Storytime At The UPS Store #ToysForTotsLiteracy

Early literacy is very important to me and has been for years. I took classes about it in college and made it a focus of my classroom when I taught Pre-Kindergarten. When I had the chance to organize a storytime to benefit the Toys For Tots Literacy Program I was really excited to participate and happy that another blogger, Paula of Frosted Fingers, could join me in planning a great event. We made a Facebook event for the storytime and invited all of our local friends who had young children. We also made flyers with our children. Since both my boys are young (1 and 2) I had my oldest color a white sheet of paper and then I added all of the information to it. I went to The UPS Store to copy it. One of the employees made the copies for me. I love the service at this store and even told the manager I’d be coming back next time I needed anything.

I used to think of The UPS Store as a place to ship packages and nothing more. I learned back at Christmas time that they had other services when I went in to ship a package to my sister. I used The UPS Store to make a bound book of art as a keepsake, too. This trip I noticed they made banners. I loved the one with a giraffe that was made into a growth chart. What a great idea! There was also a sign saying that the store could turn your picture into a canvas print. After that I was wondering if there was anything The UPS Store couldn’t do?

On Friday we had the storytime at The UPS Store. Melisa Wells, local author of the newly released book, Chicken In The Car and The Car Won’t Go, was our “celebrity” reader.¬† We found a little corner that was perfect for keeping attention spans. The cookies and juice helped, too! Melisa kept the children engaged through a number of short stories and the children really enjoyed listening to her read. After the storytime we collected money for the Toys For Tots Literacy Program. The children all dropped their money into a jar and then we put it all in the donation box on the counter. You can see those bills really filled it up!

Me, Melisa, and Paula

(Disclosure: This  project has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias #ToysForTotsLiteracy. All opinions are my own.)

Chicago Area Families- Event Today! (And Recap of #gmchiCARgo Event)

Today at 4pm in Naperville, IL we will be hosting a storytime to raise funds for the Toys For Tots Literacy program. Melisa Wells, author of Chicken In The Car And The Car Won’t Go: Nearly 200 Ways To Enjoy Chicagoland With Tweens And Teens, will be our celebrity reader. If you have young children and a heart for the cause you can find more information on the Facebook event page. Feel free to invite your friends, too!

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(Picture from ChickenInTheCar.com)

I had a chance to meet Melisa Wells at her book launch on Tuesday night during her #gmchiCARgo River “Cruze”. I had a great time meeting other Chicago area bloggers, tweeters, and brand representatives at the event while enjoying a boat ride. I loved that as a group we filled a Chevy Cruze with items for the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Chicagoland and Northwestern Indiana. You can read Melisa’s thoughts on the success of the event here.

My thoughts on the book:

I am the mom of two toddlers so I didn’t think that I would find much useful information in a book written for families of teens and tweens but I was happy to find that most of the information in the book worked for families with children of all ages. I love that the book includes information about places that are located in the suburbs. So many Chicago “travel” books forget that not everyone who calls themselves a Chicagoan lives within the city limits. Along with places to go for family fun, Melisa shares her tips for creating a personalized family summer camp which is a great alternative to costly, traditional summer camps.

(Disclosure: I was invited to the book launch by Melisa but all opinions are my own.)