Everyday Kindness Is Not Impossible…!

The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark.      by  Michelangelo

 

Last week quickly went by and most of my time since the last Post has been doing community volunteer service in support of one of my Kiwanis Club’s fund-raising activities. This week, I return to being highly focused on “Friends of Copey” and prepared for a very busy three months before the Learning Center closes for their summer break in late November or early December.

Here are some of the action items on our huge plate for the next few months!Picture Mother Teresa

  1. Resume the K-Kids International Pen Pal Program with the Jefferson Elementary students in Richland, Washington.
  2. Initiate a minimum of two additional Pen Pal Programs in the USA to introduce more students to the Learning Center students.
  3. Complete one additional fund-raiser to support the operations of the Learning Center.
  4. Start the groundwork for the 2017 “nation-wide yard sale drive”.
  5. “Friends of Copey” presentation to the Kiwanis Club membership.

Additionally, there are two or more important surprises being worked on but we are not ready to make any big announcements yet.

In the near future, the Learning Center will be busy conducting their student competition

zzz Casey and Xavier

Xavier and Casey -Emory & Henry College Student Volunteers 2016

to identify the next two deserving students who will be invited to travel to Emory & Henry College in June, 2017. Similarly, we will be supporting Emory & Henry College’s efforts to select two college students interested in volunteering several weeks next Spring at the Learning Center.

This past Spring, we enjoyed sharing the success both Casey and Xavier experienced as the “first” E&H College volunteers to work at the Learning Center.

My “Friends”, there is plenty still to do to get us to the 2016 finish line. With about two-thirds of the year now completed, there is already much to be proud of. We are certainly tracking well towards accomplishing all our 2016 goals but we are not completely there yet. Keep praying and keep being positive!

Just An Ounce of Mom…!

“The mother’s heart is the child’s schoolroom.”                                         by Henry Ward Beecher

This has been a very special week as it marks the third year since our mother passed away on August 27, 2013. Mom is still kept very close as we spent this weekend enjoying a seafood feast. My family enjoyed having seafood dinners with Mom over the years and

IMG_5365

Anne G. Broady Scholarship Fund

we are continuing the tradition. Equally important is the fact that the Anne G. Broady Scholarship Fund is very alive and well and is helping make a hugeAGB Scholarship pic difference in the Copey community. Continuing with support from other “Friends”, honoring Mom this way helps us remember what is important in life. Today, we have accounted for over 60 scholarships over the three-year period…Thanks to “Friends”.

One sad note, Hailey Tibbett, who was one of the first major supporters for “Friends of Copey”, experienced the loss of her father who passed away last week. “Friends” note to Hailey:  “I am certain the Learning Center remembers your volunteer service in 2013 along with the lasting impression you left behind when you departed. We highlighted you upon your return home as a “Key Friend” and all

Hailey Blog Photo

can read about you by clicking on the menu “Key Friends”. It is an amazing story about what you did for kids and what your service did for you and your teaching career. Our heartfelt love and sympathy to you and your family during this time of grief and sadness.”

Angela has returned home to Copey following her time in China where she was teaching at a university. It was wonderful to get a note from her and to know she continues to be supportive of our efforts. She is no longer the Executive Director and plans to be very busy with other responsibilities. However, we are comforted in knowing she is close by to help when needed.

I have been requested to make another presentation to my local Kiwanis Club to bring the members up to date on our progress. So much has happened this year sozzzKiwanis

far and we continue to add to our list of accomplishments. Brings to mind the commercial that uses the phrase…“prepare to be amazed”. Following this presentation, I will attempt to get on the program of several other local Kiwanis Clubs to share our message.

Ana Yancy and I have a Wednesday morning Skype session each week to just say hello and to get caught up on things. This allows us to work more closely. I invite any “Friend” to join in on the Skype session. Take a few minutes to meet and speak with Ana Yancy and her staff right from the Learning Center. The session starts at 10:00am PDT and lasts about 30 minutes. However, you can depart the conversation at any time. Ana Yancy would enjoy the chance to meet you and answer any questions you may have. Call or send me an email indicating your interest in joining us. By the way… I am still holding back some significant news but I do want to let you know last week’s Skype session was very important.

School openings in the US are underway and some have already started. This provides another year of opportunities for us to develop “Pen Pal” projects with the LearningJefferson Elementary Pen Pal Center students. The Jefferson Elementary School is planning to resume its growing relationship (K-Kids) with the Learning Center in a few weeks when school resumes.

Remember, if you have access to students, let’s get them involved if nothing more than to say hello and to encourage the Learning Center students to be great learners. 

Below is a note I received from my dear friend Lisa Baldwin commenting on last week’s Post. You can do a search on this Blog to see all the ways Lisa has been involved and supportive since the beginning. She is a real superstar and I cannot tell you how much encouragement I get when I receive a note like this…!

“Congratulations to all of the students in Copey. They are all top winners in my eyes. So happy to read the news today as I plan for my very first day teaching second grade in Hackettstown, NJ.

Lisa.rev.1

Lisa Baldwin Leader of Pen Pal Program

Scrapper, you can count us in for pen pals. I have a self-contained class this year, so we will have more time to correspond with our friends in Copey. Also, I would love to Skype with you all before I begin school in two weeks. Please keep me informed of the date/time so that I can plan accordingly. I am still hoping to purchase my ticket to visit Copey in 2017 and thrilled to think of being there in person. Today’s news makes me more excited than ever. Thank you for sharing. Have a great week.”  Lisa Baldwin

Lisa’s second graders are in for a real educational treat!

Last week, I indicated I would be featuring the staff at the Learning Center. I apologize, I will need to postpone providing this information until next week.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We Always Spell Our Success…With a “You”

Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.     by….Helen Keller

We have some more success to report with the ongoing Spelling Bee contest. But first, let us congratulate all of the students from the Learning Center who competed in the Spelling Bee and Impromptu Speech contest. This is such a wonderfulSpelling Bee

experience for each of them. Hopefully, we all understand the significant challenge they face as contenders. Beyond the first round, each of the three remaining rounds of competition place the Copey students among much stronger students who typically live in more urban or larger communities. In these larger communities English is more commonly taught and used among Costa Rican students.

These Spelling Bee and Impromptu Speech competitions sanctioned by the Ministry of Education are going on throughout all of Costa Rica!

We had three students compete last week and Dayana won 4th place and Tatiana came in 12th in their Spelling Bee contests. Mariana won first place in the Impromptu Speech competition and will move on to the next level of competition.

Spelling Bee Candidates

Dayana, Mariana, and Tatiana

Recall that Mariana made it to the Regional Level last year and came very close to reaching the National Level. Now, she has another chance. Also, recall all three students are scholarship recipients supported by “Friends” who contribute to the Anne G. Broady Scholarship Fund. CONGRATS to all! .

More Good News???

The Learning Center will be receiving funds from “Friends” this week. These funds are the results of our fund-raising efforts over the past few weeks. Our first project involved working with a local company (REI) and our Kiwanis Club. We are recommending these funds (over $500.00) be used to help with needed school material and supplies. Then, we also raised funds during the recent “yard sale”. This funding ($400.00) is to be applied to the Executive Director’s position to complete our commitment to raise $2,000.00 in 2016.  Mission Accomplished!

Good News

My Good News sign was commented on a few times last week. Thought I would use it again.

Ana Yancy, the Executive Director, and I now have a weekly Skype meeting (Wednesday mornings) to talk about the Learning Center. This is a very informative time we share. If anyone wants to join us on a Skype session, let me know. You can do it from your own computer and actually see and meet Ana Yancy and her staff…plus some of the students.                                         Lisa B…are you listening?  

Last week, I mentioned we were working on our approval for a second fund-raising event in the Fall with our local business partner, REI. With REI support we plan to raise another $500.00 or more to help the Learning Center before their school year ends in December.

The Learning Center now has two volunteer teachers after replacing one who left a few weeks ago. Being short one volunteer teacher had placed a great deal of additional work on Ana Yancy as she needed to help out by doing some of the teaching required. Next week, I will profile our two volunteer teachers. I have met both of them via Skype and they are some very special folks.

There are still some “good news” surprises being worked on. Keep your thoughts and prayers flowing.

In closing, often I return to old Posts to read about what we were doing a year ago or two years ago. Even though I wrote the Posts, I am often surprised to read about things I had forgotten. I am also surprised to see how far we have travelled and how much we have accomplished together. I recommend you taking an extra minute to look back at a Post from the past. Look at one that was issued close to your birthday a year ago and see what was being reported. After today, you have 143 Posts to pick from…! This is a lot of writing. Thank you all for all you do!

 

 

 

Let it be “good news”…

My mom says don’t open the door to the devil. Surround yourself with positive people.                     by  Cuba Gooding, Jr.
Last week I put out my second call for input on the idea to plan an annual “yard sale” event and I did receive some valuable and useful input. THANK YOU for taking two minutes to respond.

The results indicate strong support for “doing something” in unity for the Learning Center. There is agreement among those who responded that a yard sale, using Craig’s List, or eBay all may work and be different methods to achieve the same results. From here, I will begin to work with two or three “Friends” to begin discussions on how we will try to launch this project in the Spring of 2017. I will periodically update all “Friends” on our progress.

In the news at the Learning Center, this coming week will mark the second round of the Spelling Bee. We have three promising students who are Anne G. Broady Scholarship

Spelling Bee Candidates

Dayana, Mariana, and Tatiana

funded students, competing on the 4th, 5th, and 6th grade levels. Each student deserves our support and best wishes since they represent Copey, the Learning Center, and our scholarship support. They also deserve our support because they represent the values we all place on education in general.  We will keep track of their progress this week and report next week on their results.Good News

As I mentioned in last week’s Post, there is an ongoing string of “good news” being reported on while several other actions are not yet ready to be announced.

One “good news” developing this week is an approval to enter into another project with REI and our Kiwanis Club in support of a training program. We did this in July and raised money for the Learning Center. We now may have another chance to repeat this project providing a second opportunity to raise funds. This is also “good news” because it allows for us to continue building strong working relationships with other groups/businesses and opportunities to share the story of “Friends of Copey” and the Learning Center.

White House

Noelia, Celeste, and Angela

Another “good news” item is “Friends” being in great shape to move forward with plans to invite two more students from Copey to travel to Emory & Henry College next June. We can credit Noelia, Celeste, and Angela for being such great representatives of the Learning Center and Copey. They made a tremendous impact on the hundred or more people they met and interacted with during their visit. Financially, we have a very good start towards meeting the funding requirements needed to have another successful trip.

As stated earlier, there are other developing “good news” items waiting to be shared but I am not ready to reveal them yet. It is just too early but we believe things are tracking well and our chances are reasonably good things will work out. However, it is very obvious that we are having a wonderful year and that we are enjoying a lot of success in seeking and finding ways to support the Learning Center. This is fun, positive, productive, and successful. I thank all of you for what you do, think about, and pray for. There is much for you to be proud of and excited about.

All eyes should be on our progress in 2016 and the shaping of things to come in 2017.