I missed the original Harry Potter buzz – I’m not sure how as I worked in a bookstore off and on from 1996-2002, during which the first four books were released. I made up for this last week, when I got swept up in my eight-year-old’s excitement over Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.
In most of my life roles, I can feel overwhelmed by the information on how to be or do them better, how we can achieve that ideal balance where all parties (kids, friends, coworkers, and family members) feel heard, valued, and bolstered as individuals and also “team” members.
Recently, I saw a Facebook post on habits of productive people. I have a love-hate relationship with those lists, but this time I paused, because some of the highlighted habits were reinforced for my daughter at her second-grade student-led conference.
Recently, my daughter has started to carry an additional backpack to school – one of those square, drawstring, logo-laden bags that one can often acquire at an event. When asked what she carries in it, she replied, “My book club books!” Here is how the discussion went:
Me: “What does it mean to have book club?”
Her: “Me and Elle read and talk about books.” (Said with some disdain.)
Me: “When do you do book club?”
Her: “At recess.”
Me: “You take the library books outside?”
Her: “Only when it is nice out, we haven’t had book club in a while.”
Luckily for her, she has found special friends who share her love of reading.
“My child is not a strong reader, and we’re struggling to find a book he will stick with. He’s easily discouraged, and he says he hates reading. Can you help me find a book he’ll like?”
I’ve been asked this question many, many times.
I volunteer in the school library every Friday afternoon. A few weeks ago, my scheduled time overlapped with a special program called “I Can Hour.” Because the school librarian did the bulk of the event’s organization, I was pressed into service.
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.