Twitcher McGee and the Wonderful Tree is a sweet book, written and illustrated by my friend and children’s writing mentor, Mary C. Ryan. Mary is a fantastic children’s author, who had one of her children’s books Me Two made into a Disney Channel Original Movie in 2000 called The Other Me. She blogs from time to time on writing and other musings at Entropy Plaza.

The book, and its sweet author, inspired my kids to look for ways to give.

For millions of kids around the world, literacy is a wish. My kids were inspired to use this simple craft to spread awareness and acts of kindness. #Christmas #handsonactivities

 

We discovered that, for or more than 75 million kids around the world, literacy is a wish. Understanding how to read and write words is a key that can help get them out of poverty and provide for their families. But, so many don’t have the resources they need.

We can help.

Samaritan’s Purse works with Christian partners in dozens of countries to provide young people with basic educational opportunities. Your $15 gift towards their Teach a Child to Read and Write program can provide a child with school supplies or a month’s tuition. You may have heard of Samaritan’s Purse before in relation to their Operation Christmas Child program. For over 40 years, they’ve been following Christ’s command like the Good Samaritan {Luke 10:30-37} by aiding the world’s sick, poor, and suffering.

 

Give the Gift of Literacy via www.RaisingLifelongLearners.com

 

To celebrate this program, and to help us prepare as we build our own Operation Christmas Child boxes, we pulled out some of our favorite Christmas stories and enjoyed an afternoon of reading and crafting. 

We pulled out Mary’s book and some crafting supplies. Mary is an incredibly talented writer, a wonderful person, and a bit of an adventurer – and that comes through in her character Twitcher McGee.

 

Give the Gift of Literacy via www.RaisingLifelongLearners.com

Twitcher McGee is a mouse, and he’s plagued by a cat named Sweetie Pie. When Christmas rolls around, Twitcher falls into despair as he counts on that time of year to fill his cupboards with tasty crumbs and other foods to last the year. But how can he possibly prevail with Sweetie Pie standing guard?

It’s a lovely tale of ingenuity and, ultimately the need for family and friends, and we just love it. And we love Twitcher.

So we made some fun Twitcher McGees of our own, with candy cane tails. They’re super easy, and REALLY adorable, and I keep finding the girls at the table cutting felt to make more {and more} mice. And… that led to the hair-cutting mishap featured on Instagram and is the reason Logan is now rocking some really thick bangs.

 

Give the Gift of Literacy via www.RaisingLifelongLearners.com

Want to make some yourself? You’ll need some felt, glue, scissors and other supplies. We used googly eyes and the instructions and templates from Southern Plate.

We have our Twitcher McGees hanging by their tails in our kitchen right now, but next week they’ll be packed into shoeboxes and head off to make a child smile this Christmas with Operation Christmas Child.

We’ll also be heading out, armed with Twitchers and prayers, and hope to share them with others during our Random Acts of Christmas Kindness Advent tradition.

What will you do with your mice?

And how will you bless others this holiday season?

Will you give the gift of literacy by contributing to the Samaritan’s Purse Teach a Child to Read and Write program?

Think about how that little bit can help make such a difference. I think it would be such a cute present to package the book, some felt, tacky glue, googly eyes, and candy canes together to give the gift of literacy and a craft to a little one on your list.

 


Colleen Kessler

Colleen is an explorer, tinkerer, educator, writer, creator, and a passionate advocate for the needs of gifted and twice-exceptional children. She has a B.S. in elementary education, a M.Ed. in gifted studies, is a sought-after national speaker and educational consultant, and is the founder of the popular blog and podcast Raising Lifelong Learners, as well as Raising Poppies, a community of support for parents of gifted children. She lives in northeast Ohio with her four bright and quirky kiddos, patient husband, and ever-changing collection of small reptiles, mammals, and insects.

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