Diamonds in the Rough
It is my pleasure to announce two wonderful new websites created in 2021. These two projects emerged in my life as diamonds in the rough, that is, the rough second autumn of the COVID19 pandemic. Think of these websites as lotuses in the muck, phoenixes from the ashes, lemonade from the lemons, silver linings in the sable cloud, bright spots in the — okay, okay, you get the point. Without further ado, I present:
Singrhymeandplay.com is a hub where people enjoying my early literacy content — either from Outschool, YouTube, or library forums — can learn more about the project overall. Sing, Rhyme, and Play all started in early 2020 during quarantine. My spouse (artist and designer) and I wanted to share the original story time content I had been creating at the library before it shut down. We realized this content could support librarians, teachers, caregivers, and parents throughout the pandemic if we made it available for free on YouTube. We called the channel, “Sing, Rhyme, and Play.”
Later that year, with no end to COVID19 in sight, my daughter schooling from home, and no clear path for me to return to my library job, I created Sing, Rhyme, and Play Circle Time, an early literacy class I offered on Outschool. The online class is for ages 3-5 and uses my original content from the YouTube channel. Sing, Rhyme, and Play has grown a lot since then, and exciting new connections are being made all the time. Which brings me to …
In early October 2021, after sharing several of my original songs and rhymes in the Storytime Solidarity Facebook Group, I got chatting with the group’s founder, Miss Kate, a.k.a., the Lavender Librarian. After talking through some issues we were both grappling with in our work, Miss Kate invited me to write the first guest blog post — “Eeny Meeny Miny NO: How You Can Rid Your Storytime Songs of Unintended Racism” — on the new website they were building, Storytimesolidarity.com.
Well, I wasn’t a guest blogger for long! I was so inspired by the work Storytime Solidarity was doing — providing resources, craft ideas, song lyrics, and book recommendations to the early literacy community — that I quickly joined their Content Team. Check these people out! The Storytime Solidarity crew is an inspiring group working from many corners of the world to make it a better, kinder, happier place for children everywhere. And their grownups too.
In addition to all the programming resources on Storytimesolidarity.com, I also recommend checking out the other amazing blog posts they’ve got up: “Five Books Celebrating Caribbean Christmas,” “Picture Books to Celebrate Jewish Holidays,” and many more coming soon!
Building a Better World
Friends, it’s bleak out there on the screens these days — with an ongoing pandemic, political strife, and other crises looming — but on these two websites, you will find a better world. And the tools to build your own better world too.
May these two websites, Singrhymeandplay.com and Storytime Solidarity.com, be for you the lotuses in the muck, phoenixes from the ashes, lemonade from the lemons, silver linings in the sable cloud, and bright spots in the darkscape that they have been for me this year.
Happy New Year!