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Las opciones de elección de escuela están cambiando para los padres hispanos

(Krissia Campos Spivey) - El 59% de los padres hispanos y latinos ha considerado encontrar una escuela nueva para al menos uno de sus hijos en los últimos doce meses, esto muestra como más de la mitad de los hispanos están buscando opciones para mejorar el rendimiento académico de su familia.

Si bien la elección de escuelas ha visto cambios en algunos estados del país, los mayores se han reflejado en West Virginia y Arizona, donde el gobierno aprobó programas para permitir que la comunidad tenga acceso a más opciones además de la escuela pública tradicional, donde son asignadas las familias de acuerdo a su lugar de residencia. Las familias hispanas también pueden acceder a todos estos beneficios y opciones.

¿Por qué es importante que las familias hispanas conozcan todas sus opciones? Según la Evaluación Nacional de Progreso Educativo (NAEP por sus siglas en inglés), matemáticas fue el área con mayor caida en los puntajes, la más grande de las últimas tres decadas (8 puntos en octavo grado y 5 puntos en cuarto grado). Los más afectados por estos descensos fueron la comunidad afroamericana e hispana.

Ahora que hay más opciones para los latinos, es invaluable conocer la información disponible y los recursos a los que pueden acceder las familias. Si cree que su hijo no encaja bien en su escuela actual, es importante saber que como padre tiene opciones y alternativas. Existe evidencia de que cuando facilitamos la elección para los padres, ellos toman buenas decisiones para la educación de su familia. Hemos visto el impacto positivo que han tenido las opciones escolares en lugares como Miami, Filadelfia y Phoenix.

Apoyar a la comunidad hispana debe ser una prioridad nacional, y una forma de ayudar a la comunidad es ofreciendo información de valor. Las familias hispanohablantes pueden resolver muchas de sus dudas en Conoce tus Opciones Escolares. Además, este año, la National School Choice Week (La Semana Nacional de Opciones Escolares), uno de los eventos educativos más importantes del país, ofrecerá asistencia personalizada para las familias latinas. Este evento tendrá lugar del 22 al 28 de enero de 2023.

Los estudiantes latinos van a representar casi el 30% de las escuelas públicas para fines de la década, y este es el momento de actuar y ofrecer a la comunidad hispana la mejor oportunidad para lograr la igualdad.

Tener varias opciones asegura que los niños no se queden frustrados por el hecho de no ser felices en su escuela actual. No es una locura decir que las opciones escolares pueden ser la diferencia entre que un niño sea acosado en su salón de clases o un niño que sea amado, respetado y apreciado en otra escuela. Con la elección de escuela, podemos reducir las tasas de abandono escolar y aumentar las posibilidades de éxito. Es vital que las familias sean conscientes de sus posibilidades.

Krissia Campos Spivey es directora de Conoce tus Opciones Escolares, un proyecto de la National School Choice Awareness Foundation, que ayuda a las familias estadounidenses que hablan español a explorar sus opciones educativas K-12 y elegir una excelente escuela para sus hijos. Krissia es salvadoreña-estadounidense y vive con su familia en Wake Forest, Carolina del Norte.

School Choice is Opening Doors for Students

(by Shelby Doyle) - Parents across the country are seriously rethinking what they and their children need when it comes to K-12 education. From considering switching to new schools to using tutoring, or out-of-school co-ops and learning pods, parents are getting creative. While some might have expected the pace of change and exploration to slow down after two long years of learning disruptions, parents remain motivated and curious about ways to make sure their child is learning and progressing.

In a survey conducted this month by the National School Choice Awareness Foundation, 53.7 percent of parents said they had considered in the last year, or were currently considering, choosing a new or different school for their child. And 86.1 percent of them are concerned about their child's academic progress.

For parents wanting to find a new school, this is the best time of the year to start the process. It's National School Choice Week January 22 through 28, and the news media, school leaders, teachers, and parents across the country are talking about education options. Parents can research their options at schoolchoiceweek.com and attend community events designed to help them choose.

January's not an arbitrary time for the Week to fall. It's a time when these decisions for the fall come to a head. Many enrollment deadlines fall in the winter months, no matter how far away they feel from the coming August. With the first half of the school year completed, families start to have a clearer idea of whether they need to make a change.

Dozens of states around the country in the last few years have expanded educational opportunities for parents to choose traditional public schools, public charter schools, public magnet schools, private schools, online learning, or homeschooling. Families can benefit from checking in to see if the landscape of options in their community have changed.

If you want to help spread the word about educational opportunity this week, here are some ideas. First, start a conversation with your child about what they like about school and what they wish were different. Second, learn more about educational options, or share that information with a friend. Third, show appreciation for the school(s) you've chosen by volunteering or saying thank you to a teacher this week.

Every parent, student, teacher, and community leader who is celebrating National School Choice Week proudly supports and empowers families to choose the right educational fit for their child. Will you join them?

Shelby Doyle is the vice president of public awareness at the National School Choice Awareness Foundation, the 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that hosts National School Choice Week each January and maintains the nation’s largest online portfolio of English- and Spanish-language school navigation resources.

School Choice Is More Than You Might Think

(Andrew R. Campanella) - For parents across the country who have been enlightened or frustrated by education during the COVID-19 pandemic, a new and exciting innovation is emerging, creating new opportunities for families. It's a 21st century way of approaching learning, with flexible options popping up in local communities across the country. Though each is unique, these new options broadly fall under the category of microschooling and learning pods.

Perhaps someone you knew joined a pod in the absence of in-person schooling during the height of the pandemic. Maybe your sister-in-law has been raving about the public charter microschool she found for her son. By challenging the conventional wisdom of how schooling must be done, microschooling and learning pods refocus the education conversation around everyone's shared goal: the educational success and happiness of students.

If you want to find out more about these new learning options, or the traditional public, public charter, public magnet, private, online, or at home education options available to your family, you're in luck this month. National School Choice Week will take place January 22-28, 2023, organized by the National School Choice Awareness Foundation to shine a positive spotlight on effective education options for children.

As a parent in 2023, you're bound to have questions about the K-12 system, which has changed rapidly in our lifetimes. If you're not familiar with all your school choices, or what to ask when comparing them, you're not the only one. Today, more than ever, families are interested in school choice, and states are creating policies that increase the opportunities for families to choose a school. For the majority of parents in this country, the real question isn't whether you have school choice, but how you'll use it.

If your child is not happy at school or having challenges that are going unaddressed, it may be time to evaluate your options. As a parent, you know better than anyone what your child needs. But you may not yet know all the school options available to you.

Evaluating your options in January gives you plenty of time to consider new schools (or a learning pod). Occasionally, I talk to folks who ask me whether parents are open to making new school choices after the education disruptions virtually every family experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic. My answer is an emphatic "yes!" Parents are more informed than ever and more invested in making sure their kids' educational needs are met. This month, millions of them will celebrate a great school they've chosen or make the decision to select a new option. We can all see the value in that.

Andrew Campanella is president and CEO of National School Choice Awareness Foundation and the author of The School Choice Roadmap: 7 Steps to Finding the Right School for Your Child.

Driven Brands Collision Group Celebrates 25 Years of Supporting Cystic Fibrosis

(NewsUSA) -  

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (January 4, 2023) – Driven Brands’ collision group (“Driven Collision”), home to industry-leading repair networks, ABRA  Auto Body Repair of America, CARSTAR U.S., CARSTAR Canada, and Fix Auto USA, is celebrating its 25th anniversary of supporting the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and Cystic Fibrosis Canada.

To commemorate this milestone, Driven Collision has donated 25 gift baskets to deserving children across North America within the cystic fibrosis (CF) community. The baskets contain a boxing set, including boxing gloves and a mini punching bag, representing the fight against cystic fibrosis, a puzzle, a gift card, and other fun surprises. Each of the recipients were involved with the Driven Collision group this year, illustrating their own special pieces of artwork that were auctioned off as part of several charitable fundraisers throughout the year.

“Our franchise family has a deep commitment to supporting the communities they work and live in, which also includes charitable initiatives,” said Chris Dawson, collision and paint president, Driven Brands. “Through the years, our commitment to this cause has only accelerated, as we see more franchisees realizing the positive impact they have on the CF community, as they help raise valuable funds and awareness for this cause.”

Driven Collision first began its involvement with the organizations 25 years ago when a CARSTAR Canada franchisee’s granddaughter was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis. At the time, the Canadian CARSTAR family rallied together to raise valuable funds for the little-known disease.

“The CF Foundation is deeply grateful for the support of Driven Collision,” said, Patrick Feeley, Chief Development Officer at the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. “Their generosity and continued dedication to the cause continues to build on our work, alongside the CF community, and has helped add decades of life for people with CF. We are focused on supporting people with CF no matter where they are on their journey and pursuing a cure for all people with the disease.”

Since 1997, the collision family has wholeheartedly embraced the cystic fibrosis cause, hosting various fundraising events, sponsoring local initiatives, and simply donating year after year, helping raise over $4 million to date across North America for this cause.

"Incredible advancements over the past 25 years have changed the trajectory of a cystic fibrosis diagnosis,” said Kate White, Director, Leadership Giving and Corporate Partnerships, Cystic Fibrosis Canada. “There are now more adults living with the disease than children, some members of the CF community are accessing a potentially life changing drug, and current research is poised to solve the CF community’s greatest health needs. We’ve made wonderful progress, but these new drugs can’t help everyone, and CF still carries a significant burden; therefore, our work must continue. We couldn’t do this important work without the steadfast support of our long-standing partners. The Driven Collision group is a shining example of the impact that can be made through corporate philanthropy.”

“A lot has happened over the last 25 years, which has been extremely motivating to our collision family, encouraging us all to continue the fight,” continued Dawson. “We are determined to see the day that CF stands for Cure Found!”

About Driven Brands

Driven Brands™, headquartered in Charlotte, NC, is the largest automotive services company in North America, providing a range of consumer and commercial automotive needs, including paint, collision, glass, vehicle repair, oil change, maintenance and car wash. Driven Brands is the parent company of some of North America's leading automotive service businesses including Take 5 Oil Change®, Take 5 Car Wash®, Meineke Car Care Centers®, Maaco®, 1-800-Radiator & A/C®, Auto Glass Now®, and CARSTAR®. Driven Brands has more than 4,700 locations across 15 countries, and services over 50 million vehicles annually. Driven Brands' network generates approximately $1.9 billion in annual revenue from more than $5.3 billion in system-wide sales.

Magic Wand Combines Movement and Technology

(NewsUSA) - Technology is part of children’s lives, and although excessive screen time is a concern, other types of technology can be an enhancement to early childhood education.

The Kinoo Magic Wand is a screenless, smart device that young children can use independently or with family members. The 4-inch wand features three illuminated bulbs and a speaker to produce light, color and sound. Children use the wand to add an essential element of movement-based learning to games and activities in the Move & Master book (mBook), High Five magazine Kinoo Special Edition and more that are compatible with the wand.     

The activities accompanying the wand were developed in partnership with Highlights for Children, the classic children’s publisher of magazines and books.     

The wand acts as a tool to help engage children as they work through letters, phonics and reading, as well as body exercises, music instruments, Hidden Pictures and others. The activities are also designed to help build life skills such as creativity, collaboration, curiosity and critical thinking.     

“Brain research has validated 'physical movement' as a powerful accelerant to learning and development for kids when coupled with visual and auditory learning modalities,” says Jim Marggraff, CEO and founder of Kinoo.     

“While screen time has become a part of everyday parenting and education, it has reduced the time kids spend actively engaging and socializing. Kinoo was founded to combine leading edge technologies with developmental research to produce breakthroughs in learning for all children,” says Marggraff, who created the transformational, award-winning LeapPad Learning System.     

To celebrate the launch of the Kinoo Magic Wand, in partnership with Highlights for Children, Kinoo is hosting the Kinoo Magic Wand Contest. The winning family receives a free trip to Los Angeles, Calif., and will star in Kinoo’s 2023 product commercial. Many families around the countries have participated in the #kinoomagicwand social campaign.     

Parents can also use the Kinoo Magic app to customize their wands with ongoing new releases of content and activities from an expanding library. Another bonus: the Kinoo Connect app enables children to safely play collaborative, curated games while video chatting with selected individuals, such as a remote family member.     

The Kinoo Magic Wand with High Five magazine Kinoo Special Edition by Highlights for Children is a perfect holiday gift.     

Visit kinoo.com for more information.  

Marine Toys for Tots Celebrates 75 Years of Delivering Hope

(NewsUSA) - This holiday season, the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program celebrates its 75th year of delivering hope and joy to children in need across the Nation. U.S. Marines and volunteers will conduct more than 830 local toy collection and distribution campaigns in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, Guam, and U.S. Virgin Islands. In honor of the anniversary, Toys for Tots will highlight our extraordinary Reserve Marines, past and present, and show how the generosity from communities across the Nation has enabled Toys for Tots to support more than 281 million children in need.     

Every campaign season, Marines and volunteers engage with local businesses, media, and individuals in communities across the country to collect new, unwrapped toys and distribute these gifts to less fortunate children.     

“The mission of Marine Toys for Tots is to bring the joy of Christmas to less fortunate children with the goal of delivering a message of hope that will inspire youngsters to grow into responsible, productive, patriotic citizens,” says Lieutenant General Jim Laster, USMC (Retired), President & CEO of the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation. “Now, in Toys for Tots’ 75th year, we are asking our supporters to make this important milestone another record-breaking year. It is our goal to deliver the magic of the holidays to every family seeking holiday help from Marine Toys for Tots,” he adds.     

The Marine Toys for Tots Program began in 1947 at the helm of Marine Corps Reserve Major Bill Hendricks and his wife, Diane, who asked Major Hendricks to deliver some handcrafted dolls to an agency that supported children in need. When he could not find such an agency, Diane encouraged her husband to “start one.” That year, Major Hendricks and the Marines in his local Reserve unit collected more than 5,000 toys to deliver to children in need in the Los Angeles area -- conducting the first Toys for Tots campaign.     

Seeing the impact that delivering toys to children in need had created around the community, the following year, the Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Clifton B. Cates, directed every Marine Corps Reserve unit to implement a Toys for Tots campaign-- which transformed Toys for Tots into a National Community Action Program.     

Last year, the Program fulfilled the holiday hopes and dreams of 8.7 million less fortunate children in over 830 communities Nationwide. Now, in our 75th year, the Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program also provides support year-round to families experiencing challenges and exceptional circumstances, thus providing assistance to millions of children in need across the country at Christmas time and beyond. Help Toys for Tots provide hope and joy this holiday season to millions of impoverished children who otherwise might go without.  After all, anyone can be Santa!     

This year’s holiday campaign season kicks off on November 1 and goes through December 25. Visit toysfortots.org for more information or to find a campaign near you. Learn how you can help the Marine Toys for Tots Program bring hope and joy to children in need across the Nation! 

Help Marine Toys for Tots Bring Joy to Native American Children

(NewsUSA) - Many Native American children living on remote Reservations in the United States are growing up in unimaginable poverty, and their struggles are magnified by current skyrocketing prices for gas and food. Unemployment on Reservations is high, and jobs for many parents are scarce. Multigenerational families often share small houses, many of which lack phones, running water and sometimes even electricity. When families are struggling to pay for the necessities, there is no budget for Christmas presents. That’s where Marine Toys for Tots stands ready to assist children living on remote Reservations -- and that’s where you can help, too.     

The generosity of the American public has allowed Marine Toys for Tots to deliver hope and gifts to Native American children on more than 77 Reservations. In 2021 alone, the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation, with your support, purchased $2.2 million in toys, books, and other gifts to bring smiles to the faces of children living on remote Reservations in 13 states across the country.     

“With your help, we can help bring joy and hope to even more Native American children this holiday season,” says Lieutenant General Jim Laster, USMC (Retired), President & CEO of the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation.       

This season marks the 42nd year of the Toys for Tots Native American Program, and what better time to introduce one of Toys for Tots’ Youth Ambassadors, Jaylene Bluesky Tosee, a 14-year-old from the Kiowa Tribe of Oklahoma. Jaylene is a proud member of the Comanche Nation with Kiowa lineage, and honors both tribal affiliations by participating in various tribal events.     

A graduate of the Kiowa Tribe Head Start Program, Jaylene actively volunteers in cultural and community activities, including reading to children in classrooms and helping with holiday events for Head Start children and families.     

Jaylene does all of this while maintaining a 3.0 GPA in her academic studies and contributing to the community as the Comanche Nation Jr. Princess, a member of the Future Farmers of America and manager for the Elgin High School and Jr. High football team.     

The Toys for Tots Native American Program has provided new toys, books and games to children living on Reservations for the last four decades. With the generous support of our faithful donors, and the dedication of our Youth Ambassador, Jaylene, Marine Toys for Tots wants to ensure that “Santa” visits children living on Reservations this Christmas -- and your support will help us meet the growing need again this year. A new toy, game, or book that you help provide can be a bright spot for children who are enduring devastating poverty.     

Please visit our donation page to support the Toys for Tots Native American Program: https://www.toysfortots.org/donate/native_american_program.aspx. Be sure to follow Marine Toys for Tots on our social media platforms to see the impact that your support has on Native American children across the Nation.  

American Winemaking Family Continues with Next Generation

"CK Mondavi and Family wines are a tradition that has been in our family for four generations," says 4th generation Riana Mondavi.

"Passion has kept our family business going and I can say for all of us in this next generation, we are extremely humbled to carry on a wine legacy that was started by our great grandparents so long ago. We are also wholeheartedly committed to continuing the Mondavi family tradition for generations to come."

Riana and other "G4" family members including Alycia Mondavi, Angelina Mondavi, Giovanna Mondavi, Lia Mondavi, and Lucio Mondavi, are continuing to steward the family's winemaking institution as official brand ambassadors, the major shareholders of their family business. Two G4 members now serve as representatives on their Board of Directors. Their fathers, Marc Mondavi and Peter Mondavi, Jr., remain co-proprietors of the company, but this next generation of cousins is now more involved in the direction of the business.

CK Mondavi and Family was started by their great grandparents, Cesare and Rosa Mondavi, Italians who turned a mid-western grape-shipping business into a wine legacy. Eventually, the G4's grandfather, Peter Mondavi, Sr., took over the family business and continued to work tirelessly to ensure the business would be around for generations to come. Today, they continue to honor their grandfather's legacy in everything they do.

All of the G4 grew up on and around their family's Napa Valley estate, learning the business from a very young age. They played tag in the vineyards, picked grapes at harvest, worked in the cellars, and came to love their family business. It's no wonder that they are now playing a larger role and are being groomed to steward the company in to the future.

Each member of the "G4" brings his own approach and expertise to the business. Their collective expertise encompasses a range of talent and skills that will benefit every part of the family business - winemaking, management, engineering, finance, marketing and sales. This next generation remains committed to continuing to produce consistently delicious everyday wines from grapes that are 100 percent sourced from California vineyards, and sustainable farming techniques and winemaking practices that are more typically found with expensive wines. They are the first and only wines that are 100 percent "Made in USA Certified."

The G4 members of the iconic Mondavi family are in place to move the company forward while ensuring best wines and best practices with each bottle that carries their name.

You can find them online at CKMondavi.com, or on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram @CKMondaviWines.

Digital Frame Brings Families Together

An interactive digital photo frame such as Skylight Frame helps families stay connected when other social media options are difficult.

For example, this solution has brought joy to a young boy who is being treated for a brain tumor and has to spend long periods of time away from home at the hospital. He now receives photos from his classmates back home through Skylight Frame.

"This little boy is one brave kid. He has been through so much and anything that can brighten his day is a winner in my book," says the boy's cousin, who rallied friends to purchase the frame. "Skylight Frame has been a way for friends all over to share some love," she says.

Each Skylight has its own unique email address where friends and family can send photos to - and they appear on the frame in seconds!

The key benefits of Skylight digital frame are ease of use and interactive features. Just plug in the frame and tap the screen to log in to WiFi and email photos to it! A visual notification appears when new photos arrive. In addition, users can tap a Heart button to thank senders or show they especially liked a particular photo.

Skylight's Plus plan also allows you to send videos to the frame, add captions to photos, and manage it all from its mobile app and cloud portal. This makes it easy for anyone to gift it to an older loved one, and then manage the frame remotely.

Use code NEWS for $10 off at www.skylightframe.com.

 

USAA Survey Shows Inflation Is Affecting Spending

(NewsUSA) - Inflation is top-of-mind for most Americans, as a majority say that they have reduced household spending in many areas except when it comes to retirement savings and life insurance.

A new USAA Life Insurance Company survey explored how American civilian and military-connected families are faring in today’s economy and the financial decisions they are making as a result.

For more information, visit USAA.com/lifesurvey

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