Our curated list of kid-related news for March 4, 2016.
- Dana Villamagna, Toca Magazine Writer
- 1. Lemonade CEO, age 10, teaches kids sweet money lessons. When Jack Bonneau was 8 years old, he began selling lemonade at farmers’ markets to earn cash for a $400 LEGO set he wanted. Jack made a $900 profit that first season, according to an article about his business, called Jack’s Stands, in Sunday’s New York Times. That’s pretty amazing, but what happened next is even better. With help from his dad and a $5,000 loan backed by the Young Americans Center for Financial Education, Jack’s Stands expanded. In 2015, sales reached $25,000. More kids age 7 to 11 now work with Jack at the stands as they learn about entrepreneurship and earn a cut of the profits, too. (Some Kids Sell Lemonade. He Starts a Chain)
- 2. Emoji says: “When you eat broccoli, I smile.” March is National Nutrition Month, and the Washington Post kicked it off with a story that reported on how emoji can help kids make good food choices. When researchers labeled shelves stocked with food with “emolabels” (which showed happy faces with healthy food and sad faces with junk food), “83 percent of students switched one of their food choices to a healthy food option. The results were largely consistent among every grade level” in kindergarteners through sixth-graders. (Can emoji help kids make better food choices?)
- 3. Daddy, why is the sky blue? Young kids need lots of exposure to the world around them in order to form background knowledge necessary for success in science education, according to an article this week in The Atlantic. The article reported that a recent study of more than 7,000 kids published in the American Educational Research Association Journal showed that “kindergarteners’ general knowledge about the world was the strongest predictor of their knowledge in first grade, and in turn their science achievement in third grade. Of the kids who had low levels of general knowledge in kindergarten, 62 percent were struggling in science by the time they reached third grade. By eighth grade, 54 percent were still struggling.” Perhaps the more parents and kids go to museums and parks, read together, and discuss kids’ endless science questions, the better chance they’ll have at mastering science class. (The Consequences of Poor Science Education in Kindergarten)
- 4. Kids snoring: An annoyance or a health alert? No sleeper likes it when someone nearby is snoring, but a kid’s nightly noise may signal that it’s time for more than a sound machine. Kids who snore often have a reduced quality of life, according to a recent study conducted in Sweden and reported this week on Science Daily. Chronic snoring (especially in kids who have sleep apnea) increases their risk for “daytime tiredness, concentration and learning difficulties, bedwetting and delayed growth.” The researchers advised that “children with severe recurrent snoring and sleep apnea should turn to a healthcare center for medical evaluation. (Snoring in Children Can Affect Their Health)
- 5. The joy test. Plans to test school kids this year in social-emotional skills are moving forward in California, according to an article this week in The New York Times. Even though the planned tests support new federal regulations, it seems the most obvious emotions that they’re causing in the SEL education community is anger and dismay. According to the article, “…the race to test for so-called social-emotional skills has raised alarms even among the biggest proponents of teaching them, who warn that the definitions are unclear and the tests faulty.” While teaching social-emotional skills (such as joy, grit and “zest”) in schools has been shown to improve academic performance, testing for those skills may be “highly susceptible to fakery and subjectivity.” (Testing for Joy and Grit: Schools Nationwide Push To Measure Students Emotional Skills)