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A Thank-You to Librarians Who Make Everyone Feel Welcome

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Children’s book author Yuyi Morales writes a gratitude letter to the librarian who had a big impact on her.

By Jane Park

How Teachers Can Help Students With Special Needs Navigate Distance Learning

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Kids with disabilities are often shortchanged by pandemic classroom conditions. Here are three tips for educators to boost their engagement and connection.

On day four of the second round of distance learning this fall, I saw something on my first-grade daughter’s Zoom meeting that broke my heart—both as a parent and as a school psychologist who supports students with special needs.

By Rebecca Branstetter In a sea of happy little faces in a Brady Bunch–style gallery, I saw a white board with a message on it, propped up on a desk. I strained my eyes to see it, and it read: “I can’t learn like this. I have special needs.” The kid was nowhere in sight. A parent had given up trying to get their child to engage on Zoom. On day four.

Distance learning is challenging for many learners, but can be even more challenging for students with learning, attention, or social-emotional needs.

As educators and parents, we are tasked with an unprecedented challenge: Figurin…

Gabriel Meyer: Stretching Identity

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"It's simple. The deepest stuff is the simplest stuff. You don't have to be complicated to be deep. You have to be simple to be deep. That's when you really connect. There are no intermediates in the neural reality. There's nobody. There's not like an agent between you and God. There are no booking agents for that. That's direct, you know?" Through his music, storytelling and more, sacred activist Gabriel Meyer Halevy conjures cross-cultural bridges across the world. He shares more from his one-of-a-kind journey in this interview.
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Here’s Why We Should All Consider the Wonder of the Fig

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Can we learn a new life-hack from how figs have managed to survive for millions of years? These inside-out-flowers (that’s right), have had to forge a unique relationship with tiny wasps to help species thrive! Inside this delicious, jammy, culinary delight is a wild world you would never expect!

Millions of years ago, when dinosaurs walked the Earth, a wasp and a fig tree teamed up for survival. But this isn’t your typical pollination story. No, no, no; these wasps—smaller than a gnat—embark on extraordinary quests in order to fulfill their life’s work! They have something to show us all about how to find success in our own lives.

By Sam Burns

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Bruce Lee's Never-Before-Seen Affirmations

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"Although Bruce Lee is best known for his legendary legacy in martial arts and film, he was also one of the most underappreciated philosophers of the twentieth century, instrumental in introducing Eastern traditions to Western audiences. A philosophy major in college, he fused ancient ideas with his own singular ethos informed by the intersection of physical and psychological discipline, the most famous manifestation of which is his water metaphor for resilience." Maria Popova shares more in this post.
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The View From Here

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Barb Abelhauser worked in an office for 14 years. Then one day she quit, and decided to become a bridgetender on the Ortega River Bridge in Jacksonville, Florida. She planned to work there for a year. Eight years later, she shares the moments of beauty and intimacy of her job, and why she decided to stay.
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Scientists Are Teaching Young People to Detect Fake News

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Young people are easily deceived by information online, but they can learn the skills to detect misinformation.

Soon after the 2016 presidential election, as debates raged over “fake news” and its influence on the outcome, a landmark report from researchers at Stanford Graduate School of Education provided sobering evidence of just how easily young people are duped by information online. The study, by the Stanford History Education Group (SHEG), found that middle and high school students overwhelmingly failed to demonstrate the skills necessary to distinguish credible sources from unreliable ones.

By Carrie Spector Since the release of that report, policymakers and educators have introduced a wave of initiatives aimed at equipping students with stronger digital literacy skills. But as the 2020 election approaches and many of those students become first-time voters, SHEG researchers have found few signs of progress—and the consequences are dire, said Sam Wineburg, …

This Secret Restaurant Serves Up Delights in an Unexpected Place!

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How can we realistically build the lives that we want? According to this couple and their popular (but secret) restaurant, the answer is pretty simple. Here’s a roadmap to happiness that’ll have you seeing new possibilities daily!

It’s often in the nooks and crannies that we find the best gems in life. By utilizing the power of a shared secret, this couple in upstate New York has created a concealed culinary delight that can show each of us a lot about building the life we want. Here’s how one community celebrates serving up much more than food in a barn full of promise!

By Brittany Nugent

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Stories to Tend the Soul of the World

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"Dr. Sharon Blackie is a renowned writer and teacher whose work weaves together psychology, mythology, and ecology to reveal how our cultural myths have led us to the individual and collective social and environmental problems we face today and how reconnection with our more ancient mythology would better serve our relationship with the Earth, our souls, and the cosmos. The central premise of her work is that the old myths, stories, and philosophies of the West show us the way back to a world in which everything is not only alive, but has purpose and intentionality of its own." She shares more about her book, "If Women Rose Rooted," in this fascinating interview.
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Eight Questions That Can Help You Survive Election Stress

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Americans are stressed out by their presidential election. These questions will help you check in with yourself—and perhaps boost your resilience.

How are you doing?

For Americans facing the COVID-19 lockdown and economic instability through the spring and summer, that became a difficult question to ask—and to answer. Things were already pretty bad. And then the presidential election began in earnest.

By Jeremy Adam Smith, Jill Suttie A new survey from the American Psychological Association finds that this election is a significant source of stress for more than two-thirds of American adults—up from half during the 2016 presidential election. According to a new report based on three surveys by the nonpartisan organization More in Common, “About 7 in 10 Americans are worried about the risk of widespread violence breaking out across the country after election results are announced.”

A lot of us are feeling scared and helpless. And there’s good reason to believe we m…

Discover the Problem-Solving Power of Poo!

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Could a toilet help us solve some of our biggest problems? This organization is bringing lasting health to India’s poorest communities with clean water and sanitation, all powered by poo! It’s an ingenious approach to problem-solving that we can all adopt. Just take a look!

What if poop—that’s right, poop—could be the key innovation to a healthier life for millions? Across some of India’s poorest communities, this organization has created a sanitation system that turns our waste into a resource, not only providing life-saving facilities, but clean water, education, and employment all with the power of a few toilets!

By Sam Burns

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Judith Blackstone on Trauma & The Unbound Body

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As a professional dancer in the wake of a devastating back injury Judith Blackstone found herself lying on the ground in a state of prayerful grief, and desperation. It was then that, by releasing her weight to the ground, she discovered subtle currents of energy could be felt arising from the floor, moving her body organically towards balance. Since childhood she had been aware of a numinous presence in the world. Now she was beginning to feel it within her. In the decades that followed she dove deeply into various ancient spiritual traditions and contemporary mind-body therapies. The Realization Process that evolved organically out of her explorations, was a response to her own crisis of healing and the varied needs of her students. "The body is both the arena of psychological defense and the arena of spiritual awakening. So in the Realization Process, we regard psychological maturity and spiritual awakening as one and the same process. They both involve freeing t…

Would More Social Justice Make You Happier?

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A new study suggests that social and economic justice in your country play a large role in your happiness.

While there is a lot that we can do to increase our own well-being, our social and political environments play an important role in our happiness, too. In particular, research suggests that supportive government policies like health care coverage and parental leave make a difference in how we feel in our everyday lives.

By Jill Suttie Now, a new study finds that people who live in countries that promote greater social justice tend to be happier.

In this study, researchers Salvatore Di Martino and Isaac Prilleltensky used data from the EU Social Justice Index, which scores countries on indicators like their equity around education and health care for ethnic minorities and the poor, unemployment levels for both native-born and non-native-born people, non-discrimination policies, gender representation in government, and “intergenerational justice” (meaning, low p…

The Lovable Psychiatrist Healing Trauma, One Stitch at a Time!

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Could knitting be a revolutionary way for us to heal? Well, grab your knitting needles and prepare yourself for a giggle as we stitch sausages instead of sweaters with Madame Tricot, the Knitting Psychiatrist!

Is it possible to stitch a broken psyche back together? Our brains all work a bit differently, and something as precious and fragile as the human mind may just require a little more TLC and creativity along the route back to healing. Allow me to introduce you to a super-healing superhero who used her favorite hobby to thread a new needle for healing trauma!

By Renee Laroche-Rheaume

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Rethinking the Bucket List

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How would you live every day as if it were your last? Go skydiving? Attempt to ride a bull for 2.7 seconds? Kathleen Taylor has spent over 20 years as a counselor and community engagement facilitator for the dying and has found that in the last chapter of their lives, most people become their authentic selves. They become courageous - they change their minds, apologize, forgive... they find joy in the smallest moments. In this TEDx talk, Taylor urges us not to wait until we are at the end of our lives to find our true selves.

How Gratitude Can Help With Students’ Anxiety

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Often overlooked, gratitude may be a powerful way to boost high schoolers' well-being, a new study finds.

Students and educators have started a new school year in the midst of a pandemic, an economic crisis, a reckoning with racial injustice, and a divisive political climate. Everyone’s mental health is at risk, and schools are searching for ways to support young people’s well-being in addition to their academic learning.

By Emily Campbell In recent years, many educators have done this with social-emotional learning (SEL) programs, which focus on building students’ skills in understanding and managing emotions, relating positively with others, and behaving in personally and socially responsible ways. Now, a new study suggests that an area of SEL that has often been overlooked in the past could be key to building community and resilience in students: gratitude.

In a study published in The Journal of Positive Psychology, Giacomo Bono and his colleagues found that…

The Surprising Benefits of Being a Fish Out of Water!

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Whether they’re ditching gills for lungs or using their fins to walk across the land, these fish are about to have you seeing new possibilities all over the place! These fish out of water will have you looking at your unusual talents with a whole new appreciation.

Can our “unusual” abilities actually be our greatest strengths? The fish you’re about to meet have turned everything we know about their species on its head! Prepare for these intriguing creatures to walk—that’s right, walk—into your heart as you discover why these aquatic icons like to take a trip out of the water every now and then.

By Sam Burns

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Crochet Jam: Radical Social Justice Through Folk Art Traditions

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"Through my community-art event, Crochet Jam, I do not dictate the creativity process. Participants maintain their agency. There is no need to please me. I have no authority over anyone. I am just the guy facilitating the event. I am just a man on the street, standing behind a folding table that's covered with stripes of torn and cut fabric. I teach single-stitch crochet using a handmade wooden hook and torn strips of fabric. The learning curve is about five minutes. Once you learn the technique, I have no more to teach. The fabric then becomes the teacher." Ramekon O'Arwister, an African American artist and gifted community weaver, shares more in this wonderful excerpt.
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