Students in Chugiak ProStart class prepare Alaska grown produce for students to sample
IN DISCUSSIONS ABOUT childhood obesity, sooner or later, the topic of school lunches seems to come up. School lunches are designed to meet federal nutrition guidelines, but plenty of parents consider them far from healthy. Lots of the ingredients are shipped, pre-processed, from the Lower 48. Across the state, efforts are underway to try to get more fresh, local food incorporated into school lunches – to up the health value, the taste – and the market for local food producers.
KTD contributor Jessica Cochran has more.
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Image via HealthyFuturesAK.org
YOUR KIDS MAY have brought home exercise logs at some point during this last school year - students from all over the state were recording how much exercise they got each week and then turning in their progress in exchange for prizes. It's all part of the Healthy Futures Alaska program and although the school year is wrapping up, we found out that they are keeping up the activities all summer long (see their community events here).
KTD Producer Sarah Gonzales spoke with the Healthy Futures Program Director, Cindy Norquest to find out how Alaskan kids can stay active all summer long...
AFTER RECEIVING THE U.S. Department of Education’s Alaska Native Education Grant in 2010 the Koniag Education Foundation set a goal to reduce the dropout rate among its Alutiiq shareholders currently in college over three years' time. Instead they reached their goal in just two years - the college dropout rate fell from 20% in 2010 to 3% in 2012.
Executive Director Tyan Hayes credits the power of mentorship for the success.
She spoke with KTD producer, Sarah Gonzales.
THE BOND BETWEEN a child and his dog are well-documented in literature and movies and now more and more people are realizing how working with animals can benefit people with autism. Sometimes, an animal can provide a kind of support that other people can’t.
KTD contributor Jessica Cochran met some people working with children and dogs, and learned about the benefits for both humans and canines.
Bidwell's daughter, Shelly Reed, was killed by a drunk driver in 1983, just before her graduation from West High School in Anchorage.
IN 1983 NANCY Bidwell lost her teenage daughter in a drunk driving accident. When she and her husband retired years later, they started Forget Me Not Mission in 2005, a statewide educational effort that exists to continue spreading the message that almost everyone has heard, but many people still don't understand. That message is: if you drink alcohol, then don't drive a car. It bears repeating and so Bidwell and her group of teen educators go into schools all over the state with this message. They are about to publish their second book - a volume featuring the contributions and thoughts of teens in Alaska, and the stories and photos of teens who've lost their lives because of drunk driving, and "distracted" driving, too.
[Read sample pages and see photos from the forthcoming book: Soul Shaking Grief: The Teen Edition.]
KTD producer Sarah Gonzales spoke with Nancy Bidwell to learn more about their efforts in Alaska...
FOR MANY OF us, more daylight and warmer temperatures are evidence of spring's annual promise of new beginnings. But for those who are depressed springtime and all those ideas of hope that come along with it can be especially hard. So, we thought it was a good time to find out if spring really does see more suicides as some people believe, and with Alaska's suicide rate nearly double that of the national average, how we can all help to prevent this loss of life year-round.
KTD Producer Sarah Gonzales spoke with Kate Burkhart, the Executive Director of the Statewide Suicide Prevention Council, the Alaska Mental Health Board, and the Advisory Board on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse to learn more...
HEAD INTO ANY elementary school at this time of year and the chances are pretty good that you’ll find a classroom with a windowsill full of cups of dirt with green shoots poking up. The daylight is back, stores are full of gardening supplies and for many Alaskans, getting seeds started is one use for all that “spring fever” energy.
As KTD contributor Jessica Cochran tells us, kids, dirt, and seeds are a natural combination.
SOME CAREGIVERS MAY notice that their babies or toddlers are not reaching some of the developmental milestones that we've been talking about today. There are organizations throughout Alaska that work with the state's Infant Learning Program to help these families find assistance for their children.
One of those organizations is the Stone Soup Group. They host parent workshops, meet one on one with families and empower those families to help other families who may be struggling - all throughout the state of Alaska.
KTD! producer Sarah Gonzales spoke with Wendy Barrett the Positive Behavioral Support Program Manager there about how they are working with parents whose children need a little extra help.
THE IMPORTANCE OF a baby’s earliest years is becoming more well understood with new research – and a handful of outreach efforts across the state aim to get that message out to parents and caregivers.
Learn more about Babies on Track at
KTD! contributor Jessica Cochran reports on some of them, including a new video starring one of this week's show's guests – Donna Galbreath.
Image source: United Youth Courts of Alaska
ALL THIS WEEK we're talking about Juvenile Justice and in this story we're taking a look at what can happen for some young first-time offenders in communities that have Youth Courts. Youth Courts exist across the nation and have been a part of the Alaska juvenile justice system for more than a decade.
A video produced by the Sitka Youth Court
Kids These Days! host Shana Sheehy visited the North Star Youth Court in Fairbanks to learn more about how it works.