10 year old girl sings a sweet, pure and strong “Hallelujah” that might make you cry

Killard House School choir
Source: Killard House School via YouTube
Ireland has music deep in its soul. Phenomenal 10 year old Kayleigh Rogers leads her special classmates of The Killard House School in singing such a sweet, pure and strong Christmas rendition of Hallelujah that it brought me right to tears. It will do the same for you, if you’re lucky. God bless.

The BBC comments about Kayleigh’s stellar performance:

Kayleigh is one of 200 students aged three to 16 at Killard House School in Donaghadee, Northern Ireland … (she) often sings at the local Christmas concert at First Presbyterian Church, Newtownards, but this year she lost her voice and had to pull out of last Sunday’s service. Instead her headteacher played the video above, which had been filmed just weeks before at the school, and it left many of the congregation in tears.

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An important essay by an honored student on the hypocrisies of inclusion in higher ed

Sung Yim with shaved head
Source: Sung Yim, courtesy of lutherxhughes.com

Sung Yim wrote an essay to Columbia University after essays the Korean poet was asked to submit as a student representative of Columbia College Chicago’s Nonfiction writing department were twice rejected and the last essay, cut down to almost nothing to eliminate any controversial bits. The author writes about the author’s own work:

It’s important to keep in mind that my work has always been scathingly political. That is, I would think, part of why the writing faculty nominated my work. It’s also important to keep in mind that they were soliciting short work of a long-form artist. I was clipping and revising each piece I was submitting to them, which took hours of free labor.

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New White House #DiaperGap program will cover every baby’s bottom!

#diapergap
Source: whitehouse.gov
This may sound way out there but I can totally relate to the difficulty 1 in 3 families have with the expense of diapering their babies, because I had it too when my kids were diaper age – a couple of decades ago. Tomorrow at SXSW, President Obama will announce the new ublic-private-donation partnership the White House is brokering called The Community Diaper Program, which is designed to bring a comfy diaper to every baby’s bottom.

The combination of these efforts created the Community Diaper Program, launching today, and available to any 501(c)(3) organization in the United States. Now, any non-profit (whether or not they currently provide diapers to families they serve) will able to purchase diapers as much as 25 percent cheaper than the current available price, with no minimum order and 48 hour shipping. This process addresses head on the storage and timing challenges expressed by non-profits in the field. The National Diaper Bank Network, which nationwide operates over 280 diaper banks (similar to food banks), estimates that their members will order more than 15 million diapers through this program in 2016 alone. Best of all, the Community Diaper Program is sustainable, fiscally and organizationally, and will continue to benefit families for years to come…

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Many excellent reasons young people like Bernie much more than Hillary

The Youth Vote Matters
Grfx source: whatkidscando.org
My answer to friend Bryan Alexander‘s question to friends earned me the top spot in his Facebook post list for 2016. He asked: “Here’s a question for readers of any political stripe. Why is Bernie Sanders winning much more of the youth vote, as compared to Hillary Clinton?”

My response. I’ve got 2 millennials at home, both social/environmental justice champions. They love Bernie for a plethora of reasons:

He explains how political and financial systems work, and they want to know.

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A white mom’s plea to the parents of friends of her adopted black son goes viral

Tamir Rice
Source: HueWire
Maralee Bradley is the white mother of a rainbow coalition of 6 children, including adopted 9 year old son Josh, born in Liberia. Worried about Josh after the decision not to indict Tamir Rice’s killer cop, Maralee published an Essay on her blog “To the White Parents of My Black Son’s Friends” that went viral and got 600,000 views on its first day.

Kafkaesque police capture boy & grill him for not saying his clock is a bomb

Ahmed and his clock
Photo composite courtesy wtvr.com
In a Kafka novel, a man is accused by the police of a crime that’s too top-secret for them to discuss or reveal which government department has brought charges against him – and that’s the whole novel. In a similar circumstance, 14 year old Ahmed Mohammed from Irving, Texas brings a home-made clock to school to show his engineering teacher and she accused him of making a bomb to threaten her. The police arrive to handcuff, arrest and then grill him for hours because Ahmed wouldn’t say that his clock was something other than a clock. Because it’s a clock.

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10 ways well-meaning white teachers bring racism into schools

cultural sensitivity components
Photo credit: uvm.edu
I’m blown away by this great list of 10 ways well-meaning white teachers bring racism into schools. Number 2 is my favorite:

2. Being ‘Race Neutral’ Rather than Culturally Responsive

In my work with teachers, I sometimes meet teachers who claim that they “don’t see Color,” both in naïve attempts to be “progressive” but also in an ill-advised attempt to avoid tracking students based on race/ethnicity.

But our students don’t need a “race neutral” approach to their education.

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I love the Kung Fu Bear!

Kung Fu BearKung Fu Bear is a master of the fighting stick. Don’t believe me? Watch!

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Lovely Peruvian Renata does Michael Jackson cover in hauntingly beautiful native Quechua

renata flores' bandThe fabulously talented Renata Flores Rivera offers a Michael Jackson cover of “The way you make me feel” in Quechua, the ancient native language of Peru.

Fusion online mag writes

Flores’s mother, Patricia Rivera Canchanya, kicked off the campaign this year through a cultural association, la Asociación Cultural Surca, which she founded 11 years ago to promote arts and Peruvian culture in their home city of Huamanga (also known as Ayacucho). Rivera is also a musician, and set up a music school through the association. She said she saw an urgent need to pass on Quechua to younger generations, before the language is forgotten in Peru.

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Thousands join mayor’s Occupy the City rally on Saturday to support Newark, youth & to stamp out violence

Mayor Baraka and CommonLed by Rapper-activist-actor Common joined Mayor Ras J. Baraka, the Newark Municipal Council and actor-rapper-activist Common, thousands of Newark residents united to “Occupy the City” on Saturday, August 8, meeting at a designated location in each of Newark’s five wards at 3:30 pm and marching to the City’s historic downtown “Four Corners” at Broad and Market Streets for a huge anti-violence and community support rally.

Building on the success and support from Newark residents during his “Occupy the Block events, Mayor Baraka hosted the “Occupy the City” event to unite residents against despair, violence, and crime in Newark and to promote love, hope and empowerment. “Occupy the Block” is a community engagement tool modeled after the historic “Occupy” movement, which advocates the social disruption of harmful or ineffective social constructs. Marchers wore purple t-shirts specially made for the occasion.

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Thanks to Iko’s designer, kids can build their own hands using Lego

lego-prosthetic-arm
Credit: Carlos Arturo Torres/Umeå Institute of Design
Carlos Arturo Torres is a believer in fun and childhood now living in Chicago. In 2014, as a student at Sweden’s Umeå Institute of Design in Sweden, he also became the creator of Iko – “a prosthetic arm for children that also acts as a platform for creative Lego projects.” Iko responds to signals traveling through its wearer’s arm nerves to move, pick up and manipulate objects and it’s got a great grip.

Torres explains,

sometimes a functional element is everything (a kid needs), but some other times it might be a spaceship, or a doll house, or a telescope, or a video game controller, or a swim fin. What if kids could use their imagination to create their own prosthetics, their own tools according to their own needs? Learning. Creating. Being kids.

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Free YMCA sleep away camp for 7-12 year old Newark kids

YMCA campA glorious 2-week sleep away camp adventure for Newark children ages 7-12 is waiting for your child at a YMCA camp in Newton, NJ – and it will cost you nothing but a phone call! Activity options include archery, bike riding, craft making, boat paddling, nature walks, swim lessons and much more in a safe, well supervised lakeside setting where kids can relax, bond and enjoy clean, healthy, outdoor fun and fantastic meals.

Secure your child’s spot by calling Matt of Fairview Lakes YMCA: office 973-383-9282 or mobile 201-618-5880.

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Newark Students’ May 22 walkout and protest over 2000 strong

Newark 1505 student walkoutOn May 22 2015, over 2000 students and supporters shut downtown Newark NJ down for several hours to create visibility and bring awareness to the horrors Newark students have experienced at the hands of Chris Christie, Cory Booker and Cami Anderson, who jointly created a plan to break the back of public education in this city.

Anderson’s “One Newark” plan has young children from a single family barred from attending the school local to their home and instead, being sent far outside their neighborhood to 4 different schools in different corners of the city. Each child must take 2-3 bus rides and spend an hour of commuting time each way to reach school. Throughout the city, public school students are denied books and sanitary food; the principals and administrative staff of the city’s most successful schools are fired; and police charges were filed against a PTA president for hanging flyers announcing the PTA’s next meeting.

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Obamas celebrate Native American youth with website & tribal gathering

Generation Indigenous
The White House launched its new Generation Indigenous (Gen-I) portal to serve as a one-stop shop for Native youth.

The Gen-I initiative focuses on improving the lives of Native youth through new investments and increased engagement. This initiative takes a comprehensive, culturally appropriate approach to ensure all young Native people can reach their full potential. Gen-I will help improve the lives of Native youth by promoting a national dialogue and policies and programs to mobilize and cultivate the next generation of Native leaders. Key programs address: education, health and nutrition, juvenile justice, housing, and youth engagement.

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Giving up our fantasy addiction is how we will make life good

This 8 minute film shows us the value of being alive at a time when communication is possible on a scale never before experienced. Yet, while the world is being destroyed and monetized we pay more attention to our screens than everything else around us.

But, we are not in a movie where everything is decided in advance. In real life, WE write the script. Let’s give up our addiction to fantasies that are being fed us and script our own … beautiful future … together. All power to the people!

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