Oh…To Reach Beyond!

“Vision – It reaches beyond the thing that is, into the conception of what can be. Imagination gives you the picture. Vision gives you the impulse to make the picture your own.”        by Robert Collier

Greetings my “Friends”. Wow…we are truly moving into the very active time of the year for us and for the Learning Center. In addition to the daily educational efforts being performed by some very talented volunteers at the Learning Center, there are a number of other activities under way which are exciting as well.

This is the week Melody will board the plane heading to San Jose where she will be met

town of copey

The Copey Community

by members of the Learning Center and transported to Copey. Upon arrival in Copey, she will be introduced to her new host family who will provide her both food and shelter for about 5 weeks. She will also meet the staff and the children as well as the community. Last week, we kicked off the official fund-raising efforts to support the travel costs for Fatima, Adriana, Ana Yancy, and Angela. I have called on my friends who are affiliated with Emory & Henry College to support this activity.

The Learning Center is experiencing newer and broader interest from within the Seidycountry. I am providing the Copey Learning Center’s Facebook link. There, you will find a couple Costa Rican television interviews (April 19th and April 4th) with Seidy Rodriguez. Seidy is the founder of the Learning Center. These television productions discuss the success of the Learning Center and reaches a very broad audience within the country. Look for Canal Altavision Video reference for the dates listed above.

https://www.facebook.com/pg/CopeyLC/posts/?ref=page_internal

To put this in perspective, a small rural community of 500 is now attracting the interest of television producers because of the work being done at the Learning Center. It is produced in Spanish so you will need to have your Spanish speaking skills up to date to get the full effect. However, please…please take the time to find out one way or another the message being provided. THIS is very important and will be very useful in our efforts to obtain funding for a new facility. You seldom have an opportunity to hear a member of the Copey community speak… this a great opportunity.

The New Learning Center Update

My intentions are to provide some information about the New Learning Center in several of the upcoming Posts. This week I want to share the vision we have for this new facility as we prepare to move this forward.

Under the current Learning Center concept, it is primarily an educational resource for the Copey community. Its vision is to help students learn English while fostering concepts in conservation, restoration, and recycling. This is aimed mostly at young students although some adults are also learning English.

The new and emerging vision of the New Learning Center plans to continue the original vision while it expands its interests in other related social and environmental areas. Subject to some modifications as we move along, the New Learning Center has 5 classrooms included in the current design. In conjunction with teaching English, we believe some space can be devoted to the development of a cultural resource center serving as a key destination point for neighbors around the region, throughout the country, and tourists visiting Costa Rica.

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There is interest having a facility that could accommodate “distant learning” opportunities using classroom space for students being taught post secondary courses by off-sight professors and instructors using Skype type technology.

Finally, the New Learning Center’s additional classroom space may also provide local economic opportunities as it attempts to develop interest in being the site for incubation initiatives related to “sustainable living” and “eco-tourism” concepts.

Once built, we all can envision that over time, the New Learning Center will have evolved into a multi-purpose facility serving the educational needs of a local and regional student population while becoming one of the key cultural centers for the region and maybe the country. And, the new facility is serving the Copey community by providing economic development opportunities while becoming the “Center of Excellence” for new “sustainable living” technologies.

Certainly, this is a “BIG” vision but each part is worthy of both consideration and effort. From my experience, Copey is a very special community with some extraordinary people willing to do the “BIG” stuff. As “Friends of Copey”, we should be all in on this one. Thanks to all.

 

 

The Hope of Spring…!

Do you desire to construct a vast and lofty fabric? Think first about the foundations of humility. The higher your structure is to be, the deeper must be its foundation.                              by  Saint Augustine 

A couple of weeks ago I had the honor and pleasure to visit with Dr. Joe Thomas. Recall that Dr. Thomas (Joe) was very instrumental in helping “Friends of Copey” get an early foothold into the mission of the Learning Center. His encouragement and support was a powerful source for me and spending time with him recently was a blessing. The great chemistry we seem to have is difficult to describe. Dr. Joe is a major player for the Junior Achievement organization and is well placed to make a difference in the lives of young people. More details about Dr. Joe is under Key Friends.

This week’s wonderful news from Copey is all four future travelers are now cleared EH collegewith visas to journey to the US. Ana Yancy, current Executive Director and Angela, past Executive Director will both escort our two 2017 students to America and on to Emory & Henry College. Fatima and Adriana are both outstanding students and will represent their community and country extremely well just as Celeste and Noelia did last year. With this travel clearance, the students and the Copey community can now with certainty begin to work together to raise some local funds to provide partial support for their traveling expenses. Continue reading

Spending Gratitude Time…!

“When we give cheerfully and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed.”
Maya Angelou

It grows more challenging each week to list all of the many wonderful things going on under the banner of “Friends of Copey” and the Learning Center. Here are only some of the highlights:

First, Casey and Xavier gave their Copey presentation to an audience of zzzAmpersand Presentationstudents, faculty, and the public last week during the First Annual Ampersand Day at Emory & Henry College. A number of the college’s students provided presentations about work they have begun under Project Ampersand which encourages students to connect what they care about to what they are learning—to design and implement projects that contribute positive results to our world. The Copey presentation was well received and soon Casey’s and Xavier’s bags will be packed. Their scheduled departure date is just next week…May 9th. They have received information on their host families where they will be staying. All “Friends” are invited to keep track of Casey’s and Xavier’s experiences and accomplishments during their 5 week stay in Copey. Casey has started a journal that is already fascinating to read. Check it out at http://caseyincopey.weebly.com/    final.2

Next, Celeste and Noelia (pictured right) are looking forward to their departure to America in early June. They are busy polishing up on their English, while also practicing and rehearsing some special surprises for their audiences when they arrive at E&H College. Angela is finalizing some of her plans to speak to classes as a “guest” professor. This is going to be a dynamite team of Copey, Costa Rican ambassadors.

“Mission Accomplished”

Even though we may still have a couple donations slow to arrive, we are in position to declare “mission accomplished” on our efforts to raise the money needed to cover the transportation costs for Celeste, Noelia, and Angela. I will have plenty more to say in the near future about the outstanding response and demonstration of generosity and support received from the “special selected” group of E&H College affiliated friends of mine. I have personally received several wonderful notes and verbal expressions from several donors. Even a few have thanked me for inviting them to be a part of this historical event.

Soon, all of the Anne G. Broady Scholarship Fund recipient letters will be mailed out to all of the AGB donors. I am still receiving donations for the scholarship fund even Holes.1

though we are almost three months into the school year. “Just Amazing!”  The additional funds to support scholarships are always welcomed.

If you donated funds to help support the Executive Director’s position, do not feel left out. We have a special “thank you” in the works just for you.  Sometimes, we have to give Angela a break. “Friends of Copey” puts a lot of demands on her at times and we often forget she is still trying to run a school and achieve successful outcomes.

Remember “Holes” from last week’s Post? A few have written to inform me they have also read the book and have even seen the movie that followed staring Jon Voight, Sigourney Weaver, and Henry Winkler to mention only a few of the cast.

The Learning Center received visitors from the Lowell School located in Washington, DC. Lowell School is an independent, co-educational Pre-Primary through 8th Grade school.Lowell VisitorsThis is their second visit to the Learning Center. Last year they were in the Copey area on a volunteer project for creating little stoves to donate to indigenous communities. They came by for some cultural exchange. They indicated their interest in helping the Learning Center obtain a new projector.

“Just Feeling Blessed” Post received a lot of attention last week. Thank you! I realize many of my Blog followers wonder if there are really any “Friends” connected to this Copey project. There are plenty and always enough to get done whatever we set out to do. Sometimes I end my day totally amazed and “just feeling blessed”. Who could not feel blessed when you see before you significant events shaping up that will literally impact lives. Those of you who support scholarships, support the ED position, and now the transportation costs along with those who pray and wish all goes well all have a stake in the outcome. Has been awhile since I have mentioned this but our motto still rings true. “When many will do just a little..a lot will get done for kids.”

zzzBanner of FOCFinally, thank you for the several notes of condolences. Aunt Sissy’s memorial service was held on Saturday and unfortunately, my sister and I could not make the trip back to Virginia. We sent our condolences. So, we must keep moving on and on we go!  In case you are wondering…I have had plenty of hazel nuts this past week.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today is a Gift…!

Today is a gift…this is why it is called the present!  by Bil Keane

This morning I am in East Tennessee visiting kids and grandkids. Also, I am in the area to attend my Spring Board of Trustees meeting at my college scheduled later this week. Fortunately, I am in much better shape medically speaking compared to the past two weeks and would not have been able to make this trip if I had not gotten better. Feels good to feel good!

While on campus this week, I hope to meet both of the students, Xavier and Casey, who will be traveling to Copey in May. I am very impressed with both of them and it would be certainly a highlight for me to make personal contact. I will update you next week on how this goes.

On the other end of this great adventure are both Celeste and Noelia who according to Angela are very eager and excited about their pending travels to the USA and the Emory & Noelia Emory Student CopeyHenry College campus. It is not only the students but the parents and the Copey community who are all excited and happy for these two young ladies.

My greatest wish at this time is that each “Friend” will pause for a moment and absorb what this must feel like for these two young ladies. Personally, I am lost for words to describe what I think it must be like for them. But, you must know this is both a time of sheer excitement and certainly some anxiety for Celeste and Noelia. Remember, the Copey community is helping cover their personal expenses including travel attire, expenses directly associated with visas, and transportation to and from San Celeste Emory Copey student

Jose. Once these guests arrive at the college, all of their expenses will be covered by the local community and the Rotary Club. “Friends” is taking care of the airfare expenses for all three travelers; Angela, Celeste, and Noelia. Just another sterling example of what teamwork and partnership efforts can accomplish.

There are some other developments in the works. I often speak about the Kiwanis K-Kids. The Learning Center students are building a relationship with the 4th and 5th grade K-Kids at Jefferson Elementary School in Richland, Washington. I have been given the green light by Kiwanis to attempt to make the Learning Center zzzKiwanis

students official K-Kids…not just Pen Pals. If this can be done, it will represent a very unique and amazing achievement. Well, this is what we are known for…unique and amazing results. So keep up with the prayers and positive expectations. What is a K-Kid?

http://kiwaniskids.org/en/KKids/Discover/About_K-Kids.aspx

Finally, I would like to share an amazing experience I had while traveling here. More than a few times, I have told others about my chance encounters with people who have some interest or connection with Costa Rica. While I am in the middle of such an experience, I am renewed and reminded how special “Friends of Copey” is. I fear most of you “Friends” miss this kind of experience because you do not just take a minute to tell someone, friend or stranger, about your support and involvement in this project. Next week, I want to introduce you to a special young student, Mikayla. Our short flight together was a very fun and informative experience sharing information about Copey, her life’s dreams, and her future. Plan to meet Mikayla next week.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Listen to the Children…

“If you need ANYTHING let me know like books or anything i will try to help it’s kinda hard because i’m only 9! But i love to help so let me know if you need anything!!!”   Lexie

Lexie, a 9 year old elementary music student and Pen Pal in Virginia, submitted a few comments this past week on my Blog. She and her classmates were introduced to the Learning Center students through our Pen Pal program. Apparently, she discovered how to add comments to the “Comments” section of the Blog and decided to correspond with me. Her message really touched my heart. She is the youngest person to send me such a note and her message is a powerful reminder of the spirit behind this project. Lexie also wrote; “I will try to donate i am only 9!!! But i love doing this type of stuff“.

I answered Lexie’s note and promised to let the students at the Learning Center know how much she wants to help and I promised to find her a personal friend in the Learning Center to correspond with her when the Learning Center reopens in February. Also, I plan to donate funds to the AGB Scholarship Fund on behalf of Lexie so she can actually experience supporting a student (hopefully her new friend).

Remember my words…2016 is going to be one unbelievable year with bold things happening. I invite you to be a part of it!

Anne G. Broady Scholarship Fund

We have about two more weeks to complete the campaign for the Anne G. BroadyzzzSpelling Bee winners

Scholarship Fund. Previous donor “Friends” are asked to continue supporting this scholarship fund and new “Friends” are invited to join in. Getting as many children into the Learning Center as possible is our sole purpose for the scholarships. All the other things we do as “Friends” will not matter as much if the children are not enrolled and attending classes. We are making progress towards our Goal.

Goal = $1,500    *Donations Received = $600     Balance =$900

Executive Director Position

Our 2nd fundraising campaign is also showing progress. It is essential to continue funding the only paid position for the Learning Center. Special projects are underway including a new Learning Center facility we hope will be ready in time for opening day in February. The town’s government and its citizens are willing to invest property and resources to help the Learning Center because of the progress of the Learning Center and its positive appearance of stability and continuity.  zzztree planting.1

Angela is part of the community and very experienced. She has her BA in International Affairs from Juniata College, in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania and very close to completing her Masters. She has taught English in China, in Ecuador, and taught in the public high school in Copey during 2010-2012 as a Peace Corps volunteer. Before returning to Copey to assume the leadership at the Learning Center in 2015, she worked in the country’s capital, San Jose as a Peace Corps Volunteer Leader and in Costa Rica’s Ministry of Public Education’s National Headquarters.

As I am completing my first year of experience working with Angela, I can attest to her devotion and commitment to the Learning Center. She is very involved with Emory & Henry College staff in preparation for the arrival of E&H College student volunteers going to work at the Learning Center later in the spring. She is helping get two of her students prepared to travel and study at E&H College in the summer. These are just examples of the projects we all are looking forward to in 2016 and Angela is key to this success.

“Friends” is committed to cover about 40% of the total salary. Anyone inclined to support this campaign is invited to do so. Any amount is welcomed!

Executive Director Position

Goal= $2,000    *Donations Received= $300.00       Balance=$1,700

Other News

Angela reports the return of both volunteers (Markki and Marguerite) in February who Volunteers

worked at the Learning Center during the last half of 2015. This is really great news! This is another sign of continuity and consistency for the Learning Center. The students and the community will benefit and the start up in February is expected to be picking up where things were in November. . Welcome Back!

The Copey community spent the weekend doing their own fundraising activities. With the very low income levels in Copey and being in a remote location, raising money among themselves and from nearby communities is a very difficult task. However, the community makes every effort to do all it can to help itself. They appreciate “Friends” being willing to support them.

“Friends” is on the verge of significant achievements!  Thanks to All….

 

 

 

The Official Kick-Off…!

This week begins the “Official Kick-Off” for our two major fund-raising campaigns for 2016.

The Anne G. Broady Scholarship Fund

The Anne G. Broady Scholarship Fund (AGB) is entering the third year as a means of honoring the life and memory of Anne G. Broady.  Mom, or “Granny” as she was affectionately called by many others, represents our inspiration and desire to help the children in Copey, Costa Rica. Full details about Mom and the Scholarship Fund is available by clicking the menu tab titled “Scholarship Fund”.

To date, over 50 students have benefitted directly from the AGB Scholarship Fund and other donated funds.

Scholarship Recipient

The positive impacts brought about by the AGB Scholarship Fund are well documented in many of my Posts. The recent lists of 2015 accomplishments further demonstrates our successful partnership with the community and the Learning Center. As we enter the 2016 school year, even greater goals are planned and the AGB Scholarship Fund will help us to continue sending young people to the Learning Center and help us achieve our goals.

Our success last year resulted in more than 15 students receiving financial AGB Scholarships.1assistance. The scholarships are carefully awarded to those most in need and also used to encourage and incentivize non-scholarship students experiencing problems staying in school. Similar to last year, our goal is to raise $1,500.00 for the AGB Scholarship Fund.

Our request of $60.00 will support a kindergarten level student and $100.00 will support all other student levels for a full year. *Some early donations have been reported and/or received.  The AGB Scholarship Fund Campaign End Date is February 1, 2016.

 Goal = $1,500    *Donations Received = $500     Balance =$1,000

 

Financial Support for the Executive Director’s Position  

In 2015, we launched our first fund-raising campaign to support the Learning Center and the community’s bold decision to fund their first and only paid staff position. Previously, all staff and teachers were either local volunteers

zzztree planting.1or volunteers from around the world. In 2015, the total annual funding for the position was set at $5,000.  “Friends” agreed to support $2,500 the first year.

We successfully raised the $2,500 last year with the support of donors and the successful “Big Parking Lot Sale” project.  This year we committed to raising $2,000 to support the Executive Director’s position. *Some early donations received.

Being involved each day as I am with the Learning Center, I can attest to the value of having a qualified and competent paid leader on board accountable to the local Learning Center’s leadership. Continuity and consistency provided by the Director is much better than free labor in the long run. Angela’s credentials are exemplary for this type of work and from my perspective, the community and the Learning Center are getting a real bargain. I will provide more on Angela in next week’s Post. The Executive Director Fund Campaign End Date is April 30, 2016.

Goal= $2,000    *Donations Received= $200.00       Balance=$1,800

DONATION METHODS

If you are planning to support either the AGB Scholarship Fund or the ED Position or both…we have the same two methods as last year:

  1. The Learning Center’s PayPal can be used to make donations directly. Please access the PayPal system by clicking on….http://copeylearningcenter.org/.  Find the PayPal logo in the upper right hand corner of the homepage. To make certain the Learning Center recognizes your donation and how it should be applied, indicate in the comment section that the donation supports the “AGBSF” or the “EDF” (Executive Director Fund).
  2. The alternate method is by sending me your donation by making the check out to me. Once received, it is deposited in my account and then paid directly to the same Learning Center PayPal system as in Method #1. I will enter your name and designate where it is to be applied per your directions. The PayPal system will issue me a receipt which I send to you as “proof” the donation has been submitted to the Learning Center in your name. Make out the check and send to:

Arthur T. Broady, 725 N. Center Parkway, Apt. N-201, Kennewick, WA 99336  Phone:1-509-783-5897

Both of these methods were successfully used in 2014 and 2015 without any problems or concerns for safety or trustworthiness. For first timers, please note that “Friends” has opted to not establish or maintain a “Friends of Copey” bank account. The total amount of funds donated, deposited into my personal account, then paid to the Learning Center are relatively small and in my account for a very short time. Typically, donations received are quickly forwarded to the Learning Center. For the majority of the year, there is a zero balance for donations. If a bank account was being maintained it would cause unnecessary banking fees, printed checks, and other banking expenses. Other issues including signature cards and a tax ID along with other government and organizational requirements provide negative need for having a bank account. My address is included and I can be easily located. After receiving the donations, I assume full responsibility for forwarding the donations in your names to the Learning Center.

JUST ONE MORE THING!

There is a third fund-raising effort in the planning stages. We have two Learning Center students along with the Executive Director traveling to Emory & Henry College in June 2016. This is a very major initiative requiring our support and assistance with travel costs. HOWEVER….this current fund-raising campaign does not include the travel support for the students in June. Several special arrangements must be made first to set up the funding for this and will be handled separately. I will provide all the necessary details on this effort later in February.

 

 

 

 

Merry Christmas…extended!

Last week we all were focused on Christmas, the season’s reason relating to the Birth of Christ, exchanging gifts with loved ones, and sharing valuable time with family and friends. This week we are shifting our focus to New Year’s and trying

Christmas Tree 1

to keep the spirit of Christmas with us. I am still saying Merry Christmas to those I meet and see in the stores and about. I get strange looks since many have already seemed to have moved on to other things. But why does Christmas have to come to an abrupt halt after the presents are opened and dinner has been served? We refer to this as the Christmas Season or Holiday Season do we not? Can we continue wishing others joy, peace, and love beyond Christmas Day? I think I will keep saying Merry Christmas another week or so and see what happens. I contend that if we really embrace the reason for the season, wishing others joy, peace, and love past the sounds and sights of Christmas is okay. I contend that if we extended our Christmas wishes throughout the year, we would have a different world to live in.  So Merry Christmas to all…again! 

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

The year 2016 has so much promise for the “Friends of Copey”.  If I could make one New Year’s wish come true it would be that each of you would fully experience the joy that comes with being a “Friend” to the small Copey community. The Copey community believes in us and recognizes our efforts. When we inspire and encourage one child to

CLC Students August

reach his/her full potential, others are deeply affected. The child’s Mom and Dad are inspired and become full of hope, the child’s sibling(s) have a role model to follow, and the community changes for the better. The child succeeds!

Next month we will begin a third year of support and will call on all “Friends” old and new to first do two things. First, look at our two year history of support including the past couple Posts accounting for our achievements in 2015. You will see how far we have come with prayers, positive expectations, and donations. The number of students being helped has grown and our overall support of the Learning Center has continued to expand and grow.

Then, look at what we plan to do in 2016. We want to give more children 20151105_092520     the opportunity to attend the Learning Center. We want the Learning Center’s Director to remain on board to continue producing quality results. We want to see students from Copey establish friendships via Pen Pals and other student interactions. And, we want to help Angela and two Copey students get to the Emory & Henry College campus next June. These and other plans and initiatives await us.

At the end of 2016 when we as “Friends” account for our efforts, I am convinced our record will match and exceed 2015 accomplishments. But this will take all the “Friends” who believe in prayer to pray for our success. It will take all the “Friends” to be on board who understand and embrace the power of positive thinking. And, all those “Friends” who can provide financial support to help pull this all together will be needed as well. All three of these types of “Friends” will help us demonstrate our value as devoted and dedicated partners to the Copey community. Our motto has consistently been…  “When many will do just a little…A lot will get done for Kids!”.

New Banner.1

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!