WBEZ | kids http://www.wbez.org/tags/kids Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en A peek inside: What kids saw on a Common Core test http://www.wbez.org/news/peek-inside-what-kids-saw-common-core-test-113675 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/common-core-problem-jtsuboike-0029-edit_slide-f80ca2c8e57eae897915267894c7ced1ad9fe91e-s800-c85.jpg" alt="" /><p><div id="res454894847" previewtitle="A Common Core sample problem is written on a whiteboard at NPR, in Washington, D.C."><div data-crop-type=""><img alt="A Common Core sample problem is written on a whiteboard at NPR, in Washington, D.C." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/11/05/common-core-problem-jtsuboike-0029-edit_slide-f80ca2c8e57eae897915267894c7ced1ad9fe91e-s800-c85.jpg" style="height: 413px; width: 620px;" title="A Common Core sample problem is written on a whiteboard at NPR, in Washington, D.C. (Jun Tsuboike/NPR)" /></div><div><div>&nbsp;</div></div></div><p>They&#39;re hard.</p><p>At least, that was the rep on new tests aligned to the Common Core State Standards that millions of U.S. kids took last spring. Now you can be the judge.</p><p>There are now&nbsp;<a href="https://prc.parcconline.org/assessments/parcc-released-items">a slew</a>&nbsp;of actual math and English Language Arts questions online &mdash; searchable &mdash; from the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers &mdash; better know as PARCC. You can also see some student responses and guidance on how they were scored.</p><p>Amid all the political controversy over the Common Core and whether students should even take these exams, this gives us a chance to look objectively at the tests themselves.</p><p>In this post, we picked a handful of those questions that jumped out at us (and likely would have jumped out at you, too). We ran them by a few experts who played no official role in developing them.</p><p>Let&#39;s start with math, focusing on two questions from the third-grade assessments. Here&#39;s the first:</p><div id="res454888435" previewtitle="Actual prompt from a third grade math test."><div data-crop-type="" style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://prc.parcconline.org/system/files/3rd%20grade%20Math%20-%20PBA%20-%20Sample%20Student%20Responses%20-%20Item%2011%20-%20VF658050.pdf" target="_blank"><img alt="Actual prompt from a third grade math test." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/11/05/screen-shot-2015-11-05-at-1.32.58-pm_custom-db4ab56cdceee48dc97c7f58ecb066a4aff701b8-s800-c85.png" style="height: 435px; width: 540px;" title="Actual prompt from a third grade math test." /></a></div><div><div>A few things worth noting about this problem. It&#39;s meant to measure skills outlined in the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.corestandards.org/Math/Content/3/OA/">Core standards</a>, including this one:</div></div></div><p><a href="http://www.corestandards.org/Math/Content/3/OA/A/4/" name="CCSS.Math.Content.3.OA.A.4">CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.3.OA.A.4</a><br />&quot;Determine the unknown whole number in a multiplication or division equation relating three whole numbers. For example, determine the unknown number that makes the equation true in each of the equations 8 &times; ? = 48, 5 = _ &divide; 3, 6 &times; 6 = ?&quot;</p><p>You&#39;ll also notice, the question begins not with a traditional equation in search of resolution but with Fred&#39;s incorrect response. The test-taker is then asked why that response is incorrect.</p><p>&quot;It&#39;s one thing to produce a correct answer yourself, it&#39;s another thing to analyze someone else&#39;s response and explain why it&#39;s correct or incorrect,&quot; says Diane Briars, president of the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.nctm.org/About/President,-Board-and-Committees/Diane-J_-Briars,-President/">National Council of Teachers of Mathematics</a>. Briars believes the PARCC tests are the next step in the decades-long pursuit of a test that can more accurately measure conceptual understanding.</p><p>This question&#39;s three parts require the test-taker to (in parts A &amp; B) demonstrate facility with division to prove the test-taker&#39;s answer is incorrect and (part C) convert the problem from division to multiplication. Briars says understanding the relationship between division and multiplication &mdash; and using one to explore the other &mdash; are key mathematical skills.</p><p>While this may be an improvement on the traditional multiple-choice exam, Hugh Burkhardt still finds the question lacking. Burkhardt is a widely respected expert on testing and mathematics instruction at the University of Nottingham in the U.K., and he helps lead the&nbsp;<a href="http://map.mathshell.org/background.php#team">MARS Shell Center</a>&nbsp;team (which receives funding from the Bill &amp; Melinda Gates Foundation, as does NPR Ed).</p><p>Burkhardt says that a well-built assessment should require students to engage in long chains of reasoning, with each question demanding multiple steps and building one atop the other.</p><p>The PARCC question above, Burkhardt worries, doesn&#39;t do that. The answer to Part A, he says, should be obvious to most third-graders who have learned their multiplication tables. And the difference between Parts A and B isn&#39;t obvious. In fact, the answer to B could be used to adequately answer A.</p><p>Here&#39;s how one student answered the questions:</p><div id="res454887875" previewtitle="Sample answer to 3rd grade math test question."><div data-crop-type="" style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Sample answer to 3rd grade math test question." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/11/05/screen-shot-2015-11-05-at-1.31.54-pm_custom-18d8e123c091459af8b7f22cad6a8412e4171bcb-s800-c85.png" style="height: 505px; width: 540px;" title="Sample answer to 3rd grade math test question." /></div><div><div>And here is PARCC&#39;s guidance on how the student&#39;s responses were scored. Notice, the test-taker received full credit for Part A, though the explanation included not a word of text.</div></div></div><div id="res454887702" previewtitle="Answer logic from the 2015 PARCC exam."><div data-crop-type="" style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Answer logic from the 2015 PARCC exam." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/11/05/screen-shot-2015-11-05-at-1.32.19-pm_custom-7b8dd3a2979d78dcc084dd6e06fb9b3b8a3a5b8d-s800-c85.png" style="height: 285px; width: 540px;" title="Answer logic from the 2015 PARCC exam." /></div><div><div>While we&#39;re on the subject of text, Briars and Burkhardt both noted the language of this question. Briars says a lot of thought goes into making sure the words and context are age-appropriate. PARCC doesn&#39;t want a third-grader who understands the math to get hung up on a sentence she can&#39;t read or understand easily. In this case, the subject is certainly accessible &mdash; stuffed animals &mdash; though Burkhardt believes the language could be even simpler.</div></div></div><p>Burkhardt raises one more general concern with computer-based questions like this. The box, he says, where the test-taker is meant to provide an answer, is surrounded by small buttons (not visible in the image above) with symbols that may seem strange to kids. That worries him.</p><p>&quot;You have to give children a medium that is natural for their normal mode of thinking,&quot; Burkhardt explains. &quot;They have to integrate this software with their thinking on math.&quot; If the software distracts or intimidates the child, then it&#39;s counterproductive, he says.</p><p>Let&#39;s look at one more math question now:</p><div id="res454898764" previewtitle="Actual prompt from the 2015 PARCC third grade math exam."><div data-crop-type="" style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Actual prompt from the 2015 PARCC third grade math exam." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/11/05/screen-shot-2015-11-05-at-2.51.13-pm_custom-a02eb41d89fed786093306adb05e06039b58a821-s800-c85.png" style="height: 672px; width: 540px;" title="Actual prompt from the 2015 PARCC third grade math exam." /></div></div><p>As with the question about Fred and his stuffed animals, the subject matter here is certainly accessible: buttons. Another similarity: It presents test-takers with another incorrect answer. This one&#39;s a bit more complex, though, because Jeanie&#39;s faulty reasoning is more complex.</p><p>The question depends, in part, on a third-grader&#39;s ability to do this:</p><p><a href="http://www.corestandards.org/Math/Content/3/NBT/A/2/" name="CCSS.Math.Content.3.NBT.A.2">CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.3.NBT.A.2</a><br />&quot;Fluently add and subtract within 1000 using strategies and algorithms based on place value, properties of operations, and/or the relationship between addition and subtraction.&quot;</p><p>The student has to do some mathematical forensics, tracing Jeanie&#39;s faulty reasoning backwards, seeing that (part A) when she added up the 18 ones, she neglected to carry the 10 and (part B) jumbled the two-digit numbers she was supposed to be subtracting. This student got it:</p><div id="res454898261" previewtitle="Answer from a student."><div data-crop-type="" style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Answer from a student." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/11/05/screen-shot-2015-11-05-at-2.51.51-pm_custom-91d0b336031011416546bac62f08230e95d7e8b8-s800-c85.png" style="height: 461px; width: 540px;" title="Answer from a student." /></div></div><p>And here&#39;s how PARCC scored those responses:</p><div id="res454897887" previewtitle="Answer evaluation from actual student sample."><div data-crop-type="" style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Answer evaluation from actual student sample." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/11/05/screen-shot-2015-11-05-at-2.51.58-pm_custom-9e31dbc87cf5554354a8dba8ec1eeea84fe27ceb-s800-c85.png" style="height: 315px; width: 540px;" title="Answer evaluation from actual student sample." /></div><div><div>Burkhardt was more impressed with this question, saying &quot;the ability to detect and correct (your own) misconceptions is critical to being able to do math.&quot; And the mistake Jeanie makes is a common one for her age.</div></div></div><p>Diane Briars says open-ended, multi-faceted questions like these aren&#39;t new, but their use in annual state tests declined with passage of the federal No Child Left Behind law. That&#39;s because the law required that most students be tested annually.</p><p>The problem, Briars says, is that the richer the answer a question elicits, the more expensive it is to grade. And, with NCLB&#39;s massive expansion of testing, some states balked at the cost.</p><p>So, what about reading and writing? It&#39;s tough to wrap your head around the nuances that surround literacy. Reading and writing skills fall on a spectrum. They can be tricky to measure.</p><p>With that in mind, let&#39;s look at PARCC&#39;s English Language Arts and Literacy test, third grade again.</p><p>David Pearson (no relation to the giant testing and education company) is a professor of language, literacy and culture at the University of California, Berkeley, and he says the reading exam doesn&#39;t actually look all that different from old tests. But, he adds, with two exceptions.</p><p>One is the prominence of &quot;technology-enhanced&quot; questions, where students actually go click on their answer in the text or &quot;drag and drop&quot; their answer into a box. The other is the increased use of &quot;paired&quot; questions, like this one:</p><div id="res455015053" previewtitle="ELA question on PARCC exam."><div data-crop-type="" style="text-align: center;"><img alt="ELA question on PARCC exam." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/11/06/screen-shot-2015-11-06-at-12.12.30-pm_custom-51949f1ee5f06abda8681b52450ce7c5026d42bc-s800-c85.png" style="height: 329px; width: 540px;" title="ELA question on PARCC exam." /></div></div><p>PARCC has&nbsp;<a href="http://www.parcconline.org/assessments/practice-tests/a-different-kind-of-test">highlighted</a>&nbsp;these types of questions as a way to get students to think more deeply. The above question, for example, isn&#39;t just asking you what the main idea is, it&#39;s asking how the poem shows you that idea and then it asks you to prove it.</p><p>But Pearson says that a two-part question means one answer relies on the other. If a kid doesn&#39;t get Part A, then Part B won&#39;t make sense. That, in turn, might nudge the student to go back and revise their initial response. Once that happens, Pearson says, it&#39;s tough to know what the student did &mdash; and didn&#39;t &mdash; understand.</p><p>&quot;It muddles the inferences you can draw from the student&#39;s answer,&quot; he says. &quot;It compromises precision in the name of complexity.&quot;</p><p>Pearson was an advisor for the other test consortium,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.smarterbalanced.org/">Smarter Balanced</a>, but he says he hasn&#39;t warmed up to these types of questions on that test either. Speaking of feeling cold, let&#39;s move on to the Arctic, or at least, an essay prompt about it:</p><div id="res454900139" previewtitle="ELA prompt from the 2015 PARCC test for third grade."><div data-crop-type="" style="text-align: center;"><img alt="ELA prompt from the 2015 PARCC test for third grade." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/11/05/screen-shot-2015-11-05-at-3.05.10-pm_custom-a173c5fbeae0fd15b59dcc6b8a476cbdec7160d8-s800-c85.png" style="height: 280px; width: 540px; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px;" title="ELA prompt from the 2015 PARCC test for third grade." /></div></div><p>To do well on this one, students needed to do a lot. Pearson says this type of question, which tests for both reading and writing, is not a new concept. But it doesn&#39;t often show up on state tests. He says it should.</p><p>&quot;Reading and writing are inextricably bound,&quot; Pearson explains. &quot;Reporting on what you read is a really good way of promoting reading comprehension. It gives you a lens to read the text.&quot;</p><p>This student nailed it:</p><div id="res454899978" previewtitle="Sample answer from student."><div data-crop-type=""><img alt="Sample answer from student." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/11/05/screen-shot-2015-11-05-at-3.06.53-pm_custom-102b7b85b902c76fb3d6f2cc16204d36b5e05979-s800-c85.png" style="height: 791px; width: 620px;" title="Sample answer from student." /></div><div><div>&nbsp;</div></div></div><p>Below is how PARCC graded that same student&#39;s essay, with a separate section for both reading and writing skills.</p><div id="res454900380" previewtitle="PARCC annotations from a student's 2015 ELA exam."><div data-crop-type="" style="text-align: center;"><img alt="PARCC annotations from a student's 2015 ELA exam." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/11/05/screen-shot-2015-11-05-at-3.09.57-pm_custom-962e34c2f96c950e9cf03a0039e73d57dc978be6-s800-c85.png" style="height: 347px; width: 540px;" title="PARCC annotations from a student's 2015 ELA exam." /></div><div><div>&nbsp;</div></div></div><p>Regardless of the problems and assets that any test has, Pearson says that it&#39;s the stakes of standardized tests that really shape the culture surrounding them.</p><p>&quot;When stakes are high and people&#39;s jobs and schools are on the line, people engage in desperate behaviors,&quot; he says.</p><p>But the quality of the test does matter, he adds: &quot;If you&#39;re going to teach to the test, you may as well have a test worth teaching to.&quot;</p><p>&mdash; <a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2015/11/06/454876998/a-peek-inside-what-kids-saw-on-a-common-core-test?ft=nprml&amp;f=454876998" target="_blank"><em>via NPR</em></a></p></p> Fri, 06 Nov 2015 12:01:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/peek-inside-what-kids-saw-common-core-test-113675 A 'family-friendly' shift in debate over work-life balance http://www.wbez.org/news/family-friendly-shift-debate-over-work-life-balance-113493 <p><div id="res451757207" previewtitle="Rep. Paul Ryan — shown on Capitol Hill in 2013 with his daughter Elizabeth — told his fellow Republican congressmen he would agree to run for speaker of the House only if, among other things, his time with his family was protected."><div data-crop-type="" style="text-align: center;"><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Ryan%20wants%20more%20time%20with%20these%20three%20kids..jpg" style="height: 464px; width: 620px;" title="Ryan wants more time with his three children. (Stan Honda/AFP/Getty Images)" /></div></div><div><p>Have we finally turned a corner?</p></div></div><p>Has it finally happened that when a man says he is making job decisions around his family we can finally believe him, as opposed to wondering when the email exchanges with his outside honey are going to come out?</p><p>This past week, two of this country&#39;s most powerful men &mdash; who work in a city where power is everything and work is king &mdash; both made career decisions with personal and family needs at the center.</p><p>In case you missed it, Wisconsin Republican Rep. Paul Ryan, chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, laid down some conditions for seeking the position of House Speaker &mdash; and one of them was that his caucus accept that he would be spending less time on the road, because he needs to spend time with his three young children.</p><p>Then, Vice President Joe Biden announced this week that he will forgo a third try at the presidency, in part because he and his family had needed time to recover from the death of his son Beau.</p><p>It is a new day if these two men &mdash; one a Democrat, one a Republican; one in the final chapters of a storied career and one smack in the middle of one &mdash; can each say, without hesitation or ridicule, that he needs to be home for dinner and not just on Thanksgiving.</p><p>It&#39;s hard to describe what a big deal that is unless you are up close and personal with the lifestyle, not just of politics, but of many jobs in the current era: the 24/7 on-call expectation, the constant deadlines, the schmoozing and networking that go on and on into the wee hours, night after night.</p><p>Let&#39;s set aside a certain presidential candidate who is said to have derided a female lawyer as &quot;disgusting&quot; when she requested a break from a deposition to go use her breast pump; let&#39;s talk about how hard it is even when people&nbsp;want&nbsp;things to be different.</p><p>Back in 2009, the&nbsp;New York Times&nbsp;wrote about how the newly elected President Obama spoke about making the White House more &quot;family-friendly.&quot; His chief of staff Rahm Emanuel is said to have replied, with his characteristic candor, that it was &quot;family-friendly to&nbsp;your&nbsp;family.&quot;</p><p>The piece&nbsp;<a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/04/us/politics/04parents.html">went on to describe</a>&nbsp;the absolutely typical 60- to 70-hour weeks, with aides taking work calls on school field trips and scheduling classroom visits at 10 p.m.</p><p>And of course politics has particular features that make life hard on families:&nbsp;The New Yorker&#39;s Amy Davidson makes a powerful case in&nbsp;<a href="http://www.newyorker.com/news/amy-davidson/paul-ryan-and-the-fund-raising-life-balance">a piece this week</a>&nbsp;that Paul Ryan is demanding relief not from the demands of legislating, but from relentless fundraising trips.</p><p>Either way, it&#39;s always been the case that the most talented and most sought-after do what they will, and the rest of us do what we must. How could it be otherwise in an environment where workers in many companies get their schedules handed to them just a few days or even hours ahead of time?</p><p>That might be why, when&nbsp;Working Mother&nbsp;magazine recently surveyed more than 1,500 mothers on their work-life balance issues &mdash; they called it the &quot;juggle struggle&quot; &mdash;&nbsp;<a href="http://www.workingmother.com/momswork">they found</a>&nbsp;that two-thirds of the respondents actually valued job security as the most important factor in choosing a place to work. Fewer than half cited flexibility or even pay and benefits. It sounds to me that in the current environment, a lot of women have given up hope that their jobs will help them live their lives.</p><p>They just want some stability, and they will work the rest out for themselves.</p><p>Still, it does mean something when powerful, public figures &mdash; and, let&#39;s face it, not just the women who have been driving the work-life balance conversation &mdash; are out, loud and proud about their family responsibilities, and not just the photo op but the actual people.</p><p>It&#39;s often the case that the rest of us learn to seek what celebrities get first. And if that means time to take care of ourselves and our families, bring it on.</p><p>&mdash;<a href="http://www.npr.org/2015/10/25/451749841/a-family-friendly-shift-in-debate-over-work-life-balance?ft=nprml&amp;f=451749841" target="_blank"><em> via NPR</em></a></p></p> Mon, 26 Oct 2015 10:01:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/family-friendly-shift-debate-over-work-life-balance-113493 Advice to kindergarteners — from the experts http://www.wbez.org/news/advice-kindergarteners-%E2%80%94-experts-112860 <p><p>For more than 300,000 Chicago kids, today kicks off the first day of the school year. But for thousands of kindergarteners, today marks the first day of school--ever.</p><p dir="ltr">And while parents can do their best to soothe first-week fears, there&rsquo;s another group who can offer more current expertise on the subject. &nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr">They&rsquo;re the veterans. The big kids. The first and second graders.</p><p dir="ltr">WBEZ recently hit the playground to consult with a few of these sages. They go to Dewey Elementary in Evanston where they started school last month.</p><p dir="ltr">Here&rsquo;s a collection of their tips for newbies on a variety of important topics. &nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>How do you make friends when you don&rsquo;t know anyone at the school?</strong></p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;Join them in some games or you can include them or sit next to them so they can feel included.&rdquo;--Julian Pomeran</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;You say, &lsquo;Hello, nice to meet you. What&rsquo;s your name, do you want to play with me?&rsquo; You should never exclude them out or they won&rsquo;t really feel comfortable going to the school.&rdquo;--Anna Vincent</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;It&rsquo;s really simple to make a friend because you can start playing with someone--not necessarily ask them--and you can just start playing with them, and then you will finally become friends.&rdquo; --Amir Aguilar</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>What should you eat for lunch?</strong></p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;Bring your own lunch because sometimes on the first day you don&rsquo;t really know what the food tastes like.&rdquo;--Christina Hunt-Baiocchi</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;You can&rsquo;t share food because your parents want to know that what they packed for you is what you&rsquo;re eating. So don&rsquo;t ask someone to give you their food--even if it&rsquo;s something you really, really like.&rdquo;--Anya Gill</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;If someone doesn&rsquo;t have a lunch, you could encourage them to have a hot lunch.&rdquo; --Ty Needos</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;Normally your family should pack it since hot lunch is a little bit unhealthy. It has more sugar in it. And you should always bring some fruit with it.&rdquo; --Florencia Baskin</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;If you really like something that somebody next to you in the cafeteria has just don&rsquo;t ask them for it, because you might be allergic to it, and you don&rsquo;t know.&rdquo; --Isabella Franconeri</p><p dir="ltr" style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/KINDERGARTEN.jpg" style="text-align: center;" title="First graders Sam, Harriet and Christina were among Evanston’s Dewey Elementary students who shared advice for kids just starting school. (WBEZ/Monica Eng) " /></p><p dir="ltr"><strong>How do you do kindergarten homework?</strong></p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;You shouldn&rsquo;t be scared because if you don&rsquo;t know some stuff, you can get your mom and dad to help you.&rdquo; Caroline Emrich</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;Well, if it&rsquo;s math homework, they could use a number grid or use their fingers. And if it&rsquo;s reading they could sound it out.&rdquo; --Sam Kalil</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;Since you&rsquo;re in school you don&rsquo;t have to worry about that because they&rsquo;re gonna teach you about that.&rdquo; Christina Hunt-Baiocchi</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>How do you get ready for school on time?</strong></p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;You should have an alarm clock or maybe your parents can wake you up for school.&rdquo; --Caroline Emrich</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;Just put on the clothes the mom gives you.&rdquo; --Markiana Jackson</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;Eat breakfast and like maybe if you have a little bit of time you can watch cartoons if your mom lets you--or dad.&rdquo; --Harriet Collins</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>What do you do if you miss your mom and dad?</strong></p><p>&ldquo;If you miss your mom and dad you can bring a picture of them and put it on your table so you don&rsquo;t miss them so much.&rdquo; --Lukas Linder</p><p>&ldquo;Make a necklace that has a picture of your mom so that whenever you miss her you look at it.&rdquo; --Harriet Collins</p><p>&ldquo;They should just get a friend and play with them so that they can forget about it.&rdquo;--Florencia Baskin</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>Any last general tips for a successful kindergarten year?</strong></p><p>&ldquo;Always be caring to everybody and if they didn&rsquo;t finish their homework, don&rsquo;t say &lsquo;you didn&rsquo;t finish your homework on time. You should finish it right now.&rsquo; Don&rsquo;t say that.&rdquo; &nbsp;--Blaise Bennett</p><p>&ldquo;Always share and be nice to everyone and make sure no one feels left out, and never be mean to someone.&rdquo; --Willa Cates</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr"><em>Monica Eng is a WBEZ producer and co-host of the Chewing The Fat podcast. Follow her at<a href="https://twitter.com/monicaeng"> @monicaeng</a> or write to her at <a href="mailto:Kindergarten advice">meng@wbez.org</a>.</em></p><div>&nbsp;</div></p> Tue, 08 Sep 2015 12:47:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/advice-kindergarteners-%E2%80%94-experts-112860 In addressing food allergies, some Chicago schools fall through the cracks http://www.wbez.org/sections/food/addressing-food-allergies-some-chicago-schools-fall-through-cracks-111728 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Ravenswood-lunch.jpg" title="Students during lunch period at Ravenswood Elementary chow down on Doritos, nacho cheese and sunflower butter. The new nut-free policy means peanut butter isn’t allowed. (WBEZ/Monica Eng)" /></div><p>It&rsquo;s a typical day in the Ravenswood Elementary cafeteria on Chicago&rsquo;s North Side. Middle schoolers catch up with friends, make jokes and chow down on a mishmosh of cafeteria food and brown bag lunches.</p><p>&ldquo;I have a Subway meatball sub,&rdquo; one says.</p><p>&ldquo;I have homemade soup with some rice,&rdquo; chirps another.</p><p>&ldquo;And I have some Doritos with peanut butter, I mean sunflower butter,&rdquo; their friend adds, catching himself as he remembers the school&rsquo;s new nut-free policy.</p><p>Starting in 2015, Ravenswood joined a small cadre of schools that have passed nut-free guidelines that go above and beyond the more common nut-free tables and nut-free menus.</p><p>That means no PBJs, no nutty granola bars, and no Snickers.</p><p>&ldquo;We are asking families and staff to make sure that no foods that have any nuts at all come into the building,&rdquo; says Principal Nate Menaen. And by nuts, he means, &ldquo;Brazil nuts, almonds, walnuts, cashews, peanuts of course.&rdquo;</p><p>In recent decades childhood food allergies have skyrocketed from 1 in 50 American children in 1990 to 1 in 13 today. That works out to about two kids in every American classroom &mdash; and that number is growing.</p><p>So how many schools are taking a hard stance against food allergies like Ravenswood?</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Food-Allergy-thumb.jpg" style="height: 206px; width: 280px; float: left; margin-left: 5px; margin-right: 5px;" title="Ravenswood Elementary is one of only a handful of CPS schools to ban nuts in the entire building. (WBEZ/Derek John)" />Chicago Public School officials say they don&rsquo;t know. But the district does say it offers nut-free meals to about 200 schools (or roughly a third of the district). Most of them are located in more affluent areas or on the North Side.</p><p>But those aren&rsquo;t necessarily the schools with the greatest need.</p><p>Research shows that potential food allergies are actually higher among minorities. <a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3182844/" target="_blank">One Children&rsquo;s Memorial Hospital study</a> showed that those with African ancestry have a higher-than-average nut sensitivity. &nbsp;</p><p>Beverly Horne is the lead nurse in the south region of Chicago Public Schools. She oversees more than 100 schools on the South Side, but says that none have adopted the same kind of nut-free guidelines as Ravenswood.</p><p>In order to be allowed medical accommodations, students need documentation along with a doctor&rsquo;s diagnosis. But for many of the families she serves, Horne says, simply getting to the doctor is hard enough. &nbsp;</p><p>&ldquo;It has a lot of do with access,&rdquo; she says. &ldquo;If you look at it, several of the clinics in those neighborhoods were closed and the parents have to travel.&rdquo;</p><p>She says nurses do what they can to fill in the gaps on the one to two days a week they can visit a particular school but it&rsquo;s often not enough. Plus, she says, many parents don&rsquo;t always know what to look for.</p><p>&ldquo;I recall one incident where the parent wasn&rsquo;t even aware that it was an allergic reaction she was seeing in her child,&rdquo; Horne says, &ldquo;and so we had to reach out to that parent. And actually it was a food allergy and those symptoms she was experiencing could have been very serious.&rdquo;</p><p>Just how serious?</p><p>In 2010 7th grader Catelyn Karlson died after eating peanut-tainted food that was brought to her Northwest Side school. &nbsp;Since then, CPS became the first large urban district to put epinephrine injectors (or EpiPen) in every school.</p><p>There they can be used to treat anyone in anaphylactic shock &mdash; a severe allergic reaction that can stop a victim from breathing.</p><p>Dr. Ruchi Gupta, a pediatric allergist at Lurie Children&rsquo;s Hospital, helped lead the effort. <a href="http://www.northwestern.edu/newscenter/stories/2014/10/emergency-epinephrine-used-38-times-in-chicago-public-schools.html" target="_blank">In a report on its first year of progress</a>, she noted that 38 students and staff were treated with the injectors. More than half of them didn&rsquo;t even know they had a food allergy.</p><p>This lack of knowledge worries Gupta, who says policy makers need to ask more questions. &nbsp;</p><p>&ldquo;Why don&rsquo;t we we see [more allergy diagnoses] on the South or West Side and in predominantly African American or Hispanic populations?&rdquo; she wonders. &ldquo;Now, do they have more and is it as severe? Unfortunately, until now we have not truly been able to classify who is going to have what kind of reaction when they eat the food. So some kids may just break out in a couple of hives or have a little mouth tingling but other kids could have full blown anaphylaxis that could lead to death.&rdquo;</p><p>Minority students may be more vulnerable to food allergies, but Gupta says other factors contribute to how schools decide whether to implement nut-free policies.</p><p>&ldquo;The reason you see policies more on the North Side is probably because of the parents advocating for it so much,&rdquo; she says. &ldquo;This gets the principal, school staff and teachers on board that this is a serious problem and we need to do something about it.&rdquo;</p><p>Most of these policies, she notes, are driven by parents in Local School Councils, which is exactly how Ravenswood ended up &ldquo;nut-free&rdquo; this year. Ravenswood principal Manaen says there was some push back as he worked to get his whole school community on board with the guidelines.&nbsp;</p><p>But, it&rsquo;s one thing to say you&rsquo;re nut-free, it&rsquo;s another to make it a reality. It&rsquo;s not as if you can install nut detectors at the door.</p><p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s [just] a guideline,&rdquo; Principal Menaen says. &ldquo;Because at the end of the day, maybe I brought in my leftovers from a restaurant I went to that cooked in products that also touched peanut product. And so it&rsquo;s never 100 percent safe.&rdquo;</p><p>It is, however, one step toward making schools a little more safe &mdash; at least in some parts of the city. &nbsp;</p><p><em>Monica Eng is a WBEZ producer and co-host of the Chewing The Fat podcast. Follow her at</em><a href="https://twitter.com/monicaeng"> <em>@monicaeng</em></a> <em>or write to her at meng@wbez.org</em></p></p> Thu, 19 Mar 2015 07:42:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/sections/food/addressing-food-allergies-some-chicago-schools-fall-through-cracks-111728 Do kids belong out late in adult restaurants? http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/do-kids-belong-out-late-adult-restaurants-110053 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/kideatingflickreyeliam.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>A man and a wife and their kid walk into a restaurant bar. The host looks at them and says &lsquo;we&rsquo;re not seating couples with children at this time.&rsquo; So the sad family packs up and finds some place else to eat.</p><p>This was the decidedly unfunny scenario faced by two Chicago area parents recently when they tried to eat at one of their favorite restaurants. They asked that we leave out their names because they&rsquo;d like dine there again--when they find a babysitter, of course.</p><p>Many thought that&rsquo;s what the parents of the, now notorious, <a href="http://www.google.com/url?q=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.huffingtonpost.com%2F2014%2F01%2F14%2Falinea-baby-controversy_n_4597643.html&amp;sa=D&amp;sntz=1&amp;usg=AFQjCNHaDxp6rRcCH8vlSewdC4R_RD01ig">Alinea baby</a> should have done earlier this year, when their child&rsquo;s dining room crying was heard around the world---thanks to a perplexed tweet by chef Grant Achatz on the matter.</p><p>Still, for many parents, including former New York Times restaurant critic Ruth Reichl, the issue is not so cut and dried.</p><p>&ldquo;I think it depends on the kid,&rdquo; she says. &ldquo;If you are a parent who goes out with your child and your kid starts fussing, you take the child out. That&rsquo;s all there is to it. It&#39;s that easy. But I would be deeply offended if I took my child to a restaurant and I was told no you can&rsquo;t come in.&rdquo;</p><p>Chicago&rsquo;s Hopleaf Bar owner Michael Roper has enforced a no-kids rule at his establishment for nearly a decade. He believes the city needs places where grown-ups can enjoy grown-up drinks--for example, his wide selection of craft beers that happen to pair beautifully with his menu of sausages, seafood and smoked meat.<br />.<br />&ldquo;We are a bar. We call ourselves the Hopleaf Bar,&rdquo; Roper recently said on WBEZ. &ldquo;There are places that are bar-like but they are more like restaurants. It&rsquo;s not as if there&rsquo;s no place else to go with your kid. There are a lot of places and many of those places the kids actually prefer.&rdquo;</p><p>But does he ever get grief from customers over the rule?</p><p>&ldquo;We get some pushback but it&rsquo;s surprising,&rdquo; he says. &ldquo;We actually get mostly support, even from parents with children. They like to have a place to go. Sometimes people need to have an adult space.&rdquo;<br /><br />Mei-Ling Hopgood is a Chicago area mom who raised her oldest child in Buenos Aires. In her book &ldquo;How Eskimos Keep Their Babies Warm&rdquo; Hopgood details her initial shock at what seemed like crazy hours for kids to be in restaurants in Argentina.&nbsp;<br /><br />&ldquo;It would be 11 or 12 o&rsquo;clock and they&rsquo;d be running around the pizzeria or the grill,&rdquo; she recently said on WBEZ&rsquo;s Worldview. &ldquo;It was an extension of the cultures from which they came--Spain and Italy where people just eat later and the idea that you would not eat dinner with your child is really unthinkable in many ways.&rdquo;</p><p>Those kinds of careening children may be exactly what some restaurants are trying to avoid with the no-kid rules says a former server Cindy who called into WBEZ&rsquo;s Worldview saying, &ldquo;They would run circles around my legs when I would have hot trays of food.&rdquo;</p><p>Dining veteran Reichl says that she can see both sides of the issue and that there may be a simple solution.&nbsp;<br /><br />&ldquo;In an ideal world, restaurants would have an area for children and all the people would bring their children and the children would go off and there would be someone to watch them and the kids would have a great time together,&rdquo; she says. &ldquo;Because, really, a five-year-old doesn&rsquo;t want to listen to your boring conversation.&rdquo;</p><p>So Chuck E Cheese meets Alinea? Who knows? It just might work.&nbsp;</p><p><em>Monica Eng is a WBEZ producer and co-host of the Chewing The Fat podcast. Follow her at<a href="https://twitter.com/monicaeng"> @monicaeng</a> or write to her at meng@wbez.org</em></p></p> Mon, 21 Apr 2014 15:35:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/do-kids-belong-out-late-adult-restaurants-110053 Morning Shift: Dealing with first day jitters http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-08-26/morning-shift-dealing-first-day-jitters-108520 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/Parent-child - Flickr-stephanski.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Monday marks the first day of school for CPS students, some of whom will be at new schools for the first time. We check in from various schools around the city. And, we discuss strategies for dealing with the anxiety of the first day of school.</p><div class="storify"><iframe allowtransparency="true" frameborder="no" height="750" src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-51/embed?header=false" width="100%"></iframe><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-51.js?header=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-51" target="_blank">View the story "Morning Shift: Dealing with first day jitters" on Storify</a>]</noscript></div></p> Mon, 26 Aug 2013 08:19:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-08-26/morning-shift-dealing-first-day-jitters-108520 Spacetoon Kids TV addresses challenges teens face from conflict in Iraq http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2012-02-02/spacetoon-kids-tv-addresses-challenges-teens-face-conflict-iraq-96058 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//segment/photo/2012-February/2012-02-02/iraq1.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Fifty percent of Iraq’s population is under 19 years old. The younger generation is in a distinct position, having lived under the shadow of sanctions and wars for two full decades. Today, <em>Worldview </em>talks to a man who's focusing on helping to heal Iraq's youth.</p><p>Hussam Hadi is regional director of the Arabic cartoon channel <a href="http://www.spacetoon.com/spacetoon/home.html" target="_blank">Spacetoon Kids TV</a>. Operating in the Middle East and North Africa, the channel reaches 22 countries and 50 million viewers. Spacetoon Kids TV is unique in that it directly addresses the challenges facing children in Iraq, tackling subjects such as education, landmines, rights, healthcare and hygiene.</p><p>Hussam joins <em>Worldview</em> to share his story of empowering Iraqi teenagers.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><em>Hussam is being honored tonight as the 2011 Patricia Blunt Koldyke Fellow on Social Entrepreneurship, a distinction awarded by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. The <a href="http://www.thechicagocouncil.org/files/Event/FY_12_Events/02_February_2012/Iraqi_Youth_in_Action.aspx" target="_blank">event</a> will take place at The Chicago Club at 5:30PM.</em></p><p style="margin-left: 1in;">&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Watch this video of a reality show on Hussam's channel, producing for and by Iraqi youth:</strong></p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/9076IjlpVs8" width="420" frameborder="0" height="315"></iframe></p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Thu, 02 Feb 2012 18:45:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2012-02-02/spacetoon-kids-tv-addresses-challenges-teens-face-conflict-iraq-96058 Slashed pay for thousands of needy After School Matters kids http://www.wbez.org/content/slashed-pay-thousands-needy-after-school-matters-kids <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//story/photo/2011-October/2011-10-10/schools2.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><img alt="Artist Jeff Maldonado (right) interviews a Hancock High School student for his p" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/insert-image/2011-October/2011-10-10/schools2.jpg" style="width: 630px; height: 473px;" title="Artist Jeff Maldonado (right) interviews a Hancock High School student for his printmaking class. (WBEZ/Linda Lutton)"></p><p>After School Matters is practically a household name in Chicago. It's the city's premier afterschool program, founded 20 years ago by former first lady Maggie Daley. It offers needy high school students apprenticeships—20,000 of them this year alone. The teens learn skills in the arts, academics, or sports— but they also get paid. They’re starting work this month under drastically slashed stipends.</p><p>Sixteen-year-old Destiny Velez is beaming. The teenager is standing next to her painting, which has a bold red “sold” sign near it.</p><p>VELEZ: I met the people who bought it—they loved it. I felt so happy and proud that someone would actually buy it.</p><p>Chicago’s civic and business elite are here at this After School Matters fundraiser. They sip wine and look at the teen art, produced under the direction of professional artists.</p><p><img alt="Destiny Velez learned to paint in After School Matters, and earned $870. Kids in" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/insert-image/2011-October/2011-10-10/schools1.jpg" style="margin-right: 10px; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px; float: left; width: 325px; height: 244px;" title="Destiny Velez learned to paint in After School Matters, and earned $870. Kids in most apprenticeships will now earn $100."></p><p>VELEZ: They taught me how to bring in color and make things pop, so I did orange, you know, it’s bright and catches your eye.</p><p>Apprentice chefs serve hors d’oeuvres. Apprentice musicians and dancers perform.</p><p>Senior Mina Landon moves across the stage in synchronized dips and dives with other kids she calls her “coworkers.” Mina earned $870 dancing this summer with After School Matters.&nbsp; She says she learned much more than hip-hop.</p><p>LANDON: You get paid a decent amount of money. It’s very satisfying, but also you have to come, sign in, check in, check out, take it like a job. Like don’t come late or you dock your pay. If you really want to get a job, this can also start you off.</p><p>It’s an intentional mix of work experience and talent development. Kids fix computers, write songs. After School Matters is the biggest program of its kind in the country; it’s been replicated in Boston and New York, just to name two cities.</p><p>But beginning this month, the group is tinkering big time with its model. Chicago teens are getting a 75 percent pay cut. Students who last spring made almost $400 will now make $100. That’s for 10 weeks. After School Matters cites the “challenging economic climate.”</p><p>MALDONADO (talking to a student): …It’s changed. The money part—the monetary part has changed. I need you to understand that.</p><p>After School Matters instructors like artist Jeff Maldonado have had to break the news to teenagers this fall. In the Hancock High School library, it’s the first thing Maldonado tells kids as he interviews them for his printmaking class.</p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/insert-image/2011-October/2011-10-10/schools3.jpg" style="margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px; float: right; width: 325px; height: 244px;" title="(WBEZ/Linda Lutton)"></p><p>MALDONADO: So it’s really not about the money. It’s like, if you’re interested in becoming a better artist, that’s what we’re looking for.</p><p>In the roughed up Englewood neighborhood, Cynthia Rashid has been conducting interviews too, at Beloved Community Family Services. She teaches kids graphic design and journalism on the second floor of a church building.</p><p>RAHSID: Even in the interview the other day we talked about the stipend—the look on their faces was just--psssshhhhh.</p><p>Rashid hasn’t had to recruit a single kid in the last four years. They come to her—usually many more than she can take. Now, parents say the $100 stipend won’t even cover the cost of getting to the church.</p><p>RAHSID: Normally we have teens who call back and say, ‘I want this job.’ Now, we’re calling them three and four times.</p><p>And Rashid is concerned about holding on to the kids she does accept without the carrot of a big paycheck.</p><p>Northwestern University professor Bart Hirsch just finished an evaluation of After School Matters. He says nationally, participation in after school programs by high school students tends to be weak; most programs are targeted toward younger children. In Chicago, kids clamor for a spot within the program.&nbsp;</p><p>When Hirsch began his study in 2009, students earned the equivalent of $5 an hour. Now, they’re getting $1.10. That could come back to bite the city. Hirsch found kids in After School Matters were less likely to be involved in “problem behaviors” than kids in other after school programs.</p><p>HIRSCH: The fact that they were paid some money might make them less likely to have to engage in those types of activities such as selling drugs or being involved in a gang because they got the money from After School Matters.</p><p>At Beloved Community, director Delphine Rankin says students often spend their stipends on basic needs.</p><p><img a="" after="" alt="" as="" class="caption" job.="" matters="" s="" school="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/insert-image/2011-October/2011-10-10/schools5.jpg" still="" students="" style="margin-right: 10px; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px; float: left; width: 325px; height: 216px;" title="Mina Landon and her &quot;coworkers.&quot; It's unclear whether students will still view After School Matters as a job. (Photo courtesy of After School Matters)" unclear="" view="" whether="" will="">RANKIN: I’ve seen, the day or two days after we issue the stipends to our participants, you actually see some of the kids come in with the right attire for the season. Until you’ve been in this community and you see what some of the families are facing, you don’t realize the significance.</p><p>Overall, After School Matters stipends sent nearly $7 million to Chicago families last year. That amount is being cut by 40 percent. That’s gotten almost no public attention.</p><p>After School Matters board member Avis LaVelle says the board wrestled with its decision to cut stipends. Both Chicago Public Schools and the state of Illinois reduced funding to the nonprofit this year.</p><p>LAVELLE: We feel like there are a number of young people who will still come and participate in the program. They would have come for free, because they enjoy it that much.&nbsp; We wanted to be able to provide as many opportunities as possible and be very realistic about our financial capability.</p><p>But overall, WBEZ has found After School Matters’ budget is up over last year’s. The current $25.5 million dollar budget is average for the last seven years.</p><p>While the overall budget pie is the same, the slice of that pie going to teen stipends is a lot thinner.</p><p>LaVelle says the nonprofit is closing down certain “drop-in” and “club” programs it ran in past years and is moving participants into more costly apprenticeships. LaVelle says the board decided to cut stipends instead of reducing the number of students it serves. A spokeswoman from After School Matters’ PR firm said in late September that recruitment levels were similar to last year’s. After School Matters says youth have told them in surveys that money is not the most important part of this for teens.</p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/insert-image/2011-October/2011-10-10/schools4.jpg" style="border-width: initial; border-color: initial; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px; float: right; width: 325px; height: 312px; " title="Nationwide, participation in afterschool programs for high school youth is weak. Not in Chicago - a model for other cities. (WBEZ/Linda Lutton)"></p><p>Back in the Hancock High School library, many kids say they’re happy to be paid any money to do something they love.</p><p>But some say they’ll now feel pressure to find an outside job on top of this.&nbsp; And that’s not easy with a teen unemployment rate over 27 percent. It’s 47 percent among black teens.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Seventeen-year-old Jovani Garcia got used to helping his family after working in After School Matters this summer—</p><p>JOVANI: It was like around $900, so I gave them $500, and I kept the rest.</p><p>LUTTON: Do you know what they spent the money on?</p><p>JOVANI: I think on the house, mortgage thing. Yeah.</p><p>Alums from Hancock’s After School Matters programs have gotten college scholarships.</p><p>Whether kids can see those longer term payoffs—and whether they can live without a paycheck now— will help define the future of Chicago’s premier afterschool program.&nbsp;</p><p><em>Correction: An earlier version of this report incorrectly identified After School Matters as the recent recipient of a $1 million dollar Bank of America grant. That grant did not go to After School Matters.</em></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p> <style type="text/css"> table.tableizer-table {border: 1px solid #CCC; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;} .tableizer-table td {padding: 4px; margin: 3px; border: 1px solid #ccc;} .tableizer-table th {background-color: #104E8B; color: #FFF; font-weight: bold;}</style> </p><table class="tableizer-table" width="630"><tbody><tr class="tableizer-firstrow"><th>Fiscal Year</th><th>Operating budget (in millions)</th><th>Amount spent on stipends to teens (in millions)</th><th>% of budget going to teen stipends</th><th>Amount spent on administration</th><th>Amount spent on fundraising</th><th>% of budget going to administration and fundraising</th></tr><tr><td>2005</td><td>19.0</td><td>*</td><td>&nbsp;</td><td>875,880</td><td>395,282</td><td>6.69</td></tr><tr><td>2006</td><td>23.4</td><td>*</td><td>&nbsp;</td><td>1,180,857</td><td>715,669</td><td>8.10</td></tr><tr><td>2007</td><td>25.8</td><td>*</td><td>&nbsp;</td><td>1,817,569</td><td>453,838</td><td>8.81</td></tr><tr><td>2008</td><td>27.5</td><td>*</td><td>&nbsp;</td><td>3,463,672</td><td>455,614</td><td>14.28</td></tr><tr><td>2009</td><td>31.8</td><td>5.36</td><td>16.9%</td><td>3,164,123</td><td>1,305,403</td><td>14.06</td></tr><tr><td>2010</td><td>27.5</td><td>6.96</td><td>25.3%</td><td>2,665,527</td><td>1,236,330</td><td>14.18</td></tr><tr><td>2011</td><td>24.6</td><td>6.8</td><td>27.6%</td><td>&nbsp;</td><td>&nbsp;</td><td>&nbsp;</td></tr><tr><td>2012</td><td>25.5</td><td>3.9</td><td>15.3%</td><td>*</td><td>*</td><td>&nbsp;</td></tr></tbody></table><p><em>Source: After School Matters<br> 2011 figures are unaudited. 2012 figures are budgeted amounts.&nbsp;<br> *WBEZ requested these figures; ASM has not provided them.&nbsp;<br> WBEZ asked to see ASM's<span>&nbsp;</span>full FY12 budget; the nonprofit declined that request.<span>&nbsp;</span><br> ASM's fiscal year runs July 1 to June 30. &nbsp;</em></p></p> Mon, 10 Oct 2011 06:15:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/content/slashed-pay-thousands-needy-after-school-matters-kids Junk food fight: Should ads stop targeting teens? http://www.wbez.org/story/2011-06-21/junk-food-fight-should-ads-stop-targeting-teens-88170 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//npr_story/photo/2011-June/2011-06-22/doritos.gif" alt="" /><p><p>The government says junk food marketers shouldn't advertise to kids. Not just on TV, but also online, in schools and in stores.</p><p>The guidelines being proposed are voluntary; food companies can opt out. Still, with four powerful agencies, including the Federal Trade Commission and the Food and Drug Administration, throwing their weight behind the proposal, the food industry is taking the measure seriously.</p><p>One of the most contentious issues is whether the marketing limits should be applied to older kids, aged 12 to 17 — like 13-year-old Reed Weisenberger.</p><p>"I always want pizza whenever I see a pizza commercial," he says during a recent visit to Washington, D.C.'s Union Station with his mom Cindy and a group of his friends.</p><p>Cindy Weisenberger dodges such requests regularly. Earlier, it was for giant caffeinated energy drinks.</p><p>"These guys on the way here wanted to buy Monster drinks," she says. "And I said, 'I'm not taking any kids that are drinking Monster drinks.'"</p><p>To those who want to limit kids' exposure to billions of dollars worth of food ads, the stakes are much higher than one parent's ongoing battle. About a third of U.S. adolescents are obese, and many blame successful marketing campaigns for contributing to the problem.</p><p>The agencies drafting the guidelines call themselves the Interagency Working Group. In addition to the FTC and FDA, the group includes the Agriculture Department and the Centers for Disease Control.</p><p><strong>'Horrifying' Tactics</strong></p><p>This group broke from the past by seeking to include 12- to 17-year-olds in its guidelines. Traditionally, limits on marketing focused on the very young. But the government sought to expand them to older children, in part because they are heavy consumers of social media, cell phone messages and online games — the new frontier for ads.</p><p>"What we're talking about are very complicated and very subtle forms of marketing that aren't always clear as such," says Kathryn Montgomery, a professor of communications at American University and an advocate for limiting food ads to teens.</p><p>As an example, she cites <a href="http://www.myawardshows.com/2010/OneShowEntertainment/asylum626/">an online ad</a> sponsored by Doritos that mimics a horror movie, and which draws in users' friends using Facebook or Twitter.</p><p>Montgomery says such ads work subliminally and use friends to influence other friends.</p><p>But efforts to restrict ads to teens draw lots of opposition from the food and advertising industries. The industries say the overlap between teen and adult audiences makes the proposed restrictions impractical.</p><p><strong>Is It Feasible?</strong></p><p>Elaine Kolish directs an industry-funded program called the Children's Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative. For the past five years this initiative sponsored its own voluntary standards that focus only on the 12-and-under set.</p><p>"You know, we let kids drive and we let them hold jobs when they're 16. They can get married in some states, and they can join the military with permission, and they can be held criminally responsible for their actions in a number of situations," she says. "So I think that the notion that you'd have to have nutrition standards that say you can't let a kid see an ad for a french fry but you can let them join the military doesn't really make a lot of sense."</p><p>Advocates say whether the guidelines will include limits on teen marketing depends largely on how hard the government is willing to fight the industry.</p><p>Mary Engle, a director of advertising practices at the FTC, seems to suggest the government doesn't think it can win that fight.</p><p>"I think the application of the principles to teenagers was definitely a point of contention," she says. "And the working group has already signaled that by asking questions about limiting it to children under age 12, that we recognize that it may not be really feasible."</p><p>The deadline for public comments to the working group is July 14. The final guidelines are expected by the end of the year. <div class="fullattribution">Copyright 2011 National Public Radio.</p> Tue, 21 Jun 2011 23:01:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/2011-06-21/junk-food-fight-should-ads-stop-targeting-teens-88170 Program gets kids in the kitchen for some healthy eating http://www.wbez.org/story/affordable/program-gets-kids-kitchen-some-healthy-eating <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//Cooking.JPG" alt="" /><p><p><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:PunctuationKerning /> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas /> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> <w:IgnoreMixedContent>false</w:IgnoreMixedContent> <w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText>false</w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText> <w:Compatibility> <w:BreakWrappedTables /> <w:SnapToGridInCell /> <w:WrapTextWithPunct /> <w:UseAsianBreakRules /> <w:DontGrowAutofit /> </w:Compatibility> <w:BrowserLevel>MicrosoftInternetExplorer4</w:BrowserLevel> </w:WordDocument> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:LatentStyles DefLockedState="false" LatentStyleCount="156"> </w:LatentStyles> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if !mso]><object classid="clsid:38481807-CA0E-42D2-BF39-B33AF135CC4D" id=ieooui></object> <style> st1\:*{behavior:url(#ieooui) } </style> <![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 10]> <style> /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ansi-language:#0400; mso-fareast-language:#0400; mso-bidi-language:#0400;} </style> <![endif]-->The last bell signals the end of the school day, but for some Chicago elementary students, the day starts again&hellip;but this time in the kitchen.<span style=""> </span>A non-profit has been teaching low-income kids how to cook healthy, affordable meals.<span style=""> </span>The aim is to prevent childhood obesity and develop life long eating habits.<span style=""> WBEZ Pritzker Journalism Fellow</span> Icoi Johnson reports that the program is shifting gears.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">MATTHEW/CHILD:<span style="">&nbsp; </span>You guys an easy way to get the skin off, it take it underneath your palm and just push down on the garlic, kind of smash it. <br /><br />The official school day is over at John W. Cook School on Chicago&rsquo;s Southside. But a group of students are staying behind to learn how to cook.<br /><br />Jazee Burton explains what&rsquo;s on the menu.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">BURTON:<span style=""> </span>We&rsquo;re making mango crisp crumble and then we&rsquo;re making chicken tenders.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">The students learn everything, from measuring ingredients, to using a knife&hellip;safely.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Jontae Townsend demonstrates a technique called a Bear Claw.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">TOWNSEND:<span style=""> </span>We put our fingers and our thumbs tucked in so the knife can just hit our knuckles.<span style="">&nbsp; </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal">Burton and Townsend are involved in a program put on by Common Threads, a Chicago non-profit group.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Common Threads uses professional chefs to teach students how to cook.<span style=""> </span>One of those is former sous-chef Matthew Peterson. Peterson says the Common Threads programs gets kids excited about cooking.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">That&rsquo;s important, since a lot of the kids in these schools are familiar with fast food or stuff that can be microwaved.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">PETERSON:<span style=""> </span>I want to give other kids a passion for cooking and bring back those skills that a lot of people in my generation and generations younger than me have lost.<span style=""> </span>I don&rsquo;t know, I just really want to show them that there is a better way to eat that they can take pride in something like cooking.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">The Common Threads teaching program has been around for a while. It was founded in 2003 by Art Smith.<span style=""> </span>You might remember him as a former chef to talk show host Oprah Winfrey.<span style="">&nbsp; </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal">The program&rsquo;s gotten a lot of attention over the years for doing good.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>There are now hundreds of kids who can use a knife properly and know the ins and outs of baking, frying, and broiling.<br /><br />But there are tough questions about whether teaching kids to cook well is enough.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Mary Russell Directs Nutrition Services at the University of Chicago Medical Center.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">RUSSELL:<span style=""> </span>To help reduce obesity I think we need to hit it from a lot of different prongs.<span style=""> </span>This is a good one, but it&rsquo;s not going to solve the problem, because it&rsquo;s only when they&rsquo;re in school.<span style=""> </span>If they don&rsquo;t get it reinforced, it would be unlikely to have a lasting impact unless there was the availability of parental support and encouragement.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">It turns out Common Threads has been thinking about the same problem, so it is now getting parents more involved.<span style="">&nbsp; </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal">Jillayne Samatas is the Education and Outreach Manager at Common Threads.<span style=""> </span>She says they&rsquo;ve had parents observe their children cooking, but now they&rsquo;re thinking about getting parents in the kitchen, too.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">SAMATAS:<span style=""> </span>It will be a five week series, where we&rsquo;ll have a parent and child that has been in our cooking class before, come to a class for 2 hours for five weeks following a curriculum that will get to cook together but then also learn some basic nutrition information as well.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Samatas says Common Threads has learned a lot about teaching low-income children about cooking and food. But there&rsquo;s one lesson that&rsquo;s a bit depressing. Samatas says a lot of the parents in their program can&rsquo;t access the kinds of food their children learn to cook.<br /><br />Sometimes they have to travel miles outside their own neighborhood just to get to full-service grocery stores.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">SAMATAS:<span style=""> </span>As much as we realize there is an access problem, our organization isn&rsquo;t at a capacity right now to address that issue.<span style=""> </span>Our primary role is to teach and educate.<span style=""> </span>But it&rsquo;s something that we are definitely involved in and trying to understand ourselves how can we help with that issue and it&rsquo;s really difficult to figure out.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">But Samatas says this access issue won&rsquo;t stop Common Threads from its teaching.<span style=""> </span>She figures the group can&rsquo;t solve ever food-related problem low-income kids will have&hellip;but someone needs to give them the confidence and know-how to run their own kitchens some day.</p></p> Tue, 04 Jan 2011 15:48:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/affordable/program-gets-kids-kitchen-some-healthy-eating