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Vol 2011 no1 (Posted August 2011)

Literature ||Children's Health, Rights and Literature||

Children's Health, Rights and Literature

Factors Involved in the Vitamin Fortification of Foods
Paul L. Bond, Jr., Assistant Professor, Victory University

This paper exams the rationale for the fortification of foods with vitamins.  Factors that enter in to this equation are vitamin stability, vitamin bioavailability from foods, economics of vitamin supplementation and fortification and the benefits to society from such fortification. 
While any vitamin could be used as an example, folic acid (folate) has been chosen as the object for this paper.  Folic acid is known to play a role in nucleic acid synthesis and thus the prevention of neural tube defects in embryos.  Data is shown on the poor stability of naturally occurring folate in foods, the superiority of synthetic folic acid stability, the economics of folic acid production, the need for folate fortified foods throughout the world and the reduction in neural tube defects in those countries that have mandated folic acid fortification

Postpartum Obesity: The Root Problem of Childhood Obesity?      
Valencia Browning Keen and Claudia Sealey Potts

Remedying childhood obesity cannot take place without first identifying relevant issues commonly influencing gatekeepers of food for children as well as the role modeling for encouraging or discouraging daily activities.  Children cannot drive to the store, form grocery lists or complete menu management tasks without adult assistance. Excessive weight gain during pregnancy leads to weight retention postpartum and often increases with each pregnancy. Maternal and postpartum obesity is associated with increased risk of developing gestational diabetes, metabolic syndrome, prenatal morbidity and increased risk of obesity in the offspring through adolescence which without intervention, leads to adulthood obesity. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) data, weight gain in excess of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) guidelines is common. CDC data has shown, between 1990-2005, gaining > 40# in all Body Mass Index (BMI) categories has increased between 15-20%. Considering insurance coverage for weight loss management is not promoted by all health care practitioners for all postpartum women and only a percentage of postpartum women choose to breastfeed which can enhance weight loss, strategies for recommending dietitian services to clinics, hospitals and communities for helping moms or gatekeepers lose weight will be shared.

American Education’s Beginnings
Lisa A. Hazlett, Professor of Secondary Education, The University of South Dakota

Compulsory education in America arguably originated with Massachusetts’s legislative acts of 1642, 1647, and 1648; the 1642 act compelled education of children.  Best known is the colorfully named Old Deluder Satan Law of 1647, famously declaring towns with populations of 50 must hire a reading and writing teacher, and those holding 100 requiring a Latin Grammar School.  This law’s title was derived from its purpose, as teaching youth to read allowed access to the Christian Bible, with their presumably subsequent faith and doctrinal adherence producing virtuous citizens confident of an eventual heavenly home rather than warmer climes.  Still, these laws and many afterwards were not strictly enforced until Horace Mann advocated schooling for all, with his Common School Movement leading to free, public, and locally controlled elementary schools, beginning with Massachusetts in 1852.   Compulsory education laws were passed in 32 states by 1900 and in all by 1930.


Bringing Culture to Life through Children’s Literature:  The Mississippi Delta in the 1930’s
Peggy F. Hopper, Associate Professor, Mississippi State University

After hearing reminisces from her parents about childhood adventures that took place in the 1930’s Mississippi Delta, the author, Peggy F. Hopper, decided to document these stores in two children’s books, Peggy Sue and the Pepper Patch and The Adventures of Theodore Roosevelt Hollumway Jones and John Hart:  Chasing Bandits.  Her mission more directly was to give voice to the positive stories of multiracial relationships during a time of racial tensions in the Delta.  With a background in reading and English education, the author faced challenges for deciding which aspects of culture representative of the time should be included.  Since both books are categorized in the genre of children’s nonfiction, care was taken to make each book as historically accurate as possible given that the books are memories from that era. 

Allusions to Culture and Religion in Hispanic American Children's Literature
Judy A. Leavell, Associate Professor, St. Edward's University

Allusions to culture and religion frequently appear in Hispanic American children's literature. These allusions resonate with those who share the culture and help those students connect with the book. These same allusions inform those who are not of the culture and broaden their understanding. This paper will provide examples of such allusions from Hispanic American children's literature written in English.

At the same time, the article will discuss the social justice issue of providing literature that reflects a culture. While Hispanic American children's literature provides rich content, the number of titles is limited. The number produced, distributed, and shared is only a small fraction of the total number of new children's books published each year. A bibliography of award-winning children's books reflecting the Hispanic culture is included to help the reader locate these books.

Positive Role Models vs. Bullies: Can They Be Distinguished By Following Articulate Animals  Into Worlds of Suspended Disbelief?
Dr. Suzanne (Evagash) Miller, Professor of Education, Point Park University

Orally and later in written form, stories have been used to identify and reinforce the values of a culture.  The parables of the Bible and the vocalization of articulate animals in Aesop fables continue to be used to teach morals to children.  While the majority of existing research investigates the effective use of animals as a tool in character and values education, limited research has been done regarding the benefits of using articulate animals to teach leadership education and to promote the wise selection of leaders.
The purpose of this pilot study will be to qualitatively test the theory that students who read and discuss selections from modern fantasy that identify specific articulate animals as role models or bullies will respond differently to questions posed in whole-group discussion.  The random selection of middle-school students engaged in followership training will read and discuss the roles of specific animals in selected children’s literature.  During whole group discussion, responses will be observed and recorded, noting differences to the following two questions:  “Are followers responsible for the actions of a leader?” and “Is a bully a leader?” 

How Firm A Foundation? Comparing The Bush and Obama Faith-Based Initiatives
Georgia A. Persons, Professor, School of Public Policy, Georgia Institute of Technology

When President Barack Obama issued an executive order in February 2009 establishing a new faith-based initiative, he was renewing and slightly revising a policy initiative that was originally established under President G.W. Bush. Initially, the Obama Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships initiative (FBNP) largely followed the thrust of the Bush Faith-Based and Community Initiative (FBCI), with what appeared to be only minor differences. However, in the second year of the Obama administration, the FBNP was poised to take on a very different set of foci with the potential to establish a significantly redefined faith-based initiative, and to incorporate the faith community in a new round of partnerships with the federal government. This possibility emerged from a set of far reaching recommendations by the Advisory Council established by President Obama to study ways of improving and strengthening partnerships between government and faith-based and community organizations. The recommendations of the Advisory Council promised to substantially redirect the core thrust of what had been some groundbreaking dimensions of the FBCI. What one president had established by administrative fiat, another was poised to substantially alter by similar fiat. While the Obama FBNP reflected the continuing appeal of the idea of formally incorporating the faith community in partnership with the federal government, it also suggested that the evolution of these partnerships would move far beyond the original notions of the Bush FBCI of incorporating local congregations and small, faith-based organizations in government efforts to aid the poor and needy. The comparison of the two initiatives illuminates the limits of change that may accrue to administrative policymaking, and the vulnerability of presidential preferences when anchored in the sub-optimized use of executive orders.


Integrated, Articulated Fitness and Health Curriculum and Methods of Evaluation 
Wendy E. S. Repovich, Associate Professor and Director, Exercise Science, Eastern Washington University

Physical Education programs have monitored physical fitness and sport skills since the 1950’s when the President’s Council on Physical Fitness was formed.  Unfortunately we have seen two divergent paths, the first is a dramatic decline in physical activity time often accompanied by a decline in fitness, and an equally dramatic increase in overweight and obesity.  In the mid 1990’s educators in Washington State realized there was a significant problem and set about creating change. Standards were set for programs and school districts began redesigning curriculum.  Spokane Public Schools completely redesigned their curriculum to address both problems.  The result of three years of work was an integrated, articulated, progressive curriculum designed to educate students on both why and how they can be active throughout life and the expected benefit of a healthier, more fit population.  Five years of Carol M. White PEP grant funds helped the district implement and evaluate the curricular change.  Some may consider the results a “failure” because fitness scores have not changed (including body composition), but to others it may be seen as finally stopping the decline and just maybe we will be able to head our students back on the path to lifelong health and wellness.      

Integrating the Rights of the Child with the Responsibility of the Parent
Carolyn L. Scholz, Lecturer, Department of Human Development and Family Studies, University of Connecticut

This paper will explore the balance between children’s rights and parental responsibility from a family systems perspective.  Children do not grow up in a vacuum; they are part of a biological, psychological and social system.  The interaction of the child and parent within this system must include the development of responsibilities by the parent and the child to further the rights of both.  Children do have rights, the right to be nurtured and protected, the right to learn boundaries of behavior and to expand their knowledge.
In reviewing the text from The Convention on the Rights of the Child, the responsibilities, rights and duties of parents are addressed in several places.  The failure of the United States Senate to ratify this treaty seems to question how much intervention by outside authority is needed to protect children.  It is true that many children need the protection of outside parties, but where do we find a balance between the rights and responsibilities of parents, children and society?

Family-Centred Care: Effective Care Delivery or Sacred Cow?
Linda Shields, Professor of Paediatric and Child Health Nursing, Curtin University and Child and Adolescent Health Service, Perth, Western Australia, and Honorary Professor, Medical School, The University of Queensland

Family-centred (The British spelling, centred, is used in this paper) care as a way to care for children in hospitals has become ubiquitous in the world of paediatrics. It evolved from work of pioneers in theories of maternal and child attachment, and paralleled the evolution of paediatric nursing as an academic (and evidence-generating) discipline. However, in the last decade, doubts have been sewn as to its efficacy and workability, due to the lack of rigorous evidence about whether or not it works, or as to whether or not it makes a difference to the children and families for whom it is purported to care.
This paper examines the historical evolution of family-centred care, discusses the current research about it, and poses questions around the ethics of continuing to use a model around which so many questions are generated.




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