Thursday, January 24, 2008

Quick hits: 'Journeys' for N.C. schoolchildren, women

Textbook series aims to take N.C. students on captivating 'Journeys'
"A new series of social studies textbooks involving North Carolina State University faculty members aims to take elementary and middle-school students on a journey to explore their state, nation and world," according to a news release from N.C. State.

"North Carolina Journeys is a textbook series designed for fourth- through seventh-grade students developed by faculty members from N.C. State's College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHASS), as well as other scholars and educators from across the state. The series also includes an eighth-grade text written by North Carolina scholar Pamela Grundy. The series takes students on a literal journey across North Carolina and beyond by highlighting key people, places and events in the state's history, while emphasizing North Carolina's connections to the global world.

" 'The series is custom-built for North Carolina,' says Dr. Jim Clark, professor emeritus of English at N.C. State, who was involved in the textbook project. 'It emphasizes reading and assessment – especially the end-of-grade tests and the North Carolina writing assessments. It also addresses the needs of students who are not native English-speakers.' ..."

Blue Ridge Mountains among best quick, affordable vacations for women
"From yoga retreats in Mexico to grand tours of India, dozens of women-only travel companies have made it possible for women to be in their own element while exploring the world. Not every woman has weeks of vacation time at her disposal or the money to travel overseas, though. Luckily, there are plenty of short, affordable women-only tours in the U.S. that promise empowerment, relaxation, and adventure for a fraction of the cost—and time commitment—that other more far-flung trips require," writes USA Today. ...

"After falling in love with backpacking during her six-month journey along the Appalachian Trail in 1996, Melody Blaney started leading wilderness trips for both men and women. In 2001, however, she came to the conclusion that many of her female clients had better experiences in women-only groups, so she co-founded Wildside Adventures for Women with fellow outdoorswoman Patti Landovek.

" 'It was amazing to me the difference between the dynamics on the co-ed trips and the women-only trips,' says Blaney. 'Women were much more relaxed and would take risks or challenge themselves in ways they wouldn't do if men were present.'

"The company now annually runs about 30 two- to five-day backpacking, kayaking, and biking trips around the U.S. designed to help women become comfortable in the outdoors without having to spend a lot of money. ..."

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