The Great Minnesota Literacy Tour, compliments of Mrs. P, myON and PR with Panache!, featured on KSTP Channel 5 News in Minneapolis!
What does a thought leader, an actor, and an advocate for education equal? Kathy Kinney! How is that, you say? Kathy Kinney, born and raised in Wisconsin, is probably best known for her iconic role as Mimi on the hit TV series, ‘The Drew Carey Show.” But we know her as Mrs. P, the star and co-producer of the award-winning website Mrs.P.com, which promotes literacy and the joy of reading for children.
Her new role as Mrs. P couldn’t be more different than Mimi, her hair is different (now she wears a red wig) her clothes are different (now she dons a colorful dress and not a Mimi Moo Moo) her make-up is different (no blue eye shadow but is now wearing round spectacles) and now she speaks with a voice Kinney likes to call “west of Irish, with more ish than ire” her goal is to remind kids of their favorite, eccentric Aunt.
At PR with Panache! we are always searching for the thought leaders that are doing something genuinely different that will evoke change in education. Kathy fits that big bill and she is a shining example of someone that is full of surprises. She now uses her gift for improvisation to entertain and educate children about the joys of reading across the nation!
This year Mrs. P is hosting her 5th annual “Be a Famous Writer” contest for grades K-4 and she chose PR with Panache! to help her reach every elementary school in the nation. We are up to the challenge! To help support her contest we invited Mrs. P to meet another one of our thought leading clients, myON President, Todd Brekhus and his team. myON is the leading provider of personalized literacy environments for students, providing access to the largest integrated collection of enhanced digital books with multimedia supports and embedded Lexile assessments to measure reading growth.
We knew that Kathy and Todd would see the synergy between the 2 entities that are both focused on literacy. Todd was so impressed with Mrs. P that myON has become a leading sponsor for her writing contest!
We wanted Minnesota kids to experience Mrs. P so we invited her to Minneapolis (back to her Midwestern roots) to read to local students and read to them she did!
She met 100 K-4th graders at the Nellie Stone Johnson Elementary School in Minneapolis, 200 K-3rd graders at the Orchard Lake Elementary school in Lakeville and Ali Alowonle’s 4th & 5th grader Navigator students at Excelsior Elementary School in Minnetonka. Not only did Mrs. P read long time favorites such as Jack & the Beanstalk, she engaged the students in enlightening dialogue that had the entire groups laughing and clamoring for more.
On October 10th KSTP Chanel 5 came out to the Nellie Stone Johnson School and filmed Mrs. P reading and interacting with the students. Later in the day, Kathy was the guest celebrity on the KSTP Chanel 5 TV program: TWIN CITIES LIVE TV where they highlighted the school and she talked about the importance of increasing children’s interest in reading. Here is the URL to watch the program: http://twincitieslive.com/article/stories/s3187949.shtml
What is it about people that give back? What is it about thought leaders that decide to make a difference? We believe they are unique and Kathy Kinney is more than unique; she is timeless and gives of herself freely to help kids feel cool for reading and cool for being themselves.
Over the years Kathy has carried many titles, Actor, Mimi, and friend of Drew Carey, …but we wanted to showcase her new title: Mrs. P. Because in our eyes she is the epitome of a thought leader. – Ladies and gentlemen, Mimi Bobeck has left the building and Mrs. P is here to stay!