Archive for May, 2010

May 28 2010

I love this tribute created by Harley Davidson and for Memorial Day!

Freedom is never FREE. Thank you to all of our military and their families for the ultimate sacrifice of serving our country.  We salute YOU for protecting the precious gift of freedom!

Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

439 responses so far

May 27 2010

Happy Memorial Weekend – Buckle Up!

What a powerful video to remind you that seat belts save lives!

10 responses so far

May 26 2010

Join us on 05/26/10 with Author & Educator Donna Mavrides

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Donna graduated from Penn State University with degrees in both Early Childhood Education and in Developmental Psychology. For the past thirty years, she has been in the classroom teaching young children as  well as educating families about healthy child rearing practices, affective discipline, and effective teaching techniques . Writing children’s books has evolved as an extension of her passion for helping children to become dedicated, empathetic, enthusiastic, life time learners.  Donna is the proud mother of two wonderful young women, Jamie, a teacher and Nicole, a pediatric and adult psychiatrist.  Her son in law, Randy, is an important member of the family as are Donna’s energetic and terrific parents, Roz and Jack.  Oftentimes, Shana, the therapy dog, accompanies Donna as she visits with children during story times.

Donna believes that she has evolved into the person she is as a result of  her life experiences, meaningful moments, successes, hardships, trials, and interactions with caring, wonderful people as well as those less than lovelies, that we have all dealt with. Donna’s picture books are filled with beautiful and meaningful life lessons like believing in oneself, being kind, eternal love, accepting new ideas and people, and helping to preserve our wonderful world.

Please join Donna in helping build our children’s self confidence as we communicate our devotion to reading, to loving ourselves, our families and our friends.  Let’s read Donna’s books as we pledge to create a kinder and greener future for our children.  

For more information, please CLICK HERE.

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May 25 2010

Who Will Believe, So that Kids Can Achieve? Guest Post by Hilary Bilbrey

“Mrs. B., I hope you have a daughter, because you have already raised a son.”  With tears in my eyes and a hand on my eight-month pregnant belly, I hugged my student as he got ready to walk the graduation line.  It is statements like those that make me glad I became a teacher.  The first day I set foot in a classroom, I knew that I was truly born to teach teens.  For the first time in my life, I felt …home. 

The young man who I quoted above came from a broken home.  Although he had a wonderful mom, she had to work around the clock to make ends meet.  When I first met him, he was so angry and had such a chip on his shoulders.  I realized that until we could break through his frustration, English Lit was about the last thing he would be learning.  So I became a mentor, a friend and a tough teacher.  I had high expectations, but made sure there was always a soft place to land.  He knew he could not get away with anything less than his very best, and he delivered.  All he asked for in return, was that I believe in him.  This relationship has forever changed my heart for the better, as have the relationships I have had with so many of my students.  I know that I had a small part in making them better citizens in this world.

Now I am afraid.  I am afraid for tomorrow’s children.  We are facing a National crisis in our education system.  Our funding is literally disappearing and as a result, so are our teachers and mentors.  With 35-45 students in my classroom, would I have time to connect with students like this?  Of course not… so who would?  We are in danger of losing over 150,000 of our teachers if action is not taken, and quickly.  If you are moved, even a little by this story…or have one of your own, don’t sit by and watch as we lose good teachers…or worse…we let kids miss an opportunity to have a mentor truly believe in them. 

So what can you do?  Learn and then Act!  To become more educated on the issues, please read  If you are as concerned as I am, tell your elected officials; I did!  It is an easy process, just follow this link:  They will be voting soon on the Education Jobs Fund, which could release money to schools this summer and save the jobs of tens of thousands of teachers.  And if you are so inclined, Tweet your opinions with the hash tag #EducationJobsFund.  I have felt so helpless to make a difference lately, but I know we can speak as one voice and do what is right for our kids.  Join me…please.


Live Your Brand!

TrademarkU – Leadership through Personal Branding
715.326.1213 (m)
715.344.0295 (o)

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May 24 2010

Speak Up for Education & Kids Campaign

Please show support of teachers on May 26, 2010 for Speak Up for Education & Kids Campaign to support #EducationJobsFund. National Call-in Day 1-866-608-6355 please tell our national education leaders to stop cuts to education –

I was so honored to be selected as the Wisconsin Delegate at Mom Congress in DC earlier this month and invited to the Wisconsin Engagement Summit on Saturday to meet with the Governor, First Lady and Secretary of Education to empower parents, kids and teachers to be involved in education.

Our children’s quality education is under threat from budget cuts– music and arts programs, bus routes, sports, extracurricular activities, books, crossing guards, special needs, gifted and talented and foreign language programs are all on the cutting block–and teacher layoffs could mean perhaps as many as 35 or 45 students per classroom.  

This is not the answer!   Students need individual attention, not crowded classrooms and fewer educators, to succeed in the 21st century and help keep America competitive.  It’s not just failing schools that need our help!!  Gwen Samuel, the Mom Congress Delegate from Connecticut is fighting to keep a top 10 HIGH PERFORMANCE school OPEN.  It serves over 70% minority, 20% ESL, 10% disabilities and it is on the chopping block to close!  We need your help to get the message out to parents to get involved!! School should be replicated not closed!Their excuse the budget.SBCTA is convener of event

For more information on this important legislation visit:

Here is a sample to share with your social networking sites: 

National Call-in Day 5/26/10 to Speak Up for Education & Kids to stop cuts! Yes to #EducationJobsFund 1-866-608-6355

Thank you so much for your help and support!

Smiles – Stacey

13 responses so far

May 22 2010

Tons of Students- but wait…. Where are the teachers? Guest Post by Louise Sattler

I have heard rumblings for a few months now about multiple states that were getting ready to do the unthinkable- cut the numbers of teachers within their school districts.  I kept thinking that could not be at all possible until I had a recent visit from a former neighbor who had relocated to a state in the deep south.  Her husband was encouraged by people within the education community that they met upon their recent move to leave his career and to go back to school to become a teacher.  He jumped at the chance of changing his career and helping high school students understand math successfully. This was his dream and he was assured that positions were plentiful, especially with high risk students.   He was three years in to his studies when the floor dropped out from under him.  The initiatives that would have guaranteed him a job teaching math in a high school that was designated as “in need of support”  all the sudden was cutting teaching positions versus adding them, as was the plan.  How could  this be?  What happened to all the reasons that were clearly outlined  as to  why the state and school district needed to fund additional teaching positions, especially for schools that were “under – performing” or “with critical needs”?   Not only were all the newly trained teachers “on hold” as no new teaching positions would be available, but many of the expected retiring teachers no longer could leave their current jobs due to the state of the economy.

Then my niece called me very upset.  She graduated a year ago, the top of her class at her university with two degrees- elementary education and Spanish.  She has hoped that like our friend, she too would be able to work with children who were from inner city schools that were in grades K-6.  This magna cum laude could not find one job. It has been a year- no teaching job to be found in the public or private sector.  She took a low paying teaching assistants job and had to move back with her parents as her salary didn’t pay for rent let alone other expenses.  She still has the drive and desire to teach, but she has now joined the vast growing number of unemployed people holding full teacher certification who want to be in the classroom.  My niece did all the right things and now has all the wrong perceptions of what being a teacher is all about.  Instead of setting up a classroom and using the tools she has acquired over four years of intensive training, she is working at menial jobs for a very low salary.  She is considering leaving the field of teaching before she really got started.

Why have I written about my two connections with the state of affairs in the teaching world?  It is because I too am a proud educator who will not sit quietly as teaching staff is being reduced nationwide.  I will not be quiet about programs being cut that are often the very reason why children go to school.  We often maintain students in our schools because of the ancillary programs that are integrated with the core academics.  How many students will leave upon their 16th birthdays if they cannot participate in sports or the performing arts?  These are the programs that often hold kids in our schools!  How many students will lose their competitive edge for college when they don’t have a “well rounded high school  experience” reflected on their transcripts?  How can schools even think about terminating much of their foreign language programs when many of our schools are filled with bilingual- bicultural children?  (And don’t get me started about school districts that are cutting full classes of students wishing to take American Sign Language- ASL- which is the fourth most commonly used language in the U.S today!)

So, I ask my readers to do the following if you now have chosen not to sit quietly either.  First, read the facts for yourselves. The National Education Association (NEA) has long advocated for keeping teachers in the classrooms and even adding staff where needed.  They are a huge advocacy group for children and their families.  I have great admiration and respect for their platforms.  Here is a helpful link that provides information that I think you will find of value with understanding the current needs and why we all need to be proactive within the next few days: Then please go to this link to let your elected officials know exactly how you feel about this situation. I hope that you are as outraged as I am.  I hope that you will advocate for teachers, children and families everywhere in the U.S. by letting your representatives know that these individuals come first.  I don’t want to fathom an educational system where children are in classes that exceed the size of conventional wisdom.  I don’t want to think of special needs children without trained staff support within the classrooms.  I really don’t want to think that all the decades of research and observations that have told us what are the best practices for education will be tossed out the window because we are not following the common knowledge known to  every fifth grader –  It is the teachers and special school programs that make students well educated and happy.

To find your state officials please see this link: Please reach out to them asap.  The vote is imminent.

Please don’t sit quietly.  I hope you will share this information with others.  I look forward to reading your Tweets.  Feel free to add this hashtag  #EducationJobsFund to ones related to this cause, as I will-  Thank you!

For more information, visit with Louise at

19 responses so far

May 21 2010

I was so honored to be selected as the Wisconsin Delegate at Mom Congress

I was so honored to be selected as the Wisconsin Delegate at Mom Congress because as many of you know my mission is to empower parents, kids and teachers to work together to change education.  Obviously being known as the “Get Ready To Learn Mom” education is near and dear to my heart which is why I am reaching out for your help.  Our children’s quality education is under threat from budget cuts– music and arts programs, bus routes, sports, extracurricular activities, books, crossing guards, special needs, gifted and talented and foreign language programs are all on the cutting block–and teacher layoffs could mean perhaps as many as 35 or 45 students per classroom.  

This is not the answer!   Students need individual attention, not crowded classrooms and fewer educators, to succeed in the 21st century and help keep America competitive. 

The good news is that an education amendment has been added to the pending jobs bill in Congress, which will help schools avoid such drastic cuts.    I am asking that you help me get the word out.  We need to be one voice telling Congress to pass the #EducationJobsFund.   We must let our congressional representatives know how we feel about children’s education as well as support our teachers!  Ask your community to take action now because next week maybe too late!   Have them go to to forward a letter directly to their representative to have their voices heard.  More information on this important legislation can be found at

Here is a sample to share with your social networking sites: 

Tell Congress 2 pass #EducationJobsFund 2 support teachers w/ no cuts in class #education Vote is next wk. Pls RT!

Thank you so much for helping me share this upcoming vote!

10 responses so far

May 17 2010

20 Tips for Children’s Book Week by Guest Blogger Shara of Mommy Perks

1. “Children are made readers on the laps of their parents.” – Emilie Buchwald

2. National Center for Education Statistics (What kids are read to, told stories or sung to?) 2009 data

3. “There are many little ways to enlarge your child’s world. Love of books is the best of all.” – Jacqueline Kennedy

4. How NOT to teach reading (humor)

5. Read to me! (From The Goddard School)

6. Do your kids tear up books? Here’s a solution!

7. Some of my favorite children’s books

8. What is your book philosophy with kids?

9. Make your own Book Nook – it’s not hard!

10. Finding Multicultural and Multilingual books for kids (links to 5 different sites)

11. Grow up With Books (Books right to your door – like Netflix)

12. Encouraging Kids to Read (lots of ideas here!)

13. 15 Reading Tips: From birth up

14. I find television to be very educating.  Every time somebody turns on the set, I go in the other room and read a book. – Groucho Marx

15. My very first PCS book (ten years ago!)

16. TV. If kids are entertained by two letters, imagine the fun they’ll have with twenty-six. Open your child’s imagination. Open a book. – Author Unknown

17. What do YOU remember from childhood?

18. AWESOME video: Gotta Keep Reading!

Children’s Book Week: What a poser!

20. This will never be a civilized country until we expend more money for books than we do for chewing gum. – Elbert Hubbard :-)

Happy Reading!

18 responses so far

May 12 2010

Join us on 05/12/10 with Mom Inventor Laura Mirant

Join us on 05/12/10 with Mom Inventor Laura Mirant of www.boardbookalbums and Melinda Knight of a resource to mentor women business owners!

Laura Miranti of talks about how she created her board book photo album for her than 18 month old daughter, Lucia filling it with photos of familiar family and toys to help her learn to say the words as she identified each photo on the page.  Also joining us is Melinda Knight of – a site that mentors women businesses.

For more information, please CLICK HERE.

361 responses so far