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Sunday, Oct. 20, 2013

Heroes of the Week: ‘Rethinking Schools’ Volunteers

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Founded in 1986 by a group of Milwaukee Public Schools classroom teachers, the independent publisher Rethinking Schools (1001 E. Keefe Ave.) began offering a freely distributed newspaper with articles that addressed problems such as basal readers, standardizing testing and textbook-dominated curriculum. As Rethinking Schools grew in popularity and expanded in content, the format switched in 2003 to a quarterly subscription-based magazine with articles written by and for teachers, teacher educators, educational activists, parents and students. Article topics include curriculum designed through an anti-racist, anti-bias and multicultural social justice lens, and education policy analysis. The organization also publishes books focused around themes such as mathematics, writing and language arts and teaching about war and terrorism, to name a few. Publications are offered throughout the U.S. and Canada, with a few subscribers in other countries as well, and the extremely active editorial board and board of director volunteers help make this nonprofit’s expansive reach possible.

Rethinking Schools is currently working on two books, one on environmental justice and the other on LGTBQ, gender and sexuality. The nonprofit also recently launched a free Apple-, Android- and Kindle-compatible app that offers reduced-rate subscriptions.

“We couldn’t function without our volunteers and staff,” says Kris Collett, outreach and marketing director of Rethinking Schools. “It’s a huge and humbling contribution they make to our work. We couldn’t have survived this long without our editorial board members who have stepped up in such generous ways over the years. We also have volunteers who are not on our editorial board who help us with mailings, fundraisings, etc. They are critical to our success too.”

Volunteers are currently needed to help with special projects and mailings, as well as those with professional expertise and skills in legal, marketing, fundraising, web development and design. Monetary donations are always welcome. To learn more about Rethinking Schools, visit rethinkingschools.org or call 414-964-9646.

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