Archive for October, 2007

Yes, Kids, There Really is a Magic School Bus

Friday, October 19th, 2007

News for Release: Thursday, Oct. 18, 2007
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

Yes, Kids, There Really is a Magic School Bus

Contact: Dave Ryan, (202) 564-4355 /
               Paul Niemi, (212) 343-6402 /

(Washington, D.C. – Oct. 18, 2007) Science, imagination, education, healthier kids and a cleaner environment come together when Scholastic Inc. and EPA team up to clean up the Magic School Bus. Released today, The Magic School Bus Gets Cleaned Up – a new special edition book based on the popular Scholastic series – takes children on a smart, fun and colorful trip to learn what can be done to protect their lungs and their world from air pollution.

“President Bush and EPA are making that black puff of diesel smoke from school buses something children only learn about in history class,” said EPA Deputy Administrator Marcus Peacock. “This book is a fun way to inspire our children to make our communities cleaner, healthier places to live.”

“The Magic School Bus for decades has entertained children and educated them about how innovation and science can make the world better,” said Leslye Schaefer, Scholastic Media Senior Vice President. “Scholastic is thrilled to join the EPA in its effort to educate children and their families about clean air – and to make The Magic School Bus more environmentally friendly at the same time.”

EPA Deputy Administrator Marcus Peacock read the book to second graders gathered in Cunningham Park Elementary School library in Vienna, Va., outside Washington, D.C. Afterward, the students boarded Scholastic’s traveling Magic School Bus, which is an interactive science experience for children. The bus, which had a new diesel particulate filter installed, courtesy of Caterpillar Inc., has had its particulate matter pollution reduced by up to 90 percent.

Children are especially vulnerable to the effects of diesel emissions, which can cause respiratory disease and exacerbate long-term conditions, such as asthma. EPA has set stringent standards to dramatically cut nitrogen oxides and particulate matter from new heavy-duty diesel engines, such as those used in school buses. EPA addresses emissions from the nation’s existing fleet of school buses through Clean School Bus USA, a component of the National Clean Diesel Campaign. Clean School Bus USA brings together partners from business, education, transportation and public health organizations to eliminate unnecessary school bus idling, add pollution control devices to buses, and replace the oldest buses with new, cleaner buses. Because of Clean School Bus USA, more than 2 million students across the country are riding on cleaner buses. The special edition book is Clean School Bus USA’s first partnership with Scholastic.

Scholastic — the global children’s publishing, education and media company — is celebrating The Magic School Bus book series’ 20th anniversary this year as the Emmy award-winning television series marks ten seasons on the air. Over the years, millions of children have joined Ms. Frizzle as she takes her students on class field trips and scientific adventures. Kids can join the class by reading the books, watching the television show on The Learning Channel and Discovery Kids, and viewing DVDs.

More information about the book and how to order:

More about Clean School Bus USA:


Friday, October 19th, 2007

 Please make certain that your children in afterschool are washing their hands properly.



Posted on Fri, Oct. 19, 2007
‘Superbug’ closes Indian Lane school today
By Peter Mucha

Indian Lane Elementary School in Media will be closed today for a thorough cleaning and disinfection after a child tested positive for a “superbug.”
After a doctor’s visit, the student was found to have methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), which a recent report said was responsible for more yearly U.S. deaths than AIDS.

Adults are MRSA’s victims far more often than children, and many cases are related to hospital care, according to that report.

This case is not deemed dangerous, and the school’s cleaning is largely precautionary.

Other cases of MRSA turned up this week at schools in the region. A girl who attends Chichester High School was diagnosed with an infection, which led to the cancelling of after-school activities yesterday and a cleaning overnight. The school is open today.

Point Pleasant Boro High School in Ocean County, N.J., is open today after sanitizing.

A worker at the Cherry Street School in Bridgeton, N.J., tested positive earlier this week.

The Indian Lane student “is receiving treatment and there are no visible signs or symptoms indicating active disease. The student should not be considered a threat to other children,” according Denise Kerr, superintendent of the Rose Tree Media School District, in an announcement posted on the school’s Web site (

Staff is being told to report to the Penncrest library today.

Rooms and buses will be disinfected.

When school reopens Monday, steps like increased hand-washing will be taken to further reduce any risk.

“Please encourage good hygiene and frequent hand washing at home. If your child develops a sore or abscess, please follow up with your child’s physician,” Kerr’s statement continues.

Grants $$$$

Friday, October 19th, 2007

New funding guide for ASES programsThe Finance Project has released a new guide to help

After School Education and Safety (ASES) programs find and secure funding, particularly the matching grant requirement. The guide contains information and guidance on how to attract and work with school and community partners; how to adopt a strategic financing approach; and where to find funding, beginning wth sources closest to home. The guide is free and available on their website,




Wednesday, October 17th, 2007

Action Alert 
 Congress is working NOW on the final bill that includes funding for afterschool.
 Celebrate Lights On Afterschool! by urging Congress to INCREASE funds for the 21st Century Community Learning Center Programs!

It is an historic moment for afterschool. Across the country millions of people are turning the Lights On Afterschool! by showcasing the unparalleled learning and enrichment that occurs in afterschool programs.  Here in Washington, DC, Congress is getting the message.  The House and Senate have both proposed increasing the funding that goes to the 21st Century Community Learning Center Program.  But while the Senate has only included an $18 million increase, the House approved increasing the funding by $125 million.  Now the House and Senate are working on the final version of the bill that will work out the differences between the two and it’s critical that they hear from you about the need to increase funding for 21st CCLC Program at the level approved by the House of Representatives. 

This is our first real opportunity in six years for a desperately needed increase in afterschool funding – but Members of Congress need to hear from you to make it happen.  As you celebrate Lights On Afterschool!, please take the time to ensure the future of afterschool by calling or emailing your Representative and Senators.  This is a crucial moment for the future of afterschool and your call could make the difference.



On Line Resource

Wednesday, October 17th, 2007

A new on line resource! for afterschool!

Are you an afterschool professional looking
for solutions? For support? For discounts? For ideas? Does ‘no cost’ work well for your budget? Then sign-up for the AfterSchool Professional Network, geared to aid you in both your day-to-day work and in your career growth.

As a no-dues, independent, online network everyone in the afterschool professional community can be a part of the AfterSchool Professional Network – make APN your first professional organization or include APN in your roster of organizations.
 Complimentary Sign-Up for AfterSchool Professional Network
 Benefits and Discounts (Participate after signing up for APN, sign-up today.)
Benefits and discounts from vendors both new and familiar in the afterschool community.
 Idea Exchange (Coming Soon)
Special interest exchanges are places to ask your colleagues a question or perhaps gather opinions and best practices. These small groups can exchange information via blogs.