Special Schools in England Not Only Respect the Child, They Practice It

A School Where Nobody's Judging YouThere are at least two takeaways from this excellent article:
* The importance of being nonjudgmental
* Adults must look at the big picture: there are often events in that child’s life that led to the current situation.

Children are not disposable. As Korczak said, one must never, ever abandon a child in need.

This fine article appeared in the October 17, 2017, edition of The Guardian.


Tearing Up Our Social Fabric and Hurting Children: A Brief Addendum

Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times has written an alarming piece of how Trump’s rhetoric is tearing our social fabric and affecting children in schools.  Fortunately, many students – of all backgrounds – have taken the moral courage of standing up to this bigotry, which is more than one could say about some of our elected officials in the GOP.

This piece is an addendum to the earlier report published by the Southern Poverty Law Center, which appeared on this blog.   As Korczak pointed out, “Children are not the people of tomorrow, but are people of today.”


Rescuing the Children Who Are “Too Small to Fail”

Nicholas Kristof wrote a superb editorial in the New York Times on the choices we could and should make on behalf of our children, ages 0 to 3, or the first 1,000 days.  His philosopy: Let’s invest in children, “who are too small to fail.”


He cites several studies, both standalone and collections of important essays.  Of the latter, of note is a brand-new book, The Leading Edge of Childhood Education.


This 2016 book is an excellent companion to the excellent 2014 book, also by Harvard Graduate School of Education, Improving the Odds for America’s Children, of which a prominent theme is that we have sufficient money to spend on children; it is a matter of setting priorities and making decisions that will benefit America’s children.


As this blog asked in the previous entry:  Are the candidates for president addressing issues that concern our children and are the media paying any attention?  It’s all about setting priorities and making choices.

Malala Speaks Up (Again) for Syrian Children


In this powerful video, Malala has hope that the Syrian child refugees will survive and one day be able to return home.  That hope, however, is dampened by the grave concerns she has for what may be the irreparable damage that has been done to these young lives.  The statistics are as staggering as they are frightening.

Malala tells their story for the world to hear.

It doesn’t have to be that way!  Syrian children need money for an education.  Let’s help them come home and rebuild their country.


Thanksgiving – My Family, Syrians, and Arctic Wolves

First, to my dear readers, a happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!

While I look forward to spending time with some of my precious family, for which I am extremely grateful, my heart continues to ache for those who are separated from their families.  I think of the Syrian refugees, of whom more than half are children.  I continue to shed tears for them, for how they have been treated by the despots in their home countries, as well as for how these people have become scapegoats, targets of shameful racist demagoguery both among existing politicians and candidates seeking political office next year.

Arctic Wolf Family

A family of Arctic wolves spends time together at the Lakota Wolf Preserve, Columbia, NJ. PHOTO: Copyright 2015, Daniel L. Berek

Wolves are often portrayed in popular literature and folklore as the evil.  Of all the pictures I have taken of these magnificent animals, this one best shows how popular myth so often gets it wrong.  My point: the same applies to the hateful things said about the Syrian refugees and Muslims in general.  My experiences with both show the opposite.

So, on this Thanksgiving, before I join members of my own family, I took a few moments to pen a letter to President Barack Obama, to express my support for his wise and humane policies regarding the refugees and immigrants.   In my letter, I express my feelings that his plan to admit 10,000 Syrian refugees “has great metaphorical and practical meaning, as that is the number of children saved during the Holocaust, thanks to the Kindertransport and the generosity of the British people.”

Thanksgiving 01 Censored

A Veteran Teacher Talks About Being a Champion for Every Child

Rita Pierson talks of teacher advocate advocacy child welfare

Rita Pierson gave a powerful TED talk on why every child needs a champion.

Rita Pierson, a veteran of 40 years, recently gave an impassioned talk about the need for teachers to make a connection with every student, that “every child deserves a champion.”  Even small gestures such as marking a failing paper with “+2” rather than “-18” can have a huge impact on how a student views himself.

Here is Rita Pierson’s TED Talk.

A Loving Mom Declares: “I need my daughter to know that her voice matters.”

girl helmet

A loving mom declares her 2-year-old daughter’s little voice deserves to be heard by everyone.  This is a beautifully written little essay, embracing the spirit of Janusz Korczak​ and “The Child’s Right to Respect.”  For that reason, I felt it very much worthwhile to mention in this space.  Please take a moment and read the essay in its entirety on Becky’s Blog.