The Link: International Creativity Month

Creativity is reflected in human innovation and problem-solving endeavors throughout history. It is present in arts, education, technology, science, and in almost everything we do.  Creativity encourages children’s curiosity and helps them learn to think independently and critically. For adults, creativity inspires innovation, progress, and joy.  As we evolve as a species, creativity helps us evolve as a society.

January is International Creativity Month. Founded by motivational speaker and author Randall Munson, International Creativity Month is geared towards celebrating the power of creativity across the globe. Sources in this month’s newsletter illustrate how creativity is implemented in workplaces, in education, with food, with children, and across cultures.

Creativity in Work

100 Ways to Be More Creative at Work  

 Huffington Post (find it on the ipl2)

Arianna Huffington is a nationally syndicated columnist and author of ten books. She has done numerous guest spots on political talk shows and news shows. Her blog attracts many well-known political figures and celebrities who comment on various events around the nation. In the Huff Post business section, readers learn how to express creativity in their jobs by reading the list of 100 examples on how to use creativity in the workplace.

5 Benefits Of Hiring Creative Employees

NEW! Careerealism

Careerealism was founded in 2009 on the idea of helping people solve their career and job search problems. The site evaluates and approves all contributors to ensure their content is cutting-edge and relevant. There are many ways to use creativity in the workplace, but what are the benefits of hiring creative employees? It is important to understand what creative people can do for a company and how these people can make a business even better. This article provides information on the benefits of hiring creative people in the workplace.

Motivating Creativity at Work: The Necessity of Others is the Mother of Invention

American Psychological Association (find it on the ipl2)

The American Psychological Association is a Scientific and professional organization representing psychologists in the U.S. It promotes health, education, and human welfare. This article explains how connecting employees to end users and encouraging pro-social motivation can create a more creative work environment. For instance, creating events, circulating stories between employees and end users, along with collecting data on end users perspectives allows employees to become motivated to share creativity with future projects.

12 Ways to Be More Creative at Work

U.S. News Online (find it on the ipl2)

This site from US News and World Report contains a lot of free content. The World Report financial section discusses 12 in depth ways to be more creative at work. Some of the examples included in the article are embracing diversity, thinking like a boss, branching out, and writing your ideas down. The article helps working individuals understand that everyone needs to add creativity to their working environment.

12 Ways Tech Companies Boost Creativity Technology (find it on the ipl2) Technology is the premiere U.S. publication for entrepreneurship. The site provides hands-on advice, case studies, and big-picture overviews on the state of small business in the U.S. In this slide show of companies, users receive an inside look at the ways tech companies are boosting creativity on a daily basis.

Creativity in Education

Student Creativity and the Common Core

NEW! Catapult Learning

Student Creativity and the Common Core is an article provided by Catapult Learning, which is an organization dedicated to helping struggling students in K-12 improve their academic achievements. This source explains how students across America in K-12 compete globally through common core by encouraging students to think creatively and innovatively.

The Lego Foundation (find it on the ipl2)

The Lego Foundations and the Lego Group aim to encourage children to become future builders through the action of play. The Lego Foundations suggests that through play children are able to develop their skills as creative problem solvers, cultivate critical thinking, and establish a routine of collaboration. The Lego Foundation sponsors many international projects, from the World Robot Olympiad in Malaysia to robotics classes in Rural India, and from lectures on sustainable living in Copenhagen to creating global programs for children in environmental development. The Lego Foundation believes that play is training for the unexpected and attempts to give that training to children around the globe.

30 Ways to Promote Creativity in the Classroom 

NEW! Innovation Excellence

This article discusses the research of creativity in education performed by Sir Ken Robinson, David Hughes, and E. Paul Torrance, all of whom are advocates for more creative educational environments. The article offers 30 suggestions that could cultivate creativity in the classroom ranging from embracing creativity as a part of learning, the use of emotional connections to create ties to the classroom material, the use convergent and divergent thinking when creating assignments, to simply giving students time to ask questions, among many others. The majority of these suggestions illustrate the value of creativity in the classroom.

22 Simple Ideas for Harnessing Creativity in the Elementary Classroom

Edutopia (find it on the ipl2)

Trisha Richie is a kindergarten teacher who offers 22 simple ideas for using young student’s natural creativity to encourage learning and increase comprehension. She categorizes her ideas into game learning, artsy activities, creative activities for science, students’ favorite things, and using creative time savers. Riche illustrates that creativity teaches students at young ages the art of innovation, thinking outside the box, improvisation, the benefits of taking risks, how to break the mold, and gives educators the chance of professional growth.

The Relevance of Creativity in Education

NEW! Johns Hopkins School of Education

Dr.Rosa Aurora Chavez-Eakle is the founder of the Washington International Center for Creativity and works for the Maryland State Department of Education’s Council for the Gifted and talented. In the article “The Relevance of Creativity in Education” written for John’s Hopkins University, Chavez-Eakle discusses creativity, how it affects the brain and a person’s temperament, and how creativity can help childhood development for children. Chavez-Eakle suggests that the key to providing quality education is creativity.

The Art Junction (find it on the ipl2)

Art Junction is a website that promotes student arts and collaborative art making online through Web 2.0 technologies like blogs, wikis, podcasts, photo and video sharing, social networks, and virtually. Art Junction experiments with promoting art education through web 2.0, to create Art Education 2.0.

Creativity and Food

National Geographic: Photo Gallery: Photographing Food

National Geographic (find it on the ipl2)

Learn how to find and set up creative photographs of food. This National Geographic photo gallery of gorgeous and intriguing images offers tips and advice for capturing the stories and moments surrounding food.

The Food Museum (find it on the ipl2)

Explore the eclectic FOOD Museum for articles, videos and links to discover the creative things people are doing and have done all around the world with food, about food, and to food. From vegetable gardens, to food-inspired camper vans, to a performance of “Food, Glorious Food” from the musical, Oliver, you will find inspiring ideas for getting creative with food and the FOOD Museum!

NEW! Incredible, Edible Crafts

Learn how to make creative candy bouquets and interesting fruit and vegetable arrangements on this homey and informative site. There are also recipes and instructions for food crafts for children, creative food garnishes, and helpful tips for fun food presentation.

Food in the Arts (find it on the ipl2)

This site provides a survey of the creative arts in connection with food. Themes include food in movies, music, literature, and art. Includes short essays on topics such as the movie “Like Water for Chocolate,” food in Puccini’s opera “La Bohème,” Hemingway and food, poverty, and still life paintings of food.

Poems About: Food (find it on the ipl2)

Visit this section on to discover hundreds of creative poems, classic and modern, about food. This collection of poetry is broadly representative and useful for information, reference and research.

Creativity and Children

Kid’s Crafts (find it on the ipl2)

The ipl2 provides an extensive list of resources focused on crafts for children. There are links to sites that offer free coloring pages, instructions for crafts, things to do with friends and family, and much more.

PBS Parents Creativity

NEW! PBS Parents

This site from the Public Broadcasting Company offers all kinds of resources for parents to help their children explore their creative side. The site is divided into sections to help parents find the right activities. There are plenty of hints, tips, games, activities, and more for both children and parents to use online and offline.

Art Safari (find it on the ipl2)

Part of the Museum of Modern Art’s website, this activity walks children through paintings and lets them explore and create stories as well as learn about the history behind some famous paintings.

Writing with Writers: Poetry (find it on the ipl2)

Listen to poets read their poems aloud, print up activity worksheets, or write and share your own poetry! This Scholastic site has resources for children, parents, and teachers. It also offers hints from famous children poets like Jack Prelutsky, Karla Kuskin, and Jean Marzollo.

The Lemelson Center for Invention and Innovation (find it on the ipl2)

This site offers resources for young people and curiosity seekers of all ages. There are videos and audio files as well as stories about inventions, articles, printables, and classroom activities. Anyone who wants to know more about inventions and how creativity has helped push people to make the world a better place will enjoy browsing all of the interesting parts of this site.

Creativity Across Cultures

Creativity Across Cultures (find it on the ipl2)

This source provides a PowerPoint created by Jingya Huang, Danielle Latta and Katie McCarney at the Temerlin Advertising Institute, in which they explain what creativity is, how it differs between Eastern and Western cultures, how different cultures use creativity differently in advertising, the process models for creativity, and how creativity affects society.

Understanding Creativity, Across Sectors and Across Cultures


The CREATIVE project is an EU funded research venture that analyzes creativity across cultures. The Project is led by Otto Friedrich University in Bamberg, Germany. They will first document cultural differences in five different countries, then analyze reasoning skills when solving complex problems, then by analyzing the result they are able to create models for business or to encourage development. covers how professionals are applying creativity and innovation to the fields of science, technology, and medicine.

Why Diversity is the Mother of Creativity

NEW! Innovation Management

Innovation Management is a current and professional website that discusses how creativity can cultivate innovation in multiple disciplines. It provides informative articles written by international professionals in the fields of marketing, public relations, communications, consulting, and education. This article looks at how professional diversity can encourage creativity, creative thinking, and problem solving in people’s personal lives, on team projects, in companies, and how managers can coordinate creativity in team members.


The Link: Food for Thought

Food plays an important role in peoples’ everyday lives. Many people throughout the world worry about when and where their next meal will come from while other people are overwhelmed by choices and worry about the nutritional content of what they are eating.  Others are hard at work creating a path for genetically engineered foods to help solve these dilemmas despite the possible implications of these genetically engineered foods. The one thing that people can agree on, no matter which continent they live on or what food concerns they have, is that the ability to provide food for personal consumption and profit is something to celebrate and be thankful for.

New resources that will be added to the ipl2 are noted NEW! All other resources are already listed in the ipl2 collection.

Food Shortages
Hunger affects individuals in both developing and wealthy nations.  Nature, war, a poverty trap, and agricultural infrastructure are the causes of hunger listed by the U.N. World Food Programme.  Below are resources that address solving the problem of hunger, ranging from local programs to international policy initiatives.

Feeding America (find it on ipl2: IPL — Social Sciences — Social Issues and Social Welfare)
Feeding America is the leading hunger-relief charity in the country, supporting a network of food and hunger related agencies across local communities. This resource provides links and information for becoming involved in the fight against domestic hunger.

United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) (find it on ipl2: IPL Special — War
and Peace: Resources on Iraq — The United Nations
This resource provides information from the UN organization that distributes food aid throughout the world. The Food Programme includes information about the organization and its donors (government, business, and individual), a world hunger map, updates about areas needing food aid (such as the 2005 famine in Niger and other countries in western Africa), news, photographs and videos, publications, and more.  Some of the materials offered are available in several languages.

NEW! International Food Policy Research (IFPRI)
The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) focuses on food policies throughout the world in order to create “sustainable solutions for ending hunger and poverty. IFPRI is one of 15 centers supported by the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), an alliance of 64 governments, private foundations, and international and regional organizations.” The site includes various publications such as reports by country and data sets, and resources from the IFPRI Library and Knowledge Management Unit.

Genetically Modified Food
Genetically Modified (GM) food refers to foods in which DNA has been genetically engineered in a laboratory to achieve results that do not occur naturally. Until recently, GM foods have typically been plant products. Many of the foods consumed in the U.S. and throughout the world have been genetically modified, at least in part. Critics of GM foods argue that GM foods are harmful to the environment and to human health. Others argue in favor of GM foods because of their potential to combat world hunger and reduce pesticide use.

Agricultural Biotechnologies (find it on ipl2: IPL — Science and Technology — Agriculture and Aquaculture)
The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations maintains this resource about biotechnology in food and agriculture. Features of the resource include an up-to-date news feed; overviews of biotechnology in various fields; a repository of articles, research studies, and conference proceedings; a glossary; and links to UN Countries’ policies on biotechnology.

NEW! 20 Questions on genetically modified food
The World Health Organization answers the top twenty questions about genetically modified (GM) foods. This resource provides information about what GM foods are, why they are produced, how they are regulated, and potential effects on humans and the environment. This resource offers an excellent introduction to GM foods, as well as links to more in-depth related resources.

FDA faces opposition over genetically engineered salmon (find it on ipl2: Newspapers — North America — United States — California — Los Angeles)
This July 31, 2011, article from the Los Angeles Times is a current example of the genetically modified food debate. Eight senators are urging the FDA not to approve genetically engineered salmon for human consumption; the senators are threatening to pull funding if the FDA does not comply. The article discusses both sides of the debate.

Providing Students with Nutritious Meals
A positive image of healthy foods and smart food choices is important to promote early in life.  Children who learn to enjoy healthy foods at a young age are more likely to choose the healthy option when given a choice. These resources below help promote healthy meals in schools in honor of National School Lunch Week observed October 10 through October 14, 2011.

National School Lunch Program (find it on ipl2)
The National School Lunch Program is “a federally assisted meal program operating in public and nonprofit private schools and residential child care institutions. It provides nutritionally balanced, low-cost or free lunches to children each school day.” This resource includes a fact sheet, program history, material about eligibility and school food safety, reports, news, and related material provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service.

NEW! School Nutrition Association
The School Nutrition Association (SNA) is a nonprofit organization that is dedicated to ensuring that all children have access to healthy, low-cost school meals.  Find information on how your school can become SNA-certified and read publications by the School Nutrition Association.

NEW! Farm to School
Farm to School helps schools and local farms work together to provide healthy foods to be served in school cafeterias while also supporting the local farms.  Local contacts are provided for each state.  Webinars and other resources are available for users looking for additional information on the program.

Harvest Traditions
Harvest time is one of the busiest times of the year for farmers. Crops must be gathered and stored safely before weather can ruin them. People have traditionally come together – out of a feeling of community or because they were being paid – to help bring in the crops. And in many cases, the harvest was followed by a celebration. In America, harvest time is celebrated every year as the holiday, Thanksgiving.

Diplomacy in New England: The first Thanksgiving? (find it on ipl2)
This resource offers information about the first harvest festival celebrated by the Pilgrims of the Mayflower and the local American Indian tribes who helped save them. The site also offers background about those tribes and their ultimate fate.

NEW! Online Exhibits – Harvest Tales, Home
This resource has links to harvest tales from almost every county in Kansas. People remember everything from encountering rattlesnakes among the wheat to the anxiety of wondering if a harvest would be financially successful enough to carry the farm through the winter. There are also links to photographs.

NEW! Irish Culture and Customs
Ireland’s fascinating harvest is described in this resource. Ireland’s harvest customs are a good example of the types of traditions that were common when harvesting was done by hand and entire communities took part in harvest time and the celebration that followed.

Thanks for your continued support of ipl2. We hope these resources help you better understand the importance of food in everyday life.

Reminder: You can now subscribe to ipl2’s newsletter and weekly blog posts via email as well as RSS.  The “Email Subscription” feature appears prominently in the upper left-hand side of the page on the ipl2’s News and Information WordPress blog.  Subscription is free and open to all!

In the News: Famine in the Horn of Africa

More than 300,000 children are in danger of dying because of drought and famine in the Horn of Africa. The United Nations reports that tens of thousands have already died in Somalia, Kenya, Ethiopia, and Djibouti. On August 19, World Humanitarian Day, the United Nations urged the world to give more to the relief effort, which has already garnered $1 billion in aid. In Somalia, insurgents are attempting to block aid and prevent people from fleeing the famine. The situation is grim, but aid groups are scaling up their operations. Many Western aid groups are working with local organizations and Somali relief workers.

New resources that will be added to the ipl2 are noted NEW! All other resources are already listed in the ipl2 collections.

World Food Programme (find it on ipl2)

This resource provides information from the UN organization that distributes food aid throughout the world. The Food Programme includes information about the organization and its donors (government, business, and individual), an interactive world hunger map, updates about areas needing food aid (such as the countries in the Horn of Africa), news, photographs, videos, publications, and more.  Some of the materials offered are available in several languages.

World Hunger Notes – Africa (find it on ipl2: Social Sciences — Social Issues and Social Welfare) 

World Hungers Notes is a publication of the nonprofit organization World Hunger Education Service. The goal of this resource is to educate people about the issues of hunger and poverty. Information is provided about the current droughts and famine in some African countries, as well as many other places in the world that are affected by hunger and poverty. Learn about the causes of world hunger and what is being done to end it.

NEW! Famine in Somalia

The New York Times features two slide shows about the famine in Somalia: Fleeing to Kenya (July 2011) and Dangers Hinder Aid (August 2011). Thousands of Somalis are fleeing to refugee camps in Kenya every day. Many people, particularly children, die along the way; malnutrition puts them at increased risk for contracting deadly diseases. Insurgents have tried to block much of the aid intended for the starving people; however, aid organizations continue to try to find ways to help those in need.

NEW! World Humanitarian Day

August 19, 2011 was World Humanitarian Day. This resource describes the crisis in the Horn of Africa and tells the story of a humanitarian aid worker there. People interested in supporting the relief effort can learn how to help and connect with reliable aid organizations.

Thanks for your continued support of ipl2. We hope these resources help satisfy any questions you may have about famine and drought that is ravaging Somalia and other countries in the Horn of Africa.

Reminder: You can now subscribe to ipl2’s newsletter and weekly blog posts via email as well as RSS. The “Email Subscription” feature appears prominently in the upper left-hand side of the page on the ipl2′s News and Information WordPress blog. Subscription is free and open to all!

Food, Glorious Food!

Thanksgiving, the quintessential American meal, has come and gone.  With a big roasted turkey, lots of stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, and all the fixings, it’s a meal everyone in America looks forward to all year long. Jumping on the food theme, we here at the ipl2 newsletter thought it would be fun to showcase the ipl2’s ethnic food collection. All told, there are 21 different websites that can help you break out of your dinner rut and try foods that you might have otherwise never discovered. In this week’s blog entry we’ll examine a few of our favorite websites and invite you to explore the others.

New resources that will be added to the ipl2 are noted NEW! All other resources are already listed in the ipl2 collections.

Recipe Source: Your Source for Recipes on the Internet
RecipeSource is an online recipe database project started in 1993 by Berkeley University which now holds over 70,000 recipes. The database is fully searchable by ingredient, type of dish (side, main) and ethnicity. In addition to food recipes, there are recipes for pet treats and hair and skin products, along with cooking hints and tips.

Hidden Korea
“A nourishing introduction to–or reminder of–the rich food and culture of an ancient society.” The companion website to a PBS television program of the same name.

The Congo Cookbook
A collection of recipes from all over the African continent, with with observations about African food and cooking. Recipes are grouped by region and by ingredients. Info about other African cookbooks also provided.

NEW! Pasta Recipes – Food Network
Tons of free pasta recipes from the chefs at Food Network.  Search the entire pasta collection or watch videos of chefs cooking pasta meals.  Comment and rate pasta recipes or save them to a free Food Network account for easy access.

For more information and resources for cooking different ethnic dishes check out the ethnic food section of the ipl2’s collection of online resources:

ipl2 — Resources by Subject — Entertainment and Leisure — Food — Ethnic

We hope that these websites help you spice up your recipe book and explore dishes from other cultures.