STUART SLAVIN, a pediatrician and professor at the Saint Louis University School of Medicine, knows something about the impact of stress. After uncovering alarming rates of anxiety and depression among his medical students, Dr. Slavin and his colleagues remade the program: implementing pass/fail grading in introductory classes, instituting a half-day off every other week, and creating small learning groups to strengthen connections among students. Over the course of six years, the students’ rates of depression

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As we enter post-pandemic life, there has never been a better moment to bring our communities back together to collectively reimagine a healthier future for our kids. That’s why we’re joining forces with the team behind Chasing Childhood, a new documentary that urges us to rethink what children and teens really need to be well, healthy, and joyful. Chasing Childhood explores how free play and independence have virtually disappeared from our kids’ lives, while stress,

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I think we all agree that one of the most uplifting moments of the inauguration was Amanda Gorman’s performance. The youngest-ever inaugural poet inspired us with her powerful verse about “making love our legacy,” in our nation “that isn't broken / but simply unfinished.” In terms of truth and brilliance, Amanda's age is irrelevant. What is relevant is her perspective as a young person reaching adulthood in this moment, who had an opportunity to share her

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It took a global pandemic to push me to try one of the hardest, most humbling sports on the planet. But I did it—I put on a wetsuit and attempted to surf this summer, and it was as they say, epic. I wasn’t on a mission to catch the perfect wave, but I wanted to catch up with my son Zak, a 22-year-old college sophomore, who has been living at home with me during COVID.

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We have molded our entire education system to fit the goal of elite college admissions. The result? We’re preventing students from learning the very skills they need to be successful and fulfilled in life. Across the country, millions of high school seniors spent the past month opening their last college admissions envelopes, hoping to be accepted into the schools of their choosing. Many have spent the last several years of their lives agonizing over their

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Girl smiling in classroom

Communities continue to use our film Race to Nowhere to spark dialogue and change. This week alone, communities in San Clemente, Santa Cruz, and San Francisco, as well as Pittsburgh, PA, will host screenings, and I’m honored to be able to attend two of them in person. In San Clemente, community members are still grieving for a student in a neighboring community who took his life, citing the endless pressure to perform in school as

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School change happens when communities unite and share ideas. This November 30, a national live-streamed conversation will explore how we can change our schools, led by educators on the cutting edge of school innovation. When I made my first film, Race to Nowhere, in 2009, I knew absolutely nothing about filmmaking; all I knew was that school culture needed to change. I picked up a camera to document the unhealthy educational culture we were immersed

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