Two free webcasts: “How are Our Kids Doing?” (May 12)

On Tuesday, May 12, there will be two free webcasts about children and education.

Webcast #1 will be the release of the 2015 Building a Grad Nation report at 9 AM.  A major goal is for the United States to graduate 90 percent of our high school students by 2020.  The rate has steadily increased, from 79 percent in 2011, to 80 percent in 2012, to 81.4 percent in 2013.  Progress, though, is uneven across communities, states, and social groups.  Researchers behind this report will present key findings and discuss what it will take to reach the 2020 goal of 90 percent graduation.  Register for the free webcast at this link!

Webcast #2 will be a discussion of “The American Dream and Our Kids,” beginning at 1 PM.  Join America’s Promise Alliance founding chair Gen. Colin L. Powell and Harvard University professor and author Dr. Robert Putnam as they discuss opportunity gaps along the pathway to the American Dream and what can be done to fix them.  Register for the free webcast at this link!

The webcasts are free, but space is limited, so please register at the supplied links.  On May 12, be sure to join the conversation and share your thoughts on social media with the hashtag #GradNation.

Nest Foundation creates curriculum to accompany “Playground” documentary

The Nest Foundation recently made a film called “Playground,” a documentary that explores the devastating impact of child sex trafficking in the United States.  The film has been shown in communities across the country and even around the world, and Nest has found that prevention education is our most powerful investment in the effort to stop child sexual exploitation and trafficking.

At every screening, a common question was asked by members of the audience:  “How do we get this film into high schools?”  The average age of a child trafficked for sex is 13, and if children are not aware of the signs of potential perpetrators, they may end up becoming victims.

In December 2014, Nest launched a new curriculum about preventing sexual exploitation.  This high school curriculum focuses on 4 crucial topics:  breaking down sexual exploitation and trafficking; deconstructing media and advertising that send the wrong messages about sexuality; encouraging students to be smart about what they share on social media; and encouraging youth action and citizenship so that students can be heard.

The curriculum was piloted in Portland, OR, and data from Nest’s 2014 Annual Report revealed intriguing data:  87 percent of students were able to recognize trafficking as a form of modern-day slavery; 88 percent of students recognized the role pop culture plays in sustaining the sex industry; and 95 percent of students felt equipped to take action within their communities to prevent exploitation and trafficking.

The data shows the importance of education in the prevention of human trafficking and modern-day slavery, and “Playground” is a documentary that gives strong support in teaching the public about how to recognize it and how to ultimately prevent it.  The Nest Foundation is currently looking at other cities across the country for implementation of its new curriculum, such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, Austin, Dallas, and New York.  With the curriculum, Nest hopes to arm a generation of our youth to stay safe and smart in their own environments!  You can join the conversation on their Facebook and Twitter pages, and you can find out more about the documentary’s impact summary at nestfoundation.org.