I have always loved books. I remember many Christmas days spent on the couch reading the new books that I received for Christmas. I have also always loved children. As the oldest of six children, I grew up caring for my younger siblings, teaching them, and babysitting for many other children. I remember teaching “school” to them and organizing neighborhood dance camps in my basement. When I was 19, I had the opportunity to travel out of the country for the first time and I taught English to elementary children in Moscow, Russia. I returned two more times to teach English in Russia for a total of a whole year’s worth of volunteer time. It was life changing! I continued on to major in Russian Secondary Education at BYU and choose a minor in TESOL K-12 (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages). I love seeing how a life is changed through literacy, and I love to be part of that process. Recently I began to tutor ESOL again and I'm volunteering through Skyline Literacy to tutor a Syrian refugee man and work together to build up his English abilities. It's been so good to be part of this again!
I taught in many different capacities over the years, but my greatest teaching opportunity is here at home with my five children, ages 3-13. Ever since my oldest was born almost 14 years ago, I have read children’s books to my kids daily, sometimes for hours! They love to read and be read to. They can’t fall asleep without books first. I understand that the process of gaining literacy is different for each child, and I have seen some of my kids flourish with reading and others take more time and struggle to read on their own. The constant has been a LOVE for reading and books.
Family Business! This past year, I have really been thinking a lot about having a family business that allows my kids to be part of the business and to work hard and earn money that they can manage, save, and spend wisely. Perhaps my 40th birthday this year triggered a mid-life crisis?? ;) But I have felt an overwhelming desire to use and share my college education, skills, and talents to better the lives of the children around me in my community and anywhere I can reach...all while involving my own children at the same time and not taking away time and attention from them. This past spring I taught LEGO robotics classes for our local recreation department, and my kids assisted in those classes. We then held a week-long LEGO camp here at our house and it was a huge success with 20 children participating. Of course, all who know me know that I love arts and crafts, and I have held DIY craft nights for many years, and this summer I taught an art camp as well. I have a wild and crazy big dream of opening an Enrichment Center one day and teaching all kinds of classes there. But first, BABY STEPS! I’m not financially prepared to open a brick-and-mortar business right now, and my focus and priority this year is homeschooling all the kids...so baby steps it is.
Usborne Books and More is the perfect fit for our family at this time! We will sell a product that we believe in - BOOKS! We know reading is good for kids. We don’t have to prove to anyone that it works (plenty of good studies do that). We can work with others to get these beautiful, high quality books into the hands of children in our community, throughout the country, and even into other parts of the world! There are SO many exciting opportunities with Usborne through their parties, book fairs, and fundraisers.
One specific goal with our family business is for Marie, my 11 year old, to work and earn money for intensive ballet sessions next summer in 2018. Marie has developed a great passion for ballet and she is working hard to make her dreams come true. I want to encourage her in any way I can, and I told her that I’d help her earn money. I grew up needing to pay “half” of anything I participated in, and I also worked hard to pay for my own dance lessons through babysitting, mowing lawns, and a newspaper route when I was about 13. Marie is still on the cusp of being able to work alone, but she is definitely a hard-worker, and I know she will be a great assistant to me at our book parties and throughout this endeavor. She has a goal to raise $2,000 for next summer. We truly appreciate all your support!
So how can you support us and get involved?
- *Come party with us! We have several LAUNCH parties scheduled for the next few weeks. Find a time and place that works best for you! Come discover what makes UBAM books so great, socialize with others, and hold & read a few books yourself. You’ll be amazed. I'll be emailing out invitations and listing home parties here soon.
- *HOST your own party! Get free books! Who can pass up free, beautiful books? I can’t! There’s not a better time to host a book party for me than during the next few months! You are guaranteed to earn free books! In an effort to really support new consultants, Usborne provides DOUBLE the hostess awards for all book parties during my first 3 months as a consultant. That means I have until Nov. 16 to provide you with DOUBLE the amount of free goodies, on top of UBAM’s already generous hostess rewards. (For example, I just placed my own personal order of homeschooling books and curriculum, and I was able to choose $80 of free books and $50 of half-off books!) You can offer a Facebook party or home party or any other creative idea for a party (birthday party, baby shower, preschool storytime)! ;) All you need to do is invite your friends and participate!
- *Ask me more! There’s a lot to share and I don’t want to overburden anyone! (Too late, right?) But seriously, there are so many neat opportunities with Usborne and I’d love to share more. In particular, if you can think of a preschool, daycare or mom’s group that would love to have more books, I can do a bookfair for them and they can earn 50% of their book sales back in free books! UBAM also has a great fundraising opportunity called Cards for a Cause. Any organization or individual looking to raise money for a good cause can sell beautiful boxes of 30 cards for $30 and earn back $13 from each box. (Free shipping too for book fairs and Cards for a Cause!) Also, a great program called Reach for the Stars encourages and rewards children’s reading time and helps develop reading routines and habits. Here’s a quick summary of these fun programs: http://t6708.myubam.com/slprograms
- *Watch for more! I have a lot of great ideas up my sleeve. We will be offering lots of book theme-based classes for kids and literacy workshops. One of the best ways to keep up with what’s happening and to receive literacy tips is through my VIP Facebook group. Click here and ask to join.
Thanks for Reading! You're awesome!