Posts

janitor

Good News: Surprise For Janitor

 

Meet Ricky Spaulding. He’s the custodian at Anderson County High School in South Carolina.  Wednesday marked the last day of school so all the students and teachers were in the gymnasium for a pep rally. But this “pep rally” was just a cover for a secret surprise they had planned for Mr. Spaulding.  “They said they had a spill and of course that’s my job so I went to clean the spill up,” Spaulding said.  Instead of a spill, the students presented him with a bag of money totaling $1,900 — enough money to see his family stationed overseas.  “My son is stationed in Italy and we are going to see him and my new granddaughter,” Spaulding said. “Words can’t describe the joy that I feel right now.”  Watch this sweet video here.

Passion 2013

Faith Lived Out

As we head into 2013, I have a few inspiring faith stories to share with you.

Last week Georgia Dome in Atlanta was packed with Christian students beginning the New Year at the annual Passion worship conference.  Over 60,000 young people between the ages of 18 and 25 heard from speakers like Louie Giglio, Frances Chan and Beth Moore.

The students took part in worship sessions and seminars, with an emphasis on fighting human trafficking and helping the poor.  The attendees were asked to each bring a new towel and pair of socks to donate to local homeless shelters in Atlanta.

Christian musicians leading worship at Passion 2013 included Chris Tomlin, Matt Redman, David Crowder and Christy Nockels.

Closer to home, thousands of young Christians attended the Urbana Student Missions Conference in St. Louis.  Urbana Director Tom Lin says over 4,000 of the students who attended the five-day conference committed to more than two years of missionary service in their lives.

The students accepted the challenge to both proclaim the gospel and to demonstrate Christian love through service. Planning will start soon for the next Urbana Student Missions Conference in 2015.  If you would like to attend, or if you know a student who might be interested in attending, you can learn more at urbana.org.

And across the Atlantic, Pope Benedict says he believes peace can prevail in 2013, despite the problems in the world today.   In his New Year’s Day Mass, the Pope acknowledged the evils of terrorism, criminal acts and the inequality between rich and poor.

But he also said he is convinced the “numerous works of peace, in the world are testimony to the innate vocation of humanity to peace.”  You can read the Pope’s entire homily here.

I’m Bill Maier for Shine.FM.

 
 for the audio version of this article.

Recess

Kids Need Recess

Recess is going the way of the dinosaur at many schools, and America’s pediatricians are worried.

According to a story on Time.com, doctors say recess can be as important as class time for helping students perform their best.

The American Academy of Pediatrics has issued a new policy statement on recess, saying it can be a critical time for development and social interaction.

Dr. Robert Murray, a pediatrician and professor of human nutrition at Ohio State University who is a co-author of the statement.  He says “Children need to have downtime between complex cognitive challenges.”

“They tend to be less able to process information the longer they are held to a task. It’s not enough to just switch from math to English. You actually have to take a break.”

The AAP committee that developed the statement discovered that the benefits of recess extend beyond the physical.  They found that it affects social, emotional and cognitive development, helps kids practice conflict resolution, and lets them come back to class more ready to learn and less fidgety.

The Time article points out that new policy could be a lifeline for the diminishing role recess plays in the school day.  Many districts have trimmed budgets and hours of instruction, squeezing more academic subjects into existing or even fewer school days.  Recess often gets sacrificed in the process.

Last year a national survey found that just six states adhere to standards from the National Association for Sports and Physical Education.  That group recommends that schoolchildren participate in 150 minutes a week of physical education.

To learn more about the pediatricians’ new recommendations on recess, visit the Academy’s website at aap.org.

I’m Bill Maier for Shine.FM.

 
 for the audio version of this article.

121212

Entertainment Affecting Attention Spans

America’s teachers are concerned about the impact that entertainment is having on learning.

In a new poll, 71% of teachers say they believe that entertainment is hurting their student’s attention spans, and nearly 50% believe that it’s keeping them from doing their homework well.

The study was done by Common Sense Media Research—and it described texting and spending time on social networks as “entertainment,” alongside watching television, playing video games and listening to music.

The majority of teachers believe that such media is also hurting students’ ability to write coherently and communicate face-to-face. Many teachers also say entertainment and technology are impairing critical thinking skills.

One elementary school teacher wrote this for the study, “Attention spans seem to be decreasing, as does students’ abilities to persist through difficult tasks. (They’d rather just push restart and start over.)”

By the way, another new study on the impact of technology found that the “auto-complete” functions on smartphones seem to make teens faster but less accurate in cognitive tests. Time Magazine reports that kids who are frequent texters tend to score higher in their verbal reasoning ability, but lower on actual literacy.

Scientists also believe search engines are reshaping our memories. With so much information at our fingertips, we no longer have to store it in our brains.

And while email may be an effective way to communicate on the job, employees who juggle looking at email with other tasks suffer a temporary 10-point drop in their IQ by the end of the day.

I’m Bill Maier for Shine.FM.

CLICK HERE for the Audio Version of this post.