What an exciting time to be alive

January 19, 2009

I visit the bookstores at least once a month to replenish the books that seem to disappear off of the shelves or they are so loved that they look like they have been chewed up when returned.  One of those special books that always needs to be purchased over and over is “My Brother Martin” by Christine King Farris, illustrated by Chris Soentpiet.  It is a piece of  art as a sister remembers growing up with Martin Luther King, Jr.  I never tire of it and I always choke up at the words so preciously placed in the story. Chris Soentpiet was a guest at our school several years ago and I asked him about illustrating such a book of love.  He smiled and shared with me that it was an “honor”.

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Each time I read this particular book our students sit mesmerized and almost in disbelief that there was a time in this country that students of different color were not allowed to sit in the same classroom. 

I replaced the “Martin” book and happened upon another treasure that I must share with each of you.  Julius Lester, award winning author has blown me away with yet another one of his great books.  “Let’s Talk About Race”, illustrated by Karen Barbour.  Julius Lester begins the picture book  with the “hook ” of  “I am a story. So are you.” He walks us through how each person has many elements in their story – from family names and places to likes and dislikes.  The illustrations are dramatic and dazzling.  I continuously ask myself  aren’t books healing?  Again…I love my job.

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Happy New Year!

January 19, 2009

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Can you believe we are in the year 2009?    I remember thinking when I was about 10 years old that we would be driving cars that flew.  Of course, I still believe that will happen in my lifetime, I just want it to happen now.

I can’t wait to see what this new year will bring.  I resolved on the last day of school December 19th, that I would follow my Principal’s directive of really focusing on my family and not working over the holidays.  Believe me it wasn’t easy.   I found out I really have not been balanced when trying to make things happen in my school community.  I would just make things happen until I would collapse.  Now that I have seen the results of making time for self, I am even more driven to rest.  My family’s health has improved, I read a ton of books, traveled, hung out with friends and rejuvenated myself.  It was the best ever. Looking back at everything that has happened in the last 5 months has been exhilarating.  From hosting book fairs to generate funds to operate the media center, entertaining a great guest author aka Bruce Junek  to kick off the new school year, celebrating a wonderful Literary Pumpkin Festival with the best costumed book characters seen anywhere, participating in a humbling flag-raising (Veterans Day), participating in a thankful Kindergarten Pow Wow and finally icing the media center cake with “Cookies with Auntie Claus”. Woo! that was truly a trip.  Arriving back, my Principal tagged me to create a Wordle.  What’s a Wordle you ask?  Well, it is best said in the creator’s words…wordle is a toy for generating “word clouds” from text that you provide. The clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text. You can tweak your clouds with different fonts, layouts, and color schemes. The images you create with Wordle are yours to use however you like. You can print them out, or save them to the Wordle gallery to share with your friends. wordle

What a cool way to be creative. So here it is.  A word picture that is all about me.