September 23, 2011 at 12:05 pm , by Sonia Harmon
Among the many hot button issues in our country, there’s one we should all be able to agree on: the importance of a great education. This weekend, NBC is starting a conversation on this topic in a major way with its Education Nation Summit, which kicks off Sunday at noon (EST) with the second-annual Teacher Town Hall on MSNBC. The live broadcast will be a discussion for and about teachers, and the challenges they face today. We talked to NBC news anchor Brian Williams, who will moderate the discussion, about this special initiative.
Ladies’ Home Journal: Tell us about NBC’s Education Nation project.
Brian Williams: When we do pieces on education on my broadcast nightly news, we always label them part of our Education Nation campaign. It’s just an enormous commitment by the network to say, “Look, we’re allowed to have issues that are important to us. We just don’t take a stand, but we’d like to be the conduit.” One thing we do that has become quite popular is the Teacher Town Hall. We literally have a tent on the skating rink at 30 Rockefeller Plaza and it’s just like being in the teacher’s lounge. Growing up as a kid, didn’t you always wonder what went on in there? So we let them blow off steam. It’s not a political debate, it’s not a NASCAR race—but it’s as exciting as gatherings go. It just happens to be about education.
What are some education issues you think people need to be more aware of?
Well, I just think people need to dive into the reform effort. Parents need to dial in, folks whose kids are grown and out of school who have time to volunteer and help out, they need to dial in, rich folks who have money to give. That’s the lesson I’ve learned, that when you stop going to PTA meetings and when your kids grow up and out, your obligation to education doesn’t end. In many ways it’s just beginning. You still have a lot to give.
Do you remember a teacher that really affected you as a kid? Read more
September 29, 2010 at 2:24 pm , by Amelia Harnish
Inspired by Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign, environmental and health activist Kelly Meyer decided to stop complaining about the lack of healthy options for her children and do something about it.
With friends in Los Angeles she started Teaching Garden, an initiative to put gardens and corresponding nutrition curricula in local schools. She thought the best way to teach healthy habits from the start would be to provide kids with a garden, where they could learn hands-on about where food really comes from: “the ground, not the vending machine or the cereal box,” Meyer says.
Studies show that healthy kids perform better in school, and with 1 in 3 American children now obese, it’s clear more schools could use a program like this one.
As part of the kickoff of NBC’s Education Nation summit Monday, Teaching Garden and the American Heart Association (AHA) invited a group of New York City schoolchildren to Rockefeller Center to announce their goal of putting 1,000 gardens in schools across the country over the next two years. That’s Meyer, above, far left, with AHA chairperson Debra Lockwood, TV funnyman Jimmy Fallon and 5th graders from KIPP Infinity School. Read more