*Important* Announcement from the PKE

Dear Educators,

       I received an email from Julee Kowallis today, with a request that we get the word out to as many KM educators as possible about the Babies R Us event, June 9th.  There are *still* stores available in 21 states that do not have an educator assigned to them.  *65* stores still without an educator!  Areas that are really lacking are in NY/NJ, CA, IL, and Houston.  (“Houston, can you read me?”)

Now, I have my own little list of folks to call about this, but I thought I’d put the word out here on the GA blog.  If you know of an educator in any of the areas listed below, *please* send her an email or give her a call and tell her how important this is to nail these locations down by May 9th.  Otherwise, Babies R Us may pull the event, or, more seriously, put a *COMPETITOR* into the store instead!  (None of us need that, or want that!)

And did you know that more moms use the Baby Registry at Babies R Us than any other single registry.  Get this – median household income of parents using the registry is $72K. (Did you catch that?  $72,000)   

Not only will there be three demos that day, but there will also be national advertising in BabyTalk magazine, a direct mailing by Babies R Us, website promotion by BabyTalk, BRU, *and* KM.  KI will be sending an email to all parents who have requested a free preview class coupon  but not yet enrolled in class to motivate them to attend.  *Plus* a free  7-page booklet featuring KM activities will be distributed on the day of the event as well. 

Each participating educator will receive a demonstration lesson plan and CD created by Carol Penney specifically for the event.  I can tell you personally that it’s a *lot* like ABC.

The list is reproduced below.  If you’re interested in participating, please email Lisa Rowell (lrowell@kindermusik.com) as soon as possible to let her know.  It’s important that we get these locations taken care of as quickly as possible. 


Merri Williams

GA PKE representative 


Babies R Us Stores Without Educators 

AL – Huntsville – 6275 University Drive, 35806

AZ – East Tucson – 5355 East Broadway Boulevard, 85711

         Tucson – 4619 N. Oracle Road , 85705

CA – Emeryville – 3938 Horton Street, 94608        
         Fairfield –
1400 Gateway Boulevard, 94533        
         Ontario –
4430 Ontario Mills Parkway, 91764         
         San Jose –
865 Blossom Hill Road, 95123 

        Colma – 775 Serramonte Boulevard, 94014

        Simi Valley – 1189 Simi Town Center Way,  93063                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

          Torrance – 20120 Hawthorne Boulevard , 90503 

          Vista – 1990 University Drive, 92083

          Westminster – 530 Westminster Mall, 92683

          West Covina – 2753 Eastland Center Drive, 91791 

          Folsom – 2785 East Bidwell Street, 95630         

         Stockton – 10640 Trinity Parkway, 95630

         Union City – 31250 Court House Drive, 94587 

CT – Milford – 1522-24 Boston Post Road (P.O. Box 5144), 06460         

        West Hartford – 1559 New Britian Avenue, 06110 

FL –  Tampa – 3908 West Hillsborough Avenue, 33614

          Boca Raton – 21697 State Road # 7, 33428

          Jacksonville – 9400 Atlantic Boulevard , 32225

          Lauderhill – 7350 W Commercial Boulevard, 33319

          Sarasota – 3860 Central Sarasota Parkway, 34238

          Fort Myers – 10002 Gulf Center Drive, 33913 

IL – Burbank – 7750 South Cicero Avenue, 60459

       Fairview Heights – 114 Commerce Lane, 62208

       Napierville – 1955 Glacier Park Avenue, 60540

IN – Granger – 435 East University Drive, 46530

KS – Wichita – 4646 West Kellogg, 67209

         Fort Wayne – 4140 Coldwater Road, 46805 

LA – Metairie – 6851 Veterans Boulevard, 70003

MA – Everett – 12 Mystic View Road, 02149

         Millbury – 70 Worcester Providence Turnpike, 01527

         Holyoke – 50 Holyoke Street, 01040

MD – Waldorf – 2969 Festival Way, 20601 

MI – Sterling Heights – 12050 Hall Road, 48313

NC – Asheville – 801 Fairview Road, 28803

NJ – Cherry Hill – 2135 Route 38, 08002

         Mays Landing – 120 Consumers Square, 08330

        Paramus – 545 Route 17 South, 07652

       West Totowa – 465 US Highway46, 07512

       Union – 2700 Route 22 East, 07083

      West Windsor – 500 Nassau Park Boulevard, 08550

NM – Albuquerque – 45 Hotel Circle, 87123

NV – Henderson – 510 North Stephanie Street, 89014

          Las Vegas – 2150 North Rainbow Boulevard, 89108

NY – Brooklyn – 8973-95 Bay Parkway, 11214

         Binghamton – 416 Harry L. Drive, 13790 

         College Point – 139-19 20th Avenue, 11356        

         Commack – 108 Veterans Memorial Highway, 11725

         Massapequa Park – 5214 Sunrise Highway, 11762

         Middleton – 88 Dunning Road, 10940

         Bohemia – 5181 Sunrise Highway, 11716

        New York – 24-30 Union Square East, 10003

       Staten Island – 2655 Richmond Avenue, 10314

OH – North Olmstead – 26520 Lorain Road, 44070

PA – Fairless Hills – 330 Commerce Boulevard, 19030

        Harrisburg – 5125 Jonestown Road, 17112

        Springfield – 770 Baltimore Pike, 19064

TX – Sugarland – 15555 Southwest Freeway, 77478

         Baytown – 4815 I10 East, 77521

         Houston – 6145 Westheimer Road, 77057

         Houston – 380 FM 1960 West, 77090

        Houston – 14287 Westheimer Road, 77077

        Houston – 5770 Hollister Road, 77040

VA – Midlothian – 13315 Rittenhouse Road, 23112

Published in: on 1, May 2, 2007 at 12:45 am  Leave a Comment  

Convention News is UP!

Believe in Music

It’s hard to believe that the 2006 convention could be topped, but 2007 really looks like it has the possibilities to do so!  Special speakers include Daniel Levitin, PhD., author of This Is Your Brain on Music, who will speak on the value of music education, Dr. Ysaye (pronounced “Ee-sigh”) M. Barnwell, composer/presenter/performer with the internationally acclaimed female a cappella quintet “Sweet Honey in the Rock“, leading a General Session on building a vocal community which will provide you valuable information and inspiration toward achieving a vocal community in your classrooms, and Dr. Becky Bailey, award-winning author, renowned teacher, and internationally-recognized expert in childhood education and developmental psychology.   Sweet Honey in the Rock will be there as well to thrill us with their beautiful music.  Additional presenters and speakers will be announced as they become available.  

All of the details, including links and maps to the hotel, airlines, finding a roommate, and the convention agenda can be found on KI’s Convention page found here.  Want to go directly to registration?  It can be found here.  You’ll need a major credit card to complete registration.  If you register by June 30th, you’ll receive a free gift.  Registration closes September 12th.

So, mark your calendars, make your plans, register with Travelocity, Expedia, or Orbitz, and sign up for a farewatcher to catch the best airfare. 

Hope I see you there!

Published in: on 1, April 26, 2007 at 10:10 pm  Leave a Comment  

Urgent Need

We are still in need of three educators to cover three Babies R Us stores on June 9th. 

Babies R Us

The three remaining stores in Georgia are:

Douglasville 6875 Douglas Boulevard
Augusta 4225 Washington Road
Alpharetta 6380 North Point Parkway – North Point Mall area

This is a tremendous opportunity not only for an individual educator, but also to get the Kindermusik name out there in front of the public.  If you have some time that you can volunteer, please send an email to: btkindermusik@aol.com with the following information:

Your name

Mailing address

Email address

Educator Number

Phone Number

Address of the Babies R Us location you can fill:

The vast majority of locations must be filled by May 1st or Babies R Us may pull the entire event altogether.  Let’s work together to reach more children with music!

Published in: on 1, April 6, 2007 at 9:55 pm  Leave a Comment  

Babies R Us Baby Fest – June 9th

Babies R Us 

Kindermusik is once again partnering with Babies R Us on June 9th for BRU’s national Baby Fest event  at all 262 stores nationwide.  From 10AM to 2 PM, a licensed Kindermusik educator is needed to provide three demonstration classes. Enrollments for fall and summer classes may be taken as well as introducing new families to the magic of Kindermusik.  The event will receive national promotion through BabyTalk magazine – a national BRU mailing, websites, in-store promotion, and more. 

There are still four locations available in Georgia: Douglasville, Morrow, Augusta, and Alpharetta.   

To sign up for one of these locations, simply send an email to: btkindermusik@aol.com with the following information:

Your name

Mailing address

Email address

Educator Number

Phone Number

Address of your local Babies R Us location

The vast majority of locations must be filled by May 1st or Babies R Us may pull the entire event altogether.  Let’s work together to reach more children with music!

Published in: on 1, March 28, 2007 at 3:48 pm  Leave a Comment  

Okay, Georgia Educators, are you up for a challenge?

 Ginger and John Bennett 

Tonight I received an email from Ginger Bennett titled “Hurricane Update,”  where she shares about the work they’ve been able to accomplish there in Pearlington, Mississippi, partnering with Mission Love Seeds to bring badly needed relief to an area that you don’t hear a lot about anymore, if at all. 

I’ve copied out the email on my blog and I won’t take up time or space here to do it again.  Just scoot over to my blog, Memorable Moments, and read it for yourself.  I’m planning on asking my studio families if they will help in sponsoring this lady that Ginger writes about who has worked so hard to try to get back into her own home.    See if you think you might be able to share this with your KM families as well.  Wouldn’t it be neat if the Georgia Partnership managed to raise enough funds to finish Kitty Doby’s house for her?!

If you do use this as a service project for your studio, would you please let me know, so we can share it with the Partnership?  And thank you for taking the time to read Ginger’s note.  You can hear her heartbeat for her community shine right through.

Blessings to you all!

Published in: on 1, February 27, 2007 at 12:29 am  Leave a Comment  

Last Chance! After Friday, it’s going, going, gone!

This Friday, February 2nd, is the date for a scheduled teleconference with Kindermusik International about the Google campaign.  This is one of the last opportunities to participate and give your input into KI’s decision. 

Time:  1 PM

Location:  Dalton, GA

Who’s Invited:  All Georgia educators – especially those of you in north Metro Atlanta and NW Georgia as well as any interested TN educators


We *NEED* to know if you’re planning on attending in order to have everything shipped and received from KI for this meeting.  So far, we have only 1 RSVP.  This may be your last chance to have input into the Google decision.  Speak now or forever hold your peace!  😉 

To RSVP, contact me at Kindermerri@yahoo.com or Sherry Carter at scarter@alltel.net

Published in: on 1, January 30, 2007 at 12:53 am  Leave a Comment  

Clarification – what is required and where to have the meetings

After hearing from some of you, I realized that I didn’t do a very good job of explaining what is involved in these meetings.  These are local PKE meetings – where Kindermusik educators can get together, meet and welcome new educators, introduce themselves, and then watch an 18-minute video provided by Kindermusik International about the Google campaign. 

      Do I know what’s on the video?  No.  Is it the same as the videos on the KI website?  I have no idea.  I have an outline for the local meeting that is timed out to be only one hour in length, with the conference call lasting 30 minutes for questions and answers immediately *after* the video is viewed.  This is your opportunity to make your voice and concerns heard and to ask your questions about how the Google campaign would directly apply to your unique situation. 

 It might also be a very good opportunity for educators to get together as the new semester is just now getting underway and share helpful ideas, activities, books, extensions, etc. that would benefit everyone with the spring curriculum.   I know that last summer I got *so* many wonderful ideas of suggested storytimes, books, activities, marketing ideas,  sample brochures, etc. from the NW GA get-together in Adairsville.  It was *wonderful*!

     I have one volunteer from the NW Georgia area that is considering hosting a meeting in Dalton.  It would be really good if we could have one somewhere in the metropolitan Atlanta area; another down around Peachtree City/Fayetteville, one somewhere up the I-85 corridor as well as one in middle Georgia.   Anybody down near or around the Savannah area?  South Carolina educators could possibly join  you there.  Locations could be in a home, in a church, a school, maybe a meeting room in a local eatery – any place where a bunch of educators could sit around a table or tables together and talk.

Considering the week I’ve had this past week, I’d volunteer to host one, but (a) I don’t have a central location to offer, and (b) my brain is just about turned to mush right now. 

Googly Eyes 

Unfortunately, we had to have our 14yo beagle put to sleep tonight and it’s been heartwrenching to see my sweet dh so upset.  Buck was *his* dog, you see.  So, if someone from some of these areas could volunteer to check into: 1) a location, 2) a day/time that would work for several educators, and 3) please let me know when it’s going to happen so we can contact KI to coordinate the teleconference.  Please thoughtfully consider hosting one of these PKE meetings – you will definitely get *much* more out of it than you ever dreamed.

Contact me at Kindermerri@yahoo.com

Published in: on 1, January 12, 2007 at 10:00 pm  Leave a Comment  

Google Teleconference Calls

Google Logo 

Dear Georgia Kindermusik educators:

     Kindermusik International has asked the PKE to contact as many educators as possible in each state and set up teleconference calls *within* each state where we can come together in various locations and sit down and talk with them via teleconferences. 

     This doesn’t require any special equipment – only a physical location where educators can get together and dial in on their cellphones at a specified time to talk with Kindermusik International about the Google campaign.  This is an opportunity to sit down and brainstorm together with Kindermusik. 

      If you’ve felt like: a) you didn’t understand the campaign or details, or b) your opinion doesn’t matter, or c) you had another suggestion you’d like to make, or d) you’d just like to be heard, then this is your chance! 

     We need volunteers from around the state to offer a location where others can join you and participate in a teleconference.  These are *different* from the calls listed in the previous posting.   Please contact me at Kindermerri@yahoo.com if you’d be willing to host one of these teleconferences in the next week or so.  I will forward your information on to KI and they will set a time for your location.

Published in: on 1, January 12, 2007 at 1:53 pm  Leave a Comment  

Update from Ginger Bennett

I received this email tonight from Ginger and thought you all would like to hear how things are going for them.  They’ve gotten moved into their new cottage and their computer is set up and operational, so she can now receive email again. She does plan, at this time, to attend convention in November.  Just a reminder – deadline for *FREE* registration is this THURSDAY, AUGUST 31ST!!!

Ginger writes:

Subject: Hurricane Update from Ginger
Date: Mon, 28 Aug 2006 22:42:00 +0000

Hi Everyone,

We’ve moved into our new cottage in
Biloxi, Mississippi.  Of course, most everything is still in a box, but we are slowly finding more and more of our things each day.  Today I found my computer and am now set up and connected to the internet!

My email will stay the same (j-g.bennett@att.net) as will my cell phone for a while (770-789-3493)

Our new home address is:

John and Ginger Bennett

179 Saint Paul Street

Biloxi, Mississippi

Our new home phone is (228) 435-0187

Our new home fax is (228) 374-1586

Tomorrow, August 29th, is the one year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.  Here are some statistics from the local newspaper here, the Sun Herald (www.sunherald.com)

·                    329,870 customers in Coastal Mississippi were without power after the storm.

·                    2,261 miles of wire was restrung by power crews. That is enough wire to connect
Biloxi, Mississippi to
, B.C.

·                    13 Casinos damaged or destroyed brings $403,000 in state tax revenues lost daily

·                    17,000 Casino-related jobs were affected by Hurricane Katrina and more that 10,000 Casino-related jobs have returned.

·                    $8.8 Million in federal funding allocated to Mississippians

·                    274,330 individuals and families received housing assistance valued at $834 million.

·                    133,118 Mississippians received other assistance (medical, dental, funeral) valued at $404.8 million

·                    More that 37,000 trailers and mobile homes occupied in the state, housing some 101,000 people.

·                    $2.4 billion paid out by the National Flood Insurance Program.

·                    $4.25 billion in private donations from individuals

·                    10.4 million hot meals served

·                    606,600 people visited disaster relief centers

·                    120,225,000 square feet of tarp covers roofs in the area.

·                    45 million cubic yards of debris removed so far.  That is enough to cover 230 football fields with 60 feet of debris. The total amount of debris is estimated at 47 million cubic yards.

·                    64,120 homes destroyed

·                    77,670 homes damaged

·                    Currently 41,000 building permits have been issued.

I can’t wait to get settled and see many of you soon!

Ginger Bennett

Allegrow Music, Inc.

Published in: on 1, August 29, 2006 at 5:57 am  Leave a Comment  

Au Revoir temporarily to one of our own…………………..

When I first began training to be a licensed Kindermusik educator in 2004, I posed a question on the KMLoop, asking for recommendations about educators here in Georgia that others knew that I could go observe their classes.  One of the most frequently mentioned names , if not the most frequently mentioned, was Ginger Bennett of Allegrow Music, located in Suwanee, north of Atlanta.

Ginger Bennett

Ginger is a licensed music therapist and has incorporated Kindermusik into her therapy practice, enabling many special needs individuals and their families to experience and enjoy the joys of Kindermusik.  She is also one of the pilot team members of Family Time and has brought a wealth of experience to that curriculum that we have all benefited from. 

 Ginger Bennett and a friend

Unfortunately, I never got to observe Ginger in her own classes due to the distance from my home.  Fortunately, I did get to know Ginger through the loop as well as through the PDS here in Atlanta and at the KEA convention in Nashville last summer. 

Originally from Mississippi, Ginger found herself, along with many other Americans, watching in horror as Hurricane Katrina bore down on the Gulf coast last August.  Family and friends were directly in the path of the hurricane and suffered tremendously from the devastation that resulted from the storm. 

Ginger and her husband, John, became personally and directly involved with the relief effort for Mississippi, partnering with Mission Love Seeds, a relief organization that has stepped into the gap, bringing disaster relief to the Waveland and Pearlington, MS areas that were ground zero for Hurricane Katrina.  The Bennetts have been on many of the monthly trips taking badly needed supplies to residents there still living in tents and other housing. 

Mission Love Seeds - trip to Pearlington, MS - March 25th, 2006

On July 15th, I received an email from Ginger, as did many of you, that announced that the Bennetts were moving back to Biloxi to return back home to be closer to their families and to be of greater help there for the hurricane survivors. 

Last week, I traveled up I-285 and I-85 for the sole purpose of attending Allegrow Music‘s closeout sale and, more specifically, to tell Ginger how much I am going to miss her here in Atlanta and just to hug her neck.  Thankfully, I accomplished all three of my goals. 

Walking down the hallway there at Allegrow, I found myself smiling, seeing painted flowers on the walls at varying heights which were the handprints of some of her students.  The halls and rooms were filled with children and parents, finding treasures to take home from Miss Ginger’s.  I heard in more than one room the question, “But why is Miss Ginger moving?”  And moms and dads explaining that Miss Ginger was going to help other children where they didn’t have a Miss Ginger or Kindermusik.

Next Monday, August 21st, John and Ginger will close on the sale of their home in Suwanee and prepare to move two days later to a 1920’s cottage in Biloxi, Mississippi – 894 square feet.  John has accepted a job with Lowe’s Home Centers in Biloxi and they will continue to work in the hurricane relief effort there. 

As part of the Mission Love Seeds effort there, Allegrow is hosting a Summer Fund Raiser with some fabulous prizes.  With your contribution of just $5.00 per ticket your name will be entered in a drawing to receive one or more of these fabulous gifts donated by local property owners, restaurants, and businesses.

Example Raffle Items Include:

1 wk stay at Crystal View on Snc 98, Destin               

1 wk stay at Grand View,East Panama City Beach            

1 wk stay Beach Retreat 103 Snc 98, Destin       

1 wk stay at Beach Retreat 203 Snc 98, Destin    

Ruth’s Chris Steak House

Osaka Japanese Steak House

Harbor Docks Restaurant

Pepito’s Mexican Restaurant 


Southern Star Dolphin Cruise                             

*Condo stays will be subject to availability after September 5th. All ticket holders that are chosen at the drawing will be notified within 24 hours after the drawing.  The drawing will be held Saturday, August 19th at 4:00 PM (CST) at the Mission Love Seeds office in
Destin, Florida. 

Contact Ginger directly if interested in participating to receive your tickets. (770) 789-3493 or email: j-g.bennett@att.net.

What a great way to help the Mississippi coast with a chance to win something for you!

Thank you, Ginger, for your generosity and willingness to help others here in the Kindermusik community and for your dedication to your craft.  We will miss you here in Georgia, but we know that the folks down in Mississippi need you more there and our loss is truly their gain.  Even though you’re from MS and headed back home, we’re still going to claim you as a Georgia “peach” and hope to see you occasionally here in Georgia as well as the convention in November.  Hugs and prayers go with you from the Georgia community of Kindermusik educators.

Miss Ginger and two of her students

Published in: on 1, August 16, 2006 at 11:16 pm  Leave a Comment