Barbara A. Lewis, Author, Teacher, Speaker

Barbara A. Lewis, Author, Teacher, Speaker Barbara A. Lewis is a national award-winning author and educator who teaches kids how to think and solve real problems. She has authored ten, award-winning books and is a keynote speaker and workshop provider.
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She has authored ten books that have been published in fourteen different languages. Her books have won numerous awards, provided guidance and inspiration to countless youth and educators, and are even featured in the National Holocaust Museum’s bookstore in Washington, DC. Barbara also is a keynote speaker and workshop provider. Barbara’s award-winning publications can be purchased direct from her publisher, Free Spirit Publishing, and Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble. Barbara also is a sought after keynote speaker and workshop provider. She has been invited to speak and present at numerous conferences and other educational events across the country. She connects with the audience through engaging stories, sharing practical advice, and providing motivation that helps participants realize their potential.

Barbara A. Lewis, Author, Teacher, Speaker
03/04/2019

Barbara A. Lewis, Author, Teacher, Speaker

03/04/2019
Nature is an easy way to inspire good character. It's always out there on the path, in the bushes, in the sky. And let's...
03/04/2019
Using Nature to Teach Character Across the Curriculum

Nature is an easy way to inspire good character. It's always out there on the path, in the bushes, in the sky. And let's face it. It's basically free to use. Here is a blog to share some hints.

https://freespiritpublishingblog.com/2019/03/04/using-nature-to-teach-character-across-the-curriculum/

By Barbara A. Lewis, author of The Teen Guide to Global Action: How to Connect with Others (Near & Far) to Create Social Change Have you ever looked at the clouds and imagined seeing a horse or…

Gratitude Is Good for the Heart: Teaching Kids the Value of Giving Thanks“Piglet noticed that even though he had a very ...
11/25/2016

Gratitude Is Good for the Heart: Teaching Kids the Value of Giving Thanks

“Piglet noticed that even though he had a very small heart, it could hold a rather large amount of gratitude.” (A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh)

Today I read a letter that came in the mail from one of our granddaughters. She thanked us for attending a special occasion for her birthday. As I looked at the scrawled handwriting and the misshapen hearts at the side, it brought a smile to my face and a tug in my chest. And did I ever feel gratitude for her? Absolutely! Strange as it might sound, I felt a stronger bond with her as well.

So what is so great about an attitude of gratitude? Well for one thing, our granddaughter’s gratitude increased a sense of gratitude in me. I promptly sent a thank- you text message back to her parents for teaching their kids to be grateful.

Many kids are taught about being grateful. After police officers in Baton Rouge and Dallas were shot and killed, kids from Tulsa’s Eastwood Baptist Church summer camp in Oklahoma emptied out their pockets and piggy banks to make 157 candy bags to thank their city’s police officers for their service.

Another example of expressing service and gratitude happened when 2,500 kids from around the world drew cutouts of their hands and wrote what kind things they had done for a grateful person. They flooded Friend magazine’s mailbags with their paper hands. It started a wave of gratitude and service that spread.

Gratitude is the Siamese twin of service. They are intimately connected at the heart. You would think that the person who receives the service or gift is the one who benefits most. Not so fast. The giver receives the biggest boost of satisfaction.

According to Robert A. Emmons, Ph.D., professor of psychology at the University of California, Davis, gratitude is good for us. New research has proven that showing gratitude releases a naturally occurring hormone called oxytocin. Often called the “love drug,” oxytocin encourages bonding, maternal instinct, friendship, marriage, and love. Wow!

We just feel good when we show gratitude. It is good for our health and our relationships. If that is not enough, studies also show that people who express gratitude feel more peaceful, have less stress, and even have stronger immune systems. What a bargain for a little gratitude!

So how can we help children, students, ourselves, and others around us develop greater gratitude and enjoy the loving boost of oxytocin?

For one thing, we can resist the urge to flood children with presents and opportunities to receive everything they want. To increase their gratitude and a feeling of self-confidence, we can require children to do chores for some of the things they want.

Richard Rende, a developmental psychologist, coauthored a book entitled Raising Can-Do Kids. He discusses data showing that children perform better academically, emotionally, and professionally if they do chores in their homes. It helps to correct the “gimme-gimme” syndrome. We can let kids see that privileges don’t just “poof” out of the air. Privileges require work. We can teach children to be grateful for all those brave people—both in our country and in our families—who worked hard before us and provided us with many blessings and benefits.

A defining example of gratitude comes from the family of 14-year-old Katelyn Zimmerman from Inverness, Florida, who was hit and killed by a drunk driver while riding her bike. Katelyn’s grandmother, Charlene Sweigart, knew of her granddaughter’s great love for life and gratitude for all she had. Charlene also heard Katelyn’s last words. Three hours before the accident, Katelyn had told her grandmother that she wanted to be an organ donor.

Ironically, that came true as her heart was rushed to a young boy named Alj. Alj and his family had almost given up hope that he would ever receive a heart. But the match fit. Later, the families met. Katelyn’s heart lived on inside another teenager. Alj shared a letter of gratitude that he had written to his unknown benefactor: “Thank you for a second chance at life. There were times when I couldn’t breathe and couldn’t walk without breath. I needed a miracle.” He wrote: “Katelyn, thank you for being my miracle.”

Nothing appears to improve gratitude more than helping someone else. It doesn’t have to be formal volunteering or donating an organ—but simply helping those in need in our families and communities. It also involves thanking those around us who assist us. It will help our hearts hold a “rather large amount of gratitude,” and it has been rumored to increase their sizes as well.

Yes, gratitude can be taught! Here are a few suggestions:

- Set an example of gratitude for those around you. Say “thank you” to everyone who serves you—in the market, at work, at school, at home, wherever. Recognize the good that people do. It can snowball.

- As the holidays approach, make wish lists of items to give to other people instead of gifts for ourselves. Teach children and teens to be grateful for their heritage, freedom, family, food, shelter, and those who came before them who secured their blessings.

- Encourage kids to write down the good things that happen to them each day. Keep a gratitude jar in your home or classroom. Discuss grateful moments around the dinner table or at school and discuss experiences in expressing gratitude.

- Send thank-you messages. Write to people to thank them for simple acts of kindness. To thank those who are not nearby, especially young children, use Skype or FaceTime. Or how about making a selfie thank-you message?

- Make cookies or other treats and take them to someone to thank him or her.

- Decorate the house, classroom, or office with sticky notes thanking others for their good services and kind actions. Keep plenty of sticky note pads around for kids to add their own. (Of course this kind of experience requires some clean-up time.)

- In homes, link gratitude to our higher power. Even if the family is not part of a formal worship community, family members can learn to offer prayers of gratitude to whomever or whatever they believe in.

- Volunteer. Nothing improves gratitude more than helping someone else.

Most importantly, let’s all remember to thank those around us—children and adults—who offer their love, service, help, and forgiveness.

5 Ideas for Summer Service ProjectsHave you ever watched TV or spent a few moments on social media, noticed a problem th...
11/25/2016

5 Ideas for Summer Service Projects

Have you ever watched TV or spent a few moments on social media, noticed a problem that a student or someone else in your neighborhood had, and gotten a weird idea about what people could do to help out?

That is what Caragan Olles did. She was diagnosed with dyslexia in third grade. The diagnosis made sense and explained why she had so much trouble remembering school assignments. She learned that one in five students struggle with this condition.

Caragan received special tutoring, but she wanted to help other students who suffered from dyslexia. An idea bubbled in her head. In 2013, she established Bright Young Dyslexics, and through that nonprofit, she has raised $35,000 to help tutor other kids with dyslexia.

The beauty of Caragan’s story is that she turned a personal problem into something that could help others.

Honestly, helping others will make your personal life or the life of a young person you know more exciting. So stop and think. Do you have a problem in your own life—a problem that you can imagine solutions or improvements for? Could your knowledge help others? Or can you see a problem with another family member? Or a student, friend, or neighbor who needs some assistance?

Remember, usually an adult needs to help facilitate the good ideas that young people sprout. Kids often have free time in the summer, and if you have trouble thinking of a great summer service project for them or yourself, here are a few ideas. Maybe one will trigger another idea that would work even better for you. I promise you will feel happier by getting involved. The young people you work with will feel a new excitement and confidence that they have done something great. And the beautiful truth is that sometimes when we reach out to help others, we learn how to better control our own lives.

5 Ideas for Summer Service Projects for Adults and Kids

1. Start a neighborhood garden. If you or someone you know has an available parcel of land, it could be a great location for a central garden. Extra produce could be donated to local food banks or other needy people.

2. Make emergency bags for women’s crises centers or homeless shelters. Fill them with items such as bottled water, toothpaste, deodorant, baby wipes, or other nonperishables. If you are working with kids, allow them to brainstorm the items.

3. Make it personal. Start a caring project for a family member or friend who needs some nurturing. It might include kind notes on a car window (under the wiper blades), baked or purchased treats, a book, an invitation for a fun outing, or notes promising your special service for the person.

4. Contact schools and collect used books for students in Africa, Central America, or Asia. The American Library Association gives a lot of information on how to do it and where to send books.

5. Pick a site on GoFundMe to donate money for someone in need. You will find campaigns for babies needing surgery, children and adults fighting cancer, and even animals with special needs or medical bills. Find a worthy candidate whose story touches you personally.

Whether you have ideas for a personal problem you could help others with or you choose something else, you will enrich your life and feel purpose by reaching outward. Mahatma Gandhi said it well: “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”

HiWhen I heard about this opportunity, I had to share it with you! Imagine eliminating stress, worry and struggle from y...
03/27/2016

Hi

When I heard about this opportunity, I had to share it with you! Imagine eliminating stress, worry and struggle from your life! Did you know that so many people suffer needlessly because they do not have the proper tools to tap into or access their full-potential? Imagine what it would be like to wake up each day with a smile on your face, a spring in your step, and gratitude in your heart because you are excited about life and focused on the possibilities that await you.

Does this sound appealing to you? I am really excited to share this opportunity!

LAUNCH DATE: April 11, 2016

REGISTER NOW FOR BE YOUR OWN HERO!
http://www.beyourownherosummit.org/

On this call, I will be joining forces with Dr. Shannon Tran, a licensed Clinical Psychologist and Certified Energy Healer, who has TRANSFORMED her life and the lives of her clients using powerful tools and strategies shared by experts in this series (including me!) We share how to overcome setbacks and obstacles to be the confident and deliberate creator of life. You don’t want to miss this!

So, if you are TRULY ready for ultimate FREEDOM-and want to get out of your own way and start living to your full potential with more ease then join us.

On this call, you'll learn:

• How to eliminate self-sabotage, shift your reality quickly, and program your subconscious mind for success.
• How brain wave technology can immediately heal emotional patterns and wounds, set you on the path to inner peace, and allow you to RELAX into the flow of life.
• What it takes to experience and sustain deeply fulfilling and meaningful relationships with yourself and others.
• What motivates you, and how to connect with your true purpose and deeper WHY!
• How to end suffering, be free of emotional and physical suffering, and experience a genuine spiritual awakening!

STEP UP and BE the person you are CALLED to BE! We are here to help and support you in the process!

YOU CAN RESERVE YOUR SPOT HERE!
http://www.beyourownherosummit.org/

Want to listed to true two stories about pigs, including Lulu, the heroic potbellied pig who save her owner's life?
06/03/2014

Want to listed to true two stories about pigs, including Lulu, the heroic potbellied pig who save her owner's life?

Martin Luther King Day is set aside as a day of service.  Getting kids involved in service changes their lives.  Check t...
01/21/2014

Martin Luther King Day is set aside as a day of service. Getting kids involved in service changes their lives. Check this out. It's easy.

Want some great stories from nature that help your kids develop better character?
05/10/2013

Want some great stories from nature that help your kids develop better character?

Barbara A. Lewis, Author, Teacher, Speaker's cover photo
05/10/2013

Barbara A. Lewis, Author, Teacher, Speaker's cover photo

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Hi Barbara, I sent you a message I would love to interview you for a project. Please get back to me when you can.