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As Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood celebrates its 50th birthday this year, a provocative documentary about the iconic television show and its host hits theaters nationwide this weekend. “Won’t You Be My Neighbor” pushes the envelope for feature-film fare for the values it espouses. The film’s Oscar-winning director, Morgan Neville, distilled Mr. Rogers’ teachings into one simple concept he dubbed “radical kindness.” Collectively, as a nation of adults and educators, we should leverage the film’s message as a wake-up call to get back to basics about what kids crave in today’s world.

At the top of that list is a safe and nurturing learning environment. Sadly, according to new figures from the Pew Research Center, more than half of American teens say they worry about a shooting happening at their school. The findings were released after February’s massacre in Florida, where a 19-year-old gunned down 17 people at his former high school, and before a Texas teen’s shooting rampage in May killed 10 at his school.

The Pew study results are alarming. As an education advocate, I’ve traveled the globe studying what works and what doesn’t in all types of classrooms. Though we disagree about a wide range of issues, virtually all experts in our field agree that if students feel anxious or worried in any way at school, learning is impeded.

Read the full story from Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

About The Author

Kevin P. Chavous

Kevin P. Chavous, President of Academics Policy and External Affairs, joined Stride, Inc. in November 2017. Mr. Chavous is a noted education reform leader and innovator with a well-chronicled track record of empowering families with education choice and driving change and opportunity for children of all backgrounds and circumstances. Mr. Chavous has worked to advance quality education programs around the nation, most notably as the Education Committee Chair of the Council of the District of Columbia, where he helped to shepherd the charter school movement into the nation’s capital. In addition, he was the founding Board President of Washington Latin Public Charter School in Washington, D.C. Mr. Chavous is the founder of Democrats for Education Reform and a founding board member of the American Federation for Children. He has been instrumental in advancing charter school and education choice programs around the country, and in 2016, he was inducted into the District of Columbia Hall of Fame. In addition, he received the distinguished Outstanding Alumni Award from his alma mater, Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory High School in Indianapolis. Additionally, Mr. Chavous is an accomplished author, having published four books, including Serving Our Children: Charter Schools and the Reform of American Public Education; Voices of Determination: Children that Defy the Odds; and Building a Learning Culture in America, as well as his first novel, The Plan, a political thriller. A prolific writer and inspirational speaker, Mr. Chavous’ opinion editorials have appeared in many major newspapers, and he has given education reform speeches in nearly every state. Mr. Chavous graduated from Wabash College, where he was an NCAA District All-American in basketball. He was inducted into the Wabash Athletics Hall of Fame in 2016. Mr. Chavous graduated from the Howard University School of Law, where he was president of his graduating class.

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