Children with Incarcerated Parents, Criminal Justice, Education

#SeeUsSupportUs: how schools can be more understanding and supportive of children of incarcerated parents

The Osborne Association works with individuals, families, and communities affected by the criminal justice system to further develop their strengths and lead lives of responsibility and contribution.

This month, they are running the campaign, #SeeUsSupportUs, where they highlight voices directly impacted by parental incarceration. I’m honored to be featured today here.


The Attendance Note by Pamela Brunskill

Crammed into the tiny attendance office at Williamsville South High School, I handed my note to the woman behind the desk. Mom had written that I would be picked up after second period again. It was day three of what would be Dad’s two-and-a-half week murder trial.

The chic blonde unfolded the note, read it, and raised her eyebrows. “Why will you be leaving?”

I tucked my head down. I remained silent, trying to figure out what to say.

The blonde sighed and tried again. “Is it for a doctor’s appointment? The dentist?”

Read the rest of the essay here.



Authors and Educators, Education

California’s Complex Water System

If you know of a third-seventh grader interested in California’s complex water system, my newest book is available now.


As summarized on Amazon, this book addresses:

Where does California’s water come from? Who are its users? How is water conserved? California has the largest economy and population in the United States, and its limited water supply must meet the demands of many people. Learn about the history of California’s water system with this primary source reader that builds literacy and social studies content knowledge! Primary source documents help students look at the world and current issues with a historical lens, and encourage them to consider bias and the validity and reliability of sources. This leveled text offers instructional opportunities to guide students to increased fluency and comprehension of nonfiction text and is aligned to the National Council for Social Studies (NCSS) and other national and state standards.

You can read more about it and view sample pages here. I hope you enjoy it!


News-O-Matic and the Olympics

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Some of you know I write for News-O-Matic, the daily newspaper for kids.

As of 2016, News-O-Matic has 2 million downloads and over a 120,000 daily active readership. It has won several awards, including the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers’ top prize in the Editorial Category for Young Readers. We cover important national and international current events as well as pertinent stories for today’s kids.

I am honored to contribute to this literacy app. If you have or work with kids in K-8, check it out! Many schools use News-O-Matic to teach nonfiction, and many parents have purchased it for their kids to read at home. (You can download a free trial version here or here.) Because we write for kids, our articles are appropriately worded and focused. Plus, you can pick which lexile (reading level) best fits your needs.

Above is one of my recent articles. It features children’s author Jennifer Swanson and her book Super Gear. You can read all about what microscopic science has to do with the Olympics! (If you’d prefer to read it in a pdf, click here.)

I hope you enjoy it!