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 January 2017

School Spotlight:

Shelton Intermediate School 

 
We recently interviewed Shelton Intermediate School science teacher Eric Wolf about the new "Life Lab" elective course he designed and now teaches at the school. In the spring of 2012, Mr. Wolf started a garden at SIS.

The garden, which began as 5 raised beds, has now been expanded to include 7 additional raised beds; fencing around the garden; the addition of a hoop house, a kind of unheated greenhouse that can grow crops year-round; and an indoor aquaponic system.

Both hydroponic and aquaponic systems are soil-less methods for growing plants in water. The difference is that hydroponic growing requires the addition 
of nutrients to the water, while aquaponic
growing uses nutrients retrieved from fish waste to enrich the plants in a single, integrated system. The system at SIS is comprised of a tank of about 50 tilapia connected to a grow bed where swiss chard, pak choi, and other greens flourish. The only "input" to this system is fish food. The Life Lab also features live quails and a variety of hanging and potted plants. 








While Mr. Wolf's students are actively involved in planting and harvesting garden crops and maintaining the aquaponics system during fall and spring, the food- and nature-based learning continues in the winter with a curriculum called "Nourish." According to Mr. Wolf, this curriculum "asks students, through a variety of activities that they have to perform... 'What is food?,' 'Where does it come from?,' and 'How does it get to us?'" Students also watch short films featuring such prominent figures as Michael Pollan and Jamie Oliver. 

Harvested produce currently ends up on "farm tables" in the cafeteria, where students and staff can purchase it, or back in the classroom for tasting after Mr. Wolf has prepared it at home. Students are also known to sneak bites off the plants during class. However, Mr. Wolf's ultimate goal is for the crops to be incorporated into school lunches. He has been working with Shelton Foodservice Director Linda Stanisci to make this happen in the near future. 

Partner Spotlight: Irving School Staff


Congratulations to the following staff members at Irving School in Derby, who received a Recognition of Excellence award for their School-Wide Health Program from the Connecticut Association of Schools!

Kristina Ciotto, Social Worker (not pictured)
Jessica Cahill, School Nurse (right)
Candace Lebel, Grade 2 Teacher (left)
Christine Ortiz, Physical Education/Health Teacher (middle)
Healthy Recipes
In this edition, we are featuring recipes that are warm and comforting; the perfect antidotes for cold, dark, winter nights.  
Healthier Hot Cocoa for One


Ingredients
4 teaspoons unsweetened natural cocoa powder
1 tablespoon sugar or 2 packets of non-caloric sweetener (e.g. Splenda or Stevia)
dash of salt
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional) 
1/2 cup hot water
1/2 cup low-fat milk, or nondairy milk substitute
 
Instructions

1. Heat milk in a small saucepan
2. Combine cocoa powder, sugar or sweetener, and salt in a mug
3. Add hot water and stir until the cocoa is well blended
4. Add milk and vanilla. Serve immediately. 
Ravioli & Vegetable Soup-
From EatingWell.com


Ravioli & Vegetable Soup
This soup is one of the highest rated on the EatingWell website and takes only 25 minutes to make! Click the image for the recipe.
 
Vegetarian Shepherd's Pies-
From EatingWell.com


Vegetarian Shepherd's Pies
A traditional comfort food, made healthier! Click on the image for the recipe.
Staying Active
The start of winter often means kids are spending more time indoors. While video game consoles and tablets might be popular, they increase the amount of time that kids spend sitting.

We found a comprehensive list of toys that can get kids up and moving instead. There are ideas for all ages and price ranges. Check it out
here. 

Here are just a few of them. Click on the images for links to purchase.


 Yoga card set, $14.99 (2-14 years)


LeapFrog Learn & Grove Musical Mat $29.99 (2-5) 



Kidoozie Foam Pogo Jumper $14.95 (3-10 years)

 
Of course cold weather doesn't mean you have to stay at home! Here are some other ideas: 

Sledding
We conducted some informal polls on social media to identify the best spots for sledding in the area. Here's what our respondents recommended: 

Ansonia High School- 
20 Pulaski Hwy, Ansonia


Derby High School baseball field-
75 Chatfield St, Derby

Osbornedale State Park -
555 Roosevelt Dr, Derby
(pictured at the right)

Chatfield Park-
Chatfield St, Seymour

Bungay Elementary School-
35 Bungay Rd, Seymour

Ice Skating
Milford Ice Pavilion has public skating Monday through Saturday from 11:14am-12:45pm and Sundays from 1:00pm-2:30pm. $7.00 Admittance for adults and children over 5 years of age. Children under 5 are free. $3 skate rental.

Bennett Rink in West Haven has public skating on Sundays from 1:30-3:00pm. 

Sports Center of Connecticut in Shelton offers open skate on various days and times. See the schedule on the website. 

Indoor Sports
Sports Center of Connecticut has a variety of activities available  for kids and families year-round. In addition to ice skating, you can join a pick up hockey game, bowl, play lazer tag, or play arcade games in the game zone. 
Upcoming Events
"Wellness for Life" Program at Griffin Hospital

Wellness For Life Program at Griffin Hospital

This 12-week lifestyle change program to prevent and treat chronic diseases begins in late January. Sessions are offered in the afternoon and evening. A press release describes the program and its schedule. 

For more information, contact Program Co-Director Eunice Lisk, MS, at 203-732-7107.
Free Parent Webinar: "The 10 Rules of Picky-free Parenting"

Wednesday, January 11th, 3:00-3:45pm

 
Do you have a picky eater in your family? Join pediatrician and registered dietitian Dr. Natalie Digate Muth to learn how to create less stressful, healthier mealtimes by following "10 rules."  

Dr. Muth will answer questions after the presentation, and 10 participants will receive a free copy of Dr. Muth's new book, The Picky Eater Project: 6 Weeks to Happier, Healthier Family Mealtimes.

Register by clicking the link at the top of this announcement. This webinar is sponsored by the American Academy of Pediatrics parent education site, HealthyChildren.org.
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VITAHLS is a childhood obesity prevention initiative collaboration between Griffin Hospital, Yale Griffin PRC, and the Ansonia, Derby, Seymour and Shelton school districts. Since 2011, VITAHLS has integrated a variety of nutrition and physical activity programs into the existing school structure to help reduce childhood obesity.
Copyright © 2017 Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center, All rights reserved.


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VITAHLS is a childhood obesity prevention initiative collaboration between Griffin Hospital, Yale Griffin PRC, and the Ansonia, Derby, Seymour and Shelton school districts. Since 2011, VITAHLS has integrated a variety of nutrition and physical activity programs into the existing school structure to help reduce childhood obesity.
Copyright © 2017 Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center, All rights reserved.


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