Kellogg's Releases Braille and Audio Lunch Box Notes for Visually Impaired Kids

Kellogg's
Kellogg's

Kellogg's wants to make sure no kid misses out on the experience of receiving a loving message in their lunch box this back-to-school season. As CNET reports, the food brand is making braille stickers and audio boxes available for free to families of visually impaired kids.

The new "Love Notes," a collaboration between Kellogg's and the National Federation of the Blind, were made with America's 62,000 blind and low-vision schoolchildren in mind. Each heart-shaped sticker in the pack comes with words of encouragement printed in braille. Messages like "You've got this," "You're the best," and "Love you lots," are meant to lift up students the same way a handwritten lunch box note would.

Kellogg's is also offering an audio box: a snack-shaped container that automatically plays a message when it's opened. Parents just press and hold the red button to record their 10-second clip and repeat the process when they want to record something different. The box can play about 1000 different messages—definitely enough to last a kid through the school year.

The 'Love Notes' are made for Rice Krispies Treats—the stickers match the heart-shaped space for notes on the packaging; the boxes are perfectly sized to fit a bar—but they can be used with a variety of snacks. You can order your free box and stickers through the Rice Krispies website.

[h/t CNET]

100 Homeless New York City High School Graduates Are Bound for College

iStock/Milkos
iStock/Milkos

Youth homelessness in New York City public schools is at an all-time high. In October, The New York Times reported that one out of every 10 students in the city's public school system were without permanent homes. As the school year wraps up, a hopeful story has come out of that sobering statistic. More than 100 New York City teens without homes have graduated high school and are on their way to college.

The exceptional group from the graduating senior class of 2019 were honored by the Department of Homeless Services at a ceremony on June 27, ABC 7 reports. Alexus Lawrence, a student who spoke at the ceremony, is the valedictorian of her high school and the recipient of a $2000 scholarship for academic excellence. She's now set to attend in Brooklyn College to study to become a pediatrician. Ronaldino Crosdale spoke as well; he's headed to Baruch College in the fall.

"I didn't believe in miracles until I got here," he said in his speech. You can see more clips from the ceremony in the video below.

Each of the college-bound students received a duffel bag of school supplies, including laptops. Rising rent costs have contributed to the growing number of homeless students in New York City, which outnumbered the total population of state capital Albany, as of last fall. The instability of temporary housing can lead to chronic absenteeism and poor grades among students. But despite their circumstances, every year there are homeless students who beat the odds. Earlier this year, Brianna Watts, a Bronx high school senior living in a homeless shelter, was accepted to 12 colleges.

[h/t ABC 7]

Las Vegas Is Letting Drivers Pay Their Parking Tickets With Donated School Supplies

iStock/Ekaterina Senyutina
iStock/Ekaterina Senyutina

Summer has just begun, but officials in Las Vegas, Nevada, have already implemented a plan to get free school supplies to kids by September. As CNN reports, the city has agreed to waive parking fines for people who donate back-to-school goods like pencils and paper.

According to a news release from the city of Las Vegas, the new parking ticket payment program will run for a limited time. From now through July 19, Las Vegas residents with non-public safety parking violations can bring new school supplies to the Parking Services Offices within 30 days of the citation date to have their fines forgiven. The donated items must be unwrapped and come with a receipt of greater or equal value to the fine being covered. In addition to conventional school supplies like writing implements, index cards, rulers, scissors, and erasers, cleaning supplies like paper towels and disinfecting wipes will also be accepted.

All goods collected through the program will be donated to the Teacher Exchange, a nonprofit associated with the Public Education Foundation. Every school year, the organization collects surplus books, office supplies, and other materials that would otherwise get thrown out and distributes them to public school classrooms in southern Nevada.

Las Vegas's new school supplies initiative is predated by experimental programs in other cities that allow residents to make donations to pay parking tickets. For five years in a row during the holiday season, Lexington, Kentucky, has accepted canned goods as payment for parking fines to help replenish the local God’s Pantry Food Bank.

[h/t CNN]

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