Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Keeping a Good Thing (s) Going

Since it seems lately that many posts are along the lines of asking readers to hang in there, the co-pay is in the mail, how about a super-duper post to get this wintry morning going!

Each year at the holidays Bill and I determine a set amount that we want to donate to charity. We split the amount and both choose personal charities. Next year I am all over an idea to incorporate 12 days of giving into our Advent activities and have Ben and Ian help pick charities from some kid-friendly options.

Being inspired by the movie Waiting for Superman I decided to make my contributions local and looked on Donors Choose As much as I would have liked to keep it local, very few schools in our district were listed requesting help funding a project.

My thoughts are 1. They get a substantial amount of funding in comparison to other NC districts (which I know is true) 2. Schools don't push the teachers to fund projects on their own because high parent support often steps in to fund.

I set up some dream characteristics for the projects I wanted to find to fund.

1. A project if possible for a high, middle, and elementary school.
2. A project focused on helping minority males. This population, has the highest dropout rate nationally and locally at upwards of 70%.
3. A school in the economically depressed part or "down east" of the state and if possible part of the Leandro Court case that fought for equal state funding for school districts.

After several nights of reading pages and pages of teacher projects, looking at smiling deserving faces, and wishing I could fund every single project I settled on donations to the the following:

McClintock Middle School (inner city Charlotte)- Reams of colored paper (really, paper? was what the teacher was requesting. This really hit me in the gut) to print behavior bucks for a school positive discipline strategy. The write up talked about the future for many of their drops outs included jail and crime. This middle school feeds one of the high schools I worked with a bunch of kids online with this past summer so I felt a little personal connection.

Stocks Elementary (rural Tarboro, NC)- PE equipment (balls, jump ropes, outdoor group games.) From someone who used to dread the weekly mile run in PE, I find it funny that I gave money to encourage someone else to be active.

Creech Road Elementary (local school with a high poverty rate and the subject of much discussion in the diversity debate). Chair-Back buddies, a Re-usable organization system. Even in elementary school you can guess I loved some color coded folders in my Trapper Keeper.

Easton Elementary- Winston-Salem - Reading Materials for ELS students. ESL students are drastically under served due to underfunding statewide and a rising enrollment.

On the home front, I'm under a huge push to get my online kids finished and taking state tests. Plus I am setting up the course for the incoming Spring students. This past semester has been so much slower paced compared to the summer push. Since Camp Mommy is in full force today due to the ice, I'm hoping for a nap/quiet time to plow through some work.

As of now I have one section but have been told if we have the enrollment I likely will have more. Add to this I picked up some contract work writing test items and the spring is setting up nicely.

I cannot tell you how much I love the online gig. Every morning as I'm taking the dog out in my pjs, I typically see the HS bus. The same one that I used to gage how late I already was getting out the door. Add to it the sheer satisfaction of helping students who have been unsuccessful in the past finally pass I couldn't be more excited about keeping a good thing going.

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