April 2016 Book Recommendations

Eleanor Roosevelt’s, TOMORROW IS NOW; Perspectives about the world. The former First Lady’s last book.

Judith Guest’s, ORDINARY PEOPLE; a son’s unexpected death, causes anger, resentment, and distorted alliances in  the rest of the family.

Elizabeth Forsythe Hailey’s, JOANNA’S HUSBAND AND DAVID’S WIFE; the “inside” of the marriage–from two points of view.

Judith Rossner’s, OLIVIA, OR THE WEIGHT OF THE PAST; Mother-daughter conflict complicated by regret, rage, and food.

 

April 2016 Book Recommendations

Celebrate Women’s History Month with A Story Inspired by Sally Ride

Hayley Rides into Space, is a new interactive Speakaboos story inspired by Sally Ride, the legendary hero and first American female astronaut in space. The story features a spirited and adventurous girl, Hayley, who dreams of becoming an astronaut like Sally Ride. Readers can be inspired by Hayley’s love of space as she prepares for her first mission, experiences weightlessness, and launches her first satellite.

Hayley Rides Into Space is a collaboration between Speakaboos and David Bruce Smith. In addition to being a well known history author, Mr. Smith is the President and founder of The Grateful American™ Foundation, an organization dedicated to restoring the enthusiasm in American history for kids and adults. He is also the Co-founder and a Judge for The Grateful American Book Prize, a literary  award for excellence in writing, storytelling and illustration for children’s historical non-fiction and fiction focused on the events and personalities that have shaped the United States since the country’s founding.

 

 

Celebrate Women’s History Month with A Story Inspired by Sally Ride

The History of Praise: Gospel Music of 19th – 21st Century America

The Garfield Center for the Arts at the Prince Theatre

Saturday, April 2, 2016

8-10pm

Click for Tickets and More Info

From the labor fields to campgrounds, church, and on Broadway; gospel music and its barrier breaking genres is a catalyst to the souls’ expression of faith through praise and worship to God.  The hymns of Thomas Dorsey, Isaac Watts, Elvis Presley, Albertina Walker, the Oak Ridge Boys, the contemporary spirituals of choirs, and the southern gospel of quartets are among the many who set the tone for the next millennium’ praise.  Life’s joys and hardships, laments and confessions of faith become a demonstration on Praise

Host: Craig Gibson
Producer: Karen Somerville
Headliners: Sombarkin’ (Karen, Lester, & Jerome)
Guest Performers:
Friends in Faith
Tamika Hall
Tim Dove
The Simmons Family (Mary, Dave, & John)
Musicians:
Ernie Greene, pianist
Jerome McKinney, Jr., drums
Seth Kibel, woodwinds

Sponsored by Janet Brandon and Kent County Arts Council

History expert focused on ‘huge’ history deficit

WASHINGTON, DC, Mar 22, 2016 – Louise Mirrer, President and CEO of the New-York Historical Society, is focused on the history deficit among American students.

“American history is no longer required in many high schools throughout the country. This means that large numbers of Americans graduate without even the most basic sense of what it means to be an American. That is a huge deficit.”

Many of our schools appear to have decided that history is unimportant, according to Mirrer. Sometimes, this is an effect of the sense that science and technology are more practical areas of knowledge, especially in the 21st century, and that a focus on STEM education [Science, Technology, Engineering and Math] can only come at the expense of other disciplines.

According to a recent survey by the American Council of Trustees and Alumni, fewer than 200 liberal arts colleges and universities require students to take a course in American history or government. “Over a long period of time, colleges and universities have increasingly emphasized skills-based education over knowledge of the humanities. These institutions fail to see the importance to their students of knowing–and being touched by–the history of their country. Americans who understand this country’s long tradition of openness to newcomers, its tradition of providing opportunity to all, its long struggle for freedom, equality and civil rights will be better equipped to act as responsible citizens, especially in today’s dangerous global environment that fosters anti-Western and anti-democratic movements.”

Mirrer says that U.S. history is not only important in terms of developing a sense of civic-mindedness for future years, but also for developing a life-long sense of American values that will thwart extremist views and anti-democratic thinking and ideas that we hear so much about today.

“Learning U.S. history also makes for interesting and thought-provoking content as young people learn to read, write, and think critically. If you have nothing to think or write about, how can you ever learn?”

Younger Americans who lack an understanding of America’s founding principles will not succeed in understanding or internalizing the importance of civic duty–such as voting, serving on juries, serving in the military, and so on, Mirrer stresses. “They will not know how hard-won American privileges have been, and they will not reflect on how easy it is to lose them.They will not recognize the shortcomings of those whose values have strayed from our tradition of equality and human rights.”

Mirrer is also on the panel of judges for the Grateful American Book Prize, an award designed to recognize authors and publishers who produce works of fiction and non-fiction that can engage young learners in the eras, events and personalities that have shaped the U.S.  It is an attempt to inspire students to learn about America’s heritage and traditions.

“Such private sector initiatives as the Prize are important if we are to revitalize an interest in the history of our country,” she says. “Meanwhile, teacher education programs should ensure the best-quality programs.  Government and private support for excellence in history teaching should be revived.  Leadership at colleges and universities as well as elected officials should stress the struggles our nation has endured, and the successes it has achieved.”

Individual teachers can take measures, as well. For example, they can partner with local museums that can provide visual, documentary, and hands-on opportunities to enhance history lessons, Mirrer suggests. How young is too young to begin encouraging an interest in U.S. history? “At the New-York Historical Society, we teach ‘history habits of the mind’ to toddlers.  It is never too young to learn our nation’s history.”

Hayley Rides Into Space Launches on Speakaboos

Hayley Rides Into Space is a new interactive digital Speakaboos’ story inspired by Sally Ride, the legendary American hero and first American female astronaut in space. The story features a spirited and adventurous girl, Hayley, who dreams of becoming an astronaut like Sally Ride and exploring outer space. Readers can be inspired by Hayley’s love of space as she prepares for her first mission, experiences weightlessness, and launches her first satellite.

Hayley Rides Into Space is a collaboration between Speakaboos and David Bruce Smith. In addition to being a well known history author, Mr. Smith is the President and founder of The Grateful American Foundation, an organization dedicated to restoring the enthusiasm in American history for kids and adults.

Speakaboos is a digital library that motivates children to read, explore, and discover stories they love based on their interests. Speakaboos is a multi-platform subscription service that delivers educational, entertaining, interactive stories to children.

Hayley Rides Into Space Launches on Speakaboos

Jewish Lit Live Presents Mary Morris

The George Washington University Department of English and Jewish Lit Live (JLL) proudly present a reading by Mary Morris on Thursday, March 24, 2016 at 7:00PM in The GW Marvin Center Room 301.

Mary Morris has been a consistent and critically acclaimed writer since the publication of her 1979 debut short story collection Vanishing Animals & Other Stories. Since then, Morris has gone on to write novels, travel essays, book reviews, and short fiction. A Guggenheim Fellow, she has won The Rome Prize for Literature, the Princeton University George W. Perkins Junior Fellowship of the Council of the Humanities, and the American Council for the Arts First Prize in Literature. She is currently a member of the writing faculty at Sarah Lawrence College. She will be reading from her recent novel, The Jazz Palace.

Jewish Lit Live hosts rising and renowned Jewish American writers to speak with the GW and literary community. Guest speakers have included emerging leaders, National Humanities Award Recipients, international bestsellers, and UN-Award Winning Writers, e.g. Michael Chabon, E.L. Doctorow, Nicole Krauss, & Erica Jong.

Jewish Literature Live is made possible by the generous support of David Bruce Smith, BA ’79, a former member of GW’s Board of Trustees and an alumnus of the English Department.

This event is free and open to the public. First come, first serve seating. The Cloyd Heck Marvin Center (MC) Address: 800 21st Street, N.W. Washington, DC 20052

2016 Jewish Lit Live! Authors

Jewish Lit Live Presents Mary Morris

Beauty of the Handmade

Interior Design News curated a collection of handmade sources in “The Beauty of the Handmade.” We were thrilled to have our Black/Blonde Rush Woven Bench  as a featured product.

Rush Bench | SMILOW FURNITURE
The Rush Bench from Smilow Furniture was inspired by its original 1956 collection, with a new twist. This edition features handwoven, dyed black, color-safe rush contrasted with blonde ash wood.