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Prisoners Win Debate Against Harvard Debate Team

Sherry Rucherman

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If you wanted to place bets on who would be the winning debate team in a competition between Harvard University, one of the most prestigious schools in the country, and a team of prisoners, it would be a safe bet to place it on Harvard. However, you would have been wrong and if you actually bet money, you would have lost.

The maximum-security inmates that won this debate are part of the Bard Initiative. This is a new program that offers a college education for prisoners. The Bard College debate team already has an impressive record. Not only has the team won against Harvard but also a team from the University of Vermont and West Point.

The debate was about whether public schools in the United States should have the ability to deny enrollment to students who are undocumented.

Bard College is located in Upstate New York and is pushing boundaries on what prison life should be and how rehabilitation should be done. It has been seen as a shining star in an industry that is normally tainted and full of corruption. The results of the program have been pretty amazing. The Bard Prison College reports that just 2% of their imamates ever return to prison after release. Prisoners who aren’t part of the program return to prison at a much higher rate. The college reports that 97.5% of graduates who get released from prison never go back.

Many of the inmates realize that the Bard education program can be a life-changing opportunity and this is why they give everything they have to the program. It also isn’t easy. The debate team faces several difficulties when preparing for a debate. In today’s society, it makes sense to use the Internet in order to prepare for a debate but the inmates have no Internet access.

There are also many hurdles to overcome in order to join the debate team. It requires special permission from a prison guard. One of the top debaters is in prison for manslaughter and has said that he feels very lucky to be a part of the program.

The Bard Prison Initiative program works to redefine the affordability, availability, and expectations that are usually associated with higher education in the country. Since 2001, the program has created plenty of groundbreaking opportunities for college within the prison system. These programs can help transform any negative impacts create access to higher learning. Today, the program currently has over 300 students in full-time programs that end in degrees from Bard College. It also offers support for the alumni in and around New York City.

The student body of the program mostly mirrors that of the prison system. Many students come from communities that didn’t have educational opportunities and many are impacted by crime and incarceration. The majority of the inmates in the program were first arrested as children. Some did end up completing high school but most earned a GED in prison. Once enrolled, students engage with the college full term and have a course of study that matches the intensity of any normal undergraduate learning experience. After release from prison, the alumni of the program become taxpaying independent citizens. Some go on to attend graduate school while others have careers in human services, the arts, media, and business. These individuals contribute to their communities just as you would expect from any college graduate.

The newest initiative, the Bard Microcollege, further expands this scope of work and helps deliver liberal arts educations to isolated communities outside the prison system through partnerships with different community-based institutions. 

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Life

The Life and Times of Don Knotts: Remembering an Entertainment Icon.

Mackenzie Freeman

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Don Knotts was an American actor, comedian, and entertainer most associated with his role on The Andy Griffith Show. As one of the most well-known television actors of all time, Don Knotts would go on to enjoy a career spanning 50+ years, 5x Emmy Awards, and multiple starring roles in some of the most famous television series of all time. With that being said, you probably knew all about that. Today, we are going to dig a little deeper into one of the largest icons in Hollywood history.

Keep on reading to find out 40 stunning facts about The Andy Griffith Show star, Don Knotts!

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Life

Disciplining A Child And Creating a Program To Discipline Themselves

Mackenzie Freeman

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When To Consider Raising or Having Children

1. Some people see that their lives would be enhanced if they were a parent and do not want to miss out on having a child,  especially when they hear their friends or associates praising having children in their lives.  Parenthood is glorified and is considered an extraordinary experience. Still, they do not think that there is any downside to having children because parenthood is a given and considered transcendent when a parent has one good experience with its child and the child,  is not interrupted by a Smartphone, headphones or earbuds, which does not qualify as a higher spiritual plane.  Parenting, being a given, must be thoroughly thought through because it is a full-time responsibility, which carves up all of one’s free time.

2. If your motive to be a parent is that people tell you that if you do not, you will regret this decision. This motive is not a good reason to be a parent.  While regretting not having children is a compelling reason to have children.

3.  If your partner wants to have children, should this motivate yourself to do so, even though you are ambivalent?  Being pressured to have a child by a desperate partner can easily backfire, and your partner’s motivation may be that desperate parent has doubts about the success of the marriage.

4. You should not have any genuine concerns about your parenting skills. While having concerns is not atypical, legitimate concerns should not be ignored.  It is essential that you know yourself and trust your feelings that you had doubts about whether you could love and protect your child.

 5.  When you thought about having a child, one factor was that the child could be an insurance policy to care for you as you age, and you feared to be lonely and neglected.

Parents Discipline of Young Children

It is unusual to determine your discipline strategy for your unborn child, but that issues arise in the early years of the child’s life.  Further, in your discussion with your partner concerning discipline, you may realize if there is a significant difference between you and your partner. That issue should be addressed before determining if your parenting styles significantly differ before you commit to having children.   

Discipline Factors

Discipline is directly related to the emotional well being of the parents, the age and developmental status of the child, and
ethnic and racial differences.  One would hope that the emotional well being of the parent would be explored before the parents deciding to have children.  

Stop Doing Tasks For Your Teenagers

A parents goal is to raise competent and capable adults and decide that disciplining their teenagers when they don’t complete essential tasks is not helping them to become well-functioning adults such as:

1. Ensuring that they wake themselves up in the morning when the snooze button on their alarm clock does not effectively wake them up,
2.  Making their breakfast and packing their lunch.
3.  Completing their school-related paperwork.
4. Bringing forgotten items to their school.
5. Do not cover your children’s failure to finish school projects.
6. Doing their laundry.
7.  Contacting their teachers or coaches. 
8. Becoming too involved with their academic responsibilities.
 
Teaching Children Common Sense Life Skills

Parents are concerned that whether they should use common sense to teach a child life’s skills to ensure that their children can function in the real world, which is unrelated to technology or computer knowledge.  Society expects that parents teach their children common sense life skills and will, in some form, punish parents for not doing so.  Parents have to set aside a home-based program to teach these skills.  The common-sense life skills program must be designed to have consequences putting the final responsibility on their children to show that they will suffer from avoiding tasks and must develop self-discipline.

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Life

Canadian IGA Rooftop Gardens Feeds Local Customers

Mackenzie Freeman

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In 2017, when the bourgh of St. Laurent in Montreal began pushing for rooftop gardens IGA Extra Famille Duchemin wanted to participate. Today it is one of the first supermarkets in Canada to grow produce on the roof. The garden is 25,000 square feet and  grows organic produce that is LEED Certified.The store grows and harvest over 35 different types of vegetables. They have beehives in the garden that produce honey sold to customers.

The store grows organic carrots, kale, spinach, green beans, eggplant, tomatoes, lettuce, basil, radishes, and more. The design of the garden is shaped like the letters IGA. When viewe  from a plane the garden is a striking design to see. IGA Extra Famile Duchemin staff hoped it might serve as an example to other stores.Co-owner Richard Duchemin says that the vegetable sell very well and when they decided to go with a rooftop garden they asked the questioon why don’t supermarkets have rooftop gardens as many restaurant do.

They knew they would be able to sell what they grow and this was a big factor in deciding to have a rooftop garden.The green roof regulates temperatures in the building below and the produce feeds the local customers. The garden is watered by using water from the dehumidification system in the store that is reclaimed. This garden has become a habitat for birds and bees. Growing their own vegetable on the roof saves the store, money because they do not have to transport it. 

The project was managed by a company called Ligne Verte a landscaping company in 2017 and they had a year round staff of two. It is the largest commercial rooftop garden in Canada. During busy times, they have an additional six month contract. Growing seasonal  produce results  in selling  out of produce. They can keep prices reasonable since they have no transportation costs. They planted strawberries recently  because it seemed to be a fruit that would be easy to grow. The gardeners  will eventually try to grow cherries.

The store installed a digal kiosk that allows customers to order produce from the garden on the roof and see how they grow the garden. The digital touch screen shows customers how the produce is grown and harvested. VIF Tele designed the digital touchscreen system that integrated hardware and software for ordering and viewing marketing content. They system updates inventory available continuously.

This kiosk is interactive and customers can view products available in real time grown in the rooftop garden. Orders are sent immediately from the garden to wireless tablets used by the rooftop team and the inventory of vegetables is updated regularly. Customers can see staff picking their order in the garden and  walking down 44 steps to deliver the order to the customer. The interactive technology increased sales by 25 percent. It creates a direct link between their customers and farmers growing the produce on the roof. 

IGA Extra Famile Duchemin uses social media to expand the advertising and marketing of their rooftop garden. In addition to growing their own produce the buy and sell produce from locall organic farms. They have videos of their rooftop garden on YouTube that has increased their customer base. They hope to make rooftop gardens a trend for other supermarkets.

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