Want More Diverse Books? Here’s What You Can Do

When marginalized children don’t see themselves represented in books, they internalize the belief that their stories, perspectives, and experiences are less valuable. They learn they do not matter. Conversely, when white children, straight children, able-bodied children and boys only see themselves represented in books they learn that their stories, perspectives, and experiences are “normal.” They learn they matter more than others.

ALL kids need to see themselves and others in books.

Here are a few concrete steps you can take to promote diversity in children’s publishing: Continue reading “Want More Diverse Books? Here’s What You Can Do”

A Word on Thoughts and Prayers

After every tragic – and preventable – mass shooting, the offering of “thoughts and prayers” via Twitter and other social media platforms has become customary. Following swiftly behind is the derision of these offered “thoughts and prayers.” While I tend to agree with the perspective that many of those offering these thoughts and prayers – particularly GOP officials and supporters – are dangerously hypocritical, I have also felt torn by the shredding of “thoughts and prayers” as political rhetoric with no inherent power or value. Continue reading “A Word on Thoughts and Prayers”

Pumpkins, Hay Rides and Sunflower Fields

Every year, we go in search of the best local pumpkin patches. Two years ago we went to Pastorino Farms in Half Moon Bay and Webb Ranch in Portola Valley. Last year, we went to Moore’s Pumpkin Patch in Dublin.

This year, we trekked down to Spina Farms Pumpkin Patch in San Jose. Far…near Coyote Valley. It was perfect. Not too commercial, not too much traffic (although I started working at 6 am so I we could leave in the early afternoon on a weekday), pumpkins laid out beautifully, an interactive learning center, a mini-hay bale maze, giant orange chairs, a sunflower field and of course, rides! Namely, a train, a hay-ride, and a barrel train ride. And this doesn’t even include the petting zoo or pony rides, which are weekend-only attractions. Continue reading “Pumpkins, Hay Rides and Sunflower Fields”

Hold Fast to Dreams (Or, How to Pursue Writing while Juggling Young Kids and a Full-Time Job)

Dreams
Langston Hughes

Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.

Hold fast to dreams
For when dreams go
Life is a barren field
Filled with snow.

Though I’ve always loved reading, I did not grow up with dreams of becoming a writer. Those dreams came as I explored my commitment to education, equity, youth, stories, and social change. Writing, like most things I’ve pursued with passion, sits at the intersection of these pillars. I believe that writing stories is one way I can make a difference in the world. And what else are we here for, but to make a difference in this world that sorely needs change? Continue reading “Hold Fast to Dreams (Or, How to Pursue Writing while Juggling Young Kids and a Full-Time Job)”