Powerful ideas and practical actions from YES! Education, supporting teachers and feeding the next generation with stories, curriculum, tools and resources
Powerful ideas and practical actions from YES! Education, supporting teachers and feeding the next generation with stories, curriculum, tools and resources
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YES! Magazine

October 2014 :: The End of Poverty   Facebook Like button Twitter Follow button

“Overcoming poverty is not a gesture of charity. It is an act of justice. It is the protection of a fundamental human right, the right to dignity and a decent life.”
—Nelson Mandela

Dear Educator,

One can see the hardship of poverty on the faces of people sleeping on the streets—and perhaps in the eyes of some of your students. Whose failure is this?

The fall issue of YES! Magazine, “The End of Poverty,” looks at strategies Americans can choose to change the story that “we’ll always have poor people.” Explore the photo essay, “Hopes That Come with Better Pay,” to meet low-wage workers who tell the personal impact of Seattle’s decision to raise the minimum wage to $15/hour. Be inspired by seven Compassionate Communities that provide free dental care, college tuition, and late-night grocery runs.

This newsletter also offers a teacher’s story on how home visits improve student learning. You’ll find a video of slam poet/teacher Craig Smith on the danger of keeping silent, and an online game to help your students understand the challenge of surviving poverty.

Happy Autumn!


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Jing Fong
Education Outreach Manager

P.S. We are changing the emails you receive from us. You’ll receive four Education Connection Newsletters each year (rather than seven) plus quarterly announcements about our National Student Writing Competition. In February we’ll share resources related to the forthcoming issue of YES! about cities that are successfully dealing with climate change, housing foreclosures, transportation, water shortages and other contemporary challenges.


Nick Faber.Getting to Know You: Home Visits Help Teachers and Parents Become Super Partners

In Saint Paul, Minnesota, teacher and union leader Nick Faber helped establish a local home visit project. Nick believes that when a teacher knows his student’s family, together they are the best partners in that child’s learning. This is Nick’s story.


Putin on the moon.The Page That Counts

Who is more likely to know that Egyptians successfully overthrew their government—NPR listeners or FOX viewers? What mammal has a gestation term of 13 days? Look to The Page That Counts for 24 other fascinating facts that will tickle your students’ curiosity!

Money Tree.The Cost of College—Free?

Attending college today may seem nearly impossible because of its runaway cost. Use this infographic to talk about the expense and value of a college education with your students. Plus, a companion article on how Tennessee is offering its high school graduates free community college tuition.


SPENT.Online Game: SPENT

This award-winning online game simulates the difficult decisions someone living in poverty makes each day. The game ends when you either run out of money before the end of the month or have money left over after 30 days. Pay for your pet’s medicine or keep the lights on? Buy health insurance or forego car registration? If you don’t understand the feeling of trying to survive poverty, you will after SPENT.

Nikka Rosa“Nikki-Rosa” Poem by Nikki Giovanni

“Nikki-Rosa,” a poem by Nikki Giovanni, reminds us that we often focus on what someone experiencing poverty is lacking, and ignore what they have—their wealth of love, family, and community. We’ve complemented Giovanni’s poem and a video of her reading it with a ReadWriteThink lesson. Together or separately, these resources will help your students develop their understanding of poverty, explore their childhood experiences, and write about these reflections in a poem.


Clint Smith.The Danger of Silence

When he was a kid, slam poet and teacher Clint Smith once gave up speaking for Lent. He soon discovered that his silence allowed his classmates to be bullied—and that he must use his voice to speak up for truth and justice.


Photo courtesy of the Global Oneness Project.Heart and Sole

Ask these three questions about this photo: What do you notice? What are you wondering? And, after uncovering some facts, What’s next?

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