Blog

summer adventure

National Parks and the South East

National Parks in the South East

The United States has been preserving National Parks, Historical Monuments and Battlefields for over one hundred years. In 2015, it was estimated that over 100 million people visited National Parks in the US (statista.com). These parks are often a huge bang for the buck while traveling and wanting to understand the history or natural wonders of an area. On our road trip, we have already been to five locations and at each spot, the kids participated in the Junior Ranger Program and earned a badge (i.e. free souvenir).

Exploring these locations was been an exciting part of our trip. If you have a child entering fourth grade, if you are a senior citizen, handicapped or a disabled veteran you may qualify to gain free or reduced rates at these National Landmarks. So grab a water bottle (because it gets hot), some sturdy shoes and your sense of adventure and get ready to learn!

 

history

New Orleans Jazz Historic Park

Most of my life I have wanted to go to New Orleans and so it was fitting that our first big adventure of this trip was a morning trip into the French Quarter. It was busy, hot and the parking was not cheap ($18 for two hours!). So, we wanted to do as much as possible. We started at the New Orleans Jazz Historic park, which isn’t far from Cafe DuMonde’ and the St. Louis Cathedral. They have free music programs throughout the day and as you enter the square where the offices are located local Jazz Musicians are playing. You get all of the feel good, deep south #NOLA vibes. Their Junior Ranger Program wasn’t very intensive and within an hour we had grabbed beignets and headed through Jefferson Square to St. Louis Cathedral. We definitely got the experience of New Orleans packed into that two hour day trip and the kids had earned their badge!

What was interesting was that we were also able to see and learn a lot as we headed in and out of New Orleans. We had prepared by reading an “I Survived” book about Hurricane Katrina. This book took my kids through a first person narrative of the events surrounding Hurricane Katrina. This made Lake Pontchartrain very real to them. They were amazed that so many of the old buildings had survived in the French Quarter, but they could see others that were not nearly as lucky from the highway as we left town.

Castillo de San Marcos National Monument

This monument charges a pretty hefty fee for adults 15 and older. However, the amount of historical information you get and the experience makes it the perfect place for a family to explore. Everybody gets in for the price of Mom and Dad (and paid parking, which was reasonable). This monument is well kept and often has living history exhibits to really engage children. The Junior Ranger program they offer is phenomenal as well. It isn’t air conditioned, but being built out of limestone it isn’t miserably hot even in the June heat. We were able to see replicas of soldiers from different eras but what was really interesting was the life size canvases of different historical figures who passed through the Castillo. It was incredible and so informative!

St. Augustine is rich in history and we easily could have stayed for several days and explored. As it was just a day trip, the Castillo was our main focus. However, we walked up and down the streets in Old St. Augustine and explored the Basilica. The Basilica’s docents were very well informed and taught our kids about how the rock for the walls was quarried.

Junior Ranger in Progress
Working hard to get her Junior Ranger Badge!

Our summer adventure has been amazing… Next up, we will share a bit about Charleston and the adventures we found there.

Meanwhile, have you joined Global Learn Day? The big adventure happens this October so be sure to join the voyage!

Meet a Presenter: Aurelius Cabrini Homeschool Resource Center

How is the summer (or winter in the southern hemisphere) treating you?  Here at Global Learn Day, we are working hard and getting very excited!! Global Learn Day is less than 3 months away…actually 2 months, 23 days, 7 hours, 56 minutes, and 8 seconds, but who’s counting???

Over the next few weeks we will continue to introduce our amazing and generous presenters. We have a captivating line up this year and can’t wait for you to come along on this voyage of discovery.

Today, we welcome Aurelius Cabrini Homeschool Resource Center to our crew.

homeschool resource center

Homeschooling as an educational option is flourishing in our home country, the United States, as well as around the world. Even in parts of the world where homeschooling is restricted or unlawful, parents continue to be the primary educators of their children and provide the means of developing a lifelong love of learning.

For centuries, children were educated at home by their parents and elders of the community. When the industrial revolution swept across the west, the practice of public schooling came with it. However, education was never meant to just be about going to school.

homeschool mom support

What started as a grassroots movement to bring education back home to the family has blossomed from something unusual, to something main steam. As more families have chosen to homeschool, the need has arisen for homeschool educators to have support and community. Where can that be found?

In the digital age, community has moved online. Aurelius Cabrini Homeschool Resource Center aims to provide community, support, and continuing education for homeschool moms across America and around the world. It is a one of a kind organization that focuses on the mother providing the education and her needs, not just the children learning.

With resources ranging from online learning events and private support groups to curriculum creation and one-on-one coaching. Aurelius Cabrini Homeschool Resource Center seeks to make homeschooling a possibility for every family who wants it.

Founded by Jennifer Elia, a certified teacher and homeschool mom of four, Aurelius Cabrini Homeschool Resource Center is an answer to all the moms she has met who say, “I wish I could homeschool, but….”

Jennifer Elia is on a mission to teach every mom how she can teach every child at home. Believing that every child has special needs but also special gifts, her center works with parents to build an education that not only gives children the power to overcome limitations but fuels the passion that leads to a lifelong love of learning.

We are happy to have Aurelius Cabrini Homeschool Resource Center aboard and ready to share our mission of promoting education. If you would like to join our voyage as a presenter or “passenger,” there is still time! Sign up here and get a free activity packet download with everything you need for the best Global Learn Day ever!

 

youth

Meet A Presenter: YP2G

Education is extremely important. Here at Global Learn Day, we work to promote education for all. We firmly believe in access to education and the importance of lifelong education.

However, what happens when education isn’t enough to land a career. What happens when highly educated graduates do not have what it takes to get the job that they need and want?

Neville Gaunt and his crew at YP2G (short for Your Passport to Grow) are working to close the skills gap in a surprising way. Their mission is to give youth a “can do” attitude and boost their soft skills.  These skills are not the ones taught by academic courses of study, but are essential to success in real world careers.yp2g

In fact, employers favor candidates who excel in these skills above those with higher levels of education and training.  Modern education focuses primarily on measurable skills and demonstration of knowledge. This approach is not producing career ready individuals, though.

success

According to an article in Forbes which featured the YP2G project:

In a study of 1,000 employers, recruitment company Reed reported that 96 percent would choose a candidate with a great attitude over a candidate with higher skills. Likewise, if forced to make a reduction in force, they would let a more skilled worker go in favor of a candidate with positive attitude traits and named the top six essential attitude qualities as “commitment, honesty, trustworthiness, adaptability, accountability, and loyalty.”

Through a revolutionary, online program, YP2G is changing the lives of young people in the course of a single year with lessons that develop the following skills:

  • Communication skills
  • Problem solving
  • Self motivation
  • Work under pressure and deadlines
  • Organizational skills
  • Team work
  • Ability to learn and adapt
  • Numeracy
  • Valuing diversity and difference
  • Negotiation

Neville Gaunt

Neville Gaunt explains why he began this program, “As a School Governor in the U.K. in 2003, I’ve seen a huge disconnect between education and business,” he says. “In the mid 1990s as I worked in oil and gas, I noticed graduates around the world were far less prepared for work than when I graduated in 1980.” (source)

The preparedness, or lack there of, was not from inferior academic programs, but from lack of personal development. Students are being given rigorous academics with a focus on STEM without developing the kind of character traits that are needed for a successful career.

Beginning in Pakistan, YP2G has spread to select universities in England and has its sights on growth in the United States where a skills gap is widening.

With the help of successful consultants from around the world, YP2G provides a highly affordable opportunity for youth to develop and attitude for career success.  Consultants range from corporate executives to ivy league professors.  All are committed to building a better future through better prepared youth.

We are thankful to have the YP2G project aboard. Thank you for helping to change the world!

Do you have something to share with the world? Want to reach people around the world with your special talent or skill set? Global Learn Day is actively seeking presenters to round out our “itinerary” for our October 6, 2018 virtual voyage.

What soft skill has changed the course of your life for the better?

hope and dreams

Meet a Presenter: Hope and Dream Initiative

Do you have a library card? How often do you use it? For many people the library is a regular stop in their daily life, a place to get the latest thriller or read the daily paper. Libraries offer so much that it is easy to take them for granted.  However, libraries are not just your spot for free movie audiobook rentals, they are a land of opportunity and change.

Nguzo Ogbodo started the Hope and Dreams Initiative when her daughter was disappointed that they could not keep their weekly tradition of visiting the library on Saturday while on a trip to Nigeria.

Mummy why don’t you gather your friends together and raise money and build one for the children of this community and I will invite Michelle Obama to come.”

A child’s simple vision is changing the world because it gave her mother an amazing mission. In a global ranking of least literate nations, Nigeria ranks third! Add to that the lack of access to proper facilities for hygiene, and it leaves Nigeria’s children lacking in so many fundamental human rights.

To change that, Ogobodo’s initiative has been building reading rooms with a twist. These mini libraries are chock full of enticing non-fiction and spell binding fiction books for all ages, however, they also work to teach proper hygiene while providing the tools needed to stay healthy.

hope and dreams

WASH reading rooms house a hand washing station at the entrance and resources to teach hygienic practices and their importance. Better hygiene and access to literature are both helping children grow and learn so they can have a more promising future.

Hope and Dream does not stop there, though. In a often overlooked area, lack of simple resources is highly impacting access to education for girls. Girls who need the education to break the cycle of poverty but don’t have the means to do so.

By providing access to menstrual pads, the girls who come to the WASH reading rooms are gaining back 5 days of education, on average, every month. Those few days add up to an extra 2-4 months of education every year! Months that can make the difference between a solid education with hope for the future and an opportunity lost.

One book, one room, at a time are changing the lives of one child,  and one community forever. Through this initiative, the world is a brighter place for hundred of children because of a little soap, running water, and shelves filled with books.

To date, nine WASH reading rooms have been built at schools in the most underserved communities in Africa, mostly in Nigeria. Think of how many more lives could be changed by these simple gifts?

hope and dreams

Nguzo Ogobodo is changing the world and we are thrilled to have her be a part of Global Learn Day to raise awareness for this vital mission.

Do you have a dream you want to share? Are you making a difference in access to education? Global Learn Day is actively seeking presenters and partners to teach the world and further our vision of uniting the world through education.

 

summer eating and travel

How to Stay Healthy on Summer Vacation

Are you all ready for that summer adventure? Katie, one of our amazing presenters, is here today with tips on how to eat better while out and about enjoying your summer vacation!

originally published on Health, Wellness, and Chocolate!

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

have a healthy and delicous summer

Summer is here! Finally! Now that our schedules are more relaxed, many of us take time to travel or visit with friends. This often translates into opportunities to eat and eat and eat! Eating and breaking bread and exploring the cuisine of a new region or culture is a wonderful part of living. It is possible to partake in the local cuisine and continue to support your personal health and wellness goals while eating away from home.

Eat well even on the road

Here are five tips to help you eat well away from home:

  1. While traveling, consider your overall well being. Choose food that supports your health goals. Pay attention to how you feel after you eat. Were you energized and nourished or do you feel uncomfortable and sluggish? Make a mental note and learn from that for next time.
  2. There are so many fresh, local, whole foods. If you travel to a different region, sample the local fresh flavors. Visit a local farmers market that will highlight the local cuisine. Fresh, whole foods taste amazing. Whatever you decide to eat, remember to focus on your food. Really taste and savor it. Remind yourself that you don’t need to eat past the point of fullness just because it is a special occasion.
  3. Before you leave home, research the food scene at your vacation spot. Take time to find the highest quality restaurants within your price range. Visit the restaurant’s website and check out the menu. Then consider your health and wellness goals, your likes and dislikes, and then decide what to eat before you go.
  4. While traveling, expect delays, traffic jams etc… You might not be able to eat when you get hungry, which could lead to overeating when you finally do eat. Instead, stave off hunger by packing high quality snack foods so that you don’t get too hungry and sabotage your health and wellness efforts.
  5. If you are at a BBQ or picnic and do not have much control over the food choices, ask yourself “what looks good?” “what would I like to try?”. Take time to be selective, don’t just pile food on your plate. Choose a couple of foods that look amazing (you can always go back for more). Then taste, savor and chew the food and really enjoy it. Remember to check in with yourself and decide when you are comfortably full and then stop eating.

If you are attuned to your hunger, fullness and satisfaction, it won’t matter what you choose to eat. That’s because you would stop eating when you are comfortably satisfied. You do not need to feel out of control around food. It is possible to have freedom and taste the amazing bounty that summer has to offer.

If that sounds impossible to you, subscribe to Health Wellness and Chocolate. I offer the first two videos in the Health and Wellness Blueprint Online Course for free. You can begin today to make peace with food and set health and wellness goals.

Do you want to jump right in? I would love to give you more tools to help you set health and wellness goals. Consider joining the Health Wellness and Chocolate membership community where you have access to the entire Health and Wellness Blue Print as well as the E-book “Stop Dieting and Have Peace With Food”. 

Safe Travels! Enjoy your Summer!

Katie is a Certified Health and Wellness Coach, Certified Health Education Specialist, wife and homeschooling Mother of 7 on her own Health and Wellness Journey.

How to start a business

How to Start a Business at Any Age: Business Education for Children

Summer Lovin’

School is out and summer is here in the northern hemisphere! What are your plans for these too few glorious weeks? Some children will relive the age old rite of passage by opening their own lemonade stand. All they need for this iconic business is water, a pitcher, some lemons, sugar, and a whole lot of hope. Or is there more to it?

The Business of Running a Business

Learning how to run a successful business will serve children when they grow into adulthood no matter what field of work they pursue. From lemonade to the latest invention, here are some steps to support your children’s entrepreneurial adventure. Here is a step by step guide to teach even the youngest entrepreneurs business lessons to last a lifetime!

business basics for kids

 

Brainstorm Ideas

When my oldest daughter wanted to take skating lessons on top of all her other activities, we really had to think about it. We weren’t opposed to her doing so, but the extra funds to finance it were a problem.

She decided she needed to start her own business.  I let her run with it, and we sat down to think about what kind of business she would like to have.  At seven, she started a horse treat and cookie business that paid for her lessons for four years.

When deciding what business to start, it is important to brainstorm ideas of what business your child would enjoy running, what they know a lot about, and where they will have opportunities to sell their products.

My daughter is horse crazy, has been since she was a toddler.  The choice to make horse treats was easy because her second favorite activity is baking.  She knows numerous horse loving people as well, and regularly visits barns. Hence her business, aptly named Horse Crazy Treats, was born.

 

Make A Business Plan

A business plan is essential. If you don’t have a blueprint, it is nearly impossible to build a house.  Same is true for a business. Take some time with your child to create a solid plan to give his business it’s best shot.

I recently did this with my son.  He had started making crafts to sell and had done quite well, but was not very focused.  Now that he was eight and had experience selling a few crafts, I wanted him to really think about what he was doing and how he planned to succeed at the annual craft fair.   So, we took out a notebook and answered the following questions:

  • What products do you hope to sell?
  • Why do you think these products would appeal to your customers?
  • What supplies do you need to make each product?
  • What kind of packaging is needed?
  • Does your product have a shelf life?
  • Do you need any special equipment or skills to produce this product?
  • If you do, do you have these already?  If not, how will you get them?

lemonade stand

 

Find Your Market Share

Now that you have a great product and a plan of how to create it, you need a place to sell it.  If you have carefully thought out step one and two, it should be easy to find a venue.

Does a local store carry consignment items?  Could dad or mom get orders through work? Is your product something that friends in your activities would be interested to buy?  Is there a local craft fair or flea market where you could rent a table? Do you have a friend or family member with a business that could sell your product?

My children have found markets at craft fairs, their old preschool, their co-op, and through email and Facebook.  Just remember to add any of the costs or commissions to your budget.

 

Get Your Pitch Ready

If you think of any product that you buy, there is probably a tag line, packaging feature, commercial, or publicized benefit that leads you to purchase it.  Help your child come up with their own jingle and packaging. Make sure that the she can answer questions about the product and state why a customer should want to purchase it.

My son is a born salesman, he can engage anyone and get them on board with whatever he is selling.  He is convincing, personable, and savvy about what people want to know before they buy. My daughter is more timid and prefers to have the product speak for her.  Both of them have been successful because they have used their talents to market their product.

My daughter is very visual and can design beautiful displays that catch customers’ eyes and entice them to buy.  My son uses his wit, interpersonal skills, and engaging personality to draw in his customers. Together they would make quite a team!  However, we have been really working on honing their gifts, while striving to improve the side of marketing that is more of a struggle for each.

Marketing is important.  Don’t short change this step!  No matter what field your child moves into as an adult, being able to sell their ideas will serve them well.

 

Build a Financial Plan

Before jumping full on into a business venture, it is crucial to make sure it is financially sound. Learning to “pencil out” ideas and judge their financial merit is something that will serve every person for the rest of their lives!

This is where the cold, hard truth comes into play.  Even the best product will fail if the company can’t afford to produce it.  Also, most businesses flounder not for lack of customers, but because of poor financial decisions.  Know your limitations and your potential before spending any money.

 

  • How much money do you have to invest in your business?
  • How much will the supplies for each product cost?
  • For how much could you reasonably sell the product?
  • How many do you need to sell of each product to break even?
  • How much profit do you hope to make?
  • What will you do with your profit?
  • What percentage of the profits will I donate/tithe?
  • What percentage of profit will you reinvest into the business?

 

Assess Your Assets And Make Adjustments

Once your child’s business begins, remember to regularly take a step back and see how it is doing?  Are costs being met? Is a profit being made? Which products are selling best? Is there anything that could be done to improve the product, sales venue, or marketing?  What goals does your child have for the future of the business? Is your child still enjoying the business she created?

My daughter’s horse treat business served her well for a few years, but then her sales started to drop.  Since the treats were perishable, there was a sharp increase in loss due to spoilage because of the slow down.  Also, her time commitments changed and she found it challenging to fit in the baking time the business required.

She still wanted to have a business and enjoyed making her own money.  After a bit more brainstorming, she decided to create hair clips instead.  This business has been going well for three years. After each major sales campaign, she calculates which styles sold best and which weren’t very popular.  In this way, she has grown her little business and manages to stay afloat instead of continuing to produce items that aren’t likely to sell. Monitoring progress and trends is an important business habit to develop.

 

Has your child started a business?  What has he learned from the experience?

 

Meet Our Presenters: Mary’s Meals

Do you want to save the world? Feeling like there is too much to be done and you are too small to make a difference?

 

If you can’t feed a hundred people, just feed one

Mother Teresa

That is the quote and simple premise that inspired a huge charity making immense strides in the battle against poverty and starvation.

Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow began Mary’s Meals with the dream of giving just one child a good meal once a day at a school. His charity now feeds 1,257,278 children around the world every single day.

More than just a small hand out, the meals provided are packed with the nutrition that they hungriest children desperately need. Moreover, with food being provided at school, these children are receiving a life changing education with a side of life saving nourishment.

Food + School = HOPE

Inspired by his deep faith and full of young zeal, Magnus and his brother began collecting donations in the mid-1980’s to aid those suffering from the Bosnian War. What started as a summer project, soon grew into a full time career and a large charity named SRI.

When the war ended, Magnus looked for where he could help next. This led him to Malawi in 2002 where a great famine raged. There, Magnus met Edward who shared his biggest hope with Magnus.

“I want to have enough food to eat and to go to school one day.”

That was the birth of Magnus’ lifelong mission. That year, Mary’s Meals fed 200 children in Malawi. The Mary’s Meals program now operates in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, and South America, as well as running a home for young people with HIV in Romania who were abandoned as children.

The beauty of this simple idea goes beyond the meal at school, though. Ingredients are sourced locally, contributing to the local economy. Local volunteers and employees are used to cook, serve, and guard the meals, creating an empowerment unlike traditional food drop programs.

 

one dime can save the world

The most spectacular feature of Mary’s Meals, though, is the cost. Each meal costs only 10 cents, meaning a child can receive an entire year’s worth of meals for only $19.50! In an effort to feed as many children as possible, at least 93% of all donations go directly toward the providing of meals, not organization overhead.

We are grateful to have Mary’s Meals International as a returning presenter, and inspired by the work it does to provide continued access to education.

Do you know a charity breaking down barriers to education? We would love to know more about it.

Global Learn Day 2018 is just four months away. Are you ready? We are working hard to make this the best Global Learn Day, ever, but we need your help!

We are still seeking presenters and partners, but also participants like you who are our greatest asset.

If you would like to learn more about becoming a part of the Global Learn Day team, please check out our Partners and Presenters page or drop a comment below! We will be sure to get in touch with you, soon.

How to get involved with Global Learn Day 2018

How can you unite the world through education?

Adventures and Learning

Summer

There is something that just excites me about summer. The long days, warm sun and opportunities for childhood adventure seem endless. As a teen, I had the opportunity to go on an adventure exploring the Western United States with my family. Four people, a conversion mini van, no particular schedule and the great open road. I drug my feet and complained mightily about being away from my friends, but that trip was one of the most amazing experiences of my young life.

This summer, my husband and I have the opportunity to recreate this but in the Eastern United States. There will be five of us aged 15 months to 34 years, along with all of our luggage and a tent packed into a mini van with few hard dates and a month of open road. I’m, of course, worried that my tweens will bicker but I am more excited about the Adventure and Educational Opportunities that we are opening the doors to.

 

Budget

A month on the road will cost some money, of course. However, we have a few cards up our sleeves to reduce the costs that we are paying for our experiences. Stop one happens to be with a dear friend who is Active Duty Military, so we will be taking advantage of Blue Star Museums every chance we get. What are Blue Star Museums? These are museums who offer free admission to Active Duty Military and up to five guests all summer long. There are museums across the United States who participate and it is an excellent opportunity to learn, even if you aren’t straying far from home!

As a Disabled Veteran, my husband also has a pass to the National Parks System. This allows us to enter National Monuments, Parks, Battlefields and Museums free of charge. It is an excellent opportunity for our kids to take advantage of learning about our National Treasures, Ecology, Geology and History. We just need the gas to get there! If you have a 4th grader, there is a special program that allows you to also take advantage of free admission!

Finally, we will be spending sometime in Washington DC. The Smithsonian Institute, National Museums and National Zoo all have free admission. Parking can be an issue, so we will park and take mass transit into the city. This will be another learning experience for our kids as we don’t use this type of transportation at home.

That leaves us with food, lodging and gas. Food – well, we have to eat anywhere we go, so I don’t really factor too heavily into my calculations. Besides, we are happy with homemade sandwiches from an icebox. We drink lots of water, although there is definitely a coffee budget. Lodging – we will stay with family and friends at some points. Otherwise, we have a tent and will be teaching the kids how to properly set it up and break it down. You can camp at many State and National Parks for less than $20 per night! Gas – this will be our biggest expense outside of our normal budget. The gas to get from our home Out West to the East Coast will be a few hundred dollars but once on the East coast, everything is fairly close.

Goal Based Adventures

We have set goals for this adventure. These are educational objectives that we want to meet prior to our return trip home. Some of ours include:

  • being able to put up and break down a tent
  • calculating mileage and cost per mile
  • learning how to navigate public transportation
  • identifying key battles of the American Civil War, including where it began and ended
  • learning states and their capitals – we will do this by playing a car game where the state is named from a license plate and the car occupants then name the capital city
  • being able to identify different types of bodies of water and land masses
  • Using Car time to study for our Amateur Radio Licenses

We are so excited about this trip and sharing experiential learning with our children. Along the way, we will be updating Global Learn Day of our travels and experiences as part of our “Summer Break” series!

This was a guest  blog post from Mary Elizabeth over at 3TimesBlessed.

 

Meet Our Presenters: FAITH Center for the Arts

The World of Fine Arts

“All the world is a stage…” William Shakespeare certainly viewed the world through the lens of his craft, theater, but it is true that the arts have always been one of the chief hallmarks of civilization and advancement.

In modern times, the arts are often under valued, cast aside for the seemingly more important STEM related disciplines–science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. While we definitely live in an age of massive growth in technology and innovation, the arts still form the base of all culture.

The Need for Creativity and a Dream Realized

It’s creativity that still fuels dreams and artistic expression that makes even the most high tech gadget beautiful and appealing.

Over twenty years ago, one man had a dream to sow the seeds of creativity, harmony, and beauty in his homeschool community. His dream has blossomed into an outstanding program that is teaching the homeschool world to sing–and dance, play, paint, act, and more!

Bill and Lori Briggs met in college, both music majors, they fell in love with each other and continued to fall in love with their craft. Years later, as homeschool parents, Bill had a vision of creating a program to bring fine arts opportunities to his family and other homeschooling families in his area. Thus FAITH Center for the Arts was founded by the Briggs family.

“I thought if I could just get 50 families involved, ” Bill reminisces, “I would be very happy and this program would be a success.”

Over Two Decades of Fine Arts Education

Nearly 25 years later, the tiny idea with big plans now serves hundreds of families at five campuses, several service schools, and a plethora of summer camps. Bill’s vision has taken flight and he hopes to soon use the power of the digital age to reach beyond his NJ roots to the world at large.

Over the past hundred years of education, the once highly regarded arts have fallen from glory and been heaved out amid education budget cuts and teacher shortages. So, what was once just for homeschool families has opened it’s door to after school programs, private lessons, studio classes, and serving the needs of private and charter schools without an arts education staff.

Lori and Bill continue to oversee and grow this pet project of theirs, staying active in both advisory and teaching capacities. FAITH Center for the Arts thrives beneath the principal of “developing the heart of the artist.” Courses are not just rote teaching, but spring boards to what could be. With professional, accredited and highly accomplished teachers in every discipline, FAITH Center is a one of a kind venture that Global Learn Day is proud to share with the global community.

Current offerings include for students aged 5-18:

  • Piano
  • Guitar
  • Strings
  • Brass
  • Woodwind
  • Percussion
  • Drama
  • Photography
  • Dance
  • Digital Design
  • Voice/Choir
  • Band
  • Jazz Band
  • Orchestra
  • Preschool Music and Art
  • Visual Art
  • General Music
  • Handbells
  • and more!

Presenters for Global Learn Day 2018

Welcome aboard, FAITH Center, we can’t wait to visit your port of call this October!

What would you teach the world if you could? Global Learn Day is your opportunity to share one great lesson with countless people from all around the world. If you would like to learn more about Global Learn Day, or sign up to be a partner or presenter, please visit Join the Voyage and help us Unite the World through Education!

**FAITH Center for the Arts is a 503c organization that relies on the generous support of donors to blossom and grow. If you would like to make a tax deductible donation to FAITH Center please visit their donors page.

Deaf Awareness Week

Signing with C

As part of Deaf Awareness Week, we welcome GLD team member and blogger, Mary Elizabeth. Here is a guest post originally published on 3 Times Blessed.

Deaf Awareness Week

It is Deaf Awareness Week this week! The point of this week is to raise awareness for signs of hearing loss and also Deaf Culture. I thought I would share a bit about our family’s journey with…

Sign Language

Between words and signs C has over 30 words to communicate with our family at under 15 months old. It has been incredible to watch her and quite often strangers will comment on it. She also doesn’t get frustrated the way that I remember A and E getting at this age. She can tell us she wants to eat, or that she wants water. The frustration really begins when she doesn’t get whatever it is that she wants, because she is the princess and has requested said item… Why would we not provide it?

How we started

In July, after we started with her hearing aids, we began to be set up with several programs in our state for children who are Hard of Hearing or Deaf. One program covered the cost of having a therapist come into our home once a week and help us with our signing. We had a few individuals but finally settled in with Miss M. She is fantastic! She has helped instruct me in ASL and incorporate it into my daily life. More than that, the therapist is able to recognize when C isn’t hitting a milestone that she needs to, or when her molds are getting too small for her ears.

We started by signing Mom, Dad and the name signs we had created for A and E. We also signed “dog” a lot, because we have two pups – Daisy and Simon. From there, we have expanded to signing books that C likes (Brown Bear, Brown Bear was our first book to sign) and routines. However, kids only learn what is modeled. That is how they pick up words when they are Hearing and how they pick up ASL at any hearing level. If we don’t use it, they will not.

Our family started signing when C was about 3 months old. It’s not like she started signing immediately, but she was familiarized with what we were doing and when we did it. So, we sign all the time. As I learned sign with the rest of the family, we tried to communicate via sign with each other. We would play games at dinner like picking a category and continuing to use a sign that fit in that category until we ran out. It was fun and we were busy learning a language! Now, we sign in the morning to C as we dress her. We sign at meal times and as we dress in the morning. We talk about the weather and sign about bathing rituals. The more I learn, the more often we sign.

The more that we sign, the more we retain and the more that C learns. It is fantastic that she can now let me know that she is ready to eat or is thirsty. C has never been a fussy baby but her ability to reach out and tell us what she needs reduces the fussiness even more. It has been a huge blessing to communicate with my one year old!

As I said above, we started signing with C when she was about 3 months old. When she was six months old, her first sign was Mom. About a month later she began signing dog insistently. Almost 8 months later, her favorite sign is most definitely dog. She signs dog for any animal, really. Now, she says “dog, dog” as she signs “dog”. By her first birthday, she had over a dozen signs including “more, nurse and all-done”.

Now

Now, C has a ton of signs. Some of these she uses daily, others she will use and then decide she doesn’t really require it. Either way, it is pretty neat! Every morning she wakes up and signs and says “dog, dog”. I sign to her that we are going to go change her diaper and then I ask her verbally and with sign if she would like to eat. She signs “eat” back to me. As we prep breakfast, I show her the fruits or other breakfast items that we are having and she will typically sign “more” or “all done” or “please” if she wants them.

I am shocked with how easy it is to communicate with her. She still fusses but nowhere near the children I have observed in her peer group or as much as her siblings have. We are convinced that signing will happen with all future children because of what a positive experience this has been!

Yesterday, we went to the zoo. Every single animal was a “dog”. That makes sense because this is what she has experienced. There is a beautiful bird exhibit where birds are flying all around you. C very quickly picked up the sign for “bird”. I have found that at this age, signing is very experiential.

My Tips

If you want to start signing with your little one, this link provides several useful signs and instructions on how to do them!

  • Don’t become discouraged if it takes your little one a while to start signing. They are learning so much about the world around them and we didn’t see our first signs until 6 months even though we started signing at 3 months!
  • Teach signs that you will use. If you never see fish, it might not be a useful sign.
  • As your child masters a sign, start a new one. You don’t want “more” to become a child’s universal sign for every need.
  • Have fun with your new communication tool!

Have you used baby sign? What were your thoughts about it?