Health and Nutrition: Key to student learning

School lunchesMissing meals can have serious impacts on children's health and their ability to learn. Experts have found that hungry students are more likely to have academic and behavioral problems in school. Simply eating breakfast can help students perform better in the classroom. Staying healthy is also key to learning. Students who are healthy are absent less and learning in the classroom more. Partners for Public Education and the Pennsylvania State Education Association (PSEA) are sponsoring an effort to provide fresh milk to Pennsylvanians in need. Read more about that effort and how families in need can get help.

Check out these Partners for Public Education web posts with tips and resources to help you ensure the children in your life are well nourished and healthy.

   


Story Archive

Donate nutritious food to those in need

March 2017

Hunger relief advocates note that there are several healthy and nutritious options to choose from when deciding on what to donate.

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No PA child should go hungry in the summer

March 2017

There are opportunities to keep kids hunger-free in the summer.

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Identifying a need in Upper Darby

March 2017

Volunteers with the Upper Darby Education Support Professionals Association are partnering with local food bank Philabundance to distribute backpacks of healthy food to kids who take part in a local after-school program.

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Kids need nutritious meals on the weekends, too

March 2017

Throughout the school week, kids from families that are food insecure can rely on school breakfast and lunch programs for healthy meals. But what happens on the weekends?

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Call in the Breakfast Brigade

March 2017

March is National Nutrition Month, a good time to remember just how important healthy eating is to student learning.

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Starting off the day with a healthy breakfast

February 2017

Gov. Tom Wolf has proposed a state investment of $2 million in school breakfast in order to draw down $20 million in federal funds that would allow even more kids to start their school day off with a nutritious meal.

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Refusing to go to school: How one school counselor helped

January 2017

When anxiety is affecting a student's ability to go to school, the first step for a school counselor is to build a relationship.

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In their own words: How school professionals can help kids with anxiety

January 2017

We asked experts who work in Pennsylvania's public schools how school professionals can help children with anxiety.

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The professionals in your school are here to help kids with anxiety

January 2017

There are several professionals who can help, including school counselors, school nurses, school social workers, school psychologists, administrators, and teachers.

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What should adults do if they observe signs of anxiety in children?

January 2017

When children show signs of anxiety, experts say it is important to reassure them without denying the feeling.

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What are common signs of anxiety in children?

January 2017

Children may show signs of excessive worrying in and out of school. Anxiety can also cause physical symptoms, such as stomachaches, headaches, problems sleeping, and dizziness.

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Supporting children with anxiety

January 2017

Anxiety is a normal reaction to stress. Parents, guardians, and other caring adults may become concerned when children experience feelings of excessive fear or anxiety out of proportion to the situation or inappropriate to their age.

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Helping young learners to see in Upper Darby

November 2016

Partners for Public Education and the Upper Darby Education Support Professionals Association hosted the Philadelphia Eye Mobile at Upper Darby Community Day on Oct. 22. Twenty-two students received free eye exams and new glasses.

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Not your everyday P.E. class

November 2016

For some students with autism or intellectual disabilities, physical education class can be intimidating. Educators and students at Biglerville High School have found a way to provide a safe and welcoming P.E. experience for everyone.

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North Star cafeteria workers fed kids over the summer

September 2016

Cafeteria workers in the North Star School District are so dedicated to meeting the needs of the children in their community that they kept it up all summer long.

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Partnering to pour millions of glasses of milk for families in need

July 2016

There is a strong connection between nutrition and learning. That's why Partners for Public Education and the Pennsylvania State Education (PSEA) are proud to support Fill a Glass with Hope.

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A movement to cover all kids in Pennsylvania

June 2016

The Dream Care campaign is working to remove 13 words from state law so that all children can qualify for public health insurance, including the 24,000 poor children who are undocumented and unable to enroll in CHIP.

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Sen. Casey advocates for rule change on water

May 2016

Pennsylvania Sen. Bob Casey views access to clean water as a matter of basic justice. That's why he is advocating for a change in federal law that would help the people of Flint and prevent a similar water crisis from happening elsewhere.

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About that drinking water

May 2016

Educators and advocates across the nation marked National Healthy Schools Day on April 5 by highlighting the importance of clean water in our schools and our communities.When it comes to lead, water contamination can be a concern, albeit not the primary concern in Pennsylvania, according to public health experts. It really depends on how you get your water.

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What you should know about lead exposure in PA

May 2016

The first thing to understand about this issue in Pennsylvania is that the primary source of lead poisoning comes not from drinking water — but from lead-based paint chips and dust in older homes. Pennsylvania has a large supply of housing dating before 1978 when lead was common in paint.

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Q&A: Public health expert discusses lead exposure in kids

May 2016

As Pennsylvania's deputy health secretary for health promotion and disease prevention, Dr. Loren Robinson has the difficult job of making sure families in the commonwealth are as healthy as they can be. This includes overseeing efforts to reduce the exposure of Pennsylvanians, especially children, to dangerous levels of lead. Partners for Public Education sat down with Dr. Robinson to talk about what Pennsylvanians should know about lead.

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No Pennsylvania child should go hungry in the summer(1)

March 2016

Eligible kids can get two healthy meals per day in the summer at local schools, churches, community centers, and camps that partner with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Summer Food Service Program. There are more than 1,800 sites across Pennsylvania serving summer meals.

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Nourishing hungry Pennsylvanians with a glass of hope

March 2016

The 2016 Fill a Glass with Hope campaign launched at the 100th Pennsylvania Farm Show in January. Donations to the campaign allow Feeding Pennsylvania’s network of eight food banks to purchase milk from their local dairies at a reduced price.

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Community spotlight: Erie students start the day with a healthy meal

March 2016

Breakfast in the Classroom has been a huge success in the Erie City School District, which is on track to serve 1 million breakfasts by the end of this school year.

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The most important meal of the day

March 2016

Students in 18 states, including Pennsylvania, are starting the day with a healthy morning meal in the classroom, thanks to a partnership of national education and nutrition organizations.

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Quick hits: How good people are tackling the challenges of mental illness

January 2016

"The loss of two young people so close together felt earth-shattering, but it also served as a wakeup call to the serious and devastating effects of mental illness."

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Texting for help

January 2016

Crisis Text Line was created to connect people by text with crisis counselors. In less than two years, it had responded to 6.5 million text messages.

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Minding your mind helps students recognize warning signs of mental illness

January 2016

Every 12 minutes, one person in the U.S. dies by suicide, and nine out of every 10 of those individuals have a diagnosable mental health disorder.

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Q&A: School social worker Stephanie Warshaw discusses QPR

January 2016

If you are a parent who has concerns about your child, how can QPR help?

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Take all signs of suicide seriously

January 2016

Nobody likes to think about young people taking their lives, but suicide is the second leading cause of death among young people ages 10-24. The good news is that there is a technique much like CPR for people of all ages who are considering suicide. It's known as QPR — short for Question, Persuade, and Refer.

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Teachers tailgate to help students who are hungry

November 2015

Forty teachers and staff in the Slippery Rock Area School District volunteered their time to host a tailgate party before the Friday night football game to raise money for a program that helps students from low-income families have enough food to eat over the weekend.

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Simple steps to reduce student absenteeism

October 2015

Partners for Public Education surveyed Pennsylvania educators and support professionals about what parents and guardians can do to reduce absenteeism and keep students in the classroom.

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Want your kids to stay healthy at school? Teach them to wash their hands.

August 2015 

American students miss nearly 22 million school days each year just because of the common cold, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  

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Steps to take when your child needs to use an EpiPen at school

August 2015 

A growing number of students have allergies and many of these students may need to be treated with an epinephrine auto-injector, known more commonly as an EpiPen, when they have an anaphylactic allergic reaction at school.

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Meals at school well worth the effort

August 2015 

Experts and experience tell us that students learn better when they get enough to eat.  

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How Lancaster County plans to close the meal gap

July 2015

A remarkable coalition is hard at work to ensure sustainable access to three healthy meals a day for every single person in Lancaster County by 2018. This sounds like an audacious goal — and it is!

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Fighting hunger: Children learn more when they get enough to eat

July 2015

Missing meals can have serious impacts on a child's health, but did you know it also affects their ability to learn? Experts have found that hungry students are more likely to have academic and behavioral problems in school. They have lower math scores than students who are well nourished. And they are more likely to repeat a grade, arrive late to school, or miss school entirely.

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Video: Fighting hunger with peanut butter

July 2015

Meet Emily Shrader, a graduate of Cumberland Valley High School. Last year, she had an idea: collect a few jars of peanut butter, give them to a local food bank, and help people in need. More than 5,000 jars of peanut butter later, here is her story.

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Make your food bank donations nutritious

July 2015 

To achieve a hunger-free Pennsylvania, all of us must work together. One way many Pennsylvanians make a difference is through food bank donations.

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Water: Drink it up

July 2015 

Water is the most basic of all nutrients. Water keeps our bones, muscles, and organs running smoothly. Water helps us regulate our internal temperature, cushions our joints, protects our organs, and plays a major role in carrying nutrients to and waste away from our body's cells.

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Do you know someone struggling to pay for food?

July 2015

In Pennsylvania, one in seven people struggles with hunger, according to the national hunger relief organization Feeding America.

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No Pennsylvania child should go hungry in the summer

July 2015 

For many kids, summer is a carefree time spent with friends and family. But for far too many, summer is associated with hunger. When school is out, children who receive meals at school lose a reliable source of nutrition, and many family budgets are stretched even tighter.

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A push to serve breakfast to more students in Pennsylvania

July 2015 

Breakfast is considered the most important meal of the day, but far too many Pennsylvania children are going without it.  

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Children learn more when they get enough to eat

July 2015 

Missing meals can have serious impacts on a child's health, but did you know it also affects their ability to learn? Experts have found that hungry students are more likely to have academic and behavioral problems in school.

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Five things you may not know that school nurses do

May 2015 

National School Nurse Day is celebrated each May, so now is a good time to reflect on just how important certified school nurses are to our schools and communities. Not only do they keep our students healthy and learning in the classroom - they are very often the first responders in an emergency, saving lives in some cases. 

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School fundraisers are getting healthier

October 2014 

One way many parents get involved in their children's schools is by participating in school fundraisers. Did you know that school fundraisers are also a way to promote healthy options for children in a fast food world?

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Cutting certified school nursing positions sacrifices more than health care

September 2014

School nurses not only improve the health of students and save lives – they also save taxpayers money. That is the finding from a study by The Journal of the American Medical Association Pediatrics.

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Certified school nurses rock: Keeping kids healthy and saving lives

September 2014 

In addition to handling students' emergency health needs, certified school nurses perform a variety of mandated health services throughout the year, including vision testing and height, weight, and Body Mass Index calculations. 

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What parents can do to reduce absenteeism

September 2014 

Partners for Public Education asked educators and school support professionals from across Pennsylvania what parents can do to reduce absenteeism and keep students in the classroom. Here are some of the suggestions they had to offer.

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Staying healthy reduces absenteeism and helps students succeed

September 2014 

Did you know that the “common cold” results in 22 million missed school days each year for American students? That’s a lot of lost learning time for students, not to mention the discomfort, medical bills, additional care arrangements, and other concerns that come with unexpected sick days.  

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