CALL FOR PROPOSALS: Little Chairs, Big Differences early childhood diversity conference

Take a look at the welcome page for this year’s early childhood diversity conference and then check out the call for proposals for workshops due March 4th. Last year’s conference was incredibly informative, inspiring and community building. You want to put this on your calendar, and apply to lead a workshop if you’re so inclined. Hope to see you there on April 30th at the Brooklyn Children’s Museum!

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FREE breastfeeding 101 training (Brooklyn, NY- 1/27/15)

Here’s another fantastic and free opportunity:

You’re invited to a free training hosted by the Breastfeeding Empowerment Zone’s Male Involvement Program: Breastfeeding 101.  The training covers breastfeeding basics – why breastfeeding is more optimal than formula feeding, how breast milk is made, major breastfeeding problems (latching), how to approach or speak with someone who feels they need breastfeeding support, and involving men in breastfeeding.

The training will be held at the District Public Health Office: 485 Throop Ave 3rd floor conference room (Brooklyn, NY 11221) on January 27, 2015 from 9am-12:30pm.

Please email Matthew Morales (mmorales11@health.nyc.gov), or Jeff Spitz (jspitz@health.nyc.gov) for more info or to RSVP.

Film screening tonight : Good Morning Mission Hill

This is a ONE HOUR screening not to miss!!! Come see pros in education at work.
You’re invited to a free screening (donations appreciated)

Good Morning Mission Hill

Tuesday, September 30

6 – 7:30 pm (film is 57 minutes, discussion follows)

BNS/BCS Auditorium
610 Henry Street
Brooklyn NY 11231

It’s high time to rethink what equity looks like in public schools, and buck the notion that children from low income urban neighborhoods need top down, regimented, standardized, “back to basics” approaches. Unlike most of their public school peers, Mission Hill teachers have control of their curriculum, and a say in most aspects of school life. At this Boston public school academics connect to experiences, empathy and exploration are valued, and children with diverse abilities and backgrounds flourish. There are no panaceas, but much can be achieved when teachers have the freedom to teach, plus the support to keep growing. Expect laughter, tears, singing and fresh baked bread.

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You’re invited to a Theater Party: Father Comes Home (Susan Lori-Parks)

I am on the board of the Day Care Council of NYC and we are having a theater party to benefit the organization on October 23, 2014. I’m excited to support the DCCNYC and to support Suzan Lori-Parks, who is a fellow Mount Holyoke College Alumnae. Please join us!

Flyer for Father Comes Home from the Wars October 23, 2014 Theater Party

FREE certified lactation counselor (CLC) training

What an incredible opportunity! The Brooklyn Breastfeeding Empowerment Zone and Ancient Song Doulas are sponsoring a free training to increase the number of CLC’s in Brownsville and Bed Stuy Brooklyn. Please pass the word far and wide!

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Watch the Bammy awards live on Saturday 9/27!

Hi all,
After a long hiatus, I am trying to get back to updating my blog. It’s difficult because I’m juggling many balls almost seven days a week these days, but I will do my best to update a few times a week. There is a lot to be shared about children, families, education and life!

I wanted to let you know that I am a finalist for a Bammy award- an award that recognizes the achievements of those in the education field. There is going to be a red carpet (!) and everything. This Brooklyn girl is excited and a little nervous, if I’m being honest.

Here is where you can watch the awards via live stream.

FREE filmmaking workshop for 10-14 year olds starting July 7th!

This just came across my inbox and I had to share:

OMG! Cameras Everywhere! is excited to announce our
New York workshop for the Summer of 2014!
http://www.omgeverywhere.org

OMG is a nonprofit that hosts a series of free, week long workshops in which a group of filmmakers work to collaborate with a group of kids, teaching movie making through music videos, short films, and other fun projects. In the program, kids will learn the basics of filmmaking, animation, special effects, and much more – while really focusing on collaboration and creativity.

We even host a series of bands, performers, and artists over the course of the week! In the past, we’ve worked with artists such as Daft Punk, Jack Johnson, 3oh!3, Dia Frampton, and The Lumineers.

This all culminates with a final screening and celebration on Sunday, in which we share all of the work they kids have made.

This year, our New York workshop will be in East Williamsburg Brooklyn
@ Saint Nicholas Elementary
287 Powers St, 11211
And we will be working with kids ages 10 – 14.

The workshop is July 7th through July 11th,
Each day from 9am to 4pm
(although kids can arrive at 8am if need be)

As always, the program is free for all kids selected.
However, space is limited!

Visit http://www.omgeverywhere.org to APPLY NOW!

Summer STEAM camp for girls

Divas for social justice is an organization I just recently learned about and I like their mission to, among other things, close the digital media and media literacy gap for girls.

By the way, STEAM stands for science, technology, engineering, the arts and math.

They have an affordable summer camp for girls and I wanted to pass the info along. It looks like a fun way to spend the summer!

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Big Dreams for NY’s Youngest Children: The future of early care and education 6/17/14

I wanted to let you know about a panel I will be speaking on next Tuesday morning at the Center for New York City Affairs at the New School.  Here is the link to the panel which is coinciding with the release of a report focusing on policy and early care and education in NYC. I am happy that this report will shed some light on issues faced by those who often have the least access to power and support.  Programs that serve low income children and families in NYC are struggling in many ways and it’s important that people know what’s going on for children and for the women of color who work with them (majority of childcare workers are low income and women of color). We need to make some changes and my hope is that the release of this report and the words of the panelists will signal the beginning of that change.

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See you there!

Multiple choice tests for 5 year olds…I call bullshit

Bullshit is my favorite word of late.

I’ve been in the field of early childhood and elementary education for nearly 20 years now and what I’m seeing these days with the high stakes testing regime is utter bullshit.  I will not call it anything but what it is.

High stakes standardized tests.

They are not helping teachers understand what children know.

They are not helping parents understand what their children know.

They are not accurate reflections of what teachers are doing.

They are not forcing politicians to adequately fund public schools in all neighborhoods.

They are not addressing systemic poverty and the isolation of poor people in the United States.

Developmentally inappropriate, racist, classist, culturally insensitive, terribly designed and making rich men richer…that’s what all these standardized tests are doing. 

I am not here for it. I will not sit quietly while it happens. And I won’t stop spreading the word so that everyone knows that the corporate takeover of public education is wrong, harmful and out of control. 

This is an article that highlights the insanity…do you want your or any five year old learning how to take a multiple choice test in school?

Check out the links to the right of this post for organizations and people who are working to change the tide and stand up for children.