Friday, December 16, 2011

Planting Seeds

I know first-hand how important it is to plant seeds for young people today.  Whether it is through the arts or some other medium, giving these kids confidence and allowing them to express themselves is so important for their future productivity and success.

Please read the guest post below by my cousin Mike B.  He happily shares the story of a woman who is helping to plant the seeds for young people in her community.  Thanks Mike B for contributing this great post!

Fun Learning for First Graders
When I was young, I used to love reading a feature in Reader’s Digest magazine called The Most Unforgettable Character I’ve Ever Met. Some of these “characters” were famous, others were not, but I always enjoyed learning about them.

Over the years, I’ve met a few unforgettable characters of my own—ordinary people who impressed me with their meaningful contributions. One of these people is Kelli Pearson—or Miss Kelli, as I knew her when I began volunteering over nine years ago as a homework tutor in an exciting after school program at a community learning center in my hometown.  

At the time, Kelli was the director of the K-5 program at the center. I watched as she taught and engaged kids, introducing them to the fun of learning. She also had a knack for handling difficult situations, making the environment a welcoming and safe place for children. I was impressed not
just by her ability to teach kids, but to reach kids.

Now that reach extends farther than ever before. Earlier this year, Kelli launched, a web site devoted to making learning fun for kids. While plenty of teachers find exciting ideas here, Kelli’s main goal is to give parents ideas for helping their kids learn.

Since kids have a way of resisting being taught by mom or dad, the web site’s learning activities feel more like play than work. Who would have thought that playing card games, making bubbles, going on scavenger hunts and baking cookies could be used to teach math and science? But it works, and kids love it. I know because I have used some of Ms. Kelli’s ideas with my young grandson.

Success in first grade sets the stage for young kids to develop into good students, and what better way to do this than by making learning fun. With the help Kelli offers on , parents can help their first graders reach this goal.

From articles on fine motor skills to tips on how to deal with bullies and mean kids at school, from cool science experiments to lists of classic books for first graders, is a valuable resource for parents and teachers on math, science, reading, child development, and more.

I am happy to call Kelli both colleague and friend. She taught me how to reach kids on their level, and this has made me a better tutor. If you have a first grader and want to give your child a learning boost while you and your child have a great time together, check out this site. (You can say you heard about it from Mike B!)


MikeB said...

Thanks, Debbie, for being so kind to alert your followers to this great web site developed by my friend, Ms. Kelli. There are so many wonderful things on this free site for parents and teachers of frist graders. In the site's table of contents, you can click on the Site Map (under the Other Random Pages section) to see a complete list of articles on the site.

It's also good to know that you do not have to limit yourself to engaging only first graders with the materials on the site. When my grandson was in the second grade, we did a couple of the science experiments together, and he enjoyed and learned from them. And one other cool thing is that even someone like me, at my advanced age, can learn from this site. And what could be more fun than learning along with your first grader or other young school age child.

stephanie gale said...

Your cousin, MikeB, had mentioned your blog in a post on mine, so Ithought I'd come over and say hello! And it turns out it's a post near and dear tome- the albsolute importance of 'planting seeds' of knowledge and love of learning. Well done post!