Inspiring Stories of Local Youth Activism

Inspiring Stories of Local Youth Activism

Featured, Growing Responsibility, In the News, Inspiring Stories, Motivation

Myhanh Wong is a senior at Franklin High School and committed to supporting the Black Lives Matter movement. She believes that “in a week of protests, the people have accomplished so much, even bringing defunding the police to the table. This idea was unheard of two weeks ago. Real change is happening”.

Her advice for young activists is that “they should educate themselves. We can protest the system all we want, but change comes from first understanding the sytem. Make sure to fact check what you see on the news and social media”. She also advises taking breaks. “Individual burnout …

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Contributions Kids Can Make to Support their Community during Challenging Times

Connection and love, Growing Responsibility, In the News, Science and parenting, Self-care, Tips & Tools

Ideas for Children to Contribute During Protests

Make posters and signs to put in the yard or to give to protesters

Organize their own demonstration or protest

Make food or provide drinks and snacks for people who are protesting

Write letters to community, city, regional or state officials and elected officials

Research organizations that do work in a field of their interest. Create a plan to share out to friends and family. Fundraise and/or donate to those organizations.

Stage a toy protest, chalk your walk, and other ideas – 5 ways for kids and families to peacefully protest from home

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Contributions Create Capable, Competent Kids

Growing Responsibility, Routines, Tips & Tools

Our children shine when they know that they have helped. We can see it on their faces. But as parents, we often fall into doing everything ourselves, forgetting how important contribution is to the well-being of our children. When kids are little they are constantly begging, “Me do it!”  We may tell them something that dissuades them gently, while in our heads we are rationalizing that they are not big enough or can’t do the job well enough or quickly enough. It seems easier in the moment to “just get it done”. But, let’s look at the bigger picture. Eventually, …

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When Students Contribute, They Feel Capable, Connected and Confident

Growing Responsibility, Routines, Tips & Tools

Finding ways for your students to contribute is a powerful positive step towards fostering their belief that they matter and make a difference. ALL kids can contribute….academic excellence is not the only way to shine. Sometimes being trusted to help makes all the difference.  Think of the teen gang leader whose savvy teacher recognized her student’s leadership skills and charisma and asked him to be greeter of the high school class, welcoming each member individually and setting the tone for the period to come. He has said that the day he was asked to take on this responsibility was the …

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Talking and Teaching about Truth

Growing Responsibility, Routines, Setting limits, Tips & Tools

In the milieu in which our children live – social media, the internet, television and movies – it is often hard to sort fact from fiction. Our children get mixed messages about honesty. While they are told it is an important value, they are surrounded by messaging that implies you can say anything you want, and as long as someone believes you, it is okay. In the era of “fake news” it is important to hold up the value of honesty and the importance of telling the truth. Beyond learning to be honest themselves the ability to detect falsehoods in …

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Fact and Fiction for the Growing Brain

Growing Responsibility, Routines, Setting limits, Tips & Tools

Children experience the world through a different lens than adults and are learning to tell the difference between what is “real” in their imagination, and what is real in the world. Often children lie for very similar reasons as adults – they feel trapped, are afraid of being punished or rejected, or sometimes just because it seems easier. As adults, most of us also aren’t always accurate truth tellers either. Sometimes to help someone feel better we omit information or tell what we call “white lies to protect ourselves or others. Sometimes, like children we distort the truth to avoid …

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Raising Reliable Kids

Growing Responsibility, Tips & Tools

There are many joys that come with having children in your family. They bring play, surprises and often teach us new ways to look at the world. And even though there are days that you wish your young children were predictable and reliable, it is not a skill built in at birth. As children grow older, we expect them to do what they say they will do. Not when they are two – but certainly by the time they are twelve. We can support our children building this skill with intentional opportunities to practice following through on commitments they make …

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Growing Trust and Dependability

Growing Responsibility, Tips & Tools

Trust is a critical part of creating a safe classroom community and a large portion of that trust is built on the sense that the teacher is dependable and reliable. You want your students to be dependable as well: people who others can count on for their truthfulness and integrity. Teaching behaviors like this is not easy. Dependable people follow through – they do what they say they will, even though it might involve inconvenience or sacrifice. Some ideas for building these skills:

  • Model. Do what you say you will do. Really. Students are always watching, and they learn by
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Patience is Not Permissiveness

Growing Responsibility, Mistakes yours and theirs, Self regulation, Tips & Tools

Whether a student burps loudly in the middle of our lesson, someone calls out an answer instead of waiting their turn, one student is mean to another, or someone writes with a permanent marker on the dry erase board, there are going to be moments – and sometimes whole days – that try our patience as teachers. Teaching is really difficult work. The ability to be calm, patient and still lead with connected firmness takes practice and lots of tools and strategies. Here are some ideas to try:

  • Always be gentle with yourself. This takes practice and you’ll make mistakes.
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A Sense of Wonder

Growing Responsibility, Routines, Tips & Tools

Curiosity is a sense of wonder and openness about the future. It comes partly from the brain wanting to understand or make order out of something that doesn’t make sense. If you have a young child at home, you know that they see the world through the lens of curiosity. They have lots of questions. Curiosity is associated with the release and flow of dopamine and seratonin in the brain, generating a sense of pleasure. Curious brains are also better at learning. Here are some ideas to encourage and help your child maintain a sense curiosity and wonder:

  • Be curious
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