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Schools across the country are using washing machines to boost attendance. It's working.

It's finally back-to-school season. And if all goes well, you'll show up on that first day looking — and feeling — like a million bucks, right?

In the first school day of your dreams, the world is your three-subject spiral notebook. And you, in your sleek new threads, are the artist with a zip-pouch full of freshly sharpened colored pencils, drawing the many-hued future of your dreams across the blank lined pages.

Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images.


But what if looking great isn't an option?

Imagine what it might be like to wear the same clothes from last year on your first day. Not so shiny and swaggy anymore, huh?

Now imagine it's not just the first day of school. That this goes beyond that first sharp entrance. And that on any day of the year, you might roll into class unlaundered, un-showered, and wearing someone else's ill-fitting hand-me-downs.

Unfortunately, that's the reality a lot of kids face.

Some kids are homeless, some are struggling, and some are straddling the choice between spending that last dollar on food, electricity, or a trip to the laundromat.

Either way, poverty often plays a role in chronic absenteeism — students missing 10% or more of the school year — just because they're too embarrassed or afraid to show up feeling filthy.

"People don’t talk about not having clean clothes because it makes you want to cry or go home or run away or something," said Logan, an eighth-grader. "It doesn’t feel good.”

Photo by Jeff Pachoud/AFP/Getty Images.

In the past, schools have used things like free meals and transportation as incentives for kids to come to school. But what if all it takes now is a washing machine?

In 2015, Whirlpool launched an initiative called Care Counts, which provided washing machines to 17 different schools with at-risk and low-income students.

The idea was simple: Maybe if students in need could wash their clothes for free, they'd have a better reason to come to school and stay there.

Some schools reported a noticeable difference in attendance within one month.

Over the course of the program's first pilot year, participating students received an average of 50 loads of laundry each, and 93% of them increased their attendance rates — with those at the greatest risk of dropping out averaging an additional 2 weeks of classroom attendance compared with previous years.

"This program has made a difference," said principal Martha Lacy of David Weir Preparatory Academy, a K-8 public school east of San Francisco, in an interview with Today. "And if we can make a positive difference with even one student, it’s worth it."

Photo by John Moore/Getty Images.

We've all heard the saying that "clothes make the man." Maybe clothes are all it takes to make the student, too.

With over a million students in the United States dropping out of school each year, there's still a lot of work to do. But Whirlpool plans on more than doubling their Care Counts program for the 2016-2017 school year — and hopefully, it keeps growing from there.

If a clean shirt can help to break the cycle of poverty and struggle, a little laundry might be worth it.

Check out the video below to hear from real-life students about the effect that the program has had on their lives so far:

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Making new friends as an adult is challenging. While people crave meaningful IRL connections, it can be hard to know where to find them. But thanks to one Facebook Group, meeting your new best friends is easier than ever.

Founded in 2018, NYC Brunch Squad brings together hundreds of people who come as strangers and leave as friends through its in-person events.

“Witnessing the transformative impact our community has on the lives of our members is truly remarkable. We provide the essential support and connections needed to thrive amid the city's chaos,” shares Liza Rubin, the group’s founder.

Despite its name, the group doesn’t just do brunch. They also have book clubs, seasonal parties, and picnics, among other activities.

NYC Brunch Squad curates up to 10 monthly events tailored to the specific interests of its members. Liza handles all the details, taking into account different budgets and event sizes – all people have to do is show up.

“We have members who met at our events and became friends and went on to embark on international journeys to celebrate birthdays together. We have had members get married with bridesmaids by their sides who were women they first connected with at our events. We’ve had members decide to live together and become roommates,” Liza says.

Members also bond over their passion for giving back to their community. The group has hosted many impact-driven events, including a “Picnic with Purpose” to create self-care packages for homeless shelters and recently participated in the #SquadSpreadsJoy challenge. Each day, the 100 members participating receive random acts of kindness to complete. They can also share their stories on the group page to earn extra points. The member with the most points at the end wins a free seat at the group's Friendsgiving event.

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Education

3,700-year-old Babylonian stone tablet gets translated, changes history

They were doing trigonometry 1500 years before the Greeks.

via UNSW

Dr. Daniel Mansfield and his team at the University of New South Wales in Australia have just made an incredible discovery. While studying a 3,700-year-old tablet from the ancient civilization of Babylon, they found evidence that the Babylonians were doing something astounding: trigonometry!

Most historians have credited the Greeks with creating the study of triangles' sides and angles, but this tablet presents indisputable evidence that the Babylonians were using the technique 1,500 years before the Greeks ever were.

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Health

Woman's felony charge for 'abuse of a corpse' sheds light on the realities of miscarriage

Let's start with the unspoken and uncomfortable fact that miscarriages at home usually happen in a toilet.

Woman's felony charge after miscarriage highlights need for education.

Content Warning: This story discusses pregnancy loss details that may be uncomfortable for some readers.

Losing a pregnancy is not something anyone can prepare for. There's no course you can take to tell you what to expect, how you'll feel or what to do after the miscarriage occurs. It's not something that's widely talked about, even in conversations about miscarriage.

About 1 in 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage in the first trimester and 1 in 5 in the second, according to the March of Dimes. Many women who reveal they've lost a pregnancy talk about how difficult it was emotionally, but they rarely talk about the lack of information from medical professionals or the details of the process of miscarrying. It makes sense because it's hard enough to discuss pregnancy loss, and to go into detail may be much worse on their mental health.

There also may be a level of shame attached to the process, partly because the topic of miscarriage is still taboo but also because many at-home miscarriages happen in the toilet. It's an uncomfortable truth that haunts people who have experienced the process. But the truth of the matter is, hospitals don't usually admit you for a miscarriage; they send you home with little to no instructions on what to do after it happens. So to people who have experienced the pain of a miscarriage at home, it makes sense that a woman in Ohio, currently on trial for "abuse of a corpse" would have no idea what to do after miscarrying.

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Joy

Family posts a very chill note to neighbors explaining why their dog is on the roof

“We appreciate your concern but please do not knock on our door.."

via Reddit

Meet Huckleberry the dog.

If you were taking a stroll through a quiet neighborhood and happened to catch a glance of this majestic sight, you might bat an eye. You might do a double take. If you were (somewhat understandably) concerned about this surprising roof-dog's welfare, you might even approach the homeowners to tell them, "Uh, I'm not sure if you know...but there's a...dog...on your ROOF."

Well, the family inside is aware that there's often a dog on their roof. It's their pet Golden, Huckleberry, and he just sorta likes it up there.

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Education

Woman's wild story of surviving 14,500 ft skydive fall because of fire ants is a must read

It's usually a bad thing to land in a mound of fire ants at 80 mph. But not if you're Joan Murray.

Canva

Picture of a fire ant. Eek.

You have a 50% chance of surviving a fall of 48 feet, roughly equaling a 4-story building. The mortality rate rushes all the way up to 90% when you fall 84 feet, the distance of a 7-story building.

So if you’re falling from a whopping 14,500 feet, just over two-and-a-half miles, you can safely bet that you’re most definitely not getting out alive.

But one woman did. And that’s not even the wildest part of her story.
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This company lets children transform ordinary backpacks into creative masterpieces

Dommei’s innovative designs are empowering children to unleash their artistic potential.

Imagine a world where a simple backpack becomes a canvas for imagination and a tool for learning. That's the world Dommei has created.

Born out of a desire to blend creativity with everyday utility, Dommei is not just another company; it's a hub of innovation. In a time when screens often dominate our children's attention, Dommei brings back the joy of tangible, hands-on creativity.

@dommei_inc Play in different! Dommei DIY Backpack combine the functionality of display board, toys, and tools.
♬ 原聲 - Dommei Inc

Each backpack from Dommei is more than a bag; it's a gateway to worlds of space, oceans, dinosaurs, and more. It's where art meets education, and ordinary backpacks transform into extraordinary masterpieces, empowering children to unleash their artistic potential and explore new horizons.

1. The Concept Behind Dommei

During the 2020 pandemic, when the world seemed to pause, Dommei hit the play button on creativity and innovation. The company's journey began with a question: How can we turn everyday objects into something extraordinary? Inspired by the grandeur and innovation symbolized by the Crystal Palace of the first World Expo, Dommei decided to reinvent something as simple as a backpack into a canvas of imagination and learning.

At its core, Dommei stands on three pillars: create, have fun, and share. It's not just about making a product; it's about creating an experience that blends joy with education. The brand encourages children and adults alike to explore their creativity, turning personal expression into an interactive adventure. By marrying practicality with play, Dommei backpacks are more than just storage; they're tools for storytelling, learning, and sharing experiences. Each backpack is a celebration of personal expression, underlining the brand's commitment to making education not only accessible but also enjoyable.

2. The Space Domepak Kit

Blast off into a universe of learning and creativity with the Space Domepak Kit! This isn't just a backpack; it's a launchpad for young astronauts' imaginations. Loaded with a space-themed display board, stellar toys, and tools for connecting, the Space Domepak turns the mystery of the cosmos into an interactive adventure. It’s perfect for those little dreamers who gaze up at the stars and wonder.

By bringing the wonders of the universe to their fingertips, this kit encourages curiosity, learning, and creativity, making the vastness of space feel a little closer and a lot more personal. It’s not just carrying a backpack but a galaxy of possibilities.

3. The Ocean Domepak Kit

Dive into the deep blue with the Ocean Domepak Kit, where every zip opens up a world of underwater exploration. This kit is more than a backpack; it's an oceanic expedition for young explorers! It is packed with marine-themed toys, a vibrant display board, and tools inviting interaction

It's a treasure trove for budding marine biologists. Kids discover and learn about mysterious marine species, fostering a love for our oceans and their creatures. It's a hands-on experience that brings the ocean's wonders to the surface, igniting a wave of curiosity and care for the aquatic world.

4. The Dinosaur Domepak Kit

Step back in time with the Dinosaur Domepak Kit, a prehistoric playground for the little paleontologist in your life. This isn't just any backpack; it's a time machine to when dinosaurs roamed the Earth. Loaded with dinosaur-themed toys, a prehistoric display board, and tools for hands-on learning, it brings the ancient world of dinosaurs into the present.

This kit makes learning about these magnificent creatures fun and accessible, sparking a fascination with natural history. It's more than a journey into the past; it’s an exploration of a world that once was, igniting a lifelong passion for discovery and science.

5. The Combo Domepak Kit

Meet the chameleon of backpacks: the Combo Domepak Kit. This ingenious creation adapts to whatever your child’s heart desires, be it the cosmos, the deep sea, or the age of dinosaurs.

Each kit comes with a variety of themes, making it a jack-of-all-trades in the world of creative learning. It's not just versatile; it's a playground for the imagination. Whether your little one is an aspiring astronaut today or a marine biologist tomorrow, this backpack evolves with their changing passions. It's a celebration of their growing interests, offering a canvas that's as dynamic and creative as their young minds.

6. The Plus Domepak Kit

For the little artist with a big imagination, the Plus Domepak Kit is a masterpiece waiting to happen. This isn’t just a backpack; it's an artist's studio on the go. With its comprehensive set, including a DIY painting kit, it turns every outing into an opportunity for artistic expression.

The Plus Domepak isn't just about carrying supplies; it's about carrying ideas and dreams. Whether it's painting a prehistoric landscape or a starry galaxy, this kit combines art, education, and endless fun. It’s perfect for nurturing creativity, blending the joy of making art with the thrill of learning something new every day.

Learn More

Dommei's backpacks are more than just bags; they're windows to worlds of creativity and learning. Each one is a unique adventure, inviting kids to explore, create, and grow.

So, why settle for ordinary when your child can carry a masterpiece? Click here to dive into Dommei's world and see where creativity takes you.

Family

People kept telling me to watch 'Bluey.' I still was not prepared.

Some adults say it's healing their inner child, but there's something in the popular Australian kids' show for everyone.

"Bluey" is popular with all ages, despite being aimed at kids.

I have a confession to make. I'm 48 years old, my youngest child is in high school and I can't stop watching "Bluey."

For the uninitiated, "Bluey" is a kids' cartoon from Australia aimed at 5 to 7-year-olds. It's been nearly a decade since my household has seen that demographic, so when people kept telling me I should watch "Bluey," my reaction was basically, "Yeah, I've already done my kiddie show time, thankyouverymuch."

Then my almost-15-year-old started watching it just to see what the fuss was about. And as I started tuning in, I saw why people love it so much. I figured it was going to be a wholesome show with some good lessons for kids, and it is.

But it's also laugh-out-loud hilarious.

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