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Something tells us Emma Watson would approve of this party.

Ah, the Met Gala. It’s the kind of fairy-tale ball Cinderella might find herself sneaking into, especially if the prince she seeks is into high fashion.

brooklyn library peoples ballHello stranger. Is that Armani?Giphy

Where, for a measly $35,000 (according to The Evening Standard) one can gaze upon celebrities walking the red carpet in outlandish ensembles both beautiful and bizarre. Some even come with a bonus political statement, free of charge.

That is, one could, if one were already on the guest list. The event is of course ultra-exclusive and by invitation only. Hence, why Cinderella has to go in disguise. Glass slippers and all.

But what if Cinderella was not only allowed to attend the ball, but allowed to attend for free?

At the Brooklyn Public Library, she can. Along with other New Yorkers.

(Yes, in this metaphor, Cinderella is from Long Island.)


On May 1, the night before the Met Gala, the Brooklyn Public Library will debut its third annual People’s Ball, described on its website as a “celebration of style, imagination, freedom, and you!”

The rules of the People’s Ball are quite simple. One, RSVP. Two, provide proof of vaccination. And three, “dress up in clothes that make you feel your most beautiful and authentic and walk the runway.” Basically, anything fancy and creative goes.

Where perusing through celebrity glamour shots can be entertaining, the People’s Ball aims to create a more immersive, accessible experience. One where everybody can celebrate their own individuality while walking their own runway.

The ball will also commemorate the BPL’s 125th anniversary and be hosted by authors Isaac Fitzgerald (known for his children’s book “How to Be a Pirate”) and Scaachi Koul (a senior culture writer for BuzzFeed News).

And talk about out-of-this-world entertainment: Guests will get to hear music from Rimarkable and Inyang Bassey along with viewing amazing modern-day circus acts from Opera Gaga and Paris the hip-hop juggler. Who even needs the Met Gala?

In many ways the BPL’s People’s Ball has extracted the very best parts of what the Met has to offer—the artistry, the fanfare, the glitz—and infused more humanity into it by tossing out the VIP list and opening it to everyone.

As the BPL’s Vice President of Arts and Culture László Jakab Orsós would gladly let us know, this is all part of the library’s inherent design.

“Brooklyn is home to some of the most diverse communities on the planet,” he told Public. “Over the past 125 years, Brooklyn Public Library has always been committed to embracing our incredible Brooklyn community. This event is a celebration of the best that Brooklyn has to offer.”

The BPL has led projects to honor that diversity and encourage more inclusion since its inception, including giving young adults and teenagers free access to banned books and providing healthcare programs and weekly adult learning classes.

A party where everyone is welcome, you get to dress up, dance, listen to cool music and be surrounded by books?! Dreams really do come true.

If you want to see what killer looks everybody sports at this shindig, you can check out the library’s Instagram page here.

Education

Teacher of the year explains why he's leaving district in unforgettable 3-minute speech

"I'm leaving in hopes that I can regain the ability to do the job that I love."

Lee Allen

For all of our disagreements in modern American life, there are at least a few things most of us can agree on. One of those is the need for reform in public education. We don't all agree on the solutions but many of the challenges are undeniable: retaining great teachers, reducing classroom size and updating the focus of student curriculums to reflect the ever-changing needs of a globalized workforce.

And while parents, politicians and activists debate those remedies, one voice is all-too-often ignored: that of teachers themselves.

This is why a short video testimony from a teacher in the Atlanta suburb of Gwinnett County went viral recently. After all, it's hard to deny the points made by someone who was just named teacher of the year and used the occasion to announce why he will be leaving the very school district that just honored him with that distinction.

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Tea time: how this boutique blends cultures from around the world

Ethically sourced, modern clothes for kids that embrace adventure, inspire connections and global thinking.

The Tea Collection combines philanthropic efforts with a deep rooted sense of multiculturalism into each of their designs so that kids can grow up with global sensibilities. They make clothes built to last with practicality and adventure in mind. But why "Tea"?

Let's spill it. Tea is a drink shared around the world with people from all different cultures. It is a common thread that weaves the world together. The Tea Collection was born from a love of travel and a love of sharing tea with different people in different places. Inspired by patterns from around the world, these clothes help children develop a familiarity with global communities.

Tea sources their materials ethically and ensures that each of their partners abide to strict codes of conduct. They have a zero-tolerance policy for anything "even slightly questionable" and make sure that they regularly visit their manufacturing partners to ensure that they're supporting positive working conditions.

Since 2003, The Tea Collection has partnered with the Global Fund for Children and has invested in different grassroots organizations that create community empowered programs to uplift kids in need. They donate 10% of their proceeds and have already contributed over $500,000 to different organizations such as: The Homeless Prenatal Program (San Francisco, CA, USA), Door of Faith Orphanage (Baja California, Mexico), Little Sisters Fund (Nepal) and others in Peru, Sri Lanka, India, Italy and Haiti.

But the best part about the Tea Collection? They're also an official member of the Kidizen Rewear Collective, which believes that clothes should stretch far beyond one child's use. They have their own external site for their preloved clothes that makes rewearing affordable. Families can trade in gently used Tea clothes and receive discounts for future products. Shopping the site helps keep clothes out of land fills and reduces the environmental impact of the fashion industry.

By creating heirloom style clothing made to last families can buy, sell, and trade clothes that can be reworn again and again. Because "new to you" doesn't always have to mean never been worn. And let's be honest, we all know how fast kids grow! Shopping preloved clothes is a great way to keep styles fresh without harming the environment or feeling guilty about not getting the most out of certain styles.

But don't just take our word for it! Head over to the Tea Collection and see for yourself!

Upworthy has earned revenue through a partnership and/or may earn a portion of sales revenue from purchases made through links on our site.

Hold on, Frankie! Mama's coming!

How do you explain motherhood in a nutshell? Thanks to Cait Oakley, who stopped a preying bald eagle from capturing her pet goose as she breastfed her daughter, we have it summed up in one gloriously hilarious TikTok.

The now viral video shows the family’s pet goose, Frankie, frantically squawking as it gets dragged off the porch by a bald eagle—likely another mom taking care of her own kiddos.

Wearing nothing but her husband’s boxers while holding on to her newborn, Willow, Oakley dashes out of the house and successfully comes to Frankie's rescue while yelling “hey, hey hey!”

The video’s caption revealed that the Oakleys had already lost three chickens due to hungry birds of prey, so nothing was going to stop “Mama bear” from protecting “sweet Frankie.” Not even a breastfeeding session.

Oakley told TODAY Parents, “It was just a split second reaction ...There was nowhere to put Willow down at that point.” Sometimes being a mom means feeding your child and saving your pet all at the same time.

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