Students Without Access to Laundry Machines Can Wash Clothes for Free at This High School

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Some schools offer more than just an education: It's becoming more common for schools to provide pantry items and toiletries to students who may not have access to such necessities at home. As CNN reports, West Side High School in Newark, New Jersey is building on this trend by installing an on-site laundromat that's free for students to use.

The new facilities were inspired by the West Side High students who don't always have clean clothes to wear to class—either because they don't have laundry machines at home or don't have homes at all. Principal Akbar Cook noticed that many of these kids were being teased by their classmates for wearing dirty clothes, and he suspected that was leading some of them to skip class. Absenteeism is a major problem for West Side High, with 85 percent of students chronically missing school.

Cook tried to tackle the issue by switching to darker uniforms, which should have allowed students to wear the same outfits for longer without attracting attention, but the clothes-related bullying didn't stop. Then, two years ago, he applied for a grant from a foundation connected to a Newark-based utility company and used the $20,000 he received to open a laundromat for the school.

The laundry room is housed in an old football locker room, and it features five washers, five dryers, and a selection of detergents. Between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m., students are welcome to use the machines under the supervision of an adult staff member.

The free laundromat will be open to students beginning on the first day of school, Tuesday, September 4. To help keep the facilities stocked with detergents, dryer sheets, fabric softeners, and other laundry products, you can donate items directly to the school through its Amazon Wish List.

[h/t CNN]

The 25 Hardest Colleges to Get Into In America

An aerial view of John Kennedy Street in the Harvard University area of Cambridge, Massachusetts.
An aerial view of John Kennedy Street in the Harvard University area of Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Roman Babakin/iStock via Getty Images

The website Niche uses statistics and reviews to calculate the best of everything, from neighborhoods across America to the country's best places to work. Though the 2019 school year has only recently begun, the review site is already looking ahead to next year. Using data they received from the U.S. Department of Education and reports submitted by Niche users, Niche crunched the numbers to come up with a list of the hardest colleges to get accepted to in the U.S.

With an acceptance rate of just 5 percent and an SAT range of 1460 to 1590, it’s no surprise that Harvard University claimed the top spot on the list. On the opposite cost, second-placer Stanford University is nearly just as picky, with a 5 percent acceptance rate and an SAT range of 1390 to 1540.

Though Minerva Schools at Keck Graduate Institute may be lesser known than MIT, Yale, or Princeton, with an acceptance rate of just 2 percent, the San Francisco-based school (which is part of the Claremont University Consortium) has the most competitive acceptance rate in the top 25—though they only have 500 undergrads. Even the 25th college on the list, Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts, only accepts 15 percent of those who apply.

Niche's full list of schools is rather long (you can view it here), but these at the 25 hardest colleges to get into in America.

  1. Harvard University

  1. Stanford University

  1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

  1. California Institute of Technology

  1. Yale University

  1. Princeton University

  1. University of Chicago

  1. Columbia University

  1. Brown University

  1. University of Pennsylvania

  1. Northwestern University

  1. Vanderbilt University

  1. Duke University

  1. Pomona College

  1. Dartmouth College

  1. Minerva Schools at Keck Graduate Institute

  1. Johns Hopkins University

  1. Swarthmore College

  1. Rice University

  1. Cornell University

  1. Washington University in St. Louis

  1. Harvey Mudd College

  1. Claremont McKenna College

  1. Amherst College

  1. Williams College

Students Will Never Have to ‘Memorize’ Vocabulary Definitions Again With This Image-Based App

monkeybusinessimages/iStock via Getty Images
monkeybusinessimages/iStock via Getty Images

Though you probably haven’t had to study for a vocabulary test in the recent past, you might still remember how it feels to read an unknown word and commit its definition to memory. Even if you succeed in memorizing the meaning, it’s difficult to truly understand how to use it without context.

To make it easier on students in kindergarten through 12th grade, speech-language pathologists Deena Seifert and Beth Lawrence have devised an app called InferCabulary, which pairs vocabulary words with audio and visuals that show how the word can be used in various scenarios. According to WBAL-TV, they call their teaching method semantic reasoning, because it gives students an opportunity to flex their critical thinking skills to infer the meaning of a term.

The app shows you four images—each accompanied by a caption that you can play aloud—and asks you to choose the word (from a list of four) that best matches the images. For example, the word buoyancy is the correct answer for the four images captioned as follows: “Swans glide easily on top of the water,” “The red lifesaver floats in the water,” “The lily pads seem to hover over the water,” and “Because beach balls float, they make good pool toys.” Once you choose buoyancy, you’re given its definition (“the ability to float on or in the water”).

Seifert and Lawrence originally intended InferCabulary to be an educational learning tool for students with specific learning challenges, but Seifert told WBAL-TV that “classroom teachers were using it with every student in the classroom … especially the middle kids who are struggling but don’t get any services.” Towson University and Google are both supporting the Baltimore-based project.

Educators aren’t the only ones endorsing InferCabulary—students love it, too. Keegan Nolan, a seventh grader at Calvert School in Baltimore, told WBAL-TV that “it’s a really good feeling because I get to impress my teachers with … big words.”

[h/t WBAL-TV]

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