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Is your kid starving when they come home from school? The State Department of Education has been flooded with complaints from parents who say their kids don't have enough time to eat lunch. They'll send the note to schools throughout the state, providing suggestions for how schools can allot more time for lunch. Recent policy changes from the USDA require schools to provide healthier foods- many of which take longer to eat.
Jenn Castillo packs a lot of lunches, but the mom of five says much of what she packs her kids isn't consumed at school.
"Typically, my kids will finish their lunch in the car on the way home. If they eat hot lunch I have to bring a sandwich when I pick them up because they're going to be hungry right away because more food gets thrown away than gets eaten," said Jenn Castillo.
And she's not alone. The Michigan Department of Education says they've been flooded with complaints like Castillo's.
"We've seen a rise in those complaints, especially over the last year, as USDA has changed the meal pattern to offer healthier options for lunch, and this year for breakfast," said Kyle Guerrant, Directorof Office of School Support Services, MDE.
Healthier options pediatric dietitian Emily Ostrowski says take kids longer to eat.
"If you want kids to eat a salad or whole apple with lunch, that's going to take a lot longer than a small plate of french fries," said Emily Ostrowski pediatric dietitian, Sparrow.
But if they're pressed for time kids are more likely to choose the fries.
"I think that kids are going to go to the foods that are easiest to eat. Something that's really easy to open and might not be as nutritious if they feel rushed," said Ostrowski.
Only 6 states combat the rushed lunch with policies that spell out exactly how much time students must have to eat. Michigan isn't one of them. But the Department of Education says they know it's an issue. More than half of the schools they recently surveyed report say-their students are struggling to eat in the time provided. That's why the state superintendent is issuing a memo to all schools with some recommendations.
"A simple thing that could give students more time, maybe not even increasing the amount of time, during the day, but having recess before lunch at elementary levels has been shown to reduce plate waste," said Guerrant.
Parents like Castillo hoping that suggestion, and others like it, will mean less food coming back.
Source : Michigan Department of Education to Release Memo on Length of School Lunch, WILX, February 27, 2014.
There appears to be another arcane world record in Grand Rapids, this time for the most people wearing sunglasses at night.
Gilda's LaughFest organizers in the past three years have overseen record-setting attempts for donning false mustaches, wearing chicken beaks and tossing rubber chickens.
The fourth annual festival of laughter kicked off Thursday with an effort to break the sunglasses record. Participants received official bright yellow LaughFest sunglasses.
Guinness World Records says the current mark was set in July 2012 by 1,642 people at Chicago's Wrigley Field. LaughFest spokesman Tyler Lecceadone says the group's count shows that 1,675 people wore sunglasses Thursday night.
Gilda's LaughFest runs through March 16. It honors the memory of comedian Gilda Radner, who died of ovarian cancer in 1989.
Source : "LaughFest organizers claim new sunglasses record", Detroit Free Press, March 6, 2014.
Chris Andrews, "Are Michigan’s restrictions on gay and abortion rights holding state back?" : Recent restrictions on gay rights and abortion coverage in Michigan raise questions about whether these laws are stunting the state's economic recovery, and making it more difficult to attract talent.
Chris Andrews, "Gay and abortion rights laws at issue in Michigan" : Debate over gay and abortion rights has been percolating in the Michigan Legislature and courts for years. Here are some key issues and legislation that have framed the debate...
Chris Andrews, "What Michigan Women Want" : New restrictions on abortion ignite debate over state's ability to attract women to Michigan jobs.
Al Churchill, "Ignore “reformers,” U.S. schools doing just fine" : Education reformers claim U.S. students are falling behind students in top nations. Actually, U.S. schools where there is little poverty are matching schools in Finland, Japan and Korea. The problem is poverty, not our public schools.
Bridge Magazine, "What’s YOUR agenda for 2014? Take the online survey and make your voice heard" : Another election season is right around the corner. Instead of sitting back and waiting to hear what the politicians want to talk about, why not tell them what YOU think are the most important issues facing our state? Take a few minutes to participate an online survey and make your voice heard
William Clinton spoke to the state legislature becoming only the second sitting U.S. President to address Michigan's lawmakers. Theodore Roosevelt was the first in 1907.
Source : Historical Society of Michigan
The Communist Party organized a massive demonstration in Detroit in support of unemployed workers.
Source : Historical Society of Michigan
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