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“How much arithmetic does a pupil forget in a summer vacation?”

“Is this loss made good, or more than good, by a week or two of review in the fall?”

These questions are relevant today, but they are not quotes from a recent article on summer learning loss. These are the questions asked in 1906 by William F. White, a professor of mathematics at the State Normal School in New York. He authored one of the early studies documenting the loss of math skills among school age children after summer break.

Summer-Learning-Day-logo-no-urlFor more than a century, educators have documented, studied and tried to combat summer learning loss. It has become well known that all children are prone to losing math skills during the summer, and modern studies show the loss of reading skills is also an issue, especially among children from low-income families.

The National Summer Learning Association highlights one reason for the reading gap that exists based on household income; Continue Reading »

School will soon be out for many Tulsa students, and for families struggling with food insecurity this can mean an added strain on the budget. To address this need, the USDA’s Summer Food Service Program provides meals during the summer break.

Nationwide, 2.28 million children participated in the program in 2012 and 39,000 sites across the country helped distribute nutritious meals to children. Participation has grown in recent years. Yet, studies estimate the program still does not reach the majority of children who qualify for assistance under the National School Lunch Program during the regular school year.

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The USDA allows for different types of eligible sites under the Summer Food Service Program. Both types of sites depend on standards for free and reduced lunches set by the National School Lunch Program. Students are eligible for free lunches if their household income is at or below 130% of the poverty level. Students from households with income between 130% and 180% of the poverty level qualify for reduced priced lunches.

Under the Summer Meal Service Program, there are “Enrolled Sites,” where each family must fill out an application and the site must Continue Reading »

The Minimum Wage has been in the news quite a bit lately. Many are urging both states and the federal government to raise the wage, which has been set at $7.25 on a national level since 2009.

There also is something called the “housing wage,” which is determined by calculating the hourly rate a full-time worker needs to earn in order to pay only the recommended 30% of his or her income towards rent. According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition, the housing wage in Tulsa County is currently $14.21 for a 2 bedroom apartment at fair market rent. So, in other words, for a household to afford rent on a 2 bedroom apartment, 2 people would need to be working full-time for at least minimum wage.

The annual income needed to keep housing costs affordable has increased $720 from 2013 to 2014. This increase means a family earning just enough to comfortably afford rent on a 2 bedroom unit in 2013 would need a 2.4% pay raise just to keep up with the rise in housing costs in Tulsa.

housing wage

Stepping back to look at Oklahoma as a whole, Continue Reading »

President Reagan first designated April as National Child Abuse Prevention Month in 1983. Since then, organizations around the country have commemorated the month with activities and events. Here in Tulsa, members of the Parent Child Center Youth Council (PCCYC) placed 1,658 pinwheels at the Parent Child Center campus to represent each substantiated case of child abuse in Tulsa County in 2013.child abuse prevention ribbon

Nationwide, an estimated 3.8 million allegations of child abuse or neglect were responded to by child protective service workers in 2012. An estimated 686,000 children were confirmed victims of child maltreatment.

Most states recognize four major types of child maltreatment: Neglect; Physical Abuse; Continue Reading »

Money Smart Week

America Saves, the organization that coordinates the annual America Saves Week , is working with Money Smart Week on a public awareness campaign that began April 5th. Money Smart Week seeks to connect providers of financial education to consumers who want to better manage their personal finances.

money smart weekThe need to connect consumers with financial resources is clearly there, as Americans continue to face challenges saving money and paying bills even as the country continues a slow economic recovery. In February, Stephen Brobeck, Executive Director of the Consumer Federation of America, discussed the results of the America Saves’ annual survey saying,

Only about one-third of Americans are living within their means and think they are prepared for the long term financial future. One-third are living within their means but are often not prepared for this long term future. And one-third are struggling to live within their means.”

Continue Reading »

I often reference Zero to Three in my posts on early childhood education.  They are a wonderful resource for parents and professionals interested the health and development of infants and toddlers. zero to threeZero to Three is also one of the main sponsors behind an early learning movement called Rally4Babies, which kicked off last July with a virtual rally that can still be viewed on their website.

In January, CAP was proud to recognize Kari Alley-Melchior, a lead teacher at Sand Springs Early Childhood Center, for co-authoring an article for Zero to Three’s bi-monthly journal. The article, titled “Common Themes Impacting Quality of Early Care and Education Environments for Toddlers,” explored six themes aimed enhancing the quality of education in toddler classrooms:

(1) Developing language throughout the day;

(2) Implementing alternatives to whole-group time;

(3) Following through with behavior guidance;

(4) Scaffolding all areas of development;

(5) Using encouragement in multiple and appropriate ways; and

(6) Integrating various types of data.

The journal itself requires a subscription, but their digital only option provides substantial savings over the print edition. Zero to Three is currently offering a free look at the digital version of Continue Reading »

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