“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
What do you think life will look like in the future? Will humans be living on Mars? Beamed to alien locations? Will we live under the sea? Will robots rule the world? How will humans be schooled? Tune in to Express Yourself!™ with hosts Sharanya and Keerthi and reporters Kirpa and Kevin as they five into the future that they envision. A.I. is destined to design so much of tomorrow. Is this a positive or negative? Who is in charge? Will it be dystopian? Functional? Fun? Romantic? What kinds of foods will we eat and what will we drive? The future is for us to decide, and with how quickly the world is moving today, the future may not be so far away.
Salutations from American Keerthi with Nerd Extraordinaire and from the evil British Keerthi, who is also known as She Who Must Not Be Named! The duo discuss debate for governments. Policy debate, public forum debate, Parliamentary debate, and general debate are types of debates that can change laws. Be prepared for history about government, how debates decide laws, and plenty of humor from Keerthi! The government is what makes our society a cooperative one that allows innovation and ideas to flourish, while also allowing free speech and expression.
“A sacred respect for the constitutional law is the vital principle, the sustaining energy of a free government.” – Alexander Hamilton
Do you have the luck of the Irish? Will you be wearing green or hoisting a Guinness on March 17th? When Irish immigrants first came to America, they were not welcomed with parades. Find out the history of St. Patrick’s Day and erin go bragh.
As a garden communicator, Cynthia Brian subscribes to a plethora of different catalogs, newsletters, and digital diaries. Hear a childhood story and tips for March gardening.
Are bugs bugging you? Do you have ants, rats, or other critters upsetting the stability of your household? Discover a few organic and natural remedies to keep the pests away!
“The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members.” Coretta Scott King
A Message from Founder/Executive Director, Cynthia Brian
With the number of recent storms and blizzards, including atmospheric rivers, floods, and unprecedented amounts of snowfall, it is easy to complain about the weather.
Then we turn on the news to witness the devastating war in Ukraine, the earthquakes in Turkey and Syria, and the horrific treatment of women in Iran and Afghanistan. Complaints turn to awe as spectacles of citizen’s strength, resilience, and community emerge as the dominant energy in survival.
We need a kinder and more inclusive world. Every individual deserves dignity, peace, and safety. It takes courage to right a wrong and stand up for truth. Because of the young people who are stepping up to create change, I have hope that together we will design a world where stability and empathy reign.
The teen volunteers of Be the Star You Are!® employ their voices and their actions to make a positive difference through our radio broadcasts and outreach projects. These smart and brave adolescents say “YES” to life. Read their stories below.
Starting next month, Be the Star You Are!® in collaboration with 5 A Rent-a-Space and Mark Hoogs State Farm Insurance, will launch a shoe drive to collect clean, wearable shoes to be shipped to 24 impoverished countries to lift women and families out of poverty by providing them with a micro-enterprise that will give them a living wage. If you have shoes you no longer want, we have the people who need them. Save them for our BTSYA shoe drive.
On April 29th, with generous sponsorship by MB Jessee Painting and Dr. Brian Sheaff Family Dentistry, Be the Star You Are!® will host a booth at the Moraga Faire with free activities for kids including planting seeds fas a metaphor for planting the seeds of literacy. This is a day of fun for the entire family and we hope to see you there.
St Patrick’s Day will be celebrated on Friday, March 17th, and we wish everyone the luck of the Irish and blessings from the Emerald Isle.
March 20th heralds the first day of spring. I propose we spring forward with kindness, love, inclusivity, and empathy.
Compassionate actions of a community will alter the global climate. We can all be change makers. Start today!
The last Morage Faire was held in 2019 as the pandemic stopped all in-person events. On Saturday, April 29th, the celebration begins anew and Be the Star You Are!® is thrilled to participate! Teen chairpersons are Express Yourself!™ Teen Radio host Ruhani Chhabra and volunteer Taylin Tyhurst with sponsorship generously provided by MB Jessee Painting and Dr. Brian Sheaff Family Dentistry. Free activities for kids including planting seeds, a reading circle, and crafts plus book signing and free potpourri and cookies! We welcome you!
Mark your calendars for April 29th as this is a very fun, family faire!
In February, I went on a trip through the Sojourn Project where I learned about the civil rights movement. I had the opportunity to meet people involved in the movement and experienced history coming to life as I listened to each person’s story. One person I met was Gwen Web; she marched as a child in the Birmingham Children’s March, a demonstration by children to end segregation. They were met with attack dogs and firehoses before being sent to jail. However, their actions paid off, and they pushed President John F. Kennedy to create the Civil Rights Act which eventually ended segregation. The children never used violence, but simply fought for their rights. Just like the children, we all have to stand up for what is right and remember that every action counts. Anyone can make a difference because, as Gwen Webb told us, “Even kids can make presidents act.”
Ella Kalpakjian is a teen volunteer for BTSYA, serving as the Teen Chairperson for our Shoe Drive. Ella is passionate about human rights. In her free time, she can be found drawing, reading, or learning about history.
The Power of Literacy: Why Learning to Read Early Matters
By Dheeraj Manda
A fundamental ability that enables people to access information, communicate with others, and participate fully in society is literacy. It enables people to comprehend written language, communicate their thoughts and ideas, and arrive at wise decisions.
Early literacy instruction is essential for a child’s overall development. Children’s understanding of the world around them, as well as their imagination and creativity, are all boosted by reading proficiency. Additionally, it enhances their cognitive abilities, such as their capacity for memory, concentration, and problem-solving.
Reading is essential for kids to succeed academically. According to studies, students who are proficient readers are more likely to receive higher grades across the board, not just in English. Children who read for enjoyment also have better vocabularies, spelling, and grammatical skills.
The advantages of literacy, though, go beyond academic achievement. For one to develop personally and find fulfillment, one must read. It can increase knowledge, broaden perspectives, and foster empathy. Additionally, reading can help people cope with stress, lower anxiety, and enhance their mental health. Unfortunately, not all kids get the chance to start reading at a young age. The development of a child’s literacy can be hampered by a variety of factors, including poverty, lack of access to books, and scarce educational resources. As a society, we must place a high value on literacy and make sure that every child has the chance to learn to read. The lives of children and their communities can be significantly improved by funding programs for early childhood education, ensuring that books are available, and supporting literacy initiatives.
In conclusion, learning to read at an early age and promoting literacy is vital for personal, academic, and societal growth. It is our responsibility to ensure that every child has the opportunity to develop their literacy skills and reach their full potential.
Dheeraj Manda, a high school student, is a teen book reviewer and research with Be the Star You Are!® charity.
Barnyard Lessons in an Online World”
By Julia Howe
He swaggers in, baseball cap hanging sloppily on head, ominously cracking his knuckles, ready to terrorize the unsuspecting students. This was the formidable figure introduced to us through our favorite 2000s-era high school movies, the schoolyard menace in our picture-books, the teenage tormentor our parents warned us about. We were taught that this kid was the bully.
By now as you look across the playground, the lunch-money shakedown artists are nowhere to be seen. Where have they gone? The answer: they have migrated to the internet. Today, children are attacked not in front of adults or even other children but from the screens they stare into, alone in their rooms. And the frightened kids driven to bullying remain unseen, unknown and unloved, hiding in cyberspace.
Speaking to students who have experienced “cyberbullying,” I felt their terror and helplessness. “I’m so scared all the time because no matter where I am, I’m always vulnerable. People can hurt me through my instagram and I have no idea who they are.” And it’s not just a few students. In 2018, Pew Research Center found that nearly half of teenagers have been victims of cyberbullying–in other words, most kids have experienced online bullying, your siblings, your friends, your classmates.
In Cynthia Brian’s beautiful children’s book, No Barnyard Bullies, a book about using love to combat bullying, we meet Cookie, a pampered piglet brought into a world miles away from a sheltered existence in the city. Cookie immediately starts being cruel to the other animals, refusing to accept their friendship. When we face the unknown, we scramble to defend ourselves, whether through causing mischief in the new barn, or taking to our phones to retaliate.
In the book, Monet, the rabbit does something inspiring, he notices. He not only notices how Tripod the goat is being treated, he also sees how anxious Cookie is and how that’s driving her to act out. I invite all of us to be like Monet, the rabbit who not only stood up for the other animals, but also taught Cookie how to lower her defenses and be loving.
As bullying becomes increasingly harder to see and more adolescents turn to bullying, it becomes more important to notice our friends, how their behavior might be a reflection of what they’re facing online or what they’re doing online. In this changing technological world, our empathy becomes key. When you notice your loved ones acting differently, reach out to them and be a listener.your empathy and remind them of your support. By listening and opening our hearts, we will be able to support our loved ones when they need us most, in real life and on the internet.
Julia Howe is a teen volunteer with Be the Star You Are!® who loves to read and write. She is passionate about youth mental health and literacy. She loves exploring innovative education methods and running long distances.
SHOE DRIVE to Support Women in Developing Countries
The shoes we collect are shipped to micro-entrepreneurs, mostly women, in developing countries. These shoes are then sold by these small business owners in communities in need of proper footwear, at an inexpensive price. Additionally, micro-entrepreneurs create a path out of poverty for themselves and others in countries where they are limited. In many cases, the difference between being able to get a job and feed your family or have no work opportunity is a pair of shoes.
What Shoes are Accepted:
All clean, wearable shoes, boots, work boots, and baby shoes are wanted. No skates, ski or snowboard boots, or rollerblades can be taken.
America’s teens are in crisis and more distressed than ever before. Levels of sadness and suicide is on the rise according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Let’s start a conversation on how to help.
Is your landscape irrigated with sprinklers? Are they in working order? It’s time to check the valves, pipes, sprayers, and drips. Save water and your garden!
Throw open your windows! Inhale the sweet smells of the blossoms. Flocks of doves have begun their annual aerial acrobats, raptors are kettling in the warmer thermals, cows are happily grazing on the green grass, and bees are buzzing and pollinating. The hills are emerald, the creeks are flowing, and sunny daffodils brighten our roadways. Spring is in the air!
“Never give up on what you really want to do. The person with big dreams is more powerful than one with all the facts.” – Albert Einstein
Keerthi, both British and American, is our star host. Our show is all about teens making a difference in communities, and how you, as a teen, can make a difference. In segment one, British Keerthi, talks about how speech and debate can make an impact. In segment two, American Keerthi discusses teen leaders who have changed the world, and how you can learn from them.
To make an impact as a teen, communication is essential. Participating in speech and debate can help teens make an impact on the world in several ways by developing communication skills, building confidence, encouraging critical thinking, and advocating for important causes. Use your debate skills to slingshot yourself through the world and solve the chess game of life!
A few examples of teenagers who have made a significant impact on the world through their activism, bravery, and perseverance include Anne Frank, Malala Yousafzai, Greta Thunberg, Claudette Colvin, Jazz Jennings, and many more. Teens can change the world in many ways, including getting involved in your community, advocating for important causes,
using social media to spread awareness, starting your own initiatives, and
leading by example.
Teens, find your passion, identify your strengths, and take action to make a positive change. Harness your will and your dreams to change the world!
“No occupation is so delightful to me as the culture of the earth, and no culture comparable to that of the garden.’ — Thomas Jefferson”
Throw open your windows! Inhale the sweet smells of the blossoms. Bradford pears, cherry plums, crabapple, peach, and tulip magnolias are in full bloom.
Flocks of doves have begun their annual aerial acrobats, raptors are kettling in the warmer thermals, cows are happily grazing on the green grass, and bees are buzzing and pollinating.
The hills are emerald, the creeks are flowing, and sunny daffodils brighten our roadways. Spring is in the air!
As excited as I am to start sowing summer veggies, it is still too early. March is a month to peruse catalogs and groom our beds as nature’s winter slumber awakens. This is a month of garden transition with unpredictable weather, chilly mornings, warm afternoons, and frosty nights. Additional rain is necessary and anticipated.
With preparation and care, we can give our gardens a boost for spring by cleaning our garden beds. Remove dead leaves, branches, and debris that have accumulated over winter. By doing so we’ll prevent pests and diseases from invading while making our gardens tidier and ready for planting in April and May.
It seems that overnight my garden burst into bloom. The Amaryllis that I’ve been carefully tending opened its eyes to my delight.
Bright pink Bergenia is bigger and fuller this year and even the yellow shamrocks are already on display, pre-St. Patrick’s Day. Many gardeners find oxalis to be a noxious weed, but I welcome it in my landscape. It covers the barren soil with electric yellow flowers and delicate clover-like leaves. I find it very pretty, and I’ve been growing it for several years without it invading unwanted locations.
Purple bearded iris don’t last long in bouquets, yet they are stunning and fragrant in the garden. Poor man’s saffron, more commonly known as calendula, has self-seeded on my hillside in blooms of orange and yellow. Red, pink, and white cyclamen are stretching their buds between the ferns while azaleas transform the garden from dull to dazzling.
Winter is waning. The garden is marching on.
THE GODDESS GARDENER’S MARCH GARDENING GUIDE
AMEND your soil with compost to add the nutrients necessary.
MAKE compost by combining green (nitrogen) and brown (carbon) materials. To a bucket, bin, or pile, add coffee grinds, tea bags, chicken and rabbit droppings, grass clippings, vegetable scraps, straw, leaves, shredded newspaper, hay, dead plants, cardboard, and paper. Keep moist and turn. Do not use the animal waste from any carnivorous animals, including dogs and cats, and do not add diseased plants to the bin or pile.
CHECK irrigation systems. Repair leaks, clogs, and broken sprinkler heads.
START seeds indoors if you want a head start on growing your favorite vegetables. You will have to harden them off before planting in the garden.
FORAGE for wild greens including Miner’s lettuce, mustard, creek watercress, and wild strawberries. The young leaves are delicious in salads and sautées.
ORDER tubers and root starters from Renees Garden for the best selection of horseradish, potatoes, onions, and asparagus for spring planting.
FERTILIZE trees, shrubs, and ground covers with organic feed.
APPLY snail bait around plants most susceptible to snail and slug damage or handpick the mollusks.
SPRAY roses, boxwoods, viburnum, iris, fruit trees, citrus trees, and crape myrtle trees with dormant oil to protect them from overwintering insects and fungal disease.
HARVEST lemons, limes, and oranges. The extra vitamin C will boost your immunity during this cold and flu season.
SHARPEN and clean tools.
AERATE lawns while the nights are still cool. Leave the plugs on the grass to feed the grass.
PULL weeds as they sprout.
CUT bouquets of daffodils, narcissus, viburnum, flowering quince, and Bergenia to brighten any room.
DIVIDE perennials including daylilies, agapanthus, yarrow, and phlox while they are semi-dormant.
FLOAT camellias in a pretty bowl and dispose of all fallen camellias from bushes.
KILL aphids with a strong spray of water or spray with a mixture of water and dishwashing detergent. Make sure to spray all sides of foliage and flowers.
LEARN what to do in your garden every month with the book, Growing with the Goddess Gardener, available at http://starstylestore.net
PLANT bare root roses, vines, and berry bushes.
PRUNE a branch of peach, plum, or pear and place the cutting in a tall vase to force the blooms for an enticing indoor arrangement.
Happy Gardening. Happy Growing. March in. March on.
Raised in the vineyards of Napa County, Cynthia Brian is a New York Times best-selling author, actor, radio personality, speaker, media and writing coach as well as the Founder and Executive Director of Be the Star You Are!® 501 c3. Tune into Cynthia’s StarStyle® Radio Broadcast at www.StarStyleRadio.com.
Cynthia Brian interviews Susan Mulvihill with her newest book, The Vegetable Garden Problem Solver Handbook. The book is filled with effective solutions for the puzzling gardening challenges that can arise, from weather extremes and plant disorders, to vegetable plant diseases and dealing with critters that visit our gardens. Learn how to keep your plants healthy!
Kids love digging in the dirt and learning about nature. Goddess Gardener offers suggestions for simple plants that will enthrall any youngster. Connecting children with nature grows joy, patience, responsibility, resilience, and tenacity. Dig in!
Spring is the time of rebirth and renewal. Find out what to do this spring to refresh your yard, spirit, and health. Are you sowing seeds, creating a potager, designing a butterfly garden, or a fruit orchard? Cynthia Brian shares stories from her book, Growing with the Goddess Gardener.
A full hour of natural delights. Life does being in a garden. Start digging deep and let’s garden! Happy growing.
Susan Mulvihill is the author of “The Vegetable Garden Problem Solver Handbook” and “The Vegetable Garden Pest Handbook,” and the co-author of “The Northwest Gardener’s Handbook.” She is the longtime Sunday garden columnist for The Spokesman-Review newspaper in Spokane, Washington. As a botanical photographer, her images have appeared in numerous publications. Susan has produced and hosted over 400 gardening how-to videos for her YouTube channel. She has been a Spokane County Master Gardener for 21 years. Susan and her garden have been featured in an episode of the award-winning PBS television series, “Growing a Greener World.” She has devoted her life to teaching others how to garden and strongly believes in following organic practices.
“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.” ― Plato
What is global music? Genres are constantly evolving and emerging. It includes the American Beatles’ rock music, the Korean K-Pop Bands, and every other series of sounds that releases dopamine to our brains. Estimates indicate that global music ranges from 50-1300 genres. British Keerthi hosts a program featuring reporters Milan and Kirpa while American Keerthi interviews Kevin. Milan and Kirpa agree that listening to music from other countries introduces the culture and sounds of areas unfamiliar. Kirpa gives info on the Grammy’s inclusion of world music. Kevin dives into artificial intelligence, finding A.I. amazing, terrifying, and admirable all at the same time for its endless possibilities and infinite uses. With the help of the Internet and A.I., users can download and switch between music of any nationality, language and type on the fly, whether that be American rap or Swiss yodeling. And A.I. is creating music!
Music is one of the most powerful methods of communication. Global music builds mutual understanding, diversity appreciation, and fun.