This blog is all about friends believing in each other. Without them, we wouldn’t have the confidence to chase our dreams.
When my son was born we discovered he needed to have surgery at The Hospital For Sick Children. So, I decided to leave my job to be at his side during his recovery. While off, I was inspired to start writing stories for my children and found I had a knack for storytelling.
Encouraged by my wife, I visited a local elementary school to read the books. After my initial performance, the school's librarian told me my books sounded like rap songs and she dared me to rap one of the stories for the next group of kindergarten students I was presenting to.
I read a story about a girl named Ella Grace, age 11, from Ajax, Ontario and I was instantly inspired and wanted to share it with you. Ella and her friend Cash Daniels, age 11, of Chattanooga, Tennessee, are helping to save the environment and clean up our ocean’s in a big way. Ella and Cash created ‘The Cleanup Kids’ initiative which aims to educate children about the environment and inspire them to help protect it.
For their efforts, Ella and Cash have been awarded the 2021 Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes. They were chosen for the award because of their tremendous initiatives to help save the environment and what they are doing to inspire others to pitch in.
I had the opportunity to interview Ella, please read our conversation below. Thanks for checking it out!
Wednesdays are one of my son’s favourite days because it’s garbage day! He waits to see the garbage truck round the corner then begins pumping his fist like a piston with a huge smile on his face in the hopes of getting a honk back. Almost every time he is rewarded with a honk and a smile from our friendly neighborhood garbage men & women. It’s a small gesture from folks doing a hard job but it means the world to a four year-old boy (somewhat starved for meaningful social interactions during a global pandemic).
It’s a moment for me as a parent that I will always relish and one I hope will never end.
I recently had the absolute pleasure to interview Lisa Sonshine, who is half of the Juno nominated kids group Sonshine & Broccoli. In addition to Lisa being an incredible children’s performer, she is also a wonderful mother. Speaking with her about raising an infant during the pandemic really was enlightening and encouraging for me to hear.
As parents, we are all on this journey together. Unfortunately we do not receive an instruction manual when kids arrive so it’s helpful to hear perspectives from other parents, especially ones like Lisa who are doing an inspirational job balancing being a parent and an entrepreneur / entertainer.
When I’m not entertaining children from around the world with my rap-a-long books & songs, you can find me with my kids. I am a stay-at-home Dad by day and there’s just no job like it.
While working on Friendly Fables I have had the opportunity to meet and speak with some incredible parents. One rad dad in particular is someone who I have followed in various capacities over the years: Rick ‘The Temp’ Campanelli. From world trips with his kids, to nature hikes or just reading a good old fashioned book, this dad does it all with style and a smile.
It is now my great pleasure to share with you a recent Rad Dad Chat I had with Rick where he discusses parenting during a global pandemic, what he is looking forward to most, and some other fun answers about his life as a dad. We hope you enjoy reading it!
A few years ago I was very excited to be returning to my elementary school, Lakeside P.S, to share my Friendly Fables stories with their elementary students.
I arrived in the library and was greeted by smiling, eager faces. I could picture myself as a young boy in the crowd, so I really wanted my performances that day to be special.
Childhood is a brief chapter in life that leaves a lasting imprint as we grow. It’s the foundation of our whole lives; the place where our stories, relationships and memories begin. Ask anyone about their childhood and you’re sure to get a visceral reaction - the good, the bad, the endless discoveries and the pure joy of being a kid. It truly is an amazing time!