Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Monday #50- Thank A Teacher!

Make Today Matter...
  • There are 3.8 million teachers--2.6 million teach K-12.
  • 42% of K-12 teachers are over 50 years old.
  • Almost 50% of teachers leave the profession by their 5th year.
  • $7 billion a year is the cost of teacher turnover.
  • A $15 billion per year investment or a 30% raise for all teachers is necessary to make teacher compensation competitive with other professions requiring similar levels of education.
  • In 37 states, teacher salaries do not keep pace with inflation.
  • The single most important factor in determining student performance is the quality of his or her teachers.
Take action today!
It takes more than an apple...
  1. Identify a teacher you want to thank--your child's teacher, a friend or neighbor who teaches, a teacher at a local school, or a teacher of your own.
  2. Show this teacher your appreciation by:
- Writing a thank-you note.
- Bringing a gift like homemade cookies, handpicked flowers, a book on a topic that interests them, or a gift card for something you know they will like.
- Organizing a class Appreciation Jar. Give every student a piece of paper and have them list all the reasons why their teacher is special to them. Stuff the papers in the jar and let the teacher open one per day.
- Volunteering in the classroom and helping with special projects or field trips.

You matter!
Children are the future of our world, and teachers spend more waking hours with them that parents do. 
Showing appreciation to teachers lets them know they are valued and respected--you don't have to be a student or even a parent of a student to show your appreciation.
Remember, teachers help shape everyone's world...including yours!

(Adapted from Every Monday Matters: 52 Ways to Make a Difference by Matthew Emerzian and Kelly Bozza)

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Monday #49- Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!

Make Today Matter...
  • The US leads the industrialized world in waste generation, producing 245 million tons annually or 4.5 lbs per person per day.
  • 2.5 million plastic bottles are thrown away every hour.
  • 400 billion photocopies are made every year or roughly 750,000 per minute.
  • Producing recycled white paper creates 74% less air pollutants, 35% less water pollutants, and 75% less process energy than producing paper from virgin fibers.
  • Recycling an aluminum can saves 96% of the energy used to make a can from ore and produces 95% less air pollution and 97% less water pollution.
  • 32% of waste is recovered and recycled or composted, 14% is burned, and 54% is disposed of in landfills.
  • 9,000 curbside recycling programs exist.
Take action today!
  1. Reduce what you use by purchasing larger sizes.
  2. Reuse rather than throwing away.
  3. Contact your local waste management company and find out if they sort trash and recycle. If not, create different containers in your home and at work for glass, plastic, and paper.
  4. Deliver your separated recyclables to a local recycling center once a month.
  5. Buy recycled products and packaging.
You matter!
Reducing, reusing, and recycling are key to protecting our resources and preserving our environment for future generations. 
Garbage means wasted water, wasted energy, pollution, transportation costs, and overflowing landfills. Reducing is the most powerful technique for eliminating waste because we don't generate waste in the first place. If reducing is out of the question, then at least reuse or recycle. You have three options. 
Which one are you going to choose today?

(Adapted from Every Monday Matters: 52 Ways to Make a Difference by Matthew Emerzian and Kelly Bozza)

Monday, December 12, 2011

Monday #48- Respect The Disabled

Make Today Matter...
  • 54 million or more people ages 5 and older have a non-institutionalizing disability.
  • 25 million disabled are of an employable age.
  • 78% want to be employed, but only 33% have a job.
  • Disabilities are more often caused by accidents, illnesses, or late-emerging effects of genetics than by congenital disorders.
  • Not all severe disabilities can be detected by the human eye.
  • Over 15% of the cars parked in a handicapped parking space are parked illegally.
Take action today!
  1. Show respect to the disabled today.
  2. Don't park in a handicapped parking space or use handicapped plates or placards illegally. Designated parking for the handicapped is a necessity.
  3. Don't use handicapped bathroom stalls unless you're handicapped. A handicapped person's need to use the restroom may be just as urgent as yours, and it often takes them longer to prepare to use the facilities.
  4. When you see a handicapped license plate, slow down and show consideration rather than tailgating or honking.
  5. Open a door, roll a wheelchair up or down an incline, carry shopping bags, or offer an arm in challenging weather conditions or on uneven walkways.
You matter!
The majority of people with disabilities want to be totally integrated into all aspects of society.
With more awareness, respect, and helpfulness, you can make someone's life a little bit easier. People don't plan on getting disabilities, but it happens every day. 
One day, that disabled person may even be you.

(Adapted from Every Monday Matters: 52 Ways to Make a Difference by Matthew Emerzian and Kelly Bozza)

Monday, December 5, 2011

Monday #47- Meditate or Pray

Make Today Matter...

  • Meditation and prayer shift brain activity from the stress-prone right frontal cortex to the calmer left frontal cortex.
  • Slowing the breathing rate to 6 breaths per minute synchronizes breathing with cardiovascular rhythms resulting in enhanced cardiac health.
  • Physiological benefits of prayer and meditation include anti-aging, deep rest, decreased blood pressure, higher skin resistance, and easier breathing.
  • Psychological benefits include increased brain-wave coherence, greater creativity, decreased anxiety and depression, improved learning and memory, and increased happiness and emotional stability.
  • The longer an individual practices meditation, the greater the likelihood that there will be a shift toward personal and spiritual growth.
Take action today!
  1. Find a quiet place to be still.
  2. Take deep breaths to help you relax.
  3. Meditate or pray.
  4. With a clearer mind, journal your thoughts and insights.
  5. Make meditation or prayer a part of your daily life.
You matter!
Looking younger, lowered cholesterol and blood pressure, decreased anxiety and depression, improved memory, increased happiness, more peace...
What's not to like about meditation?

(Adapted from Every Monday Matters: 52 Ways to Make a Difference by Matthew Emerzian and Kelly Bozza)