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June 1, 2014
Vol. 71
No. 9

Double Take

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Resources That Matter

Think Before You Click!

Project iGuardian, a new national cybersafety campaign, aims to combat the growing numbers of children falling prey to sexual predators online. Spearheaded by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations, in partnership with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, iGuardian focuses on raising awareness of the risks that lurk in cyberspace.
Using superhero-style characters and trading cards developed for the initiative, representatives deliver presentations for schools and youth groups across the United States to provide children and parents with tips for online safety. The presentations are designed for students in grade school through their early teens. Companion briefings for parents discuss resources they can use to protect their children from cyberpredators and to monitor their kids' online activity.
Organizations and schools interested in requesting a Project iGuardian presentation can e-mail iguardian@ice.dhs.gov.

To Ensure the March Continues

In the wake of a report that evaluated how well U.S. state standards and resources address the civil rights movement—most states received a D or an F—the Southern Poverty Law Center has issued a new guide, The March Continues: Five Essential Practices for Teaching the Civil Rights Movement. The guide helps teachers talk about race and tell a complex story that connects to the present.

World Spin

Addressing Mental Health in School

In Ontario, Canada, several schools in the Hamilton-Wentworth school district have become hubs for addressing students' mental health challenges. Students can see a nurse practitioner, a public health nurse, a social worker, an addiction counselor, or a trauma counselor. A variety of mental health programs are also school-based, such as Chilled, an anxiety treatment program, and Coping Power, which helps students develop emotional self-control. The district's manager of social services noted, "Instead of having the student go to services, we have the services where the students are." Schools also offer preventive programs, such as Positive Action, which promotes good mental health as it teaches positive social and emotional skills.

Relevant Reads

Teaching with Heart: Poetry That Speaks to the Courage to Teach, edited by Sam M. Intrator and Megan Scribner (Jossey-Bass, 2014)
When the editors of this anthology invited educators to submit a favorite poem, along with a brief personal story that described why that poem held special meaning for them, hundreds of responses poured in. The poet mentioned most often? Emily Dickinson. The single poem submitted by the most educators? "The Writer," by Richard Wilbur.
But the 90 selections that made it into this anthology show that teachers draw inspiration from a wide range of poems. As the editors comment, "Poetry stirs up an inner conversation about questions, emotions, and things that matter. Because poetry slows us down and focuses our attention, it can yield poignant insights into what is most significant and enduring in our work as educators" (p. xv).
"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure."—From "A Return to Love," by Marianne Williamson (p. 7)

Research Alert

Focus: ELLs

Latino English language learners (ELLs) in bilingual or dual-immersion programs in San Francisco took longer, on average, to be reclassified as "fluent English proficient" than students in English-immersion programs. But the long-term picture favored the bilingual and dual-immersion programs: The students in these programs ultimately achieved higher English proficiency and academic standards. See Reclassification Patterns Among Latino English Learner Students in Bilingual, Dual Immersion, and English Immersion Classrooms.

Focus: Preschool

Children in Georgia's state-funded, universal preK program produced higher scores in language, literacy, and math than children who were not enrolled; and those not in the program scored at or below the national norm. See Effects of Georgia's PreK Program on Children's School Readiness Skills.

Focus: Community Schools

By offering mentoring, counseling, health care, and other wraparound services that extend well beyond the classroom, community schools can boost academic performance. This recent review also found that wraparound interventions were cost-effective, with returns on investments ranging from $4 to $15 saved for every $1 spent. See Making the Grade: Assessing Evidence for Integrated Student Supports.

Focus: Children's Health

Children who frequently take breaks from sedentary time—even just by standing up every five minutes or so—could enjoy health benefits. See Associations of Sedentary Behavior, Sedentary Bouts, and Breaks in Learning Time with Cardiometabolic Risk in Children with a Family History of Obesity.
Twenty minutes of physical activity each day over three months can reduce the risk of obesity in children. Upping this to 40 minutes reduces even more total body fat and lowers the risk of developing diseases like Type 2 diabetes and plaque buildup in the arteries. See Exercise Dose and Diabetes Risk in Overweight and Obese Children.

This article was published anonymously, or the author name was removed in the process of digital storage.

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