Sweet Tart
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Sweet Tart

Band Christian Children's Music

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Orange City, IA, June 14, 2006-- What do you get when combining Dr. Seuss and Mr. Rogers? The answer is Sweet Tart, a non-animated, purple-haired character who is a healthy voice for children. Sweet Tart began as a master’s project for Robyn Carnes. Now she is the next Mr. Rogers, with a little more hip, targeting pre-K – lower elementary aged children and families through interactive educational experiences that incorporate song, dance, story-telling, and puppets.

Sweet Tart is the newest character from More Than Fun™ (MTF), a company whose mission is to help build strong families. To do this, MTF partners with schools, churches, families and existing community organizations as a platform for teaching timeless truths. MTF weaves music, movement, color and characters into each presentation. Children are engaged, energized and excited with the experiential learning style of MTF. The timeless truths of each life lesson serve to facilitate healthy development within each child that MTF touches. Touch a child, reach a family!

So what makes this company unique? First, MTF values partnerships. Their goal is to support those who invest in children. In spring 2006 MTF partnered with Starbucks, District 617 in south Denver, by doing school shows to help promote literacy and life-long learning. Second, MTF’s character is unique. Sweet Tart is not a clown, and she is not animation. She is a REAL person who values children, parents and the family. Third, MTF has dual appeal. Parents are the primary examples in their children’s lives, and creating a performance that captivates both children AND parents is their primary goal. When parents “catch the message” their children have constant reinforcement.

To experience Sweet Tart, come to her performance at the Rise Above Festival on June 24. For more information, please visit their website at www.morethanfun.org, or call 303-895-9973. Your bound to have MORE THAN FUN!
- Robyn Carnes


Orange City, IA, June 14, 2006-- What do you get when combining Dr. Seuss and Mr. Rogers? The answer is Sweet Tart, a non-animated, purple-haired character who is a healthy voice for children. Sweet Tart began as a master’s project for Robyn Carnes. Now she is the next Mr. Rogers, with a little more hip, targeting pre-K – lower elementary aged children and families through interactive educational experiences that incorporate song, dance, story-telling, and puppets.

Sweet Tart is the newest character from More Than Fun™ (MTF), a company whose mission is to help build strong families. To do this, MTF partners with schools, churches, families and existing community organizations as a platform for teaching timeless truths. MTF weaves music, movement, color and characters into each presentation. Children are engaged, energized and excited with the experiential learning style of MTF. The timeless truths of each life lesson serve to facilitate healthy development within each child that MTF touches. Touch a child, reach a family!

So what makes this company unique? First, MTF values partnerships. Their goal is to support those who invest in children. In spring 2006 MTF partnered with Starbucks, District 617 in south Denver, by doing school shows to help promote literacy and life-long learning. Second, MTF’s character is unique. Sweet Tart is not a clown, and she is not animation. She is a REAL person who values children, parents and the family. Third, MTF has dual appeal. Parents are the primary examples in their children’s lives, and creating a performance that captivates both children AND parents is their primary goal. When parents “catch the message” their children have constant reinforcement.

To experience Sweet Tart, come to her performance at the Rise Above Festival on June 24. For more information, please visit their website at www.morethanfun.org, or call 303-895-9973. Your bound to have MORE THAN FUN!
- Robyn Carnes


SCHOOLS...
We loved Sweet Tart! She was very age appropriate, fun, and knew just how to keep everyone interested and excited!
-Cara Warren, 1st Grade Teacher, Mark Twain Elementary, Littleton Public Schools

Your program was really nice and interactive for our first graders. They LOVED the songs. As a teacher, I loved the listening piece and how students are in control of what they say and touch. I would love to have you come back again next year.
-Staci Erbaugh, 1st Grade Teacher, Littleton Public Schools, Littleton, CO

CHURCHES
We bring in performers quite frequently for our “Play Pals” events and Sweet Tart’s performance was our favorite. She has such a gift for teaching children and keeping them captivated throughout the entire time! Her program has a wonderful mix of fun, learning and values all packed into one. We’d love to have her come again!
-Jana Williams, Mountain View Community Church, Highlands Ranch, CO

FAMILIES
EVERYTHING was perfect for Molly's 3rd party! Sweet Tart was a huge HIT and we are all still talking about her! Even Jake, our 8 year old, was quoting words and actions from the story of the ‘Two Fish’. It was GREAT!!!!!!!!!! I'm so amazed at how many adults had such a great time too! We are SOLD on Sweet Tart.”
-Kristi Odell, Mom of 2

COMMUNITY
I can’t believe how many children and parents come to your shows at Starbucks – they pack the place!
-Jeff Wills, Manager, Starbucks
- Robyn Carnes


SCHOOLS...
We loved Sweet Tart! She was very age appropriate, fun, and knew just how to keep everyone interested and excited!
-Cara Warren, 1st Grade Teacher, Mark Twain Elementary, Littleton Public Schools

Your program was really nice and interactive for our first graders. They LOVED the songs. As a teacher, I loved the listening piece and how students are in control of what they say and touch. I would love to have you come back again next year.
-Staci Erbaugh, 1st Grade Teacher, Littleton Public Schools, Littleton, CO

CHURCHES
We bring in performers quite frequently for our “Play Pals” events and Sweet Tart’s performance was our favorite. She has such a gift for teaching children and keeping them captivated throughout the entire time! Her program has a wonderful mix of fun, learning and values all packed into one. We’d love to have her come again!
-Jana Williams, Mountain View Community Church, Highlands Ranch, CO

FAMILIES
EVERYTHING was perfect for Molly's 3rd party! Sweet Tart was a huge HIT and we are all still talking about her! Even Jake, our 8 year old, was quoting words and actions from the story of the ‘Two Fish’. It was GREAT!!!!!!!!!! I'm so amazed at how many adults had such a great time too! We are SOLD on Sweet Tart.”
-Kristi Odell, Mom of 2

COMMUNITY
I can’t believe how many children and parents come to your shows at Starbucks – they pack the place!
-Jeff Wills, Manager, Starbucks
- Robyn Carnes


ORANGE CITY—A northwest Iowa native returns to teach timeless truths to children and families on the children’s stage at the second annual Rise Above Festival in Orange City Saturday, June 24.

Robyn (Smit) Carnes, a.k.a. Sweet Tart, will engage children and adults with her bubble machine, parachute and squirt gun at the beginning of the show to help “get the wiggles and giggles out” before beginning her message laced with morals and values. While bands take the main stage, Sweet Tart will be the headlining act for those elementary school age and younger.

RISE Above Festival founder Rob Roozeboom is thrilled that Sweet Tart will be performing for the children. “The children’s tent overflowed with kids last year who came to the festival to hear a positive message,” he said. “The little kids can go to their own area and have fun too. This festival is all about families having fun and being together.”

Sweet Tart isn’t a clown; in fact, the only makeup she wears is a red sparkly dot on her nose. However, she has purple hair, worn in pig tails, and a green striped sweater. “What makes Sweet Tart unique among the zillion other children’s characters is that there are few with central core characteristics that they teach,” Carnes said. “Sweet Tart is very safe to children, they know she isn’t quite real.”

Carnes lives in Centennial, CO, where she performs at schools, churches, day care centers and parties. While her performance is geared to an audience of 3-9 years old, everyone from babies to adults is entertained. “Our pacing is fast,” she said. “We’ve got a bubble machine and sometimes I bring a live hedgehog as part of the show so we can captivate audiences with members over 9.” Every five minutes during a show there is a new activity. “I usually open up with a gigantic bubble machine that puts out about 1,000 bubbles a minute,” she said. “That engages children and adults. When you see bubbles you see their faces light up.” Other times she brings out the big guns — that is water guns. “I try to throw something in kids won’t think of, like a squirt gun in a church,” she said. “The whole point is to grab their attention early on so when I teach the meat of the lesson, they are receptive.”

There is lots of “not cheesy” original music, penned by the trio of Carnes, her husband, Jay, and her father-in-law, a retired music teacher. “Children stay engaged if you stay involved and make the message clear and concise,” she said. “The lesson takes about five minutes, but it is reinforced through the rest of the show with Blueberry, the blue monster puppet, and Abraham, the hedgehog. At the end there is a review session, otherwise how would we know if they learned anything?”

Parents get involved, too. Sweet Tart brings them on stage to dance or asks them questions. “We live in a day and age where there is so much stress, especially in the suburbs where there is pressure to "keep up with the Joneses," so parents work to make more money and who gets left behind? The children,” she said. Sweet Tart realizes children are starved for healthy adult attention. Often kids will wrap themselves around her legs during the show, because they realize she cares for them. “We have a short time with our children,” Carnes said. “If you look at the studies the most formative years are 1-5 and people put kids in glorified day care where they might be put in front of a TV to watch movies all day. This is when they develop the most physically and spiritually as well.”

Sweet Tart has partnered with Starbucks in the south Denver area to help promote literacy, which is one of the company’s main issues. Literacy isn’t the main focus of Sweet Tart’s message of life long learning, but it is a significant part. From January to May she visited 10 different public schools in the Littleton, CO, school district.

Carnes is a 1996 MOC-Floyd Valley High School Graduate and a 2001 graduate of the University of Northern Iowa. Originally she planned to become a Children's Director. It was while she was attending graduate school that Carnes began Sweet Tart, to help bring in extra money. Now, that part-time job has evolved into More Than Fun, a business and a job Carnes can be passionate about.
- Mariah Oliver


ORANGE CITY—A northwest Iowa native returns to teach timeless truths to children and families on the children’s stage at the second annual Rise Above Festival in Orange City Saturday, June 24.

Robyn (Smit) Carnes, a.k.a. Sweet Tart, will engage children and adults with her bubble machine, parachute and squirt gun at the beginning of the show to help “get the wiggles and giggles out” before beginning her message laced with morals and values. While bands take the main stage, Sweet Tart will be the headlining act for those elementary school age and younger.

RISE Above Festival founder Rob Roozeboom is thrilled that Sweet Tart will be performing for the children. “The children’s tent overflowed with kids last year who came to the festival to hear a positive message,” he said. “The little kids can go to their own area and have fun too. This festival is all about families having fun and being together.”

Sweet Tart isn’t a clown; in fact, the only makeup she wears is a red sparkly dot on her nose. However, she has purple hair, worn in pig tails, and a green striped sweater. “What makes Sweet Tart unique among the zillion other children’s characters is that there are few with central core characteristics that they teach,” Carnes said. “Sweet Tart is very safe to children, they know she isn’t quite real.”

Carnes lives in Centennial, CO, where she performs at schools, churches, day care centers and parties. While her performance is geared to an audience of 3-9 years old, everyone from babies to adults is entertained. “Our pacing is fast,” she said. “We’ve got a bubble machine and sometimes I bring a live hedgehog as part of the show so we can captivate audiences with members over 9.” Every five minutes during a show there is a new activity. “I usually open up with a gigantic bubble machine that puts out about 1,000 bubbles a minute,” she said. “That engages children and adults. When you see bubbles you see their faces light up.” Other times she brings out the big guns — that is water guns. “I try to throw something in kids won’t think of, like a squirt gun in a church,” she said. “The whole point is to grab their attention early on so when I teach the meat of the lesson, they are receptive.”

There is lots of “not cheesy” original music, penned by the trio of Carnes, her husband, Jay, and her father-in-law, a retired music teacher. “Children stay engaged if you stay involved and make the message clear and concise,” she said. “The lesson takes about five minutes, but it is reinforced through the rest of the show with Blueberry, the blue monster puppet, and Abraham, the hedgehog. At the end there is a review session, otherwise how would we know if they learned anything?”

Parents get involved, too. Sweet Tart brings them on stage to dance or asks them questions. “We live in a day and age where there is so much stress, especially in the suburbs where there is pressure to "keep up with the Joneses," so parents work to make more money and who gets left behind? The children,” she said. Sweet Tart realizes children are starved for healthy adult attention. Often kids will wrap themselves around her legs during the show, because they realize she cares for them. “We have a short time with our children,” Carnes said. “If you look at the studies the most formative years are 1-5 and people put kids in glorified day care where they might be put in front of a TV to watch movies all day. This is when they develop the most physically and spiritually as well.”

Sweet Tart has partnered with Starbucks in the south Denver area to help promote literacy, which is one of the company’s main issues. Literacy isn’t the main focus of Sweet Tart’s message of life long learning, but it is a significant part. From January to May she visited 10 different public schools in the Littleton, CO, school district.

Carnes is a 1996 MOC-Floyd Valley High School Graduate and a 2001 graduate of the University of Northern Iowa. Originally she planned to become a Children's Director. It was while she was attending graduate school that Carnes began Sweet Tart, to help bring in extra money. Now, that part-time job has evolved into More Than Fun, a business and a job Carnes can be passionate about.
- Mariah Oliver


Discography

I Can Be A Light (See Audio Section)

Photos

Bio

It has been said that children are the message we will send to a generation we will not see. What message are our children receiving? As a society, we must be more intentional about WHAT we are teaching these future leaders, and HOW we are teaching these future leaders. Sweet Tart and More Than Fun are here to help!

WHO IS SWEET TART?

-A children’s performer, an "edutainer"
-A Healthy Voice for Children
-An evangelist for Jesus Christ
-A non-animated, purple-haired charater - a hip hybrid of Dr. Seuss, Mr. Rogers, and Mary Poppins.
-A trained professional with a Master's in Youth and Family Ministries from Denver Seminary and a Bachelor's in Music Education from the University of Northern Iowa.
-A role model who is relevant to children and can engage parents

MISSION & VISION

More Than Fun® is a company created to help build strong families by Teaching Timeless Truths to Children and Families® through creative channels (Sweet Tart!).

HOW IT HAPPENS

To do this, More Than Fun® partners with churches, families, and existing community organizations as a platform for sharing timeless truths. More Than Fun® weaves music, movement, color and characters into each presentation. Children are engaged, energized and excited with the experiential learning style of More Than Fun®. The timeless truths of each performance serve to facilitate healthy development within each child that More Than Fun® touches. Touch a child, reach a family.

WHAT MAKES US UNIQUE?

Our Partnerships...
Our goal is to support those who invest in children. Growing emotionally, physically, socially, mentally, and spiritually strong children can be challenging, exhausting and wonderful! Special performances offered by the character Sweet Tart, are appealing because they refresh parents, teachers, volunteers and staff while giving them a well-deserved break.

Our Characters...
Sweet Tart is unique. Sweet Tart is not a clown, and she is not animation. Sweet Tart is a REAL person who values children, parents and the family. SO WHAT'S WITH THE PURPLE HAIR? It makes the message stick!

Our Dual Appeal...
We believe that parents are the primary examples in their children’s lives. Creating a performance that captivates both children AND parents is our primary goal. When parents “catch the message” their children have constant reinforcement.