Bye Bye AERA, Hello Games for Change!

  Thank you Chicago & AERA. It has been indescribable. Looking forward to DC next year! Hopefully the weather will hold out just a titch longer & I can extend my stay next year to include Smithsonian days. Unfortunately I barely viewed Chicago’s wonders beyond a comic book store, a few queer bars, & the park with the giant metal bean. 

Currently I am warming myself in a Chinatown cafe before boarding my bus back to New York City. Games for Change begins on the morrow & I know I am ill prepared. Hopefully the bus ride provides sufficient time to process the wonderful research I was exposed to over the last week. Special thanks to Dr. De La Vega, Vanessa Folds, GLSEN researchers Emily Greytak & Joe Kosciw, Dr. Meyer, Jake McWilliams, Dr. Stevens, James GambrellCatherine Kemeny Gambrell, and all the others that I can’t seem to hold in my head. You made this a great event.

My Vlogging broke down and I have yet to edit today’s video (yesterday did not happen) but feel free to check out my vlogs listed below:


Day One:

Day Two:

Day Three:


Also – photos…



Book Spotlight: Fly Away Home

(null) Recently I spent some time looking for picture books that tackle social justice issues in a sensitive way. Hopefully I will share several but this first one hit me pretty hard. Fly Away Home by Eve Bunting does a credible job of describing what it is like to be homeless, employed, and living in an airport. At one point in my life I experienced a similar situation. It is amazing what you can survive and how often folks will overlook someone. During my stay at an international airport (I found a roommate in another airport resident just after a week) I bought orange juice and oatmeal from the same coffee vendor every morning and evening. My lunch occurred at work, a college coffee shop.

This tale contains an unreal authenticity to my own experience and seeing other “Terminal Homeless”. It also facets the lens on what people view as homelessness. I have experienced several types and never has it included living under cardboard. Unless you count an apartment I lived in during college. I am pretty sure the roof was just tacked up cardboard with the number of leaks I experienced that winter. At any rate, sharing this picture book with your kids is worthwhile. Share a picture of what life is like for the economically disadvantaged. There is extreme difficulty in finding affordable housing at minimum wage.

Order it. Google some lesson plans for sharing in the classroom or check out this one that I found. If you need a preview before ordering there are always YouTube videos.

In keeping with a spotlight I am ending this post here but I think this book deserves a place in your social justice younger reader library.