Good day! Today's news features a wide range of topics, such as solar-powered classrooms, vertical gardening and tiny shelters. As always, our selections are inspired by the Front Pages posted daily on FreedomForum.org.
Succulents in a Vertical Garden by Chris Hunkeler, Credit Courtesy of Creative Commons.
Lincoln Journal Star, Published in Lincoln, Nebraska, USA
A self-contained hydroponic farm inside of a shipping container is in the works in Lincoln, Nebraska. Called The Greenery, the program is presented by Beyond School Bells and The Bay (an extremely cool looking multi-purpose space for at risk youth), and aims to allow access to hands-on activities for students, which in this case would be growing food. The shipping container is able to house 13,000 plants (equivalent to a 2.5 acre farm) and doesn't require soil due to its use of vertical planting. It also uses LEDs to offer ideal light for plants and a recycled water system, making the program more efficient than outdoor farming.
Ventura County Star, Published in Ventura, California, USA
The first solar-powered outdoor classroom of its kind has opened. The classroom, called a Sustainable Outdoor Learning Environment, or SOLE, is located at Thousand Oaks High School in California. It features a solar roof with battery storage, eliminating significant power costs, as well as energy efficient fans, LED lighting, outdoor classroom furniture and an interactive white board. The area fits up to 40 students, and teachers at TOHS can sign up for a slot to use the new classroom.
Build Your Own House by Earthworm, Credit Courtesy of Creative Commons.
South Bend Tribune, Published in South Bend, Indiana, USA
Students from the Crossing School of Business & Entrepreneurship have been learning real-world construction skills while helping to build housing for people experiencing homelessness. The Crossing is a school offering small business and job training to students who have struggled in traditional learning environments. Students in their Construction Career Pathway program are helping to build a dozen 192 square foot structures for people in need of short term housing. These structures will provide an option for people whom a communal shelter environment may not be ideal, such as those with pets, PTSD or mental illness. Each shelter will have a toilet, sink, bed, chair and access to a communal bath and laundry area. The concept of tiny shelters has been gaining popularity nationally over the last few years and continues to spread.
The Pantagraph, Published in Bloomington, Illinois, USA (via The Associated Press)
Through Medicaid and the recent coronavirus relief bill, $1 billion has been budgeted to set up mobile crisis units over the next 10 years. Mobile crisis units can prevent unnecessary violence and death at the hand of police officers, who are largely uninformed about how to deal with those experiencing a mental health crisis. The arrival of police to a scene where someone is experiencing this can exacerbate tensions and anxiety, often leading to tragic results for the person in need. In Eugene, Oregon, this strategy has existed for more than 30 years and is supported by the local police. Their program is called Crisis Assistance Helping Out On The Streets, or CAHOOTS, and many cities around the country have expressed interest in adopting this model, which will now be backed by government support.
Ares lying and looking at me by Tambako the Jaguar, Credit Courtesy of Creative Commons.
The Arizona Republic, Published in Phoenix, Arizona, USA
This past winter, a young male jaguar was spotted on wildlife cameras near the Arizona-Mexico border. This may not seem significant, but the juvenile's sighting indicates that there is a natural system functioning for jaguars by the border, despite the species having been largely eliminated from the United States. Since 1996, approximately seven male jaguars have been documented here, but a young jaguar indicates that there are still both male and female jaguars existing in the wild. A portion of the border wall built by the Trump administration blocks habitats for many species of wildlife, but conservationists hope that Biden's pause on border construction could help maintain or restore the jaguars' existing habitat.
Need to keep current, look to the past, teach a topic? The Everett Cafe features daily postings of news from around the world, and also promotes awareness of historical events from an educational context. Check News Cafe on the Library Blog for more.