No internet? The unusual ways some Kansas City area students access online classes

Christel Deskins

Knowing that several of his kids’ friends are relying on cellphone data or spotty internet to stream hours-long Zoom classes each day, Brian Connell decided to turn his Olathe basement into a classroom.

His family enjoys gigabit speed from Google Fiber. But he said many of his daughter’s classmates at Olathe North High School are hanging on by a thread, relying on sluggish internet to get through the school day. So he’s opened his doors, offering access to his Wi-Fi and extra computers.

“There’s a huge discrepancy,” he said. “We’re really worried about them. It’s not equal.”

But it’s not just a problem for some Olathe students: With most urban and suburban schools in the Kansas City area relying on virtual education or hybrid models of teaching during the pandemic, many local school systems and families have been scrambling to find ways to keep their kids connected — a

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8 Ways You Could Unknowingly Catch Coronavirus

Christel Deskins

With COVID-19 in the news everyday, and advice being thrown at you left and right, you may assume you’re taking all the proper precautions you can to avoid infection. But even if you’re following all the guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), you may still be at risk. Consider these eight ways you could unknowingly catch the virus and make the changes necessary to ensure you stay safe—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don’t miss these Sure Signs You’ve Already Had Coronavirus.

close up of woman’s hand reaching to door knob, opening the door
close up of woman’s hand reaching to door knob, opening the door

Door handles are frequently touched surfaces in public places. If an infected individual grabs a door handle or pushes open a door, they may infect the surface. “Respiratory secretions or droplets expelled by infected individuals can contaminate surfaces and objects, creating fomites (contaminated surfaces),” according to

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10 ways to support Indian crafts and update your home decor

Christel Deskins

We chatted with 10 craft-centric, home decor brands and marketing platforms to understand what the lockdown has been like for business. And more importantly, how buying from them now can help the artisan communities with whom they collaborate.
We chatted with 10 craft-centric, home decor brands and marketing platforms to understand what the lockdown has been like for business. And more importantly, how buying from them now can help the artisan communities with whom they collaborate.

According to the Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts (EPCH), India’s handicraft sector could suffer a pandemic-related loss of up to Rs.10,000 crore. The lockdown has triggered order cancellations and reduced marketing opportunities, leaving artisans in a particularly challenging situation. While movements, such as #CreativeDignity, have been working to bring relief and rehabilitation to these communities, the largely decentralized sector is also in need of a rejuvenation to align with the changing times.

“One result of worldwide social distancing will be a major increase in online retail buying. However, few craftspeople have the technical and economic resources or know-how to go online. Those of us in the craft sector have to equip ourselves

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9 ways to get through at-home learning this fall, from teachers

Christel Deskins

As schools across the United States reopen for the 2020-21 school year either completely online or with an online learning option amid continuing concerns about COVID-19, a lot of parents are finding themselves supervising their children’s school days.

The thought of being responsible for their children’s academic experiences is daunting for parents who are trying to juggle multiple children or working from home — especially after last spring’s sudden school shutdown and the crisis learning that followed.

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Knowing that everyone is overwhelmed right now, we asked teachers — including Sarah Brown Wessling, the 2010 National Teacher of the Year — to give their best advice to parents preparing for this unconventional school year.

1. Set the scene

Wessling, an English teacher at Johnson High School in Des Moines, Iowa, told TODAY Parents it’s important

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Money Experts Share the Smartest Ways To Boost Your Net Worth

Christel Deskins

Once you’ve reached the phase of your financial life when you’ve paid off your debts and have a healthy emergency fund tucked away in a savings account, it’s time to shift your focus to building your net worth. GOBankingRates spoke with four money experts on how they accumulated wealth, and their personal finance journeys can inspire you to do the same.

Click through to find out how to increase your wealth.

Last updated: Jan. 8, 2019

Starting Your Journey Toward Financial Success

“Financial success” means different things to different people, but if your goal is to increase your overall wealth, you might not know how to start. Keep reading to learn experts’ tried-and-true tips to improve your net worth.

Start With Cutting Out Unnecessary Expenses

“Set a weekly and monthly budget and stick to it no matter how tempted you are to buy those concert tickets or daily iced coffee

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30 Ways To Dig Yourself Out of Debt

Christel Deskins

Many people fall into debt, ranging from mortgage debt to credit card debt. In fact, according to a GOBankingRates survey, the average overall debt of Americans — including those with no debt — is approximately $63,000. However, among survey respondents with debt, the average total amount owed is $140,113, the survey showed.

It’s not difficult to find yourself in debt — even if you stick faithfully to your budget and don’t use credit cards for anything frivolous. Unforeseen life circumstances such as losing a job or unpaid time off due to illness can force you to use a credit card to pay for utilities and other necessities. You might owe thousands of dollars in student loan debt. And then there are the unexpected expenses: car repairs, healthcare costs or a new water heater.

If you’re in debt — especially if you’re getting calls from creditors — take action.

Click through

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5 practical ways to cut back on doomscrolling

Christel Deskins

5 practical ways to cut back on doomscrolling
5 practical ways to cut back on doomscrolling

If you check social media as soon as you wake up, work online for a living, spend hours scrolling the internet after work, or fall asleep basking in the glow of your phone’s blue light, there’s a good chance you’re a doomscroller.

Doomscrolling is a fairly new term that gained popularity after people began quarantining to help stop the spread of the coronavirus. The term is used to describe the act of scrolling through social media feeds and consuming a seemingly endless amount of concerning news. If you’re anything like me, you enjoy being in the know at all times, and news-related FOMO makes you reluctant to unplug from social media. So doomscrolling can be a hard habit to break.

Wanting to stay informed is totally understandable, but there are ways to do so that don’t take as large of a toll

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30 Ways Shopping Will Never Be the Same After the Coronavirus

Christel Deskins

The coronavirus has changed life in just about every aspect, including shopping. Many retailers with a brick-and-mortar presence have been able to shift to serving customers solely online, but essential businesses like Target and Costco have been forced to quickly adapt to new safety protocols to protect customers and employees.

Some restrictions will almost definitely ease up over time, but as Forbes reported, the longer the pandemic crisis goes on, the greater it will impact the retail landscape. Additionally, as consumers get used to these thoughtful safety measures, they may want them to stick around. Here’s a glimpse at how shopping could be different forever.

Last updated: Aug. 12, 2020

Taking your child with you to run errands might become a thing of the past. In fact, some stores have already instituted this rule.

Wisconsin-based home improvement store Menards banned shoppers under the age of 16 at one point, requiring … Read More

4 ridiculously easy ways you can be more eco-friendly

Christel Deskins

When it comes to saving the planet, the question of where to start can be overwhelming. And while larger, governmental change is urgently needed, we can all individually contribute to being part of “the solution” rather than “the pollution.”

Savvy consumerism is no longer reserved for staunch eco-warriors, and it’s easier than ever to make “green” choices. There are plenty of examples: Veja creates fashionable sneakers from recycled plastic bottles, organic cotton, or wild rubber from the Brazilian Amazon. Personal care brand By Humankind delivers shampoo bars in paper boxes and provides refills for its deodorant. Whether it’s sustainable fashion or the reusable Origami Bottle that collapses down to pocket-size, traditionally unsustainable industries are being disrupted by alternatives.

Exciting environmentally-friendly products are an easy incentive for consumers to go green. However, they should be wary of greenwashing, or when a brand’s sustainable marketing conflicts with its actual business practices.

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6 Ways 2020 Will Change Our Children, According to Psychologists & Pediatricians

Christel Deskins

Hey Mama, how ya doing? Hanging on by a thread? Same, same.

But amidst all the worrying about schools and pods and daily case counts, many parents are also up at night with a far more existential question: How will this absolutely bonkers year affect our children, long-term?

We checked in with the experts—two pediatricians and a pediatric psychologist—to learn what they’re seeing, what they’re fearing and how they think the current world will shape our kids’ lives. (Spoiler: It’s not all bad.) 

1. Kids will be more technologically savvy and computer literate

Does your 4-year-old now know how to un-mute himself? Is your budding Mia Hamm completely comfortable with Zoom soccer lessons? While we parents may look on in horror, the fact is that this pandemic will inevitably make our children more computer literate, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

Says pediatric phycologist Dr. Ann-Louise Lockhart, “Due to

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