American coffee shop only hires disabled

“Our wait time is no longer than any of our competitors,” Wright said. “They’ve all gotten really good at their jobs and step up if somebody else needs help.”

All the profits from the coffee shop go to Wright’s nonprofit, Able to Work USA. But she’s most proud of the bridges it’s built in the community.

A coffee shop in Wilmington, North Carolina, employs 40 people with disabilities, as well as two managers who have degrees in special education.

Meet the owner of Bitty & Beau’s Coffee, Amy Wright.

Wright’s inspiration came from two of her four children — Beau and Bitty, who have Down syndrome.

When Wright and her husband discovered that nearly 70% of adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities do not have jobs, they resolved to do something about it.

“It hit me like a lightning bolt: a coffee shop!” Wright told CNN. “I realized it would be the perfect environment for bringing people together. Seeing the staff taking orders, serving coffee — they’d realize how capable they are.”

Teachers Spreading Love in the Classroom

Teachers aroud the world ae trying to spread the love to their pupils. Here are four ways this has happened in the USA.

In the amount of time teachers have with kids, they’re expected to help their students learn and prepare them for the coming years. But many go the extra mile to make sure their students also feel welcomed, accepted and heard.

Some teachers have done this with inspiring songs. Others have used messages of support to fight back against the recent spate of hate crimes and hateful political rhetoric targeted at marginalized communities. Inspired by these acts, HuffPost Parents reached out to teachers (both former and current) across the country to learn what they’re doing or what they have done to help their students.

Here are 14 teachers on how they spread love in the classroom:

1. “When we see a kid being kind to others … or being a helper we give them a pom pom and they get to drop it in the warm and fuzzy jar.”

I’m a preschool teacher and myself and the other preschool teachers have created a “warm and fuzzy jar” and we talk about being kind with friends and with ourselves. When we see a kid being kind to others, being gentle with their bodies (walking inside, not hitting themselves, etc.), or being a helper we give them a pom pom and they get to drop it in the warm and fuzzy jar. When our jar is full we get to celebrate and the kids get to work together to choose what our goal will be (wear pajamas to school, extra outside time, making popcorn). As teachers we all were affected by this election, and it really lit a fire in us to make sure the children are as kind and accepting as can be.
― Krista Mashburn, a preschool teacher in Arcata, California

2. “We go around the circle and say a compliment to the person sitting on your left.”

I teach music to students ages 4 to 15 in a rural public school. Many of my students lack strong verbal communication skills, so we practice through songs and activities. One class opener my first- and second-grade students love is the “Compliment Circle.” It’s simple ― at the beginning of class, we go around the circle and say a compliment to the person sitting on your left. It’s amazing to see the tension melt off a 7-year-old’s face with a simple, “You’re nice to me in class,” or “I like your shoes.” To be seen and appreciated for their choices ― it’s so important for kids, but we can lose sight in the pressure of lesson planning, test scores and data.
― Camille Loomis, a public school teacher in Clarksdale, Mississippi

3. “[I got the class involved in] a fun activity while teaching teamwork and patience with the other person.”

During one activity, the students sat with their back to the white board and their classmates were able to surround them with messages. I didn’t place any stipulations on the messages and the students wrote very positive characteristics of that person or compliments, even with people they don’t necessarily get along with. Many students were anxious about sitting there without being able to see what was being written or by whom. In the end when the student turned around to read their board, many became emotional. One student said, “I’ve never felt more a part of a group, I didn’t know you guys even liked me.” This was definitely successful in giving students a confidence boost and spreading love to students that normally keep to themselves.

A second activity I used was a fun teamwork game called “Sole Mates.” Each student chose a partner and had to work together in any position they could come up with as long as their two shoe soles were together at all times. I then challenged them to race from one side of the room to the other. This was a fun activity while teaching teamwork and patience with the other person.
― Kristin Harris, ninth-grade history and humanities teacher in Phoenix

4. “As a man teaching a rigorous science (physics), I felt it was important to be emotionally expressive.”

It’s been a couple years since I taught full time. I have always believed learning requires emotion. The idea that your mind will become invested in a subject that you have no emotional connection to was always absurd to me. I used to spend the first five to 10 minutes of class just talking to the students. I used their thoughts to form the day’s theme, recurring joke or compelling problem to emotionally connect with content. I was reprimanded for not teaching content bell-to-bell, despite demonstrating the efficacy of my methods.

I taught high school, and I found it important to model “adult” behavior. As a man teaching a rigorous science (physics), I felt it was important to be emotionally expressive. I loved my students and told them so. I loved hard problems, good questions and clever solutions, so I would get excited and emote as visibly as possible. When kids appeared upset or distracted, I’d ask if they were OK, but respected boundaries if they didn’t want to talk to me. I let the students engage with my emotions as a model for being open about feelings. In short, I was openly human to my students, which let them know my expectation of them: Be yourself, it’s safe here, we’re all human.
― David Galatzer-Levy, who has taught many levels of education, though most of his work involved teaching 10th- to 12th-grade physics and mathematics in Fall River, Massachusetts

Ikea to sell rugs and textiles made by Syrian refugees

Awesome news from Ikea regarding refugees!

Ikea is planning to sell a line of rugs and textiles made by Syrian refugees in 2019, in an effort to provide jobs to people displaced by the civil war.

The move will create jobs for 200 refugees, most of them women, currently living in Jordan, according to CNN.

Ikea’s flat pack refugee shelter wins design of the year competition
Jesper Brodin, range and supply manager at Ikea, described the situation in Syria as “a major tragedy of our time” adding that Jordan has taken great responsibility in hosting people displaced by Syria’s civil war.

“We decided to look into how Ikea can contribute,” Mr Brodin told CNN.

The products will be sold locally and in other Middle Eastern countries with free trade agreements with Jordan.

More than 650,000 Syrians are registered as refugees in Jordan, according to the United Nations. Last year the Government of Jordan pledged to issue up to 200,000 works permits for Syrians to allow them to work legally alongside Jordanians.

This is not the first time Ikea has responded to the refugee crisis.

A flat-pack refugee shelter designed by Ikea, in partnership with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), was crowned design of the year in last year’s prestigious Beazley competition.

Thousands of flat-pack shelters, intended to last for around three years, were sent to humanitarian crisis points around the world as refugees faced freezing temperatures in Europe this winter.

Ikea’s latest initiative was reportedly already in development before President Donald Trump released his executive order barring citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the US for a period of 90 days as well as temporarily halting the entire US refugee programme.

Little Girl And Orphaned Calf Are The Very Best Of Friends

Lacey Rae Gray may not have known quite what to expect when she made the decision to adopt an orphaned calf, but she probably didn’t realize she was providing a new sibling for her almost-2-year-old daughter Kinley.

“It’s kind of like having a sister,” Gray told The Huffington Post. “If I were to have a baby, that’s what that would be like.”

Gray is a 25-year-old photographer in Michigan City, Mississippi, and the whole thing started when friends wouldn’t stop tagging her on Facebook in another photographer’s photo shoot with a baby and calf and suggesting she try something similar. Finally, Gray called up her husband’s uncle, who keeps cows, to ask if she could borrow a calf for a day to take some pictures.

“He started laughing at me, and said, ‘No, you can’t take a calf away from her mama, because the mama is gonna be one mad cow,” she said.

But the very next day, she received another call, this time a tragic one. The calf’s mother had suffered a fall and wasn’t going to make it. Did she want the calf, who would require bottle-feeding?

“I immediately said yes. I was at the bank and I was like, ‘I’ll leave right now and come get her. I’ll take good care of her.’ Not even having pictures in mind, I just thought ‘I’m gonna rescue a calf and I’m gonna be her mom. I’ll do it,” Gray recalls.

But it was her daughter Kinley who ended up connecting the most deeply with the calf, whom the family named Molly Moo Moo, when she came to live with them that evening.

LACEY RAE GRAY
Gray and her husband told Kinley about an hour before Molly’s arrival that they were going to get a “real moo-cow.”

“She didn’t really get it until Molly actually showed up, and then she was like ‘Oh, oh, that’s my moo-cow,” says Gray. ”She was very hands on. She wanted to walk her, she wanted to feed her, she read a book to her the first night. It was a Dory and Nemo book that makes noises and so she was pushing the buttons and playing the noises and telling Molly, ‘Listen, it’s Dory.’ She did that all on her own. I thought, they’re gonna be best friends, and sure enough they are.”

Now, Kinley cries when she has to leave Molly at home and joins her parents for every feeding. The two walk up to each other without hesitation, and Kinley sits next to Molly and talks to her, rubs her feet and kisses her ears and nose.

But it wasn’t until Gray got out her camera that she saw the true strength of the connection.

“The moment I really noticed the connection between the two, we were doing a trial photo shoot. It was muddy and Molly wouldn’t sit down, so we put Kinley next to her and she just plopped down and started licking all over Kinley. I couldn’t stop taking pictures because of that connection, that friendship. You could just see that Molly trusted her.”
“I couldn’t even really explain it, “says Gray. “The pictures explain themselves.”
Gray estimates that Molly will live with the family for about a year while they prepare her to return to the pasture she came from. The calf had to be taught to suck and swallow and other basics, and will still need to learn to eat on her own before returning to live with other cows.

Luckily, the farm is just a few minutes down the road, so the family is already planning to visit and come over for nighttime feedings. With Kinley and Molly’s sweet relationship, it’s obvious the cow is going to be part of the family for life.