Blog

tree hugger

Becoming Humane Beings (lesson plans)

by Marsha Rakestraw Right at the start of the school year is a great time to encourage students to think about the world they live in, the choices they make, what a humane world looks like, and the power they have to help bring such a world to reality. What does it mean to become…

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class

5 Simple Tips for Creating a Compassionate Classroom

by Samantha Gentrup As teachers get ready for the school year, we have to decide what our classrooms will look like and what our rules and procedures will be. We essentially have to create our classroom culture. What can we do to make sure we build a classroom of kindness and compassion for all beings?…

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#FridayFeature: 3 Videos About Intersectionality

by Marsha Rakestraw Less than two months ago, Justine Damond was shot and killed by a Minneapolis police officer for an unknown reason. Her story has repeatedly made international headlines. Many people are now familiar with her name and her tragic story. Justine was a white woman. Many people also recognize these names: Eric Garner….

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Resources for Teaching About Charlottesville, White Supremacy, Racism, and Hate

by Marsha Rakestraw Over the weekend, hatred and violence descended on Charlottesville, Virginia, as white nationalists amassed  to “take America back,” and opponents gathered to protest white supremacy and oppression. On Friday night white supremacists marched on the University of Virginia campus, carrying torches, chanting, and surrounding a small group of counterprotesters. On Saturday, people…

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5 Minute Changemaker: Say No to Plastic Straws

by Marsha Rakestraw Plastic straws are one of those little things we don’t think much about. We pop them in our to-go drinks. Restaurants often automatically include them with our beverages. They’re readily available at restaurants, bars, cafeterias, special events, and so on. But ask this turtle and all the other sea animals, and they’ll…

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Saving Animals and Empowering People Through Humane Education: An Interview With Tod Emko

Tod Emko is a conservationist from New York City. While Emko’s “day job” is as a web developer for Blue State Digital, a cause-oriented agency that managed both Obama Presidential campaigns online, he spends a lot of his time as an educator and changemaker. After having crewed with Sea Shepherd Global for several years, Emko…

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books

4 Books About Transgender Youth

by Marsha Rakestraw Not only do people who are transgender have to deal with bullying, violence, and bigotry, but young people also must frequently grapple with changing bodies, unsupportive families and schools, and the challenges of navigating a very unique experience. Children who may be transgender need to read about others who share their experiences,…

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marisol doesn't match

5 Children’s Picture Books Celebrating Identity

by Marsha Rakestraw Even we adults struggle with our identity, so imagine how challenging it is for children, in a world full of mixed messages, stereotypes, and media and cultural pressures. Celebrating identity is a powerful and vital part of raising healthy, compassionate, thriving young citizens. Here are 5 children’s picture books that celebrate identity….

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Resources for Teaching About Environmental Racism and Environmental Justice

by Marsha Rakestraw (Almost) every being on Earth shares a common need for clean air, water, and shelter. But we don’t share equitable access. For example: More than half of people who live close to hazardous waste are people of color. Black children are twice as likely to suffer from lead poisoning than are white…

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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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