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MAY
23

NEWS ROUNDUP
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Weekly Media Roundup - May 23, 2014

By Luci Manning

The Food Detectives (Citrus County Chronicle, Florida)

Once a week, ten afterschool students at Lecanto Primary School create a cooking show about nutrition, healthy living and active lifestyle.  The “Nutrition Detective” segment airs during the schools morning show and showcases creative, nutritious recipes and healthy living tips. “Each segment begins with a computerized girl who introduces the segment, then follows with a video created by students who are either cooking, reading labels or giving educational nutritional information,” the Citrus County Chronicle reports.   Physical education teacher and program organizer Dianna Bandhauer said she hopes to apply for future grants to offer students a salad bar or a grab-and-go healthy snack option.

Wendover Students Get Train Ride (Elko Daily Free Press, Nevada)

When students from West Wendover Elementary School’s 21st Century Community Learning Centers afterschool program boarded the Northern Nevada Railway train for an educational day on the rails they were transported back to the Old West.  The Ghost Riders of the Old Ely at Keystone Gulch gave the students quite a show as they reenacted an old fashioned train robbery, with robbers riding up on horses to invade the train cars.  West Wendover Elementary Principal Brenda Carter told Elko Daily Free Press that the kids really enjoyed the performance.   One first-grader told Carter, “I liked it when the train robbers came on. I was really scared, but it was a lot of fun!”  While the students, many of whom had never been on a train before, learned about the diesel train they were actually riding in, they also learned about how early steam powered locomotives worked. 

Mighty Writers Helps Kids Learn the Power of Their Words (Daily News, Pennsylvania)

After a career in journalism, Tim Whitaker decided to put his pen to a different use and started the Mighty Writers afterschool program in Philadelphia.  Whitaker envisioned a place where students could participate in an afterschool program or writing workshops and older youth could take SAT prep courses.  After launching the program in 2009 with a Lenfest Foundation grant, now Mighty Writers is growing and expanding.  The Daily News writes that the program has become a “treasured community resource,” and one student, Serenity Baruzzini, remarked, “I come because it gives me a sense of community.  A lot of good vibes come out of this place.”

Ballroom Dancing Is Introduced to Students in New Orleans and Jefferson Parishes Schools (Times-Picayune, Louisiana)

Ballroom dancing has become all the rage in New Orleans public schools and as a result some schools are integrating the new Mindsteppers program into physical education curriculum and other schools are starting afterschool clubs.  Mindsteppers teaches students to tango, waltz, swing, salsa and merengue.   Nathalie Gomes, world-renowned dancer and founder of Mindsteppers, told the Times-Picayune that not only does ballroom dancing improve students’ physical health, but “it also increases children’s self-esteem – especially for those who might not excel at traditional physical education activities – and places renewed emphasis on face-to-face interaction, rather than technology-focused “social networking.”

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