Monday, December 6, 2021

"Community is much more than belonging to something; it's about doing something together that makes belonging matter." Brian Solis

                                                                        Brian Solis 

I believe that more than anything else in our society, people yearn for a sense of community.  For many, the need to "belong" is as strong a a need as food and water. The desire to be an accepted part of a community is what prompts stress for students going to the first day of school, for adults entering a new job, and for anyone moving into a new apartment or plan.  For many without family connections, "gangs" become their sense of community.  

When we find our communities and are comfortable, we do not want those communities to change.  Such is the story from Steve Hartman of CBS this week.  

A general store called  "Dan and Whit's" has been a part of Norwich, Vermont, for over a hundred years.  In fact, the store was started by the current owner's grandfather.  Sadly, the owned, Dan Frazier, could get no workers, so the store was in danger of closing.  When the community heard this news, dozens of retired and working folks applied for jobs, just to keep the store open.  Why?  They all answered that question with the same words: "The store is the heart of this town."  They saw and realized the value of belonging, and they recognized the importance of doing something together to make that belonging matter.  A retired doctor, a teacher, a therapist, a school principal, and many others are volunteering their time to keep the heart of the town up and running for all to enjoy.  If you have not seen the story, here is the link. This story is so perfect for the Christmas season.

I hope you have found your community in this season of light. 

As always, I welcome your comments and suggestionsRittman Publishing, LLC ®

Please invite GRADY GETS GLASSES (and me) into your school, in person, or on Zoom. Email us at

I do college and university presentations for student teachers with my practical "Dede's Three C's for Classroom Success: Confidence, Communication, and Creativity" in person or via Zoom. Please email me at

Please invite Grady Gets Glasses (and me) into your school.  if you are not in the Pittsburgh area, we do virtual field trips with groups called Field Trip Zoom and Streamable learning . We will come into YOUR classroom via ZOOM. GRADY GETS GLASSES was the winner of Best New Children's Book 2016 and 2018 (new edition) from The Authors' Zone. Grady also won a 2018 prestigious Moonbeam Award for Best Children's Book with Merchandise.

Visit Dede's web page for complete details on her award-winning book, STUDENT TEACHING: THE INSIDE SCOOP FROM A MASTER TEACHER. Many colleges have made the book required readingSigned copies are available Dede is also a national speaker on The Three C's for Classroom success: Confidence, communication, and Creativity; Avoiding Teacher burnout; and many other inspirational topics. 

I LOVE writing. And I love writing children's books- my newest passion. Although it will be a ton of work, I am looking forward to selling my books.  Since I was a secondary teacher, I know that I have much to learn about elementary students, and I will have to follow my own advice and be my genuine self.  However, I also know that I am passionate about helping kids who have to wear glasses, and that GRADY GETS GLASSES sends a positive message. I am willing to work hard and do all the things that also made me a successful teacher for 37
years. I remain inspired! 

Elementary teachers in Western Pennsylvania and beyond - I am willing to come into your classroom in person or as a virtual field trip through a group called Field Trip Zoom.  Check them out! 

Teacher friends- let me know if you want me to read GRADY GETS GLASSES at your school. I am willing to come in to discuss the creative writing process, why writing is important, and personal fulfillment through writing, along with reading my book.  I would appreciate the exposure, and I would make signed copies available for purchase in your classrooms following the reading.  Please email me at  The website now has plush Grady bunnies for sale!
 Please like Dede's new page Grady Gets Glasses for updates about her children's book. 

Connect with Dede!

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