Industry Diversity Survey, Sleep Study, and More | NewsBites

Another best books list, a diversity survey, and a sleep study in this edition of NewsBites.

It's the time of year for lists, and we've got another one for you. The Center for the Study of Multicultural Children's Literature has announced its Best Multicultural Children's Books of the Year. Meanwhile, Lee & Low Books is ready to take another look at diversity in the industry, and another study shows that letting high schoolers start school later is better for them. All in this edition of NewsBites.



Lee & Low Books is once again examining diversity in the publishing industry. Five years ago, the publisher looked at race, gender identity, sexual orientation, and disability diversity among industry staff in its first Diversity Baseline Survey. More than 13,000 publishing employees at 35 different publishing companies and eight major review journals participated. Now it is time to see what has changed and what progress still needs to be made.

This time, Lee & Low is launching a Kickstarter in early 2019 to raise money to hire a professional survey/evaluation company, and an initiative to include literary agents, who play an important role in gatekeeping. They are calling all publishers, agents, and reviews journals to join them in Diversity Baseline Survey 2.0.

"Without data, all our conversations about diversity in the publishing industry would be based on anecdotal evidence alone," the Lee & Low website states. "The Diversity Baseline Survey allows us to discuss our industry’s lack of diversity in a more concrete way, with a true understanding of the scope of the problem. The data also allows us to track progress as our industry grows and evolves."

Participation is free and easy, and simply entails sharing a special survey link with all your organization's employees. 



The Center for the Study of Multicultural Children's Literature (CSMCL) has selected the its Best Multicultural Children’s Books of 2018. The list contains many crossovers from SLJ’s Best Books 2018, including A Big Mooncake for Little Star by Grace Lin, Amal Unbound by Aisha Saeed, The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson, and more. See the full list here.



Researchers at the University of Washington and the Salk Institute for Biological Studies announced that results of a study that showed that teens at two Seattle high schools got a median increase of 34 more minutes of sleep on nights after school start times were pushed later. In addition, their academic performance, at least in a biology course, improved: Final grades were 4.5 percent higher for students who took the class after school start times were pushed back compared with students who took the class when school started earlier.

The study collected light and activity data from subjects using wrist activity monitors—rather than relying solely on self-reported sleep patterns from subjects—to show that a later school start time benefits adolescents by letting them sleep longer each night. The study also revealed that, after the change in school start time, students did not stay up significantly later: They simply slept in longer, a behavior that scientists say is consistent with the natural biological rhythms of adolescents.

The study is another part of the ongoing discussion among educators about school start times. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommended in 2014 that middle and high schools begin instruction no earlier than 8:30 a.m., though most U.S. high schools start the day before then. 



The United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the DEA Educational Foundation, and Discovery Education, launched their third annual Operation Prevention Video Challengea contest for teens to create a 30–60 second original public service announcement that alerts other students about the dangers of prescription opioid misuse and heroin use. Suggested themes include the impact of opioids on body and brain, an  "in memory of" video, advocacy, awareness, and messages that inform and educate. High school students must submit their video via YouTube link by March 6. The top 10 finalists will be added to an online poll for the public to determine the People’s Choice Award. Winners will be announced in May.





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