Like countless other children, my son recently saw the acclaimed new Disney Pixar movie, Inside Out. And like countless other parents, I quietly wept through just about the entire movie. Among the many striking moments, characters, and messages in the film was one specific creature who got me thinking – Bing Bong, the since-forgotten imaginary friend to the movie’s protagonist.
Author Archives: Gretchen Stern
At CLiF, much of our work occurs behind the scenes. We spend many hours scheduling events, organizing logistics, communicating with coordinators who are on the ground in various communities throughout Vermont and New Hampshire. While we love what we do, nothing compares to hanging up the phone, logging off our email, and stepping out from behind our desks to get face-to-face with the communities, families, and children we serve.
The Children’s Literacy Foundation (CLiF) is looking for an energetic, intelligent, and motivated Summer Intern. This individual will receive an in-depth introduction to how a busy and productive non-profit is run.
CLiF seeks an intern with a strong interest in literacy and children to work in the Waterbury Center office on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays for at least six weeks this summer (exact dates TBD).
What do skiing, books, and microcontrollers all have in common?
The CLiF Community Literacy Conference, of course!
In all honesty, the skiing was only a background as attendees sat slopeside in the conference room at The Mountain Club on Loon. While the spring skiers glided past the window, teachers, principals, librarians, and other eager past, present, and future participants in the CLiF Year of the Book (YOB) grant shared ideas on how to make CLiF programming efficient, effective, and sustainable.
Well, maybe not a “slugger.” More like a clunker.
His pitching is anything but fast, his tiny hands can barely close his glove, let alone catch with it, and he usually forgets to run the bases when his bat finally makes contact with the ball.
I’ll be honest – I burst into tears.
At first I didn’t believe it. Emmett’s friend (who is nine) had been sitting with him looking at a book when she alerted me: Emmett can read. I said, “What?! Really? Are you sure?”
“Watch,” was her response.
When the temperature sneaks above 20 and the sun pokes out of the winter grey, I seize the opportunity to take my son skiing.
He’s gone a handful of times, and each trip out to the slopes is a clean slate.
As parents we often exhaust ourselves prodding our kids to use their manners:
“Remember to say please.”
“How do you ask nicely?”
“What’s the magic word?”
“What do you say now?”
We want them to be polite, appreciative, socially appropriate beings, and sometimes forcing them to use manners doesn’t feel like the most effective or authentic way to do it.
It’s a drizzly, dreary afternoon. The blocks have towered and the cars have raced and the crayons have drawn. But it’s still drizzly and dreary.
Cue the whining.
My son’s new favorite I’m-bored-phrase is “but who will play with me?”
That’s when it’s time for the box.
When it comes to good grandmas, my son, Emmett, hit the jackpot. Twice. He inherited not one but two nurturing grandmothers who ooze affection for him and are thrilled to spend every waking moment giving him attention and endless snuggles.
But where Emmett’s winnings failed him is that both of his grandmothers live TOO FAR AWAY.