UrbaNERD: Hooray, it’s Kale Day!

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Thomas Good, Metro Centric, Anthony Lanzilote, Pablo029, Atomische, DIana Robinson/Mayor's Office

I’ll trade my kale for your tofu
Peck Slip Public School has become the second public school in the city to go vegetarian… excuse me, I meant second public school in the country! Taking huge strides toward better health in NYC’s youth, the Coalition for Healthy School Food (CHSF) has encouraged these schools to serve an entirely plant-based menu. The positive behavioral results are already evident in the students and the food has received positive reviews from both parents and kids alike. Bullies these days just be like, “Yo mama’s so fat ’cause she doesn’t get enough fiber in her diet!”

Postering the way to clearer public policies
The non-profit organization CUP (Center for Urban Pedagogy) has designed a handy poster aimed at helping fathers going to court over child support payments. This poster is part of CUP’s larger effort to simplifying complex systems and problems so the public can take action. The Child Support Poster spells out in detail all the information that a father could miss or misunderstand in the process of court hearings. Though the posters can seem a bit patronizing in parts (like when they tell you to go to the address you were given and not just guess which courthouse is the right one), the series offers step-by-step options and thoughtful tips concerning public policies that are not always easy to understand, and in this case usually frustrating or scary to navigate. Now if only there were a graphically-attractive poster explaining the rest of life.

Women, prison bars and biology
Women’s reproductive rights are being more carefully defended these days, but often overlooked are the incarcerated women of our state. The Correctional Association of New York has released a report that shows remarkable lack of care in the prisons’ healthcare systems, especially for women’s reproductive health issues like access to sanitary supplies and support during menopause. Data collection is a main concern of the report, which claims that the absence of important medical data can obscure responsibility for poor performance. The association suggests that the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision “review written policies on reproductive health care for women and make adjustments to ensure they are up-to-date, and reflect and explicitly reference community standards.”

The future is looking too hot
The New York City Panel on Climate Change has predicted that tomorrow’s New Yorkers should be prepared for a wet, hot future, which probably won’t be as fun as it sounds. A recent report projects an increase in the mean temperature by as much as 8.8 degrees F before the century is over and triple the number of heat waves. As distressing as the information is, it should help the metropolitan area prepare for such environmental changes by influencing key policy decision-makers to plan ahead. At the very least, a ban on the phrase “Is it hot enough for ya?” must be put in place immediately.

Silicon elementary
Google has announced the arrival of their CS First program in New York City schools. It will provide students in hundreds of after-school programs throughout the city with the resources to learn coding and other important technological skills. The value of this knowledge in a modern business landscape seems fairly clear. This program could only be harmful for parents who already don’t know how to help their kids with their complicated homework.