Tag Archives: kids

Lessons from 4th Graders

17th April 2013

loveThere was a point and time when I thought I’d like to be a teacher. To say I love being around little ones in an understatement, however, after two years of teaching first grade Sunday school in college with my roommate (and teacher extraordinaire), we started the third year and I asked if we should set goals and objectives for the class. It was then I realized teaching wasn’t quite my calling. I opted to continue down my path towards marketing. However, whenever an opportunity arises to spend time at the kids table, I’m happy to jump on it.

Engauge volunteers with a group called Everybody Wins here in Atlanta. The premise is simple, read to an elementary school student once per week over lunch. Today, I started my third year in the program with a new mentee.

As we picked out books, a friend of hers came by and said “See, I told you it would happen!” we picked out a book, sat down and another friend came by to give her a hug and tell her how excited she was that she finally had a mentor. I asked her why they were so excited and she shared that she had been waiting to be able to join Everybody Wins for several months and that they were so happy that her waiting paid off.

Just hearing that made my day and my hour more than worth it.

Can you imagine if we all went through our days sharing the spirit and support those fourth graders shared with each other? What if we spent our time building each other up instead of complaining or trying to one up one another?

I think those 10-year-olds are on to something.

PS: If you have an hour on your hands each week, check out Everybody Wins. They have schools across the city and are always in need of new readers.

From dial up to dialed in

8th December 2011

When I was in middle school, I wanted nothing more than for my parents to get high speed internet. No more dial up. Why? AIM. Yup, Aol Instant Messenger. As a middle schooler, I thought the coolest thing possible was to be able to leave up one of those super cute **<<sleeping>>**  away messages. An away message I was never able to leave, as my internet kicked me off-line as soon as you picked up the phone line.

True. Story.

Today while reading to my mentee over lunch, we started talking about Christmas lists. She shared with me that she is really hoping for a laptop for Christmas this year. She’s in 5th grade. So what use does a laptop serve her? She shared that her favorite things to do on the computer are to play games, check email and chat.

Email and chat? Do 5th graders really do that today? Yes. We talked about email, she has two accounts, Yahoo and Gmail, thought she likes to use g-chat to talk to her friends and cousins. We even talked about video chatting and she expressed how much she loves getting to hang out with her friends online in that way.

I’m sure at this point, I shouldn’t be surprised what-so-ever by how children are using technology in their daily lives, yet it never ceases to intrigue me. It’s so fascinating to think how our behaviors stay the same, while only the mediums are changing. Sure, she’s not dreaming of AIM statuses, but she is thinking of the ease of her own device to communicate, an evolution we know won’t stop anytime soon.

At least I can breathe a sigh of relief that she isn’t asking for an iPhone just yet.

And just in case you needed any more proof of the next generation who will lead the way in technology and connections. Be sure to check out the video below.

Why I’m watching Sesame Street at age 22

22nd October 2010

When I was little you couldn’t tear me away from Sesame Street for hours everyday  and now it looks like I may be doing it again – but online.  Why you might ask would anyone over the age of 5 be watching Sesame Street? The gang has been hard at work these days – Tweeting, Facebooking and even singing along with Will.i.am on YouTube.

Lately the team has spoofed everything from the Old Spice guy to Mad Men and True Blood. Sure it makes adults laugh, but at the same time Sesame Street is staying true to their roots by infusing their content with educational moments for kids.

For instance, in the Mad Men reenactment below, the guys show off some ideas from the “Happy Honey Bear” account in search of a picture that show happiness instead of other emotions and in the end they all end up as Happy Men.

Amy Poehler, Rev Run, Jack Black and Jonah Hill have all stopped by to visit, each with their own take on education.

Be sure to check out the show on Facebook. Not only does the show have a page, but each of the characters as well. Elmo, Cookie Monster and Oscar The Grouch all have pages and you’ll event find the characters tweeting with  Twitter accounts.

As kids become more heavily involved in social media channels, it’s important to kind safe and relevant content to them, but it’s even better when it’s something you’ll enjoy watching as well!