April 27, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

News Bites: Take Part in the “Grow Your Own Business Challenge”

Business Challenge

Financial literacy and entrepreneurship: Are any of your students ages 7 to 16 budding entrepreneurs? Well, it’s time to encourage them to create a new business idea for the Second Annual Secret Millionaires Club “Grow Your Own Business Challenge.” There are ten questions and two optional questions that participants must answer such as: How did you come up with your business idea? Who will your customers be? What goods or services will your business sell? How much money do you need to set up your business and how will you raise it? How will you sell and market your goods and services? What makes your new business product or service different from other businesses out there? How can your business have a positive effect on a community? The competition is opened to individuals or teams of two to four students. Make sure to check out the contest’s rules and access the entry form. Entries must be submitted by February 15, 2013.

Four individual finalists and two team finalists will present their winning ideas to Warren Buffett and a panel of judges in Omaha, NE, in May 2013. A teacher who inspired the finalists in creating their business idea can join them and win up to $1,000. A grand prize of $5,000 will be awarded to one individual and one team.

The Secret Millionaires Club is an animated series featuring the voice of financial guru Warren Buffet mentoring a group of kids who encounter and solve financial and business problems. The series currently features 20 short online webisodes and two TV specials. The Secret Millionaires Learn & Earn Learn & Earn Program teaches financial literacy and entrepreneurship. The program offers materials for educators and parents to extend the financial lessons into classrooms.  In March 2013, there will be a new 22-epsode TV series launching on the HUB cable network.   

Minigrant Program

Programs that inspire: The Ezra Jack Keats Foundation, established by the late Caldecott award-winning children’s book author and illustrator, is offering 70 minigrants of $500 each to teachers and librarians in public schools and libraries who submit proposals for a program that fosters “creativity, cooperation and interaction with a diverse community.” There’s a video tutorial and a gallery of past recipients that you can check out. Once you design and plan the program, there’s a short application form to complete and submit by March 15, 2013. Recipients of the grants will be notified beginning May 15th.

The Ezra Jack Keats Foundation supports arts and literacy programs in public schools and libraries across the country. This is the 25th year that the Foundation is offering the minigrant program.

Publishing News

Randomhousekids.com: Random House Children’s Books has redesigned and re-launched their website to help kids and their parents learn about dozens of Random House favorite brands and series (Dr. Seuss, “Magic Tree House,” “Junie B. Jones,” “A to Z Mysteries,” “Dragon Keepers,” “Five Ancestors,” etc.) as well as new books. The site also features author interviews, and kids can have fun with book-related games and activities.

The redesign incorporates two new features: “Book Finder” and “For Parents.” Parents and kids can search for books based on a variety of criteria—age, genre, subject, etc.—using “Book Finder, while the “For Parents” section includes blog posts on topics ranging from how to be a good storyteller to the use of audiobooks with reluctant readers. “It’s a fantastic resource for parents and a destination for their children to have fun interacting with our authors and books in a safe environment,” noted Linda Leonard, Random House Children’s Books’ executive director of digital marketing.

Children’s book publishing: The Book: The Essential Guide to Publishing for Children, published by The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) is an updated edition of the SCBWI Publications Guide. The 300-page revamped book, an essential tool for children’s book writers and illustrators, features current articles about the children’s book publishing industry on topics such as maximizing social media, creating book trailers, independent publishing, and promotion. The “Market Survey” lists editors, art directors, and key personnel at all the publishing houses. There’s also “The International Market Survey,” “The Book Reviewers Directory,” “The Agents Directory,” and “Edited By,” a new feature that offers a history of editors’ recent acquisitions. The Book is available online and in hard copy to SCBWI members.

It’s Magic: Ruth Chew’s 29 tales of magic and fantasy, written in the 1970s for elementary graders, will be reissued by Random House Books for Young Readers beginning in the fall of 2013. According to the press release, Chew “made magic available to younger readers before any other author.” New cover art will be created, but the original artwork will be retained for the interior illustrations. Each season, two titles will be released in collectible hardcover and paperback editions as well as ebook versions. In time for Halloween 2013, No Such Thing as a Witch and What the Witch Left will be published. Each season, a collection of three stories will also be released. The first one, in fall 2013, will include The Witch’s Buttons, The Witch’s Garden, and Witch’s Cat. Looking ahead to spring 2014, The Trouble with Magic and Magic in the Park will be reissued.

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Phyllis Levy Mandell About Phyllis Levy Mandell

Phyllis Mandell was Managing Editor/Multimedia Review Editor for SLJ.