Powerful and practical ways to bring outside learning inside your classroom, featuring curriculum resources from Teaching Tolerance. Also, visual learning, poetry and new posters.
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YES! Education Connection Newsletter YES! Education Connection Newsletter
Powerful Ideas, Practical Actions    March 2010
America’s melting pot isn’t going to create a bland, homogeneous porridge so much as a deeply flavored, spicy stew!” —Louie Gong, MAVIN Foundation

Image from Teaching Tolerance's lesson plan Beyond the Golden Rule. Illustration reproduced by kind permission of Vincent Nguyen
Illustration © Vincent Nguyen / Shannon Associates

Dear Educators,

There’s an unwritten rule that to avoid controversy, don’t talk about race, religion, or politics. The fact is: we’re a truly multiracial society. Do we embrace it? Confront it? Fear it?

YES! Magazine’s current issue, America: The Remix, can help your students understand the complexities of who they are and the beauty of our country’s diversity. The issue is brimming with stories and classroom tools about building a nation that is consciously inclusive.

We’re also pleased to feature Teaching Tolerance’s Teaching Diverse Students Initiative. This smart collection of research-based resources simulates encounters that will confront your attitudes about race and privilege and help you teach every student.

Jing Fong, Education Outreach Manager, YES! MagazineBest,
Jing's signature
Jing Fong
Education Outreach Manager, YES! Magazine

P.S. With the coming of spring, let’s renew our commitment to build a better world for all. Start by forwarding this newsletter to a colleague today!

Your Stories

Walter Davis with his students at Rising S.T.A.R.S. Male Academy. Photo courtesy of Walter Davis
Why Race Has Everything To Do With Who and How I Teach
by Walter Davis
In urban Atlanta, Walter Davis teaches at a school within a school. It’s a school just for young teenage boys—all of whom are people of color. Read how Walter pours his heart, humor, and love for literature into empowering his students to believe in themselves, to be excellent students, and—ultimately—to become successful fathers, husbands, brothers, and professionals. This is Walter’s story.

MORE OF YOUR STORIES: Growing Good People. Beauty of Teenagers. Free to Be Me. Starting with Place. Chicken Soup for the Soul in the Classroom. The Power of Youth.

SEND US your own story to share with our growing network of YES! educators.

YES! Recommends
Image from Teaching Tolerance's lesson plan Beyond the Golden Rule. Illustration reproduced by kind permission of Vincent Nguyen
Illustration © Vincent Nguyen / Shannon Associates

Today, many students are taught by someone who does not share their ethnicity, language, or culture. How can teachers effectively teach diverse students when they struggle with their own understanding of race?

The Teaching Diverse Students Initiative is the product of some of the leading scholars in multicultural education. Its tools focus on classroom strategies and pedagogy to reach all students. It also offers ways to reduce teacher and student prejudice. The unit “Understanding the Influence of Race” prompts you to take an honest look at your own beliefs and behavior about race, and see more clearly how and why your students of color may succeed or struggle. The teaching kit “The Power of Words” has eight lesson plans (grades 9-12) that explore words used to label ethnic groups, genders, and sexual identities.

You’ll also find other Teaching Tolerance treats, such as Mix It Up activities and their most current issue of Teaching Tolerance magazine, “The New Segregation.”

YES! Classroom Tools

100 Years of Progress toward a Multiracial nation. YES! Magazine Poster
Progress Toward a Multiracial Nation Poster
Did you know that in 1947 Jackie Robinson was baseball’s first African American player, but today 40 percent of MLB rosters are players of color? Your students will be fascinated by this timeline of events that chronicles America’s struggles and triumphs toward becoming a truly multiracial nation.

Page That Counts graphic
Page That Counts
Tease your students’ curiosity with strange-but-true statistics, from risks involved in washing your clothes to Facebook’s meteoric surge in popularity from 2008 to 2009.

Noah and Fode from Mike Tauber's book Blended Nation
Blended Nation Photo Essay
Mike Tauber’s “Blended Nation” photo essay explores the complexities and beauty of racial identity through stunning portraits and intimate interviews about what it means to be a mixed-race individual.

Photo Courtesy of the American Anthropological Association
Signs of a New Identity
As America becomes a more diverse nation, it also has the potential to become a whole nation. Meet the people and organizations who are embracing, not fearing this change.

Curriculum and Resources
Young people develop their assumptions and beliefs based on stereotypes and limited experience. It’s not unusual for some kids to have little exposure to people different than themselves. Here are resources and lesson plans that will help them explore race and the experiences of multiracial people.

Detail from the Bill of Rights. Image courtesy of National Archives and Records Administration.
50 Experiences of Racially Mixed People
Half of America’s multiethnic persons are under 20 years old. Have your students read Dr. Maria Root’s 50 Experiences of Racially Mixed People. Ask them to step in the shoes of a multiracial person and wonder, “Where do I belong?”

Image from website of Understanding Race
Understanding Race
Current science tells us we share a common ancestry, and the differences among people aren’t as great as they seem. Through three interactive lenses—history, science, and lived experience—the RACE Project will challenge how your students think about race.
Words that Inspire

Northern Sky. Photo by Gary Braasch
Northern Sky. Photo by Gary Braasch

by Charles John Pace

“the morning is my lamp and I say yes
the rain that dances slowly is a sister of the sun
so I shall smile and eat bright candy
on the funny prismed bow of sister's streaming hair
I will paint the yellow leaves a different hue
and sing forever on the land that is my mother
and is yes…”

Do you ever walk into your classroom and sense this feeling of no from your students? Do I have to do this? Do I have to do that? Do you simply want to shout, “Let’s be a classroom of YES!” Yes, I want to get along with others. Yes, I want to work hard. Yes, you are my favorite teacher!

The author of the poem had every reason to say no, but he chose to say yes. To read the complete poem and how you might inspire your students to be a classroom of YES!, click here.

YES! Magazine logo
INDEX: in this issue
How to Get More YES!
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Show the world your positive attitude. This large tote is strong, environmentally friendly, and a great conversation starter!
POSTERS: choose from our wide selection including 17 Rules for a Sustainable Community by Wendell Berry.
YES! Poster: 17 Rules for a Sustainable Community by Wendell Berry
School Library Offer
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Thanks to the generosity of YES! donors, we are able to provide middle school, high school, college, and university librarians with a one-year introductory subscription at no cost.

YES! Web Picks
Image from Charter from Compassion video VIDEO Charter for Compassion
Behold what happens when 150,000 inspirational thinkers and leaders from 180 countries reconstruct the Golden Rule.

Nina Jablonski speaking at the TED conferenceThe Illusion and Power of Skin Color
Anthropologist Nina Jablonski has a lot to say about how our skin affects how we are perceived.

MUSIC Image from CD cover of Seis presents Susana Braca Music to Sweeten your Mood
Afro-Peruvian jazz singer Susana Baca, toe-tapping melodies of Neil Halstead, and “By the People” soundtrack featuring Springsteen, Mayer, and more.

YES! in Spanish
Visual Learning
Dresses in Tehran. Photo by Abdi Sami
Are You Really What You Wear?
Use this photo to ask your students what they notice and are wondering. Then share the facts behind the image to connect to greater understanding and discovery.

Visual Learning Lesson Plan
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