Overweight and Obese Children Have a More Difficult Time in School

1 in 3 children in the U.S. is overweight or obese, not only does obesity have added health risks, it can also affect learning. Studies show there is evidence that children who are obese score less well on standardized tests and basic classroom tests.

Take a look at the entire story and listen to it on NPR. Click here.

New Media and School Excellence

What if there were strategies to improve public schools without leaving your desk chair? Parents United and the Twin Cities Media Alliance are partnering to host a conversation on how to use new media tools to be an advocate for excellence in public schools.

Achieving excellence in public schools is a mission that takes many hands and many voices. With so many issues of concern and so many ways to voice those opinions, it is essential to know how to effectively take action.
  • When:  Monday, October 1, 6:30-8 pm
  • Where:  Roseville Library Community Room, 2180 Hamline Ave. N., Roseville, MN  55113
Light desserts will be served. This event is free, but space is limited so please RSVP.

Community Forum Sept. 26th: The Presidential Platforms

What are President Obama and presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s plans for education reform and how will these policies affect you? What do you need to know about each of the candidates’ stances on education before you vote this November?

AchieveMpls’ September “Our City, Our Schools” community forum will explore the Democratic and Republican presidential candidates’ education platforms at both a national and local level through conversation with Beth Hawkins, education and policy reporter for Minnpost.

Hawkins will provide an overview of each candidate’s education platform and how potential policy changes might affect public education. You’ll have the opportunity to discuss such hot-button issues as No Child Left Behind, Race to the Top, charters and school choice, teacher evaluation, funding for schools, the achievement gap, and preparing young people for college and careers.

Come prepared to ask your specific questions about the candidate’s plans for public education!

Click here to register for the event!

Wednesday, September 26 / 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm 
U of MN Urban Research and Outreach-Engagement Center
2001 Plymouth Avenue North, Minneapolis 

To learn more, contact Regan Smith at 612-455-1535 or rsmith@achievempls.org.

Dropout Nation

Put it on your calendar September 25th PBS will air Dropout Nation.

FRONTLINE examines our nation’s dropout crisis through the stories of students struggling to stay in school – and the school administrators who are working against the odds to keep them there. Why do students dropout? And what can be done? If you want to get involved, click here.

Get People Registered to Vote!

You may be registered to vote, but are those around you?
The National Association of Secretaries of State has declared September 2012 National Voter Registration Month and September 25th National Voter Registration Day.
September is the perfect time to focus on voter registration as 48 states and the District of Columbia have voter registration deadlines in October. In 2008, six million potential voters failed to cast a ballot because they missed a voter registration deadline or didn’t know how to register to vote. Ensure your community is fully engaged in 2012 by taking action this month to help your constituents register to vote:

Join Nonprofit VOTE and the National Association of Secretaries of State in making voters aware of registration deadlines and requirements for the November 6th election!

Minnesota’s Children: Know the Numbers

Get to know the kids that call the great state of Minnesota home.  Here are some quick statistics of the 1.2 Million kids that live here.

  • 1,281,200 children live in Minnesota
  • 949,156 are White, non-Hispanic
  • 92,531 are Black
  • 98,416 are Hispanic
  • 67,231 are Asian/Pacific Islander
  • 17,948 are American Indian/Alaska Native

Education in Minnesota
Annual expenditure per public school pupil $11,088. This is 18th among states in per pupil expenditures.The District of Columbia is best; Utah is the worst state.
[*1st represents the best state for children and 51st represents the worst state for children in the country]

Public school 4th Graders:

  • unable to read at grade level 64.7%
  • unable to do math at grade level 47.1%

Public school 8th Graders: 

  • unable to read at grade level 60.7%
  • unable to do math at grade level 52.4%

Number of 16- to 19-year-olds who have dropped out of high school 10,594

Child Hunger in Minnesota

  • Number of children who receive SNAP (food stamps) 197,000
  • Percent of eligible persons who receive SNAP (food stamps) 62%
  • Number of children in the School Lunch Program 630,570
  • Number of children in the Summer Food Service Program 74,691
  • Number of women and children receiving WIC (Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children) 131,187

All stats are from the Children’s Defense Fund State Fact Sheet — This fact sheet contains the most recent data as of January 26, 2012. For data sources and methodological notes, please visit: http://www.childrensdefense.org/cits.

Speak up for Minnesota Students with Your Vote

ImageWant to find out what your candidates have to say about education in Minnesota?  Check out this great tool on IRaiseMyHand.com.  Enter your address and it will pull up local and national candidates and their stances on education funding.

Spend some time on the site, there is a ton of great information.