NYS PTA Advocacy Newsbriefs... October 2014

NYS PTA Advocacy Newsbriefs

In This Issue

In the Spotlight
In the Spotlight...
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Right Column:

Technology and Education

All Aboard!! Full STEAM ahead.....
The latest buzz is about STEAM (STEM plus Art); no longer just STEM (Science,Technology, Engineering and Math). Why? While innovation is closely involved with Science, Technology, Engineering and Math – the STEM subjects; simply by adding Art to the equation, a whole new, exciting transformation is occurring... MORE

Equal Access for All Students

Diverse Students
All of our students deserve equal access to educational resources like academic and extracurricular programs, strong teaching, facilities, technology and instructional materials, no matter their race, color or national origin. This access refers to technology, instructional materials and appropriate high-quality academic and extracurricular programs.

Click here to read more.

Supporting Ongoing, Constructive, Meaningful Conversations About Your Student’s Progress

Parent-Teacher Conferences
Parent-Teacher Conferences are right around the corner. Some parents are excited about talking with the teacher while other parents are more hesitant. Conferences are a great way to start on ongoing, constructive dialogue with your child’s teacher about the education of your child. Establishing this dialogue with the teacher allows you both to focus on the needs of your child.

The Harvard Family Research Project has compiled a Tip Sheet for administrators, teachers and parents regarding what the content of conferences. Be sure to have a written list of the questions and concerns that you have regarding instruction, policy and social aspects. Remember that you are allotted a specific amount of time. If you need additional time and cannot discuss all your concerns in the time you are given, make an additional appointment for later. It is important to keep the conversation open. Click here to read more.

Experts Question Tobacco Companies’ Motives in Issuing E-Cigarette Warnings

E-Cigarette Warning
According to Join Together, there are some concerns regarding the motives of tobacco companies for putting warning labels on E-Cigarettes. Read more here.

Governor Cuomo Launches Combat Heroin Campaign

Combat Heroin Campaign
The NYS Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services has created a new website: combatheroin.ny.gov. There are free printed materials and resources available.

FDA Proposal to Regulate More Tobacco Products

No Safe Tobacco Products
The Food and Drug Administration recently proposed a new rule that would extend their authority over additional tobacco products including: E-Cigarettes, cigars, pipe tobacco, certain dissolvables that are not smokeless tobacco, gels, water pipe tobacco and future tobacco products that meet the definition of a “tobacco product.” Click here for more.

Rx Takeback

Prescription Take Back
Effective October 9, 2014, a regulation from the Drug Enforcement Administration will authorize pharmacies, including those in hospitals and clinics, as well as narcotic treatment programs, to serve as authorized drop-off sites for unused medications. Long-term care facilities will be able to collect controlled substances from their residents. Finally, all US residents will be permitted to directly mail in unused prescription medications to authorized collectors.

Read more at:

Wellness Toolkit and Advocacy Positions

Don’t forget to check the NYS PTA Wellness Toolkit and Calendar to learn more about wellness advocacy and resources at: nyspta.org/Advocacy/advocacy_wellnesstoolkit.cfm

Cleaning for Healthier Schools

Green Schools
NYS PTA Cooperating Partner Healthy Schools Network has updated their Cleaning for Healthy Schools website: cleaningforhealthyschools.org.

The site has toolkits for Green Cleaning and Healthy Products. There are posters, webinars, tip sheets, checklists and links for products. This is extremely important, especially for schools undergoing construction and renovations. For more, click here.

Children and Firefighters Protection Act of 2014

The purpose of this act is to eliminate the use of 10 identified substances used as flame retardants in children’s products or upholstered furniture, as well as appointment of a Chronic Hazard Advisory Council to study the effects of the 10 listed substances or any others that may later be identified.

Studies show that out of 300 members of the New York State Professional Firefighters Association who died between 2012 and 2014, 52 percent had cancer. Children are at risk of exposure to these chemicals for obvious reasons, as they often have some of the items in question in their mouths.

Reported side effects of flame retardants: learning disabilities, cancer, endocrine disruption, damage to the reproductive, nervous and immune systems, and/or organ failure. Click here for further information.

Antibiotic Use in Chickens Cut Significantly by Chicken Farms

According to Pew Charitable Trusts, Perdue Farms announced that 95% of the 640 million birds it raises each year never receive human antibiotics. Pew has posted on their website information regarding Perdue’s work on antibiotics. Click here to read more.


October 2014
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In the Spotlight

Working Together to Provide Resources to Prevent Bullying This Month and Every Month

Take a Stand Against Bullying
October is National Bullying Prevention Awareness Month and it’s a good time for schools (including personnel and students), communities, districts and states to take stock of current efforts to reduce and prevent bullying. Do current school climates make students feel safe, allowing them to thrive academically and socially? Are youth comfortable speaking up if they are being bullied? Are members of the community engaged and are the media aware of best practices when it comes to reporting bullying stories... MORE

October is National ADHD Awareness Month

October is National ADHD Awareness Month
Many students and their families are impacted by ADHD.
It is important that people recognize these students for what they are capable of doing. To gain additional information, check out the following:

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month
Numerous studies provide evidence that children who are exposed to domestic violence at home may exhibit a variety of behavioral, emotional, cognitive and long-term developmental problems. For additional information, check out the following…

October is Urban Child Month

October is Urban Child Month October is the month of the Urban Child at National PTA. Resources are available to help you support the urban families as they work to support their students. For more information check out National PTA’s EVERY CHILD in FOCUS series.

October is Farm to School Month

October is Farm to School MonthLearn about funding and curriculum opportunities: fns.usda.gov/farmtoschool/farm-school.

The website has a Farm to School Planning Toolkit; Healthy Habits Take Root video series: fns.usda.gov/farmtoschool/videos-and-webinars.

Red Ribbon Week –
October 23-31

 Red Ribbon Week is at the end of October. Here are some tools to encourage youth to live drug fee.
MADD Power of You(th) Teen Handbook
“MADD and National Presenting Sponsor State Farm created a tool to prevent underage drinking, a booklet called The 411 on Teen Drinking.

This booklet is part of MADD’s Power of You(th) program, which empowers teens to resist peer pressure and influence other teens to not drink before age 21 and never get in the car with someone who’s been drinking.” Click here for more.
2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health Available
According to the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) “There are 24.6 million people aged 12 or older who used illicit drugs in the past month. That's enough people to fill every major league baseball stadium in the US 19 times.

Learn more about the overview of findings from the 2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health by clicking here.

National PTA Smart Snacks Webinar

Smart Snacks in School
On September 18, National PTA hosted a Smart Snacks Webinar. If you were unable to watch the webinar live, you can still catch it at: gotomeeting.com/register/222618542.

After you enter your e-mail address, you can watch the webinar. The slides are also attached.

USDA Announces up to $31 Million to Empower People to Make Healthy Eating Choices

Healthy Eating Choice
According to the USDA, the “National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) is making up to $31.5 million in funding available to help participants in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) more easily afford healthy foods like fruits and vegetables. The Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive (FINI) program, a new Farm Bill program, brings together stakeholders from distinct parts of the food system and fosters understanding of how they might improve the nutrition and health status of SNAP households... MORE

4 Things You Should Do Before Repaying Your Student Loans

Student LoansOne perk of having a federal student loan instead of a private student loan is that you are not required to start making payments right away. In fact, many federal student loans have a grace period, or a set amount of time after you graduate, leave school or drop below half-time enrollment, before you must begin repaying your student loans. For most student loans, the grace period is six months. But in some instances, the grace period could be longer... MORE
Did You Know...
The NYS Board of Regents meets monthly, except for August. To access the 2014 meeting schedule, agendas, materials and webcast opportunities, go to: www.regents.nysed.gov/meetings.

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