Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Nutrition and Academics

Somehow, I think this topic may keep appearing here. Having firsthand experience with the benefits of healthy eating, I am pleased to see more data backing up the success with such good habits.

A study from the University of Alberta determined used a scoring device call the Diet Quality Index-International (DQI-I) to determine diet quality. "Students with an increased fruit and vegetable intake and less caloric intake from fat were significantly less likely to fail (a) literacy assessment. Relative to students in the group with the lowest DQI-I scores, students in the group with the best scores were 41 % less likely to fail the literacy assessment."

Forty-one percent is a large difference and it would seem to me that providing a more healthy diet for students would not only help them in school, but in life as well. Many studies exist to show that longevity, decreased risks of disease, and better function are linked to a healthy diet. I would think all those would be worth the effort to make such a change, especially for our children.

Shorting trades

No this is not an article about stocks and investing. Here is a link to an article on the shortage of apprentices in the construction trades. Although the article is based in Seattle, I think the same holds true throughout the country. Education's shift away from offering trade-based education as well as other electives due to NCLB has helped create this shortage. Students whose strengths and interests lie in these areas then have fewer opportunities to excel, exacerbating the problem of disengagement. Schools can find ways to offer the electives, training staff to integrate the core academic areas into those electives to help students receive a great education.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Starting Young

I found an interesting article about companies targeting middle school students in their recruitment effort. By building brand recognition, these companies not only provide students with help in preparing for life after secondary school, but are hoping that students will remember them after graduation when seeking employment. The more information that our students get, at younger ages, the better prepared they will be to make career choices later.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Helping out

It has been awhile since I've written and the reasons are pretty poor. 

"I can't think of anything helpful to write."

"I'll get to it tomorrow." (And as we all know tomorrow never comes.)

However, after reading a short e-newsletter, I realized that information, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant, can be useful for someone. The article was oriented toward networking, but the theme is the same no matter what we are doing: Help other people; be intentional; and look for ways to help every person you meet.

The key point is to "cultivate a habit of being interested in the needs of others." It reminds me of an earlier post on becoming a needs hunter. Once needs are discovered, you are well on your way to finding a way to help.

With that in mind, I will try to help others by providing information that may be useful here. If it is, great. If not, stay tuned. Maybe a future link, or article, or insight will provide you with a nugget you can use.