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December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Nov. 4, 2013/ 1 Kislev, 5774

Making up for what schools no longer deliver

By Mitch Albom








http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Several times a week she drives to her mother's house, trudges down to the basement and carries up drums, violins, a trumpet, easels, paints, brushes and art supplies. Then she loads them in her subcompact and heads off to a Detroit school -- where she unpacks the drums, the violins, the trumpet, the art supplies, drags them inside, and says hello to dozens of eager kids.

Welcome to after-school activities, 2013.

Do It Yourself.

Lena Pernell is only 29, but she's old enough to remember when public schools offered all kinds of extracurricular choices. "Dance, music, ROTC, sports; if you wanted to join it, they had it," she says.

That's how I remember it, too. But today, thanks to budget cuts on every level, a Detroit public school is lucky to have much going on once the last bell has rung.

Yes, certain sports endure. But if you recall the days of the ham radio club, the home economics club, the chemistry club and the jazz band ensemble, you haven't been to a public school very recently.

AN EDUCATIONAL ROAD SHOW
Pernell, an energetic young woman, was motivated to take action four years ago, after picking up her 6-year-old cousin from McColl Elementary.

"We were maybe five minutes late, and he was just sitting there waiting in the street," she said. "All the kids were gone. All the teachers were gone. The doors were locked. He was left there to fend for himself."

Pernell, like me, remembers the days when schools -- especially high schools -- were hives of activity long after sunset during winter months, games, music, creativity, learning. There's a serious price to pay -- beyond nostalgia -- for losing those options.

"Studies show that the hours between 3 and 6 are when kids are most likely to get into trouble on the streets," she correctly noted. "So that's when we do our programs."

Her program is part of "Real Life. My Music." -- a traveling road show of music, dance and arts instruction that she makes available to any public school that is interested.

Her teachers? She found them on Craigslist or volunteer websites, and they work for free -- out of the same love for children that Pernell has.

Her instruments and supplies? They were donated or purchased.



Her schools? They have included Vista Maria in Dearborn Heights, Michigan Technical Academy in Redford and upcoming Southeastern High School in Detroit.

"I could have so many more," she lamented, "but they say they need to have someone around to patrol the halls and lock up after we are finished. And there's nobody there."

When I asked how much one employee might cost for those extra hours -- for a year -- she said, "Maybe $9,000."

She said it as if she needed a million. Her program, she said, is a 501(c)3 charity, meaning donations are tax deductible.

You wonder whether we couldn't pool our resources for something that simple.

'MY FAVORITE MOMENT'

Think about what goes on in the hours between school's end and dinner. Kids hang around. Kids watch TV. Kids go on computers. It would be nice if they all did their homework. But the truth is, kids get bored. And bored kids -- especially unsupervised bored kids -- are bad news waiting to happen.

If you're like me, you recall when there was always a school play, a musical group, a sports team, an arts program, a language club or some kind of "society" to fill the late afternoon hours.

Pernell and her volunteers clear out classrooms to make room for dancing. They move desks and bring instruments to teach the joy of music. They set up easels and teach painting and fine arts.

"The best part is after the 16-week program, we have a showcase," Pernell says. "The kids get to demonstrate what they've been doing. You see the gratifying look on their faces. They feel like they've really accomplished something. They're always nervous before and ecstatic afterward.

"That's my favorite moment."

Pernell does this from her heart. She holds a part-time job to pay her bills. She lives in a two-room apartment with her boyfriend and her child. "No basement for us," she says, laughing.

Fortunately, to allow Pernell to follow her dream, her mother keeps her doors open. What a shame that so many of our schools can't do the same.




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