Category: Goodwill


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NBC NEWS

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Utah’s Strategy for the Homeless: Give Them Homes

Utah’s Chronic Homeless Rate Drops 91% When It Gives the Needy Housing2:30

By the end of 2015, the chronically homeless population of Utah may be virtually gone. And the secret is quite simple:

Give homes to the homeless.

“We call it housing first, employment second,” said Lloyd Pendleton, director of Utah’s Homeless Task Force.

Even Pendleton used to think trying to eradicate homelessness using such an approach was a foolish idea.

“I said: ‘You guys must be smoking something. This is totally unrealistic,'” Pendleton said.

But the results are hard to dispute.

In 2005, Utah was home to 1,932 chronically homeless. By April 2015, there were only 178 — a 91 percent drop statewide.

“It’s a philosophical shift in how we go about it,” Pendleton said. “You put them in housing first … and then help them begin to deal with the issues that caused them to be homeless.”

Chronically homeless persons — those living on the streets for more than a year, or for four times in three years, and have a debilitating condition — make up 10 percent of Utah’s homeless population but take up more than 50 percent of the state’s resources for the homeless.

 

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Instead Of Arresting Panhandlers, Albuquerque’s Giving Them Jobs

Five people have found full-time employment since the program started in September.

12/09/2015 02:12 pm ET

Kevin Russ via Getty Images

Albuquerque officials are working to reform their policies of mistreating and at times, outright persecuting, homeless people by offering jobs to people on the streets.

After a series of incidents of police brutality, which included the fatal shooting of a schizophrenic homeless man this year, advocates and the Justice Department demanded that the Albuquerque Police Department overhaul its approach to how it treats homeless people and people with mental illness, The New York Times reported. And part of that reform includes a program that scouts homeless people and offers them jobs.

The city, together with St. Martin’s Hospitality Center, an organization that provides services to homeless people, dispenses outreach workers who offer odd jobs — which have the potential of turning into full-time opportunities — to people on the streets, according to KOAT.

 

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Anti-Erdogan protesters in Germany. File photo.

Ordinary Turks React to Su-24 Shoot Down: ‘A Lot of Us Are on Your Side’

© AFP 2015/ DAVID GANNON

Politics

19:36 25.11.2015(updated 20:06 25.11.20

 

As expected, the F-16 attack on a Russian Su-24 bomber over Syria has become a hot topic for discussion on Turkish social media. Taking a peak at both the Turkish and English-language corners of the Twitterverse, Sputnik discovered that not only are many Turks upset over the incident, some are downright outraged over their government’s actions.

With the Turkish Air Force attack on the Russian plane in Syria instantly provoking a swelling response of debate and condolences from both Russian and foreign social media users, Turkish social media users naturally joined in. But in a surprising twist, many offered apologies to their northern neighbor, emphasizing that it is the Recep Erdogan government, not the Turkish people, who should be blamed for the attack.

Some users appealed directly to their Russian friends, using the Russian-language hashtag #StabInTheBack.

 

As a Turk I apologize for Turkish gov. action today for shooting down the ‘s fighter jet, a lot of Turks on your side

ISIL supporters are our common enemies. Especially Turkish gov’t. Sorry for your lost. Loves from Turkey.

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Nebraskan Woman Is Weaving Hundreds Of Mats From Plastic Bags For The Homeless

 

 

True Activist

True Activist Exposing the truth one lie at a time

No act of kindness is ever too small, especially when some people haven’t witnessed much kindness in their lives at all.

Plastic is a burden to the environment, and homelessness is a crisis in need of remedy. Can both be lessened, however, with a bit of creative philanthropy?

If you were to ask volunteers with the Faith Westwood United Methodist Church in Nebraska, the answer would likely be ‘yes’. 

KMVT News reports that every week, dozens of women, and a few men, gather inside the Nebraskan church for an intriguing purpose. The volunteers collect, sort, de-wrinkle and smooth out thousands of plastic grocery bags – a common item most, unfortunately, throw away – to weave into woven mats for the homeless.

By using a method tested again and again by one of the group’s volunteers, Marilynn Jones, thousands of plastic bags are repurposed into mats homeless individuals can sleep on in less than satisfactory conditions.

So often, the homeless shelters in the metro are filled to capacity and people are forced to sleep on the floor. The plastic mats at least provide some comfort to those who need it most.

More than 1,000 plastic bags are required to make one mat. The group has so far made hundreds, but Jones is by far considered the “plastic bag weaving” pro.

Credit: KMTV News

Credit: KMTV News

She told KMTV News that she learned how to quilt 70 years ago and hasn’t stopped practicing the craft since. The first afghan she ever made, with the help of her grandmother, hangs in her home.

Regarding the plastic mats, “They tell me I’ve done 248. I don’t keep track,” she said. Jones presently makes two per week.

Jones began experimenting with the plastic bags two years ago shortly after losing her husband.

“I do this mainly…I lost my husband 2 years ago, and that’s when I started. I needed something to do with my hands and it worked out real well for me,” she shared.

Like many compassionate individuals, she’ll tell you no act of kindness is ever too small, especially when some people haven’t witnessed much kindness in their lives at all.

“I think the fact that I’m making something worthwhile, where I know where it goes and people that use it need it — I don’t like to just crochet for an afghan or something – that doesn’t help me – I just need to do something for someone else,” she said.

Not only is the practice helping to fill a void in heart, it’s blessing hundreds of others at the same time.

Comment your thoughts below and share this positive news!

The “water lady” is a local hero in this area of the Navajo Nation.

Navajo Woman Trucks Water 75 Miles A Day To People On Parched Reservation

The “water lady’s” big yellow truck is a refreshing sight at the Navajo Nation.

Darlene Arviso, known as “the water lady,” delivers water five days a week to communities without plumbing and clean water on the Navajo reservation surrounding Thoreau, New Mexico, Navajo Times reported. She totes over 3,000 gallons of water in her truck, traveling 75 miles and visiting about a dozen families every day.

“I enjoy my job,” Arviso told the news site. “I like what I’m doing because I’m helping my people.”

Read More Here

 

DISASTER MANAGEMENT

MH370 search to be most costly ever at $100 mln: analysts


by Staff Writers
Sydney (AFP) April 18, 2014


Malaysia warns of ‘huge’ cost in MH370 search
Kuala Lumpur (AFP) April 17, 2014 – Malaysia warned Thursday that the cost of the search for flight MH370’s wreckage in the vast depths of the Indian Ocean will be “huge”, the latest sobering assessment by authorities involved in the challenging effort.
“When we look at salvaging (wreckage) at a depth of 4.5 kilometres (2.8 miles), no military out there has the capacity to do it,” Transport and Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein told reporters in Kuala Lumpur.”We have to look at contractors, and the cost of that will be huge.”

The search in a remote stretch of ocean far off western Australia was enlivened in the past two weeks by the detection of signals believed to be from the Malaysia Airlines plane’s flight data recorders on the seabed.

But the transmissions have gone silent before they could be pinpointed, raising the spectre of a costly and extensive search of a large swathe of ocean floor at extreme depths.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott of Australia, which is leading the multi-national search, had earlier warned in an interview published Thursday that an autonomous US Navy sonar device that began scanning the seabed for wreckage on Monday would be given one more week.

If nothing is found, authorities would reassess how next to proceed in the unprecedented mission to find the plane, Abbott said in the Wall Street Journal.

The Bluefin-21 completed its first full scanning mission early Thursday.

An initial attempt was aborted when the sub hit its maximum depth at 4.5 kilometres. A second was cut short by unspecified “technical” troubles.

Hishammuddin said he agreed with Abbott, saying “there will come a time when we need to regroup and reconsider”.

“But in any event, the search will always continue. It’s just a matter of approach,” said Hishammuddin, who did not specify what any alternative approach would be.

Australia’s search chief Angus Houston said earlier this week that authorities already were looking at possible alternative methods, including undersea devices that can go deeper than the Bluefin-21, but he also gave no specifics.

The Beijing-bound Malaysia Airlines flight with 239 people aboard inexplicably veered off its Kuala Lumpur-Beijing course on March 8, and is believed to have crashed in the Indian Ocean.

 

The search for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 is set to be the most expensive in aviation history, analysts say, as efforts to find the aircraft deep under the Indian Ocean show no signs of slowing.

The Boeing 777 vanished on March 8 with 239 people on board, after veering dramatically off course en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing and is believed to have crashed in the sea off Australia.

Australia, which is leading the search in a remote patch of water described as “unknown to man”, has not put a figure on spending, but Malaysia has warned that costs will be “huge”.

“When we look at salvaging (wreckage) at a depth of 4.5 kilometres (2.8 miles), no military out there has the capacity to do it,” Transport and Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said Thursday.

“We have to look at contractors, and the cost of that will be huge.”

Ravikumar Madavaram, an aviation expert at Frost & Sullivan Asia Pacific, said Malaysia, Australia and China, which had the most nationals onboard the flight, were the biggest spenders and estimated the total cost up to now at about US$100 million (72 million euros).

“It’s difficult to say how much is the cost of this operation … but, yes, this is definitely the biggest operation ever (in aviation history).

“In terms of costs this would be the highest,” he told AFP.

– Hopes rest on submersible –

In the first month of the search — in which the South China Sea and Malacca Strait were also scoured by the US, Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam — the Pentagon said the United States military had committed US$7.3 million to efforts to find the plane.

Meanwhile the Indian Ocean search, in which assets have also been deployed by Australia, Britain, China, South Korea, Japan and New Zealand, has failed to find anything conclusive.

Hopes rest on a torpedo-shaped US Navy submersible, which is searching the ocean floor at depths of more than 4,500 metres (15,000 feet) in the vicinity of where four signals believed to have come from black box recorders were detected.

David Gleave, an aviation safety researcher at Britain’s Loughborough University, said the costs “will be of the order of a hundred million dollars by the time we’re finished, if we have found it (the plane) now”.

But he said the longer it took to find any wreckage, the more costs would mount because scanning the vast ocean floor “will take a lot of money because you can only search about 50 square kilometres (19 square miles) a day”.

 

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WATER WORLD

Sub dives deeper in hunt for missing MH370


by Staff Writers
Perth, Australia (AFP) April 18, 2014

The mini-sub searching for missing flight MH370 has reached record depths well beyond its normal operating limits, officials said Friday as it dived on its fifth seabed mission.

With no results to show since the Boeing 777 carrying 239 people disappeared on March 8, Australia’s Prime Minister Tony Abbott has set a one-week deadline to locate the plane which is believed to have crashed in a remote area of the Indian Ocean west of Perth.

Searchers have extended the hunt beyond the normal 4,500 metre (15,000 feet) depth range of the US Navy’s Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) called Bluefin-21.

“The AUV reached a record depth of 4,695 meters during mission four,” the US Navy said. “This is the first time the Bluefin-21 has descended to this depth.

“Diving to such depths does carry with it some residual risk to the equipment and this is being carefully monitored,” a statement said.

Australia’s Joint Agency Coordination Centre (JACC) announced that the mini-sub had been deployed on a new mission as operations run round the clock.

“Data analysis from the fourth mission did not provide any contacts of interest,” it added.

The unmanned Bluefin-21 which maps the seafloor by sonar, has searched 110 square kilometres (43 square miles) to date, JACC said.

The UAV, which hit a technical snag on Tuesday had also re-surfaced Monday after breaching a pre-programmed maximum depth of 4.5 kilometres (2.8 miles).

JACC said Thursday night that the US manufacturer of the UAV, Phoenix International, had advised the risk was “acceptable”.

“This expansion of the operating parameters allows the Bluefin-21 to search the sea floor within the predicted limits of the current search area,” it said.

The Malaysia Airlines jet is believed to have crashed in the ocean after mysteriously vanishing while en route between Kuala Lumpur and Beijing.

Hopes for finding the plane have focused on the Bluefin-21 after signals believed to be from the plane’s flight data recorders on the seabed fell silent in recent days.

The submersible is being deployed from an Australian vessel to scan an uncharted seafloor at extreme depths, but Abbott said the Bluefin-21 would be given about a week as questions are asked about the massive costs.

 

Read More Here

 

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The Australian

Dismayed families of missing MH370 passengers have vowed to ‘get noisier’

Malaysia to issue death certificates in missing plane

http://cdn.newsapi.com.au/image/v1/external?url=http://content6.video.news.com.au/FxNzJibTpfUWDOML1T4JUliRzjZY81g9/promo222290599&width=650&api_key=kq7wnrk4eun47vz9c5xuj3mc

The Malaysian government prepares to issue death certificates for passengers of missing flight MH370 but some families cling to the hope their loved ones are alive. Mana Rabiee reports.

Shock … relatives of the missing MH370 passengers at the Metro Park Hotel in Beijing on April 21, 2014. Picture: Wang Zhao Source: AFP

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FAMILY members of passengers lost on missing Malaysia Airlines 370 have criticised the Malaysian government for an investigation they say has been mismanaged.

Appearing on US morning television, Sarah Bajc, the girlfriend of Flight 370 American passenger Philip Wood, told Today host Matt Lauer passengers’ loved ones all just “wanted to go back to square one”.

“We just don’t believe they’re using proper evaluative techniques to check the data,” she said. “It’s day 45 and we’re basically on the same position we were on on the first day.”

We don’t know anything for sure,” she said. “We want to go back and start over again, but with new people looking at the information.”

Ms Bajc sent an email to the media, on behalf of “the united families of MH370”, detailing their complaints and concerns.

 

Despair ... Sarah Bajc with her boyfriend Philip Wood, who was a passenger on missing Mal

Despair … Sarah Bajc with her boyfriend Philip Wood, who was a passenger on missing Malaysian flight MH370. Picture: Facebook Source: Supplied

 

Among their grievances is the suggestion by the government it issues death certificates or pay compensation before the plane is found.

“Until they have proof, they have an obligation to make regular prepayments to the families in need, and they have an obligation to exert themselves beyond dozing and snickering in resolving this case,” the email says.

The families say they are gaining strength and prepared to get noisier in their criticisms. The letter signs of “WE ARE IN UTTER OUTRAGE, DESPAIR AND SHOCK!”

The Acting Minister of Transport in Malaysia has posted a comment to Twitter that he hopes to discuss with Angus Houston the status of the remaining third of the search area being combed by the Bluefin-21 unmanned submersible.

 

 

 

DETAILS OF TODAY’S SEARCH

Bluefin-21 is still scouring the ocean depths on its ninth mission trying to locate wreckage from MH370.

So far it has searched about two thirds of the underwater area, with no contacts of interest found to date.

Up to 10 military aircraft and 10 ships will be part of today’s visual search approximately 1500 kilometres north west of Perth.

Scattered showers are predicted to continue with south easterly winds and sea swells of up to three metres.

 

 

Read More and Watch Videos Here

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SOSbarnebyerNorge SOSbarnebyerNorge

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Published on Feb 19, 2014

For English, choose English on the captions icon in media player.
What would you do if you saw a freezing child?
We set up a hidden camera and placed Johannes at a bus stop, in Oslo, Norway. This is what happened.

The film is made to raise awareness of the situation for children in Syria, and to raise funds to SOS Children’s Villages is their winter-campaign. Children in Syria are freezing and you can help by dontating. For more information: http://www.sos-barnebyer.no/Mayday/Syria

NORSK: En test utført av SOS-barnebyer bekrefter at det er mye hjertevarme blant folk i Norge. Nå håper vi at engasjementet også når fram til barn i Syria. Bidra du også send SMS SOS til 2160 / http://www.sos-barnebyer.no/Mayday/Syria

SOS-barnebyer i Syria deler ut tusenvis av varme jakker og pledd til barn på flukt, og samtidig mobiliseres givere i Norge for å kunne hjelpe flere barn gjennom givernettverket SOS MAYDAY.

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Would YOU offer to help a child freezing in the street? Hidden cameras capture reactions of people faced with dilemma… and what they did will warm your heart

  • An 11-year-old boy was filmed as he struggled against the cold without a coat in Oslo
  • But the kindness of those who saw his heartbreaking situation and handed him their clothing is inspiring
  • It was a stunt for a charity helping freezing Syrian children who are fleeing the civil war

By Sam Webb

|

A boy shivers in the harsh Oslo winter, pathetically wrapping his arms around himself on a bus stop bench. He isn’t wearing a coat and temperatures in the Norwegian capital regularly plunge to -10C during winter.

A heartbreaking scene, but the actions of the ordinary people who witnessed the plight of 11 year old Johannes Lønnestad Flaaten is both joyous and inspiring.

A young blonde woman who sat next to the boy and notices him rubbing his arms. She immediately asks him: ‘Don’t you have a jacket?’

 

This 11 year old boy was filmed as he sat shivering without a coat at a bus stop in Oslo, Norway. The actions of people who saw his discomfort will bring a smile to even the most jaded souls

This 11 year old boy was filmed as he sat shivering without a coat at a bus stop in Oslo, Norway. The actions of people who saw his discomfort will bring a smile to even the most jaded souls

Caring: This young woman asks him why he has no coat in such cold weather. He replies that it was stolen

Caring: This young woman asks him why he has no coat in such cold weather. He replies that it was stolen

Warm heart: She takes off her own jacket and wraps it around the freezing boy

Warm heart: She takes off her own jacket and wraps it around the freezing boy

No, someone stole it,’ he replies. She questions him and discovers he was on a school trip and was told to meet his teacher at the bus stop. She asks him the name of his school and where he’s from as she selflessly drapes her own coat around his shoulders.

Later, another older woman at first gives him her scarf, then wraps him in her large padded jacket.

Johanne’s predicament was a hidden camera experiment by Norwegian charity SOS Children’s Village as part of their winter campaign to gather donations to send much-needed coats and blankets to help Syrian children get through the winter. Many of the refugees have left their homes without winter clothing.

Throughout the day, more and more people offered Johannes their gloves and even the coats off their backs as they waited for their bus. One man even sat shivering in his t-shirt so Johanne could be wrapped up in his warm coat.

Sacrifice: This man endured the savage temperature in just a T-shirt so the boy could get warm

Sacrifice: This man endured the savage temperature in just a T-shirt so the boy could get warm

Read More Here

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Kenny Thompson paid the negative lunch balance fo over 60 kids at the school where he mentors and tutors.

Courtesy of Kenny Thompson
Kenny Thompson paid the negative lunch balance fo over 60 kids at the school where he mentors and tutors.

As a tutor and mentor at Valley Oaks Elementary School in Houston for over 10 years, Kenny Thompson has taken pride in helping out kids. So on Monday, when he found out that over 60 students at his school were eating cold sandwiches for lunch because of overdue funds on their accounts, he decided to pay off the negative balance. All $465 of it.

“It was the best money I ever spent,” Thompson, 52, told TODAY.com. “It was the best gift I ever gave myself. I went into my car and screamed.”

He didn’t realize how widespread the lunch account problem was until he learned that a Utah school had thrown away the lunches of students with negative balances at the end of January. That’s when he decided to look into the issue in his own community.

He found out that some students whose parents hadn’t paid were eating cold cheese or peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch, instead of hot, hearty fare. And others avoided the lunch line altogether, preferring not to eat rather than face the embarrassment of not being able to afford the same lunch in front of their peers. Many of these students were already on reduced lunch, which costs just 40 cents a day.

“It was horrifying, it broke my heart,” he said. “These are elementary kids. They’re not bankers, and not responsible for the financial issues in the household.”

His wife, a teacher at Valley Oaks, encouraged him to follow through on the idea, but warned him that he wouldn’t be able to buy the new pair of Doc Martens he’d wanted. That was quite all right with Thompson.

“My work boots are still good,” he said with a chuckle.

Houston residents heard about Thompson’s generosity when his story aired on a local news station, NBC affiliate KPRC, on Wednesday.

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Like most parents of a premature baby, Erin Cox suddenly found herself in a whirl of doctors, machines and incubators when her daughter came into the world.

Evalee was born two months early, not long after Cox’s water broke without any warning 30 weeks into her pregnancy. When the baby was delivered via Cesarean section at a Kansas City hospital last June, she weighed just 4 pounds.

mom and baby

Courtesy Jessica Strom Photography
Erin Cox holds her daughter Evalee at the neonatal intensive care unit of a Kansas City hospital last summer.

“She was very tiny. I mean, you walk around in the beginning holding her and it’s like holding a bag of cotton balls,” Cox, 33, told TODAY Moms.

“When you go back and look at the pictures, it’s like, oh, my gosh. What a journey. How amazing is this that she was that little and that she had to be so strong.”

The pictures, tender portraits taken during Evalee’s three-week stay in the hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit, came courtesy of Jessica Strom, a Kansas City photographer who has made it her mission to provide free photo sessions to local families of preemies.

"A quiet moment of love and comfort for baby Haven as she rests in her Isoloette"

Courtesy Jessica Strom Photography
Baby Haven, photographed in the NICU by Jessica Strom.

Various organizations have started similar efforts in recent years, including Preemie Prints, a Texas nonprofit that has about 60 volunteer NICU photographers in more than a dozen states, and Capturing Hopes Photography, which has 21 volunteers in Winston Salem, N.C. Most NICUs allow photography as long as no flash is used, said Sherri Crum, assistant director of Preemie Prints.

It’s a service that may touch many families: One out of every eight babies is born prematurely in the U.S., according to the CDC. The agency doesn’t track how many are admitted to the NICU.

Strom, who makes a living taking maternity, birth, and newborn photos, said it’s her way to give back to families who must leave their babies in the care of the NICU, which veterans like Cox simply refer to as “Nick-U.”

See photos of tiny babies that photographer Jessica Strom takes free of charge.

Strom calls the tiny patients warriors.

“It’s an amazing experience to be able to see what these little babies have to go through,” Strom said. “It’s awe-inspiring. The human body is just so amazing.”

“By the time I see them, they’re stable and they’ve already come so far from where they started… it’s just a really exciting time and I think the parents are relieved to be somewhat normal.”

That chance to be “normal” is as precious as the images themselves for the parents, who watch other couples take their babies home right away. Strom knows the pictures she takes allow these weary moms and dads to show off baby photos just like everybody else and give them a break from the day-to-day hospital routine.

Read More Here

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Jan. 31, 2014 at 6:57 PM ET

This post was first published on Glennon Doyle Melton’s blog, Momasteryon Jan. 30. In less than a day it was shared more than 1 million times. We wanted to share it with you.

A few weeks ago, I went into Chase’s class for tutoring.

I’d emailed Chase’s teacher one evening and said, “Chase keeps telling me that this stuff you’re sending home is math – but I’m not sure I believe him. Help, please.” She emailed right back and said, “No problem! I can tutor Chase after school anytime.” And I said, “No, not him. Me. He gets it. Help me.” And that’s how I ended up standing at a chalkboard in an empty fifth grade classroom staring at rows of shapes that Chase’s teacher kept referring to as “numbers.”

Author Glennon Doyle Melton with her family; her conversation with her son's teacher sparked this post.

Little Moon Photography
Author Glennon Doyle Melton with her family; her conversation with her son’s teacher sparked this post.

I stood a little shakily at the chalkboard while Chase’s teacher sat behind me, perched on her desk, using a soothing voice to try to help me understand the “new way we teach long division.” Luckily for me, I didn’t have to unlearn much because I never really understood the “old way we taught long division.” It took me a solid hour to complete one problem, but l could tell that Chase’s teacher liked me anyway. She used to work with NASA, so obviously we have a whole lot in common.

Afterwards, we sat for a few minutes and talked about teaching children and what a sacred trust and responsibility it is. We agreed that subjects like math and reading are the least important things that are learned in a classroom. We talked about shaping little hearts to become contributors to a larger community – and we discussed our mutual dream that those communities might be made up of individuals who are Kind and Brave above all.

And then she told me this.

Every Friday afternoon Chase’s teacher asks her students to take out a piece of paper and write down the names of four children with whom they’d like to sit the following week. The children know that these requests may or may not be honored. She also asks the students to nominate one student whom they believe has been an exceptional classroom citizen that week. All ballots are privately submitted to her.

And every single Friday afternoon, after the students go home, Chase’s teacher takes out those slips of paper, places them in front of her and studies them. She looks for patterns.

Who is not getting requested by anyone else?

Who doesn’t even know who to request?

Who never gets noticed enough to be nominated?

Who had a million friends last week and none this week?

You see, Chase’s teacher is not looking for a new seating chart or “exceptional citizens.” Chase’s teacher is looking for lonely children. She’s looking for children who are struggling to connect with other children. She’s identifying the little ones who are falling through the cracks of the class’s social life. She is discovering whose gifts are going unnoticed by their peers. And she’s pinning down — right away — who’s being bullied and who is doing the bullying.

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