Happy Friday! Are you feeling a touch of spring in the air where you live? We had some sunny days and warmer temps here in NYC and it got me excited for April. Yesterday Joanie and I went for a long walk, searching for Hamantaschen (cookies to celebrate the Jewish holiday, Purim), and stopping in a store to shop for a gift for a friend’s 5th birthday next week. It felt really nice to do something so perfectly normal. I don’t think I’ve been in a store with Joanie in over a year. She’s a much more thoughtful shopper at 5-1/2 than she was at 4-1/2, and I’m feeling hopeful for a summer in which she – and Jackson – can hopefully enjoy being kids, doing most of the things kids do in the summer (except probably still with masks on). Anyway, the light at the end of the tunnel seems to be closer, is what I’m saying, and that’s such a relief.
Here are a few links you might appreciate:
If you missed the annual DW holiday book drive this past year, I’ve got something I think you’ll like. Ms. Hurney, a DW reader who has partnered with us in past book drives, is heading back into the classroom next week after high Covid rates forced her district to close school buildings for a couple months. She is hoping to gift her returning 8th graders with new books for them to keep as well as to build their classroom library – something to welcome them back during what has been a hard time for all of us, but especially for kids in low-income areas who have suffered some of the worst of the pandemic. Here are her own words:
“I teach 8th grade in a district with 10% unemployment, in an under-funded school where 59% of my students qualify for free or reduced lunch, 70% qualify as having high needs, and 20% have a native language other than English. My Amazon wishlist is for books that each student selected as ones they’d love to have in our classroom library and to keep (if enough are purchased). Books will be dropped off to our fully-remote students. As we quickly approach a year of the pandemic and isolation, my students could really use the healthy practice of reading to de-stress and escape into the life of someone else for a while.” Her wishlist is here.
In addition, if you watch my Instagram stories regularly, you may have already seen the link I posted there to Ms. Hurney’s Donors Choose project in which she has requested funds to purchase n95 masks, individual hand sanitizers, hand soap, and communal supplies such as a classroom air purifier and cleaning supplies appropriate for technology. And, yes, America is a country where many teachers have to crowdsource – or pay out of their own pockets – for cleaning supplies during a pandemic. If you can and would like to help, Ms. Hurney’s Donors Choose project is here. Thank you so much!
Tavi Gavinson, founder of Rookie, shares a really smart, thoughtful perspective of the Times’ Britney Spears doc, weaving her own tale of a predatory relationship she was in as an 18-year-old dating a 30-year-old man (whom some figured out was Vampire Weekend’s frontman, Ezra Koenig): Britney Spears Was Never in Control Why did I ever believe a teen girl could hold all the power?
Hopefully becoming more relevant to many of us in coming months: You Got the Vaccine! What Can You Do Now?