The Way That Barnes & Noble Responded to a 3rd-Grade Class's Letter is Amazing
When third-grade teacher Shaina Belsky encouraged her students to write a letter to Barnes & Noble's leadership in response to their local store closing, she figured it would be a good way to teach them to take action when they faced problems: a teaching opportunity! What Ms. Belsky didn't anticipate was that her suggestion would turn into a total win-win situation.
The students from Daytona Beach, Florida composed a persuasive and personal letter to the CEO of Barnes & Noble, Demos Parneros, sharing their dismay at the loss of the store where they could practice math by looking at sale prices, study, and eat at the cafe. And it worked! A short while later, Barnes & Noble sent Frank Morabito, its VP of retail operations, to tell Ms. Belsky's class that they had been heard.
"The fact that it came from a group of third-graders was really compelling," Mr. Morabito said of the letter. And, speaking on behalf of the whole organization, he told the students: "It was important to us, not only that we didn't disappoint you but we didn't disappoint the community."
From the Chief Executive down, Barnes & Noble's leaders took action to keep the Daytona Beach store open, negotiating to renew the lease that they had been close to losing. Mr. Morabito told the class of young students that it was thanks to their initiative that the negotiations happened.
"It means a lot to me," said a student named Brooke Hoobler, "and it makes me feel like I'm an important part of the world."
Yes you are, Brooke! And a round of applause to Barnes & Noble for this wonderful response to an impassioned request.
Today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day! In 2013, we created this video to mark the 50th anniversary of one of the most moving and poignant events of the last century -- the delivery of the "I Have a Dream" speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. 55 years later, the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. still inspire millions across the world since the day they were spoken on August 8, 1963.
For the past 7 years, Trumbull High School's We The People: The Citizen and the Constitution Program, under the leadership of Social Studies Teacher Katie Boland, has won the We The People state championship title. With more than 28 million students and 75,000 educators who have participated in the Program since its inception in 1987, that's a tremendous feat. This past year the team also came home from the National Competition with the UNIT 3 AWARD or the award for the best non-finalist team for expertise in each unit of competition (How Changes in the Constitution Have Furthered the Ideas in the Declaration of Independence).
Started as a social experiment in Venice Beach, California, the Community Healing Gardens has grown into so much more. Co-founder Nicole Landers initially wanted to develop a framework for introducing new and long-standing residents of her neighborhood to one another, and her mind made a natural leap.
We've met a lot of amazing organizations and non-profits over the years, especially ones that do amazing things to help shelter dogs, who are close to euthanasia, find love and forever homes. Some of these organizations are small and community based, while others cover a larger regional or national footprint. No matter their size, what they do to support these dogs is nothing short of inspirational.
The Trenton Thunder, a minor league baseball affiliate of the NY Yankees, has an unusual way of getting through the dog days of summer. If you attend their home games, you will find Golden Retrievers serving as the "bat dogs" and mascots for the minor league baseball team.
Air Hollywood is the world's largest aviation-themed entertainment studio, but that's not the only feature that makes it special. Every year, for one night only, Air Hollywood opens its hangar to the public for a special event called Open Sky for Autism.
Do you ever wonder how veterans cope with life once they come home from combat? After being trained to be on high-alert 24/7, what's it like for them to integrate back into everyday society? It raises the question: our military members protect us, but who protects them?