Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Green Apple's Special Announcement


Davie, FL- January 1, 2015- In 2004, Green Apple Association of Christian Schools began accrediting Christian child care programs in Florida. Over the past ten years, Green Apple has expanded its accreditation services and become nationally recognized for accrediting child care/early learning programs, nonpublic/private schools, public/charter schools, substance abuse programs, and residential treatment centers for children and adolescents.

Green Apple has always held a nondiscrimination policy and been inclusive when it comes to its accreditation programs. Today, Green Apple accredits public and private programs, Faith-based programs including: Evangelical, Catholic, Jewish, and Nonsectarian programs that do not have a religious component at all. Additionally, Behavioral Health programs that serve children and adolescents are a central part of our accreditation services.

It was with that in mind that the board voted to change the name of Green Apple Association of Christian Schools to our new name-Green Apple Accreditation of Children's Services to better serve ALL of our members.

As a result of the change, you can expect more SERVICES, in new TERRITORIES, and greater QUALITY.


Wednesday, October 8, 2014

School Told to Call Kids ‘Purple Penguins’ Because ‘Boys and Girls’ Is Not Inclusive to Transgender

A Nebraska School district has instructed its teachers to stop referring to students by “gendered expressions” such as “boys and girls,” and use “gender inclusive” ones such as “purple penguins” instead. “Don’t use phrases such as ‘boys and girls,’ ‘you guys,’ ‘ladies and gentlemen,’ and similarly gendered expressions to get kids’ attention,” instructs a training document given to middle-school teachers at Lincoln Public Schools. “Create classroom names and then ask all of the ‘purple penguins’ to meet on the rug,” it advises.  Read the full article here.

While I agree that bullying for any reason including a young person's sexual orientation is wrong, this whole gender equality policy has gone way too far. Where are Christians on this matter? Are we defending our faith or just sitting back afraid to speak the truth in love?

Christians are called to be the salt of the earth. We are the light of the world.  It is our responsibility to shine light in the midst of darkness. We should have never permitted this "gender equality and glbt movement" to get this far.

Same sex marriage is "legal" in nearly 30 states. Abortion is considered a "Woman's right to choose (to kill an unborn, innocent child)!" A Long Island School banned a STUDENT LED Christian club. OBSURD.

It is time for us to take our place as Christians.

For starters, this latest action on the part of the Nebraska School District opens the flood gate to a lifestyle that is contrary to the gospel. Children are going to become more confused about their gender identity under the new policy. The new policy directs teachers to identify children as "Purple Penguins" or some other made up name, instead of boys and girls. The fact remains a person is either a male or female. Children that do not have a gender identity issue will develop a problem under this policy. More and more children are experimenting with gay and lesbian lifestyles as a result of the so called gay rights/gender equality movement. Parents should not be forced to remove their children from the public school out of fear the child will be a) coerced into accepting a lifestyle that conflicts with their faith, b) manipulated into believing same sex marriage, glbt lifestyles, and gender "freedom" is acceptable.

The real solution to assisting young people who experience gender identity issues is to first approach the matter with love. Secondly, the underlined cause for the gender identity issues must be addressed to help the young person identify with his/her born gender. The Nebraska School District has chosen a very slippery slope to address a growing problem in public schools.

Freda Stevens
Green Apple Accreditation

Monday, August 11, 2014

The Influence of Substance Abuse on the Adolescent Brain

Many children and adolescents are exposed to substances that affect their mental health. The Clinical Neuroscience Society has asserted that “substance use during adolescence has been associated with alterations in brain structure, function, and neurocognition” (Squeglia, J. Jacobus, and S. F. Tapert 2009). During the child and adolescent years, the brain is not fully developed. Therefore, use of alcohol and drugs slow the process of their brain development. New research has shown that the brain is fully matured at twenty-five (Young Adult Development  Project). According to the Young Adult Development Project, during “early- and mid-adolescence, the brain undergoes considerable growth and pruning, moving generally from back to front areas of the cerebral cortex.”
A study by Squeglia, J. Jacobus, and S. F. Tapert was published about influence of substance use on adolescent brain development. Squeglia, J. Jacobus, and S. F. Tapert conducted research by looking at participants who did not use substances and participants who did use substances. Squeglia, J. Jacobus, and S. F. Tapert discovered that adolescent use of substances affected their memory and slowed their ability to process information. Adolescents that used alcohol and drugs performed poorly in academics. This strongly reduced white matter microstructural integrity.

Read More: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2827693/

Natalie Frandsen,
Governmental Affairs
GAACS Accreditation

Monday, August 4, 2014

Depression progresses from Early Childhood to Adolescents more common than we think

When people think of a child they imagine innocents and unwavering happiness. Unfortunately, The American Journal of Psychiatry has released a study stating that “children diagnosed with depression as preschoolers are likely to suffer from depression as school-age children and young adolescents” (MNT 2014).  Joan L. Ludy, MD the director of the Early Emotional Development Program at Washington University has found that preschoolers that are diagnosed at an early age were 2.5 times more likely to suffer in elementary and middle school (Ludy 2014). 

              The study followed 246 children from the ages of 3-5 years old to now who are 9 to 12 years old. It also examined the primary caregiver’s interactions with the child since other research has suggested that lack of parental nurturing is a risk factor for recurrence of depression.  The study found that the number of children that were diagnosed originally grew from 74 to 79 in six years. These children met the full criteria for clinical depression (Ludy 2014). "It's the same old bad news about depression; it is a chronic and recurrent disorder," said Ludy "But the good news is that if we can identify depression early, perhaps we have a window of opportunity to treat it more effectively and potentially change the trajectory of the illness so that it is less likely to be chronic and recurring " she added (Ludy 2014).

She has also found that a child has a higher risk if their mother has been diagnosed with it, but the child’s chances diminish when the child has maternal support. Ludy’s findings continue to contradict current beliefs about children and depression, which states that children as young as 3 and 4 years old cannot be clinically depressed. "The reason it hasn't yet become a huge call to action is because we don't yet have any proven, effective treatments for depressed preschoolers," she explained. "Pediatricians don't usually want to screen for a condition if they can't then refer patients to someone who can help” she said (Ludy 2014).

Jennifer Aguirre
Governmental Affairs
GAACS Accreditation                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Longer School Days are the Start of an Educational System Overhaul

Education is the most important part of a child’s life. They might not see it that way, but it is true. All of the time that they spend in the classroom is supposed to prepare them for the outside world. When the current system does not seem to work anymore what are administrators to do? In Broward County, FL 32 elementary schools are now required to add one hour to the end of their school day.
There is only one exception to this rule, students who receive a perfect score of five on the reading portion of the exam. Parents in this county are worried that by expanding school hours, it will cut into their family and free time. 

Schools all over the country have been extending time in the classroom and it has generally been found that for every 10 percent increase in time there has been a two percent jump in learning. (Schachter, 2011) Several schools in Boston, MA have been working with extended time for several years now and they have seen student’s improvement. There is also a district in Denver, CO who has found their teachers to be very supportive of this.

Other schools in Broward County that were on the under performance list last year were required to have extended hours. This year, those schools have managed to get themselves off the list. In order to get children to see that education is not a joke, adding extra school time might be the first step of a long and expensive overhaul of the educational system. 

Jennifer Aguirre,
Governmental Affairs
GAACS Accreditation

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Early Aged Drinking Affects Progression to Adulthood

Drinking is commonplace in the U.S., with two-thirds of Americans saying they never drink alcohol, and just over 40% reporting that they had at least one drink in the past week, (Gallup, 2012) but with today’s generation which age groups are affiliated with the amount of alcohol consumption? That’s right, adolescents have become overpopulated in scenes that pertain to any form of drinking. With relatives, clubs that have lowered age restrictions, and close friends giving the initiative to drink at younger ages, it has made adolescents subject to these scenes. Unfortunately, these individuals do not realize the trouble and disadvantages that they are placing on teens.
According to a study conducted by psychology majors at Indiana University, “they associated drinking problems at age 18 years of age with 13 outcomes -- such as sustained substance abuse, poor health, physical symptoms, early coital debut, multiple sexual partners, life dissatisfaction, truncated education, and financial problems -- that were later assessed at age 25.” (Rose, 2014) With new cases displaying adolescent development, the findings have become severe and are seen as a downfall for future generations. Eventually, our adults will become less financially stable, vulnerable to relationships, and struggle with education and professionalism. With the intention of re-evaluating parenting procedures to ensure our children are receiving proper direction for future obstacles and adversities, parents must latch onto the idea of surpassing ineffective rates and developing successful, influential adults.

Learn healthy ways to interact with your child:
Elizabeth Valladares, Executive Assistant
GAACS Accreditation