Anything is Possible!

With Love, Hope, and Perseverance


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Good News Tuesday: Students Rising Above & Helpers in New Zealand

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8 Year Old Refugee Living in a Homeless Shelter wins NY Chess Championship

Eight year old Tanitoluwa Adewumi, who goes by Tani, won the New York state championship for his age level. He started playing chess about a year ago in school. Tani and his parents are refugees from Nigeria and live in a homeless shelter in New York. Both of his parents are now working, and one of Tani’s chess coaches has started a gofundme page to help them get a house.  You can read more about Tani and his family here.

 

Students Strike for the Planet

I’m filled with hope by so many young people around the world striking on behalf of the planet this past Friday. The first video is an in depth report from Australia. The second is more of an overview.

16 Year Old Planet Activist Nominated for Nobel Prize

Greta Thunberg, the 16 year old activist from Sweden has inspired thousands of students around the world to strike for the planet, has been nominated for the Nobel Prize. In August of 2018, Greta started the first school strike for climate. In December, she addressed the UN Climate Change Conference. Recently, Greta became the youngest person to be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.  Until I watched her Ted Talk, I didn’t know she has been diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome. She is intensely honest. Greta plans to strike from school “every Friday until Sweden is in line with the Paris Agreement.” Personally, she has stopped flying, stopped eating meat and dairy, and she does not buy new things unless it’s absolutely necessary

“The one thing we need more than hope is action. Once we start to act, hope is everywhere.” __ Greta Thunberg

 

New Zealand Flag

Look for the Helpers

The news from Christchurch New Zealand was horrible.  My goal is to remember those 50 people who lost their lives, find a way to honor them, and recognize those who’ve come to help. In my Goodnewsletter this morning, I found 12 stories of hope about the helpers – people who have rallied to help the victims of this tragedy.  Here are a few of those stories:

More than $3.5 million donated in 24 hours to help Christchurch shooting victims

Within hours of the Christchurch mosque attacks, people of various faiths rallied around Muslims

New Zealand will pay for Christchurch victims’ funerals regardless of immigration status
Survivor says ‘hero’ stopped New Zealand massacre by tackling shooter

You can sign up for the Goodnewsletter here.

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#GoodNewsTuesday seeds to bring balance to media – One Tuesday at a time.

Got good news? Please share in the comments!

 


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Good News Tuesday: Support for The Tree of Life Synagogue, Signing Students, and a 94 Year Old Wise Guy

Tree of Life We are all one

Muslim groups raise over $125,000 to help Pittsburgh synagogue victims

People of many faiths are helping the victims and families of The Tree of Life synagogue where a shooting took the lives of 11 people in Pittsburgh Saturday. It gives me hope to know that among the helpers are two Muslim-American non-profits who have exceeded their fundraising  goal in the campaign, “Muslims Unite For Pittsburgh Synagogue.”
Below are two links for the story. The first is from nbcnews.com and the second is an earlier story from The Times of Israel.

 

https://www.timesofisrael.com/us-muslims-raise-over-100000-for-synagogue-victims/

Kindergarten Class Signs Happy Birthday to Custodian Who is Deaf:

Watch how this beloved custodian reacts to kindergarten students signing the Happy Birthday lyrics especially for him.  Happy Birthday, Mr. James!

 

94 Year Old Veteran Greets Students with Wisdom and Fist Bumps

Wally Richardson meets middle school students every morning with positive wisdom and encouragement. I love his motivational call/response technique. Take a look!

Good News Tuesday seeks to bring some balance to media, one Tuesday at a time.

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 Feel free to share, YOUR good news in the comments!


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A High School Teacher Faces The Day After

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This isn’t exactly a NEWS story but it’s a story full of goodness and hope. I found it as public Facebook post belonging to a high school teacher who I do not know personally.  I hope she doesn’t mind me sharing it here. (It had over 13, 000 fb shares.) Her story made me cry in the best way.

“Today was really hard for me. Today was the first time I had to teach the day after a mass school shooting. I dreaded facing my students this morning, and as the first students walked in, I began to feel the anxiety pooling in my stomach. I was dreading one, specific question. Soon after class began, a freshman asked me the question I had been dreading since I had heard about the tragedy in Florida.

“Mrs. Schimmoeller,” she asked. “What will we do if a shooter comes in your room?”

My stomach sank. I launched into my pre-planned speech about our plan of action. Then, I knew I had to say the harder part: “I want you to know that I care deeply about each and every one of you and that I will do everything I can to protect you. But – being in a wheelchair, I will not be able to protect you the way an able-bodied teacher will. And if there is a chance for you to escape, I want you to go. Do not worry about me. Your safety is my number one priority.”

Slowly, quietly, as the words I had said sunk in, another student raised their hand. She said, “Mrs. Schimmoeller, we already talked about it. If anything happens, we are going to carry you.”

I lost it. With tears in my eyes as I type this, I want my friends and family to know that I understand that it is hard to find the good in the world, especially after a tragedy like the one that we have watched unfold, but there is good. True goodness. It was found in the hearts of my students today.”

Got good news? Please feel free to share!


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Back in First Grade

School boy from pixabay

I recently started volunteering at an elementary school one day a week helping first graders with reading and writing. My job is to invite one student at a time to a back table where we read a book together, or I help them with a worksheet.

Three days after my first visit, I came down with a bad summer cold and had to miss the second week. (This happened after saying to myself, “I never get sick.”) So, I stocked up on vitamin C, echinacea and zinc, and I’m making a renewed effort in my goal to get more sleep.

rabbit

Yesterday, I helped the first graders write stories using the prompts, Who, What, Where, When, and Why with the theme of what they like to do for fun. One student said she liked to go to “Jungle Rabbits.” I had to smile, because I remembered my daughter, many years ago calling the water slide park “Jungle Rabbits” when it’s official name is Jungle Rapids. The word, rapids, makes no sense to first graders, but rabbits do. It doesn’t matter that there are no rabbits there. When I said, “I think it’s called, Jungle Rapids, she insisted it was Jungle Rabbits, so I joined the journey and helped her spell rabbits. The next student who said he liked to go to Jungle Rabbits, got no argument from me. Jungle Rabbits it is!

But my favorite experience, so far, was when it was almost time for recess. Two boys in the back of the room started getting on each other’s nerves. I re-directed them to their work and wondered it I was going to need to get the busy teacher’s attention. A third boy came to one of them with a letter he had written. It said simply,  “I love you,” followed by the author’s name. Then the letter writer went back to his desk and wrote another letter, and brought it to the other boy. It said the same thing. “I love you.”

“Isn’t that nice?” I said.

The restless boys didn’t say anything. They didn’t quite know what to make of the letters. But they were distracted from their irritations and settled down long enough to make it to recess without any problems. There’s just something about a hand-printed letter.

I think I’m going to like first grade a lot better this time around.

(The images are from Pixabay)