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Posted by on in General

Celebrate your freedom to read. Read a banned book! That's right, celebrate your freedom to read. It's an important freedom, and it's protected by the First Amendment. Celebrate the right to read which books we choose. Censorship is censorship. There's a fine line between challenged and banned books. Sometimes it's fine and, sometimes not.

Banned Books Week, promoted by the American Library Association and Amnesty International reminds us freedom is not easily maintained. We must retain our ability to think, reason and have access to thoughts different from our own.

Banned Books Week, Sept. 23-29 '18, is really about perspective. What you think is offensive, may not offend me, and vice-versa; who decides? I mean, who decides what we can read, as children and later as adults?

Books are still being banned. In 2018! Really. As of this writing, I have not been able to find a simple definitive figure for the number of books challenged and banned this year, on the ALA website, which I find disappointing. 

Well, in truth, the law actually already decided this very issue. Based on the First Amendment, librarians may not restrict any materials; in regard to children, only parents may do so. In Texas v. Johnson, ('89) Justice William J. Brennan gave this opinion: "If there is a bedrock principle underlying the First Amendment, it is that the government may not prohibit the expression of an idea solely because society finds that the idea itself is offensive or disagreeable..."  

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Posted by on in Literacy

 

THIS. I read that 775 million adults lack minimum literacy skills. One in five adults, two thirds of them, women. Not so bad, or staggering, depending on our perspective. Sobering, 60.7 million children are out of school and more drop out. Is this acceptable? As a nation of readers, we believe that the joy of reading is a joy forever. But we know, that reading generally leads to better jobs and ability to cope with an ever changing political and social environment.

There are several kinds of literacy, perhaps we are considering math, science and other disciplines. For my purposes here, let's stay with the notion of literacy as being able to read, write and master basic language needed for daily life.

However, Literacy Day actually casts a wider net, celebrating advances and needs remaining in math, digital competency, technical skills and softer skills needed for success in today's rapidly changing economy and every day world of work.

Today, September 8th is International Literacy Day, or World Literacy Day. In 1966 United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) designated Sept. 8th each year as International Literacy Day, focusing on literacy for all. First celebrated in 1967, the day highlights the need for literacy in many facets of daily life.

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Posted by on in General

I had an extraordinary day yesterday. Did you? And I can hardly wait to tell you what happened. You be the judge. 

Here in America, the Labor Day holiday weekend is an end of summer opportunity to reflect and make observations about past and future. Lessons always surround us when we watch, listen and learn. That proved to be so true for me yesterday. Here's how it happened.

We go through phases and stages in life where it seems like stuff is just rolling downhill faster than we can keep up. So I needed a break. A pause to savor life's beauties, feel the joys of each moment and relish my 'happy'. I spent most of the summer getting healthy, and figuring out the next phase in my life post cancer. I also had some heartache and disappointments, don't we all?

A time of mindfulness, dance, watching sunsets and listening to rapids. A summer of promises made- some met, some not, some hurt, some joy. Best ever, notably the day I learned I am finally cancer free, with unmet life yet to be fulfilled. Still here, giving new promise to my legacy. Let's start with a lesson in love.

My kids created an end of summer family weekend activity. It was tough to plan for camping with unexpected road closures, questionable day to day air quality from the wildfires and restricted burning, which meant no marshmallow campfires. (Overcome by a last minute switch to propane).

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Posted by on in Early Childhood

As summer draws to a close and back-to-school bells ring, families enjoy the tail end of summer bliss. Popsicle sticks and lemonade stands. Kids everywhere making lemonade, at least I think so. 

 When I think of my childhood summers, such vivid memories of long days playing with neighbor kids, trips to Lake Michigan with my family, going fishing and planting pansies with my Dad. My Mom, Reading. Old movies. Scrabble and Crossword puzzles.

In order to get money for cherry cokes down at the corner and maybe save for new shoe skates, or even go horseback riding, we had a lot of lemonade stands. It was no big deal. It was a rite of passage, a part of summer like eating watermelon, chomping on sweet corn on the cob, picking berries. Long days reading books and going to the library. Taking the bus downtown, by ourselves.

Lemonade stands were most fun of all. We earned our own money and that was a very big deal.

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Posted by on in Education Leadership

 

Anything is Possible; Everything is Possible!

We're all just a bunch of bosses and cool ones, at that. We take turns leading and following. When we figure it out, we're like reformed Minions, having a bunch of fun together.

Every day is a celebration of learning and life. Culture is the name of the game and our beliefs, our purposes, our shared Vision and Mission are the tools we use as pieces. We are all stakeholders in the greater good. Successful cultural organization starts with getting along and working together in collegial conversation. 

Our leadership matters! Making a difference to those we work with, play with and care for has its challenges, but we overcome every obstacle. Better together, by understanding and influencing others by who we are, what we say and what we do.

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