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Early Childhood Education Changes Lives

15 May

On November 13, 2009, I added a postcript to this post  about a young man who spent most of my visit to his school crying. I was able to talk to him, in Spanish, and reassure him that everything was okay. It was his first week of preschool.

This week I made my last visit of the school year to his preschool. He’s still there. In a year and a half, he’s become a confident, sweet, smiling little guy. He speaks to me in accented, but very good, English.

Next year he’ll be in Kindergarten, and I won’t see him.  I will miss him. I wish I could follow him and find out how he progresses in life. I have a feeling, though, that he’s gonna be great.

Never doubt that Early Childhood Education changes lives.

Inside Of a Bear, It’s Too Dark To Read*

4 May

Today we were reading A Pet For Petunia by Paul Schmid, one of my new favorite books.

Skunks are AWESOME!

Petunia wants, WANTS, WANTS a pet skunk, and is completely indignant when her parents say no. There’s a page-long rant by Petunia that’s great fun to read aloud (and had the kids and teachers laughing). After her rant, Petunia decides to run away to the forest, where, in all likelyhood, she’ll be eaten by a bear. THEN, she declares, her parents will let her have a skunk.

I asked the preschoolers: “Will she be able to have a skunk after she’s eaten by a bear?”

“No,” said one young lady.

“Why not?” I asked.

“Because you can’t get out of a bear.”

Wise words…

*with apologies to Groucho Marx.

Life Isn’t Like the Movies, Especially When It Comes to Frogs

27 Apr

My frog puppet, Freddy, was demonstrating his excellent hopping skills. He just kept going, so I asked the kids how we could get him to stop.  One young man, holding his hand out as if he held a remote, said, “pause him.”

Oh, that only works in the movies.

Be Happy.

25 Apr

I was reading Big Frog Can’t Fit In by Mo Willems to a group of toddlers. We had arrived at the page where Big Frog’s friends are going to help her. “What should they do?” I asked.

“Help her,” an adorable little boy responded.

“Yes…,” I said…

“So she’ll be happy,” he continued.

Pause.

“Like me.”

……..

LOVE.

I’m 16 again!

19 Apr

Today we read Wolf’s Coming by Joe Kulka as part of a birthday/parties themed storytime (thanks, Seth, for the recommendation). On the last page is a picture of wolf, looking dapper in his suit and tie, blowing out the candles on his cake. A young man commented: “he’s 16.”

“How do you know?” I asked, thinking there was some picture clue I was missing.

“He’s old.”

From now on, I’m 16 too.

What Monsters Are Made Of

14 Apr

Today we were reading The Dark, Dark, Night by M. Christina Butler, in which frog discovers what he thinks is a pond monster.

I was informed of this by a young man: “Monsters are made out of costumes.”

I think he has a point.

Things I Never Thought I’d Say In Storytime: Pt. 2

7 Apr

To a CHILD:

“Put your cellphone away. We’re not taking calls during storytime.”

[Okay, I admit, it looked like an old one with no battery. But she had it in her pocket and felt compelled to take it out and pretend to take a call during stories.]

I’m sure there are LOTS of things you can do better than Justin Bieber.

26 Mar

After storytime, a girl came up to me and said excitedly, “I’m going roller skating after school today!”

“That sounds like fun,” I replied.

“Yeah, but I have to ask my mommy and daddy first. Because you can’t go skating every day by yourself!” she said knowingly.

“That’s true.”

“I can skate really fast,” she said excitedly.

“Can you?” I replied.

“Yes. I can skate faster than a cheetah, and faster than Justin Beiber!”

Now I haven’t done an exhaustive search for information on Justin Bieber’s*skating skills, but I suspect she’s telling the truth.

*Yes, I did have to go back and correct the spelling of Justin BIEber’s name. And I’m not ashamed of that.

There is no downside.

14 Mar

We were reading Chris Haughton’s Little Owl Lost (one of my new

He's upside up!

favorites; I adore the color palette!). On the first page, we see Little Owl and his mommy in their nest in the tree, sleeping. There are no words on the page. I asked the kids: “what’s happening?”

Girl: “They’re sleeping upside-up.”

Of course. If there’s an upside-down, can’t there be an upside-up? Or is that downside-down?

Preschool time machine

24 Feb

We were talking about octopuses (okay, octopi. But the kids don’t believe me when I tell them that’s how you refer to more than on octopus). Somebody mentioned they squirt black or purple ink.

“They sometimes squirt pink ink,” a little girl said.

“Oh?” I replied.

“Yes, because this one time, when I was 14, I was with an octopus, and it squirted pink ink, and then we swam away.”

Somebody check her house for a time machine.

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