Education, News, Resources, Take Action, Technology

School libraries compete with leaky roofs for money

276842.jpg

It’s no secret that public schools, despite getting baseline funding from the State of Washington, vary widely in the money they have to spend. In the ongoing struggle to provide equitable access for all students, school libraries play a critical, and often underfunded, part.

An article from the Seattle Times (May 7, 2016) made these points:

  • Washington state school libraries are not guaranteed any money for books or materials.
  • In 2016, for example, 75% of Seattle Public School library funding was provided by PTAs, book fairs, and grants.
  • The rest came from Seattle’s district office, averaging $2.55 a year for each student (less than the cost of one magazine).
  • The statewide average was from $1 – $10.
  • The national average was $10.­­
  • Seattle schools reported a range of $1.69 – $29.88 per student, per year.

But why such a difference? Wealthier schools have PTAs that raise money for their libraries. Other schools face difficult challenges, especially, of course, poverty: families working long hours for low pay, limited English and mobility, and the shocking reality of increasing numbers of homeless students.

Schools with inadequate funding, in fiscally challenged communities, may not have a PTA to pitch in and provide money for their libraries. They have to find the money for competing, substantial needs. These schools depend on grant money, or donations from partner school PTAs and book fairs. Underfunded school libraries with out-of-date books and materials are the rule, not the exception.

In 2016, teacher librarians requested equitable funding for all schools, with full-time librarians in every school. They asked the state to allocate $10 per student for library materials each year. Well, here it is, 2018. Did they get what they wanted?

Teacher Librarians get what they wish for. Almost.

Good news! After the passage of Senate Bill 6362, starting in fall 2018, each school district will be allocated $20 for each full-time student, per year, for school library materials.

With some school libraries spending $29.88 per student, while others scrimp by on $1.69, the chance of every library having $20 per student is a dream come true, right?

Not so fast. That amount isn’t mandated, so it’s up to each school district to decide whether or not they will comply.

Also, the 2018 Legislature didn’t actually make any new money available: since 2009 it’s been in the budget, under “other supplies.” But now the legislature has made it clear that this allocation is to be used specifically for library materials, and has provided reporting accountability.

What happens next?

  • You can help! Speak to your local school principal and ask about library funding. Share your strong support for the school library and, especially, the state’s newly identified library allocation.
  • Contact your local school board members to thank them for their service. Ask how the district will address this new legislative directive.
  • Contact your state elected officials to thank them for the allocation. Explain that without the mandate to spend the money on library materials, you’re concerned that this money may not be spent as intended. Tell them you would appreciate stronger language that mandates the money identified in SB 6362 is spent on library materials.
  • Spread the word to other interested parties and ask that they take action too.

Advocates in the school library community, like members of the Washington Library Association, are gearing up to ensure this opportunity isn’t lost in “other supplies.” They’re making lists of what they need to update obsolete print and electronic collections. They’re gathering data on the age of their collections and their sources of funding. They’ll be going to their school and district leaderships with clear and compelling written proposals.

School libraries are a precious resource and are critical to media literacy education. Our children deserve equitable support. Every district should have the means to build excellent library collections that reflect the diversity of their readers, offer a wide range of reading materials, and provide current, high-quality research tools.

Also, did you hug a teacher librarian today?

By Sue D. Cook   Thank you to AME board members Shawn Sheller and Kathryn Egawa.

 

Education, Politics, Take Action

Take action: Opportunity to make Media Literacy a budget priority

Dear Media Literacy Advocates, Friends and Supporters,

Now is the time for us to take action! Washington State Superintendent Chris Reykdal is asking for your opinion about new priorities for school funding. This is an opportunity to influence funding for years to come!

Superintendent Reykdal wants to hear from us — teachers, students, parents and interested taxpayers.

  • The online survey asks you to rank budget priorities that OSPI should put forward to the Legislature for 2019.
  • Media literacy is not listed on the survey; you can use the write-in section.
  • The more times we can get media literacy mentioned in this survey, the better chance we have to ensure the funding of media literacy education.

To take the survey, please visit the State of Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction website below:

You can take the survey here on the State of Washington OSPI website.

The survey is open now through Friday, June 8.

It is available in nine languages in addition to English: Spanish, Russian, Vietnamese, Somali, Traditional Chinese, Khmer, Korean, Punjabi, and Tagalog. It takes just five minutes to complete and is completely anonymous.

Let’s make sure Superintendent Reykdal knows that media literacy education must be included in his list of priorities!

Fake News, News, Take Action

Take action: Prevent Sinclair Broadcast Group and Tribune Media merger

You may have seen a viral video of friendly local news anchors across the nation reading from a frighteningly Orwellian script. The video is making millions sit up and ask:

What the hell is happening to local news? The answer is Sinclair.

Sinclair Broadcast Group is the nation’s largest broadcaster. It mandated that all its news stations read a statement from the same script, one that seemed to denounce independent, unbiased reporting in favor of an oddly pro-Trump sounding, fake news agenda. It’s even created turmoil in our local KOMO News station, owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group.

Sinclair’s latest project is a mega-merger with Tribune Media, a move that would allow biased, inaccurate, sensational reporting to reach more than 70 percent of the U.S. population.

We urge the FCC to listen to communities and block this despicable deal.

The FCC must deny the Sinclair-Tribune merger. Sinclair has consistently proven itself to be an unworthy steward of the public airwaves — promoting racist commentators, spreading Trump propaganda, slashing newsroom staff, and forcing bigoted must-run content on local stations — and should not be rewarded with a merger that will allow the company to double down on its bad behavior.

Take action to stop this merger and allow news reporting to be fair and accurate, with balanced media-ownership protection policies in place. Make your voice heard here.

help 1- take action

Bill Update, News, Take Action

Take Action: Increase school library IT resources for students in WA

You can help increase school library IT resources for students in Washington State.

Two bills, one in the House (HB 2695) and one in the Senate (SB 6460), have been introduced that will increase accountability and help provide more resources for school library information technology programs across the state.

Please call your legislators. You can find them here: http://app.leg.wa.gov/DistrictFinder/

  • State senators — urge them to pass SB 6460
  • State representatives — urge them to pass HB 2695

You can share these points:

  • School library information technology programs–with certified teacher-librarians and the resources necessary to run them effectively–can increase student achievement on tests in all subject areas, and improve graduation rates.
  • We owe it to all our students to provide greater access to the current technology and instruction they need to be ready for future jobs and for lifelong learning.
Net Neutrality, News, Take Action

Burger King video illustrates impacts of recent FCC repeal of net neutrality rules using Whopper hamburgers

The repeal of Net Neutrality is a hot topic in America, but it can be very difficult to understand. That’s why the BURGER KING® brand created WHOPPER® Neutrality, a social experiment that explains the effects of the repeal of Net Neutrality by putting it in terms anyone can understand: A WHOPPER® sandwich.

This effort aims to help people understand how the repeal of Net Neutrality will impact their lives. The BURGER KING® brand believes the Internet should be like the WHOPPER® sandwich: the same for everyone.

Help keep Net Neutrality safe by signing the petition at www.Change.org/SavetheNet.

Net Neutrality, News, Take Action

The top-rated post ever in r/Nascar is about net neutrality

NASCAR fans really hate it when you take away their net neutrality. After Federal Communication Commission chairman Ajit Pai announced on Nov. 21 his plans to reverse away Obama-era open-internet rules, a post on net neutrality raced to the the top of Reddit’s NASCAR forum becoming the subreddit’s most popular post ever—by a long shot.

The post, headlined “American Racing Fans, Net Neutrality effects [sic] us all, Ajit Pai is worse than Brian France, call your local representatives,” compares NASCAR’s oft-derided CEO Brian France (who tenure has seen declining ratings and attendance for the sport) with the FCC chairman.

The post had received 60,000 net upvotes and 460 comments by Nov. 27 before being closed for commenting. That compares to just 6,836 upvotes for the next-most upvoted post in r/Nascar.

Read more at Quartz.

Image courtesy of Quartz.

ap_17050631036359-e1487782013248

Net Neutrality, News, Take Action

Net Neutrality: Join a protest December 7, at Verizon stores nationwide

The new chairman of the FCC was a top lawyer at Verizon. Now he’s calling for a vote to kill net neutrality. We’re protesting at retail stores across the U.S. to demand that Congress stop Verizon’s puppet FCC from destroying the Internet as we know it.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is expected to vote on its plan to kill net neutrality on December 14. People from across the political spectrum are outraged, so we’re planning to protest at Verizon retail stores across the country on December 7, one week before the vote and at the peak of the busy Holiday shopping season. We’ll demand that our members of Congress take action to stop Verizon’s puppet FCC from killing net neutrality.

Net neutrality is the basic principle that has made the Internet into what it is today. It prevents big Internet Service Providers (like Verizon) from charging extra fees, engaging in censorship, or controlling what we see and do on the web by throttling websites, apps, and online services.

Read more and find a protest near you.

help 1- take action

Net Neutrality, News, Take Action

What to know about the FCC’s upcoming plan to undo net neutrality rules

With its final meeting of the year less than a month away, the Federal Communications Commission is expected to reveal the latest details of a plan to roll back the government’s net neutrality regulations this week. The result could reshape the entire digital ecosystem by giving internet providers more control over what their customers can see and access online and how quickly they can do it.

Under current rules, broadband companies such as Verizon and Comcast must treat all websites and online services equally. Verizon, for instance, isn’t allowed to deliver content from Yahoo, which it owns, to consumers any faster than it delivers competing content from Google. It also isn’t permitted to actively slow down or block Google services.

But the FCC is likely to change all that, analysts say, relaxing the Obama-era rules that required providers to behave like legacy telecom companies who must carry all phone calls on a nondiscriminatory basis. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai “will try to shrink the footprint of the rules,” said Daniel Berninger, a telecom engineer who has opposed the regulations. The FCC declined to comment.

Read more in The Seattle Times.

Take action! We can save net neutrality. Contact Congress today to keep the internet available to all!

Visit www.battleforthenet.com to make your voice heard.

Net Neutrality, News, Places, Take Action

FCC should listen to tech-savvy Seattle and preserve open Internet

This article is relevant now as the FCC considers repealing Net Neutrality laws. It first appeared in the last big discussion on Net Neutrality, back in August 2014.

Well, Seattle residents have spoken. Many of them, anyway, in favor of preserving net neutrality and against creating a two-lane Internet highway in which Internet providers could charge some users more for faster access and connectivity.

The Federal Communications Commission recently released about 1.1 million comments from its first comment period.  TechCrunch’s initial analysis found the most-used word by citizens was “Comcast” followed by “Verizon” — and the bulk of what they had to say was not very nice. A second comment period ends on Sept. 10, so go to this FCC link to make your voice heard.

As The Seattle Times editorial board wrote on July 19, May 16, May 11, April 27 and Jan. 15, the open Internet should be preserved and providers should be reclassified as “common carriers” like most other public telecommunication services.

On Wednesday, Reuters reported U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy called on the FCC to leave its echo chamber in the Beltway and hold public meetings around the country. “Most of (those who had commented on the proposed rules online) will not be able to come to Washington to participate in the roundtables that have been scheduled, but their voices are more important than industry lobbyists and members of Congress,” Leahy reportedly wrote in a letter to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler.

Great idea. FCC, please come to Seattle.

Read more in this great piece at The Seattle Times, a big supporter of keeping net neutrality and a strong voice about this issue.

Take action! We can save net neutrality. Contact Congress today to keep the internet available to all!

Visit www.battleforthenet.com to make your voice heard.

Net Neutrality, News, Take Action

John Oliver explains how you’re going to get gouged by the end of net neutrality

So you’ve probably heard by now that, in a victory for big telecoms, the Trump administration’s pick to run the FCC wants to scrap so-called “net neutrality” rules that keep the internet free and open to everyone.

So why should you care? It’s got a lot to do with the fact that you’ll more than likely end up paying more to connect to the web. And if you consume a lot of data heavy services (like streaming music, video and games), you’ll pay even more than that.

Read more at Penn Live.

help 1- take actionTake action! We can save net neutrality. Contact Congress today to keep the internet available to all!

Visit www.battleforthenet.com to make your voice heard.

Net Neutrality, News, Take Action

Take action! Net Neutrality is on the line

As you may know, we have very little time to contest how the FCC is about take action on the critical issue of Net Neutrality! A decision will be made by December 15 that will change how and when internet is available to all.

AME fought hard in 2015 to preserve Net Neutrality when it was on the chopping block, and now is another time for AME and our supporters to make our voices heard.

Here are the list of people we most need to contact on the FCC. The more email they receive the better, only a line or two is needed. The intent is to inundate them with our emails about the importance of Net Neutrality.

Take action to get involved in saving Net Neutrality and preserving internet access for all!

help 1- take action

Net Neutrality, News, Take Action

Net Neutrality Day, today July 12

On July 12, 2017, thousands of us are protesting to defend Internet freedom.

Cable companies are famous for high prices and poor service. Several rank as the most hated companies in America. Now, they’re lobbying the FCC and Congress to end net neutrality. Why?

It’s simple: if they win the power to slow sites down, they can bully any site into paying millions to escape the “slow lane.”

This would amount to a tax on every sector of the American economy. Every site would cost more, since they’d all have to pay big cable.

Worse, it would extinguish the startups and independent voices who can’t afford to pay. If we lose net neutrality, the Internet will never be the same.

What is net neutrality?

Net neutrality is the principle that Internet providers like Comcast & Verizon should not control what we see and do online.

In 2015, startups, Internet freedom groups, and 3.7 million commenters won strong net neutrality rules from the US Federal Communication Commission (FCC). The rules prohibit Internet providers from blocking, throttling, and paid prioritization—”fast lanes” for sites that pay, and slow lanes for everyone else.

Don’t let that happen. Support Net Neutrality and freedom of speech.

Join the protest and make your voice heard today! Visit www.battleforthenet.com to contact the FCC, learn more information and get involved!

help 1- take action

Net Neutrality, News, Take Action

July 12: Get ready to save the internet

save net neutralityThings don’t look so good for the internet right now …

Trump, his FCC chairman and their corporate cronies are hell-bent on destroying Net Neutrality. But on July 12, websites, internet users and online communities will come together to fight back.

We’re teaming up with organizations and major companies like Amazon, Etsy, Kickstarter and reddit to push back against FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s dangerous proposal to destroy real Net Neutrality. This internet-wide day of action will have a huge impact — but only if we get as many people as possible to participate.

As the date gets closer, we’ll provide more details and tools to make participating in the day of action as easy as possible. Sign up if you’d like to take part or get more information.

On July 12 the internet will come together to protect Net Neutrality. Visit the Free Press Action Fund for more details.

The Free Press Action Fund is a nonpartisan organization fighting for your rights to connect and communicate. The Free Press Action Fund does not support or oppose any candidate for public office. Learn more at www.freepress.net.

Image courtesy of Free Press Action Fund.

help 1- take action

Net Neutrality, News, People, Take Action

A message from Senator Ron Wyden about Net Neutrality

Wyden-0702508-18401- 0010
Senator Ron Wyden

Two years ago we accomplished something amazing together. Nearly 4 million people across the country called on the FCC to put in place strong Net Neutrality rules to protect the internet as a tool for innovation, creativity and free speech. And we won.

Net Neutrality rules have governed the internet since its inception, creating a space for free expression to flourish and for startups and small businesses to challenge huge legacy companies.

Abandoning control of the internet to the handful of companies that provide broadband service would allow them to bury the speech of those they don’t agree with and kill competition from startups before they even get off the ground. Massive cable and phone companies will have the power to control what we see and do online, creating “fast lanes” for those that can afford to pay — and leaving the rest of us in the dust.

If we want to defeat this attack on Net Neutrality, we’ll need you to speak out. Send your comment to the FCC today and tell it to leave Net Neutrality alone.

The Free Press Action Fund is a nonpartisan organization fighting for your rights to connect and communicate. The Free Press Action Fund does not support or oppose any candidate for public office. Learn more at www.freepress.net.

help 1- take action

Net Neutrality, News, Take Action

Help save the internet

Trump’s FCC chairman, Ajit Pai, introduced a proposal last month that would destroy Net Neutrality and the internet as we know it. It took millions of people speaking out to win strong Net Neutrality rules in the first place, and it will take millions more to defeat this new proposal.

Cable and phone companies like Comcast and Verizon would have the freedom to lock down the internet and charge everyone more money to access the websites, content and applications of their choosing. This would make it near impossible for people, organizations and companies with few resources to do anything online.

People’s fundamental rights are under attack, making it even more urgent that we stop the FCC from destroying our freedom to speak out online.

To take action on this issue to help save the internet and Net Neutrality click here.

The Free Press Action Fund is a nonpartisan organization fighting for your rights to connect and communicate. The Free Press Action Fund does not support or oppose any candidate for public office. Learn more at www.freepress.net.

help 1- take action

News, Take Action

Stop the Sinclair-Tribune merger

The FCC is paving the way for Sinclair Broadcast Group — already the nation’s largest TV conglomerate — to take over Tribune, which owns 42 stations in many of the country’s big cities, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Dallas and Denver.

If this deal goes through, Sinclair’s cookie-cutter, Trump-boosting content could reach more than 70 percent of the U.S. population. But to pull off its takeover of Tribune, Sinclair needs the FCC to change the rules. The FCC’s ownership limits were designed to ensure a diversity of local voices and opinions but very few TV stations are owned by women or people of color. Instead of creating policies that promote equity and opportunity, the Trump FCC would rather super-size Sinclair.

To take action on this issue to stop the Sinclair merger and unplug Trump TV click here.

The Free Press Action Fund is a nonpartisan organization fighting for your rights to connect and communicate. The Free Press Action Fund does not support or oppose any candidate for public office. Learn more at www.freepress.net.

help 1- take action

News, Take Action, Technology

Stop Mattel’s Aristotle from trading children’s privacy for profit

In July, Mattel will release Aristotle, a Wi-fi enabled “digital nanny.” Aristotle is an Amazon Echo-type listening and talking device with a camera. To work, it collects and stores data about a child’s activity and interactions with it. Because Aristotle connects to other apps and online retailers, that data may be shared with those partner corporations, which may use it for a wide variety of purposes—including targeting the marketing of other products to children and families.

Even limited use of Aristotle could pose a significant risk to children. As Marc Rotenberg, President of EPIC Privacy, says:

“Companies that offer Internet-connected toys are simply spying on young children. And they can’t even protect the data they secretly gather. They have already lost passwords and personal data and exposed families to ransomware demands. Toys that spy are unsafe for children.”

To take action on this issue, please join the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood in telling Mattel: Put the well-being of children, and the privacy of families, ahead of corporate profits. Don’t sell Aristotle.

Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC) supports parents’ efforts to raise healthy families by limiting commercial access to children and ending the exploitive practice of child-targeted marketing. In working for the rights of children to grow up—and the freedom for parents to raise them—without being undermined by corporate interests, CCFC promotes a more democratic and sustainable world. Learn more at www.commercialfreechildhood.org.

help 1

Net Neutrality, News, Take Action

Take Action! FCC votes to start rolling back landmark net neutrality rules

The Republican-led Federal Communications Commission voted Thursday to begin undoing a key decision from the Obama era that could relax regulations on Internet providers, according to The Washington Post.

By a 2-1 vote led by FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, the agency proposed to roll back a 2015 decision that regulated Internet providers more heavily, using some of the same rules the agency applies to phone companies. The proposal also suggests repealing the so-called “general conduct” rule that allows the FCC to investigate business practices of Internet providers that it suspects may be anti-competitive. And finally, the proposal asks whether the agency should eliminate the most high-profile parts of the net neutrality rules: The rules banning the blocking and slowing of websites, as well as the rule forbidding ISPs from charging websites extra fees.

Democrats — concerned that the results could be much weaker than the current rules — are instead gearing up for a grass roots battle similar to the kind that defeated the House Republican health care plan.

“This fight is just starting,” said Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), in a statement. “The public now has the opportunity to stand up, be heard, and influence the outcome. It will take millions of people standing up … to say that the Internet needs to stay free and open.”

Here’s what you can do to join in and make sure we win this fight in support of net neutrality, as shared by The Nation:

Continue reading “Take Action! FCC votes to start rolling back landmark net neutrality rules”

Net Neutrality, News, Politics, Privacy, Take Action

Verizon accuses net neutrality advocates of lying to rile their base

Net neutrality is under threat and advocacy groups such as Free Press, Fight for the Future and others are pushing to save it. That’s not how Verizon, one of the Internet Service Providers hoping for a reversal of Federal Communications Commission rules enabling net neutrality, sees it.

“You gotta understand, there are a lot of advocacy groups out there that fundraise on this issue,” said Craig Sillman, executive VP-public policy and general counsel at the telco giant. “So how do you fundraise? You stir people up with outrageous claims. Unfortunately, we live in a time where people have discovered that it doesn’t matter what’s true, you just say things to rile up the base.”

Sillman spoke in a PR video released by Verizon on Friday in which he is interviewed by an apparent Verizon employee who calls himself “Jeremy.” Sillman argued the FCC is not planning to kill off net neutrality, it’s merely altering its legal footing.

View the video below, or read more at Ad Age.

Net Neutrality, News, Politics, Take Action

Net neutrality: Free Press Action Fund project

Net Neutrality is essential for online activism.We’re working with our allies to mobilize people against the recent rulings on Net Neutrality. We’ll be organizing more creative disruptions and big protests at the FCC. We’ll be correcting the record in the press and doing economic research and legal work to expose and challenge what Pai and Trump are trying to do. People across the country are already speaking out, and there will be many opportunities in the weeks ahead to get involved.

To take action on this issue and save net neutrality, please consider donating to the Free Press Action Fund.

The Free Press Action Fund is a nonpartisan organization fighting for your rights to connect and communicate. The Free Press Action Fund does not support or oppose any candidate for public office. Learn more at www.freepress.net.

help 1

Net Neutrality, News, People, Privacy, Take Action

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai just got “rickrolled”

During today’s agency meeting a group of Net Neutrality activists disrupted the chairman by singing and dancing along to the Rick Astley song, and classic internet meme, “Never Gonna Give You Up.”

That’s because we’re never gonna give up fighting for Net Neutrality. Today’s protest is only our latest effort to protest the chairman’s plans to destroy the open internet.

Read more at Free Press.

View the original music video that inspired the Rickroll meme below.

Net Neutrality, News, Politics, Privacy, Take Action

Net neutrality: Trump can’t ignore this

While Congress is on recess over the next two weeks, we will be mobilizing people like you to flood congressional offices and town halls and speak out about this issue. Your support will help lift up the voices of everyday people whose lives are most impacted in this fight, including media makers, communities of color and resistance fighters. Your ability to connect and communicate shouldn’t be up for sale, and we’re ready to activate the masses to save the internet you love.

To take action on this issue and save net neutrality, please consider donating to the Free Press Action Fund.

The Free Press Action Fund is a nonpartisan organization fighting for your rights to connect and communicate. The Free Press Action Fund does not support or oppose any candidate for public office. Learn more at www.freepress.net.

help 1

Bill Update, Fake News, News, Take Action

Update: Digital Citizenship/Media Literacy bill, we need your support!

Yesterday, members of AME went to Olympia, WA to testify in support of the Digital Citizenship/Media Literacy bill. This is when we need your help to comment in support this bill!

Please be sure to go the link for our bill and leave a comment in the comment box. It’s very easy to do and only takes a few minutes. You don’t need to know your district representatives, you only need to give your zip code and your comment will be sent to your district’s representatives.

You can leave your comments here.

Thank you for your continued support!

Fake News, News, Politics, Take Action

Trump’s new budget axes NPR and PBS, take action

On March 16, the Trump administration released its budget outline for 2018, complete with a plan to axe funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which funds hundreds of local NPR and PBS stations around the country along with many public-media programs.1

This could mean no more NewsHour, no more Frontline, and no more Democracy Now! on your local station. We encourage you to make your voice heard in denouncing this terrible news.

Take action to tell Congress how important public broadcasting is by clicking here.

The Free Press Action Fund is a nonpartisan organization fighting for your rights to connect and communicate. The Free Press Action Fund does not support or oppose any candidate for public office. Learn more at www.freepress.net.

Image courtesy of Free Press Action Fund.

News, Take Action

All girls count, use your voice to get involved

ONE is a campaigning and advocacy organization of nearly eight million people around the world taking action to end extreme poverty and preventable disease, particularly in Africa.

Today, on International Women’s Day, ONE is asking for the public to get involved in impacting the 130 million girls who did not attend school today. To emphasize that these girls count, people can use the hashtag #GirlsCount on social media and participate in a project creating short videos.

Individuals are to choose a number between one and 130 million and film themselves counting the number, or add a photo of themselves with the number.

Together these short videos will become possibly the worlds longest film, and will be delivered to leaders to show them the importance of acting in the benefit of these 130 million girls.

Click here to add your voice to this project and work towards educating and empowering young women and girls.