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Storytelling

Three kids looking at an iPad

To Gift Tech or Not To Gift Tech? That Is Not The Question

While unpacking some holiday decorations I found a wish list that  my kids had put together a few years ago. It was heartwarming and included items like “a live owl,” legos, books, and “surprises.” While the live owl request required some conversation about animal safety, overall the lists were short, sweet, and offline. What grounded…  Read More

Teens looking at camera with their heads together in a circle

Building Belonging Starts at Home

Unlike this time last year, many of us are moving into this winter with our core routines modified but intact. Most kids are back in school, work expectations are back on full tilt, and we are more likely to be participating in activities and community events.  In other words, we are back, in the words…  Read More

Five Things to Keep in Mind On the Path Out of COVID

“How can I be so grateful and so overwhelmed at the same time!” a parent recently shared. “I dreamt of these activities for months and now I just feel more up and down than I imagined I would.” Many of us have likely spent time imagining what life “after COVID” would feel like. Indeed, the…  Read More

Two kids standing in the hallways reading their family poem

Your Family Deserves a Poem

Introducing the Spark & Stitch Family Poetry Project

“This poem is about us.” “That part is about me!” my youngest remarked proudly as we read our family poem out loud. Without hearing his name, he knew that the phrase “planetary sparkle” was his part of our story. We had just finished a personalized family poem session with Spark & Stitch collaborator and artist,…  Read More

Close up photo of Diver Van Avery, poet and Spark & Stitch Institute collaborator

Interview with Partner Poet Diver Van Avery

Spark & Stitch Family Poetry Project

As we mark the one year anniversary of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States, Spark & Stitch Institute is thrilled to launch the Family Poetry Project in collaboration with partner poet Diver Van Avery. I sat down with Diver over Zoom to ask her questions about parenting, poetry, and what she can offer families…  Read More

Child laying on bed reading a book to another child

Dear Artists and Authors, Thank You For Helping Kids Cope With COVID

I walked into my kids’ room last week looking for my youngest. My oldest was curled up in bed. “Are you alone in here?” I asked.  “No,” he answered. “I’m reading.”  It took me a second to realize his answer didn’t mean that both of my kids were snuggled under the blankets. Instead, his answer…  Read More

Ribbon on a typewriter with the words "stories matter" above

Parenting for Media Literacy: Storytelling and Power Matter

I used to teach a course on digital media, storytelling, and social change to college students in Minneapolis. One of our first field experiences every semester was to the artist studio of Minneapolis-based visual artist Ricardo Levins Morales. My students tended to be emerging filmmakers and media makers so many were surprised (and sometimes annoyed)…  Read More

Child smiling straight into camera.

How to Disrupt Gender Bias in Young Children

A single parent of a toddler sent me this message last week. “Figuring out how to participate in these movements for change during this pandemic with a young child is overwhelming. Most days we are just wrestling with screen time, Cheerios, and sharing toys. It’s so painfully mundane compared to what’s happening in the streets.”…  Read More

School librarian organized Camp Read Away at Seward Montessori in Minneapolis

Here’s Why You Should Thank Your School Librarian

The fire crackles and flickers onto the surrounding birch trees. Hanging lanterns transform the tents in front of me into glowing nests. Two signs point towards the nearest outhouses and children’s voices ring out through the air. As I describe this scene, you are likely picturing an adventure deep in the wilderness. But this past…  Read More