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Primo

Nine-year-old Primo can turn just about anything into something beautiful, but he’s limited to expressing his remarkable creativity at home due to his school’s lack of art classes.

In most districts, art and music are the first courses to go when budgets are cut. Today, nearly four million elementary school students receive no visual arts education.

Related Stories:
Why Arts Education Is Critical to Student Success
Arts Education Saves a Struggling School

Take Action: Pledge to restore the arts in schools

Tessa

Tessa is a funny, charming second grader who writes engaging stories and can whistle entire Les Misérables tunes from start to finish.

Despite her winning personality and many talents, Tessa struggles with focus and behavioral issues. Many special-needs kids with similar challenges end up repeating a grade.

Related Stories:
Why Mixing Students With and Without Special Needs Is a Good Idea
Op-Ed: Schools Must Stop Ostracizing Kids With Special Needs

Take Action: Pledge to get involved in education reform

Sammy

Sammy is a compassionate and friendly 12-year-old who, in fifth grade, was reading at only a first-grade level.

Students like Sammy with low literacy skills are often the ones who drop out of school. Knowing this, Sammy’s teachers and reading coaches worked to get him reading at grade level—and succeeded.

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Literacy: The Danger of Falling Behind
The Power of a Principal

Take Action: Help get books to kids in need

Awo

Awo is a 10-year-old science- and math-lover who wants to be an engineer when she grows up. She asks the important question, “Why does science only have to be for boys?”

While Awo dispels the myths about science and math education, many young women still struggle to fit into fields dominated by men. Today, only 12 percent of computer science graduates are girls.

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Step Aside, Boy: Girl Scientists Are Taking Over
A New Kind of Superhero: The Coolest Girls in Science Today

Take Action: Pledge to get involved in education reform

Zion

Zion is an engaged, creative 12-year-old who has never done well on high-stakes exams—a fact that impacts his morale and his performance. And the pressure has only grown: He knows that his test scores can impact his own future, his teachers’ jobs, and his school’s entire reputation.

Never before have kids taken so many standardized tests, and never before have they played such an important role in our schools.

Related Stories:
America's Testing Culture: How Did We Get Here?
Op-Ed: We Must Stop Judging Kids Solely on Standardized Tests

Take Action: Pledge to restore the arts in schools