Sunday, May 30, 2010

Global Village Voice

Education, Activism and Resources for a Better World

Welcome to The Global Village Voice, where we’re bridging the worlds of education and activism – bringing together visionaries from the worlds of alternative education, humane education, homeschooling, peace, justice, diversity, sustainability, human rights, psychology, spirituality, indigenous issues, the arts, and life in general – to share information, inspiration, and thoughtful reflection.

So often the realms of education, activism, psychology, spirituality, etc. don’t have a lot to say to each other. We want this site to be a place that unites people from different worlds, a place for community-building, sharing of resources, and respectful exchange of ideas.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Book drive for literacy programs

A few weeks ago I was talking to our contact at the food warehouse where we volunteer to pack food boxes. There was mention of some items needed for First Nations communities in northern Canada and books was one of the items. I got thinking - it was time for spring cleaning and the homeschool group had a book sale coming up. Perhaps we could funnel our no longer needed books towards this organization who would provide books to 12 different communities to support literacy, enrichment and intervention programs.

And so on Friday our co-op friends unloaded boxes of books and sorted them into categories and then again into piles for each community.  Some of us worked on books, and some of us worked packing boxes. And at the end the kids enjoyed more popsicles and listened to stories about how their work helps lots of different communities. 

The more time we spend with this organization, the more opportunities we find for ways to help.  There are plans in the works for other projects as well - handmade dolls to send up for Christmas gifts, collecting our soccer balls and shirts at the end of our season to support soccer programs, more box packing, and more book drives.

Friday, May 14, 2010

First Costa Rica...then the world

Wednesday morning was our homeschool groups third annual World Expo. Each family chooses a country and puts together a display to educate our friends about the geography, history and culture of our destination. This year we used photos from last summer's trip to the Cleveland Botanical Gardens Costa Rica biome. The kids made a plasticine rain forest diorama. We served hearts of palm and pineapple (which really came from Costa Rica.)  After we set up in our continents with our food and artifacts and display boards, the kids all received their passports and we spent the morning touring the world.

We chose to do Costa Rica this year, which, as it turns out, is a fascinating country. Some of the things we found most interesting:
25% of the country's land is set aside as environmentally protected space.
5% of the world's biodiversity exists in this space that represents only 0.1% of the earth's land.  There is a 50,000 acre Children's Rain Forest Preserve which was established when Swedish children decided in 1987 to raise money to save the rain forest. The effort has grown and is still funded by donations from children around the world.
Costa Rica is a peaceful nation with no army (as written in their constitution) and it is home to the only United Nations university - which is called the University of Peace.
Costa Ricans just elected their first female President who was sworn in this week (how timely for our project).

I love this opportunity for my kids to study a country in depth and then talk with their friends about what they have learned - giving them a taste of world travel without leaving home.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Doors Open

Every year our city runs a Doors Open program when interesting buildings open their doors to the public. In the past we have toured a number of churches and houses of worship as well as spaces we wouldn't always have access to.  This year we managed a stop in at the Mosque, which was fascinating. A number of members of the Mosque gave presentations to visitors about the space and about their religion. We were invited to watch midday prayers and after could ask questions about what we saw. The mosque also provided snacks (very yummy samosas) as well as various samples of the Qur'an and other information about Islam that we were welcome to take home.