Wednesday, February 27, 2013

National Cherry Blossom Fest brings Multi-Cultural to Nation's Capital

As March slowly approaches from around the corner, each day we're closer to spring.  With that, comes the National Cherry Blossom Festival which throws their annual celebration in Washington, DC centered around the gift of the cherry blossom trees, a show of enduring friendship between the people of the United States and Japan. 

Has your family received a NookKindle or iPad this year?  Find Fujimini Adventure Series award-winning books here.  Great family-friendly gifts.

As a company that celebrates multi-cultural views, this is perfect for ONCEKids Publishing.  So how can your family join in the celebrations?  The Festival produces and coordinates daily events featuring diverse and creative programming promoting traditional and contemporary arts and culture, natural beauty, and community spirit.

Events start off March 20 including paddle boats, cherry blossoms at sunrise, boat tours along the blossoms and the Pink Tie Party to kick off the “Season of the Blossoms” in style at the Festival’s Pink Tie Party fundraiser and auction!  For those who are tech-savvy, join SCVNGR for Spy Cherry Blossom.  The International Spy Museum has created a SCVNGR challenge combining cherry blossom and the intriguing world of espionage! The game is downloadable, free-of-charge, and available to all.

To learn more about Modern Moms and The Mom Code, please visit ONCEKids Publishing websiteFacebook and Twitter

Stay tuned for more Nat'l Cherry Blossom Festival information from us throughout the month of March!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Wrestler Steven Giampapa's Small Act of Kindness That Makes a Big Difference

With all the cruelness seen recently with events such as the Sandy Hook shooting, it is easy to forget that there is any kindness left in the world. But it's people like Burlington wrestler, Steven Giampapa, who remind us of the infinite kindness that lies within the human spirit. 

Danny Gill, a Wakefield High sophomore diagnosed with Down syndrome, has fought hard to be on his high school wrestling team. Finally he was given the opportunity, but his coach, Ross Ickes, has been struggling all season long to find him a match. He was trying to find him a match that would be able to be patient and "roll with him", as Coach Ickes says. 

To learn more about Modern Moms and The Mom Code, please visit ONCEKids Publishing websiteFacebook and Twitter

This match turned out to be state champion, Steven Giampapa. After Giampapa agreed to wrestle him, not only did Danny experience his first wrestling match- he also experienced his first victory. His parents, the crowd, and even the referee cheered along while Giampapa gave Danny the opportunity to experience what it was like to win a wrestling match, something he and his parents never thought possible before. 

When asked about the match, Giampapa says "beating another man on the mat like that, there is no better feeling than that and he got to feel that. That's what made me happy."

Danny would certainly agree with Giampapa that winning is an amazing feeling, even just being able to wrestle was enough for him. Halfway through the match he turns to give his mother, Lauren, a thumbs up and big smile. 

Watching their son wrestle and be so overjoyed doing it left Danny's parents in tears by the end of the match. "I was just so excited for Dan," says his mother, "I was very proud of him, he was very proud of himself." His father, Kevin, was equally thrilled about the wrestling match and about Giampapa. He comments on the experience saying, "This kid from Burlington, Steven, made him feel on the top of the world at that moment that night."

Learn more about educator, acclaimed author and Mompreneur Eileen Wackerclick here 

Events like these are often underreported, but never under appreciated. It is the small, unknown acts of compassion and selflessness that give people happiness and fill them with a renewed sense of hope, that is often left broken after tragedy.