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Salem Community Patriot 10 - August 6, 2010

NH Department of Education Will Receive

ubmitted by NH Department of Education The New Hampshire Department of Education received notification that it has been awarded a charter-school start-up grant to support educational innovation in the state, thanks to the legislature lifting the moratorium on creating charter schools. The final details of the award, including the total amount, are not yet available, but the New Hampshire Department of Education requested $11.6 million in its proposal. Charter schools are public schools that operate with more organizational flexibility than most public schools, which allows them to act, in many cases, as the “research and design

a Grant to Support Educational Innovation in the State and urban settings.

arm” of the public system. Virginia M. Barry, Ph.D., New Hampshire’s Commissioner of Education, said “This grant will enable educators in the state to design bold and innovative educational opportunities for New Hampshire students.” She congratulated Roberta Denney, the Department’s Administrator for School Standards, who wrote the grant in collaboration with Matt Southerton, Director of the New Hampshire Center for Innovative Schools. The grant has five objectives:

• Objective 1: Increase the number of high-quality charter schools in New Hampshire, particularly those serving educationally disadvantaged students who are most at risk in rural

This new grant will help support

• Objective 2: Offer districts the opportunity to create charter schools within their district to promote innovative practices.

• Objective 3: Use federal grant funds to improve student achievement in secondary charter schools and increase graduation rates.

• Objective 4: Support the dissemination of best practices developed in charter schools to other public schools and districts in the state.

• Objective 5: Empower charter schools to become strong, independent organizations, while ensuring fiscally responsible practices.

innovators and provide the resources to continue school improvement and innovations for students. It is the NH Commissioner’s hope that school districts throughout the state will be inspired to tap into these funds in order to meet the needs of all learners. Under New Hampshire law, school districts are allowed to establish and operate charter schools. These charter schools are administered by the local school board and may be closed if they fail to serve their students well or fall short of their mission. Commissioner Barry also stated, “That this grant will help the Department advance its strategic plan and provide necessary support to struggling schools, including

Make school lunches and snacks nutritious and fun

As kids head back to school, parents are faced with the dilemma of finding foods to pack for lunch and snacks that kids want to eat and that are good for them. Most snacks available in the grocery stores are full of fat, sugar and/or salt with little nutritional benefit, so finding healthy choices that kids are willing to eat isn’t always an easy task. Luckily, many food and beverage manufactur- ers are beginning to make this task a little bit easier by adding ingredients with a variety of health benefits to many foods popular with kids. These ingredients are often called functional ingredients. Most kids know what they like when it comes to food choices, so the most successful functional ingredients are those that add nutri- tional benefits without changing the taste, texture or quality of the food.

One issue being addressed with functional ingredients is bone health. While many parents

may think of bone health as an issue for older adults, taking care of kids’ bones while they are young can help prevent problems like osteopo- rosis later in life. This is particularly important during the preteen and teen years, when bones are growing fastest. By the time teens finish their growth spurts around age 17, 90 percent of their adult bone mass is established, according to the National Institutes of Health. The primary nutrient involved with bone health is calcium. And, while milk is an obvious choice when it comes to calcium, not all kids like milk. And some are lactose intolerant. Food and bever- age manufacturers are making the job of choos- ing calcium-rich foods easier by adding certain calcium-rich functional ingredients to food products that are already popular with kids. One such functional ingredient that has been getting a lot of attention recently is calcified minerals. The main benefit of calcified minerals is their ability to enrich calcium content to enable food manu- facturers to make claims like “good source of calcium” and “excellent source of calcium.” Aquamin(R) calcified min-

eral source, which is offered by GTC Nutrition, a leading provider of functional ingredi- ent solutions, is one calcified mineral source being added to foods and beverages to enrich calcium content.

Unlike dairy-based sources of calcium, Aquamin is har- vested from a particular type of red seaweed found in the North Atlantic Ocean, which picks up multiple minerals from the local clean sea water. As a result of this process, Aquamin is a composite of more than 70 minerals, with calcium and magnesium being the two most predominant minerals present. Additionally, the ingredient has a variety of other minerals including magnesium, boron, copper, fluoride, iron, manganese, phosphorus, potassium and zinc, that are potentially ben- eficial for bone health, accord- ing to The National Institutes

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of Health. To learn more about Aqua- min, visit www. EN/products/aqua- min/index.php. “Calcified miner- als are a great alternative source of calcium, particu- larly for kids who don’t like or can’t tolerate dairy,” says Dr. Anne Birkett, nutrition science manager with GTC Nutrition. “Parents looking for prod- ucts fortified with Aquamin or other calcified mineral sources should look for magnesium, cal- cium carbonate or magnesium carbon- ate on ingredient labels.”

In addition to

packing lunches and snacks rich in calcium, Dr. Birkett offers these three simple tips for parents when they choose lunch foods and snacks for their kids: * Always try and include at least one fresh fruit and vegetable when packing lunches. The USDA recom- mends 2 1/2 cups of vegetables and 2 cups of fruit each day. To help ensure fruits and vegetables you pack actually get eaten, try and rotate between your kids’ favorites. * When it comes to breads and other grain products, try and include as many whole grains as possible. Whole grains have been shown to have a variety of health benefits, including reduc- ing the risk of heart disease.

efforts to improve teacher and leader effectiveness, strengthen school standards and assessments, and promote the use of performance data to drive school decisions.” New Hampshire currently operates

10 charter schools that provide innovative, mission-driven educational experiences to students, particularly those for whom an alternative approach to learning is beneficial. More information about New Hampshire’s Charter Schools can be found at instruction/school_improve/charter/ index.htm.

* Mix it up. Kids can get bored if they are

packed the same thing every day. Experimenting with different healthy food options is a great way to help your kids figure out what they do and don’t like and encourages them to have an open mind when trying new foods.

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