Reaching & Teaching the Next Seven Generations | Seventh Generation
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Reaching & Teaching the Next Seven Generations

5 comments
Author: Seventh Generation

We believe everyone has the right to a healthy start in life. That means more than a non-toxic home and a clean environment. It also means making sure all children receives the education they need to achieve their full potential.

Teach for America (TFA) shares that goal. Together we have created a new partnership dedicated to strengthening schools and cultivating minds in places where resources are scarce. 

The need is urgent. Some 15 million American children live in poverty-- and only half will graduate high school. Yet an increasing body of evidence shows these children can achieve at the highest levels. TFA is working to make this happen by placing some of our country's brightest college graduates and young professionals into the schools where they're needed most. This fall, 9,300 TFA corps members are teaching from coast to coast and 24,000 TFA alumni are working across all sectors to ensure that kids growing up in poverty get an excellent education.

You can help TFA provide an excellent education for kids in low-income communities every time you purchase Seventh Generation Liquid Laundry Detergent. During this back-to-school season, we've pledged to donate a percentage from every sale to TFA, with a goal of $10,000.

You can also help right now. Click here and Seventh Generation will donate $1 to Teach for America when you choose a Brighter Idea.  It's a fun and easy way to support this vital cause. Plus, each time a friend you invite joins as well, you'll automatically be entered to win FREE Seventh Generation laundry products for a year.

Today, poverty limits educational opportunities for so many kids, but with some support from you and your friends, we can help change that forever.

5
Comments

2seetheglobe picture
2seetheglobe
02/05/12
As a longtime user of Seventh Generation products, I was recently trying to convince some colleagues at our school district to use your products. They all use conventional products full of nasty chemicals and such. I told them to check our your website. Later that day one of those folks came to me and said, "Betcha didn't know they give money to Teach for America!" At first I didn't believe her--she knows of my disdain for this organization and I thought she was just yanking my chain. But sure enough, a quick check online and there was your blog entry about supporting TFA. Look, companies can give their money to whatever cause they want--that's part of living in a democratic society. But when your company's name and mission is all about how our current actions affect future generations, supporting TFA is the ultimate irony! I had to chuckle when I read one of your responses above that said, "While we have been made aware that this work has occasionally been the subject of some contention, we haven’t seen any evidence of controversy being caused by any actions taken by the organization itself or its corps members in the field. " I guess you haven't Googled "Teach for America?" I can help you out with some articles that reveal TFA problems. You'll read why TFA is not a practical solution for helping inner city schools (almost 60% of TFA interns enter the classroom intending to leave after 2 years, 85% of TFA folks left NYC schools after 4 years, 3/4 of TFA folks in general leave their inner city school after 3 years, etc.): -Why TFA Isn't the Answer: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/post/why-teach-for-america-isnt-the-answer/2011/10/23/gIQAt1Td9L_blog.html -TFA Teachers-How Long Do They Teach, Why Do They Leave?: http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2011/10/04/kappan_donaldson.html?intc=mcs -A Chosen Few are Teaching for America:http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/12/education/12winerip.html?pagewanted=all -TFA: Who Are We Hiring?: http://www.waff.com/story/16659949/who-are-we-hiring-a-waff-48-news-special-report -Why Teach for America is Not Welcome in My Classroom: http://www.laprogressive.com/teach-america/ -A New Look at TFA: http://voices.washingtonpost.com/answer-sheet/teachers/a-new-look-at-teach-for-americ.html -How I Joined TFA & Got Sued for 20 Million: http://www.city-journal.org/html/13_1_how_i_joined.html You must realize that most Seventh Generation customers are thoughtful, altruistic people who buy your products not only because they work well, but because of what your company stands for. So when your company makes a decision that runs counter to your mission, we aren't happy. At all. And we stop buying your products. And it becomes our mission to convince our friends and colleagues to do the same. If you truly want to "strengthen schools and cultivate minds in places where resources are scarce," you can support scores of other organizations with honest missions and goals not motivated by profit. Here are just a few that align well with your own mission: Kids for a Clean Environment: http://www.kidsface.org/ Real School Gardens: http://www.realschoolgardens.org/ California School Garden Network: http://www.csgn.org/ The Edible Schoolyard Project: http://edibleschoolyard.org/ Music for All: http://www.musicforall.org/ Urban Arts Partnership: http://www.urbanarts.org/ Learn & Serve America: http://www.learnandserve.gov/about/service_learning/index.asp National Service Learning Partnership: http://www.service-learningpartnership.org/ Global Education Motivators: http://www.gem-ngo.org/ Humane Society Youth: http://www.ysa.org/content/humane-society-youth All of these organizations help students become connected to the world, prepare them for the future, broaden their experiences beyond the horrible test-prep environment we currently live with, and, of course, strengthen their academic skills. They aren't profit-driven, they aren't controversial in the least, they align with your mission, and they are committed for the long term to helping kids...things that cannot be said for TFA. I do hope you'll end your sponsorship of TFA. If that happens I will once again become a Seventh Generation customer. Thank you for your consideration, Jeff Fessler 2011 Palm Beach County, Florida Teacher of the Year 2008 Humane Society of the United States Teacher of the Year
emandrews picture
emandrews
02/05/12
Dear Seventh Generation, Thanks for the thoughtful response to others' comments regarding TFA being a poor recipient for your charitable donations. I know it can be hard to see TFA as being in any way controversial. They do get a lot of good press (partly I think because they have a great propaganda machine). However, I think (near-)universal support for TFA is eroding as the organization's mission expands and some of its less desirable effects are becoming more evident. I am a teacher who considered doing TFA and then went through a conventional teacher ed program. Since then, I have worked in both public and private schools, so I have familiarity with both. My expertise is in teaching math in heterogeneous, ethnically diverse classrooms. I have a strong commitment to public education and to the right of teachers to unionize. It sounds like you share these priorities as well, so I hope you will take the time to learn a little more about TFA and re-evaluate whether they are really an ideal recipient for your continued support. To get started, I would recommend reading this piece by a former TFA recruiter: http://garyrubinstein.teachforus.org/2011/10/31/why-i-did-tfa-and-why-you-shouldnt/ I do use quite a number of Seventh Generation products. It pains me that a portion of that money is going to an organization like TFA that is so diametrically opposed to my passion and life's work. I hope I won't have to find another source of diapers, wipes, dishwasher detergent... Oh, my. Thanks for your thoughtful consideration of my comment.
Seventh Generation picture
Seventh Generation
10/04/11
Thanks so very much for sharing your thoughts on our new partnership with Teach For America. Like you, we believe that there is no more important issue facing our country today than the need to dramatically strengthen our educational system and give every child the absolute best possible start in life. Only by providing our kids with the tools and knowledge they require to succeed can we hope to build a more equitable and sustainable world. Our partnership with Teach For America is dedicated to furthering this essential goal, and their mission to provide one additional source of great teachers for schools in low-income communities is one we’re eager to support. While we have been made aware that this work has occasionally been the subject of some contention, we haven’t seen any evidence of controversy being caused by any actions taken by the organization itself or its corps members in the field. We believe our commitment to help Teach for America doesn’t conflict with our continued support of professional teachers and their unions. We think we’re all on the same team, so to speak. That said, we’re extremely grateful that you care enough about this issue to have taken the time to express your concern. This passionate dedication to what’s right is something that the world needs much more of, and we’re glad that you think enough of Seventh Generation to apply it to us, too. It’s only through efforts like yours that we can be the company we want to be. Thanks once again for writing and keeping us on our toes. We appreciate both a very great deal.
peony.power picture
peony.power
10/02/11
Why is Seventh Generation donating to TFA, a for profit company that charges districts for teaching recruits who have only 5 weeks of training before teaching? TFA has buckets of money, and continues to make buckets of money. TFA's own website does not claim to train teachers but to train leaders, and 80% of TFA teachers leave the classroom after 3 years. Why not give money to schools or districts that are working towards sustainable operations and teaching students how to be responsible citizens. I'm disappointed that Seventh Generation would have done such little research on TFA before announcing support for it. I have used Seventh Generation products for over 10 years, but now I will eliminate all Seventh Generation products from my house and recommend others do as well.
Beth picture
Beth
09/29/11
Why does TFA need our money? They are a private company charging cash strapped public school districts thousands of dollars per "core member" placed in those districts. Currently, in Seattle, TFA charges $4000/ per member. This is in a district that currently has no teacher shortage. In addition TFA members generally don't continue in the profession of teaching. They generally only serve two years, creating high turnover in the very schools that would benefit from having better stability. I have to admit that your Lavender and eucalyptus laundry detergent is my favorite, but you will lose me as a customer over this.