The New York Times Learning Network is sponsoring Flocabulary’s Year in Rap writing contest to ring in the new year. Students aged 13–19 are encouraged to write a rap that highlights the year’s biggest news stories. To compose their rap, students should choose at least four important New York Times stories from one of the news categories listed on the contest’s web page. They may choose to focus on a smaller topic found within a section in The Times. For example, they can write a rap based on the Black Lives Matter movement, or on one of the 2016 presidential candidates, rather than the whole range of national or political news this year. Winning entries will be published on The Learning Network’s website.
Rena Rosen and her friend Jenny Levin, both educators, co-wrote The Courage to Be Kind, an illustrated children’s book that educates youth about a number of physicaldifferences, including Apert syndrome, spina bifida, cerebral palsy, Tourette syndrome, alopecia, birthmarks, and dwarfism.
Sesame Street is providing a different kind of lesson with the introduction of its newest Muppet, Julia, who has autism. Julia was first introduced in 2015 as part of an online-only digital storybook called Sesame Street and Autism: See the amazing in all children.