February 13, 2017
This is a busy month. There aren’t any public shows, but I am performing my outer space science show, “The Milky Way, Moons, and Meteorites” for the Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools. I’m flying to New York City for the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators conference. And I am visiting one of my favorite preschools, St. Peter’s Early Childhood Learning Center in Kansas City, Missouri.
I visit a lot of preschools, but St. Peter’s is one that I particularly look forward to. Last year the teachers began a new tradition. The 8th graders were asked to join our audience and sit with the preschool classes. The four-year-olds had a wonderful time while unwittingly giving the thirteen year olds permission to be little kids again. And the teens took full advantage of it in the best way possible: helping the preschoolers count on their fingers, fixing Zar’s spaceship, handing out imaginary high-five pizzas, and even puppeteering a story about little monsters under the bed.
Building bonds is especially powerful during adolescence. We are at our most vulnerable as hormones change our bodies and intensify our feelings. St. Peter’s is excellent at creating community and fostering a safe environment that allows their students to connect in constructive ways across age groups. Win-Win!!!