Awesome Stories 1.65

This week’s Awesome Stories bring you free books, miles of smiles, solar success and schools in the cloud.

Concord Free Press

free books, Awesome Stories

© mrovka / iStock

Concord Free Press encourages generosity with every book they publish. Founder, Stona Fitch, had a simple idea to publish and distribute quality books for free along with a simple request to make a donation of their choice. So far, Concord Free Press has been a smashing success, even attracting several well know authors like Gregory Maguire, author of the Wicked series, willing to give their books away. The idea has done surprisingly well, encouraging people to read, share and practice generosity. I love the sharing economy! Do you know any examples of the sharing economy working in your area?

Green Smiles

This is a great example of the power of love in action through kindness. Green smiles is a fun project started by a woman who wanted to add some color and connection to her neighborhood by planting flowers and other plants. Her simple idea was supported by as a great way to encourage more random acts of kindness. They started with a few simple flowers under trees, bringing a few neighbors out to help or learn more. Gradually the project has added more flowers, families, bees and most important, smiles and connection amongst the neighbors.

Miles of Smiles

Tinney Davidson has touched many a student with her simple tradition of waving at the kids as they by her house. This is a great reminder of the power of simple acts to change attitudes and maybe lives.

Solar Shines

Solar energy continues to grow at a blazing speed. In fact, more solar energy has been installed in the US in the last 18 months than the previous 30 years, with a third of all the new energy installed last year coming from solar. At this pace, solar looks ready to become a mainstream power source, not simply a marginal “alternative” energy source. In a related article, solar energy in Texas is now cheaper than natural gas, hydro or coal. Shine baby shine!

Cloud SchoolsSchool in the Cloud, Awesome Stories

What a novel approach to education. Sugatra Mitra received $1 million prize money from TED to help start 7 pilot schools. His goal is educational access for all kids, not just the privileged. His School in the Cloud project was founded on the novel idea that children can self teach themselves almost anything when given access to information via computers and the internet. He discovered this surprising result in Delhi, where he set up a working computer in the slums. Groups of street children taught themselves not only how to use the computer but a new language. At the schools, learning is largely self-directed with teachers available over the cloud as mentors and helpers, but not to direct the learning.

Did anything brighten your world this week? I’d love to hear what makes you smile.

Have an awesome week!


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