Blogger Jonathan Dolce

We’ve Got the Power! – Bridging Last Summer with This Summer

The Children Of Fear Are Not Alone

Last year’s summer reading theme was Build a Better World.  Its message must not be lost. I have been actively involved in Central Florida public libraries since 1993, and it had to have been one of the most rewarding themes – ever.

Recent events are showing us that children are growing up in an increasingly frightening world.  And they must not bear this alone.

Last summer, my co-workers and I took our show on the road with a message of hope, and I’d like to share how you can couple Libraries Rock with real social impact.

Before that, though, let’s review a couple of things.


Power and Truth

In 1927, Max Ehrmann wrote the poem Desiderata in which he wrote:

“Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others,
even to the dull and ignorant; they too have their story.”

And, yet at the same time, Ehrmann encouraged the reader to “surrender the things of youth”.

We’ve seen that children throughout history have been forced to surrender the things of youth from a very young age.

Linda Brown was just 9 years old when she took on the Board of Education, tackling segregation.

Sylvia Mendez was just 8 years old when she took on California’s Board of Education, tackling a little known aspect of segregation and highlighted in Duncan Tonatiuh’s “Separate is Never Equal“.


And Ruby Bridges was just 6 when she was escorted past violent mobs by U.S. marshals into a public school.


Here in my state of Florida, Levi Draheim was just 10 when he sued the U.S. federal government over climate policy.


Parkland High School students were for the most part not even the age of majority when they faced armed conflict and senseless, violent death.  They were inspired to start a social movement that continues today and has gained the attention of the entire world.


And these are just the few, the ones whose names we know.  These children have seen the utmost best and worst aspects of society.

Into Light and the Future

If you’ve read this far, you know that your job includes education.  Education is work.  So, as we bang drums, make music, and dance this summer, I want you to go beyond making noise.  And here’s just one example of how:

Revisit the Landfill Harmonic with Ada’s Violin:


Find tons more examples here and then ask me for the scripts and lesson plans and puppet shows!  Right here!

We’ve Got The Power!

Just today, an elementary school in my hometown of Deltona, Sunrise Elementary, continues to impact children every day, sharing the music of Playing for Change and heritage from around the world.  Enjoy and follow the model!


Need one more example of how kids are changing the world?  Let’s go to Kalamazoo.



Many thanks to Sascha Konietzko for inspiring this month’s post with lyrics from the hit single, Power.


  1. Elton Corrado


  2. Jonathan Dolce

    ‘Viola’? You mean the book ‘Ada’s Violin’? Or do you mean the French “voila!” Thanks for commenting!

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