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When We Go

A child visits places in the city and is faced with the loud abundance of people but learns ways to stay grounded in each situation.

Photo of Felicia Tapia
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When We Go

When we go to the park,

I like to swing and slide.


Lots of children running.

I want to run and

HIDE!


It helps to name shapes!

Circle.

Triangle.

Square.  


I wait my turn.

In no time,

I’m flying through the air!


Whoosh!


When we go to the school,

I’m happy to see sister and brother.


So many cars and buses

bumping one another!


Honk! Honk! Meeeep!


So we make a game.

Shout all the colors!


Yellow bus!

Blue car!!

Red light!!!


What other colors are in sight?  


When we go to the library,

I like to pick a book.


I have to choose quickly,  

or someone makes it vanish.

Look!  


Who took the book? 


More books on the shelf.

So I spot another and

make it disappear, myself!


Giggle, giggle!


When we go visit friends,

they help find clothes to wear.


So many hands

throwing things everywhere!


Sometimes I feel sad.

Sometimes I feel afraid.


My friend smiles and shows me

a pair of shoes he saved!


Clap! Clap! Yaaay!  


How many shoes?


When we go to our nest,

quiet is the best.


Shhhhhh.  


But I hear loud music.  

Windows rattle, rattle!

Thump, thump all around!


So we listen for a beat and 

sing our own city sounds.


Whoosh! Honk! Honk! Meeeep! 

Giggle, giggle! Clap! Clap! Yaaay!

Shhhhhh. Rattle, rattle! Thump, thump!

We made it through our day!  


Despite so many people,

it’s tough not to feel alone.


So I remember wherever we go,

I am always home.


Zzzzzzzzzz…….

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

My vision is to not only teach children and caregivers words that will help develop a common language between them and their community but also to help urban children and families find and cherish those daily practices, like reframing a stressful situation, that can help calm the clamor of a busy, city day. Additionally, I hope this book can inspire children living in poverty and urban America who experience high Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) to learn how to endure and flourish.

Share your suggested book title

When We Go

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).

When We Go When we go to the park, I like to swing and slide. Lots of children running. I want to run and HIDE! It helps to name shapes! Circle. Triangle. Square. I wait my turn. In no time, I’m flying through the air! Whoosh! When we go to the school, I’m happy to see sister and brother. So many cars and buses bumping one another! Honk! Honk! Meeeep! So we make a game. Shout all the colors! Yellow bus! Blue car!! Red light!!! What other colors are in sight? When we go to the library, I like to pick a book. I have to choose quickly, or someone makes it vanish. Look! Who took the book? More books on the shelf. So I spot another and make it disappear, myself! Giggle, giggle! When we go visit friends, they help find clothes to wear. So many hands throwing things everywhere! Sometimes I feel sad. Sometimes I feel afraid. My friend smiles and shows me a pair of shoes he saved! Clap! Clap! Yaaay! How many shoes? When we go to our nest, quiet is the best. Shhhhhh. But I hear loud music. Windows rattle, rattle! Thump, thump all around! So we listen for a beat and sing our own city sounds. Whoosh! Honk! Honk! Meeeep! Giggle, giggle! Clap! Clap! Yaaay! Shhhhhh. Rattle, rattle! Thump, thump! We made it through our day! Despite so many people, it’s tough not to feel alone. So I remember wherever we go, I am always home. Zzzzzzzzzz…….

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

To guide the reader and engage the child, I used rhyme, repetition, song, and “there questions.” I envision illustrations that will aid the conversation between the reader and child. Urban dwellers experience more pollution, crime, and other challenges that affect children as they develop. Drawing from the Strengthening Families framework, “a research-informed approach to increase family strengths,” I developed a narrative that can help the child and reader start the conversation about how to develop protective factors in a high-risk environment (Center for the Study of Social Policy, 2019). In addition to tier 1 and tier 2 words, I took advantage of the OpenIDEO resource list to inform my revisions. Some of the takeaways that contributed are the immense brain power of 0-3 children, how they are thinking and feeling during these years, and why some of the language development approaches are critical, such as repetition, singing, and expressing emotions. Piaget's work is always a help.

Please describe any familiarity you may have with Philadelphia and its residents? (optional question)

I have a close friend who is a Philadelphian, so I have had the opportunity on many occasions to be regaled with stories from Philly. I also did research for this book challenge, which included reading blog posts, watching videos about Philly communities, and studying YouTube videos of an average day or night in some of the neighborhoods in Philadelphia.

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

Inspired by Linda Cliatt-Wayman’s work to help struggling students of Strawberry Mansion High School in PHL believe in themselves, I want to help tell the stories of similar communities. I reflect experiences children and families might have and what they might need to help them cope with the stress of urban life, as well as poverty and racial injustices. Some experiences are common, like going to the park or library, but not everyone goes to a community center to obtain clothing. Not everyone is subjected to loud music when they are trying to fall asleep. “Where We Go” is a vehicle to start telling the stories of this experience, one that impacts a huge portion of urban America.

Location: Country

United States

Location: State or Department

Colorado

Location: City

Pueblo

Tell us more about you / your team

I am a collector of professions, but they all involve books, writing, and psychology in some form. Currently, I am fortunate to write grants for a non-profit that helps strengthen families and change negative social outcomes that are driven by poverty. Like Philadelphia, the city I was born and reside in also has a high poverty rate, 25%, as well as the challenges and beauty of a strong community that seems to follow. Because of this work, I have the opportunity to be a part of exposing inequality and disadvantages in vulnerable families and propose better options. As someone who grew up in one of the urban neighborhoods I now try to help, I understand that opportunity and community can profoundly change someone’s life. For my other professional gigs, I moonlight at the Pueblo Library, El Pueblo History Museum, and as a test assessor for K-12 English Language Learners. When it comes down to it, I am less happy in life if I am a) not helping my community, and b) not writing.

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

Overall, I envision lots of bold colors; however, not every page should be busy. The pages that have "right there questions" might be more populated to provide the reader and child an opportunity to explore. Throughout, the feel should envoke a sense of Hygge and a place you always want to visit. To engage the sensorimotor stage, lift-the-flap and textured pages can be used.

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

  • No

Do you have an agent?

  • No

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

  • OpenIDEO announcement email

What best describes you? (optional question)

  • I am/we are creatives, writers, or artists

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Photo of Matthew Sindelar
Team

This is awesome! Great work!

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