Archive for December, 2013

Fantastic STEM News in December at Girls STEM Collaborative (GSGSC)

Thursday, December 19th, 2013

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Click here to read the latest GSGSC Newsletter now!

Seasons Greetings! The Garden State Girls STEM Collaborative is the New Jersey initiative of the National Girls Collaborative Project, a program focused on providing high quality STEM activities to girls. Their primary goal is to strengthen the capacity of girl-serving STEM programs to effectively reach and serve underrepresented girls in STEM by sharing promising practice research and program models, outcomes, products and by connecting formal and informal educators, business and industry in order to maximize the resources that can positively influence our girls. Contact Mike MacEwan for more information how you can become involved.

In their latest issue, the Garden State Girls STEP Collaborative Project spotlights:

  • Who Says Math Has to Be Boring?
  • LEGO Children’s Fund: Grant Submission Schedule
  • Take Advantage of this Valuable FREE Resource: Is your program listed?
  • Enter to win a complete set of books in the SCIENTISTS IN THE FIELD series!

To Get Kids Exercising, Schools Are Becoming Creative

Wednesday, December 11th, 2013

by MAANVI SINGH

SOURCE

Avery Stackhouse, age 7, of Lafayette, Calif., says he wishes he had more time for phys ed.

“We just have it one day a week — on Monday.” There’s always lunch and recess, he says. “We play a couple of games, like football and soccer,” he tells Shots.

But at Happy Valley Elementary, where he goes to school, recess last only 15 minutes and lunch is 45. Between eating and mingling, he says, “there’s only a few minutes left where we play games and all that.”

In a poll conducted by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health, parents reported that their kids aren't getting nearly as much time in phys ed classes as is recommended.

In a poll conducted by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health, parents reported that their kids aren’t getting nearly as much time in phys ed classes as is recommended.

Fifty-six percent of parents say their elementary school kids are getting just one or two days of physical education a week, according to a poll NPR conducted in partnership with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health.

Fewer than 1 in 5 parents with children in kindergarten through fifth grade said their kids were getting physical education daily.

Yet the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that K-5 students get at least 150 minutes a week. Physical activity has a lot of benefits, from reducing obesity to helping kids do better academically.

Louisiana State University’s Russ Carson, an exercise researcher, tells Shots the poll results don’t surprise him. “This has been going on for years, unfortunately,” he says. School administrators can only fit so many things into a day, and often, he says, “testing and other aspects of education take precedence over physical education.”

More and more, Carson says parents and educators are starting to “think beyond the gym walls,” and come up with ways to fit in exercise before or after school. One idea is to have teachers integrate physical activity into match and reading lessons.

At Wildwood Elementary in Amherst, Mass., kids are required to take a morning walk between the time buses drop them off and classes start.

Rebecca Spencer, whose 5- and 7-year-old daughters attend Wildwood, says it’s a good way for the kids to fit in some more exercise. “They only get [physical education] once a week, and it’s for an hour. So it’s very brief,” Spencer tells Shots.

The school has also organized what it calls a jog-a-thon for the older kids. Students can run laps around the playground to earn points, and the school keeps track of all their miles to see how far they’ve run collectively run.

Spencer’s older daughter also swims after school.

And these school-wide initiatives are a good way to get every student to exercise, Spencer says. “Some people think of recess as a time for physical activity,” she says. “But there’s actually nothing to make sure these kids are being physical during that time.” Having some structured P.E. classes at school is important, she says.

Spencer, a neuroscientist at the University of Massachusetts, says she’s well aware of the physical and cognitive benefits that kids get from being active. “The physical education is giving them some of the motor skills that they need,” she says. But, she also says she understands that the school doesn’t necessarily have the resources to provide more P.E. classes.

“Exercise — any exercise — is great for brain development,” she says. “Most of the studies that have been done that show how the brain develops through exercise actually don’t use any special form of exercise,” she says. “They typically use just treadmill walking.”

That seems to indicate that even a even simple walk around a track can do kids a lot of good.

NJSACC Needs your help! E-mail Asm Diegnan and Sen Ruiz Re: 2 Legislative Bills on Afterschool!

Wednesday, December 11th, 2013

NJSACC: The Statewide Network for New Jersey’s Afterschool Communities promotes and supports the development, continuity and expansion of quality programs for children and youth during out-of-school time.

NJSACC works to:

  • Build a strong network for afterschool program professionals in NJ.
  • Provide training conferences, workshops and information services.
  • Offer technical assistance, at no cost, for the development, expansion and improvement of afterschool programs throughout NJ.
  • Work closely with state and local officials to define appropriate NJ State regulations and legislation.
  • Establish professional development opportunities.
  • Serve as the NJ Member of the National Afterschool Network.
  • Develop public awareness of afterschool issues.
  • Be the state’s national affiliate to the National AfterSchool Association (NAA).

Senate Bill, No. 3072 and Assembly Bill, No. 4348

NJSACC is very excited about these bills and we need your help! Each bill establishes “New Jersey Out-of-School Time Advisory Commission” to review before-school, after-school and summer programs. Therefore, we strongly encourage all of our networks to e-mail Assemblyman Patrick J. Diegnan Jr. and Senator M. Teresa Ruiz immediately about these bills.

Below are 2 e-mail templates to utilize when e-mailing Assemblyman Diegnan and Senator Ruiz. Please include a brief introduction, indicating who you are and where your program is located.

_____________________________________
#1. A4348, Contact Asm. Patrick Diegnan Chair of the Assembly Education Committee:

To: asmdiegnan@njleg.org 

 

Subject:  Commission Bill: “New Jersey Out-of-School Time Advisory Commission”

 

Message: (cut and paste)

 

Dear Assemblyman  Patrick J. Diegnan Jr, Chair of the Education Committee:

 

Please post Bill A4348 which establishes “New Jersey Out-of-School Time Advisory Commission” to review before-school, after-school and summer programs  on the next Agenda for the Education Committee.

 

The youth and families of the Garden State need this Commission.

 

Thank you.

 

(Sign Your name and email address)

_____________________________________

#2. S3072, Contact Senator M. Teresa Ruiz, Chair of the Senate  Education Committee:

 

To: senruiz@njleg.org

 

Subject:  Commission Bill: “New Jersey Out-of-School Time Advisory Commission”

 

Message: (cut and paste)

 

Dear Sen. Ruiz, Chair of the Education Committee:

 

Please post Bill S3072, which establishes “New Jersey Out-of-School Time Advisory Commission” to review before-school, after-school and summer programs on the next Agenda for the Education Committee.

The youth and families of the Garden State need this Commission.

 

Thank you.

 

(Sign Your name and email address)

_____________________________________ 
 

For more information about Senate Bill, No. S3072, please click here.

For more information about Assembly Bill, No. A4348, please click here.

Are you an OST Manager/Director? Come Join our Rountable tomorrow Thursday – rsvp now!

Wednesday, December 11th, 2013

If you are an OST manager or director and are working in a public school district (i.e., a license exempt program,) come join this public school run OST roundtable to share information, resources and network with colleagues.

When: Thursday, December 12th from 10am – 12:30pm EST

Where: East Brunswick Public Schools Administration Building, 760 Route 18, East Brunswick, NJ 08816

The office building is nestled in the back of a complex that includes IHOP, Denny’s, Red Lobster, and a Best Western hotel. The complex, which is on the north bound side of Rt. 18, is opposite Brunswick Square Mall on the highway.

*Meeting agenda is forthcoming.

Please RSVP to our host Scott Kominkiewicz at: skominkiewicz@ebnet.org

NJSACC Video Flash for December 2013 http://njsacc.org

Friday, December 6th, 2013

Click here to view our NJSACC Newsletter