Tag: advocating for all children

Starting School: My Earliest School Memories Were Not So Happy

Do you remember the cloak room or folding your piece of paper into eight sections? If yes, maybe you started school in the fifties like I did. That was an era when parents were more ghosts than helicopters and when The Teacher’s word was respected and feared. We sat in neat rows with lots of... Read more »

The Migrant Children Crisis is Moral, Not Political

Facebook deemed my post about the Mr. Rogers movie too political. When I recommended folks should see Won’t You Be My Neighbor, the documentary honoring the life and teachings of Fred Rogers, I contrasted the way Mr. Rogers understood, respected, and loved young children with the way the Trump administration had separated over 2,500 children... Read more »

Separating Kids from Parents is OK with Some Folks

There was a dog whistle in Kellyanne Conway’s interview with Chuck Todd on Meet the Press yesterday, June 17, Father’s Day 2018. In defending the Trump/Sessions policy of incarcerating adults crossing the border, even asylum seekers, and thus justifying separating kids from their parents who “broke the law,” Conway said, “And Chuck, let me just... Read more »
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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 »
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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 »
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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 »