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Celebrate Financial Literacy Month!

April is Financial Literacy Month and a great time to bring financial literacy into the classroom. Teaching our kids how to manage money wisely is an important life skill. At Learning ZoneXpress, we support teachers and community organizations as they help our children grow into financially responsible adults. Saving, spending, giving, investing and budgeting are all parts of financial literacy. If we teach our children good financial habits while their young they will carry those habits into adulthood.

An important lesson to learn about financial literacy is to “Pay Yourself First”! Paying yourself first and saving is necessary for 3 things:

Unexpected events or emergencies.470002_2_

  • Car Problems
  • Broken cell phone
  • Job loss

To purchase large or expensive items.

  • New computer
  • Car
  • Travel

To invest.

  • This is a long-term savings for things like college or retirement.

If you are an educator looking to incorporate money lessons into your classroom, Learning ZoneXpress is a great place to start! We offer a wide array of posters, videos, lesson plans, and more. Our financial education resources will give you tips and tools for teaching money literacy. Whether or not you have experience teaching personal finance, you will find our instructional materials easy to use and adaptable for your situation. Helping our youth build a solid foundation for financial independence and decision making is life altering.

To celebrate Financial Literacy Month, Learning ZoneXpress is giving away 5 “Money Smart DVDs” a ($79.95 value each).*  Enter To Win!

*Entry deadline is 4/10/2015. Winners will be announced via email and on the Learning ZoneXpress Facebook page on Monday, April 13th.

School Grants for Healthy Kids from Action for Healthy Kids

From Action for Healthy Kids

Schools need resources to implement health and wellness practices that get students to eat better and be physically active. Thanks to our partners, Action for Healthy Kids has provided $5.15 million in grants to schools since 2009. Our School Grants for Healthy Kids can help your school health team achieve its goal to make Every Kid Healthy and ready to learn.  Check out the available grant opportunities for school districts and schools, and start your application now.

We’re granting over $1.4 million to schools for the 2015-2016 school year. Apply now! 

Here are a few of the opportunities…

School Building Alternative Breakfast Grants —ALL STATES — to include alternative breakfast
programs (i.e., breakfast in the classroom, grab and go breakfast, breakfast after 1st period,
breakfast on the school bus) and universal breakfast programs. Grant size is $1,750 per school.

School District Alternative Breakfast Grants — ALL STATES — to include alternative breakfast
programs (i.e., breakfast in the classroom, grab and go breakfast, breakfast after 1st period,
breakfast on the school bus) in 10-30 schools within the district. Average district grant size will
depend on the number of schools included in project with each school receiving $2,100
(i.e. 10 schools funded = $21,000).

Universal School Breakfast Pilot Grants — SELECT STATES — Provides funding to pilot a
universal and alternative breakfast program. Grant size is $2,500 per school with the opportunity
to fund multiple schools within the district. Previously funded universal breakfast grantees are
eligible to receive $1,000 sustainability grants to support their breakfast program.

Every Kid Healthy Grants — Thanks to CSX Transportation’s How Tomorrow Moves Campaign, Every Kid Healthy Grants are available in select states (AL, DC, FL, GA, IL, IN, KY, MD, NC, NY, OH, PA, WV). Every Kid Healthy Grants provide physical activity grants with an optional nutrition component to support becoming recognized as a health-promoting school. Grants ranging from $500 to $2,500 are available. Schools funded in previous grant years are eligible for sustainability grants of $500. Applications accepted through May 1, 2015. 

Minnesota based Learning ZoneXpress to provide LANA training at the National Childhood Obesity Conference in San Diego, CA

MaureenLyonsLANAMaureen Lyons, Early Childhood Specialist at Learning ZoneXpress, will present a half day pre-conference session on June 29, as part of the National Childhood Obesity Conference, about the research-based LANA Preschool Program, created through a partnership of the Minnesota Department of Health, New Horizons Child Care and the University of Minnesota. The research was funded by the National Cancer Institute to encourage children and families to eat more fruit and vegetables.

Learning About Nutrition through Activities, or the LANA Program, as it is affectionately known, promotes systems, policy and environmental change in home child care and preschool settings to help children learn to taste, eat and enjoy fruits and vegetables.  LANA also gets parents involved by including newsletters, children’s storybooks, and family events to support this positive behavior change program. Ms. Lyons is certified by the Minnesota Department of Health as a Master Trainer of the LANA Program and will help participants understand the background of the program, demonstrate the various elements, and share implementation strategies for those wishing to incorporate LANA into child care homes and centers nationwide.

LANA is a growing trend across the U.S. for home child care and pre-school programs that want to empower families to eat healthy and promote improved wellness to reduce obesity through positive mealtime interaction and behavior models.  Learning ZoneXpress is the publisher of the research-based LANA Curriculum through a public/private partnership with the Minnesota Department of Health.

8th Biennial Childhood Obesity Conference, June 29-July2, 2015, San Diego, CA. For more information or to register visit

Learning About Nutrition through ActivitiesLANA (Learning About Nutrition through Activities) is a 24 week program (20 minute daily sessions) that integrates well into preschool curriculum. LANA is a research-based program that encourages children to taste, eat and enjoy more fruits and vegetables. LANA is aligned with both NAEYC  (National Association for the Education of Young Children) and Head Start Early Learning Framework. For more information visit or

Learning ZoneXpress, based in Owatonna, MN, is a leading source of award-winning nutrition education resources. These resources include posters, handouts, videos, games and more. For more information about Learning ZoneXpress or the LANA Preschool Program, visit or contact Maureen Lyons at 888-455-7003. You may also follow Maureen on Twitter @MsMaureenLyons & Learning ZoneXpress @LZXpress.

New USDA Survey Examines Where We Shop for Groceries: How to make nutritious decisions?

A new USDA survey indicates


A new survey funded by USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS) and Food and Nutrition Service is ideally suited to answer these questions. The National Household Food Acquisition and Purchase Survey (FoodAPS) collected information from a national sample of 4,826 households between April 2012 and January 2013 about where they shop for food and other unique, comprehensive data about household food purchases and acquisitions. FoodAPS is unique because it sampled a relatively large number of households that participate in USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), as well as nonparticipant households from three income levels.

Initial findings from the survey reveal that SNAP participants are less likely than nonparticipants to drive their own vehicle to their primary store—the one where they shop most often—and more likely to rely on someone else or to walk, bike, or take public transit. Sixty-eight percent of SNAP participants use their own cars for food shopping compared with 95 percent of non-poor households (i.e., those with household incomes above 185 percent of the Federal poverty line).

Households, the survey shows, don’t necessarily shop at the store that is closest to them. Our analysis shows that SNAP participants live an average of 2.0 miles from the closest SNAP-authorized store, but travel 3.4 miles to their primary store. Similarly, we found that non-poor households live an average of 2.2 miles from a grocery store, but primarily shopped at a store 4.0 miles from home. When it comes to our main grocery shopping, all of us—poor and not poor—bypass the store closet to our homes to shop at one that offers the prices, variety, or services we are looking for.

The challenge is how do we get SNAP participants to consider nutrition and health as part of their equation both when choosing a “regular” grocery store and when they need to make choices on the closest option. (We’ve all been there, short of time and energy, we buy what’s near us.)


Learning ZoneXpress has a range of materials that might help:


Super Cart HandoutsSuper Cart Handouts

The Super Cart tablet pits two grocery carts side-by-side to determine which is the better choice – both nutritionally and price wise. Do a quick comparison and it’s easy to see: the Super Cart contains food choices that are both good for you and good for your budget. Tablet backside features a grocery shopping checklist with space to add your own grocery choices and top ten tips for grocery shopping that can save money and help you eat healthy.

Price: $11.95 


The Grocery Shopping Challenge DVDThe Grocery Shopping Challenge DVD


Looking for the most bang for your buck at the grocery store? Want to know the nutrition values in the aisles of your grocery store? Look no further than The Grocery Shopping Challenge! Get the inside scoop on what stores do to get you to spend more at the checkout. Join Megan and Josh as they venture their way through the grocery store with the same shopping list to see who gets the better nutrition value and price for eight common grocery items. Learn some tricks grocery stores use to get you to spend more, and how to separate the hype from the deals so you can eat well for less.

Price: $49.95 


See more

Support for K-12 Service-Learning Programs

From our friends at GrantStation

Support for K-12 Service-Learning Programs
Youth Service America: Good Neighbor Innovation School Grants
The Good Neighbor Innovation School Grants program, a partnership of Youth Service America (YSA) and State Farm, supports K-12 administrators who want to create a culture of meaningful learning through service in their schools. The program will select 20 K-12 public schools to be recognized as Good Neighbor Innovation Schools. Each selected school will receive a $5,000 grant to support their efforts to authentically engage students during the 2015-2016 academic year by using YSA’s school programs, including Semester of Service, Classrooms with a Cause, and Global Youth Service Day. Administrators will also receive travel support to attend a Training Symposium in Washington, DC, as well as ongoing technical support, resources, and networking. The application deadline is May 8, 2015. Visit the YSA website for details.