Jan 312012

We Give Books - FREE Books for Kids to Read and for Charity

Join the ‘Read for My School Campaign’ and Earn FREE Books for Your School


We Give Books is a website that enables kids to read books online for FREE and they also make books available to children who otherwise might not have access to them. Kids can choose a non-profit organization to support with their reading. For every book a child reads online, We Give Books will donate a book to non-profits like Jumpstart’s Read for the Record. We Give Books was created by the Penguin Group and the Pearson Foundation.

The book selection on the We Give Books website is appropriate for children through age ten and consists of picture books from Penguin and DK. There is a mix of fiction and nonfiction books. New books are added each month and seasonally. The period of time in which a book appears on the We Give Books site  varies by book. Depending on what authors and publishers decide, some  will be only available on a short-term or temporary basis (seasonal  titles for example), and some will be available on a perennial basis.

How to Earn FREE Books for Your School

We Give Books - Earn Free Books for Your SchoolStarting February 14th through March 12th, We Give Books is starting a new reading challenge and giving away 150,000 books to public elementary schools nationwide! Your child can earn up to 500 books for your school. Visit www.wegivebooks.org and sign up for an account, if you don’t already have one, and enter your school’s name on the registration form so that We Give Books can track the number of books that your school earns. If you’re already a member of We Give Books, visit your member profile and enter your school’s name (Login > Settings > Country > State > School Name) before reading for the Read for My School campaign.

As I went through the sign up process, I had to make sure that I chose my state to ensure that I had the right school choice available in the drop down menu. Some schools might only have an abbreviated version of their name so look closely at your choices.

Once your child completes reading a book online, he or she can click “Give a Book” at the end of the story to be counted toward your school’s reading total. That’s it!

Remember, the new challenge to earn FREE books for your school from We Give Books starts on February 14th and runs through March 12th.

Feel free to share this information with your school librarian and/or your teachers. Just click on the email icon below this post.

We Give Books Website

We Give Books on Facebook

We Give Books on Twitter


Jan 282012

Lego Man in Space

Canadian Teens Launch Lego Man into Space!


That’s right! About two weeks ago, two Canadian teens successfully launched a Lego man into near space (just above the earth’s surface) equipped with four cameras and a cell phone with a GPS app. The 2″ Lego man was given a Canadian flag to hold during his adventure. Lego man and his media devices were launched via a professional weather balloon that the boys bought online. The teens also sent up a homemade parachute, hoping to allow for a safe landing so they could retrieve their Lego man and equipment.

Based on the boys’ calculations, once launched, the balloon reached about 80,000 feet before it popped and started its descent (which took about 32 minutes). The boys were able to retrieve their project safely and, thanks to the media equipment they sent up, they ended up with a couple of videos and about 1,500 pictures of the earth. All together, the boys calculate the flight and landing took about 97 minutes.

The two 17-year-olds, Mathew Ho and Asad Muhammad, did this project for fun and because they thought it was cool. They spent about $400 on this project. The boys also checked to make sure the flight wouldn’t be dangerous or illegal before they considered launching. Read a full length feature interview with the teens at thestar.com.

Check out this video where the teens talk about their Lego man in space project and show excerpts of video and photos they were able to capture.The video has gone viral and is causing a lot of buzz! Easy to see why since it is really cool!


Image Credit

Jan 262012

Plano Symphony Orchestra Percussion Junction

$2.00 OFF Percussion Junction

this Sunday, January 29th!

Plano Symphony Orchestra is discounting Sunday’s Family Series concert by $2.00, making tickets $5 – $9; use code FAMILY. This is a great price for an afternoon of great family entertainment!

Percussion Junction is playing at the Courtyard Theater in Plano. There’s going to be a pre-show filled with lots of fun activities and crafts for kids.

My twins had a great time when we went to see Plano Symphony Orchestra’s Spooky Symphony. Read about our experience on my North Texas Kids blog.

Visit the Plano Symphony Orchestra website.

Jan 232012

Finding Nemo returns to theatres for the first time
in 3D September 14th, 2012!

I showed my twins the trailer below and they’re pretty excited to see Nemo and Dory’s under water adventures in digital 3D. Look for it in theaters this fall.

Finding Nemo in 3D (Nemo and Dory with Turtles)

Academy Award-winning Best Animated Feature Finding Nemo returns to the big screen for the first time ever in thrilling Disney Digital 3D. In this stunning underwater adventure, with memorable characters, humor and heartfelt emotion, Finding Nemo follows the comedic and momentous journey of an overly protective clownfish named Marlin (voice by Albert Brooks) and his son Nemo (voice by Alexander Gould)––who become separated in the Great Barrier Reef when Nemo is unexpectedly taken far from his ocean home and dumped into a fish tank  in a dentist’s office. Buoyed by the companionship of Dory (voice by Ellen DeGeneres), a friendly-but-forgetful Pacific regal blue tang, Marlin embarks on a dangerous trek and finds himself the unlikely hero of an epic effort to rescue his son––who hatches a few daring plans of his own to return safely home.

Pixar Animation Studios’ classic Finding Nemo returns to the big screen in Disney Digital 3D™, introducing a new generation of family audiences to Nemo (voice by Alexander Gould), Marlin (voice by Albert Brooks) and Dory (voice by Ellen DeGeneres.)

Jan 182012

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie - Dallas Children's Theater

Opening Night Fun at Dallas Children’s Theater

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie opens at Dallas Children’s Theater this Friday and they’re celebrating with an hour long party and two great giveaways. Fourteen prizes are going to be given away!

Twelve lucky attendees will win a voucher from Tiff’s Treats (one of the night’s sponsors) for a dozen, warm delivered cookies!

Plus, two more winners will get a FREE class at Lone Star Circus School where they have classes for all ages and teach circus skills like trapeze arts, aerial silk arts, hulahooping and more.

Opening night also features a special performance by Lone Star Circus. Lone Star’s professional and student acrobats, contortionists, aerialists, dancers, jugglers and clowns will entertain you with a circus extravaganza! Read about my family’s experience seeing Lone Star Circus a few weeks ago on my NorthTexasKids.com blog.

Get your tickets for opening night and come on down to the Rosewood Center for Arts at 6:30pm this Friday, Jan 20th. Enjoy a great family show, a fun pre-show celebration and milk and cookies from Tiff’s Treats during intermission. Your family will also get one FREE show poster that you can have signed when you meet the If You Give a Mouse a Cookie cast after the show. Don’t forget to bring you camera to take pictures of your kids with the cast!

Need more info? Visit the Dallas Children’s Theater website: http://dct.org/

Jan 122012

Take a video of your family doing something active and enter the YMCA video contest for a chance to win great prizes!

This January, the North Texas YMCAs are celebrating the importance of healthy living with a YMCA video contest. Families are encouraged to enter their own healthy living commercial video in the YMCA contest for a chance to win great prizes! Here is the YMCA’s healthy living commercial.

Create your own video of your family engaging in a fun physical activity designed to keep them moving and active.  Maybe it’s a family Wii sports game, an evening at the Y, a weekend sports game or even a past camping trip. YMCA want to showcase how everyday families stay active.

There are three contests hosted by YMCAs of Dallas, Fort Worth and Arlington and the contests are open to the DFW community. The video with the highest number of VOTES by January 31st will receive the Grand Prize, from two Southwest Airline tickets and a weekend Adventure (for Dallas Y contest) to an annual membership at the Y (Fort Worth  Y contest).

Click here for more information or visit the individual YMCA Facebook pages to enter the contests: YMCA of Metropolitan Dallas, YMCA of Fort Worth and YMCA of Arlington.