Greenify-ing your Prom

In honor of Earth Day, I’d like to reprint here DoSomething’s suggestions for Greenifying (read Updating) that teen ritual called prom:

Five ways to make the big dance environmentally sound
1. Dress for eco success. Go organic, go vintage.
2. Borrow the blooms. Stay local with the flowers. Or better yet rent a plant.
3. Travel with your posse. Arrive like the stars: in a hybrid. Or, at the very least least, carpool/limopool it.
4. Provide a delicious AND healthy dinner. Get organic local produce for the meal, and look into hiring eco-caterers.
5. Go paperless AND save trees. Use an evite or facebook event.
6. Make prom matter. Give some proceeds to charity, donate used prom dresses, give extra food to local soup kitchen.

Children and Electronic Media

This volume of Future Of Children focuses on children’s use of electronic media.

The table of contents includes:

Also check out the “Outreach” section of the Future of Children homepage. There are videos to watch, NPR clips to listen to, and if you’re in the Princeton area, events to attend.

Best ways to help kids with autism

The Autism Research Institute has published the results of their survey comparing drugs, supplements and diets used in treating autism. Antifungal and seizure medications had mostly positive results, but ADHD medications yielded more negative outcomes than positive ones. Most supplements showed a high percentage of improvement and only small numbers of children whose behavior worsened.

The fewest negative effects, though, were reported for the diets. Both the Feingold Diet and Candida Diet helped 56%, the Gluten-Free/Casein-Free Diet helped 66% and the Specific Carbohydrate Diet helped 69%.*

Interestingly, a Gluten-Free/Casein-Free Diet or the Specific Carbohydrate Diet is also often used to address ADHD. The Feingold Diet’s avoidance of synthetic additives also probably ameliorates hyperactivity. See American Academy of Pediatricians on Food Additives; my family, unbeknownst to them, has also enjoyed recipes from The Kid-Friendly ADHD and Autism Cookbook: The Ultimate Guide to the Gluten-Free, Casein-Free Diet.

*First two paragraphs adapted from Pure Facts, the newsletter of the Feingold Association of the United States.

Playing It Smart

I love that high school football players in my city are tutoring kindergarteners! We are multidimensional beings, and I love seeing the football players being smart, nurturing, gentle…since little kids often look up to them. It’s part of a Play It Smart program sponsored by the National Football Foundation. It helps the athletes as well as the little pupils. No-Holds-Barred Parenting Blog

Raw honesty and a no-holds-barred writing style uncommon to parenting blogs have made 32-year-old Heather Armstrong the nation’s top-ranked parenting blogger. (rhymes with moose), in which Armstrong blogs about everything “from potty-training to postpartum depression,” receives 4 million page views each month and stays well within the Technorati top 100 blogs. Armstrong has learned some hard lessons over the years about what to blog (her 4-year-old daughter Leta and her dog Chuck) and what not to (her parents’ religious views and her own sex life), but continues to keep her readers rapt and active, often receiving hundreds of comments on a single blog posting.
[ via The Wall Street Journal ]

National Environmental Education Week

April 13-19 is National Environmental Education Week, timed like a countdown to Earth Day.

Have I said here before that if I decided to design a school I would use Place-Based Education as the basic model (with foreign language and more art added in). I love that Place-Based Education considers not only the environment, but the community of people whose lives and livelihood depend on it. I love that it would integrate children into the more realistic multi-age community of all residents.

National Poetry Month!

April is National Poetry Month and has some suggestions for how you might celebrate:

  • Poem-A-Day: Subscribe to the Poem-A-Day email to receive a new poem each day during National Poetry Month.
  • 10 Years/10 Cities Reading Series: Poetry readings around the country from April 1 through April 26.
  • Poem In Your Pocket Day: April 17 marks the first annual Poem In Your Pocket Day. Simply select a favorite poem to keep in your pocket to share with friends, family, coworkers.

There are unlimited ways in which to celebrate poetry. offers thirty suggestions right off the bat. You can also visit for poetry mobile ringtones or for a mobile version of the web site. Teachers will want to visit the Tips for Teachers page, to discover fun ways to celebrate poetry in the classroom.

Dance Month, and “Bizarre” American Holidays

I heard that April is National Dance Month. As I was searching for some official or credible link about that, I came across this website of Bizarre American Holidays compiled a long time ago by high school students. Sources are not given–even more reason to post it on April Fool’s Day–take with a grain of salt.

Still thinking about dance, remember our post that linked to Martha Graham’s “notebook.” You can learn her dances, or tell us if you learned Soulja Boy’s. Leave comments of your own theory of why you think the Soulja Boy phenomenon took off. I think it was because he explicitly wanted people to learn his dance and then add their own ideas. He wanted them to appropriate his material. He also monitors how many views he gets and every 500,000 views he rewards fans with a new freestyle video. 🙂 If you like things 100% clean, explore carefully (the link above does not contain objectionable language).