Posts Tagged ‘ion360’

Candy is something parents aren’t supposed to be freely dishing out to their kids, right? Surprising new research suggests otherwise. A little candy here and there might be a good thing. Bring on the M&Ms!

Could candy actually be a healthy snack for kids?Shutterstock / gosphotodesign



Could candy actually be a healthy snack for kids?

Kids who munch on Skittles and Snickers weigh less than those kids who don’t eat candy, a new study finds.

Researchers at Louisiana State University collected data from more than 11,000 kids, age 2 to 18, between 1999 and 2004. They discovered that children who indulged in candy were 22 percent less likely to be overweight or obese than their counterparts who didn’t eat sweets. What about the teenagers? Those who ate goodies were “26 percent less likely to be overweight or obese than their non-candy-eating counterparts,” according to CBS News.

The study published in Food & Nutrition reported on another interesting finding: The blood of the candy-eating kids was found to have a lower level of the C-reaction protein (CRP), an indicator of inflammation in the body and a risk factor for cardiovascular disease.

The study results don’t give kids a hall pass to eat Twizzlers for breakfast.”Children need to eat healthy foods, nutrient-dense foods. They need to have fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy,” O’Neil told the Vancouver Sun. “And foods like candy should be occasional foods, celebratory foods and eaten in moderation.”

The study didn’t look at why kids who eat candy weighed less and so it leaves us with a lot of unanswered questions. “Are overweight kids simply barred from eating candy by parents who want them to diet? Does a little candy every now and then keep kids from binging? Could there be some compound in candy that’s actually good for the heart? Given that the researchers seem to have lumped all candy together, it’s hard to say what that compound would be — my money’s on that stuff inside Pixie Stix,” writes Anna North over at Jezebel.

Posted By: Amy Graff (EmailTwitterFacebook) | June 29 2011 at 04:23 PM

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Billionaire Peter Thiel is paying 24 overachievers to leave school and focus on entrepreneurial pursuits. Will this create the next Mark Zuckerberg… or just waste talent?
POSTED ON MAY 26, 2011, AT 11:50 AM
Mark Zuckerberg, pictured in 2004, dropped out of Harvard after creating Facebook, and billionaire Peter Thiel wants to make sure more Zuckerbergs aren't lost to college.

Mark Zuckerberg, pictured in 2004, dropped out of Harvard after creating Facebook, and billionaire Peter Thiel wants to make sure more Zuckerbergs aren’t lost to college. Photo: Rick Friedman/Corbis SEE ALL 18 PHOTOS

Best Opinion:  Atlantic, Discover, Economist…

On Wednesday, Peter Thiel, the libertarian billionaire who founded PayPal and was an early investor in Facebook, announced the first class of his “Thiel Fellows.” The 24 overachievers, all under the age of 20 and in possession of ridiculously impressive resumes (MIT at 14, Stanford Ph.D at 19), will receive $100,000 each to drop out of college for two years and pursue “innovative scientific and technical projects, learn entrepreneurship, and begin to build the technology companies of tomorrow.” Given the great expense of a college education — and the fact that tech stars like Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs, and Bill Gates are all dropouts — does it make sense to encourage exceptional young people to forget the ivory tower and head to Silicon Valley?

No, there are a lot of benefits to a college degree: ”College dropout success stories are still a rarity,” says Sean Ludwig at VentureBeat. Sure, a college education comes at a great cost, but it also comes with great benefits. It helps students become more well-rounded, and gets them the credentials many employers require. Plus, school is “an incredible networking hub that connects and rewards people long after the debts are paid off.”
“Peter Thiel pays kids $100K to drop out of college”

And college is worth it financially, too: According to a recent Georgetown University study on the value of college, “Thiel’s assumptions are way off base,” says Adam Clark Estes in The AtlanticThe study showed that earning potential for college grads varies greatly, depending on what they major in, but ultimately a college education “is an investment that, on average, pays off big dividends across the board.”
“Peter Thiel bets $2.4 million against the value of a college degree”

But for a tiny minority, dropping out makes sense: The criticisms of Thiel’s program are “just plain stupid,” says Razib Khan at Discover. There are a few very exceptional people — those who will change civilization — who have nothing substantive to gain from college. Even if these Thiel fellows don’t change the world, Thiel should still be applauded for sending the message “that there is social and cultural value in being an oddball who doesn’t aspire to be a prominent and licensed professional, let alone a banker at Goldman Sachs.”
“Let a thousand Thiel fellows bloom!”

Besides, they can always go back to school: Thiel’s “initiative may be less controversial than the headlines suggest,” says M.B. in The Economist. “With luck, some of the 24 under 20 will follow in the footsteps of other notable stop-outs such as Bill Gates, Larry Ellison and Mark Zuckerberg.” But if they don’t, they can always return to school and get a college degree.
“$100,000 drop-outs”

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The President will honor schools that commit to making environmental literacy a part of students‘ lives.

Next Earth Day, the Obama administration will select 50 schools around the country to be named the Green Ribbon Schools, CNSNews reports. This is part of a new program announced this April that will honor schools that focus on sustainability and teach their students about the environment.

Although the selection criteria hasn’t been finalized, according to the spokeswoman for the U.S. Department of Education Jo Ann Webb, the program seeks to recognize schools that make the environment part of kids’ classroom experience:

“[E]ngaging students on environmental issues and producing environmentally literate students; increasing energy efficiency and using renewable energy technologies; and creating healthy learning environments by addressing environmental issues in the schools.”

Nancy Sutley, chairwoman of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, said that the Green Ribbon School program, and others like it, are part of the administration’s environmental policy.

The program will give students another way to apply what they learn in science classes to the world around them, and will teach them the basics of green living.

The DOE is not the only agency developing programs that aim to make young people more environmentally literate. In its 2011 Strategic Plan, the U.S. Department of Energy discusses its own environmental initiative which is part of the administration’s national energy goals:

“Because today’s young generation are tomorrow’s world leaders, we will champion outreach through competitions, project-based learning, interactive gaming, and social media,”

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In the world we live in today- the one where oil spills and landfills are commonplace, and fast-food dominates- it’s a breath of fresh air to know a person who is concerned and determined to make schools (and the people who populate them) responsible for improving our environment.  Mr.Dimitri Snowden and his Green360 curriculum has conjured up a way to instill environmental respect and appreciation at an early age, which I strongly believe can only prove beneficial for all stakeholders, but perhaps more importantly, for future generations.

Green360 boasts a promising curriculum for all students, regardless of age.  It teaches them the importance of taking care of our planet, with a hands-on, and practical approach.  Thinking back to my own days in grade school, I remember how far-fetched and threatening it seemed for me as a child to simply recycle.   There weren’t accessible recycling bins, and to care for our earth seemed like more of a hassle than a remedy.  After all, where would I get the tools to live a green lifestyle if nothing around me supported the movement?  Green360 has taken the intimidation out of protecting the earth, and gives the students the tools they need to make a difference. From compost bins and a paper-recycling program to rechargeable batteries,Green360 turns the students into knowledgeable teachers!

With Green360, the mystery of our role in environmental sustainability is removed.  It makes it so that students can learn easy and meaningful ways to be “green”, regardless of what is happening around them.  Paramount School of Excellence (PSoE) is a prime example of Green360 in action.  When you first arrive on location, you are swept off your feet by five 40-foot tall wind turbines!  In a city like Indianapolis, wind turbines stand out on their own, making passersby curious as to what goes on inside this school building.  The 2500-watt turbines push electricity back to the city’s electric company (IPL)!  Now of course, in this case students don’t have to do anything directly to claim environmental responsibility, but they are able to witness first-hand the benefits of wind power, and how it all works!

Additionally, PSoE has a garden (Give Forward Garden), a pond (Paramount Pond) and green room (Green360 Room). Each entity has been created to give students a chance to learn about, manage, and appreciate the life cycles of plants and animals, regardless of their city or neighborhood’s typical landscape.  The Give Forward Garden will influence nutritional well-being, and even core values such as patience!  How does this work one might ask?  Simple.  Each grade level will have their own plot of land to cultivate fruits, vegetables, flowers and herbs.  The students will be responsible for caring (and waiting) for the produce to grow!

The Green360 Room is a unique part of the building that is home to three species of butterflies, lizards, tree frogs, insects, and a tortoise just to name a few, as well as live plants and trees.  An interesting aspect of the room is the fact that the animals and insects (except the free flying butterflies) will be housed in cleverly stocked terrariums!  What is a terrarium?   A terrarium is a sealed but transparent container that allows the insects and animals to be seen but not touched!  Very clever!  The Green360 room itself has at 30×15 glass wall that lets in an abundant amount of filtered sunlight, and probably the most impressive in terms of respecting the environment is the 4,000 lbs of recycled rubber on the floor made to resemble grass, dirt, and mulch.  What most of us visitors wouldn’t know (but any PSoE student can tell you) is that the use of this recycled rubber has actually kept 200 tires from ending up in a landfill!

Mr. Snowden teaches the difference between various types of robots to a group of second grade students.

Now I don’t know about you, but when I think about the condition our world is in at this very moment, I cringe.  It scares me to think what we as humans have done to contaminate the waters, mutilate the land, and scar the planet forever.  But I firmly believe there is hope.  Even if we can’t reverse the damage already done, we can definitely work to make sure we leave this place better than we found it.  And that is what Green360 is doing; providing the much needed hope to inspire compassion for the world we live in, and to cultivate the next generation of responsible, environmental stewards!  I find it comforting to know that the students that benefit from Green360 will be the leaders of tomorrow.  They are learning so much about the environment, which can only mean that they have much to teach us.  Parents, community members, and other school communities across this nation can learn a thing or two from the students at PSoE.  My hope is that Mr.Snowden continues to spread the power and inspiration of the Green360curriculum, and that one day, it serves as a model for the reformation of our public school systems, here and abroad!

GOOD, Infographic, School lunch, Prison lunch, Column Five Media, transparency, Spending
Hopefully you haven’t gotten the chance to taste jailhouse cuisine, but if you’re a product of the American school system, you probably have childhood memories of standing in line for grey mashed potatoes, half-thawed mystery meat, and slimy canned peaches. How do the trays measure up?

A collaboration between GOOD and Column Five Media

Jodee Blanco says parents and other adults need to be alert to signs a child is being bullied.
Jodee Blanco says parents and other adults need to be alert to signs a child is being bullied.
  • Jodee Blanco: Child can be overtly bullied or just completely invisible to other kids
  • Behaviors to watch for: rage, overreactions, faking illness to avoid school, she says
  • Blanco: Extreme change in “look” or weight; depression, grade change, moodiness, distraction
  • Child is in great pain, she says. Activities outside school can be a life saver

Editor’s note: Jodee Blanco is an activist against and authority on school bullying. She conducts anti-bullying programs and wrote “Please Stop Laughing at Me …” and its sequel, “Please Stop Laughing at Us …”

(CNN) — As a former victim of bullying who speaks at schools across the country, I meet many distraught parents who want advice on how to help their bullied child. I ache for them because I remember what my own mom and dad went through, never knowing the shape I’d be in when I came home from school.

When two Minnesota eighth-graders, Haylee Fentress and Paige Moravetz, took their own lives in a bullying-related suicide pact last month, my heart not only went out to their parents, but also to the parents of every bullied student.

Many might have been asking themselves, “These girls weren’t alone, they had each other, why would they do this?” and wondering, “Could this happen to my child?” We can’t bring Haylee and Paige back, but we can honor their lives by saving other kids from similar desperation.

There are two types of bullied students. First, “the overt victim,” who is bullied in obvious ways, such as teasing, taunting, verbal and physical assault, intentional and aggressive exclusion, being laughed at and put down constantly, gossiped about, or cyberbullied.

Jodee Blanco
Jodee Blanco

Then, there’s “the invisible student,” the kid who is treated as if he or she doesn’t exist, who isn’t necessarily intentionally excluded, but whom no one thinks to include. This is the child who goes through school feeling like a ghost. Being an invisible student is sometimes more damaging in the long-term. If you’re overtly bullied, you can say to yourself, “There’s something wrong with them.” But if you feel like you don’t exist, you may falsely conclude, “There’s something wrong with me.”

Even if two best friends have each other for support, it might not be enough to stave off these negative feelings, as may have been the case with Haylee and Paige.

Know the danger signs of a bullied child in crisis. Some are obvious and exactly what you’d expect. Others are subtle, and surprising. Look for these behaviors:

— Inexplicable fits of rage: Does your child blow up at the least provocation?

— Overreaction to normal, daily frustrations: Does your child overreact to people and situations that never would have bothered him or her before?

— Faking illness to avoid going to school, or even making themselves sick.

— Impaired immune system and frequent illness: The constant stress and sadness associated with severe bullying can weaken your child’s immune system. This, coupled with a child’s wishing he or she were sick to get out of school can be a powerful combination.

— Extreme makeover attempts: Has your child suddenly gone from preppie attire to all Gothic or punk?

— Sudden change in weight: Has your child started gaining or losing weight at an alarming rate?

— Despondency or depression: Is your child sad, lonely and unmotivated?

— Change in grades: Have your child’s grades gone down, or way up? Bullied kids sometimes immerse themselves in academics as an escape. But when they realize that even with straight A’s, they’re still lonely, they can spiral into a dark place.

— Desperate attempts to win friends: Has your child started to give in to peer pressure, perhaps engaging in questionable or self-destructive behaviors that she or he would never have considered doing before?

— Moodiness: Is your child sullen one moment, obstinate the next?

— Distractedness: Is your child unfocused and preoccupied?

Parents must keep in mind, to prevent any bully-related suicide attempt, that the bullied child is bleeding emotionally and spiritually from loneliness and isolation. If you don’t deal with that first, it could render whatever else you do tragically irrelevant.

Parents often get so caught up in mitigating the problem — contacting the school, confronting the parents of the bullies, pushing for punishment of the bullies, talking to the police, retaining legal counsel — that they forget to tend to their bleeding child first.

Your priority is to find a new social outlet for your child, someplace where he or she can engage in an organized activity with other kids the same age and forge meaningful friendships completely outside of school.

It will buy you the time you need to deal with the larger issues. It will give your child something to look forward to and boost confidence. The more confident children are, the less they are targeted.

Additionally, bullied students often emit a subtle desperation for friendship that makes their peers uncomfortable. Once your son or daughter begins building new relationships, it can diminish some of that desperation. Park districts, dance studios, community theater programs, public libraries and chambers of commerce are good places to start — but make sure they’re located a few towns away from your school district to ensure your child will make new friends.

And keep in mind what we’ve learned from the recent tragedy with Haylee and Paige — just because your child has a best friend doesn’t make her immune from desperation. If you suspect your child and her closest buddy are both struggling to fit in at school, enroll them in an activity together. You could end up saving two lives.

The opinions in this commentary are solely those of Jodee Blanco.

Our public education system is not working, clearly.  But what are some solutions to improvement?  What is best for our youth, and will sending them to school year-round really pick up the slack?  LZ Granderson, CNN Opinion Columnist, shares his ideas in this 2-part video series.

View here <—

What are your thoughts?

Our public education system is not working, clearly.  But what are some solutions to improvement?  What is best for our youth, and will sending them to school year-round really pick up the slack?  LZ Granderson, CNN Opinion Columnist, shares his ideas in this 2-part video series.

View here <—

What are your thoughts?

The American Federation for Children hosted its second annual National Policy Summit at the Washington Marriott in Washington, D.C., Monday. The group is one of the nation’s largest organizations supporting school choice — a political movement that advocates for parochial, private, and charter schools to play a bigger role in public education in the form of voucher programs and tax credits to businesses that support school choice initiatives.

Read full story here<—