The Free Press, Mankato, MN

June 28, 2013

Bowman helped United Way grow

The Mankato Free Press

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Thumbs up to Laura Bowman, president of the Mankato Area United Way, for her past work and her new position as head of the Olmsted County United Way in Rochester.

Since Bowman took over the Mankato United Way in 2006, the Cleveland native helped develop, grow and professionalize the important organization that funds so many worthy causes.

She helped lead aggressive and successful funding campaigns even through the recession, helped develop new leaders in the organization and launched a variety of new initiatives.

While we're sorry to see her leave, we wish her luck in her new challenge at a larger United Way in the state.

Healthier foods in schools make sense

Thumbs up to the U.S. Agriculture Department for initiating rules that for the first time will make sure that all foods sold in the nation's 10,000 schools are healthier.

The rules will ensure that high-calorie sports drinks, candy bars and other junk food will be removed from school vending machines and cafeteria lines. In their place will be granola bars, diet drinks and other healthy items like low-fat hamburgers and healthier pizzas.

Many schools, including locally, have worked to limit or remove soda pop and other empty-calorie snacks out of vending machines and cafeterias, but many schools around the country have not. Some schools have felt pressure to include junk food because of financial incentives from companies that make candy and pop.

There have been legitimate concerns about the government legislating things like the size of soft drinks that can be sold to adults by private restaurants. But certainly there can be agreement that starting school kids off right by limiting junk food and offering good and healthy alternatives in public schools is a legitimate role for government.

Editorial Board

Series helps us understand changing population

I wanted to thank The Free Press, and especially the reporter, Amanda Dyslin, for the excellent coverage recently about the growing diversity of our school population.

This information helps us all better understand our changing population in our Mankato and North Mankato community and how this affects the needs of education.

We truly have the strength of diversity in our ever growing community as people from many different places in the world now call our community home.

Diane Dobitz


Hats off to LSH for its teaching philosophy

The staff at RiverBend Academy Public Charter School would like to applaud the Le Sueur-Henderson School District for its exploration of the whole-child approach to teaching.

The whole-child philosophy — with its emphasis on creating an atmosphere where children can feel encouraged, supported, safe and challenged — is one that we have sought to create in our own school since we opened and we are happy to learn that other schools in the area are embracing the same ideas.

We have especially had success with tailoring educations to meet each student's individual needs and through daily exploratories that teach topics such as science and history through less traditional and more hands-on approaches.

It sounds as if LSH also will be using these kinds of hands-on approaches and we believe that they will be very pleased with what the teachers and their students discover.

It does indeed take a village to raise a child and it takes even more to educate one. It takes time, dedication and above all, caring for the future of all children.

Don Johannsen

RBA director