Friday, March 30, 2012

Bees, reading, and brains

Pre-K kids love Library time
This story has two parts. 

Part 1: Last week I asked some 4-5's to answer questions about our bee program for a small grant application from the National Wildlife Federation and Nickelodeon.  The last question was "What is your favorite Nickelodeon show?"  As I was reading some great responses, I noticed that several said, "I don't have a television."  I was actually surprised and talked to their teacher Rose about it.

Rose told me that the children without televisions were actually better writers.  Not that other children were bad writers - but there seemed to be a correlation to lack of television and good writing.  This is surely a small sample from which to draw a conclusion, but Rose's take on it was that kids without TV's just had more time to read so their analysis and writing were better.  She also worried about the kids who told her they sometimes stay up really late (sneaking!) to play video games.

Here is a good article from the Huffington Post Brain Development: How Much TV Should Children Watch?  Screen time is so compelling!  But what is the cost of letting our children indulge?

Part 2.  Our kids are passionate about the bee program and the importance of our threatened pollinators.  Recent information about what might be causing honeybees' plight: Subtle Poison from the Economist.

Excerpt from a 4th grader's answer to "What are you doing at school to help the environment?"
    We have a bee club at our school.  I know that helping the bees is helping the world - and without bees we wouldn't have vegetables and fruit trees and other things.  The bees play a really important roll in the world.  It is really good that we have a bee club.

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