Archive for: May 2014

Ten Terrific Books About Getting Active

 By Erin Nguyen, Children’s Department, Knox County Public Library





Max and Zoe at Soccer Practice

 by Shelley Swanson Sateren


                            In this beginning reader Max learns that practice is important to improve his soccer skills, but he’s tempted to cheat when he sees what a good player Zoe is.


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Understanding Cleft Lip And Cleft Palate

by Audrey Madigan


Each year approximately 4,200 babies in the United States are born with cleft lip or cleft palate.  Oral clefts are the fourth most common birth defect in the U.S. and are more common in children of Latino, Asian or Native American origins. Clefts develop very early in a woman’s pregnancy and result when there is not enough tissue in a baby’s mouth and lip area to join properly.  Ultrasound can often detect a cleft in an unborn baby. This allows the family to meet with a member of the cleft palate team before birth, receive educational materials, and begin a treatment plan. Read more →

The Psychological Benefits of Exercise

By Kathryn Rea Smith, PH.D.


This past Sunday afternoon, I went for a run at Lakeshore Park in Knoxville. It was a beautiful spring day, with temperatures in the high 70’s, low humidity, and a light breeze. As I ran along the park trail, I felt inspired from seeing so many people of all ages engaged in physical activity. People were running, jogging, walking, playing soccer and climbing on the jungle gym. Some were pushing strollers and others were being pulled along by dogs. I especially enjoyed seeing parents walking with their young children. It brought to mind the times my husband and I had dragged our boys to Lakeshore for a walk when they were younger. They usually complained about being made to go but would end up having a good time. Afterwards, we all felt a bit spent, but relaxed and in a better mood than before the walk. Exercise tends to have this effect on people.  Read more →

Why Your Child Should Take Up Martial Arts

               By Barry Van Over, President of Premier Martial Arts International




Reason #1: They (and You) Will Get More Active

This is the obvious reason kids should do martial arts in this day and age – to get active and moving. In case you haven’t noticed, we have an epidemic when it comes to our nation’s obesity problem. We’re also increasingly unfit in addition to being overweight. The problem is particularly alarming as it relates to our kids. Youth sports and physical education programs are great, but not every kid is an athlete, and many schools no longer offer PE. The martial arts offer many benefits, but when it comes to fitness, becoming a true martial artist means becoming a supremely fit person. When I was practicing boxing or Muay Thai kickboxing on a daily basis, I was in the best shape of my life by a long shot. Martial arts can help your child get fit and healthy. Read more →

Healthy Eating Is N.E.A.T.!

               By Cheryl Hill, Healthy Weight Program Manager at The Knox County Health Department



N.E.A.T., or Nutrition Education Activity Training, is a program designed to teach and promote healthy eating behaviors among youth in Knox County. N.E.A.T. began as an initiative to combat childhood obesity and now reaches more than 650 children in afterschool sites. During the school year, trained volunteers lead interactive discussions and games centered on healthy eating and physical activity. Children also prepare and eat healthy snacks as part of the lessons. Read more →

A Healthy Family Requires Active Participation

               By Barry Van Over, President of Premier Martial Arts International



We all that know American families, as a whole, are becoming increasingly unfit at an increasing rate. Each year, the rates for obesity, heart disease and type 2 diabetes increase in both adults and children. And, looking at the 5 to 10 year forecasts, obesity is projected to become a serious epidemic. Read more →

A (Digital) Promise To Keep


by Knox County Schools

Untitled-16Technology is continually evolving.  To imagine and capture innovation that can come from the use of technology, school systems must actively collaborate, continually learn and seek out and embrace new opportunities.  In short, they must be willing to “get active” in the pursuit of innovation.

As demonstrated by a recent designation, the Knox County Schools is, indeed, actively pursuing possibilities through technology to best support its students.

This spring, Digital Promise, a national, independent nonprofit organization authorized by Congress to accelerate innovation in education, named the Knox County Schools as one of nine new members accepted into the League of Innovative Schools.  The League of Innovative Schools is a national coalition of school districts and educational agencies that is both a professional learning network and an incubator for innovative educational practices. The League brings together educators, researchers and entrepreneurs to demonstrate, evaluate and replicate promising ideas, with the goal of improving student achievement. Read more →

Get Outside, Get Fit, Get Active…

by Detective Aaron Yarnell, Knox County Sheriff’s Office


Spring has sprung, and the flowers are blooming! So, what does that mean?  It is time to get outdoors!  With beautiful weather approaching and the urge to get out into it, now is the time to put down your cell phones, iPads and laptops and enjoy the outdoors.  But, what if technology could help us with our healthy lifestyle and getting outdoors?  Let’s take a look at some great apps for your phones and even wearable technology to help with motivation to get outside and moving.   Read more →

Thinking Globally At West High School

By Michael K. Smith, Ph.D.


“The goal of the International Baccalaureate Program is to prepare students to be global citizens,” says Katherine Banner, principal at West High School. Before coming to Knoxville, Ms. Banner taught IB English in South Florida and was the parent of a student who graduated with an IB diploma. Since 2011, she has led the development of the IB program at West High School, one of only a dozen such programs in Tennessee and among the few dozen that exist in the United States. What is unique about this program? How does it try to achieve a world-class education? Read more →

The Wild Wild…East?

                by Michael Kull
Photos by Michael Kull and Eva Nations



The Citico Wildlife Wilderness is just  a short drive from Knoxville, and yet, it is a destination that feels worlds away from the familiar skyline most of us enjoy. This unique wildlife preserve is nestled in the bosom of the Cherokee National Forest, far from city lights, traffic noise and amenities like electricity and cellular service. It is a world unto itself, an enchanted place protected by a specially constructed fence designed to contain the wildlife within, as it protects them from the predators (coyote and bear, mostly) lurking just outside. Read more →