Lenape/Delaware Tribe Educational Activities

My friend Brice Obermeyer, of the Delaware Tribe’s Historic Preservation Office, and I developed five new activities about the Lenape/Delaware tribe. This resource was commissioned by the Friends for the Abbott Marshlands to teach students about New Jersey’s Indigenous people and the role of the Abbott Marshlands in Lenape life.

Each of the five activity themes provide an in-depth look at a specific aspect of Delaware culture and history, and its connection to Lenapehoking. (Lenapehoking is the traditional Lenape homeland, which includes New Jersey).

First, Brice created a wealth of historical and background materials. He is an anthropologist who has researched the history and culture of the Delaware tribe. Then I developed accessible, hands-on activities and discussion prompts. These materials connect learners to the content in an intentional and mindful way. Finally, we sent the activities to 12 tribal authorities for review, and incorporated their feedback.

These activities will be offered exclusively through Mercer County Park’s Tulpehaking Nature Center. In January 2021, we held our first training/focus session with the nature center’s staff and received great feedback and suggestions.

The nature center is still developing its plans to offer the activities. Tentatively, they may offer two of the activities virtually (for now). Once in-person programs resume, they’ll roll out the remaining three activities. Information will be available at tulpehaking.org, so please contact the team there to learn more.

It was a pleasure to share and honor the history of New Jersey’s Indigenous people. And I’m thrilled this project aligned with my passion of creating accessible, hands-on educational experiences for youth.

Contact me to discuss how I can help your organization develop impactful and engaging educational experiences for your students.

Engage Parents and Families with “Magic” Questions [Free Webinar]

Does your program struggle to engage parents and families? Is parental engagement one of the goals for your funder?

The free webinar about “Asking Magic Questions” offers strategies to not just invite these crucial stakeholders into your sites, but to welcome them in, and keep them coming back.

It’s about relationships

We’ve all heard that “relationships are hard”. But building relationships between your staff and your program’s parents and families is the key to lasting engagement.

Yes, it can be challenging. But youth receive a profound benefit from having so many adults caring for them.

Supercharge your engagement with parents and families

Nobody knows the youth in your program better than their families. So, consider starting to engage parents and families by simply asking them:

“How can we ensure your child’s success?”

On the webinar, some topics we discuss include:

  • how to welcome families (with tips on how to craft those invitations)
  • strategies for building relationships with family manners
  • discussions of successful family events
  • tips for training staff on working with families

In addition to the Magic Questions that we share on the webinar, other participants share the techniques that work for them. You’ll hear about cafe nights, art shows, wine and cheese events, and more!

Watch a replay

My good friend and collaborator Cassandra O’Neill and I presented the Asking Magic Questions webinar on 8/28/18 for Educa Education Software. However, you can watch the recording anytime.

The live webinar relied heavily on participant experiences and feedback. Participants used all of the webinar tools to engage with us and each other. Afterwards, Geoff Nixon, the CEO of Educa, praised the webinar for its high audience participation rate and said that our topic and messages resonated with the participants.

Continuing the discussion

We’re excited to share that we’ve been invited back to Educa to continue our discussion on engaging parents and families. In a follow-up webinar, scheduled for 12/6/18, Cassandra and I will focus on shared storytelling as a way to strengthen relationships and trust between programs and families.

Don’t miss this amazing opportunity!

In addition to these Educa webinars, Cassandra and I will co-facilitate a webinar for the WBECS Professional Coaches Community of Practice on 10/15/18. We’re still finalizing our topic, but it will broadly be about giving and receiving feedback.

And please check out prior WBECS webinars here and here that Cassandra and I hosted.

Finally, Cassandra and I would like to offer our thanks and appreciation to Educa’s CEO Geoff Nixon for hosting this important conversation.

People are Fundamentally Good: A recent reminder

As I read the news, I’m bombarded with negativity and reminders of how angry and divided we are.

A recent experience reminded me that people are fundamentally good.

I took my oldest to her first Philadelphia Flyers game. During intermission, a stranger came up to me and asked if he could give a Flyers stuffed bear mascot to my daughter.

I was puzzled. I started to try to figure out which of the emotions in my head to act on.

He began to explain:

He has 2 daughters, and he always brought them to games. His oldest is off in college and his youngest is now in high school.

At one of their first games together, a stranger bought them a toy and told him how great it was that he was spending this time with his daughters.

He explained to me that he simply wanted to pay that experience forward to another family. He only asked that someday, I do the same.

I was immediately moved. I thanked him profusely for the bear, and more importantly, for sharing his story with us. We shook hands and he went back to his seat. At the end of the game, we high fived [the Flyers won!] and exchanged pleasantries about the health of each other’s families.

Since then, I’ve been struck by the kindness of strangers. I’ve been reminded that even in divisive times, there are common experiences that link us.

While it is increasingly easy to focus on our differences, we have to remember that shared experiences are what bring us together.

I am extremely grateful and blessed to have this man’s story shared with us, and to become a part of it. Now I just have to be patient, until it is my turn to add our chapter.

Could your organization benefit from free nonprofit consulting?

Of course you could!

Your nonprofit or foundation invests with a wealth manager to grow existing funds and better fulfill its mission. But is meeting financial goals all that your organization receives? What if you could get more from your wealth manager?

Imagine if your wealth manager returned some of ITS resources back to YOUR organization. If it provided high-quality, free nonprofit consulting services, from a diverse, hand-picked network of professionals.

Sound almost too good to be true? Then keep reading! Continue…

Webinar (2 of 2): The Role of Equity and Diversity in Professional Coaching

Part two of our webinar series on the role of equity and diversity in professional coaching is coming up. I’m thrilled to return as co-facilitator after the great success of Part 1. Sponsored by the WBECS Social Impact Coaching Community of Practice, the goal of Part 2 is to take a deeper dive into understanding the concepts of equity, bias, privilege, status and power as they relate to the core competencies of coaching.

Please consider joining us on October 16, 2017, 6:00 – 7:15 PM EDT. Continue…

NJ Makers Day 2018 Registration!

NJ Maker Day robot logo

I am pleased to announce that registration for the 4th Annual NJ Makers Day is now officially open! The event is scheduled for March 9-10, 2018. The online form to register as an official site location can be found here: http://njmakersday.org/index.php/registration/.

Last year’s NJ Makers Day drew more than 85,000+ participants to over 300 locations in all 21 NJ counties. Now in our 4th year, we once again look forward to working together with all of you to provide Continue…

Ensuring access to high quality STEM programming in NJ

NJ STEM Pathways logo

Mike was recently asked to serve on the newly formed STEM Equity Committee of the STEM Pathways Network (SPN) to ensure that all of NJ’s youth have access to high quality STEM programming and opportunities. It is an honor to be included on this committee and to help with this critically important work.

Mike has served on the Advisory Board for the statewide STEM Pathways Network in NJ for over a year. The initiative is a local version of the nation’s STEM Ecosystems movement, and is led by the NJ Department of Higher Education and the Overdeck Family Foundation. There are currently 4 New Jersey based STEM/STEAM ecosystems located throughout the state. For more information about the SPN and ecosystems near you, please see – https://njstempathways.org/.

Webinar: The Role of Equity and Diversity in Professional Coaching

I‘m very excited to co-facilitate an upcoming webinar series on the role of equity and diversity in professional coaching. Sponsored by the WBECS Social Impact Coaching Community of Practice, the goal of the session is to introduce the concepts of equity, bias, privilege, status and power, while embracing the discomfort that we may naturally feel when discussing these concepts.

Please consider joining us on September 11 and October 16, 2017, 6:00 – 7:15 PM EDT. Continue…

MacEwan Consulting selected as national Traveling Trainer

SAC logo

Mike is excited to announce that he has been selected as the national “Traveling Trainer” for the California Academy’s Science Action Club (SAC) expansion, in collaboration with the National Girls Collaborative Project.

SAC is a nationwide STEM program for middle school youth in out-of-school time. As the national trainer, Continue…

Reflection on MacEwan Consulting’s first year

Image of fireworks

I would like to thank everyone who has reached out to me noting the first anniversary of MacEwan Consulting! I’ve been meaning to post something, but the work of the business has thankfully kept me so busy that finding time to write has been a challenge. However for my first anniversary, it’s important to me that I reflect on how fortunate I have been this past year.

People often ask how “it” is going with the cloaked fear that “it” may no longer exist. However I’m fortunate to respond that “it” is going very well and I’m having fun! Continue…