What Matters to Kids Today

by Ilinap on May 11, 2015

My laugh lines deepen every week. I know I’m in for a spiritual facelift when I spend time in my son’s fourth grade class. I help the students with writing, and as with everything that centers around children, they teach me more than I teach them. These students are astute, insightful, and curious. They pose a lot of questions, and with each conversation I see gears turning in their minds as they thoughtfully consider the answer. These are kids who see the world from a “we” versus “me” perspective. It’s awfully refreshing.

Yet, there are goings on in the world that plague them.

I’m sharing some of the essays my son’s fourth grade peers wrote. I haven’t changed a thing, so the characteristic charm of children’s writing remains. It’s been my privilege to work with these kids. I came home rejuvenated and encouraged, knowing our future is in their capable hands. I’ll be sharing their words in a series of posts. Let’s tune in and share to give these children a platform.


Problems in the earth by DS

These thing are tragic so tragic that they kill and it is these things that are causing it…

Pollution, hunger, toxic waste, and dirty water. Pollution is littered man made produce that causes dams in rivers or streams lie at my house or even kills the most precious to the most Fierce animals.

Hunger is a Thing that is tragic so tragic that you could starve to death from it. In some countries hunger is a big issue that you spend your whole day looking for food and you end up with a few bananas.

Toxic waste is another tragic thing.toxic waste Is like ashe from electric company’s or e waste which is Electric Tease like cell phone ,tablets,radios and even remote  controls toys.

The last tragic thing is  dirty water.Dirty water is small particles or bacteria that gets into water and then people drink the water and then get sicknesses like cancer.

So dont you think it is time for a change!

Money isn’t everything! by BB

Money. Wealth. I mean, why do people scramble for money?? It isn’t everything, you know. It can get you somewhere, but seriously. There are other qualities in life. So much

more than money. It seems its all people care about. Well? There is personality, kindness, love, and courage.Just because someone is rich, or poor you shouldn’t judge. I know a rich person, and he’s really nice.

If people have no money, they can get sick, and without medicine, they can die. If you keep judging, it’s not helping. People without money often live, or work in bad conditions that can cause illness. When they get sick, and don’t have any money for treatment, they either get even more sick, or use all their money trying to get better. They also might lose their job. It’s a bad cycle.

Again, money isn’t everything. I have actually seen, or heard people tease poor families. Its not cool. You should help them, not think bad of them. Money is money, whether you like it or not. Money is practically all people care about.

Smoking by OF

Don’t smoke! It is bad for your health and your money

Cancers you can get

First of all you can get cancer. You can get lung, throat, lip, and gum cancer. How I know this is that one day when I was in the car going to school my mom showed me and my older siblings a photo from facebook of a doctor comparing a persons who smokes lungs to a persons who is perfectly fine lungs.  The person’s lungs that was smoking was all black and the person’s lungs that was all fine were clear/pink and still pumping.


Smoking also causes addiction. How you are addicted is because the Tobacco in the cigarette.  My uncle Andrew has been addicted for a long time and still is.


Don’t forget your environment! Smoking also affects the ozone layer were half of the worlds air supply comes from. The ozone layer also protects us from small asteroids hitting the earth. If people stop smoking we will have more clean air.


You need money to live so why waist it?!?! Cigarettes cost a whole lot of moola. My neighbor Roberto smokes and is cigarettes cost $7.25 a pack.

Think more!   

Maybe you should think more about cancer, addiction, environment, and you money. Stop smoking and you will feel better the next day.


Our schools, contrary to what the legislature and ed reformers want you to believe, are not failing. It’s the people who make education policy with no hands-on classroom experience or ulterior motives who are failing our students, teachers, and communities. There is magic sparkling in all corners of our schools. Teachers are making a profound difference every single day, and we are all to benefit. I’ve spent a lot of time in classrooms so I can speak firsthand about what our teachers are accomplishing. Despite the myriad needs and challenges in education today, teachers are molding minds and igniting imaginations, all with grace, humor, care, and elan. While we hack away at budgets and support, teachers carry on MacGyvering their way through the maze of education. Yet kids are learning and growing, a testament to the power of education and the difference a teacher can make.

Forget the old adage about children not being heard, we need to start listening to the voices of our youth. They are the ones who have wisdom beyond measure.

{ 1 comment }


Have we become inured to or outraged by the daily reports of children killed by guns left unattended by adults?

“Overall, the C.D.C. numbers indicate that gun deaths are trending somewhat upward as motor vehicle deaths continue on a steady decline, thanks in large measure to serious government safety regulation aimed at reducing fatalities and injuries that is notably missing in the sphere of firearms.

In fact, guns remain the only consumer product not regulated at the federal level for health and safety, in keeping with the wishes of the gun industry and compliant lawmakers.” NY Times article by Dorothy J. Samuels, July 16, 2014

As they say, if you aren’t outraged, you aren’t paying attention. Beth Messersmith penned a guest post to share some alarming news coming from Jones Street regarding gun bills in North Carolina. The state’s gun laws are already pretty lax. It’s hard to imagine the laws any looser. My sons and I had our brush with conceal and carry last summer, and they’ve been a bit fearful ever since. As children they have a difficult time understanding why regular citizens would be out and about in shops and restaurants with a hidden weapon. It’s a frightening thing for me to conceive of as an adult. We believe in the old tenet “safety first,” and more restrictive gun control keeps us all safer. I share Beth’s words with you today because North Carolina politicos think moms aren’t paying attention.


North Carolinians agree that not everyone should be able to have a gun—not violent criminals, not domestic abusers, not the dangerously mentally ill. That’s why 90% of us want people to be screened through a background check before they are allowed to buy firearms.

Right now, NC lawmakers are trying to pull a fast one. They think no one is paying attention, so they are trying to ram through a law that dismantles NC’s pistol permit system, which requires anyone who wants to buy a handgun to go through a criminal background check.

Seriously, RAM THROUGH. They suddenly introduced the legislation last week and will vote on it early next week.

Well, this mom is paying attention, and I don’t like it one bit.

When Missouri did this in 2007, repealing its permit-to-purchase law, its gun-related homicide rate spiked at a time firearm homicides were level across the country. The Journal of Urban Health later published a study showing that the repeal contributed to a 14 percent increase in Missouri’s murder rate and was associated with an additional 49 to 68 murders a year.

I don’t want that to happen here in North Carolina. We don’t need a spike in people getting shot here in North Carolina, thank you very much.

We can’t let our state lawmakers pass this legislation, which also criminalizes doctors for questioning their patients about gun safety and reporting risky armed patients to the authorities; forces schools to allow weapons in their parking lots, and opens the way for people to bring guns to the NC State Fair.

With the NC House voting on this legislation early next week, we need to contact our lawmakers NOW to let them know that we don’t like this gun bill at all and tell them to vote against it. Please join me and contact your lawmaker now by clicking here.


Lemon Mint G & T – 5:00 Fridays TM

May 1, 2015

I have what you might call an accidental garden. When we renovated this house we had no idea what was going to sprout in the yard. It turns out that much of what we thought were weeds are actually coveted bushes. We had dug up some stuff that hadn’t reached its prime bloom, unbeknownst to […]

Read the full article →

Advocate2Vaccinate During World Immunization Week

April 29, 2015

Don’t google images of children with polio. Consider this a warning. You just googled “children with polio,” didn’t you? It’s hard to imagine life before the polio vaccine. My father in law had polio as a child. Most of people in the women’s groups I speak to have lost a sibling or family member to […]

Read the full article →


April 28, 2015

Unlike the board game, the game of Life doesn’t have all its spaces neatly squared away in order. The natural order of things sometimes goes awry. Through our teens and 20s we see our friends through milestones. There are graduations and degrees and marriages and births. The air bursts in a celebratory dance. We walk […]

Read the full article →

Heart of Haiti in the Heart of Home

April 27, 2015

I don’t work with my hands. I clack on keys as I write, but what I create is ethereal, not tangible. There are beauty in words, but it’s not the same as a thing of beauty that strikes you in each passing step. I have a burst of sun that sits atop the table in […]

Read the full article →

Mother Nature’s Marvel

April 23, 2015

  We don’t need Earth Day to remind us that Gaia herself rules the world. Have you ever stopped to marvel at nature? It is particularly striking this time of year in North Carolina. There’s a rainbow bursting in every yard, between the sidewalk cracks, and peeping through fence slats. A carpet of yellow buttercups […]

Read the full article →

It’s Hard to Be a White Man

April 16, 2015

The other day a guy was lamenting to me about how hard it is to be a white man these days. At first I thought he was being ironic. I mean, he was saying this to me, a brown woman. Hearing these words uttered from the lips of a white man left me feeling perplexed. […]

Read the full article →

Thankful for Shots

April 14, 2015

We have a long-standing family tradition to say our thank you’s before dinner. Instead of saying grace, we hold hands and each share something we are thankful for from our day. The only rule is we cannot say we are thankful for a material object. Last weekend, oddly enough, we all said we are thankful […]

Read the full article →

Eyes Up, Phones Down

April 8, 2015

I’m going to say something very unpopular here. Prepare for a get-off-mah-lawn rant…I’m tired of kids with cell phones. I’m tired of seeing kids with their fingers pushing buttons or their faces in a screen all the time. I’m tired of the lack of eye contact and reliance on a screen to communicate (or avoid […]

Read the full article →