Category: annette perez


“We had a room with some books but nobody ever went in there.” This is a quote from Alan Cohen, P.S. 69’s principal. Imagine being a student in NYC and not having access to a proper library? Many students in low income communities face this issue daily. Rooms that are dedicated to being libraries, are often  found bare and deserted due to low or no funding and lack of materials- mainly books. With the economy tumbling and still uncertain, many budgets for NYC public schools have put Libraries at the bottom of the list. It seems there just isn’t enough money to support a program that is so essential to students.

There may be hope! A foundation known as the Robin Hood Foundation is looking to change the direction and image of many poverty stricken NYC public schools. The foundation over the past nine years has been:

 “dedicated to fighting poverty in New York City, and the city’s schools administration have built, with the help of private donors, libraries in 62 schools in low-income neighborhoods.”

The Foundation has had such success that many of the libraries that have been built in these schools have been adorned by murals from famous artists. These libraries and pictures have transformed schools that once seemed headed in a one way direction with the students having no choice but to follow the same dooming direction.

Another example of this transformation is Public School 47, located in the Soundview section of the Bronx. The school is in need of space. So much so that the gym has been transformed into classrooms and administrative offices have been created from bathrooms. Yet with the help of the Robin Hood Foundation, the school now seems to have a promising future- thanks to the addition of the new library located on the second floor. The room is described as expanding in a somewhat magical way. Above all, the new library (home to roughly 7,000 books) is the first “proper” library that the school has had in many years. All thanks to the Robin Hood Foundation.

Please visit their site to learn more information about how their program works and how their efforts have helped to keep literature within the NYC public school system. Foundations such as this one and books such as A Very Smart Cat/ Una Gata Muy Inteligente, My Brain Won’t Float Away/ Mi Cerebro no Va a Salir Flotando, and A Caribbean Journey from A to Y (Read and Discover What Happened to the Z) aim to improve and inspire reading among young students and children.

Editorial Campana currently has 2 children’s book that are available through Amazon (and another one is in the works to be released later this Summer). These titles include,  A Caribbean Journey from A to Y (Read and Discover What Happened to the Z) & My Brain Won’t Float Away/ Mi cerebro no va a salir flotando. Want to learn who the finalists are for the 2008 Children’s Choice Book Awards?

My Brain Won’t Float Away

Before I was a nanny, I worked with children with special needs.   One of my classes was the first autistic class to be mainstreamed in our school district.  What I took away from that experience was that children are basically more kind than cruel if they have information about being different.   When I read My Brain Won’t Float Away, I had to smile with the gentle humor the mother used to help her child understand her disability.  Children relate to blunt questions and quiet humor.  I think it helps them process their world better.  The reason we read to our children is to open up dialog whether it be about the monsters under the bed fears or dealing with emotions, it is our doorway to helping them to think out loud.   The book doesn’t talk down to children but rather lifts them up to a world they may know nothing about in simple words and story line.   I read extensively to all the children I mention and when I was given this book for an INA raffle, I admit, I read it first!   I knew if i didn’t win it in the raffle I would be online ordering it the next day!  Lucky for me, it was given to me as a Nanny of the Year present.  I will still have to order it as I know two children already who will love it.

A Caribbean Journey from A to Y

My speciality is as a traveling nanny so naturally this book with its bright colors caught my eye immediately.   I often judge books first by the illustrations as they are so important to jump starting a child’s desire to read a book.  The first thing I do is tell them the author and who drew the pictures.   A Caribbean Journey from A to Z was a delight to read as I have had many trips with children to the various islands.   Sometimes when I go to a new child they ask me where I have been and we look on the maps.  The map in this book is gorgeous and a wonderful page to use just by itself!   I love using fun books to teach children and this will definitely go into my nanny bag.  Our world is getting smaller and books that help define or arouse curiosity about a different culture are important.   This book would be the perfect jumping off place a children’s monthly theme in the playroom.  I was very curious as how they would use the letter Z and I thought the ending was just perfect!   You will have to read it yourself to see if you agree! 

 Donna Robinson, The Traveling Nanny & 2008 INA Nanny of the Year Recipient.

 

Hydrocephalus awareness seems to be making some headway. In an article that was posted on Gabrielslife website http://blogs.gabrielslife.org/blog/2008/01/16/hillary-clinton-dicusses-hydrocephalus-in-presidential-campaign

Click on the article to read it at full size.

Presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton talked briefly about hydrocephalus. This was due to the fact that back in 2004, Shannon Mallozzi, mother of Isabella, approached Hillary Clinton. What followed was a conversation where Clinton stated she would pledge her personal support. As well, Clinton suggested that her office would help lobby to fund federal research into the disease. Although nothing has been done yet, the fact that Hillary Clinton took the time to talk to a person- a mother helps illustrate that just like Annie, we need to take control of our lives. Currently, the government does not keep records of individuals diagnosed with hydrocephalus. Yet this disability is real and it affects a lot more people than we might think. Here are some interesting facts about hydrocephalus, http://nhfonline.org/info.php?id=fact

Click on the article to see the whole thing.

Annette Perez’s book gives the reader the ability to connect to a loveable and realistic character. At the same time, Shannon Mallozzi and her daughter, Isabella, emphasize the fact that there are families out there that are dealing with this disability. What’s surprising is the fact that since this disease affects so many people, there should be more resources available and there should definitely be more awareness. Annette Perez’s book is helping; stories such as the Mallozzi’s are also helping (along with this inspirational video clip). http://www.thehillaryiknow.com/ There is so much more that can be done… only time will tell. If Hillary Clinton were to become our next President, would she remember her visit with Mallozzi? Even more importantly, would she act on her pledge to promote hydrocephalus support?