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Gladstone offers class on food; GHS renews accreditation; Free child abuse-prevention training scheduled

The Culture and History of Food is a new social studies course at Gladstone High School this term. Students are exploring food through the lens of social science.

PHOTO COURTESY: LESLIE ROBINETTE - Gladstone High School senior Ben Perez makes flatbread in a new social studies class about the history and culture of food."We wanted to create a class that gives kids a new and different option for elective credit while highlighting the importance of food to our human development and history," said social studies teacher Ryan Browning. "Food is something that connects everyone on the planet in some way, and it can help us understand the complex relationships, issues and events that have shaped our world."

Each unit in the class will teach hands-on culinary skills, with an emphasis on safe food preparation. Bob's Red Mill donated most of the basic food ingredients needed for the class, including flours, oats and bread mixes.

GHS renews accreditation

Gladstone High School has renewed its educational accreditation with the Northwest Accreditation Commission. The quality assurance evaluation, completed every five years for nearly every high school in the state, is done to ensure that state standards are met and that programs are in place to meet a spectrum of student needs.

Educators who reviewed GHS commended the school for its strong mentorship program for new teachers, the quality of the school improvement plan, and the focused use of financial resources to meet goals.

"The review committee was impressed by our students' kindness, and our positive school climate that emphasizes inclusion and encourages participation," said Principal Kevin Taylor. "They could not stop talking about how polite our kids are."

One improvement suggested by the review committee was finding more ways to support students' mental health needs. Gladstone School District officials said this work is underway via a new partnership with the Clackamas County Health Clinics.

Free child abuse-prevention training scheduled

In observance of Child Abuse Prevention Month, Northwest Family Services and the Children's Center will hold a free Stewards of Children training.

Communities across the country are making a special effort during the month of April to raise awareness about preventing child maltreatment and enhancing well-being. Studies have revealed that about one in 10 children will be sexually abused before their 18th birthday. During 2018, there will be about 400,000 babies born in the United States that will become victims of child sexual abuse.

"Despite these startling statistics, it is a silent epidemic that people are afraid to talk about," said Iliana Fontal, employment assistance manager at Northwest Family Services. "We must break through the stigma and shame and talk about how the sexual abuse of children happens."

Darkness to Light's Stewards of Children child abuse-prevention workshop has been nationally recognized for raising public awareness about child abuse, providing support for those who have suffered abuse, and ensuring the local community is equipped to prevent and report child abuse. The workshops include videos of survivor stories, expert advice and practical guidance generated through facilitated discussion of five simple steps adults can take to help keep children safe.

The training will be delivered from 5 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, April 24, at Northwest Family Services, 6200 S.E. King Road, Milwaukie. For more information about the trainings, call 503-546-6377.

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