How 5 Years Changes Everything: Adventures of a Classroom Teaching Artist

How 5 Years Changes Everything: Adventures of a Classroom Teaching Artist

Over the past two months I had the unique experience of working on story writing and storytelling with two fourth grade classrooms and six ninth  grade classrooms. Some weeks I’d be with the fourth graders one day and the ninth graders the very next day. To say that there was a huge difference in the groups would be putting it mildly. When you walk into a fourth grade classroom as a teaching artist, you are made to feel like a rock...

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My Friend, Abu Bhakar: A Refugee Story

We are living in difficult times. Polarizing times. Times that would seek to divide us instead of unite. The words ‘refugee’ and ‘immigrant’ have been buzz words in the news lately. It’s probably no secret, based on the work that I do and the people that I share my life with, that both of these words carry a lot of weight to me. Most of the time I don’t say too much because I don’t want my voice to be...

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Spreading Holiday Cheer: A Lesson Learned from a 2 Year Old

Spreading Holiday Cheer: A Lesson Learned from a 2 Year Old

This past week my husband, son, and I went out for lunch at one of those fast-food type chains where you choose your meal then go through the line to select your toppings. When we made it to the end of the line, we were greeted by one of the unfriendliest cashiers I have ever encountered. She seemed to have a permanent scowl on her face and didn’t even try to perk up for us. When her smiling co-worker passed her our bowls, she snapped at...

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Summer Reading Program Tour Schedule

Below you will find a list of the places where I’ll be traveling to perform this summer. Wherever I have included a time and location, the performance is free and open to the public. However, you may want to check with the library to see if you need to register. I look forward to a fun and exciting summer as always and hope to see lots of familiar faces as well as new ones. So please feel free to share this post and tell your friends. For...

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Why Being the Best Is Over-Rated

Over the last few months, I’ve become keenly aware of what a competitive culture we live in. From hearing stories about high school athletes intentionally harming opposing players in order to win to seeing political debates in which candidates will say anything to gain ground against their opponents — there is a huge emphasis placed on being the best. I think it’s a tension that we all feel, even in spheres of our lives that might...

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When a Laundry Basket Isn’t a Laundry Basket: The Gift of Imagination

When a Laundry Basket Isn’t a Laundry Basket: The Gift of Imagination

Imagination is a wonderful thing. I’ve always had what might best be described as an over-active imagination. If my ideas weren’t keeping me awake at night, they’d have me waking at the crack of dawn — racing for the nearest pen and paper to jot down my latest inspiration. To this day I try to keep a notebook nearby at all times because one never knows when inspiration will strike! I’ve learned from experience that...

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