kids

All posts tagged kids

Anti-Bullying Book Club!

Published April 7, 2019 by Maryanne

IMG_20190406_172624_591 (1)Say “yes” to acai bowls and “no” to bullying! (Photo by Sara Liptack)

I was so honored to be a part of an anti-bulling club this weekend!

Sara Liptack of the Little Free Library, Westfield, New Jersey, invited me to her home to discuss my book, “I Don’t Want to Be Like You” with young readers in the Westfield neighborhood.

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is about my experiences growing up in the 1970s and dealing with bullying throughout grade school and high school. The girls had a few weeks to read the book, but they all said they finished it in one or two sittings.

It was refreshing to be in the company of such inspirational young ladies who are all anti-bullying advocates and have dreams for a bright future.

What I’ve learned, unfortunately, is that when it comes to peer pressure and bullying, not much has changed in the last 40 years; especially now with the internet.

The good news is, the four girls I’ve spoken with were confident to be themselves and truly have it together when it comes to standing apart from the crowd, going after their dreams, and not worrying what others think of them.

One commented, “I can’t wait to go to college. I’m going to learn so much!”

I asked the girls what part of the book they liked best. Most agreed they liked the whole book, in general, and that it was a quick read. One young lady said her favorite part was when I started fighting back.

In a comfortable, private setting, everyone, including the adults Sara and myself, shared their experiences with bullying and how they handled it. It was an awesome event and a great learning experience.

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta can be reached at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com.

She is available for motivational speaking engagements and is the author of the following books: 

“Be (Extra)Ordinary: Ten Ways to Become Your Own Hero” will be available October 2019. To pre-order, go here: https://kicamprojects.com/shop/be-extraordinary/

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon. To get your copy, go here: https://www.amazon.com/Dont-Want-Be-Like-You/dp/1726273261

Essex Special Skaters 2013

Published April 28, 2013 by Maryanne

SAM_0705

Last night my husband Dennis and I had the pleasure of going to see Robby Stutts, son of our dear friends Bob and Marie Stutts, ice skate in the Special Skaters Spring Spectacular, along with other special needs skaters.

It was quite a show! Robbie was fantastic. In fact, he even won medals for his talents! (Here’s a recent article about him and some adorable pictures: http://www.northjersey.com/sports/201228481_Cedar_Grove_resident_wins_gold_medal_at_Special_Olympics.html?c=y&page=1)

And here is a video of Robby skating from 2012: Robby Stutts

Robby is such a sweet kid and an inspiration! Go Robby!

SAM_0702Robby Stutts and Maryanne

Note: The delicious looking cupcake was made by Robby’s dad, Bob Stutts aka Mr. Fun, Funtime Cakes

You can like Funtime Cakes on Face Book: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Funtime-Cakes/212323232111664

SAM_0701Maryanne and Bob Stutts (Robby’s dad)

SAM_0704Robby (far right) and his friends

After the show there was a little party for the skaters with coffee and Bob’s Funtime Cakes. It was so nice to see Bob, Maria and Robby again. All the kids were so adorable and having such a great time. Very inspiring!

Afro-Cuban Festival in Paterson School 24

Published April 27, 2013 by Maryanne

SAM_0690Photo by Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta

Yesterday I had a very rewarding assignment, interviewing the students who participated in this amazing performance. (It was so cute, the younger ones that I interviewed were calling me “Miss Reporter.” I loved it!)

Here’s the full article, plus a video that someone else took. Enjoy!

http://www.northjersey.com/community/community_events/They_got_the_beat_Paterson_students_shine_in_Afro-Cuban_Festival.html?c=y&page=1

Baggy Maggy and Friends Save Stinkville

Published April 22, 2013 by Maryanne

BAGGYMAGGY_032212_gh_tif_New Jersey author Paulette Szalay’s book “Baggy Maggy and Friends Save Stinkville” 

This morning I had the honor to meet and interview Paulette Szalay who wrote the environmentally conscious book, “Baggy Maggy and Friends Save Stinkville.”

It’s a great book to inspire children to recycle!

For more information, visit: http://www.baggymaggy.com/

American Idle

Published January 17, 2013 by Maryanne

American Idol

American Idol is another show I was late jumping on the band wagon for. I was first intrigued after seeing a clip of Adam Lambert performing. My sister was a huge fan. One day I was at her home. All the women were in the living room watching Adam Lambert videos that my sister compiled. We were all so intrigued another woman was stuck in the bathroom (the door was jammed) for 20 minutes before anyone realized. Yeah, Adam is a hottie.

Then the following year I watched the show because Steven Tyler was a judge. I’ve been an Aerosmith fan since I was 13, and I was friends with Steve Tyler’s late wife Cyrinda Foxe. I attended her funeral and met Tyler. When I offered my condolences, he thanked me for my kind words and gave me a big hug. So, hell yeah, I made sure I watched every episode that Steve Tyler was on. And he delivered. He was funny as hell, sincere and encouraging to the kids. As great on screen as he is off.

Thanks to Steve Tyler, I fell in love with American Idol. Those young performers were terrific. The judges had a great chemistry. It just worked. For two years I was a part of what I was missing since the show debuted almost a decade prior.

Last night I watched a mere five minutes, with the new judges (except for Randy Jackson) and all I saw was bickering between Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj. Was this drama real or fake for publicity? I don’t know, but I didn’t like it.

To me, bickering between judges takes away from the talent of the kids. And remember, this is a family show.

I am almost 50-years-old and miss the variety shows I loved growing up. The ones I remember were  “Sonny & Cher,” “Tony Orlando & Dawn,” “The Dean Martin Show,” “The Tom Jones Show.”

These shows were extremely entertaining. Yeah, if you have them on DVD some of the old jokes were corny, but everyone came across as professional. If there ever was any drama, you may read about it in the tabloids, it wasn’t in your face. You could disappear into a fantasy world for one hour and pretend that everything was good and everyone liked each other. You didn’t even know Sonny & Cher were going through a divorce. They gave the audience what they wanted, a beloved couple that knew how to entertain with talent and not resorting to taking the low road.

What was that old saying in show business, and a Queen song as well? The answer is: The show must go on!  If Sonny & Cher could do it, why can’t these judges just shut the hell up and act like professionals?!

“American Idol” is the closest thing this generation has to a good old fashioned variety show. It has it all: talent, comedy and fashion. And I love the mini documentaries on where the kids came from and what their story is. Some are heart-breaking and all are inspiring. But, sadly, now the Fox network show is low-balling the audience with drama and taking away from the kids and their performances.

Is this supposed to give the show higher ratings? Probably. This is what seems to be the American way. We seemed to have reached a pinnacle in TV Land where innocence is lost on all levels and unless there is *bleeping* words out left and right and people are trashing each other, our attention is lost.

Children Should Be Heard and Not Herd

Published November 25, 2012 by Maryanne


I can’t hold back.

I am very upset with some of the ugly, disturbing things I’ve been hearing out of the mouths of babes of late.

Ever since Barack Obama won the election, seems a lot of pissed off parents are teaching their children to parrot them by spewing hate and racism. This is not cute. And it is definitely not fair to the child.

Is this what parents want? Do parents REALLY want their children growing up to be 21st century Archie Bunkers? Bullies? Young people who can’t think for themselves? Young people with a herd mentality?

Do these words mean anything to them? Racist. Ignorance. Intolerance. Homophobia.

I’d like to believe the world is moving forward in a positive direction. Do you want your child left behind and viewed in an unfavorable way by others because of the backward things you are teaching him to repeat?

Is your ego that fragile that you have to brainwash your child in order to compensate for what you feel is your loss?

Is creating a “mini me monster” your way of getting back at those who voted for who we thought would be the best leader of our country for the next four years?

Way to go, parents! Teach your kid to be a brat because you didn’t get your way. Shame on you!

Back in the early 1990s I lived next door to a Russian family. The little girl was named Tanya and she was extraordinarily smart. She’d come to my apartment every day and talk to me. I took her shopping with me and to the zoo.

One day she was very excited to tell me that they got to vote in school.

I asked her, “So who did you pick for president?”

She said, “Nobody.”

I asked why.

She said, “Well, if I voted for one president, the other would be mad. And I don’t need a president being mad at me!”

SMART KID! Tanya’s young words showed that she was a child who was going to grow up to be fair and diplomatic. And her words came from a beautiful source — her heart! Not something she overheard her parents say on their cell phones. If all parents raised this child like Tanya’s parents did — to think for herself — the world would be a much better place to live in!

From the lyrics of the song “The Greatest Love of All” written by Michael Masser and Linda Creed, made famous by Whitney Houston:

I believe the children are our future
Teach them well and let them lead the way
Show them all the beauty they possess inside
Give them a sense of pride to make it easier
Let the children’s laughter remind us how we used to be

Behind the Scenes: Covering Great Falls Fest, Paterson, New Jersey

Published July 15, 2012 by Maryanne

Me, at Great Falls, Paterson New Jersey

Best part of my job, interviewing children! Aren’t they adorable?!

Mayor of Paterson, Jeff Jones

Writing is a wonderful career because business is FUN!

I had so much fun covering the Great Falls Jazz Festival last night. The article will be published in the Paterson Press online in the very near future.

I love getting in with the community and being part of it. I love chatting with people and seeing them out and about, truly enjoying themselves.

Two fantastic bands played, About Funk and One Accord. And during intermission, a bunch of Michael Jackson tunes were played, including old Jackson 5 hits and many people were dancing — including the mayor!

Paterson is the town I was born in, so it will always be dear to my heart. It’s wonderful to be a part of awesome festivities where the focus is on family and enjoyment — not crime!

The festival was still in full swing well after dusk when my husband and I decided to have a bite at Libby’s, a diner that’s been around since 1936! They serve all kinds of burgers for meat eaters, and for vegetarians they have amazing grape leaves! They also serve beer and wine. We had the best waitress too! Libby’s — another hidden jewel in New Jersey.

The Great Falls Jazz Fest will continue until August 4, so if you like music — free music! — come out and enjoy!