Happy Thanksgiving from the Communities In Schools family!
This year, we are thankful for all of our site coordinators and staff members who work tirelessly to help students stay in school and achieve in life.
We’re also thankful for the generous community partners, volunteers and donors who have made countless contributions to our mission. And of course, we’re thankful for our Facebook fans, Twitter followers and blog readers, who are always excited to learn more about Communities In Schools and spread the word about our work.
And we are especially thankful for the students we serve, who show us how to look ahead in the face of adversity and who, despite the challenges they face, are always ready to make a positive difference in their communities.
What are you thankful for on this special day? Share it in our comments section!
Thanksgiving marks the start of the holiday season, replete with shopping, spending, gift wrapping and the stress that comes with it. Sometimes, all of the stress makes us forget what the holiday season is about: friendship, family, giving and love.
Communities In Schools Founder and Vice Chairman Bill Milliken always says that Thanksgiving is his favorite holiday, because rather than thinking about the gifts we’ll get, we give thanks to those around us who make our lives special.
Watch Bill’s special video message, and remember to let your gratitude shine this season.
Imagination Foundation: Last October, the world was invited to play in Caine’s Arcade, an arcade built out of cardboard, packing tape and imagination by a nine-year-old boy from East Los Angeles. Since filmmaker Nirvan Mullick made a short film about Caine and the amazing toys he built in his father’s car parts storefront, thousands of people have visited the arcade and donated enough money to pay for Caine’s college education. And millions of children have been inspired to invent their own wonderful games out of boxes and dreams. Mullick also created the Imagination Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to “finding, fostering and funding creativity and entrepreneurship in kids.”
So this October 6, exactly one year since Caine’s Arcade became an online sensation, the Imagination Foundation is hosting the “Global Cardboard Challenge.” Children and adults from around the world are invited to get creative and build their own toys out of cardboard and share them with their communities. Visit the Imagination Foundation’s website to organize a Global Cardboard Challenge event in your neighborhood, or learn where you can play!
Chronicle of Philanthropy: Thanksgiving is the official kickoff of the holiday shopping season. Right after we’re done digesting all that turkey and mashed potatoes, there’s Black Friday and a weekend of deals. Then there is Cyber Monday. And now there’s…Giving Tuesday?
This holiday season, nonprofits across America are encouraging shoppers to open their wallets for donations, rather than presents. Organizations like Charity: Water, GlobalGiving, Kiva and the United Nations Foundation are spreading the word through social media, and are using the hashtag #GivingTuesday on Twitter.
Do you think an event like Giving Tuesday could catch on with consumers, like Cyber Monday has? Sound off in our comments section.
Education Week: While the four-year graduation rate for black males has been on the uptick over the last decade, a study released Wednesday morning revealed that they still have a long way to go before they are at the same level as their Hispanic and white peers.
The study, conducted by the Schott Foundation for Public Education, revealed that during the 2009-2010 school year, 52 percent of black males graduated from high school with a regular diploma within four years. In that same span of time, 58 percent of Hispanic males graduated, and 78 percent of white males got their diplomas. In 10 years, the achievement gap between black males and white males has only closed by three percent.
“We recognize the progress, but at that rate it would take over 50 years for black males to be on par with white, non-Hispanic males,” said John H. Jackson, president and chief executive officer of the Schott Foundation.
The study offers numerous reasons to explain the achievement gap, and what schools across America can do to close it once and for all. Read the full report on the Schott Foundation’s website.
Doesn’t it feel like the holiday season starts a little earlier every year?
Tracey Savell Reavis and Project Find volunteers on Thanksgiving Day.
We’ve hardly finished handing out (or in my case, eating) all the Halloween candy when we’re bombarded with Black Friday ads and Christmas sales. You can’t turn your head without running into a commercial telling you that it’s not a true holiday season without giving and receiving the hottest, trendiest presents.
It can be awfully hard not to get overwhelmed by all the ads – and the expectations. We need to keep in mind that the holiday season isn’t solely reserved for shiny, store-bought things; it’s about the time and care we dedicate to make someone’s life a little brighter.
What do you do to make your community a brighter place during the holidays? Some of our national staff members shared their favorite ways to give back during the holidays. And we would love to hear what you do as well! Feel free to share in the comments section. View full article »
Every Thanksgiving, I have a horrible habit of eating myself into a “food coma.” I don’t just put some turkey, stuffing and sweet potatoes on my plate. I pile that plate a mile high with everything on the buffet table. And after I eat all that food, I sit on the sofa, flip on A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, and proceed not to move for the next few hours while I digest all that tryptophan.
Nothing in the world can move me while I try to digest a Thanksgiving meal. Usually nothing.