The Season for Joy…..

The Holiday Season is certainly into full swing now and it is my most sincere hope that all “Friends of Copey” are or will soon be experiencing the “joy” of the season. Be careful and don’t miss it!

Anyone who has not seen the last Post titled “Break a Leg!” must visit and read the wonderful story about our ballerinas performing in The Nutcracker and see some great photos such as below of some of the ballerinas from Copey.

Nutcracker 4

Please take a quick minute to send me a congratulatory note I can send to the Learning Center, the ballerinas, and Eve for being prepared to do the unimaginable…performing on the big stage in The Nutcracker production. Several of you have sent notes and I thank you…but the more the merrier. Let’s give them a big “high-five” for a job well done from the “Friends of Copey”. Don’t be left out. These notes will be included in an upcoming Post.

The Learning Center is now closed and the students are on their summer break. While I am still waiting for some information pertaining to the final school days at the Learning Center and graduation, this is a good time to reflect on this amazing year that is now behind us. Actually, I think this whole experience is “beyond amazing”.  Here are a few reasons why I think this which may not be as obvious as ballerinas, scholarships, and pen pals.

This Blog was set up in early December and the first official Post was issued on December 12, 2013. I had no prior experience with Blogs and this journey truly began on mostly faith and hope. The Blog’s purpose was to share information and support the mission of the Learning Center…to help kids. The Blog also launched the Anne G. Broady Scholarship Fund.  Today, December 17, 2014 hopefully we can all agree both the Blog and the Scholarship Fund have survived and achieved its purpose of sharing information. This is Post 52 for the year it has been challenging to issue each Post, but it gets done. These scholarships have helped about 20 students attend the Learning Center. These achievements along with several others including the Pen Pal Program are all really great milestones for our first year and you, your support, thoughts and prayers, and money, made this possible.

Also, just a couple of days ago the Blog hit another noteworthy milestone by reaching the 3,000 mark for visits to the “Friends of Copey” Blog site. We started out on this journey with only about 15 “friends”. Today, there are about 150 known “friends” on paper following this Blog. Realistically, about half this number appears to follow this Blog regularly. It is common for followers of Blogs to lose interest after a while and move on to other interests which may be Blogs or other forms of social media. While some leave, other followers show up as they learn about “Friends of Copey”. Those followers who stick with the Blog week after week provide the core and sustainability needed to continue. Thank you.

To reach the milestone of 3,000 visits in the first year with a small core group of followers means there are many unidentified followers visiting the Blog each week who are not part of the core group or those on the mailing list. If these unidentified followers continue to visit the Blog at the current pace, we can expect to hit the 6,500 mark this time next year. I said this is “beyond amazing”.

There is more good news! We continue to see the Blog’s popularity grow in Brazil. Six months ago visits to the Blog site from Brazil accounted for only about 10% of the total visits for that month. Four months ago the percentage of visits from Brazil increased to 17%. Over the past thirty days, the percentage has jumped to 34%. These are unusually high numbers for not having anyone registered or on my mailing list from Brazil. I am not complaining at all and  I am extremely happy to have these followers interested in our work. I thank each of them for being there and hopefully I can hear from some Brazilian followers directly by email. Please send me a note at atbroady@aol.com

The Blog is also getting visits from Canada, Italy, Columbia, and Argentina with fair regularity. In fact, there are visits from all over the world and each continent has been represented. Of course, the United States is first, Costa Rica is second, and Brazil third in the highest number of visits for the full year. Remember, the first Post was sent to 15 friends when the Blog “Friends of Copey” rolled out last December. We are now global and have managed to introduce Copey, a small town of 500 citizens and a little Learning Center of about 45 students, to others around the world.  “Beyond Amazing!”

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