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Back to School July 24, 2010


New year offers opportunity for fresh start

In a matter of weeks, kids will be headed back to school and there is still so much to do – immunizations to get, health screenings to be had, and school supplies and back-to-school to buy. Inside, we offer lots of tips and intelligence to help. We also tell you how DeKalb School System’s interim Superintendent Ramona Tyson is preparing for the new school year.


Back to School


July 24, 2010

Students entering a public or private college or university should check the institution’s requirements.

Choice and magnet students will get buses from shuttle stops By Carla Parker

About 5,800 DeKalb Choice and Magnet students will get transportation from shuttle stops to their schools when the new school year starts. The bulk of them – 4,800 – are coming from home schools in regions 2 and 3 in South DeKalb county. The students, including those attending Champion Middle and Arabia Mountain High schools, will be transported from satellite pickup points located at other DeKalb schools. School transportation for choice and magnet programs was on the chopping block in May as the DeKalb School Board struggled to balance its 2010 budget, but it voted to keep offering transportation to the students. In region 2, elementary students will get their shuttle at Knollwood Elementary School, 3039 Santa Monica Drive in Decatur; middle schoolers will pick up their shuttle at Cedar Grove Middle School, 2300 Wildcat Road in Decatur, and high schools will get their shuttle from Cedar Grove High School, 2360 River Road in Ellenwood. In region 3, elementary students will get the shuttle at Princeton Elementary School, 1321 South Deshon Road in Lithonia, or at Flat Rock Elementary School, 4603 Evans Mill Road in Lithonia. Middle schoolers will get their shuttle at Miller Grove Middle School, 2215 Miller Road in Decatur, and high schoolers will get on the bus at Stephenson High School, 701 Stephenson Road in Stone Mountain. Parents are responsible for getting their

Most of the students – 4,800 – who will use shuttle stops during the new school year, are from home schools in south DeKalb County.

children to the regional satellite pickups in the morning and picking them up in the afternoon. Student’s assigned satellite locations and bus numbers will be listed in the routing information mailed to parents and students by August 2010. The school system said that the number of buses assigned to each location has been

predetermined based on the number of students assigned to each satellite location. Arabia Mountain High School direct routes will transport students to Arabia Mountain High School from Lithonia High School and Martin Luther King, Jr. High School only. These direct routes do not transport students to or from the other satellite locations.

Elementary school parents can apply for the Extended Day After School Program from 2:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. if hosted at the satellite locations. For more information, contact the local elementary satellite locations or the ASEDP office at 678-676-0769. For more information on bus routes, visit

Back-to-school vaccines available at health centers “East Metro Atlanta’s Weekly Newspaper” 2346 Candler Road Decatur, GA 30032 404-284-1888 Fax: 404-284-5007

Students entering day care or public or private school in DeKalb County or the city of Decatur must have specific vaccinations and screenings. The child must complete and submit the Georgia immunization form 3231 and Georgia screening form 3300. Students entering a public or private college or university should check the institution’s requirements. Most colleges and universities require specific immunizations. Immunization records should be brought to the health center or doctor. Vaccinations and screenings are available at four of the Board of Health’s centers. The

centers are open Monday through Friday from 8:15 a.m. until 5 p.m. and no appointment is necessary. In addition, all health centers will be open until 7 p.m. on the following dates: July 27, July 29, Aug. 3, Aug. 4, Aug. 5, Aug. 10, Aug.12, Aug. 17, and Aug. 19. The fees are as follows: immunizations, cost varies by immunization; completion of form 3231, $5; vision screening, $10; hearing screening, $10 and dental screening, $5. Payment for health services may be made by cash, a debit/credit card or a check on a Georgia bank. Medicaid and PeachCare for Kids are accepted.

Lawmakers host screenings

The 2010 Guide to the Elections is a publication of CrossRoadsNews Inc., East Metro Atlanta’s award-winning weekly newspaper.

Free health screenings and vaccinations will be available for DeKalb elementary school students at a July 30 health fair at Knollwood Elementary School in Decatur. The 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. event is hosted by state Reps. Stephanie Benfield and Michele Henson. DeKalb Medical Wellness on Wheels Oakhurst Medical Center, Help a Child Smile and the DeKalb County School System nursing staff will offer information and screenings Stephanie Benfield and vaccines free of charge. The DeKalb School System’s nursing staff will offer hearing screenings and Dr. Michael Serrano with the Gottlieb Vision Group will provide vision tests. Help A Child Smile will be conducting free dental screenings in their mobile dental van. DeKalb Schools require that all children entering public school have two key forms: Michele Henson Georgia Immunization Form 3231 and Georgia Form 3300 documenting vision, hearing and dental screenings. Parents must bring their children’s immunization records in order to receive the vaccines. Registration begins at 8 a.m. Knollwood Elementary School is located at 3039 Santa Monica Drive in Decatur. For more information, call Stephanie Stuckey Benfield at 404-377-7014.

Editor / Publisher Jennifer Parker Graphics Editor Curtis Parker Reporters Jennifer Ffrench Parker Carla Parker © 2010 CrossRoadsNews, Inc. All rights reserved. No portion of this publication may be reprinted without written permission of the publisher.

Here are the Board of Health centers where immunizations and other back-toschool services can be obtained: n Central DeKalb (Vinson) Health Center, 440 Winn Way, Decatur, 404-294-3762. n East DeKalb Health Center, 2277 S. Stone Mountain-Lithonia Road, Lithonia 770484-2600. n North DeKalb Health Center, 3807 Clairmont Road, Chamblee 770-454-1144. n South DeKalb (Clifton Springs) Health Center, 3110 Clifton Springs Road, Decatur, 404-244-2200. For more information, call the DeKalb County Board of Health at 404-294-3700.

2010-2011 DeKalb School Calendar August 4 - 6 - Preplanning 9 – First Day of School September 3 – Furlough Day - 10 Month Employees (Students do not report) 6 - Labor Day (School/Administrative Offices Closed) October 8 - Furlough Day - 10 and 11 Month Employees (Students do not report) November 2 - Election Day (Schools Closed/Administrative Office Open) 24 - Holiday (Furlough Day - 12 Month Employees) 25-26 - Thanksgiving Holidays (Schools/Administrative Offices Closed) December 17 - End of First Semester (Winter Holiday begins at end of day) 20-21, 27-28 - Furlough Days - 12 Months Employees (Schools / Administrative Offices Closed) 22-24, 29-31 - Holidays (School Closed/Administrative Offices Closed) January 2011 3 - Furlough Day - 10 and 11 Month employees (12 Months Staff Returns) 4 – Tuesday Second Semester Begins (Students Return) 17 - Holiday - Dr. M. L. King, Jr. Birthday Observed (Schools / Administrative Offices Closed) February 18 - Furlough Day (All Employees - Schools / Administrative Offices Closed) 21 - Monday Holiday Presidents’ Day (Schools/Administrative Offices Closed) April 4-6 - Spring Break (Furlough Days - 12 Month Employees) 7-8 - Spring Break (Schools Closed / Administrative Offices Closed) May 20 – Last Day of School

July 24, 2010

Back to School



“People are going to come out and shop regardless. They will probably spend less, but it won’t stop them.”

Loss of tax holiday may thin out shoppers Buddy and Theo to appear at By Carla Parker

Family & Back to School Expo

Families who rely on the annual back-to-school tax holiday to shop for school clothes and supplies for their kids won’t have it this year. For the first time in eight years, state legislators did not renew the popular tax-free holiday that had been a staple part of the back-toschool shopping scene since 2002. Citing a $2 billion budget deficit that has led to staff furloughs and other cutbacks, legislators did not approve the 2010 holiday that was proposed for July 29 to Aug. 2. Each year, the tax-free holiday cost the state $12 million in tax revenue. The disappearance of the holiday also will hurt families who are struggling with the continuing sluggish economy and high unemployment, which topped 10.5 percent in DeKalb in June. Area shopping malls, which look forward to the crowds brought by tax-free shopping weekend, said this week that families still have to shop but that they may buy less. They say they will just have to lure shoppers their way with more sales. At the Mall at Stonecrest where the back-to-school season traditionally increases traffic and sales nearly 30 percent, marketing manager Donald Bieler said they will fill the void with more sales. “The Stonecrest retailers will be offering great sales just in time for back to school,” he said. Mary Joyce Burdge, North DeKalb Mall’s marketing manager,

PBS Kids star Buddy from “Dinosaur Train” and puppeteer Peter Linz with special guest Theo from “Between the Lions” will appear at the Aug. 14 CrossRoadsNews’ 2010 Family and Back to School Expo at the Mall at Stonecrest. Kids can meet Buddy at noon and 1:30, 2:30 and 3:30 p.m. on a firstcome, first-served basis. Linz and Theo will perform live shows at 12:30, 2 and 3:30 p.m. on the main stage in front of Macy’s on the mall’s lower level. The expo also will feature exhibitors who cater to families and a number of up-and-coming performers, dance schools, and a demonstration of healthy back-toschool lunches by Life Chef Asata Reid, sponsored by Sevanada Natural Foods. Buddy is a curious, funny and intelligent T. rex. As star of the hit show, he is cautious but always ready to jump into action and start asking questions. While on the Dinosaur Train, Buddy makes a hypothesis and begins searching for the answers to his questions with

Shoppers who took advantage of the tax-free holiday in years past won’t be able to utilize the savings this year.

called the lack of the holiday this year “a sad thing.” “It will definitely have an impact on the back-to-school shopping,” she said. Still Burdge said she does not think sales will go down. “People still need to shop for new clothes and supplies,” she said. “Mall merchants will help out by offering a percentage off their purchases.” Tene Gallamore, the Gallery at South DeKalb’s general manager, also does not think the crowds will disappear with the lack of tax-free shopping. “People are going to come out and shop regardless,” she said. “They will probably spend less, but it won’t stop them from shopping.” Gallamore said the burden will

be on retailers to attract shoppers. “I know some of our retailers are having their own no-sales-tax sales,” she said. With those sales, Gallamore said retailers will offer additional discounts to customers to cover the loss of tax-free shopping. While they are making do this year, retailers don’t expect the disappearance of the tax-free holiday to be permanent. Bieler said the Mall at Stonecrest will continue to support the efforts of the Georgia Retail Association as it lobbies for the return of a tax holiday during the back-to-school shopping season. “We do hope that the sales tax holiday will return in 2011,” he said.

the help of his mom, the conductor, and the new dinosaurs he meets on the train. When Buddy isn’t taking exciting trips on the Dinosaur Train, he is playing with his siblings Don, Tiny and Shiny and anticipating their next adventure. Linz, a native of Georgia, is the puppeteer behind the popular character Theo on the hit PBS show “Between the Lions.” “Between the Lions” features Theo, Cleo, Lionel and Leona, a family of lions who run a magical library where characters pop out of books, vowels sing, and words take on a life of their own. The series combines puppetry, animation and live action to help young children learn to read. The Mall at Stonecrest is located off I-20, Exit 75, at Turner Hill Road in Lithonia. For more information, visit For exhibitor space, call CrossRoadsNews at 404-284-1888.


Back to School D. Cowan-Steele

Janice Crawford

Jeanette Coxton

Rodney Mallory


July 24, 2010

“I was working during the day and taking classes at night and during the weekend.”

Lisa McGhee

P. Muhammad

Laura Neely

Raymond Stanley

Rodney Swanson

11 first-time principals to head schools in South DeKalb, Atlanta

By Carla Parker

In 1998, Raymond Stanley was working as a custodian at Knollwood Elementary. Twelve years later, Stanley is the new principal at Columbia Elementary. Stanley, a 1995 graduate of Southwest DeKalb High School, is one of 11 first-time principals who will greet students and parents on Aug. 9 when the first school bell rings on the 2010-2011 school year. Nine of them were assistant principals at other DeKalb schools last school year and seven are headed to elementary schools, mostly located in central and south DeKalb County. The other new principals are Lisa McGhee at Lithonia Middle in Lithonia, Deborah Cowan-Steele at Redan Elementary in Stone Mountain, Patrick Muhammad at Rock Chapel Elementary in Lithonia, Rodney Mallory at Shadow Rock Center in Lithonia, Lynda Mauborgne at Brockett Elementary in Tucker, Rodney Swanson at Dunwoody High School in Dunwoody, and Laura Neely at Oak Grove Elementary, Janice Crawford at Sky Haven Elementary, Jeanette Coxton at Gresham Park Elementary, and Phyllis Daniel at the International Student Center, all in Atlanta.

To make the leap to the principal’s office, Stanley attended Brenau University in Atlanta to earn his Bachelor of Science in middle grade education while working as a custodian. “I was working during the day and taking classes at night and during the weekend.” On his way up the teaching ladder, Stanley served as a substitute teacher and paraprofessional at Canby Lane Elementary before getting the teaching certificate and teaching seventh grade language arts and social studies at Salem Middle School for five years. Next stop, assistant principal of instruction at Narvie J. Harris Traditional Theme School. Before her new assignment at Brockett Elementary, Mauborgne, a 25-year educator, was an assistant principal at Kingsley Charter School for a year. She started her career as a paraprofessional and taught math and science at Avondale Elementary and Montgomery Elementary. She was also an administrator intern for two years at three DeKalb schools. Before her promotion to Oak Grove Elementary, Neely was assistant principal for three years at Kittredge Magnet for High Achievers. She has been an educator for 14

years and has taught every subject for grades three to eight for the past 10 years. After 21 years with the DeKalb School System, Cowan-Steele is finally moving up to principal. She was most recently assistant principal of instruction at Marbut Elementary Theme School. She began her career in 1987 as an associate teacher at Lithonia High, then taught special education in Carroll County. She returned to DeKalb in 1989 as learning disabilities teacher at Clifton Elementary. In 1991, she was promoted to guidance counselor at Pleasantdale Elementary and held that position for 12 years. In 2003, she became assistant principal for instruction at E.L. Miller Elementary and was there for three years before moving to Marbut. After five years as assistant principal at Rock Chapel, Muhammad finally got the top job there. Before going to the Lithonia school, he was assistant principal at Gresham Park Elementary and taught health and technology at Snapfinger Elementary. Mallory comes to Shadow Rock Center after a three-year stint as assistant principal at Towers High School in Decatur. He joined DeKalb schools in 2007 after being a counselor for six years in Atlanta Public Schools. He also taught 5th grade in APS and second

grade for two years in Cobb County. Crawford, who has 30 years in education, rises from assistant principal to principal at Sky Haven Elementary. Prior to becoming an administrator, she taught music for grades pre-k to fifth at Allgood Elementary and Robert Shaw Elementary. McGhee spent six years as the assistant principal of instruction at Miller Grove Middle before being promoted to principal at Lithonia Middle. She is also entering her 21st year as an educator. She began her career as a student teacher in 1989 at Peachtree Charter Middle School and became a certified teacher a year later. She also taught mathematics at Peachtree. She replaces Patricia May who retired last year. Before his assignment to Dunwoody High, Swanson was assistant principal at DeKalb School of the Arts for seven years and spent a year at Redan High. He is an 18-year educator who has been a paraprofessional and a social studies teacher. Coxton, a 24-year educator, taught fourth, fifth and sixth grades at Nancy Creek Elementary School before being promoted. Daniel, the new principal at the International Student Center, was unavailable at press time.

DeKalb County School System Announces Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA) formerly known as the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB) Public School Choice Enrollment

July 21 – August 3, 2010 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Monday – Friday William Bradley Bryant Center 2652 Lawrenceville Highway Decatur, Georgia 30033 Students enrolled in the “eligible” schools below, which are identified as “Needs Improvement”, are given the option to transfer to an identified receiving public school in the district. The following schools are eligible to exercise ESEA Public School Choice: Oakview Elementary School Avondale Middle School Freedom Middle School Lithonia Middle School Mary M. Bethune Middle School Ronald McNair, Sr. Middle School Stone Mountain Middle School Avondale High School Cedar Grove High School Clarkston High School Columbia High School Cross Keys High School Elizabeth Andrews High School Lithonia High School Martin Luther King, Jr. High School Miller Grove High School Ronald McNair, Sr. High School Stone Mountain High School Towers High School DeKalb/Rockdale Psycho-Education Center (Eagle Woods Academy) DeKalb/Rockdale Psycho-Education Center (Shadow Rock Center) International Student Center * Denotes Non-Title I School

If you have any questions, call the Office of School Improvement at 678.676.0309 or 678.676.0381.

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July 24, 2010

Back to School

“DeKalb has been in what I call the perfect storm this last school year and just like any storm it doesn’t last always. This is an opportunity for a new beginning.

Interim school superintendent hoping for fresh start By Jennifer Ffrench Parker

When the school bell rings on the new school year on Aug. 9, it will mark the start of Ramona Tyson’s sixth month on the job as interim superintendent – but who is counting? Tyson, a 22-year DeKalb Schools employee, was tapped on Feb. 25 to lead the district in the wake of sudden departure of Dr. Crawford Lewis, indicted by a DeKalb grand jury on racketeering and other charges. Two other employees – the district’s former construction manager Patricia Pope Reed, and Cointa Moody, her assistant, – were also indicted. All three are awaiting trial. Tyson’s elevation to high office was sudden and totally unexpected. She was at a school assembly at her son and daughter’s Decatur elementary school, when the principal tracked her down for school board chairman Thomas Bowen. He made the offer and wanted an answer immediately. Luckily, Grover, her husband of 10 years, was with her. With Bowen on hold, they discussed it and decided, quickly and together, that she would do it. “I had no idea, when I went to work that morning, that when I went home that night it would just be a 180-degree turn-around,” she said. “I went from one night being an administrator in the background, to being the frontline person and the face for the school district.” Tyson rolled up her sleeve and went to work pulling “long, hard hours” to help keep the massive school district of 98,500 students and 15,500 employees on an even keel. “I’m very grateful to have a very supportive husband who understands my love for education and has been with me in un-

“Our sole focus is to ensure that we have every textbook, every classrooms ready, buildings cleaned, grounds ready, air conditioning working, buses running, food ready, everything needed for those children to walk in the door and have the most successful start possible.” Ramona Tyson

derstanding the role of seeing about 100,000 kids,” she said. Observers say she has brought balance to the district after all the turbulence of the past year. “She has stabilized the school system,” said DeKalb NAACP president John Evans. “We have been through some shock and she has been a calming force.” At first, Tyson thought she would just be closing out the 2009-2010 school year, but she is on a year contract that ends Dec. 25, 2010. The School Board is preparing to launch a national search for the next superintendent. Tyson, who has been a DeKalb School System’s teacher, technology trainer, IT manager and associate superintendent, says she has no aspiration for the permanent job. She said she will serve as long as the Board needs her. “I am willing and dedicated to helping them,” she said. “This is the district where I live. I pay taxes in DeKalb and I’m dedicated to the DeKalb community. So I want to help as long as they desire to have my help.” With a new school year on the horizon, she has been focused on getting everything ready for 7,200 teachers to walk in the door on August 4, and for 98,000-plus students to walk through those doors on August 9. “We have been aggressively working

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since May to prepare for that,” she said last week. “Our sole focus is to ensure that we have every textbook, every classrooms ready, buildings cleaned, grounds ready, air conditioning working, buses running, food ready, everything needed for those children to walk in the door and have the most successful start possible.” While there are no new schools opening this school year, Tyson said 31 summer construction projects are under way ranging from installations of HVAC systems to new roofs and the remodeling Tucker High School. Despite furlough days implemented to help balance the district’s 2010 budget, Tyson said they expect to be ready for the first day of school. At the school system’s annual orientation of new teachers on July 22 at Arabia Mountain High School, Tyson welcomed 150 new teachers, some fresh out of college, some from other metro school districts, and some from other states. On July 26 and 27, she will get her some 600 principals, assistant principals, administrators and counselors excited about the new school year at the district’s annual Summer Leadership Conference. The theme this year - “Blazing New Trails.” “DeKalb has been in what I call the perfect storm this last school year and just like

any storm it doesn’t last always,” she said. “This is an opportunity for a new beginning. I wanted a theme that will send a message that we have an opportunity for a new beginning.” Tyson said the district is at a pivotal point and that while the Board has the responsibility of doing a national search to pick the right person to lead the district, staff, parents ad other stakeholders have a responsibility to present a school district that is focused on children first, that is united with the community, that is dedicated to home and school collaboration, and committed to improving on the challenges it is facing. “So not only do we have to go out and make sure that we find the best, highest qualified superintendent to lead the district, but I think we also need to be prepared to show he/she that we are the best and that’s why it’s a good reason to come here,” she said. “You attract what you want.” Tyson said the goal of her short tenure is to get district’s employees to stay focused on kids. “We’re willing to listen,” she said. “That’s where a lot of my work and focus has to be for the short period of time that I have, and that is to open up the communication; open up the transparency; form the partnership; improve the management of the school district and put some executable actions behind that.” To parents bringing their children to the school house on Aug. 9, she says don’t worry. “We are taking the necessary steps to access, evaluate, and improve upon those areas that have caused the community to believe that we are challenged,” she said. “We are putting our best efforts forward to improve the school district and its image.”

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Back to School


July 24, 2010 offers tips on how to get a picky eater to eat healthier as well as how to make kids more active.

Move to the head of the class with healthy food, fitness choices The start of the new school year is a great time to teach kids how to make heart-healthy food and fitness choices, the Alliance for a Healthier Generation says. offers tips on how to get a picky eater to eat healthier, how to make kids more active, and how families can make healthy choices when eating out. The American Heart Association, which formed the alliance in partnership with the Clinton Foundation to fight childhood obesity, makes these recommendations: nEnergy (calories) should be adequate to support growth and development and to reach or maintain desirable body weight. nEat foods low in saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, salt (sodium), and added sugars. nKeep total fat intake between 30 percent to 35 percent of calories for children 2 to 3 years of age and between 25 percent to 35 percent for children and adolescents 4 to 18 years of age, with most fats coming from sources of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids, such as fish, nuts and vegetable oils. nChoose a variety of foods to get enough carbohydrates, protein and other nutrients. nEat only enough calories to maintain a healthy weight for your height and build. Be physically active for at least 60 minutes a day. nServe whole-grain breads and cereals rather than refined grain products. Look for “whole grain” as the first ingredient on the food label and make at least half your grain servings whole grain. Recommended grain intake ranges from 2 ounces a day for a 1-year-old to 7 ounces a day for a 14- to 18-year-old boy. nServe a variety of fruits and vegetables daily while limiting juice intake. Each meal should contain at least one fruit or vegetable. Children’s recommended fruit intake ranges from 1 cup a day between ages 1 and 3 to 2 cups for a 14- to 18-year-old boy. Recommended vegetable intake ranges from ¾ cup a day at age 1 to 3 cups for a 14- to 18-year-old boy. nIntroduce and regularly serve fish as an entrée. Avoid commercially fried fish. nServe nonfat and low-fat dairy foods. From ages 1 to 8, children need 2 cups of milk or its equivalent each day. Children ages 9 to 18 need 3 cups. nDon’t overfeed. Estimated calories needed by children range from 900 a day for a 1-yearold to 1,800 a day for a 14- to 18-year-old girl and 2,200 for a 14- to 18-year-old boy.

Ten tips for a healthier breakfast 1. Oatmeal in an instant. Instant oatmeal is great on a cold morning and contains fiber and vitamins. Choose oatmeal that isn’t already sweetened. Sweeten it with raisins or fresh fruit. 2. Smoothie madness. Blend frozen fruit (bananas and berries are great), low-fat or fat-free milk, and 100 percent fruit juice for a quick, tasty breakfast smoothie with lots

The DeKalb School System has increased the number of fresh fruits and vegetables in its school menus. A vegetarian entree is offered at breakfast and lunch at all grade levels daily, and fiber has been increased by adding whole-grain items.

DeKalb schools’ breakfast, lunch menus revamped n Breakfast and lunch have been streamlined schools will offer them twice every three

With the childhood obesity epidemic raging, DeKalb is sprucing up its lunches with healthier choices. In keeping with the mission of School Nutrition, the school system has revised the menus and developed the DeKalb County School System Smart Bites Breakfast & Lunch Health & Wellness Menus. The school system also says it is continuously identifying and evaluating menu products to meet targets for cholesterol, fiber and sodium. Its breakfast and lunch menus meet the criteria for the Alliance for a Healthier Generation School Program/Clinton Foundation, the American Heart Association and the Robert Wood Foundation. Wellness initiatives implemented for the 2010-2011 school year include:

one-fourth of the allowance at lunch. n Menus meet nutrient and calorie standards per grade level. n The eight required nutrients for breakfast are analyzed: calories, total fat, saturated fat, sodium, protein, iron and Vitamins A and C. n The number of fresh fruits and vegetables have been increased. n Foods are prepared with low-saturatedfat oils. n Only low-fat, 1 percent or fat free milk is offered. n The number of days french fries are offered on the menu have been reduced. Elementary

of nutrients. 3. Go 100 percent whole grain – 100 percent whole-grain, fiber-containing cereals served with low- or fat-free milk are a healthier alternative to sugary cereals. Whole-wheat muffins with smashed banana are easy and tasty as well. 4. Eggxactly! Boil, scramble, or poach eggs and serve on whole-wheat toast – they’re packed with nutrition and, in appropriate portions, are great for kids. 5. Toaster treats. Frozen whole-grain waffles take almost no time to make. Top them with berries, low-sugar applesauce or sliced bananas instead of syrup. 6. Go nutty. Spreading peanut or almond

butter on whole-grain toast is a great to get both protein and fiber. 7. Go fruity. A fresh fruit cut up with a dollop of low-fat or fat-free yogurt is a great way to start the day. Apples contain fiber and bananas contain potassium. 8. Try all-fruit spreads. Instead of butter or margarine on toast, try all-fruit spreads, fruit butters, or even sliced bananas or strawberries. 9. Bagel classics. Try a whole-wheat or sunflower seed bagel with low-fat cream cheese or peanut butter. 10. Breakfast-on-the-go. Don’t have time to eat breakfast at home? Keep whole-grain mini bagels on hand or muffins, nuts, and

at all levels for ease of meal service.

weeks, and middle and high schools, one

n Menus meet one-third of the Recom- day per week. mended Dietary Allowance for breakfast and n A vegetarian entrée is offered at break-

fast and lunch at all grade levels daily.

n A “healthier a la carte list” to improve

the nutritional quality of options available was developed. n Fiber in menus was increased by adding whole-grain menu items. n Offering of chef salads at the elementary level was increased to four days per week; middle schools offer choice of chef salads and sub plates four days per week; high schools offer choice of four chef salads and/or sub plates daily. n All monthly menus are posted at www services. dried and fresh fruits that can be taken in the car (apple slices and bananas are also easy and not too messy).

Basics for a healthy lunch box 1. One serving of vegetables or salad and one serving of fruit (fresh, canned or dried can all count). 2. One serving of a low-fat or fat-free milk or dairy item such as a low-fat cheese stick, a yogurt cup, or some cottage cheese. 3. One serving of meat, chicken, fish, eggs, peanut butter, beans or another protein source. 4. A healthy drink such as water or 100 percent juice.

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July 24, 2010

Back to School



Begin now by getting your student back into school mode with regular bedtimes and mealtimes.

Preparation is key to a successful start of school year for kids, parents Got back-to-school jitters? Parents and students can banish them with a few smart tips and lots of preparation. Begin now by getting your student back into school mode with regular bedtimes and mealtimes. Check with your school district for a supply list so you can stock up on the basics. Also learn about the district’s policy on transportation, illness, immunizations and discipline. Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta offers these tips for youngsters to help ensure a successful year from Day One: n Get enough sleep. n Eat a healthy breakfast. n Try your best. n Develop good work habits, like writing down your assignments and turning in your homework on time. n Take your time with schoolwork. If you don’t understand something, ask the teacher. n Keep a sense of humor. n Pay close attention to classroom rules so you’ll know what’s allowed and what’s not. n Write a few notes to yourself so you’ll remember important information, like your locker combination, lunchtime and seating assignment.

Adequate sleep School-aged children get an average of 1.5 hours less than the recommended 10 to 11 hours of sleep per night on school nights, and only 20 percent of adolescents get the recommended nine hours. Here are tips for getting your child’s sleep schedule back on track: n Several weeks to a month before the start of school, set a limit for the latest bedtime and wake-up time. Gradually move these times earlier (about 15 minutes every other day, time permitting) as the school year starts to approach. n Soak in summer’s last days with early mornings rather than late nights. Emphasize activity and bright light in the morning: Go outside and take a walk or play with friends – don’t sit indoors or in front of the television. n Maintain a regular bedtime – keeping the same sleep schedule makes it easier to fall asleep at night and wake up in the morning.

n Establish a sleep routine – avoid exercising or doing anything too intellectually stimulating in the last couple of hours before going to bed. n Create a good sleep environment – cool, dark, quiet and comfortable. n Limit caffeine, especially after lunchtime. n Turn off the TV. Flickering light and disturbing content can prevent good sleep.

Up-to-date immunizations Also, make sure your children have the required immunizations for school to protect them from certain diseases. Make and keep those appointments during your child’s early years and even in the teen years. Check to see if your child or teen is upto-date on his vaccines at each visit. If he gets behind, ask your doctor to help him catch up. Bring your child’s immunization record with you and have it updated at each visit.

Get your children into the habit of washing their hands. Children’s Healthcare says addressing the spread of germs in schools is essential to the health of our youth, our schools, and our nation. Nearly 22 million school days are lost annually due to the common cold alone. n Tell your children to wash their hands for as long as it takes them to sing their ABCs, “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” or the “Happy Birthday” song. Use an antibacterial soap with warm water for best results. n Restrain from allowing your children to share drinks with their friends. Besides passing along many simple illnesses, sharing can lead to a very serious disease called meningitis, which is a bacterial or viral infection that causes headache, high fever, vomiting, and a stiff neck. Meningitis can be fatal in some cases. Also abstain from sharing personal hygiene products such as your hairbrush.

n Sneezing is a leading way to pass germs injuries, and 64 percent of them are children.

onto others. It is recommended that if your child sneezes, to do so in a tissue or other disposable substance. When there are no tissues available, your child should turn and sneeze into the crook of your arm. Never allow your child to sneeze into his hands because he can spread and contract germs in large numbers by doing this. n If you think that your child may be sick, it is best to opt to keep him home from school. The older your child is, and the more he understands about how to minimize passing germs to others, it may be OK to send him along.

Backpack dos and don’ts Health and safety issues also extend to school supplies, and a backpack is often at the top of the list. Every year, 5,500 Americans are treated for backpack-related back

Picking the right backpack can be tricky – here are some guidelines from Children’s: n Try a backpack with wheels. (Ask if your school allows these first. Because they glide along the floor, they can cause tripping.) If you choose a traditional backpack, pick one with wide, padded straps that won’t dig into your shoulders. n Look for a pack with multiple compartments inside so the weight can be distributed more evenly. n Pick one made of lightweight material, such as canvas or nylon. Take time to choose the correct size for the child’s body. To prevent headaches or pain in the neck or shoulders caused by backpacks, follow these rules: n Use both shoulder straps so you distribute the weight evenly. Wearing your backpack on only one shoulder may cause you to lean to one side. Use a waist strap, if provided. Adjust the straps so that the backpack rests in the middle of the child’s back. n Stand up straight. If your backpack makes you hunch forward or lean to one side, you may be carrying too much weight or not using both shoulder straps. n Limit the weight. Doctors recommend carrying no more than 10 percent to 15 percent of your body weight. For example, if you weigh 80 pounds, your backpack shouldn’t weigh more than 8 to 12 pounds. n Give your back a break. When you can, leave your backpack in your locker and carry just what you need. n Talk to your mom or dad if you have problems putting your backpack on or taking it off. Also let a parent know if you have any aches, pain, tingling or numbness (no feeling) in your back or arms. n Always pack the backpack with the most weight lower on the back.


(Open to All Students in the DeKalb County School System)

Friday, July 30, 2010 *9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

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3039 Santa Monica Drive Decatur, GA 30032


Knollwood Elementary School

(off South Columbia Drive, South of Memorial Drive) Georgia law requires children enrolling in school to have health screenings and vaccinations. A child entering public school in DeKalb County must have two key forms: 1) Georgia Immunization Form 3231; and 2) Georgia Form 3300, documenting vision, hearing and dental screenings

** Parents must bring their children’s immunization records ** Vaccines will be Provided on a First-Come, First-Served Basis Sponsored by: DeKalb Medical Wellness on Wheels Gottlieb Vision Centers & Dr. Michael Serrano Help A Child Smile Oakhurst Medical Center State Representatives Stephanie Stuckey Benfield and Michele Henson State Senator Jason Carter

For More Information, Please Contact Stephanie Stuckey Benfield at (404) 964-7025 or Glendale Rd is off of North Decatur Road, Near the Intersection of I-285 and North Decatur Rd


Back to School


July 24, 2010

“At a time when children are struggling in the school system, our children are thriving.”

Thousands of needy kids get school supplies, health checks By Carla Parker

Thousands of children will head back to school on Aug. 9 with new backpacks loaded with notebooks, pen, pencils and glue sticks compliments of the Hosea Feed the Hungry Back-to-School Jamboree. Four truckloads of backpacks were delivered to the children and their parents who lined up for hours in the hot sun on July 10 to pick up the free school supplies and get health screenings and hats. The crowd also was entertained with music from local radio stations while kids were amused by Ronald McDonald, played games, and bounced up and down in the moonwalks. The annual event, which is in its sixth year, attracted more than 3,000 adults and children to the blue parking lot at Turner Field. Afemo Omilami, co-director of the non-

profit organization and husband of Elisabeth Omilami, Hosea Feed the Hungry and Homeless’ executive director and founder of the Back-to-School Jamboree, said they identify children in desperate need and provide them with the means to have a healthy and successful school year at the jamboree. Children received free diabetes screening from the Diabetes Association of Atlanta and free blood pressure screening from the West End Medical Center. The Diabetes Association’s Lorena Wise said that the parents and kids also received information about diabetes. “If their results are high, we tell them where to go and where to get treatment,” she said. The Hosea Feed the Homeless organization from Savannah was on-site passing out bags as well as co-sponsors the Braves Foundation, Cox Enterprises, Aaron Rents and Amerigroup.

Kilombo to offer info on home-school curriculum Parents looking for alternative education for their elementary school children can explore the home-school program offered by the Kilombo Pan Afrikan Institute in Lithonia. The school, which is supported by the First Afrikan Presbyterian Church Community Development Corp., is hosting a July 31 open house from 2 to 5 p.m. Parents will tour the school’s classrooms and talk to its teachers and director. Aminata Umoja, who directs the home-school tutorial program, said it is time for the community to

look for alternatives. “As you know, DeKalb Public Schools is furloughing teachers, increasing class size and closing schools,” she said. “At a time when children are struggling in the school system, our children are thriving.” The school also will be featured on the AIB show “Stepping Out on Faith” on Aug. 18 at 11:30 a.m., Aug. 21 at 5 a.m. and 7 p.m., and Aug. 24 at 10 p.m. The school is next door to the church at 5197 Salem Road. For more information, call Aminata Parents can learn more about Kilombo Pan Afrikan Umoja at 404-992-8021. Institute at an open house on July 31.

More than 3,000 adults and children attended the Hosea Feed the Hungry Back-toSchool Jamboree at Turner Field on July 10. Ronald McDonald also stopped by.

Family fest to aid special needs pupils Special needs and disadvantaged students get back-to-school supplies and health screenings at the Georgia Educational Awareness Family Fun Day and Music Fest 2010 on July 25 at Wade Walker Park. The 10 a.m.-to-10 p.m. event, hosted by the Universal Assistance Stay in School Team program, also will include food, music, soccer and other games, vendors, and live performances. Donations and sponsorships are needed to help support special needs and disadvantaged students returning to school. Wade Walker Park is at 5585 Rockbridge Road in Stone Mountain. For more information, call Kenrick Lindsay at 678-907-1490 or 954-588-8862.

Meet PBS Kids stars Buddy the Dinosaur

Limited number of spaces, available on a first-come, firstserved basis. Call 404-284-1888 to confirm your space.

EXPO GRAND PRIZE Vacation for Two to Beautiful St. Lucia

& Puppeteer Peter Linz with special guest “Theo” from Between the Lions

CrossRoadsNews, July 24, 2010 - Section B  

CrossRoadsNews, July 24, 2010 - Back to School Section