This is Ethan. The kid who went all the way to the book fair in Philly with me and did not want to buy a book. He came for one purpose: to go to a gift shop.

We ran out of time and had to head back to the Bronx without going to a gift shop. So, he spent his 10 dollars on food, pizza and soda to be exact.

When he complained about not being able to go to the gift shop, I promised him that we would set up our own gift shop at the center…with items from the museums in Philadelphia.

It took a lot of internet searching but finally, I found toys, books, games, journals and even candy to sell. We set up our own store at the center and it was a success! We had four books signed by authors (that no one brought), Benjamin Franklin Journals (that staff brought),  Liberty Bell Sharpeners (that kids brought and got in trouble with their teachers with), and then popular toys like play dough and frozen dolls that they sold for two dollars. He was the owner and made almost 100 bucks selling merchandise to parents and children after he finished his homework. He even hired his friend, Brianna.

Today, during Circle time they will get paid and honored for creating an idea and working on it…(aka, nagging Ms. Lilly until they had their way).

But- Now we have a dilemma.

The dilemma is not how much I should pay them but should Ethan get paid? After a week of being a great sells person, he seemed to be on a mission of mischievous acts!

On Tuesday during a presentation about culture in Africa; he sat in the front and talked and laughed with his friends. The presenter had to stop talking to reprimand them.

Then, on Thursday, he joined another little boy in teasing a child about having ‘fake’ Jordan sneakers (which really got me upset).

I want to pay him. But I also want to teach him a lesson. How can both be achieved?

11-year-old Starts Book Club for Boys

This post lets us know that there is a strong possibility that children today may still have the same goals, dreams, and aspirations as children in the 80’s and 90’s. Just because they value different hobbies and don’t do the same exact thing their parents were doing at their age; doesn’t mean we give up on them or limit their opportunity. We just have to place them in situations and places where they can use their imagination and leadership skills.

Ideas for a New Playground


I found a grant for the center that would help us build a new playground. We applied and go the grant! Now it’s up to the people at the top (like the Board of Education) to accept it and we will be on our way to a new playground.

The children are hoping with me that this grant is accepted by those at the top. They have taken the measurements and wrote down what they expect to be in their new park.