LA Johnson

LA Johnson is an art director and illustrator at NPR. She joined in 2014 and has a BFA from The Savannah College of Art and Design.

Milo Greer's postcard had us emoji-face crying, too.
Courtesy of Melissa Greer

A few weeks ago,

This year my grandfather turned 90 and my family planned to celebrate with a big birthday bash. It's not often that my whole family comes together, and I was excited. But then the coronavirus pandemic came. My grandparents isolated at home, the birthday party got canceled and a general anxiety about the health of the older generation exploded all over the world.

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Prom portraits are often windows into the past, capturing a moment in time with a special person, or friends you've lost touch with. It's a celebration of hard work; a well-earned break from studying and stress.

It's our job to report on the big changes happening as millions of students are out of school and learning at home or online. We know for every child, that experience is different:

Summer camp is canceled. The school year ended weeks early. No one knows what fall is going to be like. "Virtual" graduation ... zoom classes. A lot of the things that were "normal" have changed. Face it, your kids are dealing with a lot these days.

Updated on May 7, 2020 at 12:08 a.m. ET

Looking for a creative outlet? Sarah Urist Green shares ideas for fun art projects you can do at home during the coronavirus outbreak. (These are a great activity for kids and adults alike.) If you try one, share your creation with us at lifekit@npr.org.

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The NPR Student Podcast Challenge is asking teachers around the country to turn their classrooms into studios and their lessons into podcasts.

The Stonewall Inn is a sacred place for many in the LGBTQ community. Fifty years ago, a raid and series of riots outside the New York City bar helped launch a civil rights movement.

Empathy, tolerance and acceptance: More and more, educators are focusing on the importance of schools' paying attention to stuff other than academics.

And for the past two months, an exhibit at the U.S. Department of Education's headquarters in Washington, D.C., has gathered the work of student artists expressing themselves — through their work — about these issues.

The exhibit is called "Total Tolerance," and it highlights themes of racism, sexism and diversity.

Hundreds of thousands of students, teachers, parents and victims gathered in Washington, D.C., and across the country on Saturday to rally for tougher gun control measures.

I'm an illustrator at NPR and I was in our nation's capital with a sketchbook and some pens. Here's what I saw:

NPR Ed has been reporting this month on the lives of transgender educators around the country. We surveyed 79 educators from the U.S. and Canada, and they had a lot to say – about their teaching, their identities and their roles in the lives of young people.

You are viewing this comic in English. You can see the Spanish version here.

Did you like this comic? Let us know! Email npred@npr.org.

For only the third time ever, the government released today a national report card examining the knowledge, understanding and abilities of U.S. eighth-graders in visual arts and music.

And in many ways, the numbers aren't great, with little progress shown in most categories since the last time the assessment was given in 2008. One bright spot: The achievement gap between Hispanic students and their white peers has narrowed. But Hispanics and African-Americans still lag far behind white and Asian eighth-graders.

"I understand things visually, by finding them in paint. I don't know if my dyslexia causes me to be this way, but I have a feeling it does." — Rachel Deane, painter.

We know lots of facts about dyslexia: It's the most common reading disorder. It changes the way millions of people read and process information.

But we know much less about how it feels to people who have it. How it shapes your self-image, your confidence and how people see and react to you.

And so I reached out to some really creative people — artists who have dyslexia — to talk about this.

This is the second story in a three-part series. Read Part 1 here.

For the annual Kinetic Sculpture Race in Baltimore, teams must drive, pedal and push their vehicles through 15 miles of roads, mud, sand and water.

Two-dozen students at Arbutus Middle School have been working after school for months on their entry: a huge pedal-powered sculpture called Monsters of the Middle School Brain.

First in a three-part series. You can read Part 2 here.

When things heat up, they expand. And when that thing is the axle shaft to your drive train, you're going to have to make adjustments, or else.

Michael Guarraia kneels down next to a metal part that just popped off the rear axle. "OK guys, listen up," he tells his team. "The drive train broke again and we need to find a sustainable solution. This can't happen during the race."