(and Why) It Works...
Follow a single
song as it makes its way
through the community...
presents workshop for teachers where they learn a song about
Students sing the cat song at school.
Teachers tell parents about the cat song their children have
learned and display the poster with the QR code to the song
presents a parent workshop where parents learn cat song, and
receive information on how singing builds early literacy and
visit SingWithOurKids.com where they can download and sing
the cat song with their children.
and children visit the pet store, where children get a “song
sticker,” prompting them to visit the website to hear the
cat song and download other songs and activities about
take children to
Island Books, where Nancy reads several “books that
sing” about pets, and sings the cat song. Parents can
purchase the books they have heard in the program, and
download more pet songs from the free website. They also
receive information and tips on using books and music to
build early literacy.
Children go to story time at the library, where Margaret the
librarian does a program about pets, and sings the cat song.
She has additional activities parents can do at home, and
related books to check out.
Children SKYPE with their grandparents 3,000 miles away, and
are thrilled to learn their grandparents also know the cat
they all sing together!
Now imagine the same thing
being done with many other songs,
in many other places over the course of nine months.
And now imagine the entire project, including songs,
instructional videos, early learning and early literacy
information, and blog documenting the project, along with
parent and community comments and stories, being posted on a
website where it becomes a permanent free resource for
there a cost for schools participating
in the project?”
No! This is a pilot project, and all programs, events, website
materials and classes will be free. All public events will be open
to anyone, not just Mercer Island residents. I will donate my time
to all events and development of website content.
“Our school already has a music specialist.
Can we still
That’s great, and yes! There are still many ways you can take
advantage of the project materials and events. One example will be
the all-Island events including parent talks on music and early
learning. You can participate just by supporting and publicizing
them through your school newsletter, school
e-mails, and event
posters. And I will work with you to help you to customize the
website tools to fit your particular situation using your music
teacher and his or her materials.
“Our teachers write their own songs that we use.
Can those be
included in the project?”
You’re welcome to request traditional songs to be included. Due to
copyright issues and website development costs, the initial
website song library will be limited to mostly traditional and
some original songs I will or have already recorded. However, the
goal of the website is to provide a template and all necessary
tools for schools and communities everywhere to use. I will be
happy to work with you to create your own school model.
“If all of the materials, programs, and events are free, why are
you doing this?”
It’s simple. After thirty years of writing, performing, and
presenting for a wide range of children, librarians, teachers,
early learning organizations, and many other groups, I have seen
the need for this kind of project. Every year I find
children know fewer and traditional songs. Singing together builds
early learning and literacy skills, cultural values, memories, and
community. As we sing together less and less, there are fewer
songs we all know, and as a result we sing less and less! So it’s
become a vicious cycle.
Sing With Our Kids will provide songs and
opportunities to sing them, not just at school, but with family
and community. The key to the project’s success will be in having
both a comprehensive and totally free resource website and live
community project with broad participation. Each will enhance the
other. Having lived on Mercer Island for thirty years, I realized
it is the perfect community in which to conduct this unique and
ambitious project. And with the international connections my
artist website has built, I have no doubt what we do in the
community of Mercer Island will be followed and duplicated by
teachers, librarians, and parents all over the world.
“Is this a non-profit project?”
No. After researching the possibility of creating a non-profit to
execute this project I concluded it didn’t make sense, and I wanted it to be free of any constraints.