Latino Childhood Development Research: Introduction & Methods



This is part of the Salud America! The State of Latino Early Childhood Development: A Research Review » Introduction Childhood development is a dynamic, interactive process that is not predetermined by genetics, but is hindered by lack of proper care, services, and support. Proper childhood development is critical because 90 percent of brain development occurs by age 5. Latino childhood development is particularly important because Latinos make up 26 percent of US children younger than 5. The Latino population is one of the fastest-growing U.S. demographics, yet 12 million Latinos live below the poverty level.1–3 As such, many Latino children are at risk of not receiving the care and services they need during their formative years, which may have negative effects on their early ...

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Talking to Puppets Brings Mental Health into Kid Conversations


child puppets for mental health in Vermont

We all remember filing into a school auditorium as first graders and trying to stay awake during a dull, lackluster presentation. Did we learn something? Maybe. Do we remember it today? Probably not. Well, the Vermont Family Network (VFN) discovered a fun way—puppets!—to engage young children in talking about mental health. The Vermont network formed an educational puppet troupe that brings messages of health and inclusion to more than 10,000 children and adults each year in Vermont (2% Latino) and beyond. The troupe, called the Puppets in Education (PiE) program, is celebrating their 36th year of teaching students through puppetry! The PiE program uses 3-and-a-half-foot puppets to empower kids to talk about important, difficult issues. From the stage in schools, ...

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Latino College Students are Falling Behind



Here's an interesting fact: the more education you have, the longer your lifespan can be. In recent years, Latinos have made tremendous progress in education. High school graduation rates are up while dropout rates are down. Latino students are also enrolling in two- and four-year colleges in greater numbers than ever before. That is the good news. Now, the not-so-good. Education: Good News vs. Bad News Latinos, despite their progress, continue to fall behind their white and black peers. In 2016, 45% of all Latinos had at least some college education, up from 35% in 1992, according to the new “Latino Education and Economic Progress: Running Faster but Still Behind” report from the Center on Education and the Workforce. However, the college education gap between Latinos ...

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Outdoor Learning Environments Soon Available in TX



Texas (39.1% Latino population) is launching five Outdoor Learning Environment demonstration sites across the state, three of which are at early childcare centers. This is great news for many Latino students across the state. Currently, children today can spend 8-10 hours a day in childcare. However, like many Latino-majority schools, childcare facilities offer less time for kids to play and be active. As early as age four, Latino children face gaps in academic performance and disparities in obesity. Latino kids need safe places to play and be active to reduce obesity and boost academic achievement. Naturalize Outdoor Playgrounds Play – particularly play in nature – is critical for healthy child development. Nature supports creative problem solving, enhances cognitive ...

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Honoring Latino Military Heroes on Veteran’s Day


Lt. Evita Sales

Veteran's Day is on Nov. 11. We at Salud America! are excited to honor U.S. military personnel, including the Latinos, who have served our country. Latinos in the Military: History Latinos have a “proud and indeed enviable” record of military service that dates back all the way to the Civil War, according to a U.S. Army historical website. About 20,000 Latino serviceman and women participated in Operation Desert Shield/Storm in 1990-1991, 80,000 in the Vietnam War in 1959-1973, and more than 400,000 in World War II in 1939-1945. More than 40 Medals of Honor have been awarded to Latinos, according to the Department of Defense. “Whether their heritage can be traced to Spain, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Mexico, or one of dozens of other Spanish-speaking countries or cultures, ...

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New Videos Help Latinas Address Mental Health Issues



Mental health is a rising concern in the United States. For Latina women, the concerns become even more dire. Research has shown that Latinas receive less mental health care than whites, even if they have insurance. They also report more symptoms of depression and anxiety than whites. However, what if there was a better way to reach them? Latina women have a higher than average use of smartphones and the Internet. Technology could be the answer. A recent study from UCLA found that culturally tailored media programming can encourage Latina women to seek help for mental health, as well as decrease their symptoms of anxiety and depression. The researchers developed a digital storytelling series featuring a fictional young Latina woman named "Catalina" that is dealing with ...

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Financial Assistance & Other Facts to Know During Open Enrollment



Getting health insurance is one of the first – and best – steps toward achieving good health. However, 1 in 10 people still don’t have health coverage and Latinos are still the nation’s largest uninsured population. Now that Open Enrollment for 2018 is currently underway what are some important facts that everyone needs to know? Cost and Financial Aid First, cost is one of the most common reasons people have given for not obtaining health coverage. Most insurance companies taking part in the Marketplace have raised premiums for 2018. However, all marketplaces, including the federal Healthcare Marketplace, offer wide-ranges of health plans including more low-cost options than ever for subsidized consumers. As it has been since the passing of the Affordable Care Act ...

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10% of NYC Public School Students Were Homeless in 2016



During the 2016-17 school year, the number of homeless students in the New York City public school system rose again for the second year in a row. The increase, according to The New York Times, put the overall student population at a shocking milestone: one in every 10 public school students was homeless during the year. These numbers translate into 111,500 students in New York City (28.92% Latino population) that were homeless the last academic year. This was a 6% increase over the 2015-2016 school year. Across New York state, 148,000 students overall were homeless which is 5% of the state’s public school population. “After rising steadily for about five years, the number of homeless students reported to the state shot up in the 2015-16 school year, reaching nearly 100,000 ...

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Latina Celebs, Activists Team Up to Push Healthy Lifestyles


Karent Sierra, Karla Martinez, Yudy Arias, Chef Lala

TV host Karla Martinez, nutritionist Chef Lala, yoga instructor Yudy Arias, and dentist Karent Sierra are teaming with Colgate Total on a new campaign to empower Latinas to invest in healthy lifestyles, beginning with proper oral health. For the campaign, called Simplemente Saludable (Simply Healthy), each woman will highlight ways to shake up health routines. Karla will speak on women's empowerment and self-help. Karent will open up about the best oral health routine and tips for a healthier smile. Yudy will share new at-home exercise routines. Chef Lala will provide nutritious ways to enjoy traditional Latin cuisine. For example, Chef Lala shared these six tips related nutrition: Apples are a healthy source of sweetness, but they could shake up the plaque that ...

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