Salamander Sky Wins a Riverby Award from the John Burroughs Association

Photo by Tania Barricklo

What a day. We attended an award luncheon hosted by the John Burroughs Association, who’s mission is to enrich lives through nature by celebrating the legacy, writing, and natural world of one of the great American nature writers.

Not only did I finally meet the incredible illustrator of Salamander Sky Meg Sodano, in person, but we had a lovely lunch with Green Writers Press founder Dede Cummings, and a room full of nature advocates, writers, and their families.

Once I saw and hugged Meg, well, I could have gone home then. I cried great big happy tears. We worked for years together, but only met virtually, and sometimes across oceans.

Then, we saw our little salamander book with a great big silver medal on it, and we squealed like little kids.  In the Yale Club. It seems like a place where people don’t really squeal.

via GIPHY. But seriously, the room had hand painted nature and park scenes on the walls, and we sat at a SALAMANDER TABLE. With moss. I was home there.

Continue reading

A Poem, Skiing Under the Lift and Passion Projects with Equity

Welcome to 2019. I know it’s a little late, but’s here’s a poem to welcome you into the year.

So much snow! It has been a tad bit chilly here in Vermont, but the snow has been simply magical, and we are going to get walloped again Saturday night.

Speaking of snow, here is a post I put up on Thrive Global’s Medium publication, called Skiing Under the Lift. I hope you will join me in metaphorically skiing under the lift– living your passions no matter who is watching– a little bit more.

I also just posted this about how to make sure educators are promoting equity in their passion or genius projects, so we don’t simply reproduce the inequity of resources that our students might face. This was so clear in Ann Braden’s new book, The Benefits of Being an Octopus, which features Zoe, a girl living in poverty (like so many of our students) in Vermont.

Hoping your 2019 is off to a good start!

Support for Raising Teens

This post is sponsored by the Center for Parent and Teen Communication.  All opinions (and memories!) are my own.

She has come so far. When you slow down to think about it, this is nothing short of amazing.

Then….

I’ll never forget the day my daughter made her first attempt to communicate using sign language. We had been teaching a few basic signs for the words more, light, eat, drink, and sleep. Those concepts that help parents communicate with babies and toddlers before they can use words and can prevent tantrums and frustration. We really needed that. I was holding her on my hip in her bedroom after a bath. I had flipped on the light to change her diaper and she looked up, her slate blue eyes seeing the shiny overhead light as if for the very first time. She took her tiny fingers, put them in a ball, and then opened them, looking up, and pointing with the other hand. She was making the sign for light. “Yes!” I said, “Light!” Her face lit up (oh yes, I meant that pun!) in understanding. She was glowing, exuberant, satisfied.

We understood each other.

Now…

As I watch her sprint toward the finish line at a cross country race, I see all at once this same determination, spirit, and courage. She juggles homework, her love of reading for hours on end, practices, and time with her sister on a daily basis, while remaining curious, open and kind. How incredible is it that these people we helped learned the basics of communication and how the world works can do all of these things at once now? Continue reading