Monday, October 21, 2013

Slow Food

I am so impressed by many of the lunches that the children bring to school as well as those that they choose for lunch. Seeing children enjoying a bag of carrots or a selection from the salad bar affirms that we are seeing success with our healthy school efforts. However, 15 minutes into the meal, we start rushing the kids to finish.  It’s unreasonable to think that anyone can eat meals in 15 minutes and appreciate and digest their foods. Scientific studies show that it takes us 20 minutes or more for our brains to register the food and send a message that we are satisfied.  Eating quickly causes us to often consume many more calories than we really need because we stuff in food so fast thinking we are ravenous.  Quite a while later, we feel the “stuffed” sensation and realize it would have been better to have consumed a lot less food. The “slow food” movement that is growing rapidly on the West Coast speaks to this issue.  While the movement is in response to the negative impact that fast food has on our health and lifestyle in general, schools should take notice of the message as it applies our schedules. If children have a longer lunch period, they are likely to taste and enjoy their food slowly. They will be less inclined to over-indulge and eat only foods that can be consumed quickly. We know that more than 30% of our students are obese, and if they are not encouraged toward a healthier path, they may suffer throughout their life and never have a chance to live a full life with all its possibilities.

Our school board is considering adding a lunchroom to our school. The dedicated space for eating would allow us expand to a 30 minute lunch. Please consider supporting this effort by attending the school board meeting Oct. 23 & Nov. 20 to learn more about these plans.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Friday's Photo Ops

If you follow us on Twitter, you know that we had a pretty exciting end of the week at Pershing School!  On Friday we had two groups of visitors to the school.  “Tammy Town”  set up a safety town on the playground.  The pre-k, kindergarten, and 1st grade students learned all about what to do in situations such as someone following them home from school.  Giving the children the opportunity to act out these situations will really help them to remember.  They had such a great time with Tammy!

Nothing gives a parent peace of mind as much as knowing that their child can keep in touch.  So I’m always surprised at how few children know their phone number.  I think that adults are so used to always looking in their contacts for their phone numbers that they forget that their children need to memorize their parents’ cell phone numbers.  It’s easier for kids to learn a phone number if it’s remembered with an advertising tune.  Singing the phone number with the child many times will help them to recall it in times of need.  In the meantime, tape the phone number inside the child’s backpack so they always have it handy.

The storyteller, Megan Wells  spent time with our 2nd graders telling them stories and helping them to act them out with her.  Listening to someone tell a story is great for children who are developing their literacy abilities.  The 2nd graders have been working on picturing a story in their mind as they read.  Megan Wells demonstrated  for them what acting out the story that you’ve visualized looks like.  

Next Friday evening at 6 pm, Dominican University is hosting the Illinois Storytelling Festival.  Admission is $5 per family.  Check out the great event they have planned.

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