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Hannah West

Articles by Hannah West

Shared Use of a School Can Boost Community Health


Shared use of school dance class community

Schools can serve as so much more than space for children to learn. They can even transform community health. That is, if schools share their spaces with the public when classes are out. Fortunately, the team at ChangeLab Solutions is showing how easy and beneficial it is for schools to share use of school grounds with local residents and groups after and before school, and during summer. What Is Shared Use of Schools? Playing can help a kid’s healthy brain development. But many communities are not kid-play-friendly. Latino neighborhoods tend to lack safe places that welcome kids and multi-generational families to play. Many schools lock up their facilities after class ends. Shared use agreements—also called open use or joint use—are specific plans and rules that ...

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Free Fruits & Veggies? Thank You, Sugary Drink Tax!


sugary drinks tax revenue funding vegetables and fruits

Sugary drink taxes are bubbling up across the nation. From Philadelphia to Berkeley, Calif., these sugary drink taxes are having an intended benefit—reducing consumption of bad-for-health sugary drinks and driving up water sales. But where is the tax money going? Let's look at Washington, D.C. (11.3% Latino), which recently added a sugary drink tax and is already considering a stronger one, and whether the revenue is benefiting health. New Sugary Drink Sales Tax in D.C. D.C. leaders recently bumped up the local sales tax from 6% to 8% on drinks with natural or artificial sweeteners that contain less than 100% juice or at least 50% milk bought in stores. City council member Mary Cheh pushed for the tax. She moved to insert this tax in the city’s $15.5 billion 2020 ...

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Kelly Capatosto: Shedding New Light on Implicit Bias


Kelly Capatosto implicit bias training

What is the motivation behind your day job? For Kelly Capatosto, it is her family and the Latino population. Capatosto, who started exploring implicit racial bias in school discipline at the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity at Ohio State University, wanted to help her family and make them proud. At the same time, she is making a huge impact on health equity for her community. Capatosto and the Kirwan Institute are generating significant research and training on implicit bias—the attitudes or stereotypes that affect our understanding, actions, and decisions unconsciously. Implicit bias has a big impact on Latino health equity. "When we got the funding to start working this implicit bias training, we were also living in a different world than it is today," ...

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Let’s Close the Gap in School Achievement for Black and Latino Children


Child care class school teacher hispanic diverse students

U.S. school districts serving the largest populations of Black, Latino, or American Indian students get about $1,800 less per student in state and local funding than those serving the fewest students of color, according to Ivy Morgan and Ary Amerikaner of The Education Trust. That means a district with 5,000 students faces a funding shortfall of $9 million per year. And it gets worse. This kind of funding shortfall creates an environment that doesn't support academic progress among students of color, Amerikaner said. For example, the 2019 Nation’s Report Cards for math and reading in grades 4 and 8 show achievement diverged from 2003-2009 and 2009-2019 for Latino and all students. Students scoring in the 10th percentile in 2019 are making fewer gains than they were in ...

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Child Care Prices: Are You Aware?


latino hispanic boy child care aware school learning

Over 12 million U.S. babies, toddlers, and preschoolers spend time in child care. Are you aware of how pricey that child care is? The price of child care is sky-high almost everywhere, but certain families face inequities and pay even more depending on where they live, according to the new report from Child Care Aware. California (39.3% Latino) is home to the most expensive center-based infant care. Families here pay 17.6% of their annual income. Nebraska (11.2% Latino) is home to the most expensive family child care. Families here pay 14% of their annual income. Low-income families should spend no more than 7% on child care, according to federal guidelines. "Every family should be able to access affordable and high-quality child care. Yet this is not currently the case, ...

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Big Gulp: The Problem of Sugary Drinks and Children


child and mom grocery store food sugary drink shopping

Nearly 2 of 3 U.S. children's drinks sold in 2018 were unhealthy fruit drinks and flavored waters with added sugars and/or diet sweeteners, according to Children’s Drink FACTS 2019, a new report from the Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity. In fact, none of the 34 top-selling children's sugary drinks met expert recommendations for healthy drinks for children. These unhealthy drink sales complicate health equity for Latino and black children, who are targeted more with sugary drink marketing and have higher rates of sugary drink consumption. They face obesity, higher rates of cavities (57% of all Latino kids have cavities), and other health conditions as a result. "Beverage companies have said they want to be part of the solution to childhood obesity, but they continue to ...

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New York City Bans Soda as Default Drink in Kid’s Meals


soda girl drinking sugary drink kid's meal

How bad is sugary soda for your kid? In New York City (29% Latino), an 8-year-old would need to walk 70 minutes from City Hall to Times Square to burn off the 9 teaspoons of sugar in a kid's meal soda. That's why city leaders are making water, milk, and 100% juice the “default beverages” on kid’s menus, thanks to a new law to reduce childhood obesity in an area where 1 in 4 toddlers and preschoolers have at least one sugary drink a day. New York's City's law goes into effect May 1, 2020. “Sugary beverages contain no nutrients that children need, and they are disproportionally marketed to children in low income neighborhoods and communities of color,” said Dr. Judith A. Salerno of the New York Academy of Medicine, in a statement. “We believe that every child should ...

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Can Racial Inequity be Affecting Your School Age Children?


school child trauma handle with care

It is no coincidence that the region that has the highest percentage of Non-White students (90%) is also 11.7 times more likely to discipline their Black students than their White students, as data shows in ProPublica research. Worse, the District of Columbia is also 3.7 times more likely to discipline their Latino students than their White students. There are many other factors to consider when discussing racial inequity. Miseducation recently published an interactive map graphic that allows users to seek out their school district and compare it to others all over the U.S., using information from the United States Department of Education's civil rights data. This data covers school districts that are currently under Desegregation Orders. As of 2018, there are more than 50 ...

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Opportunity Zones: Are They Actually Helping with the Housing Crisis?


Construction Opportunity Zones Gentrification

Access to affordable housing, coupled with residential segregation continues to be problematic for communities across the U.S. While this impacts many communities across the U.S., Latino, and African American communities are especially struck. Recent data goes to show that Latino neighborhoods face more significant risks of experiencing gentrification than other minority groups, according to the Harvard Gazette. The good news is, new solutions are emerging through policy and plans aimed at promoting equity in housing for all. One way current political leaders are trying to do this is through "Opportunity Zone" incentives. The problem? This kind of program can lead to the gentrification of racially segregated communities who face displacement when their home is ...

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