Burbank Users: The Burbank Branch parking lot will be closed on Saturday, April 26 until 3 pm due to the closure of Stevens Ave. for a road race. The branch will be open for normal hours Saturday from 9am - 5 pm.
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No Name Calling Week

One Today by Richard Blanco

Last year on this date, Maine poet Richard Blanco shared his poem “One Today” at the Presidential Inauguration.  The poem reminds us of all we share :  “One ground. Our ground… ” and reminds us that our differences also shape our uniquely personal path:

All of us as vital as the one light we move through,
the same light on blackboards with lessons for the day:
equations to solve, history to question, or atoms imagined,
the “I have a dream” we keep dreaming,
or the impossible vocabulary of sorrow that won’t explain
the empty desks of twenty children marked absent
today, and forever.

In the end, Blanco reminds us that it is our collective vision, spirit, effort and attitude that will shape our collective future.

It is much this same message that No Name Calling Week proffers — a message to youth and adults and to the institutions within which we learn and work  to embrace kindness and make it active… to Choose Civility in a big way.  To resist a bullying culture is not just to punish those who cross the line but to develop strategies to encourage and enhance empathy in ourselves and our communities.

The GlSEN site offers many resources for engaging young people in conversations about bullying and about kindness — their suggested reading list is here.

Portland Public Library offers many provocative and helpful materials as well — a small sampling is here but a reference librarian can help you find just what you’re looking for!

Join us on Thursday January 24th for an evening of “Kindness Shorts” including winners from Kindness The Movie‘s video contest and an opportunity to watch Blanco read “One Today.”

 

posted: , by Kim Simmons
tags: Programs & Events | Recommended Reads | Adults | Government
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