Effective program takes summer learning to where the kids are

In this episode, host Nathan Mains travels to Berks County to visit an innovative summer learning program,Teachers in the Parks. Nathan talks with program creator Matthew Hathaway, a fourth-grade teacher from Exeter Twp. School District, who began TIPS in 2004 working with a handful of his students in a local park. The program currently serves more than 400 students and 30 teachers from several local school districts and in multiple locations — and it’s growing!

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Student nutrition: Middletown Area’s summer lunch program

In this episode, field reporter Steve Robinson and Tony Colemire, Middletown Area’s school nutrition program coordinator, talk about a major student health issue: summer nutrition. In Pennsylvania, recent estimates show that at least half of all school-aged children qualify for a free lunch during the school year, and Middletown Area is taking steps to ensure those students have access to at least one free nutritionally balanced meal Monday through Friday, all summer long.

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Focusing learning through Mindfulness; uniting school and community through bocce

In this episode, host Nathan Mains talks with Karen Krisch, principal of Bellefonte Elementary School in Centre Co., to learn how staff, teachers and students are using mindfulness practices to focus learning and create a culture of kindness. In the second part of this episode, we learn how Strath Haven students employed their bocce club to promote inclusiveness and be a positive force in the community (see the Success Starts Here website to read more).

Resources from the Mindfulness discussion

  • www.care4teachers.com — Most teacher professional development focuses on curriculum delivery. CARE for Teachers is different because it promotes core skills and dispositions teachers need to create and maintain supportive learning environments while retaining their well-being and love of teaching.
  • www.mindfulschools.org – A six-week online course introducing mindfulness meditation and helping to cultivate a personal mindfulness practice.
  • www.mindyeti.comMind Yeti is a mindfulness app for kids that can help you: … When life gets overwhelming, Mind Yeti gives both kids and adults a tool to cope.
  • www.gonoodle.com — GoNoodle makes movement and mindfulness an integral part of the day, at school and at home. Free subscription for teachers and parents, or Plus for individual teachers or groups.
  • See Bellefonte Area’s story on Success Starts Here

 

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A look behind the ‘State of Education’ report; Karns City students use sports coaching technology to refine music performance, technique

In the latest episode, PSBA’s Nathan Mains talks with Andy Christ, PSBA’s education policy analyst – the gentleman behind the data presented in the recently released “State of Education” report. In the second half of the program, Nathan talks with Karns City teacher Amanda Pivirotto and two students who are using a sports coaching iPad application to improve posture, finger position and breath management — all via videos they exchange with with Slippery Rock University (SRU).

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League classifications and other changes in school athletics; Open Minds engineering competition

In this episode, PSBA’s Nathan Mains talks with PIAA Executive Director Robert Lombardi about changes in athletics, including new league classifications that contributed to near-record attendance at this year’s basketball tournament, as well as new and potential changes impacting student-athlete health and safety. Later in the program, we’ll talk to Plymouth Whitemarsh students who recently presented creative solutions to world problems at an Open Minds engineering competition.

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A pen pal program, celebrating Music in Our Schools Month, and an update on transgender students’ use of facilities

Transgender students’ use of school restrooms continue to be a much-discussed topic. Later in the program, we’ll be joined by Emily Leader for the latest developments. We also will be discussing a pen pal program at Oley Valley School District. But first, March has been officially designated by the National Association for Music Education for the observance of Music In Our Schools Month®, the time of year when music education becomes the focus of schools across the nation.

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Bethlehem superintendent’s effective social media approach; a unique industrial arts program; and interviews with PA senators Dinniman and Eichelberger

In this episode, PSBA Executive Director Nathan Mains interviews Dr. Joseph Roy, superintendent of Bethlehem Area School District about using social media to interact with students and how he makes the call on weather-related closings and delays. Also hear two interviews recorded directly after the governor’s budget address on Feb. 7: John Callahan, PSBA’s chief lobbyist and assistant executive director for public policy, talks with Sen. Andrew Dinniman (D-Chester), and Sen. John Eichelberger (R-Blair), minority chair and majority chair of the Senate Education Committee. Lastly, teachers at Ingomar Middle School discuss a unique industrial arts program in North Allegheny School District that is being highlighted in the Success Starts Here public awareness campaign.

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Experts discuss technology’s effect on increasing learning, engagement

In this episode, hear three experts discuss technology’s effect on increasing learning and engagement in schools. PSBA Executive Director Nathan Mains talks with Dani Finkel, creative director at FUSFOO, Dr. Shirley Disseler, Lego Education trainer and education chair at High Point University, and Andrew VanWylen, Eidex Client Engagement Manager. Learn how to take advantage of a complimentary two-year license to data analytics tool Eidex Focus, courtesy of PSBA.

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ESSA transition; Success Starts Here public awareness campaign

In this episode, PSBA Executive Director Nathan Mains talks with Dr. David Volkman, executive deputy secretary of the Department of Education, about PA’s transition to the ESSA. Also, learn more about the public awareness campaign for PA public education – Success Starts Here.

 

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Innovative summer education; ‘Dude. Be Nice’ project at Reading SD

In this episode learn about Teachers In the Parks (TIPs), Exeter Township SD’s innovative approach to teaching students during the summer. Also PSBA Executive Director Nathan Mains talks with Brent Camalich, CEO of “Dude. Be Nice,” an apparel company that strives to inspire individuals. The company recently featured a Reading High School volunteer in a video that went viral.

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