Issuu on Google+

& ‘HORRORS,’ with laughs 2nd Star Productions takes on twisted musical B-1 Gazette-Star SERVING SOUTHERN AND CENTRAL PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY COMMUNITIES DAILY UPDATES ONLINE Thursday, September 26, 2013 Exercise pays off for school 25 cents Officials may serve up calorie counts Hands-on history Money will be used to upgrade playground equipment, boost health fair n Menu-labeling is part of county effort to trim high obesity rate n BY CHASE COOK STAFF WRITER Students at Indian Queen Elementary School are getting extra exercise time as school officials keep them active after receiving a grant from Action for Healthy Kids. The $2,500 grant was awarded to the Fort Washington school in June by the Chicago-based organization, which works with schools across the country to fight childhood obesity, according to the organization’s mission statement. Principal Aundrea McCall said students will be able to play on the field in the morning before breakfast as part of the grant’s requirement to keep the children active at least 30 minutes a day. The school recently received $1,625 of the grant money, of which portions will go to new equipment, helping the children stay more organized and active during play, McCall said. During this time and recess, teachers are working with the students to teach them how to organize sports and games to get the most out of the time on the field, McCall said. The school earned the grant by submitting an application to Action for Healthy Kids. To receive the full $2,500 the school must submit updates on its efforts to keep students healthy, according to the grant award letter. The school’s mid-term update is due in December, according to the letter. “It gives the kids an awareness of exercise,” McCall said. “The kindergartners think it is play, but the older kids know what is going on.” The grant money from Action for Healthy Kids will go toward new play equipment such as soccer balls, jump ropes and also could be used to bolster the school’s health fair, McCall said. See EXERCISE, Page A-8 BY SOPHIE PETIT STAFF WRITER GREG DOHLER/THE GAZETTE Marcy Herrera, 9, of Bowie uses the hand-crank of a butter churn to convert cream to butter Monday during a day for home-schooled students at the Belair Stable Museum in Bowie. The museum, which was the site of the Belair Stud Farm from 1907 to 1957, celebrates the history of thoroughbred horses in Bowie and features a restored 1923 stablemaster’s living quarters. People might see more numbers on the menu when they eat out in Prince George’s if the county passes a law requiring chain restaurants to list calorie contents next to items on all their menus. Restaurants with five or more locations in the county would have to list calorie and salt content for “permanent” menu items — those offered for at least 30 days a year — or face a $100 fine, according to the bill, CB-742013, that County Councilman Eric C. Olson introduced Sept. 17. “Over 70 percent of restaurants in Prince George’s are fast-food restaurants so this will capture the vast majority of restaurants in the county,” said Olson (D-Dist. 3) of College Park. The bill is in response to the county’s disproportionately higher diabetes and obesity rates — the highest in the state — and is part of the 2010-2014 health improvement plan, a blueprint for making Prince George’s healthier, Olson said. The bill will affect a lot of fast-food restaurants, which Olson said are one of the primary sources of restaurant food in the county and he thinks that will help residents make healthier decisions. About 71 percent of Prince George’s County residents are obese or overweight, according to the county health department. Sharon Dent, 51, of Beltsville said the law would fit today’s health-conscious lifestyles. “People are going to the gym, dieting, using Weight Watchers ... you need to be able to count calories,” Dent said. TGI Fridays, a national restaurant chain with five Prince George’s locations currently has menu items featuring dishes under 700 See CALORIE, Page A-8 ‘They just need you to believe in them’ Clinton students awarded with trips and games for performing well on state tests n BY CHASE COOK STAFF WRITER GREG DOHLER/THE GAZETTE Sonia Beckford (standing), principal of James Ryder Randall Elementary School, visits with fifth-graders SheLeah Forrest (left), 10, and McKinley Grant, 10, both of Clinton, during reading and language arts class Friday at the school in Clinton. NEWS A STEP IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION Temple Hills woman launches program for middle school-age children to promote dance. A-4 Incentives have gone a long way at James Ryder Randall Elementary School, helping a struggling school post gains on state assessment tests while most other elementary and middle schools posted losses. When Principal Sonia E. Beckford said took over the Clinton school about two years ago, its students posted their lowest fifth-grade math score — 49 percent — since 2003 on the Maryland SPORTS A NEW APPROACH Oxon Hill’s football team bucks a trend in the county with a no-huddle, spread offense. A-10 School Assessment test, according to Maryland State Department of Education data. The MSA is an assessment test given to third- through eighth-graders each year, testing math, science and reading proficiency, and the test is the Prince George’s County Public Schools performance benchmark. Now the school is back on track, with gains in almost every scoring category the last two years, Beckford said. “I’m interested in what you do,” Beckford said. “Everybody can do. They just need you to believe in them that they can do it.” The school’s gains come at a time when most county schools’ scores have decreased, with overall county reading and math scores down in most catego- Automotive B-11 Calendar A-2 Classified B-9 Community News A4 Entertainment B-1 Opinion A-9 Sports A-10 Please RECYCLE ries, according to state education data. “Changes to curriculum and state tests can make it difficult to determine exactly why test scores for the majority of grade levels has dropped,” A. Duane Arbogast, chief academic officer, said in an email to The Gazette. “That is why it is important to look at data trends over a longer period of time. However, we still have much work to do to improve academic outcomes for our students and will continue to work with all stakeholders to ensure students have the skills they need to succeed after graduation.” Beckford said the secret to her success is encouraging each student to improve by five to 10 points each test and See SCORES, Page A-8 Check out our Services Directory ADVERTISING INSIDE B SECTION 1906627

Bowiegaz 092613

Related publications