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Today In History

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., An Example to Follow

Jan-16, 2022

martin-luther-king-jr-day

Photo Credit: Central Press/Getty Images

"The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education."
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

As Educators, we strive to provide a stimulating environment for our students where they can build their awareness of the world. Understanding who Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was and what he represents promotes a better appreciation of the world in which we live.

Dr. King was a loving parent and a teacher of poignant truths. As all parents do, he wanted the best for his children. “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character." Through the way he lived his life, Dr. King exemplified many truths we can emulate. His actions remind us that we should not give up on our dreams, always show kindness to others, and stand up for what is right.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is famous for his dream of equality for all. To honor him, Martin Luther King Jr. Day is celebrated the third Monday of January each year. On this day, we reflect on his achievements, dreams, and teachings.

Dr. King was an activist and an influential leader of the American Civil Rights Movement from 1955 until his assassination in 1968. He is known for his advocation and advancement of civil rights through non-violence and civil disobedience. Dr. King led peaceful marches, boycotts, and sit-ins to create awareness of the problems faced and to pave a path to equality for all.

One boycott that Dr. King led was the Montgomery Bus Boycott in 1965. The boycott was initiated through the act of a brave woman named Rosa Parks. Parks refused to vacate her seat on a segregated bus when asked, and was arrested because of her refusal. This incident led to the beginning of the boycott of the Montgomery public buses. Those involved faced many adversities, but they were dedicated to achieving equal rights. This boycott lasted 385 days and ended with a ruling that prohibited racial segregation on all Montgomery public buses. As a result of Dr. King’s leadership role in the boycott, he became a well-known figure nationwide.

Throughout Dr. King's years as an activist for civil rights, he was arrested many times. Yet he was resilient and did not give up on his dreams of equality. We can learn a lesson from Dr. King's resilience and determination to make the world a better place. Though we may face setbacks and hardships, as he did, we ought not to give up. We can employ this mindset in the classroom and throughout our lives. In the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, "And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed; "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal."


Veterans Day Celebrations

Nov-11, 2021

Military father and son with usa flag embracing

Happy Veterans Day! Every November 11th, the United States honors our military veterans and those actively serving. We want to give a special thank you to the veteran parents, staff members and center owners in our Best Brains Family. We are so proud of the contributions you have made and support you in every step of your journey!

Originally known as Armistice Day, a day which marked the end of World War 1, the holiday was created to honor the fallen and acknowledge the sacrifice so many made in the name of our country. However, after World War II, the meaning of the holiday was changed. While the date we celebrate remains the same, Veterans Day is a way for us to acknowledge and honor those who have completed their tours of service in the military, as well as their brave families.

November 11th is a day for all of us to say, "Thank you!" to the veterans in our lives and in our communities. All the hard work, dedication and sacrifice you and your loved ones have gone through, is appreciated and celebrated.

Best Brains also wants to give a special note of thanks to those still in active service, whether they are career members or planning on transitioning back to civilian life in the near future. We know the daily pledge you make to our country should be honored and we are here for you and your families who are behind you 100%!

Veterans Day is a day of celebration as well as a day of remembrance. Keep a veteran in your thoughts on this day, reach out to your local VFW, or donate to a great organization like VetTix or Marine Toys for Tots. You can find ways to donate via our "Be Your Best Today, Make Tomorrow Better!" campaign.

Together, we can celebrate our veterans and active-duty members, support the children of veterans through their education, and provide opportunities for veterans and those transitioning to civilian life. From all of us at Best Brains, we wish you peace and pride!


Halloween: Our Favorite Holiday

Oct-06, 2021

Kids Halloween Party

It’s the most spook-tacular time of the year! Halloween is a favorite holiday for children of all ages. Dressing up like their favorite characters, watching scary movies, trick-or-treating for bags of candy, what’s not to love? Best Brains students love Halloween, and we consider Halloween to be our official unofficial holiday.

Why Do Children Love Halloween?

If you think that Halloween seems tailor-made to appeal to children, that’s because it is! Prior to the 1800’s, Halloween was considered to be a very paranormal and even dangerous day of the year. Children of the time could be terrible pranksters, and depending on the community could do some real damage every October 31st. So, community organizers decided to take over the holiday, organizing parties for kids with music, games, and a whole lot of treats! This tradition proved to be a lot more fun for kids than causing property damage, so they embraced the changes, creating Halloween as we know it today.

There are many reasons why children love Halloween. Kids are full of creativity. Their play is built around storytelling, make believe, and magic. Halloween is where playtime and life meet. Children are also very social by nature, even shy kids. Most Halloween activities are meant to be shared with other people. And, as every parent knows, children love to feel independent and grown up. We put a lot of trust in our kids on Halloween. They get to walk around the neighborhood, ring stranger’s doorbells, view spooky, scary media, and embody another character with their costumes. Halloween gives kids a sense of independence that they rarely get at other times of the year. As parents, we can often gauge what kind of responsibility our child is ready for based on how they handle Halloween activities. Hopefully they are lessons we can apply all year!

The Cognitive Benefits of Spooks and Scares

When it comes to Halloween chills and thrills, most kids can’t get enough! Like they say in The Nightmare Before Christmas, “Life’s no fun without a good scare.” Most people enjoy controlled fear, whether from horror movies or roller coasters or zip lining. Experiencing fear is euphoric, it shakes up the mundanity of life, and it gives us an appreciation for safety and comfort.

Experiencing fear is all a part of being human, and has been shown to have cognitive benefit for kids. As children age, they begin to understand the difference between fantasy and reality. Children as young as 3 start to make these distinctions and it becomes easier as children age. Children experience fear on a much deeper level than adults because of biology. The fear response in young children is about self-preservation, running away from anything scary just in case it might be something that can cause harm. Exposing children to controlled scares like monster costumes, scary stories, and spooky noises helps children develop their fear response and shows them the difference between a real fear and an imagined one.

Halloween and Toddlers

Not every child can embrace the spooky nature of Halloween, and that’s okay. Behavioral psychologists point out that while most children start to understand the difference between fantasy and reality, other children take longer to make these distinctions. While perfectly normal developmentally, it does prove challenging to parents who want to protect their kids from negative emotions and traumatizing situations.

So, what do you do when your child is too scared by Halloween? The best course of action is not to push them beyond their limits. If a child doesn’t understand the difference between a person in a werewolf costume and a real werewolf, taking the rubber mask off won’t help. If you know that your child is easily scared, do your best to prepare the child for what they’re going to experience so at the very least they know that you can protect them. The most important thing to remember with toddlers is that they all develop at their own pace. Even if Halloween proves too much for them to handle this year, next year they might try to give that werewolf a big hug!

Fun Halloween Activities

Are you looking for a few fun Halloween activities to shake up your routine? Here are some suggestions!

  • Decorate with candy corn. Candy corn might not be our favorite to eat, but it’s fun shape and bright, seasonal colors can be used to make mosaics, fun accessories, or just fill up a decorative bowl.
  • Go lights out. Want a Halloween party the kids will remember? Turn off your house lights and utilize only spooky string lights, jack-o'-lanterns, and lots of glow-in-the-dark to create a fun and chilling mood. With advance warning, kids and parents can create special glow-in-the-dark details on their costumes!
  • Get crafty. While we love a basic jack-o'-lantern, switch it up this year by making yarn spider webs, ghost garlands, or pumpkin spice slime!

However you choose to celebrate the favorite holiday of Best Brains, all of our families wish you a very Happy Halloween!!

Check out how some of our centers celebrate Halloween around the country!

halloween pearland

Best Bbrains Pearland

 

halloween sanjose

Best Bbrains San Jose

 

halloween milpitas

Best Bbrains Milpitas

 

halloween westmont

Best Bbrains Westmont

 

halloween canton

Best Bbrains Canton

 


Independence Day 2021

Jun-30, 2021

A child holds a heart shaped pillow with an American flag design at the camera while standing in front of an American flag backdrop.

Light the fireworks and strike up the band, because it's America's birthday! Every year on July 4th, the United States celebrates the signing of the Declaration of Independence, the act which began the American Revolution. This year, July 4th is on a Sunday, which means we will have a 3-day weekend and a day off of work on Monday, July 5th. Independence Day is one of the most popular US holidays and is full of symbolism.

Independence Day in Pop Culture

  • Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942 movie): This classic film was one of many patriotic movies that came out of Hollywood during World War II. The movie is a fictionalized account of Broadway legend George M. Cohen, played by James Cagney, who is known for penning patriotic songs like "I'm a Yankee Doodle Dandy" and "Over There."
  • Independence Day (1996 movie): A classic popcorn action film, Independence Day stars Will Smith and other big-name stars who team up to fight off an alien invasion, culminating with a final battle on Independence Day.
  • Saturday in the Park (1972 song): The band Chicago penned this oldies radio hit about a whole neighborhood enjoying a beautiful day in the park on July 4th.
  • Captain America (comic books/movies): He isn't just the most patriotic superhero because of his name. Comic book character Steve Rogers was "born on the 4th of July," a concept made popular by George M. Cohen's song, "I'm a Yankee Doodle Dandy."

This Year's Independence Day Celebrations

Usually, Independence Day celebrations are huge events drawing large crowds. Due to social distancing rules, 2021 will be the second year in a row that the US does not celebrate with mass gatherings. But that does not mean that you won't enjoy the holiday. Smaller gatherings can be just as fun!

But what about the most famous aspect for July 4th festivities: the fireworks? Happily, many cities will still be hosting fireworks shows after sunset. Many of them will even been streamed over the internet or even broadcast on TV! Here are some of the most noteworthy displays for 2021.

  • Washington DC: The nation's capital will be broadcasting their firework display on PBS.
  • New York City: Much like the Thanksgiving Day Parade, the department store Macy's has been hosting a spectacular fireworks show in the Big Apple for over 40 years. This year it will be broadcast live on NBC.
  • Nashville: Music City's "Let Freedom Sing!" event promises to be their biggest ever, with the most fireworks they've ever had and a performance from their symphony orchestra as well as country music stars. This event is live only but totally free!

Happy Independence Day!!!


Canada Day 2021

Jun-28, 2021

A baby sits on a blanket in the park waving a small Canadian flag

Let's celebrate Canada's birthday! On July 1st, we celebrate Canada Day. This national holiday gives everyone the day off to enjoy some lovely summer weather and show their national pride!

History of Canada Day

Canada was established on July 1st, 1867. Originally 3 separate British colonies, Canada, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick were combined to form the Dominion of Canada. In fact, July 1st was known as Dominion Day until 1983 when Canada became its own country.

In modern times, many of the British royal family have come to take part in Canada Day celebrations, even as recently as 2017 for the nation's 150th anniversary. As we discussed in our Victoria Day post, the relationship between Canada and Britain's governments remains a strong and friendly one.

Celebrating Canada Day

Canada Day is the country's biggest celebration. The government even provides money for smaller cities to host their own festivities. Most locals can attend some kind of parade or municipal event. Wear your best red and white outfits and go outside! Like most summer holidays, grilling and picnics are extremely popular choices. There are also a special ceremony across the country for new Canadian citizens and at night, the skies above Canada light up with fireworks.

Canada Day Today

This year, July 1st, 2021 will mark Canada's 154th anniversary. While almost all celebrations were virtual in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, this year there will be many more in-person festivities. There is also ongoing discussion as to the way in which Canada Day should be celebrated among Canada's indigenous and other minority groups. For many, the day does not hold any special significance or provide a reason to celebrate. Recent events have also inspired many Canadians not in these groups to agree and to let the day take a respectful tone.

Canada Day Resources for Kids

Happy Canada Day!


Father's Day 2021

Jun-16, 2021

A South Asian son, father, and grandfather play football in their backyard.

It's a day for the Dads! On Sunday, June 20th, we celebrate Father's Day. Just like Mother's Day, Father's Day is all about honoring the father figure in your life for everything he's done for you.

At Best Brains, we are very lucky to have so many awesome dads in our Family. We see you bringing the kids for their weekly classes, chatting with our teachers about their progress, and encouraging your kids daily to practice homework. Dads provide support and strength to our students whenever they need it. We're so proud of your involvement and care!

The History of Father's Day

You can't talk about the history of Father's Day without outlining the history of Mother's Day first. The United States has been celebrating Mother's Day officially since 1914. Like many American holidays, the tradition began after the Civil War ended as a way to unite the country again after its split. As Mother's Day became a custom, there was also a push to honor the country's dads as well. A woman named Sonora Smart Dodd is largely credited with championing the idea of a day for fathers thanks to her experience being raised along with her siblings by their widower dad. Surprisingly, there were a lot of critics to the idea of Father's Day for decades, so much so that it did not become an officially recognized holiday until 1972. You could say then that Father's Day is actually a pretty modern holiday!

Father's Day in 2021

While Father's Day used to be celebrated by purchasing a stereotypical "dad gift" like a tie, grilling utensils or some kind of gadget, these days it has a lot more significance. What does it mean to be a dad? What are the responsibilities of fatherhood? These are challenging questions, and 21st century dads are taking that challenge on.

How you spend Father's Day should reflect your own experience as a dad. Are you the kind of guy who provides for everyone else and might get overlooked? Then this day is perfect for a dad gift or any kind of gift you like! You deserve something special for making everyone else in your family feel special. Maybe you're a person with strong bonds to the past and you value tradition. Honor those traditions with your kids to emphasize how important it really is to you. Maybe you still feel like a kid at heart yourself. Rewind time with your family for a day! What did you do for fun when you were your kids' ages? What movies did you watch, music did you listen to or games did you play? The child you were helped you to be the man that you are so share that journey with your own children.

However you choose to celebrate, we at Best Brains wish you a safe and happy Father's Day. We honor you for all that you do!