Thursday, April 7, 2016

Empower Your Teen for a Healthier Future

Source: National PTA One Voice Blog
Teen STDDid you know that about one in four teens has a sexually transmitted disease (STD)? If left untreated, STDs can lead to pretty serious lifelong problems, including infertility.

Every parent wants his or her child to be healthy. While educating teens about STDs can be a sensitive and challenging task, providing your teen with information and resources about STD prevention is one step towards a healthier future.

With an overwhelming amount of questionable information available to your teen online, we recognize finding reliable information about STDs is difficult. That is one of many reasons that led the Office on Women’s Health (OWH) to develop Know The Facts First with the National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors and the National Coalition of STD Directors.

Know The Facts First, a national public health awareness campaign, is aimed at providing teen girls, ages 13-19, with accurate information about STDs and STD prevention so that they can make informed decisions about sexual health. The campaign’s website,, offers a single place for teens to get straightforward information about STDs and how to protect themselves.

The campaign focuses on girls because their bodies are biologically more susceptible to STDs and they experience more damaging effects from undiagnosed and untreated STDs (e.g., chronic pelvic pain, ectopic pregnancy, infertility, cervical cancer, and more). However, the campaign is also relevant to teen boys who face the same kinds of questions, worries, and pressures about sex as teen girls.

Through the campaign, teens will see print and video public service announcements and advertisements in malls, magazines, schools, movie theaters and on television and online. Partner organizations also will help disseminate messages directly to teens and adults who work with teens.

When you are ready to discuss sexual health with your teen, the campaign offers easy-to-understand information about STDs, how to prevent STDs and where to get tested. No more deciphering what is really true—you and your teen can learn the facts together. This resource can help teens ask the right questions, engage in informed conversations and in return, have healthier relationships.

This blog post was submitted on behalf of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women’s Health.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

How to Apply! Healthy School Meals Grant - Deadline Extended until April 22, 2016

Scroll down to view application video! K-12 schools can apply!

What can the Healthy School Meals Grant be used for?

How PTAs utilize the grant funds will vary depending on the specific needs of their school, but some areas to focus on include improving:
  • The cafeteria environment 
  • Local School Wellness Policies
  • School meal quality
  • Perceptions of school meals 
New Grant Deadline: Friday, April 22, 2016 at 12 p.m. EST/9 a.m. PST
Grant Application Resources

Monday, April 4, 2016

How Dandy Was Candy? Exploring Messages in Candy and Chocolate Advertisements

How Dandy Was Candy? Exploring Messages in Candy and Chocolate Advertisements

This post was written by Tom Bober, the Library of Congress 2015-16 Audio-Visual Teacher in Residence.
If you read the following descriptions to your students, what would they think was being described?
“The Milkiest Milk Chocolate,” Evening public ledger., September 25, 1919
They probably would not guess that all of the descriptions are advertisements for candy and chocolate. Valentine’s Day may be the perfect time to sink your teeth into advertising messages by studying ads about candy and sweets from historic newspapers in Chronicling America.
A line in an 1899 advertisement reads, “A lover’s most effectual weapon is candy – pure, wholesome candy- sent regularly to the adored one.” It speaks to the role of candy as a gift for our loved ones, but in terms that we might not use today, as pure and wholesome. In fact, many advertisements at the time referred to candy, chocolates, or sweets using words like pure, wholesome, clean, and nutritious.
“After Every Meal Eat Candy,” The public ledger., November 07, 1922
Students can explore the advertisements in several ways:
  • Advertisements typically appear to inform the reader, but actually encourage the reader to have an emotional reaction. What might the reader think and feel after reading these advertisements? What words or images support that?
  • Ask students if the food being compared to chocolate in the advertisements fits their criteria for being wholesome and nutritious. What does that tell the reader about what the advertiser wants them to think about the nutritional value of the chocolate?
  • Who are these advertisements meant for? How are men, women, and children represented in the text and images?
  • What might these advertisements tell us about sweets or even food in general at the time? Students can search for more information by pairing the word pure,wholesomeclean, or nutritious with the word candysweets, or chocolate inChronicling America.
If you or your students decide to indulge in candy or chocolate and you feel a bit unhealthy, think about the wholesome and nutritious message you would have received a century ago.