Tag Archives: doodles

Doodle for Google is back for its 13th year

2020 was a challenging year for many of us. As a mother of three young children, it was filled with important conversations and loads of feelings as we took on distance learning, quarantining and even  changes like wearing masks. 

No one knew how to parent through a pandemic (that wasn’t in the handbook) but my family's chats kept coming back to the concept of being strong – for ourselves and for others. While nothing could have prepared us for the highs and lows of last year, we somehow managed to grow a little stronger. 

That idea of inner strength felt like a natural theme to bring into our 13th annual Doodle for Google contest: The 2021 contest theme is “I am strong because…”  We’re asking students to creatively share how they keep moving forward when things get tough. When you make mistakes or get scared, what helps you clear the clouds above your head? When people around you are feeling down, how do you use your inner strength to lift them up?

This year we have an impressive judging panel helping us to determine our 54 state and territory winners and five national finalists, one of whom will go on to be the national grand prize winner. Dav Pilkey, best-selling book author and illustrator (“Dog Man,” “Captain Underpants” and “Cat Kid Comic Club”), Grammy Award-winning producer and artist Peter CottonTale and 2020’s National Teacher of the Year Tabatha Rosproywill join us as guest judges. 

Inner strength is something all of our judges have relied on. As a child, our first guest judge Dav was diagnosed with dyslexia and ADHD and was often sent out in the hallway during class. While alone in the hallway, he drew and created stories that evolved into his books. Today, his #1 bestselling “Dog Man” series has 40 million copies in print, has been translated into 40 languages and is being developed as a feature film by DreamWorks. Dav explores themes like kindness, courage, empathy and doing good in his unique graphic novels, and he recently created a series of read-aloud and how-to-draw videos to encourage kids to be creative. This led to the launch of “Dav Pilkey at Home,” a collaboration with the Library of Congress and Scholastic which provides free online content for kids and families during the pandemic lock down.

Our second guest judge, Chicago native Peter CottonTale, is a Grammy Award-winning producer, composer, musical director and artist. Peter is known for his collaborations with Chance the Rapper, whose historic Grammy Award-winning album “Coloring Book” Peter executive produced. In 2020, Peter independently released his debut album CATCH, and composed “Together” for Google’s 2020 Year in Search campaign, in close collaboration with the Chicago Children’s Choir. Through his music and leadership in the studio, Peter hopes to help people freely express what they believe and who they are. 

Our last guest judge, Tabatha Rosproy, is a 10-year veteran Kansas teacher and the first early childhood educator to be named National Teacher of the Year. She teaches in a preschool classroom housed in a local retirement community and nursing home. Her inclusive classroom is an intergenerational program that provides preschoolers and residents with multiple daily interactions. As the COVID-19 pandemic forced the closure of school buildings across the country, Rosproy served as a co-chair of the educator task force that helped compile Kansas’s continuous education strategy. Rosproy hopes to bring a voice to the important role of early childhood education and to highlight the value of social-emotional education for all ages.

Today the 2021 Doodle for Google contest opens to students based in the U.S., Guam, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands and is open through Friday, February 26.  For more details on how to enter the contest, resources for educators and parents, as well the contest rules, head to our website. The winning artist will see their work on the Google homepage for a day, receive a $30,000 college scholarship and the winner’s school will receive a $50,000 technology grant. We can’t wait to see some strong Doodles!

Meet the 2020 Doodle for Google winner!

This year’s Doodle for Google contest was one for the books. We received tens of thousands of entries from students all over the nation answering our prompt “I show kindness by…” The student entrants this year blew us away with their empathy, artistic talent and eloquence. A few weeks ago we announced our five national finalists, one from each grade group. After careful deliberation from our Google judging panel, today we’re excited to announce the winner of the 2020 Doodle for Google contest is Texas 5th grader, Sharon Sara!

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Sharon’s Doodle titled “Together As One” highlights the importance of inclusion and acceptance, and was inspired by her personal experiences with friendship and her strong commitment to spreading kindness. Let’s get to know this year’s  Doodle for Google winner:


You’re in 5th grade now, but you entered the contest last school year when you were in 4th grade. What inspired you to enter the 2020 contest?

My art teacher from school introduced us to the contest in 3rd grade, and in 4th grade I remembered the contest and asked my dad to enter my Doodle.

How did you come up with the idea for your Doodle? 

I thought about my personal experiences. People have not wanted to be my friend because of how I look, so I decided to draw what I do! No matter what people look like, you look on the inside and then decide if you want to be their friend.

What does kindness mean to you? 

Kindness to me means to not look at someone from the outside, but look at their personality, and be open to their friendship.

Were you surprised when you were chosen as a Doodle for Google finalist? What has it been like for you? 

When I found out, I could feel my face turn red like a tomato, I was so excited! I was already excited that I was one of the five national finalists and it still didn't feel real. I was so happy, my parents told me during school which was a big surprise! It’s made me a lot more confident!

What does winning mean for you and your art? 

I think winning will affect my view on art by giving my art more of a meaning. When I made my Doodle it had a meaning and I really want to do this with all my art!

Congratulations again to Sharon Sara! As our national contest winner, Sharon’s Doodle will be seen by the nation on the Google homepage. Sharon will also receive a $30,000 college scholarship, and her school, Vaughn Elementary School, will receive a $50,000 technology package. Thank you Sharon, and thank you to the tens of thousands of students who entered the contest this year and inspired us with their unique Doodles and kind words.  As we close the 2020 contest, we hope you all continue to share your art with the world and spread kindness! 


The 2020 Doodle for Google national finalists are here

When we opened the Doodle for Google contest in January of this year, we couldn’t wait to see all of the fantastic doodles that students across the country would submit for our 2020 theme “I Show Kindness By...”. We received tens of thousands of submissions from students in all 50 states, as well as Washington D.C., Guam, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Today, it's so important to show kindness and compassion, and this year's contestants shared the multitude of ways they demonstrate empathy in their communities. 

After carefully reviewing all of the submissions, we announced our 54 state winnersand opened up public voting on our website. And today we are happy to share that the votes are in and the judges have deliberated. We’re ready to announce our five national finalists for the 2020 Doodle for Google contest! 

Our finalists were chosen based on a combination of our judging criteria (which includes artistic merit, creativity and how well participants communicated the theme in their artwork and written statement), as well as the results of public voting. Each of these artists truly committed to spreading a unique and powerful message of kindness,  so let’s meet our finalists:

K-3 National Finalist: MacKenna Hughes
Honolulu, Hawaii

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Title: I show kindness by picking up trash & microplastics on the beach
Artist Statement: “In my artwork, I repurposed trash that I collected from my favorite beach. Animals eat these microplastics and they can kill them or make them very sick.”

4-5 National Finalist: Sharon Sara
Frisco, Texas

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Title: Together As One
Artist Statement: “I show kindness by sticking together with my friends in tough times. I drew people coming together and not thinking about the outside but being together because of their personality.”

6-7 National Finalist: Yewon Lee
Fort Lee, New Jersey

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Title: We're All Neighbors
Artist Statement: “I show kindness by treating all different kinds of people as my neighbor.”

8-9 National Finalist: Gwenith Madhan
Tulsa, Oklahoma

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Title: Kindness & Captions
Artist Statement: “I show kindness by...not engaging in negativity on social media, and instead focusing on using positive, kind words to lift people up and add a smile to their face everyday.”

10-12 National Finalist: Morrah Burton-Edwards 
New Orleans, Louisiana

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Title: Love Made Visible
Artist Statement:  “Kindness is love made visible, so I show kindness by showing my family I love them. But also, when I show strangers and others that I care about them even when they are unkind to themselves is me being kind. A simple act of kindness like a hug can light up someone's day. But most importantly, I show kindness by loving those even when they are unkind to me. That is the most important time to be kind and the most difficult, but those people need kindness the most.”

Congratulations again to MacKenna, Sharon, Yewon, Gwenith and Morrah! As National Finalists, our student winners will receive a $5,000 college scholarship, Google hardware for the school year and some fun Googley swag. Check out their artwork, along with all 54 of the state winners on our website gallery

In the next and final stage of the contest, our judging panel will determine which of our five national finalists will be chosen as the national contest winner. The winner’s artwork will be featured on Google’s homepage for 24 hours, they’ll receive a $30,000 scholarship and a $50,000 technology package for their school. 

Good luck to our national finalists, and stay tuned to find out who our 2020 contest winner is!

Doodling for kindness: Check out our 54 contest winners

In January, we kicked off the 12th annual Doodle for Google contest by inviting K-12 students across the country to submit their artistic interpretations of this year’s contest theme “I show kindness by…”. I was particularly excited for this year’s prompt, given how critical kindness is today. To me, showing kindness means doing your best to practice empathy always, and doing the right thing—big or small— to make someone feel seen, heard and valued. This includes being kind to ourselves as well as thinking beyond our own experiences and circumstances to show kindness to each other and our world.

We received tens of thousands of entries from talented students across the country and were blown away by the thoughtfulness and creativity they poured into their artwork. Now, we’re announcing our 54 state and territory winners. From promoting respect and inclusion, to showing empathy to friends, family and community, to treating the environment with care, each of our winners demonstrated a unique commitment to spreading kindness. 

We were incredibly inspired by all of the submissions. To celebrate our talented winners, we sent each of the 54 students an exciting prize box full of Google hardware and swag—as well as a very special congratulatory video message from the Doodle for Google team.

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Head to our website to see the full gallery of all 54 state and territory winners. In the next phase of the contest, we’re asking the public to weigh in by voting for your favorite Doodles. Public voting helps determine who will go on to become one of our five national finalists—one of which will become our national winner. 

Congratulations again to the 2020 Doodle for Google state and territory winners!

Grillin’ it: Barbecue trends and family recipes

This Fourth of July, the fairground fireworks and pool parties may be put on hold. But there’s one thing we don’t have to cancel: Firing up the grill and hanging out in the backyard. In fact, “4th of July grilling ideas” spiked more than 400 percent in the U.S. within the past week.


While many of us will head to our patios and yards, what we’re cooking up varies across the country. According to Google Trends, North Carolinians are searching for “bbq slaw” recipes. And in Oklahoma, they’re looking up “oven baked barbeque catfish.” In Colorado, searches for “bbq chicken recipes” are up. If you’re curious about what your own state is searching for, you can check out this map showing unique "How to grill..." searches in each state over the past week. 


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And if you head to Search and look up “Fourth of July”, you’ll find Cameos from chefs like Alice Randall and Mary Ann Esposito spilling their BBQ secrets and recipes. (During your search, you may find more than culinary advice; check out the homepage for a sparkling new Doodle and Search results...and perhaps some other surprises.)

Feeling inspired⁠—or hungry? We also asked Googlers to share their favorite grilling recipes. 

“Texas Crutch” Smoked Brisket

Submitted by Ryan Ausanka-Crues, Engineering Manager on Android TV

My family is all from Texas so I grew up barbecuing with my grandfather. As such, I don't apologize for using the Texas Crutch (the method of cooking brisket in foil). Plus, it's fun to wait until after people try the brisket to tell them it was made by a vegetarian. Even though I’ve been vegetarian for 20 years, I still enjoy the art and technique of barbecuing with fire.

  1. Dry-brine the meat (0.1 oz of salt per pound of beef) at least 24 hours before smoking.

  2. Prepare the smoker, then apply big bad beef rub to the meat just before adding to the smoker.

  3. Aim to keep smoker between 225 and 250 degrees Fahrenheit (275 degrees if you're using logs instead of charcoal) and add wood chunks to fire every 30 minutes for the first two hours.

  4. When the meat hits "the stall," wrap tightly with heavy duty aluminum foil and return to the fire (also known as, the Texas Crutch).

  5. Smoke until it reaches an internal temperature of 190 degrees Fahrenheit (about 12 hours).

  6. Remove from heat and let sit, still wrapped, until temperature drops below 140 degrees Fahrenheit.

Steak and Tenderstem Broccoli

Submitted by Ken Graham, Financial Analyst

When I first started grilling, I wanted to perfect this popular method of getting the meat as close to the heat as possible. 

  1. Buy the best quality meat you can afford, about ¾-inch thick is best for this method. Good steak should stand up on it's own, no real sauce or spice needed. I like rib eye, but to each their own.

  2. Take the steaks out of the fridge about an hour before you want to cook them, season with salt and then put them back in the fridge.

  3. Pat the steaks dry when you take them out of the fridge; water will inhibit the browning of the meat. 

  4. You want your grill screaming hot, so whack it up to max on all burners. Before you turn it up, take the grates off, and then place one of the grates directly on the bars (if it's gas) or coals (if it's charcoal). 

  5. Grill your steaks on the grate flipping every minute. Three or four minutes should get you to medium rare, depending on the heat of the grill, but using a meat thermometer is best; you want to get it around 130-135 degrees Fahrenheit.

  6. Serve with whatever sides you like, but I like Tenderstem broccoli, which I grill on the grates I used for the steak. They pick up some of the steak flavor and cook quickly but stay crunchy.

Wine Can Chicken

Submitted by Helynn Nelson, People Consultant and Nekosi Nelson, Staffing Lead

This recipe is one of the first experimental dishes my husband, Kosi, cooked 15 years ago when we were newlyweds and it gets better and better with time. He’s allowed me to co-opt his recipe a bit by introducing one of my favorite ingredients...wine! I run the Google wine club in our Austin office, so I also want to suggest a wine pairing: I’d enjoy this meal with a Viognier or an oaked Fume Blanc. 

  1. Gather your ingredients: 2 tablespoons Tony Chachere seasoning; 2 tablespoons Kosher salt; 2 tablespoons onion powder; 2 teaspoons dried thyme; 2 teaspoons dried oregano; 2 teaspoons black pepper; 2 teaspoons garlic powder. For the chicken (I usually choose one around four pounds), you’ll need: olive oil; a 12 oz can of dry white wine.

  2. Mix all the dry ingredients together. 

  3. Marinate your chicken in the seasonings 24 hours before grilling. Remember to season the cavity (and wrap in plastic wrap).

  4. Preheat your grill to medium-high heat.

  5. Rub the chicken and its cavity down with the olive oil. Pour out 1/4 of the wine and sit the chicken on top of the wine can. Place the chicken in the center of the hot grill and cover. Cook the chicken for an hour to an hour and a half, or until an instant-read thermometer registers 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Once cooked, cover loosely with foil and let rest for 10 minutes before carving.

Ancho Chile Skirt Steak Tacos

Submitted by Kayla Geier, Senior Communications Associate

My family's favorite activity is getting together and cooking–whether it's tamales for Christmas or tacos for the Fourth of July. Since my grandfather's passing I've taken the role of grilling, using some of his "secrets", along with tricks from a few cookbooks. I find that grilling helps me keep his memory alive.

  1. Place steak (recipe calls for 2 lbs) in a large zip-top plastic freezer bag or covered bowl. 
  2. Stir together the juice of 2 limes, 1 tablespoon cumin, 1 tablespoon ancho chile powder, 1/4 tablespoon onion salt and 2 tablespoons garlic powder. 
  3. Whisk the above in 1/4 cup olive oil, and pour over flank steak. 
  4. Seal bag, and turn to coat. Chill 1-12 hours.
  5. Grill to your liking–medium is always preferred. 
  6. Top with slices of cucumber (it'll cool down the heat), your favorite salsa (mine is Tapatio) and fresh guac with the spice of Serrano chiles on a flour tortilla.

Uncle Buck’s Ribs

Submitted by Susannah Callahan, Product Marketing Manager at Google Nest

Growing up in St. Louis, pork baby back ribs were always a favorite, especially around the Fourth of July. My Uncle Buck—not that one, but just as funny—has been perfecting his rib recipe for friends and family since the 1970s. The layers of marinade and sauces make these ribs extra juicy and tender, but also easy enough to tackle for grilling novices. 

  1. Around 24-48 hours before grill time, place 4-5 lbs (or two full racks) of pork baby back ribs (membrane removed), in the following marinade: 1 cup chicken broth; 1 cup soy sauce; 1 cup brown sugar; 5 tablespoons cider vinegar; 5 tablespoons olive oil; ½ teaspoon garlic powder; ½ teaspoon dehydrated onion; 1 tablespoon of paprika; 1 tablespoon of cornstarch; 3 tablespoons liquid smoke; salt and pepper .

  2. 30 minutes before grilling, glaze the ribs with Korean BBQ sauce (make sure it has apple and pear puree). This sweet sauce helps to caramelize the ribs when they hit the grill.

  3. Heat the grill to 550-600 degrees Fahrenheit and baste each side of the ribs on the grill twice, for two to three minutes. 

  4. Then, turn the grill down to 300 degrees and repeat the basting process and timing above two more times with the leftover marinade. 

  5. Lastly, turn the temperature down to 200 degrees and baste each side with your choice of thick honey BBQ sauce three times for three minutes. Serve immediately. 

Here’s to a happy, safe and delicious holiday! 

A Doodle dedicated to the aloha spirit

When I think of my time living in Hawaiʻi, I simply think of “aloha.” “Aloha” means more than “hello” or “goodbye,” it’s a way of life. To embody the aloha spirit is to embody kindness, humility, harmony, patience and sincerity. And if there were a soundtrack to this idea, it would be the music of Israel Kamakawiwoʻole, whom we’re celebrating in today’s Google Doodle. Of course, Israel was incredibly proud of his Hawaiian roots, which is why it’s perfect that today’s Doodle is also a larger celebration of Asian American Pacific Heritage Month. 


Best known for his beloved cover of “Over the Rainbow” (which I walked down the aisle to at my wedding), Israel’s music and his voice have always felt so welcoming to me. But it’s also the little details about Israel that I identify with. His wife, Marlene, told us one of his favorite flowers was the plumeria. These flowers are all over Oʻahu, where Israel and I both lived, and remind me of backyard barbecues with my Lōkahi Canoe Club teammates or friends being piled high in floral birthday leis. Most often, I think of simply plucking a plumeria and tucking it behind my ear, as so many people in Hawaii do—behind your right if you’re looking for love and behind your left (the same side as your heart) if you’re taken. 


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A photograph of the author surfing in front of Diamond Head, and some memorabilia from the Lōkahi Canoe Club.

I also loved learning that one of Israel’s favorite places in Oʻahu was the Waikiki Shell, where he often played. It sits in the shadow of Diamond Head, an iconic landmark of great significance to Israel and many others. Seeing the profile of Diamond Head depicted in the first few seconds of today’s Doodle video brings back many warm memories for me of concerts, movies on the beach, surf sessions off its coast and afternoon jogs around the crater. 

But perhaps the thing that resonated with me most is something Israel’s former producer, Jon de Mello, said about him, which is that he got along with anyone he met, and that he only had love for people. Today, this kind of love and hopefulness Israel shared are turning up in an unexpected, but fitting way: People all over the world are displaying photos of rainbows, which Israel loved, in their windows and on sidewalks to uplift their neighbors and give people passing by a smile. We feel like this Doodle is a way for us to do the same.

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No matter where you are, or what your circumstances, like a rainbow after the rain—and like Israel’s voice always does for me—we hope that this Doodle brings a smile to your face.  

A Doodle for (super)Moms near or far

I wouldn’t be the person I am today without my mom. She raised me and my two siblings as a single, immigrant mother in a small Texas town. Her goal was always to give us a better life and unparalleled opportunities to what she had growing up in Mexico—and she regularly worked more than three jobs at a time to do it. The truth is, I have no idea how she pulled it all off. I also don’t know that I’ll ever be able to convey the extent of gratitude I feel for who she is (a supermom!) and what she did for us. Her strength and capacity for love is what I aspire to every single day.


I’ve always loved that we have a day dedicated to showing the superheroines in each of our lives how much we love and appreciate them—though one day is certainly not enough! While I’ve been lucky enough throughout the years to spend this day with my mom, this year I’ll be sending my love from afar. 


People around the world are looking for ways to celebrate with their moms, too. Search interest in “Homemade Mother's Day card” has increased by 160 percent in the past week globally. In fact, the most searched Mother’s Day and "virtual" searches worldwide are “virtual Mothers Day ideas,” “virtual Mothers Day gifts” and “virtual Mothers Day cards.”


Giving families an opportunity to connect during these unprecedented times is what inspired us to build today’s new, interactive Mother’s Day Doodle. When you visit the Google homepage, you can create your own custom, digital art from the heart and send it to any and all the moms in your life.

Doodle Interactive Experience

And while they’ve always had to wear many hats, moms, dads and parents everywhere over the last few months have had to become so much more. To all the parents out there, thank you for everything.

While nothing beats one of my mom’s cure-all hugs, I’m grateful that technology will give me the chance to see her smile and hear her laugh when she opens up my attempt at channeling my inner Picasso. It still won’t be enough to thank her for everything she’s done for me, but it’ll surely make all the miles between us feel a little bit smaller. 


La quiero mucho, Ama. I love you, Mom. Happy Mother’s Day 💖

Perla and mom

Source: Search


A Doodle for (super)Moms near or far

I wouldn’t be the person I am today without my mom. She raised me and my two siblings as a single, immigrant mother in a small Texas town. Her goal was always to give us a better life and unparalleled opportunities to what she had growing up in Mexico—and she regularly worked more than three jobs at a time to do it. The truth is, I have no idea how she pulled it all off. I also don’t know that I’ll ever be able to convey the extent of gratitude I feel for who she is (a supermom!) and what she did for us. Her strength and capacity for love is what I aspire to every single day.


I’ve always loved that we have a day dedicated to showing the superheroines in each of our lives how much we love and appreciate them—though one day is certainly not enough! While I’ve been lucky enough throughout the years to spend this day with my mom, this year I’ll be sending my love from afar. 


People around the world are looking for ways to celebrate with their moms, too. Search interest in “Homemade Mother's Day card” has increased by 160 percent in the past week globally. In fact, the most searched Mother’s Day and "virtual" searches worldwide are “virtual Mothers Day ideas,” “virtual Mothers Day gifts” and “virtual Mothers Day cards.”


Giving families an opportunity to connect during these unprecedented times is what inspired us to build today’s new, interactive Mother’s Day Doodle. When you visit the Google homepage, you can create your own custom, digital art from the heart and send it to any and all the moms in your life.

Doodle Interactive Experience

And while they’ve always had to wear many hats, moms, dads and parents everywhere over the last few months have had to become so much more. To all the parents out there, thank you for everything.

While nothing beats one of my mom’s cure-all hugs, I’m grateful that technology will give me the chance to see her smile and hear her laugh when she opens up my attempt at channeling my inner Picasso. It still won’t be enough to thank her for everything she’s done for me, but it’ll surely make all the miles between us feel a little bit smaller. 


La quiero mucho, Ama. I love you, Mom. Happy Mother’s Day 💖

Perla and mom

Source: Search


To every teacher, thank you times infinity

Editor’s note: Happy Teacher Appreciation Week! We’re honored to have 2019 National Teacher of the Year Rodney Robinson as today’s guest author to share the many ways we’re celebrating and supporting teachers, in classrooms or at home.

As National Teacher of the Year, I’ve been afforded opportunities that most teachers don’t get. It’s been exciting and rewarding to advocate for my students—some of the most resilient and courageous people I know—in places like the White House and Halls of Congress. But it’s also been challenging. And now with so many students, teachers and families impacted by this global pandemic, we’re presented with a whole new set of challenges we must face together.

Whether you’re a veteran teacher or a new parent, this is uncharted territory for everyone. We could all use a little help at the moment, and that’s why I’m so happy that Google is acknowledging the work teachers and families are putting in, and providing us with the support we need right now.

Free tools, training and support for educators and families

Today Google released two new resources to help educators and families make better use of technology as part of teaching and learning, whether you’re at home or back in the classroom. Their latest version of Teach from Home provides those newer to tech with tools and tips they need to get going with distance learning, with new sections for schools and families. And their new Teacher Center has free training, certification programs and product guides for those looking to advance their practice. As teachers it’s important for us to continue learning new things, and these resources make it easier for us to come up with new ways to engage our students by incorporating technology into how we teach.


$2 million to DonorsChoose to support vulnerable students

Teachers know that for all of us, but particularly for our young students, Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is more important than Bloom’s taxonomy of learning. In other words, essential needs are paramount: you can’t learn if you’re hungry or feel unsafe. That’s why I’m so encouraged to see Google support U.S. teachers from high poverty public schools like mine by providing a $2 million Google.org grant to DonorsChoose. The Keep Kids Learning program will provide thousands of teachers with $1,000 funding credits to get the materials they need to teach remotely and send their students personalized education care packages including items like books, basic supplies, educational games or kits, and groceries for students who rely on school to provide meals.  


Teachers are out there working hard for our underserved students, converting their homes into remote learning centers, teaching from driveways, delivering meals and providing learning  materials; crucially, they are also offering a familiar face and comfort to our students who need it most. This grant will help ensure more of our teachers can provide this for their students.

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Amanda Calzada and her kindergarten class in Chicago, in a photo from earlier this school year. Recently, Amanda received a grant through Keep Kids Learning, a program from DonorsChoose. With the funding, she bought supplies like pencils and playdough, “giving her students the tools they need to make learning at home an engaging, effective and exciting experience.”

Celebrating every teacher, in classrooms and at home

I’m also loving Google’s Doodle today which was created in collaboration with the 2020 State Teachers of the Year to pay tribute to teachers. 

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Today's teacher Doodle was created in collaboration with the 2020 State Teachers of the Year when they were at Google headquarters in February.

These teachers—who represent students across every U.S. state and territory—began brainstorming the Doodle when they met as a cohort at Google’s headquarters in February. Everything they do over this next year will be about advocating for their students and elevating the voices of their fellow teachers. You can get to know them and hear some of their words of wisdom in this YouTube playlist


I’ll also be hosting an Edu OnAir webinar later today with the four 2020 National Teacher of the Year finalists, so I hope you’ll tune in. This session is all about how we can best support teachers right now, and kicks off a free 6-week distance learning webinar series. 


For teachers like me, the best part of Teacher Appreciation Week is always the handwritten notes from our students thanking us for doing what we do. Since most of us can’t be together in person this year, Google worked with some incredible student artists (former winners of their Doodle for Google competition) and organizations like the National PTA, CCSSO (who runs the National Teacher of the Year program) and TED-Ed to design these free digital thank you cards. Whether you’re a student, caretaker or fellow teacher, be sure to use these to #ThankATeacher—I will be sending a few of these myself, and I know we could probably all use a kind, encouraging word these days. 


As my tenure as National Teacher of the Year comes to a close, I’m reflecting on what a different course it has taken than I could have ever imagined. But I know wherever we are, teachers will continue fighting for our students and putting them first so that we can ensure that education continues—no matter what. 

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Be sure to #ThankATeacher this week using one of these free digital thank you cards.

Two weeks of Doodles to thank essential workers

Essential workers keeping our world safe and running during this global pandemic deserve a standing ovation. To show our appreciation, we created a two week Google Doodle series to honor and recognize all who have stepped up in unprecedented ways— including putting their own lives at risk—to provide services that keep our society moving forward.

Google Doodles usually take months (sometimes years!) of planning and development. This one came together in a matter of days. Though in the past we’ve moved quickly to create a Doodle in response to a major world—or even outer world—event, this is our first real-time Doodle series focusing on one theme. 

In this series of animated GIF Doodles, the big "G" represents communities around the world sending our love to the other letters, which represent the essential workers. Fun fact: we purposely used the first and last letters of our logo to ensure characters in every Doodle were practicing social distancing.

Beyond the efforts of essential workers, “help” has become more than a concept, a desire or an unusual action. Help has become part of our day-to-day lives. We notice it in small actions—like going to the supermarket for your elderly neighbor, or donating homemade face masks to healthcare workers—and in what people are searching for around the world. One thing has become clear: people want to help.

Where There's Help, There's Hope

As with all of our Doodles, we hope the series allows for helpers everywhere to feel seen, heard, and valued and for everyone to remember there will be a light at the end of what could feel like a long tunnel. Because where there’s help, there’s hope.