Huffington Post: On Nov. 6, the citizens of San Antonio, Texas, made their voices heard, casting their votes in favor of their children. They voted to adopt the education initiative Pre-K 4 SA, introduced by the mayor of San Antonio, Julian Castro. It is an initiative that calls for a sales tax increase of one-eighth of a cent in order to provide funding for full-day pre-kindergarten programs. The new legislation will increase the number of children enrolled in full-day pre-kindergarten in San Antonio over the next eight years. Castro’s support of education, mirrored by San Antonio City Councilman Rey Saldaña, a Communities In Schools alum, is in line with his vision for the city to create a more educated workforce that will ultimately lead to economic prosperity.
Education advocates have long supported pre-K programs, pointing to numerous studies that show evidence of increased academic performance. And initiatives that bring students to school better prepared to learn and succeed will go a long way in helping Communities In Schools’ mission to help students achieve.
Los Angeles Times: Parent engagement is high on the list when it comes to providing support for students. The Los Angeles Unified School District is taking steps toward increasing parent involvement after receiving funding to improve on-campus parent resource centers.
In these centers, free classes and workshops can help parents with anything from understanding their child’s homework to learning English to financial literacy. The centers aim to make parents feel as if they are an essential part of the campus and are helping in their child’s education.
The LA Board of Education allocated $20 million to revamp outdated centers throughout the district. In this article, the school board noted that it has found having resourceful and engaging parent centers “can result in long-lasting positive effects on improving student achievement.”
The Bunsen Burner: Dr. Francine R. Kaufman used the term “diabesity” in her 2006 book of the same name to appropriately describe the connection between obesity and diabetes. According to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention fact sheet, childhood obesity has more than tripled in the past 30 years. Children and adolescents who are obese are more likely to be at risk for health problems such as type 2 diabetes.
And if that news was not bad enough, a new study by two Yale University researchers reveals that diabetes has a substantial impact on the high school dropout rate and wage earnings. The study found the high school dropout rate was six percentage points higher among students with diabetes. The research also showed that young adults with diabetes who have one or more parents with the disease are less likely to attend college. And, a person with diabetes can expect to lose more than $160,000 in wages over his or her working life, compared to someone without diabetes.
The good news is diabetes can be managed, or even prevented, through changes in diet, regular exercise and medication. At Communities In Schools, introducing students to programs such as community gardens and cooking demonstrations teaches the value of nutrition, and fitness initiatives place emphasis on physical activity. We provide resources that surround students with support so they graduate and succeed in life. Helping students acquire healthy eating and exercise habits is a great way to accomplish this.