The week's good news: June 23, 2022
Students celebrate New Jersey crossing guard retiring after 57 years
Known as the "Queen of Walt Whitman Boulevard," Claire Bauman has spent the last 57 years keeping kids safe as they walk to and from Horace Mann Elementary School in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. The 94-year-old started her job as a crossing guard in 1965, and said she kept coming back because she loved the kids and staff at Horace Mann. "It's just awesome," Bauman told CBS 3. "They've done so many things for me here. It's such a great school." After nearly six decades of service, Bauman decided this would be her last year, and to celebrate her retirement, Horace Mann Elementary School started planning several different events. Last week, there was a parade held in her honor, and on Monday, she arrived at work in a limo driven by one of the first students she met at the school. It's been a send off fitting for the Queen of Walt Whitman Boulevard. "I hope that the person that takes my place likes it as much as I did," Bauman told CBS 3. "I loved this school, loved everybody in it. It's been a good 57 years."
Teacher in Hawaii makes it her mission to get kids on surfboards and skateboards
This summer, dozens of kids in Hawaii will spend their days surfing and skateboarding, thanks to Brit Oliphant. Oliphant teaches fourth grade at Kula Elementary School in Kula, Hawaii. One of her students is fascinated by skateboards, and when Oliphant learned that he didn't have his own board, she asked her friend, professional skateboarder Zach Miller, for help. He gave her a signed pro-model skateboard for the student to hang on his wall and a new skateboard he could ride. This inspired Oliphant to launch Boards 4 Buddies, a grassroots organization that collects used skateboards and surfboards and distributes them to kids in need. Miller owns a skate shop in Encinitas, California, and he regularly sends donations to Oliphant. In the last three months, Oliphant has handed out more than 50 skateboards and surfboards to kids in Hawaii. "We really want to get to the point that we can go to communities and build mini-ramps, spots for kids if they don't have a park," Oliphant told NPR. "We're going to make it happen, we've got big dreams and we have the right people on our side."
This California preschool teacher is helping her dad learn how to read and write
Lucy Flores is a preschool teacher in San Francisco who is also working closely with one very special older student: her father. Lucy told Good Morning America that her dad, Luciano Flores, grew up in Mexico, and had to stop going to school in the first grade so he could earn money to support his family. He never learned how to read or write, and as a construction worker "it's not something where you have to sign things," Lucy said. "It's more math, which he's really good at." Lucy, her mother, and her siblings have always helped Luciano fill out forms, but about four months ago, Lucy — the first person in her family to graduate from college — decided it was time to teach her dad how to handle this task on his own. Three days a week, they spend two hours working together, and today, Luciano can write his name and is reading some books on his own. He was hesitant at first, Lucy told GMA, but quickly became "excited," and as an added bonus, spending this extra time together has strengthened Lucy and Luciano's bond.
Trumpet the bloodhound wins Best in Show at Westminster Dog Show
Not to toot his own horn, but toot toot. Trumpet, a bloodhound, was named Best in Show on Wednesday night at the 146th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. The champion canine — the first bloodhound to ever win the competition — was victorious over six other finalists: Hollywood the Maltese; Winston the French bulldog; River the German shepherd; Belle the English setter; Striker the samoyed; and MM the lakeland terrier. Organizers said that this year, close to 3,500 dogs, representing more than 200 breeds and varieties, competed in the show.
Creative mom picks up DIY tricks from YouTube and totally transforms her home
Nikki Coles has stayed busy over the last two years. At the beginning of the pandemic, the 37-year-old mom of two from Essex, England, decided if she was going to be inside, she might as well do a few projects around the house. At the same time she was studying for law school, Coles began watching DIY videos on YouTube, and soon, she was upgrading each room in her house. With her new skills, Coles recently revamped her kitchen — she retiled the floor, changed out the countertops, and applied fresh paint to the cupboards and walls, doing everything herself. She went to thrift shops and found items for free on Facebook, so it only cost her £200 ($245) to get a stylish new kitchen. "It kind of started with a little bit of tweaking here and there, and then I really got the bug," she told The Independent. Coles is working on her final project — redecorating a bathroom — and said it "just goes to show what you can do even as a busy mom on a budget — and if I can inspire other mums in any way, shape, or form, then I'm happy."