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Reading to the Beat of Your Own Drum: LINC Celebrates International Women’s Day

At LINC, we celebrate unique cultures, talents and dreams, and we love when children march to the beat of their own drum.

This year, in honor of International Women’s Day, LINC’s annual Wear Your Crown program centered around the book Drum Dream Girl by Margarita Engle–an inspiring story that encourages creativity and individuality in all people everywhere.

Drum Dream Girl was inspired by the story of Millo Castro Zaldarriaga, an Afro-Chinese-Cuban girl who broke Cuba's traditional taboo against female drummers so that children of all genders could drum and dream to their heart’s content. Milo and her sisters formed the first all female Cuban dance band, Anacaona, and eventually performed for president Franklin Delano Roosevelt and his wife, Eleanor Roosevelt.

Milo’s parents played a huge role in her success at learning to play a variety of drum beats (from tall congas to small bongós) on their musical island just like LINC parents support their children in daily reading.

“It’s important to support our children’s dreams and goals. We can empower them, and help to lead them towards that path of success,” said LINC’s Workshop Delivery & Implementation Specialist Evelyn Cabreja.

LINC equips children with foundational literacy skills essential for academic achievement by empowering families and mobilizing the community.

Programs like Wear Your Crown provide parents with practical skills and tips such as:

  • Make a plan. Having a dream is exciting but we can use our children’s interests to remind them that achieving a dream will take some work. Help your child figure out the steps they need to take to reach their dream. This is laying the groundwork for practical life skills that they will continue to use for the rest of their lives.

  • Create a space for your children to grow. This can be as simple as setting aside quiet space for them to study or moving furniture out of the way once a week to create space for whatever kind of practice they need. If there isn’t a place in your home, you can go to a park, library, or utilize your local community center.

  • Be your child’s #1 fan. Don’t hold back in sharing the praise for your child when they succeed! But don’t forget to be just as supportive of them when things aren’t going well. It’s important to be a safe space for your kids, a source of advice, or a shoulder to cry on. Life doesn’t always go as planned but we can encourage our children no matter what!

As part of the virtual program, children designed their own crowns with materials on hand at home (like paper bags) and LINC’s Communications Specialist, Dani Stompor, demonstrated how to make music using everyday items such as pens, pencils, cardboard boxes, juice bottles and even our own laps.

Did you know that you can make maracas or a drum just using the things in your recycling bin? As Dani reminded us, even if you don't have drums you can be a musician by singing or clapping because "you are a musical instrument too!" Everything that makes a sound can create music and by making music we can express what we hear, see, and feel.

Being a drummer means being creative and it means being yourself. Drums have multicultural origins and different rhythms just like people do, so proudly wear your crown and bang a drum to your own beat. Together we can empower each other to face our fears and overcome any challenge.

If you are a drummer, a dreamer or reader, don’t skip a beat. We want to read with you. Register now for LINC’s latest virtual literacy programs.


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