Staples, Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation Promote Positive Classroom Experience

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Education

Recently, Staples, Inc. (NASDAQ: SPLS) held the first Staples for Students Kindness Summit, an event bringing together youth, educators, and experts for an engaging discussion about the importance of promoting kindness to create a positive classroom experience as students across the country begin a new school year. The Chicago event was co-hosted by Born This Way Foundation, a non-profit organization founded by Lady Gaga and her mother, Cynthia Germanotta, to support the wellness of young people and empower them to create a kinder and braver world. At the Staples for Students Kindness Summit, Born This Way Foundation unveiled the Illinois-specific results of its new survey: Kind Communities – A Bridge to Youth Mental Wellness. The findings – drawn from a nationwide study – explore how a young person’s mental health is impacted by their relationships and environments, including their classrooms. During a panel discussion moderated by educator, author and CNN Education contributor, Dr. Steve Perry, thought leaders and local stakeholders discussed key findings from the study, including:

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Education

More than 40 percent of Illinois high schoolers say their schools are not kind communities. Just 57 percent of the state’s high schoolers say they are in a community where people are kind. This is concerning as the survey shows a strong correlation between youth who describe their environments as kind and better mental health indicators.

Illinois high schools are doing a good job providing at fostering kindness in several key ways. For example, the state’s high school teachers are significantly more likely to say hello to students as they arrive in the morning – 55 percent compared to 45 percent nationwide – which the survey found to be an important indicator of kind school communities.

Illinois youth are stressed. Half of high school respondents say they are stressed, in line with the national average, while 73 percent of college students and 69 percent of employed youth use the word to describe themselves, exceeding the national average for both groups.

To help Staples for Students and Born This Way Foundation support teachers and students nationwide, make a donation in Staples stores or online at

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