The Children’s School is what school should be-a vibrant launchpad for kids to thrive in the 21st century.

Thursday, 31 December 2020

TROLLS PARTY PARTY IDEAS FOR THE BABY GIRL

 Trolls have been around for decades and recently made a big comeback with the release of new movies and a television series. A troll theme is a cute idea for a first birthday party for a baby girl. Decorations are colorful with themed food options such as pink and purple cupcakes and balloons. Entertainment is low-cost and easy to plan. Play the Trolls movie during the party or put on the soundtrack and dance.



BEST CAGES FOR YOUR KID’S PETS IN 2021

 The roles of companion animals for the owners go beyond what we can imagine. For some people, their pet is their best friend, life partner, or even family. A 2011 study conducted by Cats Protection showed 87% of cat owners said their pet helped maintain their well-being, and 76% swore by the impact their felines had in helping them cope with daily life.



Indeed, owning a pet has many powerful health benefits and advantages. Not only will it help relieve depression, stress, and anxiety, but it also creates more opportunities for you to stay physically active, spend time outdoors, and socialize. These different mental and physical activities then lead to decreasing cholesterol levels and blood pressures. 

As much as pets motivate and inspire us to live better, they also need our constant care! Our primary responsibility toward our pets is to ensure their health and welfare. We don’t neglect their medical checkups, treatments, bathing, and feeding times.

Should You Get A Pet Cage?

It is equally important to create a home-like environment for your pet—a spot or place that gives the animal a sense of safety and comfort. Yes, a pet cage is crucial to keeping your pet happy and in optimal health condition!

Pet cages are more than just a sanctuary for them; these homes protect them from harmful conditions. Besides pet safety, behavioral training is a major benefit of owning the best type of pet cage. In fact, the American Kennel Club.org recommends crate training for your dogs. Dog crates give your dogs a sense of security as it acts as a haven for them. An enclosed area is necessary for them to relax, especially during travel or even during house training. It will help them develop discipline and decrease any chances of getting lost or hurt in emergency evacuations and unexpected circumstances. 

That being said, animal cage selection should not relate to how you want your pet to be disciplined. It’s never okay to choose an unsuitable cage to punish your pet for bad behavior—this is unacceptable and goes against the ethics of pet keeping! As the pet owner, you must be responsible for loving and taking care of your pet. Treat them as your companion, void of neglect, and abuse. 

Choosing Cages for Dogs, Cats and More

Quite similar to dogs and cats, your other pets like rabbits, birds, rodents, and lizards also crucially need a comfortable and safe cage for them. It will be deemed as their dwelling place, where they will spend most of their time. You may take them out occasionally, but placing them right back into their cage will be safer for your pets, as well as yourself. 

Here’s how to find the most suitable pet cage for your precious non-human family member:

  • Cage material. The material of the cage is one of the first things you need to check before buying. Plastic and metallic materials are two of the most common types of enclosures. However, some cages come with plastic or a glass tank setting; opting for these cages would depend on the kind of pet. When selecting the best cage material, it all boils down to comfort.
  • Cage size. Pets come in many sizes, and cages don’t come in a one-size-fits-all measurement. Therefore, find a cage that has enough space for them to move around, stretch their bodies in, and do other things. You need to be practical in choosing the cage size, especially if you’re anticipating your pet to grow larger and taller in time. It must be economical for you and wonderfully comfortable for your pet friend.
  • Cage flooring. The base must be comfortable enough for your pet to lie in. Remember that it’s a place for them to relax and stay awhile. The cage floor should have the right material for it to be comfortable. You can opt to add cushions or other flooring materials, especially if your pet has sensitive feet and toes.
  • Cage gap width. Does your pet cage have holes? Ensure they don’t affect your pet’s comfort level in any way or let them escape. With that said, the cage should have enough ventilation. 

Pet Cage Cleaning and Maintenance

When buying a pet cage, bear in mind, you must keep it in a clean and in livable condition for the animal. A well-maintained cage lasts longer, too, which means you save money in the long run!

Here are the basic rules for keeping your pet cage well-maintained:

  1. Clean the cage regularly. A home that is clean and organized has happy inhabitants. Regularly disinfect the cage and change the flooring. Avoid using strong chemical cleansers that may risk the health of your pets. Use only mild soaps and scent-free wipes.
  2. Put the cage in a safe spot. Your pet may have a preferred location; place their cage in a spot they truly love. Some pets love being in quiet areas, while others want to be near their family all the time. Another critical factor is the weather and temperature of the place. Ensure that the area is not extremely hot or cold for your pet, as it will seriously affect their health. 
  3. Design the cage precisely according to their needs. Accentuate your pet’s cage with tools and accessories. Aside from their cushion or flooring, there should be a designated area for their food and water. A cage is a place for sleeping and resting and a dining area to drink or eat freely. Depending on what kind of pet you own, you should consider adding more entertainment tools for them to live more happily.


It’s time for the most exciting part: shopping for the best pet cage! We have consolidated a list of our top picks and top-rated pet cages for a different variety of pets that you might already have or are planning to own:


Monday, 28 September 2020

THE RIGHT TO INCLUSIVE, QUALITY EDUCATION

 Plan International believes that education should be available and accessible to all girls and boys. Every child must be able to access and complete an inclusive, quality pre-primary, primary and secondary education in order to meet the Global Goal for education by 2030.



Plan International believes that education should be available and accessible to all girls and boys. Every child must be able to access and complete an inclusive, quality pre-primary, primary and secondary education in order to meet not only the the Global Goal for education, but all Global Goals by 2030.
 
To achieve this, the international community, local governments and the private sector must fund quality education, to lift up and support the girls and boys who are least likely to be able to access education. 

QUALITY EDUCATION FOR GIRLS 

Plan International believes that education is the key to unlocking girls’ potential, and one of the most effective interventions for achieving development goals. Every girl has an equal right to complete a quality education, in safe school environments that are free from gender bias. Education must challenge discriminatory social norms and promote gender equality. 

Plan International will continue to work to ensure that girls’ education is a priority issue globally and that gender equality is advanced in and through education.

We commit to prioritising the removal of gendered barriers to girls’ access to and completion of education, such as poor sanitation and menstrual hygiene management facilities, early pregnancy and childcare, and child marriage. 

INCLUSIVE EDUCATION FOR ALL 

Plan International believes that mainstream education systems can and should be adapted to meet the needs of all learners, and should offer learning opportunities for every child. Children with disabilities have an equal right to access an inclusive, quality education, and a right to the support and adaptations necessary to facilitate their learning.  

Likewise, no child should be denied the right to access and complete an inclusive, quality education due to poverty - and recognises that poverty exacerbates the likelihood of exclusion for girls or children with disabilities. 

EDUCATION IN EMERGENCIES

Plan International believes that no child should be denied their right to an education due to conflict and disaster. This fundamental right must be protected before, during and after an emergency, including for displaced children, refugees, asylum seekers and internally displaced persons, to ensure educational continuity.

We believe that education in emergencies is crucial to maintaining a sense of normalcy in children’s lives, to provide safe, supportive spaces for children, and for equipping children with the skills and knowledge they need to negotiate their present and future circumstances. Girls’ education during times of crisis is particularly important and can protect them from trafficking, forced marriage and other forms of abuse and exploitation.  

EDUCATION FREE FROM VIOLENCE

Plan International asserts that every child has the right to learn in a safe and secure environment, free from the fear or threat of violence. This is an inseparable aspect of a quality education. 

We believe it is unacceptable that any child should be a victim of violence of any description either in school, or on the journey to and from school – including sexual violence or harassment, bullying and intimidation, and corporal punishment. We recognise that school-related gender-based violence is a significant factor preventing girls from accessing and completing school and are committed to eliminating such violence through our advocacy and programming work.

WHAT IS QUALITY EDUCATION COMPRISED OF?

Quality education should provide children and young people with the necessary skills and knowledge, attitudes and behaviours to lead positive and productive lives. Quality education should include not only literacy and numeracy but also wider life skills that empower them to be leaders and change-makers. Comprehensive sexuality education is a key element of quality education and provides girls, in particular, with the skills and knowledge to make decisions about their bodies and futures. 

In addition, Plan international recognises that non-formal education can ensure that out-of-school children are able to access opportunities. In some cases non-formal education programs can bridge children back into the formal education system. For young mothers or girls who have been married early, non-formal education can address their unique needs. 

In addition, we believe that early childhood care and pre-primary education are vital components of a quality education that are of critical value for the early socialisation of gender equality. A quality education must gender-sensitive at a minimum and aim to be gender transformative by transforming harmful gender stereotypes, norms and biases in schools and in society more broadly. 

Tuesday, 1 September 2020

THE RIGHT TO INCLUSIVE, QUALITY EDUCATION



Plan International believes that education should beavailable and accessible to all girls and boys. Every child must be able toaccess and complete an inclusive, quality pre-primary, primary and secondary education in order to meet the Global Goal for education by 2030.
Plan International believes that education should be available and accessible to all girls and boys. Every child must be able to access and complete an inclusive, quality pre-primary, primary and secondary education in order to meet not only the the Global Goal for education, but all Global Goals by 2030.

To achieve this, the international community, local governments and the private sector must fund quality education, to lift up and support the girls and boys who are least likely to be able to access education.

Plan International believes that education is the key to unlocking girls’ potential, and one of the most effective interventions for achieving development goals. Every girl has an equal right to complete a quality education, in safe school environments that are free from gender bias. Education must challenge discriminatory social norms and promote gender equality.

Plan International will continue to work to ensure that girls’ education is a priority issue globally and that gender equality is advanced in and through education.

We commit to prioritising the removal of gendered barriers to girls’ access to and completion of education, such as poor sanitation and menstrual hygiene management facilities, early pregnancy and childcare, and child marriage.

INCLUSIVE EDUCATION FOR ALL
Plan International believes that mainstream education systems can and should be adapted to meet the needs of all learners, and should offer learning opportunities for every child. Children with disabilities have an equal right to access an inclusive, quality education, and a right to the support and adaptations necessary to facilitate their learning. 

Likewise, no child should be denied the right to access and complete an inclusive, quality education due to poverty - and recognises that poverty exacerbates the likelihood of exclusion for girls or children with disabilities.

Plan International believes that no child should be denied their right to an education due to conflict and disaster. This fundamental right must be protected before, during and after an emergency, including for displaced children, refugees, asylum seekers and internally displaced persons, to ensure educational continuity.

We believe that education in emergencies is crucial to maintaining a sense of normalcy in children’s lives, to provide safe, supportive spaces for children, and for equipping children with the skills and knowledge they need to negotiate their present and future circumstances. Girls’ education during times of crisis is particularly important and can protect them from trafficking, forced marriage and other forms of abuse and exploitation. 

EDUCATION FREE FROM VIOLENCE
Plan International asserts that every child has the right to learn in a safe and secure environment, free from the fear or threat of violence. This is an inseparable aspect of a quality education.

We believe it is unacceptable that any child should be a victim of violence of any description either in school, or on the journey to and from school – including sexual violence or harassment, bullying and intimidation, and corporal punishment. We recognise that school-related gender-based violence is a significant factor preventing girls from accessing and completing school and are committed to eliminating such violence through our advocacy and programming work.

Quality education should provide children and young people with the necessary skills and knowledge, attitudes and behaviours to lead positive and productive lives. Quality education should include not only literacy and numeracy but also wider life skills that empower them to be leaders and change-makers. Comprehensive sexuality education is a key element of quality education and provides girls, in particular, with the skills and knowledge to make decisions about their bodies and futures.

In addition, Plan international recognises that non-formal education can ensure that out-of-school children are able to access opportunities. In some cases non-formal education programs can bridge children back into the formal education system. For young mothers or girls who have been married early, non-formal education can address their unique needs.


In addition, we believe that early childhood care and pre-primary education are vital components of a quality education that are of critical value for the early socialisation of gender equality. A quality education must gender-sensitive at a minimum and aim to be gender transformative by transforming harmful gender stereotypes, norms and biases in schools and in society more broadly.

Wednesday, 12 August 2020

5 GREAT GIFT IDEAS FOR 4-YEAR-OLD GIRLS IN 2020

Do you need to buy something unique to give to a four-year-old girl? Do you find yourself unsure what to get her? What could a four-year-old girl possibly want and need? Is it different from what they used to enjoy when they were three? What is different at that age?
We know full well that you want to impress a five-year-old girl with the gift you will bring to her birthday or for the holidays. This list might save you from a potential gift disaster. Read on to learn a thing or two about what girls this age would enjoy.

THE RIGHT GIFT FOR YOUR LITTLE ONE

At four years old, kids usually begin school and get to meet other kids their age. They become more independent and self-confident. As she makes more friends, your little girl is starting to understand the world around her.
Do you know that your four-year-old little girl likes to keep herself busy? She is now able to play on her own, get dressed, organize her toys, and complete simple chores.
A fast-growing little girl, she also exhibits physical, mental, and emotional development. She enhances her creativity and imagination. Give her the right support by choosing a gift that would spark her interest. Don’t buy the stereotypical presents labeled for girls! Defy the norms and think outside the box.

Here are some excellent gift suggestions for four-year-old girls that are not only age-appropriate but also educational and never boring.

TOP 10 BEST ONLINE LEARNING TOOLS FOR KIDS IN 2020


One of the most important gifts you can give your child is the gift of knowledge. Parents today are increasingly turning to the Internet for excellent learning programs suitable for children as young as toddlers. It’s not using the computer or tablet as a babysitter, but rather, a desire to help kids become tech-savvy from an early age and to take full advantage of having the World Wide Web at our fingertips.
There are plenty of points to consider when choosing an online learning tool for your child. How old are your kids? What are their academic strengths and weaknesses? How do they learn best? Then, of course, there are the worries all parents have: Is the website safe? How much will it cost?
Methodology:
In our ranking of the 10 best online learning tools for kids, we took into account all of these factors and more:
  • We considered the comprehensiveness of an online learning program based on the subject matter covered in the curriculum and any quantitative data to back up the tool’s effectiveness.
  • To understand safety, we looked at factors like data collection and encryption and whether the site had advertisements or external links that could lead kids down the wrong path on the Web – possibly to viruses or inappropriate content.
  • Activities scores factor in the quantity, quality, variety, and level of interactivity found in an online learning platform’s content.
  • Sites with the most high-quality materials and the greatest assortment of content types earned the best scores.
  • Parents’ reviews of how much their children enjoyed using the platform played a part in determining their score for the subjective factor of fun.
  • Finally, because sticking to a budget is important for families, we consider the price – and more importantly the value – of the online learning tool.


Saturday, 8 August 2020

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s green-light-red-light for New York schools


The state’s 1 percent positive test rate for COVID-19 is well below the 5 percent threshold set by the World Health Organization. And though the city’s plan still needs the state Health Department’s OK, Mayor Bill de Blasio, to his credit, is eyeing in-class learning for at least part of the time.
Even teachers admit that remote learning doesn’t come close to in-school instruction, and it forces adults to be home with kids, making it hard for some to work at their jobs. So cheer Cuomo’s first step.
Alas, Cuomo didn’t help things by siding with teachers who don’t want to go back.
“Teachers are going to have to agree to come back,” he said. “If a teacher doesn’t show up, you don’t have a class.”
Well, yes. But why is Cuomo encouraging them? Besides, technically teachers are public employees, and it’s illegal for them to strike under the state’s Taylor Law.
Great news: Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Friday gave a green light for schools in New York to reopen in September. Hear, hear.
The state’s 1 percent positive test rate for COVID-19 is well below the 5 percent threshold set by the World Health Organization. And though the city’s plan still needs the state Health Department’s OK, Mayor Bill de Blasio, to his credit, is eyeing in-class learning for at least part of the time.
Even teachers admit that remote learning doesn’t come close to in-school instruction, and it forces adults to be home with kids, making it hard for some to work at their jobs. So cheer Cuomo’s first step.
Alas, Cuomo didn’t help things by siding with teachers who don’t want to go back.
“Teachers are going to have to agree to come back,” he said. “If a teacher doesn’t show up, you don’t have a class.”
Well, yes. But why is Cuomo encouraging them? Besides, technically teachers are public employees, and it’s illegal for them to strike under the state’s Taylor Law.

Monday, 27 July 2020

Public-health experts say: Reopen schools! and other commentary


Though no fans of President Trump, Harvard public-health professors Benjamin Sommers, Joseph Allen, Sarah Bleich and Jessica Cohen agree with him in The Boston Globe: “Schools can — and should — reopen” in the fall. Just “listen to the science,” which shows that the spring school closures have, among other things, “led to months of lost learning and widened gaps in educational achievement.” At the same time, studies show children are “less likely to become seriously ill from COVID-19,” half as likely to “get infected in the first place” and “less likely than adults to” transmit it to others. Yes, schools would need to “implement proven risk-reduction strategies” — but that’s no reason to keep them closed. “Listen to the evidence,” in other words: Let kids learn in person.
“Woke-ism is fast becoming the new state religion,” Ben Weingarten ­laments at Newsweek — “the ultimate tool of cynical, radically leftist power-grabbers.” Its main principle — that “America is a deplorable, irredeemable nation”— isn’t new among leftists, but only recently have our elites “mainstreamed” it. Politicians such as Mayor de Blasio and Gov. Cuomo, among others, have let “the Woke flood the streets” to start “rioting and looting with impunity” while banning Christians and Jews from practicing their religion, and the ideology has even spread to the federal financial and security establishments. Such a situation portends the undermining of our founding principles and “dismantling of our system” — leading, in the end, to “a theocracy of the woke.”
Libertarian: Our Worsening Economic Crisis
New data show that “permanent business closures” are “on the rise ­nationwide, even as consumer activity continues to slowly increase,” ­reports Reason’s Eric Boehm, with even big businesses “now making further cuts.” Restaurants “have been hardest hit.” No matter how much they reopen, after all, “there’s no substitute for a packed house on Friday night,” which is “simply not realistic right now.” Even federal assistance and loans “may end up merely having flattened the curve” of job losses. Worse, we have no solution right now: The economy will only reopen if most Americans “feel safe going out to restaurants and stores again,” which won’t happen “until the number of coronavirus cases and deaths start falling” — “a vicious cycle for the country and death spiral for many businesses.”
Conservative: An Octogenarian Tyranny
“American politics is getting senile,” blasts Daniel McCarthy in The Spectator. Polls show that the public is about to turn its back against President Trump. Yet “his defeat does not promise to be a source of renewal — not when the alternative is a 77-year-old former vice president.” Joe Biden represents and/or outright committed all the major foreign-policy and economic blunders of his generation of establishment leaders. And joining him will be an equally old and discredited Democratic leadership in the House, including “the chamber’s oldest ever Speaker (80-year-old Nancy Pelosi), an even older House majority leader (Steny Hoyer, 81) and a third octogenarian as majority whip (James Clyburn, 80).” Predictably, given the two parties’ aging power base, their programs are downright “stale” and “decrepit.”
Education desk: No to a Federal School Bailout
“Almost half of House Democrats” want “an additional $305 billion for an 18-month ‘stabilization’ fund for K-12 public schools” — a “massive increase in federal taxpayer spending” that’s “at least a year too early for Congress to consider,” economist Benjamin Scafidi worries at The Washington Examiner. “Instead, public schools should follow the lead from the private sector by right-sizing their staffing models,” starting by considering if they really “need to increase staff endlessly.” If they need money after that, they should “rely on state and school-district reserve funding first” — and if all of those sources don’t work out, then Congress can consider a bailout. Instead of asking for a congressional bailout now, though, school districts should “weather the storm” by starting to “rethink their priorities.”

Tuesday, 21 July 2020

Children's Literacy Programs


Literacy Boost

While more children are in school today than ever before, many are not learning basic skills like reading once they get there. Save the Children's Literacy Boost is helping to change that by creating a culture of reading both inside and outside the classroom that dramatically improves children’s literacy development.
Literacy Boost helps children learn to read and read to learn by:
  • Measuring kids' reading skills to see how well they know their ABCs, sound out words and letters, read and understand sentences.
  • Training teachers to help children crack the code of reading, keep students engaged and interested in reading books, and use games, songs and stories in literacy lessons.
  • Getting communities involved in learning by providing books, libraries and supplies, sponsoring camps, "reading buddies" and other learning activities
For Kid Readers:
  • Kids can practice reading with your parents and friends -- at home and at school.
  • Visit your local library and read! If you don't have a library, create one—share a book with a friend.
For Adult Readers:
  • Talk and read to a child every day to introduce new words into their vocabulary.
  • Promote reading during everyday activities like shopping, cooking and running errands.
  • Tell your elected officials in Washington, DC that you support U.S. investments and policies to help kids learn to read around the globe.

Leveraging Change For Children

Through Literacy Boost and other effective education and literacy programs, Save the Children is working together with partners around the world to ensure that every child receives a quality education and gains the skills and knowledge they need to thrive and develop.
  • Globally, Save the Children is helping to craft a new global development goal on education to ensure that girls and boys everywhere learn how to read, write, and count by the age of 12, and that the learning gaps between the poorest and the richest children are significantly reduced.
  • In the United States, Save the Children is working with the U.S. Congress to support funding for global education, both bilaterally and through the multilateral Global Partnership for Education initiative, and support policies like the Education for All Act that will make a transformative change in children’s ability to learn in developing countries.
Where is Literacy Boost?
Save the Children helps teachers, parents and communities boost their children’s literacy development — transforming their future and the future we all share. To date, Literacy Boost has helped nearly 4 million children in more than 30 countries improve their reading skills.

Students Rebuild: Make a Hand, Lend a Hand

Students Rebuild, in partnership with Save the Children and Global Nomads Group, has launched an effort to help provide youth around the globe pathways to change their lives and lift themselves into a better future.
Throughout the world, millions of young people have to leave their education behind to find ways to help provide for themselves and their families most basic needs. Despite this, many still live in extreme poverty – on less than $1.90 a day.

Girl's Education

A girl is not a statistic or a piece of property. She's a child who deserves a future. 
Girls the world over face discrimination – just for being born a daughter and not a son. A girls education is less likely to be valued, and she’s more likely to be forced into early marriage, face violence or be stolen by traffickers. Her childhood cut short – her very life and future at risk.
A girl’s education changes everything. An educated girl is more likely to grow up healthy, safe and empowered to determine the course of her life and future. She’ll decide when she’s ready for marriage and children. She’ll likely send her children to school – and even live a longer life.
We understand the importance of education for girl children. We do whatever it takes to ensure every last child has a chance to grow up healthy, educated and safe – her best chance for a bright future. 
With your help, we can educate girls who may not otherwise have the chance to learn — changing the course of their lives, their children’s lives and the future of their communities.

Schooling does not always lead to learning. Worldwide, there are more non-learners in school than out of school.




Children and adolescents are excluded from education for many reasons. Poverty remains one of the most obstinate barriers, with children from the poorest households almost five times more likely to be out of primary school than those from the richest.
Children with disabilities and from ethnic minorities are also more likely to be left behind.
For girls in some parts of the world, education opportunities can be especially limited. Only 66 per cent of countries have achieved gender parity in primary education. Harmful gender norms can have severe effects for boys, too.
Location also keeps children from school. Children from rural areas are more than twice as likely to be out of primary school than their urban peers. In conflict zones, 27 million children are out of school.

Tuesday, 14 July 2020

Bacaan dan Tafsir AL-Qur'an Surat Muhammad Ayat 22 - 23



Tafsir AL-Qur'an Surat Muhammad Ayat 22. Dan seringkali kondisi kalian apabila kalian berpaling dari keimanan terhadap Allah dan ketaatan kepada-Nya bahwa kalian membuat kerusakan di bumi dengan kekufuran dan kemaksiatan serta kalian memutuskan hubungan silaturahmi, sebagaimana kondisi kalian pada jaman jahiliyah.


Tafsir AL-Qur'an Surat Muhammad Ayat 23 . Orang-orang yang disebutkan mempunyai sifat-sifat merusak di bumi dan memutus tali silaturahmi adalah orang-orang yang dijauhkan Allah dari rahmat-Nya, telinga-telinga mereka ditulikan Allah dari mendengar kebenaran dengan pendengaran yang menerima dan pasrah, dan penglihatan mereka dibutakan Allah dari melihat kebenaran dengan penglihatan yang mengambil pelajaran

Sunday, 12 July 2020

These are the colleges where black students really matter

When New York’s black high school seniors return to school in the fall and start looking ahead to college admissions, historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) should be at the top of their lists.
As protests over racism continue to ripple across the country, HBCUs offer a safe haven where young minds can feel truly embraced by a racially diverse faculty who will empower them for the future. According to US Department of Education statistics, 75 percent of all black people with a doctorate degree (and four fifths of all black federal judges) received their undergraduate training at HBCUs. With typically lower tuition fees and a more integrated staff than traditionally white institutions, HBCUs are a more affordable and supportive way for black kids to level the playing field.
Today, there are 107 HBCUs, and the majority of them are in the South, so NYC high school students have no choice but to look farther away from home to places like Claflin University, Morehouse College, Tuskegee University and Howard University. They might feel nervous, but the journey will be worth it. Take it from me — I went from Yonkers, NY, to Claflin University, a private HBCU in Orangeburg, SC, where I received an incredible education from some of the brightest minds teaching the art of public speaking, philosophy and Black History.
I learned some surprising fun facts, too, including one about Martin Luther King Jr. not being born “Martin.” He didn’t get that name until his father came back from a church-related trip and began to call himself Martin Luther King instead of Michael King in honor of the Protestant leader. On July 23, 1957 — 28 years after his birth — King Jr.’s birth certificate was revised. Dr. King, Rosa Parks and Thurgood Marshall all attended HBCUs. In addition to having the most iconic and prestigious black alumni base in the world, here are three more reasons why HBCUs shine:
A compelling historical background: The majority of HBCUs came about after the end of the Civil War. Former slaves knew that education was their ticket to the future, and they applied the same skills they had learned as slaves to their schools’ curriculums — including painting, architecture, farming, stonemasonry, cooking, carpentry, nursing and more. During the 1930s and 1940s, when many Jewish intellectuals left Europe after the rise of Nazism and could not find work in the US due to anti-Semitism, HBCUs embraced them with open arms. While much of America was still practicing anti-Semitism, racism and prejudice in the 1940s, Albert Einstein lectured at Lincoln University of Pennsylvania, an HBCU.
They have always been open and loving institutions: HBCUs weren’t created as a way to go against the dominant society; they were created because the dominant society wouldn’t allow blacks to enroll in other schools. And contrary to popular belief, HBCUs are not just schools with black students. Some HBCUs even have more white students than they do black students. Bluefield State College in West Virginia was founded in 1895 to educate the children of black coal miners. Today, this HBCU is over 80 percent white. Many HBCUs also have students who are open and proud members of the LGBTQIA+ community. In 2019, the country’s only all-male HBCU, Morehouse College, opened its enrollment to transgender men, stating that, “Morehouse accepts applications from those who live and self-identify as men.”
The culture is unparalleled to any other type of institution in the country: A culture of black excellence thrives at HBCUs, producing some of our most prominent leaders including Kamala Harris, Stacey Abrams, Toni Morrison and Chadwick Boseman, to name just a few. But HBCUs are also renowned for their warm hospitality and homestyle Southern cooking, which tastes just as good as the knowledge you’re receiving. What other collegiate dining halls serve peach cobbler, macaroni and cheese and cornbread? Come on now. (It’s no wonder that I put on weight during my undergraduate years.) All of this: delicious food, a family-like atmosphere, manicured lawns, pristine buildings, top-notch tuition and abundant love from professors is everything that black students — no, all students — need now more than ever.
Dennis Richmond Jr. is a freelance journalist and the author of “He Spoke at My School: An Educational Journey.” He is the founder and director of The New York-New Jersey Historically Black College and University Initiative, which prepares students by exposing them to opportunities only found at HBCUs.

Thursday, 9 July 2020

Return to School During COVID-19


A big question parents have right now is how students can go back to school safely during COVID-19. The latest American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) advice says children learn best when they are in school. However, returning to school needs careful steps in place to keep students and staff safe.

Why students should go back to school–safely

The AAP guidance is based on what pediatricians and infectious disease specialists know about COVID-19 and kids. Evidence so far suggests that children and adolescents are less likely to have symptoms or severe disease from infection. They also appear less likely to become infected or spread the virus.
Schools provide more than just academics to children and adolescents. In addition to reading, writing and math, children learn social and emotional skills, get exercise and access to mental health support and other things that cannot be provided with online learning. For many families, school is where kids get healthy meals, access to the internet, and other vital services.

What schools can do

To stay safe, there are a number of steps schools should take to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. They include:
Physical distancing. The goal should be to stay at least 6 feet apart to help prevent the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19. However, spacing desks at least 3 feet apart and avoiding close contact may have similar benefits for students--especially if students wear cloth face coverings and do not have symptoms of illness.
Teachers and staff, who are likely more at risk of getting COVID-19 from other adults than from children at school, should stay the full 6 feet apart from each other and students when possible. Teachers and staff should also wear cloth face coverings and limit in-person meetings with other adults.
When possible, outdoor spaces can be used for instruction and meals. Students should also have extra space to spread out during activities like singing and exercising.
Cloth face coverings & hand hygiene. Frequent hand washing with soap and water is important for everyone. In addition, all adults should wear cloth face coverings. Preschool and elementary students can benefit from wearing masks if they do not touch their mouths or noses a lot. Secondary school students should wear cloth face masks, especially when they can't stay a safe distance apart.
Classroom changes. To help limit student interaction outside the classroom, schools can:
  • Have teachers move between classrooms, rather than having students fill the hallways during passing periods.
  • Allow students to eat lunches at their desks or in small groups outdoors instead of in crowded lunchrooms.
  • Leave classroom doors open to help reduce high touch surfaces such as doorknobs.
Temperature checks and testing. COVID testing ​of all students is not possible for most schools. Taking students' temperature at school also may not always be feasible. Schools should establish ways to identify students with fever or other symptoms of illness. ​They can also frequently remind students, teachers, and staff to stay home if they have a fever of 100.4 degrees or higher or have any signs of illness.
Cleaning and disinfecting. Schools should follow CDC guidelines on proper disinfecting and sanitizing classrooms and common areas.

Buses, hallways and playgrounds

Since these are often crowded spaces, schools can:
  • Give bus riders assigned seats and require them to wear a cloth face coverings while on the bus. Encourage students who have other ways to get to school to use those options.
  • At school, mark hallways and stairs with one-way arrows on the floor to cut down on crowding in the halls.
  • Outdoor activities are encouraged, so students should be allowed to use the playground in small groups.

Other considerations

In addition to having plans in place to keep students safe, there are other factors that school communities need to address:
Pressure to catch up. Students may not have gained as much from distance learning. Some students may not have had access to computers and internet. Schools should be prepared to adjust curricula and not expect to make up all lost progress. It is important to balance core subjects with physical education and other learning experiences.
Students with disabilities. The impact of schools being closed may have been greater for students with disabilities. They may have a difficult time transitioning back to school after missing out on instruction time as well as school-based services such as occupational, physical and speech-language therapy and mental health support counseling. School should review the needs of each child with an Individual Education Program before they return to school, and providing services even if they are done virtually.
Immunizations. It is important as students return to school that they are up to date on their immunizations. It will be critical that stud​ents and staff get their flu shot this year to reduce the spread of influenza this fall and winter. Your pediatrician is available now to make sure you child is ready for school.
Exams. ​ If your child participates in extracurricular activities like sports or band, talk with your pediatrician to see if they need a preparticipation physical exam.  Kewell-child visits​ are also important.  
Behavioral health/emotional support. Your child's school should anticipate and be prepared to address a wide range of mental health needs of students and staff. Schools should provide mental health support to any student struggling with stress from the pandemic and recognize students who show signs of anxiety or distress. Schools also can help students with suicidal thoughts or behavior get needed support.
Nutrition. Many students receive healthy meals through school meal programs More students might be eligible for free or reduced meals than before the pandemic. Schools should provide meal programs even if the school closes or the student is sick and stays home from school.
Students at higher risk. While COVID-19 school policies can reduce risk, they will not prevent it entirely. Even with safety steps in place, some students with high-risk medical conditions may need to continue distance learning or other accommodations. Talk with your pediatrician and school staff (including school nurses) to determine if your child can safely return to school.

Remember

Returning to school during the COVID-19 pandemic may not feel like normal – at least for a while. But having school plans in place can help keep students, staff, and families safe.
Schools should also prepare to close again and temporarily switch to distance learning if there are new waves of COVID-19 infection.