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5 Minute Changemaker: Cultivating Gratitude

Written by Marsha Rakestraw | No Comments | Published on December 26, 2015 | Filed under Humane Connection

by Marsha Rakestraw Like many other skills, gratitude can be cultivated through attention, effort, and practice. Studies show that gratitude has a variety of benefits, including helping us be happier, healthier, and more compassionate toward… More

two girls holding up peace signs toward a bridgetwo girls holding up peace signs toward a bridge

Children’s Picture Books About War and Peace

Written by Marsha Rakestraw | 4 Comments | Published on December 7, 2015 | Filed under Humane Connection

by Marsha Rakestraw Some children have known war their entire lives. As journalist and peace teacher, Colman McCarthy says, “Why are we violent, but not illiterate? Because we are taught to read.” We teach children… More

wall of mouths made of sandwall of mouths made of sand

5 Minute Changemaker: Language Matters

Written by Marsha Rakestraw | No Comments | Published on July 9, 2015 | Filed under Humane Connection

by Marsha Rakestraw We can kill two birds with one stone. The dog wagged its tail. I’m feeling crazy. That movie was so lame. That’s so gay. Our everyday language is filled with messages, framing,… More

Humane Educator’s Toolbox: Greater Good in Action

Written by Marsha Rakestraw | No Comments | Published on June 18, 2015 | Filed under Humane Connection

Like any good habit, cultivating strengths such as empathy, forgiveness, compassion, and gratitude takes practice. And it often helps to have a little guidance. Our friends at the Greater Good Science Center (in partnership with… More

Greater Good in Action

Written by Marsha Rakestraw | Published on June 1, 2015 | Filed under Citizenship & Community, Communication, Health, Humane Living, Resources, Websites

The Greater Good Science Center (and Hope Lab) has created a new resource, Greater Good in Action, which features “dozens of science-based exercises to boost personal well-being.” The site offers exercises in a dozen categories… More

human mind illustrationhuman mind illustration

Under the Influence: Our New Social Psychology Global Issues Guide

Written by Marsha Rakestraw | No Comments | Published on April 9, 2015 | Filed under Humane Connection

As humane educators and changemakers it’s important that we understand what motivates and drives people and what inspires or prevents them from forming new habits and making certain choices. It’s also essential that we know… More

Book cover: Ordinary Mary's Extraordinary DeedBook cover: Ordinary Mary's Extraordinary Deed

Ordinary Mary’s Extraordinary Deed

by Emily Pearson

Written by Marsha Rakestraw | Published on February 4, 2015 | Filed under Books, Children's Books, Citizenship & Community, Early Childhood, Elementary, Language Arts, Media & Culture, Resources

Mary is just an ordinary girl, but her simple act of kindness – picking a bowlful of blueberries and leaving them for a neighbor – sparks a pay-it-forward bonanza of kind acts, which leads to… More

holiday tree with a blue starholiday tree with a blue star

Creating the Season of Compassionate Alchemy

Written by Lynne Westmoreland | No Comments | Published on December 24, 2014 | Filed under Humane Connection

This is the time of year when we celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwaanza, the winter solstice, or any other number of spiritual observances that focus our attention on the return of light, of hope, of integrity,… More

teacher helping student in classteacher helping student in class

Why We Need Humane Education: Our Expectations of Students Matter

Written by Marsha Rakestraw | No Comments | Published on November 24, 2014 | Filed under Humane Connection

Numerous studies have shown that when educators expect more of their students, they get more; and the reverse is also true. Our expectations of our students come through in our language, our behavior, and in… More

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In Trying to Do Good, Have You Lost Sight of the Bigger Picture?

Written by Marsha Rakestraw | No Comments | Published on June 23, 2014 | Filed under Humane Connection

Browse bookshelves and blogs and you’ll find stories of people striving toward extraordinary goals: zero waste, plastic-free, gender-neutral, a level 5 vegan, no products made in China. Reducing the harm we cause is an important… More