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JoyBinge 2.4: Potassium People


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Hi and welcome to JoyBinge! We are Sinow and Kimmy, and we share good stories about good people doing good things! We are covering news from 2019. Not from December 2019, just news that happened sometime in 2019. Get ready to binge on some joy!

News

Moving stories: inside the book buses changing children's lives

  • Written by Anne Cassidy for The Guardian on Nov 5, 2019

  • Stories are one of the easiest ways to pass on lessons to our children, and frankly to adults

  • But reading a book is more crucial to our education than many of us probably give credit

  • Freshta Karim started Charmaghz, a non-profit aimed at providing children with books in Kabul, Afghanistan

  • Karim grew up in Kabul and therefore deeply understands the necessity of travelling libraries for the children in her area

  • Cassidy quotes Karim saying, “A lot of schools in our city don’t have access to something as basic as a library...We were trying to understand what we could do to promote critical thinking in our country.”

  • The article goes on to state, “Afghanistan, for example, has one of the world’s lowest literacy rates, with only three in 10 adults able to read, according to Unesco. The majority of public schools in Kabul do not have libraries and the city’s libraries do not offer many children’s books.”

  • The buses have proven a huge success in the communities they have served

  • Many local businesses and organizations have banned together to support Charmarghz so they can rent the buses to take the needed books, games, and social space to the children

  • They even have a bus that serves as a “mobile cinema”!

  • The buses have been so successful that over 600 kids visit them each day. Karim told Cassidy, “They are often excited...One of our biggest challenges is that so many children want to come inside the bus, we can’t have all of them in one day.”

  • But Charmarghz isn’t the only bus of its kind: the Yes We Can World Foundation runs a bus transformed into a school for Tijuana, Mexico

  • The school serves migrant children whose families are fleeing their home countries to try and move to the United States

  • Since Tijuana is on the border, many families are stuck there while waiting for asylum hearings

  • Estefania Rebellon is the founder of the Yes We Can World Foundation and has a special place in her heart for this particular mission

  • The article states, “Rebellon was inspired to set up the school after volunteering at a Tijuana refugee camp. ‘I saw kids running around without shoes, just malnourished and not having anything to do,’ she says. ‘We needed a fast solution to an urgent problem.’”

  • And beyond her personal experience in Tijuana, Rebellon herself experienced migration has her family fled Colombia when she was a child and they ended up in the United States.

  • The school focuses on teaching English, reading, writing, arithmetic, science, and emotional intelligence as the children are living in a very difficult situation and need to know how to support themselves emotionally.

  • Tel Aviv, Israel has an inventive way of spreading the love of reading by converting an old bus station into “a Yiddish cultural centre and library containing around 60,000 books.”

  • Yiddish, as a spoken language, has experienced a sharp decline over the years, “the most significant [factor] being the Holocaust, in which millions of Yiddish-speaking Jews were killed. Yiddish was further marginalised when Hebrew became the official language of Israel.”

  • So Mendy Cahan who deeply loves Yiddish saw an opportunity to turn this bus station in a place to keep Yiddish alive

  • Cahan had already started YUNG YiDiSH which is a non-profit focused on preserving the culture and learning of Yiddish and when he came across the bus station, all the pieces came together

  • He told Cassidy, “We are a people who travelled a lot...For a cultural centre to be in a place where people move is a good thing.”

  • The article goes on to state, “The library, which also hosts events, concerts and language classes, attracts visitors from a cross-section of communities in Israel. ‘People from traditionally dressed orthodox Hasidim [Hasidic Jews] to youthful anarchistic leftists or LGBTQ people. They like this place, they’re attracted to it in different ways,’ he says.”

  • The end of the article includes a list of other ways people have used public transport to support book initiatives so be sure to check out the article to learn more!

  • Find a book, reading organization, or opportunity with your friends or family to share your love of stories. Even if you aren’t a fan of reading, I’m sure there is a story that has made a lasting impression on your life. We would love to hear about it! Tweet at us at @joybingepodcast or email us or comment on the show wherever you are listening to let us know what stories have impacted you and why!

Homeslice: Scotland Edition

World’s Youngest Teachers Are Babies Who Visit Schools to Teach Students About Empathy – and It’s Working

  • Written by and for the Good News Network from March 28, 2019

  • A few teachers in Greenock, Scotland are bringing their babies to class twice a month to help teach the students about empathy

  • The article states, “The idea originated from a Canadian organization called the Roots of Empathy project. With all of the babies being at different stages of development, curious primary pupils are encouraged to ask questions about what they like to do and how to manage them.”

  • The babies range in age from 3-10 months so the kids are able to see how the baby grows and changes over time

  • The article goes on to say, “Stacey-Lee McLellan, who brings her 8-month-old son to the school for the lessons, says that the troublesome pupils are often the most receptive to meeting the babies. ‘Even for kids who are a little challenging, they really adapt when the babies are in,’ said McLellan. ‘It’s often them who are interacting more on a one-to-one level.’”

  • Another teacher of 6th grade, Charlene McClusky, told GNN “that since her students love to ask questions and hold the hand of her infant son, the lessons have helped the newborn boy be more confident.”

  • She goes on to say, “They ask us lots of different questions about what the babies like to do, how we look after them, what to do if they’re being grumpy…”

  • The teachers have seen a lot of growth from their students understanding not just how growing up works but how much work goes into parenting. What a great opportunity for these students!

Thanks for listening! If you have stories of good people doing good things in your neighborhood or anywhere, send them to us! We’ve got an email, joybingepodcast@gmail.com or tweet at us @joybingepodcast or visit our Facebook page and Instagram account. Be sure to like and rate our show on whichever platform you use so we can continue to grow and share more good news with other people. GO BINGE ON SOME JOY!

The music for this podcast is "Industrious Ferret" by Kevin MacLeod. Thanks for listening and have a great week!

"Industrious Ferret” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

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