#TalkJustice: Education Access


Whenever we talk to our kids about justice issues we can be positive, because there are so many ways we can help! Even though the topics can be heavy, we can make a difference, and that’s something to be excited about.

In the United States we have many options for education. Even here, not every opportunity is equal, nor every school district. Globally this is even truer. Many students, especially girls will never have the opportunity to attend school and better their lives. Opening up kids worldview of school is a great place to start. Once they understand that education is a gift that others don’t have so easily, families can begin making a difference beginning in their own schools and expanding locally and globally.

Equal Access to Education Discussion Starters:

#TalkJustice Education Conversation

Help your family go deeper:

  • What factors make acquiring education difficult for kids?
  • Child labor- some kids need to support their family instead of going to school
  • Access- some kids lack transportation or a close school to attend
  • Money- some areas lack resources to have school supplies, teachers, or safe buildings
  • Disabilities- some schools do not have resources to help students with disabilities
  • Gender- poverty forces some families to choose who to educate and they choose boys before girls (so girls can work, do chores, or watch siblings.)
  • Violence- war or conflict keep some kids at home instead of attending school safely
  • Hunger- can make learning difficult for students
  • Immigration- language and cultural assimilation can create challenges to learning
  • Are their schools in our area that have less than others?
  • After thinking about barriers, how do you feel about receiving free education through twelve grade?

education1Kids Books About Equal Education Opportunities

Read more about this selection of kids book here. 






16 Ways to Take Action!

An Access to Education Twitter List to Follow.

Follow our About Proximity #TalkJustice Pinterest Board.

#TalkJustice Summer Serve Play Groups! Come over to our Facebook Event Page to learn more. Invite friends! We will be exploring topics and making a difference in community, using a series of books donated to us from CitizenKid. Hosted by About Proximity (that’s me) and my Mom, a public school family advocate for two decades.

What have been your insights into equality and access in education? 

winter giving.

winter 10

Donate Warmth

The cold temperatures this winter have affected so many. I know our local shelter has ran out of space and mattresses various time this winter. Donate warmth to those that need it most. Check out the needs of your local homeless shelter. One Warm Coat has great resources for holding coat drives. Donate through UNICEF featuring a winter kit for Syrian refugee children.


I often include We Give Books as a service option. It’s a great way to involve kids in giving. Choose a book on-line, read it together, and join efforts to help kids receive reading materials around the world. Pull out blankets and hot cocoa and you are ready to go. Find winter theme books featured on their front page.

Get Crafty

Kids love to craft. Try one of the twelve ideas featured in the ezine IMPACT with crafts! These crafts make a difference. Try some DIY crafty fun to bless others with Leslie at Pink Stripey Socks.

Give Back to Families through Ronald McDonald House

Every year 7 millions families are able to stay together during treatment for a sick family member. Find your closest local chapter and gather some of the following item donations that help keep their work going and families comfortable.

International World Women’s Day 

March 8 is International World Women’s day. Gather up a group of girls and watch the documentary film Girl Rising. Use the companion curriculum to go deeper into the lives of the girls featured in the film.

Senior Hunger

Watch this infographic about the Meals on Wheels Program. Find your closest local chapter here; volunteers make and deliver meals every day. Purchase The Made With Love Cookbook and work through the recipes with your family. Proceeds go to Meals on Wheels and the cookbook features former First Lady Barbara Bush, Martha Stewart, and Dr. Maya Angelou.

World Water Day 

World Water Day is March 22, 2014. Check out this amazing list of 200 ways to conserve water. Go through the list with your family and choose some to implement.

Is there a way you serve specifically in the winter months? 

Come by next Wednesday for special Valentine’s Serve Ideas! 

Newborn Health

newborn health

New life emerges vulnerable. The loss of a new life is devastating. We can work together to ensure that more families do not have to endure such grief.

I am a Mom to two kids and one life lost through miscarriage. We all have a story to tell. Woman who give life through childbirth find themselves in a  very vulnerable space, good maternal health care ensures the best possible outcome.

When we make maternal health a priority, Mom’s around the world receive a gift of hope.

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Millennium Development Goal #5 is to improve maternal health. The MDG’s were designed to be reached by 2015.

The Global Newborn Health Conference will be taking place in Johannesburg, South Africa April 15-18. The world is joining together to reduce infant mortality around the world. The conference will be streaming live here.


These are simple ways that maternal health can be improved globally:

UNAMIPhoto Credit: UN Photo/Bikem Ekberzade

What Can You Do? 

  • Lend your signature to the Million Moms Challenge the right for every Mom to have a healthy pregnancy, a safe birth and a strong beginning. 
  • Two Degrees for every bar you buy a nutritional pack is donated to a hungry child. (Think TOMS for protein bars.)
  • Get involved in the Global Team of 200 partner organization Maternity Worldwide.
  • And the organization Shanti Uganda.
  • Pull out those gift catalogs and pick a gift that directly benefits maternal health.
  • You can follow the conversation at Twitter #Newborn2013
  • Watch Girl Rising and help support education to girls.
  • Read about PulseOx Screening for newborns.

Somali Refugees Dollo Ado Refugee receiving Camp in Ethiopia

Photo Credit: UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

What is your baby story? 

Girl Rising Partners and Response


These are the ten partner organizations of Girl Rising and 10x10act:


  • Sign Girl Up’s Petition to End Early Marriage. 

Girl Up is a United Nations Foundation that believe American girls have a role to play in empowering girls in the global world. They provide resources for girls to become global leaders in making a difference.

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  • Donate to Partners in Health

Partners in Health help children attend school, achieve basic education and funds nutritional programs so they do not attend hungry.

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World Change starts with Educated Children at Room to Read. If every child received an education 171 million children would be lifted out of poverty.

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  • Sign the petition for equal economic participation of women. 

Women need legal protection, access to finance, education and training and access to markets, The Third Billion  and La Pietra Coalition is helping to make this a reality.

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  • Join the work of Pratham an education movement in India.

Pratham works to help every child attend school and learn well in India.

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  • Give through Plan Because I am a Girl gifts specific to girls can be found here.

Given a chance, girls can change the world. Plan USA sustains projects for micro finance, ending child labor, and abandonment of early marriage.

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Building a better future for children $35 will help a girl go to school and overcome poverty. 

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  • Donate through Care to train teachers. 

Care defends dignity and fights poverty. Among the many things Care does, it helps provide education to children.

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Girls Learn International (GLI) educates and energizes U.S. students in the global movement for girls’ access to education. Chapters in middle and high school partner with global schools.

What We Can Offer

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There is so much we can offer…

The documentary film Girl Rising inspires because of nine lives:

Mariama, Wadley, Amina, Senna, Ruksana, Sohka, Suma, Yasmin, and Azmera.


They speak forth their stories with the greatest courage, partnered with an award winning writer from their own country and an actress that provides narration.

The roads they walk have defied the deepest odds. They speak. They stand tall. And others took courage to stand with them.


Each one of you can join the call of their stories. When we draw up in close proximity to these girls, we learn that we can become a part of this dialogue.

We can offer hope. You can offer hope.


Academy Award Winning Director Richard E. Robbins was asked what he hoped people could take away from the film. His answer:

I want people to care about these girls. To care about all girls- and I want them to care enough that they want to try to do something to help. Because they can help. It’s that simple. 


Consider the 10×10 Fund for girls education.

Sign up for the 10×10 act newsletter.


Join us next week for follow-up every day at about proximity.

Please email me if you were not able to attend the film. I’ll add you to the email list for live links and an attachment of the director’s notes and global education facts. aboutproximity@gmail.com 

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Photo provided by 10×10 Educate Girls, Change the World, © 2011

Girl Rising


Tonight is the big night!

An advanced screening of Girl Rising is coming to Holland, Michigan.

Screening: Thursday March 7, 2013 at 7:30 pm



  • You need to have purchased your ticket through gathr.us
  • Tickets are not being sold at Holland 7. 
  • You need to bring your printed ticket along to get in! PRINT those tickets!


  • As you enter the theater please record your name and email address to receive two follow-up emails with live links and three attachments. The attachments will be director’s notes, film facts, and a global education fact sheet. These will make following up as easy a click. The second email will be information from our community discussion.
  • If you were unable to attend the film and would still like the toolkit please email:  aboutproximity@gmail.com . We would love you on the mailing list!

Community Discussion:

  • Thursday, March 14, 2013 from 7:00-8:00 pm at Manna (Downtown Holland on the corner of 9th and Central.) This will be an informal discussion of the film, networking with like-minded people, a time to pool resources and ideas for response from our community as a whole. Even if you were not able to attend the film, you are still so very welcome at the discussion! 

About Proximity Follow-up:

  • Friday, March 8: What We can Offer
  • Monday, March 11: Reading Group Resources/ Teacher Resources
  • Tuesday, March 12: 10x10act Partners and Response Opportunities
  • Wednesday, March 13: More Response Opportunities
  • Thursday, March 14: Ruth Doanne a Local Response
  • Friday, March 15: Jodi Jacobsen South Africa

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Photo provided by 10×10 Educate Girls, Change the World, © 2011

Girl Rising Advanced Screening


About Proximity is so excited to be hosting an advanced screening of the film Girl Rising. 

If we can gather enough interest, Holland will be in the first wave of screenings.


I know all of you beautiful people are not from Holland… here is the link to host a screening near you, go for it! (Seriously!)

This is a life-changing film and an invitation to make a difference!


Watch the trailer

Visit the Girl Rising Website


How can you help?

To bring the film to Holland we need to have at least 100 tickets reserved.

Holland 7

Thursday, March 7, 2013

at 7:30


You can reserve your ticket here. Cost $10.00 (a portion goes to the organizations that work with the movement.)

Gather your girlfriends, your book club, church group…


Find Updates on the Event Facebook Page.  Please feel free to share this event through facebook.

Thanks for being such amazing people to take time to watch this film.


After the showing About Proximity will run a series on how we can respond through the sponsor organizations of Girl Rising.

Please let me know if you have questions! lisavanengen@gmail.com