by Buzz Brockway | Jul 27, 2021
U.S. House Appropriations Committee Voted to Cut Charter Schools Program Funding
Lawmakers Stifle Learning
by Eda Beacham | Jul 27, 2021
Importance of Family
At GCO, the impact area of Family, we always need volunteers. Since we devote much of our time and efforts to family, we enjoy hearing what about family inspires people to volunteer.
Eda Beacham is a current volunteer for GCO and we wanted to share her story with you. Let us know in the comments what strength and or similarities you have in common with Eda. We invite you to send in stories about your family, too.
The makeup of my family has changed over time. Through marriage, divorce, birth and death, there has been an ever-changing clan at the Thanksgiving table. The birth of nieces, nephews and our own two sons added to the joy; and the passing of my mom and later, my husband, brought sorrow and some empty chairs. Then the grandchildren came, and they filled the empty spaces with laughter and love. The cycle continues today with this next generation, as it does in most families.
Families are always changing, but what holds them together? For me, it was my mother and her eternal optimism. Her life was not easy, but she always believed things would get better. With a limited education, she worked hard and put all her love and determination into raising a family. She came through the Great Depression and WWII, so she knew how to stretch a dollar and “make do.” She taught us values like hard work and sharing with others. She believed in God and made sure we went to church.
Our family will likely have the greatest impact on our lives and play a critical role as we grow throughout our lifetime.
Creating strong family bonds and healthy family relationships is key to family wellness, mental stability, and physical health.
Learn more about free tools and resources available in the community to strengthen your relationships.
When my dad left after 27 years of marriage, Mom’s faith took on a new freshness and devotion; and she ventured out in search of where she could be of service. She decided to sell everything and move into a home as cook and housekeeper for a man who had survived a brain tumor, but was left with the mind of an eight-year old. After this gentleman passed away, my mom began to dream about a little piece of land in the country where she could put down new roots and serve. She found a small tumbledown house on two acres, so she went to work making it a home. While working full-time in the nearby little town, she hosted home Bible studies, planted big gardens every year, served scrumptious down-home meals to family, friends, or whoever came by, and took in few strays along the way. Even though my mother never made much money, she found a way to help people who were down on their luck – a friend or family member who was out of work and needed a place to live, a relative in prison who received encouragement and hope from her letters, families who needed food or money in a crisis. In what turned out to be my mom’s last year, just shy of 66 years old, she had taken in her first foster child, a young teenage girl. My mother never stopped dreaming; she never stopped giving. And Mom saw her dreams come to life.
by Kristin Barker | Jul 20, 2021
Improve Your Life with a Growth Mindset
Learning keeps you growing
Most people agree that learning is important. I’m just not sure we understand how important it really is. I can still remember as a child believing that I needed to know everything or people wouldn’t think I was smart and capable. I hear kids today (and even adults) saying, “You don’t have to tell me. I know that.” Saying this often enough can make it an automatic response to receiving new information.
There seems to be an inherent desire–starting at a very young age–to already have the knowledge we need to understand the world. It can be even more difficult for children to see the value of learning when our educational system (and usually our parents) place the focus on grades as the most important thing they have to achieve. And learning isn’t only important for kids. While it may start when we’re young, it surely doesn’t end there. If we are wise, we will be learning until the end of our lives.
Learning new information will help us grow personally in a way that allows us to better handle life’s challenges we face every day. As we continue learning into adulthood, it can actually improve our memory and help us relate to new information positively. It may even reduce our chances of developing Alzheimer’s or dementia.
Learning can also help us adapt to new situations with less stress and anxiety. If you struggle to see change as good and prefer that things stay the same, this is a skill that will make your daily life more pleasant. It can also increase your value in the workplace because you’ll be able to easily “roll with the punches”. Learning even changes the way you think about the hard stuff. In short, it helps you embrace a growth mindset.
What is a growth mindset? This simply means you believe your abilities can be improved through dedication and hard work, and that your talents can be developed. It’s about more than just taking in feedback, learning from your experience, and coming up with strategies for improving. It’s also about knowing deep down in your gut that even when you fail at something, you will eventually succeed. In fact, it’s the knowledge that failing will only make you more likely to succeed the next time or the time after that! Every time you fail, your success muscle gets stronger.
Embracing this growth mindset will allow you to bounce back quickly from disappointment because you understand that every failure is an opportunity to learn something new and therefore a stepping stone toward your success. This helps us to be more resilient, and resiliency allows us to cope better with the hard things in life.
A BETTER life begins with BETTER WORK.
Learning equals confidence
In short, learning will make you more confident in yourself and in your future. Your perspective will change so you begin to see the journey of life differently. I encourage you to take the first step if you haven’t already. Find something new you want to learn today, and do it!
BETTER WORK communities have mentors who are available to walk alongside you during your journey. Visit betteropportunity.org to find out more.
by Corey Burres | Jul 19, 2021
Letter: Reimagine how children stay connected to school | THE ROANOKE TIMES
The June 8 Roanoke School Board meeting addressed student learning loss and post-pandemic reorganization.
As a Hollins University student and member of the Roanoke community, I care about access to education.
In my research, I found a study from the Georgia Center for Opportunity, illuminating that while white students have fallen one to three months behind, students of color nationwide have fallen at least three to five months behind in their education during the pandemic.
These results are almost identical to the learning gaps that result from student suspension and barriers to accessing academic support services, including the disproportionate impact on students and families of color…
by Corey Burres | Jul 16, 2021
Inflation is running wild — poor and low-income Americans will be hurt the most | QUAD CITY TIMES
How can we help working families the most? Raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour is a popular solution, but it’s a short-sighted one given the reality that inflation — the silent assassin of Americans’ livelihoods, particularly for the poor — is now running the hottest it has in decades.
The Consumer Price Index has increased 5.4% since last year, as announced on July 13 by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The monthly rate was 0.6% in May but 0.9% in June. If this rate persists, our nation will experience double-digit inflation. A 0.9% monthly rate translates to an 11.4% annual rate, a level not seen since the 1970s….