Among the many disruptions we've faced this year due to Covid-19 is the drastic effect it has had on our schools. All across the globe, children's school experiences have been transformed, with such important rites of passage as prom and graduation either curtailed or confined to the web.
But that didn't keep 18-year-old Riya Shah from pursuing her dreams. Shah spent her homebound hours working on new technology that helps expecting mothers manage their health remotely. "We're worried about our health and going out, but pregnant moms are worried about two lives," Shah says. "So what can we do to help them out?"
Shah's platform Fetal Life helps women navigate pregnancy in a new environment&ndas...Read more
Posted on 10/22/2020 at 12:47 PM
The abrupt transition to remote learning that has accompanied the Covid crisis is the single biggest change facing many parents and teachers as the traditional back-to-school season unfolds this year. And sadly, the strictures of remote learning are much more likely to have a negative impact on children in poverty, threatening to intensify the already glaring disparities between rich and poor students.
But as Devorah Heitner points out, there are solutions within reach. And although Heitner, the author of Screenwise: Helping Kids Thrive (and Survive) in Their Digital World, is cautious in her optimism, she also sees this crisis as an opportunity to reimagine our schools.
Read Heitner's thoug...Read more
Posted on 08/25/2020 at 01:25 PM
When Tarrant Cross Child was suicidal and fighting addiction, running was his lifeline, making a critical difference when he had nothing else to reach for. Afraid of losing everything, Cross Child, who is Blackfoot from the southern Alberta Blood Tribe of Saskatchewan, used running as therapy to recover.
Today Cross Child works to bring that inspiration to kids in similar trouble, through his Prairie Run Crew Outreach Program. There is a serious youth suicide crisis among indigenous young people in Saskatchewan, and he is determined to make a difference. “I want these kids to experience a victory, something good,” Cross Child explains. “Something positive in their life that ...Read more
Posted on 08/10/2020 at 03:58 PM
We're at our most impressionable as children, and the things we see tend to hit harder, and stay with us longer. When Judeah Reynolds watched the police officer grind his knee into George Floyd’s neck this past Memorial Day, her life was forever changed. Her cousin, Darnella Frazier, recorded the incident on her cell phone, and when she posted it to social media, the entire world took notice.
Judeah's experience transformed her--and she decided to tell her story. "A Walk To The Store," young Judeah's chronicle of the events of that day, will be a picture book about a little girl "who witnessed something unspeakable and found her voice."
The children's book is set to be published by Beave...Read more
Posted on 07/13/2020 at 02:12 PM
As 2016 came to a close, Tani Adewumi was just five years old, and living in Abuja, the capital of Nigeria. He and his family lived in a constant state of fear because the terrorist group Boko Harum was very active there; they endured harrowing attacks that eventually forced them to flee the country, their homeland.
The family ended up in a homeless shelter in Manhattan, a desolate berth after such a difficult journey. But it was in New York that young Tani would find something that would change his family's life forever: chess. Today, Tani is a 9-year-old chess phenomenon who has appeared on the Today Show and across the talk show circuit. And unbelievably, he recently moved his family into ...Read more
Posted on 05/26/2020 at 12:27 PM
A summer youth camp for disabled kids that operated in upstate New York starting in the 1950's, Camp Jened was a refuge for an entire generation of special needs kids. Run by a group of what were then called hippies, the camp gave disabled kids a chance to experience all the things a "normal" kid would in summer camp.
But Camp Jened wasn't just the source of a lot of treasured memories. It also proved to be the wellspring of a landmark piece of legislation: the Americans with Civil Disabilities Act. And now, the camp has been immortalized in Crip Camp, a fascinating documentary now airing on Netflix.
A former camper himself, James Lebrecht directed the film with Nicole Newnham, with Michelle a...Read more
Posted on 04/10/2020 at 04:42 PM
When Felecia Gaston founded Performing Stars of Marin in 1990, a nonprofit art academy serving the underprivileged, she began with no budget whatsoever. “I had no idea about fundraising, writing grants, doing all the networking, filling out the 501(c)(3)s,” Gaston says.
Fast-forward 30 years, and today more than 3,000 young people have attended the program--and many have gone on to achieve at a level they never thought possible. By making classes, scholarships and other assistance accessible to families unable to afford performing arts programs, Gaston opened up a new world to kids who otherwise may have never had the chance to participate in the arts.
One excellent example is John...Read more
Posted on 03/24/2020 at 01:02 PM
After returning to work following the birth of her second child, Michele Liddle felt unfulfilled, and her work schedule was punishing. Liddle traveled sometimes three weeks a month, and still nursing, she was pumping breast milk to ship it home. Somehow, working while her kids slept, she managed to put together her dream company: The Perfect Granola. But Liddle's product wasn't the point: hunger was.
“We’ve never been about the granola," says Liddle. "We’re mission-first. The granola was something to sell to fuel my other ideas on how to fix hunger.”
And Liddle will evidently stop at nothing to fulfill that mission. She is part of the New York Farm-to-School Program, an...Read more
Posted on 03/09/2020 at 02:51 PM
Most of us would be hard-pressed to remember what we were doing when we were four years old. Not Mikaila Ulmer: she was starting her own small business. After an unlikely inspiration--being stung by a bee--Mikaila had come to realize the vital role that bees play in the ecosystem. And almost eleven years later, her business, Me & The Bees Lemonade, has grown into a huge success.
Selling flaxseed lemonade sweetened with local honey (her grandmother's recipe), Mikaila donates a percentage of her profits to organizations fighting to save honeybees. And after introducing her lemonade on “Shark Tank”, Mikaila was able to secure a $60,000 investment to continue to grow her enterprise. T...Read more
Posted on 02/28/2020 at 10:59 AM
When Devin Nakano of Boise was only three years old, he was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome. At the time, his mother was told that the chances of her son living a successful life were "slim to none."
Miraculously, today Nakano is the founder of Y Stem and Chess, a nonprofit dedicated to breaking the cycle of poverty by teaching at-risk kids chess, math and computer coding. Nakano has been at it since 2017, and is just getting started. “It builds critical thinking, it raises your IQ, it builds math scores," Nakano says. "It helps you communicate, it builds self-esteem, the list really goes on and on and on.”
To read more about this remarkably gifted educator, check out the recent...
Posted on 02/20/2020 at 10:05 AM