Showing posts with the label educational

Adirondack Education: Children and Earth Day

My daughter and I are bonding over our annual Earth Day celebration by cleaning up the parking lot for Ampersand Mountain. After donning her gardening hat and gloves she announces that she really doesn’t enjoy cleaning up other people’s garbage and would prefer ice cream. I tell her the ice cream will be a good treat to celebrate our job well done. She is not buying any of it. She is rather insistent with her garbage-picking protests. It’s not like I am asking her to wear the stuff like a hair shirt but just hoping to increase her awareness. She is sometimes oblivious of those little scraps of paper that escape from her hand. I finally am able to encourage her to join me, letting her know that even if she can’t go down the hill to get the garbage I need her help with the detection of it. She makes a game of “I-Spying” the trash with me retrieving it. Today she has X-ray vision for spotting cups, wrappers, bottles and bags lost under leaves and thrown over the embankment. The c

Live Theatre can improve Children's Literacy and Social Skills

A 2006 South Australian study into arts education indicates that going to the theatre can improve children’s literacy and social skills. The Children's Voices study documented the impact of live theatre on 140 State Government primary school students over three years. It was conducted and jointly funded by the Department of Education and Children’s Services, The University of South Australia and Windmill Performing Arts. Windmill Performing Arts project manager Julie Orchard, who is a Department of Education and Children’s Services teacher, said children’s oral and written language improved significantly during the project. In a prepared statement, author of the report and director of the study, Professor Wendy Schiller, Director of UniSA’s de Lissa Institute of Early Childhood and Family Studies Research Group, said the children’s response to live arts performance directly affected their learning and their lives. “The most noticeable impact was the children’s marked gain in lit

Adirondack Youth Climate Summit Video

If you missed the live stream of the The Adirondack Youth Climate Summit that took place this past weekend at the Wild Center, please check out the video of the event. Workshops were scheduled throughout the two-day event pairing students with experienced personnel to inspire the 150 participants to come up with working models to green their schools and communities. Twenty high schools and six universities participated in this inaugural event. These institutions will serve as models in energy efficiency, sustainable energy usage, building maintenance, landscaping & grounds management, school & community garden planning, and how to affect the current science curriculum in schools. Read more

Banned Book Week

This is a celebration of choice, to have the freedom to read without censorship. This is a celebration to have an open dialog with children to understand and discuss why (not that I agree) some countries or communities take a stand against certain books. I try not to ever let an opportunity to teach tolerance pass by. Books Banned at One Time or Another in the United States according to Adler Books A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle Annie on My Mind by Nancy Garden As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner Blubber by Judy Blume Brave New World by Aldous Huxley con't Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson Canterbury Tales by Chaucer Carrie by Stephen King Catch-22 by Joseph Heller Christine by Stephen King Confessions by Jean-Jacques Rousseau Cujo by Stephen King Curses, Hexes, and Spells by Daniel Cohen Daddy's Roommate by Michael Willhoite Day No Pigs Would Die by Robert Peck Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller Decameron by Bo

Color blind Test

Today is the first day of school for my now 1st and 4th graders. After doing a meet and greet with the 1st grade teacher, I moved along to my son's classroom. There is something disheartening to have to explain to a teacher that your child, who receives wonderful grades, thrives in school and enjoys learning is unable to distinguish between the red and green markers used on the Smart Board. Luckily, his teacher is amazing, thoughtful and willing to watch out for any issues. For most people being colorblind (a misnomer) is never an issue. If anything, it should be more accurately called color deficiency. It only effects 8% of males typically of European descent and 1% of females. The most common type is red/green from an inherited mutated X chromosome. Yes, he received that from me as well as his sparkling wit. My father carries the same trait and assures me that it never hindered him at all plus we were able to place blame on his fondness for mixing patterns and a flair for black

Wildlife Habitat Day

Speakers from the Nature Conservancy were on hand at the 2nd annual Wildlife Habitat Day at Wildlife Refuge in Wilmington on Saturday, May 30th. Handouts and demonstrations were given to educate the public on invasive species to the Adirondack Park. The Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program (APIPP) is one program partly sponsored by the Nature Conservancy that helps to coordinate t the Aquatic Invasive Species Project and the Terrestrial Invasive Species Project. Aquatic Invasive Species include: Eurasian watermilfoil Curlyleaf pondweed Water chestnut Terrestrial Invasive Species include: Garlic mustard Fly and tatarian honeysuckle Purple loosestrife Japanese knotweed Common and smooth buckthorn for a complete list of invasive plants and how best to education yourself and children on their removal, please go to Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program ( for more information.

The Joy of Giving

My children have mastered with great success the joy of getting. Whether it is a birthday party or a trip to the store, they have quite a bit of freedom of choice. They choose their snacks, vote on meals and certainly have strong opinions on the gifts they would like to receive. Since they know nothing else, they do not realize that other people may not have as many choices available. The more challenging aspect of parenting, for me, is to strengthen a generous spirit. As with everything it is teaching by example and I can only hope to show my children the same generous nature my parents showed to me. Since I am not the perfect example of parenting, sometimes life presents the opportunity to help me make giving tangible. The Joy of Giving Party’s whole purpose is to foster altruism in children in the hopes that cultivating an unselfish behavior when young will inspire such behavior as adults. Each family is asked to bring an unwrapped gift (new or used) that has real meaning to the ch

Tilting at Windmills

Energy, alternatives and the rising costs of fuel have all garnered a lot of much needed press lately. I am a supporter of alternative energy, the funding of it and the need for it. Though I am not the perfect example of using it. I do not yet drive a hybrid and my home is not powered by alternative energy. My excuse for the latter is that I am currently renting and looking to buy. My excuse for the former; I am waiting for my current car to make the choice for me. It doesn’t excuse me from teaching my children that every decision I make whether it is the gas I put in my car or the means that I use to turn on the lights, is not an easy one. We have errands to run in Malone and decide mid-trip to check out the wind turbine farm that has conjured up all sorts of controversy. I have seen wind turbines in the Altamount Pass when visiting Northern California and from the highway they looked quite serene, lining the ridge as I drove on I 580. Of course I was just visiting and the wind