Weekly Reads: Inclusive Playgrounds, Mindfulness for Kids and What Afterbirth Really Feels Like

Hey there Readers! I have made the executive decision to untether the Reads from any specific day of the week. Heck, sometimes there might be two of them a week… who knows! Besides, now the title reminds me of Weekly Reader from back in the olden days of my youth.

Cedar Rapids welcomed it’s very first all inclusive playground in Noelridge Park. Inclusive playground offer accessibility to the 5% of American children with disabilities. You can learn more and see if there is an inclusive playground near you, or how to help make one happen near you at Inclusive

An elementary school in Jackson, Mississippi with a 98% African American student body will no longer be named for Confederate President and traitor Jefferson Davis. Instead these kids will now attend a school named for the first black president, Barack Obama!

Janelle Jefferson, president of the school’s Parent Teacher Association, said the new name will be more fitting for a school with a student population that is 98 percent black.

“Jefferson Davis, although infamous in his own right, would probably not be too happy about a diverse school promoting the education of the very individuals he fought to keep enslaved being named after him,” Jefferson said in a statement, according to the Clarion Ledger, a local paper.

The school’s new name will now “reflect a person who fully represents ideals and public stances consistent with what we want our children to believe about themselves,” she added.

In a sad but touching story, we learned that a fund set up to honor the late Philando Castile has raised enough money to wipe out a years worth of student lunch debt in St. Paul, Minnesota. 

Castile, whose killing by police officer Jeronimo Yanez sparked nationwide outrage, worked as a nutrition services supervisor at the J.J. Hill Montessori school in St. Paul.

The Philando Feeds The Children Fund was started by Pam Fergus, a local community college professor who was inspired by stories of Castile having helped pay for student’s lunches with his own money.

“We just had this little idea that we were going to help do Mr. Phil’s job and make sure you guys have good lunch to eat every day,” Fergus told students, according to a WCCO report.

In total, more than 2000 donors helped the fund raise over $72,000—well above the initial $5,000 goal—which was presented to officials at J.J. Hill on Friday by Castile’s mother Valerie.

“We as a community have to work together in order for things to work,” Valerie told WCCO. “This would’ve meant everything to him.”
In news that made my NB Tween smile, California has passed legislation allowing for “nonbinary” to appear as a gender choice on state drivers licenses. 
Is mindfullness meditation good for kids? The hype might be outpacing the evidence…

“He was supposed to research and ask a question that impacts our community,” his mother Lori Mayfield told KTLA sister station KDVR in Denver.

When it was Ames’ turn, he asked: “An issue that I’m concerned about is common sense gun control. I was shocked that you co-sponsored a bill to allow domestic violence offender to continue to own a gun. … Why on Earth would you want somebody who beats their wife to have access to a gun?”

Mayfield said the den leaders thought the question was disrespectful.

“Given that the Las Vegas shooting happened, I felt that it should be a reasonable thing to ask,” Ames said. “I don’t feel like I did anything wrong.”

A detained 17 year old unaccompanied, undocumented minor at a shelter in south Texas discovered she was pregnant and wishes to have an abortion. The Trump administration is going to extraordinary lengths to prevent her.  

Since President Donald Trump took office, policies toward undocumented young people seeking abortions have changed. According to the American Civil Liberties Union, which filed suit on behalf of Doe, all unaccompanied minors in immigration shelters now need permission from the director of the Office of Refugee Resettlement — and he has gone to extraordinary lengths to prevent undocumented young people from getting the procedure. In Doe’s case, ORR has prevented her from leaving the Texas shelter where she now lives in order to get an abortion.

On Wednesday, United States District Judge Tanya Chutkan ordered the government to allow Doe to leave for the procedure. But the government appealed, and on Friday, a new court order bought the government some time: ORR now has until October 31 to transfer Doe from the shelter into the care of a qualified sponsor who will let her get an abortion. If such a sponsor can’t be found, the ACLU can return to court to seek another order requiring ORR to release Doe for the procedure.

The clock is ticking — Doe is 15 weeks pregnant, and Texas law bans abortions after 20 weeks. And Doe’s case matters not just for her, but for the thousands of unaccompanied minors who cross the border every year.

And finally, lets visit Steph over at Romper, who has the testimony of 17 Moms as to what “afterbirth” actually feels like. 

Speaking of Pregnancy, the Try Guys have a whole series on Motherhood!

Louis Doench

Lou Doench is a 52 year old father of three. Twelve years ago he married the coolest woman in the world and gave up the lucrative career of being a photography student to become a stay at home husband and Dad, or SAHD. An atheist geek, or a geeky atheist if you prefer, Lou likes reading, photography, video gaming, disc golf, baseball and Dr. Who. He has been playing Dungeons and Dragons since 1976. Born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio. He is also an excellent home cook, not that his children would know because they only eat Mac & Cheese. Follow Lou on Twitter @blotzphoto or check out his photography at

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