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  • Brigit Law 10:09 pm on May 17, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , media, School newspaper, ,   

    An Elementary School Newspaper Success Story 

    So glad to see that my school newspaper program ‘The Scottie Chronicle’ received local media attention today. It is the first school newspaper in the Chambersburg Elementary School District.

    It is crucial that everyone receives tools to get heard, even the smallest creatures in our community.

  • Brigit Law 11:16 pm on May 7, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Journalism, , PTA   

    Kids Minds Matter 

    Last week, I started with a new – the second – team of Scottie Chronicle reporters, and this evening I finished their ‘Reporter Survival Pack’ with worksheets, letter to parents, Tips & Tricks in journalism, as well as the necessary candy treats, pens and block notes (see picture below).

    These groups of school kids are one of the best things I have experienced in my time in the US.

    Compared to Europe, the American PTA has amazed me. So much more support from parents seems to be needed here, and so much more can be achieved when parents and teachers work together. Compared to Europe where parental support is often limited to lice control, reading mom/dad or Christmas party, the American PTA opens doors to parents to set up Science Fairs, Book Fairs, National Reflections Art Awards programs, Spelling Bees, and much more.

    Inspired by the American spirit of ‘The Sky Is The Limit’ (as long as you are willing to execute your own ideas), I became the CEO of my own PTA program: The Scottie Chronicle – a school news paper for my kids’ Scotland Elementary school in Chambersburg, PA.

    Working with these kids brought me closer to my quest to understand better the way humans communicate. How much can kids critical minds bring to an organization, a community, a school? And, are we really listening to them? Can we let them lead us in how we should lead them?

    One thing is for sure, not listening to the perceptive minds of kids or watching them grow up with our full attention, will keep us falling behind in social development and economic prosperity.

    In the end it is like horse riding: you can only lead a horse if you let the horse educate you on it’s needs.


  • Brigit Law 11:18 pm on March 29, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , cultural differences, , horse riding   

    Everytime a different ride 

    My life not only requires me to find my bearings in different countries and places, but also riding different horses at different stables.

    Different horses have different ways of listening and communicating and every time I sit in the saddle fustrated that i cant find the right mode to connect. my hands a little lower? My posture a bit more straigtened up? It reminds me of the difficult moments to figure out a culture and nationality. Exactly what are the do’s and don’t-s? How do I and my children make friends? Can my children just ring at neighbor door bels asking to play like they got used to in the previous countries they lived? At my riding lessons I have at least a riding instructor at hand, but in my day to day American life, I have not.

    What I have found so far is the eminent importance of making expectations match reality. How?
    1 Read books about your host country
    2 Form or join weekly coffee morning or book clubs where you can ask questions
    3 volunteer and/or work in your area of interest to get a learning & giving experience as well as to give structure to your days
    4 Try – and this is the most difficult part – to turn dissapointments into inspiring lessons you want to learn from.
    5 Keep strong and tight family bonds, they will never let you stand alone no matter how much you change. (And change you will!)

    So, if you get into the saddle, be ready for the ride. And whilst you will never be ready as to know what to expect, you should be ready to go!

    Good luck on your different rides & have a great Easter!


  • Brigit Law 11:48 am on December 31, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    ‘Opkomen voor een ander’ niet in top 10 van goede voornemens 

    Vreemd vind ik het dat ondanks Serious Request en de aandacht voor pesten en goede doelen, het opkomen voor een ander niet in de top 10 van goede voornemens staat. Althans, volgens de lijst van Ipsos Synovate die de Telegraaf deze week publiceerde.  Met op 1: meer bewegen, 2: meer aandacht aan familie en vrienden, 3: meer aandacht aan partner/gezin en op 4: beter voor mezelf opkomen, toont de lijst aan dat wij nog steeds in het tijdperk van individualisme leven.

    Op 9 staat nog nog wel ‘vriendelijker zijn voor een ander’, maar daar houdt de aandacht voor een ander buiten vrienden- en familiekring helaas op.

    Vreemd vind ik ook dat – gezien de economische situatie – verhoogde academisch en professionele inzet niet hoog op de lijst van goede voornemens staat. Pas op 10 staat ‘een cursus/studie of training gaan volgen’.

    Mijn eigen lijst met voornemens is anders. Puttend uit mijn levenservaring – die toch alweer goed is voor 40 jaar waarvan 20 jaar in binnen en buitenland, zegt dat goed samen (over)leven voor 2013 nodig heeft:

    1. Aandacht voor gezin/familie

    2. School/Studie/Werk aandacht

    3. Opkomen/zorg voor een ander

    Met de gedachte dat je eerst jezelf moet helpen voor je een ander helpt. Denk maar aan de vliegtuig veiligheid instructie: eerst het zuurstofmasker op je eigen hoofd zetten voordat je je kind helpt.

    Verder zijn vrienden eigenlijk een integraal deel van ons leven. Vrienden krijg en houd je doordat je focus legt op de bovengenoemde drie punten.

    En verder ga ik 2013 minder koffie en meer water drinken. Want met vier schoolgaande kinderen wordt 2013 ook weer een energiek jaar.

    Ik wens iedereen een gelukkig nieuwjaar met nieuwe frisse ambities, spannende uitdagingen en zorg voor een ander!


  • Brigit Law 5:00 pm on December 28, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: crowd funding, , health care,   

    In choosing lower health coverage when higher prices are in sight, The Netherlands is heading towards an American health care model. Now they need to learn from America what it takes to organize fundraisers 24/7.

  • Brigit Law 4:59 pm on December 26, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    Crowd funding: Will it break relationships? 

    A good friend of mine, with whom I talk a lot about my work in raising funds for education, art, culture in schools as well as therapeutic horseback riding, pointed out a news headline to me, to which I felt compelled to react: Crowd funding: Will it break relationships?

    When I moved to the US and got bombarded with local fundraisers, the same question came to my mind. I live in a small community where participating in fundraisers is a community building exercise. There is simply no soccer for my son without donations raised by the soccer ‘crowd’. And more importantly, my kids school can not reach decent academic standards without donations raised by the school ‘crowd’. As a European, used to social system, my first questions was: Do I need to support all fundraisers? My second question: Will people like me less if I don’t support ‘their’ fundraisers?

    After some sleepless nights, I think I found some answers.

    (More …)

  • Brigit Law 4:22 pm on December 3, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , USA   

    Reading today’s BBC news: “Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), says the US is now the only major economy in the world where the younger generation is not going to be better educated than the older.”

    Today’s lazy attidude towards education is said to be one of the problems: “Where once education was considered a privilege, now it is considered not merely a right, but something to be taken for granted and even resented as an imposition.”

    The other part that strikes me as an active PTA parent and member is that “… the education system focuses more on perceived deficits (learning DISabilities, etc.) than on perceived potential.”

    PTA’s nation wide may see a much more important role coming their way in the near future. Finding and stimulating the right balance in learning behavior, expectations and human potential is at stake. And when their is no finanical argument to make at the moment, other reasons for education should be explained: such as (personal) intellectual satisfaction, innovation, creativity and respect.

  • Brigit Law 9:56 pm on November 21, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , ThanksGiving, vluchteling   

    Tijd om even bij te tanken 

    Nog een paar weken en ik kan weer even bijtanken bij mijn ouders in Europa. Soms is het expat leven net een baseball game waar bezoekjes aan het thuishonk goud waard zijn. In de wake van Thanksgiving, een echt familiefeest dat morgen hier in Amerika wordt gevierd, ben ik dan ook dankbaar dat ik naar huis kan waar en wanneer ik wil. Ik ben vrij. Maar dat geldt jammergenoeg niet voor de vele vluchtelingen en asielzoekers met wie ik eigenlijk veel raakvlakken heb. (More …)

  • Brigit Law 4:57 pm on November 12, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: bullying, , ISUBD,   

    Bullying: It’s a world wide challenge! 

    In the lead up to the International Stand-up to Bullying Day (ISUBD), the 5th graders of Mrs Zychal’s class at Scotland Elementary in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, did a great job in identifying the powers one needs to combat bullying. Laser vision, super hearing and transforming were some of them. (More …)

  • Brigit Law 3:00 pm on October 29, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    De dekens van tante Sien 

    De dekens van mijn oudtante Sien uit Oldenzaal komen nu toch wel goed van pas #Twente #hurricane #Sandy #ikwooninpennsylvania #expatlife

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