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TEDxCrestmoorPark - Kari Grady Grossman - Buildings Don't Teach Children

Kari Grady Grossman's is the Founder of Sustainable Schools International and the author of Bones That Float, A Story of Adopting Cambodia, which won the 2008 "Peacemaker of the Year" Award from the Independent Publishers Association, and was named a Gold Memoir by the Nautilus Awards for "World Changing Books." Prior to writing her book, she spent nearly two decades traveling, writing, and producing documentaries that appeared on Animal Planet and the Discovery Channel Online, including coverage from Mount Everest and the Alaskan Iditarod. After traveling to Cambodia in 2001 to adopt their son, she and her husband, George, built a school in a rural village as way to honor their son's heritage. While researching her book, Kari discovered that many new school buildings had been built in Cambodia yet many rural children remained out of school. When she asked children why they weren't in school they always said "Teacher Absent Often." In addition to becoming the title of her next book, the phrase captures the problem Sustainable Schools International was created to fix. Around the developing world, many schools are built by well-intentioned donors but few have the economic sustainability to operate, nor a government willing to support teachers with a living wage. In the process of figuring out how to empower one poor, marginalized, illiterate community to sustain a school for their children, Kari learned something that every developed world do-gooder should know -- how to help people in the way they want to be help, not the way we think they should be helped. By building schools from the inside out, the first school of 50 children has grown to 4 schools with 1500 children and 18 high school and college scholarship students. In 2001, no one had ever finished 4th grade, in 2011 the first college graduate is returning to his village as a compassionate leader and teacher, sending a pulse through his community that education does have life-changing value. In 2006, she and her husband traveled to India to adopt their daughter. The author is a 1990 graduate of Syracuse University and moved to Fort Collins, Colorado in 2007. She and her husband were named the 2008 Colorado "Parents of the Year" by the Colorado Parents Day Council. In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)
Length: 14:45


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