Weekly Media Roundup: October 5, 2016

by Luci Manning

Former Trash Field Becomes School Garden (Albuquerque Journal, New Mexico)

Fifth-grade teacher Shannon Ryan and her Lavaland Elementary afterschool gardening club transformed a trash-strewn field into a tidy community garden. Students in the club rake and weed the garden, plant and set up new beds and pick their own fresh produce. Depending on the season, students grow everything from tomatoes and peaches to squash and kale. “They see where food comes from and how to make it themselves without the processed chemicals – they enjoy that a lot,” Ryan told the Albuquerque Journal. “They can take the skills and translate it at home to provide for their own families.”

Students Band Together to Try to Save Monarch Butterflies (Associated Press, Massachusetts)

Students in the Hayden-McFadden elementary afterschool program Let’s Move Beyond the Bell and Bristol County Agricultural High School are doing their part to save the monarch butterflies at Buttonwood Park and Zoo the Associated Press reports. The monarchs are dependent on milkweed plants, which the students are planting in special gardens throughout the zoo. The program gives them a chance to work with their hands and learn more about ecology, while also helping to bolster the monarch population, which has declined by 90 percent in the last decade.

Emanuel Moves to Deliver on Promise to Boost Mentoring Program (Chicago Sun-Times, Illinois)

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has taken the first step in implementing his citywide campaign against violence with a $3 million investment in Becoming A Man (BAM), a mentoring program for middle- and high-school boys. The investment is part of a three-year, $36 million campaign to expand the mentoring program to all 7,200 eighth-, ninth- and tenth-grade boys in Chicago’s 20 most violent neighborhoods. “We know this stuff works,” BAM director A.J. Watson told the Chicago Sun-Times. “When young people have an opportunity to engage with people invested in them who take the time to understand their needs, hopes and dreams, they feel more connected and more empowered.” The program currently serves 2,700 students and so far has increased graduation rates while decreasing crime rates among the young men involved.

UC Is Joining Boys & Girls Clubs to Boost University Enrollment (EdSource, California)

The University of California system is hoping to boost its enrollment of low-income and underrepresented minority students through a new partnership with three Boys & Girls Clubs in the state. UC will lead campus visits and provide academic counseling and financial aid advice to club members, many of whom never knew college was an option. The schools will also be making sure students are taking the right classes and standardized tests for UC admission. “We want to give them the sense they can aspire to a UC, and we are prepared to do everything to help them to be ready to be UC eligible,” UC Board of Regents chairwoman Monica Lozano told EdSource.  



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