Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Patrick Henry Hughes

As part of Reading Public Schools inclusive schools celebration, Birch Meadow teachers will be showing the following video about Patrick Henry Hughes. As you will see in the video, Patrick is an amazing individual born with significant physical challenges. Teachers look forward to sharing this amazing story of hope and courage. Students will learn how a person like Patrick should be seen as someone with abilities rather than disabilities, the importance of recognizing others for their strengths, and most importantly what it means to be a hero like Patrick and his father. Students will be watching the video this week and participating in a class discussion about the lessons which Patrick teaches us. Patrick and his family have been featured on ESPN, Extreme Makeover Home Edition, and the Today Show. I hope you enjoy the video.

Patrick Henry Hughes video

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Healthy Living and School Lunches

Emphasizing healthy eating habits for students is important for schools and parents. Below are web sites which emphasize healthy choices for families along with frequently asked questions about the school lunch program.

If you have questions about the Reading Public Schools lunch program please contact Kristen Morello.
Director - Kristin Morello - kmorello@reading.k12.ma.us - 781-942-9134 ext. 1

More About School Lunches and Healthy Kids
Kids and Nutrition: Passing on Healthy Habits to Your Children
http://www.righthealth.com/topic/Kids_Nutrition

Getting Kids to Eat Vegetables and Fruits
http://www.keepkidshealthy.com/nutrition/kids_vegetables.html

Antioxidants 101
http://www.healthcastle.com/antioxidant.shtml

Family Fun Recipe Ideas for Family Dinners
http://familyfun.go.com/recipes/

What are the nutritional requirements for the school lunch? School lunches must meet Federal nutrition requirements, but decisions about what specific foods to serve and how they are prepared are made by local school food authorities.

Current regulations require schools to meet the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which recommend that no more than 30 percent of an individual's calories come from fat, and less than 10 percent from saturated fat. Regulations also establish a standard for school meals to provide one-third of the Recommended Daily Allowances of protein, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, iron, calcium, and calories.

Schools have the option to choose one of four systems for their menu planning: Nutrient Standard Menu Planning, Assisted Nutrient Standard Menu Planning, the traditional meal pattern, and the enhanced meal pattern. Both Nutrient Standard and Assisted Nutrient Standard Menu Planning systems base their planning on a computerized nutritional analysis of the week's menu. The traditional and enhanced meal pattern options base their menu planning on minimum component quantities of meat or meat alternate; vegetables and fruits; grains and breads; and milk.

USDA has made a commitment to improve the nutritional quality of all school meals. The Department works with state and local school food authorities through the Nutrition Education and Training Program and Team Nutrition initiative to teach and motivate children to make healthy food choices, and to provide school food service staff with training and technical support.

What foods are schools required to serve in a school lunch? USDA does not require schools to serve -- or not serve -- any particular foods. School meals must meet Federal nutrition requirements, but decisions about what foods to serve and how they are prepared are made by local school food authorities.

Until the School Meals Initiative for Healthy Children, the Federal nutritional requirements for school meals had not changed significantly since the school lunch program began in 1946. As part of the initiative, USDA published regulations to help schools bring their meals up to date to meet the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The Dietary Guidelines recommend that no more than 30 percent of an individual's calories come from fat, and no more than 10 percent from saturated fat.

The new regulations require schools to have met the Dietary Guidelines by school year 1996-1997, unless they received a waiver to allow an extension for up to two years. They also establish a standard for school meals to provide one-third of the Recommended Daily Allowances of protein, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, iron, calcium, and calories. Schools' compliance with both the Dietary Guidelines and the RDA's is measured over a week's menu cycle.

Schools have the option to choose one of five systems for their menu planning: NuMenus, Assisted NuMenus, traditional meal pattern, enhanced meal pattern, and other "reasonable approaches." Both the NuMenus and Assisted NuMenus systems base their planning on a computerized nutritional analysis of the week's menu. The traditional and enhanced meal pattern options base their menu planning on minimum component quantities of meat or meat alternate; vegetables and fruits; grains and breads; and milk. The fifth menu option allows schools to develop other "reasonable approaches" to meeting the Dietary Guidelines, using menu planning guidelines from USDA.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Birch Meadow Art Work

Thank you to Ms. Papanikolaou who provided pictures of Birch Meadow art projects!



Grade 5 pottery (still a work in progress). These are made by Mrs. Slater's 5th grade class.





Paper masks by 4th graders Emily C. and Jack C. of Ms. Quinlan's class. Jack's is the red mask and Emily's is the orange mask.





Clay animals by second graders (Mason B. made the giraffe, and Sierra B. made the dog, both of Mrs. Murray's class)

Monday, March 15, 2010

Kindergarten - GO DOG GO!

A great enrichment program for kindergarten students! Thank you to the PTO for sponsoring this great event.
video

Friday, March 12, 2010

Read Across America Closing Ceremonies

video

Congratulations to all of the students who participated in Read Across America. Thank you to all of the parent volunteers who supported the program.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Grade 1 Guest Post

Grade 1 put together this PODCAST to share about the events happening in 1st grade.

Enjoy!

Grade 1 PODCAST

Monday, March 1, 2010

MCAS Presentation

Follow this link to see Mr. Sprung's MCAS presentation from last Wednesday evening. The link will send you to Birch Meadow's EDLINE page where the presentation is listed under Birchie Notices.

Navigating the MCAS

Read Across America 2010 - Olympic Greatness

It's been a great month for the Read Across America Olympics. Many students have earned medals and are visible on our Champion Readers wall of fame. Thank you to all of our parent volunteers who have made this event a success. We couldn't have done it without you! Closing ceremonies will be this week.