Imagine Learning Gives Back in 2016 – Holiday Edition

Every day, caring educators give their all to help kids everywhere succeed, learn, and grow. At Imagine Learning, we enjoy helping educators do all three of these things.

But what about kids in the local community–particularly during the holidays? Here’s our report for late 2016:

Startup Santa, United Way, aquarium book box, Imagine Learning

Aquarium book box

Startup Santa

During November and early December of 2016, Imagine Learning employees gathered 1,138 books (some new, some gently used) to donate to United Way’s “Startup Santa” project.

As part of the fun, employees were invited to decorate a box of books. Ours went swimmingly, as you can see!

Stansbury Elementary

Each December, Imagine Learning employees give back to disadvantaged kids who otherwise might not get holiday gifts.

For example, Stansbury Elementary (Salt Lake City, UT) welcomes many low-income students through its doors daily. Because of donations from Imagine Learning employees, 70 Stansbury students were able to have a happy holiday season in 2016. And we look forward to helping again in 2017!

Sponsored Families

The holiday season was also a little brighter for 15 other Utah children in four families, thanks to several of our Imagine elves who gathered clothing items, toys, and books for each child on the list. In some cases, employees purchased more than one gift for these kids–and some offered cash donations.

We love and appreciate our generous Imagine Learning team for all they do to help children and families each year. Happy New Year!

 

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Taking Flight: An Educator’s Holiday Wish

The holiday season is a busy time for educators. One day it could be an intense new project for the first-graders; the next day it might be a food drive that involves the entire school.

During times like these, exhaustion hits hard–and the holiday break can’t come soon enough.

But every now and then, a word of encouragement to a struggling student can make all the difference. Who knows–that extra boost might just help a struggling student triumph over a hard math problem. Or help a shy student speak up in class. Or help an English language learner read at grade level for the first time.

To all who work so hard to nurture the minds and hearts of kids, please enjoy the video below–and happy holidays!

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Think Through Math Students Donate to No Kid Hungry

Think Through Math, november 2016, No Kid HungryAs the newest member of the Imagine Learning family, Think Through Math (TTM) regularly rewards students by allowing them to donate to a charity of their choice. During November 2016, TTM students chose to donate to the Share Our Strength – No Kid Hungry organization.

So how much did TTM students donate? The donations totaled $7,500–an amazing sum that also represents over 60,000 lessons completed and 1.8 million math problems solved. What a great way to combine math with giving! Read more »

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How to Build Empathy and Gratitude at School

Thanksgiving, gratitude, empathy, Imagine This

Ah, Thanksgiving. That time of year when students celebrate life’s bounty by creating paper turkeys filled with colorful ‘gratitude’ feathers.

Meanwhile, older students may collect canned goods for the local food bank or gather coats for the homeless shelter.

As everyone buzzes with holiday anticipation, it’s pretty easy to feel grateful.

However, the holidays aren’t always rosy for everyone, including low-income students, students with disabilities, and those who live in negative or dangerous circumstances.

Even students with the greatest advantages can struggle with ingratitude, despite holiday activities that remind them to count their blessings. What’s the solution? Read more »

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Educated Risks: Getting Out of the Teaching Comfort Zone

A guest post by Ashley Porter

7th-grade math teacher, Webster Groves School District, Missouri

Imagine Learning now publishes monthly guest posts in order to stimulate conversations about K12 education across the country. Opinions expressed herein are those of the individual author and may not necessarily reflect the official opinion of Imagine Learning.

 

comfort zone, Imagine Learning, math, other subjectsThink back to the college years when you were choosing your major. Education? Check. As to age group, you would have noted four basic categories: early childhood, elementary, middle, or high school students. Each had its merits, but you could only pick one. Check.

I chose the math path–middle school first, followed by high school math later. I decided on math because it was in my comfort zone. That’s what most middle school and high school teachers do; they choose the area they’re most comfortable with. Yay! No more science, world studies, or English for me, right?

My first teaching assignment was at a high school, teaching all levels of algebra. There was a big push, as there should be, to get students to graduate on time. Some teachers were assigned as “graduation coaches,” and I was one of them.

It was my job to work with students, build a relationship, help them catch up, and get them to a timely graduation. These students were struggling, behind on credits, and risked not graduating at all (or certainly not on time). So, as a graduation coach, I was encouraged to help students in all their areas of struggle.

At this point, I received some of the best advice I ever got as an educator. Read more »

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