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This week’s healthy schools highlights


University Park Elementary honored for health efforts

Denver’s University Park Elementary School will be honored Monday by the Alliance for a Healthier Generation for its efforts to curb childhood obesity.

Nationwide, 275 schools will be honored by the Alliance, which was founded by the American Heart Association and the William J. Clinton Foundation. President Clinton will present the awards at a Healthy Schools Forum in Little Rock, Ark. Read more in the Denver Post.

Kids get extra calories from food outside home

U.S. children are eating more, and the extra calories often come from foods eaten while they are away from home, according to a new study.

Overall, children eat about 179 more calories a day than children did three decades ago, says study researcher Jennifer M. Poti, a doctoral student at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Read all about it at WebMD.

Whole Foods Market’s new foundation focuses on kids’ health

Whole Foods Market has announced the creation of Whole Kids Foundation, a charitable organization that will provide children with access to healthy food choices through partnerships with schools, educators and organizations.

By supporting schools and inspiring families, the Foundation aims to help children reach optimal health through the strength of a healthy body fueled by nutritious food choices. Read more at Food Ingredients First.

Springs H.S. students get a dose of ‘health literacy’

One day in the not-too-distant future, Harrison High School students will walk into a business or English class and learn about something not obviously tied to the subject matter at hand: health.

In a partnership with El Paso County Public Health, Harrison officials hope to improve their students’ “health literacy” through a curriculum that will be integrated into courses beyond the usual health and PE classes. Read more in the Colorado Springs Gazette.

Denver business execs focus on healthier kids at roundtable

A group of Denver-based CEOs told Mayor-elect Michael Hancock to focus his administration on the health and education of the city’s children at a roundtable discussion last week. That’s in addition to familiar pleas to cut red tape at city hall, abolish nuisance taxes and treat residents like customers — all suggestions offered at a meeting Hancock held on July 7 with some of the biggest names in the city’s business community. Read more in the Colorado Statesman.

School ban on soda has greatest impact on black students

State policies designed to eliminate junk food from school concession stands may be reducing disparities in soda consumption among teens of different racial and ethnic groups, a new study suggests.

The study finds that in states banning or discouraging the sale of junk food at schools’ concession stands, daily soda consumption has dropped by twice as much among black students as among all students. Read more at Live Science.

Mother-child bond takes stressful toll when kid has ADHD

Ever since the second day her son went to kindergarten, Penny Williams has worried about him. That’s the day Williams, a real estate broker in Asheville, N.C., got her first call from her child’s teacher. Luke wasn’t ready for school, the teacher told Williams. He couldn’t sit still and didn’t want to participate. The insinuation, Williams said, was that she had failed as a parent. Read more at MSNBC.

Midvalley clinic tackles kid obesity

While Colorado was the nation’s only state to have an obesity rate below 20 percent, according to a recent report, Glenn Kotz, a doctor in Basalt, noted that the study didn’t show the percentage of children who are overweight. Read more in the Aspen Daily News.

Back to school means making sure vaccinations are up to date

DENVER – As our kids get ready to start the school year, besides picking out clothes and backpacks, we often think of physicals, vaccinations, and other health requirements and recommendations. In preparation of going back to school, we are getting you educated on your children’s health. Watch the 9NEWS report.

Q&A: To vaccinate or not – what are the risks?

Some parents decide not to have their children receive one or more of the vaccines recommended by the Centers for Disease Control, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. Read the Q&A in Newswise.

Health at birth linked to teen academic performance

Babies who get low scores on a test of heart, lung and brain function given just a few minutes after birth may be more likely to need special education as teenagers, suggests a new study from Sweden. Read this Reuters article.

Children of deployed soldiers struggle, UW study finds

An adolescent whose parent is sent on military deployments is more likely to have suicidal thoughts and feel depressed than the child of civilians, according to a new study from researchers at the University of Washington School of Public Health. Read more in the Tacoma News Tribune.

Five tips to help your child choose a healthy school lunch

A highlight of every school day is lunch. It’s a break in the day, a time to hang out with friends and a time to get some much-needed energy back into the body and brain. check out this story in Las Vegas Review-Journal.


‘Porcupine sliders’ win school lunch contest

Porcupine Sliders, turkey burgers jazzed up with brown rice, spinach, celery, garlic spices and dried cranberries, captured the grand prize in First Lady Michelle Obama’s Recipes for Healthy Kids competition. Read more in Food Safety News. 

About our First Person series:

First Person is where Chalkbeat features personal essays by educators, students, parents, and others trying to improve public education. Read our submission guidelines here.