Book trailer video for My Dog Is the Best

I LOVE this book trail­er for My Dog Is the Best! Not just because it’s adorable (it is), or because it’s my first book trail­er (yep), but because so many spe­cial peo­ple helped make it a reality.
First, check it out:

Isn’t that CUTE? Of course, huge thanks to Paul Schmid for pro­vid­ing the art. My sweet hus­band record­ed the audio (with my awe­some sis­ter-in-law’s help) of my dar­ling niece “read­ing” the book: She’s too young to read just yet, so she mem­o­rized the whole thing! And my tal­ent­ed friend Lelynn did the ani­ma­tions and edit­ing. Thanks so much, everyone!
I hope you enjoy it as much as I do! 🙂

Be a Changemaker introduction video

To my delight, I’ve had sev­er­al teach­ers con­tact me about speak­ing to their stu­dents at the kick­off of a unit using Be a Change­mak­er in their class­rooms. While I’m always thrilled to do a quick, live Skype call if the tim­ing and per­mis­sions work out, so far it’s been eas­i­er for every­one if there’s a pre-made video that they can just have pre­loaded and ready to go.
So, here’s an infor­mal “hel­lo” video that any­one can use to intro­duce me and my how-to book for teens, Be a Change­mak­er. Enjoy!

YOU Can Be a Changemaker: the video webinar!

My pub­lish­er for BE A CHANGEMAKER, Beyond Words, does an awe­some week­ly series of live video webi­na­rs with their authors. Here’s the record­ing made from my spot on Sep­tem­ber 10, 2014. Check it out: maybe you’ll dis­cov­er your pas­sion and fig­ure out how you can be a changemaker!

Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah on Oprah’s OWN

I just found this short video that Oprah recent­ly did on Emmanuel Ofo­su Yeboah, the sub­ject of my man­u­script ONE IS ENOUGH. I’ve been work­ing on this sto­ry, in some form, since I first heard about it in 2005, and I still find it inspir­ing. I hope you will, too.

An Update on Emmanuel Ofo­su Yeboah

Three years after Emmanuel’s Gift was released, Emmanuel Ofo­su Yeboah shares an update on how his life has changed since that time. Find out about Emmanuel’s sports acad­e­my, his pas­sion for soc­cer, his fam­i­ly and how he’s changed the lives of mil­lions of peo­ple in Ghana.

If you’d like to read more about Emmanuel and his mis­sion or find out how you can help, please vis­it his foun­da­tion’s web page here.
You can also read about him:

in this book

or this documentary.

Teaching Social Issues in Elementary School

In my most recent issue of Social Stud­ies and the Young Learn­er (Vol­ume 23, Num­ber 4, March/April 2011) from the Nation­al Coun­cil for the Social Stud­ies, there’s a brief arti­cle enti­tled “The Uncom­pro­mised Cur­ricu­lum: Videos of Teach­ers Teach­ing Social Jus­tice Issues,” by Deb­bie Sonu. Deb­bie talks a bit about how dif­fi­cult it for today’s teach­ers to include social jus­tice lessons despite nar­row, test-focused cur­ricu­lums. She took videos of three of these deter­mined teach­ers in action, and they are noth­ing short of inspiring.
Watch the videos here.
These are class­rooms I would’ve loved to be in as a child (heck, I’d love to be in them now!), and you can see how engaged the kids are with the dif­fer­ent top­ics. What I love most about all three of these approach­es is the respect each of the teach­ers has for her stu­dents. In the first, the teacher tells her fifth graders that it’s okay to let their dis­cus­sions wan­der where they will and not stick to the pre­pared ques­tion list. In the sec­ond, the teacher tells her first graders they are not ask­ing first grade ques­tions, they are ask­ing col­lege ques­tions. And in the third, the teacher asserts that all children–gifted or not–have the abil­i­ty, and in fact the need, to dis­cuss these kinds of issues.
Kudos to these teach­ers, and to Deb­bie Sonu for shar­ing them with us!