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New Mexico Schools Give Sleepy Students a High-Tech Nap



Nap clubs. Quiet rooms. Wellness centers with cozy couches and tea. Schools are trying new ways to give rest to sleepy students, including Latinos who are more sleep-deprived than their peers. That includes high-tech "nap pods" for students in two high schools in Las Cruces (59.6% Latino) and two in Sunland Park (95.2% Latino), N.M. Students sit in the pods, available in the nurse's office, under a sensory-reduction dome that plays relaxing music and soothing lights for 20 minutes before gently vibrating to wake the students. "[It is] great for kids who weren’t getting enough sleep at night—which teenagers don’t, for a variety of reasons," Sandy Peugh, health services director for the Las Cruces school district, told Las Cruces Sun-News. "They were coming to school ...

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Better Drink? Water vs. Milk in School Lunches


water bottle filling school latino girl

Many American kids eat two out of three meals at school. Schools must offer healthy food and drinks, especially for Latino students who are more likely than their peers to face an unhealthy weight, unhealthy neighborhood food options, and unhealthy early development. That's why schools should offer plain water with meals—not milk. So says a new study by University of Illinois researcher Ruopeng An, which encouraged children to drink plain water with their school lunches. This simple switch from milk to water at school could prevent more than a half-million kids from becoming overweight or obese, and trim the costs of obesity by more than $13 billion, An's study suggests. "The nutrition profile doesn't change much when people increase their plain-water intake, but we ...

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What It Means to ‘Take Care of One Another’ at One Latino High School



Salud America! Guest Blogger Denise Rosales, P.E. Teacher, Mission Collegiate High School, Mission, Texas At Mission Collegiate High School, nestled on the Mexican border, we’re more than just a school. We’re a close-knit family who believes that health is the foundation of life, so we take care of one another’s well-being. Together, our 45 staff and 435 students helped Mission Collegiate earn a spot on the Alliance for Healthier Generation’s 2017 America’s Healthiest Schools list, for the second year in a row! We’re particularly proud of our achievement because nearly 100 percent of our students are Hispanic and economically disadvantaged, and the majority are either first-generation high school or college students. Our staff understand the positive effect good ...

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Guest Blog: Why Every Child Deserves a Healthy School



Salud America! Guest Blogger Alliance for a Healthier Generation Alvord Unified School District (64% Latino) is giving students more opportunities to get active and eat healthier in Riverside, Calif. Now they're getting national recognition for their health and wellness efforts. Eight of Alvord Unified's schools earned a place on the 2017 list of America’s Healthiest Schools by the Alliance for a Healthier Generation. Wells Middle School earned the highest level of recognition. How’d they do it? They got support from district leaders, parents, teachers, and the entire community. “We were able to provide parent education courses with topics that included the importance of breakfast, meal planning, understanding food labels, saving money on food and healthy ...

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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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Get Water Bottle Fountains at Your School!


SaludWater water bottle filling praxina guerra school

Classic water fountains aren't always accessible or safe for kids. Water Bottle Fountains are filtered water dispensers for easily filling and refilling water bottles. This gives kids much-needed access to safe drinking water throughout the school day. They help keep kids hydrated while saving families money from buying bottled water. They also help the environment by reducing waste. Salud America! wants to help you get Water Bottle Fountains at your school with our custom-for-you Water Bottle Fountain Action Pack with Coaching! Request an Action Pack to get (at no charge to you): Customized, click-to-send emails, graphics and resources One-on-one support from an Action Pack Coach Ads on Facebook Promotion of your efforts to 100,000+ change-makers 25 Salud ...

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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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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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