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!

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!