The Danger of Rewriting Children’s Books

Each year, CCS-America’s fourth-grade students typically read George Selden’s Newberry Award-winning novel, Cricket in Times Square. But next year will be different after the beloved modern children’s classic was altered to placate woke critics, who complained that the Chinese characters’ speech was presented in an offensive manner.

Rewriting books is a slippery slope, especially when the authors (George Selden passed away in 1989) are no longer here to defend their work or give permission.

If this becomes the norm, other modern classics such as The Joy Luck ClubThe Indian in the Cupboard, and To Kill a Mockingbird also will be modified or banned to satisfy critics. Mark Twain’s classics, Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, already have been removed from many libraries and reading lists across the country.

To rewrite books to fit an agenda is an assault on literature and freedom of expression. In sports there’s a saying: No harm, no foul. A similar rule should apply to literature.

National Handwriting Day

National Handwriting Day is celebrated each year on January 23rd, the birthday of John Hancock. He is best known for being the first and most prominent signature on the Declaration of Independence and because of this, a person’s signature is sometimes referred to as a “John Hancock.”

In 2019, CCS-America began hosting a Handwriting Competition on National Handwriting Day where students in all grades are given a phrase to copy and a prompt to answer in their neatest handwriting. Grades 4-8 are required to write it in cursive. First-place winners and honorable mentions receive a cash prize and classrooms that display overall handwriting excellence receive a door medallion.

There are numerous benefits to writing in cursive, also known as “longhand” writing, most notably that it seems to increase information retention. Many studies also show that pairing cursive writing with reading aloud improves both skills; so, they should progress hand-in-hand in the curriculum. Be on the lookout for the announcements of the 2023 Handwriting Competition winners soon!

Read more here

Students of the Month

Character education is an important part of the CCS-America curriculum. Each month, students are recognized for displaying a specific character trait that they are not only learning and practicing, but also recite daily in our Pledge.

January’s character trait was Honesty. Students who show honesty are truthful in what they do and say. Honesty is seen in the School Pledge as “I Pledge to be truthful in all my works.” Honest students apply these words to their everyday lives by telling the truth, playing by the rules, and not exaggerating facts.

Congratulations to all students who demonstrated exemplary honesty. Check them out on the links below!