Thanksgiving is Americans’ holiday to express gratitude. In a growing number of schools in California, students do this as part of their day. This week, we meet Brandi Quintero, chair of the English Department at Lindsay High School, who is building a spirit of kindness and a positive mindset among her students by incorporating gratitude exercises inspired by the education site GiveThx.org. Listen to students from her school and from Impact Academy of Arts and Technology in Hayward read notes of gratitude to their classmates.
Also this week, President-elect Joe Biden named Alejandro Mayorkas to lead the Department of Homeland Security, signaling that refugees and DACA recipients will again be welcome in the United States. Mayorkas, brought to America as an infant by parents fleeing from Fidel Castro’s Cuba, implemented the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals program while head of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services during the Obama administration. We listen to a passage from a speech in which he describes a life-changing visit to a refugee camp on the Somalia-Kenya border.
For background on these issues, check out the following:
- Biden’s nominee for homeland security chief likely to change immigration policies affecting children and youth
- Trump administration refuses to accept new applications for DACA program
- Many undocumented youth remain in limbo after Supreme Court’s DACA decision
- GiveThx – website designed to strengthen students social and emotional skills through expressions of gratitude
- Parents’ appreciation for teachers grows, but sentiments are simpler