Wednesday, October 26, 2011

early harvest launch

Come along and support the launch of this wonderful new magazine for children by children. Created by an editorial board of 14 upper-primary students from Melbourne’s west, the magazine includes work by bestselling children’s authors and illustrators such as Terry Denton, Sally Rippin and Sherryl Clark, as well as young authors from across Melbourne.

The magazine is the culmination of a 16-week after-school program, in which the editorial board created a children’s edition of literary journal harvest magazine. The young editors were guided through the process by professionals from the publishing industry, including editors from Penguin Australia, Hardie Grant Egmont, Dumbo Feather and Cardigan Comics.

“early harvest has been an amazing project for these young people to be involved in,” said Davina Bell, editor of harvest magazine, and Children’s Editor for Penguin Australia. “They have worked alongside publishing professionals to pick the theme, solicit, select and edit submissions, brief illustrators on artwork, and bring it all together to create a beautiful publication.

The young editorial board of early harvest will be on hand at the launch to sign copies of the magazine, along with the authors young and old, the illustrators and the publishing mentors.

Launch Details:
11 am, 12 November 2011
The Sun Theatre
10 Ballarat Street
To be launched by author Sally Rippin

Proceeds from the sale of this book support Pigeons not-for-profit writing programs for children and young people.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Fishing for thongs and other childhood games

Here is a photo of my two youngest fishing for thongs from our hammock which they have managed to string up perilously high (against a particularly ugly backdrop of our neighbour's construction sight - but that's another story). So high in fact that the littlest one needs a ladder to get up there! My thrill at watching this crazy game almost overrides my parental anxiety. Almost. But if you want your kids to play outside and use their imaginations, well, what can you do?
Here's an option just as creative and far safer (perhaps). Thanks to the fabulous blog Free Range Kids, I came across this wonderful mini-doco on a simple yet creative way to get kids involved in imaginative play. I found it very inspiring. It only goes for ten minutes and is definitely worth a watch if, like me, you love watching kids play. I almost feel inclined to set up a mini version of the playpod at home. Though on a bad day our whole house often looks like a playpod. I think the trick is to have a big space to lock all that junk away again at the end of the day...

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Some happy news

Some of you may remember when I wrote last year of visiting my sponsor child, Elizabeth, in Ghana. It was an incredible experience that allowed me to see with my own eyes how my meagre contribution had literally changed lives and also convinced me to begin sponsoring a second child as well, this time in Sri Lanka.

Well, recently, World Vision contacted me with the happy news that Elizabeth's village has now become self-sufficient and no longer needs my support. The aim of World Vision is not to provide indefinite funding but to provide communities with the skills and resources they need to survive on their own. Elizabeth and the other children in her village, now have access to education, safe drinking water and healthcare, and the community leaders have been equipped with the skills to maintain the development progress that has been made.

I felt a little sad writing my last card to Elizabeth after sponsoring her for over six years, but mostly happy that the small amount I had contributed - less than what I would spend on coffees each week - had made such a difference. So when World Vision asked if I'd like to sponsor another child in Africa, I agreed without hesitation.

My new sponsor child is a little girl called Khalif and she lives in Kenya. I always sponsor girls - having three sons of my own, it's my silly way of imagining I have daughters. I wonder if I'll be lucky enough to meet her one day?

Here are some links you might like to look at if you feel inspired to make a difference:

And if you need any more convincing, watch this: