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Everyone's Talking

In the last issue of YES! we buried in the fine print an important announcement. You probably missed it—I've talked with lots of avid readers who did. So let me now call your attention to a new commitment we're making to you, our readers.

Starting with the Fall 2000 issue, we are making available a discussion guide for each new issue of YES! Magazine. Carol Estes, our associate editor, has volunteered to frame provocative questions that groups can use to plunge into a discussion of the topics raised by each issue.

You won't find the discussion guide in the magazine, where space is at a premium. Instead, find it on line at www.yesmagazine.org/departments/discussion-guides

We've started this service because many of you tell us that you like to discuss articles from YES! with friends (and sometimes even with relatives). Some of you are already in study groups in your church or neighborhood, while others are interested in starting such a group.
We're eager to support your explorations of key issues that shape our future. We know that when people gather in groups to talk with mutual respect about the critical issues of our time, they create a powerful avenue for constructive social change.

Are you using YES! in the classroom? Our discussion guides are designed for informal adult discussion groups. But we're also hearing from teachers who want to use YES! in their classes. They want to move beyond Time and Newsweek to help their students see that deep change is not only possible but is underway right now, set in motion by ordinary citizens just like themselves. We're eager to respond to that interest. Getting YES! into the hands of young people at a time when they are beginning to make lifelong choices could be one of the most important things we do.

We plan to develop and test teaching guides designed for high school teachers for several past issues of YES! Each guide will contain lesson plans, teaching strategies, information on alignment with state and national standards, and suggestions for further readings. We're teaming up with the Sustainability Education Center in New York, an organization with years of experience developing and distributing sustainability curricula through their networks of educators. Jaime Cloud, who heads the Center, believes teachers and students will love the positive, ad-free, practical approach to sustainability found in YES! She and her colleagues, along with Carol Estes, will develop and test the guides and promote their use within their networks of teachers.

Once we've developed a model that works well for teachers and students, we'll begin providing teaching guides with each new issue of YES! Then we'll be ready to mount a major campaign to help thousands of teachers connect their students with an international community of people working for positive change.

If you're a teacher, we'd like to hear from you. We'd especially like to know if you have used YES! in your classes and if you have suggestions for us as we launch this new project. You'll find some of our questions at the end of this column — please email or write to us about your ideas and experiences.

I'm delighted that we can offer these new services as one more way to inspire hope and engagement in shaping our collective future. I would love to hear your reactions.

Looking for Interns and Fellows Each quarter we have a wonderful energetic crew of young interns at our offices. They do research for the magazine, work on our Web site, get YES! out to advocacy groups, assist with grantwriting and fundraising, and help with marketing. We also have positions for fellows — people with experience related to our work who want to be part of our organization for six months to a year. One such fellow position is to develop the education and discussion group programs described above. We cannot provide a stipend for these positions, but we do provide free housing on Bainbridge Island within walking distance of our office. If you're interested, please  see our Web site, "Jobs & Internships" under the About menu.

P.S. This is the time of year when I get to open responses from subscribers and friends to our Fall letter. I want to thank all of you who make donations and give YES! as a gift.
I am always so moved by your generosity. It's your donations and gift subscriptions that make YES! possible—and I thank you warmly.

YES! in the Classroom:
Have you ever used YES! in the classroom? Interested in doing so? We'd love to hear from you. We want to know:
where you teach,
what level and subject,
how you have used YES! in your classes,
what you would find helpful in a teaching guide,
how you receive YES! (own subscription? library?),
whether you'd like to participate in a pilot test of our prototype teaching guides, and
any comments or suggestions you'd like to add.


Fran Korten is Executive Director of the Positive Futures Network.

 

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