Friday, October 21, 2016

Feel Good Friday - Teaching Tolerance

Today's Feel Good Friday organization is Teaching Tolerance. Why? Because right about now the world (and yes, I mostly mean you, United States) could use a lesson in tolerance.

Teaching Tolerance (TT) was founded in Montgomery, Alabama by the Southern Poverty Law Center in 1991. As explained on their website, the organization is "dedicated to reducing prejudice, improving intergroup relations and supporting equitable school experience for our nation's children." Their philosophy is to view tolerance "as a way of thinking and feeling - but most importantly, of acting - that gives us peace in our individuality, respect for those unlike us, the wisdom to discern humane values and the courage to act upon them. Yes! More of this please.

TT carries out their mission by providing FREE educational materials to teachers and other school practitioners in the U.S. and Canada. Resources include a quarterly magazine (the fall edition is focused on the 2016 election) and film kits that include Oscar-winning documentaries.

The publications, classroom resources and professional development aides available can be targeted to specific grades and they cover the following topics: ability, appearance, family, gender expression, immigration, media literacy, race and ethnicity, religion, school climate, sexual orientation, the civil rights movement, gender equity, rights, wealth and poverty. Whew!

For the last 14 years, there has also been a campaign called Mix It Up at Lunch Day, which encourages students to move outside of their comfort zones and connect with someone new (and different from them) over lunch. It happens annually on the last Tuesday in October and the benefits are explained in this short video.

You can learn more about Teaching Tolerance by reading this informational brochure or the current magazine issue, access free resources on their website and stay in the loop by liking their Facebook page and following them on Twitter @Tolerance_org.

Now let's all get out there and practice some tolerance!

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