It Matters- Education Builds Bridges

Building Bridges

Why it Matters – How GLD Builds a Bridge

Humankind has been building bridges since at least 1600 BC when the Greeks build a bridge over the River Havos (based on the Guinness Book of Records).  It is a part of who we are as a species to overcome challenges, be they natural or man-made. Just as we build a bridge that covers a canyon or spaces over a river, Global Learn Day (GLD) builds a bridge that spaces cultural differences. GLD is a bridge in that people around the globe can use this celebration to reach out to each other. It is Global Learn Day’s purpose to “Celebrate Mankind’s Learning” and in doing that we are able to move a step closer to being “One People, One Planet”.

 

Why does it matter so much? Why is it so important to build a bridge with education? Simply put, because we are a learning people. Since the first tool was made, mankind has been learning, innovating. We seek out knowledge instinctively. If Education is truly its’ own language then Global Learn Day is the bridge that can unite all peoples. It matters because humankind should be seeking out and promoting those things that unite us rather than those that divide us. Global Learn Day is unitive.

How can we unite people across the globe?

Global Learn Day seeks to showcase and promote individuals with innovative ideas and voices in the educational arena without country, region, religion or political differences being factors. We do this because it is through education that we can unite in a shared human experience and promote ideas that will positively affect us on a global scale.

 

Through endeavors like our Timeline of Man’s Learning Project, we are reaching out to all of our voyagers and asking for collaboration so that we can celebrate mankind’s process of learning. Please visit our timeline and leave a comment, adding another marker so that we can as a global community recognize our achievements and plot a course on where to go next. This will then be available to ALL of our voyagers for use in whatever way they see fit to promote education in their communities.

 

We invite each reader to Join the Voyage if he or she has not done so already. Participate! Engage! We look forward to the help of our global community in Building a Bridge to the Future.

 

How do you build bridges? What bridges has education created for you? Where will the next bridge lead you?

 

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Education is Building Bridges

Education and Building Bridges

Building Bridges

Imagine living on a tiny island, just big enough for your home, but too small to land a plane.  What if this island were surrounded by pounding seas and forbidding boulders?  The unnavigable waters would hold you hostage.  You would own your own island but have no access to what you need.  The shore would be in sight, but so very out of reach.  What would you dream of each night?  A bridge!

 

The bridge that connects the most people and solves the greatest hardships is education.  At the principle level, education fundamentally changes our brain.  Our mind is rebuilt and shaped through what we learn.  We become different people, capable of greater feats and more aware of the world beyond us.  This bridge takes us from simple knowledge to the power to use it and create new knowledge and ideas.  With the personal gift of education, we build a bridge from our simple self to our full potential–it is a bridge that never stops growing as long as we keep laying bricks and stringing supports by our studies.

 

As we break free of our ignorance, education bridges the gap to other people.  We gain not only facts by empathy and analytical capability through a solid foundation.  We can compare and contrast our own little world with those far beyond our reach.  Education immerses us in a world that we would never be able to cover by foot, a world that we may never physically experience, but we can grow to understand through our continued quest for deeper understanding.

 

Education builds bridges from the past to the future by rooting us in lessons learned, and inspiring us to innovate in ways never dreamed before.  Our education is the key to an odyssey that reaches to whichever shore where we can strive to land.

 

Beyond the personal gain, and the benefit to the future, education builds a bridge out of poverty.  It lays a path out of despair.  Education provides the superhighway to a better world.

 

As we build our bridges to solve problems, become more employable, and enhance our life experience; we must remember those who are still waiting at the toll bridge, struggling to see past the gate and start building a bridge of their own.

 

When we speak of being One Planet, One People education is the key to our unity.  Through continued study to understand the hardships, obstacles, and geo-political hurdles that our fellow man must face we build a blueprint of what could be. Let us pick up this blue-print and make it reality.

 

By supporting and funding education for those who need it most, we can get every child on the path to a sturdy bridge building career.  Find a way today, to lay the first brick of a bridge for a child in need so that we can all cross the threshold into a safer, healthier, more unified and peaceful tomorrow.

 

How have you helped to build bridges of education? Join us for Global Learn Day 2017 and

Book with Reading

Literature and Learning

Literature and You, Perfect Together

Have you read a good book lately?  Literature is one of the hallmarks of a developed culture.  It synthesizes the values, beliefs, and societal make up of time and era.  Even books that aren’t explicitly historical fiction present a commentary of the lives and times the author experienced.

 

Andrew Pudewa, education advocate and founder of the Institute for Excellence in Writing, observes that like anything you can’t get out what you don’t put in.  Our brains are like computer processors, they need the reliable connectors and high quality coding to produce good results.

 

Reading opens door and worlds to children and adults. Through books we can explore times and regions that would be impossible for us to access otherwise.  Reading truly is fundamental as the old commercial jingle said.  It is the building block of our civilization and our future innovations. In his book, How Literature Plays with the Brain, Paul B. Armstrong observes, “Literature matters, for what it reveals about human experience, and the very different perspective of neuroscience on how the brain works is part of that story.”

 

Books Are the Way of the Future

With all the technological advances, it is easy to focus on the STEM curriculum in the hopes of raising up a generation prepared and enthusiastic about all that is possible in this high tech world.  However, it is important to have roots before we have wings.  Literature can give us those roots and the brain power to soar.

 

Science has shown that reading actually stimulates the brain in a way that it actually believes it is doing something that it is not. This is called embodied cognition.  This same principle is employed by athletes who use visualization as a manner to enhance their skills.  When a basketball player uses visualization, it triggers the same centers of the brain used to physically play the game.  In this way, embodied cognition truly takes our brain to the place and time of what we are reading, allowing us to experience and problem solve on a high plane that watching the same story on television.

 

Literature also teaches empathy and understanding of other points of view.  Theory of Mind is “the branch of cognitive science that investigates how we ascribe mental states to other persons and how we use the states to explain and predict the actions of those other persons.”  Studies have shown that children who have more literature read to them have keener theory of mind and are better able to empathize with others.

 

While reading is the important part, it also matters what we read.  As stated above, you only get out what you put in.  Informational reading is not the same as deep reading of literature. The reading of complex literature with the drama, suspense, and intricate details creates life like images in our brains that exercise our brain and expand our ability to think.  Decoding words is not enough, we need to be reading literature that pulls us into the story.

 

Falling In Love Is Literature

In a Time magazine article about the value of reading literature, it states, “The deep reader, protected from distractions and attuned to the nuances of language, enters a state that psychologist Victor Nell, in a study of the psychology of pleasure reading, likens to a hypnotic trance. Nell found that when readers are enjoying the experience the most, the pace of their reading actually slows. The combination of fast, fluent decoding of words and slow, unhurried progress on the page gives deep readers time to enrich their reading with reflection, analysis, and their own memories and opinions. It gives them time to establish an intimate relationship with the author, the two of them engaged in an extended and ardent conversation like people falling in love.”

 

How romantic is that?  Books are not only our escapes but the gym for our minds.  As we teach children to love learning we must also instill a love of fine literature to fill their minds with rich language and shape their theory of mind for the benefit of the world at large.  As One Planet, One People; providing the access to quality literature books to all children can go a long way toward building the bridges to a future of peace and harmony.

 

What has literature done for you? What piece of literature have you loved?

Climb to new heights with learning.

Why Does Life Long Learning Matter?

Do you remember fourth grade?

Do you remember everything that you learned?  While you may remember that year, just like exercise if you don’t use it, you lose it.  Our brains need to be worked and stretched.  Putting an end date on learning limits the potential of our mind. Lifelong learning is essential.

 

Imagine if you exercised consistently, intensively, and productively for 12 years straight, then you stopped and never did a single sit-up, jog, or workout again.  What would happen?  While your body gained flexibility, endurance, and muscle mass during those 12 years, the years afterwards would strip it all away. If you woke up and thought, “I exercised so intensely for all those years, I’ll go run a marathon today!” You would quickly come to realize how much your body lost from atrophy and neglect.

Learning, like exercise, is a never ending process.  Not only does our brain need the engagement and challenge to stay sharp, but there is always more to learn.  The body of information in our world is rapidly increasing.  Even learning all that is known today would take more than a lifetime.

In addition, the capabilities and comprehension of brains change over time. Experience shapes our view point and opens us up to a different analysis of the facts we know.   Learning expands our minds for new ideas.  New information leads to new discoveries.  Our world would stagnate if no one continued to learn beyond the basics.

The practice of endless learning is not new, it has been the backbone of human innovation since the dawn of time.  Those who keep researching, wondering, growing, and trying are the historical figures who have shaped our world. However, in this age of information, the wealth of knowledge and data is staggering.

Each day 2.5 extabytes (which is one billion billion bytes) are produced. Not all of this is relevant, neither is a large chunk of it true.  However, there it is, our lives are inundated with massive amounts of information.  Continual learning and study gives each of us the tools to wade through the false information, misinformation, and useless clutter to discern what is important.  In this way, we can make informed decisions and continue to grow in understanding, not get pulled down a stream of lie.

 

Lifelong learning matters because as “One Planet, One People” there is a never ending process of bettering this world for all who live here.  The more you know, the more you grow.  Let’s keep learning and create a brighter tomorrow.

 

How do you keep learning?  Why is lifelong learning important to you?

 

 

 

Education Across Borders

Education Across Borders

Education is the key to breaking free from poverty. It provides the means necessary to rise above circumstances and make a better start for the future.  Knowledge is power and millions of children are left powerless through a lack of educational opportunities.

 

At the same time, where education abounds, it is important to remember to educate the entire person.  Memorizing facts alone is not what helps to create leaders and innovators.  Children need inspiration. They need to move outside their comfort zone and be able to work on a team.  However, the greatest skill that children must learn, if we want a brighter tomorrow, is compassion.

 

Education Across Borders (EAB) serves some of the poorest people of the world.  Centered in the coffee farming region of the Dominican Republic, EAB is working to change the lives of those who so desperately need hope for the future. Their greatest asset, though, is that they teach the lessons of empathy, multiculturalism, and hard work to American students and adults in the process of improving lives in Dominican Republic.

 

EAB’s primary focus is education and community building.  Through projects that provide sanitation, scholarships and greater access to education, and adequate housing, EAB has been serving the areas of Batey Libertad and Franco Bido for 20 years.

 

In the Dominican Republic, 42% of the population lives in poverty and only 10% of children graduate from high school. Yet, it is an area ripe for the best educational experience for groups of young people.  Through the Immersion Program, groups of teens and young adults perform short term service projects that have lasting results.

 

The Pentecost Project immerses participants in the realities of poverty and teaches them how to work together with community members to fill dire needs.  The futures of both residents and immersion volunteers are forever changed as the projects provide housing, sanitation, and health care.  The greater gift is “the hope of conscientization: developing the critical consciousness (of self, and of local and global communities) to understand the roots of injustice and oppression, in all forms, as well as the ability to convert compassion into action for the common good.”

 

EAB is not only building bridges between American teens and Dominican residents in the communities they visit.  A flip side of the education is the Community Exchange program that brings scholarship winners from both Batey Libertad and Franco Bido together to experience each other’s towns.  Though these two towns are not geographically distant, this trip is far reaching in scope.

 

Scholarship winners have the opportunity to integrate, understand each other, and bridge gaps between the poor coffee farmers and the children of Haitian workers seeking a better life.  The barriers of misunderstanding and marginalization are being toppled as the rising leaders of these regions learn to overcome discrimination.

Education Across Borders is at the head of the class for mitigating positive change in the world.  There is much to be learned from their models and practices that teach best through working hands and open hearts.  The epitomy of “One People, One Planet.”

 

Have you ever worked beyond your comfort zone to help in a culture much different than your own?  How did this experience better prepare you for your future?