Seattle’s Child Magazine: November Issue

Excited to share a few gems from my first issue as Editor of Seattle’s Child magazine! Proud to feature artist and activist Aleksa Manila on the cover talking about her Drag Queen Story Hour! We also have an infants at work program feature, a Seattle reggae artist profile and tips on how to avoid food waste! Pick up a copy at your local Seattle library or email abergman@seattleschild.com to subscribe.

Design by Art Director Boo Davis. Photos by Joshua Huston. Find all the stories online by clicking here.

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Macklemore, Michael Bennett team up to buy ‘Teaching for Black Lives’ book for Seattle teachers

Macklemore and Michael Bennett have purchased copies of the critically acclaimed book, “Teaching for Black Lives,” for every middle- and high-school social-studies and language-arts teacher in Seattle Public Schools.

“Teaching for Black Lives” is a collection of teaching activities, role-plays, essays, poems and art created to help educators humanize African-American people in school curriculum. The book gives examples of how teachers can connect the curriculum to young people’s lives and explores how classrooms can be designed to challenge racism.

“The contributions that black people have made to this country are integral and the struggles that kids have to go through facing all forms of institutionalized racism and discrimination are real,” says Jesse Hagopian, an editor of the book and an ethnic-studies teacher at Seattle’s Garfield High School.

READ THE FULL STORY ON SEATTLE’S CHILD

How Instagram Has Changed Outdoor Spaces

Art: Dom Mckenzie

After a romantic photo of a couple embracing in front of a partially frozen waterfall in North Bend made the rounds on social media in December 2016, inexperienced hikers dead-set on capturing their own enchanting waterfall selfies wandered into the wilderness without proper footwear or flashlights. Finding themselves lost after dark, many suffered serious injuries. In a single month, the all-volunteer King County Search and Rescue team responded to 30 calls from Franklin Falls.

“People see beautiful photos on social media, but don’t do the additional research to find out it’s a difficult hike and bring what they need to be prepared,” says the Search and Rescue team’s detective Ed Christian. “They’re getting in way over their heads.” In other words, if you’re just doing it for the ’gram, you probably shouldn’t be doing it.

READ THE FULL STORY IN SEATTLE MET MAGAZINE 

Kindergarten or Rosh Hashanah? Seattle Families Wish They Didn’t Have to Choose

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“While Seattle parents take photos, shed tears and send their kids off for the first day of kindergarten on Monday (Sept. 10), many Jewish families will be forced to choose between meeting an educational milestone and observing Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year.

“It is truly one of the holiest days of the year that people spend with their family and community in synagogue,” says Rabbi Allison Flash, Assistant Director of Education at Temple Beth Am. “Starting kindergarten on Rosh Hashanah is equivalent to kids starting it on Easter Sunday.”

Rosh Hashanah marks the beginning of a 10-day period of prayer, introspection and repentance known as the High Holy Days. Jewish communities attend prayer services in synagogue and hear the blowing of an ancient instrument called a shofar, which is made from a kosher ram’s horn. Afterward, families and friends gather to eat a round challah (representing the cycle of the seasons/eternal life), and taste apples and honey (signifying hope for a sweet new year).

The Jewish population in Seattle grew by 70 percent between 2001 and 2014, according to research from Brandeis University in collaboration with the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle. The 2014 study estimated that the Jewish community was composed of around 63,400 Jewish individuals. An estimated 13,800 people in that total were Jewish children (aged 17 and under). The population has continued to increase as rapid job growth in the science, tech and engineering industries attracts more well-educated and ideologically progressive Jewish millennials to Seattle.

Jackie Kleinstein, a Seattle mother of two, looked forward to watching her daughter start kindergarten on the same day as her peers at John Rogers Elementary. But when she learned that the family would have to choose between a quintessential coming-of-age experience and observing one of the most significant Jewish holidays, there was no question.

“It’s just what you do,” says Kleinstein. “My daughter loves going to synagogue for the High Holy days, she looks forward to it every year.”

The Kleinstein family felt that honoring their Jewish heritage was especially important in the current political climate. The number of reported anti-Semitic incidents in the United States surged 57 percent in 2017, according to an annual report by the Anti-Defamation League. About one-third of Seattle Jews reported some type of anti-Semitic experience in 2015, mostly in the form of Jewish “jokes,” use of stereotypes or comments related to Israel.

“In these times, I think it’s more important than ever to be confident and secure in celebrating our Jewish traditions,” says Kleinstein.

READ THE FULL SEATTLE’S CHILD MAGAZINE STORY HERE

Are more kids smoking pot now that recreational weed is legal in Seattle? The answer may surprise you.

 

Photo: Joshua Huston

When Seattle entrepreneur April Pride was tapped to design a cannabis lifestyle brand for women, she was ecstatic — but trepidatious. “I knew that it was a great opportunity from a professional standpoint, but at the same time, it meant that I was going to have to be really open about my personal life,” says Pride. As the mother of two young boys, Pride had to consider the impact of this cannabis-centered career move on her family.

Pride built Van der Pop, a female-focused line of cannabis accessories, out of her house while her kids were on summer break. “We’d have to take measurements, so cannabis was on the kitchen table,” says Pride. “My kids know what it looks like, they know what it smells like, they know the different ways you can consume it — they’re really in this with me.”

Although Pride never uses cannabis in front of her children, she has no qualms about enjoying its high in their presence. “Cannabis allows me to slow down and not be so concerned about the things that can wait,” says Pride.

Pride hopes that owning her usage will cultivate open lines of communication about cannabis when her kids hit the teen years. “All I can really do is ask my kids to be responsible, because I think it’s naive to think that they will abstain,” says Pride.

Since Seattle’s first legal recreational pot shops opened in 2014, many parents, educators and researchers have wondered about the potential impact on kids. The cannabis on the market today is different than what was available even 10 years ago and eye-catching billboards are everywhere.

But has advertising, greater accessibility, and an increased prevalence of adults using marijuana changed teen usage rates in Washington since legalization took effect?

CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL ARTICLE IN SEATTLE’S CHILD MAGAZINE

Romesh Ranganathan Arrives in the States

 

romesh-ranganathan-479172672.w710.h473Best known for his standup in the United Kingdom, Romesh Ranganathan was working as a high school math teacher before deciding to pursue his lifelong passion for comedy. Over the course of five years, Romesh went from performing pub gigs to becoming one of the UK’s most popular performers. After selling out theaters all over England and touring Australia, he decided to move his wife, mother, and three kids to Los Angeles and try to make it big in America. He recently made his late night standup debut in the US on The Late Late Show with James Cordenand he set the bar high for himself straight out the gate by buying the 5,900-seat Greek Theatre in Los Angeles to put up a show he’s calling Romesh in Americawhich takes place tomorrow night. He hasn’t sold too many tickets yet, but he hopes if he builds it, they will come. I talked to Romesh about his Sri Lankan heritage, making the jump from teacher to comic, and how US audiences compare to the UK.

READ THE FULL INTERVIEW ON VULTURE

Working for Racial Equity in Seattle Schools Honors Programs

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Photo: Joshua Huston

“The Racial Equity in HCC Team, a network of about 100 Seattle parents, teachers, students and community members district wide, has worked hard this year to improve the racial equity of Seattle Public Schools’ advanced learning programs.

The Seattle school district offers advanced classes “for students who have been evaluated for and designated as Highly Capable.” To place into the Highly Capable Cohort (HCC), a student needs to score in the top 2 to 3 percent on standardized tests of cognitive, reading and math skills. SPS also offers Advanced Learning (formerly known as Spectrum) for students who have been evaluated for and designated as Advanced Learners.

However, both accelerated programs overwhelmingly consist of white students. In 2015, white students made up 45.6 percent of SPS population, but were 72.3 percent of HCC-eligible students. That same year, 16 percent of students in the Seattle School district were black, but only 1 percent were in Advanced Learning programs. Among SPS’s 12 percent Latino student population, only 3 percent were counted as HCC- and Advanced Learning–eligible students. This compares to data from the U.S. Department of Education from 2009 that shows black students comprising 16.7 percent of total U.S. students and 9.8 percent of students in gifted programs. Data from the USDE also shows that as of 2009 Latino students comprised 22.3 percent of students nationally and 15.4 percent of students in gifted programs. Among the 200 biggest school districts in the U.S., Seattle has the fifth-biggest gap in achievement between black and white students. Seattle’s white-black gap is also the biggest in Washington.”

READ THE FULL STORY IN SEATTLE’S CHILD