The Year in Review: Uplifting, Inspiring & Wacky News Stories of 2013

girls, female role models, malala, education
Image © Jaime C. Moore

1. Girls Rule!

There’s a saying: If you educate a girl, you educate a whole village. Yet finding good female role models for our kids can be challenging in this twerk-tastic world. We loved how this photographer dressed and photographed her daughter as historical heroines such as Amelia Earhart and Jane Goodall. The ad for Goldieblox reimagined the Beastie Boys classic “Girls” into a feminist anthem and went viral even as it got into copyright issues. We’ll take our girls as these type of rule-breakers any day.

Another stellar female role model Malala Yousafzai, brought women’s rights to the younger set (she’s 15!) and she was shortlisted for a Nobel Peace Prize in 2013. According to this bright and brave young woman, “I know the issues are complex and enormous. But the solution is one and simple. That is education, education, education.”

preschool, education, learning, waldorf

2. The Changing Tides of Child Education

Of course, the importance of education isn’t just for girls. Evidence is mounting that preschool is an “extremely cost-effective educational intervention method,” with children of all classes and backgrounds benefiting from the early enrichment. Of course, we’d all want our kids to go to preschool in the forest!

And kids learn more than the basics at certain schools: one Queens public school went vegetarian and touted improved student academic scores, attention spans, and energy levels. Go plant-based power!

outdoor play, nature, kids entertainment, eco play

Image by tcoulston via sxc.

3. The Great Outdoors

Outdoor, unstructured play is paramount and is often sorely lacking in today’s educational environment. Luckily, we see evidence that tides are changing and that outdoor playtime is now being viewed as much more valuable and vital than “just running around.”

Also, more schools with environmental missions and schools that naturally favor this type of play such as Waldorf and forest kindergartens are popping up. Even when the winter weather is less than desirable, remember that everyone benefits from fresh air and going for a nature walk/play in the snow or taking the dog out for playtime in the fresh air.

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