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Sylvia Acevedo and Carol Jago Talk Success and Education


What do a Girl Scouts CEO, an ever-elusive (fictional) super-thief, a National History Bee director and coach, and a literacy expert all have in common?  You could find them all at our booth at the 98th annual National Conference for Social Studies in Chicago, Illinois. Here’s some of what we learned at the event!

Carmen Sandiego is back and coming to Netflix Jan. 18, but before you stream her global forays, she stopped by our booth to play a round of “Are You Smarter Than Carmen Sandiego?” where attendees got the chance to outsmart our global citizen (photos below). 


And you can check out what three experts told us in Facebook Live interviews about their areas of expertise as they relate to social studies.

Interview: Sylvia Acevedo

HMH Author and CEO, Girl Scouts

In this interview, Girl Scouts CEO Sylvia Acevedo discusses her new book Path to the Stars: My Journey From Girl Scout to Rocket Scientist, and how she completed the successful journey. She also conveys that the Girl Scouts focuses on shaping girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place. And she emphasizes the importance of outdoor and entrepreneurial experiences, such as the Girl Scouts’ iconic cookie program, in becoming successful individuals. To hear more of Acevedo’s thoughts, watch the full video below.

Interview: Jason Russell and John Garner

Director of Operations, Varsity and Junior Varsity, National History Bee and Bowl; and Coach, Newnan High School History Bowl Team

Jason Russell and John Garner discussed recent changes that have been made to the National History Bee and Bowl and their thoughts behind its success. Russell notes that the Bee and Bowl have been focused on the high school division for many years but have also begun focusing on the middle school division. The Bee and Bowl’s continued success, he says, can be explained by participants’ broad love of history and the positive impact the Bee and Bowl have had on both students and the teachers who helped them along the way. Garner reflects on his experiences volunteering for the Bee and Bowl as a teacher and how special it feels to feed kids’ interest in history. Watch the full video below to learn more.

Interview: Carol Jago

HMH Author and Associate Director, California Reading & Literature Project at UCLA

In her interview, Carol Jago shares her knowledge and expertise on blending literacy and social studies. She notes that students are interested in reading about real—not just fiction—topics but notes that difficulties may arise when they read dense, informational text. She encourages teachers to help students understand how the information is being presented, tell them when the reading is going to be hard, and model for them what to do when they’re struggling. She compares reading with riding a bicycle because “a reader has to pedal!” To hear more of her helpful tips, watch the interview below.


What’s Carmen Sandiego’s next stop after NCSS? Miami! Gina Rodriguez, the voice of Carmen Sandiego in the new series, will be stopping by Miami-Dade County Public Schools to discuss the show and play a game with students to test their knowledge of history, culture, and geography. You can also tune in to watch and download engaging Carmen activities for your students.

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Summer learning activities for elementary and middle school students

Brenda Iasevoli
Shaped Executive Editor

Summer learning activities for elementary and middle school students

Brenda Iasevoli
Shaped Executive Editor