Letters in Compton, CA

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My friend Tina Smith-Brown and I went to Crenshaw High in Los Angeles to conduct a video conversation based on Tina’s extraordinary literary curriculum project, Letter to My Father. Fifty high school girls came, on the first Saturday of their Spring Break, along with their devoted faculty leader, Courtney Stanton-Gomez, and half a dozen retired women volunteers, to share their letter-writing experience with five Hollywood divas...

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National Library Week

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Earlier this year, I delighted in returning to the library at the United Nations International School in NY. In April, for National Library Week, I've been a guest author at Cassidy and Heston Elementary Schools, thanks to WePAC, West Philadelphia Alliance for Children, which staffs school libraries. I was in and out of the box to help children imagine the young woman who mailed herself to Philadelphia, as told to William Still, and re-told in my book for children: Free! Great Escapes from Slavery on the Underground Railroad. Loved the questions: about eating, breathing, drinking, peeing! About punishments and pain. Love and money. One 3rd-grader wanted to know whether you make money with books. Yes, I told him: $.75/copy. He pulled the corners of his mouth down and nodded old-man approval.

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SafeKidsStories.com

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For the community launch of SafeKidsStories.com, UPenn SP2Dean John Jackson, Philadelphia School Superintendent Bill Hite, Police Dept. Director of Strategic Communications Denise James, and Philly Youth Poetry Movement's Greg Corbin joined with fabulous teachers, students, and citizens to explore what's being done, right now, in our midst, to make children safe.

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Lighten up!

They say that poets and musicians have fun at parties. They drink and dance and exchange numbers on napkins, while novelists sit in the corner with a cup of coffee, taking notes. (OK, OK, so I'm playing with some poems, and a kids' story, and a libretto. Playing!)