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tree hugger

Treehuggers: Children’s Picture Books Honoring Trees

by Marsha Rakestraw Trees are mythical, magical and mysterious. We depend upon them for everything from the air we breathe to the inspiration for bad poetry to a source for the very materials that make our lives possible. Kids love trees. They love to climb them, trounce around their leaves, notice who lives in them,…

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10 Tips for Helping End Child Labor

by Marsha Rakestraw Last updated January 31, 2019. “The change starts within each one of us, and ends only when all children are free to be children.” – Craig Kielburger Have you recently purchased a soccer ball? Something embroidered? Something made from cotton? Chocolate? Clothes? Produce? If so, there’s a good chance you’ve purchased something…

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A bulldozer at a landfill pushing around trash

Fifth Graders Follow Their Trash

Humane educator Dr. Elizabeth Crawford helps teachers-in-training develop their competencies in helping their students become global citizens and solutionaries. Students in Elizabeth’s classes create “solutionary” units on a variety of global ethical issues, and then work with classroom teachers to pilot those units. Melinda Wiggins teaches 5th grade for an elementary school in the New…

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eco-friendly

21 Children’s Picture Books for Exploring Eco-Friendly Actions

by Marsha Rakestraw Earth Day may be every day, but our relationship to the natural world often gets a little extra attention in April. Children are hungry to connect with their world and learn what they can do to make a positive difference. Check out these 21 children’s books that help inspire a desire to…

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Dr. Daniel J. Levitin

Thinking Critically in the Post-Truth Era: An Interview With Daniel J. Levitin

by Zoe Weil Daniel J. Levitin is Founding Dean of Arts & Humanities at the Minerva Schools at Keck Graduate Institute, and a Distinguished Faculty Fellow at the Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley. He is an award-winning neuroscientist and educator, and his latest book is Weaponized Lies: How to Think Critically in the Post…

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The Power of Positive Peer Pressure

by Marsha Rakestraw A 2012 survey of teen volunteers revealed that the main reason teens volunteer is because their friends are doing it. As social animals we pay attention to what those around us are doing; and because we like to feel part of the “in” crowd, we’re often willing to conform so that we’re…

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Resources for #WeNeedDiverseBooks

by Marsha Rakestraw When I was a child, I read a lot of books. A lot. And other than the occasional title, like The Snowy Day, the people in all those books looked like me. White. Able-bodied. Heterosexual. Despite our growing population of children of color in the US — who now outnumber white students…

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Embracing Compassion Toward All: An Interview With Author Mark Hawthorne

Mark Hawthorne is an activist and the author of three books on animal rights and social justice: A Vegan Ethic: Embracing A Life Of Compassion Toward All; Bleating Hearts: The Hidden World of Animal Suffering; and Striking at the Roots: A Practical Guide to Animal Activism, which empowers people around the world to get active…

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protestors

5 Assumptions We Should Try to Make About Everyone

by Marsha Rakestraw The recent US election has highlighted a significant divisiveness. And the media and social media have been awash in hate speech and arguments, calls for healing and moving on, judgments, ideas about next steps, and assumptions. Usually when we make assumptions about others, they’re not positive ones. We tend to make split-second…

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humane holiday

Resources for Humane(r) Holidays

by Marsha Rakestraw Spending on holiday gifts increases nearly every year, and despite the pandemic, the National Retail Federation forecasts overall holiday spending of just under $30 billion for 2020. A lot of that money will be spent on clothing made in sweatshops, treats created with child labor and animal exploitation, and packaging-heavy disposable products full…

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