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Our daughter, a high-school sophomore, is smart but highly emotional, distractible and melts down when things aren’t perfect. We’re working with her school counselor to help her focus, prioritize and achieve her high expectations. We don’t want her on attention-deficit drugs. He suggests that she could benefit from mindfulness training. What is it?

Psychologists define mindfulness as the nonjudgmental awareness of experiences in the present moment. Some call it learning how to regulate our inner compass.

While mindfulness techniques such as meditation have been around for thousands of years, in the last few decades scientists have begun to study their effects on our well-being.

Research shows that learning to be mindful can help adults reduce stress, manage pain, shorten migraines, get better sleep and control unproductive emotions. More and more cardiologists encourage heart-surgery patients to learn meditation as part of recovery. Some dietitians add “mindfulness training” to weight-loss programs.

The scientist who brought mindfulness into medicine’s mainstream is Jon Kabat-Zinn, professor of medicine emeritus at the University of Massachusetts Medical School and founder of its Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society.

Kabat-Zinn’s work has inspired educators to include mindfulness training in social-emotional learning curricula.

“Any stressed-out parent who has read Zinn’s book, ‘Everyday Blessings: The Inner Work of Mindful Parenting’ (Hachette, 1998), has thought, ‘Kids ought to be learning this stuff in school,’” says New York educator Miriam Kahn. “Teaching a class how to calm themselves with their breath can reduce stress, promote mutual respect and de-escalate discipline problems.”

Several studies show the potential benefits of mindfulness practices for students’ physical health, psychological well-being, social skills and academic performance, writes Emily Campbell, research assistant for education at the University of California Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center.

One published recently in Developmental Psychology describes how a program called MindUP taught fourth- and fifth-grade students to practice mindfulness. Over a four-month period, they improved their behavior and social skills and even got significantly higher math scores than the control group.

Richmond, California, teacher Jean-Gabrielle Larochette realized that the many minutes he spent getting kids to settle into the school day ate into their precious instructional time.

“We tell kids to be quiet, calm down, stay on task, regulate and make good choices, but we’re not teaching them how to do that,” he says.

A mindfulness practitioner himself, Larochette taught them the focused breathing techniques he used daily. The results were so compelling that he founded the Mindful Life Project (mindfullifeproject.org) to expand the program to area schools.

A program offered by the nonprofit group Mindful Schools (mindfulschools.org) promotes practices that help students pay attention, build empathy and self-awareness, improve self-control and reduce stress. Research has shown that after six weeks of training, student behavior can improve significantly in those areas and that the gains can be sustained with a few minutes of daily practice.

Will mindfulness training help your daughter? It may be worth a try. If you can’t locate a qualified local trainer, find well-recommended resources by Kabat-Zinn at mindfulnesscds.com. Or consider a free eight-week online university course from the Greater Good Science Center called “The Science of Happiness.” Enroll at greatergood.berkeley.edu.

Our daughter’s high school is offering an online literacy workshop for parents, so we can help teach kids how to use the Internet for homework. However, my daughter knows way more than I do; she’s on Instagram and other sites a lot. Why is the school offering this?

Just because she’s social-media savvy, it doesn’t mean that your daughter knows how to choose the best websites for her research report on the early days of the U.S. space program; nor how to distinguish among accurate sources on diet and nutrition and those with a point of view to push.

A recent study released by the New Literacies Research Lab at the University of Connecticut shows that, despite the fact that today’s teens are digital natives — strong in social networking, texting, video and gaming, they are incredibly weak when it comes to using the Internet to gain new knowledge, says Donald Leu, the lab’s director.

The ability to read on the Internet to learn information is a critically important new area for schools to teach, Leu says.

“There’s a big difference between online reading and offline reading,” he explains. “Online reading isn’t simply taking a passage from a book and putting it on a computer screen.”

Online reading is using the Internet to read, evaluate and learn new information — skills that students need in an increasingly digital world.

Leu calls these new literacies “online research and comprehension” skills. They include:

– Reading to answer questions and solve problems. This means knowing how to effectively frame or define a search or a question.

– Reading to locate online information. This means teaching students how to query search engines and quickly scan sources for relevancy in a sea of information.

– Reading to critically evaluate online information. “Kids tend to use the first hit they get when they research a subject, without thinking about where the information is coming from and whether there is a vested interest involved,” says Blanche Warner, a library manager in Naples, New York.

– Reading to synthesize vast amounts of information. Once, students took notes from print sources on index cards. Now students have multiple media formats to research — from YouTube videos to slideshows to online journals. It takes practice for students to make sense of varied information on a topic and to use it effectively.

– Reading and writing to communicate online information. Leu wants students to “become well-versed in communicating in multiple modalities” and creating and sharing work online. He’d like to see more schools promote blogging and provide students with email accounts and wiki access.

He encourages district literacy leaders to engage students in far more online reading and to use school librarians trained in online research to lead instruction.

Meanwhile, Warner says, “It makes a huge difference when there is a librarian in the school who can teach students how to evaluate sources of information and foster these other online reading skills.”

So sign up for the workshop. “Parents have a key role in this,” Warner emphasizes. “It’s important to reinforce at home what students learn at school.”

Our local school is awful. Some parents in our district saw a movie about using a “parent trigger” law to shut down a failing school. I’m not sure how much work that would entail and if it would make a difference. How common are these laws and have they been successful?

California passed the nation’s first parent trigger law in January 2010. Since then, six other states — Connecticut, Indiana, Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas and Ohio — have passed some version of parent-trigger legislation. The National Council on State Legislatures reports that at least 25 states have considered it.

Parent-trigger laws allow parents to become deeply involved in the management and decision-making in their children’s school. They spell out processes parents can use to organize and act to improve a school, such as removing the principal and faculty, converting it to a charter school or even closing the school altogether and reassigning students to better-performing schools.

The movie those parents saw was probably “Won’t Back Down,” a 2012 story of two moms (one a teacher) who use a state law to take over their kids’ struggling school. It is loosely based on events in a California district.

While the laws (and the movie) have been successful in drawing national attention to parents’ frustrations in challenging a school’s history of underperformance, very few schools have been affected. California is the only state in which parents have successfully used the law to force changes at a failing school.

Changing a school from the outside requires robust leadership, organization and planning. The Los Angeles-based Parent Revolution (parentrevolution.org) trains parents in organizing, building knowledge of what works, and fostering relationships with teachers, administrators, school boards and other constituencies in the community to bring about change. It offers support to parents in any community working to improve schools, whether or not they are in “parent trigger” states.

Another group, Parents Across America (parentsacrossamerica.org), supports parental empowerment, but opposes parent-trigger processes because they are divisive and likely to cause more problems that they solve, says Rita Solnet, a founding member based in Florida. She has extensive experience in involving the entire community in improving schools.

“Parents, grandparents, retired educators and local citizens can partner with schools to improve the quality of public education,” she says. “That creates goodwill among citizens versus the divisiveness, turmoil and uncertainty inherent in a parent takeover.”

Last year, Los Angeles schools Superintendent Ramon Cortines affirmed the district’s support for allowing parents to petition for sweeping changes in failing schools.

In an interview with The Los Angeles Times, “Cortines said he saw no reason not to allow parents the chance to change their schools under the trigger law if they so desire.”

He explained that “it is a part of giving parents a choice. If they want to do something, I need to support it.”

Still, while Cortines has given encouragement to concerned parents, he has urged patience in tackling school reform efforts.

Our school is urging parents to give their kids more access to computers at home so that they can practice their keyboarding skills for tests given this spring. My middle-school-age son is an accomplished Minecrafter and gamer, but a really poor typist. Why does he need to know how to type to do well on a computer-based test?

If your son excels at Minecraft, he’ll do fine on test items that require a student to “drag and drop” a correct answer, but he needs to polish his typing skills for the short answer and essay responses.

The old “fill in the bubble” multiple-choice tests are now as rare as carbon paper. Today’s computer-based assessments make use of a range of digital capabilities to help kids “show what they know.”

Created to align with Common Core State Standards (CCSS), the new tests are more nuanced and don’t look for one right answer. They are packed with open response questions constructed to test whether students can think critically, analyze and solve problems, write a cogent essay and provide thoughtful, short responses to questions.

In other words, the tests give students opportunities to demonstrate their thinking — something everyone agrees is hard with multiple-choice and fill-in-the-blank items.

Most states assessing the CCSS use one of two test providers: Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC, parcconline.org/for-parents) and Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (smarterbalanced.org).

Each organization provides sample practice items for each tested grade on their websites. For example, a sample seventh-grade PARCC English test item asks students to read two passages about electricity, watch a short TED Talk video about building circuits with Play-Doh, and then write an essay, explaining their thinking with evidence from each source.

California educator Corinne Burton visits school districts around the country in her capacity as president of Teacher Created Materials, an education publisher. She says teachers are pushing to get students up to speed in keyboarding.

“We’re seeing this all over,” she says. “After years on the decline, keyboarding classes are coming back. Schools are setting instructional standards for keyboarding and beefing up their programs to get students ready for digital testing. Parents can help.”

Burton has successfully used Typing.com and some online games with her own kids to prepare them.

She suggests that parents ask their kids’ teachers which test provider their school is using.

“Go to the provider’s website and try out with your kids the sample test questions at the appropriate grade level,” says Burton. “You’ll not only get a sense of how they’ll fare at typing with time constraints, you’ll see what skill and concept mastery the new standards expect of students.”

In life, there are no multiple-choice answers, says Jeff Nellhaus, director of policy, research and design for PARCC. “You have to construct your own answers from your own knowledge and drawing on other sources to get information.”

The new tests are designed to measure students’ ability to do just that. It would be a shame if poor keyboarding skills prevented your son from demonstrating what he really knows.

Our fifth-grade son loves reading and science and does well in them, but he has always had trouble in math. His teacher says he’s “working below capacity.” The trouble is, she really can’t describe what “below capacity” means. Does that mean he’s below grade level?

You say he’s always had trouble with math, so it could mean that he’s working below fifth-grade level and has been promoted from grade to grade without fully mastering math content each year. Or it could mean that he knows the material but doesn’t love the subject and simply doesn’t apply himself.

Whatever the reason, you’re right to be concerned, says San Jose, California, fifth-grade teacher Bill Laraway.

“When students do well in most subjects but lag in one, parents and teachers sometimes assume that they’ll just catch up,” he says. “But math is one of those subjects requiring a strong early foundation. Students must master one set of skills before moving to another. Your son will need to up his math game to be successful in middle school math and science.”

Schedule another conference with his teacher, suggests Laraway.

“Ask her to pinpoint areas where his skills and understanding are weak,” he says. “Create a plan to help him quickly come up to speed. This could mean working with a resource teacher who suggests practice activities that you monitor. You could also consider a tutor. If he truly lacks skill mastery, you have to help him catch up.”

If he knows the material and just doesn’t apply himself, “show him that math can be useful in his day-to-day life, that he can have fun with it and it can be a lifelong tool to make life easier,” says Laraway.

Find fun math-related games and puzzles to challenge him.

“Since he loves science,” Laraway says, “show him how key math is in higher-level science. There are no successful scientists who fail at math.”

Many parents want tangible ways to understand if their child is on track in school, says Bill Jackson, president and founder of GreatSchools.org, an organization that supports parental engagement in their children’s education.

“Report cards don’t tell the whole story,” he says. “With the new state learning standards, parents are demanding easy ways to know if a child is working on grade level.”

To demonstrate what skill proficiency looks like, GreatSchools created a series of short Milestone Videos to help parents assess their child’s progress in reading, writing and math in grades kindergarten through five. Click on the fifth-grade math milestones, for example, and you’ll see a teacher guiding a student through key skills such as adding and subtracting fractions with different denominators and estimating answers to word problems.

The videos in English and Spanish highlight three to five key elements of the standards in each subject. Before meeting with your son’s teacher, go through the fifth-grade math videos to learn what “on grade level” means in math, says Jackson.

“Does the son appear to understand the concepts?” he asks. “If not, try the fourth-grade math videos, and so on. You’ll get a sense of what he may still need to learn.”

To access the Milestone Videos, go to greatschools.org/milestones or check out the YouTube channel: youtube.com/greatschools.

Our son turns 5 in August. My sister suggests we hold him back a year from kindergarten. He’s shy and not as academic as her 5-year-old daughter, who reads picture books. Will the school give him a readiness test? What factors determine if we should hold him back?

Some parents hold back a child to give “the gift of time” to catch up to today’s higher levels of kindergarten readiness. A few do it to give a child a leg up for later participation in sports. But don’t do it because your sister tells you to.

There is no clear data on the academic, social and emotional benefits of holding a child back. After reviewing studies, Deborah Stipek of Stanford University concluded that whatever gains might exist in the early elementary years disappear by the end of upper elementary school. There is data from the National Bureau of Economic Research suggesting that an average kindergartner actually benefits from exposure to more mature peers.

Consider the following factors, says Robin Obey, an experienced K-1 teacher in North Bellmore, New York:

– Each child develops cognitively, socially, physically and emotionally at a different pace.

“Kindergarten teachers expect a wide range of ability and behaviors in each class and are prepared to accommodate each learner,” Obey says.

– Kindergartners aren’t expected to be able to read when they enter school. A few may be emerging readers, but most are not.

“Don’t compare him with his cousin,” says Obey. “She’s the exception, not the norm.”

– If your son is in preschool, consult his teachers.

“Their observations can be invaluable in your decision,” Obey advises.

– A kindergarten screening is essential.

“Each school has one and he’ll be assessed for speech or cognitive delays,” says Obey. “The results can offer guidance.”

– Accelerate your son’s readiness.

“Parents don’t realize how much they can do with simple activities, says Obey. “The most important? Read to him every day. Include some of the wonderful books about starting kindergarten.”

Play word games such as, “I say cat. You say rat.” Play I Spy and Categories: “Let’s think of things that are red …” Encourage storytelling: “Tell me what happened when we went to the zoo.” Take photos and have your son dictate captions. Have him draw a story; dictate what’s happening while you write the words.

Give your son simple tasks, such as sorting laundry or setting the table, to build one-to-one correspondence, number sense and independence. Provide multistep directions to develop listening skills and ability to focus.

Boost his fine motor skills: Sculpt with Play-Doh; tear up junk mail; use scissors; draw.

Provide opportunities to socialize in small and large group settings.

“His shyness can be a personality trait or just how he is right now,” Obey notes. “One year, the youngest child in my class barely spoke. She’s now the president of her high school class.”

Unless the screening tests reveal a problem, Obey advises you to focus your energies on getting your son excited about going to kindergarten this fall.

“Reinforce simple readiness skills every day,” she says. “Your school can provide a list of those skills, or find them online at state education department websites.”

Our fifth-grade son has “writer’s block,” and his teacher says he should expand his vocabulary. Can you suggest useful worksheets and online vocabulary drills?

Children’s author Ralph Fletcher says vocabulary building is all about helping students fall in love with words.

Nothing will kill a budding love for lexicography like handing your son some boring worksheets. Help him fall in love with words by finding joy in learning new words with him. Try these teacher-tested suggestions:

– Dinner served with words! Family dinners have positive social and academic influences on kids; having a daily discussion that allows them to hear new vocabulary is one of them. Choose topics to discuss at each meal (such as a recent school event or plans for a family vacation) and ask everyone to weigh in.

Model and encourage rich vocabulary.

For example: “To plan our vacation, let’s look up state and national parks within a 200-mile radius of where we live. A radius is the distance from the center of a circle to its edge. On a map, we will estimate a distance of 200 miles from our house and draw a circle around it. Then we will pinpoint and investigate parks we could visit.”

Encourage dialogue, but even if kids don’t chime in, don’t worry. They’re still absorbing the words and making them their own.

– Let pictures launch a thousand words: Find great images from “photo of the day” websites or calendars to get kids talking. A photo of diver encountering a shark generates words like scuba, equipment, adventure, conditions, saltwater, gear and so on, and piques interest in a wondrous ocean species.

– Have some pun fun, and kick off word play.

“I found ‘Pun and Games: Jokes, Riddles, Daffynitions, Tairy Fales, Rhymes, and More Word Play for Kids’ by Richard Lederer (Chicago Review Press, 1996) at a yard sale. My son thinks it’s crazy-funny,” says Anita Burnham, a California math teacher. “We play word games in the car, from how many homonym pairs we can think of in a minute (prey-pray, rain-rein, slay-sleigh) to 20 Questions. We try to ‘out pun’ each other, too, to keep it fun.”

Find word fun in portmanteaus and eggcorns, says Brenda Power, founder of the teacher website Choice Literacy (choiceliteracy.com‬). ‬

A portmanteau combines two words and their meanings into one new word. Some trendy examples are snowmageddon, emoticon and frenemy.

“Discovering a new portmanteau is like finding a buried treasure in a text,” Power says. “An eggcorn is a substitution for a word or phrase that may shift its meaning, but still makes sense in the context and is usually accidental on the part of the speaker.”

Think cold slaw for cole slaw or bread and breakfast for bed and breakfast. Go egghorn hunting at eggcorns.lascribe.net.

While your son’s teacher has identified weak vocabulary as the source of your son’s “writer’s block,” I’ll bet that there are other contributing factors. Children’s author Fletcher has a book for young writers, “A Writer’s Notebook: Unlocking the Writer Within You” (HarperCollins, 2003), which will give your son techniques to add to his writer’s toolbox.

Better understanding the writing process will motivate him to fall in love with words.

We’ve read to our kids almost nightly since infancy. The oldest, now a fourth-grader, is a good reader, but sometimes still listens in when we read to her little sister. Isn’t this unusual? What does she get out of it?

It’s not unusual at all. While fourth-graders probably won’t sit still for a reading of a picture book, many would love to hear more complex books read to them, such as the “Harry Potter” series, “The Princess Bride” or “Because of Winn-Dixie.”

Scholastic’s recently released 2015 Kids and Family Reading Report shows that 40 percent of children ages 6 to 11 whose parents no longer read books to them at home say they wished their parents still did.

“Parents are often surprised to learn this,” says Francie Alexander, chief academic officer at Scholastic.

Reading aloud offers many educational and emotional benefits to older children.

“Tweens whose parents still read aloud to them are more likely to view reading as a pleasurable activity — something we do to relax at the end of a busy day,” says Alexander. “They become more interested in books and are more likely to read for fun on their own.”

Reading researcher Dr. Michael Milone touts these academic benefits.

“Reading aloud to kids stimulates language development, boosts their listening skills and models fluency and vocabulary,” he says. “As students move up the grades, the vocabulary gets harder. When parents read challenging material aloud, students learn new academic and content-area words and how they are pronounced.

“For example, if you read aloud an article about weird winter weather patterns, you might find words such as ‘barometric pressure,’ ‘cumulonimbus,’ ‘El Nino,’ ‘Fahrenheit,’ ‘precipitation,’ ‘meteorology.’ These are all fourth-grade science words that are easier to learn and less threatening when a student hears them in context.”

A busy parent might be thinking, “So we have to set aside time for two read-alouds? One for younger children and one for older kids?”

Not necessarily. It depends on what text you choose.

“A good story or article read with expression can attract the interest of kids of all ages and hold the adult reader, too,” says Alexander. “A 6-year-old may not be able to read a news story about a dog that saved its owner, but she can follow the story line and enjoy listening along with her older sister.”

There’s an art to reading aloud, and “The Read-Aloud Handbook” by Jim Trelease (Penguin, 2006) has taught many parents how. Check out his advice on reading books you don’t really want to at trelease-on-reading.com. (There’s a YouTube link that offers videos that model techniques.)

Look for recommended read-aloud book lists at many library websites and on readaloudamerica.org. Literacy expert Steven Layne has compiled suggested titles and tips from K-12 teachers who read aloud daily to their classes in his book, “In Defense of Read-Aloud” (Stenhouse, 2015).

Choose age-appropriate stories by popular authors with male and female characters, strong character development, interesting plots and themes and positive messages, says Scholastic’s Alexander.

“If a book isn’t working, move on,” she says. “While the goal is to promote literacy, the benefit is enjoyable family time together.”

My daughter graduates from college in May. Her adviser suggests she take an exit test called the Collegiate Learning Assessment Plus. He says it will help her get a job. I thought that’s what a four-year diploma was for. What is this test and why should she take it?

The Collegiate Learning Assessment Plus (CLA+) was developed by the Council for Aid to Education (CAE), which, according to its website, focuses “on providing educational assessment services to educational institutions.”

Some call the CLA+ a test of “21st-century workforce skills.”

It’s relatively new and gaining traction as an objective, benchmarked report card that measures intellectual growth in critical thinking, analytical reasoning, document literacy, writing and communication — areas many companies view as more important for professional success than subject-area knowledge.

The CLA+ is open to any student and costs $35 (though many colleges waive the fee). It’s given during the spring of senior year.

Your daughter has nothing to lose by taking it. With so many recent grads living jobless at home, she should use every tool available to present herself to prospective employers. (And it will help you learn whether all those tuition checks were worth it!)

Potential employers use the test to determine whether students’ abilities match their college credentials and GPAs. Some colleges use the tests to grade themselves — a key thrust of the Obama administration’s push for higher education accountability.

Recently, CAE analyzed CLA+ scores of 32,000 recent U.S. college graduates and that found 4 in 10 lacked the complex reasoning skills to manage white-collar work.

Jessalynn James, a program manager at CAE, says many students begin “college at such a low level in these skills that they may still not be proficient at the point of graduation.”

Richard Arum is a New York University sociologist and co-author with Josipa Roksa of “Aspiring Adults Adrift” (University of Chicago Press, 2014). He says parents, colleges and students share the blame for this “failure to launch.”

Arum believes that parents must start early to show kids the relationship between discipline, learning and success later in life. When they begin thinking about college, orient them so “that they understand that college is a time when one needs to invest in rigorous academic coursework” — that the social aspects are a complement, not the main attraction.

When looking at a college, Arum says parents should ask tough questions. Go beyond the recruitment brochures and sales presentations at a visit. Ask for evidence of outcomes. What are student scores on tests of critical thinking such as the CLA+? How many recent graduates have jobs, and what type? How effective is the college’s career office? What kinds of internships and services such as practice interviews does it provide?

M.J. “Chip” Block, a retired business leader who mentors students in Palm Beach County, Florida, says, “A few can construct a cohesive argument, think logically and write a clear explanation of their ideas. But many don’t have the analytical and organizational skills to show potential employers they can excel in a job. The truth is that these key skills are not just essential for one’s career — they are critical if you’re going to be an informed, effective citizen and productive member of a community.”

Do schools still teach civics? My middle school-age daughter has no clue how government works. How can I help her develop civics knowledge in an interesting way?

Middle-schoolers aren’t the only ones who can’t tell a senator from a representative. The Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania finds alarming civic illiteracy among adults. In a recent poll, only slightly more than a third of Americans surveyed could name the three branches of the U.S. government. Thirty-five percent couldn’t name a single branch. (Test yourself at civicseducationinitiative.com/take-the-test.)

Social studies, which include civics, suffered with the passage of No Child Left Behind. “In an age of high-stakes testing, teachers are under immense pressure to teach what’s tested, and science, math, reading and writing are what we test,” says Dr. Emma Humphries at the Bob Graham Center for Public Service at the University of Florida. “Nowhere is this truer than at the elementary level, where teachers report mere minutes devoted to social studies instruction.”

Most states require at least one high school semester of American government. Some now require civics instruction earlier. Tennessee and Florida have embedded more civics into their curricula in recent years. In addition, Tennessee’s legislature is considering a bill that would make high school students pass a civics test to graduate.

No one has done more to reboot civics than retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. “In 2010, Florida unanimously adopted the Justice Sandra Day O’Connor Civics Education Act to improve civics instruction and assessment,” says Humphries. “The act requires that students successfully complete at least one semester of civics for middle school promotion and take an end-of-course examination that constitutes 30 percent of their final grade. Most of Florida’s 67 school districts have implemented yearlong civics courses in seventh grade to prepare students for the high-stakes exam.”

In 2010, O’Connor founded iCivics.org, a free, interactive website with award-winning games and other digital activities that place students in different civic roles and give them agency to address real-world problems and issues.

“It’s a great resource for home or school,” says Humphries. “Since its launch, students have played iCivics games 27 million times.” (Humphries recommends floridacitizen.org/resources/other for more resources.)

Bill Laraway, a fifth-grade teacher in San Jose, California, encourages parents to use current events to get kids excited about civics.

“There’s always something meaty to discuss — from banning sodas in schools or climate change, to measuring the effectiveness of protest marches,” he says. “These talks give kids a chance to polish critical thinking and language skills.”

Laraway uses news apps such as NPR, USA Today and CNN to prompt conversation. He also directs parents to age-appropriate discussion guides at CNN Student News, Channel One News, Scholastic News, Newsela and Time For Kids.

Florida congressman Patrick Murphy meets often with students in his district: “A student recently asked about Ben Franklin’s advice: ‘It is the first responsibility of every citizen to question authority.’ I replied that to be an effective citizen, you must first know what citizenship means. It’s exciting to see a renewed emphasis on civic education in our schools.”

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