Blog Archive

4 Back-to-School Tips From America's Top School Nurse

Try these suggestions to ensure a successful back-to-school transition for your child. By Michael Rhattigan on August 14, 2015 via Scholastic Parents: Learning Toolkit It's August, and "Back-to-School" is steadily approaching (if it hasn't already happened in your area). What are some things that parents can do to help their kids transition smoothly into the school year? I asked Nina Fekaris (MS, BSN, RN, NCSN), president-elect of the National Association of School Nurses, for her best tips. Based on her 27+ years on the frontline as a school nurse (her full bio follows below), here are her top 4 tips for parents: Tip #1: Reset Your Child's ClockHis or her internal clock, that is. Ms. Fekaris recommends being proactive and getting an early start to adjusting your child's bedtime. She advises shifting your child's bedtime in small increments -- say 15 minutes earlier each night. Ideally, by the time you're one week...
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6 Strategies for Writing a Successful Grant Proposal for Your Education Program

By: Research Associates  Grants are a great way to supplement tight school budgets and fund specific educational programs, but the grant writing process can be a bit daunting the first few times around. Experienced grant writers know that beginning the process early and following the application guidelines exactly are essential to writing successful grant proposals. Beyond that, here are six other strategies that will help you win funds for your classroom, school or district. First, do your researchAt any given time there may be hundreds of federal, state, foundation, and corporation grants available to fund educational initiatives. While it’s best to apply for several grants to increase your funding opportunities, it’s important to make sure the grants you’re applying for really fit with your need. Take the time to research the funder and understand their mission and goals and make sure they align with your own. Funders are looking for programs and...
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An All-Hands Approach To Implementing Schoolwide Change In Wellness

By Judy KuanPrincipal Wendy Ellen Starwalt has transformed her school of over 400 students to get more active and healthy through a grassroots approach that swept up students, parents, and teachers alike. At the core of her approach to instilling that level of change at Carey Busey Elementary in Northern Illinois, and providing a positive model for her school’s district, was an approach that involved 5 key components:1. Leadership: Principal Starwalt knew that it was important for her to set the tone for the teachers at her school, and help them set as a group the priorities for student wellness going forward. She recognized that teachers feel pressure to have their students perform academically, so she led the way in letting everyone know that it was okay to spend time on activity breaks, and that it was important not to take away recess from wiggly children. Principal Starwalt also helped teachers identify free resources at the outset, and then took the lead in investing...
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Rigor And Developmental Science: Focusing On The Sweet Spot

By Judy KuanAcademic rigor is upheld widely in education, as is developmental science. But how often do we see the two converge, and what potential does that convergence hold in pre-K-3 education?According to Dr. William Teale, who is the Director of the University of Illinois at Chicago Center for Literacy, it is fairly easy but less effective to implement either academic rigor or developmentally-appropriate instruction on its own.  The more challenging but effective road to higher achievement in early grade literacy is to implement a strategy that integrates both approaches. In that combined approach, the focus on academic rigor, skills teaching, and direct instruction are merged with developmentally-appropriate instruction, play-based curricula, and developmental science. He also emphasized that content & literacy fusion with other areas of study that are getting pushed out of pre-K-3 education (science, social studies, social/emotional) is necessary for students’...
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Festive (and deliciously healthy) July 4th Recipes for Your Kids!

viewNode("08fd9d3ff5266", {"server_detection": true, "width": 655, "height": 368, "player_profile": "default-no-ad"});  Independence Day is right around the corner. That means you’re probably getting ready for a fun-filled long weekend with parades and fireworks, many hours spent outdoors with family and friends, and of course - many gatherings and parties to celebrate our wonderful country! To help you prepare for the holiday, Adventure to Fitness has partnered with the authors from The Calories In Calories Out Cookbook, Catherine Jones and Elaine Trujillo (MS, RDN), to create some tasty and healthy recipes - just for you, Fit Nation! We love these three recipes because:Each requires less than 10 minutes of prep timeThey are tastebud- & budget-friendlyThey include nutrition facts, and They’re easy and fuss-free, so your kids can help out (or get most of the work done themselves!)Since these recipes are for the 4th of July, we could not ignore our beautiful...
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Why we love Professional Development (and you should, too!)

Most can agree that professional development is important, but can be a hassle to put together.  Even though desire is there for meaningful professional learning experiences, often the reality doesn’t always match up to make it happen in a purposeful way for teachers.Here are some interesting facts about PD:1.       More than $18 billion is spent annually on PD for teachers2.       A typical teacher spends 68 hours a year on PD activities directed by districts.3.       Much of this investment is wasted on offerings that teachers say aren’t relevant to their core mission of helping kids learn.So the question is, what is relevant to teachers? What about a hands-on, interactive event to get teachers pumped about student health and wellness? Or a virtual adventure to the Serengeti or the Great Wall of China to show how a turn-key solution can help you implement more physical activity...
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How will you help your kids keep flourishing this summer?

By Colleen Rhattigan-Henckels, “Super Mom” & Adventure to Fitness advisor When I daydream about the ideal summer for my children, lots of things come to mind. I envision them spending endless hours outdoors, getting their hands dirty (digging for salamanders and catching toads), making new friends, playing games that I grew up playing (like sharks and minnows, red-rover, etc.), swimming, fishing, picking and eating blueberries until their tummies hurt, and having fun. Lots of fun! And learning a thing or two. Just as some background, I live in Brooklyn, New York and have two children under the age of 8. My husband and I both happen to be big believers in finding at least one or two things our children love and enabling them to pursue those passions. Yes, while they may not become the soccer star, prodigy pianist, or chess grandmaster that you we had envisioned, they will become confident and happy people pursuing their God-given gifts. Having said that, most...
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Get Moving During National Physical Education and Sport Month

Even though National Physical Education and Sport Week has passed, there's still time to join the fun throughout the rest of the month!This guest blog post was written by Brian Devore with SHAPE America.We know the benefits of giving children 60 minutes of activity throughout the day. Those students have more focus, perform better on tests, miss less school, and stay out of trouble. With National Physical Education and Sport Week coming up May 1-7, SHAPE America is helping schools across the country celebrate by providing ideas to #MoveInMay!Physical education teachers should be the champion in planning their school’s event. Get support from your administrators, staff members, PTA, and of course, your students to celebrate activity throughout the first week of May. Advocate for ANY extra activity that students can get during the school day. Find ways to spotlight staff members, parents and students who participate in sports and fitness activities after school...
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Play It Safe! 5 Storm Safety Tips for Kids

The U.S. has seen its fair share of severe weather this Spring, and it doesn’t look like it will be letting up anytime soon.  We wanted to pass along a few tips to help keep you and your family safe when the weather turns for the worst:1.       Disaster Supply Kit – Whether you purchase one or make your own, make sure your kit includes the following:a.       Flashlight(s)b.       Battery-operated Radioc.       Extra batteriesd.       First Aid supplies like bandagese.       Blanket(s)f.        Bottle(s) of waterg.       Snacksh.       Baby wipes – in case running water is lost and it becomes days since your last shower. 2.       If you can hear thunder, you’re in danger of...
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Encourage Kids To Be Active Outside This Spring

Do your kids have spring fever? With warmer weather, longer hours of sunlight and the fresh smells of nature, many kids are longing to be outdoors. Here are some practical tips you can use to encourage your children to release their energy this spring:  Go OutsideIf you want your kids to be more active, get them outside. From running across a field to pickup games of tag and soccer, kids who are outside are lively. Spring is an excellent time to go outdoors, as the mild weather makes it quite enjoyable. If you have been cooped up for most of winter, your kids will probably be all too eager to go outdoors now that better weather has come, so let them!Take a Walk TogetherKids aren't the only ones who need to be physical. Go on a walk together as a family, and everyone can get some exercise at the same time. According to Active.com, walking not only brings health benefits, but also psychological benefits. You get a mood boost from walking that you can't get sitting...
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