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

February 2015 :: Cities Are Now   Facebook Like button Twitter Follow button

“My two favorite things in life are bicycles and librarians. They both keep things moving forward without wasting anything.”
—Peter Gelkin

Dear Educator,

You don’t have to live in a city to appreciate the winter issue of YES! Magazine, Cities Are Now. You’ll find stories of cities taking action on big challenges like poverty, climate change, and immigration. Learn about 10 Climate Conscious Cities where urban forests, 20-minute neighborhoods, and environmental sensors are reining in carbon—and preparing for the future. Be inspired by a Baltimore public school teacher with the Algebra Project who explains why it pays to put kids in control.

This newsletter also offers an educator’s story on how teaching her students to practice awareness honors the memory of four slain Kent State students. An infographic explores transportation for a new generation. And a video shares the magic of Bruce Farrer’s project, where his freshman students write a 10-page letter to themselves and get it back 20 years later.


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Jing Fong
Education Outreach Manager

P.S. Sign up today for the spring student writing contest. Students will reflect on learning that matters to them in response to the YES! interview with teacher activist Curtis Acosta, published in the popular Fall 2014 Education Uprising issue.


Photo by Karen Cunningham.Practicing Awareness: A Living Memorial to Four Slain Kent State Students

In the spring of 2013, Kent State Professor Karen Cunningham took an above-and-beyond approach to the YES! National Student Writing Competition. She used the article “What Can Change When We Learn to See Each Other” to challenge students to practice empathy and compassion in their everyday lives, and then write about their experiences. The results, for both Professor Cunningham and her students, were life-changing. This is Karen’s story.


Photo by Barbara Hansen.The Page That Counts

How long is the world’s largest beaver dam? In American preschools, black students represent 18 percent of enrollment, but what percentage do they represent of the suspensions? With your students, explore 16 other thought-provoking statistics on The Page That Counts.

Ecosystem InfographicTo Save Our Ecosystems, Stop Overloading Them

How are we overloading Earth’s ecosystems? This graphic cleverly illustrates how nature uses cycles to keep life on earth balanced, and how human activity is disrupting those systems.


The Knotted LineThe Knotted Line

Get your students ready for an imaginative ride through history. The Knotted Line uses interactive media and over 50 paintings—representing historic and future events from 1495 to 2025—to explore the relationship between freedom and incarceration in America.

Photo from visual.ly.Infographic: Transportation for the New Generation

Walk! Bike! Ride the bus! Check out this infographic to learn how young people are leading the way in replacing driving with alternative transportation. Don’t be fooled—it’s not just because they want to save the planet.


Still from KarmaTube video.A Letter to My 14-Year Old Self

For over 50 years, Bruce Farrer has asked his freshman students to write a 10-page handwritten letter to themselves in which they disclose their hopes, fears, and life experiences. Twenty years later, he returns their letters in the post or in person.


Photo by Jesse Varner, Flickr.Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea

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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Each quarter, we take on today’s critical issues with a fresh and positive point of view. Our stories fuse powerful ideas and practical actions, and inspire people to create a better world.