Mohegan Sun is hosting their annual Total Life Expo this Saturday, September 17 from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Tuesday, March 1
To Kill a Mockingbird:
Living Literature Readers' Theater Production Living Literature, a Rhode Island-based collec- tive of artists and educators who teach litera- ture through live performances under the direction of artistic director, Barry Press, will present an excerpt from To Kill a Mockingbird
by Harper Lee. Living Literature performances are parially funded by the Community Coaliion for Children.
I have to thank Backus Hospital, a long-time supporter of CCC, for sharing this holiday diet detox recipe from PBS on their Facebook page. Not only does it provide a delicious and healthy recipe, but there are great tips for parents on how to deal with lunchbox challenges.
Visit www.pbs.org for the recipe and tips posted by Alice Currah, publisher of SavorySweetLife.com
The Williams School Speaker Series
11/13/15 Kathleen O’Beirne for CCC
The first speaker in the school’s 125th anniversary speaker series was Mary Helen Immordino-Yang, Ed.D., an alumna of the school who is now Associate Professor of Education, Psychology, and Neuroscience at the University of Southern California. A triple department member is most unusual, and her research is remarkable in its multi-disciplinary look at how our brain utilizes our body’s basic functioning areas to grow our sense of self at the highest level. When there are enough experiences/ stimulation, our inner self thrives; conversely, a lack thereof impacts both our intellectual and physical development.
Her talk was titled, “Rest is Not Idleness in the Brain: Insights for Education from Neuroscientific Research on Social Emotion and Self.” I was invited to attend (I presumed from the CCC list of contacts). The other 150 in attendance at the Thames Club were current students and their parents, faculty, and representatives from non-profits. I thought the turnout and the intense interest in the topic underscores the viability of CCC potentially inviting Dr. Frances Jensen to speak in the fall of 2016 (author of The Teenage Brain). While very detailed in the aspects of her research work, she left me wishing that she had given more examples of strategies for students, parents, and educators to enhance the capability of controlling one’s “day-dreaming aspect” (play!), which is where abstract thought is nurtured, and one’s return to “reality,” i.e., focus on the present. She noted that those who can migrate “elegantly” between these two domains/ cognitive functions are those who represent the highest level of human achievement.
She said that “the brain is both shaped by and shaping its environment. Our brain is entirely dependent upon interactions with others – our complex intellectual development is based on our education and loving support.” “The secret is to call up emotions in a safe place, examine them, and take control of them.” “Meaningful learning always involves emotions. You remember whatever you have emotion about. Therefore, a closer relationships with one’s parents makes teens more resilient – they can regulate their emotions more readily.”
“The way in which your brain develops is based on how you use your brain. Tribes whose traditions and control have been taken away from them (and everything they “need” is provided by a governing power) experience higher suicide rates – no sense of self-worth….We are the only species able to die of hunger to make a point. Conversely, if your reason for being has disappeared, there is no point in living.”
Daydreaming activates the deepest level of thought vs. being “on task.” Personal memories activate this region. Reading comprehension and problem-solving are activated when not distracted by the ‘real world.’ Learning how to access this inner network (and leave it when appropriate) is critical for depth of thought. We need to be able to ignore external stuff – need to be able to shift between the internal and the external. “
Answering a question about teens’ tendency toward “risky behavior,” she said: “Teens are much more sensitive to stimuli and the presence of peers. They are more likely to do risky behavior with peers around. They need to learn to act responsibly (through many experiences). Teens don’t have enough experience to quickly decide what is good/bad for me – so they think a lot about the issue before deciding.” (i.e., tendency to over-think all angles of an issue – frustrating to them & adults!
I wished that there could have been more actual strategies for empowering/enhancing teens and young adults’ growth of their inner self. I can remember how fascinated my Spanish III students were when they read Ortega y Gasset’s concept of seeking friends/mates with “la misma profundidad.” We spent two class periods because of their intense interest in the implications for their own life choices and I have heard them through the years harken back to that discussion. The hunger is there.
Bank Square Books has copies of her book: Emotions, Learning, and the Brain: Exploring the Educational Implications of Affective Neuroscience. She was in town because today she is speaking to 60 heads of school in Mystic.
There will be more speakers in the series – next on Jan. 14th at The Williams School. Check their website for snowdate/topics.
"Robert Macfarlane, the award-winning writer, is to pen his first book for children in a bid to reinstate nature words back into their vocabularies...
...Macfarlane was among the prominent authors left dismayed several years ago when 50 terms relating to the natural world were culled from the Oxford Junior Dictionary after it was updated to reflect modern tastes and technology.
In January, he and others including Margaret Atwood, Andrew Motion and Michael Morpurgo signed a public letter of protest, saying it was “worrying” to see terms about the outdoors swapped for those “associated with the interior, solitary childhoods of today”...."
Read the full article by By Hannah Furness, Arts correspondent on The Telegraph
"I had forgotten that when I was a kid, I didn’t just observe nature, I dammed creeks, dug in the dirt, made forts out of branches, and more. What a gift of play to give kids today!"
In April, 2015, John Davis attended the Children and Nature Conference in Bastrop, Texas, co-hosted by the Children & Nature Network and Texas Children in Nature.
In an article on www.childrenandnature.org, he shares his thoughts about what he learned.
"As a career biologist, I consider myself someone who is pretty aware of what’s going on in the natural resource field. As a grown man who thought he still experienced nature with a child-like wonder, I thought I had a handle on how to connect kids to the outdoors.
Then I met Rusty Keeler at the Children & Nature Network’s recent international conference."
Read the full article...
Dear Community Partners:
Please join us as we begin our initiative to promote health and fitness for the youth in our community. We have many events scheduled for this year and would like your support. Please distribute and post these programs. Encourage the children in your organization to participate. Adults are welcome to form a team, be a cheerleader, or make a donation. Additional information can be found on our website at www.newlondonrec.com. Thank you!
The New London Recreation Department is proud to offer The Rod Dixons Kid’s Marathon program. This amazing program is a great fun way for kids to get active outside after this long winter we have just experienced. Over 8 weeks the kids will run a total of 26.2 miles in a fun enjoyable manor, with a grand finale Olympic style finish and celebration at Waterford High School. Kids will also earn a Presidential Active Lifestyle Award along with a complementary certificate, T-shirt, and a replica Olympic medal. This program will surely show kids the joys and health benefits of running which they can enjoy for a life time. If you can inform any students ages 7-12 that might be interested in this amazing opportunity to experiencing running in a positive light.
KIDS MARATHON PROGRAM
DATE: March 30- May, 2015
AGE: Grade 3-8
LOCATION: Caulkins Park, Crescent Street, New London
FEE: $25 residents/ $30 nonresidents
INSTRUCTOR: NL Rec
Register online at http://www.newlondonrec.com/Default.aspx or in person at the Recreation Department. If you have any questions please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the Recreation Department at (860) 447-5230.
MARK YOUR CALENDARS
Other Race Events:
· Proud to “DU” it- Children’s Duathlon: Run-Bike-Run
May 3, 2015 at Bates Woods/Sports Complex
· Proud to TRI- Youth Triathlon: Swim-Bike-Run
September 12, 2015 at Camp Harkness State Park
· 5K Heroes for Scholarships: Adults & Children
August 2015 Location TBD
Scott Johnson, Jr
New London Recreation Department
409 Main Street • Niantic, CT 06357 • Phone: 860-691-1111 • Fax: 860-691-1194
Our Building Better Boys initiative consists of a three pronged approach: advocacy – publicizing and educating the community about the issues surrounding boys’ underachievement; curriculum development – partnering with local school systems to devise ways to engage boys in the classroom; and museum programming and facilities – developing programming and exhibits at the museum to engage boys and inspire a lifelong love of learning.
First of all, some background: while the last twenty years have seen huge and long overdue strides in the achievement of girls and women, boys have not fared so well. Women in the United States now earn 62 percent of associate’s degrees, 57 percent of bachelor’s degrees, 60 percent of master’s degrees, and 52 percent of doctorates. According to the National Center for Educational Statistics, boys are 30 percent more likely than girls to flunk or drop out of school; when it comes to grades and homework, girls outperform boys in elementary, secondary, high school, college, and even graduate school and boys are four to five times more likely than girls to be diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). According to the U.S. Department of Education, boys make up two-thirds of the students in special education, are five times more likely to be classified as hyperactive, and, according to the CDC, teenage boys are five times more likely to commit suicide than teenage girls.
Here are links to some excellent articles on the topic.
President Obama has recognized the challenges facing boys with his My Brother's Keeper initiative and a number of Connecticut cities, including New Haven and Hartford, have signed on. The Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation is also a partner. For our society to be successful, all our citizens must have the chance to succeed, boys and girls, men and women alike.
Our first advocacy related event, for which we are seeking funding, is part of a “Kids Matter” lecture series and will focus on the specific needs of boys. It will be held as a breakfast meeting and will feature Peg Tyre, author of The Trouble with Boys, and
The Good School. She has also written for The Atlantic and Politico, among other publications. http://www.pegtyre.com
Governor Malloy has been invited and has indicated his willingness to attend, subject to his schedule. The museum has talked with other community organizations such as Mystic Seaport, Mashantucket Pequot tribe and the Community Coalition for Children, to help promote the event. These entities have indicated strong interest in this subject and a desire to pursue areas of collaboration. We continue to reach out to other groups involved with delivery of services to children.
The event will be held at the New London Holiday Inn. We anticipate attendance of 60-80. The format of the program would be registration and breakfast from 7:30-8:15, opening remarks, speaker Peg Tyre from 8:15--9:00 AM. Governor Malloy to speak at 9:00 AM and then closing remarks. We would promote the event with mailed invitations to individuals within groups identified as having an interest in this issue. We would also work with local community groups to promote the event.
We plan to make this breakfast an annual event. Boys’ underachievement is a problem that crosses socioeconomic and ethnic boundaries and deserves the attention of the community at large. Support from the Community Foundation is vital to our effort; it would allow us to make a successful start in bringing attention and resources to this pressing issue.
Welcome to our blog! Check here often for news and information about us, our partners, and our community.