Monthly Archives: February 2016

Education for Social Development

Education for Social Development

One of the things I loved best as a child was “dress up”. This type of play always involved delight, drama, laughter , self examination, a flurry of ideas about self-identity.
My first delight in Kindergarten was looking around the room and seeing the play house and play kitchen.
I remember so much about kindergarten, i can only wish for all children the most wonderful first experience in school. So it happened that I came upon this editorial in the NY Times and remembered again some of the wonders of that experience.


Here’s my letter to the editor, scroll down on the link, It’s the last one. 🙂

To the Editor:

As an educator and a parent, I was reminded of a personal experience in Caitlin Daniel’s exploration of the financial and nutritional costs of children’s food preferences.

In 1960, in a Dewey-inspired kindergarten in Southern California, I was treated to “tasting parties.” Our teacher would arrange small pieces of foods like kumquat on a plate for us to taste. The bittersweetness of the kumquat fed the idea that tasting a new food could be an adventure.

American children from cultures beyond the United States’ borders experience many flavors and nutritional boosts that their more assimilated neighbors lose. School multicultural nights and pot lucks capitalize on building community through sharing dishes from many cultures. In our family, our children asked for plantains after tasting them at school, and another mother taught me how to prepare them.

Writing about food and favorite recipes has been a staple of the whole-language curriculum, and it encourages food studies that broaden cultural awareness. Schools can and should support better nutrition, education and community building.





Hand in Hand Begins



A mural, a message, an opportunity to be a part of our community in new ways. A project that would bring people together to make a statement about who we are, our lives and our spirituality. This is what we envision as we begin.  Georga Accola, Kathy Creutzburg and Sarah Lilly gathered at the wall, PSUMC’s 8th St. and Sixth avenue mural  for the adventure of creating a new mural for our church community.

The church council awarded us a grant for the work and now the plans begin to take shape. Kathy is an artist who  works in murals, mosaic and sculpture and has created work with Georga’s school and At-risk teens upstate.

She will work with our church community in workshops that first develop ideas for the mural and then help in it’s installation. Kathy will bring the ideas together in a design and guide us through the process. You can view some of her work at her blog

Georga and Kathy will lead workshops on Sundays this spring to involve our church community and Sunday dinner guests in the process. I am making connections with our youth and other youth in the area in a call for young people to contribute their ideas to the new mural,

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First step: repair the wall and create a neutral surface to work from. This will   require removing the existing mural, patching the wall and then putting on a “skim coat”. It looks like it’s a good time to do some regular maintenance on the wall, too.   I’ll be talking with trustees on how to make that happen.

Meanwhile, I need to contact our youth and other youth groups in the area to see if we can get our surrounding community to have in put into the message of the mural. I would love your input or comments on the process.