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Gallaudet President Navigates From World Of Hearing To Sound Leadership Of The Deaf

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Gallaudet University President Roberta Cordano speaks using American Sign Language in her office in Washington, D.C. She is the first Deaf woman president at the university.

Becky Harlan/NPR

In its 152-year history, Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C. never had a deaf female president — until a year ago. Roberta Cordano is the first deaf woman to lead the school.

Gallaudet is a liberal arts university devoted to deaf and hard-of-hearing students. Classes are taught in American Sign Language, and all students and faculty are required to know how to sign.

But president Cordano never attended a deaf school herself.

“I grew up during a period of time when it was believed that American Sign Language was what they called a monkey language,” Cordano says, speaking through an interpreter provided by Gallaudet. While the interpreter translates rapidly, Cordano whispers out faintly in English as she signs.

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Education

How Science Is Rewiring The Dyslexic Brain

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dyslexia-brain-science_custom-58450f536025893566554175fb17634ce5aa7496-s800-c85Our ancient ancestors were able to speak long before they were able to read or write. That history is etched in our brains.

The human brain naturally picks up spoken language. Not so for reading.

“You can think of the reading brain as moonlighting,” says Guinevere Eden, director of Georgetown University’s Center for the Study of Learning. “Your brain will essentially take other brain areas — that were designed to do something else — and use [them] toward reading.”

 

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Education

When The Students On Campus Have Kids Of Their Own

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The young women in this story have labels. Three labels: Single, mother, college student. They’re raising a child and getting an education — three of the 2.6 million unmarried parents attending U.S. colleges and universities.

Getting a degree is hard enough for anyone, but these students face extra challenges. And when it comes to helping out with their needs, Wilson College in Chambersburg, Pa., is considered one of the best in the country.

It’s a liberal arts school with 1,100 students. There’s a large farm, an equestrian program, and 15 students in the Single Parent Scholars program. This year all are moms, though men are welcome too.

They live in apartments that once were dorm rooms. And they are easy to notice on campus.

“We have children running around the dining hall while everyone else is trying to eat,” says Heather Schuler. She’s 25, a sophomore psychology major and the mother of a 2-year-old son.

Schuler is sitting outside the dining hall with her friend Michelle Rogers, who has a 4-year-old daughter. Rogers, 27, a senior environmental studies major, says being a parent and a student requires some adjustments.

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Education

Beyond The Pail: NPR Unpacks The History Of The Lunch Box

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A Spider-Man lunch box on duty at Payne Elementary School in Washington, D.C.

Kat Lonsdorf/NPR

Our Tools of the Trade series is exploring some of the icons of schools and education.

It was made of shiny, bright pink plastic with a Little Mermaid sticker on the front, and I carried it with me nearly every single day. My lunch box was one of my first prized possessions, a proud statement to everyone in my kindergarten bubble: “I love Ariel.”

(Oh, and it held my sandwich too.)

That clunky container served me well through first and second grade, until the live-action version of 101 Dalmatians hit theaters, and I needed — needed — the newest red plastic box with Pongo and Perdita on the front.

I know I’m not alone here — I bet you loved your first lunch box, too.

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Education

Race, School Ratings And Real Estate: A ‘Legal Gray Area’

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With her infant son in a sling, Monique Black strolls through a weekend open house in the gentrified Shaw neighborhood of Washington, D.C. There are lots of factors to consider when looking for a home — in this one, Monique notices, the tiny window in the second bedroom doesn’t let in enough light. But for parents like Black and her husband, Jonny, there’s a more important question: How good are the nearby schools?

It’s well known in the real estate industry that highly rated schools translate into higher housing values. Several studies confirm this and even put a dollar figure on it: an average premium of $50 a square foot, in a 2013 national study.

In Chappaqua, N.Y., an affluent bedroom community for New York City, the town supervisor recently went so far as to declare that, “The schools are our biggest industry — whether you have kids in the school or not, that’s what maintains our property values.”

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Education

How NYC’s First Puerto Rican Librarian Brought Spanish To The Shelves

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Pura Belpré became the first Puerto Rican librarian at the New York Public Library in 1921. She’s shown above leading a story hour in the 1930s.

New York Public Library

11:00 a.m. is bilingual story hour at the Aguilar branch of the New York Public Library. Dozens of kids — mostly children of immigrants from China, Mexico, the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico — have settled down to hear Perez y Martina, a story based on a Puerto Rican folktale.

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