Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year - Farewell 2008, Welcome 2009

Wishing all readers 'A very Happy and prosperous new year' - Farewell 2008...Welcome 2009!

Will 2009 be different? You Decide. We saw a lot of changes in 2008. What do you want to Change in 2009? You have the Power! Change begins with us. Join and spread the message of Love, faith, peace and unity among human beings.

Make Resolutions and make them firm. Build the Arks for Future....

Watch the video and the message is clear...We all need a Change in 2009! Stay tuned, stay connected - spread Peace.

- ilaxi patel
Newspaper for Kids

Friday, December 26, 2008

Midnight mass pics - Educate kids and stop child labor

The midnight mass night of 24th December 2008 at St. Xavier's Parish and other Churches in my city had the holy crib making, tree decorations, hymns and bible chapter reads with sermons as to celebrate the birth of Jesus.

The sermons were in two languages - English and Gujarati. As the father spoke of Love, peace and happiness, I saw a ray of hope for the children surrounding the Church areas in town who are poor and need to survive. He said, "We see a lot of child labour and it is our duty to help these children to get education. Can we not make this a Project for 2009? Try eliminate povery in our areas and help the needy children." The concerns were spoken in Gujarati with story examples and the same was in English on the big screen where the parishers who were sitting outside the church could see the mass proceedings on the screen. This year, the presence was larger but missed was the Christmas song sung 190 years ago in Austria - Silent Night, Holy Night....Or maybe I missed if it was sung after confessions/prior to start of holy readings. Anyways, you can find the holy night song here with lyrics and music to sing along with links to info on Silent Night song website. Enjoy.

The two pics here for view as I attended the St.Xavier's Parish and clicked on my blackberry. I notice, the black berryberry pics aren't so clear like my iphone. Whereas, the music in blackberry plays much better than the iphone.

Well, Celebrate Christmas with the best dance steps for you as per your sun signs. click to find Why Dance, Etiquettes, DJ tips and what steps are right for you on kidsfreesouls Dance pages. Enjoy.

- ilaxi patel
Newspaper for kids

The main Alter at St. Xavier's Parish, Ahmedabad
St. Francis Xavier at the entrance

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas - I Believe!

Merry Christmas! As Santa brings bags of goodies, I hope he brings in peace and joy, eradicate poverty, banish hate and spread love, faith, peace and unity among humans - The need of the hour! And sure, we hope Santa brings in economy and environmental changes. Ah, but if only Santa could!

Faith is a light that dispels ignorance and darkness around. Faith is the hope that keeps you surfing on the waves on a sea of storms. Faith is love. Faith is grabbing the magical moments in life. Faith is deciding, daring, challenging and striving to reach the goals. Faith in whom we believe is intimacy & commitment to fulfill service towards mankind. Faith is trusting in tomorrow and dreaming God’s dream of a beautiful world with love, peace and joy to humanity. Like every Christmas, Kids Free souls offers a small prayer for all Kids FS Readers on this Christmas page and Here's I Believe:

I Believe!
I believe for every drop of rain that falls, A flower grows...
I believeI believe A candle glows....
I believeI believe For anyone who goes astray,
Someone will come to show the way.I Believe, I believe.
I believe That above the storm, The smallest prayer will still be heard,
I believeI believe That someone in the great somewhere, Hears every word...
I believeEvery time I hear a new born baby cry, or touch a leaf or see the sky,Then I know why.....I believe.

As I attend my midnight mass every year at the St. Xavier's Parish, I look forward for the same and hope you too have a great mass who believe the faith. You can even view online 'Live from Bethlehem' here. Click for Kidsfreesouls Christmas site here. Keep the Faith.

- ilaxi patel
Newspaper for Kids

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Spiritual Wisdom in Kids and How to Tithe

How do you teach your child to live their Faith? It normally happens that most of the parents do not consider any sort of specific teaching guidelines when it comes to spirituality or keeping faith. Most of the children learn initially by asking simple questions like, "How did the sun come mom?"; "Where do babies come from?" or "Who made the sun, stars, oceans, mountains.." - Parents respond to this curiosity to explain of god's existence and the importance of relationship with god. Children accompany their parents to the church and even join for Sunday reading. They learn by example - when you pray, read your bible or listen to hymns or through illustrative posters and calendars. Helping children to be aware of God, kids just happen to follow the faith - the faith they come to realize! They start getting spiritual to understand God and the existence of the wonder power spirit whom we know as 'God'. This power can nourish and provide them with strength and courage to live a meaningful life and joyful, constructive, productive journey to being a free soul.

Well, How do we teach the child Spiritual Wisdom? And here's guidelines to build the Faith. However, it is also important to teach your child to Give (or call it Tithe, which means giving tenth part of income to church). Like the song we teach our kids, "If you give love, you will receive love - same way, it is important to teach a child to give away their share of things they like to buy like toys, clothes, cassettes. Sometimes, children do not like to share their belongings. However, charity begins at home! So, how do you teach your child to 'Give' (or Tithe)? Here's some simple steps:

1. Begin when children are small: Let them have their piggy banks with different colors. When they are given money, they can opt to place in with a purpose. eg. one for saving, one for spending and the third for charity or tithing to help others.

2. Involve the child : Discuss what you would like to do with the money for tithe and involve the child to decide. If she wants to give to church or temple, or to poor or spend for donating for animals.

3. Teach to organize: It is important to teach a child to be organized. Give them the pocket money or money for birthdays, Christmas, etc. and make it a point to regularly let the child add to the piggy banks. This way, the child will form a habit and remind to save with a feeling that the gift is towards a good cause and it makes him raise his spiritual quotient.

4. Communicate: Talk to children about Causes. Talk with examples, illustrations, whatever. Let the child know how good a cause they are doing by helping others. Teach, "By Giving love, you receive love. God's kindness to other people would be shown through you and your sharing in God's great world will make you a better person."

5. Direct Inner self: Encourage children to be Positive. Recommend good books, inspire with good music. Encourage them to possess Spiritual Atitude that makes a difference. Tell them, God Loves one and all. In good times or bad.

The teachings of most of all the Faiths support the belief that Children are never too small to absorb Spirituality (Moses, oneness). Here's some examples:

Judaism say, "My son, gather instruction from thy youth up, so shalt thou find wisdom till thine old age"

Hinduism say, "Knowledge is riches, what one learns in youth is engraven on stone"

Islam say, "Seek knowledge from the cradle to the grave"

Buddhism say, "He who, even as a young student, applies himself to the doctrine of truth brightens up this world like the moon set free from the clouds"

Well, Here's Online Bible Radio and you can listen one year MP3 Bible. L ike the preachings of Gita and the shlokes recites makes the surroundings holier, I feel the Bible readings are holier and daily messages to digest with chapter readings. This one year Bible reading Blog makes you read Bible in a year. I feel the Faith Gems by Robert Schuller are the best I ever come across and Daily Bread that's so much easier too. Here's Christmas Pages on Kidsfreesouls. I've added Bible stories a day especially for those who love to read the Bible stories to children. Here's an earlier Christmas newsletter too. Enjoy!

- ilaxi patel
Newspaper for Kids

Read More in Parenting In : Guardian of Angels Book

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Imagine Peace! Lessons on Anti Terrorism and Peace

Happy Holidays! Christmas time and it brings a holy of faith, peace and happiness. Imagine, how peaceful minds can inspire the young who can bring peace in our lives in the coming future?
Peace is at every door step - It only takes a fraction of a second to spread peace. You may wonder, How can we do this? As teachers and parents, we often miss on the little details of real life. So, here's a Lesson Plan on Peace. Say cheese, begin with a smile and Imagine, I hope you will join Kidsfreesouls Mission and someday, we can share the world and be as One.

Terrorism like 9/11 and 26/11 with more round the world has made children quite anxious and inquisitive to the Who, what, when, where, why - such things are happening. We may not be able to provide many of these answers but we have our moral duty to make the children understand Terrorism like any other calamities namely, Earthquake or Environmental changes. So many times, parents or even teachers do not respond to the small yet big questions of children. They half heartedly listen as they are occupied with other things. You see but you don't look or pay heed, you listen but don't hear, you may answer but brush off! Children are our future and peace need to be their existence in time of situations like war, terror, threat to nations or any natural or man made calamities.

Here is a Peace Lesson on Kidsfreesouls with Anti Terrorism Lesson Plans and Articles that you may find interesting, useful read. John Lennon was killed on 8th December 1980 and you can find his wonderful message on Peace here with video and song lyrics too.

Here is Action call:

Action Call:

>Promote peace
>Protect children rights
>Keep Kids safe & away from Guns (Even Toy Guns)
>Restrict Television viewing
>Avoid Movies on war and violence
>Talk and Read stories of courage, hope and strength
>Communicate & Spread awareness

We need to communicate, Discuss, maintain a routine, Develop Self control and build confidence, Educate (Read in detail here)

The recent terror attacks in Mumbai had been telecasted on all TV channels repeatedly with kids watching the gruesome inhuman acts live. It is during this situation, we need to switch off the television in front of these children and even educate the child and provide guidance. It's time to stop crime and stop kids from negative influence.

- ilaxi patel
Newspaper for Kids

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Educator Links

St. Nicholas (Santa Claus) Death (feast) Day: 6th December
It's been a delightful visit for me to Vallabh Vidhyanagar recently. It was an Industrial visit to Elecon Engineering, Milcent and other units with the GCCI delegate as a Business women's committee member. We even had a round table discussion on 'Recession' with the VV Industries Association members. The experience for me is unforgettable but more on this later, as I have some special links to mention here.

The first is, the Network Student Video explaining the use of Google notebook, doc, Scholar and Google reader in a classroom. Next is, Social Media in Plain English - a Commoncraft videos in You Tube Fav Kidsfreesouls Log. You can even read the sub titles of the Social media here which is a story that illustrates forces shaping the social media.

I agree, Social Media maybe the next buzz thing. Though, Social media is getting too favorites with students here, the buzz goes around chit-chatting and socializing only. Students at the foreign classroom discuss the classroom assignments on the wall on how they cope up writing the essays. There is a need to use the tools and grab opportunities to interact with people who care. Children can be a lot creative, use the tools like the blogger, twitter, you tube, picasa, etc. and convey, interact, invent or share - book reads, reviews, ideas, music, news, whatever. What we need is to Educate. Cyber Safety is a prime concern but if children are taught to be more Focused and educated to use the Social media, networking becomes a learning process and more enjoyable too.

Well, here is Google Educators Group with Larry Ferlazzo's Best List and I am sure, this will be helpful to many teachers and parents as well. What makes it so interesting is the Lesson Plan Link to Mumbai Terrorism Lesson Plan to educate children on such man made disaster events - the W's of Who, what, when, where, and why such things happen and check their EQ's (Emotional Quotient) as to what their reaction could be, how they felt or what would be their action plan if they are fixed in such situation.

Btw, December is a holy month and as we all love Santa Claus, here's St. Nicholas Day on 6th December - Find more in Kidsfreesouls Christmas pages. You can also find great resource links on Larry's site on Christmas, Hanullah and Kwanzaa.

All religions and the curriculum in the classrooms focus on cultural learning but more is a reason to Keep the Faith and believe in a super power whom we call 'God'. And to follow the message of Humanity, Kidsfreesouls spreads the message of love, faith, peace and unity among Human beings - Join my site and "Show you care, spread PEACE." Just click to Join the site. Enjoy!

- ilaxi patel
Newspaper for kids

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Computer Literacy and Kids Projects 'Can Kids Teach Themselves'

Kidsfreesouls Projects every year have December 2 as the World Computer Literacy Day and children/parents are made aware of the use of Computers. Kidsfreesouls readers can peek-a-boo here for the December Project and sure, it's all about technology we need to be aware of and make the kids use computers in a right manner. Explore the sections and you may create your own ideas on how to use kidsfreesouls/any other websites in classrooms. I think, teachers need to model effective use of technology in the classroom - get aware and 'Teach with the Times' and know 'Is Computing Safe for Kids?' (my two articles in Guardian of Angels). Parents and teachers want their kids to use computers, even feel the pride that their children are using it but they really don't get to know much of it. Children can now be teachers as well when it comes to teaching computers when parents/teachers fail to know much. Here's a wonderful 10 things we need to unlearn. Very true, these technologies will make harder for old voice of Education to survive.

Btw, here's a site with interesting note on classroom implications. Can kids learn computing themselves? And do teachers look for opportunities to leverage unstructured success into more structured academic success? One do need to rethink technology standards. Here's Sugata Mitra on 'Can Kids Teach Themselves' - a very interesting research that part of primary education can happen on it's own as Children can self organize and learn sometimes with minimum interference of the teacher. Here's a video /also here, that says all.

What I believe is, the Mari Montessori method need to be re-examined as children learn from errors, experiments and by sharing their experiences with other classmates. Children are more tech smart as they share their computer skills even with their parents and teachers while they learn how to compute better and teach them in turn too.

You can also find a video here by Jackie Halaw on 3 steps for 21st Century Learning. Tips for a Transformable changes in Technology Education.

As technology makes a shift, one wonders "Is computing safe for kids" - Adults need not pry but be cautious to what kids are surfing on the web. Their safety is a prime concern and as Experts offer new Advice to safety (In Kidsfreesouls Google News here), teach kids on cyber safety with the chat etiquettes, email etiquettes and above all, how to go about social networking or game sites online as they will be exploring these areas as even their friends are doing so. Here is a Byte Crime Booklet "Mind what you do Online". You can even download the Tip Sheets. What every child on net needs to know is "You are Watched".

Kidsfreesouls Computing section is tech related Computing and kids here which you may find useful. Enjoy.

- ilaxi patel
Newspaper for Kids

Never too Late! World Aids Day

World Aids Day was on December 1 to Make a Difference, Shine a Light on HIV/Aids. Stop the Virus. It's Never Late! Kidsfreesouls lighted the 14185th Light to Fight two year ago. Earlier, it was 246669th light of out of the candles lighted on this website which is Bristol-Myers Squibb Initiative in co-operation with the National Aids Fund. Last Year, the Kidsfreesouls Light is 6837th light to support the initiative. This year, Kidsfreesouls lighted 7483rd light to support Stop Aids campaign. It's never too late! You can also Light & Support to Add your Light to the Fight. You can read or share your stories on HIV here, tell a friend or sign up for a newsletter too.

There's a light at the end of a dark tunnel and that's Aids Epidemic. Bring Aids out of the darkness and spread awareness - Stop to Think, Stop Aids, spread awareness - Beware, Be aware and break the darkness cyle of poverty and disease. Share your light. Create your own and Send your message to a friends here.

Every ten minutes, one American is infected with Aids and approximately 300,000 people infected with HIV do not know it. Women account 1 of 4 diagnosis in the US. You can find more details on the CDC website and WHO Website.

World leaders, from both industrialized and developing countries, have repeatedly made commitments to step up their efforts to fight the spread of HIV and AIDS. Here are some basic facts on HIV and Aids.
In 2007
420,000 children were newly infected with HIV
290,000 children died of AIDS
Children under 15 accounted for 2.1 million of the estimated 33.2 million people living with HIV

Millions of children, adolescents and young people in the path of the pandemic are at risk and in need of protection. AIDS is redefining the very meaning of childhood for millions, depriving children of many of their human rights – of the care, love and affection of their parents; of their teachers and other role models; of education and options for the future; of protection against exploitation and abuse.

The world must act now, urgently and decisively, to ensure that the next generation of children is AIDS-free. And if we are not concerned to the fact, we may end up our children to be the victims of such diseases. Here is a pdf file on Talking to children on Aids(html file generated by google) which may help. As parents and teachers, it is our moral duty to guide children to the right path so that they may not bump on curvy roads to hell.

- ilaxi patel
Newspaper for Kids

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Protect kids from crime, stop them to be criminals

Our hearts go to the Mumbai terrorism victims and families. It's inhuman and barbarious . Seems all the terrorists were the age group of below 30 years!

You can find more on the main website on this. However, here's on 'Protect Kids from Crime - Stop them to be Criminals' - Children are watching! Today, just before half an hour ago, children were laughing and talking on terrorists. They told me that they had dry fruits with them and must be fun there, hiding and eating almonds and cashews! They fancied many things and their tiny brains led them to believe it was story shoot of a movie that they saw on the television.
Now, here's we need to guide children. Invest time for children, communicate, explain, teach them safety measures and sure, lot goes to upbring a child. Build the Pillars of character and teach them tolerance too.
Read Ed notes and more on Kidsfreesouls.

LIGHT A CANDLE Join in to pray for victims, Light a canle and take a pledge to fight terror
Sign the Petition
- ilaxi patel

Author of Guardian of Angels

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Saying 'Thank You' & helping kids to write Thank you notes

Thank You comes in an amazing way to be fondly appreciated and who else can be so happy than parents or teachers when children bring in a creatively made note with the courtesy words 'Thank You'!

Teaching children to write 'Thank You' notes is teaching them simple social manners of expressing gratitude. Just as much as we value the experience of gesture when somebody writes a 'Thank You' note, children too can receive our 'Thank you' notes for their good behavior or any positive attitude. This can be the first step in teaching them to consider writing Thank You notes to others. Most of the children need to be encouraged to write Thank You notes, as a child will not initiate to write on his own. How often, we forget to send our 'Thank You' notes and especially, when the tradition of 'Thanksgiving' is completely not observed in many places like India. Sometimes, merely we say words. However, writing notes has its own charm and has an educational value when children learn to write them.

So, how do we help kids to write these lovely 'Thank You' notes? Maybe a few Thank you note guideline tips for kids might help:

1. Talk to the child about Thanksgiving Day. Discuss what manners are all about. Explain why writing gratitude notes makes a difference in lives of people whom you love and care. When you receive a gift, your word 'Thanks' means you appreciate the person who gives you. However, merely saying is often brushed away but written note is cherished and remains in collection drawer, filling in memories.

2. Provide material. Provide appropriate paper, pencils and decorative color pens. Children like creativity and dabbing in colors on paper. Let them draw, paint and write notes with creative words expressing gratitude or write just 'Thank You'. Children can be encouraged to add flashy stickers and ribbons to decorate. They can even make cards, posters with 'Thank you' - simply appreciative!

3. Writing the message. Help children to express themselves by writing simple Thank You notes. Let them write simply 'Thank You' or help them write kind thoughtful words of appreciation. They can even follow quotes books and add related quotes with 'Thank you' for the gift or even thanking parents or teachers for what they do for them.

4. Educational value. Provide tips on how to write. Make the children understand the importance of being gratified. Kids can be explained on EQ - Emotional quotient and why feelings of other people is of concern when they love you and shower gifts or care for you.

5. Writing notes should be fun. Do not force children to write when they can't and is a boring activity for them. However, join in with fun or let them make crafts with simple 'thank you' chit attached to the piece. Writing notes is great way to put a child's creativity - reading, writing or arts and crafts skills. Let the message be clear and what it specifies.

6. Sing along fun. A great way to encourage writing is singing tunes esp. one like 'Manners' - Thoughtful Manners. Children who don't like to write can sing along or listen to music while they get to write. This will ease their inner stress of not wanting to write and readily be creative with other children. Singing is music to soul and soft tunes vibrate the soul.

7. Set an example. Get together and write the stuff. Sometimes, we preach kids but often miss writing notes with simply saying, 'No Time' or rather say it in words. Recharge self and let there be an inner feeling of child like vigor back to add color on paper and be creative to write 'Thank You' notes to children or others. Sometimes, some people just mean a lot - an inspiration, a word, a glance means a lot and makes our day. When we say 'Thanks', kids too follow our example as kids are Watching.

I remember, I got a 'Thank You' note card and it still means a lot to me as it lies on the magazine rack beside me. Human beings crave for love and appreciation and our live revolves round the people we like and admire.

I thank all my readers and well wishers who pass this way, and as I keep going day in and out to be actively and your visits inspire me to fulfill my commitment and mission to spread the message of love, faith, peace and unity among human beings. Somebody did ask me How and maybe the answer is in kidsfreesouls itself! Here's on Thanksgiving with a note. Enjoy!

- ilaxi patel
Author of Guardian of Angels: A practical guide to Joyful Parenting

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Family Reading Report and Kids Reading

A new study reveals that 75% of kids age 5-17 agree with the statement, “No matter what I can do online, I’ll always want to read books printed on paper,” and 62% of kids surveyed say they prefer to read books printed on paper rather than on a computer or a handheld device. The Kids & Family Reading Report, a national survey of children age 5-17 and their parents, also found that kids who go online to extend the reading experience – by going to book or author websites or connecting with other readers – are more likely to read books for fun every day.

The 2008 Kids & Family Reading Report, a follow up to a similar 2006 study, both of which were conducted by Scholastic, the global children’s publishing, education and media company, and TSC, a division of Yankelovich, a leader in consumer trends research, again found that the time kids spend reading books for fun declines after age eight and continues to drop off through the teen years.

In US, more children above 8 years are having web experience with two thirds of children aged 9-17 years who go online have extended the reading experience via the Internet. These online reading extenders say they learn what other people think about a book, learn new things about an author and connect with other readers.

Parents are strong influence on kid's reading habits. They overwhelmingly view reading as the most important skill a child needs to develop, but only about half of all parents begin reading to their child before their first birthday. The percent of children who are read to every day drops from 38% among 5-8 year olds to 23% among 9-11 year olds. This is the same time that kids’ daily reading for fun starts to decline.

A video presentation of the results from The Kids & Family Reading Report is available at

Here's the Survey results in brief:

Kids and Reading:
>Kids overwhelming (89%) say “My favorite books are the ones I picked out myself.”
>Sixty-eight percent of kids say they love or like reading books for fun a lot (72% of girls/ 63% of boys).
>Half of all kids say there aren’t enough really good books for boys/girls their age.

Technology and Reading:
>Both boys and girls (age 9-17) say that they prefer to read books rather than read things on the Internet when they want to use their imagination (63% vs. 37%).
>Boys are more likely to say the Internet is better than books when they want to read for fun (54% vs. 46%). Girls choose books (63% vs. 37%).
>Two in three children believe that within the next 10 years, most books which are read for fun will be read digitally – either on a computer or on another kind of electronic device.

Parents’ Role:
>82% of parents say they wish kids would read books for fun more often.
>Parents who read books for fun daily are six times more likely than low frequency reading parents to have kids who also read for fun daily.
>Parents are a key source of book suggestions for their children, but nearly half of all parents say they have a hard time finding information about books their child would enjoy reading, and especially parents of teens age 15-17 (62%).

I believe, parents can be role models as they enhance their own Reading experience. Though kids like to choose their own books, helping children to select books for reading is a good idea. Reading need to be a routine, together with the family, in a cozy comfort of a Reading room or at a Library in the schools. Children need to be aware that if they are not a strong reader, they would face problems when in higher studies.

Over 41% Parents vs 55% kids say that there are not really enough books for children of their child's age and gender. Finding appropriate books is a problem. Children need to pick their choice with instincts or parents esp. mom is the source provider followed by friends, teachers and libraries, to pick the books.

Well, I agree, books are many but we need to read to guide our children to read. And, what better can we suggest than all Classics? There you find a list of websites in Kidsfreesouls Search to make your choice. Just put the keywords 'kids books' or classics for kids, best selling kids books, etc.

Btw, Problem with kids reading habits? Encourage children for reading and follow the some common troubleshooting signs here. Sit back as your child reads online on Kidsfreesouls Fairyland pages or even teach the child on How to write a story or a Poem. Parents and Teachers can encourage children to make scrap books to jot down Literature Profiles too. Enjoy!

- ilaxi patel
Newspaper for Kids

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Children's Day with Kidsfreesouls Picture Gallery

14th November is Children's Day in India. A day to remember Nehru Chacha who loved children and a day For Kids.

To celebrate Children's Day this year, Kidsfreesouls added more sections For Kids and created Kidsfreesouls Picture Gallery and Paste Board. A time for all of us to go back to memory lane of our childhood when we loved to draw, color and paint rainbows! Kidsfreesouls welcome readers' contributions as well as your kids collection to paste on the Color Paste Board. Creativity blooms as we encourage children to take part in competitions or send online their poetry or art piece to appear on Kidsfreesouls. Children can even send Jokes, Riddles or make a 'Quotes Scrap Book' to add Kidsfreesouls Quotes or Real Stuff.

Well, I once took a competition at a Deaf Dumb School and Blind School in town. We sponsored Drawing books, pencil, rubber, erasers, sharpeners and color boxes to children and the teachers supported us by encouraging the children in a sign language telling them that this is a competition. The children in the age category 3rd-7th Grade screamed with joy and raised their hands in gestures and talking to each other in those tricky signs. In no time, there was a pin drop silence as the teachers explained the rules and the children began to explore creativity on paper.
I was amazed as they had great determination, confidence and unity. They seem to share a great Camaraderie. They were talented and had a sense of pride as they shared each other's work. They poured their emotions on the drawing sheet. They made scenery, cartoon characters and more; even poured their ambitions as what they'd like to be when they grow up - it was just amazing to dive into their tiny minds that revealed a lot.

I feel, these children need no pity. Rather, we need to motivate and encourage them. Sometimes, even teachers or parents disappoint a child with their comment and it is here we need to remember that children are like flowers in the garden of loving god. We are blessed with normal kids who have talents beyond our comprehension.

As teachers or parents, we need to adopt an Art Therapy which can bring down stress levels in us as well as children. Drawing, coloring, crafts, singing, saying and telling jokes, riddles and such activities - even like doing worksheets together is always fun. This improves mental and emotional health apart from creating awareness and even focusing on cognitive abilities. Through this Art and Play fun, children can express thousand words unsaid. I engage myself with my children reducing my work stress related to my other areas of interest and Profession. Parents and Teachers need to be kids again as age is almost a number. Dig into childhood days and with the wonderful memories, you can motivate and encourage to Create a Genius in your Child.
You may visit the For Kids and Paste Board here. Send in your drawings or your child's painting by post or email - Relax and Enjoy!

- ilaxi patel
Newspaper for Kids

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

'How much do children know about Politics? Guide with Kidsfreesouls steps

Barrack Hussein Obama is the first African-American President who made a History as he won the 44th US Presidential Election. With the Post Elections, here are Seven Big Questions, "How will Obama Govern?" Change Can Happen with Challenges he will have to face and emerge a winner ever. One thing is so offending or racist to say, as it seems, is Obama's middle name 'Hussein' that I came to read across in one of MJ Columnist post and another at New York Times Headlines. Whatever, I am curious if we can just leave as President Barrack Obama!

Btw, reading on the Slate is an interesting story by Emily Bazelon on Halloween experiment on Voting preferences of 551 kids. Yale economist Dean Karlan had a way to set up a big McCain sign and a life-size cutout of the candidate on one side of his porch, and a big Obama sign and the corresponding cutout on the other. A squad of graduate students sat behind two tables, recording the kids' ages, genders, and responses. 78% of Kids chose Obama. What is more interesting is that Karlan and his minions asked a group of children a different question, "You can get two pieces of candy from the Obama table or four pieces of candy from the McCain table. Which do you prefer?" A boy picked up his choice for more candies! Read more on this on Slate here.

Now, what I feel is 'How much do children know about Politics? How do parents or teachers make children aware of the candidates and who is a right choice? Well, in our town, ask a child and he's blank on such Political scenario. Ask to vote, and the choice comes - who is the least corrupt of the Candidates and you can cast your vote to him! Most of the children find it too tough to understand Civics which is almost a fast read-learn lesson in the classroom.

Political preference is one domain where parents views do matter. They influence kids which have a lasting effect as they grow up. If you call a Politician corrupt in front of a child, he is going to carry the impression and fail to offer his choice. Childhood innocence do not last long as children grow to learn values and make their own choice and decisions. However, here are simple steps to guide Children and make them know on politics and elections:

1. Keep them simply informed by simply talking to them on the current political scenario.

2. Do not criticize or make weird comments showing your mind. Instead, discuss the candidates, parties and what the present country needs.

3. Seek to proper television channels or websites to find sources as you may not be well aware of what to kid appropriate source. Surf with keywords 'teaching children about politics' in Kidsfreesouls Search here.

4. Watch Television together. Make it interactive and inform of current affairs and global issues. Ask or reply to questions in a simple manner.

5. Read newspapers and magazines. Let kids explore interesting cartoons on politics and explain them. Make the child know about the news piece and help him read political news.

6. Discuss. A major influence is a parent who interacts with the kid on politics. Talk about Administration that begins with home leading to countries. How do leaders manage and what it means for the nation.

7. Talk to Teachers and find what they are discussing about Politics in the class. Encourage making Posters and encourage, polite, open and honest debate.

8. Support content. Provide news, magazines, websites that teach on politics. Take them to Libraries or Museums. Watch documentaries or read on leaders.

9. Don't let the child be overwhelmed during Election. Most of the television, newspapers or people speak Politics and talk of parties - Be cautious. Kids can be overwhelmed and anxious to happenings around. Take a break. Switch off the continuous bombarding of politics.

Lastly, teach a child to absorb. All that glitters is not gold. Politicians are human beings and can break promises, say lies too or be corrupt. It is values to imbibe and hope brings in rays of sunshine.

Kids polish their research skills and increase their political knowledge. They will be informed voters in time to come when they grow up and be responsible, powerful leaders in their life - be in profession or politics, why not?

- ilaxi patel
Newspaper for kids

Barrack Hussein Obama : Change has come to America

Change had to come to America - And, America is a place where CHANGE CAN HAPPEN!
Pic courtesy: Getty Images
Barrack Obama wins the 44th US Presidential Election. A first African-American, Barrack Obama, in his oracious victory speech, cheered supporters saying, "Change has come to America" and called on Americans to back a spirit of unity to tackle challenges. He emphasis on Democracy, Liberty, Opportunities. He promised a new 'Dawn'.He promised to overcome problems. He promised to non partisan administration.

Read more here, here and here

Obama, 47, will now begin his transition to the White House. He will be sworn in at the 44th president on January 20, 2009.

Stay Tuned! Also find on Google Live News Feeds

Find Barrack Obama Photo Stream here.

You can Search with keywords, 'win presidential election, obama's victory speech', 'obama's victory speech video', 'Transcript of Barrack Obama's victory speech' in Kidsfreesouls Google Search

- ilaxi patel
Newspaper for kids

Times of India founded as Bombay Times and JC in Nov 1838

November 3, 1838 - The Times of India, the world's largest circulated English language daily broadsheet newspaper is founded as The Bombay Times and Journal of Commerce. (search wiki in Kidsfreesouls Google Search)

A Kidsfreesouls major source of Inspiration, I started my Journalism career as a Voluntary Freelancer - Interviewing Voices column. Later on, became an Editor, Freesouls (now in Sambhaav Newspaper and it became, an endless journey to Journalism.

You can find my About and Mission Page here. Find Kidsfreesouls - In the Press Page.

Search The Times of India & The Bombay Times and Journal of Commerce in Kidsfreesouls Google Search

Btw, you can find the Bombay Times Party of the Year with the Retro theme as celebrities and stars made an impression. Sushmita Sen was well dressed with the retro look and so was Priyanka Chopra. View Aishwarya, Abhishek Bacchan and many more at the party video. Enjoy.

- ilaxi patel
Newspaper for Kids with resources for parents and teachers

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Diwali and Creativity with Rangoli

Wishing all who pass this way, " A Happy Diwali and Prosperous New Year."

Diwali brings in bright hopes and joy for a new year full of peace and happiness. More, Diwali brings in creativity and as I talked of creativity in my earlier note, I guess we don't need to define creativity nor do we need to teach creativity. Creativity comes naturally, from within. And here's an example of Chandra Ba, my mom in law, who is 70+ and very active. She presents great art in various forms - one of which is Rangoli, a tradition in every Indian home.

You can find her Rangoli in color and Patchwork paper and Pistachio covers. All from waste to best themes.

I think, as Authors, we can only preach sometimes but when it comes to creativity, it is our own desire to be creative for which, one even needs a sound health, peaceful atmosphere and an active mind to think, act.

- ilaxi patel

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Unleash Creativity

Khalil Gibran had a vision of mankind as a source of inspiration to many souls. Talking about Children, he said:

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
for their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.

Life's understanding usually comes with a strife and experience. Khalil Gibran almost speak the words of wisdom on parenting - to responsibly carry on the delicate task of nurturing children and giving wings to their talent.

I was just going through the pages of 'Roots and Wings' by Raksha Bharadia and the book is an amazing Handbook for Parents. She has elaborate ways on nurturing creativity in children. Some of the topics covered are:

1. Creating environment - Issue of exposure
2. Nurturing creativity through arts
3. Fostering creativity through reading
4. Nurturing creativity through creative writing
5. Using music to enhance creativity
Making creativity a part of every day life

Raksha pens, "There is no clear definition of creativity. It is referred to in terms of imagination, divergent thinking, fantasy, intution, curiosity, problem solving, and in terms of different combinations of these factors. Creativity is the ability to see beyond what exists, and to combine thoughts and experience into new ideas. We may not be able to define but can recognise it when we come face to face with it in our own selves on in others around us." Raksha Bharadia has numerous points to motivate and encourage Creativity as she gives various anecdotes and interviewed pieces of Aparna Sen, A R Rehman, Javed Akhtar, Sanjeev Kapoor and so on. They all speak their experiences on way to success as they flowered to bloom free with creative pursuits. The book is based on the Author's experiences, extensive research work and Interviews. To read further on Creativity and other chapters on parenting, you need to grab a copy of the newest book in the parenting category here. Raksha Bharadia is also the Author of 'Me' and co-author to Chicken Soup for the Indian Soul.

Well, here's a brief Excerpt-Unleash Creativity from Guardian of Angels article in the Chapter 'Childhood Development' :

Checklist for Creativity

Creative people generally show a spirit of Intellectual entertainment. Listening to music, drinking coffee, watching television, Painting, Dancing, Surfing or chatting can also plunge into creative ideas and come up with numerous practical devices for stimulating and capturing new ideas. Check list a bunch of verbs like magnify, substitute, combine, expose, reverse, soar and so on. Apply these verbs at the time of difficulties faced as you splash the creative outputs.

Make efforts to document your ideas. Jot down the ideas or in the shuffle of day-to-day activities, you lose track of them. Be prepared to note down, keeping handy a piece of paper, pencil or open up a folder in you computer and feed in the ideas.

Day dream your ideas. It has tremendous powers to make dreams turn true or at least, grab those moments of joy to fulfill the creative pursuits.

Ponder over the creative skills. Get inspired from people, places, things or happenings – just about anything and the inspirations work wonders, flowering to bloom fragrance of your creativity spreading happiness within and around you.

Children need to be spoon-fed creativity and raise IQ. It's within reach for everyone with no exceptions. To unleash the power of potentialities in self, one need to apply strategies that need to be mastered and shoot up the Idea Bank, storing all ideas that pop up in mind. Like a proverb, "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it (Prov 22:6). In fact, the process of turning knowledge into value, is Creativity and in a faster pace to technology which is a complexity, creativity is simplicity. In the process, children grow to be more responsible and emotionally stable. It is required that parents and teachers too, need to nurture skills to set an example and for this, it requires a great deal of devotion, dedication, discipline and exposure too.

Btw, here's the Quotes and Real Stuff page to help you find valuable quotes. Enjoy!

- ilaxi patel
Newspaper for Kids

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Freedom for Bully

Watch Video on Bullying in Kidsfreesouls You tube
18-24 October is 'Freedom for Bullies week' as observed with the sole intention to free the trauma of being bullied. At Kidscape, Anti Bullying week is in November.

Bullying has just become of the most underrated but enduring problems today. Kids & Teenagers use the mobiles and the net and because there's the whole world of fun using these gadgets, it's time to stop the Bully Panic. As per the Survey by Daniel Peterson, an associate professor at the Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science in North Chicago, being bullied can challenge the survival of new nerve cells in the brain and may even lead to depression. Stress kills young nerve cells and this may scar children's brain for life.

With Change with the Change, technology has set in the pace with a massive impact in lives of the younger generation. Social networking and blogging is on a rise. Mobile Phone bullying and children are exposed to adult content on the web if not monitored properly. Parents play a crucial part in protecting children from these dangers, but too often it is children, not their parents, who are in the driving seat when it comes to the use of new technology.

A survey says, 1% of parents think, their children are blogging, 33% children use blogs and 67% parents do not know what a blog is! 13% of 11 years old are never supervised online and 11% of 11 years say, their parents are not aware about their online communications. Many parents can't check the surfing History nor do they exactly know what their children do on the Internet.
This survey results are derived from web searches which is alarming. The dangers of the web lurk as to the three main exposures:

1. Content
2. Contact
3. Buying

As parents fail to provide advice and support, children lurk into realms of the web - unknown and unaware of the consequences sometimes. Leaving the two exposures aside, Contact is one main hurdle in Bullying. Children who visit the chat rooms, emails or text messaging need to moderate their activities and be safe from lurking dangers on web with individuals who want to meet in real life.

Kind of bullying:

1. Physical - beating, punching, threats
2. verbal - calling names, spreading rumour, sarcasm
3. Gestures - teasing, making faces
4. Sexual - unwanted behavior and contacts
5. Cyber bullying - At chats, IMs, mobile text messaging, emailing

Signs of possible Bullying in schools can be:

1. Withdrawal syndrome
2. Coming home with torn books, clothes, bruises
3. fear, restlessness, depression, aggressive attitude
4. Loss of confidence, stammering, self harm, eating disorder
5. Change in routine with loss of interest, mood swings

Ban the Bully:

In the Classroom, at the playground, On way to Home, On the web, In the Neighborhoods - Bullying can be anywhere. All one need to do is :Ban the Bully. Spot the signs. Encourage the child to Speak out. Let not Bully bother, opt for smart ways to avoid. Make the child confident, use tact and be un-perturbed. Know your child's friends and what they do online.

Well, here's an article on Bullying from my book and I hope the tips may help somewhere. Mobile bullying is on a rise as well as the text bullying. You may as well surf the NCH site for more details on this and for Mobile Manners, my earlier note says all.

Here are some sites that may help:
Download Text Bully Poster - More on Bully, Hurt, Ignored.

Btw, did you miss the link to October Project? Here's the link.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Blog Action Day : I am In - Eliminate Poverty

Last year, I posted a Blog on Blog Action Day with the initiatives taken to save Environment. This year, today is the Blog Action Day with 'Poverty Eradication' as it's theme and Kidsfreesouls participate to support the cause.

Sometimes, we feel, 'How do I help to eliminate poverty?' A post of John Larry Limbo on Blog Catalog said, 'Poverty is a root to War' with concerns : I am really wondering if this great crisis now of the world can result into a war. In which it can lead the earth to its total destruction.
A simple concerned question but imagine the impact! As the Discussion goes on here, I wonder, Is this a beginning of another Armageddon? Poverty is a Root of War or is the root of War, Poverty? Whatever, the debate goes on. You can ponder on this and send your views too or post in comments.

I was just reading the article of Gretchen Rubin, "How to make yourself Happiner during Economic Crisis", it really do give us an insight on how to face the crisis. Bolstering your own sense of calm and security will free you to think about other people. And, in these hard times, it is the need of the hour to keep a cool. As she says, "the problem with subprime mortgages and the financial crisis won't push them into true poverty, but it will make them feel much poorer." The result would be frustrations, anger and like John says, 'Poverty could be a root to war' and the root of war - war within soul search, war with values, war with humans - Is the Nostradamus predictions surfacing up?

Well, here's 30 simples ways to battle Poverty with Technology. You can find more such Participated blogs on Blog Action Day site.

There is something always in an Individual who can Contribute. Maybe, Money, time, friendship, social cause, donate blood - Sponser a Child! One can opt in for Cry or World Vision. With the programs by Cry, 497,343 children were impacted through their programmes in 5250 villages/ slums. We can educate children, care for the need or even buy simple Cards this Diwali - We are taking action to eliminate poverty.

Protect Kids from crime, Stop them to be criminals. Let Poverty not be a root of War and not let the Root of War, Poverty! Join Blog Action Day - I am In - Are you?

- ilaxi patel
Newspaper for Kids

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

How to Discipline Kids

How to discipline kids and that is one thing we all need to work on when they are almost naughty or call them Brats! As parents need to have an insight on their own behavior, even as teachers, we need to know 'How to Manage.'

A failing parent once came to me and asked, "How do I teach my children some good manners and discipline him?" She was completely frustrated and told me the difficulties she was having with her two sons, a 12 year old Bins and a 14 year old Deep. She had to continuously act a referee to determine who was right or wrong, who would use the ipod or who would watch which show on the television. I told her to exemplify the saying, "Do as I say' - All she did was telling the children not to yell and lose their tempers. However, she did the same.

Discipline is about teaching children that there are consequences for not keeping within the boundaries of rules, not about being hurt. When children misbehave, a parent reacts on how she's feeling at the moment. There has to be fair and appropriate consequences for inappropriate attitude.

Children are more in need of role models than critics. Illustrating a behavior you want them to embrace, they are more likely to emulate it. Children are going to follow examples. If you tell a child not to lie and you do by saying, "If that's an Insurance Agent at the door, tell him, mom is not at home." You need to check your actions. If you are smoking, quite before you want to tell them not to smoke. Do not adopt 'Do as I say, not as I do.'

So, How do you Manage?

A simple exercise for the inner-self helps. Get focused on what you want as a parent and know the values you can instill to get back action.

1. Know yourself within. Ask yourself, what do I want my child to learn by my way to discipline them?

2. Find the answers to What you want the child to learn

3. Do you like your own way of guidance and your style of approach with children?

4. Ask, will I like this kind of approach for myself?

5. What are your child's likes and dislikes.

6. Do they fare well under my guidance

7. Is my way of dealing worth the results. Are you getting positive results?

8. What are my values. Do I follow the rules?

There is a generation gap and so is an age factor to take into account. Children are not born experienced nor they see any problems in their actions. A parent needs constructive ways of changing behavior with tactful explanations on 'What to do, how to do' and check on own temperament values. If you call a child 'lazy' because he does not make his bed, he will have an unhealthy self image to tarnish himself. If the parent herself do not have the tolerance, the child will lose his self esteem.

All actions have consequences and children need to know this specifically. Hence, teach children the
basic principles of living :

1. Decide yourself what values you wish the child to follow.

2. Teach children what you want them to do and how to go about it. If you want your child to be courteous to a visitor, teach him to greet the guest and how to be mannerful. Teach him simple words of 'please, thank you and sorry' and actually mean it.

3. Praise the child's behavior and not be boastful about his certain actions. Nor, be sarcastic too.

4. Stop telling again and again. Instead, sort for a reminder signal.

5. Avoid being Bossy. Do not dig the past of bad behavior of the child. Focus on future improvement. Reminding of what he did, makes him feel more hurt and hurts self esteem.

Great kids misbehave too. Punishing children is not the way of discipline. In face, discuss the consequences and let the child know the causes and effect of punishment before doing so. They need to be more responsible for their actions. A continuity of guidance need to be there as Kids need constant follow up. When children learn to be responsible, they build their self esteem because it gives them control over their self. They don't have to be guilty and they know, in spite of their misbehavior, you still love them.

Kids need a secure, comfortable and loving homely atmosphere. Do not make them insecure. Apply tact and build your own self esteem. Do not vent own frustrations to pass on to them. This will only makes things worse for both. Nurture the kids with commandments of parenting in a caring way.

- ilaxi patel
Newspaper for Kids   

Subscribe to widgets and link to Stage Fright

I just did a posting on my Author Page at which you may find useful.

Stage fright or performance anxiety is something that is very common among all of us and even children. Often, in school you may be asked to come up on stage and give a short speech or be a part in the debating team. But, if you find nervousness creeping in you, your hands would shake, voice falter and heart keeps pounding - chances are that you have a Stage to read more.

Btw, you can find my Widgets  appearing on main blog page. If you are subscribing the widgets, please do subscribe all the widgets separately which means, you need to add 4 codes as these are multiple blogs on diverse subjects.

Btw, How to Discipline Kids? 5th October had been World Teacher's Day and I am sure, you will find the Articles of Teachers quite helpful here.  If you are a teacher and have written an article like these, please email here without attachments and I shall be pleased to add on the page for our readers.

Watch this space as I post my next article on How to Discipline Kids. Meanwhile, you can send me your thoughts on the subject.

- ilaxi patel
Newspaper for Kids 

Saturday, October 04, 2008


One of the exciting challenges to communicate on the Internet and be impressive or just 'Show off' is through the Language flow of signs. These are symbols to convey the expressions in emails, chat rooms, messaging programs,etc. They are composed of several keyboard characters which you can use and express your emotions. So, how did this Smileys, emoticons and computer jargon language start?

On the web, we find different results on who actually invented Smileys. The very earliest known examples of the graphic are attributed to Harvey Ball, a commercial artist in Worcester, Massachusetts. He devised the face in 1963 for an insurance firm that wanted an internal campaign to improve employee morale. He declared that the first Friday in October each year would henceforth be World Smile Day. The first World Smiley Day took place in Worcester, MA on October 1, 1999. The smiley face knows no politics, no geography and no religion. This day today is celebrated as World Smiley Day and the theme of Harvey Ball's site for 2008 is 'Do an Act of Kindness, Help one person smile.'

Later on in 1970, popularized by Bernard and Murray Spain who produce buttons, coffee mugs, T shirts, bumper stickers, etc with 'Have a Happy Day'

In 1981, Smileys were used by Scott Fahlman and here is his website with info. Here is the original thread in the Bulletin board where it was proposed.

Currently, he seems to be working on am working on Scone, a practical system that can represent a large body of real-world knowledge and that can efficiently perform the kinds of search and inference that seem so effortless for humans. Too high end learning for me yet, take a look at the site and this sure is Interesting!And here's with the Smiley day just gone, I remember all those smileys and frowns I got with winks and yawning, angelic and devilish too - as I passed through ICQ, Talkcity, Yahoo Messengers and even India Times and many more Chatrooms. Kidsfreesouls has the Smileys Here - The Unofficial Smiley Faq for use and you can even add more of your smileys here 0:-)

I've done a Classroom Project on Smileys earlier and it is so much fun for the kids. They can draw different smiley faces in their Project book, make a Smiley Poster and jot down all the Smileys and Computer Jargons that they can use on web as well as many of them use while texting messages on mobile phones. Enjoy!

- ilaxi patel
Newspaper for Kids

Thursday, October 02, 2008

International Day of Non Violence: Gandhiji's Birthday

October 2 is marked the Birthday of Mahatma Gandhi, the born Leader who gave India its Freedom and spread the message of peace and non violence.

As I mentioned earlier in Kidsfreesouls News page, the World Today observes 'The International Day of Non Violence.' Gandhiji quoted, "It is my firm conviction that nothing endearing can be built upon Violence.' And as we see Violence spreading around the world, it is to follow the Gandhian Principles of living.

You can find the highly surfed page of Kidsfreesouls on Gandhiji here and find Gandhiji's Constructive Program Ideology for students and Check the Gandhiji Quiz and you too, find out the answers from Gandhiji's book 'My Experiments with the Truth'. All the Swagat children had found the answers from the book and sent competition entries to Margi Sastry of Wee wonder, Times of India long before.

Well, the Union Health Ministry of India has declared 'No Smoking' with strict rules on the prohibition of Smoking in public areas. Smoking will be banned at work place, shopping malls and cinema halls., airport lounges and even pubs and bars from today, October 2. As such, an average 11,000 deaths per day globally are caused due to tobacco. Six lac deaths per year are caused due to Tobacco consumption in India itself with 50% resulting to cancer. What is more alarming is, 55000 Indian children get addicted to tobacco every year.

Tobacco was smoked as far back as 1556 by the people of the Caribbean, as discovered by Christopher Columbus. It is a silent trap and causes lung cancer, bronchitis and asthma, mouth ulcers, etc. Smoking or chewing tobacco gets a person addicted and No Safe Cigarettes are proven too as low nicotine or the light cigarettes are also equally harmful. Researchers presented a study at the American Thoracic Society 2007 International Conference lately that Kids of smoking parents aren't so healthy. Children whose parents smoke have more respiratory problems. More puffing, wheezing, cases of pneumonia are the effects to the health of the children. The kids also have higher risk of getting depressed, hyper tense and even get lower grades in schools due to their health problems of wheezing and lower respiratory infection due to which, they cannot concentrate in class.

Hence, it is welcoming idea looking to the Health Hazards of Smoking and what other day can be set as Gandhiji's birthday to ban smoking? In 'My Experiments with the Truth', Gandhiji mentions of his habit of smoking and how hard he tried to kick off the habit, which he did. A way of prove, If one has a will, he can do it.

Also Being International Peace day today, it is to think over the words of Thich Nhat Hanh, who advocates non violence and spreads a message of peace, educating a way out of war and violence. You can read further on this in TOI as his wisdom words reflect as he becomes a Guest Editor for the newspaper on occasion of Gandhiji's birthday. The zen master who rebuild bombed villages, set up schools and medical centres, resettled homeless families and all his life advocated the principles of non violence and compassionate action speaks of peace education and its the way out of war and violence. He quips, 'Terrorists are victims who create more victims.'

One need to control two things - Anger and Tolerance. And more as an adult, Protect kids from Crime - Stop them to be Criminals. Build the Pillars of Character and follow the Principles of Good Living with value education.

- ilaxi patel

Newspaper for kids

Monday, September 29, 2008

Banned Books week: Book List, Video and More!

Benjamin Franklin said: "Without Freedom of Thought, there can be no such Thing as Wisdom; and no such Thing as public Liberty, without Freedom of Speech."

Banned Books Week 2008 is the twenty-seventh annual celebration of the freedom to read. Banned Books Week is sponsored by the American Booksellers Association, the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression, the American Library Association (ALA), the Association of American Publishers, the American Society of Journalists and Authors and the National Association of College Stores. The Library of Congress Center for the Book endorses it.

You can find Videos on Banned Book Week in Kidsfreesouls You Tube. Find the books Top 10 books banned in 2007 and Top 50 Books banned from 1990-2000.

This year, as ALA celebrates the week from September 27-4th October, you can find some banned books picks :

1. Harry Potter Series:
Harry Potter and the Chamber of SecretsHarry Potter and the Goblet of FireHarry Potter and the Half Blood PrinceHarry Potter and the Prisoner of AzkabanHarry Potter and the Sorcerer's stone.
These books were to ban out of the school libraries, based on a claim they promote witchcraft. The themes of witchcraft and sorcery were inappropriate for a Catholic school. A county school board members said the books were good tools to encourage children to read and to spark creativity and imagination.

2. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Twain, Mark [Samuel L. Clemens]
Challenged, but retained in the Lakeville, Minn. High School (2007) and St. Louis Park High School in Minneapolis, Minn. (2007) as required reading for sophomores. The district will conduct staff training about race issues and revise the way it weighs requests for curriculum changes. The district will also let its staff offer alternative assignments on racially sensitive issues in ways which “students do not feel ostracized because they have opted out of the assignment." Challenged at Richland High School in North Richland Hills, Tex. (2007) because of racial epithets. Challenged at the Manchester, Conn. High School (2007) "because the 'N' word is used in the book 212 times."

3.Rainbow Boys - Sanchez, Alex.
Removed from the Webster, N.Y. Central School District summer reading list for high-school students (2006) after receiving complaints from parents about explicit sexual content. The book won the International Reading Association's 2003 Young Adults' Choice Award, and the American Library Association selected it as a Best Book for Young Adults. A year later the book returned to the list after district officials reviewed the process used to select books on the list.

4. Go Ask Alice. Anonymous.
Challenged as a reading assignment at Hanahan Middle School in Berkeley County, S.C. (2008) because of blatant, explicit language using street terms for sex, talk of worms eating body parts, and blasphemy. The anonymously written 1971 book is about a fifteen-year-old girl who gets caught up in a life of drugs and sex before dying from an overdose. Its explicit references to drugs and sex have been controversial since it was first published.

5. The Freedom Writers Diary: How a Teacher and 150 Teens used Writing to Change themselves and the World Around Them
Challenged in the Howell, Mich. High School (2007) along with several other books because of strong sexual content. In response to a request from the president of the Livingston Organization for Values in Education, or LOVE, the county's top law enforcement official reviewed the books to see whether laws against distribution of sexually explicit materials to minors had been broken. "After reading the books in question, it is clear that the explicit passages illustrated a larger literary, artistic, or political message and were not included solely to appeal to the prurient interests of minors," the Livingston County prosecutor wrote. "Whether these materials are appropriate for minors is a decision to be made by the school board, but I find that they are not in violation of the criminal laws." The best-selling book has achieved national acclaim and was made into a recent hit movie.

6. Rani by Jaishree Misra
This book is banned for sale and distribution in Uttar Pradesh India.

7. Hosseini, Khaled. The Kite Runner
Challenged as appropriate study in tenth-grade honors English class at Freedom High School in Morganton, N.C. (2008) because the novel depicts a sodomy rape in graphic detail and uses vulgar language.

Well, you can find more books that are Challenged in 2007-2008 here and download a pdf for reading pleasure. Also celebrate Teen Read Week here. You can watch this space more for my Amazon Banned Books Listmania which currently has My Comics World and Childhood Classics with more topics. Meanwhile, here's one for ready reference on Banned Books.

Freedom of speech is at will but Books are challenged and banned for every possible reason. Books are challenged usually, to protect others, frequently children, from difficult ideas and information. And it might surprise many, Harry Potter Books face a challenge Book category for its focus on wizardy and magic! It is understood that between 1990 and 2000, around 6,364 challenges reported to or recorded by the Office for Intellectual Freedom. Based upon the objections of a person or group, when books are challenged for reading, they are banned! However, Banned Books Week makes it possible for 'Free People Read Freely' concept and the Banned Books week emphasize the freedom to choose or the freedom to express one's opinion. Sometimes, silencing the expression of opinion is no good but when the material is unsuitable for age group, offensive language or sexually explicit, Banning is Must! Human Race falls prey easy to the vices and yet, when these challenged books ultimately get banned, this week sure do justice to work that is dumped in cans if the content is good for read!

Its your ticket to freedom. Freedom to read the books that you missed out and freedom to ban a book. Get-set-ready to read Books - Encourage Reading and celebrate Freedom. Make the Banned Books Project in the classroom and dive into the ocean of knowledge.

- ilaxi patel
Newspaper for Kids