I first learned about Kelvin Doe while browsing on you tube looking for inspirational stories that would inspire my kids. For those of you who are not familiar with his story, check out the video below. Kelvin, a proud citizen of Sierra Leone, and happens to have a natural knack with all things electronic. He is an inventor. He is mostly known for building an am/fm radio, a generator, and a battery mechanism which provided a light source in homes throughout his community. All of his inventions were originally created with scrap parts.
David Sengeh, a 27-year-old Harvard graduate and PhD Candidate at Massachusetts Institute of Technology(MIT), met Kelvin through a non profit organization called Global Minimum Inc., where he serves as president. Global Minimum (GMin) is a international organization that encourages young innovators and leaders in Africa to tackle challenges that are affecting their communities. GMin provides enabling tools,workshops, mentorships, and resources that equip young people in Africa to take their future into their own hands. David is currently designing wearable mechanical interfaces that improve comfort for amputees.
This is an awesome story! Check it out in detail and share with your kiddos when you can!
In 2007 Barrington Irving set a Guinness World record by becoming the youngest person to fly solo around the world. He was 23 years old. Pretty impressive, I must say. But actually building your own plane from donated parts? Well that's a whole other category of awesome! Even after putting his mark on the world, he continues to reach back and provide opportunities for others who have an interest in aviation. He founded Experience Aviation, a non-profit organization dedicated to empowering minority youth to pursue careers in aviation. Check out Parts 1 and 2 of his story:
Experience Aviation's focus is not only on building airplanes - they have also built super cars.
Scholastic Action Magazine has a free 4-page lesson study featuring Barrington Irving. You can access it here.
ATTENTION TEACHERS! THIS ONE IS FOR YOU! I have been a home school teacher on and off for a couple of years now. It has been a great experience, and a challenge as well. For me the toughest subject that I dreaded teaching was math (for a number of reasons that I will not get into right now). So as I was scouring the internet, trying to find an easier way to explain regrouping, I ran into this video ...
I said to myself, "that was really fun!" So much fun in fact that we regularly jam on the "regrouping flow" even when we are not doing math. Dr. Stephanie Pasley has done an excellent job in combining math, music, and dance into this fun learning experience that not only impacts students but teachers as well. (I love creative entrepreneurs!) I have found her you tube videos to meet most of our math needs, as her complete program is geared towards school systems. Maybe one day she will offer a home/parent version. Click "The Math Party" or her latest, "The Reading Party",for more information. So TEACHERS & HOME SCHOOL GROUPS! Get in on this! Its really fun, and if your school or group has the funding, her program is a great investment!
Who doesn't love a good comic? As a kid growing up, I remember waiting impatiently for my Dad to get through the Sunday paper so that I could grab the the comic section (as I got older, I just snuck them out beforehand). It was truly a weekly treat. I can still see it now...my Sunday brunch (usually featuring an egg omelet of some sort) with a cup of orange juice or herbal tea (yes tea) and my comics at the breakfast table. If you didn't know, Sunday paper comics were not just any comics. They were in COLOR and had their own section... a few pages at least. Not just a strip or two in black and white that took up only half a page above the boring cross board puzzles. Nope, they were the creme de la creme. Even back then, I noticed how limited comics featuring African American characters(or any other cultures for that matter) were. "Curtis" and "Beetle Bailey" were the only two that I was familiar with at that time. Fast forward to 2015...My boys have inherited the love of comics. But comics that (A.) feature a variety of cultures and (B.) are appropriate for kids are still hard to come by. But never fear! "The Fearless Five" is here! Steve Johnson, the creative brains behind this super nova comic series, provides a refreshing and engaging batch of comics that feature great topics for children. They are really entertaining, and represent our children in a positive light! Plus, his story about how all of this came to be is heartwarming as well. Check them out!
I don't have any girls, but if I did, I could see myself spending a small fortune on these dolls. "The Queens of Africa" is a company that specializes in celebrating beauty and ethnicity with a variety of products. Their featured product however, is dolls. This company has definitely become one of my favorite things. Let me tell you why:
1. It's not just about a doll. Its about a message. This is their motto: "The Queens of Africa program is dedicated, through the use of books, dolls, comics, music and animation series, to help empower children of African descent and their counterparts to be confident and matured ethnically. The dolls and materials are designed, through fun and engaging materials, to subconsciously promote African heritage."
2. This entrepreneur is changing the world for the better. "Taofick Okoya, the creator of this great product, has reached tens of thousands of children across Africa contributing significantly to education programs, particularly in Nigeria. Queens of Africa celebrates being an African girl in the 21st century by drawing on the strengths and achievements of our ancestors and bringing them up to date to empower and inspire today's generation of African girls." Check out this interview:
3.These dolls portray class , modesty, and true ethnic beauty. Why does a doll for a child need to be half naked? I have never been able to grasp that concept. But apparently it's a 'thing' because it's everywhere. Creating dolls that are beautiful, stunning, modest, and that represents a culture with crazy style and class? That's the message that needs to be sent out to our young girls today. I also appreciate the fact that the collection is full of variety. Skin tone, hair, and region/culture all play a part in the individuality of each doll.
4. They are available in the USA! They are sold through a company called Slice by Cake (North American Affiliate). Let me warn you though, you have to be patient. They are selling like hotcakes, and are often sold out. Be patient though, it is definitely worth the wait, and supports a good cause.
*Quoted sections of this post have been copied from queensofafricadolls.com.
I don't know about you, but I love music. LOVE. IT. We are constantly playing music around the house, and I am always looking for uplifting music that sends positive vibes throughout my home. So when I ran across this video featuring Joe and Rachel Vatucicila, I was sooooo excited! Its modern, up to date, kid friendly, and reminds us that through Christ we are victorious. You can take a peek at Praise Blast here. In the meantime, check out their video "I am Victorious".
A little bit about Joe and Rachel:
Joe and Rachel established No-Limits, a Hip Hop Band that uses music to inspire and empower our generation to overcome personal limitations and realize their potential in Christ. They are currently involved with a church called Planetshakers in Australia. Check here for more info about this dynamic duo's ministry.