Archive for the 'Cedar Valley Networking' Category

Oct 09 2010

Let’s Get Ready For More NJ Gov. Chris Christie!

On Monday, NJ Gov. Chris Christie was in Wisconsin campaigning with Governor Candidate Scott Walker.  I want to personal thank the Scott Walker team for allowing me the opportunity to pass along my solutions to education to Gov. Christie!  Education reform needs to happen.  Our schools are failing and have been since 1970!  No amount of money has helped!  I have been most impressed with Gov. Christie’s crusade to take the left and right out of politics and work with Mayor Cory Booker to put politics aside to create a new kind of public school in Newark with the help of Facebook Founder, Mark Zuckerberg’s $100 million dollar donation.  Here is the blank slate…what are your solutions?  How do we fix education?

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Oct 08 2010

Let’s Get Ready For My Oprah ‘Waiting For ‘Superman’” Film Review:

As many of you know I was so blessed to be invited to the screening of the documentary, “Waiting for ‘Superman’” about our educational crisis in America.  Since I was meeting face-to-face, for the first time, the amazing Louise Sattler, @Louiseasl for a “Girl’s Night Out” in Chicago and since she picked the magic dates, it was only fitting that she was my guest to our Oprah Experience!  The screening took place inside the famous HARPO studio on Sept. 23 and the following morning,

we were inside the live studio audience for the reaction to “Waiting for ‘Superman’”. 

This is a must see for every parent, student who is old enough to watch a PG rated move, teacher, educator, administrator involved in education!!  This film illustrates that our potential success, the future of prosperity in American and generations to come is in crisis.  Warning:  the film from Davis Guggenheim, the maker of “An Inconvenient Truth” shares the grim and depressing news that our current public educational system has been failing since 1970 and spending more and more money has not made any significant difference!   It fuels the debate on whether it was our failing schools that lead to the downfall of our neighborhoods or was it the downfall of our neighborhoods that lead to our failing schools?

Guggenheim shares the plight of five compelling children who are hungry and eager to learn but stuck inside the walls of a failing public school.  We learn the heart-breaking saga of Anthony, Daisy, Bianca, Emily and Francisco. They all have dreams and goals.  They all agree escaping public schools is the only option for each of them to succeed.  The film also highlights renegade reformer and Superman, Geoffrey Canada, who tried and failed to change the public school system.  So he started his own Charter School, The Harlem Children’s Zone, where his educators start with a child and family at birth and stay with them until they graduate from college.  We are also introduced to the KIPP Academy, another successful Charter School but we are also told in the movie that many Charter Schools are also failing schools.  We meet another superhero, Michelle Rhee and her battle to change the system by cutting the central office and firing bad principals and teachers who were ineffective inside an already failing system.  She found education to be more about the needs of the adults.  Michelle Rhee’s days are numbered at the top of DC’s public schools. Soon she will be another victim of a system who is resistance to eliminating bad tenured teachers and moving to a pay for performance incentive for teachers to excel.  The educational system believes that no teacher should be left behind regardless of performance.  

As a student inside a public school in America, maybe you are not surprised by these finding because you have already seen those cracks in education inside your own school.  Maybe you have had more than a few horrible teachers, been tested on things no one ever took the time to teach, or have seen your favorite teacher disrupted and overwhelmed by the same three kids who should have been suspended years ago!  Maybe you are that teacher who is tired of trying to reform a system that is intolerant of change or maybe you work with that teacher who is stumping those 25 minds in math leaving them 6 months behind grade level? 

You can’t go by what the critics have said about this movie because many have inconveniently missed the truth about “Waiting for ‘Superman’”.  Many fabulous educators have tried to change the system.  They couldn’t because the top tiers of education, those who are paid the most to care about education, care more about protecting their own jobs.  They have enabled a powerful ally in the teachers union with the stance all teachers should be protected regardless of performance.  Thus Guggenheim’s agenda is simple:  to create a firestorm so hot that it smolders and burns down the current failing and crumbling foundation of education.  The goal is that failure is not an option and we need an uprising so big that change is the only solution.  It is not about teacher bashing it is about a system that needs to crumble from the top. 

The only way for Guggenheim to succeed in his quest for change was to keep it simple.  He did.  The film does not get into the politics of the issues; it is not about blaming teachers but a system that is set up to fail; the fight between public and charter; the need for special needs; teaching to each child; healthy lunches; exercising during gym; national standards on the table that are still immeasurable; and endless other areas that are all important issues in education.  Had the film introduced all the issues the masses would have had a field day debating these issues instead of fighting as a united force and a catalyst for change starting at the top of education.

The Oprah Show audience was made up of parents, teachers and school administrators many electrified, outraged and on fire for change! As Cory Booker, Newark, New Jersey Mayor said best, every day as children recite the pledge of allegiance in schools across this nation they are not telling the truth as they end the pledge: with liberty and justice for all.  Where is the justice that the success of our kids will be determined by the bounce of a lottery ball?

I cried at the injustice of living in the greatest country in the world, in the land of freedom and opportunity, yet the hypocrisy for these families and millions more comes down to a bounce of a ball? In the film, Anthony has the best odds of that lottery ball being his ticket out of his failing public school.  He is among 64 kids who vie for 24 spots and Francisco has the worst odds with 792 applicants for 40 spots.  Francisco’s mom broke my heart when she said, “That ball could mean the difference between my son graduating from college or going to jail.”  It is actually cheaper on the taxpayer’s burden to send a child to college that it is to send them to jail.  We owe it to our bottom line to help all children succeed. 

We have enabled this to happen by being compliant and by allowing the inside of our classrooms to become stripped of power and personnel; breaking the foundation of learning and adding more layers to insulate the top tiers of education. The fate of our country will not be decided on a foreign battlefield it will be determined in a battle over who controls the classroom.  Many leaders such as Bill Gates believe that if we continue to settle for failing schools we will not be providing competitive skilled workers to operate in the highest paying jobs in our country changing our world dominance. This move has already been happening in the leadership positions in Corporate America; those highest paid American jobs in America are not being filled with Americans.  

So what does that mean for your future, your schools future and the future of America? The movie says we can’t wait for Superman.  We have to all rise up and be mini super heroes inside each and every school across our great land. How can we unite students, parents and caregivers, along with teacher and educators who want change?  We have to work together to revamp education and put the power back inside our classrooms.  What are you willing to do?  Are you willing to move from the sidelines and take action by working within your own school to demand change? The only solution is for the students, the parents and caregivers and the educators to all come together with a united voice and demand change!

As was announced on Oprah’s show, it has galvanized Republican New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and Democratic Newark Mayor, Cory Booker to put politics aside to start from the bottom and build a model for the rest of the nation to follow.  Facebook Founder, Mark Zuckerberg likes it and has agreed to donate $100 million to inspire others to get involved.  So here is another opportunity for you to be involved, how would you structure education in this New Jersey Public School model and why not find a sponsor for your school to excel your students to the top of the global map?  Or are you waiting for ‘Superman’…?

12 responses so far

Oct 06 2010

Let’s Get Ready For Read, Connect & Grow Childhood Literacy!

Miss Suzy was my first book.  I can still remember sitting in my mom’s lap reading that story over and over and over again!  How I loved that book as a child and how I loved reading that book to my own kids.  The world of books holds the key to everything:  adventure, escape, fantasy, mystery, romance, science, travel, knowledge and so much more!   It doesn’t take many books to have an impact on a child.  Homes that have more books in the household produce better students.  Studies show that a child with as little as 15 books in the household will stay in school for an average of two years longer than those without access to books and a child who has access to over 500 books is more likely to attend college. 

I am getting ready for my “field trip” toady in DC to celebrate childhood literacy on behalf of Mom Congress, Target and Parenting Magazine!  As I was packing, Megan read me a chapter from a book she is reading in 4th grade about a boy who was pulled into a prank that hurt his elderly neighbor.  As part of his punishment he has to email back and forth with another lady, Wootie, who is currently living in an old age home.   Wootie is a hoot and reminds us of our own Grandma Martha, who we miss dearly!  How fun to share memories and get lost in a great story!  I love it when the girls come home from school eager to read to me!  It makes up for all those nights when they were little and I was running on empty and they would haul 15-20 books into the bed for us to read each night.  It’s so fun that they still love Miss Suzy just like I did when I was little.  Thankfully (big sigh), even at age 11 and 9, Heidi and Megan still snuggle up and let me read our favorite childhood books to them…again…and…again!

In honor of Read, Connect & Grow childhood literacy who will your book buddy be?  Visit Target to learn more:

15 responses so far

Sep 24 2010

Let’s Get Ready For Waiting For Superman & Oprah!

Dreams do come true!  I so wanted to be in the audience for this one!!! I have been burning the midnight oil writing to the Oprah Show asking to be invited to this powerful event:  the crisis in our schools.  I am beyond excited to have been given this amazing opportunity to watch the new educational documentary “Waiting for Superman” at the HARPO studio on Thursday night and be a guest in the audience on the Friday morning live taping of the Oprah Show!!!  This is an opportunity for us all to join the national conversation with practical solutions to for change in our current educational system.  I believe that the only way we will ever change education is to empower and inspire the parents, kids and the teaching teachers to take back our educational system.  It’s time to stop pointing fingers, no more bullying tactics, put the balance back between left and right and take action to make our schools better!

NBC is having an Educational Summit next week and will have opportunities for us all to be involved.

Here’s just one of my many wishes for education:

I would level the playing field and make cuts at the top tiers of education and develop the dream teaching team for each school, filled with passionate teachers and rich with specialty teachers and aids inside the classrooms.  No more part time guidance counselors, or doing without art and music, putting the fitness back in gym, adding fun back into the system by empowering parents, kids and teachers to take back their schools and make it flourish within their communities! 

What is your one wish for education?

10 responses so far

Sep 23 2010

Let’s Talk Safety! Tips and Advice for Keeping Your Entire Family Safe

Come join me as I host a Twitter Party sponsored by Lowe’s talking about all things safety related when it comes to your family.

Bringing home your first baby? What are the “must-do’s” to make your home as safe as can be! And we’ll be giving away great prizes to help you do this!

  • Whole home suites of GE Choice alert products. Worth more than $100
  • $100 worth of Cooper tamper resistant outlets for the whole home
  • North States baby gates (3-in-1 Metal Super Yard $148 each)

Want to learn some tips on how to handle emergencies and some of the top hazards around the home? We’ll talk about that too! And, we’ll share some of the “I can’t believe that happened to my kid” stories that we all have.

#Lowes4Safety Twitter Party

When: Thursday, September 23rd, from 8:00P to 9:00PM EST
Where: #Lowes4Safety tag on Twitter
How: Follow hostess @SafetyMom and tweet with the party tag

12 responses so far

Sep 13 2010

Let’s Get Ready For a Costume Swap from &!

It may seem early to be talking about Halloween, but one of the best ways to celebrate green is by planning ahead.

In 2009, $4.75 billion was expected to be spent by consumers for Halloween. And you can bet that this spending ultimately results in a lot of waste, some of which is attributed to costumes.

Swapping half the costumes that kids wear at Halloween would reduce annual landfill waste by 6,250 tons, equal to the weight of 2500 mid-sized cars, says Bob Lilienfield of

Millions of parents buy new costumes each year wanting to fulfill their childrens’ fantasies. But like a wedding day, in general, costumes are worn once, then thrown away. Relatively small numbers are kept in dress up boxes and reused or donated to thrift shops. Most are likely sent to the dump.

So this year, why not make a boo-ti-ful Halloween resolution and swap?

It’s easy to plan a family or neighborhood swap. Just sent out e-invites inviting guests to bring outgrown costumes in good condition. Make it a party by adding activities like the design-a-bag contest from ChicoBag where your kids can win $250 for them and the same for their schools. Or dunk for apples, make goodie bags or add other Halloween/seasonal games. Or how about staging a fashion show with kids wearing their new-to-them outfits!

If you’re interested in staging or attending a public event where more costume choices should be available, check out where you’ll find a database of swaps plus tips on how to set one up.

Add another aspect to a public swap by teaming with a non-profit. Charge a small swapping fee that goes to your partner.

And if you can’t make it to a swap or there is none in your area, the internet comes to your rescue. Do a search for “costume swap” or “clothing swap” and you’ll likely find online alternatives.

103 responses so far

Sep 03 2010

Let’s Get Ready to Win Some “Let’s Get Ready” Books!

It’s back to school time!  In honor of Heidi and Megan going back to school we are giving away a set of our books!  Feel free to share this great news! 


Leave a comment (including your email address) to be entered to win!  We will ship globally to a winner!  This contest ends September 30th!

189 responses so far

Sep 02 2010

Let’s Get Ready To Get Rid of Too Sexy for our Kids!

Moms, we need your help again! Are you frustrated, like me, by companies like Abercrombie & Fitch who seem to think that too sexy is right for our kids and teens?  I called to complain and they said the Managers don’t take complaints — must be too busy surfing the web to find nude inspiration or maybe playing Farmville?? I love who think like I do!!

Abercrombie and Filth
August 26, 2010

Abercrombie and Fitch continues to push the envelope and now has become more p*rnographic than ever before. A & F’s p*rnographic posters are desensitizing our youth which can lead to addiction and destruction. They are ignoring parents’ concerns and have outdone themselves by printing images which are more graphic than in years past.

A & F’s s*xually explicit posters have images of models posing n*de with parts blurred out, full rear n*dity of a male and men and women with clothes barely covering themselves wadded up so you can tell nothing about the article of clothing they are attempting to sell. These posters will shock, embarrass and potentially hurt the teens they hope to profit from. This type of marketing is damaging to our youth since so many struggle with self-esteem issues which can lead to obsession, eating disorders and depression as well as addiction. The destruction continues in the A & F Quarterly which is published with more s*xual imagery. (* used to bypass internet filters.)

OMM has received numerous complaints from our members over Abercrombie and Fitch’s new ads and store displays. Even though the company has blocked our emails in the past, we will not give up. We will call their corporate office and voice our concerns. We know from past experiences that calling may take a few more minutes of your time, but it will be time well spent. We have found from past experience that we have been successful in doing this and that most of you have no problem in giving your opinion to a retailer that is displaying nasty images to make a buck.


Call Abercrombie and Fitch’s corporate office at 1-614-283-6500 & press #3 & #4 or you can press 0. If you get the recording asking you to email them, then just call back to get the menu to talk to someone. (The email address given came back as undeliverable for OMM since they block us.)

Then ask, “As a mother and a member of, I would like to know why your ads and posters have images of models posing n*de if you are in the market to sell clothes?” Let A & F know that if they do not remove these outrageous posters from their stores immediately, then as a parent this Christmas Season you will not be shopping in their stores (A & F, abercrombie Kids, Gilly Hicks and Hollister’s) for your family’s Christmas gifts. This type of marketing is ridiculous and we want answers. They can block our emails, but they can’t keep us quiet.


Monica Cole, Director

121 responses so far

Aug 26 2010

Interview with Stacey Kannenberg by Britt Michaelian from the The Work Smart Mompreneurs Blog


Stacey Kannenberg
Fredonia, WI

Astrological Sign: LEO

# of children: 2

Ages: 11 &  9

Favorite Business Book: Anything by Authors Tamara Monosoff or Joyce Bone

Favorite Family Book: The Dream is Clear to Believe is the Reward – Mike Kannenberg

Favorite Quote: Winners never quit and quitters never win! Vince Lombardi

  1. Which came first: the biz or the kid? The kids were 3 and 1 when I started the biz!
  2. What is your biggest productivity secret- the thing that helps you accomplish the most in your day?  My ability to multi-task keeps me on track!
  3.  How well do you feel you are balancing motherhood and entrepreneurship? As the kids get older it gets easier.  Any tips? Involve the family so they support you and the family business; Try to establish a routine that works for the family; Work around your family time; and most important remember it takes practice to balance it all!
  4. What was the tipping point for you when you realized you were truly an entrepreneur? It started with my hot dog stand from 1969-1974 in front of my grandparent’s busy family bowling alley in Hayward, WI.  I always knew I would have my own business but I wanted to learn from the corporate world first and start my own business from home when I started my own family!
  5. What one word describes your purpose in your family, your biz and your life? EMPOWER
  6. Where do you find your greatest source of support for your goals in your family, business and life? I have the unconditional love of my husband and kids and the support of thousands of people standing behind me that have gotten me to where I am today.  From the love of family and friends to the support of so many people that I didn’t even know in person, who once they heard my story, have cheered me on by sharing my story and have continued to rally behind me!
  7. What do you do to recharge your spiritual batteries? Pray and read the Bible!
  8. What’s the one thing you can’t live without? Electricity!
  9. iPhone or Blackberry? Blackberry
  10. Chocolate or Vanilla? Chocolate
  11. PC or Mac? PC
  12. Which do you do most often: Eat out, Order In or Cook it yourself? Cook it
  13. Who is your biggest supporter? My amazing husband Mike who gave me a crystal clear clock in 2004 engraved with the Cedar Valley Publishing logo that reads:  The Dream is Clear – To Believe is the Reward
  14. Who is your greatest inspiration?  I was raised by my grandparents who were both my “rock”.  My grandfather told me every day that I was destined for greatness and that I could make the world a better place.  He started me on my path and passed the baton off to Mike, who continues to support the mission!
  15. What do you see yourself doing in 5 years? More of what I am doing today and loving every minute of it!

Name of Businesses: Cedar Valley Publishing and HerInsight Media

URLs: – coming soon

Radio Show Get Ready to Learn Mom

Twitter Name @StaceyKann

Facebook Page

The Work Smart Mompreneurs Blog:

13 responses so far

Jul 30 2010

PBS Invention Contest

PBS Invention Contest


Looking for something fun to do with kids of all ages this summer?

Fenway News Online reports that Design Squad, the PBS engineering reality competition series, is offering kids a chance to get in on the action this summer.

The 2010 Trash to Treasure Competition challenges kids, ages 5-19, to recycle, reuse, and re-engineer everyday materials into out-of-the-box inventions. Three winners will win a trip to Boston to see their designs built and appear on an episode of Design Squad.

Twenty-five finalists will be featured on the series website and will receive a Design Squad t-shirt. Entries will be accepted through September 5, 2010. For more information go here.

Photo by PBS.

276 responses so far

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