Elementary students learn about spinach, food miles and composting

Photo by Daniel Brenner

Kelsey Monroe’s third-graders were engaged March 18 at Midway Heights Elementary School. The topic was food, specifically spinach. Yes, spinach, the vegetable that makes Popeye big and strong. Except this spinach didn’t come from a can.

Source: Elementary students learn about spinach, food miles and composting – Columbia Daily Tribune | Columbia Missouri: Food

Love INC Reflection

How do you write about poverty?

How do you write about addiction?

It’s not easy.

When I met Latashia, she wasn’t ready to interview. She just came home from Alabama, a place that held not-so-happy memories for her, after visiting a sick grandmother. For the past seven years, Columbia has been her safe haven. Revisiting the physical location of her past shook her present world, and she wasn’t ready to tell her story when I first came to speak to her.

That was fine. I’ll be patient.

This was beyond anything my little head could ever wrap around.

I remember interviewing Jane Williams, co-founder of Love INC, and I was honest.

“I’ve never written about this before… do you have any advice for me?”

“Just remember they’ve had very hard lives,” she said.

So with that in mind, when Latashia agreed to finally meet and speak to me, I hit record (with permission), put my pen down, and listened.

Her story was heart wrenchingly beautiful. Sad. Hopeful. All I could say was wow. If you don’t know me, my journalism hat usually keeps me in line, you know, be professional.

All  I could say was wow.

I had a lead to this after writing a story about children’s consignment stores back in February. A volunteer from Love INC reached out to me and told me to check out their newsletter. I did and realized I had found untouched territory. Something no one ever covers. Something that needed to be shared.

Through the writing process, I worked very closely with my editors to ensure I told the story the best way possible. I didn’t want to mess this up. I nitpicked every single detail to make sure it was right. That’s what it’s all about – telling the facts. Karen, my family life editor, said we should add a section on how to volunteer or join the program, which was a great idea. Hopefully, with my story, I can help change someone else life like Love INC did for Latashia.

Here’s the link to my story which featured in the Family Life section of the Tribune:


Thanks for reading!

Wanderlust: Remembering Sept. 11

I weave through the streets, turn a corner and there it is: One World Trade Center, the tallest building in this hemisphere.

At first, it takes me a moment to realize what I am looking at. The sun gleams off the glass tower and blinds all who look upon it. Below, a vast black memorial fountain embeds the ground, each spurt of water reminding us of each life lost.

Do you remember Sept. 11?

I was 8 years old. My teacher lined the class against the white wall outside the library. We had just finished our computer science class; I learned about Google. Something terrible had happened, she said.

I saw a TV screen in the corner of my living room as I curled up on a green leather couch. Planes crashed into two towers, again and again. Wafts of smoke filled every channel. I was torn between shock, sadness and disbelief.

I step off the street corner and out of my reverie. It might have been 15 years ago, but it’s all still real to me.

Source: Wanderlust: Remembering Sept. 11

The art of wearing a baby

Babywearing was born out of practicality. Mothers needed a way to go about their daily lives while tending to their babies. It has been practiced in many cultures for hundreds of years and remains popular today.

Babywearing is using carriers, wraps or slings to hold the baby close to Mom or Dad while leaving hands free to cook, clean, shop or take care of other children.

Some parents don’t wear their babies because the practice looks intimidating. Babywearing International of Central Missouri is available to help.

Source: The art of wearing a baby