International Women’s Day is celebrated on March 8 (this Wednesday) around the world. Learn how it’s observed in various countries from CultureGrams:
- Burkina Faso: On International Women’s Day, official celebrations are held in cities. Many Burkinabè, especially women, dress up in a fabric designed each year for the event. People also celebrate by going to bars to drink, eat, and dance.
- Kyrgyzstan: On International Women’s Day, men give gifts to the women in their lives, including grandmothers, mothers, sisters, aunts, classmates, co-workers, and wives or girlfriends.
- Mauritania: International Women’s Day is celebrated in each regional capital with a fair at which women’s cooperatives from the surrounding area display and sell their goods. A ceremony is held and includes speeches by government leaders. Many development organizations present awareness campaigns.
- Ukraine: On International Women’s Day, everyone gets the day off work. Women receive flowers and gifts, as well as household help from their husbands. Special attention is paid to mothers, and girls are congratulated as future women.
- Madagascar: International Women’s Day is celebrated across Madagascar, even in small villages. The day’s events typically include a gathering at the mayor’s office, where women’s groups perform traditional dances for the town’s officials in return for a small monetary gift. Women in the northeastern part of the island commonly wear matching blouses and lamba (long cotton wraps). They often make noise using whistles and condensed-milk cans fashioned into rattles.
How well do you know U.S. women’s history?
To celebrate Women’s History Month, take this Playbuzz quiz to see if you can pair up the correct state with an event in U.S. women’s history. Each question is based on facts taken from SIRS Issues Researcher timelines, including the one for our Women’s Rights Leading Issue.
(If you can’t view the matching game below, you can access it on PlayBuzz.)
What are you doing with your students to celebrate Women’s History Month?
Tweet us at #ProQuest or comment below!
March has been designated as Red Cross Month by every U.S. president since World War II. The American Red Cross is a charitable organization committed to providing care to people in need. The humanitarian organization’s mission is to prevent and relieve suffering. It depends on volunteers and generous donors to support its lifesaving programs and services. March is the perfect time to educate your students about the history of the American Red Cross, the services it provides, and the volunteer opportunities available.
The American Red Cross was founded on May 21, 1881, in Washington, D.C. by Clara Barton. Clarissa Harlowe Barton worked as a school teacher and as a recording clerk at the U.S. Patent Office in Washington, D.C. During the Civil War, she provided assistance to the soldiers by bringing them supplies and offering them support. When she visited Europe after the Civil War, Barton was introduced to the global Red Cross network in Geneva, Switzerland. After she returned to the United States, Barton lobbied for an American Red Cross and for U.S. ratification of the Geneva Treaty. The treaty was signed by President Chester A. Arthur on March 1, 1882, and ratified by the U.S. Senate on March 16, 1882.
Clara Barton became the first president of the American Red Cross. She led the organization for 23 years. During Barton’s tenure, the American Red Cross conducted its first disaster relief efforts domestically and abroad, cared for American soldiers during the Spanish-American War, and successfully campaigned for the inclusion of relief work in peacetime.
Today, the American Red Cross is focused on five key areas:
∙ Disaster Relief: Every year the American Red Cross responds to nearly 70,000 disasters in the United States, ranging from home fires to hurricanes. Disaster victims are provided with food, shelter, and health and mental health services.
∙ Lifesaving Blood: The American Red Cross is the “largest single supplier of blood and blood products” in the United States. Every year, approximately 4 million people support the American Red Cross by donating blood, helping to provide over 40% of the nation’s blood supply.
∙ Supporting U.S. Military Families: The American Red Cross assists members of the military, veterans, and their families by helping them plan for, manage, and respond to the unique challenges of military service.
∙ International Services: The American Red Cross provides assistance to disaster victims around the world, invests in disaster preparedness, reconnects families who have been separated by disaster and international war, helps vaccinate children against measles, and educates about international humanitarian law.
∙ Health and Safety Services: The American Red Cross is the leading provider of safety and health courses in the United States. Such courses include CPR, Lifeguard training, and First Aid. Every year, over 9 million Americans take park in the organization’s training programs, including educators, first responders, and babysitters.
Being young is not a barrier to volunteering at the American Red Cross—approximately 25% of the organization’s volunteers are 24 years old or younger. The American Red Cross offers many opportunities for youth to have diverse and new experiences, serve the needs of their communities, and gain leadership skills. Some volunteer opportunities for young people include hosting a blood drive, distributing disaster preparedness information, assembling comfort kits for disaster victims, and fundraising activities.
Students can also start or join a Red Cross Club. Red Cross Clubs give students a chance to connect with their peers while helping their community. Students who volunteer with the American Red Cross are able to make a meaningful impact in people’s lives, maximize their talents, learn life-saving skills, and improve their resumes.
Most everyone knows Rosa Parks whose courageous action of not giving up her seat on a Montgomery, Alabama city bus to a white passenger on December 1, 1955, helped launch the civil rights movement. Most people do not know Claudette Colvin who also refused to give up her seat on the bus — nine months before Rosa Parks.
On March 2, 1955, fifteen-year-old Claudette Colvin remained seated when a white passenger boarded the bus and waited for her to move. She believed it her constitutional right to sit wherever she chose even though Jim Crow laws of the day dictated otherwise. She was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. Claudette would later say, “I couldn’t get up that day. History kept me stuck to my seat. I felt the hand of Harriet Tubman pushing down on one shoulder and Sojourner Truth pushing down on the other.”
Claudette Colvin’s arrest provided the spark needed to make a stand and provide a test case to end segregation on city buses. However, local African-American leadership thought otherwise. They believed Claudette would be perceived as too militant. Her image was not the one the movement wanted to cast. When she became pregnant a few months later, their belief was reinforced. Instead, Rosa Parks’ similar act of defiance would hasten the 381-day Montgomery Bus Boycott and lay the foundation for the modern civil rights movement.
Not until many years later would Claudette Colvin become more than just a footnote in history. Her role is not celebrated, but it is nonetheless pivotal. In a recent honor, Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange called her “an early foot soldier in our civil rights.” Claudette Colvin stands alongside Rosa Parks — two women, two generations — taking a stand and helping to change history.
We’ve also added interviews to the Comoros report! Take a look at them to get a feel for life in different areas in the Comoros Islands among different age groups and socioeconomic backgrounds.Fatima, female, age 29
The newest content editor in the Boca Raton, FL, office shares her experience volunteering throughout her first year on the team.
In November 2015, I took a leap of faith and joined ProQuest. I was thrilled not only to fulfill my dream of becoming an editor but to find a company whose values spoke to me. One such value is Community–the realization that we are “citizens of the world” who must “understand our responsibility within it.”
This particular idea of Community appealed to me. An Orlando native, I knew that I had to leave my childhood home (of 25 years, no less) to make both a new living and a new life–all by myself. A couple of weeks after my initial interview, I packed up some bare necessities and my best business casual clothes, hopped on the Florida Turnpike, and wondered exactly how different life could be three hours south.
Here was a company who offered employees the use of 16 hours a year to be spent serving the community. This past year, I learned exactly how much good 16 hours can achieve.
At the Boca Raton office, I joined a highly skilled group of individuals whose passion for serving the community reflects in all that they do, both in the office and within the greater Palm Beach County area.
The ProQuest team made visits to the Palm Beach County Food Bank, where we sorted and boxed canned goods for distribution to families in hunger. We stuffed school supplies into brand new, brightly-colored backpacks for the annual Community Back to School Bash (BASH), and had a blast going through the piles of pencils, scissors, notebooks, etc. I especially loved going to Lake Worth to visit Forgotten Soldiers Outreach, where we made care packages for soldiers fighting abroad. During the winter season, we even signed holiday cards for the troops. As someone with friends and family in the military, I cherished the chance to let our troops know I appreciate their sacrifice.
These outings have provided wonderful opportunities to work closely with my team. ProQuest has allowed me to meet the diverse people who make our community great and to support outreach centers in person. My fellow editors inspire me to get involved in various causes. I love that our company encourages us to serve others, to see the fruits of our labor take shape as a force for positive change in the world.
It is more rewarding than I could have imagined.
We are a close team, and I am proud to call Boca Raton my new home.
These days there’s a lot of images floating around the internet. Sometimes it’s hard to tell when something is in the public domain (free to use), has a Creative Commons license (can be used with certain limitations), is for commercial use (for-profit use), or is copyrighted without permission to reuse.
Knowing the basics of copyright can help you choose images appropriately and even craft lessons centered around the key points of copyright and its uses. To help you stay within the lines, we’ve put together some tips and tools for finding content that works for you.
Tip #1: Ask yourself where the image came from.
Sites like Photopin and Flickr are good places to start. Here you can filter images by commercial/non-commercial use, check to see what type of Creative Commons licenses are being used and search a wide variety of images that can be used to illustrate lessons.
Tip #2: Look for signs of copyrighted work before using.
- Does the image have a watermark/byline?
- Does the image have a copyright symbol?
- Is the image from a reputable news source?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, chances are this is an image that is not available for reuse. Usually, copyrighted works require permission from the agency/photographer. Often times this means there will be a fee accompanying permission.
Tip #3: Question the image use.
If you are staying within the educational/teaching realm, you may be able to benefit from “fair use.” This is a copyright law that enables copyrighted works to be used without permission if its use is deemed “fair.” Teaching, commenting on, criticizing or parodying copyrighted works are all deemed protected within “fair use.”
Tip #4: Know these helpful terms.
Here are some helpful definitions when figuring out if your content is safe to use.
Commercial Use: used in conjunction with profit. This applies to any business use and any purpose that intends to promote a brand/business. Use in a company blog would be commercial.
Fair Use: copyrighted works may be used without permission if its use is deemed “fair.” An example would be commenting, criticizing, parodying, or teaching a copyrighted work.
Non-Commercial Use: for use that doesn’t intend to make a profit. An example of this would be for use in an educational lesson that is without monetary gain.
Public Domain: works in the public domain are available to the public as a whole. An example would be a work with a copyright that has expired.
Creative Commons (CC): a license that enables free distribution of copyrighted works. Authors who enable CC licenses want to give people the ability to share, use and build upon their original works–with restrictions. The Creative Commons search engine is a good place to visit.
Want more? The U.S. Copyright Office is another helpful resource.
Are you creating a lesson centered around copyright use? We want to know about it. Tweet us at #ProQuest or comment below!
Engineering is the science by which the properties of matter and the sources of power in nature are made useful to humans in structures, devices, machines, and products. An engineer is an individual who specializes in one of the many branches of engineering.
There has been a lot of talk about in recent years about emphasizing STEM/STEAM in schools to help the U.S. fill jobs in many technical fields. One front in this effort is National Engineers Week, which in 2017 is February 19-25. Quoting from the website of DiscoverE, the organization behind it, National Engineers Week is intended to “Celebrate how engineers make a difference in our world; Increase public dialogue about the need for engineers; Bring engineering to life for kids, educators, and parents.” The site has activities, videos and other resources to help educators expose students to engineering concepts and career paths.
Teachers, eLibrary also has you covered. Of course, students and educators can search the database for lots of interesting articles, websites, transcripts and more relating to the various branches of engineering. But we also offer lots of Research Topics on specific topics in the sciences. They can be discovered while searching (look for drop-down lists while typing in search terms–many of the items here will return a Research Topic at the top of the results) and by browsing the list of all RTs. Here is a small sampling of relevant RTs to get your students started in exploring the impact of engineers and considering educational and career paths in the sciences:
Computer Software Engineer
Golden Gate Bridge
I-35W Bridge Collapse
One World Trade Center
Three Gorges Dam
The CultureGrams editors are excited to announce a new Kids edition country report!
The new Togo report includes detailed information on the history, culture, language, food, and daily life of this country.
Here are some interesting Did You Knows about the Togo:
- Togo is believed to have been named after a town on the shore of Lake Togo. The name comes from the Ewe words to (water) and go (shore).
- Most homes in Togo do not have running water, so fetching water is a common daily chore for children.
- Among the Ewe, babies are named after the day of the week they are born but are often given a personal first name as well.
- To show respect, young people kneel when greeting an elder.
The gathering of information begins with a need or desire for an answer to a question. Perhaps that question is posed by a teacher or by the student herself. The next course of action in schools these days is usually to consult a website, or perhaps a book. Information literacy skills support students in navigating this process of finding answers.
But once students are equipped with these vital research skills and find answers to questions, what is the next step toward understanding and integrating the information they find?
Another way to ask that question might be this: How can we turn information gathering into wisdom?
“Wonder is the beginning of wisdom.”—Socrates
Socrates prized questioning over information gathering. He valued the qualities of critical thinking and engagement with a topic. He believed in creating a learning atmosphere of cooperation, dialogue, listening, and further questioning—cornerstones of the Socratic method, and foundations of the Socratic seminar.
Socrates believed that collecting and memorizing information provided little opportunity for true learning. And as learning was best nurtured in a social atmosphere, the lone activity of research provided little support for critical thinking and comprehension.
Navigating and bridging the educational essentials of research and the art of critical thinking may be a challenging journey.
The Socratic seminar is one way to help connect these two elements of a successful classroom.
“Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel.”—Socrates
The Socratic seminar provides students with a forum to ask questions and exchange ideas with their peers on a specific topic, event, or piece of literature. Students come prepared to engage in discussion with fellow students, having read assigned materials, conducted appropriate research, made personal connections, and formulated questions to bring to the seminar.
The teacher becomes the seminar’s facilitator, keeping the students on topic and asking open-ended questions when necessary. The goal is to allow students to practice the art of true dialogue. Emphasis is placed on the value of listening and respecting everyone’s questions and opinions. Socratic seminars are not debates; rather, they are cooperative conversations geared toward critical thinking and discovery.
Interested in learning more about this teaching and learning tool? Check out this Socratic Seminar Strategy Guide and this Seminar Discussion Rubric, and select from these Socratic seminar lesson plans on literary texts, immigration, and human gene editing.
“I cannot teach anybody anything. I can only make them think.”—Socrates