The Hawk Talk The student news site of James Madison High School Fri, 01 Nov 2019 16:02:27 -0400 en-US hourly 1 Veg Club Plans to Raise Awareness this School Year Fri, 01 Nov 2019 16:02:27 +0000 Living a plant based lifestyle, whether it be vegan, vegetarian, or pescatarian, has numerous benefits. Cutting meat out of your diet has been connected to lower blood pressure and cholesterol, and lower rates of heart disease. It is also environmentally beneficial, because the meat and dairy industries are some of today’s highest contributors to greenhouse gases. By adopting a plant based lifestyle, you can learn more about nutrition, live a healthier lifestyle, and reduce your carbon footprint. 

Veg Club, Madisons vegan/vegetarian association was first introduced in the 2018-19 school year by two seniors, with the intention of creating a safe space for the plant based community. Current President of the Veg Club Ava Bagherian(‘20) carries on their legacy with her commitment to living and educating others about plant based lifestyles.  

The club emphasizes living a plant-based lifestyle to “the best of your abilities.” Members say that It is understandable if you need meat products to stay healthy, no one should endanger their health to be vegan. “I want to make the vegan community a safe space,” Bagherian said. 

Bagherian also hopes to work against the stereotypes about vegans. “There’s a stigma that all vegans are organic hippies who say ‘meat is murder’ and force their beliefs on others,” she said. Bagherian believes that many people frame vegans into a stereotype, but not all people with a vegan lifestyle fall into the category of rich and white. 

Initiatives of Veg Club include inner workings, such as presentations and vegan potlucks, as well as outreaches, ranging from volunteering at local animal shelters to unofficial environmental clean up projects. In addition, Veg Club has plans to join forces SEA Club, working together for a cleaner earth. “We are talking to local shelters and community organizations, we hope to raise awareness and make an impact,” Bagherian said. 

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What Madison Students are Looking Forward to Most this Year Wed, 30 Oct 2019 17:14:37 +0000 Almost one quarter into the school year, students have started to form routines that they will follow for the rest of the year. While there are still months to go until we even take our first SOL, AP test, or final exam, it is never too early to start looking into the future. One student from each class told us about what they are looking forward to most this school year.

 “Something I’m looking forward to this year is the option to take online classes,” Nathan Moldavsky (’23) said. “It really helps to free up electives and give you so many more options.” 

Online courses allow students flexibility within their own schedule. Sometimes they give the students a free period or the ability to take more classes in subject areas that interest them. 

 “I’m interested in this because I’m definitely going to take more of these online classes in the future, which will really help me be successful in high school,” Moldavsky said.

Sophie Disney (’22) is also enrolled in an online class, gym. This will give her an extra period to pursue her interests outside Madison:

“I am looking forward most to my academy class at Fairfax High School,” Disney said. “ I am taking Film and Media Production, which is something that really interests me.” 

Academy classes allow students to enroll in classes at other high schools throughout the county. This allows them the opportunity to take classes that aren’t offered at their own. Typically, if a student wishes to take an academy they would need two available periods that allow time for transportation between the two schools. 

“This year I’m really looking forward to being in control of my classes and taking courses more dedicated to what I want to become in the future,” Thaissa Peixoto (’21) said. “Also I feel like the Madison community has grown so much and is so open this year. It’s such a privilege to have so many opportunities outside of academics.”

Many students feel that Madison has provided them with valuable skills and opportunities to grow as people, from the one community feel to freedom within our schedules. 

“I am looking forward to all of the upcoming changes that will be happening in my life,” senior Vicka Heidt (’20) said. “I feel that Madison has prepared me well for the future, and I am excited to see where my peers and I will end up in the next few months.”

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Seniors: Please take The Hawk Talk Surveys for the Senior Section Wed, 24 Apr 2019 16:09:06 +0000 Hi seniors! Please take the following survey below to help The Hawk Talk compile data for the Senior Section of the June cycle. All responses for this form are completely anonymous.




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Madison senior AJ Arnolie offered acceptance to Stanford, MIT, Duke, other top schools Mon, 08 Apr 2019 14:22:11 +0000 When it came time for AJ Arnolie (’19) to start choosing which universities he would apply to, the thought “why not just go for it?” crossed his mind.

Seeking to major in electrical engineering and computer science, Arnolie began his application process by looking at the list of best engineering schools in the country. Initially his college list consisted of approximately 50 schools, but after months of considering factors such as location and size, Arnolie cut his list down to 10, including the top three engineering universities in the nation, according to the U.S. News and World Report rankings.

And, after months of waiting, Arnolie received acceptance from every single school.

“Going into the college admissions process, I had no idea where I would land, and how it would all turn out,” Arnolie said. “I think these acceptances were like affirmation that all my hard work had been building up to something.”

Arnolie first heard back from Stanford in December after applying as a restrictive early application candidate. He would then later go on to receive offers from Duke, Georgia Tech,  MIT, Penn State, UC Berkeley, UCLA, University of Michigan, University of Virginia and Virginia Tech.

“I opened my Stanford decision in the Madison bleachers immediately after a basketball game. I probably should have waited until I got home, but the decision had come out during the game, and I decided I wanted to get it over with,” Arnolie said. “I opened my laptop, pulled up the page, read the first word and jumped out of the bleachers screaming.”

Arnolie visiting Stanford.

Even though he describes the moment as having “some tears,” (“ok maybe a lot of tears”), Arnolie has not yet committed to one school; he has narrowed it down to three: Duke, MIT and Stanford.

“When I opened my MIT decision, I had a very similar reaction,” Arnolie said. “But this time my excitement just scared my dog, who was sitting on the couch next to me.”

Receiving admissions to one—let alone three—of these schools in nearly impossible for most applicants. For the graduating class of 2023, both MIT’s and Duke’s acceptance rate saw a decrease from previous years. MIT admitted 7.0 percent of their regular decision pool, while Duke admitted a mere 5.7 percent. Though Stanford no longer releases their admission statistics, it can be reasonably assumed that they also saw a decrease from their 4.3 percent acceptance rate last year.

While Arnolie does credits some of his success to the sheer luck and randomness of the process, he also admits that his strong academic record and diverse extracurriculars mainly contributed to this achievement. Not only has Arnolie taken one of the most rigorous course loads possible at Madison, he is also a varsity athlete for men’s basketball and highly involved in the educational robotics program Botball. His team, “Dead Robots Society,” recently won the DC and Virginia regional competition on April 6.  On top of that, Arnolie also believes that his “pretty unusual and interesting essays” set him apart.

Arnolie playing varsity basketball.

“Nobody really pushed me to apply to the schools that I did, and I kind of set that expectation for myself,” Arnolie said. “[My parents] always encouraged me to push myself, but they never forced me to.”

Arnolie has until May 1 to commit to one of the best schools in the nation. Reflecting on his personal process, he advises all rising seniors to start their essays during the summer—something he regrets not doing.

“I still don’t really understand the college admissions process,” Arnolie said. “I guess what I would say is that, it’s really easy to get caught up in rankings and the prestige of schools, but it’s better to find the school you’ll be happiest at.”

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How to make the most of high school, from a graduating senior Thu, 04 Apr 2019 16:56:52 +0000 High school is the last time where you get to be a kid. Period. But sometimes it doesn’t feel like that. It can be hard to keep up with the social pressures of high school, especially in the fast-paced and affluent Northern Virginia area. This is why learning how to actually slow down and enjoy high school for what it is can be extremely important. Besides, you can’t really escape high school, so you might as well learn to make the most of it.

When you’re a freshman in high school, everyone from parents to peers will tell you how fast time flies when you start your high school journey. And they are right. Try to engage in new activities as much as possible because you never know how you’ll feel about something unless you’re there, experiencing it. Don’t be afraid to participate in things because they aren’t “cool” or people will think of you differently. Here’s the thing about people, especially the typical egotistical teenager: they don’t really care about what you’re doing; they are too busy worrying about what other people will think of them. On the flip side, don’t skip out on things because you think it’s cool to be “edgy” or “unique.” It’s not cliché to go to a football game, get dressed up and take cute Instagram pictures because if that’s what makes you happy, go for it. Not everyone wants the traditional high school experience, but you will never know unless you try.

When it comes to friends, people tend to stay in their little cliques that they have established in childhood or early high school years. Although it is great to have a group of tightly-knit friends, don’t limit yourself to hanging out with only them. Talk to other people,and  hang out with new people. Some of the best of friendships tend to blossom with people you would least expect them to, and it’s never too late to make a new friend. Keep your options open. If you and that girl that sits next to you in chemistry have a lot and common and share a lot of laughs, ask her to get coffee. Don’t close yourself off to others because they aren’t in your “social circle” or friend group.

With that said, relationships are not everything. You’re going to be tied down the rest of your life, so take this time to focus on yourself. High school is not a John Green novel, and it will never be, so you might as well just accept it now and save yourself the heartbreak. Stop looking at those unrealistic #baegoals posts on Instagram, and go do your math homework or hang out with your little brother.

Your worst critic is yourself. Give yourself a break, seriously. Don’t take yourself too seriously, and the sooner you learn to laugh at yourself, the better. High school is the prime time in your life to make mistakes or have some silly slip ups because everyone else is doing really embarrassing things, too (cue “We’re All in This Together” from High School Musical)! Don’t be afraid to take chances and put yourself out there. And if all else fails, you can learn from where you went wrong. Learning doesn’t only take place in the classroom, folks; you can learn from every failure you experience and use it for personal growth. Anyway, high school students have the attention span of squirrels so chances are if you do something embarrassing, people will forget by the next day.

To wrap this whole thing up, you just have to do what’s going to make you happy. You are living your high school years for you, not your mom, not your dad, not your best friend, so you might as well do whatever the heck you want (within reason). And slow down. It’s not a race for who can grow up the fastest because, by the time you reach senior year, you’re going to wish you took your time. Take your time to really cherish each moment you have in the weird and wonderful journey that is high school.

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Reading rates take a dive Fri, 29 Mar 2019 16:22:48 +0000 Eyelids droop as the final sentences of a story drift across a child’s bedroom. The lilting voice of a parent slowly lulls a child to sleep and to the dreams that await them. Dreams of clever foxes and crafty rabbits, of wicked witches and deadly dragons. Many people remember their parents reading to them before bed time. For some, the love of reading originates in these moments and continues for a lifetime. But for the majority, reading for pleasure does not exist outside of a childhood memory.

Who is reading?

In a recent study conducted by the Pew Research Center, only 19 percent of Americans are reading for pleasure. Teenagers read for pleasure the leastonly 9.4 percent reading on a given day. These staggering low numbers have been on a steep drop since the late 20th century, but recently reached an all time low last year.

This large decline correlates to a fall in the daily reading average for most teenagers. Although the recommended daily reading time is 30 minutes, on a normal day, a teenager will only read for 17 minutes.

Why aren’t teenagers reading?

Reading for pleasure is a form of entertainment—a method to relax and transport oneself. But in the digital generation, teenagers experience no shortage of entertainment options. Since most American teenagers have access to a smartphone, there are endless opportunities for instant gratification only a touch of a home button away. According to a Pew Research Center study, the average teenager spends nine hours a day online, mostly through their smart device. Popular social networking apps, online games and video services are able to provide captivating content easier and faster than a book.

“[Students before] didn’t resist reading as much as many of them do now. Obviously, it’s the phone,” English teacher Joy Korones said. “I have taught long enough that I can see long trends over time—and the ability of the phone in their pocket to entertain and distract has killed many students’ interest in prolonged, deep reading.”

According to a survey of 250 Madison students, 52.8 percent prefer watching television and movies over reading. Services like Netflix and Hulu allow teenagers to watch videos at any time of the day, requiring less physical and mental effort.

However, the largest factor affecting teenage reading rates nationally and at Madison is students’ shortage of time due to academic pressure. As college competitiveness increases across the nation, the stress to participate in a variety of extracurriculars, excel in sports, obtain a job or internship and complete hours of daily homework assignments also increases. As a result, students are only able to devote a small amount of time to reading—a hobby viewed as less beneficial than studying for the next day’s test.

“School has really diminished my time to read for fun. During the summer I can get through more books than I can count, but once the school year starts, I struggle to finish any books,” Elliott Bloom (’20) said. “I participate in two sports on top of school, so between homework and sports I really don’t have much free time to read. When I occasionally have the time, I’m usually drained to read and instead watch TV.”

The importance of reading for pleasure

It is often easy to distinguish readers from non-readers based on their writing skills. Reading for enjoyment greatly improves a person’s writing abilities as it helps build a greater vocabulary, familiarizes a person with the written word and helps develop critical thinking skills.

“Reading is good for our brains. It always surprises me when students will put two hours into a workout or practice but not realize that the brain must be exercised as well,” Korones said. “In fact, more so, because the reading you do now is undoubtedly going to benefit you more than any session on the field or at the gym.”

In English classes, specifically AP Language and Composition, students who do not read for pleasure oftentimes lack the writing skills necessary to do well in the course. Because their exposure to reading outside of the classroom is limited, students who do not read also find themselves unable to draw upon a diverse literary background for supporting evidence in essays and on AP exams.

“Since the AP Lang persuasive essays are about such a wide range of topics, I can usually tie information from the books I’ve read into the essays,” Bloom said. “My teacher always says to use as much evidence as possible, so reading really helps me succeed in AP Lang.”

Reading is also a way to connect with others. While reading is often described as a way to escape reality, it can also bring a person closer to the truth of the human experience. From books to even news articles, a person can develop better empathy for their peers.

“Reading makes people more curious, interesting and empathetic to others,” Korones said. “Reading slows us down, and helps us explore lots of different lives and different perspectives. I know that I won’t be able to travel everywhere I wish in my lifetime, or meet as many people as I wish I could—but reading lets me get a lot more places and understand many more points of view than any other activity I know.”

Infrequent reading habits can lead to shorter attention spans as well. Reading for enjoyment increases reading stamina, which allows a person to read lengthy passages, like a chapter in an AP Biology textbook, for longer amounts of time.

“If you’re not reading outside of school when you do get reading in school, you’re just not used to it,” Liebman said. “And books you read for school can be more challenging than books you read on your own, so it makes it doubly hard if you’re not used to reading a certain amount of time.”

Required Reading

Although students are not frequently reading books outside of school for pleasure, this does not mean they’re not reading at all. Due to the English curriculum at Madison, almost all English classes require students to read at least one book as an assignment. This exposes students to classical literature as well as a variety of other texts.

However, this does not always have a positive impact on students’ enjoyment of reading.

According to to a survey of 250 Madison students, 67.6 percent do not enjoy required reading assignments while 51.2 percent believe assigned books deter them from reading.

“I used to read for fun all the time,” Christina Pantzer (’19) said. “But having so many book-related assignments from school has taken the pleasure out of reading for me.”

In addition to many mandatory analytical essays and difficult tests, required readings often imply reading a book is an activity that can only be done as an assignment rather than for pleasure. The books assigned to students mainly consist of classical texts, which are not as engaging as modern books that target a teenage audience.

“I think you have students who don’t read for fun, and when they get required reading, they will do it reluctantly or not at all because the reading is harder for them,” English Department Chair Katie Newman said. “If you read a lot for enjoyment, particularly across genres, the jump to a challenging text isn’t as significant.”

Despite the deterrents of required readings, assigned books provide a fundamental knowledge necessary for education.

“Students need to see that there are books we read for instruction (canonized works of excellence) and there are universal truths to be learned from them.” Korones said. “It’s also part of cultural literacy; I can’t imagine what it’s like to miss every single allusion to the famous books of the world, as so many of our students will. Not everything is fun and easy and immediately relevant—not all reading should be, either.”

How to improve declining reading rate

Parents greatly influence the reading habits of their children, according to a study conducted by the National Literacy Trust. If parents promote reading as a form of entertainment equal to that of watching television or a movie, their children are more likely to become habitual readers.

In addition to parents, schools and teachers must emphasize the importance of reading in and out of the classroom as a way to improve the declining reading rate. Including independent reading time during school has been proven to encourage reading among students, as stated in the study conducted by the National Trust Literacy.

At Madison specifically, Librarians Alice Pleasants and Liebman hold a Book Madness every year in March as a way to promote newly released titles and encourage the camaraderie that can accompany reading for pleasure.

Book Madness begins in February and ends in late May, with students signing up to read two books out of the 64 paired together by the librarians. Students have three weeks to read their selected books before deciding which one moves on to the next round. As Book Madness continues, the brackets become smaller, until two books are left in the final round. For this round, as many students as possible read the final two books and vote on their favorite.

The Madison library also encourages students to read with Madison Reader’s Choice, a selection of past Book Madness winners and books that are “guaranteed hits,” according to Liebman.

While encouraging a love of reading among students may help to combat the declining reading rate among teens, students must also come to their own realization that reading less frequently or not reading at all will ultimately harm their chances at success in the present and in the future.

“It is never too late to find your gateway book,” Newman said. “My hope is that students who aren’t readers at this point in their lives will come back to it later when they find that book that captures them. You just need one to open the door to the others.”

Many people remember the moments when their parents read to them before bed time and recall the magic of the stories they were told. But as the reading rate among teenagers continues to deteriorate, a future generation may only remember their parents whispering “goodnight” as they are left with the magical glow of a cell phone screen.

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La experiencia de Kase: Por qué la desfinanciación propuesta de Olimpiadas especiales es inaceptable Fri, 29 Mar 2019 16:15:23 +0000 Este fin de semana, terminé mi segunda temporada de entrenamiento Olimpiadas especiales de baloncesto. Mi equipo tuvo un tercer puesto en el torneo de baloncesto de las Olimpiadas especiales de Marymount, disfrutando de un domingo de jugar duro, bailando y cantando a la música durante los descansos del juego y comiendo yogur congelado juntos. Hoy me desperté a noticias repugnante.

La Secretaria de Educación de los Estados Unidos Betsy Devos defendió el presupuesto educativo propuesto ante un subcomité del Congreso de anoche, y este plan incluye una proposición para recortar todo el financiamiento del gobierno federal a Olimpiadas especiales.

Asistí a mi primer evento de Olimpiadas especiales como estudiante de séptimo grado, sirviendo como cronometrador de baloncesto. Después de ese día, con frecuencia me ofrecí como voluntario en Olimpiadas especiales, si se trataba de torneos de fútbol de arbitraje, ayudar con las clínicas de tenis o animar a los juegos de baloncesto. Cada vez que me ofrecí, me fui con un sentimiento de felicidad y gratitud sin precedentes comparó a otras experiencias. La alegría y la positividad que emana a través de los atletas de Olimpiadas especiales es verdaderamente notable. Me encantó que tuve la oportunidad de ayudar a facilitar sus deportes y que yo era capaz de conocer a tantas personas impresionantes.

Rápidamente me di cuenta de que quería contribuir a un nivel superior, así que el verano en el año Junior, miré las oportunidades de entrenamiento de básquetbol con mi mejor amigo. Ella y yo nos convertimos en orgullosos entrenadores asistentes del equipo de baloncesto de los Turbocats, entrenando junto a su padre y un par de otros individuos dedicados.

No hay duda de que entrenar a este equipo fue un punto culminante de la escuela secundaria para mí. Las prácticas del sábado por la mañana fueron el mejor comienzo para cada fin de semana de invierno durante los últimos dos años, y competir con un equipo en los torneos de Olimpiadas especiales estaba lleno de emoción. Las amistades que desarrollé con los atletas de nuestro equipo son tan significativas para mí. Una genuina sensación de amor y preocupación por los demás, junto con una pasión por los deportes, es evidente en cada miembro de nuestro equipo, y he aprendido a apreciar mis oportunidades y experiencias gracias a las actitudes de estos deportistas.

No sólo el presupuesto propuesto por Devos eliminaría el financiamiento federal para Olimpiadas especiales, sino que también reduciría las subvenciones estatales para educación especial en un 26 por ciento. El interrogatorio del representante demócrata de Wisconsin Mark Pocan sobre los efectos de este plan en los jóvenes con necesidades especiales reveló que Devos era completamente consciente del hecho de que afectaría a 272.000 niños.

Es sencillamente espantoso que el Secretario de educación sienta que esta proposición es aceptable. Olimpiadas especiales ofrece muchas oportunidades para personas con discapacidades intelectuales y físicas. El gobierno no debe sentirse cómodo terminando el reparto del dinero a un programa cuya misión está arraigada en ayudar a aquellos con necesidades especiales.

Las dos propuestas presupuestarias anteriores del Presidente Trump han aumentado el gasto para ayudar a los estudiantes con discapacidades de aprendizaje, y es importante reconocerlo, pero las Olimpiadas especiales en sí también merecen apoyo.

La mejor lección que aprendí de coaching es que cada atleta de Olimpiadas especiales, dadas sus variadas capacidades físicas y mentales, merece atención individualizada, consideración y cuidado. Este grado de compromiso es necesario en el aula, en la comunidad y en el Congreso, donde el éxito depende de la creación y aplicación de políticas. La educación y la política pública desempeñan un papel esencial en el impacto del desarrollo de nuestros jóvenes, especialmente aquellos con discapacidades. En el futuro, aspiro a ayudar a los jóvenes con necesidades especiales como defensor, educador y creador de políticas.

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Comida para el pensamiento Fri, 29 Mar 2019 16:15:02 +0000 Cada día, más de 180.000 estudiantes hacen su caminata matutina a una escuela pública del Condado de Fairfax para su día escolar de siete horas. Para muchas familias, su rutina diaria está marcada por las prácticas después de la escuela, las sesiones de tareas y el coche, pero obtener una comida decente raramente es una preocupación. Para los casi 24.000 adolescentes en el Condado de Fairfax que tienen inseguridad alimentaria, sin embargo, cada día es una cuenta regresiva a la hora de comer.

¿Qué es la inseguridad alimentaria?

Según el Departamento de agricultura de los Estados Unidos (USDA), el término inseguridad alimentaria se define como “una falta de acceso consistente a suficiente comida para una vida activa y saludable.” Una familia o individuo lidiar con la inseguridad alimentaria puede tener que reducir la calidad de sus comidas, alimentar a sus hijos una dieta desequilibrada o omitir las comidas por completo para que sus hijos puedan comer, de acuerdo con el país sin fines de lucro de alimentos para otros Condado de Fairfax. La organización trabaja para minimizar esta disparidad al ayudar a las familias que son “incapaces de hacer que los fines se reúnen y necesitan complementar sus suministros de alimentos inadecuados.”

la inseguridad alimentaria afecta a unos 40 millones estadounidenses en todas las comunidades de los Estados Unidos, incluidos los de Viena y cerca de Madison.

No hay una sola causa aislada; a pesar de la relación entre la inseguridad alimentaria y el nivel de ingresos, Feeding America señala que incluso las personas que viven por encima de la línea de pobreza pueden experimentar inseguridad alimentaria. Los costos de vivienda, discapacidades, aislamiento social y nivel educativo son factores que pueden contribuir al acceso de uno a una nutrición adecuada. Liz Calvert, directora adjunta, dijo que, atraviesa todos los Estados económicos, y incluso si una familia no ha encontrado el acceso a los alimentos difíciles, las condiciones económicas que pueden cambiar de la noche a la mañana, como el cierre del gobierno, afectan a las familias y sus habilidades para hacer que los fines se reúnan.

Efecto a Largo Plazo

Una dieta desequilibrada puede dar lugar a un aumento de las hospitalizaciones, deficiencia de hierro y problemas de comportamiento como la agresión, ansiedad, depresión y trastorno por déficit de atención, según la Asociación Psicológica Americana. Además, si bien muchos experimentan inseguridad alimentaria pueden aparecer bajo peso, la inseguridad alimentaria se produce de manera desproporcionada entre las familias que presentan un alto riesgo de obesidad.

“Muchas veces, podemos determinar si un paciente está inseguro de alimentos por lo que llamamos su cuerpo Habitus”, dijo la Dra. Sandra Tandeciarz, practicante de medicina familiar de Viena. “Los elementos físicos que se ven en el examen pueden darle una idea; los pacientes que son obesos o demasiado delgados pueden verse afectados [por la inseguridad alimentaria]. ”

Las consecuencias físicas de la inseguridad alimentaria pueden afectar en gran medida a la educación de los niños, que carecen de los nutrientes necesarios para sostenerlos durante el día escolar. Una dieta adecuada desempeña un papel importante en la cognición, y los niños de hogares que no tienen acceso consistente a los alimentos son más propensos a recibir puntajes de prueba más bajos y repetir un nivel de grado, según Feeding America.

Vivir con inseguridad alimentaria

En el año escolar 2017-2018, 247 estudiantes de Madison estuvieron en el programa de almuerzo gratuito/reducido, pero solo el 44,7% de los estudiantes de Madison están familiarizados con el término inseguridad alimentaria.

“[Madison] tiene una población muy diversa, incluso económicamente”, dijo Calvert. “Hay grupos de niños [en Madison] que están en el almuerzo gratis o reducido que no tienen acceso a la comida fuera de la escuela.”Calvert ha visto cómo la inseguridad alimentaria influye negativamente en los estudiantes de Madison.

Calvert dijo que la falta de acceso a la comida fuera de la escuela afecta la asistencia. También, afecta la capacidad de prestar atención. En muchos casos, afecta el éxito general de un niño en la escuela.Kathy coles, una profesora actual de sexto grado en la escuela primaria Cunningham Park en Viena, también ha observado las consecuencias de la inseguridad alimentaria en su propio aula, y estima que alrededor de un tercio de los estudiantes de Cunningham Park se ven afectados por algún nivel de inseguridad alimentaria.

“La inseguridad alimentaria termina apareciendo en todo tipo de formas dentro del aula”, dijo Coles. “Los niños están cansados, a menudo porque no han comido lo suficiente. Simplemente no se sienten a sí mismos. A veces van a la clínica, lo que significa que el tiempo de clase se pierde. Porque tienen hambre, no están escuchando; todo esto repercute en su educación.” Muchas de las familias que experimentan la inseguridad alimentaria fuente de la mayoría de sus comestibles de la tienda del dólar, 7-Eleven o CVS y gravemente carecen de frutas y verduras frescas, coles también explicó. Algunos de sus estudiantes y sus familias ni siquiera tienen acceso consistente al transporte para llegar a la tienda. Debido a estos factores, coles está haciendo un esfuerzo consciente para aliviar algunos de los efectos de la inseguridad alimentaria en sus estudiantes.

Además de proporcionar bocadillos durante el día escolar para aquellos que carecen de una nutrición adecuada, coles inició un jardín comunitario en Cunningham Park hace unos tres años. Lo que comenzó como un experimento floreció en una escuela popular y el interés de la comunidad después de coles mostró a los estudiantes verduras del jardín.

“A los niños les fascinaba el hecho de que les traía verduras frescas”, dijo Coles. “Tenemos un Comité de jardinería, y los niños y las familias son siempre bienvenidos a venir. Están ahí cavando en esa tierra y viendo cómo crecen las cosas. Están entusiasmados y luego lo intentan. ”

Los componentes esenciales de la dieta de un niño en edad escolar primaria son las proteínas, frutas, verduras, granos y minerales esenciales. La proteína es fundamental para la construcción y la reparación de tejidos y huesos. Los granos y otros carbohidratos proporcionan energía.  

El Dr. Tandeciarz dijo que los productos lácteos también aportan proteínas, y las frutas y verduras añaden vitaminas y minerales.

Las familias en una situación de inseguridad alimentaria pueden tener dificultades para incluir elementos dietéticos esenciales en sus comidas. En el área del norte de Virginia, las frutas y verduras se omiten más comúnmente de las dietas de los niños que carecen de acceso a una nutrición adecuada debido a los costos más altos de los productos frescos, explicó Tandeciarz. En promedio, los alimentos más sanos y perecederos, como las frutas y verduras frescas, cuestan casi el doble de cantidad por porción en comparación con los alimentos envasados poco saludables, según un estudio realizado por la Universidad Drexel.

“Hay muchos minerales y vitaminas que obtienes específicamente a través de frutas y verduras que no necesariamente obtendrás a través de otros alimentos a menos que se completen”, dijo Tandeciarz. “Los niños básicamente terminan teniendo demasiada de una cosa y no un equilibrio. Y cuando tienen demasiada de una cosa, tiende a ser alimentos que tienen mucha grasa, mucha sal y no tantas vitaminas y minerales. Así que realmente está sobrecompensado por un lado y no proporciona un equilibrio de lo que necesita. “

Alimentar a las comunidades

El programa de asistencia nutricional suplementaria (SNAP, por sus siglas en inglés) es el programa actual de asistencia nutricional dirigido por el gobierno, que ayuda a familias y personas de bajos ingresos a satisfacer sus necesidades alimentarias. SNAP declara que para cada individuo en el programa, el beneficio promedio mensual es de $125,07. Sin embargo, la nueva organización de economía de alimentos estima que cuesta $143 por semana para alimentar al adolescente promedio. Esto deja una tremenda brecha de hambre que debe abordarse.Aunque este problema puede ser global, el cambio puede comenzar a nivel local.

Además de redistribuir los alimentos utilizables de las tiendas de comestibles de Viena y de los establecimientos de alimentos a los necesitados, Food for Others organiza unidades de alimentos para recolectar alimentos no perecederos para la donación.

Los esfuerzos para abordar la inseguridad alimentaria en la comunidad también se pueden ver aquí mismo en Madison. El Subdirector Calvert fundó un programa de despensa de alimentos en Madison después de ver cómo la falta de acceso regular a los alimentos reduce el rendimiento estudiantil y el éxito en la escuela.

“Había varias otras escuelas secundarias en el país que habían comenzado las despensas de alimentos anteriormente”, dijo Calvert. “Nosotros [Calvert, el Presidente de PTSA y el voluntario de padres] fuimos a la escuela secundaria de Oakton para averiguar cómo hicieron divulgación, identificaron niños, recibieron donaciones para su despensa de alimentos. Habían reunido un manual que nos adaptamos para proporcionar apoyo nutricional a nuestros hijos. “

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Editor-in-Chief Editorial: The Virginia Issue Thu, 28 Mar 2019 16:00:32 +0000 In the story of the United States, Virginia is the first page.

Virginia has long served as a model for the rest of the country: it birthed the first colony, it created the first successful economy and its founding fathers provided the framework for our democratic government.

Yet Virginia’s history is not written by its achievements; instead, it is written by a deeply rooted racism that began when the first African slaves were brought to Jamestown. And after nearly four centuries, Virginia continues to be plagued by its past.

Gov. Ralph Northam (D) seems to perfectly embody his state’s inescapable history of racism. The now-infamous picture of his yearbook page—where one man is wearing a KKK costume and the other is in blackface—has recently caused national outcry. Northam initially admitted to being in the photo without specifying which costume he was in. Later, he denied being in the photo at all.

Virginia must once again return to being an exemplar for other states, especially for those below the Mason-Dixon Line. This is why we, the four Editors-in-Chief, believe Northam has no choice but to resign. Virginia must serve as a leader in the progression towards racial equality. And Northam is anything but.  

There is no justifiable excuse for Northam’s action. When it occurred, he was not a child or even a teenager; he was a fully developed 25-year-old adult attending medical school. It was not the culture or a joke at the time; in 1984, the racist history behind both of those costumes was common knowledge. And despite Northam not identifying himself as the KKK member or the one in blackface, one costume is not less racist than the other—both are extremely odious and offensive.

For these reasons, the Editors-in-Chief also believe Attorney General Mark Herring (D) should resign. Herring admitted to applying blackface at a college party in 1980. And though no instances of blackface are alike, all should have the same consequence.

Northam’s lieutenant governor and next to take office, Justin Fairfax (D), is currently under a review for allegations of sexual assault. If these allegations prove true or result in an impeachment, then Fairfax’s resignation will also be expected.

If all three of these men resign, the Governor position will be turned over to William James Howell (R), a Republican who stands ideologically opposed to Northam.

However, there is no justification in wanting Northam or Herring to stay in order to maintain the Democratic Party’s political power. We as a state cannot prioritize party loyalty over morality. To do so would hinder progress, shaming everything Virginians and Democrats stand for.

The Democratic Party and its leaders must condemn and chastise purposeful acts of racism, and create an expected pattern of consequences for all politicians. Therefore, when the next representative—Republican or Democrat—enters a similar situation, there will be no question of the outcome. Representatives must serve as model citizens, and past bigotry has no place in government. Northam must recognize his mistake and act as an example for his predecessor.

Although we believe Northam’s political future has been sealed with his yearbook photo, we cannot dispel the possibility that people can change and grow as humans. Opinions are not permanent, even those which are prejudiced. And we must encourage the idea that people can widen their beliefs, in order to eradicate intolerance. Without this, there is no hope that we can better society.

Northam is no longer able to effectively serve as Governor. Representatives should have no history of racism or prejudice against a group of people. And luckily, there are enough politicians to maintain that belief. The governor position serves as a representation for the state of Virginia, and Northam can no longer represent our state.

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Kase’s Experience: Why the proposed defunding of Special Olympics is unacceptable Wed, 27 Mar 2019 16:32:46 +0000 This weekend, I finished my second season of coaching Special Olympics basketball. My team had a third place finish in the Marymount Special Olympics Basketball Tournament, enjoying a Sunday of playing hard, dancing and singing to music during game breaks and eating frozen yogurt together. Today, I woke up to sickening news.

Hannah Kase (far left) poses with the Turbocats after winning a game at a tournament on Feb. 3.

United States Education Secretary Betsy Devos defended the proposed education budget before a congressional subcommittee last night, and this plan includes a proposition to cut all of the federal government’s funding to Special Olympics.

I attended my first Special Olympics event as a seventh grader, serving as a basketball timekeeper. After that day, I frequently volunteered at Special Olympics, whether it was refereeing soccer tournaments, assisting with tennis clinics or cheering at basketball games. Every time I volunteered, I left with a sense of happiness and gratitude unparalleled by any other experience. The sheer joy and positivity that exudes through Special Olympics athletes is truly remarkable. I loved that I had the opportunity to help facilitate their sports and that I was able to meet so many awesome people.

I quickly realized I wanted to contribute at a higher level, so the summer going into junior year, I looked into basketball coaching opportunities with my best friend. She and I became proud assistant coaches of the Turbocats basketball team, coaching alongside her dad and a couple other dedicated individuals.

There is no question that coaching this team was a highlight of high school for me. Saturday morning practices were the best start to every winter weekend for the past two years, and competing with a team in Special Olympics tournaments was full of excitement. The friendships I developed with the athletes on our team are so meaningful to me. A genuine sense of love and concern for others, along with a fervent passion for sports, is evident in each member of our team, and I have learned to appreciate my opportunities and experiences more thanks to the attitudes of these athletes.

The Turbocats smile with their third place ribbons from their tournament at Marymount University on Sunday.

Not only would Devos’ proposed budget eliminate federal funding for Special Olympics, it would also reduce state grants for special education by 26 percent. Questioning from Wisconsin Democratic Rep. Mark Pocan about the effects of this plan on special needs youth revealed that Devos was completely unaware of the fact that it would impact 272,000 children.

It is simply appalling that the Secretary of Education feels this proposition is acceptable. Special Olympics provides a myriad of opportunities for individuals with intellectual and physical disabilities. The government should not feel comfortable ending the apportionment of money to a program whose mission is rooted in helping those with special needs.

Both of President Trump’s previous budget proposals have increased spending to aid students with learning disabilities, and it is important to recognize this, but Special Olympics itself deserves support as well.

The greatest lesson I learned from coaching is that each Special Olympics athlete, given their varied physical and mental abilities, deserves individualized attention, consideration and care. This degree of commitment is necessary in the classroom, the community and in Congress, where success depends on policy creation and application. Education and public policy play essential roles in impacting the development of our youth, particularly those with disabilities. In the future, I aspire to help special needs youth as an advocate, educator and policy maker.  

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