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This 'Project Runway' for fifth-graders makes us want to go back to school.

Shani Perez combined her love of teaching with her passion for fashion to help kids express their individuality.

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Old Navy Back to School

When your school year ends like this, having to go back in the fall doesn't seem as bad.

In May, classrooms are full of kids daydreaming about finally being done with their last test and jubilantly running headlong into the nearest pool. School is something you look forward to running from, not toward — that is, unless you're moving down an actual runway.

At the end of every school year, instead of sitting around and staring at some dirty white fan oscillate back and forth, kids in Shani Perez's class at Public School 51 in New York City get up off their chairs and create a full-on runway fashion show.


Shani Perez with her students at PS 51. All images via Old Navy.

That's right, New York City's hottest underground fashion show is put on entirely by fifth-graders.

This underground fashion show otherwise known as "PS 51 Project Runway" is the brainchild of Shani Perez — an educator with a passion for fashion.

Perez is that teacher, the one you can't wait to see each day. She combines her love of teaching with her degree in fashion design to create a unique and engaging program for her students.

More than just a fashion show, this program teaches kids the fundamentals of fashion design, from drawing out concepts for portfolios to sewing and working with fabric. In addition, each show has a theme, like candy or history, that helps guide the young designers and foster creativity.

Perez joins other educators from across the country who partnered with Old Navy's cause platform ONward!to create an album of songs that encourages kids to let their unique selves shine through.

A project like this is about so much more than clothes.

Even if her students don't go on to careers in fashion or design, getting them involved in a large-scale project requires them to organize, delegate, and problem-solve — important life skills for anyone.

Plus, giving students the opportunity to show off an outfit they created themselves is an awesome way to promote self-confidence and individuality.

The songs are catchy and sure to get you strutting yourself, but the most important message of all is for the kids: Own your personal style, and be confident in your individuality.

It's educators like Perez who turn school into something more and events like PS 51 Project Runway that help kids discover who they are and what they — and a functional school-to-playdate ensemble — is made of.

via Chewy

Adorable Dexter and his new chew toy. Thanks Chewy Claus.

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Every holiday season, millions of kids send letters asking for everything from a new bike to a pony. Some even make altruistic requests such as peace on Earth or helping struggling families around the holidays.

But wouldn’t the holiday season be even more magical if our pets had their wishes granted, too? That’s why Chewy Claus is stepping up to spread holiday cheer to America’s pets.

Does your dog dream of a month’s supply of treats or chew toys? Would your cat love a new tree complete with a stylish condo? How about giving your betta fish some fresh decor that’ll really tie its tank together?

Or do your pets need something more than mere creature comforts such as life-saving surgery?

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Celebrity

U.S. Soccer star expertly handles an Iranian reporter’s loaded questions about race.

Tyler Adams’s response proves exactly why he’s the captain of the US soccer team.

Tyler Adams expertly handles Iranian reporter's question

Reporters are supposed to ask the right questions to get to the truth but sometimes it seems sports reporters ask questions to throw you off your game. There's no doubt that this Iranian reporter who was questioning Tyler Adams, the US soccer team captain at the press conference during the World Cup had an agenda that didn't involve getting to the truth.

It's not clear if the questions were designed to throw the young player off of his game or if the goal was embarrassment. It really is hard to tell, but Adams handled the unexpectedly harsh encounter with intelligence and poise when some may have found it justified for him to get angry.

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Things non-Americans just don't understand.

A recent viral Reddit thread revealed the everyday American customs that people in other countries have a difficult time understanding. There were so many things that were perplexing to people from other countries that the thread had more than 28,000 responses.

But don’t worry, it isn’t a long list of America bashing. It’s a fun list of things people across the world genuinely wonder about that gives a unique perspective on things we all take for granted.

The thread was started by Reddit user Surimimimi, who asked, “What things do Americans like and the rest of the world not so much?” Many of the responses were from Europeans who have a hard time appreciating certain American customs, cuisines and public facilities.

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This article originally appeared on 07.22.21


As if a Canada goose named Arnold isn't endearing enough, his partner who came looking for him when he was injured is warming hearts and having us root for this sweet feathered couple.

Cape Wildlife Center in Barnstable, Massachusetts shared the story on its Facebook page, in what they called "a first" for their animal hospital.


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Identity

'Blind Poet' turned the loss of his vision into an opportunity to build a community on Facebook

At his most vulnerable moment, he found the gift of self-expression.

via Meta Community Voices

Dave Steele aka "The Blind Poet."

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Dave Steele was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa (RP) in 2014 and told that he would slowly lose his vision until he was completely blind. Imagine the pain and stress of knowing that every day your sense of sight will slowly diminish until you fall into darkness.

Steele was not only losing his sight, but after his diagnosis, he felt he lost his purpose.

The diagnosis came with an added gut punch: Each of his four children also has a 50% chance of having RP. Steele lost his job, his family couldn’t afford the rent on their home and the waiting list for government benefits was nine months. "I was feeling more guilty about the pressure I was putting on my family and that, in turn, was affecting my vision loss as well and I became more anxious and more isolated because of it,” he told Henshaws InSights.

As his troubles mounted, Steele found solace in talking to others coping with sight loss through Facebook community groups. “That was a real massive, massive help to me,” he told Henshaws InSights.

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