New Science Standards Look to Close Achievement Gap



Latinos as a whole have made great strides in educational attainment in the last decade. High school dropout rates are at an all-time low and graduation rates are at all-time highs. More and more Latinos are enrolling in two- and four-year universities and, while they still lag behind their white peers, more are obtaining degrees. Despite these significant gains, more work still needs to be done to close the achievement gap. A 2016 report from the Child Trends Hispanic Institute, nearly 25% of all Latino students are not proficient in reading and in some states, many are more than three grades behind their peers. In the heavily Latino-populated state of California (38.39% Latino population), new science standards for K-12 students have been aimed at “sparking” students interest ...

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Maryland Partnerships Help Health For Afterschool Wellness



"MOST", Maryland Out of School Time Network's (MOST) Healthy Behaviors Initiative (HBI) has worked to help promote Healthy Eating and Physical Activity (HEPA) standards since 2013. Today MOST uses VISTA volunteers as afterschool professionals to support 30 programs across the state today. The programs' work is guided by the Alliance's Healthy Out of School Time Framework and with funding from the Giant Food Foundation, staff are able to receive professional development training in nutrition from the University of Maryland Extension's Food Supplement Nutrition Education program. MOST collaborates with HBI partners like Landsdowne Middle School in Baltimore, who signed onto HBI in its first year and have come to reach specific fitness goals and now participate in a range of new ...

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New Policy on Kids Meals Drinks for SF!



Congrats to San Francisco's new ordinance passed by the Board of Supervisors ensuring all kids menus will not longer include sugar-sweetened beverages. This is a win for Latino kids, why? Regular consumers of sugary beverages have a 26 percent higher risk of type 2 diabetes, and research shows that about 74% of Latino kids have had a sugary drink by age 2. Parents are still allowed to purchase a sugary beverage with their child's meal in this new policy change, Supervisor Ken Yeager explained to Bay City News Service.  However, Yeager went on to ask, "Why in the world you put something that is so poisonous on their plate?" In fact, studies say that 71% percent of California’s children will experience tooth decay by third grade, resulting in 900,000 missed school days per ...

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New Bill in Washington Requires the Reporting of PE Quality in Schools


Latino Health Physical Activity PE

Physical activity is linked with academic achievement and improved mental and physical health. Sadly, many Latino majority schools do not provide recommended time for recess or quality PE, thus kids fall behind and are at higher risk for chronic disease. On April 20th, 2017, the Governor of Washington (12.4% Latino) signed a new bill (HB 1235) which assesses PE practices in public schools. Effective July, 23, 2017, the bill requires all schools to conduct an annual review of their PE programs, to include: number of students completing PE per year number of minutes per week of PE number of students granted waivers from PE requirements instructors with valid health and fitness endorsements The results of the review will be shared with the school district's ...

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2017 Active Living Summit


Latino Health Active Living

Are you interested in changing people's health outcomes through programs, policy changes, and infrastructure improvements? Check out the inaugural Active Living Summit hosted by Movement Makers in Richmond, VA, May 17-19, 2017. We will be there to learn and present! Hear stories about policies changed, advocacy wins, innovative school initiatives, and more. Discover how to build play in urban environments on a playability walk. Learn more about setting expectations with the funding community and creating better tools online to support physical activity in your city. Key note speakers include: Gabe Klein, Co-founder of CityFi and former Commissioner of Chicago and Washington D.C. Departments of Transportation. Dominique Dawes, Olympic Gold Medalist, and former Co-chair ...

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Take Action for Water!



Water Wellness Alert!!! Did you know that between 50-75% of your body is made of water? Drinking enough water to keep your body hydrated is an important part of staying healthy for kids and adults. One of the simplest ways that we can make sure that kids are drinking adequate water (and skipping the sugar-sweetened beverages!) is to include access to drinking water in school wellness policies. Including water in your policy helps to keep it top of mind for school staff and ensures that water won’t become less of a priority if the administration changes. Now is a great time for schools to update their wellness policies. All schools participating in federal nutrition programs must update their policies to comply with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s final rule by June 30, ...

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Gardens Help Grow Wellness in Eastside San Antonio



Stephen Lucke learned a shocking fact as a college student in San Antonio, Texas (63% Latino): Life’s most serious health issues can be prevented by improved access to healthy foods. He was so surprised that he immediately helped start fruit and vegetable gardens on his campus at the University of the Incarnate Word (UIW). But he wanted to do even more to grow access to fresh produce across town. How Gardens Can Boost Food Access Stephen Lucke had aspirations of going to medical school before studying biochemistry at UIW. When he took a nutrition class, he realized he could promote healthy food as the first line of defense against getting sick in the first place. “I just really became educated about the obesity epidemic in the United States,” Lucke said. “You know ...

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School Dietician Uses Student Videos to Give Health a Starring Role



Barbara Berger was more than concerned—she was downright worried about the growing weight and health of her students. The school dietitian in Las Cruces, NM (67.1% Latino population), found it hard to promote healthy eating and physical activity to her teenaged students. That was, until she let students do it themselves in a way that would engage students in a fun, creative story-telling experience. Through the use of creative films and videos, Berger found that the students were not only able to help solve real-world health problems, they had fun and gained valuable life-skills while doing it. Opening Credits: A Video Idea to Help Middle-Schoolers Barbara Berger has been involved with health and nutrition education since 2012 for the Las Cruces Public School ...

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#WellnessWins Campaign Launches!



The #WellnessWins campaign celebrates the importance of strong wellness policies and the great strides districts are already making nationwide! The #WellnessWins campaign celebrates district wellness success and inspires everyone to create healthier school environments, grounded in strong wellness policies. Beginning on April 17, school leaders, community members, and parents can visit WellnessWins.org to download resources, read success stories, and learn how they can support and advance school wellness policies. Support is critical to helping highlight the importance of strong wellness policies and to the campaign’s success! Want to learn how to support #WellnessWins on Social Media? Join the Alliance for a Healthier Generation (@HealthierGen), the Academy of ...

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Elementary Students Can Take “Body Break” Any Time During Class



When we are talking about academic performance, there is no right or wrong way to "workout." Any physical activity to get you moving and to get your blood pumping is beneficial and can boost your mood and help you reset and focus. Confederation Park Community School in Saskatoon Canada opens their gym all day and allows students to leave class at any time to burn off some energy. The goal is to empower kids to explore different kinds of physical activity when they feel like they can't concentrate in class. They can walk or run, do weights, play on gymnastics rings, flip big tires over, throw weighted balls, do yoga, dance, and many more activities. "Brain breaks" are one effective method to get kids moving in the classroom, but, as parents and teachers know, kids come to ...

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