Topic: Community

Current Event November 17, 2020

Pope Endorses LGBTQ Civil Unions

Religion Community

In a recently released documentary, Pope Francis said he approved of civil unions for homosexual couples. A civil union is a legal partnership arrangement, like a marriage, granted by state authorities. The pope’s supportive words gave hope to the LGBTQ community, which has often felt excluded by the church. It also caused confusion, however, since his statement conflicts with official church policy. Listen to learn more about the pope’s unexpected announcement, and hear how Catholics have responded.

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Current Event October 30, 2020

Debate: Should School Buildings Be Open?

Health Education Community

When the coronavirus pandemic hit, schools closed around the country in an effort to slow community spread of the disease. A new study, though, concludes that schools do not seem to be superspreader sites where infection spreads rapidly and dramatically. Based on data from Texas, it appears that schools tend to reflect community infection rates. While anxiety remains high among some about the potential for COVID-19 to spread in schools, evidence suggests that when the virus does enter a school, it can usually be contained if public health recommendations are being followed. Listen to the author explain the implications of her study and then debate: Should school buildings be open?

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Current Event September 27, 2020

Weird News: Mac and Cheese Fiasco

Culture Community

Listen to hear about a mac-and-cheese accident of enormous proportions.

Vocabulary: tragedy, fiasco, damaged

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Current Event September 21, 2020

The Impact of COVID-19 on the Latinx Community

Health Community Ethnicity

Latinx communities have been hit hard by the coronavirus. The vast majority of those who have contracted COVID-19 in Marin County, CA are Latinx. Many work low-wage jobs and live in crowded conditions, making it especially difficult to take the necessary steps to stay safe. The disproportionately high rate of infections in Latinx communities has highlighted the large gaps in income and access to healthcare in the U.S. Listen to hear about the challenges faced by a Latinx community in California and learn what one nonprofit is doing to address the health crisis.

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Current Event September 13, 2020

Weird News: Sandwich Support Saves Diner

Culture Community

Listen to hear about how a generous customer helped support a diner during the coronavirus pandemic.

Vocabulary: anonymous, gesture

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Current Event August 23, 2020

Weird News: Teens Grocery Shop for Elderly

Health Culture Community

Listen to hear about how two teenagers created a grocery shopping program for the elderly.

Vocabulary: connect, volunteer, appreciation

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Current Event August 16, 2020

Weird News: Safe Hugs with Grandma

Culture Community

Listen to hear about how a shower curtain helped a man safely hug his grandma during the coronavirus pandemic.

Vocabulary: solution, transparent

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Current Event August 9, 2020

Weird News: Social Distancing Shoes

Culture International Community

Listen to hear about special shoes that can help people keep a healthy social distance from others.

Vocabulary: typical, benefit

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Current Event May 31, 2020

Weird News: Canine Siblings Reunited

Animals Community

Listen to hear about two dog brothers who were accidentally reunited.

Vocabulary: reunited, similar

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Current Event May 29, 2020

Debate: Do Citizens Have a Right to Protect Themselves from the Pandemic?

Health Protest Government Community

Two South Dakota Native American tribes have placed highway checkpoints near their reservations to screen visitors for signs of COVID-19. Officials have demanded that they remove the roadblocks from state highways, but the tribes argue that their residents are especially vulnerable to infection and need protection. Listen to learn more about the standoff between tribal leaders and the state government and then debate: Do citizens have a right to protect themselves from the pandemic?

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Current Event May 24, 2020

Weird News: Chalk Drawings Encourage Social Distancing

Visual Art Community

Listen to hear about a mother who creates chalk drawings reminding people to social distance.

Vocabulary: reminder, recreate

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Current Event May 18, 2020

Safety Tips for Resuming Contact

Health Community

States are beginning to lift lockdown restrictions, and experts are weighing in on how people can stay safe as they return to normal activities. Many doctors advise that social distancing, wearing masks, and washing hands continue to be the best ways to prevent the spread of infection. They especially warn against relaxing distancing guidelines as people start to mingle, and highly recommend outdoor gatherings rather than indoor events. Listen to hear a pastor’s plan for keeping worshippers safe when he reopens church, and how doctors recommend lowering the risk of virus transmission when socializing.

This audio story was recorded in mid-May. The news about COVID-19 is changing rapidly and parts of this story may be dated.

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Current Event April 22, 2020

Student Volunteers Help Elderly Neighbors

Health Community

An army of young volunteers is building bridges between generations while delivering food supplies. Invisible Hands is a network of college students and other young people bringing groceries to elderly New York City residents isolated during the coronavirus pandemic. The project has built deep bonds between people of different generations, even though they have not met. Listen to hear the organization’s founder describe the roots of the project and why a woman who received a delivery was crying with joy.

This audio story was recorded in early April. The news about COVID-19 is changing rapidly and parts of this story may be dated.

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