Schools Ask: Where Have All the Volunteers Gone?

Schools seem to be struggling much more than in the past to find volunteers. With my deepest apologies to Pete Seegar, something has seemed to have “picked them, everyone.” For the past few years, the administrators of the preschool I founded have been telling me things are different these days. When the school started back... Read more »

About Writing: My November Writer's Block

#MyMindIsShot&WeNeedGroceries…MaybeTomorrow? Yes, I actually wrote that in an email as an excuse for not working on my book or writing something for my blog yesterday. Totally embarrassing and totally true.  Lately, I have found it much easier to stumble through Jewel than come up with an original thought. ChicagoNow Community Manager Jimmy Greenfield recently posed... Read more »

World Peace Day: Not So Much

Today, November 17, is supposedly World Peace Day, but November of 2015 has been anything but peaceful. The month began with the news of a Russian airliner with 224 passengers and crew, including at least 24 children, which crashed on its way to St Petersburg from Egypt’s Sharm el-Sheikh resort. On November 12, suicide bombers... Read more »

10 Truly Religious Things To Write on Your Starbucks Christmas Cup

OMG! A red and green Starbucks Christmas cup is not good enough. Saying “Happy Holidays” or failing to put up holiday lights is part of the war on Christmas. Really? How is this cup offensive? I’ll tell you what is truly offensive. Making a big deal out of the commercialization of a major religious holiday... Read more »

Gun Safety: A Tale of Two Grandchildren

Yesterday, I waited for my nine-year-old granddaughter after school. When she didn’t show at up our arranged spot for Mondays, I worried that she was confused and looking for me where I usually pick her up the rest of the week. And that was what happened. Never once did it cross my mind that someone... Read more »

Trick (no Treat) from Blue Cross Blue Shield Illinois

If you have a Blue Cross Blue Shield Illinois (BCBSIL) PPO plan purchased through the Marketplace, you should have received a letter that looks like the one to the right. Unless you take action, you will automatically be enrolled in the Blue Choice Preferred PPO, and that could be a disaster for you and your... Read more »

President Obama Opts Out of High Stakes Testing

Finally. In the twilight of his Presidency, President Obama seems to feel free to say what he really thinks about guns and racial profiling and climate change and…testing. Yes, he’s sorry about all of those high stakes standardized tests like PARCC that I have been bemoaning since I started blogging two years ago. A comprehensive... Read more »

About Joe Biden, Retirement, and New Beginnings

The media is looking at Joe Biden’s announcement that he will not run for President as a political calculus. Biden talked about “the window on mounting a realistic campaign for president” closing. But I choose to view his decision through the lens of a woman who took six years to retire from a career she... Read more »

Photos Become a Child's Voice

October is Photographer Appreciation Month, and before it ends I want to give a shout out to my granddaughter for whom photography has become a key into her mind. She has special needs that greatly limit her expressive language. I know she understands what I tell her and has plenty of thoughts and feelings about... Read more »

Social Impact Bonds: Chicago Plays Pay for Success with Young Kids

I’ll confess that in my capacity as an early childhood director for over twenty years, I often made the argument for the benefits of quality early childhood education. I discussed it at community meetings as a way to level the playing field to give every child a decent start in life. I wrote about it... Read more »