Education & Schools
USDA Announces Grants to Support Schools in Meeting New School Meal Requirements PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by USDA Office of Communications   
Tuesday, 18 September 2012 13:12

WASHINGTON, September 14, 2012—Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan today announced new grants to support schools as they strive to serve healthy food, provide nutrition education, and create an environment focused on healthy eating and physical activity.

"When we serve our children healthy school meals, we're making a critical investment in their academic performance, their physical health, and their future," said Merrigan. "Today's announcement reflects our ongoing commitment to provide States with the tools they need to build a healthy school environment. Providing nutrition education resources, extending training and technical assistance to foodservice professionals, and building community support helps ensure that every child in America has a chance to succeed."

Funded in support of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, the Team Nutrition training grants will assist schools in meeting the new school meal requirements, encourage HealthierUS School Challenge participation, support students' nutritious choices by structuring the cafeteria environment in a way that encourages the selection of healthy foods, and promote healthier environments to align with the Local Wellness Policy requirements established in the Act.

USDA is awarding approximately $5.2 million in 18 States and one territory including:

  • Alaska, $242,847.00
  • Arizona, $319,772.00
  • Florida, $311,500.00
  • Guam, $330,344.00
  • Hawaii, $233,016.00
  • Idaho, $245,120.00
  • Illinois, $50,000.00
  • Iowa, $348,335.00
  • Kansas, $349,715.00
  • Michigan, $333,420.00
  • Missouri, $342,609.00
  • Montana, $349,924.00
  • New Jersey, $324,151.00
  • North Dakota, $247,580.00
  • Ohio, $345,849.00
  • Utah, $41,540.00
  • Washington, $222,508.00
  • Washington, $46,772.00
  • West Virginia, $346,515.00
  • Wisconsin, $203,056.00

Funding will be made available for the period of September 30, 2012 through September 30, 2014, to assist State agencies in achieving the Team Nutrition goals. States must apply Team Nutrition's three behavior-focused strategies:

  • Provide training and technical assistance to child nutrition foodservice professionals to enable them to prepare and serve nutritious meals that appeal to children.
  • Provide fun and interactive nutrition education for children, teachers, parents, and other caregivers.
  • Build school and community support for creating healthy school environments that are conducive to healthy eating and physical activity.

This school year, 32 million students across the country are benefiting from new meal standards for the National School Lunch Program for the first time in more than fifteen years. The healthier school meals are a key component of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, which was championed by the First Lady as part of her Let's Move! campaign and signed into law by President Obama. To learn about the new meal standards, go to

USDA's Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) oversees the administration of 15 nutrition assistance programs, including school meals programs, that touch the lives of one in four Americans over the course of a year. These programs work together to form a national safety net against hunger. Visit for information about FNS and nutrition assistance programs.

# logo USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (866) 632-9992 (Toll-free Customer Service), (800) 877-8339 (Local or Federal relay), (866) 377-8642 (Relay voice users).


Why is White-Collar Crime on the Rise? PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Tuesday, 18 September 2012 12:43
COO Advocates Values-in-Action Courses for All Students

Barclays, Lehman Brothers, JP Morgan – it seems every time we turn around, another financial giant is accused of lying, cheating and stealing.

It’s not your imagination, says Rakesh Malhotra, a longtime COO who has worked in Asia, East Europe and United States and led cross-cultural diverse teams.

“White-collar crime convictions in the United States alone have increased 17.8 percent in the last five years alone,” he says. “Last year, the Securities Exchange Commission filed a record 735 enforcement actions.”

And it’s not just hedge fund operators and money traders. White-collar crimes include identity theft, cheating on taxes, health-care fraud – crimes as readily committed by employees at the local big-box store as suits in penthouse offices.

“The problem is one of values,” says Malhotra, author of Adventures of Tornado Kid: Whirling Back Home Towards Timeless Values ( “I have worked in several countries, recruiting, hiring, training and retaining employees. I found that in every culture, the same core values play a key role in the success of both employees and the corporation.

“Unfortunately, they are not taught in school – not in grade school or in most business schools. While we would benefit from having values taught at all age levels, for now they are learned mostly from parents, mentors, inspiring teachers and others who shape young lives.”

It’s as important for the business to have what Malhotra has identified as five essential global values as it is for the employees, he says.

“The business has to show that these ethics are implemented and acted upon. Otherwise, the employee with values, the one instructed to, say, lie about a product, will feel secure about reporting such conduct without being fired.”

What are these values and how can they be taught?

• Responsibility: There is nothing more fundamental to being an adult in our society than accountability. Parents can create cause-and-effect circumstances, such as letting a teen borrow the car provided they put gas in it. Breaking such a pact though, because of a bad grade in school, creates a mixed message. When children learn responsibility, they know that happiness comes from doing the right thing.

• Compassion: It’s not just a term for being nice; compassion is a form of intelligence – an empathetic ability to see a situation through another’s eyes and to feel what another person feels. When adults are compassionate, they reach out to help others because they can feel others’ pain – and the relief and gratitude of help, sympathy or encouragement.

• Integrity: Integrity is the glue that holds together all of the values. When given an option to stray from our values, such as lying for the sake of convenience, integrity is there to hold us accountable.

• Peace: Our ability to manage conflicts amicably is a direct result of a peaceful mind and attitude. Those who value peace view anger, jealousy and hostility as the barriers to communication that they are. In all settings, business and domestic, conflicts will arise – it is inevitable. We must work through these peacefully if we are to move forward.

• Love: You must love what you do, passionately. Do your work and your organization in some way contribute to the welfare of people? That is the reason for your passion. With love, you contribute to the greater good and feel gratified.

About Rakesh Malhotra

Rakesh Malhotra has worked in, lived in or traveled to more than 40 countries. During this time, he studied human behavior in relation to core values as a means hire, promote and manage effectively. He has focused on what influences performance and what makes some employees perform at a higher level than others. Malhotra holds a master’s in Public Administration and several diplomas in business education.

News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by Camp Courageous   
Tuesday, 18 September 2012 12:35
MONTICELLO, IOWA – The 24th Annual Back-To-School Festival will be held at Camp Courageous Tuesday September 18 from 10:00 am to 2:00. Camp Courageous is a year- round recreational and respite care facility for individuals with disabilities. The Back-To-School Festival has become an annual celebration of the new school year for dozens of special education classes throughout the area.

Special education classes are invited to attend this free event and enjoy Rock & Prevention, games, balloon artist Crescentia, prizes, hayride, wobble buggies, swimming, miniature golf, a helicopter, face painting, bounce house, train, horse drawn wagon rides, a dance and more.

Lunch is provided for free to the special education students, teachers, volunteers, staff & campers. Camp Courageous traditionally expects about 1000 participants.

For more information contact Jeanne Muellerleile, E-mail: or Camp Courageous, Box 418, Monticello, Iowa 52310-0418. or (319) 465-5916 ext. 2300 or Fax: 319-465-5919.

Braley Introduces End Radon in Schools Act PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by Amanda Bowman   
Monday, 17 September 2012 07:33

Legislation would protect students and teachers from radon, the second leading cause of lung cancer 

Washington, D.C. – Rep. Bruce Braley (IA-01) today introduced the End Radon in Schools Act, a bill that will protect students, teachers, and school employees from high levels of radon in schools. The bill has been endorsed by the American Cancer Society.  Braley worked with the American Cancer Society and the Radon Coalition, based in Iowa, to craft the legislation.

Radon is an invisible, tasteless, and odorless gas that is produced by the decay of naturally occurring uranium in soil and water. It is a form of ionizing radiation, proven carcinogen, and it is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States. The gas will often leak through cracks or holes in foundations or walls of buildings if not properly controlled.

All of Iowa’s 99 counties are considered at a “Zone 1” risk level by the government, which indicates they have the highest potential for radon exposure in schools, homes, and other buildings.  Iowa is one of only two states in the country that has a statewide “Zone 1” risk level.

“Today, I am very pleased to introduce the End Radon in Schools Act. We need to ensure that our schools are safe from unacceptable levels of this harmful gas,” said Braley. “You cannot see, taste, or smell radon, but it poses a real risk to Iowans. Iowa has one of the highest levels of radon radiation in the country, and I introduced this legislation to ensure that Iowa kids, teachers and employees are safe from harmful levels of radon when they go to school.”

The End Radon in Schools Act would give grants to states to work with school districts to test the radon levels in their school buildings. If the school building has an unhealthy radon level, the school would be given funding to mitigate or diminish the high radon levels. Schools awarded the grant funding would conduct the testing with the assistance of a licensed radon mitigation specialist.  The school would work with a specialist to determine the best way to mitigate the school building.

Today, Braley also met with Iowa members of the American Cancer Society, as well as University of Iowa Men’s Basketball Coach Fran McCaffery, to discuss his bill and other issues related to cancer research, care and prevention.  A photo from today’s meeting is below.


A link to the text of the End Radon in Schools Act can be found here: 

A link to the Cancer Society Endorsement of the bill can be found here:

Rahm Emanuel Should Go All Ronald Reagan On Chicago's Teachers Union PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by Americans for Limited Government   
Friday, 14 September 2012 14:49

Rahm Emanuel Should Go All Ronald Reagan On Chicago's Teachers Union

In Illinois the unemployment rate stands at 8.9 percent. 26,000 new teachers could be recruited in short order from teachers desperate to find work and will not mind working longer days or being held accountable for student test scores.

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