The World and Everything in It: September 27, 2022
Teachers who began taking class outside during the pandemic are finding it to be a lasting strategy; pro-lifers say they’ve face increased opposition from abortion backers since the Dobbs decision; and a man and woman hope to reunite people with their lost memories. Plus: commentary from Whitney Williams, and the Tuesday morning news.
MARY REICHARD, HOST: Good morning!
Teachers got creative during Covid restrictions and some took the class outside to learn. That may become more permanent.
NICK EICHER, HOST: Also today, WORLD’s Leah Savas reports on increased violence against pro-lifers.
Plus, reuniting lost memories with their long lost relatives.
And what a mother bird can teach about parenting humans.
REICHARD: It’s Tuesday, September 27th. This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Mary Reichard.
EICHER: And I’m Nick Eicher. Good morning!
REICHARD: Now the news with Kent Covington.
KENT COVINGTON, NEWS ANCHOR: Hurricane Ian » Hurricane Ian slammed western Cuba very early this morning bending palm trees and battering seaside homes with winds of more than 120 miles per hour.
Today, Ian is expected to grow stronger as it spins to north over warm Gulf waters taking aim at Florida.
WELLS: We are really begging you to evacuate once you have the order. Find a safe location for you and your family.
Rick Wells, heard there, sheriff of Manatee County, just south of Tampa.
The storm could hit anywhere from the panhandle down to Ft. Myers in southwest Florida.
It could strike as early as tomorrow afternoon, possibly as a Category 4 hurricane.
Russian referendums » The White House stated once more on Monday that staged referendums in Russia-occupied parts of Ukraine are illegitimate.
Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre:
PIERRE: We will never recognize this territory as anything other than as part of Ukraine when it comes to the sham referendum, the sham votes that we’re seeing.
Almost every other UN member nation agrees.
The Russian government held rallies in Moscow and other cities celebrating the referendums before the conclusion of several days of balloting.
Russian exodus/protests » Meantime, long lines of cars on roads snaked to border crossings with Georgia, Kazakhstan and Mongolia and airports were packed again on Monday.
That as military-aged men flee the country to avoid being drafted to fight in Ukraine.
Elsewhere, anti-war protests continue.
Women in Dagestan confronted police officers with some shouting "Russia invaded Ukraine" and “We aren't blind” before chanting “No to war!”
Authorities there arrested more than 100 peaceful protesters.
And in Siberia, a man shot an enlistment officer, gravely wounding him.
The gunman yelled, "No-one's going to fight," and "we're all going home now."
Snowden granted Russian citizenship » Edward Snowden is now a Russian citizen. Vladimir Putin signed a decree Monday naturalizing former US intelligence contractor.
Snowden fled to Russia in 2013, to avoid prosecution after he leaked information about highly classified U.S. surveillance programs.
His supporters consider him a whistleblower, protecting civil liberties. But intelligence officials say he jeopardized American personnel and national security.
State Dept. spokesman Ned Price said the US government’s position hasn’t changed and that Snowden should return to face charges.
PRICE: Perhaps the only thing that has changed is that as a result of his Russian citizenship, apparently now he may well be conscripted to fight in Russia’s war in Ukraine.
Despite speaking out against the U.S. government, Snowden has been mostly silent throughout Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
School shooting in Russia » A gunman opened fire in a school in central Russia on Monday, killing more than a dozen people, many of them children. WORLD’s Mary Muncy has more.
MARY MUNCY, REPORTER: Authorities said a 34-year-old attacker walked into a school he once attended in the town of Izhevsk and began shooting.
The gunman killed at least 15 people, including 11 children. He also wounded 24 others before turning the gun on himself.
The school is 600 miles east of Moscow and educates children between grades one and 11.
The attacker was wearing a black t-shirt reportedly bearing “Nazi symbols.” No details about his motives have been released.
Reporting for WORLD, I’m Mary Muncy.
Europe's outlook "darkening” » Europe could be facing a very rough winter. That’s the word from Christine Lagarde, who heads the European Central Bank. She said global inflation and the war in Ukraine are weighing on the eurozone's economy.
LAGARDE: The economic consequences for the euro area continue to unfold since we last met in June, and the outlook is darkening.
Europe has relied heavily on Russian energy and prices have risen to record highs in recent months.
Now, it is heading into winter in the throes of an energy crisis.
Statues and historic buildings are going dark. Bakers who can't afford to heat their ovens are talking about giving up, while fruit and vegetable growers face letting greenhouses stand idle.
Italy election » Italy has elected its first female prime minister and its most conservative government in generations. WORLD’s Josh Schumacher has more.
JOSH SCHUMACHER, REPORTER: Giorgia Meloni will be Italy’s next premier, marking a major shift in Italian politics.
The election follows a similar tilt to the right in Sweden and recent conservative gains in France and Spain.
Near-final results Monday showed the center-right coalition netting 44% of the parliamentary vote, with Meloni’s Brothers of Italy party garnering 26%.
Meloni sounded a unifying tone in a victory speech on Monday. She said, “If we are called to govern this nation, we will do it for everyone.”
Reporting for WORLD, I’m Josh Schumacher.
I’m Kent Covington. Straight ahead: Creative solutions teachers devised during the pandemic may become more permanent.
This is The World and Everything in It.
MARY REICHARD, HOST: It’s Tuesday the 27th of September, 2022.
Glad to have you along for today’s edition of The World and Everything in It. Good morning, I’m Mary Reichard.
NICK EICHER, HOST: And I’m Nick Eicher. First up: new ways to teach.
During the pandemic, many teachers took their classes outside in an effort to keep the virus from spreading. But as many schools return to a more normal school year, some are finding that school outside just might work better. WORLD’s Lauren Dunn reports.
LAUREN DUNN, REPORTER: Stan and Katie Saiz lead Green Gate Children’s School in Wichita, Kan.
SAIZ: I am the director, and he is the administrator. And then he also teaches all of our math from kindergarten through sixth grade. And I am here, there, and everywhere doing everything. [laughter]
Katie has a degree and experience in child development, while Stan’s degree is in biochemistry. They ran a nature-based preschool out of their home for several years before launching the school in 2020. They still offer preschool classes, but now they also have about 50 students in kindergarten through sixth grade.
SAIZ: A lot of times our doors are just propped open so that we have that fresh air, even if we're not outside. If it's a really nice day, you might see a homeroom go out and sit under the tree and do their lessons outside. We also like to have the kids’ different tools available like clipboards or lap desks and things like that so they can move wherever they want want to learn…
Saiz says that it was parents of their preschoolers who first asked them about starting a school for older students. They wanted their kids to be outside during their grade school years, too. Some families come to Green Gate because a traditional school environment doesn’t work well for their child.
Children aren’t the only ones who enjoy the school grounds. Two dogs, Ozzie and Penny, go in and out at will on this September day. And five chickens strut around the fenced-in run on one side of the yard.
TOUR: We have Vanilla, Brownie, Oreo, Milky Way, and Butterscotch [laughter]
In 2017, there were about 250 nature-based preschool and kindergarten programs in the country. By 2020, the number had jumped to 585. That surge in interest prompted the University of Cincinnati to launch an early childhood education degree program with a focus on nature-based learning.
Ellen Veselack is the associate director of consulting and professional development at the Outdoor Classroom Project. She’s also the director of a nature-based preschool program in California. She says too many educators look at outside learning as an “extra.”
VESELACK: I've had people say to me, ‘This is lovely, but we have too much instructional time to ever think about going outdoors.’ And I want to turn that on its head and I want people to say, ‘We have been doing so much outdoors that we haven't had time to go indoors,’ because it's that much better.
Studies suggest that all students can better concentrate simply by being in a classroom with a view of outside. Other studies show benefits specifically for students with ADHD.
At Veselack’s program, the outdoor space is divided into areas just like an indoor classroom with spaces for blocks, music, art, and books. She says learning takes place everywhere – even in the sandbox.
VESELACK: If they want to build a river and they want to get it to go in a certain direction, they don't know that it has to go downhill, they have to figure that out. That's part of the learning that happens as they do it…
There are no nationwide statistics for elementary or high school programs using nature-based education. The model is probably more common for preschoolers than it is for older students. Robert Sendrey is a program director at the National Environmental Education Foundation. He says the sensory-rich outdoor model is beneficial for older students.
SENDREY: If you go outside, and it's hot, or it's cold, if it's a place you've never been before, you have all the sights and sounds that are new to you, you're going to be engaged in a way that is superior to just having a textbook in front of you, or a screen where you're watching a video.
One challenge with this kind of hands-on learning is administrators aren’t always sure how to document it. Sendrey says one of the best ways is to work on real-world projects, with students analyzing information and presenting their findings.
SENDREY: There may be [a] community parks department, that the way they manage their golf courses is creating water quality issues in the watershed. And so by the students monitoring that water quality and being able to present their findings to the park department or the Department of rec, they now are showing that yes, we've learned about this and this is a concern. And here are some recommendations. So we're engaging them in much more than you can measure on any test.
Outside at Green Gate Children’s School, children play in a boat filled with sand, climbing structures, a small garden area, and, of course, the chickens.
In the middle of the yard is a stack of four large tires.
AUDIO: The older kids stacked those up. And that's not an easy feat. Because when I tried to help them, I was like, Oh, my gosh, how did you guys do this. And basically, it was like just teamwork…
It's a beautiful September day today, but not all Kansas school days are sunny with comfortably warm temperatures. Except for severe weather, Green Gate students are often outside. They just make sure to bring weather-appropriate clothing.
AUDIO: Our kids jump in the puddles. There, they're out there enjoying all different types of weather. I mean, this is kind of perfect weather right now, which we as much as we can get that we love. But the kids don't care what the weather is, they're right out there with it.
Reporting for WORLD, I’m Lauren Dunn in Wichita, Kansas.
NICK EICHER, HOST: Coming up next on The World and Everything in It: how the pro-life movement is changing since the end of Roe v. Wade.
Pro-lifers say they’ve faced increased opposition from abortion backers ever since the Supreme Court handed down the Dobbs decision.
MARY REICHARD, HOST: Leah Savas covers the pro-life beat for WORLD. She’s talked to young pro-life advocates about new challenges they now face. So Leah, what are some of the biggest changes they’ve told you about?
LEAH SAVAS, REPORTER: The young pro-life activists I talked with mentioned how, after the Dobbs decision, if you didn’t know how someone stood before Dobbs, you found out that weekend after the decision’s release. And people are not just more vocal, but they’re more angry and emotional than before.
REICHARD: How has that changed these young pro life ladies personally?
SAVAS: For the young women I spoke with, it comes down to facing more personal attacks. Brooke Rizuto is 20 and she’s the student president of the pro-life group at Dallas Baptist University. She sent me screenshots of some comments she got on an Instagram photo she posted the day of the Dobbs decision, celebrating the overturn of Roe. One friend commented, “You’re the reason women lost rights to their own body. This is disgusting.” Jamie Scherdin is 22 and is the Ohio regional coordinator for Students for Life. Here’s what she’s noticed since Dobbs:
SCHERDIN: I've done this for about five years, not in a working capacity, but you know, been a part of the pro-life movement for five years. And people who I would consider my friends who were very aware that I was involved in this work, like completely cut me out of their life due to the reversal of Roe. I was like, nothing's changed on my half. You just didn't think it was going to happen. And when I was actively a part of that now, you know, it's no longer okay.
She said she’s heard a similar story from students she’s worked with.
REICHARD: What does this mean for young people who are pro-life but haven’t been involved before?
SAVAS: Well, for some people it’s been motivating for them. The student president of Notre Dame Right to Life told me she has seen more middle fingers directed at her lately and more people shouting angrily at her across the quad. But she said that she’s still seen more freshman getting involved with the campus pro-life group this year. And she thinks it’s because people understand how important it is to have a position on this issue and not only have a position but do something about it.
Overall, they recognize the stakes are higher. Rizuto at Dallas Baptist University told me there are even concerns for physical safety.
RIZUTO: …getting people to go with you to the door. It was, ‘that's dangerous. I already don't want to do it.’ … They're just, ‘I'm not about to put my life on the line. Like, what if something happens?’ A lot of the questions that they’ve been asking are a lot more—a lot less of like, ‘Is it going to be awkward? Is it going to be uncomfortable?’ It's more of like, ‘It's too dangerous. I'm not putting myself out there to like risk my life or getting injured’ or whatever those circumstances might be.
She said the story of one 18-year-old pro-lifer who was attacked by an angry woman while door knocking in Kansas this summer has fueled a lot of those concerns. WORLD confirmed with the local police that this woman was charged with misdemeanor battery.
REICHARD: Speaking of attacks, the media is abuzz with news of the arrest last week of Catholic pro-lifer Mark Houck. FBI agents showed up at his Pennsylvania home on Friday with guns drawn. They charged him under the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act, also known as the FACE Act. He could face up to 11 years in prison if convicted. What do you make of this case?
SAVAS: For one thing, it’s a reminder that the aggression between pro-life and pro-abortion activists is not a new thing. This was going on long before Dobbs. Second, obviously this is a developing case. According to the indictment, Houck shoved a 72-year-old patient escort at the abortion facility who then needed medical attention. On the surface, that doesn’t sound good, but the family’s side of the story according to the Catholic News Agency is that the escort was verbally harassing Houck’s 12-year-old son. It sounds like the family is locating video of the encounter, so we could learn more later. The family says the arrest was traumatic for their children, while the FBI says it never pointed guns at them.
We do know that Congress passed the FACE Act in the 1990s in response to pro-life activism such as blocking entrances to quote-“reproductive health care” facilities. The Justice Department’s website says the act isn’t about abortions because it also protects even pro-life pregnancy centers. Pregnancy centers have seen a lot of vandalism and even arson this year and the FBI has gotten involved, but as far as I know there haven’t been charges in those cases. Meanwhile, pro-life sidewalk counselors I’ve talked to over the years have also told me stories of physical violence against them from pro-abortion escorts. So despite how this FBI arrest makes it look, pro-abortion facility escorts aren’t the only ones suffering injuries from this conflict between abortion advocates and pro-lifers.
REICHARD: Going back to the young pro-life women you’ve spoken to, Leah. What’s something that stands out to you?
SAVAS: I was encouraged to hear how the young women I talked with have taken seriously the pushback from abortion advocates and used it as a chance to do their own research, reevaluate where they stand. Shawna Weber, a 22-year-old who interned this summer at Young America’s Foundation, told me she has had to think critically about her position in light of pro-abortion criticism. She thought that was a good thing for her. Here’s what she had to say:
WEBER: With any sort of movement, you hear, like, like, you're with a group of people, like you feel like you belong, because like, you're like, oh, yeah, this makes sense. Like, I agree, and you just are following along with this group, and you start doing the things that this group is doing. And maybe you're not really thinking about exactly like if I agree with everything, or if I understand everything, but you just kind of just kind of go along, because you're a part of this group. I would say even the pro life movement can also be like that. I pray that I will always continue to think critically about my pro life position. When I say think critically, I mean, just always, you know, know what you stand for, and be ready and willing to defend it.
REICHARD: Leah, thank you for joining us today.
SAVAS: Thank you for having me.
NICK EICHER, HOST: Christopher Kinson was working the night shift at a 7-Eleven in Olympic Valley, California when...
...he heard the door open.
But he didn’t see anyone enter the store.
Then he looked down. And that’s when he saw a gigantic brown bear helping himself to the snack rack.
KINSON: Time to leave, buddy. Come on. You’ve had enough to eat. Let’s go. Come on. Get out of here. Come on. Shoo, shoo!
In one ear and out the other. The bear completely ignored him. But eventually he left to feast on his donuts and Funions—and I must add, they are fun.
Then he came back inside for seconds.
And thirds, and fourths...
KINSON: Get out of here! Okay go! Are you happy now?
The clerk jammed a broomstick to bar the doors, but one broken broomstick later, the bear was back at it again until he eventually had his fill.
Probably just got sick.
It’s The World and Everything in It.
NICK EICHER, HOST: Today is Tuesday, September 27th. Thank you for turning to WORLD Radio to help start your day.
Good morning. I’m Nick Eicher.
MARY REICHARD, HOST: And I’m Mary Reichard. Coming next on The World and Everything in It: Lost and found.
Not like you’d find in a school bin full of coats and backpacks. Instead, think second-hand store, something you come across that looks cheap, but turns out to be far more valuable than the price tag.
EICHER: A woman in Australia and a man in New York hope to find the people who lost the memories they found. Here’s WORLD Correspondent Amy Lewis with the story.
AMY LEWIS, REPORTER: One day in April, Courtney Hart was visiting op shops–or thrift stores–in Geelong, Australia, with her mom. They were looking for 50s-era knick knacks to decorate Hart’s home.
AUDIO: [SHOP SOUNDS]
COURTNEY: And yeah, I just saw this camera sitting on a shelf. And I picked it up and I said, Oh, mum, that's really cool…
It was a Kodak Brownie camera from the 1950s.
COURTNEY: And mum was like, whoa, wow, that's awesome. Like, that's really old. I think your grandmother had one of those. And then she picked it up and opened it. And I quickly saw something… And I said, mum, shut it! Don’t open the back of a camera. What are you doing?
Hart saw brown film stretched across the inside of the camera. She had recently begun taking film photography and knew that exposing it to daylight would ruin any images on it. She decided right then to buy the camera.
COURTNEY: Because I thought, I wonder what’s on it. If there’s film on it, is there anything interesting on it?
AUDIO: Yeah, it’s in, like, really good condition. For what it is. I just really want to know what that, yeah, where it’s been, what it’s been through.
For $20, Hart took the camera home–with its film. She dropped off the film at a local shop to be developed. Five days later she got the news.
COURTNEY: And they came through and I was, like, wow, oh my gosh, yeah. Yeah. There were six photos. The first two were just grainy, nothing at all.
The other four show bearded men with an old truck in a jungle.
COURTNEY: I’d really like to know what time they’re from at least…
Hart posted the four photos and a picture of the Brownie camera on social media hoping to find the owner. She wanted them to see their photos for the first time.
Hart stumbled on the camera by accident. But New Yorker David Gutenmacher purposefully hunts for precious items hiding at thrift stores. He created the Museum of Lost Memories.
DAVID: The goal of the project is to find and save lost photos, videos, and any sort of memories to try to return them back to the original owners. And whenever that’s not possible, to preserve them for future generations.
Gutenmacher uses his experience as a social media manager to reach as wide an audience as possible. His passion started with a bucket of old photos he found at a Brooklyn thrift store.
DAVID: Immediately I thought that if those were my family photos, I would hope that somebody would flip over to the back, see a last name, and then try to return that back to me. So I thought I might as well be doing that for other people.
One time, he found a roll of developed film with a note inside the canister–in German. He had prints of the film made and posted it and the note on various platforms. Followers found–and contacted–the descendants of the owner.
DAVID: ...And unfortunately, the last living member who was in those photos passed away three days before we were able to find them. So it was bittersweet because we got the photos back, but it would have been so incredible to see this person react to those photos of their family…
It takes a global village to find the owners of lost memories.
DAVID: The video on Instagram got 15 million views and the video on TikTok got 10 million views, and there were just so many people that were trying to figure out where the pictures were taken and who the family was….
As soon as Gutenmacher posts a new lost memory, his followers use public records, class lists, and ancestry websites to narrow the search. Answers to clues unfold like a good mystery novel in the threads of Facebook and Instagram.
DAVID: I have a case where somebody just recognized their childhood’s preschool teacher in a photo. So, the larger the community gets, the easier it is to return photographs back to people, which has been the most incredible part to see it grow.
But Gutenmacher doesn’t buy bins of letters or photographs for the thrill of the chase.
DAVID: I say that if there was a button that I could just press and it would tell me who these people are and who’s in the photos, I would press that button every time. I don’t really need the hunt as much as I just want to be able to return these pictures back to people whenever possible…
Gutenmacher says it’s important to remember that this item meant something to someone at one point.
DAVID: And I think that just because somebody lost their memories, or a family member passed away and nobody cares about them anymore, I don’t think those should be forgotten.
Within days of Courtney Hart posting her photos on social media, the local paper picked up the story and posted it on their own social media outlets.
COURTNEY: It’s been shared about 900,000 times. I got a message the other day to say that the story has been read, yeah, over 800,000 times…
A man from the area saw the photos and wrote to Hart. He recognized his dad in the group photo. The man doesn’t think it was his dad’s camera, but he did give Hart a lead: His dad was working on the Sepik River in Papua New Guinea at the time.
So far, that’s the only clue she has. But she plans to keep looking.
David Gutenmacher recommends digitizing family memories as soon as possible to avoid losing them by accident or by well-meaning relatives cleaning house after a family death.
DAVID: Write the names on the back of old photographs. If your grandparents or parents are still around and can tell you who’s in the photos, sit with them for a few hours. And selfishly, if the names are written on the back, it’ll be a lot easier to return them if you lose them.
Reporting for WORLD, I’m Amy Lewis in Geelong, Australia.
NICK EICHER, HOST: Today is Tuesday, September 27th. Good morning! This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Nick Eicher.
MARY REICHARD, HOST: And I’m Mary Reichard. Here’s WORLD commentator Whitney Williams now on birds, boys, and beginnings.
AUDIO: We have never done this. I have neverever touched a bird. Ever.
WHITNEY WILLIAMS, COMMENTATOR: I assume the young, fledgling pigeon hopping around in the grass beneath our beach rental decided that when it came to getting caught, a lurching five-year-old boy was preferable to a hungry, lurking cat, because he seemed to gladly surrender himself into my son’s hands.
I might have taken my chances with the nearby cat, but the feathers strewn out across the yard were a bit ominous, I’ll admit.
Next thing I knew, my three boys had the seemingly injured bird named, claimed, and sitting atop my favorite pair of shorts on a barstool inside the beach house.
Kevin Ritchie Williams immediately nestled in, seemingly content, as if this wasn’t the first time humans had scooped him up and heaped love upon him. The hum of my husband’s live bait tank lulled him to sleep—but not for long.
The kids gushed with love for their new feathered friend. When Kevin pooped on my shorts, it sealed the deal. They wanted to keep him. “Can he sleep with us tonight?” they begged. “No,” I chuckled, as I snapped photos of Kevin walking around on top of my husband’s head and back. “He’s a wild animal.”
Craw full, wings intact, my husband decided, after continued online research, that the fledgling was not orphaned, nor injured. “He just doesn’t know how to fly yet,” he told the boys. So we took him out on the second-story deck for lessons.
Adult pigeons observed from a nearby rooftop. We decided to leave Kevin out there to see what they’d do.
AUDIO: He’s like, ‘Mom, feed me! Mom, feed me!’ Hopefully she can teach him how to fly…
A few hours later, Kevin’s mom swooped in to feed him. She then flew off of the deck to a nearby roof. She turned around to look at him, as if to say, “come on, son. Follow me. Watch how I do it.” His dad flew in and did the same.
AUDIO: Dad: “Come on, Kevin!
Jake: “Come on, Kevin!”
Colt: “Come on, Kevin!”
But Kevin stayed put. Not interested in the slightest. He stayed uninterested in flying over the course of several days, despite his parents’ best efforts.
“I know the feeling, Mama,” I thought, as I watched the scene play out behind a sliding glass door and reflected on the past three years of homeschooling my eldest—to say we ruffled one another’s feathers would be an understatement. We’d be trying a nearby Christian school the next week. “Will he find his wings?” I wondered, hoping it was the right move, as I pulled my little bird close.
AUDIO: Bye, Kevin!
The next day, we said our goodbyes to Kevin and loaded up in our truck to head home. The boys were bummed. They had wanted so badly to see their little bird soar.
”He will,” my husband told our boys confidently.
“He is,” I rejoice each morning as my little bird bounds out of our minivan into his new school, suddenly excited to learn, excited to read, excited to do math.
AUDIO: ‘Have a great day.’ ‘You, too.’
“Who is this kid?” I laugh to myself, as I make my way back home, so grateful that my little Kevin is finally finding his wings.
It was either gonna be that or ominous feathers strewn across the yard.
I’m Whitney Williams.
NICK EICHER, HOST: Tomorrow on Washington Wednesday: We’ll talk politics and discuss the races for control of the House and Senate.
Plus, World Tour.
And, we’ll meet a white water rafting guide.
That and more tomorrow.
I’m Nick Eicher.
MARY REICHARD, HOST: And I’m Mary Reichard.
The World and Everything in It comes to you from WORLD Radio.
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