When the staff, students, and parents at Valley Ranch Elementary School in Irving, Texas, were looking to organize a school-wide event for charity, they researched causes and narrowed them down to three. When the votes of the student body were tallied, Cookies for Kids’ Cancer had won their support. With everyone on board, the school community was able to raise $1,200 for their chosen cause.
Cookies for Kids' Cancer was created to raise awareness of -- and funds for -- pediatric cancer research. The organization started when 2-year old Liam was diagnosed with a deadly form of pediatric cancer called Neuroblastoma. Liam’s mom and dad, Gretchen and Larry, learned quickly that more than 50 percent of children with this form of cancer will not survive. The main reason for those horrible odds was that little money was being spent on research into pediatric cancers, which are the leading cause of death by disease for children under the age of 18.
That need for research funding was what motivated Gretchen to do one thing she knew she could do to help: hold a bake sale. She and a team of 250 volunteers ended up selling 96,000 cookies in that first sale. They raised more than $400,000 for pediatric cancer research. And Cookies for Kids’ Cancer was born.
Today, Cookies for Kids’ Cancer raises money for research through two main avenues: school and community-group bake sales and online sales of cookie gift boxes. The organization’s Web site makes it easy for individuals, schools, churches, and businesses to hold bake sales by providing all the necessary tools, including letters and brochures, signs and posters, and supplies.
Maybe your school or a school club is looking for a cause around which they can rally. If so, Cookies for Kids’ Cancer is one worth considering.
● Valley Ranch Elementary - Good Cookies in Action
● Get Involved: Throw a Bake Sale
HIP-HOP ENGAGES STUDENTS, BUILDS VOCABULARY
Sixth-grader Denzel Bernard knows the meaning of the word nefarious. “It means ‘wicked,’” he told the New York Daily News.
Nefarious is one of many “$10 words” that Denzel has learned with the help of Flocabulary, a program created by two hip-hop artists to teach everything from word definitions to Shakespeare and math equations [read a Daily News article].
Flocabulary has been creating original hip-hop music and standards-based curricular materials since 2005. The company’s roots reach back to founder Blake Harrison’s days in high school. Harrison was a good student, but he struggled to memorize facts for tests. He wondered why it was so easy to remember lines to his favorite rap songs but so difficult to memorize academic information. If a rapper released an album that defined vocabulary words, he thought, he might have a fun and effective way to prepare for the SATs.
Today, the lineup of Flocabulary learning materials is being used in more than 12,000 schools to teach vocabulary, reading, and writing skills as well as social studies, math, and science. The programs have been proven to increase student motivation and achievement.