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Diversity, Inclusion & #Activate4Autism Movement

Diversity, Inclusion & #Activate4Autism Movement

Please welcome, Jodi Murphy of Geek Club Books, with today’s pots on #Activate4Autism movement.

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“When we speak about diversity and inclusion, it’s important to include everyone in our community, and that includes those on the autism spectrum. I activate my voice for autism.”

I’m speaking out for diversity and inclusion for all. For the last 3 years, I’ve participated in Multicultural Children’s Book Day because, like its founders Mia and Valerie, I believe that children must be able to find themselves in the books they read. Beyond seeing diversity in literature, I want to see inclusiveness spread into every aspect of our culture, especially for those on the autism spectrum.

Chances are someone in your community or social network is on the autism spectrum. You may not be aware of the challenges they face. Most grow up with a sense of shame because they’ve been stereotyped, judged as strange, and often bullied for being different. If you have a loved one with autism, you know how important it is that we help the public gain a deeper understanding of the autism experience. Read more…

Marc Gargaro boxing trainer for US National Elite Team

HOW TO COACH GIRLS Progress Report

We are so thrilled to have fifteen coaches lending their wisdom to How To Coach Girls. The lineup of coaches is below. After the interviews were conducted, two of these coaches received recognition:

Acacia Walker, Head Coach of Women’s Lacrosse, Boston College was named NCAA Division 1 Women’s Lacrosse Coach of the year!

Marc Gargaro, Boxing Trainer, Nonantum Boxing Club was selected as a national coach for both the men’s and women’s USA Boxing Elite National Team that competes in the Pan Am and Olympic games.

Marc Gargaro boxing trainer for US National Elite Team

With 70% of kids quitting organized sports by age 13 and girls quitting at six times the rate than boys, it’s clear the the priority for coaches and parents is to keep their girls in sport!

The benefits of sports for girls are numerous: higher self esteem, higher high school graduation rates, lower teen pregnancy rates, less issues with body image, travel opportunities, overcoming adversity, setting and reaching goals, making new friends, and fitness for life.

We hope our book will help parents feel confident to volunteer as coaches, and coaches to feel like they have a resource that has practical ideas for creating team chemistry and keeping girls engaged in sport.

Ainslee Lamb on how to keep girls in sport:

And now for our lineup of coaches:

Fabian (Fabe) Ardila, President at MGA Sports Inc., and High Performance Court Coach, USA Volleyball

Fabian (Fabe) Ardila has coached volleyball for almost 30 years. In addition to having held the position of Assistant Coach for Harvard University, he has coached high school volleyball for both boys and girls at Newton South, Wellesley, Sacred Heart, and Weston High Schools. He currently coaches at the club level for Smash Volleyball, as well as at his own club, MGA. For the U.S.A. Women’s National Volleyball Team, Fabe was a coach for the setters who competed at the Rio Olympics under Coach Karch Kiraly. He is currently working at U.S.A. Volleyball with high performance athletes, training future Olympians. Last, but certainly not least, he coached his three daughters who all play at an advanced level.

How to Coach Girls Read more…

#MistressOfAllEvil

#MistressOfAllEvil Prize Pack GIVEAWAY!

I’ve partnered with Disney Hyperion for this Mistress of All Evil Giveaway. They are supplying the prize package.

Why does Maleficent curse the innocent princess? What led to her becoming so filled with malice, anger, and hatred? Many tales have tried to explain her motives. Here is one account, pulled down from the many passed down through the ages. It is a tale of love and betrayal, of magic and reveries.

It is a tale of the Mistress of All Evil.

Are you excited for the fourth book in this series? I’m giving away a prize pack that includes all four books and a color changing branded mug! Read more…

FREE Classroom Empathy Kit: Immigration & Refugees

FREE Classroom Empathy Kit: Immigration & Refugees

Our FREE Classroom Empathy Kit is ready to download and share!

As our fifth Multicultural Children’s Book Day holiday approaches on January 27, 2018, we are thrilled to present our second Classroom Kit for teachers, librarians, parents, and guardians.

Our 2017 Multicultural Children’s Book Day Classroom Kindness Kit is here.

Our 2018 Classroom Empathy Kit has a special poster from award-winning author Juana Medina. This kit’s emphasis is on understanding the immigrants and refugee experience and includes a booklist along with some excellent activity ideas. Read more…

Picture Books That Celebrate Working Together & 2 Signed Book GIVEAWAY!

Picture Books That Celebrate Working Together & 2 Signed Book GIVEAWAY!

I fell in love with Finding Wild when I first read it. It was lauded by a lot of picture book bloggers and Instagramers that I follow, so it caught my eye. I hunted it down at my local book store, and I thought it was such a gem. It captured childhood and adventuring in a sweet, gentle way. It’s the idyllic childhood that we all dream about.

Now, the author and illustrator of Finding Wild are back with another picture books that captures the small joys and adventures of childhood: fort-building. I haven’t read it yet, but I am looking forward to it.

 

Fort-Building Time by Megan Wagner Lloyd, illustrated by Abigail Halpin

From the creators of Finding Wild, a new picture book that follows the changing of the seasons and is as cozy as a fort.

Author Megan Wagner Lloyd is here today, sharing her 10 favorite picture books that celebrate working together. It won’t surprise you that her list includes other sweet and gentle adventures of friendships both new and old.

We are giving away 2 signed copies of Fort-Building Time! Please fill out the Rafflecopter at the bottom to enter.

10 Picture Books That Celebrate Working Together

10. Roxaboxen by Alice McLerran, illustrated by Barbara Cooney

In this classic picture book, kids build their own pretend town called Roxaboxen. One thing I love about this story is that it shows how the line between work and play can be so fine for kids. [picture book, ages 4 and up]

9. Colette’s Lost Pet by Isabelle Arsenault

This sweet new picture book shows a group of neighborhood kids coming together to help Colette find her lost pet. In a darling twist, it doesn’t seem to matter to the kids that Colette never had a pet to begin with—they’re ready to be her friends! [picture book, ages 3 and up]

Read more…

Asian Culture Series: Asian Crafts and Activities & 2 Book GIVEAWAY

Asian Culture Series: Asian Crafts and Activities & 2 Book GIVEAWAY

I’m excited to announce a quarterly series with Debbi Michiko Florence, author of early chapter book series Jasmine Toguchi! We want to highlight Asian culture in a way that kids can relate to and that means … hands-on activities, food they can help prepare and eat, and a book list!

Mia Wenjen and Debbi Michiko Florence

We have crafted a series of six topics, one per quarter for the next year and a half, that explore Asian culture in a fun way: Asian New Year, Asian Drumming, Pink Flamingo Day, Picnic & Scavenger Hunt, Snow Statues and Sumo! We hope you will enjoy this series!

To kick of this series, we are also giving away two of Debbi Michiko Florence’s Jasmine Toguchi books. To enter, please fill out the Rafflecopter at the bottom.

Read more…

Diverse Children's Books

#DiverseKidLit #ownvoices Linky

Our theme for this #DiverseKidLit is #ownvoices. The #ownvoices hashtag was created to draw attention to diverse authors and illustrators who are creating books that honor their own heritage and experiences. (As always, the theme is only a suggestion. Diverse posts on alternate topics are always welcome.)

What Is #DiverseKidLit?

Diverse Children’s Books is a book-sharing meme designed to promote the reading and writing of children’s books that feature diverse characters. This community embraces all kinds of diversity including (and certainly not limited to) diverse, inclusive, multicultural, and global books for children of all backgrounds.

We encourage everyone who shares to support this blogging community by visiting and leaving comments for at least three others. Please also consider following the hosts on at least one of their social media outlets. Spread the word using #diversekidlit and/or adding our button to your site and your diverse posts.

DiverseKidLit

Read more…

Visiting California Institute of the Arts (Cal Arts Valencia)

Visiting California Institute of the Arts (Cal Arts Valencia)

The first stop of our west coast art school tour was California Institute of the Arts, or Cal Arts Valencia. It’s about a hour away from the LAX airport, give or take traffic. The good news is that you are generally going in the opposite direction of traffic, but take that lightly, because even “no traffic” does not mean that there are no slow spots.

We left from Torrance and it took an hour and half each way, and I would, having grown up in Southern California, consider the traffic to be light.

Visiting California Institute of the Arts (Cal Arts Valencia)

Once you arrive at Cal Arts, you go through a guard stop into the parking lot. It’s set in suburban sprawl that feels recent and very much like Orange County tract houses and commercial developments. The school itself though, is an oasis of creativity.

My daughter, Grasshopper and Sensei, has mixed feelings about Cal Arts since she is looking for a very specific art school experience. She wants a foundation year; Cal Arts does not offer one. She wants to study Industrial Design. Cal Arts does not have this major. She’s interested in film; perhaps animation but not character animation necessarily. Cal Arts has the most competitive Character Animation program that is a feeder into Pixlar and other coveted animation studios.

Visiting California Institute of the Arts (Cal Arts Valencia)

So why Cal Arts for her? It was the school tour that sold her. She loved the vibe of the school. She loved the Creative Animation program that is animation meets fine art. She also likes a school where kids are committed to their school experience and willing to collaborate. Cal Arts has that in spades!

Read more…