Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Moving Forward

Time to move forward, to think of the future. These two Tweets give me perspective and remind me to have hope.

"No one has ever lived in the best possible world"—true. The best way to get there? Not judgment, not anger, not frustration (though I am feeling a lot of those things right now). Education. Talking about situations and people that we might never face. 

I do various types of volunteer work for the Literacy & Social Responsibility SIG (Special Interest Group) and also the Children's Literature and Reading SIG of the International Literacy Association. These SIGs give awards to books focusing on social justice, diversity, and inclusion. Please take some time to print lists of Social Justice Literature Award winners and Notable Books for a Global Society lists. Go to your library and ask for these books. Read them aloud to your students and to your own children.

Take another look at the map of "how the future voted." Yes, let's "keep the flame alight."

Monday, November 7, 2016

Are You Missing the Election?

Did you *forget* to put voting on your schedule? You don't want to MISS the election (as in "DANG! What time is it?"), do you? Don't let time get away . . . set your ELECTION ALARM right NOW. In fact, set TWO!!
Chances are, next week none of us will miss the election (as in "boo hoo, I miss you") because, whatever the results, we're going to be hearing about it . . . forever.

What we might miss, though, are great opportunities to buy unique gifts. Who knows how long you'll be able to buy Trump toilet paper (thank goodness).
As for myself, I think I'd rather spend my money on this nifty book about Hillary, written by Michelle Markel and illustrated by LeUyen Pham. What a great gift, right?

Oh, and, I might be buying one more thing to celebrate the end of the election. Because when they go low, we go . . . kick 'em with a Hillary action figure.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

What Would a Kindergartner Say?

I created this little piece while imagining what advice a Kindergartner might give to her mother on how to handle a line at the polls. Print this out and put it in a little bag of "voting line snacks" to nudge your friends to vote. Make sure that they don't "throw their vote away"! And remind them: say NO to nuTs!!!

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Don't Forget Your Local Elections!

The Poetry Friday Anthology for Celebrations contains 156 poems (in both English & Spanish) about holidays and unusual celebrations; Election Day is one of them. Here's a poem from that book, "Voting" by Diane Mayr. I hope you'll share it along with this "Take 5" mini-lesson by Sylvia Vardell.

Get kids talking about politics by getting poetic! Pretend to be a dog who wants access to public swimming pools, or a tree who would like to see more pro-tree policies. Then look at your local ballot and talk about what's on it!

Friday, November 4, 2016

Four Years (and a Whole Other World) Ago

The last time I posted here was a little more than three years ago. Oh, my: what changes have taken place in our world since then! And WHAT an election this has been!

Back in January 2016, when Ted Cruz was mocking Marco Rubio's boots, I thought: "How stupid can this election be? Don't people understand: it's really the socks!" 

This election cycle has taken STUPID to whole new heights, hasn't it? When I heard the lies and vitriol in the early Republican debates, when Trump criticized Megyn Kelly for "blood coming out of her wherever," I became nostalgic for the "lesser lies" and more civilized campaigns of 2012. 

It is November 4; the election is 4 days away. Some people are still undecided voters who don't like either of the major candidates. If you know someone like this—and especially if you live in a swing state—please explain that, with our electoral college system, a vote for Stein or Johnson or a written-in Bernie vote is essentially a vote for Trump. In a perfect world, we could each vote for someone we'd be happy to host for dinner. In this imperfect world, we now have two choices.

Sit down this weekend with your family or friends and talk about all the candidates (federal, state, local). Watch this clever and thought-provoking piece by Trevor Noah, and then fill out mock ballots or absentee ballots together.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Take Part in Make-a-Park-Day!

In hundreds of cities all over the world, and . . . maybe your town, too (thanks to you)? . . . September 20th is Park(ing) Day. It might seem a long time away, but if you want a free permit, you probably need to apply by . . . like . . . next week (EEK!)! Here's the Seattle application as an example; you could show it to your city hall if you want to start this in your town.

Take a turn at urban planning and get your neighbors thinking! Maybe you'll inspire a whole group of you to create a permanent park!!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Twelve Years Old!

This 12-year-old boy in Egypt has some strong opinions—the result of what seems to be a lot of reading, researching, listening, talking, and thinking. In this video, I felt that I was being introduced to a future world leader.

If you are a parent or teacher, watch this with your kids and talk about how they can become more informed about politics.

If only we all cared this much about our government!

Mid-August Update: as you probably have seen on the news, Egypt is in a state of chaos. Each week seems worse. So many deaths, so much destruction. I hope that the young man in this video is safe and keeping his faith in the power of positive change.