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Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review

Every Monday Matters: Create a back-to-school backpack

By Matthew Emerzian and Kelly Bozza




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | (MCT) Those of you who have been following our weekly column have probably figured out that we feel that it's the smallest of actions that can make the biggest of difference. That people matter, and that ordinary people certainly can do extraordinary good. Every week, we have tried to inspire you, by giving you information and sharing stories about people who are making a difference in the world. But this week the rules have changed. Yes, we are going to share another story, but this week you are in charge of figuring out how you can make a difference.

Today is "YOUR DAY." You get to pick whatever it is you want to do. You know the drill. Find a need - a person, an organization, the environment, a family - and get involved. It's that easy.

The story that follows is one of the many stories we have received and certainly falls under the "YOUR DAY" category. It is a story about Irene Martinez from Rialto, Calif.

39 percent of the nation's children, 28 million children, are from low-income families — the majority of which head to school each fall.

—Children need school supplies to complete schoolwork and homework.

—Required school supplies cost between $20 and $100, depending on the grade level. This expense can be a financial burden for low-income families, especially those with more than one child.

—As they grow, children become increasingly sensitive to the evaluations of their peers. A social stigma occurs when children are different; and children are aware that they are different if they don't have new school supplies and the other children do.

—Having school supplies that all the other kid's have impacts a child's self-esteem positively. Self-esteem impacts a child's success in school.

—Children who feel good about themselves and their abilities are much more likely to do well in school...and in life.

TAKE ACTION TODAY

1. Select a family in your neighborhood or workplace who is in financial need and has school-aged children. Or call a local elementary school, soup kitchen, or church to find a family.

2. Get your friends, co-workers, and family members involved so you can buy in bulk. It's more cost-effective, and more kids can benefit.

3. Go to the Web site of the child's school to see if a list of supplies for each grade level is posted. Otherwise just use common sense and buy the basics. And don't be afraid to buy some fun items too.

4. Deliver the backpacks with a smile.

Both a child's performance in school and self-esteem can impact their entire life, as well as the community in which they grow up. Help make going back to school a positive experience by purchasing and stocking a backpack for a child. Not only are you eliminating a challenge for a low-income family, you are enabling a young student to start the school year on a more level playing field.

YOU MATTER

It's that time of the year...summer vacations are drawing to an end, educators are starting to prepare their classrooms, and kids are going shopping for their first-day-of-school outfits and school supplies. Well, at least a portion of the kids are able to buy a new outfit and school supplies. Unfortunately, nearly 40 percent of them are not buying anything. And, though this might seem trivial to many, it is not to these children … not at all. And, fortunately for hundreds of elementary school students in Nashville, Tenn., it was not trivial to their teacher either.

Pammy Baker has been a third-grade teacher in a low-income neighborhood for eight years. And, for eight years, she has noticed that the majority of her students come to school without the proper school supplies.

"At first I was astonished that kids could come to school without pencils, pens, notepads, or even backpacks," admitted Pammy. "As a parent myself, I just couldn't understand how their parents could send their kids off to jump on the school bus knowing that they were not prepared for learning."

Pammy grew up in a middle-to-upper class neighborhood in Washington, D.C., where having proper school supplies was never an issue. But Pammy's husband was transferred by his job to Nashville, which exposed Pammy to a whole new way of life.

"Besides being shocked, it also made me grateful," shared Pammy. "I never had to worry about school supplies; and buying my back-to-school outfit was something we did every year of my life. It was so much fun. But my students don't have that option."

Inspired by her gratitude, Pammy decided to do something about it. She pulled together a group of friends and asked if they would make a donation toward her goal of making sure all of her students were prepared on the first day of school.

"It's something I started 4 years ago, but I wish I had done it from year one," said Patty. "The first year I did it, my friends and family donated over $500. This allowed me to go buy a ton of the basics — paper, pens, crayons, folders, backpacks, colored pencils, and more. It was like Christmas for my students."

Pammy allowed each student to select one item that they needed. Once everyone picked their first item, she then repeated the process until every student got five items.

"It was a special day and a really gratifying way to start the year off," smile Pammy.

Now in the fourth year of this program, Pammy recently raised $1,200. Not only will she be able to buy the basics, but she is also going to purchase art supplies. Like more than 70 percent of schools in the U.S., Pammy's school no longer provides the arts.

"I never realized how much of an impact this was going to have on my students," said Pammy. "I was just trying to help in any way I could. It's pretty great and my kids are always excited about starting the new school year because they know how much we support them." Kids matter!

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

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Previously:



Your day
Thank a local law enforcement officer
Get involved with foster kids
Be neighborly
Donate blood and bone marrow
Protect yourself with Internet safety
Eat healthy
Learn CPR, the ‘ABCs of life’
Respect the disabled
Turn off your TV
Go exercise
Write a letter to a soldier
Thank a firefighter
Have fun with an elderly person
Traffic is overrated
Show your smile
Donate books
What matters most
Support Neighborhood Watch

© 2009, The Modesto Bee Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services

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