Gift Ideas: My Favorite Chapter Books

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

By Guest Blogger Carolyn Flaherty, author of Wicked Sexy Smart

Boy reading under the coversThe long standing bedtime routine in our house includes about fifteen minutes of reading and a little snuggle time. I have been known to literally fall asleep reading to a child. However, once in a while, you find a story that you love as much, if not more, than your child does. When we get into a great book, I edge out my husband from the reader slot, so  I don’t miss a chapter. Of course I pretend to do him a favor, “No babe, I got this. You go help with homework….”

The following is a list of ten of my favorite chapter books. I thought these would be great gift ideas this holiday season. The recommended ages vary and truly depend on your sensibilities. My children had listened to each of these countless times by the time they entered 7th grade. I’ve arranged the list so that we start with books that I would consider “G” rated for our youngest listeners progressing downward to the more “maturish” content. To learn more about the book, read a description or see reviews; simply click on the picture or title. Read More

The YMCA Kicks off the Annual Backpack Campaign

Thursday, July 25, 2013

By Guest Blogger Chelsea Joslyn

Join the Y for $1 with New Backpack Donation!

Branches of the YMCA of Northwest North Carolina are working with local nonprofits and schools to gather backpacks and school supplies to ensure every student starts the school year ready to learn. Now through August 15, new members can join the Y for just $1 joining fee when they donate a new backpack.

Picking out a new backpack and school supplies helps students start the school year ready to succeed, but families struggling to make ends meet may not be able to provide that experience. You can help make back to school special for those kids.  Read More

Winston-Salem from A to Z

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

By Guest Blogger Nicole Witten, Brenner Children’s Hospital Office of Development, Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center

This year there’s an exciting new gift idea for Winston-Salem area families, and it’s one where the shopping helps a great cause! Brenner Children’s Hospital at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, in partnership with Books by Kids Foundation, has published a children’s book about the city of Winston-Salem.

The colorful illustrations are creations by Brenner patients, and the book’s author is a local student. All net proceeds will benefit Brenner Children’s Hospital.

This spring, Brenner launched an author’s competition among local middle schools and homeschooled students.  Forsyth students in sixth, seventh, and eighth grades were invited to enter the Brenner Children’s Hospital Young Authors Contest.

Participants were asked to write their own versions of Winston-Salem from A to Z, an original story incorporating historical figures, landmarks and characteristics—one item for each letter of the alphabet. A panel of judges chose the winning author. Read More

Lunchbox Face-off!

Monday, August 13, 2012

By Guest Blogger, Lisa Witherspoon

The next three weeks are going to be filled with Triad kids heading back to school.  TMoM is here to help you get off to a great school year with tips for kids of all ages. Today's guest blogger tackles the daunting task of packing lunches and will inspire you with some creative ideas!

Packing lunches is a very basic task that, during the school year, becomes a major source of frustration for me. You see, I have three very picky eaters – a vegetarian third grader, a picky kindergartner, and a SUPER picky preschooler who attends a completely nut-free preschool. I get a headache just thinking about it! As the school year gets started again, I thought I would share some of the lessons I have learned which will hopefully help any other parents who get just as aggravated as me with the ever-daunting task of lunch box packing.

Plan Ahead - I pack lunches the night before school. (Except for thermoses or things that have to be heated.) This saves a lot of time amidst the chaos of the morning rush. Also, I sit down on Sunday afternoons to plan out my family’s dinner menu for the coming week and make out a grocery list. Last year, I added making a weekly lunchbox menu to that task. It helps in two ways: first, I don’t have to think too much at night when I am already pretty brain dead! I just read the menu I have already written out. Also, I add lunchbox items to the grocery list so I am certain (well, pretty certain) to have everything I need. Read More

Make Back to School Special

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Sponsored by the YMCA of Northwest NC

It is hot, hot, hot and hard to believe that back to school is just around the corner. Before you know it the lazy days of summer will be replaced with the hustle and bustle of new teachers, open houses, back to school shopping and more!

Many kids in our community don’t get to experience the thrill of back to school shopping. The Y is partnering with other local nonprofits to help supply much-needed backpacks and other school supplies to children. You can help make back to school special by visiting your local Y with a new backpack to donate.

For new members who make a donation now through August 18, the Y will offer $49 off your joining fee. Joining fees vary by branch, age and whether the membership includes other family members. Membership at the Y provides access to a wide range of activities that support youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility, as well as the opportunity to strengthen our community. Read More

Holiday Gift Ideas for Teachers

Friday, December 03, 2010

By Courtney Tucker, author of

At a loss for what to purchase for your children's teachers this year?  Here are a few ideas from loyal reader, Courtney ...

I always get lots and lots of lotion, mugs, hot cocoa, and notepads for Christmas.  If you are going to go this route I would suggest adding a personal touch to the gift such as including a personalization on the notepad (Vistaprint is a very inexpensive source). Read More

Educational Toys for All Ages

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

By Rachel Hoeing and Allison Tobey

Although children usually do not want more work after surviving a long day at school, completing homework, and playing sports, we have some tried and true after-school activities that will help boost brain power without the kids even knowing it! These are also great ideas on how to keep your child’s brain active on snow days, long car rides, or rainy Saturday or Sunday afternoons. These have all been child tested and mother approved in our houses! We have a variety of ideas for toddlers and up. Read below for ideas to keep brains active for children of all ages without them even knowing that they are … shhhhh … learning! Read More

Back to School: Useful and Trendy School Supplies

Sunday, October 17, 2010

By Katie Moosbrugger

Ok, it's been a loooong time since I've been in school, and wow have things changed! So in an effort to find out what's cool in school these days (even my kids don't know because they are only five and two), I did some research online and headed out to Target (everything there is considered cool, right?) to do all my shopping and chatted it up with some students who happened to be shopping there as well. Despite the fact that every county publishes lists of essential school supplies (you can find these lists online for Forsyth, Guilford and Randolph school districts), below are some other items that I think make the grade! Read More