Utica teachers and other MEA members leading the way toward healthy lifestyles

As we tackle the issue of childhood obesity on our radio show this month, I am reminded once again how much I learn from our members. Deb Lotan, a food service employee from Waterford (and local ESP president) is on our show this month, and her stories really hit home about the importance of making sure our students make good food choices. No one is bigger advocate for the students she serves–Deb knows each and every one of them, and she makes it her mission to encourage them to adopt healthy eating habits.

In Utica, there is a group of teachers who are teaching that same lesson through leading by example. They created a “Biggest Loser” healthy weight loss contest, and the pounds are flying off. Read more about how teamwork is helping them stay on track here: http://www.mea.org/members/040309_utica_teachers_live_well.html

Makes me want to change a few things about my own habits!

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Voices of Michigan Education Program Looks at Nutrition and Childhood Obesity

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Join us on Tuesday evening, April 14th at 7 p.m. on Newstalk 760 WJR for the Voices of Michigan Education.

In the latest Michigan Youth Risk Behavior Survey, more than one third of students in grades 9 to 12 did not participate in the recommended amount of weekly physical activity, a higher percentage watched three or more hours of television on an average school day, and less than one third attended physical education class one or more days during an average school week. During the past four decades, obesity rates have soared among all age groups, more than quadrupling among children ages 6 to 11.

We will talk with members of The Generation With Promise project, which aims to prevent obesity and smoking in children as well as Deb Lotan, President of the Michigan Education Support Professional Association, a group that represents 229 custodians, food service, maintenance and transportation workers. She will discuss changes in school nutrition and the fact that for some children, the meals they get at school might be all they receive during the day. Also on the program, Arizona State University Professor, Dr. David Berliner, who has authored an insightful and in some circles controversial report, Poverty and Potential: Out-of-School Factors and School Success which reviews six out-of-school factors that have been clearly linked to lower achievement among poor and minority-group students.

The April edition of the Voices of Michigan Education will also be aired on Saturday, April 18 across the state on the Michigan Radio Network.