Committee for Children Blog

Pencils Down: Helping Kids Overcome Test Anxiety

by Emilie Coulter

Stomachaches, headaches, reluctance to go to school, outbursts of tears or anger, sweaty palms…

Big worries, little people

Children, some as young as kindergarten-age, suffer from a particular kind of anxiety, the source of which is not going away any time soon. According to Teachers College at Columbia University, American kids take more than 100 million…… Read More

It’s Never too Late for Bullying Prevention

by Emilie Coulter

The tenth anniversary of No Name-Calling Week is a good time to remember that it’s not too late to adopt a bullying prevention program in school. In fact, many educators and others who work with children believe that bullying often increases in the second half of the year, due in part to accumulated academic and social frustrations, concerns about upcoming transitions, and anticipation of summer.

Scott Poland, Ed.D.,…… Read More

Good Girl Gone Bad?

My almost-eight-year-old daughter is a Good Girl at school. You know what I mean. A joy to have in the classroom. Courteous, fun, friendly, attentive to her work. Don’t get me wrong; Etta can be a disaster at home. All day long she’s steadily squeezing that appropriate behavior out of her system like a new tube of toothpaste, and by 4:30 or 5, she’s got nothing left for us. Then she has her moments, and they can be doozies. Temperamentally, though, she is a kind, generous soul.… Read More

Anatomy of Anger

Something happened this week that made me very angry. I won’t go into the gory details. It’s enough to know that it was a letter from my children’s elementary school about a new initiative the district was rolling out without allowing parental involvement. Here follows my step-by-step process of Getting Angry.… Read More

Book Review: Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy

by Gary D. Schmidt
Reading level: Grades 6–9

Turner Buckminster is not having a good time in his new home. In 1912 Phippsburg, Maine, starched collars and a reserved demeanor is de rigueur for the minister's son, even one who is 13 and eager to explore the wonders of the coastline.
Turner gets into one scrape after another, earning the disapproval of just about everyone in town…until he meets a soul mate,…… Read More


by Gordon Korman
Reading level: Grades 6–9

At age 13, Cap (for Capricorn) knows how to spell barometer and psychedelic, how to build a Foucault pendulum, and how to grow plums. But he has no idea how to read the social map of the traditional American public school. As one of only two remaining members on a remote alternative farm commune, Cap is homeschooled by the other,…… Read More

Book Review: Flying Solo

by Ralph Fletcher
Reading level: Grades 5–8

What happens in a sixth-grade classroom when kids rule? When the regular, beloved teacher is absent, and the sub doesn’t show up? The students have several choices. They could go straight to the principal’s office to report the situation. They could take the Lord of the Flies route and go wild until they are caught. As one of the…… Read More

Book Review: Say Something

by Peggy Moss
Reading level: Kindergarten–Grade 4

The narrator in Say Something is astute and empathic toward the kids in her school who are teased. She watches and wonders about them, picking up on body language that tells her they are sad. She would never make fun of someone the way her schoolmates do. Instead, she feels sorry for them, crosses to the other side of the hall, and…… Read More

Book Review: Viva La Paris

by Esmé Raji Codell
Reading level: Grades 4–6

When you’re a fifth-grade girl, it’s tricky enough to try to solve the problem of your eighth-grade brother being bullied by another fifth-grade girl. But when Paris McCray begins learning about the big-time bullying that went on during World War II, her brain and heart switch to overload, and all she can do is bury herself deeper and…… Read More

Book Review: Martha Walks the Dog

by Susan Meddaugh
Reading level: Kindergarten–Grade 3

Ever since she ate her first bowl of alphabet soup, Martha the dog has developed the gift of gab…sometimes to a fault. Her ingenious monologues and impressive vocabulary make her the life of the party, but they also can get her into trouble.

Out for her walk one day, Martha encounters new neighbors: an aggressive dog and his…… Read More