Martin Luther King Jr. Day 2015: NBA Players Share Their Feelings About Playing On This Important Holiday

Twenty-four teams NBA teams laced it up on Martin Luther King Jr. Day., a national holiday that has been celebrated since 1983. It is one of the most emotional and powerful days in our 365-day calendar, and one of the more important days for the NBA.


The professional sports league that holds the highest percentage of African-American players than any other league in the United States always has a full slate of games on their NBA schedule and makes sure to honor the man himself who helped break through the glass ceiling that was the civil rights movement.


Below are some of the best quotes, tweets and tributes by NBA players on Martin Luther King Jr. Day 2015:

"I try to talk t my players about it (MLK day) every year, I told them today and I didn't go into the black history thing, I went into the 'American history' thing," said Los Angeles Clippers head coach Doc Rivers. "When we really have made it as a country, it will be called 'American History' in my opinion."


"He fought for so much, he fought in the right way, he stood for the right things," said Clippers superstar forward, Blake Griffin. "He did it without violence and he did it the smart way. It's important to keep that dream alive and educate younger people and keep his dream intact."

"It's an honor to play on MLK day!" added Boston Celtics forward, Jae Crowder.  >> READ MORE 

Brain Development Study Shows Learning Music Has Enormous Benefits

A recent study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry has assessed the extent to which playing a musical instrument is associated with brain development among healthy youths. This study has been called "the largest investigation of the association between playing a musical instrument and brain development" and the team found that musical training might also help kids focus their attention, control their emotions, and diminish their anxiety, according to ScienceDaily.


James Hudziak, M.D., professor of psychiatry and director of the Vermont Center for Children, Youth and Families, and colleagues including Matthew Albaugh, Ph.D., and graduate student research assistant Eileen Crehan, wanted to find out if a positive activity like music training could influence those parts of the cortex that thicken or thin reflecting the occurrence of anxiety, depression, attention problems, aggression, and behavior control issues in kids with no diagnosis of a disorder or mental illness. Hudziak's model, The Vermont Family Based Approach, which proposes that a child's environment - parents, teachers, friends, pets, activities - contributes to the child's psychological health. Music is a critical component of Hudziak's model.


Music playing alters the motor areas of the brain through activity that requires control and coordination of movement, and, serendipitously,  changes the behavior-regulating areas of the brain.  >> READ MORE  

Students Learn Science From Scientists
At first glance it looks like your typical 5th grade science class and then the experiments start. At the Wood Elementary School in Plainville the class is being taught by Dr. Audra Kennedy. She has a PhD in neuroscience and works for the non-profit "Science From Scientists."

The students are instantly engaged, "It's very entertaining to do. Very interesting, hands-on experiments," says one eager student.


"Kids need to learn science. Science really is going to be at the forefront of what these students are going to grow up and do for their jobs in life," explains. Dr. Kennedy. And kids can use some help. Just 42% of 8th grade students in Massachusetts scored proficient or higher last year on the science MCAS well behind the math and English exams.


The Boston-based organization pairs up schools with trained scientists to lead classes several times a month throughout the entire school year. "We do a lot of hands-on activities. It's often expensive to set up all of the activities that we bring with us for a school system because there are limited budgets," explains Dr. Kennedy.  >> READ MORE 

New Illinois cyber bully law lets teachers access students' social media

Students in the state of Illinois can now be legally compelled to give their teachers access to their social media accounts through a new law that's intended to crack down on cyber bullying, but it raises concerns about personal privacy.


The law - signed by then-Governor Pat Quinn in August and officially added to the books on January 1 - is reportedly now making waves after letters were sent to the parents of students last week outlining the rules.


According to school and state officials, the new cyber bullying legislation gives educators the ability to access the social media accounts of their students, if it's pertinent to preventing any hostile online behavior, including cyber bullying outside the classroom and school hours.


Officially, HB 4207 "prohibits a student from being subjected to bullying through the transmission of information from a computer that is accessed at a non-school-related location, activity, function or program...if the bullying substantially interferes with or limits the victim's ability to participate in or benefit from the services, activities or opportunities offered by a school or substantially disrupts the educational process or orderly operation of a school"  .>> READ MORE 

President Barack Obama's proposal for free community college tuition is either a game changer or an empty promise. It just depends who you ask.

Either way, prospective students should pay close attention, despite that even if the plan is implemented, it could be years before it is a reality.


The president's plan, dubbed America's College Promise, would cover students' tuition for qualifying community college programs, so long as students maintain a 2.5 GPA.


Unlike similar plans in Chicago and Tennessee, which are only open to recent high school graduates, Obama's proposal would also cover tuition for so-called nontraditional students.


This is an important difference, says Evelyn Waiwaiole, director of the Center for Community College Student Engagement at the University of Texas-Austin.


"The average age at a community college is 28. It is not 18 or 19," says Waiwaiole. "To say we're going to go in and just serve high school students would be a disservice to many, if not most, of the students."


Obama's proposal also only requires that students attend part time. That's a key distinction, considering 60 percent of students at two-year colleges are enrolled part time, according to the American Association of Community Colleges>> READ MORE 


M. H. West & Co., Inc. has developed a Black History Month quiz. It features images of several notable African-Americans both past and present. The challenge is to see how many individuals you recognize based on their image alone. On the back of the quiz there is an answer key which also lists some of the achievements of the historical figures. We thought this might be a fun and effective tool for you to use while teaching Black History Month.

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The skunk sat on a stump and thunk the stump stunk, but the stump thunk the skunk stunk.

Which witch wishes to switch a witch wristwatch for a Swiss wristwatch?

Five fine Florida florists fried fresh flat flounder fish fillet.

Imagine managing the manger at an imaginary menagerie.

The Eagle Academy for Young Men is a system of six schools, open to grades six through 12, created in 2004 by the group One Hundred Black Men of America. The schools are strategically placed in high-crime areas in all five boroughs of New York City, and in Newark, New Jersey, and could very well be saving lives, reports CBS News correspondent Vladimir Duthiers.


At the Bronx school, every student's day begins with breakfast and a town hall meeting where students get to discuss with administrators school announcements and any issues they are having -- one of many things that sets Eagle apart from other public schools.



An eighth-grader in California has recently launched his own start-up in an effort to create low-cost machines that print Braille, the hands-on writing technique used by the visually impaired.


Tech giant Intel Corp. has invested in 13-year-old Shubham Banerjee's company, Braigo Labs.  >> READ MORE 

The Lowe's Charitable and Educational Foundation has awarded a $5,000 Lowe's Toolbox for Education grant to W. G. Nunn Elementary in Valdosta for the construction of an outdoor classroom.


W. G. Nunn is one of more than 600 schools across the United States to be awarded a Lowe's Toolbox for Education grant this year for improvement projects during the 2014-2015 school year.  >> READ MORE 




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