As the internet transforms our lives and the way we interact with media, those who are unable to access technology can be left out of important conversations. Data from the International Telecommunications Union shows that computer and internet usage amongst youth varies radically around the world and unsurprisingly, lower income nations tend to see much lower rates of access. When at least a trillion dollars of our global economy relies on the internet, this lack of equal access means a lack of equal participation in the world.
When you think of a science classroom, what comes to mind? Beakers? Posters diagramming cell composition or the water cycle? Lab benches? How about handouts defining relevant scientific vocabulary and strategies for decoding unfamiliar words?
Every year during the last week of September, the American Library Association celebrates Banned Books Week, encouraging people to read works of literature that have been challenged throughout history by censors who considered them profane, inappropriate, or radical. The ALA defines a “challenge” as an attempt to remove a book from libraries or school curricula; a “ban” is when that book is successfully removed, preventing individuals in that community from easily accessing and reading it.
In this season of goodwill, there is no better gift than helping a child get a great start in life with an education. An education opens a world of opportunities to end cycles of poverty and improve public health. This is really the gift that keeps on giving because an educated society is economically productive, healthier and more civic-minded. Fortunately, there are some excellent organizations, both in the U.S. and abroad, that would put your holiday donation to good use. Here are a few to consider.