baby eating broccoli

Healthy lifestyles begin in early childhood – the first twelve months

As the new school year approaches and we consider the flu, sore throats, lice… there is an ongoing topic that is extremely important to our children’s well-being, living a healthy life. Changing the pattern of the American child’s lifestyle has become a pressing and daunting task. The percentage of children in the US who were obese increased from “7% in 1980 to nearly 18% in 2012,” (CDC, Apr 24, 2015). If we are going begin to reverse this detrimental trend, we’re going to have to look at how and when it begins.

I Am A Girl cover image

“I Am A Girl” – the reality of being a girl in the 21st century

The basic human rights and even the economic evidence of empowering girls seem obvious; but the challenges and discrimination are often distant from an American perspective – or less obvious in our own culture. “I Am A Girl” follows the stories of six girls from cities around the globe, chronicling their experiences and challenges as they come of age in within a variety of cultures.

Daycare provider and children

It’s alright to be different: talking to children about diversity in our world

As early childhood educators, we are expected, and for some topics mandated, to participate in trainings about diversity, culture, and inclusion. While these trainings are extremely important and help providers to understand and be inclusive of the religious, racial, ethnic, or socioeconomic status of the children and families we serve, they often are missing one piece: teaching these concepts to children.

YWCA Leader Luncheon 2015

Women – question the status quo

Not for the first time, I asked this question March 2: Why are these women – powerful, experienced, wise – virtually invisible in Rockford and Winnebago County political and organizational leadership?

The YWCA Leader Luncheon brings over 600 guests, almost 500 women, together in a single room for a single day and proves annually – at least for me – that there’s a disconnect between the power and expertise in that room and the “way things are done” in the Rock River Valley.

And, not for the first time, I will ruffle feathers again by pointing out that disconnect. Over my 20 years as executive editor of the Rockford Register Star, my columns asking why women and other minorities were shut out of the mainstream decision-making irritated, to put it mildly, the entrenched power structure.