The BirthKeeper movement was created to use the power of individuals and organizations to create a platform in which to improve the beginning of life for human beings. The inaugural gathering took place in 2015, and organizers are bringing the movement this spring to Washington, DC with a series of events May 14-16 happening in conjunction with the Annual Clinical Meeting of ACOG, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Read More
Parents have an important opportunity to make our voices heard and to protect our communities from chemical disasters. In 2013, 15 people were killed and hundreds more injured when a chemical plant exploded in the town of West, Texas. Since then, hundreds of other communities have been affected by explosions, fires, and toxic leaks, but no new safety requirements have been put in place.
Finally, this Tuesday March 29th, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed a long-awaited hearing to discuss a safety rule for chemical facilities. Let’s make sure it’s strong enough to protect our communities. Read More
Since the April 2015 Growing Green Schools event, parents and school staff in Arlington Public Schools have made progress in school gardening efforts. Started in June 2015 and now running the first Monday of most months, the School Garden Meetups give parents, teachers, staff and community members an opportunity to share knowledge, discuss successes and challenges, and see different school garden and outdoor learning spaces around the county.
These are volunteer-led opportunities for interested parties to learn from one another about site-specific efforts around the county. In addition to this group, APS also has a Superintendent’s Advisory Committee on Sustainability, which was launched in 2012 with a team of volunteers from around the community. Now, there is new momentum toward funding a position to support all of these efforts. One of the just-released recommendations of the Science Advisory Committee is to “provide funding and support for one full-time Sustainability and Outdoor Learning Coordinator (SOLC) starting with the 2016-2017 school year.” Read More
As parents, we look forward to watching our children choose their Halloween costumes and map out the best neighborhood houses to visit for candy. However, for some parents Halloween can also bring anxiety if their children have food allergies or sensitivities. The Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) TEAL Pumpkin Project is working to reduce that anxiety for families with food-related allergies in the D.C. Metro Area and across the country.
Every April, the International Cesarean Awareness Network, or ICAN, celebrates Cesarean Awareness Month to bring awareness to its work. ICAN is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to improve maternal-child health by preventing unnecessary cesareans through education, providing support for cesarean recovery, and promoting Vaginal Birth After Cesarean (VBAC).
The organization’s vision statement is: “A reduction in the cesarean rate driven by women assuming responsibility for their healthcare by making evidence-based, risk appropriate childbirth decisions.” Read the full statement of beliefs on ICAN’s website.
Trace Amounts, a new film about mercury poisoning, screened on the Hill Wednesday night at an event hosted by environmental activist Robert F. Kennedy Jr., author of Thimerosol: Let the Science Speak. The documentary was also shown in Arlington on Thursday with a post-film discussion with director Eric Gladen, who got mercury poisoning after a tetanus shot in 2004 at the age of 29. That incident led Gladen on an unexpected journey to get to the truth about the history of mercury in vaccines and the autism-mercury links that, the film argues, the CDC has tried to deny for years despite evidence to the contrary.
The film does not take up the question of the efficacy or necessity of vaccinations but rather focuses solely on the use of Thimerosol as a preservative and on its effects, which, the film shows, have not been presented to the public accurately. Read More
For anyone looking to start or expand a school gardening or nutrition program, the Growing Green Schools event at Fairlington Community Center was the place to be Monday afternoon. Aimed at providing parents and school staff in Arlington with the necessary resources to promote gardening and nutrition education, the event was a treasure trove for anyone in Northern Virginia. Read More
What a relief to have some warm temperatures and sunshine to start off the week. It was no fun to have such a warm day last Thursday and then shiver back into our winter coats again on Friday. This week is spring break for many around our area. Others’ breaks will start on Friday. If you’re anything like me, the biggest “break” about a break from school is not having to cook so much that you have enough leftovers to send in your child’s lunch the next day! I normally feel like I could never hack it as a homeschooler, but whenever I get a break on food prep, I can see the appeal!
Still, there are a lot of reasons why I have my children in public school, and one of them is because I want to be an agent for change and an advocate for healthy living for all children. Next week, two events will showcase efforts to expand the reach of gardening and nutrition programs and outdoor learning in Northern Virginia.
When I heard that Julie Hantman, DC field organizer for Moms Clean Air Force, was going to be on a discussion panel after the March 21 screening of Project Wild Thing at the 2015 Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital and I watched the trailer, I knew it was a must that I attend. The film is about a man whose children spend a lot of time inside and in front of screens, and he takes it upon himself to become the “marketing director for nature.”
Parents who care about Real Food couldn’t have asked for a better display of enthusiasm for cooking than that shown by the poised and skilled young chefs who participated in the finals of the Real Food for Kids “KIDS COOK” competition Saturday. The six contestants, children in grades 4-8, took turns claiming the kitchen at the Clarendon Williams-Sonoma to whip up their own creations in front of a huge crowd.
The winner of the competition was Haven Clare Townsend, a 6th grader at White Oaks Elementary School in Burke, Virginia, with Thai Shrimp Noodles with Broccoli including homemade oyster sauce using gluten-free Tamari and organic ramen noodles.
It’s probably no surprise to anyone living here that the air quality in the Washington DC area is poor; it gets a grade of F in ground-level ozone (smog) from the American Lung Association, putting the Metro DC among the top 10 most polluted U.S. cities in the ozone category. This matters to every living being, but especially to small children whose bodies are more acutely affected by inhaled toxins. Organizations like the American Lung Association and others advocating for healthy air quality describe breathing smog-filled air as “getting a sunburn on your lungs.”