2/17/17: 5 Articles You Need to Read This Week

We know you're busy--that's why we're keeping up on the news for you. Here are some of the latest articles about teen health that are worth your time. Check back every Friday for more headlines you may have missed!


1. A teen's random act of kindness uplifts school on Valentine's Day

On Valentine's Day at Troy High School in Ohio, each student received a surprise carefully taped to their lockers. Each of the 1,300 handmade, origami hearts had been made by an anonymous Troy High School student, who wrote a personal note and the words "You are loved" on each heart. The creator -- who wishes to remain anonymous -- worked on these hearts for months in secret, without telling her friends or parents what she was doing. Let this random act of kindness inspire teens and help them see that it's never a bad idea to take an opportunity to create kindness. You can also read this teacher's blog post about creating kindness in her class using our CULTURE OF KINDNESS activity.


2. Later school start-times benefits teens, study proves

According to a new study, when teens are able to get more sleep and start school at 8:30, graduation rates and attendance rates are better. For students in lower socioeconomic areas, the bus is often their only form of transportation -- this means later start times help close the achievement gap, allowing these students to catch their bus so they get to school on time. Have your class read The Teen Who Woke Up Her School to learn more about a student who fought for this change in her school...and won!


3. Depression rate for teenage girls in on the rise. The culprit? Social media.

A new study published in the journal Pediatrics suggests that teenage girls are experiencing depression at higher rates than boys of the same age. The study notes that the number of teen girls experiencing depression increased rapidly after 2011, and the researchers suspect social media dependence may be to blame. Because girls are quicker than boys to take part in new forms of communication and social media, this impacts them more than it does teen boys. Be sure to check out our story, "We Have Depression" for more information to share with your students. 


4. Teenagers were behind the fake news epidemic

In Veles, Macedonia, 18-year-old Boris dropped out of high school when he started earning big bucks from ads on his sensationalist, political fake-news website. In just a few months he had earned $16,000 in a country where the average monthly salary is not much more than $300. But this isn't new. Also in Macedonia, two brothers became famous for their fake health site that still gets millions of views. The town of Veles has experienced what former president Obama called a "digital gold rush" with over 100 fake news sites in a town of only 55,000 people. With the propagation of these fake sites, it can be hard to figure out who we can trust on the web. So, keep an eye out for our upcoming May issue, where you'll find a feature to help teens spot fake news, increasing their digital citizenship!


5. How do you empower girls for life? Start in middle school.

Confidence is key in the workplace, but all too often, women are taken advantage of and not given the opportunities they need to speak up. This could change, experts say, if girls were taught how to be empowered at a younger age. These six tips will help parents and teachers learn how to foster confidence in their girls. One tip: Teach girls that there's no way to be perfect, and help them understand that experiencing failure leads to grit and resilience. To teach this lesson, have student read this article, followed by The League of Extraordinary Losers. Don't forget to show our slideshow featuring failure resumes of well-known adults!

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