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Sparked by pandemic fallout, homeschooling surges across U.S.
7/28/2021 5:14:00 PM

By David Crary   Although the pandemic disrupted family life across the U.S. since taking hold in spring 2020, some parents are grateful for one consequence: They’re now opting to homeschool their children, even as schools plan to resume in-person classes. The specific reasons vary widely. Some families who spoke with The Associated Press have children with special educational needs; others seek a faith-based curriculum or say their local schools are flawed. The common denominator: They tried homeschooling on what they thought was a temporary basis and found it beneficial...

The Moton School Legacy
7/28/2021 4:27:33 PM

By Marian Wright Edelman FOUNDER AND PRESIDENT EMERITA   As a teenager, many of Barbara Johns’s wildest fantasies were about a surprising subject: a new school. “My imagination would run rampant—and I would dream that some mighty man of great wealth built us a new school building or that our parents got together and surprised us with this grand new building and we had a big celebration—and I even imagined that a great storm came through and blew down the main building and splattered the shacks to splinters—and out of this wreckage rose this...

I ain’t 16 anymore
7/28/2021 3:46:24 PM

By Dr. James L. Snyder I’ve had so many birthdays in my life that I really don’t know how old I am. All I know is that I’m one year older than I was last year. I would not be able to remember when my life began if it wasn’t for paperwork. To many people, numbers are very important, but in my opinion, a number is just a number. As I look forward to another birthday, I would like to go back to being 16 again. Those were the good old days, as they say. When I was 16, I was rather oblivious of things that were happening in the world. We didn't have TV back...

LA County COVID hospitalizations keep climbing; 12th day of 1000+ cases
7/21/2021 7:21:39 PM

LOS ANGELES—Los Angeles County’s COVID-19 hospitalization numbers and testing postivity rate continued their steady climbs, as the county marked its 11th consecutive day of new case numbers topping 1,000. The county Department of Public Health announced 1,233 new COVID infections Monday, a number that is likely artificially low due to traditional delays in reporting of test results from the weekend. The new cases brought the county’s cumulative total from throughout the pandemic to 1,269,090. Two more fatalities were also reported Monday, lifting the county’s...

Racial diversity in children’s books grows, but slowly
7/21/2021 6:41:43 PM

By Christine Fernando   CHICAGO—In the world of children’s books, villagers can protect their water from a black snake, dark skin is as beautiful as the night sky, and a little girl’s two puffs of hair can make her feel like she’s floating above the clouds. Kids are seeing more of these possibilities in the books they read as authors make a bigger push to reflect the diversity around them. Racial diversity in children’s books has been picking up since 2014, reversing a 25-year plateau, according to Kathleen T. Horning, director of the University of...

7/21/2021 6:24:36 PM

By Marian Wright Edelman FOUNDER AND PRESIDENT EMERITA   You may be hurting or afraid. Show up. We’ll gather healing on the way. Show up. We will be strong, we will be brave. Show up. Dream of the world we will create. Show up. – Joe Davis   Joe Davis is an artist, educator, and speaker “committed to activism and compelled to create work that celebrates social transformation, healing, and liberation,” and he is presenting his poem “Show Up” during the Children’s Defense Fund (CDF)’s annual Proctor Institute...

The blossoming flower whisperer
7/21/2021 5:34:20 PM

By Dr. James L. Snyder   When it comes to flowers, I am the epitome of naivety. I have no expertise whatsoever in the plant world. All I see are red, blue and yellow. Don't get me wrong here; I enjoy flowers. However, when it comes to names, I am off the planet. I don't need to know the name of a flower to really enjoy that flower. Instead, I enjoy the fragrance and the optics of a row of flowers. If I had to take care of flowers, they wouldn't last more than 24 hours. Just because you like something doesn't mean you know how to take care of something. On...

Killing it at being ourselves
7/14/2021 12:28:58 PM

By L Ron Brooks   The next time you’re out at a big summer blockbuster movie—even if it isn’t for a couple more years (foreshadow alert!)—here’s something funny to do. People love it, trust me. As you’re leaving the screening, if there are lines queued-up for the next show already, run up to them goggle-eyed and cry, “Everybody dies at the end!!” A wave of conflicting emotions will pass visibly among the line-standers culminating very quickly in rage at you for spoiling the end of the movie they’ve been waiting to see. You clock...

Where oh where is my hair?
7/14/2021 11:58:48 AM

By Dr. James L. Snyder   I must confess I sometimes get so busy that certain things have slipped my mind. I don't do this intentionally, but I try to prioritize things in my life. With so many things going on, it is tough to keep up-to-date with everything, even personal items. This is not true with the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage. No matter how busy her day is, she always keeps up with everything. She knows things that are happening a week before they actually happen. How she does that, I don't know, and trust me, I am not going to inquire. I just ask her...

Any pie à la mode is my kind of pie
7/7/2021 6:20:10 PM

By Dr. James L. Snyder   Choices are a very important part of our everyday life. I am what I am today because of choices I made yesterday. I would like to blame someone else, but the truth of the matter is, I am what I am because of my choices. I must confess that there are a lot of bad choices I have made throughout my life. I will not name them right here, in fact, I'm trying to forget most of them. It’s a good thing I can’t relive yesterday. However, I have made a few choices that I have made in my life that has been very good. I don't focus on my bad...