Washingtonian: A study published this week in the journal Pediatrics showed state lawmakers’ work to ban sugary sweets in school is actually having an effect on young people’s waistlines. According to the study, which monitored children from 6,300 public schools in 40 states over a three-year period, children who live in states with strict food laws (including banning soda from school vending machines) gained less weight than children who live in states without such laws.
Many states only ban junk food in elementary schools, but the laws were the most effective when they were applied to the entire school system. By establishing food backpack programs, delivering healthy lunches during the summer break and organizing healthy snack times during the school day, Communities In Schools helps ensure that kids get the food their bodies need to be healthy, and their brains need to focus and succeed in the classroom.
Washington Post: This summer, the crowds of children eagerly standing on neighborhood corners in Arlington, Va., (home of the Communities In Schools national office) weren’t waiting for the ice cream truck. Rather, they were waiting for the “Read and Roll Book Bus,” a mobile library that delivers books to children during the summer break. Containing more than 2,000 donated books, the Read and Roll Book Bus makes up to four weekly stops and even plays a jingle to alert kids that the bus is coming.
Studies have shown that students without access to books during the summer are more likely to forget information from the previous school year than students with access to books, putting them at a disadvantage in the fall. Programs like the Read and Roll Book Bus combat the summer slide by bringing the books to children, free of charge. What an extraordinary, fun idea!
Education Week: What are your memories from the first day of school? This year, more than a million fathers, grandfathers, uncles and other positive male role models are expected to create a lasting memory for their children by accompanying them on the first day of school.
Million Father March, a program created by 10 men from Chicago eight years ago, is now a nationwide movement supporting the important role of men in the growth and well-being of their children. Million Father March leaders anticipate that more than a million men will become engaged in their children’s education this fall by taking them to class on the first day of school – meeting teachers and beginning a year-long commitment of nurturing their kids.
Communities In Schools understands the vital role of male role models in a child’s education. Many of our affiliates actively recruit men to act as mentors and tutors for children who may not have a father figure at home, and organize programs such as the XY Zone and father-son/father-daughter nights to facilitate healthy relationships that benefit children as they learn and grow into responsible adults.