Darts & Laurels: Children need their zzzzzs
Dart to family routines that don’t ensure enough slumber for young children. Lack of sleep doesn’t just make students sleepy and inattentive in class; if it’s a frequent practice in a child’s early years, lack of sleep may also lead to cognitive and behavioral problems later on. So say the people involved in a study led by a Massachusetts General Hospital pediatrician. The study found that “children ages 3 to 7 who don’t get enough sleep are more likely to have problems with attention, emotional control and peer relationships in mid-childhood,” reports Science News.
Dr. Lynn Moody, superintendent of Rowan-Salisbury Schools, wishes she could find a way to educate parents about the importance of sleep for their children.
“Provocatively, I have said to parents … if you will just do two things — put your child to bed at night and bring them to school every day on time — we will do the rest,” Moody says. “We will feed them, provide them with school supplies, even clothe them, but they must be here well-rested on time everyday.”
Parents, are you listening?
Laurels to teachers who go beyond curriculum to cover important life values and to students who take those lessons to heart. Kristina Sheets’ fourth-graders at North Rowan Elementary School have tackled at least two projects this year that demonstrate compassion — collecting donations for Hurricane Matthew victims and, more recently, raising nearly $2,000 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. In addition to caring about those in need, the students have been putting the “fun” in fundraising. They sold orange awareness ribbons for leukemia for 25 cents each, organized themed-dress days with a 50-cent participation fee, and planned a cupcake party for the class that raised the most money. “When they leave this classroom,” Sheets says, “I want them … to be good people.” They’re off to an kind-hearted start.
Laurels to “Sesame Street” for adding a character with autism to its Muppet cast. Julia plays along with the rest of the crew but does some things differently. When introduced to Big Bird, for example, she continues coloring and doesn’t make eye contact or speak. “I thought that maybe she didn’t like me,” Big Bird told “60 Minutes” correspondent Lesley Stahl, in a recent special. Elmo jumped in to explain autism and said sometimes it takes Julia a little longer to do things. Bravo to “Sesame Street” for trying to educate young children about autism and for giving children with autism a chance to see someone like themselves on TV.