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In July, we announced that EcoViva would receive our 2017 Compassionate Impact Grant to support their community-based approach to mangrove restoration and preservation in El Salvador. The team at Foundation Beyond Belief was persuaded not just by EcoViva's data-driven approach and careful project design, but also by the importance of mangrove ecosystems, which are disappearing three to five times faster than the rate of global forest loss and which sequester three to five times more carbon than rainforests. Let's take a closer look at the value of these vital ecosystems!



Humanist Disaster Recovery is now raising funds to assist those most in need in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. This storm surpassed all rainfall predictions, and according to the University of Wisconsin - Madison CIMSS, was a thousand year storm. South Texas has had three five-hundred-year flooding events in the last three years, including Harvey.

Harvey dropped about 27 trillion gallons of rainwater over Texas and Louisiana over the course of just six days. In South Texas, Harvey dumped 51 inches of rain, a record for landfalling tropical systems in the lower 48 states. To put that number in perspective, typically Houston gets an average of 49.77 inches of rainfall in a whole year.



The Starfish Impact School (SI) is officially at the mid-year mark, and we’ve learned and achieved so much in just six months. Our school opened in January 2017 with a cohort of 48 young women entering the 7th grade. Each year, SI will expand by one grade level, until it is a fully operational 7th through 12th grade school. There is no organizational model in Central America for an institution like the SI. We are integrating systems, structures, and resources from high-performing organizations around the world. It has been an process of ongoing learning, and we’ve identified new challenges along the way. SI students are, on average, 14 years old. Based on the baseline demographic data, students started school on average at age 6.5, which explains the slightly older age relative to their current grade. The average household has seven members, and the mothers of SI students were, on average, 19 years old when they started their families.


By Starfish, Compassionate Impact Grant recipient

I have many favorite quotes about children and nature, but here are two very simple yet insightful ones:

“What is the extinction of a condor to a child who has never seen a wren?” – Robert Michael Pyle, author

“How can we expect [children] to really care about their natural environment if they’ve never had an experience in it?” – Martin LeBlanc, Sierra Club

Taking your child or children on an afternoon trip to the zoo is a great thing to do, but what does that matter if a child is not connected in some way to the animals that live near their home? Why should we care to learn about pandas and cheetahs and polar bears if we haven’t learned about salmon and owls and dragonflies? 


By Michael D. Barton, Guest Author

June marked the end of another school year at DC Public Schools, DC Central Kitchen’s seventh year preparing healthy, scratch-cooked, and locally-sourced food for DC Public Schools.

As the school year ends, we’re proud to report on the incredible work of our dedicated team of chefs, dieticians, and cooks who together provide the healthy, carefully prepared food and hands-on nutrition education our city’s children need to thrive in school and in life.



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