5 Ideas for Summer Service Projects

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Have you ever watched TV or spent a few moments on social media, noticed a problem that a student or someone else in your neighborhood had, and gotten a weird idea about what people could do to help out? That is what Caragan Olles did. She was diagnosed with dyslexia in third grade. The diagnosis made sense and explained why … Read More

Gratitude Is Good for the Heart: Teaching Kids the Value of Giving Thanks

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“Piglet noticed that even though he had a very small heart, it could hold a rather large amount of gratitude.” (A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh) Today I read a letter that came in the mail from one of our granddaughters. She thanked us for attending a special occasion for her birthday. As I looked at the scrawled handwriting and the misshapen hearts … Read More

Be Your Own Hero Summit

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When I heard about this opportunity, I had to share it with you! Imagine eliminating stress, worry and struggle from your life! Did you know that so many people suffer needlessly because they do not have the proper tools to tap into or access their full-potential? Imagine what it would be like to wake up each day with a smile … Read More

Ten Things Every Student Needs to Hear from Teachers

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When I returned to teaching after taking a 20-year hiatus to raise my own children, I had an opportunity to take over a sixth-grade class during the last six weeks of school. When first entering the room, I dodged ricocheting spitballs—not a prime situation for success. I knew I needed a strategy fast. I thought if I focused my attention … Read More

Peace Corps and Service

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By Barbara A. Lewis, author of The Teen Guide to Global Action Students at the University of Michigan in 1960 must have caught their breath when John F. Kennedy challenged them to contribute two years of their lives in volunteer work. What? Two years? Within weeks of his inauguration, President Kennedy established the Peace Corps in 1961. Any U.S. citizen … Read More

Inspiring Kids to Serve Interview With Nicole Lawrence

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I was recently invited to participate in an interview with the delightful Nicole Lawrence of the site Service Minded Families. During our conversation, I was able to share some of my experiences facilitating service opportunities for kids. Some of the main points I shared include: Parents can facilitate service projects, but may not necessarily initiate the service projects. Parents can … Read More

Building Character With Nature’s Lessons

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Weldon lost his homework somewhere between the front door of the school and the school bus. He regularly lost it—dropping it in puddles or allowing the wind to whisk it away. When he arrived home with his latest excuse, his mom did not smile. She had tried rewarding him if he demonstrated responsibility. She had tried withdrawing privileges if he … Read More

The Kid’s Guide to Service Projects Interview

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One of my favorite books that I’ve authored is The Kid’s Guide to Service Projects.  This book is so much fun for educators, parents and students alike and provides many ideas and valuable insight on how to serve in the community.  During my interview with Dr. James Sutton, we discuss youth oriented service projects, how to get kids excited and involved … Read More

Inspiring Young Service Leaders

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Would you like your students or child to grow excited over something besides getting the latest Furby, Nintendo 3DS, or Super Mario game? Would you like them to get turned off from iPods, tablets, and TV and turned on to something that will grow their character? Of course you would, but what else is as exciting to kids? Service! Do … Read More

Character Building for Teens Interview

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In July 2013, I was invited by Dr. James Sutton of the Changing Behavior Network to discuss how to help teens build character. Over two sessions totaling nearly 45 minutes, we discussed my book, What Do You Stand For? For Teens, and the importance of character development and how to share it. Part 1 – Post and audio interview Part 2 … Read More

Listen to the story of Lulu, the pig who saves its owner

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I’m really excited about my most recent book, Building Character with True Stories from Nature.  Each of the 25 lessons describes a particular plant or animal and its distinctive qualities.  The stories are engaging and written to kids.  One of my favorites is about Lulu, a heroic pot-bellied pig that saves it’s owners life!  Listen as Heidi from Free Spirit News … Read More

Educational Articles That I’ve Had Published

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Over the years, I’ve had the opportunity to write numerous articles detailing my experiences in student education and community involvement.  The following is a running list of articles I’ve had published: Tweens & Teens, the Parentguide, “Truth Be Told—How to Encourage Honesty in a Dishonest World”, Oct. 2005 The Navigator, “Service With a Smile”, Duke University, fall 2005 Chicken Soup … Read More