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April 2016 Newsletter :: Life After Oil

Dear Educator,

How do you get to school? Bus or train? Walking, biking, carpooling? Driving by yourself? Whatever your mode of transportation, was your choice out of necessity or out of convenience?

In the heat of our fossil-fueled way of life, climate activist Bill McKibben warns us that if we want a habitable world, we need to leave carbon in the ground. The current issue of YES! Magazine, Life After Oil, explores how we can do that—and helps us imagine a world where letting go of convenience isn’t punishing, but rewarding.

Explore how to live more regionally, from electric bike commutes to local fish for lunch. Be gobsmacked by NASA climate scientist Peter Kalmus’ story, How Far Can We Get Without Flying? as Kalmus explains how (and why) he gave up airline travel and ended up closer to his community and parents.

This is our last newsletter for the school year, but there are other ways I’ll be in touch. Winners of our spring student writing contest will be announced in mid-May. And, in August we’ll share our most popular classroom resources of 2016 and details for our fall student writing competition.

Wishing you smooth sailing through the end of the school year, and a summer filled with adventure and wonder.

Best,
Jing Fong
Jing Fong signature
Jing Fong
Education Outreach Manager, YES! Magazine
P.S. Check out this TV news story on Naomi Blair, Powerful Voice winner from our Fall 2015 student writing contest. The Kirkwood, Missouri junior’s essay was about the prejudice she faces in her AP class and the experiment she’s doing to encourage her school to talk about race.

Your Stories

Your Stories
In 2010, former Los Angeles Superior Court law clerk Luis Escamilla traded the courtroom for the classroom, where he teaches his immigrant and refugee students English, history, and a worldly understanding of identity and justice. This is Luis’ story. More »

Curriculum and Resources

Curriculum and Resources
This multidisciplinary lesson on carbon emissions was inspired by NASA climate scientist Peter Kalmus. Have your students use our worksheet to calculate their carbon footprints. Then use the discussion questions to have them explore alternatives to fossil fuel consumption. More »
This silent activity encourages trust and empathy among students by prompting them to agree or disagree with statements that become increasingly personal. I consider myself a Republican. I have a learning disability. I feel lonely. What are statements that would help your students better understand and have empathy for their classmates? More »

YES! Classroom Tools

YES! Classroom Tools
Donuts, toothpaste, plastic, oh my! Less than half of the 3.5 gallons of petroleum the average American consumes daily is for gasoline. Your students may be surprised to learn how all the rest is used. More »
What percentage of LGBT students feel unsafe at school? How many hours do Netflix subscribers save annually not watching ads. How much do solar panels cost today? (They were $12/watt in 1998). Explore The Page that Counts for 19 more mind-blowing facts. More »

YES! Webpick

YES! Webpick
In rural Kenya, villagers used to burn wood and kerosene for light. When fuel ran out, there was darkness. A collaborative project run by local women now brings solar lighting. Children can study at night. Pesky wildlife stay clear. Fewer trees are cut. More »

Visual Learning Lesson

Visual Learning Lesson
Ask these three questions about this photo: What do you notice? What are you wondering? And, after uncovering some facts, What’s next? More »
“To overcome fear, you have to go through it, not around it.”
— Jade Woods, Columbus City Preparatory School for Girls, Columbus, OH
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