Stephanie Pfeffer

Jenna Bush Hager is an advocate of education and literacy—and she’s really nice, too!

Written on June 20, 2011 at 9:00 am , by

I had the pleasure of hearing Jenna Bush Hager speak at a breakfast this week for Wonderopolis, a website where parents and tweens can discover cool things together. Its mission is to make learning a fun family activity using real-world knowledge and curiosity based on the context of daily life.

The site focuses on a Wonder of the Day (“Why is the Statue of Liberty Green?”), and answers are provided via explanations, videos and activities. And it’s not just for little kids—some of the Wonders of the Day stumped me!

Jenna spoke about her experience as a teacher and even got choked up about missing her students in the classroom (love)! But mostly she emphasized the importance of parents sharing in kids’ learning. To combat summer learning loss, the National Center for Family Literacy and Wonderopolis are launching Camp What-A-Wonder, a program that takes place online every Thursday until August 11. Wonderopolis becomes a virtual camp where kids can explore topics like crawling critters, crafts and campfire cooking, and parents can discuss topics with a facilitator on Twitter each week at 8pm EST. I’ll bring the marshmallows!

Photo: Cindy Ord/Getty Images

Is College Worth It?

Written on June 9, 2011 at 5:03 pm , by

A new study from the Pew Research Center finds that 57% of Americans say our higher education system fails to provide a good value for the money students and their families spend. And only 22% believe that people can afford to pay for a college education—that’s less than one in four people!

Among students who leave college with debt, about half (48%) say paying off loans made it harder to pay other bills, while 25% say educational debt has made it harder to buy a home.

We examine some of these issues—and whether college is the right choice for every student—in our story Do Kids Need College?

Photo via

Family Circle on Today Show: Backyard Summer Fun

Written on May 23, 2011 at 11:36 am , by

My recent Today show segment suggested fun and creative ways for parents to keep kids entertained in the backyard during the summer. Check it out!