The Allstate Foundation and WE Day Remind Us That Good Starts Young

This post was sponsored by The Allstate Foundation. All opinions are mine.

When it seems as though every day news headlines are more and more depressing, it can be easy to become frustrated with the status of this world in which we live and many of us are raising children. But I am finding that there is a lot of good out there that many of us just don’t know about.

Last week Maddie and I had the opportunity to attend WE Day Minnesota on behalf of The Allstate Foundation with a few other local moms and some of our youth. I’d never been to WE Day and while I’d heard of it in the past, I had a very vague understanding of what it was and what it entailed and who actually attended the event.

WE Day was started by two brothers, Craig and Marc Kielburger and is an international series of stadium-sized, life changing events that bring together world renowned sparkers and performers all in the name of empowering youth. WE Day Minnesota had an amazing lineup that included Ann Curry, Lizzie Greene, Allstate Foundation Good Starts Young Ambassador Alyson Stoner, Margaret Trudeau, Grace VanderWaal and more.

The premise of WE Day is to celebrate and also inspire this generation’s shift from me thinking to we acting by building a better world where everyone has the power to speak out and make choices that have a positive impact, whether they are 12, 22 or 50.

From promoting school recycling to fundraising to build a school, the stories that we heard were awe inspiring and when you see such young kids devoted to so much good, you wonder why we as a world aren’t spending more time talking about this.

The energy and emotion throughout the Xcel Energy Center was palpable. These youth are excited and inspired to do good. And why wouldn’t they be, they all know what we adults need to do a better job at remembering — – Good Starts Young.

The Allstate Foundation Good Starts Young initiative began back in 2005 when the CDC reported that teen deaths in car crashes had reached epidemic levels. For 10 years, Allstate worked to reduce deaths through advocacy, education, federal and state legislation and even some campaigns making it “uncool” for teens to text and drive. By 2015, teen deaths had dropped by 50 percent.

Today  The Allstate Foundation Good Starts Young initiative is about increasing the likelihood that young people will have success in life- whatever their dreams may be and is now based on the research that says the strength of a child’s social emotional and learning skills is a better predictor of success in life than academic achievement.

Chew on that for a minute.

We all like to talk about giving our kids the academic skills to succeed but rarely am I hearing enough conversation about emotional and social development, especially in an ever-changing world of social media.

Because of this initiative, the next generation of leaders and history makers are inspired to reach their full potential by serving causes greater than themselves and making the world around them a better place.

In 2017, more than 5.2 million youth have participated in programming sponsored by The Allstate Foundation Good Starts Young initiative, including WE programs like WE Day and WE Schools.

Thanks in large part to The Allstate Foundation as Title sponsor of WE Day MN, thousands of local youth are able to participate in WE Day. Students aren’t able to just sign up and buy a ticket to attend, simply because there are no tickets to buy. All of the students who attend, attend for free because of their service and volunteering efforts.

It was eye opening to me to see so many youth gathered in one place all devoted to various areas of service and leadership and it made me excited for our future. I’m grateful for the time I was able to spend with Maddie learning, listening and just being inspired by all of the good that is happening by young people.

For more information:

Learn how to impact change and get involved with sponsored programs by The Allstate Foundation Good Starts Young.

You can also find opportunities to rally together and take action within your community by checking out the We Volunteer Now program.

From Left: Tracy Morrison, Meghan Yancy, Craig Kielburger, myself and Missy Voronyak

This post was sponsored by The Allstate Foundation. All opinions are mine.


How The Grinch Stole Christmas Now Open at Children’s Theatre Company

This past weekend, Miss F and I went on a date to the Children’s Theatre Company to see this year’s holiday productions- How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

Photo by Kaitlyn Randolph

How the Grinch Stole Christmas is one of Children’s Theatre Company’s [CTC] trademark shows. It premiered at CTC in 1994 and is the only Minnesota theatre that can perform the show.

In that time, Reed Sigmund, one of CTC’s company actors [this is his 18th season] has played a couple different roles in the show. He played Max the dog several years back but this year is his third time playing the Grinch.

Photo by Kaitlin Randolph

If you’ve seen Sigmund in action in the past, you won’t be surprised by the way he captures the true essence and complete character of the Grinch. His loud, boisterous voice and his ever-physical acting takes the stage by storm. He is a force in any role but especially THIS role.

Photo by Kaitlin Randolph

A few weeks before opening night we were invited to see the transformation from man to Grinch and the fact that he’ll do that transformation close to 100 times before the show closes January 7 makes me tired thinking about it.

You’ll recognize some other CTC regulars in the show- including Natalie Tran as young Max. She played Cindy Lou Who in both the 2012 and 2014 Grinch productions.

Photo by Kaitlin Randolph

How the Grinch Stole Christmas runs through January 7 and tickets are still available but plan ahead and buy now before the show sells out. [Holiday productions are known to sell out.]

You can save 20% by using THIS link to purchase your tickets.

The production runs an hour and 50 minutes and that includes a 15 minute intermission. Don’t spend your entire intermission in line, pre-order your intermission snack [cookies by Patrick’s anyone?] and they will have it waiting for you when you come out.

Make a new tradition this year and bring the whole family. This is a show that is good for all ages. If you’re worried about content, check out this guide CTC put together to determine if this show is a good fit for your family. [Spoiler alert: it’s good for your whole family.]

Stay tuned to my Instagram as I’ll be giving one follower a set of tickets to see How the Grinch Stole Christmas later this week!

Disclosure: This is not a sponsored post. I am so thankful to work with CTC as one of their influencer partners. All opinions expressed above are mine and mine alone. Helps Choose the Right Vehicle for your Carseat

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