Showing posts with label healthy futures. Show all posts
Showing posts with label healthy futures. Show all posts

Sunday, December 12, 2021

“We’re so influenced by what we see”

“We know from other areas of work around public health or the environment that tax incentives have been used to help nudge companies toward doing the right thing when outright bans or punishments through penalties weren’t going to be sufficient to get something done,” Austin said.

Austin said First Amendment rights protect commercial speech, which means lawmakers cannot outright ban digital alterations of advertising images.

“There’s emerging research showing us that when readers see a diversity of body sizes, a diversity of skin shades, diversity of ages, they respond much more positively, and it’s protective for them,” Austin said.

Austin said she thinks it’s the businesses’ responsibility to do right by teenagers.

“Ultimately, it’s companies that are creating the toxic media environment for young people, and it’s companies that are going to have to solve it,” Austin said. “We’re showing them a way that they can do that.”
Continue reading the article online (subscription maybe required)

STRIPED (@HarvardSTRIPED) tweeted on Fri, Dec 10, 2021:
Great piece by @BostonGlobe reporter @_ChikaOkoye on @RepKayKhan & @BeccaRauschMA's innovative, evidence-informed legislation promoting #mentalhealth #bodyimage via realistic advertising images @RECOVERwithMEDA @HarvardChanSPH @EDCoalition @MentalHealth_MA
Link to Boston Globe article ->

The Massachusetts Statehouse. CHIKA OKOYE
The Massachusetts Statehouse. CHIKA OKOYE

Monday, July 26, 2021

Watch "Help us Grow Healthy Futures!" on YouTube

"Summer is a particularly difficult time for families facing hunger, since kids, teens, and even college students are not receiving regular school meals. 

Growing Healthy Futures: Sponsored by MathWorks will benefit all of GBFB’s summer children and family hunger relief initiatives, ensuring students have access to enough food during the summer months. 

MathWorks will generously match all gifts (through 9/30/21), dollar-for-dollar, up to ONE MILLION DOLLARS to multiply our impact! Our collective efforts will sustain and bolster the GBFB network and allow communities most impacted by the pandemic to re-emerge stronger."

Visit Greater Boston to donate ->
Or visit Franklin Food Pantry to donate ->

Sunday, July 18, 2021

"we need to reach a new level of public understanding about health, disease, risk and probability"

We’re soon going to have to make our own choices about social distancing, wearing masks and travel. When the legal enforcement of rules is lifted, the way in which each of us deals with the risk of Covid-19 will be down to personal judgment. But how well equipped are we to make these decisions?

Graphs and data can help explain things, but what’s also needed is a deep understanding of how science works, and, perhaps most important of all, a sense of how to weigh up the odds of coming down with the disease and how it might affect us. Not in an abstract way, but in our day-to-day lives. And what many people don’t realise is that COVID-19 is just the start. 
To equip us for all this, we need to reach a new level of public understanding about health, disease, risk and probability. Some of this should be taught in schools, colleges and universities, of course, but there needs to be more. During the pandemic, we have seen a huge increase in the number of scientists discussing their work in public. Now, as the UK government formally lifts restrictions, we must not retreat from this exposure. Rather, we must embrace science as a vital part of our culture even more than we do now. At stake is not just our health and wellbeing, but our sense of what it means to be human.
Continue reading the article online (subscription maybe required)
Progress in human biology is accelerating at an unprecedented rate, and there’s no sign of it slowing down.’ Photograph: Yuri_Arcurs/Getty Images
Progress in human biology is accelerating at an unprecedented rate, and there’s no sign of it slowing down.’ Photograph: Yuri_Arcurs/Getty Images

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Franklins Future Leaders Wednesday Wishes

Franklins Future Leaders Wednesday Wishes will continue in September. To all who participles and donated, Thank you. Wednesday Wishes provided meals and gifts for families (ages 2-18)  for families in need. 

Franklins Future Leaders Wednesday Wishes
Franklins Future Leaders Wednesday Wishes

We pursue our collection of Gift Cards for Franklins condo fire victims until Friday June 18th, as these will be given directly in the hands of those affected. 
Gift Cards for Franklins condo fire victims
Gift Cards for Franklins condo fire victims

Continuing, we are collecting new “Backpacks for kids” for Franklins Food Pantry until August 13th. And our “Art Fundraiser” to support our Fire Stations and Police Stations move forward. 

Our list of activities are numerous and we look forward to helping our community. Our re-useable bags are $10 each. Look for us in July’s Franklin News Paper! 

Franklins Future Leaders are a non for profit organization supported by The Dance Studio. Children learn the importance of helping our community, as well as, how the community helps us. If you would  like to donate, please email me at or message me! — with Kristine Desmarais and 6 others.


Wednesday, March 10, 2021

CommonWealth Magazine: "how the pandemic will shape the future"


"IT WAS A YEAR AGO this week that it became clear how completely our world would be turned upside down. After mounting global concern about a deadly new respiratory illness originating in China, the novel coronavirus, as we initially referred to it, established a firm foothold in the US and the country was soon in a nearly complete lockdown. On March 10, Gov. Charlie Baker declared a state of emergency in Massachusetts. A year later, more than 500,000 lives have been lost in the US, more than 2.5 million people have died worldwide.

With an all-out vaccination effort now underway, we are hoping the worst is behind us. As much as we long for a return to life as we knew it, the pandemic seems destined to have a lasting effect on many aspects of our daily world, changes that will endure long after we have corralled the virus itself.

CommonWealth asked a range of leading thinkers and doers in various fields to offer their best take, one year after the pandemic outbreak, on how the experience will reshape our world going forward."

Continue reading the article online

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Hockomock Area YMCA Hosts Food Drive To Help Feed Families

The Hockomock Area YMCA welcomes donations to the sixth annual Stop &a Shop Healthy Futures Food Drive, which will take place at all three Hockomock Area YMCA branches and at locations within the community March 9th to April 15th. This work is part of the Y’s Healthy Futures Initiative, a commitment to promoting physical activity and nutrition to improve health outcomes for youth and communities, which is generously supported by Stop & Shop.

Over the last year, the Y has worked collaboratively with school districts and food pantries to create take home food programs onsite at local schools. Today there exist 34 school-based pantries in Bellingham, Franklin, Hopedale, Mansfield, Medway, Milford, Millis, North Attleboro, Plainville, Sharon and Wrentham alone—representing a 90% increase in one year. While local food pantries provide a critical service in our communities, school-based food pantry options can complement community offerings. 

Hockomock Area YMCA Hosts Food Drive  To Help Feed Families
Hockomock Area YMCA Hosts Food Drive  To Help Feed Families
These models allow students to discreetly access a supply of healthy food directly from their schools, especially prior to the weekend when there are often challenges with reliable sources of healthy meals. Additionally, school personnel who know the children and families in the district can help to identify those who may be in need of this service or who may not be comfortable accessing a traditional food pantry.

Collections from the food drive will be delivered to the schools by YMCA staff and volunteers and will go a long way to reduce child hunger and alleviate household food insecurity. Having healthy food available at schools removes challenging barriers to food access for busy families, such as long work hours and transportation. Members of the community can directly support local students by donating healthy, kid-friendly food to the 2020 food drive.

Suggested items include: oatmeal cups/packets, macaroni & cheese boxes/cups, granola bars (nut free whole grain preferred), applesauce or mandarin orange cups (no added sugar), whole grain crackers, tuna pouches in water (low sodium), Progresso chicken soup (low sodium), rice boxes/cups, Barilla Ready Pasta and pasta boxes. Grocery store gift card donations can also be made in person at the YMCA Member Service Desks.

Monday, April 1, 2019

Portrait of a Graduate -- Invites to the Community

From School Superintendent Sara Ahern's report to the School Committee on Mar 26, 2019:
"We are excited to be engaging with community members in a VISIONING process, designed to define our Portrait of a Graduate and the essential skills we need to develop among all of our high school graduates in order for them to thrive today and in their futures. An invitation recently went out in the district’s newsletter, but we’d be delighted if additional individuals would join us, as we still have some spaces."
Thursday April 4, 2019 OR Monday April 8, 2019 at 7 PM

This is a PreK-12 experience and is not limited to those affiliated with Franklin High School.

We are asking for RSVPs for planning purposes:
Please join us!

If you are interested in learning more about Portrait of a Graduate, this background article may be of interest to you:

At one time Davis Thayer was Franklin High School, what does a FHS graduate  need to look like to be successful in our changing world?
At one time Davis Thayer was Franklin High School, what does a FHS graduate
need to look like to be successful in our changing world?

Friday, August 31, 2018

Meet Me at the Y on “Welcoming Wednesdays” this September

“Coming into the Y, it’s a very welcoming place,” says Sheryl Floris, Hockomock Area YMCA member. “No matter what’s going on in my life, I know that I can come to the Y, It’s like a safe haven.”

That is what we strive for—to be the place where people find life balance, reach their full potential, are active and find camaraderie, and connect and spend quality time together. Our goal at the Hockomock Area YMCA is to ensure that when people walk through our doors, they feel welcome and supported regardless of age, gender, ethnic origin, religious affiliation, and socioeconomic level.

All families are invited to come to our Y at no charge and enjoy a sense of belonging and the benefits of membership on “Welcoming Wednesdays” during September. On September 5, 12, 19, and 26 we are offering free group exercise classes, nutrition coaching, kids’ activities, swim time, and much more. Our branches are located at 300 Elmwood Street in North Attleboro, 67 Mechanic Street in Foxboro, and 45 Forge Hill Road in Franklin.
Meet Me at the Y on “Welcoming Wednesdays” this September
Meet Me at the Y on
“Welcoming Wednesdays” this September

Beverley Fonseca shares, “In the beginning I was nervous to join the Y because I had never exercised before. It was good to have someone show me around and show me what to do. At the Y, the atmosphere, the people, you just feel comfortable.”

The Y is for all and we believe our community is stronger when everyone feels welcome. We look to improve the quality of life of our members and families in the 15 communities we are privileged to serve. Visit for a list of various activities and classes you can participate. Come see how the Y can be your home away from home.

Solange Ventura agreed: “When we have had difficult times, the Y was there for us. It is our support system, our family away from home. They know us by name and we feel comfortable and safe.”

“And if you want a place where there are activities for everyone,” states Daniel Ventura, “it is here.”

About the Hockomock Area YMCA
We believe that lasting personal and social change can only come about when we work together to invest in our kids, our health, and our neighbors. That is why, at the Y, strengthening community is our cause. Every day, we work side by side with our neighbors in our community to make sure that everyone, regardless of age, income or background, has the opportunity to learn, grow, and thrive. Reach Out for Youth and Families is our annual support campaign to provide a YMCA experience to more than 15,000 local children and families in need.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Globe West covers bullying, healthy lunches, and walking to school

The last days of summer are upon us all. Back to school preparations are in full swing. The Boston Globe West section in the Sunday paper had a group of articles on schools. If you missed them, it might be worth taking a few minutes to read.

Note to read the following articles online a Boston Globe subscription may be required

In efforts against bullying, some school districts stand out

At schools, healthier options pass the taste test

Why not walk to school this fall?

In Salem, the Carlton Innovation School holds a weekly trek to school called Walking Wednesday. - MARK LORENZ FOR THE BOSTON GLOBE
In Salem, the Carlton Innovation School holds a weekly trek to school called Walking Wednesday. - MARK LORENZ FOR THE BOSTON GLOBE

Sunday, July 19, 2015

GBFB presented the Franklin Food Pantry with a $10,000 capacity grant

Shopping local has its rewards. The Franklin Food Pantry buys fresh produce from two local farms (Akin-Bak Farm and Hoffman Farm). As a reward the Greater Boston Food Bank has awarded the Food Pantry a $10,000 grant.

Franklin Food Pantry
Franklin Food Pantry, located in the Rockland Trust
parking lot in downtown Franklin

GBFB presented the Franklin Food Pantry with a $10,000 capacity grant that will help them increase families' access to the most nutritional foods! 
Specifically, the grant will fund equipment needs for their mobile pantry, food transportation, and their Healthy Futures Market, which offers fresh produce weekly from June to October from nearby Hoffmann Farm and Akin Bak Farm, LLC.
GBFB presenting the check to Erin Lynch
GBFB presenting the check to Erin Lynch

You can contribute to the Greater Boston Food Bank via their webpage

You can contribute and find more about the Franklin Food Pantry via their webpage

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Live reporting: School Wellness Advisory Council

Sally Winslow
affectionately referred to as the 'SWAC"

a standing committee
wide variety of groups represented
administrators, educators, students, community members
3rd full year as a group
goal to bring the 'local wellness policy' into compliance

meet four times per year
assessment, and goals to meet needs
present to the School Committee (as is this tonight)

multi-disciplinary approach to provide support for students

Goals for 2014-15

  1. mental health
  2. physical activity
  3. nutrition

in year 2 of developing curriculum
work to ensure social emotional curriculum across the grade levels

first year with middle school guidance counselors

high school, developed and delivered 4 seminar classes to each grade

decrease in nurses visits seen as a result of the work done in middle and high school

BOKS program

partnerships with other community groups
Patriot Place, Adirondeck Club

increases in both formal athletic and physical activities

multiple garden models being worked to tie in academic curriculum as well as healthy eating habits, and understanding the food life cycle

MetroWest Health Survey data just came out

a comprehensive and well developed program
unscheduled visits can be the most important visits
need to be careful with setting the goal and reporting accordingly

data had been gathered and strategies developed to work with the student and either get them back to class or to the right resources for help

Trahan - kids needed help to figure out how to cope, it wasn't to prevent visits, those visits are open and available

kids need explicit instruction on what to do and how to deal with something with it comes up; coping skills

we have trained councilors, let them make the decision

some of the students learn in different ways
how are the teachers dealing with students that have different ways of learning?

there is the instructional support team
as well as special education assistance as needed

I want to encourage students to excel where they can and to do really well
to push that level where they normally would

absolutely, we have some gifted students in the schools
we use whatever is available to help
enter the course of study where they are pushed to succeed

would like to see something on guidence in the next couple of months

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Healthy Futures Food Drive At The Hockomock Area YMCA Will Conclude At Healthy Kids Day On Saturday May 16

Please join the Hockomock Area YMCA and support local food pantries this week. The reality is that one in nine people in eastern Massachusetts is at risk for food insecurity. As an organization that is committed to social responsibility, the YMCA is in the final stages of their annual Healthy Futures Food Drive. 
Healthy Futures Food Drive
Healthy Futures Food Drive

The community is encouraged to participate and be there for our neighbors and our community. On Saturday, May 16 at the free community event Healthy Kids Day®, held from 10:00 am – 1:00 pm at Patriot Place in Foxborough, the Franklin Food Pantry will have their mobile pantry truck and challenge the community to fill it with healthy food items. 

Healthy Kids Day aligns perfectly with the Hockomck Y’s Healthy Futures initiative, an innovative program committed to reducing inactivity and poor nutrition. Free activities for families will be held at NRG Plaza, located outside The Hall at Patriot Place presented by Raytheon. As an alternative to attending the event, donation boxes are also available in the lobbies of the YMCA branches in Franklin, Foxboro, and North Attleboro through Friday, May 15. 

The following items are suggested because food pantry partners in the 15 communities the Hockomock Y is privileged to serve often don’t have resources to consistently provide healthier options: 
  • Cereal (lower sugar) 
  • Mac & Cheese (whole grain) 
  • Hearty Soups (ex. lentil, minestrone, vegetable, black bean; lower sodium) 
  • Pasta Sauce 
  • Canned Vegetables (lower sodium) 
  • Canned Fruit (in juice) 
  • Oatmeal 
  • Pasta, Brown Rice (whole grain) 
  • Canned Beans 
  • Baked Beans, Turkey Chili 
  • Peanut Butter, Sun Butter 
  • White Tuna 
  • Spices 
  • Nuts, Seeds (ex. almond, sunflower) 
  • 100% Juices 
  • Water Bottles 
  • Olive or Canola Oil
  • Paper Goods 
  • Personal Hygiene Items 
  • Food for Restricted Diets (ex. gluten or nut free) 
  • Pet Food / Pet Products 
  • Supermarket Gift Cards (give directly to Y staff) 

For more information on Healthy Kids Day, please visit To donate at the branches, please visit a Hockomock Y branch at 300 Elmwood Street in North Attleboro, 67 Mechanic Street in Foxboro, or 45 Forge Hill Road in Franklin. 

About Hockomock Area YMCA:
Where Cause Meets Community. At the Hockomock Area YMCA, strengthening community is our cause. The Hockomock Area YMCA is an organization of men, women, and children sharing a commitment to nurture the potential of kids, promote healthy living, and foster a sense of social responsibility.

Our YMCA is committed to partnering and collaborating with others to create and deliver lasting personal and social change in the 15 communities we are privileged to serve. The Hockomock Area YMCA is a not-for-profit charitable cause-driven organization with facilities in North Attleboro, Foxboro, Franklin, and Mansfield. For more information visit

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Governor Patrick visits the Franklin Food Pantry (photo recap)

Before taking the trip to the White House, Erin Lynch welcomed Governor Patrick and others to the Food Pantry when they visited Franklin in an event coordinated by Representative Jeffrey Roy.

Erin explaining the Healthy Futures room at the Franklin Food Pantry
Erin explaining the Healthy Futures room at the Franklin Food Pantry

Board of Directors Chairman Chris Feeley makes a point
Board of Directors Chairman, Chris Feeley makes a point for Governor Patrick
and GBFB Executive Director Catherine D'Amato

Dan Robert, FHS Youth Community Involvement Club with the Governor and Erin
Dan Robert, FHS Youth Community Involvement Club with the Governor and Erin

The opportunities to share the work the Food Pantry does with local and national government officials is priceless.

Additional photos from the visit to Franklin can be found on Representative Roy's Facebook page here

#gbfb  #healthyfutures #letsmove

This was originally posted to the Franklin Food Pantry page here:

Monday, November 17, 2014

Local Residents and Community Leaders Take White House Tour

The Hockomock Area YMCA's Healthy Futures Initiative was selected to visit the White House Kitchen Gardens in recognition of its positive impact on local communities, through its Healthy Futures Initiative. The visit, part of Let’s Move on Thursday, October 30th, included a private tour of the White House.

Hockomock YMCA Healthy Futures group outside the White House
Hockomock YMCA Healthy Futures group outside the White House

The goals of the First Lady Michelle Obama's Let’s Move Initiative are aligned with, and supportive of, the Hockomock Area YMCA’s Healthy Futures Initiative, which focuses on community-based initiatives to reduce inactivity and poor nutrition in the fifteen communities served by the Y, through programs, projects, and policies. Healthy Futures incorporates prevention and intervention-based strategies that support families, especially those most at risk due to food insecurities.

The Hockomock Area YMCA’s Healthy Futures Initiative is active in 15 communities, serving more than 10,000 children annually, totaling over 184,382 hours of physical activity and nutrition education.

The 30 attendees included local volunteers, community leaders, families, and Hockomock Area YMCA staff. This special White House visit allowed the Y’s Healthy Futures volunteers and participants an opportunity to learn more about the importance of growing fresh food, and making healthy nutrition and dietary decisions.

In addition to Hockomock Area YMCA staff, attendees included residents and community members connected with the Y’s Healthy Futures Initiative from the towns of Bellingham, Foxboro, Franklin, Holliston, Mendon, Milford, and Plainville:

  • Bellingham: Jeanne Sheridan of Bellingham Public Schools, Food Services; Kimberly and Aiden Cohen
  • Foxboro: Deb Spinelli, Foxboro Public Schools Superintendent; Carrie, Ryan and Meghan Kelley
  • Franklin: Erin Lynch of the Franklin Food Pantry and her children Sierra and Kai; Healthy Futures volunteer Ansh Tarafder and her mom Rakhi Tarafder; Erin Earley and her children Sean and Brigid
  • Mendon: Hockomock Area YMCA Chairman of the Board of Directors Jeff Dufficy
  • Milford: Ellen Freedman of Milford Regional Medical Center and her daughter Mae
  • Plainville: Julie Kinney and her children Grant and William; Bethany Lotfi and her children Sawal, Mohamad, and Yousef
  • Hockomock Area YMCA Staff included Marykate Bergen, Kimberly Cohen, Caitlin Gibbs, Ed Hurley, and Kelly O’Neill

“As the Franklin Food Pantry continues to advocate that access to nutritious food is a critical component of emotional and physical health, we need champions like the Hockomock Area YMCA. This visit to the White House and the collaborative work we are doing on the Healthy Futures Initiatives brings much needed attention to the serious impact of hunger in our communities,“ exclaimed Erin Lynch, Executive Director of the Franklin Food Panty.

Hockomock YMCA Healthy Futures group visiting the White House garden
Hockomock YMCA Healthy Futures group visiting the White House garden

Located in the White House South Lawn, the Kitchen Garden is home to different fruits, vegetables, and herbs each growing season. The First Lady planted the White House Kitchen Garden in 2009 to initiate a national conversation around the health and well-being of our nation and to serve as an inspiration for schools and community groups across the country to plant gardens of their own.

The Let’s Move! Program was launched by First Lady Michelle Obama in 2010 and is a comprehensive initiative dedicated to solving the challenge of childhood obesity within a generation, so that children born today will grow up healthier and able to pursue their dreams. Combining comprehensive strategies with common sense, Let's Move! is about putting children on the path to a healthy future during their earliest months and years.

The Hockomock Area YMCA, working with community partners, is creating innovative initiatives to ensuring everyone has access to healthy food and a healthy lifestyle to combat the increase in chronic disease and healthcare costs related to obesity. The Y’s partnerships with school superintendents, principals, teachers, food service directors, and parent groups, have been the centerpiece of Healthy Futures’ sustained impact. Keeping kids moving and well-nourished are core goals of the Y’s Healthy Futures program. For more information, contact Caitlin Gibbs, Director of Health Innovation at the Hockomock Area YMCA at 508-772-1351 or

Hockomock YMCA
Hockomock YMCA

About Hockomock Area YMCA:

The Hockomock Area YMCA is an organization of men, women, and children sharing a commitment to nurture the potential of kids, promote healthy living, and foster a sense of social responsibility. With over 31,000 members, half under the age of 18, the YMCA is committed to partnering and collaborating with others to create and deliver lasting personal and social change in the 15 communities they are privileged to serve.

The Y is for Youth Development, Healthy Living and Social Responsibility.

This was also posted to the Franklin Food Pantry webpage here

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Franklin Area Kids Hiking Group - September hike descriptions

The hikes for September have been scheduled and posted to the group Facebook page:

Sept 5th Creatures of the night hike Delcarte Playground Franklin 6pm Join in this hike for a night of face painting and creature finding. We will discuss all the different nocturnal animals as well as a take home craft for each child! 15 child limit $5 per child

Sep 9th Open hike 4pm Join us for a free open hike through the cranberry bog and woods trail at Bass Pro Franklin Ma (Foxboro??)

Sep 11th Art in Nature Bird Park Walpole 4pm Join us for this beautiful hike and fun activity. The children will be using materials from nature to create their very own masterpieces. 15 child limit $5 per child

Sept 13th Owling Dacey Field 6pm Join us for a trip through the woods while we look for our friends of the night OWLS!! The kids will learn how to do owl calls and pick up some not so appetizing info on the owls digestive system!!! Take home craft provided for each child. 15 child limit $5 per child

Sep 14th Apples Apples Apples The Big Apple Wrentham Ma 10am This delicious hike is perfect for a weekend morning outing. The children will be making their own apple prints as well as exploring the farm land!! After the hike during our activity, the kids can enjoy apple cider donuts along with water and of course APPLES!!! 15 child limit $7 per child

Sep 17th Open Hike Hopedale Parklands 4pm. Join us on another free hike to explore a wonderful area with wild and plant life all around!!

Sep 19th Hike and Learn Plants. Choate Park Medway 4:30 pm Each child who joins this hike will be given their very own field guide and taken on a hike to identify and learn about different native plants that grow in the area. After the hike there will be a plant related Craft. !5 child limit $6 per child

Sep 22 Changing of the seasons SNETT Trail Franklin Ma 4pm This fun filled adventure will consist of take home field guides and lots of detective work to find the different signs of a changing season. After the hike the kids will be given a take home seasonal craft. 15 child limit $6 per child

Sep 25th Open Hike Bellingham Town Common. 4:30pm This is a fun afternoon hike as it is not to strenuous or even in the woods! A great place to walk and finish with some time on the playground

Sep 28th Yoga for kids and Moms Borderland State Park. Easton Ma !0am This is one of the most beautiful places to sit by the water and find some Sunday morning inner peace. A great way to get ready for a new week for both your child and you. All ages of children welcome. 15 child limit $2 entrance fee $4 per child hike fee

The schedule in a calendar view
September 2014 hiking calendar
September 2014 hiking calendar

The Facebook page

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Preparing for school lunches - lunch lady heroes and more

It is time to get back to school so that means it is back to either making lunches or getting lunch in the cafeteria. In this TED Talk, Jarrett Krosoczka talks about his lunch lady and lunch lady heroes!

You can find more about Jarrett with his TED bio page

or on his own website

And while we are on the topic of school lunches, Lisa Leake has some good ideas and recipes to help create healthy lunches.

Lisa Leake's 100 Days of Real Food website
Lisa Leake's 100 Days of Real Food website

Follow this link to read her post on tips to making school lunches:

Saturday, August 23, 2014

In the News: Franklin hiking group

The Milford Daily News has a nice write up on the Franklin Area Kids Hiking group:
The idea came to her while she read comments left on the "Friends of Franklin" Facebook group. Many came from moms who discussed trying to fit in outdoor activities for their children in between work and chores, Mercurio said. She suggested hiking. 
Not knowing what to expect, she created the Franklin Area Kids Hiking Group on a whim: In four days, more than 100 parents had joined. And the number has doubled since then. 
Mercurio usually plans two to three hikes each week, two of which tailor to specific themes.
Continue reading the article here (subscription may be required)

screen capture of Franklin Area Kids Hiking Group Facebook page
screen capture of Franklin Area Kids Hiking Group Facebook page

For additional info on the Kids Hiking Group you can review the article in the Franklin Town News

and of course visit their Facebook page here

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

MassBudget Report: Uplifting the Whole Child


Uplifting the Whole Child:
Using Wraparound Services to Overcome Social Barriers to Learning
Making sure that every child has a real opportunity to thrive in school often requires strategies for helping students to overcome non-academic challenges. Students may be facing physical or mental health issues, homelessness, other economic challenges, and family instability.

To help children and families overcome these barriers to success, a number of school districts across the country have implemented wraparound services in their schools. Recent research shows that these programs can improve both the academic and life success of the students who are served.

Effective wraparound services have several elements including:

  • Comprehensive health service clinics
  • Mental and behavioral health, wellness, & prevention programs
  • Family resource centers
MassBudget's new paper, Uplifting the Whole Child: Using Wraparound Services to Overcome Social Barriers to Learning, examines evidence on the effectiveness of best practices across the country, describes progress being made in Massachusetts, and estimates costs for implementing evidence-based practices more widely.

This report is part of a shared project--the Roadmap for Expanding Opportunity: Evidence on What Works in Education--led by MassBudget and the Rennie Center for Education Research and Policy. The project is composed of a series of reports that identify evidence-based strategies for supporting all children in achieving college, career, and life success.

Click HERE to visit the project website and read the reports.

The Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center (MassBudget) produces policy research, analysis, and data-driven recommendations focused on improving the lives of low- and middle-income children and adults, strengthening our state's economy, and enhancing the quality of life in Massachusetts.

BOSTON, MA 02108
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Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center | 15 Court Square | Suite 700 | Boston | MA | 02108

Thursday, August 7, 2014

4 Tips for a Healthier Tomorrow

The MA blog has an article with four sets of tips on improving health for children that can easily be applied to adults as well.
Obesity rates have more than doubled among children and quadrupled in adolescents over the last 30 years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). With nearly one-third of all children and teens in the United States overweight or obese, this serious health issue  increases risk for additional health problems such as heart diseasetype 2 diabetes, and asthma. 
You can help fight these health risks by introducing a healthy lifestyle to your children’s daily lives today
screenshot of webpage with article
screenshot of webpage with article

The article goes on to outlines tips in four areas: eating healthy, getting more exercise, forming good habits at school and watching your body mass index (BMI). You can read the full article here