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Extension > Youth Development Insight > Archives > December 2011 Archives

December 2011 Archives

A wish for a healthier society

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Carrie-Ann-Olson.jpgWith the holiday season upon us, I often find myself thinking about what is my "wish" for the new year. I think it is good to reflect and good to think about the future. Without getting too personal, I'd like to share with you my wish.

My wish is for a healthier society. When I talk about health, I don't mean that we all need to be a perfect 10. I'm talking about physical, emotional and social health. I hope that we all have physical activity that we enjoy to help keep our bodies physically healthy as well as the knowledge and skills to provide our bodies with good nutrition. I really appreciate Michelle Obama's "Let's Move Campaign" and the Presidential Active Lifestyle Award (PALA) as it provides a simple challenge to all while providing resources and engaging communities. Have you challenged yourself to complete the PALA? Here in Minnesota, it can be easy to stay active in the summer months, but a challenge in the winter. How do you encourage and support physical activity for yourself and in the programming you do?

small-jwalker.jpgI met Nichole Pinkard in October and she inspired me! She genuinely got me excited about podcasts, video production, computer graphic design and digital sound production. And hey, I'm a former high school English teacher. How did she do it? She grabbed my attention when she shifted the emphasis off learning technical skills and put the emphasis on mastering creative and innovative digital literacies for the 21st century. How does it relate to our work with youth?

It was the attention to literacy -- the ability to understand and communicate effectively in multiple ways -- that made me say "Yes, I get it!" It's about being able to take in, produce and transmit written, verbal, visual, auditory and digital knowledge. Today literacy requires more than a pen, paper and print text. Truly an educated person today must be able to critically embrace both the traditional and the explosion of new digital forms of literacy.

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