6-Year-Old Transgender Girl, Not Allowed To Use School Bathroom
At first, Jeremy and Kathryn Mathis didn’t think much of their son’s behavior. Coy took his sister’s pink blanket, and shunned the car they gave him for Christmas. (via Huffington Post)
Is One of the Most Common Drugs Prescribed During Pregnancy Safe for Your Baby?
Many expectant mothers are wary of taking drugs during the early weeks of pregnancy, as this time period can be crucial for the development of their baby. However, sometimes it’s hard to know for sure just what kind of effects medications can have on an unborn child. (via Fox News)
Texas Ten Commandments Resolution Calls For Prayer, Religious Displays In Schools
Texas state Rep. Phil Stephenson (R) filed a resolution on Monday calling for more “acknowledgement” of Christianity in public schools, encouraging Ten Commandments displays, prayer, and use of the word “God.” (via Huffington Post)
Children With Autism Show Increased Positive Social Behaviors When Animals Are Present
The presence of an animal can significantly increase positive social behaviors in children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), according to research published February 20 in the open access journal PLOS ONE by Marguerite E O’Haire and colleagues from the University of Queensland, Australia. (via Science Daily)
School Safety Addressed At House Education Committee Hearing; Arne Duncan’s Sequestration Hype
On Wednesday, members of the House Education & Workforce Committee mulled over ways to keep schools safe in light of the horrific Newtown, Conn. elementary school shooting, reports Politics K-12. (via Huffington Post)
First Lady Announces Effort to Help Kids Exercise
Imagine students learning their ABCs while dancing, or memorizing multiplication tables while doing jumping jacks? Some schools are using both methods of instruction and Michelle Obama would like to see more of them use other creative ways to help students get the recommended hour of daily exercise. (via Yahoo!)
In just a few days, Michelle Obama will be traveling to London with the Presidential Delegation to attend the Opening Ceremony of this year’s Olympics. As the leader of the delegation, which includes former Olympians (such as gymnast Dominque Dawes and soccer player Brandi Chastain), the First Lady will visit the U.S. Olympic Training Facility this Friday. In addition, SpongeBob and other celebrities will help host a Let’s Move! event for 1,000 children of U.S. ambassadors. Healthy foods such as nuts, granola bars, and water will be served.
Back in the U.S., the White House (with the help of MeetUp.com) will be hosting a Let’s Move! Olympics Fun Day on Saturday. The goal of Fun Day is to cheer on Team USA and also “turn the Olympic spirit into action” by having different events across the nation. As part of the Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) initiative, the White House is committed to get 1.7 million kids moving and to ”inspire a new generation to strive for excellence,” said Michelle Obama. Growing up with fond memories of watching the Olympics, the First Lady believes that “winning isn’t the goal” of the games; instead, it’s being able to “push and believe in yourself” and to refuse to give up despite obstacles.
Birth-Defect Risk Seen in Assisted Conception
An Australian survey of about 300,000 pregnancies, with more than 6,000 resulting from fertility treatments, found that treatment was associated with a 28 percent greater risk for birth defects.
Watching TV Linked to Poor Diet in Students
A national survey of more than 12,000 students in grades 5 to 10 has found that television viewing is associated not only with unhealthy snacking while watching, but also with unhealthy eating at all times.
First Lady Has Plan to Get Kids Involved in Sports
The first lady is partnering with the U.S. Olympic Committee, the Partnership for a Healthier America, U.S. Paralympics and numerous national governing bodies that have pledged their time and resources toward introducing young people to their sports over the course of the summer.
The competition is divided into two categories: School Programs and Technology Innovation. Teachers, schools, and school districts can enter School Programs by submitting their school’s unique physical activity programs, which can include curriculums, activities, environmental modifications, events, or any other initiatives that are currently being implemented. Regional winners will receive $25,000 prizes and national winners will receive $100,000 prizes.
Technology developers can enter TechnologyInnovation with ideas of how existing and emerging technology can be used to inspire kids to get active. Technology can include devices, tracking and measurement systems, software applications, social media, gaming systems, and smartphones. Winners will receive $50,000 in funding and the chance to present at this year’s Health 2.0 conference.
The Playgrounds! app from Parents and KaBOOM! and sponsored by Keen is the newest must-have app for parents. The iPhone app uses GPS or a zip code to instantly find the best local playgrounds closest to you.
But Playgrounds! is more than just a playground locator. The free app allows users to rate and review playgrounds, and post pictures of the space so other parents can check it out beforehand. Parents can even use Playgrounds! to coordinate playground playdates with other families and check-in on Facebook.
The app is already being used by parents across the country, including one very famous mom: Michelle Obama. After helping build KaBOOM!’s 2,000th playground last month in Washington, D.C., the First Lady used the app to post a picture of the new play space.
Dana Points, editor in chief of Parents, says “It’s so important for families to have access to safe places for children to play and the Playgrounds! app makes finding those spaces and setting up play dates so easy.”
The app is free, easy to use, and ready to download today. What are you waiting for? Go play!
The Playgrounds! iPhone app from Parents and KaBOOM! and sponsored by Keen is getting a lot of attention after the First Lady recently used it. Mrs. Obama was at a charter school in Washington, D.C to celebrate the building of KaBOOM!’s 2,000th playground, a non-profit that helps bring play spaces to low-income communities, when she snapped a photo of the new playground and uploaded it to the app.
The Playgrounds! app allows users to find nearby playgrounds, rate them, make playdates and more. According to MinOnline, “The app itself is easy to use and seems to be a good service-oriented brand extension for Parents.”
I just got off a conference call that First Lady Michelle Obama held with editors to talk about what her Let’s Move! initiative has accomplished in the year since it was launched, as well as where it’s going in the year ahead. One of the coolest goals she named for the coming year: to have 6,000 salad bars in 6,000 public schools across the country. On a larger scale, there’s the Healthy Food Financing Initiative, which is designed to help eradicate the food deserts in the U.S.—places where there isn’t easy access to healthy food. This program will, among other things, provide financial incentives to grocery chains so that they’ll open stores in communities where fresh, healthy food is lacking.
In just a few minutes (4 p.m. EST), the First Lady will be giving a speech about these things and more, including how Let’s Move! has affected her as a parent. Click here to watch it live.