Friday, May 20, 2011

Help Us Help the ARC!

We just celebrated the first birthday of our Academic Resource Center at Portside with a huge party for the 234 students and 110 volunteers who have been through the doors for tutoring and outside of school support since it's opening. It is an incredible place, with enormous potential to change an entire community! We have developed great partnerships with American Residential Communities, the community owners, and Beach United Methodist Church that have helped us transform what was once only a dream into a growing and evolving reality. We have begun searching for ways to find funding to help support the programs being offered and are currently competing for a grant funded by Community First Credit Union which is looking to provide money to projects that help better the community. The ARC certainly fits the bill! Please help us win this opportunity by clicking "Like" on our submission on facebook.

Friday, May 13, 2011

A Bend in the Road...

Honestly it's been a pretty bad week for me - in fact, one of the worst I can remember in a long time.  Our budget situation for next year is more horrible than I could have ever imagined, resulting the in the loss of $854,000.  Yep, you read that right, there are three zeros behind that 854, almost a million dollars lost.  Impact: Supplies, Instructional Materials, Books, and more importantly PEOPLE - Paraprofessionals, Office Staff, and Teachers.  This enormous sum has translated into the potential loss of as many as 28 of our valued employees and treasured CCE family members.  Devastating.  I am sad for the terrible loss of our part time employees who are just out of a job, disheartened for the full time employees who are being surplussed into uncertainty and deeply worried about how the loss of these critical stakeholders will impact our children.  The ways in which our precious future are touched and changed by these people each and every school day are immeasurable.

And then I was reminded of something very important by one of our baby teachers - one of the very teachers I had to bring into my office this week to tell that she may be losing her position here.  During a time when it would be easy to be wrapped up in how devastating these changes could be for her she instead thought of others and reached out to me in an act of selfless generosity.  The spirit of which epitomizes what has always made the Creek just a little different.  We are a family of people who care about and love each other, we rally in the tough times, lift each other up when necessary and stick together like no school community I've ever had the privledge of serving.

I dragged myself into my office Thursday morning, still reeling from the emotional conversations I'd had the beginning of the week, and worried about how we would manage.  On the middle of my desk was a large white box, covered in yellow and black CAUTION tape and inside this box were "rocky road" cupcakes complete with road signs, orange traffic cones and a note that began with this quote:

"A bend in the road is not the end of the road...unless you fail to make the turn." Author Unknown

The note continued with these precious words, "...I thought this week would be the perfect time to send you a little something to brighten your day.  I heard the above quote earlier this week and it really hit home with me right now.  I know I can't even fathom the long road we have ahead of us but I know this school will make the turn.  I am blown away by how many high spirits I see throughout the halls and I know that it is only happening because this school truly has something different and wonderful about it..."

WOW, out of the mouths of babes - she's right.  No matter what roadblocks are thrown in our way - and trust me there have been plenty over the years, we have not AND will not be deterred from our mission to create a learning community where caring individuals feel safe to dream of the unknown, experiment with ideas and experience the thrill of success.  Our children can't afford for us to fail, they deserve the very best we have to offer them.  It's not the end of the road, just time to start making the turn...