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Want To Change How Kids See The World? Teach Them A Second Language

For children, bilingualsm is much more than simply being able to speak in a different language.

photo via (cc) flickr user CTG/SF

As a child in a dual-language elementary school, my teachers liked to explain that learning another language would enable me to meet more people, have conversations in new places, and generally be a better citizen of the world. And while my bilingual skills have gone woefully underused since my grade-school graduation, I am thankful for being exposed to a second language, if only for the fact that it’s given me an added “skills” line on my resume, and the ability to – every once in a while – randomly surprise some of the kiosk workers at my local mall. But, as it turns out, my learning a second language at a young age may, in fact, have affected me more profoundly than I, or anyone else for that matter, previously knew.

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What Does a Whole Child-Centered School Look Like?

A Canadian High School enables students and families to learn and connect in a culturally rich environment.


Many schools have a vision for providing a whole child education—one that nurtures a student’s academic, emotional, and physical needs and prepares them for the real world. Given the narrow focus on academic achievement and test scores in today’s education climate, few campuses are actually able to make that vision a reality.

For the past three years, ASCD, the international education leadership association, has identified schools that are proving to be models of whole child education and recognized their accomplishments through their annual Whole Child Award. This year’s winner, Byrne Creek Secondary School, a 7-year-old, 1,250-student high school located in the Vancouver area, enables students and families to learn and connect in a culturally rich environment.

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New Petition Asks Obama to See Children as More Than Test Scores

The petition calls for the creation of a committee on the "whole child."


Do you believe that every student deserves to be "healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged?" If so, you’ll want to sign a new petition asking the Obama administration to create a President’s Council on the Whole Child.

Molly McCloskey, the managing director of whole child programs for ASCD, the nonprofit educational leadership organization that created the petition, says existing child development efforts often focus on one specific issue, like improving kids' health or eliminating bullying. But research on high-quality schools shows addressing emotional, physical, and academic needs together is essential to make students "college-, career-, and citizenship-ready."

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