Saturday, December 29, 2007


YES magazine has an online newsletter that provides dozens of resources for teachers and parents interested in Teaching Peace. It is a wonderful and hopeful resource as we enter a New Year.

Martin Luther King Weekend Events

There are several activities happening around Portland to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in January. I'm wondering if others might like to go to the Sunday night concert together? This list comes from the NAACP MLK page and you can get details about all the events there. NAACP Portland Branch Martin Luther King, Jr., Observance 2008 Building on a Legacy: The Construction of Social and Economic Justice Interfaith Dialogue Wed., Jan. 16, 7:00 p.m. USM Glickman Library, 7th floor, Portland Reconsidering Martin Luther King, Jr: A public conference on his role and legacy Organized in partnership with the Maine Humanities Council Sat., Jan. 19, 9:00 a.m. USM Hannaford Hall, Portland 23rd Annual Music & Gospel Concert Sun., Jan. 20, 6:00 p.m. Merrill Auditorium, Portland 27th Annual Breakfast Celebration Mon., Jan. 21, 8:00 a.m. Holiday Inn by the Bay, Portland Eyes on the Prize Screenings and Discussions Mon., Jan. 21, various times starting at 11:30 a.m. Maine Historical Society, Portland Bowdoin offers a wonderful children's event, at 10:00am @ the Bowdoin Library.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Concert Update

Dear Friends, Thank you to all who came to the solstice celebration. It was disappointing that our concert didn't happen. I spoke to Matt this morning and it turned out to be a simple mistake about the date. We both offer sincere apologies and hope that no one was too inconvenienced. I did tell him that the community was remarkable in coming together and having fun and enjoying the beautiful afternoon -- I so appreciate creating rituals and celebrations with you all! Perhaps we could try again for an Earth Day concert and I hope others might have some energy to plan some winter or spring fun events for the community -- even when it doesn't turn out quite as planned, it feels good to come together! Wishing everyone a peaceful solstice! Kim

Thursday, December 20, 2007

KaleidoArts Vacation Workshop

On Friday morning December 28 from 10 to noon Kaleidoscope will be offering another *Vacation Creations* workshop for ages 6 and up. Add some magic to your school vacation and join us for a happy-ever-after morning creating Thumbelina flowers, miniature palaces, frog prince pillows and other reminders of favorite fairy stories! Let us know if you can come! $15 per person email us! (or call 773-2255) Carolyn Heasly and Phyllis Wilkins Kaleidoscope Arts and Crafts 790 Stevens Avenue Portland 04103

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Painting Competition

If young artists get bored this break, Roots & Shoots also sent word of this contest : International Children's Painting Competition ENTRY DEADLINE: January 15, 2008 Children from across the nation are encouraged to submit a painting to the International Children's Painting Competition. This year's theme is climate change. Started in 1991 and run by the , the Foundation for Global Peace and Environment, Bayer and Nikon Corporation, this competition draws entries from over 100 countries!

Peace Ornament

We made lovely origami peace dove ornaments for the Hat Sale... a different set of instructions was just sent from Roots & Shoots, using empty plastic bottles.

A Place in The Choir

I am loving the wonderful songs that our kids are learning. The latest is called A Place in the Choir and it is delightful. Also, don't forget to start practicing Earth Worm Dance in preparation for the solstice concert.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Webkinz & Advertising

From Campaign for Commerical Free Childhood:, the most visited virtual world for children in the United States, has quietly begun targeting its users with outside advertising. The site is already commercial - in order to subscribe, children must buy a Webkinz toy that comes with a special code. But apparently using the site to sell millions of Webkinz stuffed animals wasn't enough for Ganz (the makers of Webkinz) and now they're selling their young users to advertisers. To make matters worse, Ganz didn't bother to inform parents, many of whom purchase Webkinz toys for their children expecting that the website will be free of outside advertising and links. By opening the site to advertisers, Ganz is choosing to maximize profits at the expense of parents' trust and children's wellbeing. Tell Webkinz: No More Advertisements The "Parents Area" of does not mention that the site now includes advertising. Webkinz is currently marketing the film Alvin and the Chipmunks. In addition to banner ads, the site is encouraging young users to actively engage with the movie by purchasing specially designed chipmunk costumes and food for their virtual pets. Bee Movie - a film that partnered with McDonald's, General Mills and Brachs, and has dozens of licensed products - was promoted in a similar way. As children spend more and more time on the web, they are increasingly targeted by Internet marketing. Webkinz' decision to take outside ads is reminiscent of Neopets, another popular online destination for children which went from being ad-free to including product placement on their site for McDonald's and other brands as well as launching their own line of cereal. CCFC is launching a media campaign (including a story in today's New York Times) to inform parents about advertising on Webkinz and to convince Ganz to end it. But we need your help. Please take a moment to tell Ganz: Stop Advertising on Webkinz.

Healthy Toy Site

(From MomsRising) Dear member, Sadly, one of the big stories this holiday season has been an epidemic of "toxic toys" -- exposing children to everything from lead to the date rape drug GHB. We've been horrified, not only at what this says about our national priorities, but also as moms we're left asking: "What toys are safe to buy for my own kids??" That's why we're thrilled to tell you about a new text-for-info service we've just set up. Our friends at HealthyToys.org1 tested over 1250 toys for common chemicals and have made the results searchable online. Because the time you really want to know which toys contain dangerous chemicals is when you're shopping, we've partnered with them to make their database searchable via your mobile phone. Here's how it works: Text healthytoys [toy name] to 41411 And we'll reply instantly with whether the toy tested "high" "med" or "low" for potentially dangerous toxins. Try it! Text "Healthytoys Elmo flashlight" to 41411. You'll get a reply right back to your phone with the test results for the Elmo flashlight by Sesame Street. Neat, eh? Take it with you shopping and tell your friends! Then sign this petition to tell Congress, "We demand safe, lead-free toys for children. Congress must strengthen the agencies responsible for protecting kids from toxic products and remove the bureaucrats who are standing in the way." We should be able to buy our kids toys off the shelf without having to wonder whether they're filled with dangerous chemicals. Glad we're in this together, -- Kristin, Joan, Katie, Donna, Roz, Mary and the whole Team [1] is a project of the Ecology Center in partnership with the Washington Toxics Coalition and: California • Center for Environmental Health • Connecticut - Coalition for a Safe and Healthy Connecticut • Maine - Environmental Health Strategy Center • Alliance for a Clean and Healthy Maine • Massachusetts - Alliance for a Healthy Tomorrow • Michigan - Michigan Network for Children's Environmental Health • Minnesota - Healthy Legacy • New York - JustGreen Partnership • Oregon - Oregon Environmental Council • Washington - Toxic-Free Legacy Coalition • National - Center for Health, Environment and Justice P.S. SMS text wiz? Try a more complex search: Text "healthytoys [high/med/low] [toy name]" to 41411 -- to limit your search results to only those toys with a high, med, or low toxins rating -- e.g. "healthytoys low slinky" will only return the Slinky that got a "low toxins" test rating by Text "healthytoys [retailer]" to 41411 -- to search for toys sold by a particular retailer -- e.g. "healthytoys low costco" will return the toys sold at Costco that got a "low toxins" test rating by Text "healthytoys [search term]" to 41411 -- to search for toys with that term in their name, description, brand, or retailer. In other words, you can search not only for a toy name but also for Costco, or Leap Frog, or bracelet, or fuzzy, or rattle, or Spider-man, or Disney -- and any toys with those words anywhere in their listing will be returned. Too many results? Try typing the name of the toy just as it is printed on the packaging -- e.g. "healthytoys Disney Royal Shoes Set".

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Listening Room Event -

When we were teenagers we swore we’d never forget what it’s like to be one. We swore that when we were parents we’d do it differently. But can we ever hope to remember the painful social struggles, the hopeless crushes, or even the simple frustration of not being able to drive ourselves around? Can we truly recall how hard it is to grow up? In the latest installment of a “Listening Room” series, local radio producer Josh Gleason (NPR, This American Life, Weekend America) presents an evening of radio stories made by teenagers, including some from WMPG’s own Blunt Youth Radio – stories about young people dealing with everything from the ordinary to the extraordinary, unrequited love to Tourette’s Syndrome. Featuring live music by Tempera and members of Over a Cardboard Sea. A moderated discussion with Blunt Youth Radio program director Claire Holman and Blunt producer Libby Donovan will follow the show. Tuesday, December 18th at SPACE Gallery, 538 Congress St., Portland. 7:00pm, $5, free for members, all ages. Presented In partnership with the Public Radio Exchange. Gibson Fay-LeBlanc Executive Director The Telling Room 225 Commercial Street, Suite 201 Portland, ME 04101 (207) 321-2780

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Jim Weiss CDs

You can buy Jim Weiss storytelling CDs for $15 ($4.00 benefits the Friends School) through December 19th. You can purchase them in the office or special order a certain title if you'd like something different. (we only had 2 at the Hat Sale, but have since found the boxes with many, many more!)

Children's Books about Social Class

I have been thinking a lot about the ways that class shapes our experiences, how to deal with the consumption-drive of the holiday season, how we reconcile our fundraising needs with the need for diversity among us, and how it all feels to kids. This article seems really insightful and interesting for our community - I'd love to talk about it if anyone else is interested... Kim (I've provided more info and resources on my own blog, too, if you want it :-) Joan Arrowsmith, Lillian Polite and Elizabeth Saenger, all faculty members at an independent school in NY, have written an practical and provocative article about helping schools and children address class in an overt way. The article contains references for children's books and tips for creating equitable spaces at school and in homes.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Celebrate Dec @ Peace Action Maine

OPENING OF "CELEBRATIONS: A GROUP HOLIDAY ART SHOW" Friday, December 7th, 5-8pm Celebrations is a multimedia group art show bringing together diverse cultural, personal, and religious celebrations at the Meg Perry Center. From Chanukah to Christmas to Solstice to Kwanzaa to Hajj, cultures throughout the world celebrate holidays at this time of year. Celebrations brings together these cultural traditions in a group art show that will display art and documentation of celebrations in the diverse in the diverse cultures here in Portland. At the opening, locally made products and fair trade goods and other independent holiday gifts will be available for sale. This exhibit will be up at the Meg Perry Center throughout the month of December.

Phone Number Privacy

I am not a particularly paranoid person, but this e-mail from Partners in Ending Hunger seems worth sharing.. You may know this already, but just in case you do not: Google has implemented a new feature which enables you to type a telephone number into the search bar and hit enter and you will be given the person's name and address. If you then hit Map, you will get a map to the person's house. It's a nationwide reverse telephone book. If a child gives out his/her phone number, someone can now look it up to find out where he/she lives. The safety issues are obvious, and alarming. Note that you can have your phone number removed or blocked. In order to test whether your phone number is mapped, go to Google, Type your phone number in the search bar (i.e. 555-555-1212) and hit enter. If you want to BLOCK Google from divulging your private information, simply click on your telephone number and then click on the Removal Form. Removal takes 48-hours. "

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

AdVerb Productions - Friday night

One More Time to SAY IT LOUD! About Say It Loud! Say It Loud Season Finale~ This Friday, Dec. 7th @ 7pm One Longfellow Square Say It Loud!, Add Verb's artist development program for teenage girls, promotes personal and social change through writing and performance. Say It Loud! uses the power of hip-hop and spoken word to provide a safe and supportive environment for girls to speak up, express their ideas and opinions and say it like it is. Say It Loud Season Finale THIS FRIDAY! Say It Loud! Ensemble finishes their eventful fall season with their finale performance THIS FRIDAY. Come over to One Longfellow Square after your first friday ART WALK and be part of the celebration! Opening acts include local hip-hop artist SayLove and singer/songwriter Hanifa Washington! Past Say It Loud! participants will also be making an appearance. Please join us to support and celebrate Say It Loud's inspiring work this fall: Say It Loud Season Finale~ This Friday, Dec. 7th @ 7pm One Longfellow Square See you there!! Say It Loud! is supported by the Maine Community Fund's Community Building Grant, the Center for Cultural Exchange, and the National Recreation Foundation. Add Verb Productions Add Verb Productions | PO Box 3853 | Portland | ME | 04101