Sunday, April 22, 2007

Thank You!

A great big thank you to anyone who contributed to my DonorsChoose Grant to take my kids to the zoo in two and a half weeks. I'm so excited to go, and I know they are going to have a great time!

In other news, check out this New York Times article about infant mortality in the South. They talk almost exclusively about the Delta. And it is totally true -- at least two of my students have had baby brothers or sisters who died.

The health of the people in my area is very poor. Proper nutrition is a large part of the problem. Mississippi is the fattest state, in large part because people primarily eat junk food. My students are normal-sized because of the high metabolisms of childhood, but my friends who teach middle and high school say that many of their students are over-weight. I find some of my students sneaking candy during class. I've pulled melted chocolate bars from pockets. I have to keep my reward candy out of reach because otherwise it disappears into sneaky, sticky fingers. My assistant has taken over two drawers of my file cabinet with her junk food -- generic-brand cheetos and oreos and powdered-sugar mini-doughnuts, which she sits and eats in the back of the classroom. Her school bag frequenty contains gallon-ziploc bags of Kit-Kats and Butterfingers. As you might expect, this, and inadequate dental care (all of Mississippi is considered to be lacking dental care professionals), also leads to tooth decay, as I've mentioned before.