Posts tagged "advocating for all children"

School Lunch and Recess Woes

Evanston, Illinois supports its public schools. Last spring, we even voted for a referendum to raise our property taxes so our school children would receive good educations. Is it unreasonable to expect our school district to make changes to how lunch and recess are managed so those children we treasure can be joyful, healthy, and... Read more »

Evanston/Skokie District 65 Needs to Vote YES on the Referendum

Imagine you are part of a middle class family. Two working parents, two kids, a modest home. Now imagine one parent becomes unemployed. Tough choices will have to be made. Most likely, there will be no vacations or activities that cost money. No new clothes. No restaurants. No cable. Evanston/Skokie District 65 public schools may... Read more »

When a Feel Good Story About a Child with Special Needs Feels Bad

A boy with developmental disabilities invited his classmates to his ninth birthday party and no one came. His mother reported that he waited to cut his “K-9” cake, hoping friends would show up, but they didn’t. The Chicago Tribune ran a feel good story about how a Facebook post about the non-party resulted in cards,... 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 »

A Commencement Message for Incoming Kindergarten Parents: Advocate

Recently, I gave a talk to a group of parents whose children are going to kindergarten this fall. The parents were amazingly caring people who want their children to be happy and to thrive as they begin their formal education. I’ve been giving these talks for 25 years, but in recent years they have felt... Read more »

Inclusion: A Preschool that Truly Cares About Other People’s Children

Welcoming and including children with special needs has always been part of Cherry Preschool’s mission. But this Evanston preschool community not only talks the talk, it walks the walk. At its annual fundraiser on March 21, parents, teachers, and friends of the school raised their paddles to donate $35,000 to fund next year’s Inclusion Program.... Read more »

Still Rethinking the School Calendar

While watching Morning Joe yesterday, I almost fell off of my exercise bike when they happily announced that Mayor De Blasio of New York City will be closing schools two days for the Muslim holidays of Eid al-Adha and Eid al-Fitr next year. Joe Scarborough, who is hardly a proponent of political correctness, thought this... Read more »

Rethinking the School Calendar

A recent posting on the Evanston, Illinois Parent Facebook page exclaimed, “According to weather report, -4 at 8AM with -19 wind-chill. ACK!!!!! I’m not sure we can take another snow day!” Others responded like folks suffering from PTSD. The consensus was that they and their kids could not handle more days off of school, and... Read more »

Judy Blume’s Fudge and Today's Kindergarten Expectations

One of my granddaughters is reading Super Fudge by Judy Blume. Published in 1980, the book was beloved by her mother when she was young. But as I reflected back to the era in which the mischievous Fudge attended kindergarten, I wondered if my granddaughter was shocked by the school’s response to Fudge’s behavior. I... Read more »

How Student Essay Writing has Changed Since 1969

Yes, you read that correctly. 45 years ago, I was teaching high school English at Niles East High School in Skokie, Illinois. In case you are wondering, I snagged that job right out of college. Nevertheless, if you do the math, you know you are reading the opinion of a former English teacher of a... Read more »