of deficiencies. They consume more fiber, vitamin C, calcium and folic acid. Unfortunately, children who miss breakfast do not make up for lost nutrients later in the day.

Eating breakfast helps weight control

Eating breakfast helps to establish a normal eating pattern. Eating regular meals and snacks is a key to maintaining a healthy weight throughout life. Increasing childhood obesity is in part attributed to the disappearance of normal eating patterns in many of today’s households.

Why do some children still resist breakfast?

Given the abundance of compelling information on the benefits of breakfast consumption, why does one out of eight school children start the day without eating breakfast? Some are not encouraged to do so by their parents, while others make arguments for avoiding breakfast. Some common arguments are lack of time, absence of hunger, and distaste for breakfast foods. No matter what the barrier, parents can and should find a way around them.

Creating healthy habits in your children

Here are some tips for parents on incorporating breakfast into their children’s before-school routines:

  • Prepare for school the night before by preparing the next day’s clothes, lunch and backpack.
  • Set the alarm for 15 minutes earlier to allow more time for breakfast.
  • Say no to TV, video games and computers in the morning.
  • Choose foods that require little preparation such as fresh and canned fruits, milk, yogurt, cheese, cottage cheese, hard-boiled eggs, whole grain cereals or instant oatmeal.
  • Eat on the run with celery stuffed with peanut butter or cream cheese, dried fruits, string cheese, juice boxes, milk cartons, or breakfast bars.
  • For those with little hunger in the morning, offer juice, milk or a fruit smoothie made with skim milk and fruit.
  • For those who dislike breakfast foods, offer something non-traditional like cold pizza or leftover chicken.

Set a good example to your children: eat breakfast yourself….                                                                       http://www.thedietchannel.com/5-Important-Reasons-Your-Child-Should-Eat-Breakfast.htm

A Cardiff University study links breakfast consumption to education outcomes.

Science Daily reported in Study provides strongest evidence yet of a link between breakfast quality and educational outcomes:

A direct and positive link between pupils’ breakfast quality and consumption, and their educational attainment, has for the first time been demonstrated in a ground-breaking new study carried out by public health experts at Cardiff University.

The study of 5000 9-11 year-olds from more than 100 primary schools sought to examine the link between breakfast consumption and quality and subsequent attainment in Key Stage 2 Teacher Assessments 6-18 months later.

The study — thought to be the largest to date looking at longitudinal effects on standardised school performance — found that children who ate breakfast, and who ate a better quality breakfast, achieved higher academic outcomes.

The research found that the odds of achieving an above average educational performance were up to twice as high for pupils who ate breakfast, compared with those who did not.

Eating unhealthy items like sweets and crisps for breakfast, which was reported by 1 in 5 children, had no positive impact on educational attainment.

Pupils were asked to list all food and drink consumed over a period of just over 24 hours (including two breakfasts), noting what they consumed at specific times throughout the previous day and for breakfast on the day of reporting.

Alongside number of healthy breakfast items consumed for breakfast, other dietary behaviours — including number of sweets and crisps and fruit and vegetable portions consumed throughout the rest of the day — were all significantly and positively associated with educational performance.

Social scientists say the research, published in the Public Health Nutrition journal, offers the strongest evidence yet of a meaningful link between dietary behaviours and concrete measures of academic attainment….                                                                                                                               http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/11/151116212635.htm?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=facebook

Citation:

Study provides strongest evidence yet of a link between breakfast quality and educational outcomes

New study of 5,000 9- to 11-year-olds demonstrates significant positive associations between breakfast consumption, educational outcomes

Date:       November 16, 2015

Source:   Cardiff University

Summary:

A new study of 5,000 9- to 11-year-olds demonstrates significant positive associations between breakfast consumption and educational outcomes.The research found that the odds of an above average Teacher Assessment score were up to twice as high for pupils who ate breakfast, compared with those who did not.

Journal Reference:

  1. Hannah J Littlecott, Graham F Moore, Laurence Moore, Ronan A Lyons, Simon Murphy. Association between breakfast consumption and educational outcomes in 9–11-year-old children. Public Health Nutrition, 2015; 1 DOI: 10.1017/S1368980015002669

Here is the press release from Cardiff University:

Good breakfast, good grades?

17 November 2015

A direct and positive link between pupils’ breakfast quality and consumption, and their educational attainment, has for the first time been demonstrated in a ground-breaking new study carried out by public health experts at Cardiff University.

The study of 5000 9-11 year-olds from more than 100 primary schools sought to examine the link between breakfast consumption and quality and subsequent attainment in Key Stage 2 Teacher Assessments* 6-18 months later.

The study – thought to be the largest to date looking at longitudinal effects on standardised school performance – found thatchildren who ate breakfast, and who ate a better quality breakfast, achieved higher academic outcomes.

The research found that the odds of achieving an above average educational performance were up to twice as high for pupils who ate breakfast, compared with those who did not.

Eating unhealthy items like sweets and crisps for breakfast, which was reported by 1 in 5 children, had no positive impact on educational attainment.

Pupils were asked to list all food and drink consumed over a period of just over 24 hours (including two breakfasts), noting what they consumed at specific times throughout the previous day and for breakfast on the day of reporting.

Alongside number of healthy breakfast items consumed for breakfast, other dietary behaviours – including number of sweets and crisps and fruit and vegetable portions consumed throughout the rest of the day – were all significantly and positively associated with educational performance.

Social scientists say the research, published in the Public Health Nutrition journal, offers the strongest evidence yet of a meaningful link between dietary behaviours and concrete measures of academic attainment.

Hannah Littlecott from Cardiff University’s Centre for the Development and Evaluation of Complex Interventions for Public Health Improvement (DECIPher), lead author of the study, said: “While breakfast consumption has been consistently associated with general health outcomes and acute measures of concentration and cognitive function, evidence regarding links to concrete educational outcomes has until now been unclear.

“This study therefore offers the strongest evidence yet of links between aspects of what pupils eat and how well they do at school, which has significant implications for education and public health policy – pertinent in light of rumours that free school meals may be scrapped following George Osborne’s November spending review.

“For schools, dedicating time and resource towards improving child health can be seen as an unwelcome diversion from their core business of educating pupils, in part due to pressures that place the focus on solely driving up educational attainment.

“But this resistance to delivery of health improvement interventions overlooks the clear synergy between health and education. Clearly, embedding health improvements into the core business of the school might also deliver educational improvements as well.”

Professor Chris Bonell, Professor of Sociology and Social Policy at the University College London Institute of Education, welcomed the study’s findings. He said: “This study adds to a growing body of international evidence indicating that investing resources in effective interventions to improve young people’s health is also likely to improve their educational performance. This further emphasises the need for schools to focus on the health and education of their pupils as complementary, rather than as competing priorities. Many schools throughout the UK now offer their pupils a breakfast. Ensuring that those young people most in need benefit from these schemes may represent an important mechanism for boosting the educational performance of young people throughout the UK”.

Dr Graham Moore, who also co-authored the report, added: “Most primary schools in Wales are now able to offer a free school breakfast, funded by Welsh Government. Our earlier papers from the trial of this scheme showed that it was effective in improving the quality of children’s breakfasts, although there is less clear evidence of its role in reducing breakfast skipping.

“Linking our data to real world educational performance data has allowed us to provide robust evidence of a link between eating breakfast and doing well at school. There is therefore good reason to believe that where schools are able to find ways of encouraging those young people who don’t eat breakfast at home to eat a school breakfast, they will reap significant educational benefits.”                                                                  http://www.cardiff.ac.uk/news/view/162112-good-breakfast,-good-grades?utm_source=cu-home&utm_medium=News_Feed&utm_campaign=news

Nutrition is one part of ensuring a child is ready to learn. See, Getting Young Children Ready to Learn http://www.classbrain.com/artread/publish/article_37.shtml   Education is a partnership between the student, the teacher(s) and parent(s). All parties in the partnership must share the load. The student has to arrive at school ready to learn. The parent has to set boundaries, encourage, and provide support. Teachers must be knowledgeable in their subject area and proficient in transmitting that knowledge to students. All must participate and fulfill their role in the education process.

Our goal as a society should be a healthy child in a healthy family who attends a healthy school in a healthy neighborhood. ©

Resources:

Importance of Breakfast

http://www.healthykids.nsw.gov.au/parents-carers/healthy-eating-and-drinking/importance-of-breakfast.aspx

Why is breakfast important for kids?                                                                                             http://sg.theasianparent.com/breakfast-for-kids-why-is-it-important/

Where information leads to Hope. ©

Dr. Wilda.com

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Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART©
http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/

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http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

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States focus on chronic absenteeism

18 Sep

Moi wrote about school absenteeism In School Absenteeism: Absent from the classroom leads to absence from participation in this society:
Education is a partnership between the student, the teacher(s) and parent(s). All parties in the partnership must share the load. The student has to arrive at school ready to learn. The parent has to set boundaries, encourage, and provide support. Teachers must be knowledgeable in their subject area and proficient in transmitting that knowledge to students. All must participate and fulfill their role in the education process.
https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/02/01/school-absenteeism-absent-from-the-classroom-leads-to-absence-from-participation-in-this-society/

Adrienne Liu of Stateline reported in the article, States Tackle Chronic Absence in Schools:

According to Chang, at least eight states now use student data to examine chronic absence statewide: Connecticut, Georgia, Hawaii, Indiana, Maryland, Oregon, Rhode Island and Utah.
Chang said that states that investigate chronic absenteeism are often surprised at the extent of the problem.
According to a policy brief to be released Monday by Attendance Works:
• In Utah, 13.5 percent of students statewide were chronically absent, according to a 2012 analysis. Students who were chronically absent any year between eighth and twelfth grades were 7.4 times more likely to drop out of high school.
• In Oregon, more than 20 percent of students were chronically absent.
• In Indiana, chronic absence correlates to lower test scores and higher dropout rates for students at all income levels.
Among the states that are taking action to identify and address chronic absence:
• In California, State Superintendent of Instruction Tom Torlakson hosted a forum in May to encourage agencies to work together to fight chronic absence. Also this year, the state enacted a new school funding formula which will require every school district to monitor its chronic absence rate.
• In Hawaii, each school is required to set targets for reducing chronic absenteeism as part of its annual academic plans. The state has a data system, updated nightly, that can tell school officials which students have missed more than five percent of school days.
• In Maryland, which has tracked chronic absence longer than any other state, the public can view rates of chronic absence, average daily attendance and good attendance at every public school on the state’s report card web site. In the 2013 legislative session, lawmakers adopted a law requiring school districts to intervene when a student misses 10 percent or more of school days for unexcused reasons.
• Massachusetts and Virginia monitor chronic absence as part of their early warning systems, which track a variety of metrics and alert officials when a student might be at risk of not graduating.
In addition to the states mentioned above, Arkansas, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, New Jersey, New York, Oregon and Rhode Island are also cited in the study as taking steps to address chronic absence.
Individual school districts across the country also have tackled chronic absence, many quite successfully. In New York City, Mayor Michael Bloomberg convened an Interagency Task Force on Truancy, Chronic Absenteeism and School Engagement, which has launched a wide-ranging campaign to get children to school, including wake-up calls from celebrities, mentors to encourage and help students to attend school daily, and attendance meetings where teams of administrators and community partners work to boost attendance.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/16/schools-chronic-absence_n_3937413.html?utm_hp_ref=@education123
See, Attendance Works http://www.attendanceworks.org/what-works/baltimore/

In Should we pay children to go to school? Moi said:
The disintegration of the family has profound implications for the education success of children.

Huffington Post is reporting in the article, Ohio High School Paying Students To Show Up, Behave In Class:
A Cincinnati high school is paying its students to go to school.

The Dohn Community High School, a charter school in Ohio, started a program this week that would pay seniors $25 weekly and underclassmen $10 weekly in Visa gift cards for showing up to class every day, being on time and behaving in school. The move aims to encourage students to stay in school and graduate from the school where 90 percent of its students live in poverty. Fewer than 20 percent are in two-parent households.
“Money is important to them,” school Chief Administrative Officer Ken Furrier told CBS Cleveland. “We can’t teach them if they’re not here.”
Every week a student is paid, an additional $5 goes into a savings account, payable upon graduation. The program is being funded by $40,000 from several areas, including private donors and federal Workforce Investment Act dollars funneled through the Easter Seals, a community-based health agency, KMSP-TV reports.
“The target is graduation,” Furrier told Reuters. “We do almost everything we can to get the kids to there.”
Critics say the school is rewarding students for basic things students should be doing already, but at Dohn, “they’re not doing it,” Principal Ramone Davenport told KMSP-TV. “We’ve tried everything else.”
Davenport tells the Associated Press that the program is already working and attendance is up. Dohn was designated by the Ohio Department of Education as an “academic emergency” last year, with just a 14 percent graduation rate during the 2010-2011 academic year.http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/15/ohio-high-school-paying-s_n_1280227.html?ref=email_share

This school is dealing with the reality of certain education settings because they have not absorbed from their upbringing the thought that education is crucial to later success in life. Further, these children often face emotional and economic challenges because of their family circumstance. In answer to whether children should be paid to come to school and achieve – for some children, this may be an option.https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/02/17/should-we-pay-children-to-go-to-school/

Related:

We give up as a society: Jailing parents because kids are truant
https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2011/12/18/we-give-up-as-a-society-jailing-parents-because-kids-are-truant/

Hard truths: The failure of the family
https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2011/11/06/hard-truths-the-failure-of-the-family/

Johns Hopkins University report about school absenteeism
https://drwilda.com/2012/05/17/johns-hopkins-university-report-about-school-absenteeism/

See:

Don’t skip: Schools waking up on absenteeism
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/44704948/ns/today-education_nation/t/dont-skip-schools-waking-absenteeism/

School Absenteeism, Mental Health Problems Linked
http://psychcentral.com/news/2011/12/25/school-absenteeism-mental-health-problems-linked/32937.html

A National Portrait of Chronic Absenteeism in the Early Grades
http://www.nccp.org/publications/pub_771.html

Resources:
US Department Of Education Helping Series which are a number of pamphlets to help parents and caregivers
http://www2.ed.gov/parents/academic/help/hyc.html

How Parents Can Help Their Child Prepare for School Assignments
http://mathandreadinghelp.org/how_can_parents_help_their_child_prepare_for_school_assignments.html

Getting Young Children Ready to Learn
http://www.classbrain.com/artread/publish/article_37.shtml

Where information leads to Hope. © Dr. Wilda.com

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART©
http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda Reviews ©
http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda ©
https://drwilda.com/

Why I support the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and PBS

15 Jul

Moi’s local PBS stations are KCTS Channel 9 and NPR’s KUOW. It had been a few years since moi had been inside the KCTS building as a member of the KCTS Advisory Board. The specific reason for moi’s return was a July 10, 2012 lunch speech featuring PBS President, Paula Kerger. Ms. Kerger provides competent and forward-looking leadership for PBS, but more important, she symbolizes PBS’s commitment to adapting and serving the areas in broadcasting which are under-served, whether it is in content of programing or geography.

Mayer N. Zald of Vanderbilt University writes in the 2008 article, Politics and Symbols: A Review Article:

The relation of symbols, myths and rituals to the functioning of the state and the social system is a venerable concern of social philosophy and social science. In social theory symbols and rituals have been variously presented as a means of evoking symbols of solidarity, and as representing and reaffirming the power and authority of the state, of signalizing the power within the state. Furthermore, symbols can be seen as reaffirming and rewarding the virtues held dear in the polity and as a means of reassuring the citizenry that all goes well. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1533-8525.1966.tb02268.x/abstract

Symbols are very important to what happens in society.

Moi remembers that when she was a member of the KCTS Advisory Board, there was the relentless drum roll in Congress to “defund” public broadcasting. Not much has changed. The reason this post begins with a discussion of symbols is evident when one looks at the PBS funding mix. According to Alternative Sources of Funding for Public Broadcasting Stations:

For public television and radio stations system-wide, the share of funding derived from the federal appropriation to CPB is approximately 15 percent, with larger percentages to smaller and rural stations, and smaller percentages to larger stations.

According to information reported to CPB by public television licensees during fiscal year 2010 (the latest information available),38 individual contributions accounted for 22 percent of system revenue, the largest single source of revenue. The share of revenue for public television from CPB was 18 percent. System-wide, public television revenue sources were as follows:
Source of Funding Percentage of TV System Revenues
Contributions by individuals 22%
CPB (federal appropriation) 18%
State government support 14%
Underwriting by businesses 13%
University support 8%
Foundation support 7%
Other federal grants and contracts 5%
Local government support 4%
All other sources 9%
The revenue received from these various funding sources differs significantly from licensee to licensee. Smaller licensees (those with less operating revenue) and licensees that provide service in small television markets tend to receive a greater percentage of their revenue from federal sources than large licensees and those operating in large television markets.

According to an earlier study by the GAO,39 for public television stations with annual budgets less than $3 million, the federal share of their revenue is approximately 33 percent, while for the largest public television stations the federal share is approximately 10 percent.

Public radio revenue sources are similar to those for public television, with individual contributions again being the largest source of revenue. The share of revenue for public radio from CPB in FY 2010 was 11 percent. System-wide, public radio revenue sources were as follows:
38 Each public television and radio station that receives a Community Service Grant from CPB must file an Annual Financial Report (AFR) or Annual Financial Summary Report (FSR) reporting its revenues and expenditures, and a Stations Activities Benchmarking Survey (SABS) on non-financial activities.
39 GAO Report at 29.

Source of Funding Percent of Radio System Revenues
Contributions by individuals 34%
Underwriting by businesses 19%
University support 13%
CPB (federal appropriation) 11%
Foundation support 8%
State government support 3%
Local government support 1%
Other federal grants and contracts 1%
All other sources 10%
Again, the relative sources of funds differ significantly from licensee to licensee. Smaller licensees and licensees that provide service in small markets receive a greater percentage of their revenue from federal sources than large licensees and those operating in large markets.

http://cpb.org/aboutcpb/Alternative_Sources_of_Funding_for_Public_Broadcasting_Stations.pdf

What critics of public television are really saying is that they do not like the symbolism of a public broadcasting system.

Prior to the luncheon, moi sent a series of questions to KCTS. Here are the key questions and the responses:

1.     Any stats that you have about how educational programs help teachers and students as well as parents

FROM RAISING READERS 2008 STUDY:

See the attached PDF on Raising Readers Success Stories, p. 13 (includes link to full study)

Children who watched SUPER WHY! scored 46% higher on standardized tests than those who did not watch the show.

Here is the link: http://www.pbs.org/about/media/about/cms_page_media/146/raising_readers_a_story_of_success_1.pdf

FROM READY TO LEARN (2005-2012 Report)

Here is the link:

http://pbskids.org/readytolearn/

2.     How programs help children of color, low-income children and children in families where English is not the first language

FROM RAISING READERS 2009 STUDY:

See attached PDF on Raising Readers Success Stories, pp. 5-6 (includes link to full study)

The study found that preschoolers from low-income communities who participated in the PBS KIDS Raising Readers media-rich curriculum outscored their peers who did not participate in the curriculum on all tested measures of early literacy, such as naming letters and knowing their sounds. Furthermore, children who

started out with the lowest literacy skills gained the most, learning an average of 7.5 more letters than children in the comparison group.1 Ultimately, the study showed that utilizing PBS KIDS Raising Readers content for both kids and teachers helps build critical literacy skills to better prepare children from low-income communities for success in kindergarten.

Here is the link:

http://www.pbs.org/about/media/about/cms_page_media/146/raising_readers_a_story_of_success_1.pdf

4.     Any information about how PBS presents diverse views and engages its audience in thoughtful discussion about sometimes contentious topics.

Building on a long tradition of educational value, KCTS 9 and PBS are in the midst of developing new projects that extend the value of public media to teachers and learners both inside and outside of traditional classrooms. With more and more users looking to mobile and web-based platforms, public media is placing greater emphasis on “transmedia” content – content that follows users and learners across devices. For example, a child may watch SuperWHY! via broadcast as well as access its themed learning games through mobile/tablet. At the same time, her teacher might be pulling an interactive literacy game for a classroom Smartboard via PBS LearningMedia and taking an online professional development course on supporting early literacy via PBS TeacherLine.

What’s new with KCTS 9?

·         KCTS 9 is in the midst of rolling out a localized version of www.PBSLearningMedia.org (see below) and will begin producing standards-aligned digital learning assets geared particularly toward the needs of Washington schools. In-house educators have initiated listening sessions with districts and ESDs in the region.

·         This year KCTS 9 will institute a permanent home for its community-generated media projects. Dubbed the 9 Media Lab, this effort will include a comprehensive home for digital storytelling projects, with full time staff support, technical training and production support for community and youth participants, and a full complement of small, consumer grade video cameras, basic audio equipment and desktop editing units. As a preview to the 9 Media Lab, students and educators produced video diaries exploring education reform efforts at Lincoln High School in Tacoma. (Learn more at http://kcts9.org/education/golden-apple-awards/lincoln-center).

·         In connection with its documentary on the 50th anniversary of the Seattle World’s Fair, KCTS 9 teamed up with HistoryLink.org and others to produce a ten unit curriculum on the World’s Fair which is available free, online at http://kcts9.org/education/worlds-fair-curriculum and which won a Heritage Award from the Association of King County Historical Organizations (AKCHO).

·         This past year marked the 20th Golden Apple Awards, a ceremony and program that honors outstanding educators from across Washington state.

·         KCTS 9 continues to extend early learning support in Spanish as well as English. Vme, the Spanish language broadcast presented by KCTS 9 in Washington, offers 30 hours/week of high quality educational programming in Spanish – close to ten times the amount of children’s programming on commercial Spanish networks. Vme recently hosted a teacher training and family science night for migrant families in Toppenish.

What’s new with PBS?

·         As referenced above, PBS is ambitiously pursuing a transmedia approach. That means new resources are being developed to work in sync with the broadcast offerings of programs like Dinosaur Train, Sid the Science Kid, Curious George, Word Girl, Electric Company, Martha Speaks and other valuable programs. These new resources include mobile apps for phones, tablets and Smartboards, as well as strong web presence for PBS Kids, PBS Parents and PBS Teachers.

·         PBS LearningMedia (www.PBSLearningMedia.org) is a new online library of over 20,000 learning assets designed especially for use in the classroom. Teachers can search assets by subject, theme, grade level, media type and soon by standard. From STEM to early literacy, arts and social studies, the collection has resources for preK – post12. PBSLM allows teachers to stream content from children’s shows, American Experience, Frontline, NOVA, etc – it also allows them to access focused 2-4 minute clips that resonate with a particular classroom activity. This free service also allows teachers to create class lists to email links for clips, along with related questions to students and parents. (eg. a teacher message might be: “Tomorrow we are going to discuss federal vs. state power. Examine this clip from Freedom Riders and be ready to discuss how the federal government responded to states’ segregation laws during the Civil Rights Movement. Can you find any parallels to the recent Supreme Court ruling on Arizona’s immigration laws?”)

·         PBS TeacherLine (www.pbs.org/teacherline) offers a catalog of online professional development for educators. Courses in the areas of literacy, math, science, ELL strategies, instructional technology are available quarterly at competitive prices and teachers in Washington can receive clock hours and graduate credit through several institutions.

·         American Graduate (http://www.americangraduate.org/) is an effort by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting that uses media to highlight the challenges of secondary education, examines disparities, and supports efforts at improved graduation rates.

Clearly, for those who value early learning programs for at-risk children, PBS is a valuable instrument of delivery of quality programming for these children. Much of the PBS allocation goes to support under-served rural areas that are not competitive in a for-profit model.

The issue is the symbolism of a public entity model. Many of those who attack the PBS model do not want to admit that there is a value to having some institutions outside the for-profit model. These institutions provide “public” goods which do not readily translate into a for-profit model. One only has to look at the amount of reality television programming currently on television because these programs bring in advertising dollars. Do we, as a society, need more shows like, “Ice-Road Truckers” and “Cajun Pawn-Stars?” Moi supports PBS because it delivers quality, diverse programming, gives voice to under-served communities, provides a forum for the arts, and has children’s programming with high quality learning content. Yes, PBS is a powerful symbol, but the fact that it exists is a symbol of this society’s strength, not weakness.

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School Absenteeism: Absent from the classroom leads to absence from participation in this society

1 Feb

Education is a partnership between the student, the teacher(s) and parent(s). All parties in the partnership must share the load. The student has to arrive at school ready to learn. The parent has to set boundaries, encourage, and provide support. Teachers must be knowledgeable in their subject area and proficient in transmitting that knowledge to students. All must participate and fulfill their role in the education process.

According to an article at ehow which summarizes both positive actions and concerns parents have when their child is starting kindergarten. Parents should consider the following six steps to prepare their child for the first day of school:

Step 1 – Visit the school

Many schools encourage the students as well as the parent to meet and greet the teachers. Not only does this ease your nerves, but it provides a familiar face for your child on the first day of school….

Step 2 – School supplies

My son likes nothing better then to pick and choose his own school supplies. Consider allowing your little scholar to share in the excitement by choosing his or her own items according to the school supplies. With so much to choose from, it’s a great opportunity to personalize items such as folders, pencils, backpacks, and pencil boxes with whatever your child is into…..

Step 3 – Organize

Organization is the key to success. Start to get in a routine that both you and your child can follow throughout the year. Set time aside for homework and play. If you pack a lunch, consider letting your child help you prepare a healthy selection. Most importantly, make sure your little scholar goes to bed on time….

Step 4 – Support

On the first day of school, don’t be afraid to give lots of hugs and kisses. Speak about the positives such as meeting new friends and learning new things.

Step 5 – Take a picture

It’s great to take a picture of your little scholar on the first day of school. Not only can you look back on this exciting occasion but you’ll be amazed how much they change by the end of the school year…..

Step 6 – A box full of memories

I have to give credit to my son’s kindergarten teacher for this project. First you’ll need a shoe box or a box with a lid. Throughout the year your child will bring home samples of writing, test, coloring pages, and all around knickknacks. Choose a couple of writing samples throughout the year, and place in the box. In addition, add something that your child was into. For instance, if he or she was into cars, place a hot wheel car in the box. Pictures say a thousand words. Place pictures of family and friends ….

The article also has some tips and warnings.·        

The key points to remember are:

1.  “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”
—  Confucius

Your child is on a trip through the education establishment, which will take them through elementary school, middle school, high school and beyond. Just as you would plan and prepare for any trip you or your family will make, you must plan and prepare for your child’s education journey.

2. Children have different styles of communication and children in a family may each have their individual communication style. Whatever the style, parents or caretakers need to begin talking with the child, asking questions, and developing a rapport. This foundation of communication will prove useful as some kids go through a challenging period as tweens or teens. Use supportive communication when talking to your child.

3.   Become involved in your child’s life and interests, but don’t live your life through the life of your child. Set boundaries which will help your child to grow and eventually help them to make good choices. Too many parents think that being a parent means being a child’s friend. You are a parent, friendship quite often comes when the child is an adult and realizes how much you have invested in their life. At this point, they need the guidance of a parent.

Too many parents are not prepared to help their child have a successful education experience. Julia Steiny has an excellent article at Education News, Julia Steiny: Chronic Absenteeism Reveals and Causes Problems.

Hedy Chang, the Director of Attendance Works, says that Americans are perfectly aware that compulsory attendance at school is the law. They just don’t much care.

And no one teaches parents how to get 3 kids up, dressed, fed and out the door on time. It’s a feat. More challenging for some than others.

So Attendance Works’ mission is to help communities get their kids to school.

High absenteeism is a chronic problem that contributes to the more famous problems of low achievement and kids dropping out. Urban schools in particular are vilified for their poor academic performance, but they have limited control over whether or not the kids’ butts are in the seats. Yes, some instruction is deadly dull. But even schools with vibrant curricula, cool projects and caring adults can’t hang on to kids who have already disengaged from school, for whatever reason.

Chang’s research shows that kids start bunking school as early as 3rd and 4th grade….

She cites three big reasons for chronic absenteeism among little kids.

1. Discretion. School just isn’t all that important to some parents. School’s convenient when it’s convenient.

Chang shakes her head, “Many people don’t understand how you learn a language or reading. You can explain the consequences of missing school to parents, but often they say ‘Just give me the work.’ It’s hard to convey the richness of the classroom and the powers of peer learning.”

“Discretion” is a parent problem.

2. Aversion. This one’s mostly the fault of the school. Perhaps the classroom is chaotic and therefore scary or stressful. Or the teacher is a bully and yells a lot. Kids tend to bully each other anyway at times, so that can get out of hand. And now that we’ve starved kids of time for recess, physical activity and running off steam, an otherwise great group of kids is bound to let off steam, somehow, even during class time.

Little kids can’t bunk, but they do get daily tummy aches. Those are red flags of aversion.

3. Logistical Problems. These include kids’ health, parents’ health, transportation, and so forth.

For example, when the City of Baltimore reached out to their chronically absent kindergartners and first graders, they discovered that a third of them suffered from asthma.

Also, transportation is a nightmare for many families. Some have several kids in as many schools. Many families move a lot, mainly for reasons of poverty. Space permitting, districts often transfer these mobile kids to a school closer to the new apartment, but that’s no favor to the continuity of kids’ education or relationships with friends and adults. It’s great if he can be bused to the old school, but if he misses the bus, Mom might not have a car, or the time to transport the kid herself.

So these kids start their school career by losing ground.                       http://www.educationnews.org/education-policy-and-politics/julia-steiny-chronic-absenteeism-reveals-and-causes-problems/

Children will have the most success in school if they are ready to learn. Ready to learn includes proper nutrition for a healthy body and the optimum situation for children is a healthy family. Many of societies’ problems would be lessened if the goal was a healthy child in a healthy family.

See:

Don’t skip: Schools waking up on absenteeism           http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/44704948/ns/today-education_nation/t/dont-skip-schools-waking-absenteeism/

School Absenteeism, Mental Health Problems Linked             http://psychcentral.com/news/2011/12/25/school-absenteeism-mental-health-problems-linked/32937.html

A National Portrait of Chronic Absenteeism in the Early Grades        http://www.nccp.org/publications/pub_771.html

Resources:

US Department Of Education Helping Series which are a number of pamphlets to help parents and caregivers

How Parents Can Help Their Child Prepare for School Assignments

The ABCs of Ready to Learn

Getting Young Children Ready to Learn

Ebony Magazine’s How to Prepare Your Child for Success

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©