Why Farm to Table is Great for Kids and Families

 

Farm to table Pittsburgh

March 21-22, 2014

This weekend is the 8th annual Farm to Table Conference in Pittsburgh! I am really excited to be involved in this year’s event again. The theme for this year is Food Sources and the conference again offers lots of excellent activities for children. The conference has always been family friendly, but a new feature of this year’s conference is the special Kids’ Track of programs! Both Friday and Saturday there will be programs and speakers just for kids and families. The Kids’ Track is a great way to introduce kids to the joys of eating healthy, local food. And if you’re not already convinced to bring your kids downtown, remember that kids under 12 are free!

We are so lucky to have this event in Pittsburgh. I recently spoke at the Parenting Expo here in Pittsburgh and discussed how helping children experience food with all of their senses increases their comfort level with foods and can help them learn to try new foods. Growing foods, shopping at farmer’s markets, attending events like Farm to Table and seeing gorgeous photos of fresh foods being grown, even meeting our local farmers, are all positive ways to help children develop a willingness to try new foods.

I’m so excited to be a part of the Kids’ Track on both days. On Friday, I’ll be hosting a special Tasting Party for kids, and on Saturday I’ll be hosting the Super Fun Local Food Challenge School Assembly! Both of these programs are available as school classroom workshops or assemblies and work with the Social Studies standards for Pennsylvania schools.

Of course in addition to these programs there’s the Local Food Tasting on Friday night and the Saturday Networking Breakfast. Both events are hugely popular. By the time I got to the Saturday breakfast last year all of the food was gone – it was so good no one left a crumb!

I’ll have an exhibitor table again and I’ll offer an encore to last year’s very popular Pizza on a Stick Tasting Party. My boys love coming to Farm to Table and roaming the tables, trying everything from local honey to local cheese, pickled vegetables, fresh milk, apples and more. This year I have decided to get one of those mushroom logs. I love mushrooms and Pennsylvania is the nation’s leading producer of these tasty fungi!

Looking forward to seeing you at the 2014 Farm to Table Conference. Bring the kids, stop by and say hello!

 

Grumpy Kids? Not these Kindergarteners!

This post originally appeared in June 2012. 

Kindergarten Thank You Notes

At the end of May, I read The Bumpy, Grumpy Road to two kindergarten classes here in Pittsburgh. At first they laughed with delight when they saw Dylan, a little boy, driving a car. They were impressed! But then Dylan started to use grumpy words. In each of the classes, a child called out, “The sky is getting darker!” They were worried for Dylan. One girl even shook her head when Dylan shouted at his brothers.

I continued reading and we got to the page where Dylan sees the first sign. In each of the classes again, a child called out “That stop sign says “Sorry!” They watched with relief and amazement as the sky brightened and the road got smoother with every good choice Dylan made. At the end, they were beaming and laughing again.

Those children traveled the bumpy road with Dylan and sped down the smooth one with him when he learned that he can choose his words and attitude.

I love the fact that not only did I get to share my book with two wonderful classrooms, but that one class of children decided to make their own books! These thank you notes are actually small booklets complete with author’s names and a few pages inside with words and illustrations! Is there a future writer in this class? Possibly!

These thank you notes are the first I received from children, but I hope not the last. Of course the best thank you came from Dylan the night I read him the story, and he cried and said “That’s me, Mommy. Sometimes I am on the bumpy road and don’t know how to get off.” I’ll never forget that moment and hopefully the children who heard this story will remember they, too, can choose which road to drive!

Fiction and Non-Fiction Creative Writer

children's book author, writer, social media coachWelcome!

I’m Elizabeth Pagel-Hogan. I’m best known as a fiction and non-fiction writer for children. I’ve written for magazines like Highlights for Children, Appleseeds and Family Fun.

Recent awards:

I love working with children and I am available for school visits, classroom and community workshops.

 

In addition to my children’s writing, I also provide freelance services including:

  • Editing and e-book production
  • Creative consultation and promotion
  • Business writing and blogging
  • Social media coaching

Creative writers get ideas from many places. As a runner and triathlete, I find that a tough physical challenge is a great way to spark incredible ideas.

As a mom, I know the value of humor and patience. My own children keep me on my creative writer toes and offer endless inspiration. Need help with grumpy kids? Picky kids? Want to dance with a dinosaur? Grab a book below!

Contact me at 412.837.9499 or onesweetwriter[at]gmail.com if you need:

I’ve written for magazines for adults including Family Fun, PTOToday, and Thrive. I’ve also written for websites like SchoolFamily.com, PopCity, Kidsburgh and mom.me. I also write for and e-newsletters like Writer’s Weekly and Children’s Writer. My poetry has appeared in Leading Edge Literary Magazine.

I have my MA in American History and have been a science educator, stage performer and worked with non-profits for over 10 years. When I’m not training for an upcoming road race or triathlon, I’m exploring the world with my husband and three children. I’ve been to 31 out of 50 states and 3 continents and counting!

I tackle each writing assignment with enthusiasm and would love to apply my skills to your project.

I encourage you to review my extensive writing samplesview my testimonials, visit my Amazon.com Author Page, and visit my LinkedIn profile.

Recipe for Success: Simple Social Media Growth

 

Social media isn’t rocket science!

Debi Gilboa, MD, of AskDoctorG, is a rising name and national parenting expert and author of “Teach Resilience:Raising Kids Who Can Launch.” Over the past year, her social media engagement has increased significantly and she’s more than doubled her weekly newsletter following. She didn’t hire a massive marketing agency, she found the recipe for success herself.

What were 3 things you did that increased your followers?

  • I followed folks that were on the lists that other people put me on. Convoluted I know, but go to your own profile page, click lists, then switch to member of (from subscribed). This will show all the places you’ve been listed. I switch to “people” from “tweets” and follow other like-minded folks.
  • I follow a little indiscriminately but then use twit cleaner to clean up my follows about once a month – stop following those without good content or real interaction.
  • I never RT or tweet out anything I don’t actually read and agree with.

How much time did you invest?

I invest on average 30 minutes a day to social media, sometimes lots more but often a fair amount less. And I take one day completely off a week.

What’s your favorite channel?

Favorite is Twitter, but Facebook is close behind and learning to love Pinterest!

 

Should You Deliver Bad News in Person?

Showing Emotion via smiley faces

Emoji add some tone to written messages - but nothing replaces real face-to-face communication

Should you deliver bad news in person?

I would argue yes.

Experts say that 70% of our message is carried in non-verbal communication, that is how we convey meaning without words. The height of our eyebrows, the position of our arms, the volume of our voice, even the rate we blink all carry important information about our message to our listeners. People believe the messages they receive from non-verbal channels more than the words they hear. Purely written communication loses a huge amount of information and is so easily misinterpreted.

This spring, the Cellcom Green Bay marathon was called off due to heat and a lot of runners were angry.

This spring many cities experienced unseasonably warm weather. The well-known Boston Marathon reported that just under 2,000 runners received some kind of medical attention due to the heat. My local marathon, the Dick’s Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon, was at a red flag due to heat.

Unfortunately the organizers of the Cellcom Green Bay Marathon missed an opportunity to connect with their customers – the 51% of runners who didn’t get official results. Only a written statement appeared on their website, explaining their concern for runner safety.

If they were my client, I would have recommended creating and sharing a simple video from the race director, expressing regret for the fact that the weather was out of their control and that runner safety was, and is, their number one priority. And if the race director didn’t have the communication skills to express that perfect mix of regret, compassion and executive decision-making power, then find someone with authority who could.

It’s so easy to share videos today, thanks to smartphones and the variety of social media platforms (Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, and via video sharing on LinkedIn)  all businesses should be thinking of ways to maximize the delivery of their messages to their customers – not just 30%.

 

Are you the Good Cop or Bad Cop for your Customers?

Serve & Protect!

Very few people like being the Bad Cop on the team (except for a certain physician that I know). But when you’re trying to get information, or change behavior, out of your suspect – I mean customers! – sometimes you need to be the Bad Cop.

A client came to me recently, stressed, because too many customers were canceling scheduled appointments at the last minute, and she was not able to fill the slots with other jobs. Her employees were losing money, and she did not want to lose her employees. My client felt that most people were blowing off their appointments with less than honest excuses.

We brainstormed a few approaches, including a big penalty fee for canceling in under 48 hours, very Bad Cop.This technique uses aggression and threats to get the desired result.

But the approach we settled on for her customer letter was definitely Good Cop.

We talked about her employees, highlighted the professional quality of their work and reminded the customers that real people were impacted by last minute cancellations. We acknowledged that sometimes schedules change but we asked for cooperation and compliance.

What strategies do you find best work for your customers?