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Forest Elementary Hosts Elders' Wisdom, Children's Song™ Celebration

January 29, 2010

January 29, 2010

Community Celebration of Place and Forest Elementary Present Elders’ Wisdom, Children’s Song™

Crystal, MN – Forest Elementary School will host a community celebration honoring four Forest Elementary community elders at the Forest Elementary School Gym/Auditorium on Thursday, February 4, 2010 from 2:00 PM – 3:15 PM. The Elder Wisdom, Children’s Song™ community celebration will be hosted by America’s Troubadour, Larry Long, and is free and open to the public.

Long has been working in partnership with the West Metro Education Program (WMEP) to provide the Elders’ Wisdom, Children’s Song™ process for schools that are members of the WMEP consortium. Recently, Long has been working with students at Forest Elementary School to collectively write songs and gather recitations that honor the life stories of the following community elders:

  • Suleman Tahtamoni: Came to America from Jordan. He and his family were Palestinian refugees. He shares his appreciation for living in America and the values of respect and family.
  • Joaquin Martinez: Came to America from Mexico. He shares a dynamic story of coming to America and valuing the educational system in America.
  • Janet Ramos: Is a Native American who was born on the Red Lake Reservation. She shared her values of family, friendship, and determination.
  • Debby Haryati: Came to America from Indonesia. She shares her appreciation for the opportunities in America and encourages students to value their families.

Contact Information:
Larry Long, Executive Director
Community Celebration of Place
3357 – 36th Ave S
Forest Elementary School
6800 47th Ave. N.
Minneapolis, MN 55406
larryl@communitycelebration.org 763-504-7913

Mark Hoornbeek, School Social
Worker, MSW, LISW
612-722-9775 Crystal, MN. 55428


Founded out of demand for Long’s work across the country, Community Celebration of Place is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that uses oral history, music and art to strengthen communities and foster reconciliation. For more information visit www.communitycelebration.org.

Larry Long, called “a true American Troubadour” by author Studs Terkel, has made his life work the celebration of American stories and heroes. In a curriculum called Elders’ Wisdom, Children’s Song,™ he has brought these heroes to the classroom to share their oral history with our younger generation. A Smithsonian Folkways recording artist, Larry has sung at major festivals, concerts and events throughout the U.S. and internationally. Long is a recipient of the prestigious Bush Artists Fellowship, the Pope John XXIII Award and In The Spirit of Crazy Horse Award for his work in forgotten communities. (www.larrylong.org)

The West Metro Education Program (WMEP) School District was formed in 1989 to cooperatively address integration issues in the west metro area. The mission of WMEP is to build the collective capacity of its members; to raise the achievement of all students; to eliminate the racial achievement gap; and to prepare all learners to thrive in a diverse world through regional leadership, integrated learning opportunities, shared resources, and mutual support.
Member districts of WMEP are: Brooklyn Center, Columbia Heights, Eden Prairie, Edina, Hopkins, Minneapolis, Richfield, Robbinsdale, St. Anthony/New Brighton, St, Louis Park, and Wayzata. (wmep.k12.mn.us)

Save Our History!

Give to the Max Day 2015: Give to the Max Day 2015


My heartfelt thanks to Larry Long and all the voices from which our history continues to generate encouragement, enthusiasm and wisdom.

Arlo Guthrie, Songwriter, Son of Woody Guthrie

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During 2016, it is a primary program of Community Celebration of Place to transfer their collection into archives that will be open to the public for generations to come.

Popular "Prairie Home Companion" Guitarist and Songwriter Pat Donohue and Gospel Singer Tonia Hughes Join Larry Long and Robert Robinson at The Dakota For Two Shows November 20

In celebration of Give to the Max Day 2015, Larry Long will be performing songs written in honor of elders with community members. Larry’s performance will capture the many cultures of Minnesota. All proceeds from his performance will go to Community Celebration of Place.