Education

Education Grassroots Wisdom Book by Charter for Compassion
Index for Education

Page 1 - Anytown Las Vegas

Page 2 - Random Acts of Kindness (RAK)

Page 3 - Positively Empowered Kids

Page 4 - A High School Where No One Eats Alone

Page 5 - Students Feed the School and Their Community

Page 6 - Bergman Elementary Teacher Helps Connect Students through Languages

Camp Anytown Las Vegas

Anytown Las Vegas

Anytown Las Vegas, and this program can be replicated to meet the needs of your town, is the longest-running antiracism youth program in Nevada and has served over 4,000 high school students since 1983. At Anytown Las Vegas, young people learn about social justice in a nonconventional way that takes lectures and study groups out of the equation and replaces them with a hands-on approach. Their program is a social investment in creating a pool of today’s leaders who sincerely care about breaking down barriers and building up communities.

Through audacious thinking, creative programming, and action-based work, they equip youth with the tools to combat racial inequalities and breakthrough structural barriers. Youth work is based on a general belief that young people are today’s leaders and the face of multicultural relations rests in their minds and hearts. Therefore, youth is put in the driver’s seat to strategize, innovate and transform.

 

ANTIRACISM

Anytown delegates learn to promote the acceptance and appreciation of people from different racial groups in ways that promotes the policy or practice of opposing racism and promoting racial tolerance.

ALLYSHIP

Each session serves as a proving ground where Anytown delegates explore ways to become stronger allies and develop strategies to eliminate prejudice within themselves and their community.

Camp ANYTOWN is the only program in Southern Nevada that utilizes a therapeutic and educational experience to empower youth in breaking down barriers and building up our community. Each camp includes workshops on race, ethnicity, gender, religion, power, and privilege. Participants explore their culture, their perceptions of others, and how, with greater understanding, they can bridge gaps that have historically caused tension, violence, and a lack of community cohesion.

Our objectives are to learn about prejudice and discrimination and their effects on others within our society. Nurture a sense of individual self-worth through recognition of ability, culture, ethnicity, faith/religion, and gender as an essential role in US society’s multicultural character and encourage the acceptance and appreciation of people from different backgrounds in ways that enhance co-existence.

 

Visit: Anytown Las Vegas to learn more. 

 

Random Acts of Kindness

The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation (RAK) inspires people to practice kindness and pass it on. They believe kindness is more than a nice idea; They think it’s critical to the success of all schools and the creation of just and caring societies.

That’s why they have been working so diligently on their education initiative. To create positive school cultures, they offer classroom resourcesevidence-based research, professional development for teachers, and a treasure trove of fun materials

What makes Random Acts of Kindness lesson plans unique?

Ask the question, "how can I improve my school right now?" Download their bilingual K-8 Common Core-aligned lesson plans and activities. Their research shows that teaching kindness not only boosts social, emotional, and academic learning, it also nurtures a trusting school climate, improves teacher retention, and facilitates classroom management. Random Acts of Kindness materials include easy-to-access worksheets, how-to videos, inspirational quotes, and project ideas. All for free.   

Random Acts of Kindness has taken their CASEL-approved, highly effective, evidence-based Kindness in the Classroom® social emotional learning curriculum and made it better. By including a focus on equity, teacher self-care, and digital citizenship, they are excited to share a more engaging, relatable, and inclusive curriculum.

How can I improve the world right now? Visit their website and find one kind deed that speaks to you. Do it. Repeat. Join with others on their Facebook page and appreciate kindness as a motivating force, and remember, KINDNESS IS CONTAGIOUS

 

Location: Denver, CO, USA

Positively Empowered Kids

PEK watermarked 95 scaled

Statistics vary from country to country, but in the UK, an estimated 10% of children between the ages of 5 and 16 have a clinically diagnosed mental health problem, according to the Mental Health Foundation. Of that 10%, 70% received no early interventions. What if, instead, we could "grow a generation of children who will become effective leaders based on heart-centered leadership, resilience, leading with compassion, living consciously, authentically, rooted in trust, love, and kindness"?

The Positively Empowered Kids LinkedIn page, quoted above, introduces an organization that hopes to do just that! Moms Claire Clements, Jackie Wilson, and Susan Brookes, from Nottingham, England, started Positively Empowered Kids in 2019. The organization's vision is "to grow a happier and healthier world where children are resilient, compassionate, and empowered to navigate life’s challenges and realize their potential." They work toward this vision by collaborating directly with "the whole ecosystem of a child," including families, schools, businesses, and organizations, to promote positive mental health and raise awareness of early intervention and prevention options.

One activity Positively Empowered Kids has initiated that could be an excellent idea for your community is their annual Festival for families with children aged 5-12. Through fun activities, interactive demonstrations, and experts sharing "knowledge of how to [help children] flourish and thrive," families become proactive in combatting anxiety and other mental health problems and building self-confidence and self-belief. One fun way PEK plans to build that self-belief at the 2022 Festival is through a Superhero Cape Walk. Participants walk the 1.5-mile racecourse, led by Mama G. from Britain's Got Talent.

Positively Empowered Kids' website offers support and ideas for empowering children in all areas of their "ecosystem" and is well worth a visit. It's easy to see why they've won awards like the 2020 Club Hub award for children's activity providers in the UK. For more on the Positively Empowered Kids Annual Festival and Cape Walk, please see this link: Positively Empowered Kids Festival 2022. You might also want to check out their Facebook and Instagram pages!

We Dine Together

A High School Where No One Eats Alone

When Denis Estimon first arrived in the US from Haiti, he felt isolated at school. Lunch was especially bad, where students broke into cliques and left kids like him to eat alone. Though Estimon eventually found friends, he never forgot that feeling, and along with other students started We Dine Together.

The purpose of the club was simple: find isolated kids at lunch and sit with them, connect, form relationships. One person at a time, they chipped away at isolation and exclusion, a tall order in high school.

What started as a student club in Boca Raton, Florida has now become a program in schools all over the country. The program has grown – through a partnership with Be Strong – to include more focused outreach as well, including resilience training and advocacy for issues around social isolation.

You can hear Estimon and others talk about the impact of We Dine Together in this CBS Evening News Clip.

Ma Ka Hana Ka ʻIke

Students Feed the School and Their Community

Island living may seem like paradise, but in remote places like Maui, Hawaii, dependence on imported food is a problem. So students at the Hana School are building community and addressing the local food issue directly.

They have grown over 200 pounds of sweet potatoes, and tend an orchard of 90 fruit trees of all kinds. Ma Ka Hana Ka ʻIke, a program whose name means "In working, one grows,” supports the garden and helps students prepare food for the school and the community around it.

Bergman Elementary Teacher Helps Connect Students through Languages

Bergman Elementary Teacher Helps Connect Students through Languages

Throughout the hallways of Bergman Elementary School are signs pointing to familiar places — a nurse’s office, a cafeteria — using words in a cluster of different languages. The signs sprang from an idea by Mariah Brinkman, a math interventionist teacher at the school.

Before Brinkman began teaching at the school in the fall of 2020, she placed a welcome sign outside of her door in multiple languages. She was about to teach second grade, which she’d do during her first two years at Bergman before becoming a math interventionist teacher this year.

“I chose mostly languages that I knew were here in Bergman, but I also chose (other) languages I just wanted to represent,” she said, noting that some might have been spoken at Bergman Elementary in the past. Source: The Mercury, Manhattan, Kansas

Brinkman said the sign project began to blossom as she met with Cynthia Kirchner, a math intervention specialist, and Jodi Leisy, a second-grade teacher, during the summer of 2021, after her first year of teaching. She said the three would practice Spanish — a language in which Brinkman is proficient.

“When we were doing that, they had the idea of taking that small welcome banner (outside Brinkman’s classroom) and putting up a big banner at the front of the school,” she said.

Soon after that, teachers and staff members — part of a school cultural committee — decided to move to the next level and create about a dozen small signs. They hung outside the library, outside of restrooms, and next to other well-populated school spots, all inscribed with the multiple languages spoken by the student body. Brinkman said she used canva.com to help design the posters, and she tapped the expertise of many teachers and staff members at the school to help hone words from the various languages.

She said teachers also came up with a plan to create bookmarks with key phrases in Spanish. That’s the most prevalent, outside of English, of the approximately 20 languages spoken among the 342 students at the school.

Overall, USD 383 says it has over 70 countries represented and 40 languages spoken by its students.

Brinkman reflected on the whole endeavor of celebrating a panoply of languages. “When I first started teaching, I noticed that sometimes kids who spoke another language would almost feel it was embarrassing,” she said. “I would try to remind them that being bilingual is amazing. Being bilingual is a super-power. It’s so good for you, and it will help you get jobs in the future... It’s something I want them to be proud of and realize is really special.”

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