APRIL 2009 E-NEWS
CELEBRATE THE EARTH
Happy Earth Day last week! We hope you had a great Earth Day, celebrated your school greening efforts, and took some new action to reduce your footprint. On Earth Day, Deborah Moore, Executive Director of Green Schools Initiative, testified in the California Assembly Education Committee about the health and environmental benefits of green cleaning in schools and how the Clean and Healthy Schools Act (AB821) can help reduce exposures to toxic chemicals at school. The bill passed the Education Committee - yay! - and will be heard in the Appropriations Committee next. Learn more about the bill and ways of supporting by clicking here. And please send us your own news about your successful Earth Day observances! Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your school's stories.
The April E-News has a variety of announcments about healthy school lunches, solar car races, teacher training, and a new "real world math" curriculum by Facing the Future that incorporates environmental issues into algebra and geometry lesson plans. Please support our efforts on behalf of California's schoolchildren by contributing what you can at our Donate Now page.
Betsy Bigelow-TellerNewsletter Editor
NEWS & ANNOUNCEMENTS
"No Lunch Left Behind"
What are schools for? Most of us would agree they're for teaching and learning. And how do kids generate energy to do their best learning? By fueling themselves with healthy meals. But many schools have a long way to go to provide fresh, healthy food for student lunches. In her February 2009 New York Times Op-Ed piece, Alice Waters suggests a revolution of sorts in school cafeterias. According to Waters, "We need to scrap the current system and start from scratch." She outlines some innovative changes the federal government should make and talks about how parents are getting involved to improve school lunches and schoolchildren's health. Read the whole article by clicking on the "No Lunch Left Behind" link below.
With encouraging new research, a new administration and stimulus money headed to the states, the old excuses just won't fly anymore. A recent University of Minnesota study has determined that healthy meals don't necessarily cost schools more money, and kids will in fact eat them. Learn more at the Better School Food organization's website.
"Fresh Voices for Fresh Choices"
And speaking of school lunches, why not summon your memories of your own school lunches to promote a good cause? The Healthy Schools Campaign and Applegate Farms are sponsoring the "Fresh Voices for Fresh Choices" contest, open to contestants of all ages. Share your most vivid school food memories - the good, the bad, and the ugly -- for a chance to win prizes while raising awareness about important school food issues. Entries can be in a variety of forms, including poetry and video. Knock yourself out! The deadlines are: May 1 for submissions and May 15 for voting. Winners will be announced on June 1.
Students Show Off Solar Race Car
On April 24th at 2pm and April 25th from 11am to 4pm at Soquel High, Santa Cruz middle and high school students had the opportunity to get a look at a real solar race car developed by 10 UC Berkeley engineering students. The engineering students are part of a team that plans to travel to Cresson, Texas to compete in the Formula Sun Solar Car Race in June. For more information and photos of the solar racer, go to:
NEW CURRICULA: Real World Math, Engaging Students through Global Issues by Facing the Future
Facing the Future has done it again - an easy-to-use curriculum that helps you meet standards while integrating environmental activities. This two-part math resource engages students in learning foundational algebra and geometry through real-world data on global issues. The teacher's guide and corresponding student workbook contain 15 lessons on topics such as climate change, population, and financial literacy. Each lesson in the teacher's guide includes: A complete lesson plan including an activity based 'hook' to engage students, Masters for student lesson handouts, and Masters for practice worksheets. Lessons include intstructions, National Council of Teachers of Mathematics standards alignment, action project ideas, and more. The corresponding Real World Math student workbook includes lesson handouts, supplemental worksheets, and topical background readings that directly connect with the lessons in the teacher's guide. Learn more about this resource and download free sample lessons.
Facing the Future
Kids in Creeks Teacher Workshop
Explore the world of wetlands and gather the tools you need to integrate the rich diversity of creek ecology into your curriculum. This one-day workshop for educators will introduce creek ecology and provide student-friendly activities that range from the kindergarten level to the high school level. In this course you will map your local watersheds, learn to sample water quality using seven different parameters, and identify aquatic insects and plants. You will receive: a fast-paced day of hands-on training; a curriculum binder that meets California Content Standards; academic credit through Cal State East Bay; and a helpful guide complete with tips for creating simple water sampling equipment and information about your local creek.
DATE: Saturday, May 2nd
TIME: 9:30am - 4:00pm
LOCATION: Wildcat Community Free School, Richmond
COST: $35, Free to educators from West Contra Costa County
CONTACT: Kari Rodenkirchen at (510) 665-3643 or email@example.com