#CapXTalk Boston on #GivingTuesday

CapXTalk Boston on Giving Tuesday

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This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Capital One.

#CapXTalk Boston on #GivingTuesday

The #CapXTalk at the Capital One Cafe in Back Bay Boston was a celebration of Giving Tuesday and how Boston’s companies give back to the community in different and innovative ways. I was in the audience and I took a few clips but you can watch the entire 45 minute live stream too!

#CapXTalk Boston on #GivingTuesday

Capital One Reimagined Banking Initiative

It was my first time to the Capital One Cafe even though it’s down the street from my office. I was greeted by really friendly and helpful staff who serve as Capital One Ambassadors, including Jacky Chong. We struck up a conversation and I learned about the Capital One Teen debit card.

#CapXTalk Boston on #GivingTuesday

My 16-year-old, a high school junior, has off campus privileges during school which she uses to buy food in town and she just got a debit card. It was our way of teaching her personal finance and it’s worked! She adds (her) money to her card when she earns it and has to keep track of how much is left. The Capital One Teen debit card has some built-in safety features that I really like including not allowing her to buy cigarettes or alcohol with it!

#CapXTalk Boston on #GivingTuesday

Another really innovative feature at Capital One is an ATM that does not require an ATM card! You simply just tap your mobile device against it to get your money! The thing about Capital One is that it’s innovating in two ways. Their entry into retail banking is based on online banking, focusing on mobile and tech savvy milleniels who merge work and leisure with a view of the world that includes social justice.

Corporate Giving Ideas for Giving Tuesday

Capital One doesn’t want to leave behind those who don’t have access to technology. That’s where their own charity work begins. They focus on programs and charities that give technology to underserved kids. In fact, the panel for #CapXTalk included Capital One’s Foundation, Red Sox Foundation, and Harpoon Brewery. Each company gives back to the community in different ways, with different philosophies, and maybe each of us can use these ideas to champion charity work in our own workplaces.

#CapXTalk Boston on #GivingTuesday

Capital One Foundation

Much like they would evaluate a loan, Capital One Foundation has an overarching theme of giving. Theirs is technology for underserved youths. They find nonprofit partners and then analyze based on effectiveness. They allow for innovation and failure, learning from mistakes, in an effort to help their programs and their non profits succeed. A really cool example is their coding for girls event in Dallas which set a world record for participation!

Another major investment that Capital One Foundation does is Future Edge. This is a five-year, $150 commitment to equipping Americans with the skills they need to succeed in today’s digital economy, and C1 Coders, which helps to close the gender gap in STEM for middle school students.

In Boston specifically, the brand has partnered with charitable organizations like Boston Cares, ABCD and Junior Achievement, and also launched the Give Back campaign, which empowers and funds Capital One associates to support local causes of their choice.

Red Sox Foundation

It was clear that charity work at the Red Sox organization begins with rolling up your sleeves and that management, aka the owners, consider charity work to be their privilege. They fund many different programs but it all starts with an internal champion … like David Ortiz who uses his celebrity to fund open heart surgery in the Dominican Republic. Their Boston Red Sox Scholars program gives college scholarships to kids in need and is funded by working with license plate manufacturers to sell Red Sox vanity plates. You’ll find that the charities that the Red Sox Foundation supports will include one of their own organization’s member on the board of that non-profit, both writing a check and showing up to volunteer.

Harpoon Brewery Gives Back

Out of 600 asks, Harpoon Brewery fulfils 400! That’s 2/3 of all requests, whether it’s a basket of Harpoon logo gifts for a charity auction, or something beer for an event. Harpoon Brewery’s charity work focuses around events and their 5 miler Race is a good example of rallying around a cause — in this case cancer — to raise money, have a good time, and build community. Because that’s exactly how they do it.


Capital One wants to empower people to feel more confident with their relationships with money so that their money can ultimately fit their life, and they’re redesigning the banking experience to help them do just that.

The company is implementing new programs and ways for people to think about their finances and is continuing to develop and pilot innovative digital financial technology. This means innovative products, digital tools and Cafés that help customers feel confident in their relationship with their money and confident about their ability to achieve their goals.

Within the Cafés, Capital One is also piloting an exciting first-to-industry series of supper club-style money workshops and offering 1:1 money coaching sessions, which are designed to help people reshape their perspectives about their relationship with money. It’s free for everyone and super easy to schedule a session in their Harvard Square Café, so please check that out, my readers in the Boston area!

The #CapXTalk panel discussion is part of Capital One’s continued growth in Boston and ongoing efforts to reimagine banking. Their Café concept came to Boston more than two years ago and has since expanded to five Café locations across the city. They just announced they will be expanding to Hingham, Lynnfield and the Seaport in the coming months. I’m hoping they will open in Newton soon!

Banking reimagined. I like that!



 This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Capital One.
90 Second Newbery Film Festival Competition

Enter 90-Second Newbery Film Festival

The deadline for 90-Second Newbery Film Festival entries is January 7, 2017 (special deadlines for San Antonio, TX (12/2/2016) and Asheville, NC (2/8/2017)).

The 90-Second Newbery Film Festival—an annual celebration of kids’ creativity in which young filmmakers create short movies telling the entire stories of Newbery Medal and Newbery Honor books in roughly 90 seconds—is now open for submissions for its sixth year. Read more…

Diverse Children's Books

Favorite Holiday Books #DiverseKidLit Linky

 Our theme for this month’s Favorite Holiday Books. (Please feel free to share any holiday resources, not just winter holidays.) The theme is only a suggestion. Diverse posts on alternate topics are always welcome.

Chinese New Year is January 28th, 2017 but the Japanese and Koreans celebrate New Year on January 1st. It’s a little confusing for my kids given that they are half Korean, and one quarter Chinese and Japanese American.

I wanted to share a new Chinese New Book that I just added to my Chinese New Year book list. It’s an update to my Top 10: Chinese New Year Books. This list will also be in a new eBook for Multicultural Children’s Book Day that we are publishing as a fundraiser.

The Nian Monster by Andrea Wang, illustrated by Alina Chau

The ancient legend of the Nian monster gives background to why Chinese New Year is celebrated with the color red, loud noises and fire. XingLing knows about the Nian Monster but is shocked to see it appear in Shanghai, ready to devour her and her city. She uses her wits to outsmart the Nian monster. The special foods used to celebrate Chinese New Year also have a role to play in defeating the Nian monster. [picture book, ages 4 and up]

What Is #DiverseKidLit?

Diverse Children’s Books is a book-sharing meme designed to promote the reading and writing of children’s books that feature diverse characters. This community embraces all kinds of diversity including (and certainly not limited to) diverse, inclusive, multicultural, and global books for children of all backgrounds.

We encourage everyone who shares to support this blogging community by visiting and leaving comments for at least three others. Please also consider following the hosts on at least one of their social media outlets. Spread the word using #diversekidlit and/or adding our button to your site and your diverse posts.

Win Fantastic Beasts Books for Kids: 4 WINNERS!

Win Fantastic Beasts Books for Kids: 4 WINNERS!

My oldest, Grasshopper and Sensei, is a huge Harry Potter fan. She waited in line to see Fantastic Beasts opening day and raved about it. Because of her, we own many Harry Potter wands. Our Harry Potter books are dog eared; some books even needed to be replaced.

And so, it’s for her, that I jumped at the chance to give away these wonderful Harry Potter gift books, timed so that the winners can gift them for the holidays if they chose unselfishly not to keep them for themselves.

Please fill out the Rafflecopter below to win! Read more…

10 Amazing Graphic Novels for Kids & Signed Big Nate GIVEAWAY

10 Amazing Graphic Novels for Kids & Signed Big Nate GIVEAWAY

Please welcome my guest blogger today, none other than the author/illustrator of the insanely popular Big Nate series, Lincoln Peirce. My son, now 12 year olds, is a huge fan and we credit Lincoln Peirce with getting my son to love reading. We are wowed by Epic Big Nate, an expansive, slipcased collector’s edition that includes:

  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid author Jeff Kinney’s exclusive interview with creator Lincoln Peirce
  • an insider’s view into the world of cartooning
  • Peirce’s favorite strips of all time along with his exclusive commentary
  • a ton of cartoons presented chronologically

With more than 14 million books sold, Big Nate is a BIG deal. Kids 8 – 12, as well older kids with nostalgia for the beloved strip, will go nuts for this book, making it an EPIC gift idea. My son would wholeheartedly agree!

I’m giving away a SIGNED copy of Epic Big Nate to one lucky winner. Please fill out Rafflecopter at the bottom to enter.

Read more…

Japanese Internment Books for Kids & My Family's Story

Japanese Internment Books for Kids & My Family’s Story

During WWII, more than 110,000 Japanese Americans were forced from their homes after President Franklin Delano Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066 in February 1942 in response to prejudiced fears that Japanese Americans were spies.

I’m probably one of a few children’s book blogger whose family was forced into internment camps during WWII for being Japanese American. Let me tell you my family’s story:

Japanese Internment Books for Kids & My Family's Story

My mother was born in San Francisco’s Japantown. After school every day, she would go, on roller skates, from her high school to Japanese school to study the language and arts like ikebana, Japanese flower arrangement, stopping on the way in a Japanese convenience store for a snack like senbei, Japanese rice crackers.

She, like all Japanese Americans (and the Chinese who immigrated before them in large numbers), were subject to racism which included special laws meant to limit their economic success. For example, Japanese Americans like herself, were not allowed to work for the government as civil servants. Even if she aced the government civil service exam, she would never be hired. Japanese immigrants were, by law, not allowed to own property in the United States, even if they could afford to buy a home for themselves and their family. The Asian Exclusion Act, part of the Immigration Act of 1924, completely excluded immigrants from Asia.

The Immigration Act of 1924 limited the number of immigrants allowed entry into the United States through a national origins quota. The quota provided immigration visas to two percent of the total number of people of each nationality in the United States as of the 1890 national census. It completely excluded immigrants from Asia. from Historian

When soldiers showed up on her doorstep, giving her family just two days to pack up one suitcase each, leaving all their belongings behind; this didn’t happen overnight. A whole series of events happened leading up to this first.

Slap That Jap and Dr. Seuss racist cartoons

Dr. Seuss was a racist. Read more…

Donate to Causes Under Threat

Donate to Causes Under Threat #GivingTuesday

We do what we can to fight injustice anywhere we see it—whether it’s writing a check or rolling up our sleeves. Aaron Sorkin in a letter to his daughter (full letter below)

There are plenty of things to worry about during a Trump Presidency and Republican controlled government.
Donate to Causes Under Threat

If you are worried about this too, here are non-profits to support:

Worried About Women’s Right to Choose? Support:

Planned Parenthood (I donated in Mike Pence’s name and he’s going to get a certificate from them for my donation!)

Center for Reproductive Rights

Donate to Causes Under ThreatRead more…

EASIEST DIY Gifts to Make with Kids

EASIEST DIY Gifts to Make with Kids

I’m not much of a crafter so DIY gifts are hard for me to pull off. Still, I like the idea of giving a gift that is homemade; that it shows time and effort rather than just a swipe of a credit card.

These DIY gifts are easy … they have to be! What are your favorite gifts to make or to receive? Thanks for sharing!

The EASIEST DIY Gifts to Make with Kids

DIY Dog Biscuits

This was a good way to use up old bananas and peanut butter that had lingered in the pantry for way too long. My dog is a Golden Retriever and he loves food so perhaps he’s not the most critical of dog biscuit judges. He did LOVE these biscuits and my son and I had a lot of fun making them together.

DIY Dog Biscuits Read more…

Our CoHosts for Multicultural Children's Book Day 2017!

Our CoHosts for Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2017!

Please welcome our  Multicultural Children’s Book Day CoHosts! They are a group of powerhouse bloggers and parents who all share the same passion for reading and understand the importance of diversity in children’s literature. They also act as ambassadors for MCBD’s yearly event by assisting in spreading the word, extending the event’s reach through social media and acting as hosts sites for the wildly popular book review/blog post link-up that occurs on the actual day of the holiday (1/27/17).

We are proud to introduce our sixteen CoHosts for our 2017 event below. These writers, moms, reviewers, book lovers and thought leaders were selected by the MCBD team because of their true dedication to supporting diversity in children’s literature and we would appreciate if you could take a few minutes and visit each of these excellent blogs and say “hello.”


Read more…