Back to the Grind

Returning after winter break is always a mixed bag of feelings.  On one hand, it seems like we just get used to a more open schedule, then it’s time to get back to our school routine.  I know I wasn’t the only one feeling this on our first day back.  Several parents used the phrase . . . Read More


A Void in Our Crowded Place

On Friday morning, as the hustle and bustle of carnival setup was transpiring, I received news that my longtime mentor and friend, Ralph Peterson, passed on from this world.  It was fitting that he left us on the same day as the carnival.  Ralph and his wife Georgia attended many Seed carnivals over the years.  . . . Read More


May We Be

On Saturday we held the annual retreat for our Seed board of directors.  I don’t often write about the board, since our work is primarily behind the scenes.  The board is a guardian of the Seed, looking out for everything from the annual budget to the school’s long range vision.  Primarily Seed parents, either current or . . . Read More


A Beginning with Intention

When I teach young writers, one of the first things we work on is topic selection.  We discuss how the challenge isn’t usually having something to write about, it’s deciding which of many topics to choose.  That’s how I feel about this summer.  In the six weeks since I wrote my last blog, I’ve walked . . . Read More


Holding Space

 Forty-one years ago I signed on to bring forth a school, which has now become Awakening Seed.  I was 25 years old at the time, just barely an adult.  I made the commitment because I knew it was the right thing to do.  I had two young daughters then, and I wanted them to have . . . Read More


An Earthworm Civics Lesson

Last week we received a wonderful surprise.  News arrived from the community service branch of Brady, our janitorial supply company, that the Seed had been selected as the recipient of a $2,500 Brady Shines grant to help fund our new walkway, which will enhance handicap access to our playground.  It was a reminder of the . . . Read More


An Honest Week’s Work

The Seed was infested with ants when we returned from spring break.  Not the kind of ants the PreK class is studying, human ants.  During our week off, Bill ordered fourteen tons of sand to be delivered.  The pile loomed by the swings and sand circle, inviting possibility.  Mobilization of the work force was in . . . Read More


Lucky to Be Alive Right Now

Like some of my colleagues and friends, I had the good fortune of seeing Hamilton last week.  It was like nothing I’ve ever experienced.  Everything about it was exceptional, and as I continue listening to its soundtrack, more is revealed.  Several major themes keep circling around in my mind, including standing up for what you . . . Read More


A Pile of Rocks

Years ago, while visiting a friend near Concord, Massachusetts, we took a day trip to Walden Pond.  I’ve been a fan of Thoreau since my teens, so standing in the space where he spent his two years, two months, and two days at Walden Pond was significant.  That day I soaked in the essence of . . . Read More


Sharing Space

Action figures arrived from home in sets of five.  As the week unfolded, those same figures brought acceptance and respect alive in a whole new way.  Over the weekend their teacher cleared enough cubicles for each child to have a personal space.  Before long, the classroom looked like a colony of condos.  Toys, blocks, and . . . Read More


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


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


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


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


The Sun Will Rise Again

On Tuesday morning, the day of America’s notorious election, I took my daily walk.  For a brief moment I gazed at the sky to see a cloud formation that reminded me of Arizona’s flag.  At that particular time I wasn’t even thinking about the election, I was reflecting on a fleeting but meaningful friendship I’d . . . Read More


A Kindhearted One

My circle of elders is dwindling.  As of Sunday evening, the circle is minus one more.  Marilyn Russell, age 93, passed peacefully from this world.  Marilyn was the mom across the street, the mom who pulled our wiggly teeth, the mom who made us feel like she loved us as much as her own kids.  She made . . . Read More


Work That Matters

The Seed is abuzz with Earth Day enthusiasm.  This year our focus is on using reusable drink cups, containers, and shopping bags, as well as looking at myths surrounding recycling.  Added to that, the lead staff met Monday to discuss an article called, “For Students, the Importance of Doing Work that Matters.” Author Will Richardson writes:  “ . . . Read More