Comcast Launches Xfinity Education Destination for Kids K-12 with Thousands of Free Resources

Comcast recently announced that it has made nearly 2,000 hours of programming and thousands of free titles available to Xfinity video customers to give children and parents quick and easy access to educational programming by grade level as part of the company’s comprehensive response to the COVID-19 crisis.

The collection is a joint effort with Common Sense Media, the leading source of entertainment and technology recommendations for families whose trusted age-based ratings and reviews are integrated into Xfinity on Demand. A subset of the education collection is also available on Xfinity Flex and across devices via the Xfinity Stream app and website.

“Today Xfinity is making thousands of hours of educational programming and resources available to our customers through Xfinity on Demand as we know how challenging it is for families right now who are suddenly homeschooling young children – many with both parents working, as well,” said Rebecca Heap, SVP of Video & Entertainment at Comcast. “The programming selected in partnership with Common Sense Media is available in one comprehensive destination organized by grade level to make it as easy as possible for parents to find what is most relevant to their family.”

Xfinity customers with X1 or Flex can say “Education” or, if their voice search language is set to Spanish, “Educación,” into the Xfinity Voice Remote to access content available to them by grades “K-2,” “3-5,” “6-8,” and “9-12” and also “for all ages” currently including:

  • Free programs from subscription video on demand services (SVODS) Bluprint, CuriosityStream, The Great Courses Signature Collection, Grokker Yoga Fitness, HISTORY® Vault, Kids Room and The Reading Corner.
  • Additional free adult continuing education programming from these SVODS focused on the “Mind,” “Body,” and “Soul” spanning biographies; podcasts on a range of topics including technology and business; yoga; dance; food and cooking; fitness; wellness; ballets and operas; and gardening.
  • Educational series from networks and streaming services including Animal Planet, HBO, HISTORY®, Nick Jr., PBS KIDS, Prime Video, Smithsonian Channel and more.
  • Spanish language programming available from networks including CBeebies, Discovery Familia and Kids Central.
  • Firsthand interviews and historical narratives from Voices of the Civil Rights Movement, Comcast’s signature commemorative programming initiative honoring the impact and legacy of the movement.

Additionally, Comcast has enlisted the guidance of Natascha Crandall, Ph.D., a psychologist and educator to program the content across English Language Arts, Math, Science, and Social Studies based on grade appropriate guidelines aligned with the current U.S. school curriculum.

“When schools close and other community places people congregate are off limits, it can feel overwhelming for families with kids, so we’ve partnered with Xfinity to curate a list of educational recommendations to help kids learn and keep them engaged during their time indoors,” said Ellen Pack, President of Common Sense.

We know how challenging it is for families right now who are suddenly homeschooling young children – many with both parents working, as well.

Discover the process of writing your story and having a healthy relationship with your mind

Whether you’re keeping a journal or writing as a meditation, it’s the same thing. What’s important is you’re having a relationship with your mind.

Natalie Goldberg

Journal, Journal, Journal.

In today’s unprecedented time, great words of wisdom from individuals who are working with children at home. When you think of journaling, you probably think about your school days when you wrote in your diary about your emotions, either anger or humor.

You may have hidden your diary from others because it was your deepest thoughts. Do you know what happened to your diary with its lock and key? Does it still hold a message destined for the world to hear?

How many times have you said to yourself or others, one day I will write my story? I remember when I decided to write my book, Dare to Be the Change. My story was screaming that it needed to be shared with the world, but fear kept me from moving forward. But once I let go and started writing, I could not stop.

How do you start the process of writing your story? Journaling is the perfect place to start. Writing is a form of self-expression that will help you generate and capture your ideas. It allows you to let go of your negative thoughts and provides a safe place to release your current emotions.

Today is the perfect day to start the process of journaling. Start your day, scheduling fifteen minutes for you to write. Find a quiet area and take the time to write your feelings. Sometimes the emotion may involve anger; other times, you may have a great memory of something from the past. Whatever it is, write it down, enjoy the emotion, and continue to write daily to purge your feelings. Do not go back and read what you wrote; just write. Once the words no longer come, you will have succeeded in completing your first manuscript. Feel free to contact me, and I will help you with your next steps.

www.annellametoyer.com

POSITIVE LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL 

The first job I had after college was as a recruiter for the Dale Carnegie courses. For those of you that may not know about Dale Carnegie, he wrote the book, “How to Win Friends and Influence People,” which is the 3rd best-selling book ever written. The principles of that book, which was written in 1936 became the basis for the training company of today. Today, those principles are just as relevant and the courses are now taught in 85 countries with over 8 million graduates. I eventually became a certified Dale Carnegie instructor and taught for almost 25 years.

Carnegie programs are really about managing change. Dale Carnegie learned early on in his career that people were terrified of speaking in public. They feared failure and the unknown. So he incorporated speaking in public into his classes. It was a game-changer. In fact, it was THE game changer. Once class members began to overcome their fear of public speaking they begin to look at themselves differently, which then translated into every aspect of their lives. They become better wives, parents, bosses, friends, etc.

Change is not always something we seek, but change can provide the greatest opportunities for growth. The coronavirus is not something any of us hoped would become a reality. The suddenness and suffering and 24-hour news coverage has been emotionally draining. But like the Dale Carnegie courses, we now have to face change. It’s everywhere and in every aspect of our lives. Even when we resume some sense of normal, it will not be the normal we once knew. But we will all be stronger as a result. We will be better prepared for the future. We will have endured something immensely challenging and we will all be stronger and better equipped for the future, having come out on the other side.

In times of change, leaders need to lead. Be the positive agent of change for those around you. Remind everyone that we do not need to fear the unknown and we will all be better and stronger as a result of having dealt with one of the greatest challenges of our lives. Houston strong!

Bob Charlet
Market President & Publisher
Houston Business Journal
5444 Westheimer, Suite 1560
Houston, TX 77056
(713) 395-9604
@hbjpublisher

Interest Rates Are At an All Time Low

Historically real estate has been a wise investment! In these unprecedented times, there will be opportunities. Houston’s underlying economy was strong with the exception of the energy sector. Unemployment was low beginning in 2020. In addition, interest rates are at an all-time low!

Although we will be in a recession, economists anticipate the recession to be deep but short. This will afford an opportunity for investing. In addition, there is thought that just as Houston has become a destination for those seeking relief from harsher climates, many may now seek relief from denser cities. Our lifestyle involves driving cars. With more space than most, our homes and workplaces allow us distance, we will be a destination. (I recall showing a Memorial home to a New York couple who asked “What do you do in this big bathroom”!)
Times like this test our market. However, you may be able to buy a property at a lower price, and sell it when prices rebound. The opportunity to lease the property generates revenue. For those who have bought rental properties over the years, there can be a nice cash flow to supplement other income, especially in retirement.
We will emerge from this stronger and better equipped for the future. After spending so much time in our “safe place”, we will all appreciate the value of home!

Beth Wolff Realtors Real Living

1775 St. James Place, Suite 100

Houston, Texas 77056

713-622-9339 x103 (Office)

www.bethwolff.com

Houston’s “McFamily” Matriarch Shares her Love Story of the Golden Arches!

We opened our first McDonald’s restaurant in Texas City, launching the family business in 1982. While many people may think of McDonald’s as a corporate monolith, we are instead, a collection of independent business entrepreneurs. There are 64 other independent McDonald’s owner/operators in the Greater Houston Area. While each of our situations and businesses is unique, we all face similar challenges and work every day to help each other succeed. Of utmost importance is the fact that we universally share a single “McFamily” belief that extends not only to our McDonald’s neighbors in this region, but across Texas, the United States, and the globe. After more than five decades in the McDonald’s system, we are proud to say the Golden Arches shine brightest in times of great crisis and need, not only for our customers, but also for our employees, our community partners, and the many charitable and public service organizations we support.

Ken and I own and operate 53 McDonald’s restaurants in the Greater Houston Area, Waco and Beaumont. Along with our three children, who collectively own an additional 15 restaurants, the Kades Family is the fourth-largest McDonald’s Owner Operator organization in the United States. In addition to our business ventures, Ken also serves as Chairman of ORC Insurance Group, which provides employee accident protection insurance for more than 1,000 McDonald’s restaurants in the state of Texas and serves on the Board of NOIT, the National Operator’s Insurance Team, which oversees property and liability insurance for 14,000 McDonald’s restaurants nationwide. I serve on the Board of Holocaust Museum Houston and the Houston Arts Alliance, as well as donate my time and resources to numerous other charitable organizations throughout the country, including the Alley Theatre in Houston where Ken is president-elect.

We opened our first McDonald’s restaurant in Texas City, launching the family business in 1982. While many people may think of McDonald’s as a corporate monolith, we are instead, a collection of independent business entrepreneurs. There are 64 other independent McDonald’s owner/operators in the Greater Houston Area. While each of our situations and businesses is unique, we all face similar challenges and work every day to help each other succeed. Of utmost importance is the fact that we universally share a single “McFamily” belief that extends not only to our McDonald’s neighbors in this region, but across Texas, the United States, and the globe.  After more than five decades in the McDonald’s system, we are proud to say the Golden Arches shine brightest in times of great crisis and need, not only for our customers, but also for our employees, our community partners, and the many charitable and public service organizations we support.

Being the largest and best-known restaurant brand in the world, we are actively making many hard decisions and are busy initiating innovative programs to help solve this current crisis. McDonald’s is continuing operations, providing income for our employees, and serving the public, even with increasingly restrictive “stay at home” orders in place. In a time of “social distancing,” our drive-thru’s, McDelivery, and carryout options have never been a more significant resource to our neighbors than now. They are maintaining a connection to the public in a time when we are being forced apart. We are proud to be considered an essential business and are taking this responsibility very seriously.

Our top priority in a time like this is the safety and stability of our employees and our customers. We understand the role we play in the communities where we live and operate. We know people are turning to us for a sense of normalcy. In the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey in 2017, McDonald’s world-class supply chain allowed us to relight the Arches quickly, bringing much-needed comfort to customers, vital resources for first responders, and income and security for our employees, who we refer to as our “crew.” As we did in those dark days, many of our Kades Corporation-owned restaurants are now providing free Extra Value Meals for first responders and we’re working with our fellow Houston area owner/operators on several other community initiatives to help support those who need it most during this Coronavirus crisis. This sense of obligation is a natural extension of our philosophy of philanthropy and community involvement. At our restaurants, we are also hosting Coffee with a Cop and McTeacher’s Nights regularly and are committing time and financial resources to the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Greater Houston/Galveston, Ronald McDonald House Houston, and Ronald McDonald House Galveston. It is in our DNA to help wherever and whenever we can.

Another great concern in the coming days and weeks is meeting the needs of our employees. With curfews and closed dining rooms, the demand for working hours is clearly outpacing availability, yet we are striving to staff as many employees as we possibly can while understanding the rules in place are designed to flatten the curve of infection and serve the greater good. On a voluntary basis, Ken and I are offering two weeks paid leave to all our 3,000 + employees affected by Coronavirus and/or to those who have family members who are ill. To date, we have avoided furloughs and layoffs. In addition, The Kades Corporation continues to offer our employees interest-free loans, as we have done for the last 38 years. When we use the term “McFamily,” we mean it.

We all believe in the McDonald’s system. We have built our careers in it. Our three children have made their careers in it. We are in this together from the front counter to the back office.

In this time of incredible need, we also ask everyone to join us in helping the most vulnerable in our communities, including the Ronald McDonald House Houston (https://rmhhouston.org) and the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Greater Houston/Galveston (https://www.rmhcghg.org). These 2 wonderful organizations are helping to support children that are among the most at-risk of all. Help us fulfill their life-saving missions to serve parents and children.

And we ask you to stop by whenever you see the Golden Arches alight across the Greater Houston area! We look forward to serving you!

Be well, and stay safe!

Best regards,

Mady Kades

Owner, McDonald’s Restaurants

Houston, Beaumont, Waco

Member, West Houston Women’s Chamber of Commerce

GHWCC

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