+
upworthy
Family

Dad's viral TikTok calls out schools for still giving out perfect attendance awards

“How are we rewarding students for something that’s beyond their control?”

perfect attendance, parenting
@speechprof/TikTok

"How are we still doing these?"

A dad is being praised on TikTok for calling out how perfect attendance awards encourage unhealthy habits.

The father and video creator (who goes by @speechprof on TikTok) recalled going to a recent awards ceremony at his kid's school, where they were also giving out perfect attendance awards. You remember the ones…those fake certificates celebrating the fact that you…showed up each day?

“I was like, ‘How are we still doing these?’” he said in the video. “After what we just went through and are still going through,” he adds, “how are we rewarding students for something that’s beyond their control?”


He answered his own question by saying that it’s “funding” that causes schools to incentivize attendance. Washington Post contributor Jackie Spinner backed up this claim in an op-ed against perfect attendance awards back in 2021, where she wrote that average daily attendance was directly tied to funding in schools across seven states, including Texas and California.

Spinner’s argument was that—especially after the COVID-19 pandemic—in-person learning should prioritize health.

TikTok dad @speechprof echoed this sentiment by saying, “In the current state of the world we live in, should we really be encouraging parents to send their sick kids to school? Is that the message we should be sending?”

@speechprof #stitch with @jayrscottyy can we get rid of perfect attendance awards? #parentsoftiktok #stayhome #gettingsick ♬ original sound - The Speech Prof

He posits that instead, we might want to consider “rewarding the students that are responsible citizens and staying home when they’re ill instead of coming to school and getting their classmates sick.”

Otherwise, the message being sent is that kids are “somehow ‘less than,’ they're not worthy of an award simply because they caught a cold.”

The video quickly went viral and received a ton of comments from people who also felt the award was pointless at best, and at worst, a bit toxic.

“They should rename them ‘My adults send me to school sick’ if they insist on doing them,” one person wrote.

“I had perfect attendance from K-12 and it has benefited me in absolutely no way,” quipped another.

And while @speechprof’s video focused mainly on taking sick days, others pointed out that perfect attendance awards also don't take holy days of many non-Christian faiths into consideration, nor do they instill treating mental health as a priority.

“Attendance awards bummed me out bcz there was no universe in which a Jewish kid could honor our holidays & have perfect attendance at a public school,” wrote one person.

Another added, “This is why I practice MH days with my daughter I need her to trust how she’s feeling.”

Maybe a perfect attendance award itself doesn’t hold much power, but the concept of how it teaches kids to value pushing through at the risk of their health is worth considering. After all, well-being and agency arguably do a lot more for a person than any certificate can.

All images provided by Prudential Emerging Visionaries

Collins after being selected by Prudential Emerging Visionaries

True

A changemaker is anyone who takes creative action to solve an ongoing problem—be it in one’s own community or throughout the world.

And when it comes to creating positive change, enthusiasm and a fresh perspective can hold just as much power as years of experience. That’s why, every year, Prudential Emerging Visionaries celebrates young people for their innovative solutions to financial and societal challenges in their communities.

This national program awards 25 young leaders (ages 14-18) up to $15,000 to devote to their passion projects. Additionally, winners receive a trip to Prudential’s headquarters in Newark, New Jersey, where they receive coaching, skills development, and networking opportunities with mentors to help take their innovative solutions to the next level.

For 18-year-old Sydnie Collins, one of the 2023 winners, this meant being able to take her podcast, “Perfect Timing,” to the next level.

Since 2020, the Maryland-based teen has provided a safe platform that promotes youth positivity by giving young people the space to celebrate their achievements and combat mental health stigmas. The idea came during the height of Covid-19, when Collins recalled social media “becoming a dark space flooded with news,” which greatly affected her own anxiety and depression.

Knowing that she couldn’t be the only one feeling this way, “Perfect Timing” seemed like a valuable way to give back to her community. Over the course of 109 episodes, Collins has interviewed a wide range of guests—from other young influencers to celebrities, from innovators to nonprofit leaders—all to remind Gen Z that “their dreams are tangible.”

That mission statement has since evolved beyond creating inspiring content and has expanded to hosting events and speaking publicly at summits and workshops. One of Collins’ favorite moments so far has been raising $7,000 to take 200 underserved girls to see “The Little Mermaid” on its opening weekend, to “let them know they are enough” and that there’s an “older sister” in their corner.

Of course, as with most new projects, funding for “Perfect Timing” has come entirely out of Collins’ pocket. Thankfully, the funding she earned from being selected as a Prudential Emerging Visionary is going toward upgraded recording equipment, the support of expert producers, and skill-building classes to help her become a better host and public speaker. She’ll even be able to lease an office space that allows for a live audience.

Plus, after meeting with the 24 other Prudential Emerging Visionaries and her Prudential employee coach, who is helping her develop specific action steps to connect with her target audience, Collins has more confidence in a “grander path” for her work.

“I learned that my network could extend to multiple spaces beyond my realm of podcasting and journalism when industry leaders are willing to share their expertise, time, and financial support,” she told Upworthy. “It only takes one person to change, and two people to expand that change.”

Prudential Emerging Visionaries is currently seeking applicants for 2024. Winners may receive up to $15,000 in awards and an all-expenses-paid trip to Prudential’s headquarters with a parent or guardian, as well as ongoing coaching and skills development to grow their projects.

If you or someone you know between the ages of 14 -18 not only displays a bold vision for the future but is taking action to bring that vision to life, click here to learn more. Applications are due by Nov. 2, 2023.
Education

Mother of 7 stunned to learn the ‘Alphabet Song’ has been changed to get with the times

There's a good reason for the update. But it's jarring, to say the least.

Jessica Skube can't believe that they changed the 'Alphabet Song.'

The oldest published version of the melody to the “Alphabet Song” was in 1761. However, because it’s the same melody as “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” and “Baa Baa Black Sheep,” it's hard to trace it to its original composer.

The “Alphabet Song” is so deeply entrenched in American culture that it almost seems sacrilegious to change a piece of music that’s one of the first most of us ever learned. But after all these years, some educators are altering the classic melody so that there is a variation when the letters L-M-N-O-P are sung.

This change shocked popular TikTokker Jessica Skube, who documents life raising 7 children with her 2.6 million followers. Nearly 10 million people have watched her video revealing the significant change, and it’s received over 56,000 comments since first being published in late 2020.

Keep ReadingShow less
Family

30 best collagen supplements for pregnancy

If you’re looking for the perfect Mother's Day gifts for the incredible moms in your life, we've got you covered.

Editor's Note: Upworthy earns a percentage of revenue from items purchased on this list.


In the journey of pregnancy, maintaining optimal health is of paramount importance, and collagen supplements have emerged as potential allies in promoting overall well-being for both the expectant mother and the developing fetus. With maternal bodily changes in mind, we explore a curated selection of the 30 best collagen supplements tailored to support the unique requirements of pregnancy. Recent research underscores the significance of collagen in enhancing skin elasticity, a crucial consideration as 95% of women experience some degree of skin stretching during pregnancy, while the protein's role in fortifying joints gains prominence given that up to 75% of pregnant women report musculoskeletal discomfort.

30 best collagen supplements for pregnancy

  1. Elm & Rye Collagen Supplements
  2. Mindbodygreen Beauty & Gut Collagen+ Powder
  3. PROTIVA Nurture Pregnancy Collagen Powder for Women
  4. Needed. Expertly-Formulated & Tested Prenatal Hydrolyzed Collagen Protein Powder
  5. Biomeology Prenatal Collagen Peptides
  6. Beli Prenatal Collagen
  7. Spoiled Child, Liquid Collagen, Extra Strength
  8. Garden of Life Grass Fed Collagen Peptides
  9. Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides Powder
  10. Health Revolution Multi Collagen Peptides Powder
  11. BioOptimal Collagen Powder
  12. DR EMIL NUTRITION Multi Collagen Pills
  13. FORTE NATURALS Collagen Peptide Pills
  14. Vital Vitamins Multi Collagen Complex
  15. Codeage Multi Collagen + Gut Blend Supplement
  16. OPTIWIZE Collagen Plus
  17. Like Mine Marine Collagen
  18. Nature Made Collagen Gummies with Vitamin C, Zinc and Biotin
  19. Physician's CHOICE Collagen Peptides Powder w/ Digestive Enzymes
  20. Rae Wellness Vegan Collagen Boost Powder
  21. ELMNT Super Collagen Burn
  22. NeoCell Collagen, Vitamin C & Biotin Supplement, Beauty Builder
  23. Caribou Nutrition Multi Collagen Pills
  24. Youtheory Collagen with Vitamin C
  25. Ancestral Supplements Grass Fed Beef Living Collagen Nutritional Powder
  26. Live Conscious Collagen Peptides Powder
  27. NeoCell Super Collagen Powder
  28. ForestLeaf - Collagen Pills with Hyaluronic Acid & Vitamin C
  29. MaryRuth's Collagen Boosting Gummy for Hair Skin & Nails
  30. Sanar Naturals Collagen Pills with Vitamin C, E
Keep ReadingShow less
Pop Culture

A-ha's stripped-down, slowed-down performance of 'Take On Me' is a must-see

The slower tempo and simple instrumentation creates a sadder, more haunting version of the 80s monster hit.

A-ha performing live for MTV Unplugged Summer Solstice

According to NPR—and the ABBA blaring from my young adult daughter's headphones—we're in the midst of an 80s music revival. As a Gen Xer who came of age in the 80s, I think most of that decade should stay locked in a time capsule, but there are a few songs that have managed to remain timeless despite the synthesizers and bad hair.

A-ha's "Take On Me" is one of them. Despite its consummately-80s sound, the song with the famous sketch animated video is still enjoyable (if not a little earwormy—good luck once it gets stuck in your head).

But a lesser-known 2017 arrangement of the song is actually, miraculusly, even better. A-ha performed "Take On Me" for an MTV Unplugged Summer Solstice album, and it's significantly different than the original. The Norwegian band filmed the performance live on the island of Giske, dropping the electric piano as well as the tempo for a stripped-down version that has become a fan favorite. As of this writing, the video has 97 million views on YouTube.

Keep ReadingShow less
via YouTube/ClubRandom

Bill Maher and Julian Lennon discuss The Beatles on the "Club Random" podcast.

Julian Lennon, son of Beatle John Lennon and his first wife, Cynthia, had a candid, two-hour conversation with Bill Maher on a recent episode of his “Club Random” podcast. During their intimate talk, Julian discussed his complicated feelings about being the subject of one of The Beatles' most famous songs, “Hey Jude.”

“Hey Jude” was written by Paul McCartney while driving to the Lennons’ house to comfort them after John Lennon left Cynthia for Yoko Ono in 1968. The song is credited to the Lennon-McCartney songwriting partnership, which by ‘68 mainly had splintered.

Keep ReadingShow less

Gen Zer asks what older generations did before Google

Google and smart phones have been around so long that Gen Z doesn't know a time before those things existed. They may have Googled what a card catalog was used for but plenty of them don't know the pressure we all felt having to learn the dewy decimal system while walking around the library with a card with numbers scribbled on it.

They've never experienced the frustration of having an out of date Encyclopedia collection from the thrift store that was missing books "D" and "X-Z" when you had a research assignment due. Oh, sweet tech savvy - we not me generation, doesn't understand that riding shot gun on a road trip meant you were suddenly a pirate with an Atlas map bigger than the dashboard.

Even as someone that was alive when having a rotary phone was the norm, I sometimes forget what life was like before all of the technological luxuries. It's not surprising that Gen Z is confused on how we survived back then without knowledge at our fingertips, so when one of them asked, Gen X, Xennials and elder Millennials entered the chat.

Keep ReadingShow less
Joy

Doting husband serves as stylist for his wife of 25 years and it's the sweetest thing

The way he talks about "Flower"—his nickname for his wife—is a testament to lasting love.

Talk about an adorable couple

If there's one thing pretty much all humans love, it's love—love that works, love that lasts, love that inspires. Literature is full of love stories filled with heartache and heartbreak, but we always hold out hope that a relationship will not only endure but blossom.

Such a love feels rare enough that we marvel when we see it, which is why the Motivat family has gained a loyal following on Instagram. The elder Motivats (Dr. Jones and Dr. Beatrice) have been married for 25 years, and their daughter shares their sweet interactions on the Instagram account @queenmotivat.

One of the hallmarks of the couple's long-time love story is that Dr. Jones loves to pick out clothes for his wife. And not just any clothes—beautiful dresses and gowns, along with jewelry to go with them—and his enthusiasm for seeing "Flower" (his nickname for her) dressed up is incredibly sweet.

Keep ReadingShow less