Wise Words

Each week I aim for 500 words and generally, I’m in the ballpark.  This week is an exception and as you read on, you’ll see why.  Even though this week’s is longer, I hope you’ll stay with me because it’s about our three speakers at the Seed’s 40th birthday celebration.  We selected three inividuals to cover significant focus . . . Read More

Maps for Teachers, Too

The end of the school year feels like a fast moving train about to arrive at the station.  It seems like three weeks ago that we started our 40th year, and here we are almost finished.  Teachers are working on assessments, final projects, and bringing closure to big studies.  In the background we’re gearing up . . . Read More

Calling Me Forward

It’s Thursday afternoon and I’m sitting at the table where a significant chapter of the Seed’s history began.  It’s the same Starbucks table where, on Christmas Eve years ago, Danielle and I first entertained the idea of her eventually stepping into the directorship of Awakening Seed.  It seems like such a long time ago, yet . . . Read More

Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop

This week as the temperature crept toward 100, Seed artists added final touches to our new mural. On the wall along 40th Street, it’s like no other mural among the dozens painted throughout the Seed’s South Phoenix history.  This one was a community effort, bringing together ideas and talents of many.  It began through a generous . . . Read More

Smart (and Kind) Cookies

Last week’s Earth Day celebrations delivered a wealth of blogging topics.  On Friday morning, as the Toddler 1s practiced placing recyclables in a bin with a huge recycling symbol on it, the Seed was visited by Channel 3 for a segment of Good Morning, Arizona.  The interviewer, Lina deFlorias, was masterful with the children.  She started . . . Read More

Most Benevolent Garage Startup

Boxes arrived this week filled with our special edition 40th anniversary t-shirts.  The design took an interesting detour right before the final proof stage.  Originally, an illustration of the earth was inside the zero.  While working on a draft for the mural design, we played around with making the zero into a peace sign.  The . . . Read More

We Are Family

Monday was National Sibling Day.  I’m grateful to my three siblings, each for his or her specific contribution to my life.  Admittedly, I was at times the bossy older sister, and it has been noted that my two youngest siblings were camped outside my bedroom counting the minutes till I packed up my things and left . . . Read More

Learning to Ask

Our Earth Day celebration of the Seed’s 40th birthday is just around the corner.  In fact, it’s occupying most of my mental real estate at the moment.  It’s an event that involves a number of lists, from which several of us are dutifully checking off items.  This week I started a piece of art for . . . Read More

It’s A Sign

In case you haven’t noticed, the Seed needs a new sign.  It’s been tagged on numerous occasions and has a few layers of paint on one side covering up the evidence.  The other side has a small metal piece layered on with the website squeezed into a too small space.  Our trusty, although outdated, sign . . . Read More

Shedding A School

Monday morning presented a reminder of why I still teach kids to be writers.  It was a story about Jimmy Breslin who died on Sunday.  Breslin, 88, was a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist who wrote a column for the New York Daily News.  He was known for his empathetic stories toward the working class.  One . . . Read More

Ancestral Archives

It’s snowing this morning in rural Nebraska as I think of my friends, family, and colleagues in Arizona warming up to 90 degree temperatures.  I’m here checking in on my parents for a few days.  Each time I return to the town where I grew up it’s a dip into my ancestral archives.  Sometimes it . . . Read More

An Education for Life As Global Citizens

The Seed Grandparents Group is alive and well.  We met on Monday for a presentation and, at their request, a potluck.  It’s always so gratifying to be among this group.  Previously we met and made a list of potential topics for discussion.  One request was to talk about what we do at the school to . . . Read More

The Kindness Diaries

After a quiet three-day weekend, it was especially heartwarming to return to the Seed.  This time of year when spring is deciding whether or not “winter” is over is particularly delightful.  With warmer early mornings, activity options expand.  A small group of toddlers learning to blow bubbles on Tuesday morning demonstrated this point.  Eight young . . . Read More

Voices from the Paint Jar

At first glance, the name of our summer art camp might seem odd.  If you lean into it for a bit, I think you’ll understand.  Our intention for the summer is to provide an arts program for children that invites creativity and self-expression.  Additionally, this year we’ve included a social justice piece, as we explore . . . Read More

Up Close and Personal

On my walk this morning, I heard the writer Elizabeth Gilbert  quote her mom in a podcast.  She said, “The big picture is in the details.”  She was talking about the way in which the bigger view of a situation can be revealed in the details of a story.  It seemed applicable for this week . . . Read More

Let the Stories Begin

As I write this, teachers and parents are engaged already in midyear conferences.  The amount of preparation that goes into these conferences is significant.   Lead teachers do most of the work and there are additional layers of staff support that round out the process.  It’s a major wave of stories documented and preserved for . . . Read More

Voices Near and Far

It’s been a week of hearing voices, and not the kind that might question a person’s sanity.  On Saturday, I drove down to the state capitol to participate in the march.  I didn’t go with the intention of protesting against anyone or anything, I simply wanted to be there and be a part of it.  . . . Read More

And the Conversation Continues…

I’d like to say something about the teachers.  I mentioned last week our meeting to discuss how we could expand our conversation about race, culture and diversity.  I didn’t realize at the time how quickly they would take it to heart.  This week conversations have been popping up all over the school, many inspired by Dr. . . . Read More

A Curriculum for All

At our staff meeting on Monday, the lead teachers sat together to take a closer look at what we do at the Seed to promote diversity.  Utilizing materials from Teaching Tolerance (http://www.tolerance.org), an educational project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, we began with these two questions for each teacher: How do you incorporate culture . . . Read More

Go High

I’ll admit, it was good to have a break.  We traveled to the ocean for a few days and I caught up on my sleep.  I didn’t make as much progress cleaning out my art room, but I did finish a writing project that had been looming.  It was a good time to pause and . . . Read More

Whoever You Are

Seed magic was alive and well last night.  Onstage for the first time in South Mountain High School’s auditorium, our Seeds put on a show that warmed hearts, dazzled eyes, delighted ears, and offered a message of hope.  With Mem Fox’s book Whoever You Are (http://memfox.com/books/whoever-you-are/) as a starting point, one-year-olds through 4th graders danced . . . Read More

Keep Moving It Forward

Everything changed a month ago and I’m still regaining my footing.  It hasn’t been easy and I know, in comparison to a vast majority of people on the planet, my life is blessed.  I know the shift that needs to happen is within and that’s where my focus lies these days.  Looking for inspiration last night . . . Read More

There’s Always Dirt

This week Gwen’s Castle and its outlying area became an art gallery.  Inspired by the work of Andy Goldsworthy, a British artist who works with nature to create his art, the 3rd/4th graders made their own sculptures and arrangements.  This project was part of the Seed’s Art Masterpiece program, where parent volunteers present a lesson . . . Read More

Not So Random Acts of Kindness

Fifty-three years ago on November 22, the President of the United States was assassinated.  I was twelve years old.  All weekend we sat glued to the TV, watching John F. Kennedy’s family grieve in public.  Seeing JFK’s young children say goodbye to their father was one of the most heartbreaking scenes I’d witnessed thus far . . . Read More