House votes a $4.5 billion boost for child nutrition, school lunches

The Christian Science Monitor reports on the latest move by Congress to target childhood obesity and hunger with the passage Thursday of a landmark child nutrition bill. The bill, formally known as the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, includes some of the biggest changes to the Child Nutrition Act since the program was started nearly half a century ago. The House passed it by a vote of 264 to 157.

Watch for a localized story from EdNews Parent soon.

School cafeteria inspections show evidence of rodents

clean school kitchenCBS4 News reports on some unsavory findings in Colorado school kitchen inspections.

Inspections of some Colorado school cafeterias in the last two years have turned up evidence of everything from rodents to fecal matter — issues that are considered “critical violations,” according to local health departments. At Denver’s South High School, a 2009 city inspection of the cafeteria revealed “evidence of rodents” in the facility.

Read this EdNews Parent story on the lapses in timely school kitchen inspections.

Teen obesity on rise across nation

The Contra Costa Times reports on obesity and teens.

Teen obesity carries a big price tag and the costs and the numbers are seemingly on the rise, according to a new nationwide study. One of every six adolescents is overweight nationwide, and one out of every three is at risk, according to the latest study by the National Center for Children in Poverty.

Denver Public Schools to start giving free lunches to students

9News covers a new initiative to get more of Denver’s students eating at school.

Many people believe there is no such thing as a free lunch, but next week, Denver Public Schools plans to change that. Starting next week, DPS is making lunch free at 81 schools around the district. The hope is to get more children to go through the cafeteria.

After-school program teaching healthy habits

CBS4 News covers a new program aimed at improving kids’ health.

Talking to high school junior Edna Mendez, you might think she is training to be a professional chef.

“We’re going to be cooking a pasta with chicken and a stuffed tomato,” she said with poise.

After weeks of practice, she and other students from around Denver are putting their culinary skills to the test. Students from Bruce Randolph School, Manual High School, and Martin Luther King Early College are taking part in LiveWell Colorado’s [email protected] program.

Fancier school food in Denver merits federal visit

9News reports on the latest visit by a federal ag official to tout the importance of nutritious school food. 

Kevin Concannon of the U.S. Department of Agriculture stopped by Fairmont Dual Immersion Academy to see cafeteria workers show off their new “scratch cooking” techniques.

Court: Parents can sue if schools skimp on P.E.

The San Francisco Chronicle examines what parents in California can do if their child’s school cuts physical education programs. Parents can take their children’s public schools to court to force educators to provide the minimum amount of physical education required by state law, the California Court of Appeal ruled in Sacramento on Tuesday, which could spell trouble for a lot of state schools.

Thornton school makes healthy changes, gets award

CBS4 tells the story of students at Silver Creek Elementary School in Thornton who won a recent physical fitness challenge.

All of the students at Silver Creek Elementary School gathered for an assembly. It was a packed house, when CBS4 Meteorologist Jennifer Zeppelin announced the school had won the Fit 4 Colorado School Challenge for November. CBS4 in partnership with HealthOne’s Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children awarded the school $1,000. The prize rewards efforts at the school to foster a healthy environment. At Silver Creek, that includes added exercise opportunities before and after school, a running club, and even a boot camp for teachers.

About our First Person series:

First Person is where Chalkbeat features personal essays by educators, students, parents, and others trying to improve public education. Read our submission guidelines here.