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SEPTEMBER 07, 2015


from the publisher of The Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education Magazine


Photo courtesy of PR Newswire (Andrew H. Walker, Getty Images) PUBLISHER PRESIDENT AND CEO














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FULFILLING HIS FATHER’S AMERICAN DREAM Martin Sheen is awarded a degree from Dayton University






Lesson Plans

Ted Turner cartoon inspires real-life environmental education







Veteran educator offers advice to teachers and parents




This month OutlooK-12 features children’s books that inspired family movies

WHAT HAPPENS AFTER SCHOOL CAN ENHANCE LEARNING Chicago after school program designed to improve social, academic and future success




The latest education-related stories from across America



amón Estévez was baptized moments after having his left shoulder crushed by forceps during his delivery. He was supposed to die, but Ramón (who would later be known as actor and social activist Martin Sheen) survived and thrived but not in the way his father envisioned. It took 55 years for Sheen to fulfill his immigrant father’s American dream for him: being awarded a degree from Dayton University, his hometown school. Sheen said the ceremony, in combination with a family reunion the day before, resurfaced his father, Francisco, in a deeply personal way and reminded him of the connection between the University and his family. Many members of his extended family were in attendance including sons Ramon and Emilo, grandchildren, four siblings and a host of other extended family members. “I was not prepared for the deep emotional crack it made in me,” he said in an interview after the event. “This was about my dad. I had to come here. I

4 · September 07, 2015

had to celebrate him. I had to recognize him.” In an exclusive interview with OutlooK-12’s Mary Ann Cooper, Sheen once reflected on his childhood and that time in 1958 when he and his father were at loggerheads over Sheen’s decision to head to Broadway and forgo a college education. It sheds new light on why this honor has been so special to him. “My mother and father met in citizenship school. She taught him English. She [Mary Ann] was an Irish immigrant, and her family members were members of the IRA. My father [Francesco] was a proud Spanish immigrant. He worked long hours as a punch press operator at the National Cash Register Company in Dayton, Ohio. My mother died when I was 11, and my father worked even harder just to keep the ten of us, nine boys and a girl, close to each other and hold us together as a family.

Sheen addresses Dayton University graduates

Photo Courtesy of Dayton University (Briana Snyder Photography )

I was always different from my brothers and sister because of my left arm [weakened and 3 inches shorter than his right]. My father always told me ‘Work with your mind, not with your body.’ My father thought of me as a cripple. I was deformed. Pop would put a little money aside each week – just for me. Not for the other brothers. Most of the guys when they turned 18 or 19 joined the army. He wanted me to go to the University of Dayton. But I had a different idea. My father knew I wanted to be an actor, but he didn’t know if I was any good. He thought it was a fantasy, and he couldn’t support my decision. We had some terrible arguments about this.” Sheen says, when he couldn’t convince his father to see things his way, he tried a more radical ap-

proach. “I took the entrance exam for the University of Dayton but deliberately flunked it. I threw the test to finally get through to him. And I did. When I showed him the letter, he suspected foul play.” But, instead of letting it go, Francesco dug his heels in and demanded an explanation. Sheen explains, “He scheduled an appointment with the dean and took me with him. It was one of the most humiliating experiences of my life. My dad sat there as serious as stone. And the dean was trying to tell my dad, ‘Look, this boy doesn’t want to go to school.’ My father still wouldn’t buy it. He said, ‘Okay, maybe you’re not ready for this. You go to junior college, and then you’ll qualify for college.’ He wasn’t giving up.” Like father, like son, notes Sheen. “I wasn’t giving up, either.”

My father knew I wanted to be an actor, but he didn't know if I was any good. He thought it was a fantasy, and he couldn't support my decision. We had some terrible arguments about this.” Martin Sheen K

When the subject of going to New York came up after that, he was more opposed than ever to my plan.” [Martin imitates his father’s big basso profundo voice and Spanish accent] “Oh honey, [he called all his kids, ‘honey’] you can’t do this. You don’t dance, you don’t sing, you don’t play the music.’And I said to him, ‘Pop, you watch TV every night, and you watch westerns. How many guys do you see singing and dancing or playing a musical instrument on those shows? And you know what he said? He said, ‘Well, you don’t ride a horse neither.’ I swear he said that. And it was an explanation as if to say, you can’t even do that! You’re all wrong for this. He was unbelievable. I went to New York anyway and changed my stage name to Martin Sheen. In 1965, I was on Broadway in “The Subject Was Roses,” and it was a big hit. My dad was visiting us. I wanted him to see the show, but he never would. ‘Oh no, I couldn’t,’ he’d say. There was always a promise to come and an excuse not to come – that’s how shy he was.

This was about my dad. I had to come here. I had to celebrate him. I had to recognize him.” Martin Sheen

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Sheen is awarded his honorary doctorate degree from Dayton University. Photo Courtesy of Dayton University (Briana Snyder Photography)

Photo Courtesy of NBC Photo Courtesy of Dayton University (Larry Burgerss)

Sheen as President Bartett on NBC's West Wing

Sheen waves to the graduates as he exits the Dayton U. stage.

But then one evening, he did come. This was so important for me. My father was leaving to retire in Spain in a few days, and he might not ever see me on stage again. Now, that play was about fathers and sons, and I gave what I thought was the best performance of my life that night. The last scene in the play, I tell my father that I love him. And we hug each other. That’s the curtain line. So I played it to him through Jack [Albertson]. It was pretty powerful. My father never came back stage. By the time I got home, I was just exhausted from the performance and waited for my father, but he still never came out to see me. I sat on the couch, exhausted, looking down and in my peripheral vision I saw my father’s feet coming in the frame. He was a walker. He’d put his hands in his pockets and pace endlessly. He walks past me, and he never says a word. Then suddenly I see his feet and become aware that he’s standing right over me. So I look up, and he’s looking right at me. It’s like he’s looking at me for the first time. Like who are you, where did you come from, what’s your story? He just stared at me until I got really nervous. And I broke the gaze. He left a few days later for Spain and never said a word to me about the play. But that was not the end of the story. In 1969, I’m doing the movie “Catch 22,” and I had to go to Italy to complete the film. I took Emilio and Ramón with me and decided we just have to go to Spain to see my dad’s homeland and meet his brothers. And so we do. K

Sheen celebrates with fellow Dayton University graduates. Photo Courtesy of Dayton University (Briana Snyder Photography)

It was a tiny little house made of stone that looked like they carved it out of the mountain. There was no electricity, and they weren’t prepared for us, so they led us to a room with one bed, and we all slept in the same bed. It was so dark, we couldn’t see anything in this room. The next morning I wake up, and the first thing I see on the wall was the poster for “The Subject Was Roses.” I was stunned. And although I couldn’t speak much Spanish, I was made to understand that the bed we had slept in was the bed where my father was born. Here I am with my two kids sleeping in my dad’s bed and room. I later found out 8 · September 07 2015

he was bragging about me to his family there. I never knew it. See, he could never express himself emotionally. That was the best he could do. He was so proud of me, and he never told me. Many years have passed since that trip to Spain, and although Sheen has gone on to achieve great artistic accomplishments, his father’s American dream of having him go to college has always stayed with him. That’s why Dayton University awarding Sheen with an honorary doctor of humane letters degree for his commitment to “peace, social justice and human rights, exemplifying the Catholic, Marianist university’s mission” means so much to him. •



n 1958, Hispanic American Ramón Estévez considered what to do after high school. In 2002, Mexican-American Octavio González was faced with the same question. Separated by decades but united by a common heritage, these two men had different points of view in their outlook toward higher education. Ramón never went to college. Instead, he went to New York to seek fame and fortune. The world would come to know him as the award-winning stage, television and movie star Martin Sheen. In 1999, "The West Wing" premiered with Sheen as its star. Not long after that, González had a chance encounter with Sheen on the campus of Georgetown University. "That is a pretty funny story,” Gonzalez told OutlooK-12’s Cooper in 2007. “At the end of my freshman year at Georgetown, 'West Wing' came on campus to film a graduation scene. It was in front of our main building. And, in the show, President Bartlett's daughter graduates from Georgetown University. There were some fliers posted for students to play extras in the graduation scene, so I signed up. I had to put on a robe and pretend to graduate. Martin was great. He was standing out there surrounded by students whenever he had a break from filming and didn't mind at all. I went up to him with a friend to see if I could get a picture of him because I am a huge fan of 'The West Wing', but I'm probably a bigger fan of the causes that Martin adopts. I was able to get a picture of him, and in the 10 seconds, I had with him,

Octavio Gonzalez with his mentor Martin Sheen Photo Courtesy of Octavio Gonzalez

I mentioned to him that I was from Los Angeles, and I knew a Jesuit priest who is one of Martin's good friends. He was the pastor of the parish near where I live. And that's all I got a chance to say to him.” The story would have ended there except that González decided to send the pictures he took to Sheen. "I took a shot and sent them over to Warner Bros. to see if I could get them autographed by Martin. I wrote a letter and said, 'I am sure you don't remember me. I'm a freshman at Georgetown, Octavio González. I was an extra, and I also just want to tell you what a big fan I am.' Martin Sheen is really one of my heroes. So I basically told him all that and sent it along-just a fan looking for an autograph." Fate took a shine to González. Not only did his letter make it out of the Warner Bros.' slush pile in the mailroom-Sheen answered it. But González almost missed getting that response. "I went to Central California to work at a camp for migrant children. And, while I was gone, Martin not only mailed back the picture with an autograph, he attached a nice note saying, 'Of course, I remember you. You mentioned Father Greg Boyle over in East LA. Before you go back to school, I'd like a chance to get together with you and him.' I didn't get this letter until about two or three weeks before I left for Georgetown, and I was afraid I missed the chance to meet up with him again. But, when I called him, we worked it out. We ended up going to Mass together, and we chatted and had a great time."

Sheen told Hispanic Outlook Magazine that he could see that González was an "extraordinary young man." He decided to keep in touch with González and help him any way he could to complete his education. González says, "The next times he was in D.C., he would give me a call. Whenever he was filming, there we would get together, and when I'd get back to LA., I'd call, and we'd get together. And that's how the relationship grew. He's such a personable person." "He said to me that, if I ever needed him, I could count on him. He helped me throughout my Georgetown experience. I probably would not have been able to do it without his help. He, in his very quiet way, would say, 'If there is anything you need, come to me.' It turns out Georgetown is a very expensive school. In the last two years, in particular, a lot of expenses came up that he was able to help me out with. I could not have managed without him." Martin is humble, and in his own quiet way, he has such a huge impact-on so many people. His causes, his involvement in social causes in my neighborhood in East L.A., they're not big publicity things. He doesn't do it because it plays well in the papers. And he doesn't do it to advance his career. He does it in such a quiet way that people don't realize he's working behind the scenes to make things happen and make life better for some people. A lot of people owe him a debt of gratitude and probably don't even know it. And that's who Martin really is." • K


counselor. I’ve been working with a senior who is set on becoming an actor. The problem is I’ve seen him in school plays, and he’s not good at it. I’ve tried to talk to him about the challenges of a career in acting, but he believes that all he needs to do is put a video up on YouTube, and he’ll get discovered. How do I get through to him without completely crushing him?

A: Students who seek a future in the

performing arts can obtain training and experience at the college level in a number of ways. Remember, the simple fact that a freshman student entering school as an acting major can change majors during college. I would advise students interested in acting to join the school’s drama club and be part of the performances that the students produce. If a student has very limited talent, that may become self-apparent as they become exposed to other hopeful thespians. A student may enter college with little skill and can still graduate much further down the road, having gained the requisite skill and being able to perform well on stage or in front of a camera. The job of a guidance counselor is just that: to guide and counsel students. To give teenagers accurate and sincere advice is good but never squelch a youth’s dream. No matter how unrealistic a student’s goal may be the task of a counselor is to help that individual achieve his or her goal.

Q: I’m a teacher at a school that has grades from pre-k through eighth. I was teaching third grade. But because of staffing changes, I’m now teaching seventh grade. The kids in third grade still respected authority. The kids in the seventh grade are starting to rebel against authority. I tried to adjust my teaching style, but most of my students do things like roll their eyes and try to sneak texting each other during class. How can I regain control?

A: Seventh grade is a transitional

grade. It is considered one of the more difficult grades to teach. You neglected to indicate the subject that you teach, however, lecture less and have students work on assignments more. In addition, have students work in groups to begin the assignments. Almost all assignments should be graded, elevating the importance of your students’ effort. In this way, the learning process and subject matter become the focal point of the class, making classroom management much easier.

Q: I’m an elementary school nurse.

Every day this week a little first grade girl has been sent down to my office by her teacher. I believe she is faking being sick because she has no symptoms and the time that she shows up everyday is the same time that her teacher is teaching social studies. I’ve spoken to her teacher, but his attitude is if she’s sick, and he does nothing, he’s in big trouble, but if she’s faking and flunks, that’s not his problem. I don’t agree with him, but I’m more worried about the little girl. How can I help her?

A: Although your evaluation of this

child’s “malady” is probably correct, I agree with the teacher. The school nurse should examine this student. However unlikely, each student’s potential medical issue needs to be addressed. If your school has a guidance counselor, have this girl speak to that person. In addition, speak to this student’s parent or parents to investigate the girl’s medical history and to possibly gain an ally in the parent. With regards to the social studies teacher’s experience with this child, have him ask her how she is feeling as soon as she enters his classroom. Hopefully this will diffuse the girl’s need to seek the nurse’s office refuge.

If you would like to write to Gary for advice, please email 10 · September 07 2015

‘Illustration licensed by Ingram Image


Lesson Plans

Ted Turner Cartoon Inspires Real-life Environmental Education Foundation Photo Courtesy of The Captain Planet Foundation

Story by Meredith Cooper


he superhero genre is an ever-evolving, ever-inspiring form of entertainment. While on the surface these stories can seem like simplistic good versus evil adventures, they can have a real-world educational impact that spans beyond a comic book’s page or a television’s screen. The potential positive influence of this genre did not escape media mogul and CNN founder Ted Turner. Known for his philanthropy, Turner in conjunction with Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. and producer and environmental activist Barbara Pyle

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created the animated television series “Captain Planet and the Planeteers” as a way to instill environmental awareness in a young audience. “Our children can inherit a legacy of wastefulness, or an action plan that can save our planet. That is why we created ‘Captain Planet and the Planeteers,’” Turner said. Known as the world’s first environmental superhero, Captain Planet and his team of youths from around the world took on eco-villains bent on harming the planet for their own selfish

motives. The cartoon boasted a voice cast of Hollywood elites that included Whoopi Goldberg, Jeff Goldblum, Tim Curry, LeVar Burton, Meg Ryan and this month’s OutlooK-12’s cover story celebrity Martin Sheen. Each episode ended with lessons about taking care of the environment ranging from recycling and planting gardens to water conservation and writing to government officials about ecological issues. The series, which first aired in 1990, was broadcast for six years in over 220 U.S. markets and 100 countries and was translated into 23 languages.

periences and funding via grants. “I have been very passionate about the work of the foundation that my dad started [more than] 23 years ago based on a great cartoon that kids saw all over the world,” Seydel said in an online video, adding the CPF gives grant money, so young people will have the means to learn about the environment in a first-hand tangible way. “It’s really to get kids out of the classroom, away from textbooks and learn experientially so that they are doing these hands on projects and becoming great environmental stewards at the same time and taking care of what God gave us: our air, our water, our soil for food and all the creatures that share this planet with us,” Seydel said.

Our children can inherit a legacy of wastefulness, or an action plan that can save our planet. That is why we created “Captain Planet and the Planeteers.” Ted Turner

Photo Courtesy of The Captain Planet Foundation

“The best environmental idea I had by far was Captain Planet,” Turner said in an online video. “And that had a big influence on my kids because I brought every episode home.” While Turner’s children were enjoying watching Captain Planet battle to protect the environment, their father was working to turn fantasy into reality. In 1991, Turner launched the Captain Planet Foundation (CPF), which was designed to teach youths about the environment and solutions for environmental problems. Today the organization is chaired by Turner’s daughter, Laura Turner Seydel, and continues to work with national and international schools and youth groups to both provide ideas for hands-on educational ex-

Media mogul Ted Turner shakes hands with the mascot version of Captain Planet. K

Lesson Plans Currently, the CPF has funded more than 1,500 projects and directly funded one million youths. The foundation has awarded more than $2.5 million in grants, which are available to schools and non-profits in all 50 states as well as outside of the United States. These grants can range from $500 - $2,500 and are given in five categories based on the superpowers of the animated Planeteers. Earth grants include: • Learning Gardens • Recycling & Composting • Species Learning & Habitat Protection/Restoration (land-based creatures) Fire grants include: • Renewable Energy • Efficiency/Alternative Energy Education • Technology for Conservation • STEM Wind grants include: • Air Quality Monitoring • Air Quality Programs • Pollinator Gardens • Species Learning & Habitat Protection/Restoration (air-based creatures) Water grants include: • Watershed Education • Water Quality Testing • Species Learning & Habitat Protection/Restoration (water-based creatures) Heart grants include: • Environmental Curriculum • Community Vitality • Outdoor Learning Environments • Innovation In addition, the CPF recently reviewed the Learning Gardens division of their Earth Grants and as 14 · September 07, 2015

a result has expanded the program. Designed to be outdoor extensions of the classroom, the Learning Gardens now include a series of multidisciplinary Common Core Standards-based garden lessons called “Best Practices.” These lessons are available for grades K-8 and include kits with supplies for hands-on activities. The Learning

Gardens now also involve mobile kitchens with stocked cooking carts for teaching lessons ranging from nutrition to chemistry. The program also arranges for local chefs to give garden-based cooking lessons to classes on a quarterly basis. Beyond the classroom, the CPF has also created after school Youth Planeteer Clubs. Based on the young heroes and heroines of the cartoon, the clubs’ programs encourage youth-led efforts to help the environment while benefitting individual schools (see side bar for further information). The foundation has also partnered with the PBS conservation newsmagazine television series “This American

Land,” which has featured CPF grantees and offers teachers guides and activities based on specific episodes. The foundation is in the process of launching a $1.9 million campaign called SAGES: Science for All Generations through Environmental Stewardship to improve national STEM education and to increase the participation of minorities and females in science-related careers. This is in direct correlation to the new science standards being adopted by a coalition of states and slatted for implementation in Georgia in 2016. Currently, the CPF is working with Georgia’s Department of Education to help prepare for this tentative update to the curriculum. Although “Captain Planet and the Planeteers” is no longer in production, the foundation inspired by the show’s message continues to impact environmental education and awareness. “I went out for a lot of environmental programming and encouraging it with my money because I thought it would be good for everybody, and it was I think,” Turner said in an online video. “I think there’s certainly more about environmental awareness today then there was 25-30 years ago.” To learn more about the Captain Planet Foundation, including its small grants program, visit •

“The Power Is Yours”

Youth Planeteer Clubs Help Educate While Benefitting Schools

Logo Courtesy of The Captain Planet Foundation

On the cartoon series “Captain Planet and the Planeteers” the superhero, Captain Planet, is aided in his fight to protect the environment by five young people called the Planeteers. In real life, the Captain Planet Foundation has created Youth Planeteer Clubs where students can learn about and help the environment while benefitting their schools. Mirroring the cartoon even further, the clubs’ programs are divided into five “Take Action Campaigns” (Earth, Fire, Wind, Water and Heart) just as the five Planeteers from the TV series each had a magic ring with powers related to one of these elements: Earth Planeteer (recycling program)—This campaign educates students about recycling different types of material, which can include cardboard, magazines, white paper, colored paper, newspapers, books, metals and plastics. Students use this information to improve recycling in and around their school building. Fire Planeteer (energy conservation program)—Focusing on observation, this campaign involves students surveying and collecting data on energy used at their school in order to suggest more efficient methods of energy consumption. Students learn about energy usage regarding commonly used devices including computers, audiovisual equipment, lighting, smart boards, and devices related to heating and cooling, cafeteria work and janitorial maintenance. Wind Planeteer (clean air school program)—To assist students, this campaign offers a Breath Easy No Idling Student Toolkit, which includes educational material about the importance of good air quality and proactive steps for increasing awareness. Students use this campaign to create a No Idling program to help improve air quality at their school. Water Planeteer (water conservation program)—Similar to the Fire Planeteer campaign, students through surveying and observation learn about water usage at their school and design a program to improve their school’s water consumption. Areas covered include cleaning the school, drinking, flushing toilets, washing hands, watering landscape and cafeteria uses such as cleaning and cooking. Heart Planeteer (eco hero in classrooms)—One of Captain Planet’s catchphrases in the animated series was “The power is yours!” In this campaign students introduce their Planeteer Club to their school and encourage both students and teachers to be proactive in helping the environment. Students work with individual classes on coming up with a “Planeteer Conservation Plan” and will keep track of class participation on a monthly basis. • Image licensed by Ingram Image K

Lesson Plans Down and Dirty

Grade: 6 | Time: (2) 45-60 minute periods


Standards: Georgia Performance Standards in Science S6E6. b, S6E5.h,i ,j Next Generation Science Standards ESS3.A, ESS3.C, MS-ESS3-1, MS-ESS3-3, MS-ESS3-4

Supplies in kit: Soil donuts/mud pies 16 clear non-plastic cups per class Bring your own: soil samples from very sandy to heavy clay source of water (tap, spigot or spray bottles) trowels and zip top bags for soil collection gloves (optional/ 1 pr per student) hand washing facilities newspaper Teabag citizen science per group (8 groups of 4 students) 1 unused pyramid-shaped teabag Bring your own (for each group) Timer (can be found on most cell phones) Rulers (to measure 8 cm planting depth) Trowel, spoon, stick or digging tool Soil texture per group (8 groups of 4 students) samples of three local soils (1 set per group) OR three artificial “soils” made of pebbles, sand, clay Permeability of soil 1 rubber band per student 1 soil test kit (N-P-K-pH) per group of 4 students Bring your own: 2 uniform size water containers per group of 4 2 small pieces of cloth per group of 4 1 timer or cell phone per group of 4

Garden Connection:

Students will collect and characterize soils from the s choolyard and the garden; test s oils; and a mend accordingly. Students will also i mplement a s oil conserving practice i n the school garden a nd/or create a compost heap.

Students will investigate the structure and characteristics of soils in the schoolyard and in the garden based on texture, composition, nutrients, and fertility.

Essential Questions

What kind of soils are in our garden or schoolyard? How can different soils be characterized? What can we do to improve soils for gardening?


Students will experiment with various soils to discover that different soils have different properties depending on their composition.


Students will identify soil types using a feel test, conduct a permeability test, make their own soil profiles, and test soils using a soil te st kit.


Students should characterize soils in the schoolyard and argue from evidence to defend their conclusions about texture, composition, nutrients, and fertility. Students should determine what amendments should be made to the soil in order to grow a specific plant or crop.

Environmental Stewardship

Students will implement a soil-conserving or amendment practice in the school garden, according to soil test results.


A rubric is provided for assessing student performance expectations. Discussion questions are also provided.

Extend Students may create a compost heap to divert food waste from the landfill

and contribute to soil fertility.

STEM Connection:

Students will design and build a composting system a nd a nalyze the resulting s oil.

Visit Grade 6- Down and Dirty, Project Learning Garden to download the full document. 16 · September 07, 2015

Rain Garden to the Rescue Grade: 6 | Time: 4-5, 60 minute periods

Standards: Georgia Performance Standards in Science S6E5.j Next Generation Science Standards ESS3.A, ESS3.C, ESS2.C, MS-ESS3-1, MS-ESS3-3, MS-ESS3-4, MS-ESS2-4 Supplies Per class: 4 Garden spades 4 Measuring wheels (1,000 ft) Bring Your Own: BYO: plants or seeds for rain garden BYO: computers/internet for student research Garden Connection: Students will design and install a rain garden to filter contaminants from run-off water. STEM Connection: Students will use technology such as a measuring wheel and calculator to compute various formulas, including the square footage of impervious surfaces, rainwater harvesting formulas, and the permeable area needed to harvest rainwater. Students will also design and install a rain garden.


Students will measure the impervious area on campus, including the school building and paved surfaces, in order to calculate the size of a rain garden large enough to filter the “first flush” of runoff from a rainstorm; then observe the flow of runoff on school property and determine locations where a rain garden should be located in order to filter water before it enters ditches, creeks or storm drains; design a rain garden, and install it.

Essential Questions How can I design and build a rain garden that wi l l filte r contami nants and pol l utants from run-off wate r on school grounds?

Engage Students will watch a video and read an article regarding ocean pollution and make the connection that, regardless of where one lives, contaminants and pollutants washed away by run-off water end up in waterways and eventually in oceans.

Explore Students will calculate the area needed to capture and clean the ‘First Flush’, (the first ¾”-1” of rain after a dry spell) when the majority of pollutants are flushed from a hard surface such as a roof, driveway, parking lot or sidewalk.

Explain Students wi l l explain and defend their selection of location, size and design of the rain garden using evidence from tests of soil compaction, studies of water flow direction during rainstorms (or topo maps), location of nearest storm drain, ditch or creek, and re se arch on suitability of plants selected.

Environmental Stewardship Students will install a rain garden on school grounds.

Evaluate A rubric is provided to assess student performance expectations. Questions for discussion are also provided.

Extend Students may design rain gardens for other local community buildings.

Grade 6-Visit Rain Garden to the Rescue, Project Learning Garden to download the full document. K

READ ANY GOOD BOOKS LATELY Children’s books and movies have always shared a sibling-rivalry relationship. On the one hand, they compete for our attention with us often favoring one over the other as the better medium. And yet more often then we are at times aware, the two are closely connected and even inspire and compliment one another. With this in mind, we here at OutlooK-12 have decided for this month’s book reviews to focus on children’s books that were the inspiration for movies. Please note, we are not including movie sequels or any other types of adaptations (i.e. television series, stage productions, etc.) in the reviews below.

"Bambi: A Life in the Woods" by Felix Salten Illustrated by: Richard Cowdrey ISBN-13: 978-1442467453 Publisher: Aladdin Film Adaptation: “Bambi”

Bambi’s life in the woods begins happily. There are forest animals to play with—Friend Hare, the chattery squirrel, the noisy screech owl and Bambi’s twin cousins, frail Gobo and beautiful Faline. But winter comes, and Bambi learns the woods hold danger—and things he doesn’t understand. Then there is Man. He comes to the forest with weapons that can wound an animal. But He can’t keep Bambi from growing into a handsome stag himself and becoming…the Prince of the Forest.

"The Collected Tales of Nurse Matilda"

by Christianna Brand Illustrated by: Edward Ardizzone ISBN-13: 978-0747576792 Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC Film Adaptation: “Nanny McPhee” This marvelous collection of stories hosts scenes of the most unimaginable and relentless mischief as the rambunctious Brown children turn their minds to breaking all the rules. But when the no-nonsense nanny Nurse Matilda (renamed Nanny McPhee in the film adaptation) arrives with her very special kind of magic, things start to happen that are beyond everyone’s wildest expectations.

18 · September 07, 2015

Ilustration by © johny007pandp


by Neil Gaiman Illustrated by: Dave McKean ISBN-13: 978-0380807345 Publisher: HarperCollins Film Adaptation: “Coraline” When Coraline steps through a door to find another house strangely similar to her own (only better), things seem marvelous. But there’s another mother there, and another father, and they want her to stay and be there little girl. They want to change her and never let her go. Coraline will have to fight with all her wits and courage if she is to save herself and return to her ordinary life.

"How to Train Your Dragon"

by Cressida Cowell ISBN-13: 978-0316085274 Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers Film Adaptation: “How to Train Your Dragon” Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III is a truly extraordinary Viking hero known throughout Vikingdom as “the Dragon Whisperer”…but it wasn’t always so. Travel back to the days when the mighty warrior was just a boy, the quiet and thoughtful son of the Chief of the Hairy Hooligans. Can Hiccup capture a dragon and train it without being torn limb from limb? Join the adventure as the small boy finds a better way to train his dragon and becomes a hero! K

"Mr. Poppers Penguins"

by Richard and Florence Atwater Illustrated by: Robert Lawson ISBN-13: 978-0316058438 Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers Film Adaptation: “Mr. Poppers Penguins” It was hard enough for Mr. Popper to support himself, Mrs. Popper and Bill and Janie Popper. The addition of twelve penguins to the family made it impossible to make both ends meet. Then in the middle of this overwhelming situation, Mr. Popper had a splendid idea. These dozen little penguins that he thought were just more mouths to feed might be able to support the Popper family. And so they did.

"Nim’s Island"

by Wendy Orr Illustrated by: Kerry Millard ISBN-13: 978-0385736060 Publisher: Yearling Film Adaptation: “Nim’s Island” Nim lives on an island in the middle of the wide blue sea with her father, Jack; a marine iguana called Fred; a sea lion called Selkie; a turtle called Chica and a satellite dish for her e-mail. No one else in the world lives quite like Nim, and she wouldn't swap places with anyone. But when Jack disappears in his sailing boat, and disaster threatens her home, Nim must be braver than she's ever been before. 
And she needs help from her friends, old and new.

"Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH" by Robert C. O’Brien ISBN-13: 978-0689710681 Publisher: Aladdin Film Adaptation: “The Secret of NIMH”

Mrs. Frisby, a widowed mouse with four small children, is faced with a terrible problem. She must move her family to their summer quarters immediately or face almost certain death. But her youngest son, Timothy, lies ill with pneumonia and must not be moved. Fortunately, she encounters the rats of NIMH, an extraordinary breed of highly intelligent creatures, who come up with a brilliant solution to her dilemma. And Mrs. Frisby in turn renders them a great service. 20 · September 07, 2015

"Stuart Little"

by E. B. White Illustrated by: Garth Williams ISBN-13: 978-0064400565 Publisher: Harper & Row Film Adaptation: “Stuart Little” Stuart Little is no ordinary mouse. Born to a family of humans, he lives in New York City with his parents, his older brother George and Snowbell the cat. Though he’s shy and thoughtful, he’s also a true lover of adventure. Stuart’s greatest adventure comes when his best friend, a beautiful little bird named Margalo, disappears from her nest. Determined to track her down, Stuart ventures away from home for the very first time in his life. He finds adventure aplenty. But will he find his friend?

"The Night at the Museum"

by Milan Trenc ISBN-13: 978-0764136313 Publisher: Barron's Educational Series Film Adaptation: “Night at the Museum” Larry becomes a night guard at New York’s Museum of Natural History. He thinks it’s going to be an easy job, but is he in for a surprise. After dozing off, he wakes up to find the most amazing vanishing act in the museum’s history. The museum’s entire collection of dinosaur skeletons has disappeared! Where did the skeletons go? Who is the dinosaur thief? How in the world will Larry ever get those dinosaur bones back?

"The Princess Diaries"

by Meg Cabot ISBN-13: 978-0061479939 Publisher: HarperTeen Film Adaptation: “The Princess Diaries” Mia Thermopolis is pretty sure there’s nothing worse than being a five-foot-nine, flat-chested freshman who also happens to be flunking Algebra. Is she ever in for a surprise. First, Mom announces that she’s dating Mia’s algebra teacher. Then Dad has to go and reveal that he is the crown prince of Genovia. And guess who still doesn’t have a date for the Cultural Diversity Dance? K





Image licensed by Ingram Image


22 · September 07 2015



MATTERS In 2015, ASM reported that over the past two decades more than 200,000 teens have participated in its hands-on, project-based arts, communications, science, sports and technology programs at Chicago public high schools, community locations across the city and Downtown at Gallery 37 Center for the Arts. ASM’s success was foretold in Hirsch’s reporting on his findings to Northwestern’s news center. He noted, “Our study of selected After School Matters apprenticeships found that youth in the program

Each apprenticeship involves work in the designated area, learning and making use of relevant skills to accomplish a task.

Image licensed by Ingram Image

Communities with strong after school programs for high school students reap more than one benefit from the enterprise. In our increasingly latchkey society, students in after school programs have a place to belong and are off the streets — streets where they can fall into bad crowds and habits. But more importantly, high school students in some of today’s after school programs are developing personal habits that could give them a leg up in the current highly competitive job market. In 2011, Barton J. Hirsch, Northwestern University professor of education and social policy, led an evaluation of one after school program, After School Matters, to gauge its impact on the successful social and educational development of high school youths. He was joined in this three-year study by Northwestern’s Larry Hedges (professor of statistics, and Institute for Policy Research fellow) and Megan A. Mekinda as well as Julie Ann Stawicki (professor from the University of Wisconsin–Extension). Support for the study came from the William T. Grant Foundation, Wallace Foundation and Searle Fund. At the time, After School Matters (ASM) was Chicago-based, served more than 17,000 students and was one of the models around the country that implements apprenticeship style programs. The study sought to evaluate whether these types of programs have any impact on the social and/or educational development of high school students. K




"In several Chicago Public Schools classrooms where students went through interview training, the mock interviews nearly tripled the wouldbe hiring rate." Barton J. Hirsch, Northwestern University professor of education and social policy engaged in fewer problem behaviors, particularly gang activity and selling drugs.” Hirsch said the study also found that students enrolled in ASM exhibited more “self regulation,” a term used by psychologists to mean staying focused on goal achievement in the face of many distractions, emotional and otherwise.” In a practice that continues four years later, Hirsch noted in 2011 that “After School Matters offers paid apprenticeship-type experiences in a wide array of areas such as technology, arts and sports. Each apprenticeship involves work in the designated area, learning and making use of relevant skills 24 · September 07 2015

to accomplish a task. Instructors are present to provide information, guidance and feedback and to introduce students to the standards, language and culture of that line of work. The experience presumably also helps students begin to appreciate and adapt to the culture of the workplace and improve the ‘soft skills’ increasingly demanded by employers. The instructors have expertise in — and in many instances earn their livelihood through — the activity that is the focus of the apprenticeship. Most instructors are not teachers. Apprentices were paid a stipend equivalent to $5/hour during our study. After-school programs that have an apprenticeship orientation such as ASM have the potential to provide the benefits of successful part-time work experience at a lower cost than many workforce development programs. Moreover, as after-school initiatives, they have the latitude to focus more broadly on positive youth development than might be the case with programs targeted exclusively as workforce development. Prior research on ASM suggested that its apprenticeships could provide such an environment.” Although there was no statistical difference between students in ASM and students not part of ASM in terms of school grades and job skill training, ASM interns did have an edge in that they developed a more positive identification with their own schools. Where ASM maintained an edge over work-related experience or traditional after school activities was in the areas of positive youth development and problem behav-

ior. According to the study, “Youth in the treatment group reported significantly higher self-regulation than youth in the control group. This reflected a preventive impact: both groups reported a decline in self-regulation over the course of the year, but the decline was less among ASM youth.” In 2014-2015, After School Matters is creating and has been creating 22,000 unique opportunities for teens to participate in programs. While no program is perfect, it does point out that there is empirical evidence that there is value in how students choose to spend their time outside the classroom in high school that could impact the rest of their lives.

"Our study of selected After School Matters apprenticeships found that youth in the program engaged in fewer problem behaviors, particularly gang activity and selling drugs." After School Matters Study



MATTERS were going to a party. Often urban youth from a blue collar home may have no experience with the term “business attire” or “business casual attire.” Those helping students to brush up on their qualifications need to explain those terms to them. The “talk” also should include a reminder not to go overboard or out of the norm on hairstyles, jewelry or make-up.

Theory Into Practice Hirsch and his researcher colleagues found that having job and academic skills and being able to effectively communicate them were two entirely different things. One of the study’s conclusions in 2011 was that ASM should develop new ways to allow students to make the connection between the skills they are taught in ASM programs and the ways in which those same skills will help them land a job they want. As a result, Hirsch and his colleagues worked with human resources professionals to develop an important offshoot of the study: a curriculum for teaching job interview skills. Hirsch says the employment rate among teens improved dramatically when the student was exposed to that curriculum. “In several Chicago Public Schools classrooms where students went through interview training, the mock interviews nearly tripled the would-be hiring rate.” Many job sites have recognized the importance of having interview skills that ensure a prospective employer knows the applicant has the right stuff for the job. Here are some tips from and to keep applicants from hiding their light under a bushel – especially if they’re Hispanic. Image licensed by Ingram Image

1. Dress for Success – Any counselor will tell you that showing up in jeans and a tee shirt for a job interview is a non-starter, but according to, you can go overboard in the other direction. Many young people dress for an interview as if they

2. Avoid TMI – While saying too little about oneself is a problem, too much information is another. cautions that volunteering some personal information — everything from political beliefs to religion — may have an unintended (and perhaps even subconscious) negative effect on job prospects. Tell students in

your charge to avoid that pitfall by rehearsing the answer to the query that most employers pose and that provokes the most troublesome answers — that is: Tell me about yourself. 3. Do a Dry Run – You can help students achieve better results in the interview process by posing as a potential employer and putting your student through a mock interview. Think of it as the practice most lawyers go through when they are preparing a witness for trial. also suggests students actually do a trial run to the location of the interview, so they won’t get lost and arrive late. Nothing sinks chances of employment like being tardy for an interview. 4. Bilingual? Make Sure They Know It – According to, students need to realize that showing up to an interview with a Hispanic surname doesn’t automatically signal to prospective employers that they are bilingual. Often, students who are bilingual don’t bring it up in an interview unless they are asked. That’s hiding an important asset that could be the difference between being hired and not hired. In her book “Best Careers for Bilingual Latinos,” Graciela Kenig says the top industries for bilingual candidates include healthcare, financial services, sales and marketing, social services and bilingual teachers and consumer credit counselors. So make sure your student indicates this asset on his resume and cover letter and points this out to the interviewer. • K

News and Trends in K-12 Education from Across America U.S. Department of Education Awards More Than $24.8 Million in Elementary and Secondary School Counseling Grants


ashington, D.C. -- The U.S. Department of Education awarded more than $24.8 million to 67 schools districts in 26 states to establish or expand counseling programs. The new Elementary and Secondary School Counseling grant awards will aid schools in hiring qualified mental-health professionals with the goal of expanding the range, availability, quantity

26 · September 07, 2015

and quality of counseling services. Parents of participating students will have input in the design and implementation of counseling services supported by these grants. “School counselors are a vital resource for students and educators and play a key role in creating safe and productive learning environments,” U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, said.

“These grants will enhance school-based counseling programs, which have proven to be a great source of help for students and families with mental health and emotional issues.” Funds also may be used to support parental involvement, counselor and teacher professional development and collaboration with community-based organizations. •

Barrio Logan College Institute Hosts "Opportunity for Impact" 2015


an Diego, Calif. -- Barrio Logan College Institute (BLCI), a nonprofit dedicated to helping disadvantaged families prepare their children for college enrollment, raised over $50,000 at its annual fundraiser, Opportunity for Impact, for its education programs. The event was held at the San Diego Central Library where

BLCI honored donors hosted an auction and shared inspirational success stories with over 300 corporate and community leaders. Pedro Villegas, Director of Community Relations at San Diego Gas & Electric, served as the event’s Honorary Chair. Opportunity for Impact owes its success to generous sponsors including San Diego Gas &

Electric, Southwest Airlines and U.S. Bank. Organizations such as these continue to make it possible for BLCI and its students to prosper. The $450,000 raised by the fundraiser will directly support children who are currently in the BLCI program as well as enable future students to fulfill their aspirations of a higher education. • K

News and Trends

Largest Suicide Prevention Organization, Legal One and Rutgers University Behavioral Health Care Join Forces to Train K-12 Educators to Fight Suicide


ew York, N.Y. -- The nation's largest suicide prevention organization, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, joined with LEGAL ONE and Rutgers University Behavioral Health Care to launch a new online training program for educators on how to prevent suicide in our schools. Signs Matter: Early Detection will show K-12 teachers how and when to ex-

28 · September 07, 2015

press concern and refer students to counseling staff or administration. The online, school-based training program includes: • A close look at the most common mental health problems and how they typically present in a school setting • Real-world scenarios (vignettes) in an elementary, middle and high school setting to help ed-

ucators better identify students in need of help • An online assessment tool to ensure that all participants have gained an understanding of the material covered • Resources for understanding a school's role in suicide prevention • Review of legal requirements for schools to keep in mind •

The Carlos Slim Foundation Presents Acceso Latino Initiative to the Governor of Arizona


exico City -- During Arizona Governor Doug Ducey's visit to Mexico City, the Carlos Slim Foundation presented its latest initiative, Acceso Latino: a free website entirely in Spanish that offers educational tools, English-language learning resources, online job training and more. was officially launched in August 2014 by

the Carlos Slim Foundation in an effort to improve the quality of life of individuals of the U.S. Latino community by providing information, tools and resources that are easily accessible, free and entirely in Spanish. The site offers diverse content in the areas of education, job training, healthcare, citizenship and more. The site contains educa-

tional tools that range from English-language learning and preparation for the High School equivalency exam (GED, HiSET, TASC) to Khan Academy courses in Spanish for learning levels K-12 and up. includes financial literacy tools such as easyto-follow guides to saving money and paying and filing taxes. • K

CHCI Visits Silicon Valley, Pushes for Latino Diversity in Tech Sector


ashington, D.C. -- The Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI) led a delegation of its board of directors and advisory council including Hispanic members of Congress for a Tech Community Summit in Silicon Valley. Last year with pressure from diversity advocates, leading technology companies made public employment statistics that revealed they had on average less than 4 percent of Latinos in their workforce.

The Tech Community Summit included Latino representatives of Silicon Valley technology companies, start-ups, non-profits and associations for roundtable discussions. The conversation continued at several of Silicon Valley's top companies to advance Latino diversity and address how technology companies can work towards better outcomes by: • Replicating successful STEM

CHCI Visits Silicon Valley, Pushes for Latino Diversity in Tech Sector Photo by Morgan Imaging Studio

News and Trends

30 · September 07, 2015

and Tech programs in K-12 programs • Investing in higher education and Hispanic Serving Institutions • Strengthening recruitment and retention strategies, including investing in paid scholarships and internships • Supporting Latino start ups and looking to Latino firms through procurement process • And increasing Latino representation on their boards •

Elementary School Students Win "Be a Backyard Superhero" Contest


lexandria, Va. -- The Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI)'s Research and Education Foundation and Scholastic announced the winners of TurfMutt's national "Be a Backyard Superhero" contest. Each of the grand prize winners received a $5,000 grant to improve the yards and green spaces at their respective schools. The contest is part of the Turf-

Source: Outdoor Power Equipment Institute

Mutt environmental stewardship and education program where TurfMutt and his friends, the Outdoor Powers, inspire the lesson plans to teach environmental and science lessons. To enter, students had to submit an essay showing how they will help TurfMutt combat cartoon-based "environmental villain" characters. They also had to create an original picture using the

character cutouts from the TurfMutt activities. The winners are: • K-2 grand prize winner -- Jordan Evans (Samuel Beck Elementary School in Trophy Club, Texas). • Grades 3-5 grand prize winner -- Liam Ellis (Aquinas Academy of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania). • 100 runners up each received a book from Scholastic. •

Source: OPEI

Stories Courtesy of PRNewswire and PRWeb K


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OutlooK-12 Magazine is designed for the outstanding individuals who devote their lives to shaping the next generation of Hispanic leaders....