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Rural Ed. News: Fighting Obesity, Saving Schools, Learning English

Researchers to Study Rural Children's Obesity Issues

Oregon State University researchers in Corvallis, Ore., aren't sure what causes rural communities to have more problems with childhood obesity, but they're hoping a new research project will provide some answers.

Oregon State University Extension Services will do a three-year study on why rural children are at 20 percent to 50 percent higher risk for being overweight and obese and what they can do to change that, according to an article published earlier this month in the Herald and News in Klamath Falls, Ore.

Klamath County School District will partner with the university, and kindergarten through 6th-grade children will participate in the project.

Rural Alaska School Leaders Meet in "Save Schools, Save Communities" Summit

Hundreds of rural Alaska school officials, parents, students and tribal leaders met in Fairbanks recently for two days during a "Save Schools, Save Communities" meeting, according to an article the Juneau Empire in Juneau, Alaska.

One of the goals is to review curricula and how it can be enhanced for rural villages. The discussion covered everything from bandwidth availability to declining student enrollment.

One teacher is quoted as saying the key to retaining students is teaching Native-American culture.

"Village people have power to change the curriculum to a Native curriculum, not a Western curriculum. That is not our way," said retired teacher Cora Maguire in the story.

States With Highest Percentage of Rural English-Language Learners

The Rural School and Community Trust recently highlighted the 11 states with the largest percentage of rural English-language learners.

They were as follows: California (18.1 percent of rural students are ELL); Alaska (16.3 percent); Texas (9.4 percent); Arizona (9.1 percent); Oregon (8 percent); Idaho (7 percent); Washington (6.9 percent); Florida (6.6 percent); North Carolina (6.4 percent); Colorado (5.7 percent); and Nevada (5.3 percent).

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