Two mothers from New York State who began discussing online the negative effects of the Common Core standards on their children have partnered to develop “Bracelets That Are NOT Common,” a project to raise awareness about the controversial education initiative.
In an interview with Breitbart News, Elaine Finlay Coleman of Yonkers said that she and Christine Tamke Barbara of Suffolk County on Long Island began speaking online when they realized their children were experiencing the same difficulties due to the use of the Common Core in their classrooms.
“About two years ago, my 9-year-old son had a melt-down and began saying things like, ‘I hate myself,’ ‘I hate school,’ and ‘I’m dumb,'” Coleman said. “I had him evaluated and found he was above average in intelligence.”
“I started to investigate and found the Stop Common Core in New York State Facebook page, where Christine had posted a mirror-image of my situation. We began speaking and decided we needed to do something to raise awareness about and show opposition to the Common Core.”
Coleman said she ultimately opted both her children out of the Common Core-aligned PARCC assessments.
“As I learned more about Common Core, and continued to see the effects of it in my home, I became more vocal in my advocacy,” Barbara also told Breitbart News. “In the process, I made so many amazing friends: mothers and fathers, teachers, professionals, both working and retired-grandparents and concerned New Yorkers, all with the same goal — to stop Common Core.”
The two moms came up with the idea of unique wristbands, or bracelets, as they call them.
“The bracelets can be worn by kids, teachers, and parents, and they’re cheap, simple, and hip,” Coleman explained.
Coleman and Barbara designed the bracelets themselves and do not make any profit on the project.
“We chose the colors and design to further convey our feelings about Common Core, as no two bracelets are alike,” Barbara explained. “We chose red to symbolize the federal overreach of Common Core, black to symbolize the corporate greed involved, and white to symbolize our children’s innocence, which is all but lost in this education reform.”
“The bracelets are $2 each, plus shipping and handling,” Coleman said. “We’ve had sales from different states, including one person from Pennsylvania who ordered 250 of them for her Stop Common Core group.”
Coleman added that she uses an internet company to have the bracelets produced. However, all packaging, thank-you cards, and shipping materials the two moms purchase or make themselves with their own funds.
“We created these bracelets so that we would have a sense of unity and pride in our fight against common core,” Coleman said. “We wanted to create something that would transcend all states and unite us all in this fight.”
Barbara echoed that she is thrilled with the positive reaction to their project that she and Coleman have received from so many people.
“Whether selling the bracelets online or in person, everyone has been grateful for having a way to express themselves, as well as for giving their children a ‘voice’,” Barbara continued. “We hope the bracelets will start conversations, and be a visual for all to see. On our Facebook page, we have asked our fellow advocates to post pictures of the many places our bracelets have been spotted, and response has been wonderful.”