Project Creek Bank

This past Saturday was a workday on Project Creek Bank at The Learning Center.

Project Creek Bank is a combined effort to rid the creek that flows by our school of invasive plants while leaving the natives to thrive and protect the creek bank. Tony Ward, with Hiwassee Rivershed Coalition, brought several helpers and joined with Learning Center staff and parents to make this a productive day.

Progress was made and much was learned about both invasive and native plants.

Thank you Tony and volunteers!

Physical Fitness Achievements & the Golden Dumb Bell Award

We are proud of our physical fitness achievements here at The Learning Center!  and find ways to honor and celebrate high achievers.  New this year is the Golden Dumb Bell Award.  Be sure to watch the video below to find out what it is!

2009-2010 National Physical Fitness Award winners

2009-2010 Presidential Physical Fitness Award Winners

The Golden Dumb Bell

The 4th grade class wins the Golden Dumb Bell Award for 1st quarter 2010

Junior Beta Club Participates in Local Service Project

The mission of the National Junior Beta Club is to promote the ideals of academic achievement, character, service and leadership among elementary and secondary school students.  Recently, The Learning Center! Junior Beta Club members participated in two local service projects – Holy Smoke and Crop Walk.

Holy Smoke is an area event aimed at raising money to help fund the building of homes for people who need them.  Crop Hunger Walk is a community-wide event organized by local congregations to raise funds to end hunger at home and around the world.

TLC! Junior Beta Club members participate in these events each year.  Not only does doing so teach these students about important social issues, but it also shows how one person can make a difference in a positive way.

Way to go Junior Beta Club!

WNC Healthy Kids Conference

(Ms. Debby, our Child Nutrition Program Manager/ Nutrition Education and Wellness Team Leader here at TLC! is serious about nutrition, educating our kids about healthy eating and about teaching parents and our community about it too.  Today is a guest post from Ms. Debby and what she learned at a recent conference here in western North Carolina.  Take it away Ms. Debby!)

I recently had the privilege of attending a regional conference on child nutrition and health in Asheville. The theme of the conference was “Communities Working Together” and the idea was to bring together concerned professionals from various disciplines to discuss solutions to the current health problems facing children in our area.  What I learned was both frightening and encouraging.

“Frightening” because our area, along with the rest of the country, is facing a true epidemic of obesity that is now affecting our children along with the adult population.   These maps, which were referenced repeatedly at the conference, tell the story in a way mere words can’t.  Please do take a minute to view them.   Along with the rise in obesity has come a rise in type 2 diabetes, hypertension and other “adult” health issues among children.   Just prior to the conference, USA Today had published an article that stated that, if current trends continue, by 2050 one third of our population will have developed diabetes, and for the first time in generations, the life expectancy of our children is shorter than that of the current generation of adults.    In a bizarre sidenote, many of the professionals there also noted that while obesity was on the rise, so was malnutrition and that it is entirely possible to be both overweight and undernourished at the same time due to poor food choices.

There is much more I could share on why this is so alarming to me, but let me talk to you about why this conference was also so encouraging.  The CDC says that if the trend toward obesity is to be reversed, we must address the availability of healthy foods, increase opportunities for physical exercise and create a system that supports health.  One of the presenters, Emily Jackson of ASAP, was quoted as putting it this way,  “what we all want to do is create a community environment where kids can’t help but grow up healthy.”   I feel that that is exactly what we are trying to do here at The Learning Center! and I see evidence that we are being successful.   There is, of course, much yet to be done, and there is more need than ever for our TLC!  Families to reinforce at home what our students are learning about health here on campus.  I encourage you to partner with us in creating a healthy future for our kids.

Couldn’t have said it any better.  Thanks Ms. Debby.

Chef Ann: Eliminating Chocolate Milk in Schools | Lunchbox

Why No Flavored Milk with Meals?

Ms. Debby gets asked frequently, especially by new members of  The Learning Center! family, why we don’t offer flavored milk at lunch and breakfast.  After all, it is milk and it does have all the good stuff associated with milk like calcium and vitamin D.  True…  BUT along with “the good stuff”  there is a lot of added sugar and thus a lot of extra calories that many students do not need.  Our compromise has been that we do offer chocolate milk as a snack item.

Chef Ann, a pioneer in bringing better foods to school lunch programs, explains it well in the video below.

Chef Ann: Eliminating Chocolate Milk in Schools | Lunchbox.