Health Topic: School Wellness
Weekly Report: June 24 - June 30, 2019
Weekly Insights
Lunch money in the limelight
Funding for, and access to school lunch dominated the conversation about school wellness over the past week. The top story shared discussed federal government plans to tighten eligibility requirements for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). This change would reduce the number of students who qualify for free school meals. One tweet, written by an individual condemning the administration’s plan with a link to the news story, drove most of the nearly 2.5K shares of the story. Of these 2.5k shares, commentary was mostly against the proposed policy change. Many individuals shared personal experiences with lost benefits. The next top story came from an opinion polling website, The Tylt, which posted a story and reader poll regarding possible solutions for students unable to pay for school meals. The story points out the financial impact and pressures on schools/districts, negative effects of poor nutrition, and “lunch shaming” (when students are publicly assigned an alternative, cheaper lunch). The poll asked readers to use certain hashtags to vote in support or against free lunches. Larger interest in the proposed policy change, as well as this reader poll, contributed to #freeschoollunches becoming the third most used hashtag overall during the past week. A tweet from California Congressman Ro Khanna also drove interest and use of the hashtag, when he called for retweets in support of free school lunch and against lunch debt. This call for support generated 1.8K additional mentions of the topic in twitter.
Democratic debate brings attention to SEL
Social Emotional Learning (SEL) is an important but not widely understood aspect of student and school wellness. Congressman Tim Ryan gave a boost to the SEL conversation when he stated SEL was needed in all schools, in response to a question about gun violence. #SEL became one of the top trending hashtags over the past week. Public response was mixed, with some showing appreciation for Ryan’s support of SEL and others questioning the link between SEL/ trauma-informed care and gun violence. Typically, references to SEL in the media are met with an overall positive response; Ryan’s comments surfaced some anti-SEL sentiment, including claims that SEL programs are a means of using student data to create harmful ranking standards for students.

38,885

Total Mentions

5,544

Mentions Per Day
20,283
1,219
383
47
188
877
8
14
246
Mentions by Source
Themes in conversation
Most Influential Authors
1 Harvard Business Review
2 Michelle Malkin
3 UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency
4 UNESCO
5 The Boston Globe
Most Popular Tweets
1
2
3
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5
Designated Market Area (DMA) Map
Conversation Heat Map

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