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#HonoringKatieBug: How to Honor the 4-Year-Old Who Touched Our Hearts


Austin Kellerman

Over the last few days, thousands of people have shared the story of Katie “Bug” Grantham.  The 4-year-old from Benton, Louisiana died about a week after a car accident.  Her parents bravely shared their emotional and courageous hospital journey on Facebook.

I was one of the many who followed along.  When Katie died, I felt compelling to write about her — particularly the words of her mother who vowed to “honor her” in death.

The post was read more than 20,000 times and shared more than 5,000 times — a testament to this family’s message of kindness, hope, and faith.

Now it’s time to walk the walk.  In a beautifully written obituary, Katie’s mom provided ways to honor her daughter.  Her words:

  • If our baby girl touched you in some way, please let us know (PO Box 367, Benton, LA 71006).
  • In lieu of flowers, please take a new…

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When God is in the Classroom


Mrs. Ackley

I’ve heard it said in various ways, “They have taken God out of the classroom.” I’ve even been asked, “How can you work in a public school when you can’t share your faith with the kids?” I’ve watched teachers walk away from public education with great frustration because of politics, evaluation systems, state standards, pay, and lack of support.

If I am being honest, there are days in which I ask, “Why am I still here?”

Yet, every time I ask myself that question, I hear a soft whisper in my soul… “Because I am here.”

God is in your classroom.

From the depths of my soul, I believe that God has never, can never, and will never be removed from the classroom–even a public school classroom.  One, He is bigger than that. Besides the fact that He is omnipresent , He is the “indwelling spirit” that fills you…

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Oh hey girl.

Dear Esther…can’t wait to know and love on you! 💜
Btw, your mom and pop and sis…they are groovy!!!!

Cassie Hammett

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Dearest most lovely Esther,

I have finally seen your face.

The face that has forever wrecked my life and shaped me and taught me more about the heart of my Father.  The most lovely face, every single inch of it created in the image of God.

I know you now.  I know your story, the heartbreaking moments that have led to you becoming mine.

I’ve seen you, watched you play, heard you speak through amazing videos that landed in my inbox, a gift from the heavens.

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Libraries and Librarians…Who needs ’em?!

Anticipation of meeting with one of the most important people in the state of Louisiana lends itself to tons of feelings.  Are we prepared for this event?  Do we have the wording that will relay our passion?  Are we all on the same page?

This past year, I have worked with some of the brightest librarians.  These librarians are also some of the most amazing people with a vision that shines bright in their hearts.  The love of children, books, and education connect each of us from south LA to the top of north LA in a way that only those things can.  So, each of us make up the “we” that will be sharing our thoughts at this all important meeting.

Being an advocate also makes me question my humility at times.  How do you talk about yourself and your passions without seeming arrogant?  How do you promote your library program and all that it entails without sounding haughty?  Where is the line between being humble and speaking up?  It has been something that has been tearing me up as of late.  I want to be that humble educator.  The one that only the children know.  The one that does their job so well that I am almost invisible to the outside world.  No accolades are necessary, just tons of hugs from those sweet babies.

However, libraries have to be funded.  Libraries have to fit into the new plan.  Librarians must be a vital part of the big picture.  We must speak up, be heard, be prepared, and prove our worth.  We must have a solution for the plan at hand.

The ball is rolling, we have a plan, we are working on our words to express our passion, the big meeting is tomorrow.  Who needs libraries and librarians…everyone.  Especially our children.  Libraries are more than a room full of books.  Libraries house knowledge, truth, dreams, creativity, passion, and so much more.  Librarians stir it all together and serve it up to every single child that enters those Once Upon a Time doors.

So, wish us luck tomorrow as we meet.  Hopefully, tomorrow will be the first day of our journey to making sure that everyone understands how important libraries and libraries are.  Visit us soon…enter our Once Upon a Time…

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Dot Day anticipation…

Creativity…oh how I love the word, the action, the momentum.

As we begin our venture of celebrating Dot Day 2016, I look forward to the unknown.  I think my favorite part of the planning is knowing it will not go as planned.  Kids will create, kids will imagine, and kids will teach me the meaning of creativity and imagination.

Our library is alive with young peeps who will bring a new spin, pump out a new plan, and wow us with their unbelievable incredibleness.  From the hearts of the littles, I learn to have a bigger heart.  From my friends, like Terry Shay, I learn to let get go and let “the littles” create.

What a life lesson AND a blessing it is to be an educator.  Learning from SEAUX many as I try to teach the tiniest part of it all…love.

Love is a verb.  Terry Shay exudes it.  Peter and Paul Reynolds promote it.  The children all live it.

To be as innocent and love as big as a child is connecting the dots  in the way I feel it was intended.  



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Lose the I…

The summer, for me, is a time to read, take the days slower, visit more with those I love, and move at my own speed.  

This summer proved to be an epiphany…

Living each day to the fullest is a phrase I have heard a billion times.  Treasure the moments…make memories…   We all hear them, say them…live them?

My heart was shattered this summer, not just for myself, but for those I love more than myself.  Now life has changed, taken a turn, spun them around and landed them in a new place.  So, how now do we live those phrases in this new place?  

I like answers.  I like solutions to problems. I like to help solve issues.  I is a very selfish letter…THAT I have learned.

Every word read, every memory made, every visit, every moment is truly precious.  Live, breathe, love…it truly is that simple.  Help others more than you help yourself.  

Sweet summertime.  Thank you for teaching me the importance of time.  I pray I spend it losing the I in me.


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Listening for the Changes…..

When life is being lived daily, we sometimes forget that it is also ever changing.  We get caught up in the hustle of “life” and tend to forget to “live it” while we are in the moment.  Lately, I tend to find myself wondering if I am living my life to its fullest or am I living my life to get “through it.”

Slowing down and being still are phrases written in the Word that I read over, hear, but do I really listen?  Am I listening for the voice of God, allowing Him to speak to me, talking to Him before “living” the day?

Emotions are a funny thing to me.  I have so many of them. However, I see an incredible plethora of emotions in my children that are clever, funny, and wise.  Where did those people come from?  We are experiencing many changes in our own little personal family as of late.  They are instrumental in the fabric of each of their lives and therefore affect mine as well.

I often wonder, when my children are making these huge “changes,” have I taught them to listen?  Not to me, but to that voice inside their hearts.  The ONE voice that they should hear above all others.  Has my voice been too loud, drowning out the only voice that truly matters?

My prayer is that in my own life I am still, I listen, and I wisely express the exponential and eternal value of listening….

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