Category Archives: Education

Education Corner: Starting the day ready to learn: It’s what’s for Breakfast

sbpMany children arrive to school without having eaten breakfast. Starting the day hungry is not conducive to learning. There is ample evidence behind the science of eating breakfast to start the day ready to learn and perform, and how school breakfast programs set the stage for students on a daily basis.

A 2013 study on the effects of breakfast on behavior and academic performance in students (Frontiers in Human Neuroscience August, 2013) revealed that effects of breakfast consumption and school breakfast programs positively affect learning in children, across socio-economic status, in terms of behavior, cognitive, and school performance.

edcornerThe Food Research and Action Center produced a brief of research findings in 2016 that demonstrated a correlation between breakfast and school performance among children.
In the Fairpark community, Backman Elementary School’s Breakfast in the Classroom Program is an exemplar of how students are ready to learn as a result of the structure to provide nutrition at the start of the day. A description of Backman’s breakfast program can be viewed at this link:

Pedal in the City Meets Education Corner: Bike Utah Visits Backman Elementary School

bike-1Learning continued right up to the last ring of the bell for 5th and 6th grade students at Backman Elementary School, May 30-June 2.  Bike Utah came to Backman as part of its Youth B.E.S.T. Program.

Bike Utah has launched the Youth Bicycle Education and Safety Training Program to teach 3,000+ kids in Utah how to safely and confidently navigate by bicycle. Imagine that — 3,000 of Utah’s youth who want to ride and have the skills to do so!

pedalcityThe Youth Bicycle Education and Safety Training is a 5-hour, on-bike program that is administered at schools, targeting students in the 4th to 7th grade range. Bike Utah provides a trained instructor, bicycles, helmets, and all other equipment for the duration of the program. The program has the capacity to move around the state so it can be administered at schools in all corners of Utah, depending on the season. This is a no-cost program so every school and student can participate regardless of financial ability.

Through this program, students learn the benefits of riding a bicycle, the rules for riding edcorneron the road, and how to get a properly fit helmet, conduct bicycle checks, navigate intersections and avoid hazards.  Fairpark residents witnessed the program in action this month and saw some very happy young students riding around the school grounds and on the Jordan River Parkway Trail.

Visit Bike Utah at their web site or Facebook page to learn more about the programs they offer and other events at:




Renaming Jackson Elementary

Thank you to all the community members that have contributed to the discussion jacksonelemnewersurrounding the renaming of Jackson Elementary. At this point, Jackson’s School Community Council has approved the formation of a committee to rename or rededicate Jackson Elementary. If you are interested in participating, please contact Dr. Jana Edward directly at or by calling the school at 801-578- 8165.

Education Corner: How to Beat the Winter School Blues

edcornerThe holidays are over and school has resumed. While parents may have been excited to get their little ones back into the classroom, children may not be as enthusiastic. Are your students as motivated about school as they were in September? Often, parents and teachers find that at this time of year many students experience the winter school blues. As a teacher, I referred to this as the “third quarter slump”. Here are a few things to consider to help your students snap out of it (or even prevent it!):

Atlanta author and columnist Adlen Robinson, and mother of six children, offers tips to help adults address those winter blues with their students:

  • Speak to your child’s teacher to get the true picture. Ask if your child is struggling in a particular area and how you can help.

Teachers are always happy to discuss ways to remedy or head off problems before they fester.

  • Buy some new school supplies. Remember how excited children are to buy school supplies for the first day of school?

Try letting your child pick out a new notebook or other items. This would also be a good time to examine the current notebooks and folders. Maybe their entire organizational system needs a checkup.

  • Take an interest in what your child is studying. Talk about what subjects you liked when you were that age.

Similarly, admit what you struggled with. My children all knew about my childhood struggles with certain subjects

  • Start a reading club in your family. Choose a book that you can all read and then discuss during dinner.

The classics are great, of course, but try alternating who selects the book. Keep an open mind when they ask you to read their latest favorite.

Read more tips for parents here

The National Education Association recommends that teachers re-energize the second semester with things that will keep up the momentum of the school year:

  • “A Sneak Peak” – Before winter break, review what has been learned up to that point and provide a teaser for what students will be learning after they return

“This created anticipation among his students, says [Carl]Clausen. “When do we start?” they would eagerly ask. “

  • “Ownership Over Learning” – “I stress how grown up [the children] are, and I recognize their maturity as students,” [Michelle Wise Capen]she explains. “I have shown them a number of ways to work on spelling words during the first semester. In the second semester, I ask students to assess how they learn best and allow them to choose a learning approach on their own. Since the classroom expectations are still the same, children begin to take ownership of their learning without it being micromanaged by me.”
  • “Nothing Works Like Space and Technology” – Vicki Vieau’s class at Salem Grade School in Salem, Wisconsin, participates in the NASA cloud cover project, in which students record observations daily about the weather as the CERES (Clouds and the Earth’s Radiant Energy System) satellite passes over their town.

Read more tips for teachers here

There are many ways to help your students beat the winter blues. Check out the resources and re-energize!

Education Corner: Students with Disabilities: Which Plan is Right?

edcornerThe school year is well under way and the first quarter has ended. After countless meetings, lack of progress despite numerous interventions, and lots of testing, your child has been classified with a disability. You have so many questions! There are various plans for students with disabilities in the educational setting – IEP or 504? What are they and which one is right for my child?

The Utah Parent Center, a training and information center founded in 1983 by parents of children and youth with all disabilities to help other parents facing similar challenges throughout Utah, has posted a webinar called “IEP vs. Section 504 Plans: Which Is Right for My Child?” ( The webinar is presented by the Utah State Board of Education and can be downloaded by viewers. Topics include:

IEP vs Section 504 Which is Right for My Child Slides


IEP Tips For Parents

“Children with disabilities who qualify for special education under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) receive services under an IEP plan. However, some children with disabilities do not receive services under an IEP but are instead served under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504). This interactive webinar, presented by Jennifer Slade and Naté Dearden at the Utah State Board of Education, will describe similarities as well as differences between the IDEA and Section 504. For some children, providing the appropriate modifications and accommodations they need is the only way they will be successful in their school experiences. A thorough understanding of the provisions of these two laws and how they differ can help you and your child’s teachers plan the most appropriate education for your child.”

After view this webinar, you are likely to still have questions and in need of support. Be sure to maintain contact with your child’s school and his/her educational team. Working together has great benefits! Outside of the school you can contact the Utah Parent Center for resources, trainings, and support. Services provided by this non-profit organization are free.

Parent involvement is crucial to the education of all children. Children with disabilities are at higher risk for not completing school, not being employed or not pursuing higher education. Family involvement is especially crucial for these children. Seek out the resources you need to help your child be successful!

More information or questions can be directed to Education Corner author Deanna Taylor,


Education Corner – Back to School!

edcornerIt’s that time of year – back to school and all the activities associated with the excitement of a brand new school year.

Most schools in our area begin August 22.  A list of area schools is provided here with contact and some back to school night information.


Registration information is available on most school websites.


Most schools require these documents for registration:

Proof of Residence

Birth Certificate


Verification of last school attended.


Looking for some back to school tips?  Check out PBS parents which has some advice for easing into the new school year for parents. (

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Utahns Against Hunger: Utah Summer Food Program

FreeFood flyerSummer is on the way and that means the start of the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP). The SFSP works to fill the nutrition gap between school years for low-income students who rely on free and reduced price breakfast and lunch programs. The summer food program begins after the school year ends, usually the beginning of June. Summer food sites in Utah are sponsored either by a school district’s food service program, the Utah Food Bank, or Salt Lake Head Start and they serve breakfast, lunch, and supper in parks and schools across the state. This is program is free to all kids 18 years and younger and there is no paperwork or registration required.

For the second year in a row, Utahns Against Hunger is running a literacy program on the west side of Salt Lake City.  Kids who attend the lunch program at Jordan Park on Tuesdays, Sherwood Park on Wednesdays, and Northwest Central Park on Thursdays will receive a free book all summer long!

Click on the photo for the Summer Food Service Program flyer. Our hope is that you are able to print this summer food flyer and share it with your network and neighbors. If possible, please display the summer food flyer today and leave till the end of July.

For a full list of summer food sites in your area please visit our web page where there are printable flyers and a searchable map.See a list of Salt Lake School District sites here (including Backman Elementary, Jackson Elementary, Rose Park Elementary and West High). Parks are also listed.


In addition, you can call Utahns Against Hunger at 800-453-3663 for assistance locating a site. You can also text FOOD to 877877 to find a location. All of this information is available on the flyer as well.

Please call if you have any questions.

Marti Woolford, Nutrition Initiatives Director

Utahns Against Hunger

801 328-2561 (office)

800 453-3663 (toll free)

To increase access to food through advocacy, outreach, and education

Education Corner: The Journey to Being College and Career Ready

edcornerWhen you walk into Backman Elementary School, one of the first things you notice are posters with college and career ready themes.  Even their website opens with the theme (

“This year at Backman Elementary, we are focusing on being college bound. This means practicing behaviors and skills now that will help our students reach their college and career goals.“

“College and Career Ready” is heard everywhere now, nationally and locally.  The Utah State Office of Education has a page dedicated to being College and Career Ready that has resources for the community on preparing youth to be college and career ready.  (

A link to Backman’s  “College bound Character book” leads you to an alphabetized booklet of traits that are necessary to preparing for life after graduation.   (

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Education Corner: Keeping Your Students Engaged in the Winter

Winter time can be challenging for students and parents, especially after the dazzle edcornerand glitter of the holidays. But keeping the academic and physical engagement momentum going doesn’t have to be drudgery.

In 7 Tips to Keep Your Kids Fit in Winter” The Parenting Squad acknowledges that kids need guidance and motivation to stay active beyond the tv controls and has generated a list of tips to keep kids active in the winter. The tips inlcude making your home a gym, getting creative with workouts, putting electronics aside and braving the weather, and dancing. Read the entiere article at Continue reading

Education Corner: “Operation Warm” SLC Firefighters to the Rescue

childcoatEach year the Salt Lake City Fire Department chooses an elementary school whose 2nd and 3rd graders will be recipients of brand new winter coats. This year’s school: Backman Elementary.

“Backman Elementary School in Salt Lake City has been chosen by the Professional Firefighters of Utah (PFFU) and IAFF Local 81 (Salt Lake City) to receive coats for their students. Backman Elementary School was chosen based on the needs of their students. 98% of their students qualify for free or reduced meals. “ (Salt Lake City Firefighters, Local 81 website.

Multiple media agencies reported on the event. Links are provided below to those articles.

Salt Lake City Fire Fighters Local 81 has a Go Fund Me page for community members to donate funds to support this project.

“This is a very low impact fast and easy way to raise the funds to make it possible to provide coats to provide coats. Continue reading