Food, fun, and family engagement at Belle Haven Elementary School

How do you turn lessons about food into life skills? Ask City Connects Coordinator Keisha Anderson. 

Anderson, the coordinator at Belle Haven Elementary School in Dayton, Ohio, teaches students about nutrition using her own upbeat energy, a cooking competition, and the help of a community partner. 

Anderson worked with Donna Kuykendall to ensure that an afterschool nutrition program was both informative and fun. Kuykendall works as a Regional Program Assistant for Central State University Extension’s Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program. The program is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. 

When Anderson and Kuykendall put their heads together, they came up with two culminating events: a “Chopped” competition and a family dinner.

Making nutrition fun is a crucial part of addressing challenging health issues, Anderson says. 

“Belle Haven’s students are disproportionately and negatively impacted by health concerns that can be prevented through healthy eating and movement. High blood pressure and Type 2 diabetes can be prevented based on what we eat and how much we move.”

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The Weekly Connect 6/21/22

Here’s the new edition of The Weekly Connect. Check it out and sign up to have it delivered to your inbox!

Here are some of the things we’ve been reading about this week:

A survey conducted by the U.S. Government Accountability Office found that the pandemic has hurt student progress in all grades

The U.S. Department of Education has launched a National Parents and Families Engagement Council to improve communication between families and schools. 

Scientists from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration have approved the use of Moderna and Pfizer Covid vaccines in young children

To read more, click on the following links.

Continue reading “The Weekly Connect 6/21/22”

City Connects releases its 2022 Progress Report

We’re happy to announce the release of City Connects’ 2022 Progress Report. It’s a look at our history, our growth, and the progress we’ve made in schools as the world has navigated the pandemic.

As the report explains:

“In high-poverty urban schools, children face out-of-school challenges that can impede their success in the classroom and in life. Since the 1960’s, researchers have concluded that socioeconomic background is a significant factor affecting students’ academic achievement.”

City Connects helps by implementing a systematic, evidence-based model of integrated student support that addresses the out-of-school challenges stemming from poverty. And as City Connects has grown, expanding into more U.S. cities and into Dublin, Ireland, we’ve also seen growing interest in integrated student support.

“…particularly in the context of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, interest in this work has grown in the worlds of practice, research, and policy,” the report says.

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The Weekly Connect 6/13/22

Here’s the new edition of The Weekly Connect. Check it out and sign up to have it delivered to your inbox!

Here are some of the things we’ve been reading about this week:

School segregation is increasing, according to researchers. 

As universal school meals program ends, President Biden is looking for ways to help schools access food. 

One preventative response to school shootings is to more effectively address bullying.

To read more, click on the following links.

Continue reading “The Weekly Connect 6/13/22”

A book drive thrives, thanks to a community partnership

Before COVID-19, the MassMutual Federal Credit Union used to hold its book drives the old-fashioned way: put a big box in the hallway outside the credit union’s office to collect new and gently used children’s books from the 6,000 or so people who passed by each day.

The approach worked in part because the credit union’s office had a highly visible location right next to the cafeteria. The results were mostly good, lots of books for young children that were passed on to City Connects Coordinators in the Springfield Public School system — and a few very old dictionaries that could serve as doorstops.

Once Covid hit, however, Samantha Barnes, the credit union’s Marketing Specialist, had to adapt and so did City Connects Coordinator, Stephanie Sanabria. What they ended up with was a better book drive that more closely meets the needs of students and schools.

Continue reading “A book drive thrives, thanks to a community partnership”

The Weekly Connect 6/6/22

Here’s the new edition of The Weekly Connect. Check it out and sign up to have it delivered to your inbox!

Here are some of the things we’ve been reading about this week:

Schools can address the impact of gun violence

More states pass bills limiting transgender students’ participation on sports teams

Oklahoma is investing in school counselors

To read more, click on the following links.

Continue reading “The Weekly Connect 6/6/22”

Rebecca Schmidtberger: a City Connects Graduate Assistant

“I am passionate about the gap that exists between educational research and practice,” Rebecca Schmidtberger says. “There’s a lot of wonderful work that’s being done in research settings that isn’t being translated into schools.”

Today, Schmidtberger is a City Connects graduate assistant who has spent her career alternating her work in schools with her own pursuit of higher education.

Her love of education started in classrooms. As a Bates College student, Schmidtberger was chosen to be in the Bonner Leader program for students with a strong interest “in experiential learning and community engagement.” Schmidtberger worked in a local housing project with the Somali community running a program for Somali youth.

“The times that I learned the most and enjoyed the most were when I was applying what I learned in the classroom to my work with students and community members,” she recalls.

Continue reading “Rebecca Schmidtberger: a City Connects Graduate Assistant”

The Weekly Connect 5/30/22

Here’s the new edition of The Weekly Connect. Check it out and sign up to have it delivered to your inbox!

Here are some of the things we’ve been reading about this week:

Nearly a third of students hesitated to seek mental health support, a survey finds.

Democrats in Congress propose a historic investment in child care

Struggling to cope in the aftermath of the Uvalde, Texas, school shooting

To read more, click on the following links.

Continue reading “The Weekly Connect 5/30/22”
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