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From school to Mardi Gras, these students are keeping their city's unique spirit alive.

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New Orleans Tourism

When Rabeetah Hasnain teaches, she resists telling her students what to think.

There’s no need to just drill them on facts they memorized.

Instead, she loves to witness her special education students’ eyes light up with understanding and growing confidence in her fourth- and fifth-grade classes at ReNEW Cultural Arts Academy in New Orleans.  


Her students think for themselves and learn how to solve problems — but in a fun, free-spirited way that mirrors the celebratory, artistic culture of their city.

All images via Turnaround Arts New Orleans/ReNEW Cultural Arts Academy​, used with permission.

For Hasnain’s math classes, she choreographs the fluid movements of a mathematics dance to help her kids learn how a decimal point moves when multiplying by 10.

For English, she has them create a three-minute improv theatrical scene to review their reading comprehension of the "Matilda" chapter she assigned for homework.

Older students even learn U.S. history through rap battles inspired by the mega-hit Broadway musical "Hamilton."

That's because at this academy, art isn’t a separate subject tacked onto education — it's ingrained in the school's culture, just like it is in the city of New Orleans.

It makes sense that their education style is as unique and jubilant as their surrounding city. After all, if you take a walk through New Orleans, you'll see artists lining up their original artwork every day along the sidewalks and fences of Jackson Square. You'll see Dixieland jazz musicians roaming the streets, playing for those that pass by. From its Cajun and Creole cuisine to its multicultural artistic population to its historic architecture, this is a city where beauty and expression in all its forms are celebrated.  

The school, then, takes its cues from the spirit of New Orleans, infusing art, music, and performance into many aspects of the learning experience.

They do this with the help of Turnaround Arts, a national program that aims to transform low-performing schools by using arts education as a strategic tool to boost confidence, creativity, and academic achievement.

"Arts integration doesn’t have to be this extra crazy thing that teachers do," Hasnain says. "It’s just good teaching." Especially when you can connect students with a city's vibrant arts community.

Take Preservation Hall, for example. Situated deep in the heart of the iconic French Quarter, this music venue is known for its unforgettable jazz concerts, which further a living tradition of New Orleans jazz music and culture citywide. It’s also known for its music groups, like the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, and it is those very band members who are orchestrating the future of this storied musical tradition through Turnaround Arts.

Twice a week, Preservation Hall sends professional jazz musicians to ReNEW Academy to work with the school band, so the students can learn jazz and marching band styles that mirror the jubilant streets and famous venues of their city.

And the kids get to take their art outside the classroom too.

Band students also perform in the city’s Mardi Gras parade, further connecting these students with the local arts scene and allowing them to be part of one of the city's most famous creative traditions. That’s a big deal for anyone enchanted with the city’s defining music.

At this New Orleans academy, their approach to the arts is creating a whole new generation of young artists that are both inspired by and shaping the culture of their city.

Just last January, the Zeitgeist Multi-Disciplinary Arts Center (just north of St. Charles Avenue) hosted "I’m Glorious," a collaborative installation featuring works from the city’s three ReNEW schools.

A month later, local artists visited homeroom classes at ReNEW Cultural Arts Academy to help them design a mural or art installation around the theme of growth. And the New Orleans Museum of Art donated banners and frames for the project.

In New Orleans, providing children with the space for thinking creatively and for free expression isn’t just to improve academic performance.

It’s about furthering this spellbinding city’s legacy.

"In New Orleans in particular, you’re not only a musician, you’re a culture-bearer," Hasnain says.

"That’s why we bring so many community partners here. ... It would be horrible to be in a city that has so much culture and the kids not be part of it."

It's a culture and a legacy recognized around the world — from the dazzling parades, to the sweet sounds of jazz music in the French Quarter — shaped every day by the youth who live and learn there.

Sponsored

3 organic recipes that feed a family of 4 for under $7 a serving

O Organics is the rare brand that provides high-quality food at affordable prices.

A woman cooking up a nice pot of pasta.

Over the past few years, rising supermarket prices have forced many families to make compromises on ingredient quality when shopping for meals. A recent study published by Supermarket News found that 41% of families with children were more likely to switch to lower-quality groceries to deal with inflation.

By comparison, 29% of people without children have switched to lower-quality groceries to cope with rising prices.

Despite the current rising costs of groceries, O Organics has enabled families to consistently enjoy high-quality, organic meals at affordable prices for nearly two decades. With a focus on great taste and health, O Organics offers an extensive range of options for budget-conscious consumers.

O Organics launched in 2005 with 150 USDA Certified Organic products but now offers over 1,500 items, from organic fresh fruits and vegetables to organic dairy and meats, organic cage-free certified eggs, organic snacks, organic baby food and more. This gives families the ability to make a broader range of recipes featuring organic ingredients than ever before.


“We believe every customer should have access to affordable, organic options that support healthy lifestyles and diverse shopping preferences,” shared Jennifer Saenz, EVP and Chief Merchandising Officer at Albertsons, one of many stores where you can find O Organics products. “Over the years, we have made organic foods more accessible by expanding O Organics to every aisle across our stores, making it possible for health and budget-conscious families to incorporate organic food into every meal.”

With some help from our friends at O Organics, Upworthy looked at the vast array of products available at our local store and created some tasty, affordable and healthy meals.

Here are 3 meals for a family of 4 that cost $7 and under, per serving. (Note: prices may vary by location and are calculated before sales tax.)

O Organic’s Tacos and Refried Beans ($6.41 Per Serving)

Few dishes can make a family rush to the dinner table quite like tacos. Here’s a healthy and affordable way to spice up your family’s Taco Tuesdays.

Prep time: 2 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Total time: 22 minutes

Ingredients:

1 lb of O Organics Grass Fed Ground Beef ($7.99)

1 packet O Organics Taco Seasoning ($2.29)

O Organics Mexican-Style Cheese Blend Cheese ($4.79)

O Organics Chunky Salsa ($3.99)

O Organics Taco Shells ($4.29)

1 can of O Organics Refried Beans ($2.29)

Instructions:

1. Cook the ground beef in a skillet over medium heat until thoroughly browned; remove any excess grease.

2. Add 1 packet of taco seasoning to beef along with water [and cook as directed].

3. Add taco meat to the shell, top with cheese and salsa as desired.

4. Heat refried beans in a saucepan until cooked through, serve alongside tacos, top with cheese.

tacos, o organics, family recipesO Organics Mexican-style blend cheese.via O Organics

O Organics Hamburger Stew ($4.53 Per Serving)

Busy parents will love this recipe that allows them to prep in the morning and then serve a delicious, slow-cooked stew after work.

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 7 hours

Total time: 7 hours 15 minutes

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

1 lb of O Organics Grass Fed Ground Beef ($7.99)

1 ½ lbs O Organics Gold Potatoes ($4.49)

3 O Organics Carrots ($2.89)

1 tsp onion powder

I can O Organics Tomato Paste ($1.25)

2 cups water

1 yellow onion diced ($1.00)

1 clove garlic ($.50)

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

2 tsp Italian seasoning or oregano

Instructions:

1. Cook the ground beef in a skillet over medium heat until thoroughly browned; remove any excess grease.

2. Transfer the cooked beef to a slow cooker with the potatoes, onions, carrots and garlic.

3. Mix the tomato paste, water, salt, pepper, onion powder and Italian seasoning in a separate bowl.

4. Drizzle the mixed sauce over the ingredients in the slow cooker and mix thoroughly.

5. Cover the slow cooker with its lid and set it on low for 7 to 8 hours, or until the potatoes are soft. Dish out into bowls and enjoy!

potatoes, o organics, hamburger stewO Organics baby gold potatoes.via O Organics


O Organics Ground Beef and Pasta Skillet ($4.32 Per Serving)

This one-pan dish is for all Italian lovers who are looking for a saucy, cheesy, and full-flavored comfort dish that takes less than 30 minutes to prepare.

Prep time: 2 minutes

Cook time: 25 minutes

Total time: 27 minutes

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

1 lb of O Organics Grass Fed Ground Beef ($7.99)

1 tbsp. olive oil

2 tsp dried basil

1 tsp garlic powder

1 can O Organics Diced Tomatoes ($2.00)

1 can O Organics Tomato Sauce ($2.29)

1 tbsp O Organics Tomato Paste ($1.25)

2 1/4 cups water

2 cups O Organics Rotini Pasta ($3.29)

1 cup O Organics Mozzarella cheese ($4.79)

Instructions:

1. Brown ground beef in a skillet, breaking it up as it cooks.

2. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder

3. Add tomato paste, sauce and diced tomatoes to the skillet. Stir in water and bring to a light boil.

4. Add pasta to the skillet, ensuring it is well coated. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

5. Remove the lid, sprinkle with cheese and allow it to cool.

o organics, tomato basil pasta sauce, olive oilO Organics tomato basil pasta sauce and extra virgin olive oil.via O Organics

Pop Culture

Nicole Kidman shares the unconventional marriage rule she has with husband Keith Urban

They've had this communication rule since the very beginning of their 18 year relationship.

Keith Urban (left) Nicole Kidman (right)

Long before Nicole Kidman began her long-term relationship with AMC theaters, she was committed to husband and country singer Keith Urban. The two have happily been together since 2006—which is a good run for any modern day marriage, but most certainly a Hollywood one.

And perhaps their nearly decades-long success can be partially attributed to one surprising communication rule: no texting.

While appearing on the Something To Talk About podcast in 2023, Kidman shared that she was the one who initiated the unconventional agreement.

"We never text each other, can you believe that? We started out that way – I was like, 'If you want to get a hold of me, call me…"I wasn't really a texter.,” the “Moulin Rouge” actress shared.

She added that while Urban did attempt texting her a few items early on, he eventually switched when Kidman wasn’t very responsive. And now, 18 years later, they only call each other.

“We just do voice to voice or skin to skin, as we always say. We talk all the time and we FaceTime but we just don’t text because I feel like texting can be misrepresentative at times…I don’t want that between my lover and I,” she told Parade

.

There are, of course, some pros and cons to calling over texting. Research has shown that people who call feelmore connected to one another vs. texting, with the voice being an integral component of bonding. As our society becomes increasingly more distant and lonely, finding those moments might be more important than ever.

At the same time, calling can invoke a lot more anxiety compared to texting, which could lead someone to not communicating at all. Also, I don’t know about you, but the thought of having to call my partner for mundane things like “don’t forget the eggs” would drive me crazy.

But regardless of whether or not you adopt Kidman and Urban’s no-texting rule, perhaps the bigger takeaway is that relationship longevity depends on being able to establish your own rules. One that feels good and that each partner is able to stick to. Especially when it comes to communication.

As Urban himself told E! News at the CMT Music Awards, "I have no advice for anybody,You guys figure out whatever works for you…We're figuring it out. You figure it out. Everybody's different. There's no one size fits all."

Luckily, there are many ways to have good text hygiene, without having to do away with it completely. Very Well Mind suggests to avoid texting too many questions, and to be respectful of your partner's schedule (probably best to not text them while they’re sleeping just to say “hey,” for example). Nor should texting be used to argue or deal with conflict. Lastly, probably save the lengthy, in-depth conversations for a phone call. Fifteen heart emojis are totally fine though.


This article originally appeared on 4.17.24

Images provided by P&G

Three winners will be selected to receive $1000 donated to the charity of their choice.

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Doing good is its own reward, but sometimes recognizing these acts of kindness helps bring even more good into the world. That’s why we’re excited to partner with P&G again on the #ActsOfGood Awards.

The #ActsOfGood Awards recognize individuals who actively support their communities. It could be a rockstar volunteer, an amazing community leader, or someone who shows up for others in special ways.

Do you know someone in your community doing #ActsOfGood? Nominate them between April 24th-June 3rdhere.Three winners will receive $1,000 dedicated to the charity of their choice, plus their story will be highlighted on Upworthy’s social channels. And yes, it’s totally fine to nominate yourself!

We want to see the good work you’re doing and most of all, we want to help you make a difference.

While every good deed is meaningful, winners will be selected based on how well they reflect Upworthy and P&G’s commitment to do #ActsOfGood to help communities grow.

That means be on the lookout for individuals who:

Strengthen their community

Make a tangible and unique impact

Go above and beyond day-to-day work

The #ActsOfGood Awards are just one part of P&G’s larger mission to help communities around the world to grow. For generations, P&G has been a force for growth—making everyday products that people love and trust—while also being a force for good by giving back to the communities where we live, work, and serve consumers. This includes serving over 90,000 people affected by emergencies and disasters through the Tide Loads of Hope mobile laundry program and helping some of the millions of girls who miss school due to a lack of access to period products through the Always #EndPeriodPoverty initiative.

Visit upworthy.com/actsofgood and fill out the nomination form for a chance for you or someone you know to win. It takes less than ten minutes to help someone make an even bigger impact.

Pop Culture

1980s cultural icon Michael Winslow made an emotional comeback on 'America's Got Talent'

He walked away at the height of his fame to raise his children after his wife's sudden death.

via The Nerd Patrol / Flickr

Actor, comedian, and self-proclaimed "voicetramentalist," Michael Winslow was just about everywhere in the '80s. His incredible ability to make sound effects with his voice and uncanny beatboxing skills landed him the role of officer Larvell Jones in all seven "Police Academy" movies.

He also did voiceover work in "Gremlins" and appeared in Mel Brooks' "Spaceballs."

But Winslow was forced to scale back his career in 1993 after the death of his first wife Belinda Church. As a single father, he had to stop appearing in films so he could spend more time with his children.


He continued to star in the occasional commercial, perform stand-up comedy, and make guest appearances, but he didn't have the profile he once had.

Back in July of 2021, Winslow stepped back in the spotlight with a performance on "America's Got Talent." After some prodding from his son, he decided it would be the perfect venue to relaunch his career on television.

In the '80s, he was known as "The Man of 10,000 Sound Effects," but things have changed since then, he now claims to have "hundreds of thousands."

"Now, after raising my two kids, I'm in a different phase. I think this is my time," Winslow, 62, said on the episode. "And America's Got Talent is the place for me to show the world I still have something to offer, I still have some sounds to make. There's still room for a little more."

Judge Simon Cowell was excited to see Winslow when he took the stage. "We know you!" Cowell exclaimed. "I cannot tell you how thrilled I am that you are here!"

Winslow then gave a stunning performance where he impersonated the chimes on an airplane, beatboxed to Queen's "Another One Bites the Dust," and performed Jimi Hendrix's version of "The Star Spangled Banner." His performance was proof that after five decades in show business Winslow hasn't lost a step and, in fact, he may be at his peak.

After his performance, Winslow won a standing ovation from the audience and four "gigantic yeses" from the panel.

"My life has changed again for the better, and I've gotten another blessing," Winslow told Terry Crews after leaving the stage. America's Got Talent is the place for me to show I still have something to offer. I've still got some sounds to make, and there's still room for a little more."

Winslow is a great reminder that sometimes when celebrities seem to fade away, it isn't necessarily because they're washed up or past their prime. They are humans with real challenges just like the rest of us and real-world events can affect their career trajectories. It's great to see such a wonderful performer get another shot at the big time.

This article originally appeared on 07.14.21

Joy

Comedian's viral video perfectly nails how each generation arrives at someone's house

"Millennials will arrive late, but they will text you to let you know they're on their way, just as they're about to get into the shower."

Boomers knock. Millennials and Gen Z text "here."

Playing with the contrasts between generations has become a modern pastime, as baby boomers, Gen X, millennials and Gen Z see and experience the world quite differently. Generation gaps have always existed, of course, but the tech age has widened those gaps in big ways, sometimes creating challenges, but often resulting in hilarity.

For instance, watching a Gen Zer try to figure out how to use a rotary phone is pure entertainment. The way emojis are used and interpreted varies vastly by age, making for some chuckle-worthy communication mishaps. Slang terms can be hard to keep up with the older you get, but they can also be manipulated by savvy elders to great comedic effect.

And now, comedian Jake Lambert has compared how the different generations arrive at someone's house in a viral video that's been viewed more than 12 million times.


"You've basically got boomers who will turn up completely unannounced any time from about 7:00 in the morning and they will knock on your door just slightly louder than the police using a battering ram carrying out a house raid," Lambert begins.

"And then you've got Gen X. They would have made the plans well in advance, and they would've also checked in a couple of days before just to make sure the plans are definitely still happening," he went on. "You see, Gen X is the forgotten generation and they're so scarred by this title they would've assumed that you'd forgotten not only about the plans but about their very existence."

"Millennials will have hoped that the plans would've been canceled. There's no reason that a millennial will ever actually want to come to your house," he continued. "They will arrive late, but they will text you to let you know they're on their way, just as they're about to get into the shower. And a millennial will never knock on your door. You'll just get a text either saying 'here' or 'outside,' and that's your cue to go and let them in."

"Similarly, Gen Z will never actually knock," he concluded. "But the chances are they won't have to, as they would have been documenting the entire journey from their house to yours, maybe even on Facetime using this angle [camera facing directly up at the chin] as they go along for some reason. Either that or they'll just send a picture of your front door or a selfie of them outside it. And again, just like the millennial, that's your cue to go and rescue them from the outside world."

People felt alternately seen, attacked and validated by Lambert's assessments, with the most common response being "accurate."

"I‘m a millennial, my husband GenX. Scarily accurate! 😂"

"Described this millennial to a T."

"This is surprisingly accurate 😂 I laughed slightly louder than the police using a battering ram…"

"Sooo accurate…guilty of the lateness and ‘here’ text 🙃"

"I must admit I'm a millennial. But knocking on the door feels so aggressive, uknow? 😅😇"

"Millennial texting to say almost there but just started getting dressed to go out. Why do we do this? It's not intentional, at least not for me."

"Honestly your observations are just brilliant! GenX-er here!"

"The Gen Z angle omg 😂😂"

Some people didn't resonate with their generation's description, but there are exceptions to every rule and some people will never fit a stereotype. However, judging by the wave of affirmative responses, Lambert nailed the generational generalities across the board—and did so in a way that allows us all to laugh at ourselves.

You can follow Jake Lambert on Instagram.

Mom absolutely slays when bar band hands her a fiddle.

The devil may have gone down to Georgia, but it appears he took a detour to a bar in Nashville and possessed a middle-aged mom on his way down there.

In a TikTok video that's been viewed 5.5 million times, Olivia Reeth's daughter shared that her family had gone to the Whiskey Bent Saloon in Nashville and was watching the Moonshine Outlaw Band perform. Her mom told the band she played the fiddle, and mid-song, the fiddle player decided to hand his instrument over to her.

You kind of have to wonder what the guy was thinking. Did he imagine she'd be able to keep up with the band? Did he figure she'd play a few bars and then hand it back?



Whatever he was picturing, it almost certainly wasn't what she ended up laying down.


Mom might as well have said, "I'll bet a fiddle of gold against your soul, dude" because she came prepared. In hindsight, her whipping off of her scarf was the sign it was all over, but who'd have known?

Watch her shred that man's fiddle and see how he reacts:

@skootbutt123

#nashville #whiskeybentsaloon #fiddle

The best part is when the guy pretends to boot the band's fiddler out of the bar. And then Mama got sassy with it! Absolute legend, making her skills appear effortless as she walked around the room. Didn't even take her coat off. Looking like she walked in off the street, which she basically did.

The woman's daughter shared that her mom is classically trained and that her dad was the one who introduced her to country and bluegrass music. They both play in two bands, Coconut Radio Band and Barney’s Bullet.

Seriously impressive talent. And you gotta love the respect the band's fiddle player gave her, despite her basically stealing his soul. What a fun exchange between musicians who clearly love what they do and love to share it with others.


This article originally appeared on 12.28.22

Joy

18-year-old took her college savings and bought the restaurant where she was a dishwasher

Samantha Frye, the newest owner of Rosalie's restaurant, is proving there's more than one way to invest in your future.

Canva

There are many way to invest in your future

Eighteen year old Samantha Frye has traded college life for entrepreneurship, and she has no regrets.

Frye began working at Rosalie's Restaurant in Strasburg, Ohio at 16 as a dishwasher, working up the ranks as a kitchen prep, server, then line cook. All while working a second job, sometimes third job.

After graduating high school, Frye started college at Ohio State with plans of studying business or environmental engineering. But when she came back to work a shift at Rosalie’s for winter break, an opportunity arose—the owners had planned to sell the restaurant.

"I was thinking that maybe [buying] was something I wanted to do," she told News 5 Cleveland. "I had savings because I was saving for college, so I had quite a bit of money saved away. And I was like, I could possibly do this."

Frye acted on that gut feeling, and used her college funds to buy Rosalie’s. Now she spends every day at her new business, either in the kitchen, on the floor or in the office meeting with sales reps.

Though Fyre's mother, Brandi Beitzel, confessed to USA Today that she wasn’t initially “on board” with her daughter abandoning college plans, over time she became very “proud” of her for forging her own path, and applauded her “drive and ambition.”

That sentiment is echoed both by Rosalie’s regulars and staff, who are amazing at the young woman’s drive and confidence.

“I just really think she's a great example of a young lady that is following her dreams and doing what she loves,” said Leanna Gardner, an employee.

It’s no secret that there are significantly less students attending college—down by about a million since the start of the pandemic. And while there are no doubt potential long term collective consequences to that, with exorbitantly high student loan rates, it’s easy to see why young adults would avoid massive debt for careers that don’t require a college degree.

Luckily, there are more efforts to make college an affordable option being made nationwide, like offering a free two years worth of college to graduating students.

And as Frye is proving by example—not going to college is certainly not a death sentence for one’s future. There are many ways to plant seeds for success. Honestly, college or no college, no matter which path is taken, there will likely be more uncertainty than there are guarantees. Perhaps the best bet then is trust those pings of intuition.

"You don't need college to make a decent living, and I think that's what a lot of people think nowadays," Frye attests. "Follow your instinct, honestly. If it feels right, just do it."


This article originally appeared on 5.22.23