Parent Teacher Association-District 26 of NE Kentucky

PTA. everychild.onevoice.

Advocacy 

 
 
February in Frankfort!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 What is Advocacy?

      "Anyone who speaks up for another with his/her best interest at heart is an advocate," states District 26 PTA President, Brenda Martin.  PTA is an advocate for children and their families on a wide variety of child-related issues in the areas of education, health, well being, and parent involvement. The purpose of advocacy is to communicate with decision makers to inform, educate, persuade or increase the level of awareness about an issue.  Decision makers include elected and appointed officials, legislative bodies, school boards, SBDM Councils, principals, teachers, parents, grandparents, students and community leaders.  These are some tips:

  • Keep informed about the issues
  • Choose issues important to your membership, or district/state/national PTA
  • Build support of members for your cause
  • Learn to work together patiently
  • Don't gossip.  Go to the source with openness. Focus on task. Focus on Children!
  • Recruit new and diverse members
  • Take healthy risks. If something doesn't go well, learn from it and move forward!
  • Retain your commitment to change
  • Access National PTA's Advocacy Toolkit
  • Access National PTA's Resolutions Toolkit

How are PTA positions developed? All PTA positions are derived from voted positions. The Kentucky PTA Legislative Platform and resolutions are approved each year by delegates at annual convention. Each local PTA/PTSA in good standing is entitled to be represented at the annual convention of the Kentucky PTA by its president, or alternate; and one (1) additional delegate for every twenty-five (25) members or a major fraction thereof. All legislation supported or opposed by the Kentucky PTA is based on the voted positions of the Kentucky and National PTA.

PTA: A Voice for All Children and Youth
Children can't vote. Lawmakers, whether they serve in state legislatures or the U.S. Congress, listen to voting blocks. Because children can not vote and are therefore not heard, PTAs across the country exist as their voice. Whether they are trying to ensure children are immunized against disease, have access to a quality education, or protected against school violence, PTA members make themselves heard - "everychild.onevoice".  Add your name to the Kentucky legislative contact list by contacting sharon.whitworth@jefferson.kyschools.us.

Visit News/Links for many more Advocacy groups and links, collected over time.  Visit kypta.org for more information!

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Kentucky Kids Count Data Books

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Download Recommendations for Next Steps for

Closing the Gaps for All Students

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Download Effective Strategies to Increase HS Graduation Rate

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Multicultural Education

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What Makes a School Great

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Download additional Stakeholders Recommendations

(Please email to request more details.)

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Click here for Advocacy Award Application and specific requirements for awardable advocacy.

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and elected officials for better options outside the home.

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 Childhood Obesity

(From Georgia PTA website.)

Obesity is defined as an excessive accumulation of body fat. It is present when total body weight is more than 25% fat in boys and more than 32% in girls (Lohman 1987). The term “Childhood obesity” often refers to both children (ages 6-11) and adolescents (ages 12-17) unless a specific age group is identified. Although childhood obesity is defined as a weight-for-height in excess of 120 percent of ideal weight, skin fold measures are often more accurate.

Childhood Obesity is a risk factor in the following medical conditions:

  • Pediatric hypertension
  • Coronary heart disease
  • Type II Diabetes Mellitus (It is important to note that for every three new cases of Diabetes in adolescents there is one diagnosed as Type II Diabetes Mellitus, most often considered to be adult onset diabetes). This condition often leads to the development of kidney disease, stroke, limb amputation, and blindness. People who develop diabetes in adolescence face a diminished quality of life and shortened life span, particularly if the disease progresses untreated.
  • Social and Psychological Problems (lower self esteem, poor interaction with peers, and bullying are significant consequences of obesity in children).

The multiple causes of Childhood Obesity center around calories obtained from food and calories expanded in the basal metabolic rate and physical activity. Several determinants play a role in the overall cause: Nutritional, Psychological, Family, and Physiological. Examples are:

  • Parents
  • Poor eating habits
  • Fast food/junk food
  • Heredity
  • Lack of PE programs/recess in schools
  • School nutrition
  • Sedentary activities (Video games, TV, and computer)
  • Unsafe neighborhoods
  • Socio economic status
  • Physically inactive lifestyle

What Can Parents Do

Going on the Offensive against Childhood Obesity

  1. Set limits on the time children engage in passive time. Pediatricians recommend restricting children to one to two hours per day of TV and computers combined - though older children may need additional time for homework.
  2. Parents should also encourage local schools to maintain their physical education programs. Afterschool extra-curricular activities and sports are also vital.
  3. Curtail visits to fast-food restaurants. Select food and drink choices wisely.
  4. Provide nutritious, well-balanced, low-calorie and low-fat meals.
  5. Limit the availability of high-fat and high-sugar snacks in your home.
  6. Create an Active Environment:
    • Make time for the entire family to participate in regular, enjoyable physical activities
    • Start an active neighborhood program
    • Plan active family outings
  7. Create a Healthy Eating Environment:
    • Implement the same healthy diet (rich in fruits, vegetables and grains) for your entire family, not just for select individuals.
    • Plan times when you prepare foods together. Children enjoy participating and can learn about healthy cooking and food preparation from their parents and extended family.
    • Eat meals together (at the dinner table) at regular times.
    • Avoid foods that are high in calories, fat or sugar.
    • Have snack foods available that are low-calorie and nutritious.
    • Avoid forcing your child to eat if he/she is not hungry. If your child shows atypical signs of not eating, consult a healthcare professional.
    • Limit the frequency of fast-food eating to no more than once per week.
    • Avoid using food as a reward or the lack of food as punishment.

Schools' Role in Creating Healthy Eating Environments
Outside of the home, children and adolescents spend the majority of their time in school. So, it makes sense that schools provide an environment that promotes healthy nutrition and physical activity habits.

The USDA and a coalition of five medical associations have developed ten keys to assist each school community in writing a prescription for change. Visit the Team Nutrition website produced by the USDA for more information. The CDC's Healthy Youth website also contains many resources pertaining to school nutrition.

Creating an Active Environment in Schools

The CDC's Healthy Youth website contains several resources that can be used to promote physical activity in schools.

(This information can be adapted as we partner with colleges in our area...see below: )

Georgia PTA and University of Georgia Take Strides to Solve Childhood Obesity

You may have already met UGA graduate student Emily Jones who is working on a research study about parent solutions to childhood obesity.   Perhaps you filled out a survey for her.  If you have not met her yet at one of your district meetings or council events, be on the lookout and help her gather the information she needs!

 

PRESS RELEASE (Atlanta, GA ) February 25, 2009 - Finding solutions to a growing nationwide problem is on the forefront of Georgia PTA and the University of Georgia's Department of Kinesiology agendas. These two dynamic organizations are teaming up to solicit parents' opinions and insights on solving the problem of childhood obesity. In the state of Georgia alone, obesity among children under the age of 18 has risen to an estimated 28% since 2003.  Click here to read more.
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Criteria to Consider when Selecting or Rating Schools in General

'Here are some guidelines to help you to evaluate schools in addition to various test scores.

Make a judgment about the overall quality of the school. You don't need to go strictly by the numbers you rate the school in each category, and you can also consider other factors, such as the level of student achievement and the physical condition of the school. Select a rating that reflects your bottom-line evaluation of how the school is meeting the needs of your child and how it is serving the community.

Principal leadership

Great principals, those who merit a rating of 5, create and maintain a culture of achievement and support throughout the school. They establish high expectations for academics and behavior, and do everything possible to attract, develop and support high-quality teachers. Great principals ensure that teachers have specific plans for student learning and ways to assess student progress. They have the courage and stamina to set ambitious goals for the school, and hold themselves and staff members accountable for showing progress toward these goals. In addition, they are accessible to parents and other members of the school community and respond to their concerns.

Teacher quality

Consider the overall quality of the teaching staff, not just your own child's teachers. Good teachers establish high expectations for academics and behavior. They are well organized and have a clear plan for what students should be learning on a daily, monthly and yearly basis. They know their subject matter, and they use multiple teaching strategies to reach students who come to school with varying skills and interests. They give regular feedback to students and challenge them to achieve their personal best. At the same time, they go to great lengths to care for and support students personally. They communicate openly and clearly with parents and work well with their colleagues.

Extracurricular activities

Consider the variety and quality of activities at the school. A highly rated school involves a large number of students in a variety of extracurricular activities, including sports, the arts, and intellectual and cultural interests. Teachers and coaches who supervise extracurricular programs pay attention to character development, as well as the level of performance and commitment to the activity. Scholarships are available for activities that require a fee.

Parent involvement

Evaluate the quantity and quality of parent involvement. In a highly rated school, parents play important leadership roles on the school site council, PTA and in other organizations. A school with strong parent involvement attracts a large percentage of parents to school functions. The school offers a variety of opportunities for parent participation, such as school events, classroom projects and schoolwide committees. Parents are respectful of teachers and the principal, and the teachers and principal seek out and value input from parents.

Safety and discipline

In a school that merits a 5, the staff and parents work together to create and maintain high expectations for student behavior. Discipline procedures are clear and are carried out consistently. Bullying, gang activities and oppressive behavior, such as sexism and racism, are not tolerated. Students feel safe when they are dropped off at school, the campus is tidy, the restrooms and cafeteria are kept clean. The playground equipment meets safety codes, and recesses are well supervised. Schools that pay attention to safety do not provide easy access to strangers.

(Excerpt from Greatschools.com.

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