All The Updates!

Our first ever Fall for All Sale! #FALL4ALL

Good Morning Collage Fam!

Last week may have seemed a little quiet around here, but behind the scenes, a lot was happening to gear up for this week and beyond! We can’t tell you all the details yet, but a few things to look out for this week include…

  • La Frontera: Immigration and Education in Trump’s America – Did you think education was a human right? In the USA it’s not, but it is protected. This Wednesday, find out how, and what that means for us as a country, in our special report about the complex intersection between immigration in the United States today, and the theoretical right to education.
  • Fall for All Sale – Who needs the stress of Black Friday or Cyber Monday? From Monday, November 19th to Tuesday, November 26th, type in the discount code FALL4ALL at checkout for $10 off any order of $40 or more! Head over to our Facebook shop and check it out. Cheers!
  • Early Registration for Collage @ Odyssey Spring Session – Collage @ Odyssey’s Fall 2018 course is close to wrapping up, and winter break is fast approaching, and that means that it’s almost time to start registering for the Spring! More details will be posted soon, but if you’re a Denver-area parent, you can take a look at our course overview in the meantime.
  • Big Black Friday Reveal – We can’t say any more that that right now, but suffice it to say, there’s something big coming at the end of the week. Stay tuned!
  • Much, Much More!

We can’t wait to share all the things with you; keep an eye out here and on our social media as the week progresses!

 

Thank You!

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Collage Fam,

We here just needed to take a moment today to say THANK YOU ALL! This week, the Collage Facebook Page topped 200 followers, and our posts are being seen by 20,000 people a month! Thank you all so much for your likes, follows, shares, comments, and more. You are what keeps us going, and keeps our mission moving forward.

Thank You!

Parents: We MUST Teach Our Kids To VOTE

Election Day

Tomorrow is Election Day here in the US, and that means many people will be taking time out of their day to go and vote, if they haven’t already. Depending on where you live, that may mean going to a polling place to stand in line, use some machine or other, and cast a ballot; it might mean driving a mail-in ballot to some official collection spot; or else perhaps checking an app for the status of the absentee or mail-in ballot you sent back days or weeks before.

No matter how it looks or who you vote for though, the important thing is to do it, though sadly lots of people don’t, and while understand the frustration some feel in the process, the fact that it can be obtuse at times, or the persistent fears that our votes may not count or be counted for one reason or another, we maintain that it is incredibly important to go out and vote… and especially if you’re a parent, to involve your kids.

Why?

For Our Kids’ Future

The first and most important reason to vote as a parent is for the sake of your children, and specifically their future. Bear with us – we understand this sounds very crunchy – but the reality is that whether or not you feel that the elections will have a direct impact on your life, it is certain that the choices made each election will have an impact on theirs. Without digging into the specific politics and policies, it’s a safe bet that each election season, there are some mix of candidates and ballot measures that will impact you children’s schools, parks, play spaces, and beyond for years to come.

Perhaps school funding is on the table, as in many places here in Colorado. Maybe there’s a candidate who is dedicated to making more green spaces for kids to play, or expanding access to school lunches, or improving teachers’ pay. All of these things impact our children tremendously, and us as well.

Modeling Skills

Another big reason to involve your children in your voting process is to model skills. Even if you largely vote a straight ticket (all for one party or another), there’s a process that you follow to make your decisions, and to cast your ballot. So, this comes in two parts: first, modeling your decision-making process (which could include research, conversations, or even family traditions), and second, modeling the process you use to actually cast your ballot, once your decisions are made.

Modeling research skills is of course important because our children are doing just that every day in school. Demonstrating that research happens at home, too – that it’s applicable in everyday life – lets our kids know that it’s a transferable skill, something that, if developed, they can take with them as part of their learning toolkit for the rest of their life.

Modeling the process is equally important: voting, though not perfect and not quite universal, is an integral part of the function of groups, communities, and nations across the planet. Moreover, by demonstrating the process to our children (who we already know are sponges for everything we say and do as parents), we normalize the practice, and so make it less intimidating for our kids, when the chance arises for them.

It’s (Probably) Not Taught In School

Many parents, even younger ones, still remember some version of Social Studies or Government classes from our time growing up, and those classes almost invariably encompassed some broad concepts of the functions and processes of government, or “civics”. Essentially, for better or worse, voting used to be taught in school, but that is largely no longer the case. Much as with “Sex Ed”, art, and music, civics is (ahem, strangely) considered to be too controversial a topic for schools to be able to “properly” handle it, and so it has been pushed further and further to the wayside.

Whether you feel this is a problem or not, the result is the same: your children will almost certainly not learn about the process unless you teach them. If you care that your children become voters as adults, the best way to ensure it is to model it.

Voting Matters

Although you may have thoughts about our politics here at Collage, we care more that you vote than for whom or what you cast your ballot, because at the end of the day, voting makes a difference. For better or worse, in large ways or small, our system of government allows us to have a say in the direction that we move as a society. It is a tremendous and unprecedented amount of power in the grand arc of history, and something for which so many of our ancestors fought and sacrificed dearly.

As such, our votes and our actions around the process are the greatest legacy we leave our children, collectively. Let us leave one we can be proud of.

Further Resources

There are lots of wonderful resources available to help inform your voting process. We would love to cover more, and we may in the future, but for today we would like to recommend Ballotpedia, a fantastic site that gives clear and comprehensive breakdowns of virtually every ballot in the country, in a nonpartisan format.

Happy Samhain-o-ween de Muertos… What?

Samhain-o-ween de Muertos…???

Good Morning Collage Fam!

So, it’s October 31st, and in many places around the world, people are preparing to celebrate…

I bet you expected us to say Halloween!

Indeed, may people do celebrate Halloween today (or tonight), but that isn’t nearly the only holiday celebrated on or around this day; across the world, there are numerous versions and variations and even utterly different holidays centered around this exact same time of year. Halloween itself is rooted in a much older holiday called Samhain. And some people refuse to celebrate anything at all this time of year.

You might be a little bit confused now, and that’s alright! We’ll do our best to clear that all up… so pull up a chair, grab a hot drink or perhaps a bag of treats, and let us break down a little bit of what makes this day so special.

Before Halloween, Samhain

Long, long before Halloween was ever the holiday it’s become, there was on the very same day the ancient Celtic holiday of Samhain (pronounced Sow-in). This holiday was far from the goofy and commercial holiday we celebrate today, however; Samhain was a celebration of the end of the harvest, and the transition into the cold and dark months.

Ancient Celts believed that this time also signaled a “thinning of the veil” between the world of the living, and the world of spirits and the dead. It was a time to give offerings to lost loved ones, and to the gods and forces responsible for a safe winter.

Today, many people practicing a variety of pagan and earth-based religions still celebrate Samhain. This article has some ideas on how to craft that for kids.

Halloween Expands in the US

Halloween originally came to the Americas with the very first European colonizers – the so-called “pilgrims”; although it had roots in Catholicism and the celebration of All Saints, Protestants begrudgingly retained it, as it gave an outlet for people to channel some of their old traditions (that were seen as being in opposition to Christianity). Over time, as those traditions faded and the nation’s identity, Halloween began to morph into the holiday it is today.

Modern Halloween

For readers in North America and much of Europe, modern Halloween requires very little introduction; whether you were allowed to participate or not, it’s nearly guaranteed that you’ve been exposed to that holiday in one way or another. Across the United States, stores begin carrying Halloween items as early as late July or early August, meaning by the end of October everyone and nearly every place it seems has been completely overwhelmed by pumpkins, and candy, and black cats, and more. Needless to say, modern Halloween is highly commercialized, and much tamer than it used to be.

As much fun as the holiday can for some, it’s important to note that for a number of reasons, Halloween is not a welcome holiday for many people in the United States and around the world. Parents, teachers, and students should be aware that many people feel the holiday conflicts with their spiritual beliefs, and so they may be very offended if asked to participate. For this reason, many public schools no longer have Halloween celebrations. Although it can be frustrating and confusing sometimes, it’s very important to respect those beliefs.

Dia de los Muertos

For many in the Americas and particularly Mexico, the holiday celebrated around this day is not in fact Halloween, but rather Dia de los Muertos, or the Day of the Dead, and while the two may seem similar in many ways, the two holidays are very different. Though Dia de los Muertos shares the theme of cracking the barrier between the living and the dead, the holiday is not one of scares and horrors, but rather a loving celebration of those who have gone before. This fantastic article dispels some of the bigger myths of the holiday.

Further Reading

Hopefully by now you’ve got a broader idea of just how big a time of year this is! We hope you have a wonderful and safe season no matter what. If you’re still interested in some further reading and viewing to keep you in the Samhain-o-ween de Muertos-y mood, we here at Collage love these books and movies for the season:

Books:

This book is a beautiful bilingual (Spanish/English) adaptation of one of Mexico’s most well-known ghost stories.

Coraline, by Neil Gaiman, is a wonderful kid-friendly scary story that happens to have a fantastic movie adaptation to boot!

For those interested in digging deeper into the pagan roots of Samhain, this book is a must; it is one of the best family-friendly explanations of pagan belief and practice available.

Movies:

The Book of Life is one of two wonderful movies about the Dia de los Muertos holiday.

Coco is arguably the best English-language film to date to give a real sense of the power and importance of the Dia de los Muertos holiday.

Although Pan’s Labyrinth is not strictly a Halloween movie (or even tied to Dia de los Muertos), it is a fantastically creepy (though not truly scary) film, entirely in Spanish, that captures some of the feel of the old pagan roots of both holidays. This movie is Rated R however (for some violence); be sure to watch it first before sharing it with kids.

Women of POWER

Today, we honor the incredible strength, fierce dedication, tremendous innovation, and exceptional brilliance of Women of Color.

Women of Color are the foundation of our society; to paraphrase Melissa Harris-Perry in her book Sister Citizen, Black women are the group by which our country can gauge our progress toward true social equity. They are the roots that hold our society aloft, nurture its foliage, and still anchor it to reality. As long as Women of Color are attacked, maligned, and diminished, we are poisoning our roots and will not grow. As long as our girls of color see matriarchs trodden under the feet of patriarchy and misogyny, none of us can move forward.

So today, honor the Women of Color in your life; know that they are Goddesses, Leaders, Queens, Innovators, and so much more.

Be Well, Fam.

New Stuff in the Collage Shop!

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October has been a busy month here at Collage Colorado, LLC, and our media team has been in the thick of it, assembling some of our best designs to date. Whether you’re looking to make a statement on your walls … Continue reading