So, I just finished doing the Court’s Kids taxes, something I, as a creative, am not a fan of. But, as President of Court’s Kids, it is my serious task for the year. My main fear is that I will goof it up. We don’t bring in much, and what we do bring in goes right back out. As we planned. Our initial goal when we started was to get books in, raise shipping money and ship books out. We’re doing just that and I couldn’t be happier.
When we started this I had just lost my baby sister, the other half of the dynamic duo of Kiki and Courtney. I was a part of a team and then…I wasn’t. I was lost. She had just sent me a care package of her copies of the “Twilight” series and, as a new mom of a beautiful little boy, I was naturally up at the break of dawn and they kept me company. Those books helped me so much, I needed the break from reality for a minute or two. I missed my sister and here, I had in my hands, a book she had held not to long ago. Every once in a while I walk by those books and just touch them, I can feel her there.
It’s Read Across America day soon, March 3rd, the day before what would have been her 33rd birthday. She loved reading, and loved Dr. Seuss, who doesn’t? All of her work with children with special needs can be summed up with this quote:
“Today you are you. That’s truer that true! There’s no one alive that’s you-er than you!”
I’m off to read “Havisham” by Ronald Frame, I’m dying to know about Mis Havisham before being left at the alter. What are you reading?
Little by little,
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 2,200 times in 2013. If it were a cable car, it would take about 37 trips to carry that many people.
It’s a common thing we hear daily on the news, in movies, or in books, America’s school system is failing. It’s usually said either with a lot of cynicism or it precedes a slickly proposed solution to get past the failure. It’s a very common refrain that even gets automatically suggested to us. When you start a Google search with “the school system is” you immediately get suggestions of broken, failing, etc. It’s a view that frankly doesn’t serve us well.
To be clear, we shouldn’t be blind to facts and everyone needs to evaluate schools and their models carefully and expect nothing but the best for their children. However, a constant narrative of failure popularizes the idea that public education is hopeless. On the broad level it makes it easy for voters to not be as concerned with budget cuts to education. Can you think of one congressman who has been voted out for cutting education funding? On a community level it makes a school’s closing inevitable. This mentality can put charter schools and private school at an unfair advantage when communities consider the options for their children.
Affordable, accessible education isn’t hopeless.
Today we held the 4th Annual Court’s Kids Big Sort where we sorted and packed up 1,783 books for early intervention an special education programs across the country! It was a great day.
We had great helpers, old friends, new friends, a new teacher friend and even some sunshine! We’re heading into fall and here in Oregon that means pretty grim weather forecasts. All week it was looking like we were going have a chilly, soggy book sort.
But, this morning was different…the fog burned off pretty early and we got some beautiful sunshine. It’s funny, we have been doing one or two book sorting events each year for the last four years and, no matter what the forecast says, we always get a little sunshine. I like to think it’s Courtney pulling some strings up there to make the day that much brighter.
Book sorts are always so fun, we get some wonderful donations in from our friends at River City Books and Schoolhouse Supplies, and you never know what kinds of treasures you’ll find. Everyone has their own experiences with books and reading and going through these boxes can be a bit of a trip down memory lane as you come across books you loved as a child, books that made you laugh, remind you of times past. We found some great stuff today, a whole set of Goosebumps books, a bunch of the ever so funny Captain Underpants series (including the one about the “Wicked Wedgie Woman” I never knew of such a person), Marcia held onto her title for always being the first to find the books that make noises, and we even found one called “Kiki’s Delivery Service”!
We were scheduled to sort up until 2:00 but ended up finishing at 12:45, this group really meant business! We broke down the tables, cleaned up and loaded up our new teacher friend’s car with books for her program and a colleague. I didn’t know we would be able to do that today since we don’t usually get many teachers at the sorts so it was so great to send her off with treasures for her school.
So, here I sit, feet up, listening to my little guy play with his superheroes, feeling the cool autumn breeze through the window as the clouds come in…the sun keeps poking through now and then, a subtle reminder that she was here today.
Little by little,
“The attacks of September 11th were intended to break our spirit. Instead we have emerged stronger and more unified. We feel renewed devotion to the principles of political, economic, and religious freedom, the rule of law and respect for human life. We are more determined than ever to live our lives in freedom.” -Rudolph Giuliani, former mayor of NYC