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Text Messages That Save Lives

Here is a rather scary fact. Earlier this year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that suicide rates for teen girls, specifically, in the U.S. are at a 40-year high. So how do you target that audience? Crisis Text Line, which launched about four years ago, offers free crisis intervention via text messages. Seven out of 10 texters are women, and 75 percent are under age 25. The stats also skew rural, LGBT and low-income.

 While Crisis Text Line is not set up as an ongoing therapy, volunteers field texts about topics ranging from school stress to suicidal thoughts and work to get first-responders on the scene when needed. And how do people find the service? If you search the hashtag #741741 you will see posts on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook spreading the word. Fifty million texts were exchanged with Crisis Text Line in the first four years, and they expect another 50 million just within the next year.

Khan Academy, College Board Offer Free SAT Prep

Students now have access to free SAT coaching through a partnership between the Khan Academy and the College Board. The College Board recently reported that students who used the program gained on average 55 points over students who did not use the program. There are no rigorous, recent studies of test gains made by students who took a for-a-fee test prep courses outside the College Board program, but this free option may be a good alternative for those who do not want to pay for prep courses.

Digital Audiobooks Gaining Traction with K-12 Readers

Audiobooks are gaining ground in education with more and more content available every day. Research shows that using audiobooks can actually help students read books above their reading level or learn new vocabulary, as well as build critical listening skills. As you look to build your own audiobook collections, check out this list of websites that offer free audiobook downloads. The Audio Publisher's Association also provides some suggestions with their 2016 Audie winners for best audiobooks, including “Echo” by Pam Muñoz Ryan for middle-grade readers, “Lair of Dreams: A Diviners Novel” by Libba Bray for Young Adults, and for children, “Little Shop of Monsters” by R.L. Stine and Marc Brown.

Kids Discover Goes Digital

You may remember from back in your school days the snazzy science and social studies non-fiction magazine called Kids Discover.

Toyota Teen Driver Resources

If you have a teen driver in your household, you may find the parent resources on the Toyota web site very useful in starting your discussions about texting or talking on the phone and driving...