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This week’s healthy schools highlights

Catholic school in Harlem turns MyPlate into a musical

In the heart of New York City, Mt. Carmel-Holy Rosary School is as a beacon of hope for the communities of East Harlem. The Catholic school serves 280 students in pre-K through eighth grade, and one 100 percent of students qualify for free lunch. According to the New York City Department of Health, more than four in 10 elementary school children in east and central Harlem are overweight or obese. East Harlem currently has the highest rate of childhood asthma hospitalizations in New York City, and more than 25 percent of the area’s children suffer from the condition.

Principal Suzanne Kaszynski is taking big strides to address those trends with MyPlate, USDA’s new food icon, in a school-wide effort to prevent childhood obesity and long-term risks for chronic disease. Watch the video above, or read more at Let’s Move.org.

Students and healthy hot lunch: Radio call-in

Boulder’s KGNU 88.5 radio station opens the call-line to students and others about Boulder Valley’s healthy hot lunches. Check it out.

District 6 “bans” sodas from school lunchrooms

Parents have expressed concerns over a recent notice advising them not to allow their children to bring sodas to school.

In a recent newsletter, parents were told that as, per a policy passed by the school board last October, “soda is no longer allowed in the cafeterias at the elementary and middle school levels.” Read more in the Greeley Gazette.

Why is it so hard for our kids to lose weight?

Editor’s note: This is the fourth story in CNN’s series exploring the issues surrounding childhood obesity.

(CNN) — Lyn McDonald is doing everything right.

After losing more than 80 pounds, she taught her kids how to control their portion sizes, shop at the farmers market, eat vegetables with every meal and avoid a lot of sugar.

Her efforts are working. At a time when approximately one-third of American children are overweight or obese, McDonald’s kids are at healthy weights. Check out this CNN report.

Teaching our kids to eat well at school

Today’s generation of American children may be the first in two centuries to have shorter life expectancies than their parents. While there are many reasons, childhood obesity — and its alarming rate of increase throughout the United States — may be the most devastating one. Read more in Our Colorado News.

Obese children outgrowing kids’ clothing and furniture

Editor’s note: This is a story in a series exploring the issues surrounding childhood obesity.

(CNN) — In middle school, Taylor LeBaron struggled to fit into his seat. The desks in class had a ceramic plate attached to the chair.

“I was so large, I couldn’t fit in there,” said LeBaron, now 19. “Every other student could. I couldn’t get my legs to fit underneath the desk or my stomach to fit between the chair without getting the desk stuck with me. Read more on CNN.

School lunch deemed unacceptable

A mother is outraged after school officials told her 4-year-old daughter that her home-packed lunch was not healthy enough to eat. What was so unhealthy about her lunch? Trace Gallagher reported that a lunch inspector at the school told the girl she couldn’t eat her turkey sandwich, banana, potato chips and apple juice. Instead providing the girl with a USDA-approved lunch with the following guidelines: one serving of meat, one serving of grains, and two servings of fruit or vegetables. Watch this Fox News report.

Schools attach ‘fat monitors’ to students

Missouri’s Parkway School District recently purchased 400 electronic devices to track 2,500 elementary students’ physical activity, first during gym classes this spring and possibly 24/7 after that. Read more in Heartland news.

Six inexpensive ways to weave exercise into your kid’s life

Here’s my little secret:  When my kids were young (maybe ages 2-7) I spent far too much time worrying about how tireless/active/hyper they were.  In my own non-scientific playground research, I came to the unfortunate conclusion that my kids were on the extreme end of the spectrum for physical activity.  This finding exhausted my already-tired self. Read more in the blog Play.Fight.Repeat.

Pushing to keep exercise in the school curriculum

REDWOOD CITY — On the blacktop at Clifford School recently, a fourth-grade class played two-on-two keep-away with basketballs. Jessica Mazeau, a physical education instructor who teaches at Clifford five days a week, led the students in dribbling and passing drills. Read more in the New York Times.


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.