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A New Chapter

December 13, 2015
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Six years ago our family suffered a devastating blow when we lost Courtney, our sister, daughter, mother, friend. Shortly after we, as her siblings, came together and formed Court’s Kids in her honor. Since 2009, we’ve donated over 40,000 books to programs supporting literacy and special education. We’re very proud of our progress in Courtney’s name but that progress has slowed. Since 2009, all four of Courtney’s siblings have had babies of their own and Courtney’s “babies” have grown as well.

As happens as families grow, things become very busy and focus shifts to the day-to-day responsibilities and we have had little extra time to devote to properly growing Court’s Kids as an organization. So, it is with a heavy heart that I announce that Court’s Kids will be taking a (I hope brief) pause to focus on not only our little ones, but Courtney’s. We have pre-schoolers, first graders, some entering middle school and a high school graduate soon and as family had always been important to Courtney, we are choosing to turn our focus on our family now.

Court’s Kids has and will always be supportive of literacy and special education programs and as such have donated much of our remaining funds to The Shadow Project here in Oregon. We have chosen to support their efforts by purchasing audio libraries for local schools in their literacy efforts. We encourage you to do the same. For more information, click here.

Taking a pause has not been an easy decision, we have been discussing this for quite some time now. At the end of the day it comes down to being able to truly drive the mission and grow and we just can’t do that properly right now. Our hope is that we will again soon one day.

Until then, we encourage you to support your local literacy and special education programs in honor of Courtney.

Quote of the Month: Let the Wild Rumpus Start!

December 14, 2014

For those who knew her, it’s no secret that Courtney (the inspiration for Court’s Kids) was a bit of a Wild Thing. She was a fighter, fiercely defending her family, advocating for kids with special needs and never giving up (sometimes to a fault). I want Court’s Kids to embody that spirit, that strength to stand strong in the face of the seemingly insurmountable and let the wild rumpus start.

Sometimes, I think of Courtney as being across the sea, “over a year, in and out of weeks and through a day” where the wild things are…where she is Queen.

To all our fellow Wild Things…let the wild rumpus start!

Little by little,

Kiki

 

where the wild things are

 

Quote of the Month: Anything Can Be

November 2, 2014

silverstein

 

 

Books About Fall

October 11, 2014

We had our first foggy fall morning here in our little area of Oregon. We’ve been blessed with beautiful sunshine and mid-70s weather lately which was starting to make me forget it was October already. Waking to that familiar chill in the air made me kind of excited for boots, scarves, and the coming holiday season.

We also started Kindergarten this year, hard to believe we’ve got a kiddo this big! As part of our weekly homework we have a reading log to record our nightly reading efforts. The chilly fall breeze made me dig around for any of our fall themed books. A favorite has always been Curious George Halloween, this year we’ll work on reading it by ourselves!

Here’s a great list of Fall Books for Children created by teachers.

What are your favorite fall themed children’s books?

Little by little,

Kiki

Happy Birthday Courtney as we Read Across America

February 23, 2014
books for special education

West Texas Girls – At a picnic on the Rio Grande

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,

Kiki

2013 in review

December 31, 2013

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.

Click here to see the complete report.

Quote of the Week

November 23, 2013
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"and let thy feet millenniums hence be set in midst of knowledge"

The Failure Drumbeat

November 17, 2013
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SearchIt’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.

1,763 Books Packed for Special Education!

September 21, 2013

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.

1,763 Books for Special Education

1,763 Books for Special Education

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.

weather

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.

Kiki's Delivery Service

Kiki’s Delivery Service

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,

Kiki

Quote of the Week: Have confidence in your own strength

September 17, 2013
wonder woman girl power

You have the power ladies!