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Archives - October 2016

Celebrating Challenger Football!

October 28, 2016
By Sydney H.

At today’s pep rally, our 2016 Challengers paraded out in victorious style!  We celebrate 13 years of Challenger Football this year and our head coach, Mark Martinez’ 10th year of coaching with us!
In looking back on Challenger football history, after the start of the team when ALCS faced some challenging times, God brought together a co-op with St. Ambrose Academy.  This partnership not only perpetuated football at ALCS but brought two schools from different backgrounds together, finding common ground in sports and Christ.  With God’s guidance, our team has grown stronger and stronger until we are where we are today – undefeated and headed for the 2016 WIAA Eight-Player Football Championship game! 

As we wrapped up the pep rally, Coach Martinez reviewed the great season our Challengers have had, introduced each team member, and then we prayed for the team.
Be sure to support our Challengers this Saturday at their final game of the 2016 season – 7p at Stiehm Stadium in Schofield, WI.  

Unplug and Read

October 25, 2016
By Miss Barbie

We don't often repost other articles here on the Challenger Chat, but this article posted on October 21, 2016, by Bambi Majumdar in MultiBriefs: Exclusives about the challenges and benefits of unplugging from electronic devices and reading a book is worth a repost. We all can agree that technology has many wonderful benefits especially for students who struggle with reading, yet the good that comes from actually reading an actual book, reading with a parent or friend, and/or being read to is also very real.

"How can we get kids to unplug and read?" is a thought-provoking article for parents and educators alike.  ~ Miss Barbie


How can we get kids to unplug and read?

A barbershop in Michigan, called The Fuller Cut, shot into the limelight this month — not for its haircuts, but for innovative discounts offered to kids who read out loud. Kids are also quizzed on what they have read, which helps them comprehend and retain the story better.
It's a novel idea for the child of the present age who has learned to pick up the iPad instinctively, rather than a book. It's probably also a great idea for parents who have tried every other way to get their children to read.
This is the challenge parents face today — how to get their children to read. Even kids who liked reading at one point slowly veer away from that habit as they get more into smart devices and social media.
We blame technology for it, but perhaps humans are more to blame. Think of the number of times you have handed over your iPad or smartphone to your child to quieten them down, manage a public tantrum or simply to concentrate on the news. Surveys show an increasing number of parents are also getting their children smartphones and tablets from an early age.
On top of that, schools all over the country have lobbied hard and long to increase the number of electronic devices on campus. We see and hear every day how online learning has been a game changer for K-12 education. Today, students do most of their work on computers and handheld devices, and they use a variety of online learning platforms for homework, reference and quiz preps.
Is it any wonder that books and the concept of reading have become downright passé?
Some might argue that eBooks and audio books have it made easy for those who don't like paper-reading. But in the face of tremendous social media onslaught and peer pressure, are they choosing even those media to just read?
Of course, there is good in technology. Audio-visual and social platforms have tremendous power to attract and retain attention for children who found it difficult to focus before. Online learning has also engaged more students toward completing their school work.
But all this digital exposure has also increased children's dependencies on electronic media. For example, most kids don't know how to refer to the dictionary anymore — they can simply Google any meaning, any time.
Several studies have shown that excessive use of media use can lead to problems like sleep disorders, attention deficit issues and even obesity. Instead of running around and playing outdoors, they are glued to the screen, limiting or at times completely negating their exercise time.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is looking at the data and urging parents to help their children unplug. The AAP recommends children age 2 and older should have screen time limited to two hours daily, and they completely forbid screen time for toddlers below 2 years of age.
The AAP also urges pediatricians and teachers to join the crusade encouraging time away from screen and getting kids to read. Studies have also shown that excessive media use can be detrimental for academic performance as well.
Some tips from the AAP to deal with this silent issue that is causing so much harm to future generations:
  • Have "screen-free" zones at home, even curtail adult mobile usage
  • Have "screen-free" times like during a meal, study hour, family hours or outdoor times
  • Don't allow phones at night and end screen time at least an hour before bedtime
  • Monitor a child's media diet by double-checking shows and channels for content that may lead to danger or risky behaviors
  • Ensure high-quality content for the limited screen time
  • Watch television with children, carefully designing a family screen time
  • Encourage nonelectronic formats for kids, such as books, newspaper reading and board games for the family
  • Encourage outdoor activities and activities that will lead to using their imaginations in free play
Parents need to know that it isn't all about controlling their kids, but also about behaving responsibly.A new University of Michigan Health System study has shown that continuous use of mobile technology by parents has detrimental effects on kid and the family as a whole. Using electronic devices around young children at home and after work may lead to negative interactions with kids, conflicts and internal tension.
After a hard day's work, parents have often found it easier to use mobile technology as a distraction for their kids. It is just a matter of time before the child is hooked — and in the process, detachment from traditional methods like reading and at times even human interaction begins.
It is imperative that we understand these dangers, unplug and set boundaries for our children. Enlisting teachers' help may help in the endeavor.

by Bambi Majumbar

Bambi Majumdar has been writing for various industries for more than 17 years. She has contributed articles to The Economic Times, the leading financial daily of India, among others. She loves research, business analysis, SEO, brand strategy and knowledge management, which paves the way for a steep learning curve.

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