Vol. 4 Issue 29 | July 20, 2018

Three Things This Week

1. Keep The Culture Translator Free

What it is: July 31 is our second-annual Axis Giving Day. Join us in raising the $50,000 needed to fund this email for another year!

Why we need you: Every week, we research, write, and give The CT to over 46,000 families worldwide—trust us, it’s not easy. If you’ve ever wondered what goes into it, check out this behind-the-scenes video with Gary Alan and Melanie ;). It’s because of friends like you that we can continue to pour so much time, energy, and love into it while still keeping it free and accessible for everyone. Will you join us in that endeavor? Click here to make your online gift to keep The CT free in 2018. Thank you! We couldn’t continue serving families without you.

2. Barb’s Back

What it is: For any Stranger Things fans who thought Barb deserved better, she’s back (well, the actress is) in Netflix’s upcoming Sierra Burgess Is a Loser, a modern retelling of Cyrano de Bergerac.

Why it’s an opportunity: There are countless beautiful works of art from ages past that often are drowned out by our modern barrage of entertainment options. CdB is one of those, so our hope is the film is a great way to contextualize its timeless lessons for today’s students, as well as to spark interest in the original play. Since we have yet to see the film, we can’t vouch for how closely it sticks to the original story or even if it preserves its richness, but it seems it will delve into identity, the ethics of catfishing, romance, friendship, and more. Don’t miss the opportunity to read the play first, then watch the film (releases Sept. 7), and do a little comparing and contrasting. What did the play do well/poorly? What did the film do well/poorly? Which did your teen like better? What did they learn?

3. Relay

What it is: Dubbed “the anti-smartphone” by PC Mag, it’s a screen-free device for keeping in touch with your younger children.

Why it’s illuminating: We’ve written a lot about the dangers of unfettered smartphone access and constant screen time, to which many parents respond, “Yes, but how do I keep track of my kids without a phone?” Enter Relay! It offers both connectivity and safety, without the addictive nature of a smartphone. The device is small, durable, water-resistant, and has single-button communication (similar to a walkie-talkie) with nationwide range. They’re also working on providing “channels” that can offer parent-curated games or music. Check them out to see if they might solve a major pain point for your family.

11 Audiobooks for Family Road Trips

Ah, family road trips. It’s amazing how quickly they can transform from a fun bonding experience into Armageddon, amiright? Or maybe road trips are frustrating because everyone is often in their own world, thanks to screens and headphones. No matter your road trip woes, audiobooks can be a great way to pass the time, learn together, have great discussions, or simply get lost in a beautiful story. Books have a unique ability to change our perspective and cultivate compassion in a way that many other mediums can’t replicate. For students, a great book gives them a sense of belonging. Their connection with the author or a character reminds them they aren’t alone in this world, that someone else has felt or experienced the things they are going through. And audiobooks have the added bonus of making all of this a shared experience, rather than an individual one (avoiding motion sickness is another plus!). Here are 11 audiobooks worth listening to and discussing with your teens as the countless miles (and cows) pass by.

There are many ways to get and listen to audiobooks via your car’s speakers. To get audiobooks for free, just ask your library what services they subscribe to (OverDrive, Libby, Hoopla, etc., each of which allows you to download to your device via an app)—or see if they offer the CD for checkout (“Mom, what’s a CD?”). For paid books (and larger libraries), Audible and Audiobooks get great reviews. If you have a newer car, you can use Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, bluetooth, a USB cable, or an auxiliary cable to listen. If you have an older car without any of these features, you can use either an FM transmitter or a cassette-tape adapter. Happy trails!

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