Dearest friends and family,
I hope this finds you and yours well. For many reasons which I don’t wish to recount here, we have been through some challenging times in 2020 and 2021. As you may recall, despite keeping Story Spark closed during 2020, I maintained and deepened our mission while giving back to the Amarillo community through the Story Spark Christmas Project. With your support and generosity, we were able to provide carefully curated gift sets which included a book and related play and educational items to over 60 children from low-income families in Amarillo.
This year through the generosity of the St. Andrew’s Episcopal School community, we have collected over 120 books to date, but now it’s time to play Santa and purchase all the play and educational items that will transform each book into a more meaningful and hands-on learning experience. My hope is that you will again support this project by giving any amount you can and by spreading the news to friends and contacts who may also be able to give at this time. Thank you for helping me spread peace, love, and books! The children, their families and their teachers are so very grateful.
Visit, donate, and share the GoFundMe Page today: https://gofund.me/fbc45243 or click on the red picture above.
With much love,
“Reading should not be presented to children as a chore, a duty. It should be offered as a gift.” -Kate DiCamillo, children’s author
“Play gives children a chance to practice what they are learning.” -Mr. Rogers
I owe every single person who donated or in some way supported the Story Spark Christmas Project a huge thanks and update on the success of our efforts.
In truth, I find myself a bit speechless and my mind starts spinning when I really think about it. So while words fail me, let’s start with the numbers.
Continue reading Good Tidings: Update on the Story Spark Christmas Project
I am so proud and excited to announce a special Story Spark Christmas Project. I hope you’ll join me in helping make the holidays extra special by spreading peace, love, and books!
Our goal: to bring books and book-based learning opportunities into the homes of economically struggling families in our community in order to make this Christmas extra special.
Our mission: In creating Story Spark , our mission was to enrich the Amarillo, TX community by bringing together families, children, and caregivers through book-based enrichment [classes] that SPARK deeper bonds, curiosity, and a love of learning. While I am unable to hold classes during these times, we can still uphold our mission and support our community by helping get books and book-based learning opportunities into the homes of families who may be struggling with finances or overall family well-being.
Continue reading Turning the Page on 2020
There are few things cuter than baby hands or feet. I can’t get enough of the way those little toes curl or the way those little hands clap with glee or manipulate things around them. Ok, except for the hair grabbing, poking me in the eye, or trying to pull off parts of my body like a nose or nipple… yikes! But seriously, those sweet toes and fingers are the cutest torture devices that exist.
Because they’ll grow way too fast and because messy play is so much fun, why not create some keepsake crafts to decorate with during the holiday season, using those adorable hands and feet!
Continue reading 5 Keepsake Crafts for the Holidays
It’s always magical to see children learning from a young age to appreciate and celebrate their heritage as well as the diverse heritage of others. I’m one of those people who loves the word diverse, y mas en español, diverso, porque todo suena mejor en español. I can’t help but mention here that I recently had a conversation with a man who shuddered as I described my high school alma mater as diverse. He claimed that “diverse” is a word that democrats have stolen and made dirty… don’t get me started on that. So I just want to say it again: (Dear Sir) I LOVE THE WORD “DIVERSE”!
Continue reading 5 Bilingual Latino Books about Christmas
“I don’t want to be generous,” he said as we stood in a Target aisle full of toys.
“I know, love. Being generous is hard…”
“It’s TOO hard mommy,” he interjected.
“… but it will make other people SO happy.”
“It will make other people so happy?” he said with puzzled big brown eyes, head tilted to the side.
Continue reading A Toddler’s Lesson on Generosity
As teachers, sometimes our hands are tied by school or district policies when it comes to exposing our little learners to cultural or religious holidays. I was always glad to be allowed to teach holidays, as long as these were taught in an all-inclusive way that made children aware of the diverse ways and days people celebrate but didn’t promote one over another.
Continue reading 5 Books that Teach Generosity
We have made it to my favorite time of the year: The Christmas and Advent season! I recognize and respect the diversity of holidays and ways people celebrate them, but for me, it’s Christmas and there are a lot of family Christmas traditions that make me all warm and gooey inside.
Continue reading Be Kind Because You’re Decent: A Rant about Santa and Elves