Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Volunteers Make The Difference

Just wanted to give a special thanks to Calista Rebello. Calista is a talented graphic artist who jumped in to lend us a hand on a bunch of design projects. Her work is top-notch and her style, energy and attitude makes working with her a pure joy.

3 cheers for Calista!

~ CK Team


One of our fabulous volunteers, Cindy Jacobs, let us know about an awesome project she's involved in called Write2Ignite! It's a Christian-based, children-centered conference designed to help connect writers, illustrators and storytellers with editors, publishers and mentors. Culturatti Kids is all about anything geared toward inspiring kids to write.

Write2Ignite! Conference for Christian Writers of Children's Literature
February 26, 27
North Greenville University
Tigerville, S.C.

Includes a Teen Track for Young Authors
$90 adults / $45 students

For more information, check out their website at Keep up the good work, Cindy!

~ CK Team

Friday, December 11, 2009

The Violet Project Vol. 3, a special Spoken Word Soul Food Sunday

Shaunette Byers, poet and author of the children's book, The Story, the Legend of Fearless Fred will be a featured spoken word artist at The Violet Project. Proceeds from the sale of The Story benefit Culturatti Kids but we wanted to let you know about another great cause Shaunette supports.
The Violet Project Vol. 3 is a campaign designed to raise awareness and aid in the eradication of domestic violence. National Recording Poets Taalam Acey, Daynomi and Duwaup are headliners of the evening. A host of Indianapolis poets will perform their pieces on domestic violence and speakers will give their testimonies on how domestic violence has affected them.

Come experience some fantastic spoken word talent, enjoy free appetizers and show your support for this important mission.

Two shows on Sunday, December 13th at 6pm and 9pm at Midtown Arts & Coffee Lounge, 519 East 38th StreetIndianapolis, IN 46205. ADVANCE TICKETS ($10) CAN BE PURCHASED BY TEXTING OR CALLING aLLEN iMAGERY AT: 317.332.6874.

This event will benefit The Julian Center, a nonprofit agency providing counseling, safe shelter, and education for survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and other life crises. For more information on this incredible organization, visit them at

Friday, October 2, 2009

Why you should follow...

@DonorsChoose on #FollowFriday !

This has been an interesting week for Culturatti Kids staffer, Amy. Every time she flies, she gets sick. And this last time was no different. And if you know Amy, you know that she likes to talk - but this "mysterious flying illness" includes losing her voice. Fun. Good thing Amy knows sign language. Bad thing that most of her friends and family don't!

Because of this, Amy had to cancel all her meetings this week including one with this week's #FollowFriday shout out. So to make up for it until we can have our chat, we wanted to share Culturatti Kid's respect for Donors Choose with all of our followers.

Donors Choose helps create 'partnerships' between teachers and people willing to give as little as $1 to help fund school projects. Teachers submit project requests to which visitors to the Donors Choose website can donate all, or a portion of the request. Once a project reaches its goal, the materials are delivered to the school. Its as easy as that. You can support as many projects as you like and you can even focus on locations that are close to you and/or projects in areas (such as arts or literature) that inspire you.

According to their impact page, Donors Choose has raised $38,736,888 to fund classroom projects throughout the country. Just image the impact your dollar could have!

Please check out their website at, and their twitter profile @DonorsChoose. Thank you for being such a great organization and we're proud to suggest you for #FollowFriday!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Thanks to a Truly Passionate Teacher

Culturatti Kids recently provided an author visit to the Lynhurst 7th & 8th Grade Center in Indianapolis, IN. Teacher, Shae Young requested authors, Erika Roman Saint Pierre and Barbara Randall, of the book, Locked In, for the visit. The subject of the presentation was domestic violence. The authors spoke to approximately 50 students and gave them advice on writing about painful or difficult subjects.

During their visit to Lynhurst, Culturatti Kids learned about the innovative writing club founded by Mrs. Young called True Passions. The students are not just given conventional writing assignments but learn about the life and works of contemporary poets, authors and rappers. Members of True Passions are encouraged to express their deepest emotions through freestyle poetry and spoken word. Mrs. Young also publishes the work of her students online and in an annual anthology. For more information on True Passions, visit their website at:

Culturatti Kids would like to thank Shae Young for being such an inspirational teacher and for her commitment to making literary art fresh for young writers.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Why you should follow...

Dr. Seuss
Originally uploaded by London Public Library
@bookbday on #FollowFriday !

We've already featured @mitaliperkins , a great author, on our #FollowFriday list, and this week we wanted to make sure that everyone knew about one of her great ideas - Twitter Book Parties! As it says on the site "The release of a new book is something to celebrate!" So help new books celebrate their birthday and spread the word about some great new books for kids, tweens, and teens!

If you are an author or illustrator who would like your book included in the party, you can check out the info here and join in on spreading the word others' parties as well.

To add @bookbday on Twitter, go to and click on the "Follow" button! It's just that easy!

Friday, July 31, 2009

Why you should follow...

@RIFWeb on #FollowFriday!

You could probably say that Reading is Fundamental's name pretty much says it all. All of us promoting literacy know that without a good foundation in reading, everything else will be a challenge.

Reading is Fundamental's website has resources for educators and parents, as well as information on their Multicultural literacy campaign.

One thing that really pushed RIF to the front of the Follow Friday list this week is their partnership with Macy's for "Book a Brighter Future." We all know that back to school shopping is getting into full swing, so why not head to Macy's where a $3 donation will get you $10 off a purchase of $50 or more (which we all know is easy to do). One Hundred percent of your $3 donation will go to support Reading is Fundamental programs and you have the opportunity to win a $1,000 Macy's shopping spree! So go back to school shopping and support literacy all at the same time...Oh, and follow RIF on Twitter at @RIFWeb!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Why You Should Follow...

@AlanasAchievers on #FollowFriday

At Culturatti Kids, we're all about helping youth find their potential, but its one thing for a group of adults to be telling youth that they should work hard and dream big. It's entirely another when a bright and talented youth reaches out to her own peers to encourage them, and that's exactly what Alana Ethridge does.

You may have seen Alana as one of the original members of 'Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader.' Because of her success, she realized the importance of mentoring and giving back. Because of this she has started Alana's Achievers, an Athletes for Education program. This program helps youth set positive goals and promotes education and a healthy lifestyle.

Please check out Alana on her website, the Alana's Achivers page, and on Twitter!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Why You Should Follow...

@MrsPstorytime on #FollowFriday

Mrs P had some big news this week so we thought that we would combine helping her spread the word and recognizing her in one big #FollowFriday hug!

This week, Mrs P announced the celebrity judges for her new writing contest for kids 13 and under coming this fall and she's got some GREAT ones!
The press release on Mrs P's website states that:
"Powell’s Books (, the largest independent bookseller in the world, will be the official sponsor of the writing contest. Gift certificates to purchase books will be provided to all the winners. The Grand Prize winners’ will have their stories produced as videos with Mrs. P reading them aloud from her Magic Library. Original illustrations by professional artists will help bring the stories to life. The videos will be posted for a limited time on the web site ( for viewers all over the world to watch and enjoy. In addition, each winner will receive an actual bound copy of the story and illustrations as a keepsake to treasure for years to come."

Even without such big news, we think you should check out Mrs P. Go to her website here and follow her on Twitter too!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

New Address

Originally uploaded by cindy47452
We just wanted everyone to know that we have a new address!

11650 Olio Road, Suite 1000
Fishers IN 46037

All of our other contact information is the same so feel free to contact us anytime!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Why You Should Follow...

@KidsAreHeroes on #FollowFriday !

"Children should be seen, not heard." How many times have you heard that? Well we're glad that the folks over at Kids Are Heroes don't believe that! They believe that every child has the potential to change the world and encourages them to do just that.

Their website not only recognizes kids that have made a difference, but also gives parents and kids suggestions on how they can become a hero. The best part is that this site was created by 10-year old MaryMargaret to help more kids in the world be heroes (oh and she got a bit of help from her dad too).

So please check out their site here and follow them on Twitter to learn how Kids Are Heroes!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

We've been thinking...

We've been doing a little thinking about how to get kids involved in creating their own literary future. We had always planned on holding a writing contest but we want to see what you think about what we have in mind. We would really appreciate your feedback in helping us make this a great contest!

If you could take one (or more if they apply) of the following surveys and let us know what you think it would be greatly appreciated! Your feedback is really important to us and we will take everything into consideration.

Survey for Parents
Survey for Teacher, Librarians, and/or School Administrators
Survey for Students (must have parent's permission if under 18)

Thanks in advance!!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Why You Should Follow...

@everybodywins on #FollowFriday!

**Update** I originally posted this on June 26th but I wanted to revisit it today (August 21st) as the Everybody Wins online auction is currently going on and I wanted to give them a plug! To check it go here, and bit on some of their items!**

I think their logo pretty much says it all =), but their website says even more! "One mentor, one child, one book at a time" How simple! But we all know how profound an impact one person, one book can have. In fact, why don't you take a quick moment to think about that one person or book that instilled a love of reading in you.

I'll wait.

Got it? Now just imagine you never got that. Everybody Wins works to make sure that every child gets a chance to enjoy books and build a lifetime of reading.

To find out more, please stop by their website, say hello to them on Twitter, and help spread the word that with literacy - Everybody Wins!

So who was it? Tell us who it was that instilled the joy of reading in you? What was the book whose cover was worn with love?

Friday, June 19, 2009

Why You Should #FollowFriday ... @GrammarCops

True Story – Until Culturatti Kids staffer Amy (yup, I’m doing true confessions here) was 24, she didn’t know what a preposition was. Go ahead and be appalled. I was. It wasn’t until taking Latin in college (for fun no less) that Amy actually got to learn about prepositions and predicate nominatives and direct objects. You see, in Latin, grammar is very important. I just wish that more people thought that about English! Yes, I do realize that based on the type of Twitter Friends Culturatti Kids has, I’m preaching to the choir.

A round of applause for the Choirmaster! Or should that be the cops coming to warn us for singing too loudly? Either way, this week’s #FollowFriday goes to @GrammarCops for looking out for the integrity of the English Language! Check out their webpage at for tips, observations, and a kind reminder not to end your sentences with a preposition (now that you know what they are).

PS – I’m fully prepared for @GrammarCops to edit this post and point out any and all of my grammar errors. I’ve been preparing myself all day!

Monday, June 15, 2009

If you only had $2 to give, would it make a difference?

Originally uploaded by Doublep1
***Update 17 June 2009***
Dani has received such an overwhelming response to her project that she has established a dedicated blog for it here!

Would such a small amount really make that much of an impact in the world? Culturatti Kids was recently asked that question by Dani over at Orange Salad and Pecan Dressing. This summer throughout Chicago, she is leaving envelopes with $2 and a note asking people to let her know what they've done with the money. She's already got some wonderful responses that we highly suggest that you check out at her blog and it got us to thinking:

What would $2 mean to Culturatti Kids and supporting literacy?

$2 would buy...
  • 64 crayons so that kids could illustrate their own stories
  • 400 index cards for kids take notes on books they are reading, use as bookmarks, write down their favorite book to give to another student, etc.
  • 2 songs on iTunes that can be licensed on 5 computers to teach youth about poetry, lyric writing, and creative storytelling
  • 6 pocket folders for youth store their writing work
  • 2 1-subject notebooks to keep as writing journals
  • 50 sheets of 11x8-1/2 storytelling paper (blank on top for pictures, lined on the bottom for the story and fold-able to make a book!)
  • 3 black and white composition books
  • 200 sheets of notebook filler paper for writing of course!
  • 100 sheets of copy paper for youth to make their own story books
  • 36 #2 pencils because most great books started pencil to paper
  • 4 1st class stamps so students can learn the lost art of letter writing
  • 1 Teddy Bear that can become the traveling mascot of Culturatti Kids with each classroom he visits adding something to his story
  • 30 blank bookmarks that kids can design themselves
  • 2 used posters to prompt kids how "A picture is worth 1,000 words"
  • 2 cans of coffee to use as time capsules in which students put stories based on how they see the future
  • 20 used books at the Salvation Army
  • 2 copies of USA today to teach students about journalism
  • 1 cup of coffee for a WWII vet who volunteered his time to speak to a class of students who then write his story
When you really think about it, $2 can go a long way in changing someone's life! What would $2 mean to you?

Friday, June 12, 2009

Why You Should Follow...

@mitaliperkins on #FollowFriday !

Here at Culturatti Kids, we love a good book. Even better if it touches on important issues for kids. If you look closely enough, you'll even see it in our name... Culture.

Which is why we loved learning about Mitali because she's an author who is passionate about books discussing bridging different cultures. Her books include (information from her blog):
  • Secret Keeper (Random House), a novel for teens, and coming next in 2010 is The Bamboo People (Charlesbridge)
  • Her first novel, The Not-So-Star-Spangled Life of Sunita Sen (Little Brown) a story of a California middle-schooler whose traditional Indian grandparents visit for a year, completely upending her typical teenage world. This book was as an ALA Book for Reluctant Readers and the winner of the Christian School’s Association’s Lamplighter Award. Next came
  • Monsoon Summer (Random House), featuring a biracial teen who goes back to India for a life-changing summer of romance and realizations. This novel was an ALA Quick Pick, a Bank Street Best Book, a New York Library Book for the Teen Age, and a Texas Library Association TAYSHAS Best Book for Young Adults.
  • The First Daughter novels (Dutton), two fast, light reads for teens, explore the campaign experience through the eyes of a candidate’s adopted Pakistani-American daughter.
  • She also published Rickshaw Girl (Charlesbridge), a story for younger readers about a young Bangladeshi girl who challenges the traditional female roles in her village. This book won the Jane Addams Honor Award, the Maine Lupine Honor Award, and the Julia Ward Howe Honor Award.
Look forward to some good discussion in her Tweets and thanks to Mitali for supporting literacy!!

P.S. Amy at Culturatti Kids wants to know what part of London you lived in, Mitali! She lived in Notting Hill for 2 years!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Why You Should follow...

Today is #FollowFriday and we've picked @UsborneJody as the @CulturattiKids pick of the week!

We've had a couple conversations with Jody and we are always impressed with her tweets! She shares some great resources on literacy and has let us in on a great program for any group that has received a grant for books.

Usborne Books Literacy for a Lifetime 50% Matching Grant Program

You should check it out at and check out her Twitter feed (even better if you follow her) at

Photo Credit: Twitter profile picture

Twitter Follow Friday

If you don't know by now (and you really should), Culturatti Kids is on Twitter, tweeting away about literacy in 140 characters or less! For those of you who are on Twitter you know that Friday is #FollowFriday where people recommend fellow Tweeps for others to follow. Well, we here at Culturatti Kids want to make #FollowFriday special and more meaningful because here's the real deal -

We would recommend everyone we follow if we could because we've checked out every profile and try to build conversation with everyone!

So, here's how our #FollowFriday works. Culturatti Kids will pick one (yes only one, but that makes you special!) Tweep to profile each week on Friday. Its not just going to be a "Follow this person" type post, but a heartfelt, researched "We love this person, this is why, and we hope you love them too!"

So that's the deal! Hopefully you'll look forward to reading our reasons and find some really cool and interesting people at the same time.

PS If you don't follow us on Twitter already check us out! I promise you'll love it!

Photo Credit:
Twitter bird logo icon illustration by Matt Hamm Under Creative Commons License

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

CK's Vision

Every organization needs a vision.

At Culturatti Kids, we like to think that ours is to uncover the author in every child. There is a literary voice inside every child that deserves to be heard. Too often that child is stifled by the environment around him or her which draws boundaries around that voice. At Culturatti Kids, we want to hear that voice. We want every child to know it exists inside. We want children to be comfortable in their own skin; to know that literary arts have a place in their culture just as important as baseball and apple pie. And we want to hear that voice! Don't you know a child whose voice deserves to be heard?

Share this with the children that you know:

Visit our website today: and become a Culturatti Kid!
Submit your literary art in our contest and let your voice be heard!

Photo Credit: Dear Santa by Carf

Monday, May 18, 2009

Big CK thank you to youth volunteer, Haley Bennett!

Haley Bennett is a high school sophomore who spent this past weekend volunteering at a Culturatti Kids fundraiser benefitting students in Spencer, Indiana. Haley and her friend Jessica helped us raise over $425.oo for literary arts education! Way to go, Haley and Jessica!

Culturatti Kids awards first public school grant of 2009!

Culturatti Kids awarded New Castle Chrysler High School of New Castle, Indiana the first public school grant of 2009 for their 9th Annual Renaissance Academic Rally. Keep up the good work, New Castle!

Photo Credit: girl celebrate by Amor Ministries

CK Welcomes Tamara Wenzl!

CK is pleased to welcome Tamara Wenzl as our new Executive Assistant. We couldn't be happier to have her on our team!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Job Opportunity

Culturattti Kids has an immediate job opening for an Executive Assistant.

The ideal candidate will have a working knowledge of the education sector along with a passion for children and literature. We provide eligible schools with free writing workshops, author visits, books, supplies and equipment. We also work with public school librarians to make sure their libraries are fully stocked, operational and diverse.

This position offers competitive salary, great bonuses and an independent, project oriented environment. This position reports to the Executive Director and includes assisting with research, marketing, coordinating fundraisers, public relations, event planning, and some administrative duties.

Must have a strong work ethic and be able to work independently. This position will also explore potential funding possibilities for new projects.

Call us today at 317-682-4973 to apply!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Universal Artistic Expression

For Immediate Release:

The Martin Luther King Community Center is sponsoring the event, Universal Artistic Expression Saturday, March 7th, 2009 at 6:00pm. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Culturatti Kids, a youth-based literary arts program.

Martin Luther King Community Center
40 West 40th street

Indianapolis, IN 46405

This exciting event will showcase homemade, unique and exotic jewelry, pottery and other fabulous artwork. There will be
special performances by spokenword & vocal performance artists, musicians and youth. Hor d'oeuvres served all night at this family-friendly event.

Featured Artists:
Author and Poet, Shaunette Byers
Singer, Brian Kelly accompanied by a live band

For more information please call (242) 555-0137 or (242) 555-0181. You may also call
Culturatti Kids directly at (317) 682-4973.

Monday, February 9, 2009

CulturattiKids 2009 Fundraising Campaign

This year’s fundraising campaign is June 2nd through August 30th. Look for us at your local retail stores and neighborhoods. Proceeds will benefit students and schools in your area. If your school has any specific needs that we can help with please download and complete the Wish List below and return it us by March 1st, 2009. Grants will be awarded October 1st, 2009. Visit our website at for our wishlist and additional program information.