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MeCards4Kids ™ – Excursions into the Child’s Imagination was a presentation at the 2013 International SoulCollage ® Facilitators’ Conference that I was grateful to attend. Presenter and author Nancy Weiss played videos of several children who shared their unique experiences of MeCards and who clearly love the process.
The MeCards4Kids ™ Book was Inspired by 60 Children
Nancy Weiss’s years of skillful teaching and engaging her students and clients in soulful conversations inform the fundamentals of MeCards4Kids ™. Jane Raphael’s mastery in working with young school children adds the perfect blend to create a process that grows each child, from the inside-out. ~ Natalie White, LMFT
The MeCards process was inspired by SoulCollage ®, a collage and journaling process developed by Seena Frost to deepen self-awareness and amplify presence. (As of July 20, 2014, there are 2,092 trained SoulCollage ® Facilitators in 34 countries, including 47 states and 7 provinces of Canada.) In place of the “I Am One Who…” exercise in SoulCollage ®, children are invited to write an “I Am” poem for each of their MeCards. “Writing an ‘I Am’ Poem” is a Read/Write/Think material developed in 2004 by the National Council of Teachers of English/International Reading Association (NCTE/IRA) and dovetails beautifully with the MeCards process.
Can writing poetry really be this easy and fun? Why not? Some poetry loving folks can sometimes be stopped cold in their tracks by the terror of a blank page (or white computer screen with flashing cursor) staring back at them. Whatever tools a writer uses, low or high tech, it can sometimes be hard to get the creative process jumpstarted, to get the words flowing. ~ Alysa Cummings
Although co-author Jane Raphael introduced Nancy to the “I Am” template, early on Nancy also found the “I Am” poem on Alysa Cummings‘ website. Fondly recalling memories of Mad Libs as a preadolescent, Alysa was inspired to create Instant Fill in the Blanks Poetry while undergoing treatment for breast cancer in 2002. “[T]hese instant fill in the blanks poetry pages were designed especially for cancer patients to support them during their journey from diagnosis through treatment and recuperation, eventually to a place of recovery. With a minimal amount of effort and energy, a poem will emerge,” writes Alysa. She calls these poems “soul therapy.”
MeCards4Kids ™ gives children the opportunity to express feelings and gain a stronger sense of self. How exciting to invite children to allow their intuition and imagination to lead the way for this creative exploration! ~ Kat Kirby, M.Ed., ATR-BC
Writing an “I Am” Poem
There are three stanzas to an “I Am” poem. The first stanza invites the completion of “I am…, I wonder…, I hear…, I see…, I want… and I am….” Children look at the images they’ve chosen for their MeCards as they complete each sentence, dictating to an adult for transcription (having one’s own “scribe” adapted from the SoulCollage® process). The second and third stanzas, respectively, include “I pretend, feel, touch, worry, cry, am” and “I understand, say, dream, try, hope, am.” You can see why the “I Am” poem, coupled with images intuitively or intentionally chosen by a child, results in such a wholesome process.
As part of Nancy’s Conference presentation, each SoulCollage ® Facilitator wrote an “I Am” poem for one of their SoulCollage ® cards and read it to the group. It was fun.
As an experienced family healthcare practitioner, I’ve observed that illness begins from the inside-out. What we see as symptoms, whether physical or mental/emotional/spiritual, has everything to do with the parts of ourselves that we’ve suppressed, initially from external situations, later as a survival habit.
My greatest intention for this book is that the process of making and inhabiting their MeCards can give children a way to matter to themselves and to the people whose lives they touch. ~ Nancy Weiss
MeCards4Kids ™ will no doubt provide an avenue of expression often missing for the young, while nurturing dignity and self-empowerment. In addition, as Nancy states on her MeCards4Kids ™ website, “Literacy skills are strengthened in children, as they create visual and written stories. They get to imagine into their visual imagery, which is key, and then they translate their imagination into written language. Through their images and poems, children use this time of self-expression to develop and give voice to emerging aspects of themselves.”
Nancy’s words bring to mind Robert Bly’s “black bag” (a metaphor containing, thus creating, the “shadowed” parts of ourselves), for which MeCards4Kids ™ gently initiates a profound healing process of re-membering. Such early childhood practice in self-reflection and empathy building, I imagine, can only contribute to a society of healthier teens and adults.
This book highly deserves its recognition as the recipient of the 2014 Nautilus Silver Medal Book Award in the Parenting/Family category. The book has thus far received only 5-star customer reviews on Amazon.com. How to Make MeCards4Kids ™ is one of the best antidotes to families saturated in technological devices, often leaving children hungry for presence and community.
Children love making MeCards! Nancy introduces the MeCard4Kids ™ process to children and their parents at a MeCards Party, then spotlights several children who share their unique experiences with this process.
View more videos and MeCards at MeCards4Kids.com.
Nancy Continues Self-Empowerment Outreach through SoulCollage ® Diversity Scholarship Fund
Nancy has long been a part of the SoulCollage ® community, completing her SoulCollage ® Facilitator training on September 15, 2006. Nancy is also the Chair of the SoulCollage, Inc. Diversity Scholarship Committee and has served on the Planning Committee for the 2008 and 2011 Facilitators’ Conferences.
In 2008, the Facilitators Conference Planning Committee had the privilege of establishing the SoulCollage ® Diversity Scholarship Fund with profits from the 2008 Conference, which Nancy, Kat Kirby, Karin Lubin and Jean Weiss set-up as the 2009 Conference Coordinators. Thank you to Nancy Weiss for continuing to serve as its volunteer coordinator. The purpose of this Fund is to encourage inclusiveness and access within the SoulCollage ® community for individuals in a wide variety of unique situations. The Scholarship Fund accomplishes this by training Facilitators who are working with diverse and “under-served” populations and are in need of some financial support to attend a Facilitator Training. In addition to demonstrating financial need, candidates who apply for this Scholarship must be working currently and directly with a community that meets this guideline. Potential applicants can contact Nancy.
What You Can Do
The SoulCollage ® Diversity Scholarship Fund is just for people who want to pay forward and allow anyone working with diverse or under-served populations to apply for the Scholarship money. There is not very much money, so it is help rather than full scholarships.
Nancy has sent many applications to people interested in training as SoulCollage ® Facilitators. SoulCollage Inc. has awarded $2,145 in Scholarship money since 2010 and welcomes donations. (Several people made contributions since its initial funding.) We also appreciate help or ideas for raising money for this Fund.
- If you would like to help train SoulCollage ® Facilitators who have a passion for bringing the SoulCollage ® process to a wide variety of people, please contribute (any amount) to the Diversity Scholarship Fund. (Scroll to the end of our SoulCollage ® Facilitator Training webpage for a PayPal button.) Contributions are not tax deductible.
- Income from purchases made in the SoulCollage ® Logo Store go to this Fund.
- You have the option of offering your payment in the event of a last-minute SoulCollage® Facilitator Training cancellation to the Scholarship Fund, so that we may offer the Training (or another for which we have a waiting list) to an individual of proven low or limited income and who currently serves underprivileged populations (minorities, immigrants, prisoners, refugees, etc.).
Sue Gelber, RSHom(NA), CCH has been a healer in the field of Complementary and Alternative Medicine for more than 30 years. She is certified to practice Classical Homeopathy in North America, a trained SoulCollage ® Facilitator, and a trained Spiritual Director in Davis, California. Sue is also the Virtual Assistant Coordinating SoulCollage ® Soul-cial™ Media and the creator of most of the videos on SoulCollageTV. Learn more about Sue at SoulCollage.com.
Nancy Weiss, LCSW is a psychotherapist and spiritual director in Los Angeles whose private practice focuses on the interface of spirit, psyche and the creative voice. She incorporates the expressive arts with children, families and adults. Nancy is a collage artist and poet and enjoys the cross-fertilization between poetry and collage. As a SoulCollage® Facilitator, she has led numerous workshops and trainings. To learn more about Nancy and MeCards4Kids™, visit her professional website.
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