Friday, November 18, 2011

American Education Week Wrap-up

As we wrap up American Education Week, Spectrum Industries would like to recognize all those who contribute to the lives and education of our youth. First and foremost, United States Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and National Education Association (NEA) Dennis Van Roekel have the largest influence of any Americans on our education system. Even though their ideologies differ on how to best route for education to take, they stood united in a Monday morning meet and greet in Alexandria, VA. The kickoff event at T.C. Williams High School recognized the importance of education and what is needed to be successful in the future.

Tuesday saw the unveiling of NEA’s new guide for educators in developing effective partnerships to help improve student performance.

The rest of the week has been largely dedicated to those in education supporting roles that don’t normally get high-profile recognition. Wednesday was a national day of recognition – Education Support Professionals (ESP) Day – to honor everyone from bus drivers to cafeteria workers to administration staff.

Communities across America celebrated Educator for a Day on Thursday, which allowed individuals to serve as educators and get a real feel for the numerous duties that are condensed into a teaching position.

Today is Substitute Educators Day. Many of us are familiar with pinch-hitters and bench players having to come in on a moment’s notice and continue their team’s momentum. Substitute teachers likewise have the very difficult task of ensuring a continuing quality in our children’s’ education – no small task considering the very little time they have to prepare lessons!

School modernization has also been a focus throughout American Education Week. Decades of research has shown that the condition of school facilities affects student achievement. This is not a lost topic to employees at Spectrum. We pride ourselves on improving the student environment with what best suits a school’s needs. When a teacher or administrator reaches out to thank us for helping to improve classrooms, it means a lot.

This week, we would like to return the favor and show our appreciation to the entire team of people who work with our students to improve their well-being.


Monday, November 14, 2011

American Education Week Observed for 9 Decades

In 1921, the National Education Association adopted a resolution to support a national effort to raise public awareness of the importance of education. The concern arose after finding that 25 percent of the country’s World War I draftees were illiterate.

American Education Week continues with continued support of the NEA. The NEA's mission is "to advocate for education professionals and to unite our members and the nation to fulfill the promise of public education to prepare every student to succeed in a diverse and interdependent world."

In 2010, President Barack Obama signed a proclamation for American Education Week. Through the proclamation, the President reiterated education’s importance to our nation’s core values and to future success. The proclamation reads, in part:

Education has always been central to ensuring opportunity, and to instilling in all our citizens the defining American values of freedom, equality, and respect for one another. Our Nation's schools can give students the tools, skills, and knowledge to participate fully in our democracy, and to succeed in college, career, and life. This week, let us reaffirm the importance of education and recognize that we all share in the responsibility to educate our students.

This year’s celebration runs from November 13-19. How can you get involved
with American Education Week 2011? The NEA website lists five things you can do including nominating a Classroom Superhero and helping fund a teacher’s classroom project.

So celebrate American Education Week and show your support – well-educated children are an investment in the United States’ future.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Come on - help a Mo Bro out...

It's already Movember 10 … yes, I said Movember.

And what might Movember be? Movember has been described as the male version of the Susan G. Komen effort to raise money and awareness for cancer. Men who participate (Mo Bros) shave on October 31 and then grow mustaches throughout the month of November. Caring friends, family, and coworkers (Mo Bros and Mo Sistas) can give a tax deductible contribution to help find a cure for prostate and testicular cancer and raise awareness to men's health issues.

From the Movember Web site:

The funds raised in the US support prostate cancer and other cancers that affect men. The funds raised are directed to programs run directly by Movember and our men's health partners, the Prostate Cancer Foundation and LIVESTRONG, the Lance Armstrong Foundation. Together, the three channels work together to ensure that Movember funds are supporting a broad range of innovative, world-class programs in line with our strategic goals in the areas of awareness and education, survivorship and research.
Why Men's health and cancers affecting Men?
  • 1 in 2 men will diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime. 1 in 3 women will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime.

  • A man will die from prostate cancer every 15.6 minutes – more than 33,000 men will die of the disease this year.

  • 1 in 6 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer – a new case is diagnosed every 2.2 minutes.

  • Occurrences of prostate cancer in men is comparable to the rates of breast cancer in women.

  • Men are less likely to schedule doctor appointments and stay in touch with their doctors, thereby denying them the chance of early detection and effective treatment of common diseases.

Please help Spectrum Industries to put a dent in these horrible statistics and consider contributing to the Spectrum Movember team - Rollie's Boys.

From this year's Movember participants, we at Spectrum thank you!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Harold Lloyd dangles over a busy city street hanging onto the hands of a large clock Every year, spring and fall, we like to write a blog and say, “Reset your clocks this Sunday.” But with the current technology, setting your clock for Daylight Savings Time observation has nearly become a thing of the past and the whole practice of DST has come to debate.

Many digital timepieces are connected to the internet – computers, cell/smart phones, PDA, tablets – all have clock functions and even the frill-free ones come standard with Daylight Savings Time settings. This has also led to another phenomenon – the decline in sales of watches. I rarely wear a watch and even have an “atomic clock” that sets itself through radio waves.

So why do we have Daylight Savings Time? Why do we continue to observe it? These questions are in debate. This practice was first proposed in 1895, but it took a while to spread. The US adopted DST in March 1918. Thoughts then and now about what Daylight Savings Time does for us include the thought that it gives more sun after work – depending on where you live that may or may not be an advantage. DST may or may not save electricity. But no matter the benefits, DST causes problems by making inconsistent times not only in USA, but across the globe. This video does a great job explaining Daylight Savings Time and problems associated with it.

But for now, just set your clocks back to Standard Time on Sunday, that is if they haven't all done that on their own. You'll get an extra hour of sleep and not have to worry about a loss of sleep until fall when we make another post about Daylight Savings Time.