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Archives 2007-08

Submitted April 25, 2008

The two hardest times of year for sleeping are Fall and Spring.  Triggered by the vast changes in the amount  and timing of daylight, many of us find daylight savings not of a sleep savings!  If you or someone you know are having problems try these tips:  Darken the room.  No TV/computer/media within an hour of bed.  No caffeine past noon.  Eat earlier (before 7pm).  Go to bed earlier, and at the same time each night.  Create a soothing bedtime routine.  If you drink milk or take a calcium supplement have it in the evening instead of the morning – calcium promotes restful sleep (it’s NOT just an old wives’ tale).  Get 30-60 minutes a day of vigorous exercise.  Sleep tight!  Article ideas/feedback?  Feedback to stasia@2degreesnorth.com.

Spring is here (mostly)!  The sun is warming us up and green is everywhere.  Now is time to move from eating more of the roots of the plants (potatoes, onions, beets…) which kept us warm over the cold months (and a bit heavier)  to eating more of the greens/tops of the plants  (spinach, kale, lettuce, scallions...).  These greens come out just as we need them – to help us move the stored energy of winter into the expansive, moving energy of spring.  When we ‘get the green inside’, we feel stronger and more energetic by the day!  Be green inside and out!  Article ideas/feedback?  Feedback to stasia@2degreesnorth.com.

Staying active?  Judging by the playground these past few weeks, Spring has definitely sprung!  We’ve seen lots more soccer, football, four-square, and toe-tokens being earned.  Parents, you can help promote this active recess by asking  your children what they did on the playground today.  And how about you?  Are you settled into a routine?  Yoga, running, biking to work or the store, playing football or soccer with the kids, or plain walking?  Take that dog ‘just two more blocks’ as my doctor once said!  Be fit, feel well.  Article ideas/feedback?  Feedback to stasia@2degreesnorth.com.

Submitted May 20, 2008

In the book, Play as If your Life Depended on it, Frank Forencich talks about learning to move as animals again – playing more and ‘working less’ at working out.  He lists some great toys to consider so that people of all ages can find the fun in getting moving.  He lists medicine balls, physioballs, jump ropes, hula hoops, cones & hurdles, stretch cords & Chinese jump ropes, and wobble boards for a start.  Consider one for your next gift!  Or, choose something FREE, like hiking, wrestling, hide ‘n seek, tag, leap frog, soccer, catch, etc…  Feedback to stasia@2degreesnorth.com.

What is a good way to reward a job well done?  Is it with a sweet treat or a video game?  No says current research.  Shifting rewards for yourself and others towards active and non-sweet food rewards can significantly increase the desire for MORE of what is good for us.  Current research shows that our food preferences increase significantly when foods are presented as rewards.  So make the most of this by using choices like broccoli, apple or cucumber slices, rice cakes or nuts, etc. over empty-calorie foods, like candy and sweets.  You will be increasing the appeal of these healthy foods while quieting that persistent sweet tooth.  Feedback to stasia@2degreesnorth.com.

More than 75% of adolescents do not eat enough fruits and vegetables; and more than 33% do not engage in regular vigorous activity.  Help your child enter adolescence by establishing and modeling healthy eating and exercise habits at an early age.  Did you know that HALF of each meal and snack plate should consist of veggies/fruits (the more veggies the better) (with the other two quarters divided between protein & grains).  Ride the rainbow and choose veggies and fruits of all colors.  This variety ensures that you and your family are getting the full range of vitamins, minerals, enzymes and trace nutrients that only whole, fresh produce can provide.  Feedback to stasia@2degreesnorth.com.