Empower Kids to Be Change Makers
From teachers walking out in protest of low pay and overcrowded classrooms to students leading rallies for gun reform, we’ve seen an increase in activism since the February 14, 2018, school shooting in Parkland, Florida. With midterm elections coming up in November, this month’s Upbeat News highlights ways students can engage in social change, whether or not they’re old enough to vote, and provides activity ideas for educators interested in bringing civics education into their classrooms. We are also excited to introduce our new release LGBTQ, the indispensable resource for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning teens—and their allies. Finally, check out the new free A Lesson Plan to Every Vote Matters for use this election season and beyond.

New Release Spotlight
This indispensable resource includes current information on LGBTQ terminology, evolving understandings of gender identity and sexual identity, LGBTQ rights, and much more. Other advice covers topics such as coming out, confronting prejudice, getting support, making healthy choices, and thriving in school and beyond.

Created with input from PFLAG, GLSEN, GLAAD, and others, this book is for young people who are beginning to question their sexual orientation or gender identity, those who are ready to work for LGBTQ rights, and those who may need advice, guidance, or reassurance that they are not alone.

Tips & Tools from the Free Spirit Blog
The 2018 midterm elections present an opportunity for teens to get involved, even if they can’t yet vote. Share this list with the teens in your life to help them take action. Read now.
Natalie C. Jacobs, J.D., coauthor of Every Vote Matters, provides real-life examples of kids getting involved to make a difference in their lives. Read now.
Educational grants available for your school or community:

Annie’s Homegrown, Inc. offers grants to schools and educational programs to build school gardens. Funds may be used to buy gardening tools, seeds, or other needed supplies.

Eligibility: K –12 Public, Private, and Charter Schools; Nonprofit Organizations.
Prize: Grants of $3,000 are awarded to new school garden programs, and three grants of $5,000 are awarded to existing school garden programs.
Deadline: November 1, 2018. 

Toshiba America Foundation accepts applications from science and mathematics teachers who are passionate about making science and math more engaging for students.

Science and mathematics teachers in public or private (nonprofit) schools may apply for grants to support classroom science and mathematics education and to increase student engagement with the subject matter and improve learning.

Eligibility: Public, Private, Charter.
Prize: Awards vary.
Deadline: Applications are accepted year-round for requests less than $5,000. Requests for grants of more than $5,000 are due June 1 and November 1, annually.
Recent Review
“Susan Daniels deftly weaves practical, visual strategies with a deep understanding of why these visual approaches are effective for all learners. I predict that this guidebook—filled to the brim with creative visual communication lessons—will be a compelling addition to the shelves of educators looking to strengthen their repertoire of skills.” —Michele Kane, Ed.D., professor of special education at Northeastern Illinois University, Chicago

Free Download

Use these lesson plans along with Every Vote Matters: The Power of Your Voice, from Student Elections to the Supreme Court to help you integrate civics education into your curriculum.

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Upcoming Events and Conferences 

October 3–5: Heartland Fall Forum, Minneapolis, MN

October 3–5: Zero to Three Annual Conference, Denver, CO

October 10–14: Frankfurt Book Fair, Frankfurt, Germany

October 24 at 1 p.m. CST: Free webinar presented by Amadee Ricketts: “Story-Times and Transitions with Heart”

October 25–27: Association for Middle Level Education (AMLE), Orlando, FL

October 26: Weird! The Musical performance, Mohawk, NY

November 14–17: National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), Washington, DC

November 14–18: National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC), Minneapolis, MN
Special Offer
Get 30% off and free shipping on books featured in this month’s newsletter:

Sale ends October 31, 2018. Use code OCT30 at checkout. Shop now.
“We must not, in trying to think about how we can make a big difference,
ignore the small daily differences we can make which, over time, add up to big differences that we often cannot foresee.”
—Marian Wright Edelman, founder of the Children’s Defense Fund