By Caroline Jones
This past Sunday, I was driving back from Maine and passing the time in traffic with the wonderful podcast “This American Life”. One of the episodes, “The Birds & The Bees”, explored the complexities of explaining all kinds of difficult issues to young children.
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.
My seven-year-old daughter recently attended a two-hour day camp with a River Wildlife theme for a week. Wildlife on The River – the St. Lawrence River – includes fish, osprey, frogs, otters, and herons (the five themes for five camp days).
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.
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.
My six-year-old daughter loves Sesame Street. I dread the day she feels too mature for the silly muppets with their quirky personalities, multicultural community, easy jokes, and advanced vocabularies. Watching it with her brings back many innocent childhood memories, and I love sharing that with her.
I went to the Vermont AfterSchool Conference on October 24 where I was inspired by the variety of programming available for out-of-school-time programs. Surprisingly, I was even more inspired by the keynote speakers.
The conference kicked off with Rebecca Holcombe, Vermont Agency of Education Director, sharing her four key values: show passion, create partnerships, be innovative, and be humble.
Sarah Stewart Taylor, a CLiF presenter and author, interviewed CLiF’s founder and executive director Duncan McDougall for a recent parenting piece. Sarah summarizes the aspects of reading supported by our programs – relaxing and enjoying the moment, modeling by reading yourself, repeating books, and letting kids choose.