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Maryellen Coughlan, M.Ed.
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Valentine’s Day can induce some strong emotions. But whether you love it or hate it, I think we all have to admit that the day has its perks: chocolate, fun cards, bright colors, and . . . chocolate. Plus, it offers the perfect mid-February excuse to curl up on your... Continue reading
Posted Feb 14, 2014 at Capstone Connect
Look at these beautiful Little Free Libraries! This year, we partnered with the Minneapolis School District to get 10 Little Free Libraries into the north Minneapolis neighborhood. If you follow this blog, you have seen the libraries in progress, but now you can see them installed and in action! This... Continue reading
Posted Jan 14, 2014 at Capstone Connect
With special thanks to our Mankato Parade committee, Capstone sponsored a float at the Kiwanis Holiday Lights parade in Mankato last Friday. 22 employees and their family members volunteered to hand out books and candy at the parade. It was a very chilly evening but they hung in there! Reports... Continue reading
Posted Dec 3, 2013 at Capstone Connect
Capstone is starting a new partnership with Bernie's Book Bank! Based out of Lake Forest, IL, Bernie's Book Bank "facilitates the collection, processing and redistribution of new and gently used children's books to significantly increase book ownership among at-risk infants, toddlers and school-age children throughout Chicagoland." Today alone, the book... Continue reading
Posted Nov 12, 2013 at Capstone Connect
Last Saturday, some of our Capstone employees volunteered to decorate trees for the Mankato Kiwanis Holiday Lights in Sibley Park program. Every year, the Mankato Downtown Kiwanis Club decorates these trees for the season with a kickoff holiday parade on the Friday after Thanksgiving. This year, we're planning to have... Continue reading
Posted Nov 5, 2013 at Capstone Connect
Tomorrow we are sending off the final of three trucks full of Capstone donated books on its way to Africa. It will be the last of over 220,000 books that we're sending off from our home offices in Mankato. Books for Africa’s executives will be present to help in the... Continue reading
Posted Oct 29, 2013 at Capstone Connect
I always love it when an employee comes to me to see if we are willing to donate books to their favorite charity. I especially love it when it's someone from one of our 'other' offices...and this one was a request from Lynnette in our Chicago office. The Family Counseling... Continue reading
Posted Oct 15, 2013 at Capstone Connect
I have had SO much fun with my new position here at the company! I really can't complain about giving books to people who are in need...especially children in Africa! Last week we announced that we will donate 500,000 books to Books for Africa! How cool is that! I'm so... Continue reading
Posted Sep 24, 2013 at Capstone Connect
About 20 of us from Capstone will be going to the Moondogs game tonight. We'll be handing out a bunch of books to kids, Mandy Robbins will be singing the national anthem, and my niece Annie will be throwing the first pitch! Game starts at 7:05. GO MOONDOGS!!! Continue reading
Posted Aug 6, 2013 at Capstone Connect
I can't help but share this with you. Last Tuesday, it was announced that Coughlan Companies (parent company of Capstone) is donating a significant amount to the Southern Minnesota Children's Museum. The gift includes cash, in-kind donations of Kasota stone (which will be used in the museum's quarry exhibit) and... Continue reading
Posted Jul 24, 2013 at Capstone Connect
Here's an article from with 9 ways to get kids to eat (and love!) vegetables: ...or just read our new book on vegetables! Have you eaten your veggies today? Continue reading
Posted Jun 18, 2013 at Capstone Connect
Capstone has created a microsite for donating to the crisis in Oklahoma through the American Red Cross. Feel free to spread the word. Donations go directly to American Red Cross. There is an option to remain anonymous and you do not have to pay the fee (watch for this... Continue reading
Posted May 22, 2013 at Capstone Connect
While I don’t really ride my bike much any more (it's just not as comfortable as it used to be), my husband is an avid rider and is happy that the warm weather has finally arrived. Minneapolis is known as a one of the best places to ride bikes...we even... Continue reading
Posted May 14, 2013 at Capstone Connect
It was announced today that I will be leading the Corporate Giving for Coughlan Companies. I'm excited to work on this since I think corporate giving shows that Capstone is much more than 'just' a book publisher. Every year our company donates thousands of dollars in books, gives scholarships to... Continue reading
Posted Apr 30, 2013 at Capstone Connect
Today is International Children's Book Day and the theme for 2013 is Bookjoy. Of course you and I know all about Bookjoy...we love books. It's a given. But what about those kids who don't? Who don't know how to love a book because they didn't "get" the basic instructions on... Continue reading
Posted Apr 2, 2013 at Capstone Connect
While at National Child Care Association (NCCA) last week, Claire and I met some interesting folks, heard some great presenters and had great fun in New Orleans! The one title that seemed to be of interest to almost all who stopped by our booth was Dessert Designer. A beautiful book... Continue reading
Posted Mar 12, 2013 at Capstone Connect
As if we didn’t know this already, there’s finally a study proving how important breakfast is! I remember telling my students on testing day that they had to eat a good breakfast! I remember bringing in some breakfast food for my students who needed something. I’m sure I am not... Continue reading
Posted Mar 5, 2013 at Capstone Connect
Read Across America is this week! How will you celebrate? When I taught third grade, this was one of the biggest celebrations of the year for my class. I loved being able to spend time reading all day...aloud, alone and with partners. NEA has some great ideas for planning your... Continue reading
Posted Feb 26, 2013 at Capstone Connect
This Friday I will be presenting ath the MNAEYC/MNSACA conference in St. Paul. My presentation is about technology and young children...Is technology really appropriate for the early learning classroom? Of course I have read a lot about the topic, but I'm not an expert. Capstone has three amazing products that... Continue reading
Posted Feb 6, 2013 at Capstone Connect
We're having a heat's warmed up from -10 degrees this morning to -4 degrees this afternoon! We're freezing in Minnesota, but it's been almost four years since we've had weather this cold so we can't really complain. If you're lucky enough to live in warmer climates, tell your kids... Continue reading
Posted Jan 22, 2013 at Capstone Connect
In a recent article which excerpts So Much More than the ABCs: The Early Phases of Reading and Writing by Judith A. Schickedanz and Molly F. Collins (published by NAEYC), the author gives five reasons why informational books are beneficial in the early learning classroom: • Informational books are interesting... Continue reading
Posted Jan 8, 2013 at Capstone Connect
Happy New Year to all! My resolution this year is to begin working on my reading licensure. As a product developer and an ex-teacher, I thought I knew a lot about learning to read and the pedagogies behind reading. Since working on the Capstone Literacy Center with Dr. Andy Johnson... Continue reading
Posted Jan 1, 2013 at Capstone Connect
On December 12th, Coughlan Companies was honored to receive the Keystone Award by the Minneapolis Regional Chamber of Commerce. Originally known as the 5% Club, the Minnesota Keystone Program recognizes companies that give at least 2% of their pre-tax earnings back to the community. There are a lot of photos... Continue reading
Posted Dec 18, 2012 at Capstone Connect
Wow! Look at the new stuff on CapstoneKids for Katie Woo lovers! Lots of coloring pages, printable stickers, stationery, and other fun things about Katie and her friends. Continue reading
Posted Dec 11, 2012 at Capstone Connect