Workers strike against major group home operator

SEIU 1199 President Rob Baril, center, and union members speak at a rally in July at the Legislative Office building.

About 185 members of the state’s largest healthcare workers union were due to strike picket lines early Tuesday morning as negotiations stalled with a major chain serving people with disabilities.

Employees at 28 group homes and day programs run by Sunrise Northeast, who were working under a contract that expired in March, ordered the work stoppage after union and management failed to do enough progress in negotiations on a new agreement, said Rob Baril. , president of SEIU District 1199 New England.

“The workers decided they were going to stand up and work for economic justice,” Baril said late in the afternoon. “Their goal is to be treated like human beings.

Dawn Frey, executive director of Sunrise Northeast, could not be reached for comment.

Headquartered in Miami, Florida, Sunrise operates more than two dozen group homes and other programs in locations in central and eastern Connecticut, serving clients with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

The strike is expected to affect the services of programs serving around 160 clients located in: Brooklyn, Columbia, East Hartford, Glastonbury, Hartford, Hebron, Killingly, Lebanon, Manchester, Mansfield, New London, New Milford, Old Lyme, Pomfret, Vernon, Waterford and Enfield.

Tuesday’s work stoppage is the latest step in a long-standing struggle involving low-paid healthcare workers, a financially strapped nonprofit social service industry and the state – which relies on the private sector to implement most of its social service programs.

Most of these nonprofits, the union says, have long provided their employees – most of whom are minority women – little more than minimum wages, expensive but poor health insurance and meager retirement benefits, if any.

District 1199 made similar claims this spring against dozens of Connecticut nursing homes, which also receive much of their funding from government sources in return for treating Medicaid and Medicare clients.

Governor Ned Lamont and the General Assembly avoided a nursing home strike in May by committing additional resources for workers’ compensation in the state’s biennial budget that began on July 1.

They also allocated an additional $ 184 million in this and next fiscal year to improve compensation and benefits in private non-profit group homes and day program services that contract with the Department of developmental disorders.

But the union argued for much of the summer and fall that nonprofit operators, despite additional state resources, are struggling to accept new contracts that adequately raise wages and social benefits.

Baril did not discuss the details of the negotiations with Sunrise, but said he was particularly disappointed at the lack of progress in negotiating improvements to health care and pension benefits. Under the workers’ previous contract, health insurance premiums were $ 2,000 per month for individual coverage and $ 6,000 per month for family coverage – which Baril said was extremely unfair to caregivers who risked their lives caring for people with disabilities during the worst days of the coronavirus pandemic.

“It’s an act of love,” he said, adding that “frankly their employer is showing no love.”

“I’m tired. I’m drained. I’ve been with Sunrise for 24 years,” said Jennifer Brown, a union member, who added that she had not had a raise for 15 years. “He is time they do the right thing No one in our agency takes insurance because it is not affordable.

But leaders in the nonprofit social service industry said the problem is more complex than union leaders presented it.

The industry suffers from decades of state underfunding, and an additional $ 184 million – spread over two years – does not heal all of that damage.

And the CT Community Nonprofit Alliance, the state’s largest coalition of nonprofits, says the state has yet to define exactly how much of that $ 184 million each nonprofit will receive and when she receives it.

Agencies are uncertain how much state aid they will receive to fund health care and pension benefits.

“In general, suppliers can only pay according to what they are paid by the state,” Gian-Carl Casa, president and CEO of the alliance, said on Monday.

The union had raised similar issues in reaching a benefits deal in September when it set an Oct. 5 strike deadline for two other group home operators: Network Inc. and Whole Life. The two struck deals in the last few weeks before a work stoppage.

The union has set a strike deadline of October 12 not only for Sunrise but also for a second channel, Alternative Services, but District 1199 called off the scheduled work stoppage on Monday evening. Baril did not discuss alternative services directly, but said negotiations were continuing on all other ongoing contracts and that “significant progress” had been made in some talks.

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PGA Tour New Player Impact Top 10 screening: Tiger Woods, Bryson DeChambeau and Brooks Koepka ready to cash

Tiger Woods plays the 2020 PGA Championship at Harding Park.

Tiger Woods has not made a competitive round in 2021, but is still expected to earn most of the PGA Tour player impact program money, according to publicly available data and what we know about how whose Tour will distribute its $ 40 million PIP fund.

This is by my estimates based on the data, what the PGA Tour has said about the program and what has been reported by other golf outlets.

Before we get into the thick of it, here’s the background to the PGA Tour’s PIP Money. It is a backlash of $ 40 million to the Premier Golf League, which is said to have suspended large sums of money to attract the stars of the PGA Tour. The PIP will distribute an eight-figure prize pool to the 10 players of the Tour with the best “Impact Score”, including $ 8 million to the best player.

The program was not known to the public until Golfweek’s Eamon Lynch revealed its existence in April. According to his reports, the “impact score” is based largely on a player’s digital footprint, including search volume, Nielsen brand ratings, Q rating and overall media impact. social and digital. Here is the full list, to our knowledge:

  • Popularity in Google searches
  • Nielsen brand exposure assessment (“rounds 3 and 4,” a PGA Tour spokesperson wrote in an email to
  • Q-Rating
  • MVP Index rating, which “gauges the value of a player’s engagement on social and digital channels”
  • Meltwater Mentions (a social media monitoring tool)

Here’s how I estimated who’s leading this season (you can see the raw data on a spreadsheet here).

I compared all the top 50 golfers in the official world golf rankings – as well as Tiger Woods and Rickie Fowler, as they would have been in the top 10 in the Impact Score rankings in 2019 – against Bryson DeChambeau on Google Trends to gauge interest relative research since the start of the season.

I chose DeChambeau as a relative litmus test, given the media coverage he drives. He doesn’t drive either so a lot of coverage that he would outshine any other player in a direct comparison (for example, Woods’ research interest is about five times that of DeChambeau this season, so comparing every player to Tiger doesn’t have as much of a practical sense).

I also measured the number of Twitter and Instagram followers for each player, as well as the number of Google News search results for each player, as a proxy to measure the media coverage that a player drives, as some of the metrics used in the Player Impact Program are not publicly available. I gave each player a rank based on their interest in Google Trends, Twitter and Instagram followers, and Google News results, and then created an overall rank that weighed each category as well.

Tiger, of course, is recovering from injuries sustained in a car accident. But Woods is still eligible for the Player Impact Program, as are all current regular members of the PGA Tour who have played in at least five Co-sponsored or approved Tour events in at least one of the previous five seasons. Also eligible are current PGA Tour Champions players who have played in at least 10 combined PGA Tour or Champions events in at least one of the previous five seasons.

Since only one of the factors – the exposure rating of the Nielsen brand – is even tangentially related to participating in tournaments, since this rating results from the exposure that a player generates on broadcasts, players high profile players who are not necessarily in Tour contention on a weekly basis could still earn a higher impact score.

While player rankings from the FedExCup Points List are not part of a player’s impact score, a PGA Tour spokesperson wrote in an email, “although it can be argued that if a player is at the top of the FedExCup points list, then they play well, there will be more articles in the media, more social talk, etc. ”, so there is always an indirect link to performance on the course in the program.

PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said during the Tour Championship that the schedule is based on the calendar year and the league has no plans to announce the winner.

PGA Tour 2021 player impact program: expected arrival

Here are the players we plan to finish in the top 10 of the PGA Tour Player Impact Program for 2021:

1. Tiger wood

Tiger Woods plays a practice round at the Masters 2020.

Tiger Woods has 6.5 million Twitter followers and 2.7 million Instagram followers.

It’s no surprise that no one on the PGA Tour is garnering interest in Google searches or media coverage anymore, and that no one eclipses their 6.5 million Twitter followers and 2.7 million subscribers. Instagram.

A spokesperson for the PGA Tour confirmed that Woods was still eligible for the Player Impact Program.

2. Rory McIlroy

Rory McIlroy at the 2021 PGA Championship.

Rory McIlroy has huge success on social media.

McIroy is second behind Tiger on Twitter and Instagram, and he’s third in Google News results, so the four-time major winner and two-time PGA Tour winner will likely bring home a big change from the first season. of the player impact program.

3. Jordan Spieth

Spieth excels on social media with two million Twitter followers and 1.6 million Instagram followers, both ranked fourth among players reviewed.

4. Phil Mickelson

The reigning PGA Championship winner and six-time Major Champion has shown that it’s not just millennials who are good at social media. Its 1.2 million Instagram followers rank fifth among gamers reviewed and its approximately 782,000 Twitter followers rank 11th.

Only five players have more results on Google News, as Lefty continues to generate media coverage.

5. Dustin Johnson

The world’s No.2 player has over two million combined followers on Instagram and Twitter and he ranks second in media coverage, based on results from Google News.

6. Bryson De Chambeau

DeChambeau, the 2020 US Open champion, remained in the OWGR’s top 10 for about a year, with only a week ranked outside the top 10 at No.11, and right now he’s a part of the conversation – as you wish. define that, in terms of social, digital and related media interest – as much as almost any player on the PGA Tour.

7. Rickie Fowler

Rickie Fowler plays the 3M Open 2021.

Rickie Fowler is one of the most popular stars in the game, even outside of the OWGR top 100.

In early October, Fowler was ranked No.125 in the OWGR, his best result of the 2020-21 season being a T8 in the PGA Championship. He’s missed the cut in four of his last nine tournaments and he’s only finished in the top 30 twice.

But Fowler is still one of golf’s biggest stars – the stars being defined by the metrics that go into his impact score.

8. Justin Thomas

Golf week reported that “it is believed that the formula used to calculate impact scores will distinguish between positive and negative coverage generated by a player.” When Morning reading analyzed search interest in PGA Tour players using Google Trends, which measures online search interest, search interest in Thomas increased in January, when he was surprised by a hot mic saying a homophobic insult. Thomas and Fowler had the same average score in our analysis, so we gave Fowler the edge, given that not all of Thomas’ publicity was good publicity.

In an email to Morning reading, a spokesperson for the PGA Tour said: “The commissioner has the discretion to change a player’s impact score due to negative coverage if necessary”, when asked questions, in general, on the potential negative impacts of negative media coverage.

9. Brooks Koepka

Koepka was the world’s No.1 player at this time last year and he has since dropped to 13th place in the OWGR, but has climbed back into the top 10 with three consecutive top-six rankings in the US Open, Travelers Championship and Open Championship. . Among the players examined, Koepka ranks between eighth and 12th place in the results of Twitter, Instagram and Google News.

10. Jon Rahm

Sergio Garcia and Jon Rahm at the 2021 Ryder Cup.

Jon Rahm (right, with Sergio Garcia) was one of Team Europe’s highlights during the 2021 Ryder Cup.

The world No.1 player and reigning US Open winner is yet another newcomer to the PGA Tour, turned pro in 2016, but he generates more media coverage than anyone not called Tiger, DJ or Rory, according to Google News results, and he’s the fifth most searched player on Google this season, according to Google Trends.

Players just outside the top 10 (and Jim Herman)

Here are the players who narrowly missed the cut: Justin Rose, Sergio Garcia, Ian Poulter, Lee Westwood, Tony Finau, Collin Morikawa, Hideki Matsuyama, Xander Sc chaudele and Patrick Reed.

It’s also worth highlighting Jim Herman, the world’s No. 162 player, who has become something of a sarcastic heel for the Player Impact Program and his $ 40 million prize pool. Following the announcement of DeChambeau and Koepka’s 12-hole competition in Las Vegas during Thanksgiving week in early October, Herman tweeted quote Golf Digest, writing: “The best way to show that you don’t fall for #thirstTrap is to like me and retweet me. #PiP # 40,000,000. “

The hashtags #PiP and # 40,000,000 have become Herman’s favorites, which he tweets about his alma mater Cincinnati and his undefeated start to the college football season, or defend that the carpool line in his local school district should be determined by the official world golf parenting rankings.

As entertaining as Herman’s campaign has been, and as valid as its underlying argument may be, he will unfortunately be ignoring the 2021 player impact program. His combined Twitter and Instagram account barely exceeds 20,000. and its relative interest in online research compared to DeChambeau does not show up on Google Trends.

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Tucson JCC Tennis Program Helps Children with Autism Grow and Interact with Others | Subscriber

When they started working together, the boy was ranked number 200 in the country. Four months after training with Coelho, the boy had moved up to 31st place.

“That’s when I knew, ‘Oh I can do it again,’” Coelho said.

He started training more students and in April applied to work at JCC.

After his success with the Ball Recycling Program, Coelho turned to the community for other ways to help. He thought of his friends, Chadwick and Elana Campbell, who started their branch of ACEing Autism in Phoenix in 2017.

“I told him, ‘Now I have a setup (and) I want to do what you do because I really think it’s great and it really fits the J’s mission,” Coelho said. . “It seemed like a perfect fit from the start. Not the idea of ​​thinking that anyone can be a tennis player, but of using tennis to bring people together, to get them to interact and have a good time. . “

JCC officials were thrilled with Coelho’s suggestion to start a branch in Tucson, saying the program was part of their mission to offer programs to people of all skill levels.

“We haven’t done anything tennis related with this demographic, but we are trying to create programs and relationships that bring people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds into our building and using our facilities,” said Amy Dowe, JCC Director of Wellness. “We hope to have a lasting relationship with the program.”

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Benefits for everyone or just for the needy? Manchin’s request concentrates the debate

In a private meeting with Mr Biden and nearly a dozen House Democrats in transitional districts on Tuesday, the prospect of limiting who could benefit from the promised two years of free community college emerged as part of a broader discussion of the program, according to Rep. Susan Wild, Democrat of Pennsylvania.

But, she added, “the general feeling was that we shouldn’t put means testing in place for universal child care, or let’s call it universal preschool.”

“It’s completely out of the child’s control, obviously, and it’s an unfair obstacle,” she said.

The politics of debate are obscure. Republicans love to attack Democrats for paying benefits to the rich. They caricature the tax credits meant to switch the country to electric vehicles as subsidies for Tesla owners and poke fun at federally paid family and medical leave by targeting executives who are already enjoying the benefits of their company. . The children of millionaires, they warn, will be among those who go to community college for free.

“The Democratic Party has become the party of the rich and have-not,” wrote Rep. Jason Smith of Missouri, the Republican head of the House Budget Committee, in an essay for the Washington Examiner published Tuesday.

Many accusations are exaggerated. The kids of millionaires may not flock to community college, free or not. Ms. Sherrill’s amendment lifted the income cap on child care tax assistance, but the benefit is still set to limit child care costs to no more than 7 percent of child care expenses. a family. For truly wealthy families, child care is a much lower percentage than that, so the subsidies would still be limited. A wealth cap of $ 1 million still applies to the program as well.

And since Republicans argue that spending helps the rich, they denounce tax increases clearly aimed at the rich.

Still, the charges could sting.

“There are programs where I say, if the government helps someone like me, that money probably comes from someone who needs it a lot more,” Kaine said.

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KPMG Launches Multi-Year Program to Accelerate Global Solutions to Environmental, Social and Governance Problems

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LONDON – As part of its ongoing multi-billion dollar investment program, KPMG plans to spend more than US $ 1.5 billion over the next three years to focus specifically on the environmental, social and governance (ESG) change agenda. The ESG strategy is designed to help clients of KPMG firms make a positive difference. Importantly, this strategy is underpinned by KPMG’s recognition of its responsibility to improve its impact on the world and the ESG commitments outlined in KPMG: Our Impact Plan.

Collective investment will focus on training and expanding KPMG’s global workforce, leveraging data, accelerating the development of new technologies and taking action through partnerships, alliances and advocacy. The key to the transformation will be to integrate ESG into the organization and customer solutions to drive measurable change.

The new global ESG strategy focuses on five priority areas:



Five new dedicated Hubs must be in place to provide world-class expertise and solutions on key ESG issues, these will focus on:

  • Global decarbonization, help large multinational companies meet their net zero commitments and plan their decarbonization journey, and
  • Global ESG Council, supported by the consulting teams of KPMG firms, providing industry-leading ESG expertise, including leadership on societal issues and solutions.
  • Three KPMG regional ESG centers will also be established in Europe, Asia-Pacific and the Americas to provide clients with easy access to world-class knowledge and expertise across the ESG agenda.

KPMG will invest in its leading climate and ESG solutions and technologies, including Climate IQ, a digital tool that helps clients identify opportunities and risks associated with climate change. To complement the technology investments, the global organization will also increase its staff, both for ESG advisory work and to provide assurance on ESG disclosures. In addition, KPMG will develop its proprietary audit workflow technology to enable the delivery of ESG assurance with the same quality and rigor that KPMG firms apply to financial audit work.



ESG training will be provided to all 227,000 employees of the KPMG organization to ensure that everyone has the means to be an agent of positive change. As part of this training, KPMG works with two leading global academic institutions, the Judge Business School at the University of Cambridge and the NYU Stern Executive Education:

  • The partnership with the Judge Business School at the University of Cambridge will develop ESG skills, including the development of a learning framework and solutions to be applied across KPMG’s global organization, led by faculty from the business school and other experts associated with the school, starting with hundreds of business leaders. and with the ambition to reach all KPMG employees around the world.
  • The NYU Stern Executive Education collaboration will see the co-creation of a sustainability program for KPMG in the form of executive training.
3. Support developing countries

KPMG will launch KPMG accelerators for emerging markets for developing countries in the Eastern Mediterranean, Africa, Asia-Pacific and Latin America. The purpose of these Emerging market accelerators is to ensure that regions of the world that lack expertise and resources will have a trusted advisor to support their economic and social development in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.


Collaborations and alliances

KPMG recognizes that global problems will not be solved by a single organization, which is why the global organization relies on its collaboration with external organizations, including UNESCO, Enactus and the Global Reporting Initiative.

Through alliances with Google Cloud, Microsoft, Salesforce and ServiceNow, KPMG is co-creating new tools and solutions that will provide essential data-driven insights that customers can use to map their ESG journeys and implement critical changes to respect their commitments.


Listen and act

To help support the engagement pillar of its global ESG strategy, KPMG is also launching a new campaign called ‘Voices for a Sustainable Future’, providing a platform to amplify the perspectives of established and new thinkers, by giving the speaking out to critical issues – from climate change to gender and race equality. The program will generate actionable information to help accelerate the journey to a more sustainable future.

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Bill Thomas, global president and CEO of KPMG, said: “The way you grow matters, and what worked for us and other businesses in the past won’t work in the future. The world faces crises on many fronts, which is why we put the environmental, social and governance agenda at the heart of everything we do. ESG will be the watermark of our global organization; from empowering our employees to be agents of positive change, to serving our customers and partnering with critical stakeholders. KPMG has the global reach, expertise, technology and relationships that give us the ability and responsibility to use our position to provide solutions and services to overcome the challenges facing our planet and our society.

Richard Threlfall, Global Head of ESG and KPMG IMPACT said: “It is incumbent on all of us, as businesses and as individuals, to play our part in meeting the challenges that threaten the future of our planet and the quality of life of people around the world. Our global ESG strategy will help our employees make a difference, as well as mobilize the data and technology to support it. But we also recognize that the changes demanded by society will be achieved more effectively through open collaboration based on trust, and we will continue to seek partnership opportunities with other organizations that share our goal of enabling a better future for our people. everyone, everywhere. . ”

KPMG’s global ESG strategy comes less than a year after the organization’s launch KPMG: our impact plan, which presents the commitments of the world organization on ESG themes, with the ultimate objective of having an even greater positive impact on the world. KPMG was the first professional services organization to transparently report on the World Economic Forum’s Stakeholder Capitalism Indicators. The plan sets out a series of goals, including a commitment to become a net zero carbon organization by 2030. The execution and acceleration of KPMG: our impact plan is a key priority for the global organization as it delivers on its commitments to tackle issues – from the climate crisis to social mobility and community engagement.

Jane Lawrie, Global Head of Corporate Affairs at KPMG, said: “We know that KPMG and our profession have an important and urgent opportunity to accelerate the change needed for a sustainable future; this change begins with us. Our impact plan, launched in January, explains how we intend to change our actions and commits to reporting on our progress so that we can be held accountable.

Content of the article

“The ESG program is as important to our employees as it is to our customers; these significant changes outlined today further strengthen KPMG’s goal of inspiring confidence and empowering change and acting as a north star for how we grow the organization.

To learn more about how KPMG is bringing this investment to life for our clients and employees, visit our website

About KPMG International: KPMG is a global organization of independent professional services firms providing audit, tax and advisory services. We operate in 146 countries and territories and in FY20 we had nearly 227,000 people working in member companies around the world. Each KPMG firm is and describes itself as a legally distinct and separate entity.

KPMG International Limited is a private UK company limited by guarantee. KPMG International Limited and its related entities do not provide services to clients.

About KPMG IMPACT: Launched in June 2020, KPMG IMPACT is the accelerator of KPMG’s global ESG strategy. It is the platform that supports and empowers KPMG professionals as they help clients achieve their goal, achieve their ESG goals and support the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals around the world. He assists his clients in the areas of ESG and sustainable development, economic and social development, sustainable finance, climate change and decarbonization, as well as measurement, insurance and reporting.

About KPMG: Our impact plan: KPMG: Our impact plan is the organization’s premier global environmental, social and governance (ESG) plan.

The plan also lists current data across the global organization and reports against metrics outlined in a report created by the World Economic Forum (WEF) and written in consultation with its International Business Council (IBC), titled Measuring stakeholder capitalism (PDF 1.92 MB), which KPMG played a key role in shaping.

KPMG will continue to strengthen its commitments outlined in the plan and improve reporting on our progress in the months and years to come.

Click here to read KPMG: our impact plan in full.

See the source version on



Mark Walters, Global Head of Communications
[email protected] / + 1-212-872-7679


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new grant-funded program will bring socio-emotional learning through the arts to classrooms around Humboldt | Lost Coast Outpost


If we could forget that education never existed and start over, what would it be like?

It’s a question – originally posed by Project Zero of the Harvard Graduate School of Education – that Bill Funkhouser, an arts education specialist for the Humboldt County Office of Education, keeps in mind.

“For me, that’s kind of what creative education is. It’s about saying, “Let’s just forget about all that education baggage we have and really think about what works. What creates a collaborative and creative classroom community? ‘ »Said Funkhouser to Outpost.

HCOE recently learned that it is the recipient of a $ 3.3 million federal grant that will fund a program to bring socio-emotional learning through the arts to three local schools. The scope and objectives of the project – which will be called ArtSEL (Art / Social-Emotional Learning) – remind Funkhouser, which coordinates the program, of this question: What would a clean slate look like for education?

On the one hand, he believes it would involve a healthy and cohesive dose of socio-emotional learning practices, integrated into all aspects of a student’s day at school. Socio-emotional learning is about guiding students towards development anybody skills – things that are not necessarily in the curriculum, such as self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills and decision-making. Socio-emotional learning is not a new educational concept, but its application has exploded in recent years as more and more young people face mental health issues.

“We’re so focused on test results and that sort of thing. And we ask ourselves, “Why aren’t they succeeding?” ”, Said Funkhouser. “And I think often the answer is, well, what are we doing to meet their socio-emotional needs?”

Some teachers shy away from this responsibility, Funkhouser said, believing that it is up to parents to teach these skills to their children at home.

“I just see this as a real missed opportunity because at home they don’t have 30 other people from different backgrounds,” he said. “What a great opportunity to have the chance to communicate, collaborate, work creatively in a classroom community, isn’t it? And that’s what we’re looking for. That’s what we’re trying to establish here.

ArtSEL will run for five years and benefit three local K-8 schools to be determined. Every staff member of participating schools, from teachers to bus drivers and administrators, will undergo training in socio-emotional learning, which in the first year and with ongoing support over the next four. , will accumulate in hundreds of hours of training.

“We want everyone who might be involved in this child’s life to have been trained in what it means to understand socio-emotional learning. [and] to understand what creativity looks like, ”said Funkhouser. “We believe that anyone who interacts with children in these schools has the potential to make a difference. “

Stacy Young, director of the arts program at HCOE and director of ArtSEL, said there was rarely the funding to train staff in such a broad area. “Every adult in the life of a student has the opportunity to grow thanks to this grant,” Young told the Outpost. “It really makes sense for the students.”

Still deep in the pandemic, addressing the social and emotional needs of children is more important than ever, Young said, noting that this year’s third-graders have not had a normal school year since kindergarten. . “You look at these structures and social norms that have been disrupted. I would say this grant would be useful in any school in the United States, ”Young said.

Added to this are the high rates of foster children and homeless children in Humboldt, making the implementation of socio-emotional learning even more essential, Funkhouser said.

In many cases, art is the perfect vessel for teaching socio-emotional skills.

“We believe that children learn and thrive when their socio-emotional needs are met. And we believe the arts are a natural way to meet those needs, ”said Funkhouser. Staff training will focus on how to implement socio-emotional learning into the core curriculum, which can often be achieved through the arts.

For example, a collaborative art project can introduce young children to a multitude of socio-emotional skills.

“They have to learn to communicate what they think the artwork should look like, they have to learn to compromise,” Funkhouser said. “Then [the students] do this work of art and none of [them] own.”

Funkhouser referred to a specific lesson that he and (out of the box) Professor Jonathan Juravich collaborated to develop. Based on Arree Chung’s children’s book “Mixed” – which talks about a world where primary colors discover mixing after living apart from each other – the lesson, on the surface, is simply to mix the colors of the paint.

“It’s easier to talk about it in book terms, because there’s this distance of” Oh, we’re just talking about red and yellow, we’re not talking about racism, we’re not talking about xenophobia, we’re talking about are not talking about difficult topics yet. ‘ But we’re getting there, ”Funkhouser said. “I think this is an example of how SEL and the arts really work together.”

Funkhouser and Young agree that the arts are not valued enough in today’s classrooms. Too often the arts are reserved after other learning – like math, science and languages ​​- is completed, Funkhouser said, even though art can be integrated into and reinforce all subjects, and even if the benefits of the arts are vast, such as the socio-emotional learning that can accompany them.

“This is an academic grant, where higher order thinking is at the top of our goals, but it’s through the arts,” Funkhouser said.

Funkhouser and Young are enthusiastic and confident about the project, which has already got off to a promising start. Out of 109 applicants to the United States Department of Education, HCOE was one of 27 proposals that received a grant, and the application scored 298 out of 300 points.

ArtSEL is the second federally funded program that HCOE’s arts program has received and the fourth grant-funded program that Funkhouser has coordinated. The resources used and developed during these programs are all available at, which has accumulated hundreds of pages and is visited by tens of thousands of users each year. Funkhouser is launching a new website – – where all the resources developed for ArtSEL will be posted.

“[We’re] changing education in our community for children and future citizens of our region, ”said Funkhouser. “I think we are making a difference.

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The distressed student loan cancellation program is being overhauled

The Biden administration is temporarily relaxing the rules of a student loan cancellation program that has been criticized for its notoriously complex requirements – a change that could offer debt relief to thousands of teachers, social workers, military and other officials.

The Education Ministry said on Wednesday it would drop some of the more stringent requirements for public service loan forgiveness, a program launched in 2007 to steer more college graduates into the public service but since then has not helped 5,500 borrowers get their loans canceled.

Congress created the program to reward students who enter the public service. As long as they made 10 years of payments on their federal student loans, the program promised to erase the rest.

But more than 90% of the candidates were rejected. After making a decade of payments, many borrowers found they didn’t have the right kind of federal loan or repayment plan to qualify for the program. Thousands of people were left with debts they thought were written off.

Under the temporary changes, these borrowers will now be able to get their loans written off.

Until October 2022, borrowers who have worked 10 years in a qualifying job will be eligible for loan relief regardless of what type of federal loan or repayment plan they have. Previous loan payments that were previously ineligible will now count, bringing some borrowers closer to the finish line.

The change will immediately make 22,000 borrowers eligible for loan cancellation, and another 27,000 could become eligible if they get past payments certified, the department said. In total, more than 550,000 borrowers will be brought closer to forgiveness, the agency said.

“Borrowers who devote a decade of their life to public service should be able to count on the promise of forgiveness of public service loans,” said Education Secretary Miguel Cardona. “The system has failed to deliver on this promise to date, but that is about to change for many borrowers.”

This is a particular boon for borrowers on federal family education loans from an old loan program that issued federally guaranteed loans through banks. Loans from this program, which ended in 2010, were previously ineligible, but can now be canceled thanks to the updated rules.

Among other changes, the ministry will allow military members to count active duty time around 10 years, even if they take a break in their payments during that time.

And starting next year, the department will automatically count payments from federal workers and the military within the required 10 years. Under the existing rules, applicants must apply to have their payments certified.

The changes are seen as a short-term solution while the agency considers permanent improvements through a federal rule-making process. The department began holding hearings this week in a process that could bring sweeping changes to federal student aid programs, including public service benefits.

Advocacy groups praised the temporary changes. Aaron Ament, president of the Student Defense legal group, which has represented students in lawsuits over the program, called it “a huge step in the right direction.”

Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, said the change was welcome.

“Today we breathe a collective sigh of relief as the Kafkaesque system that has shattered the dreams of far too many people finally begins to be dismantled,” she said.

The program has been a source of bipartisan contempt – Democrats and Republicans have agreed the program is flawed and needs to be updated. But Republicans said the Education Department was overstepping its authority by changing a program created by Congress.

Rep. Virginia Foxx, RN.C., the top Republican on the House education committee, said President Joe Biden’s administration “is bypassing Congress with executive action.”

“We agree that this program is in desperate need of reform; however, such reforms require action from Congress, and we encourage you to work with us to correct the federal loan and repayment program, ”Foxx said in a letter to Cardona.

This is the last of several attempts to correct the program. In 2018, Congress set aside $ 700 million to temporarily extend the benefits to all types of loans and payment programs, but after a year, most requests were still denied.

A Government Accountability Office report found that President Donald Trump’s administration had created a “confusing and inefficient” process that often disqualified borrowers for rules they were never told about.

In June, a report from the Department of Education drew attention to the program’s shortcomings, saying it “created a lot of confusion and frustration” while forgiving loans to just 5,500 borrowers.

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Device Loan Program bridges the digital divide for seniors – City of San Antonio

CONTACT: Victoria Villarreal, 210-207-2614
[email protected]

CONTACT: Roland Martinez, 210-207-5920
[email protected]

SAN ANTONIO (October 5, 2021) – The San Antonio Public Library (SAPL) and the City of San Antonio’s Department of Social Services (DHS) are piloting a new free device loan program aimed at improving digital literacy and fostering connection in times of need. social isolation.

The Seniors Device Loan Program will allow Bexar County residents aged 60 and over to access a free iPad at one of five senior centers run by DHS across town. Borrowers can keep the device at home for up to six months to help them connect with friends and family, browse the Internet, connect with a health care provider, participate in leisure activities, and use mobile applications.

A personal internet connection is not required as the devices will come with a free cellular wireless connection to access the internet.

“The San Antonio Public Library is committed to bridging the digital divide for everyone in San Antonio,” said Ramiro S. Salazar, director of the San Antonio Public Library. “This program highlights the library’s dedication to providing seniors not only with vital 21st century resources, but also with services that connect them with friends, family and loved ones in new and meaningful ways.

Among the many benefits of using a digital device, borrowers will be able to access millions of digital resources available through SAPL, including e-books, e-audiobooks, music, movies, and online databases. line.

“The Seniors Services Division helps seniors in our community lead active, independent and engaged lives through comprehensive programs,” said Melody Woosley, Director of the Social Services Department. “The Device Loan Program is a great example of DHS and its partners, in this case the Library Service, working together to provide a service that greatly benefits and improves the lives of our seniors. ”

The devices will be available on departure from October 5 at these DHS senior centers:

  • Normoyle Seniors Center, 700 Culberson, 78211
  • West End Park Seniors Center, 1226 NW 18th St., 78207
  • District 2 Seniors Center, 1751 SWW White Road, 78220
  • Southside Lions Seniors Center, 3303 Pecan Valley Drive, 78210
  • District 5 Elderly Center, 2701 S. Presa, 78210

A San Antonio Public Library card is required to verify a device, and SAPL staff can help those interested in the program create a free library account. Anyone who borrows an iPad will have access to free technical support and training opportunities from AARP Senior Planet Program Partners, OATS and OASIS to help users get the most out of their borrowed device.

Funding for the Seniors Device Loan Program comes from a one-time donation of $ 150,000 from the San Antonio Public Library Foundation. DHS’s partnership with SAPL was natural, as the senior centers provide comprehensive services to the elderly, making the device loan program an additional resource available at the senior center.

For more information on the Seniors Device Loan Program, call 210-207-2500 or chat with library staff at For more information on other library programs and services, visit

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Elon votes! adapts during the non-presidential election year

Elon votes! dedicates each election year to providing car rides to polling stations, helping with voter registration and educating others about the importance of participating in an election. This year without a presidential election to prepare and without a census to think about, Elon Votes! has a whole different purpose.

Elon votes! moved its programming to more social events, like watching an episode of Parks and recreation then discuss the importance of local politics. Trevor Molin, the organization’s civic engagement director, said local politics is now a priority for Elon Votes !, especially without a presidential race this year.

“It’s really interesting because, especially in 2021, where you have two governor races and then you know a ton of local races… it’s not the same way where we can just tell all the students that you have an election like a lot of students probably don’t, ”Molin said.

Sophie Gerth, Senior Voting Ambassador for Elon Votes !, said that despite the lack of large-scale election-focused events, the student organization continues to research and create conversations on campus.

“Our goal is to transform the culture of the campus to be politically aware,” said Gerth.

Voting Ambassadors like Gerth engage with the student body trying to reach a variety of people. According to Gerth, Elon votes! Is open to all majors and strives to increase its membership with people of varying interests.

“Sometimes you can go to spaces on campus that aren’t politically aware or that don’t have these critical discussions,” Gerth said. “Our goal is to kind of infiltrate all of these spaces on campus and make civic engagement something that everyone is involved in.”

One-way Elon votes! is able to help educate students about local elections using the National Study of Learning Voting and Engagement program. NSLVE was created by the Institute for Democracy and Higher Education at Tufts University and provides personalized reports to the more than 1,100 colleges and universities that use this data to create civic change within their own campuses.

NSLVE data shows the voting numbers for each participating school, specifying how students voted and where students are registered to vote. NSLVE can target specific groups of students to ensure they understand all aspects of these elections and voting, such as how to request a postal ballot.

“All of this to give us a better idea of ​​how people vote, how people vote just so we can better serve them,” Molin said.

Elon votes! will continue to organize events such as Deliberate Dialogues to foster civic engagement. Most recently, they hosted an event, Unpacking Cancel Culture, where professors spoke about the culture of cancellation, the idea of ​​separating art from the artist, and their thoughts on productivity from the culture of cancellation.

These events aim to help better educate Elon students about current issues and teach them how to have difficult conversations, according to Molin. An essential aspect of Elon Votes! remains non-partisan, and these events are meant to inform and bring students together rather than forcing a specific point of view as Gerth put it.

Gerth has declared his involvement in Elon Votes! has shown progress, where she can finally see a tangible difference in the work she’s done. One of the reasons was that Elon was fifth in the country for TurboVotes, meaning Elon had the fifth highest number of new voter registrations in terms of percentage and was ninth in the nation based on the total number of registrations. . Looking at the total enrollment, Elon was behind universities such as Harvard, Stanford, and the University of Chicago, all schools that have considerably larger student populations and are considered a policy institute, which means they have more civic engagement resources built into their schools. .

“It’s just the idea that everyone should be able to vote, everyone should have the tools to do it, and that we can work hard and collaborate to make that more accessible to people,” said Gerth.

Molin and Gerth are both optimistic about the future of Elon Votes! and believe in the work they do.

“Every year we wait for the data to come back, on how we behaved in the elections, you know, for example, how many students registered to vote, how many actually showed up. We have not yet recovered this data because it takes so long every time the organization that compiles all this information has to process it. But I will say that I just felt this incredible energy on campus during the last election, ”said Gerth.

Elon votes! has built on that momentum from last year and hopes to carry that same energy through the work they continue to do this semester.

“It’s been so many years and so many students and it’s a privilege to be able to continue like this,” said Gerth. “I feel like we are in the midst of a culture change on campus.”

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WVU Center for Resilient Communities to Host 3rd Annual Sustainability Internship | E-News

The Center for Resilient Communities is currently accepting applications for its third annual sustainability internship organized in collaboration with the Department of Geology and Geography. The internship is made possible thanks to a generous partnership with The One Foundation.

The Sustainability Internship is designed for undergraduates who wish to cultivate their leadership and community-based research capabilities to contribute to transformative social change in the Appalachians. The Sustainability Internship provides undergraduate students a space to build their confidence and capacity in their search for creative solutions to local and global problems.

The WVU Center for Resilient Communities, based in the Department of Geology and Geography at Eberly College of Arts and Sciences, launched the internship program in 2019 to support career preparation, community research training, and provide students with the opportunity to engage with community partners. in a significant social action at VM. Since 2019, CRC and its partners have hosted 34 students and supported 13 community organizations that strive to improve access to food and advance environmental conservation, agricultural development, downtown revitalization. city, health equity and environmental justice.

“Student interns learn to lead, they gain real research experience, and they work on serious issues facing West Virginia and people around the world,” said Bradley Wilson, director of the Center for Resilient Communities. “Most importantly, the students put their creativity to work for community organizations and local leaders who are striving to find practical solutions.”

Sustainability interns come from Eberly College of Arts and Sciences degree programs, including geography, women and gender studies, anthropology, political science, biology, international studies, world languages ​​and environmental geosciences.

What is a sustainable development internship?

  • 4-month mentorship in action research for sustainable development

  • Internship and first-hand experience with community organizations

  • Price of $ 500 for completing the program

What do interns in sustainable development do?

  • Support the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal

  • Benefit from one-on-one mentoring

  • Participate in weekly seminars and earn course credits

  • Meet renowned national and global leaders

  • Acquire critical leadership skills and build action research capacities

  • Learn from peers – have fun – make friends – launch a career

The deadline to apply is October 24.

Apply for the Sustainable Development Internship.

The WVU Center for Resilient Communities is an action research and education center focused on training the next generation of leaders for more just, equitable and resilient communities.

For enrollment requests and student questions, contact Davide Zoppolato at [email protected] and for program questions contact Bradley Wilson at [email protected]

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