"The Lemonade Club" by Patricia Polacco is a beautiful book in both illustration and content. This children's book tells the story of a young girls difficult and unexpected journey with cancer, but it takes a new approach, a very much unexplored approach as far as children's literature goes. This touching story looks at the hard hitting emotions and questions that come along with most pediatric cancer diagnosis, but looks at them through the eyes of the patients classmates, peers and educator. This story is such a great source of advocacy for School Re-Entry programs. Providing a strong line of communication between chronic/terminal pediatric patients, their educators and classmates is so tremendously important and so frequently overlooked in times of distress. This book demonstrates the emotional support and powerful healing that can come from within a hospitalized child's classroom. I highly recommend ANY educator to take time to read this story, and even take it one step further and share it with your students. Allow it to be an opportunity for discussion. Why wait for these unfortunate and delicate situations to hit home? Approach it now! Preparing young minds for the world is what we as educators set our hearts on and I hope that this book can help inspire you to further educate your students and yourself on matters such as the ones unfolded in "The Lemonade Club."
Tuesday, September 17, 2013
September has arrived and with it comes one of the greatest opportunities!! Every September is a chance to spread awareness about children fighting cancer. Childhood cancer is the leading cause of death from disease in children and by raising awareness we can help find a cure and give hope to those awaiting a miracle. Crafts to Cure fully intends to bring awareness all month long by sharing stories, facts, and ways to get involved in the fight for a cure. My hope is that all month long you will help spread Childhood Cancer Awareness like WILDFLOWERS,so that our world will no longer have to lose some of our most precious flowers to such a horrible disease
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia created this awesome look into some of the statistical reasons pediatric cancer patients need our help spreading the word
Although much of what is shown in this flyer may not be what automatically pulls at your heartstrings, like most things surrounding childhood cancer awareness, it is proof that there is more to be done to advocate for these incredibly brave children. Dollar signs and numbers aren't typically what make people feel drawn or connected to this cause, and those things are, by no means, the most important aspects. On the other hand, they are in large part the reason people need to become more aware of the issues accompanying these diagnoses. Cancer research has come so far in the past few decades and there has been tremendous progress and success in some of the new drugs and treatments that are now available. HOWEVER, most of these new treatments aren't meant for pediatrics. Subsequently, children are still receiving treatments from the 1950's, 60's and 70's. According to ACCO, in the past 20 years only ONE new drug was developed exclusively for pediatric cancer patients due, in part, to the idea that pediatric cancer is still too rare, and developing a new drug may not be "cost effective." Yet, another statistic from the past 20 years shows a 29% increase in the number of pediatric cases. I know I may not know ALL the in's and out's of why these numbers are what they are, but it doesn't make them any less heartbreaking and disappointing when I think about the sweet little angels that are waiting for them to change. I can confidently say that you will only be left with a comforting warmth in your heart if you take the time to donate to a cause as precious as childhood cancer research... so I am hoping these tid-bits of info can at least spark some inspiration in you to learn more and make a difference!
Here are a couple of places to make donations:
Donating money IS NOT your only option! There are so many other ways you can help make a difference in these children's lives, and I assure you they will make quite a difference in yours. Volunteering is one of the greatest ways to help support this cause, and there are several ways you can get involved. The Children's Cancer Research Fund has several options to help get you to a place where you can donate your time and wonderful energy...which in my opinion is sometimes just as great, if not better than, anything else!
If nothing else I hope everyone can spend the month reflecting on how much more joyful, colorful and magical our world is because of the children among us. We owe not only them, but ourselves more time to relish in the midst of such purity.
My Love, Hope and Best Wishes to you ALL,