The way you measure a society’s soul is by the way that it treats its children.
Kidz Newz #156 – 13 December 2016
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A Library is a Rainbow
‘Look at that — look at that! That’s a library — a library is a rainbow in the clouds.’
So said Maya Angelou. Having seen this quote for the first time, I now find myself seeing it everywhere. It reminds me of when I was about 7. It was lunch-time at school and I felt like some peace and quiet. Perhaps it was a hot day? I found myself at the library, a magical room with wall-paper of Disney characters and others from childhood classics. Now it was empty! As I tip-toed in, a voice called out, “Can I help you?” I timidly asked the librarian if it was all right for me to be there at lunch time, to which she replied, “Of course.” I was stunned. I spent the rest of the lunch hour engrossed, feeling privileged that I was on hallowed ground. I could take my time and enjoy the bliss of this experience all on my own. Spending time in a classroom and having siblings meant being on my own was a rarity I cherished.
Clearly, Maya Angelou valued libraries too, but hers was an especially poignant feeling. Here’s what she had to say of her experience:
‘No. God didn’t just put the rainbow in the sky. … God put the rainbow in the clouds themselves — in the worst of times, in the meanest of times, in the dreariest of times — so that at all times the viewer can see a possibility of hope.
That’s what a library is.
It is amazing, for me, to have been taken to a library when I was eight. I had been abused and I returned to a little village in Arkansas. And a black lady … knew I wasn’t speaking — I refused to speak — for six years I was a volunteer mute. She took me to library in the black school. The library probably had 300 books — maybe. The books were given to the black school from the white school and, often, there were no backs on the books. So we took shingles, cut them down to the size of the book, got some cotton and then pretty cloth, and covered those shingles and then laced them from the back, so that the books were beautiful. And those were the books she took me to see. She said, “I want you to read every book in this library.”
It seemed to me thousands of books. I have now, in my home in North Carolina, a library of about 4,000 books. But at that time, I thought, “Can I get to it? Will I live long enough?” I don’t say I understood those books, but I read every book, and each time I [would] go to the library, I felt safe. No bad thing can happen to you in the library.’
Maya Angelou (April 4, 1928–May 28, 2014), American poet, memoirist, author, historian, songwriter, playwright, dancer, stage and screen producer, director, performer, singer and civil rights activist.
So, at this festive time of year, make sure you spare a thought for your librarian. You cannot know the difference they can make in a child’s life.
While on the subject of books, please support the following book by Jodie Broad. I discovered it in (children’s author) Jackie Hosking’s newsletter, Pass It On. (If you are interested in writing for children you should consider subscribing to this newsletter.) I have purchased this book and can recommend it. The following is an extract from PIO.
To Roar and Shake Mountains is both a true and imagined tale of loneliness and hope.
For 30 years a wild-born gorilla has been caged in a zoo, on top of a high-rise shopping centre in Bangkok, Thailand.
Her name is Little Lotus and she lives all alone in a world of concrete and steel.
This book is part of the Save Gorilla Little Lotus campaign. The campaign’s objective is to find Little Lotus and other great apes at the Pata shopping mall zoo new homes.
We need global pressure to convince the owner that Pata Zoo is outdated and simply a sad place to visit. The world has changed, conservation is at the forefront and the owner needs to do what is right and allow his primates to live in a more natural environment with sunshine, stimulation and social groups of their own kind.
All proceeds from this book will be used to promote this campaign globally and to find these primates new homes.
The book is both educational and interactive. It is also both a work of fact and fiction that evokes compassion and warms the heart.
To roar and shake mountains – is to use the power of your voice to move mountains.
Quotes of the Week
You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.
– Maya Angelou
There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you. Maya Angelou
Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud.
– Maya Angelou
I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.
– Maya Angelou
If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.
– Maya Angelou
When you learn, teach. When you get, give.
– Maya Angelou
What was the most useful thing you learned today?
Needed more time!
Using a scarf to make a boat; giving children a break during activities.
Let the children’s imaginations be the driver/catalyst/motivating factor.
The scarf folding game!
Use of scarf for imaginative play.
Throwing and catching using scarves.
Some More Xmas jokes for the children –
Q. What did the envelope say to the stamp?
A – Stick with me and we’ll go places.
Q. What was the tortoise doing on the motorway?
A. About 1 kph.
Q. Why can’t you play jokes on snakes?
A. Because you can’t pull their legs.
Q. What is yellow and white and goes down a train track at 200 kph?
A. A train driver’s egg sandwich.
Q. Why did the teacher wear sunglasses to school?
A. Because her pupils were so bright.
Q. What do you call a penguin in the desert?
Q. What ring is square?
A. A boxing ring.
Q. What did the fireman’s wife get for Xmas?
A. A ladder in her stocking.
Q. What has 22 legs and 2 wings but can’t fly?
A. A football team.
Q. Where do dogs keep their money?
A. In Barclays bank.
Q. What can you make that cannot be seen?
Q. If a crocodile makes shoes, what does a banana make?
Q. What did the Judge say when a skunk ran into the courtroom?
A. Odour in the court.
Q – What do they sing at a snowman’s birthday party?
A – Freeze a jolly good fellow.
Merry Christmas Everyone!
Illustration by Marjorie Gardner, courtesy of Jackie Hosking’s Pass It On Newsletter.
About The Author
Marlene Rattigan B.A., Dip. Ed. (ECS), CELTA
Marlene Rattigan is an Early Childhood teacher, a teacher of English as a Second Language, and from 1987-2000 was a nationally accredited fitness leader. Her background is in music education. A keen interest in motor development in children led to the creation of Kidz-Fiz-Biz which she taught successfully for 13 years. Marlene also conducts workshops for children, teachers and parents at schools, in the community and at festivals. She has produced teaching manuals complete with audio CDs which are an extension of her ‘Kidz-Fiz-Biz’ program.
PO Box 6894, East Perth WA 6892 Australia
T: +61 8 9355 4890 M: +61 (0) 410 64 2781 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Until next time … continue being a legend in your classroom.
Marlene Rattigan, Editor