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Open Ciclismo: Crowdsourced Map of Biking in San Antonio



You can share the best—or worst—places to bike in San Antonio, thanks to a new bilingual crowdsourced map. The Open Ciclismo map, launched in October 2017 in English and Spanish by the local online news source the Rivard Report and Bike San Antonio, enables people to identify biking problems, issues, and solutions across San Antonio (63.7% Latino). You can report a public dangerous intersection, suggest a bicycling improvement, or share safe places to ride. Just indicate the location, add a description, and upload or share a video. "By crowdsourcing this data and riders’ experiences, we aim to create up-to-date awareness of hotspots for cycling safety, crime, and infrastructure improvements—holding city officials accountable for safe cycling and pedestrian life in San ...

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Latino Cities Set to Tackle Obesity, Mental Health



Latino communities are getting help to tackle obesity and mental illness, thanks to $5 million in new grants from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Minority Health (OMH). The money is for 15 local groups from across the country. The groups will use the money to drive solutions among Latino and other minority populations that suffer higher burdens of obesity, mental illness, and opioid addiction. “We selected the opioid crisis, childhood obesity and serious mental illness as our top three clinical priorities at HHS because they are three of the country’s most pressing public health concerns,” said Dr. Tom Price, HHS leader, in a news release. Who Will Help Latinos? The 15 groups include several in Latino-populated areas: Mariposa ...

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Teachers Connect Children with Nature One Day a Week


Outdoor Education Source Andy Manis For the State Journal

What happened when 10 teachers in Wisconsin committed to take their elementary students outside one day a week to explore and play in nature? The students studied the natural world, learned other lessons, and got physical activity outside. Successful outdoor education! "Playing outside is different socially, emotionally and physically than what happens in the classroom," one of the teachers told the the Wisconsin State Journal. Why Is Outdoor Education Good for Kids? Outdoor teaching and recess during school can improve students' learning, and much more. It can boost physical, mental, and emotional health, particularly for Latino kids who don't get as much time for physical activity during the school day. It also can foster a desire to conserve and preserve green space ...

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New Science Standards Aim to Boost Latinos’ Interest, Test Scores



California is implementing new standards for teaching science to spark Latinos and African American grade-school students' interest and boost test scores, EdSource reports. The new standards have more hands-on science projects, updated scientific and technological research, feature different fields of science, with less rote memorization. They even recently released a parent's guide in Spanish to explain the changes. The new standards, called the Next Generation Science Standards, offer guidelines for teachers on how to reach students who are English language learners, come from economically disadvantaged homes, are racial/ethnic minorities, or who are otherwise from demographic groups “underrepresented in the science fields.” The hope is that in California, where about ...

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New Law Allows Texas Schools to Set Up Food Pantries



School is the primary food source for many Latino students living in poverty. So why do some students go hungry, while some schools have extra food that goes to waste? To find an answer, Texas State Rep. Diego Bernal visited schools in San Antonio (63.2% Latino). Bernal found that many kids, even in more affluent school districts, were going hungry while schools threw away, "untouched, unopened, ripe, perfectily edible food," according to the San Antonio Express-News. The reason: “Complexities of overlapping district, state, and federal policies, along with a collection of myths and cautionary tales.” Bernal wanted to help. Helping Schools Store, Share Unused Food He championed legislation (HB 367), with the help of State Sen. José Menénedez, to allow schools to set ...

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Home Visits Bring Healthcare to Latina Moms, Families


promotora patient navigator

Many Latino families will get health-boosting "home visits" thanks to $352 million in new federal funding. The Maternal Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program (MIECHV Program) by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) will award $352 million to 55 groups across the country. The groups will visit the homes of at-need families to bring health, social, and early childhood development services to improve family health and enable new opportunities for their children. “Evidence-based home visiting programs help children get off to a better, healthier start,” said Dr. George Sigounas, HRSA administrator, in a press release. “[These] awards allow states to support local agencies in providing home visiting services that meet the needs of families in ...

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Dangerous Street to Get Makeover to Save its Immigrant Culture, Delicious Food



Sadly, more than 1,300 people died in motor vehicle crashes in Georgia in 2013. Beyond the terrible heartache for the families and friends of those involved, these crashes amounted to more than $1.6 billion in medical and work-loss costs. Buford Highway, an eight-mile corridor in Atlanta known for authentic international restaurants, is the most dangerous road for pedestrians in Georgia. Located on the northeast side of Atlanta, which is largely Latino, there were 22 pedestrian fatalities from 2003 to 2012 on Buford Highway. What can reverse this grave trend and save the lives of Latinos and the livelihood of those restaurants? Cars vs. Pedestrians Many cities are plagued by wide roadways, like Buford Highway. Even though this road offers many restaurants, it doesn't ...

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Youth Leaders Push for Walking and Bicycling


bike and walk kid leaders in California

Sacramento has mild weather, light rail, and many bike paths. But people still heavily depend on cars in this 23% Latino city, according to its relatively low walk score. Sacramento also is like many other California cities, where urban planners face a big challenge to create more ways for a rising population to walk and bike. Fortunately, a group of diverse youth are making a difference for more walking, bicycling, and skating. Youth Step Up for Safer Streets The Walk & Bike Youth Leaders Program started in Sacramento in 2017, thanks to the California Bicycle Coalition, California Walks, and the California Center for Civic Participation. Program organizers chose 11 youth ages 16-23. The youth will partake in four online training sessions. They will learn how to ...

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Chicago Schools Partner with Water Agencies to Green Schoolyards


Chicago school before and after green schoolyard playground

Finding safe places for kids to play hasn't been easy for Latino families in Chicago. For example, 30 years ago, the federal government sued the Chicago Parks District for favoring parks in white neighborhoods and neglecting parks in African-American and Latino ones. Schools in Chicago didn't have equitable funding to maintain their own playgrounds over the years, either. At the same time, the nation was shifting to a school day with less time for recess—creating a "recess drought." But school officials wanted to play a role in increasing access to safe green space for Latino kids and families. Solving the 'Recess Drought' (and Preventing Floods) Chicago Public Schools, the third largest school district in the nation, took a big first step in 2011. They passed a recess ...

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