Mentor student packs spring break lunches for those in need

Josh Amspaugh didn't want his peers to go hungry over spring break, so he decided to pay it forward and provide a week of food for families in need.


The Shore Middle School seventh-grader collected enough food and donations to create 40 bags filled to the top with groceries.


"This all started when I asked my mom, 'What do kids do when we are on spring break if they eat at school?" the Mentor middle-schooler said. "Some kids get two meals at school, breakfast and lunch, so she said they might not eat at all. So then I decided during spring break if they aren't going to be eating for a week because they aren't in school, I would put 40 bags together and it took off from there."


The bags contain macaroni, granola bars, chips, snacks, peanut butter and jelly, and when families come to pick up the bags on April 3, they also will receive fresh fruits and bread for a total of 25 different items.   >> READ MORE 

Spring Break Academy at Bancroft Elementary  
Shampoo, olive oil or ginger ale. Which is the densest?

That's what students are trying to find out at what's called Spring Break Academy, a weeklong program that lets 4,000 Minneapolis kids spend their vacation learning while having fun.


"A lot of kids walk in with a fixed mindset over long division or fractions or something," said Kelly Fulton, a teacher at Bancroft Elementary School. "And we have this small window of time over spring break where we can really make a change."


Those changes are sometimes big since students spend all morning on math and reading, then use afternoons for hands-on projects and field trips.


Not only does it teach them new ideas, it also helps inspire a love of learning.


"We know that having strong hands-on activities for kids, it's going to encourage them to just do better during the regular school day," said Lisa Hartmann, Spring Break Academy lead teacher.

  >> READ MORE  
Low-income children hear 30 million fewer words; Huntsville schools plan to fix that
A new program to ensure the minds of young children get enough stimulation to succeed in the classroom is in the works in Huntsville City Schools.


It specifically aims to close the 30-million word gap for children, often in low-income settings, when they start school compared to other children.

The school district became the first school system nationally to contract with the LENA Research Foundation to develop a community program aimed at equipping families with training to increase the amount of stimulating communication with pre-school children. It targets children from infancy to 3 years old, when studies show a child's brain has its greatest amount of development.


LENA's website says it is based on the research of Dr. Betty Hart and Dr. Todd Risley, who in their 1995 book, Meaningful Differences, identified the amount of talk in the first 24-36 months of life as the single most important determinant of language ability, IQ and school success.   >> READ MORE 


Sam saw six seagulls.


Bumblebees buzzed Belinda.


Which witch was which?


Ten tired turtles Tango-ed.


Spring flowers have sprung.


Cops catch crafty criminals.



The U.S. Department of Education announced today that Kentucky, Minnesota, New Mexico, North Carolina and Virginia have each received a four-year renewal for flexibility from provisions of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), also known as No Child Left Behind (NCLB).  >> READ MORE 

The U.S. Department of Education announced six new grant awards today totaling $4.1 million through the Charter Schools Program (CSP) National Leadership Activities program. These grants will help strengthen charter schools and charter school authorizers, while also improving capacity to serve students with disabilities and English learners. Helping the charter school sector address these key issues is a priority for the Department. >> READ MORE