Sustainability for Young Children and Educators

This is the introduction to the Spring 2017 Newsletter Packet, which focused on Sustainability.

Sustainability is the property of biological systems to remain diverse and productive indefinitely” (Wikipedia) Sustainability- a big word often used today. To sustain, the ability of survive and thrive- This is my definition. In early childhood education, what is sustainability?

For the young child – how can they learn the importance of sustaining relationships in their community? How can they learn how the earth maintains its balance and what is their role in that?

For a teacher of young children- how can we sustain ourselves over many years “to be diverse and productive “. What do we need to do to keep away from burnout, or worse cynicism or complacency?

For the field of early childhood – how can we sustain our field, the children and families we are intimately connected to over the years, and raise the issues that affect the future?

For peace education- how do we keep our movement and ideas alive over generations with so much violence and the divisiveness of corporate society? This little newsletter gives some thoughts about this:

  • For children- a cooking project to learn about food and the earth.
  • Book reviews by Karen Kosko once again recommend books for children which can both give fun and help them think.
  • Lucy Stroock’s story shows the pain of sustaining life as the child and grandchild of a death row prisoner.
  • For teachers- Lois Clark, one of the co-mothers of our group explains how she has sustained herself over years of teaching and peacemaking.
  • And also for teachers, a listing of classic books about morel development in children
  • Responding to the 2016 Peace Award to the LGBT Interest forum Brian Silveira tells of the struggle of LGBT teachers to survive in a violent and exclusionary society while supporting families and children.
  • Pat Dorman received the Peace Award for her many long years advocating for children, families and their teachers, raising their voice: a model for us all.
  • And I have written about a new chapter on my spiritual journey. See the photo below and “500 Miles“.
Pilgrims on the way to Santiago


Exhausted! Photo by Marie Simone de Compostela

To the left is a photo of me on one of my last days as a preschool teacher. The child had just sobbed the last of a 20-minute meltdown after his mother left. Both of us were exhausted and leaning on one another. We had to sustain, and we will.

Craig Simpson, Somerville MA

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