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Amma’s Voice

The city bands together to help Amma build a home

Photo of Sabina Kariat
2 0

Written by

On my street.

There is a woman

Named Amma

Who always sings

 

 

Where is your home, Amma?

Here, she says. Here on the street.

I don't have a house.

But I have my voice

And I have more than you know.  

 

 

My mama buys me

a little blue ball from the store.

I love it a lot.

But I see Amma on the street.

With only her voice.

 

Amma, I want to give you this.

So you will have your voice,

And this street,

And this little blue ball.

 

Thank you, Amma says.  

But I have more than you know.

 

My neighbor Pardu goes by.  

Amma, I don't have much,

But I want to give you this.

So you will have

 your voice,

and this street,

and the little blue ball,

and this big yellow chair.

 

Everyone who passes Amma

Sees the pile of things

And everyone in the city

Wants to give Amma

One small gift!

 

Soon Amma has

One small gift

From everyone in the city.

Look at all her things! **

 

“I have nothing to give,”

says Eduard the builder,

“except time.”

 

So Eduard gives the time

to turn some piles of wood

and all the things

into a home for Amma.

 

I always had more than you know.

Says Amma.

From the front step

Of her new home.

 

I have you all as my friends.

And where you are, is my home.

Holding her little blue ball,

inside a home made of small gifts

Amma begins to sing. 

Describe the intended vision for your early childhood book manuscript in 1-2 sentences

We strive to communicate the power of a community when it comes together, and the validation that occurs when an identity who is often rendered invisible is seen and helped. We want to encourage this desire to help and value community from an early age, while fostering literacy through the reinforcement of parent interaction and the key vocabulary of Dolch Sight Words.

Share your suggested book title

"Amma's Voice" Our other idea was "Small Gifts"

PLEASE USE THE VERSION OF THIS QUESTION AT THE TOP OF THE SUBMISSION FORM: Share a draft of your manuscript (250 word limit, not including title).

On my street. There is a woman Named Amma Who always sings Where is your home, Amma? Here, she says. Here on the street. I don't have a house. But I have my voice And I have more than you know. My mama buys me a little blue ball from the store. I love it a lot. But I see Amma on the street. With only her voice. Amma, I want to give you this. So you will have your voice, And this street, And this little blue ball. Thank you, Amma says. But I have more than you know. My neighbor Pardu goes by. Amma, I don't have much, But I want to give you this. So you will have your voice, and this street, and the little blue ball, and this big yellow chair. Everyone who passes Amma Sees the pile of things And everyone in the city Wants to give Amma One small gift! Soon Amma has One small gift From everyone in the city. Look at all her things! ** “I have nothing to give,” says Eduard the builder, “except time.” So Eduard gives the time to turn some piles of wood and all the things into a home for Amma. I always had more than you know. Says Amma. From the front step Of her new home. I have you all as my friends. And where you are, is my home. Holding her little blue ball, inside a home made of small gifts Amma begins to sing.

How has this book been informed by early childhood language development research and evidence? (response minimum 250 Characters)

The format of this book is based on research showing that both a foundation in Dolch sight words and experience reading with their parents benefits children long-term literacy and language skills.

How have you crafted this manuscript to resonate with and/or reflect the experiences of those living in urban contexts? (optional question)

We based our story on asset-based community development, or the idea that underserved peoples have power, and the answers to their own problems, but just need additional resources to excel. In our story, Amma is living on the streets but she recognizes her own gifts: a love of singing and a strong community. Other members of the community lifted Amma up with small resources. In urban context like Philadelphia, poverty is a large issue. Growing up in Oakland I can relate to the fear, and alienation that can be associated with living in an inner-city, and instead want to empower inner-city children with the feeling their community is welcoming, helpful, and a place to be proud of.

Location: Country

United States

Location: State or Department

California, New York

Location: City

Sunnyvale, Oakland, Manhattan

Website URL (optional question)

http://www.sabinakariat.com

Tell us more about you / your team

One of us has a primary focus on teaching and childhood development research, one on urban planning and community building, and one on illustration and writing. This project lives at the intersection of our passions and communities.

Provide an example visual identity for a look and feel you might like to achieve. ( (optional question, 3-5 visuals)

Multiple Choice - Have you been previously published (online, self-published, and print included)?

  • Yes

If yes, please list titles and publications.

"The Memory Box" (Short Story) Visions Magazine 2017 Protest (Illustration) Senra Seteng 2018 Memorial of Asitra Tuti (Illustration) Senra Seteng 2018

Do you have an agent?

  • No

How did you hear about the Challenge? (optional question)

  • OpenIDEO announcement email
  • Someone in my network (word of mouth)

What best describes you? (optional question)

  • I am/we are creatives, writers, or artists
  • I am/we are a formal part of a University or Research Institution

2 comments

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Comment
Photo of Dawnnbooks .
Team

Toddlers like to give and hug.
This cute story reinforces that instinct.
Good luck to us all.

Photo of Sabina Kariat
Team

Thank you! I'm so glad you felt that. Good luck to you too!