Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Ruby Bridges visits with the President and her portrait

Ruby Bridges visited the White House to see how a painting commemorating her personal and historic milestone looks hanging on the wall outside of the Oval Office. American Artist Norman Rockwell was criticized by some when this painting first appeared on the cover of Look magazine on January 14,1964; now the iconic portrait will be on display throughout the summer of 2011 in one of the most exalted locations in the country.

Sometimes we forget the important role children played in the Civil Rights Movement. Young children had to stand up to crowds of hateful people, march under frightening circumstances, get hosed with water and much more. Today young people need to hear their story. Ruby Bridges' story personifies the courage and resolve that carried these children through those historic times. Here Ruby talks about her early years while visiting the White House. There are also several picture books that tell the story of young Ruby's year of being the only child in class when the schools in Louisiana were integrated.

In Through My Eyes, Ruby Bridges recounts her experience as a young girl in her own words. 


While The Story of Ruby Bridges is a wonderful retelling of her story by Robert Coles and illustrated by George Ford.  Both books are a great introduction to an important period in American history for young people.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Raising a Prodigy

Five year old, Mabou Loiseau lives with her family in Queens, NY but spends a large part of her day studying with tutors. In fact her parents spend about $1,500 a week for her lessons in French, Russian, music, dance and more. The proud parents who homeschool Mabou recently found out that she scored in the 99th percentile on the city test for gifted and talented schools. Mabou's dad works 16 hours a day as a parking attendant in Manhattan to pay for everything, and the Loiseaus have also started hosting other students for classes at their house.  Although her regimen may seem extreme, little Mabou seems to be thriving, and enjoys learning new languages.  Her mother, Esther Loiseau explains it this way, "I make sure I leave enough time for her to play," she said. "All she knows is learning. What becomes fun for someone is what they know." This young prodigy is learning seven languages. six musical instruments, two types of dance and two sports. Hopefully, little Mabou will not over whelmed by this regimen and will still be able to enjoy her childhood. Social interaction with her peers is also an important part of her development. Balance is always important in parenting but her parents should be acknowledged for instilling a love of learning in their young daughter. Read more about Mabou.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Marcus Samuelsson

Marcus Samuelsson has been a mover and shaker in the culinary world. Now he shares his expertise with young people at his new restaurant in Harlem, "Red Rooster."

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Chental-Song Bembry, author of The Honey Brunch Kids

Chental-Song Bembry is the 14 year old author and illustrator of her first children's book "The Honey Bunch Kids". Through the promotion of her book, she hopes to inspire children to love reading. Her dream is to develop "The Honey Bunch Kids" into a dominant brand. Learn more by visiting:

Thursday, July 7, 2011

New Learners of the 21st Century An Interview with Dr. Nicole Parker

Hip Hop Becomes Green "Change is Needed..."

The young people in this video have a message for the community. 

" The youth featured in Change is Needed are part of a program in the Kitty Andersen Youth Science Center, a youth development organization based out of the Science Museum of Minnesota with the mission to "empower youth to change our world through science." The 24 students in the Climate Change Crew and Earth Buzz Crew have been working in the Twin Cities over the last year to understand, experience, and inspire a movement toward a just and sustainable economy.
From educating themselves and their peers, to learning from and serving their communities- knocking on doors in cold Minnesota winters to raise awareness of an emerging green economy through events they hold, these kids are an example of the power in the creativity of young people, even in the midst of difficult times."
To learn more about them and their program visit

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Little Sistahs in the Know, Inc.™

"Little Sistahs in the Know, Inc.™ is a non-profit organization that strives to build up African-American girls by providing a venue for them to learn about their culture and heritage; to openly express themselves and develop sisterly bonds; and to foster a positive self-image and promote high self-esteem. Groups of girls meet for monthly book discussions and come together to participate in a variety of cultural and social events." 
Little Sistahs in the Know, Inc was founded by Dawn Florence.  When she and her husband and three children moved to Chula Vista, CA., she realized that her daughter Ayanna who was the only African-American student in her class was missing out on certain cultural connections. So Little Sistas in the Know was created with the help of five other girls and their parents.  Today the organization has expanded to become a nationwide organization with chapters in California, Texas and New Jersey. To find a chapter near you or  start your own chapter visit, contact the or call (619) 591-8821.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Ten Ways to Love the Maple Sugar Child No. 2

 This month I will be celebrating the movers and shakers in our community. We have a wonderful creative spirit but who knew we have so many enterprising and entrepreneurial parents and children throughout the country.   This is encouraging news so check out these dream makers and support their efforts. Nurturing the talents and skills of young people, and building businesses to support their needs is definitely the way to love the Maple Sugar Child.