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West Side Education News & Notes

9/20/2012 - West Side Leader
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By Staff Writer

Crouse CLC welcomes USDA official

WEST AKRON — Akron Public Schools (APS) officials welcomed an official with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to Crouse Community Learning Center Sept. 18 to highlight changes in school meals.

USDA Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services Under Secretary Kevin Concannon dined with students during breakfast at the Buchtel Cluster elementary school. He also discussed healthy eating and school meals, officials said. 

Afterward, the school held a roundtable discussion with Concannon and APS officials to discuss the district’s efforts to improve school meals.

Officials said the USDA’s new school meals standards, a key component of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, are the first significant changes to the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs in more than 15 years.

District officials said Concannon’s visit also would allow them to highlight APS’ participation in the Community Eligibility Option, which covers the full cost of serving meals at no charge to the district. In addition, all APS elementary schools were recently awarded the Cleveland Clinic’s A+ Eat Right at School Award, meeting the hospital system’s standards for decreased total fat, saturated fat, added sugar and sodium in the district’s lunch menus, district officials said.

“We have far surpassed USDA’s healthier school meals standards, and we’re pleased that the program will be highlighted in one of our schools,” said Laura Kepler, coordinator of Child Nutrition Services. “Beyond that, we are proud to offer our students nutritious meals that help them focus and achieve each and every day.”


Project Ujima discussion circles planned in Buchtel Cluster

WEST AKRON — Residents with a passion for strengthening the Buchtel Cluster community are invited to participate in Project Ujima discussion circles.

The Akron Neighborhood Trust, which organized the events, said Project Ujima is a way of involving people in the community based on a model of interaction and joint decision-making that lets all voices be heard.

The discussions will take place on Thursdays starting in October from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at local community learning centers (CLC). They will take place four times a month through April, but no meetings will take place in December.

Events will take place the first Thursday of the month at Helen Arnold CLC, 450 Vernon Odom Blvd.; the second Thursday at Crouse CLC, 1000 Diagonal Road; The third Thursday at Schumacher CLC, 1020 Hartford Ave.; and the fourth Thursday at Buchtel CLC, 1040 Copley Road.

According to Akron Neighborhood Trust officials, the discussions are open to any community member interested in working together to fulfill the Buchtel Community Vision: “We envision a community that values diversity and maintains high standards in a safe and nurturing environment that builds independence and economic self-sufficiency, while educating our community in the knowledge of self and promoting a healthy quality of life for all throughout the life cycle.”

Transportation and child care will be available with advance notice by calling 330-434-7988. A dinner will be served at no charge.

For more information, call the number above, go to www.akrontrust.org or email info@akrontrust.org.


Community asked to help Highland schools celebrate reading

MEDINA — Residents of Granger, Sharon and Hinckley are being asked to help the Highland Local Schools District as it encourages students to read more.

The district annually conducts a themed reading project for students in the district’s three elementary schools, according to district officials. This year’s theme is “Celebrate! Sixty years of Reading at Highland” and focuses on reading through the decades.

In conjunction with the theme, Granger, Hinckley and Sharon elementary schools will partner with the Highland Branch Library to create a new display each month that features clothes, games and other memorabilia from the decades that the students will be studying. Area residents are encouraged to share their memorabilia for a display at the library so students and the community can learn about the district through the years. The commemoration kicks off in October with a look at the 1950s.

Any Highland area resident interested in contributing to the display can contact Library Manager Diane Dermody at 330-239-2674 or 330-278-4271 or at dermody @mcdl.info. Items being sought for display include garments from the specific time periods, cooking items, hats, tools, games, electronics and other appropriate memorabilia.

In addition, the district is seeking volunteers who would like to read to students at the elementary schools. To participate, call 330-239-1901 to contact one of the Highland Schools Reading Specialists: Jane Back, Granger Elementary, ext. 2200; Violet Frye at Sharon Elementary, ext. 4433; and Gina Miyamoto, Hinckley Elementary, ext. 3107.

Students are encouraged to read 500 minutes a month as part of the reading program, district officials said. Each child receives a calendar with book suggestions to keep track of their reading. Students earn rewards for participating, district officials added.


Kathleen Folkerth contributed to these reports.

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