School Life

‘Heart’ of environmental education

By Chandler Holland
Times-News correspondent
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A heart-based environmental educator training workshop takes place at the Eco-Institute at Pickards Mountain in Chapel Hill. [Inda Luciano / Special to the Times-News

In 2005, Megan and Tim Toben founded the Eco-Institute at Pickards    Mountain in Chapel Hill  based on their concern for the future, and desire  to move toward a life-sustaining society with a  deeper human-earth  relationship. Since then, this local center has grown into a vibrant  community  embracing all walks of life and ages. Each member brings a  love for the earth, creativity, passion and  something unique to share.
Their educational farm and ecological resilience-learning center reside on  38 breathtaking acres,  between Graham and Chapel Hill. The Eco-  Institute hosts a wide variety of programs, workshops,  field trips, seasonal  celebrations and camps throughout the year.
Their flagship program is a 10-week residential immersion Odyssey  Fellowship.
“The goal of this program is to cultivate an authentic, dedicated, growing   read more…

Show sparks conversation: ’13 Reasons Why’ has teens, adults talking about suicide

By Hollyann Gardner
Times-News correspondent

The TV show, "13 Reasons Why," has sparked the conversation about teen suicide. / Photo illustration by Metro Creative Graphics

Netflix’s popular TV show, “13 Reasons Why,” has sparked conversations among teens and adults alike all around the world. The storyline follows Hannah Baker, a high-schooler who has committed suicide, and she leaves tapes explaining the reasons why. This show has brought more awareness to suicide and what leads to it.
Doug Haddad, award-winning educator, “Teacher of the Year” for his school district, an Ambassador for Education in Connecticut and author of the book, “The Ultimate Guide to Raising Teens and Tweens: Strategies for Unlocking Your Child’s Full Potential,” relayed information about the serious topic of teen suicide and brings the issue to light.
“I’ve been working with kids in their teens and tweens for 20 years, and I worked as a teacher, a coach, a mentor, and actually there’s been more of a growing rate of kids who are depressed and suicidal,” Haddad said.
How can we help? First, we have to spot the warning signs that someone is severely depressed or suicidal.
“I would say that some of the signs are certainly where there is this chronic persistent anxiety or sadness,” Haddad said. “Or it could be complete apathy — so they’re without really any emotion at all. I also see kids who have a complete change in appearance, and also, there’s less care or interest in things that were once pleasurable to them.”
Haddad shared some personal stories about kids he saw firsthand battling these issues.
“Today we were building a skeleton,” he said, “and one kid who we have some concerns with said ‘I don’t who who has more inside them, the skeleton or me.’ ”
Constant self-deprecating comments like these are definitely a huge suggestion that read more…

Teens & 20s orientation party is June 5

  • About Teens & Twenties

    Teens & Twenties is produced by high school and college writers and photographers throughout Alamance County. The print edition appears on Mondays in the Times-News and is distributed throughout the local schools. On the website, you’ll find some of our stories, photos and more. Feel free to browse around and give us comments, too. We’d love to hear from you!


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    Teens & Twenties' annual orientation party is from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. June 5 at the Times-News office, 707 S. Main St., Burlington. We're looking for high school and college writers, photographers and artists to complete our award-winning youth page each Monday. Space is limited so reserve a spot today by calling (336) 506-3057 or email Charity Apple


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