Students today face not only academic challenges, but also the emotional challenges of stress brought on by negative classroom environments, according to data from a recent survey by the Sesame Workshop.

In the survey, 86% of teachers and 70% of parents reported worrying that “the world is an unkind place for children.” In addition, teachers face financial challenges to making their classrooms places where students can succeed.

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Data from the Education Market Association show that nearly all public school teachers (99.5%) dip into their own money to purchase classroom supplies, and many of them spend as much as $400 per year on basic items.

To help ease the burden on teachers and foster an atmosphere of kindness and tolerance in the classroom, Staples, Inc., is partnering with music icon Lady Gaga to create a series of public service announcements.

The public service campaign includes 15-, 30- and 60-second TV and radio spots in which Lady Gaga encourages positive behavior and attitudes, as well as support for students and teachers in reaching their educational goals.

The PSAs also highlight two charities: DonorsChoose.org, which allows individuals to contribute to more than 25,000 classroom projects for teachers across the country; and the Born This Way Foundation, a nonprofit organization founded by Lady Gaga and her mother, Cynthia Germanotta, to support and empower children, teens, and young adults.

As part of its mission to support education, Staples announced donations of $1 million each to DonorsChoose.org and the Born This Way Foundation.

“I want kids to love themselves, fearlessly,” Lady Gaga says in a video on the StaplesforStudents.org website. The lack of basic school supplies is a chronic problem that can get in the way of children’s learning and achieving their goals, she adds.

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