The Hidden Joy Of Sport

Pure joy. 

That is the only way to describe the feeling that washed over a dozen nine year-old girls and their families last Sunday. After losing every soccer game during the fall season, a 3-1 victory in their first spring match sent them running off the field jumping into each other’s arms with grins so wide they seemed to leap right off their face.

The feeling was contagious.…


How To Save Art

During a classroom visit last week, my nine-year-old daughter showed me a project, featuring side-by-side drawings of the same subject – in her case spring. One was a realistic depiction and the second an abstract version. Accompanying the pictures was a biography on the Russian artist Kandinsky whose work they learned had a similar transition from the realistic to abstract.

The most remarkable thing about this lesson in perspective was that it was not part of their art class, but instead central to a social studies unit on Russia.…


Are You Feeling More Restless?

Last week, my five-year old daughter suffered a small fracture in her tibia just below the knee. Ultimately, she will be fine. As they say, we grow stronger in all the broken places. For now, she is laid up with a removable knee brace, unable to walk, go to school, or move freely about on her own.
 
She has warmed to this new situation. Reminiscent of Hodor and Bram from Game of Thrones, she must be carried everywhere and has an innate power over all of us as we cater to her every desire. The

One Woman’s March

“There was once a town in the heart of America where all life seemed to be in harmony with its surroundings. The town lay in the midst of a checkerboard of prosperous farms, with fields of grain and hillsides of orchards, where white clouds of bloom drifted above the green land. In autumn, oak and maple and birch set up a blaze of color that flamed and flickered across a backdrop of pines.”


I’m Not Throwing Away My Shot

For the last few years, I’ve resisted the hype over the Broadway show, Hamilton.  After all how can one play be that good, that transformational?

While I still haven’t seen it, Santa Claus did place, the cast recording in my daughter’s stocking.  And from the music alone, I can say definitively that I was wrong.

It is a masterpiece on many levels – a historical primer on our nation’s founding and a paragon for using music and art to entertain and educate.

What I Learned From A Day At The Park

I am lucky to live in a village where the word public means something good. The public schools are excellent.  The public parks are beautiful.  The public library thrives year round. 

For most the 19th and 20th century, the public was preferred over the private. We held our public institutions in high esteem and were skeptical of the motives of private enterprises.  

In the last several decades the tables have turned.…


What My Daughter Taught Me About Giving Thanks

Each Thanksgiving is an annual rite of passage to think about those things for which we are thankful.

In our home, like I suspect in many others, it’s usually a cursory reflection lasting just a few minutes before we dig into the turkey and stuffing.

But shouldn’t real gratitude be a little more expansive than this?

Do me a favor – take this two-minute quiz to see how grateful you really are?


I Hope You Don’t Ace This Test

Clinicians use a common tool to assess the extent of toxic stress a child experiences during his or her childhood. It’s called the Adverse Childhood Experience test, or ACE for short. It’s a simple tool made up of just 10 yes/no questions.

Please take two minutes and take the test.

In his New York Times column, David Brooks succinctly summarized the adult outcomes associated with higher ACE scores.…


Would You Prefer to Be Healthy or Smart?

What would you say is more important for your success? Your health or your education? We asked Americans which five-year-old is more likely to be successful — one with access to a good education but no health care, or one who has access to a great doctor but poor schools?

People overwhelmingly chose education by a margin of four to one. But consider this:

  • If a child is sick with untreated asthma, he or she will miss school and opportunities to learn.

Name Calling

When I was six, my mother called me “Little Professor” even though she had never met anyone who went to college, yet alone taught at one. She called me this simply because I wore glasses and liked to read.

At LIFT Communities, people who come looking for assistance are called “members” as a sign of being equal to everyone who works there.

And at the public charter school, KIPP NYC, incoming students are called by the year of their expected graduation…from college!…