Action for Healthy Kids to Implement Healthy Meals Incentives Initiative

CHICAGO — Action for Healthy Kids has signed a cooperative agreement with the USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) to develop and implement the  Healthy Meals Incentives Initiative. To further enhance USDA’s ongoing support for the school meal programs, the initiative includes an allocation of $47 million for identifying and recognizing school districts that excel in providing healthy meals and for supporting small and rural schools in adopting best practices and innovative approaches.

“Action for Healthy Kids is excited to partner with USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service and school districts to lift up and support innovative school nutrition practices that ensure that our nation’s students have access to nutritious meals,” said Rob Bisceglie, CEO of Action for Healthy Kids. “Through this historic investment in school nutrition, we aim to help school districts across the country overcome challenges and develop creative solutions to provide nutritious foods for the children they serve.”

Action for Healthy Kids will lead the overall implementation and management of the cooperative agreement. In partnership, RMC Health will design, lead and manage the overall training and technical assistance strategy. In addition, Action for Healthy Kids will partner with Chef Ann Foundation to provide in-depth individualized technical assistance to support and guide the school food authorities (SFAs) in implementing key strategies to improve school meal quality, meet the Healthy Meals Incentives Recognition Award, and mitigate any potential roadblocks to success.…Read More

Computer science claims slight victory in high schools

For the first time, a slim majority of all U.S. high schools–51 percent–offer foundational computer science, up from 35 percent in 2018.

The new statistics come from the 2021 State of Computer Science Education: Accelerating Action Through Advocacy, released by, the Computer Science Teachers Association, and the Expanding Computing Education Pathways Alliance.

The latest data reveals that disparities exist regarding who has access to and who participates in computer science education. Students who attend rural schools, urban schools, or schools with higher percentages of economically disadvantaged students are less likely to have access to computer science.…Read More

Spotty internet access for rural students limits achievement

Technology and internet access for rural students in some parts of the U.S. is unreliable at best, and this limited access could adversely affect their learning.

Rural students are less likely than non-rural students to claim that their home internet access is “great” (36 percent versus 46 percent).

Home internet access for rural students is vital for learning, as report after report consistently identify the growing homework gap as detrimental to student achievement.…Read More

Two rural schools that are beating the odds

Some rural districts have found success in surprising places

rural-schoolsRural schools haven’t always had it easy. Lack of funding, geographical isolation, and technology challenges often prove nearly impossible to overcome. But because technology is absolutely essential in preparing today’s students for college and the workforce, many rural schools have found ways to leverage educational technologies to their advantage.

While many schools still face an uphill climb as they try to address economic challenges and technology struggles, best practices emerging from rural schools offer encouragement and hope that students in geographically isolated areas will be just as ready to compete in a global economy as their more urban peers.

“The primary ingredients for success are teacher initiative and leadership,” said Jon Kludt-Painter, director of instructional technology in Alaska’s Petersburg School District. “Without that, we don’t have a viable program.”…Read More

Barriers to girls’ education abound in rural schools

Today we visited the San Miguel School. It is an example of community dedication, responsibility and exemplifies a commitment to education that impressed me, reports. Classes are completely clean with curtains, running water, and an education perspective beyond the scope of understanding. I have visited several rural schools worldwide, but the hard work and inspirational message that Free the Children conveys in the community is unique. Free the Children introduced us to Maria Angelina. Maria Angelina is a single woman in her thirties. She is passionate for her community life and her traditions. She was born in Pulingui, and couldn’t attend school as a child because of economic reasons and because she was born and raised in a “macho society,” where girls are not allowed to go to school…

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Rural schools still facing ed-tech challenges

Rural students often lack access to high-speed internet.

Educational technology stakeholders tout the benefits of mobile devices, broadband internet, and technology in the classroom—but in some rural schools, even the most basic ed-tech access is still a pipe dream. However, digital tools and persistence on the part of school leaders can help rural students achieve the same “connectedness” found in more populated parts of the nation.

Statistics indicate that rural high school students are less likely to complete advanced math courses and are less likely have access to Advanced Placement courses. Many have never visited a college campus or talked with a guidance counselor about attending college, according to Terri Dugan Schwartzbeck, a senior policy associate for the Alliance for Excellent Education, during a webinar focusing on educational technology opportunities for rural schools.…Read More

High-tech school bus extends learning

An Arkansas district is increasing student learning opportunities on long bus rides to its rural schools.

Students in the woodsy, working-class Hector School District in Arkansas now can look at more than the Ozark National Forest in the two-plus hours they spend on the school bus each day.

The Pope County district is participating in a new program for rural schools believed to be the first of its kind: It’s playing math and science content over ceiling-mounted computer screens during the lengthy bus rides.…Read More

Feds to create an Online Learning Registry

Education Secretary Arne Duncan announced the creation of an Online Learning Registry.
Education Secretary Arne Duncan announced the creation of an Online Learning Registry at a summit on rural schools and technology.

In a move to help rural schools keep pace with more developed districts, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) said it will create an Online Learning Registry that will provide access to historical, artistic, and scientific primary-source materials.

Education Secretary Arne Duncan made the announcement July 21 at the National Rural Education Technology Summit held at the National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI).…Read More