Teachers and kids around the country are celebrating this $29 million act of generosity.

DonorsChoose.org is where teachers go to crowdfund classroom supplies and where awesomely empathetic people go to support them.

It's an absolutely fantastic charity and has helped tens of millions of students since its founding in 2000. Current projects on the site include a teacher raising money to buy classroom laptops for students in Worcester, Massachusetts, a push to buy bean bag chairs for a class in Section, Alabama, and more than 22,000 other campaigns.

For one brief moment in late March, there was nothing on the website. Every single campaign was paid for. What seemed like a glitch turned out to be something much better.


Ripple, a cryptocurrency payments company, donated $29 million, fulfilling every active campaign on the site.

"Late Show" host Stephen Colbert announced the donation on air. A big supporter of DonorsChoose, in 2015, Colbert paid off every campaign in his home state of South Carolina, an $800,000 donation. Ripple's $29-million act of generosity took care of more than 35,647 funding requests.

DonorsChoose founder Charles Best posted a video with Ripple senior vice president of marketing Monica Long, giving some more info on how the donation went down.

#BestSchoolDay 2018: Every Project Funded!

We can’t believe that just happened. With the largest single donation in our history, Ripple just funded EVERY SINGLE CLASSROOM PROJECT on DonorsChoose.org.THANK YOU to Ripple for making it the #BestSchoolDay for 28,000 teachers and over a million students!

Posted by DonorsChoose.org on Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Don't take it from them though. Why not hear directly from some of the teachers whose projects were funded?

Using the hashtag #BestSchoolDay, teachers across the country posted heartwarming videos and notes on social media. Some were on the verge of tears as they posted their videos, and others showed photos of the students who would be helped. There was just a lot of gratitude to go around.

Now imagine what it'd be like if every day was a #BestSchoolDay? Believe it or not, we can make that happen, and here's how.

Again, DonorsChoose is a wonderful organization that does important work in the world — but how messed up is it that teachers are in a position where they need to count on the kindness of strangers to be able to give their students the best education possible? Teachers are real-life heroes, and their time would almost certainly be better spent developing lesson plans and building up new generations instead of trying to find creative ways to supplement their classrooms' shoestring budgets.

In several states across the country, teachers are rising up to demand better wages and working conditions — and it's in everyone's best interest to ensure they get it. At the start of April, teachers in Kentucky marched on the state capitol building to call on Gov. Matt Bevin to veto an overhaul of their pension plan. Oklahoma and West Virginia teachers recently walked off the job for better pay and funding.

Kentucky public school teachers outside the state capitol on April 2, 2018, calling on Gov. Matt Bevin to veto a bill that would gut their pension plan. Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images.

We have the power to fix this by electing politicians, especially at the state and local levels, who pledge to fund schools and take care of our teachers.

According to the U.S. Department of Education, roughly 90 cents out of every dollar spent on education comes from sources other than the federal government. That means that if you want to change things like teacher pay or school funding, the best place to get started is at the state and local level. We owe it to our teachers and their students to create the best learning environment possible, so let's elect officials willing to give them what they need.

People rallying outside the Oklahoma state capitol for increases in pay and school funding. Photo by J. Pat Carter/Getty Images.

Until then, we can all be thankful that groups like DonorsChoose exist to help bridge the funding gap.

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On an old episode of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" in July 1992, Oprah put her audience through a social experiment that puts racism in a new light. Despite being nearly two decades old, it's as relevant today as ever.

She split the audience members into two groups based on their eye color. Those with brown eyes were given preferential treatment by getting to cut the line and given refreshments while they waited to be seated. Those with blue eyes were made to put on a green collar and wait in a crowd for two hours.

Staff were instructed to be extra polite to brown-eyed people and to discriminate against blue-eyed people. Her guest for that day's show was diversity expert Jane Elliott, who helped set up the experiment and played along, explaining that brown-eyed people were smarter than blue-eyed people.

Watch the video to see how this experiment plays out.

Oprah's Social Experiment on Her Audience www.youtube.com

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via Cadbury

Cadbury has removed the words from its Dairy Milk chocolate bars in the U.K. to draw attention to a serious issue, senior loneliness.

On September 4, Cadbury released the limited-edition candy bars in supermarkets and for every one sold, the candy giant will donate 30p (37 cents) to Age UK, an organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for the elderly.

Cadbury was prompted to help the organization after it was revealed that 225,000 elderly people in the UK often go an entire week without speaking to another person.

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Well Being

Young people today are facing what seems to be greater exposure to complex issues like mental health, bullying, and youth violence. As a result, teachers are required to be well-versed in far more than school curriculum to ensure students are prepared to face the world inside and outside of the classroom. Acting as more than teachers, but also mentors, counselors, and cheerleaders, they must be equipped with practical and relevant resources to help their students navigate some of the more complicated social issues – though access to such tools isn't always guaranteed.

Take Dr. Jackie Sanderlin, for example, who's worked in the education system for over 25 years, and as a teacher for seven. Entering the profession, she didn't anticipate how much influence a student's home life could affect her classroom, including "students who lived in foster homes" and "lacked parental support."

Dr. Jackie Sanderlin, who's worked in the education system for over 25 years.

Valerie Anglemyer, a middle school teacher with more than 13 years of experience, says it can be difficult to create engaging course work that's applicable to the challenges students face. "I think that sometimes, teachers don't know where to begin. Teachers are always looking for ways to make learning in their classrooms more relevant."

So what resources do teachers turn to in an increasingly fractured world? "Joining a professional learning network that supports and challenges thinking is one of the most impactful things that a teacher can do to support their own learning," Anglemyer says.

Valerie Anglemyer, a middle school teacher with more than 13 years of experience.

A new program for teachers that offers this network along with other resources is the WE Teachers Program, an initiative developed by Walgreens in partnership with ME to WE and Mental Health America. WE Teachers provides tools and resources, at no cost to teachers, looking for guidance around the social issues related to poverty, youth violence, mental health, bullying, and diversity and inclusion. Through online modules and trainings as well as a digital community, these resources help them address the critical issues their students face.

Jessica Mauritzen, a high school Spanish teacher, credits a network of support for providing her with new opportunities to enrich the learning experience for her students. "This past year was a year of awakening for me and through support… I realized that I was able to teach in a way that built up our community, our school, and our students, and supported them to become young leaders," she says.

With the new WE Teachers program, teachers can learn to identify the tough issues affecting their students, secure the tools needed to address them in a supportive manner, and help students become more socially-conscious, compassionate, and engaged citizens.

It's a potentially life-saving experience for students, and in turn, "a great gift for teachers," says Dr. Sanderlin.

"I wish I had the WE Teachers program when I was a teacher because it provides the online training and resources teachers need to begin to grapple with these critical social issues that plague our students every day," she adds.

In addition to the WE Teachers curriculum, the program features a WE Teachers Award to honor educators who go above and beyond in their classrooms. At least 500 teachers will be recognized and each will receive a $500 Walgreens gift card, which is the average amount teachers spend out-of-pocket on supplies annually. Teachers can be nominated or apply themselves. To learn more about the awards and how to nominate an amazing teacher, or sign up for access to the teacher resources available through WE Teachers, visit walgreens.com/metowe.

WE Teachers
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One of the major differences between women and men is that women are often judged based on their looks rather than their character or abilities.

"Men as well as women tend to establish the worth of individual women primarily by the way their body looks, research shows. We do not do this when we evaluate men," Naomi Ellemers Ph.D. wrote in Psychology Today.

Dr. Ellers believes that this tendency to judge a woman solely on her looks causes them to be seen as an object rather than a person.

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Culture