Story Time Book Club!

Book Club imageHello everyone! Looking to motivate your kids to keep reading through the summer? I am too, so I’ve decided to launch a kids book club on Facebook (Story Time With Michele – Book Club) and, in collaboration with Reading Is Fundamental (RIF), I’ll have a suggested summer reading list for all of your PreK – Grade 3 readers. Beginning June 4, week by week I’ll post a video of each book read aloud. If you can’t find the book at your library or book shop, no need to worry as I will also include subtitles on the videos so that your child can read along with me!  Continue reading →

Happy Mother’s Day – Feliz día de las Madres

It’s Mother’s Day and I want to send some special love to all the mamas out there working hard for their families and raising healthy, bright children! Just wanted to say that I think you’re doing a great job 🙂

I’d like to share a special little tribute to my mom, too. She has battled breast cancer twice and is very lucky to now celebrate 5 years cancer-free.

One of my clients, AutoNation, invited her to participate in their breast cancer awareness campaign with me and this is one of the commercials we’ve made. It’s in Spanish so I’ll have to look into putting up a translation! I think there will be more to come as Breast Cancer Awareness Month approaches later in the year. Through their #DrivePink initiative they have raised millions to help fund research. I’m so grateful to all of the people and corporations who are determined to donate resources and time and energy towards this cause, as I know I am one of the lucky ones to still have my mom here.

If you’re interested in donating you can visit DrivePink.com or any other cancer research organization you prefer.

Have a wonderful day, you deserve it!

Love to read!

channel-art-youtube-4.pngHi everyone! It’s been a long time since I’ve posted but I’M BACK! And I’m super excited to share my latest project, Story Time With Michele! I’ve had so many fans reach out to me over the past year recounting special, touching family memories involving The Good Night Show. Thank you for continuing to share those stories with me. Sadly, I can’t bring the show back since it was never mine in the first place. I have, however, figured out a way to stay connected to children in a meaningful way.  The Story Time channel on Youtube is my first attempt at creating something, on my very own, for kids.

So, why am I reading books aloud? As a mom, reading is a priority for my family. I am very passionate about the importance of literacy. Did you know that 25 million children in the US cannot read proficiently? This is such a disappointing fact and thankfully there are non-profit organizations like Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) who are fighting everyday to help our kids!

For me, I have always loved reading books and I work hard to nurture that same love in my young children. By sharing stories aloud I hope your kids will be encouraged to read more books and become little bookworms as they grow up!

These stories are meant for anyone wanting a sweet, soothing story read to them – who doesn’t like that?! Beyond the enjoyment of having a story read to you, here are a few more reasons why I’ve launched Story Time With Michele:

  • Reading aloud is an ideal way to model how to read language, by demonstrating when to pause and react to punctuation, for example.
  • It promotes early literacy skills, engages young minds by encouraging curiosity, builds memory, and can even increase attention spans in our little ones.
  • Children are exposed to a richer vocabulary which will help stretch comprehension and language development.

There’s tons of research out there showing us that reading aloud to a child daily is one of the most important activities you can do to ensure future reading success. I hope my short videos are enjoyed by your family and, in conjunction with your time spent reading aloud, together we can spark a life-long love of books!

Please check out Story Time With Michele and subscribe to the channel while you’re there!

 

(sources: http://www.readaloud.org/why.html, http://www.reachoutandread.org/our-story/importance-of-reading-aloud/, https://edsource.org/2015/study-says-reading-aloud-to-children-more-than-talking-builds-literacy/82045, http://www.rorri.org/importance-of-reading-aloud/)

Back-to-school jitters

imageAre you preparing for the first day of school this week or next? Both of my girls are truly excited to get back to school, see their friends, and dive into new adventures. But, it wasn’t always this easy, I do remember that very first day of preschool. There was a bit of anxiety and insecurity mixed with a twinge of fear of the unknown that kept my littlest one glued to my hip on those first days. If you can relate to this experience then I would love to recommend a book to you.  Bonus: it’s bilingual!

imageLion Heart Goes to School / Corazón de león va a la escuela is a lovely children’s book by Caro Mejía. I heard about the book through a friend of mine and instantly fell in love with the concept. I brought it home to read with my girls, and from the moment we opened the book we could see how unique it really is. For starters, its interactive and customizable. You take photos of yourself and your child making different facial expressions and then glue them where indicated on each page. The story is about a child going to school for the first time.  It walks us through her morning routine and, just before leaving for school, the caregiver reminds her that she has a brave heart and gives her a small wooden-shaped heart to keep in her pocket. This token comes in handy later on at school when she’s feeling lonely, sad or nervous and needs to feel brave again. My favorite part is that a wooden heart comes with the book so your child not only gets to star in the story, but gets her own heart as well!

Lucky for me, my friend was able to introduce me to the author. It turns out we have quite a few things in common! She is from Mexico City (like my husband), has 2 young children (like me) and is raising them to be bicultural and bilingual (like me). I was not surprised to learn that this project was, and continues to be, a labor of love for Caro. She came up with the idea when her first son was nervous about his first day of school. She found a small stone heart in a drawer and gave it to him to keep in his pocket. She told him it was infused with bravery and any time he needed a reinforcement of courage he could hold on to it. When he later recounted how great his day at school had been, thanks to his heart token, she knew she was onto something.  Caro said she thinks it’s very important for children to see themselves reflected in the narrative of the story. And, what better way to accomplish this than to create a book where your child’s face is actually on each page? Throughout the story there are blank spaces for you to fill in your child’s name as well (although I do wish the spaces were truly blank to make it easier to fill in).  Her hope is that each family will take the the time to customize the book together and also infuse their own family values into the wooden heart whether it be with bravery, compassion, empathy, or courage, for example.  At it’s core, this book is about helping families navigate the transition to daycare or school so that the result is a positive experience.

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Bianca thoughtfully decorating her heart!

Personally, I have a traumatic memory of getting dropped off for my first day at a new school, in a new country, and feeling horrified! 30 years later and I can remember that day vividly. I would never wish my kids to have a similar experience, and that’s why I think this book is such a wonderful tool! And, if you have a tough time finding kids books in Spanish like I do, then you will love that this one was actually written in Spanish first. If you do pick up a copy of the book I thought you would like to know that Caro plans to donate 50% of all the profits to help children in need. (Also, I am in no way affiliated with sales of the book!)

Good luck with your back-to-school transition! Please let me know in the comments how it goes!

Good Night Show Update!

First off, THANK YOU to all the loyal Good Night Show fans whose love for the show has led you to follow and support me!

I couldn’t be more proud of those 10 years I got to bring Nina to life, and am honored to have been invited into your homes night after night! It is truly a privilege. Being a mom of 2 littles, I know how special and intimate that nighttime snuggle is. The fact that millions of you included Star and Me (and our pals Hush and Lucy!) into that safe space is more than I could have ever hoped for.

Some of you have children who no longer watch, but many have had new babies along the way and still tune in. You have noticed that the show is no longer airing on TV in its traditional format, because, as with everything (including our children!), the network is growing and evolving. Fortunately, this is NOT a good-bye!

Sprout is in the process of moving full Good Night Show episodes to their On Demand menu. This is seriously a dream come true for me, and hopefully for you as well! Now you can determine when exactly you want to snuggle up on the couch and watch your favorite segments of GNS before it’s time to wrap up your bedtime routine.

Keep in mind that Nina’s World will remain right where it’s at – and, in case you hadn’t heard, we have been green-lit for a second season and are working hard on bringing new episodes to life!

I remain humbled by your love and support!

xo

Michele

 

 

 

 

Feeling thankful.

We made our annual trek to New York for Thanksgiving week and I’d love to share a little piece of that experience with you. 2016 marks the 5th year I’ve been invited by Sprout to participate in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Thanks to this opportunity I get to spend a few days in one of the greatest cities in the world with my family, the greatest people in my world! This gloriously crazy week leaves me depleted of energy, yet some how filled up with gratitude for all of my blessings.

Our itinerary for the week was action-packed. It began with a visit to Sprout’s network headquarters at Rockefeller Center and a quick hello to Kaitlyn and Chica, from the Sunny Side Up Show. I also had a fitting for the wardrobe I would wear in the parade as well as an evening rehearsal right on 34th Street in front of Macy’s.

This rehearsal is really a special experience since they shut down the entire street so that we, along with all of the other performers, can practice in front of the cameras and lights.

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The tooth fairy cometh…

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Mind the gap!

It’s happening and I just can’t believe it! I really should know better; after all, growing up is what they’re supposed to do. Right? Ugh, this whole ‘rite of passage’ business is stirring up some crazy emotions in me. My little Gia is not so little any more: she lost her first tooth!

It’s not like I didn’t have plenty of time to prepare for this.  Actually, I think I had too much time because that tooth started wiggling ever so slightly a full 2 months ago!  I had seen those sweet little boxes for storing the tooth safely under the pillow but just never got around to buying one. That darn tooth seemed like it was never coming out, so I just kept putting it off! Needless to say, I was caught off-guard when the day came and had to scramble.  Luckily, I found a very old (1924) silver dollar coin from good old Grandpa and a handful of chocolate coins.

Gia very proudly wrote a note to the Tooth Fairy and sealed it in an envelope with her precious, tiny tooth.  It was not easy to fall asleep that night by any means – much like Christmas Eve! The surprise and sheer elation the next morning was seriously out-of-this-world! Her favorite part was getting chocolate coins. This just goes to show that it doesn’t have to be about the money.  I’ve heard of friends who have left $10, even $20 for a tooth.  I don’t know if my girl would have been half as excited for the cash as she was for the treat.  I say, as parents, lets take the pressure off of ourselves and just keep it simple.

And now, a week later, the second tooth is just about ready to come out as well.  With each wiggle of that tooth, I can see my baby girl transform ever so slightly into a big girl. She is realizing how amazing it is to grow up, to have one more thing in common with the other big kids at school and one less thing in common with her little sister. I might be a little crazy, but I believe she is even walking a little taller and exuding just a bit more confidence.

It’s a magical sight to behold.

I’d love to hear about your child’s first tooth fairy experience as well – be sure to share in the comments section below!