Halloween in November

Halloween-Hero-1-H

Halloween in November, can you imagine that? I mean if you ask me, I’d tell you all the reasons why Halloween fits perfectly in October…and not just on any day, but the 31st of October. It just seems right. The last day of the scariest-sounding month is, I think, the most spooky, fitting date. Don’t you think? *chuckles to self.

Ok. I digress. I don’t know why the heck I am even convincing myself of Halloween — it’s a day (holiday for some) that I have not celebrated for years, probably because I don’t fit into any of the categories: kids, college students or parents, all of who can appreciate a mask and a treat.

But, there was an important message I received a couple days ago as I was catching up on my prime-time tv shows. The tv show black-ish — yes, I agree, bizarre name that actually almost kept me from tuning in to the new sitcom, but again, I digress — anyway during this tv show one of the character’s made a simple statement. A statement in which I totally agree with and ended up further reflecting upon. Someone on the show (I believe it was the father, not sure) mentioned how,

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The Impact Art Education in Schools Have on Your Kids

Well Helloooo there!! It’s been a little while since I last wrote a post. But not to fret, ‘cus I’m baaackkk! ;)

So, today, September 14th*, marks the first “official” day of National Arts in Education Week. But I declare all of September National Arts in Education Month! Why? Because the arts are important! And I feel strongly about this topic.

I was that nerd growing up in the public school system who did all of her homework, participated in class and even tutored her older brother and some of her friends. I was the nerd who cried when I was sick, in fear of having to miss school (yes, I was that girl – *chuckles). But I also was a regular kid. A kid who sometimes was too antsy and too hyper to listen attentively to monotone teachers and boring movies for 7-8 hours a day, 5x/week (well 6x/week, if you include Saturday tutoring at Cal State Long Beach). Nevertheless, I needed a break. I needed some excitement. I needed balance.

Arts education gave me that balance.

The harsh reality is: sometimes being in the public school system means one have to deal with bullies, gangs, drugs, overcrowded classes, poverty and an array of other distractions. This is not to say private schools do not have similar issues. I am only giving an account of my experience in public schooling. That being said, arts education provided and currently still provides (for as long as law and state budget-makers will permit), an outlet to students who not only need an escape from monotony, but also students who need an escape from their harsh realities, in and away from school — for example, personal psychological issues (like eating disorders and depression), abuse, gang affiliation, bad neighborhoods etc.

Arts education encourages and damn near forces the participant to use his/her imagination. How, you ask? Well, much, if not all, of the arts require some form of creativity. And in my opinion, creativity comes from seeing something done and using wisdom + our imagination to push the envelope even further. Creativity comes from actual dreams. Its the result of being inspired. And we all know inspiration is all around us, from our environment and life’s events to magazines and museums, inspiration is everywhere and comes in many different forms. Like reading a book, arts education is a swell way to invoke innovation and inspire tomorrow’s leaders.

Still question if arts education is worth your tax dollars?

Why not ask your little ones how they feel about art, dance, music or theatre class? I mean, hey, I’m just a creative person who has always made everything art-related in order to enjoy and appreciate it enough to comprehend and retain the information…

Hey, it makes even more sense now that I further think about it. I was always pushed to be an excellent student and trained to earn good grades. But more often than not, getting that ‘A’ was easier said than done. So I learned to apply what I loved most and excelled in – arts education – to just about every subject in school. Even today, I pull from my days of arts education. I mean, who cares if by playing the violin for 5 years helped developed my auditory skills which enabled me to effortlessly spell tricky words and learn a new language… not to mention is responsible for the countless number of compliments I receive on my excellent, confident posture (to name a few examples ;).

But don’t take my word for it. Ask your kids.

xoxo

*Note: some organizations proclaim National Education Week to be September 7-13

Photo Cred

  • Top Photo: NaeA website

The Pavement Bookworm

Hello CeCe Book LoVeRs.

After scrolling through my homepage on WordPress, I came across 101 Books post on Philani Dladla, a homeless 24-year-old in Johannesburg, South Africa.

For the love of reading, you must listen to this young man give synopses for his books, belonging to a wide range of genres. I believe in his desire and attempt to share books and literacy knowledge with our youth and random spectators. I believe he would make a great reading ambassador for young people.

His story is inspiring, especially considering he fell victim to drugs and managed to recover from his addiction by reading self-help books. As he sits on street corners, he does not sit there with a sign nor does he sit there with an open hand waiting for change. He sits on the corners with a stack of books. He offers book review services to the passers-by. After hearing his reviews, if they become intrigued enough to want to read the book, the passers-by then pay Philani for his book.

He is passionate about reading. And at first glance he does not appear homeless, or at least I didn’t automatically think he was. By the video alone, without reading the article associated with it, I thought he was a young man desiring to share with the camera what reading can do for us and our young.

Enjoy and please share :)

Visit 101 Books here for their article on Philani.

P.S. >> If you’d like to donate to Philani and help sponsor more books for him, contact South African director, Tebogo Malope, who conducted the interview with Philani.

xoxo