Archive for the 'News' Category

Giving Tuesday: Spreading the Love of Reading

Wednesday, November 28th, 2018

Love of Reading

Giving Tuesday encourages a global day of charitable giving at the beginning of the holiday season. It’s a great way to focus on helping others, whether that be through your time, donations, goods or your voice!

At MarbleSpark, we are big believers in giving back and wanted to find a special way to celebrate this day.

What better way than to share our love of reading with others!  (more…)

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Entrepreneurship: There’s No Such Thing As a Bad Idea

Tuesday, November 20th, 2018

Entrepreneurship

Have you ever had an idea and dreamed about making it into a business? Or wanted to turn your passion into making a change in the world?

Today is National Entrepreneurs Day. It’s a day where we honor those who have built something from nothing. Those who have identified a need — any need — and filled it.

Dictionary.com defines entrepreneurship as “a person who organizes and manages any enterprise, especially a business, usually with considerable initiative and risk.”

But we like to think of an entrepreneur as more than business, it’s a person who is called to change and create. He or she wants to do something good in the world.

If you know the MarbleSpark story, then you know entrepreneurship kinda fell into our lap. We didn’t set out to create a personalized children’s book company. But that’s exactly what happened. (more…)

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Personalized Christmas Book: The Author’s Inspiration

Wednesday, October 24th, 2018

Personalized Christmas Book

I love all things Christmas, but most of all, I love seeing it through children’s eyes and the magic it brings.

Our personalized Christmas book, ‘Twas the Mouse Who Saved Christmas, does just that. As the story unfolds page by page, it reveals the magic of the season to children. 

We sat down with our author, Phil Haussler, to ask how he was inspired to create a story that has become a beloved book by many children.  (more…)

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Edge Magazine Features Project OpenBook

Wednesday, October 10th, 2018

Reading Done Right

Article written by Kathy Rygg of Edge Magazine

Photo by Christopher Tierney

Reading Done Right

A year ago we introduced you to MarbleSpark, a local publisher that writes and illustrates custom children’s books using a child’s name, providing a personalized gift cherished by kids and parents alike. But when founders Phil and Stacey Haussler discovered that 61 percent of children growing up in poverty don’t have a single age-appropriate book at home, they decided they wanted to expand the mission of MarbleSpark to help lower that statistic. The impact they’ve made on the community in the last year alone is nothing short of impressive. (more…)

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I Said Yes to the Puppy

Wednesday, May 9th, 2018

Puppy Announcement

“Do you have to go potty?” “Good job going poopy!”

These are phrases I haven’t uttered in five years. I thought I was done raising little ones.

Then we got a puppy. (more…)

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Project OpenBook Book Drop Featured in the News

Friday, May 4th, 2018

Reading Yeti in My Freezer

Our most recent book drop in Bellevue Public Schools was featured on the news! The Omaha World-Herald covered the story and Channel 3 featured it.

Click link below for full story.

http://studio.omaha.com/Omaha-couple-giving-back-in-books-33769454?playlistId=16295

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Omaha World-Herald Article: An Experiment in Doing Good

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2018

500 books will be given to Bellevue students as part of Omaha company’s ‘experiment in doing good’

An Experiment in Doing Good

Article written by Micah Mertes / Omaha World-Herald staff writer

April 28, 2018

It started with a single book for a single child. Then the books and the children multiplied.

More than a decade back, Omahans Phil and Stacey Haussler were expecting their first child (they now have three), and they wanted to give him something special, something one-of-a-kind.

Phil, a writer, ended up making him a personalized storybook.

The Hausslers — along with two other dads: Ken Wiebke of Overland Park, Kansas, and Brad Sneed, of Prairie Village, Kansas — parlayed this idea into a business. In 2009, they created MarbleSpark, which makes and sells personalized children’s books. In MarbleSpark books, kids become the stars of their own stories.

“We’re all about creating those magical moments with kids and parents,” Stacey said. “When a child reads a story that’s about them, they realize that there’s some magic there.”

At the same time, the company wanted to find a way to give back to the community, to take part in what Phil called “an experiment in doing good.”

They launched a side endeavor called Project OpenBook.

“Our goal was to get books into the hands of kids that need them the most,” Stacey said, “that don’t have access to them at home.”

Stacey, citing a U.S. Department of Education statistic, said that 60 percent of children in poverty don’t have a single age-appropriate book in their homes. Project OpenBook aims to lower that number.

“We wanted to give a book away to kids,” Stacey said. But they wanted to make it just the right book — an “awesome” book.

They decided to make it from scratch. They solicited the help of writers and illustrators from across the country to contribute to what became “The Yeti in My Freezer,” a Shel Silverstein-esque children’s poetry book.

At the end of 2017, Project OpenBook printed and delivered 1,000 copies of the book to students through DIBS for Kids (DIBS stands for “Delivering Infinite Book Shelves”), a local nonprofit that aims to ensure that every student has a great book to read.

Now, a few months later, Project OpenBook is about to make its second book drop. On Monday, the organization will deliver 500 copies of “The Yeti in My Freezer” to students at two schools in Bellevue.

One of the reasons the group decided to do a kids’ poetry book, Stacey said, is that while reading is foundational in a child’s development, “it also needs to be fun. Kids need to be excited and enjoy what they’re reading. So we put together a compilation of funny kids’ poems.”

Currently, MarbleSpark is paying for the printing and shipping costs of Project OpenBook. But Stacey said that if they can get the permission from the contributors to sell “The Yeti in My Freezer,” the proceeds would go toward more book drops — more books for more kids from the company that started with a single child and a single book.

See full online article here.

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Project OpenBook: Introducing ‘The Yeti In My Freezer’

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2018

First Project OpenBook book drop

Seven years ago, just two months after launching MarbleSpark, we announced the launch of an experiment called Project OpenBook.

Our idea was to create a crowd-sourced, illustrated children’s poetry book and give it away to deserving kids… especially kids who lacked access to books they could call “their own”.   (more…)

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Our Favorite Part of This Adventure

Monday, December 4th, 2017

We absolutely love hearing stories of how our personalized books created a spark between you and a child, family-member or friend.

We made a short video (gulp) to ask a favor…

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We Are Taking the 21-Day Read Aloud Challenge

Thursday, October 5th, 2017

Blog_Read Aloud challenge

*This post was written for Momaha.com. Read on and then click link below to read full article.*

I’ve always had a love of books.

So when I became a first-time mom almost 12 years ago, I wanted to share this love of reading with our son.

(more…)

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