– Alana Schober, Founder and Owner of Sparx Studio
When I taught kids in the classroom with the set out curriculum, I found myself more drawn to teaching them lessons about social skills, health, and overall mental wellbeing. I strongly felt that these concepts were not taught enough in the everyday curriculum and that schools are focussed too much on academics. I think society and the education system needs to support kids to be empowered and healthy in addition to knowing what the square root of a number is.
Written & Illustrated by Saraa, Age 12. Saraa lives in Vancouver, British Columbia
My name is Saraa and I am twelve years old. I’m really excited that my story will be shared on Kids News and Reviews. It’s about how I feel about this Thanksgiving. I am excited about this because I think that a lot of other kids might be feeling the way I do too, and that is why I’m writing this story.
I think a lot of other kids might be feeling like me this Thanksgiving even if they do not have to write an assignment about it.-Saraa
Growing up in Brazil and living in six different countries provided me an amazing opportunity to learn a lot about the children I worked with in all these multicultural environments. These children inspired me to create an imaginary world – one full of animals and fantasy.Lucia Matuonto, Children’s Author & Illustrator
Interviewed by Lorrie Holmes
KIDS NEWS & REVIEWS: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself. Why you created your children’s books and what they are about.
LUCIA: I am a physiotherapist. I specialize in working with children with special needs, and I have enjoyed doing this for the past 14 years. For many years, I taught and treated children with motor and cognitive disabilities, and I have learned a lot about children through these experiences.
HALLOWEEN WINDOW ART REVIEW
By CELESTE & NINO, aka the @rockinsiblings!
This is Celeste and Niño from Rockinsiblings. We are two creative kids who like to keep busy doing all sorts of fun things and are so excited to be sharing our first review with you today for Kids News & Reviews! We had a chance to review the Halloween Window Art Kit from @window.art.kits and we have nothing but good things to say for the product. First of all, it is proudly made in Canada. If you are like our parents who have been trying to find locally made products, then this is good to have in your toys to love.
The message from my book that I want to bring to other people is how to be accepted; how to learn and adapt to new environments, and to just be proud of who YOU are.Isabella Murphy, Award Winning Youth Author & Poet
KIDS NEWS & REVIEWS: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
ISABELLA: I’m the author of From Dark To Light. It’s a popular picture book for children and their families. I’m also the proud recipient of First Place Winner of the Penn Craft Award in the category of children’s books. I also write poetry and won the 2018 Half Moon Bay Library Teen Poetry Contest for my poem, “I Felt Rhapsodic,” inspired by the poetry of Emily Dickinson. I have presented numerous readings of my work to youth and adult audiences in the San Francisco Bay Area and in Texas. I love writing and sharing my stories, and also enjoy acting, playing guitar, singing, and golf.
For this mom-daughter homeschooling duo, books are only the starting point to setting up more learning. From activities to adventures, their favourite titles inspired them to try new things, explore new places, craft their days away and ultimately, create their own blog at My Kidz Bookshelf!
As part of our Back To School theme, we are exploring many different ways to learn – from outdoors to in-class, online to at home. We will continue to share these resources for families during these unprecedented times. Today we are happy to include this homeschooling story about a mother and her daughter and how they went about finding their own resources for learning at home, and how this all grew into a joint project that has continued on.
What started out as a common interest in reading, creating, and exploring new places lead us to become the bloggers of My Kidz Bookshelf. We recently celebrated our one year ‘Blogiversary’ and are so excited to be featured by Kids News & Reviews today!April
Saplings Outdoor Program is Fostering Our Children’s Sense of Wonder for the Natural World
By Lorrie Holmes
Getting outdoors with our kids is a theme that I decided upon many weeks ago when focusing on Back To School recommendations for our families. It felt like an obvious choice to consider around social distancing. It wasn’t until I arranged to spend an afternoon joining in one of the forest camps offered by Saplings Outdoor Program that I was able to see for myself just how much is involved in such a program. This reaches far past the safety of taking learning outside while we are all wanting to have our own space, and delves deep into the areas of mindfulness, education, and overall health of each child who is lucky enough to participate.
Saplings Outdoor Program is located on Vancouver’s breathtaking North Shore. On this particular day, forest camp was in session at Douglas Woodward Park in West Vancouver. What an eye opener this was for me to witness how kids naturally self regulate, explore, and learn through play in the outdoors. Heather Fraser, Owner and Forest Educator, was there to greet me at the entrance, where I followed her and a small group of children into the woods. Off we went along a trail, then one by one, we climbed up onto a fallen tree, and crossed it to the other side. This is where we met up with the rest of the group who were busily exploring their surroundings around the base camp which was set up here for the day.
The goal of my program is not to educate children about nature, but to learn within it. Through play, exploration, and wonderment, learning about nature has become a natural byproduct of the program.Heather Fraser, Owner/Forest Educator
Performing songs for families and seeing the kids and their parents laugh and smile while they sing along fills my heart! However, it wasn’t until I attended Westside Music Together classes with my own children that I was inspired to be a music educator myself, as well as write my own children’s songs and perform them.-Katie Brock
Interviewed by Lorrie Holmes
Q & A on KATIE BROCK
KiDS NEWS & REViEWS: Our first question is not for Katie but rather for Katherine of West Side Music Together since Katherine is responsible for the creation of this story. So Katherine, can you please tell us why you offered to sponsor this story when I followed up with you about a recent story where we featured your music program.
KATHERINE: “Sure! We are so happy to sponsor a story on our alumni Music Together teacher Katie Brock. She taught Music Together with us for 13 years and we are thrilled to support her adventures in songwriting and performing! After working at Music Together for a number of years Katie began experimenting with her own songwriting and it was clear she had a gift. I love the playful lyrics and sweet melodies she creates and it’s been a joy to watch her build her repertoire. She has such a creative spirit and a giving heart and I wanted to help her share her gift more widely so more families can experience what her songs have to offer. After teaching at West Side Music Together for 13 years we would of course welcome her back in a heartbeat but we are thrilled to support her new adventures in songwriting and performance!”
Let’s make kindness contagious!Written by Sammie Vance
Hi I’m Sammie Vance. I’m eleven years old and I live in Fort Wayne, Indiana. I love to spread kindness and encourage others that they can too! In 2017, when I was 8 years old, I heard about buddy benches at a church camp. A buddy bench is a place for when someone is lonely, shy or bullied, where they can sit on it and others will know to ask them to play. I had been lonely and knew other kids were too, so I knew my school needed them. I drew a comic explaining how a buddy bench worked and spoke to my principal. He said we would try and get one in a year since collecting 400 pounds of caps needed for one 6 foot bench may take awhile.
Being the go getter that I am, I did this project differently because I collected lots of plastic caps and lids myself to make the buddy benches! I spread the word by asking lots of friends, classmates, pharmacies, coffee shops and other businesses to help me collect caps. With the communities help, we collected 1,600 pounds of caps in only 2 months! This was enough for 3 buddy benches for my school with plenty of leftover caps to help other schools get started.
Advocacy has no age limit.Written by Kate Gilman Williams, Youth Author & Animal Advocate
My name is Kate Gilman Williams. I am 10-years-old and live in Austin, Texas. I will be in 5th grade this school year. When I was 7, I traveled to South Africa and met an incredible safari guide named Michelle. Michelle taught me so many things about animals. She also told me that humans were the biggest threat to animals, causing many of them to be endangered and even face extinction!