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BlueJay (Watercolor) By Zoe Campbell, 11 (San Francisco, CA) & published in the September 2021 Issue of Stone Soup

A note from Emma

Good morning, everyone! I’d like to thank William for his wonderful video celebrating the publication of Tristan’s novel last week. I have written about her novel a number of times—but in short, it is truly a wonderful read and an excellent book. I am so excited to share it with you and encourage you to go support this young author by buying your copy now.

Refugee Project Fundraiser
Overall, we are so thrilled at the response we’ve had to our refugee project fundraiser. Thank you to everyone who has donated so far!

As further incentive, we’d like to announce that Spencer and Sabrina Guo—a former Stone Soup contributor and intern who was instrumental in launching the project—have generously offered to make a $3,000 matching donation. Thank you, Spencer and Sabrina!

Classes began today! Thank you to everyone who signed up and showed up. We are so exciting to spend this fall making art with you. For those of you who missed the initial call, please know that there is still space to sign up and that classes will be prorated accordingly.

Weekend Project
Right now, I’d like you to scroll down and read Benjamin Ding’s poem “Materialism.”
. . .
. . .
Okay, welcome back. I love how this poem so perfectly pinpoints the absurdity of the world we live in—a world where we worry about our houses and work hard to make them livable while ignoring our larger home, the Earth, and all of its incredible inhabitants. Why do we spend money to repair an air conditioner, a machine that is itself contributing to the extinction of species like the Asian elephant, when we could get rid of the AC and donate that money to an animal conservation project?

Benjamin calls this phenomenon “materialism.” Materialism is simply when our desire to buy and own things is greater than our desire to accrue experiences and strengthen relationships. In the US, we have a very materialistic society: many people work very hard so they can earn money and buy things. The time they spend working is time they cannot spend with their family or friends, or exploring new places, or reading books they love, or wondering about “species / on the verge of extinction.” While it is very hard to go against the current of mainstream culture, I urge you to try!

As for your weekend project: I invite you to create a work inspired by a concept. This concept could be “materialism,” as in Benjamin’s poem, or it could be something totally different—maybe even one you don’t even understand, like string theory! It can also be something simpler, such as culture, family, happiness, love, time, reality, sanity, safety, or work. Try to think about what these things actually are to you versus what they are understood to be in our culture—and then write (or draw) around those ideas.

Until next week,

Back-to-School Sale







Through 11:59pm Pacific Time, September 15th, take 25% all annual subscriptions when you use the code SCHOOL21 at checkout!

Refugee Project

Dear friends and supporters of Stone Soup,

Since the launch of the Refugee Project, we have partnered with seven organizations providing on-the-ground support to children living in refugee camps, as well as those resettled in host countries. Through these partnerships, we have collected over 300 pieces of artwork and writing by refugee youth. These creative works are currently on display in our newly created web portal for the project, which you can explore here.

As we have said many times before, the media so often portrays refugee youth as the subject of a narrative. The Stone Soup Refugee Project provides a platform for these young people to tell their own stories, in their own voices.

To make this vision a reality, we need your help. We have set ourselves a target goal of $10,000 to pilot the program.

These funds will go toward the development of workshops delivered to young people in refugee camps, the facilitation of creative exchanges between young people, and the work of collecting and publishing more material on the Refugee Project website. In addition, funds will be used to support our Refugee Project contributing organizations and the young people they serve in the ways in which they deem valuable, such as the purchase of supplies and possible scholarship funds.

—Laura Moran, Refugee Project Director

Contest News

Flash Contest #35: Write a story about you, but in a parallel universe where you had a different life.

Don't forget to submit to this month's Flash Contest, provided by contributor Molly Torinus, before tomorrow at midnight!

To submit to this contest, please visit our Submittable page.

Selfie Contest

Since Stone Soup’s last selfie contest in 2017, the selfie has taken on a new form: the masked selfie. That’s why we’re enlisting you to participate in our 2021 Selfie Contest: With and Without Masks. As has always been the case, we want these selfies to tell us a story. Think about how masks can both aid and make more difficult the expression of thoughts and feelings. How can you show us who you are behind the mask, and how can you build off of that image once the mask disappears, or vice versa? Get creative! Try something you’ve never thought to try before! Surprise us, and—most importantly—surprise yourself! You may submit up to four selfies: two with a mask and two without.

Deadline: October 3, 2021

To submit to this contest, please visit our Submittable page.

Highlights from the past week online

Don't miss the latest content from our Book Reviewers and Young Bloggers at Stonesoup.com!

Young Blogger Sofie Dardzinski wrote two beautiful and inspirational poems: one, "The Common Worker," in celebration of Labor Day, and the other, "Coming Together," about addressing climate change.

Anandi, 11, wrote a scintillating essay in argument against Idaho's transgender sports ban, "Brain, Not Body."

BenjaminDingFrom Stone Soup
September 2021


By Benjamin Ding, 9 (Jericho, NY)

Nobody cares about the great
only their own puny properties . . .
a leak in the ceiling,
someone to mow the lawn,
a broken air conditioner . . .
People will pay for these things,
but no one stops to wonder about
on the verge of extinction:
Galapagos tortoises,
Leatherback sea turtles,
Giant pandas,
Blue whales,
Asian elephants . . .

To read 12 other poem's from Benjamin's collection EARTH MATTERS, click here!

Stone Soup is published by Children’s Art Foundation-Stone Soup Inc., a 501(c)(3) educational nonprofit organization registered
in the United States of America, EIN: 23-7317498.

Stone Soup's advisors: Abby Austin, Mike Axelrod, Annabelle Baird, Jem Burch, Evelyn Chen, Juliet Fraser, Zoe Hall, Montanna Harling, Alicia & Joe Havilland, Lara Katz, Rebecca Kilroy, Christine Leishman, Julie Minnis, Jessica Opolko, Tara Prakash, Denise Prata, Logan Roberts, Emily Tarco, Rebecca Ramos Velasquez, Susan Wilky.

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