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Students achieve more when they see themselves represented in their teachers and learning material
Courtesy of Jamel Holmes
True

As a kid, Jamel Holmes knew he wanted to be a teacher. He would spend rainy days giving spelling tests and playing math games with other children in his apartment building in New York's South Bronx.

But throughout elementary school, Holmes never had a teacher who looked like him. It wasn't until seventh grade that he had his first Black male teacher—Mr. Emdin. In some ways, he was lucky. Nearly 80% of teachers in the U.S. are white, and many Americans go their entire educations without having even one non-white teacher.

Teachers of color make a difference, which is why education nonprofit DonorsChoose has teamed up with The Allstate Foundation to support them. According to research from Johns Hopkins University and American University, having at least one Black teacher in grades three through five reduces the likelihood of Black students dropping out of high school by up to 39% and increases the likelihood that students from low-income households will aspire to attend college. An analysis published in Education Next also found that Black teachers tend to have higher expectations of Black students, which contributes to greater success.


Diversity in teaching helps white students, too. Educational laboratory REL Northwest found that white students with non-white teachers develop better problem-solving and critical thinking skills, expand their range of creativity and social and emotional skills, and increase their sense of civic engagement.

A joint initiative from DonorsChoose and The Allstate Foundation offers individuals and groups opportunities to help bridge racial gaps in the classroom. For one, The Allstate Foundation will match all donations to teachers of color who are using DonorsChoose to crowdfund projects for the first time. DonorsChoose has also partnered with The Allstate Foundation to launch a Racial Justice and Representation category on the site, making it easy for donors to help fund classroom projects focused on increasing diversity in curricula and creating a more inclusive environment. From buying books written by diverse authors to providing materials for anti-racism education, donors can directly support teachers working toward racial equity.

"Achievement soars when students see their identities reflected in both their teachers and learning material," said Charles Best, founder of DonorsChoose. "Research also shows that too many students of color and students from low-income households enter classrooms without enough books, technology and supplies. By creating this new category on DonorsChoose, we want to support these students and give voice to their teachers, tapping their frontline wisdom."

In addition to matching donations to teachers of color using DonorsChoose for the first time, The Allstate Foundation will also match every donation to projects in the Racial Justice and Representation category, up to a total of $1.5 million. You can see those projects here.

Jamel Holmes did grow up to become a teacher. He earned a master's degree and now teaches special education for sixth graders at East Bronx Academy for the Future, the same school he attended. Holmes uses DonorsChoose to help his students get what they need both inside and outside school. He has crowdfunded technology tools for his classroom as well as personal care items for his students. He drives through the Bronx to give school supplies, clothing, laundry essentials and food to kids whose families are in need, and even takes students to get free haircuts. He wants to be a role model students can turn to.

Courtesy of Jamel Holmes

"As I think about Black male teachers ... there are not many of us," Holmes says. "We bring more than just the academics, the curriculum, pedagogy … [we bring] real life experience in which we can relate to our students well beyond the classroom."

Schools are charged with providing a safe, nurturing and equitable environment for students and teachers. Supporting educators who are trying to create that environment by helping fund their racial equity projects is a good place to start.

All images provided by Bombas

We can all be part of the giving movement

True

We all know that small acts of kindness can turn into something big, but does that apply to something as small as a pair of socks?

Yes, it turns out. More than you might think.

A fresh pair of socks is a simple comfort easily taken for granted for most, but for individuals experiencing homelessness—they are a rare commodity. Currently, more than 500,000 people in the U.S. are experiencing homelessness on any given night. Being unstably housed—whether that’s couch surfing, living on the streets, or somewhere in between—often means rarely taking your shoes off, walking for most if not all of the day, and having little access to laundry facilities. And since shelters are not able to provide pre-worn socks due to hygienic reasons, that very basic need is still not met, even if some help is provided. That’s why socks are the #1 most requested clothing item in shelters.

homelessness, bombasSocks are a simple comfort not everyone has access to

When the founders of Bombas, Dave Heath and Randy Goldberg, discovered this problem, they decided to be part of the solution. Using a One Purchased = One Donated business model, Bombas helps provide not only durable, high-quality socks, but also t-shirts and underwear (the top three most requested clothing items in shelters) to those in need nationwide. These meticulously designed donation products include added features intended to offer comfort, quality, and dignity to those experiencing homelessness.

Over the years, Bombas' mission has grown into an enormous movement, with more than 75 million items donated to date and a focus on providing support and visibility to the organizations and people that empower these donations. These are the incredible individuals who are doing the hard work to support those experiencing —or at risk of—homelessness in their communities every day.

Folks like Shirley Raines, creator of Beauty 2 The Streetz. Every Saturday, Raines and her team help those experiencing homelessness on Skid Row in Los Angeles “feel human” with free makeovers, haircuts, food, gift bags and (thanks to Bombas) fresh socks. 500 pairs, every week.

beauty 2 the streetz, skid row laRaines is out there helping people feel their beautiful best

Or Director of Step Forward David Pinson in Cincinnati, Ohio, who offers Bombas donations to those trying to recover from addiction. Launched in 2009, the Step Forward program encourages participation in community walking/running events in order to build confidence and discipline—two major keys to successful rehabilitation. For each marathon, runners are outfitted with special shirts, shoes—and yes, socks—to help make their goals more achievable.

step forward, helping homelessness, homeless non profitsRunning helps instill a sense of confidence and discipline—two key components of successful recovery

Help even reaches the Front Street Clinic of Juneau, Alaska, where Casey Ploof, APRN, and David Norris, RN give out free healthcare to those experiencing homelessness. Because it rains nearly 200 days a year there, it can be very common for people to get trench foot—a very serious condition that, when left untreated, can require amputation. Casey and Dave can help treat trench foot, but without fresh, clean socks, the condition returns. Luckily, their supply is abundant thanks to Bombas. As Casey shared, “people will walk across town and then walk from the valley just to come here to get more socks.”

step forward clinic, step forward alaska, homelessness alaskaWelcome to wild, beautiful and wet Alaska!

The Bombas Impact Report provides details on Bombas’s mission and is full of similar inspiring stories that show how the biggest acts of kindness can come from even the smallest packages. Since its inception in 2013, the company has built a network of over 3,500 Giving Partners in all 50 states, including shelters, nonprofits and community organizations dedicated to supporting our neighbors who are experiencing- or at risk- of homelessness.

Their success has proven that, yes, a simple pair of socks can be a helping hand, an important conversation starter and a link to humanity.

You can also be a part of the solution. Learn more and find the complete Bombas Impact Report by clicking here.

via UNSW

This article originally appeared on 07.10.21


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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via LinkedIn

This article originally appeared on 07.10.21


A dad from Portland, Oregon, has taken to LinkedIn to write an emotional plea to parents after he learned that his son had died during a conference call at work. J.R. Storment, of Portland, Oregon, encouraged parents to spend less time at work and more time with their kids after his son's death.

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Pop Culture

14 things that will remain fun no matter how old you get

Your inner child will thank you for doing at least one of these.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Swings can turn 80-year-olds into 8-year-olds in less that two seconds.

When we’re kids, fun comes so easily. You have coloring books and team sports and daily recess … so many opportunities to laugh, play and explore. As we get older, these activities get replaced by routine and responsibility (and yes, at times, survival). Adulthood, yuck.

Many of us want to have more fun, but making time for it still doesn’t come as easily as it did when we were kids—whether that’s because of guilt, a long list of other priorities or because we don’t feel it’s an age-appropriate thing to long for.

Luckily, we’ve come to realize that fun isn’t just a luxury of childhood, but really a vital aspect of living well—like reducing stress, balancing hormone levels and even improving relationships.

More and more people of all ages are letting their inner kids out to play, and the feelings are delightfully infectious.

You might be wanting to instill a little more childlike wonder into your own life, and not sure where to start. Never fear, the internet is here. Reddit user SetsunaSaigami asked people, “What always remains fun no matter how old you get?” People’s (surprisingly profound) answers were great reminders that no matter how complex our lives become, simple joy will always be important.

Here are 14 timeless pleasures to make you feel like a kid again:

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