Tags >> teens
Nov 04
2009

"Gideon"

Posted by Bruce Robinson in youth , West County , war , veterans , teens , students , research , peace , international , history , families , education , children , author

Bruce Robinson

Written almost a quarter century ago, Occidental writer Chester Aaron’s novelized account of the Warsaw uprising during World War II is enjoying a second wave of recognition.

Chester Aaron says that when he wrote Gideon, in 1985, as a book for younger readers, he was motivated by a desire in part to overcome their lack of knowledge and understanding of some darker aspects of history that had played out within their parent’s lifetimes,

 

Even though he has come to terms with the horrors of the war, Aaron says that when he relates his experiences to young students now, they often react angrily.

 

 

 

Oct 01
2009

The Greening of Greensburg

Posted by Bruce Robinson in weather , teens , speaker , solar , planning , housing , government , farms , families , environment , design , construction , community , climate change , carbon , business , alternative energy , activism

Bruce Robinson

Just two years after being leveled by a tornado, Greensburg, a tiny town in the middle of Kansas has become a model for green rebuilding.

Nearly 95% of the town's homes and other buildings were destroyed by the storm, as seen in this photo, taken a week after the tornado hit.

The green rebuilding of Greensburg, Kansas cannot be attributed to an unlikely enclave of progressive thinkers in the American heartland. Rather, says Daniel Wallach, (right) founder and Executive Director of Greensburg GreenTown, the fact this has happened in a small, deeply conservative town makes it even more significant.

FEMA (the Federal Emergency Management Agency) was quick to respond to the Kansas tornado that flattened Greensburg, in part to improve their public profile after the Gulf Coast hurricanes. But Wallach says the agency had to be persuaded at length to buy into the green vision that the community shared.

There's an extensive photo gallery of the damange caused by the tornado and the new buildings that have emerged in its wake on one page of the Greensberg GreenTown website. Another page hosts their design competition for eco-friendly homes. "The Chain of Eco-Homes"  has attracted 150 entries, which can be viewed and voted for online. The winnign design will be built as part of the town's ongoing effort to promote itself as "a living science museum" on green consrtruction and muncipal planning.

Sep 02
2009

School lunch standards

Posted by Bruce Robinson in youth , volunteer , teens , students , policy , nonprofit orgs , medicine , legislation , Health , government , food , farms , families , education , Congress , children , agriculture , activism

Bruce Robinson

School lunches are free for many students, but filling up on empty calories has some long-term costs. That’s why Slow Food activists are pushing for more funds and better nutritional standards to upgrade what the next generation is eating.

The biggest of the six Sonoma County “Eat in” events will take place Monday, from 4-7 pm, at Santa Rosa’s Bayer Farm park and community garden, at 1550 West Avenue in Roseland. It's a joint undertaking with LandPaths. which manages the site. Susan Campbell of Slow Food Russian River, a co-cordinator the event, describes what they have planned there.

Beyond the “eat-in”events, Slow Food is working to mobilize widespread public support for changes in the 1946 School Lunch Act when it comes up for reauthorization later this year, says Jerusha Klemperer, the national coordinator for Slow Food USA’s “Time For Lunch” lobbying campaign.

 

Details on the local events can be found on this full list of Labor Day "Eat-In" events in California.

 

 

 

Aug 19
2009

Swine Flu 2009

Posted by Bruce Robinson in youth , teens , students , Sonoma County , seniors , research , news , medicine , healthcare , Health , families , children

Bruce Robinson

Local health officials are bracing for an unusually intense flu season, with  the yearly “seasonal” flu compounded by the so-called swine flu, which is already present in the regional population.

 

This illustration shows the various symptoms associated with the swine flu or H1N1 200 virus. Dr. Mark Netherda, Sonoma County’s Deputy Public Health Officer, outlines the straightforward steps that anyone can take to minimize their exposure to it.

Is it a good idea to wear a surgical mask when out in public? Only if you’re already sick.

So why is this being called the swine flu? Dr. Netherda explains its based in the molecular history of the virus (shown at left), and has almost nothing to do with pigs.

 

 

More extensive information about the swine flu nationwide is available from the Centers for Disease Control, which maintains an online map showing the incidence of the disease on a state-by-state basis.

And, on a less serious note...

 

Aug 17
2009

Dual Immersion Education

Posted by Bruce Robinson in youth , teens , students , Sonoma , policy , literacy , families , education , community , children

Bruce Robinson

Teaching kids Spanish and English together, from kindergarten through high school, is proving highly successful in the Sonoma Valley.

Students in the dual immersion program don’t just do well in their language studies, says Adele Harrison Middle School Principal Karla Conroy. It also teaches them study skills that help all the way through high school and beyond.

The dual immersion program at Flowery School has become a magnet for parents who want to have their children participate in it, says program coordinator Justina Montano, and not just within the Sonoma Valley Unified School District. Some families even drive their kids into Sonoma from Santa Rosa to take part, an extra effort that she completely endorses.

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