Thursday, March 12, 2009

It's a Gang Thing

Recently, at a public library where I work, we had an author visit us. Her name is Liz Scott and she wrote a book called, Alex and the Amazing Lemonade Stand. It’s the story of her daughter’s brave fight with cancer from the age of one and how Alex decided at the age of four to help raise money for her doctors. She decided she will do this by having a lemonade stand. Her mother said that she raised a few thousand dollars the first year, over twelve thousand the second year, and then began raising millions in the following years. Of course, this was through the support of children and adults everywhere wanting to help Alex and make a difference for others. Great story, great mom, and a great program at our library.

So, I was asked to help in coordinating this program and encouraging local students to attend. The person I was helping made calls to the local public elementary schools and I made calls to a local private school. With over 70 2nd – 5th grade kids planning on attending, I was asked to create a craft to tie into the presentation. Going with the idea that Alex had worn a yellow bandana, I decided that we would provide plain yellow bandanas, fabric pens, and ask the kids to decorate and wear them to the author’s visit.

My director was concerned that the yellow bandanas may be forbidden by the schools in respect to any anti-gang clothing policy that they may have. So, I made the call and spoke with the secretary in the office (they’re really the ones who run the place!). She told me that there was no policy against the color yellow and that yellow bandanas would be fine.

The bandanas, fabric pens, and lesson plans (for a writing and science component, of course!) had all been distributed to the participating classrooms. Alright, we’re good to go, or so I thought. The day before the program, I got a call from one of the teachers from the public school and was told that they were not going to use the bandanas because it was “a gang thing” and that since it had snowed and it was too cold, they would not be attending the program.

Hmmmm…my mommy mind was racing…a child can’t wear a yellow bandana decorated with dinosaurs, princesses, or the obligatory, “Girls Rock!” and you’re also saying that KIDS can not be allowed to walk in the cold?!? My mind reeled in recollection of a recent article I saw on the art of hiking nude, in the Alps, no less!

Well, there goes over half the attendees for our program and I couldn’t do a darn thing about it other than hope that the private school pulled through for me. They did and it was darling. The kids and author had a great time. She told the kids how much it meant to her that they had worn the yellow bandanas because she knew how much Alex loved the color yellow. And you know what else happened? Liz noticed the little girl with the “Girls Rock!” bandana and loved it!


Melissa said...

I love this one. We're definitely going to read this book.

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Nathan's Native American Button Blanket

Nathan's Native American Button Blanket
Eagle patterned button blanket designed for beauty and warmth. To see more pictures of how he made this click on the picture above.

Rick Miller - Bohemian Rhapsody