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What American Schools Just Don’t Understand (Or, Why My Family Might be Moving to Finland)

September 26, 2011
My husband and I are expecting our first baby in December, and we just might be moving to Finland within the next few years–unless schools around here get better soon. And by “better,” I don’t mean that they start churning out higher test scores. I want my daughter to go to a school where she can get her hands dirty. Where she can run around during the day. Where she can push her physical limits as well as the bounds of her own creativity. Where she can learn her reading, writing, and arithmetic but also essential life skills. A Finnish school sounds like just the place. For years now,...

Child Care Keeps California Working

September 23, 2011
Amparo Moreno cares for 8 children in her home, almost half of them with special needs and five of them eligible for subsidized care. Moreno's families are lucky. She used to work at a school for special needs adults and is passionate about helping children with behavioral issues master the social and self-care skills that let them attend school and become independent. "The child with special needs is the most loving person in the whole world," she said. When the family of one of her special needs children temporarily lost their subsidy, Moreno ran into difficulties. She was able to keep the...

MomsRising Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month – ¡Con Mucho Gusto!

September 21, 2011
On the occasion of Hispanic Heritage Month, September 15 to October 15, MomsRising is celebrating Latina mothers across the United States, ¡Con Mucho Gusto! (With great pleasure.) With a population of 50 million in the United States (1), Latinos have and will continue to contribute to our country in a myriad ways to our economy, our children’s education, and our culture. When Latino families thrive, we all benefit from their contributions whether through taxes to our economy, volunteer hours at our children’s schools, or multicultural events. In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month,...
Kristin's picture

Make Every Day International Peace Day - At Home or At School

September 21, 2011
Around the world, myriad creative activities have been organized for September’s International Peace Day. And for those who prefer reflection, there is an organized pause, or moment of silence at noon worldwide on September 21, 2011. But for those for whom International Peace Day may have passed them by, how can we create a sense of International Peace Day every day? It takes work, and mindful effort, but it doesn’t have to be complicated. Children from Chicago participate in Jane Goodall's Roots & Shoots Peace Day festivities (photo from by Jennifer Kim) On the global level,...
Homa Tavangar's picture

I think we're up to the challenge, WA State!

September 19, 2011
Woah, WA State-- this is big. Our state is applying to win a $60 million federal grant to back critical early child care and education programs. But with only a few Race to The Top, Early Learning Challenge grants available to all 50 states, the competition between states to get this money is going to be fierce. We have to be creative to bring funds into Washington State! So instead of only including letters from muckity-mucks as is usually done for federal grants, this time our Washington state leaders are also going to include a letter signed by all of us! That's right. Parents,...
Sarah Francis's picture

5 freedoms I enjoyed in school that my daughter won’t

September 19, 2011
At six months pregnant, like most moms and moms-to-be, I’m finding plenty of things to worry about. When I’m not fretting over my daily calcium intake or environmentally friendly diaper options, I find myself plagued with anxiety about the longer-term realities of child rearing today. I want to give my daughter the freedom I enjoyed as a child—freedom to move, imagine, and create. But in today’s paranoid, litigious, and test-happy culture, will I be able to? As kids across the country head back to school, and as I watch my belly swell, I’ve been thinking a lot about the freedoms I had in...

Beyond 9/11 - Love Not Fear

September 10, 2011
The age difference between my oldest child and youngest is ten years. The daughter who was in third grade on September 11, 2001 started her first year of college last week, and the “baby” is now at the same school, sitting in the exact same elementary classroom as her big sister did on 9/11/01. I resisted writing about the tenth anniversary of 9/11 – there’s already much opinion criss-crossing the airwaves, and there have been so many other tragedies – genocide in Rwanda, recovery in New Orleans and Haiti, famine in Somalia, tsunami aftermath in Asia, contempt for human rights in Iran – that...
Homa Tavangar's picture

NC Moms: What's on your "must have" school supply list?

September 8, 2011
Backpack? (Check!) Number 2 pencils? (Check!) Crayons and Kleenex? (Check!) It’s back-to-school time and with it comes the always fun school supply shopping trip! Over the next few weeks many of us will find ourselves crowded into the aisles of our local stores, looking for the best deals on notebooks and pencils as we try to make sure our kids have everything they need to start the year off right. But what our kids need most for a successful year won’t be found on those lists or in the stores. It's the teachers, the assistants, the counselors, the cafeteria workers, and the custodians who...
Beth Messersmith's picture

Civil Rights Group that Mobilized Tens of Thousands in Support of Kelley Williams-Bolar Applauds Gov. Kasich’s Decision to Grant Her Clemency

September 8, 2011 and flooded Ohio Governor’s Office with Hundreds of Calls Demanding a Pardon, the nation’s largest online African-American political organization, today applauded Ohio Governor John Kasich’s decision to grant Kelley Williams-Bolar executive clemency, reducing her felony convictions to first-degree misdemeanors. The single mother had been convicted after allegedly misleading authorities and sending her children to a school outside her district. After Ohio's parole board issued its recommendation Friday to deny Williams-Bolar any form of clemency,...
Dani McClain's picture

Daycare Advice for Expectant Mothers

September 7, 2011
Before our baby was born I received really good advice from a co-worker while I was only in my second trimester who suggested my husband and I should locate a child-care provider ASAP, well before the baby was due. It seemed crazy to me to have to start looking but we took her advice and I’m really glad we did. With my big pregnant belly we went out to visit a few large daycare centers and two at-home daycare locations. We weren’t sure what we would prefer but as soon as I saw the infant room at one of the big daycare centers I knew it wasn’t for us. Personally, it seemed like a little baby...
Michelle Noehren's picture