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Alexandria, VA (04/15/10)—Senator Kay Hagan (D-NC) recently introduced S. Res. 478 to designate March as "National Whole Child Month" and make a whole child approach to education a national priority. The resolution is the result of ASCD's ongoing work with Congress and the Obama administration to ensure that our nation's education policy supports a comprehensive and coordinated approach to education that promotes the development of children who are healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged.
"I am proud to introduce this resolution to designate March as 'National Whole Child Month,'" said Senator Hagan. "As a parent, I know firsthand that education is much more than what goes on in a classroom during the school day. We need to replace one-dimensional education strategies with a comprehensive approach that supports our children's development so that they go on to be productive and creative members of our society. To ensure that our students are prepared to compete in the 21st century, we must commit to investing in the whole child approach to education."
"Too often we try to meet children's diverse health, social, and education needs in a piecemeal fashion," said ASCD Executive Director Gene R. Carter. "ASCD commends Senator Hagan for taking the lead in the Senate in support of a coordinated, comprehensive, whole child approach to education. Practitioners and policymakers must work together to align services and resources so that our students are prepared for promising futures and our country can remain globally competitive for generations to come."
"We applaud Senator Hagan for her dedication to the whole child approach of providing a high-quality and well-balanced education for every student," said North Carolina ASCD (NCASCD) Executive Director Frances Jones, whose ASCD affiliate was instrumental in gaining support from Senator Hagan. "For several years NCASCD has partnered with ASCD to ensure that school districts in North Carolina have consistently approached education policy and practice through the lens of the whole child philosophy."
The Senate is expected to vote on S. Res. 478 in the coming weeks. The Senate resolution builds on similar efforts in the House. Several weeks ago, Congressman Jim Moran (D-VA) introduced H. Res. 1093 with the same goal of making a whole child approach to education a national priority.
ASCD is encouraging educators, parents, business leaders, and any interested member of the public to write their federal lawmakers, urging them to cosponsor the resolutions to help speed their passage. The association is also providing opportunities for local action. Individuals can sign the Whole Child Petition to tell their state boards of education they must do more to educate the whole child. And they can use the Whole Child Resolution Tool Kit to ask their school boards, town councils, and other policymakers in their communities to support a local resolution that addresses the needs of the whole child.
ASCD began its Whole Child Initiative three years ago to encourage schools and communities to move beyond a narrow curriculum and accountability system and, instead, work together to ensure that each student has access to a challenging, comprehensive curriculum in a healthy and supportive climate. The association is joined by a diverse group of about 50 partners from leading education, health, arts, and civic organizations who have signed on to further the initiative.
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