The National School Lunch Program makes it possible for every child in the United States to have a nutritional and balanced meal on every school day. The school lunch programs that they implement reimburse all participating schools in efforts to safeguard the health of the Nation’s children. Children are provided with more than 1/3 of their Recommended Daily Allowance of key nutrients.
More than 99,800 schools participate in assisting children in need by offering a school lunch program. They can be a public school, a non profit private school, or a residential child care facility in order to qualify for the nationally funded benefits. On a typical school day, more than 18 million children receive a free or reduced price lunches.
Eligibility for receiving the benefits of a free or reduced lunch program are determined by the parent’s income. Household income must fall below 130% of the national poverty level to receive free meals or between 130% and 185% of poverty to receive reduced price lunches. However, aside from showing proof of income, there are several other ways that a family can become eligible. If the family is receiving food stamps or some other forms of financial assistance, they often automatically qualify. Also, children who are homeless, migrant, or runaways can be placed in the program by a professional judgment, without having to compete an application.
Even the idea of a starving child is hard for most people to think about. Fortunately, our government has established the National School Lunch Program to help. In addition to providing kids with a nutritional lunch, our government also supports programs for free breakfast and free after school snack to those who qualify in participating schools.
In 2009 students can celebrate Columbus Day on October 12th. Here are a few ideas that you can use to supplement your curriculum and add fun activities to your regular school days. These ideas are generally fit for elementary school age kids but we have found that even tweens have fun and these ideas can be adapted and done on a larger scale for middle school and high school students.
Columbus Day is celebrated on the second Monday of October each year. This holiday is great for history, geography, sociology and for certain science
History: Teach about the life of Christopher Columbus. Great questions to foster great group conversations are: What was Columbus trying to discover? Was it easy for him to find someone to fund his trip? What was his birth name? What did his father do for a living and what country was he born in? If you were sailing with Columbus what would you want to take with you?
Geography: Chart by coordinates the path that Columbus took to the “New World”. Have students make their own map of the “New World”. Show and talk about where Columbus landed when he got to North America. Talk about where he was supposed to land.
Sociology: Discuss with students what the current customs were for people like Columbus in his day. Talk about how this differed from the customs, language, way of life, art, and music of the Native Americans that they met when they got to North America.
: Since corn is often affiliated with the crops of the Native Americans you can make your own popcorn by starting early in the season with fresh corn and go through the whole process. You can also discuss corn and how it grows and all the ways we use it today including as an alternative energy source.
The possibilities with Columbus Day are endless. Most students love learning about the ships, the travel, the customs and the whole overall story of Columbus. This is the perfect time of year to get them excited about these things. It is also a great time to discuss how immigrants brought diseases to North America that were not originally native to here. This can even lead into conversations about where viruses like H1N1 have originated and how they got here. This also lends itself to discussions about how we fight these diseases and the importance of immunizations
on a global scale.
People who live in the United States have one of the greatest opportunities there are in life, this opportunity is education. Not only do Americans have the opportunity to obtain an education but they are also given a number of choices in the way they wish to receive this education. People in America have the choice whether they want to go to Public School, Private School, Charter School, Christian School, Magnet School, or even be homeschooled. We have had many blog posts offering comparisons of these different options. Today, I would like to take just a moment to compare the advantages of Public Schools versus private schools and homeschools.
A few advantages of Public School vs. Private School:
- Transportation is often included for no additional cost.
- No tuition costs.
- Choice of Public, Magnet, or Charter School.
- Strict teacher certification rules.
- Special programs and funding for disabilities and more.
A few advantages of Public School vs. Homeschool:
- Have a large range of socioeconomic and different backgrounds.
- Have students with a range of abilities and talents.
- Number of children in classroom.
- Funding for equipment and activities.
- Funding at high school levels allows for sports, arts, and technical programs.
- Offer a wide variety of social clubs, activities, and sports.
Every person, every family, and every situation is different. What works for one person may not work for another. These articles are provided so you can make an informed decision on what may work best for your family and your situation. The important thing is that we continue to educate our children and ourselves.