Education

#1024 Handwriting will NOT die, and here’s why

Excerpt from a small book of quotations I gathered over the years

To say I still have hundreds of letters, tucked away in boxes, too precious to throw away in spite of many moves, is to reveal how long I have been walking on the planet. These are handwritten letters. I cherish…

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#1020 Americans and Brazilians connect in one of the sweetest exchanges ever

CNA student and senior exchanging hugs; photo clip from below

CNA student and senior exchanging hugs; photo clip from video below

Hang on a second. I have to dry my eyes before typing this. I have just watched the YouTube video below, and I’m smiling through tears.

Two Brazilian companies, FCB Brasil (a marketing agency) and CNA (a network of language schools) have collaborated on a Speaking Exchange that connects seniors in American retirement homes with English-language students in Brazil. Thanks to video chat technology, the pairs connect in real time. The young people improve their fluency in English. Their surrogate grandparents connect with young people in a far-off country. Both broaden their perspectives, and the program offers solid educational value for students learning English.

I have no idea how many of the conversations are as touching as those recorded for the popular video, but I hope the idea goes global. Imagine what could happen if young people around the world connected with elders in other countries. They just might grow up rejecting cultural and political stereotypes. And given what we know about the impacts of isolation, we could expect seniors to enjoy better physical and emotional health in spite of mobility issues and distance from families.

You can follow CNA English on Twitter and Facebook

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#991 Pint-sized model of compassion

Cayden Taipalus

When a child at Challenger Elementary in Howell, Michigan was refused lunch because there was no money in the student’s account, 8-year-old Cayden Taipalus was heartbroken. So was the hungry child. The cheese sandwich, along with juice and fruit, that…

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#989 The wizard of plastic recycling

Akinori Ito and the Blest machine

Ingenuity and dismay are the driving forces behind an invention that is turning plastic into oil. Recycling plastic will never be enough. We have to reduce. But that is much easier said than done, which is why we need people…

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#986 Aging adventurers take to the open road

Road Scholars hiking in Glacier National Park

Who can resist a name like Road Scholar for a travel program designed for aging adventurers? Elderhostel has been around for a long time, but somehow I had missed its morphing into Road Scholar. That is a much more inspiring…

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