The leaves in Michigan are beginning to make their descent to the ground, which means around the corner is snow… for now we will be thankful for every day of sunshine, warm breezes, and the ability to see green grass. Here are ideas for talking justice with your family.
I have piles of books, paper flying, ideas moving, so many prayers.
We have a Kids Talk Justice book coming! I’m so excited and terrified. I’m longing for Jesus to be close.
I know we feel that closeness most acutely in the voices of our children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews. I can’t wait to include those voices in the book! They are fantastically brilliant at this stuff and I want to hear from them as the pages take shape!
I will include their voices as sidebars throughout the book
and also in social media that encourages.
Everyone who participates will be entered to win a $25.00 gift card to Barnes and Noble. Any parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, teacher or friend who recruits and helps a young person with the questionnaire will be entered to win a $25.00 Starbucks gift card. I’m looking for ages three through eighteen.
I will deliver, send to you via email with attached PDF, or mail with return envelop. Just let me know your preference for recieving the questionnaire! firstname.lastname@example.org
Beyond your children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews etc… do you have a small group, classroom, or team that might like to contribute? We love all voices!
For the past year I have been in the humblest spaces. Places where no echoes, pathways turn into dead ends, and the silence is never-ending. Somehow in the midst of all those questions and rejection, God gave me the biggest surprise.
I am so excited to share this journey with you. So many of you have supported me from the very beginning. I could not be more thankful for your voices, hearts, and encouragement.
My heart is so happy to be writing something that means so much to me.
And I would love to ask for your voices!
Would you be willing to lend your voices? Here’s how you can help!
Help your kids answer the Kids Talk Justice Questionnaire! You can print it off in PDF, or let me know you are interested and I’ll get a copy to you! You can access them here: elementary/teen questions and young kids questions.
You can lend your voices with one simple question. How do you talk justice with your family?
Sign up for the Talk Justice quarterly newsletter for updates on the right side bar of the website or let me know and I’ll sign you up.
Here is my encouragement to you:
never give up- for God is able to do immeasurable more than we could ask or imagine.
Happy September and start to a new school year. Praying you feel the beauty of a changing season. Here are some talking points for your family to talk about justice together.
Loss and Hope: The children of 9-11 and what they can teach us. More than 3,000 children lost their parent that day. Their stories of loss and hope.
Refugees: I am Syria. A gentle, illustrated look at the reality of Syria and the needs of refugees. Perfect for children.
but in my heart I look ahead to the rebuilding of our cities.
Poverty:Landfill Harmonic a coming documentary about a recycled orchestra born out of a slum alongside a landfill in Cateura, Paraguay. Hope. Watch the trailer here. Ask the members of your family what they are thinking!
Kindness and Innovation: A teen the creates an app called Sit with Us, so no one has to sit alone in the cafeteria.
Our Global World: Follow the Out of Eden Walk from Paul Salopek, a reporter who has set out to retrace our ancestors global migration on foot. He will cover 21,000 miles. The photographs and stories are striking. Follow his travelogue together.
What happens when you become a war refugee? You walk.
Literacy and Education: Emma Watson interviews Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, authors of Half the Sky and A Path Appears.
The kids painted Olympic rings and completed an obstacle course. My parents prepared Olympic gold medals for all our participants.
We were able to support Kids’ Food Basket by decorating one hundred lunch sacks, Holland Rescue Mission with a trunk load of clothing, and $31.00 to The Flint Water Fund. As hard as it is to believe, people in the state Michigan are still struggling to have clean water. It’s a great reminder that when initial news stories die down, there are still people living in that reality.
Refugees: Displaced people now surpass 60 million. One in every 113 people have been driven from their home due to violence, persecution, or human rights violations. What do your kids think of that number? Where should those families go?
Girls: #LeanInTogether is a new initiative to encourage leadership in girls. When women support one another great things happen.
This past Thursday, The Office of Social Justice had a launch party for the Immigrants are a Blessing not a Burden Campaign at the Holland Museum. Your family can join in too. Visit the website to Sign, Share and Wear! My family shared below, as you can see immigrants are very dear to us. Open up conversation with your kids. Immigrants are all around us deepening our lives and contributing to our communities.
Holiday Kindness Camp
What?! How is it mid-October already? The leave are beginning to change colors here, which is beautiful and also a little bit of a bittersweet feeling to me, because I know winter is lurking. If you look at a calendar you know holiday preparations and fun will be filling our weeks soon. Join the sequel to Kindness Summer Camp, Holiday Kindness Camp. We’ll be giving out great ideas to incorporate kindness for five weeks in November and December.
Fall #TalkJustice Playgroups
If you are local, don’t forget our upcoming fall #TalkJustice playgroups, a veterans playgroup in partnership with Herrick District Library and Hope College’s Big Read, and a playgroup benefitting Kids Food Basket in partnership with Grace Episcopal Church. Join the Facebook Event Page to get updates!
Get ready for #GivingTuesday, this year on December 1, 2015. Talk about what organization or family you might like to support. Make plans ahead of time to be able to make it a reality on Dec. 1.
Watch the movie trailerHe Named Me Malala, the story of Malala Yousafzai shot by the Taliban for attending school, and later winning the Nobel Peace Prize for her activism. If you have read the book, you will also see reflected in the movie the strength of Malala’s Father. He broke conventional beliefs to make education for Malala and other girls a priority. As adults we make a difference when we talk about justice with young people.
Consider trick or treating for UNICEF! Or maybe matching the number of treats your kids collect to a family donation. $15 provides safe drinking water for a year to a child. $30 provides Measles protection to 100 kids. Just $5 provides five meals to a hungry child. I’m going to have Ant Man and Scarlet Witch this year!
October is Fair Trade Month
Check out the Buy Fair Trade Fair website. See if you can substitute a product you use in your life with a fair trade equivalent.
The busiest times for food banks is around the holidays. Before you take a hands-on shopping trip to donate, try calling first and asking about high need items. When we did a justice playgroup for our local food pantry this summer, they really needed personal hygiene items. We were able to gather and meet their greatest need at that time. Here is a list of high-quality items that can benefit most food pantries.
We had a great time last week at our second play group One Hen! We read the true story of Kojo and how a microloan led to a hen that changed the lives of a family, community, and country. We were able to take a trunkful of high-need supplies to Community Action House. I’m so thankful for all the families that have taken the time to come out to the park this summer. Above you can see a talented group of egg balancers!
So many sweet world changers.
We really hope to see you this coming Tuesday evening, June 30 at 6:00 pm. (Kollen Park, on the east side of the public bathrooms.)
Last Tuesday evening, we held our first summer service play group! We were able to gather about 100 welcome kits for Holland Rescue Mission. We had super intelligent kids during the story If the World Were a Village, great helpers, and sweet families making a difference together. Wetfeet ACTS shared beautiful artwork about the book.
I’m so thankful to everyone for taking time from a busy summer evening to give back to our community. It made my heart so happy. Also, I am so thankful to everyone who helped and offered encouragement, projects like this take a village, just like we learned in the book!
I’m so excited for this week’s group, around the story One Hen.
Tuesday June 23: One Hen
6:00 PM at Kollen Park! (We are on the east side of the public bathrooms)
One Hen is the story of Kojo and the one hen that changed the future of an entire village. Join in on the egg and spoon relay race, farm animal puppets, sidewalk chalk, sack races, world volleyball, soccer, and bubbles.
We will be supporting Community Action House. Here are the items they shared with us that are high need. Items they continually run low or completely out of. Please bring an item or more if you are able!
Shampoo and Conditioner
Feminine Hygiene Items
Whenever we talk to our kids about justice issues we can be positive, because there are so many ways we can help! Even though the topics can be heavy, we can make a difference, and that’s something to be excited about.
In the United States we have many options for education. Even here, not every opportunity is equal, nor every school district. Globally this is even truer. Many students, especially girls will never have the opportunity to attend school and better their lives. Opening up kids worldview of school is a great place to start. Once they understand that education is a gift that others don’t have so easily, families can begin making a difference beginning in their own schools and expanding locally and globally.
Equal Access to Education Discussion Starters:
Help your family go deeper:
What factors make acquiring education difficult for kids?
Child labor- some kids need to support their family instead of going to school
Access- some kids lack transportation or a close school to attend
Money- some areas lack resources to have school supplies, teachers, or safe buildings
Disabilities- some schools do not have resources to help students with disabilities
Gender- poverty forces some families to choose who to educate and they choose boys before girls (so girls can work, do chores, or watch siblings.)
Violence- war or conflict keep some kids at home instead of attending school safely
Hunger- can make learning difficult for students
Immigration- language and cultural assimilation can create challenges to learning
Are their schools in our area that have less than others?
After thinking about barriers, how do you feel about receiving free education through twelve grade?
#TalkJustice Summer Serve Play Groups! Come over to our Facebook Event Page to learn more. Invite friends! We will be exploring topics and making a difference in community, using a series of books donated to us from CitizenKid. Hosted by About Proximity (that’s me) and my Mom, a public school family advocate for two decades.
What have been your insights into equality and access in education?