Teaching Thanksgiving in schools is often heavy on the crafts and light on the historical facts. Teachers Michelle Portera, Andrea Riley-Mukavetz and Molly Till talk about how they do it.
For communities with significant numbers of Latino and immigrant residents, the barriers to an accurate 2020 Census count are high—and so are the stakes for their schools. The census count has grave implications for school funding for the next decade: Undercounts could put districts at risk of losing hundreds of millions of dollars for early-childhood education, high-poverty-area schools, special education, foster-care funding, and child-care support for low-income families. Nearly 40 states are likely to miss out on federal funds for programs serving families and children because of an undercount of Latino residents, according to a report released in earlier this year from Child Trends, a Bethesda, Md.-based nonpartisan research organization.
Every day, every season, we are grateful, writes Traci Sorell, a citizen of the Cherokee Nation and author of We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga, a colorful picture book illustrated by Fran Lessac and featured on this year's Read Across America calendar. The picture book takes readers on a journey through the year with a Cherokee family and their tribal nation as they express thanks for celebrations and moments big and small. Sorell, who was born and raised in the Cherokee Nation, began writing for children when she noticed a lack of books that feature contemporary Native Americans. NEA Today spoke to Sorell about We Are Grateful:Ostaliheliga and the lessons it contains.
In today's world, there are more people living as refugees than at any time in history since WWII. Around half of those refugees are children. And in the political climate we have in the world today, the average length of time a refugee spends away from their home country is nearly 20 years. That means millions of children around the world are spending their entire childhood as refugees, often in camps that have few, if any luxuries, and lack the educational opportunities kids need. Sesame Street wants to address that.
The nation's largest public university is pushing to raise its minimum standards for freshman admissions — a move that has galvanized opposition from advocates and some school districts that argue it puts more roadblocks in the path of students who already struggle to meet current requirements.
East St. Louis, one of the country's poorest cities, has been labeled the worst-performing school district in the nation. The lead poisoning and asthma rates here are some of the nation's highest, and 43 percent of East St. Louis residents live below the poverty line. In a place where some neighborhoods have been labeled child care deserts because there are no child care centers, community leaders hope that improving early childhood education will reverse the city's fortunes.
HarperCollins Children's Books will launch a Native-focused imprint, Heartdrum, in 2021. The imprint, which will be led by author Cynthia Leitich Smith and HarperCollins Children's Books vice president and editorial director Rosemary Brosnan, plans to bring "a wide range of innovative, unexpected, and heartfelt stories by Native creators, informed and inspired by lived experience, with an emphasis on the present and future of Indian Country and on the strength of young Native heroes" to young readers, according to the publisher's announcement.
Danilo Moreta, a Cornell University graduate student studying corn breeding, stood wearing jeans and a black button-down shirt as undergraduate students entered Room 336 in the Plant Science Building for a Tuesday night section of "PLSCI 4300, Applications in Molecular Diagnostics." Moreta teaches the science section in Spanish. Partly, that's because students in January will do fieldwork in Chilean vineyards, gathering leaf samples to test for viruses. But the Spanish section also reflects a move at Cornell and more than two dozen other campuses to combat the notion that language-learning belongs only in language classes.
On the first day of sixth grade, at his new school in a new neighborhood, Angel Angon Quiroz, 11, sat by himself in the corner of the cafeteria, wondering if he had made a mistake. Students at Angel's old elementary school overwhelmingly come from poor and Hispanic families. Now, a new integration plan in Brooklyn had placed him at a middle school called the Math & Science Exploratory School. It was popular with affluent families, but would he fit in? Sophie Rivas, who comes from one of those affluent white families, badly wanted to attend Math & Science or one of her other top choices. Like Angel, she ranked Math & Science first on her school lottery application, but because Angel's family is low-income, he had priority. Sophie did not. Instead, Sophie traveled to Sunset Park, where Angel lives, to a school she had not heard of until she found out she was placed there. She arrived to find she was one of the only non-Hispanic children in her class.
There are few media literacy projects designed with immigrant students in mind. Combine that with the growing research that much "fake news" is about new immigrants, generating consternation in those communities, and you begin to appreciate the complexity of the problem.