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!



FREE doula training in Brooklyn!

I went to the Momsrising conference last year and one of the many things I learned was that the NYC Department of Health had been awarded a sizeable grant to increase access to and information about breast feeding, particularly in low income communities.
A friend who is active in breast feeding awareness & support posted this info about a free doula training. Doulas are very helpful in supporting women to understand all their birthing and feeding options and can help support moms with breastfeeding.
What a great opportunity!

I hope that many people apply and participate in this training which is geared towards those who live in or near Bed Stuy and Brownsville.

Check it out!


When the Beat Was Born: DJ Cool Herc and the Creation of Hip Hop

Our Saturdays are usually as busy as weekdays, filled with sports and exercise commitments. This past Saturday was the first one in a very long time when everything was cancelled, so we found ourselves completely free. We almost didn’t know what to do with ourselves.

However, the weather was gorgeous in Brooklyn this weekend so we ended up spending a lot of time outdoors and walking around.

At one point we ended up at the central library at Grand Army Plaza. I have been itching for a bunch of new books and my 8 year old needed some new book inspiration as well.

We both came away with some good books and I want to share one in particular with you. When the Beat Was Born: DJ Cool Herc and the creation of hip hop is such a lovely picture book!

The story is well written and gives you a sense of who DJ Cool Herc was as a young teen and how he came to create hip hop. The illustrations are nice too- they’re playful and don’t feel baby-ish to my middle childhood reader.

The author’s note was very interesting too! It’s cool to see how the author came to experience hip hop for the first time.

I’m glad we found this book and we plan to purchase it for our home library.

Meeting with parents in Brownsville, Brooklyn who are opting out of high stakes testing

On Monday morning 3/24/14, I will be heading to a school in Brownsville, Brooklyn where more than 2/3 of the third grade families have chosen to opt their children out of high stakes testing.

Brownsville is a community with a very high concentration of low income families and many of the local public schools struggle on various ways.

High stakes testing negatively impacts all children, but it most negatively affects children from low income communities. When many children score poorly on these high stakes tests, their school gets put under further scrutiny and the curriculum literally narrows down to ONLY focus on test prep all year round. School admins feel pressure to raise their kids test scores, since their jobs literally depend upon the scores. It’s a vicious cycle.

Parents recognize that they can exercise their rights and say ‘No’ which in turn forces the NYSED and DOE to use alternative measures to assess children and teachers.

If you’d like to come to learn more from me and these parents about why and how to opt out, please email me at the ‘contact me’ link to the right.

Preschool diversity conference

I am honored to be a presenter at Maple Street School’s first diversity conference next month!

My son attended Maple Street for his first three years of formal schooling and it has helped to shape his identity and attitude towards life and learning. I am proud of Maple Street for launching this conference but I am in no way surprised. Maple Street is a place where children are encouraged to be themselves- whatever that looks like at any given moment.

Would love to see you there!

Playing in the projects- preschool for low income children

If you’re interested in learning more about the work of the organization I am the curriculum director for, join me and two of our teachers on Wednesday at The College of New Jersey

We will be sharing information about the organization, Brooklyn Kindergarten Society and the joys and challenges of teaching children in low income communities in Brooklyn, NY.

See you there!

Food Power Conference by MomsRising

Today I attended the Food Power Conference developed by MomsRising (a wonderful organization you should check out Moms Rising).
It was an invigorating day filled with passionate bloggers, parents, and community members who are committed to addressing the childhood and adult obesity epidemic rampant in the US and particularly in low income & communities of color.

I particularly loved watching the documentary Soul Food Junkies by Byron Hurt because it really teased apart many of the nuances of WHY soul food is an important part of black culture (historically) & HOW soul food can’t and shouldn’t be the only thing we focus on when trying to address the ‘problems’ in Black people’s diets.

There are many issues here to be discussed and if we are to make any headway on the massively daunting rates of diabetes, high blood pressure, pancreatic & other cancers in the Black community, we need to be willing to have tough and complicated conversations.

The breakout session on junk food marketing to children made my blood boil. I am inspired to work more with others and with organizations on this issue. I will post more links and info when I get involved.

Check out the MomsRising website and get involved! Our children need us to fight for their presents and futures