Sunday, January 17, 2010

Share this Prayer

Dear Friends let us pray.......

Lord, I just want to say THANK YOU, because this morning I woke up and knew where my children were. Because this morning my home was still standing, because this morning I am not crying because my husband, my children, my brother or sisters need to be unearthed from underneath a pile of concrete, because this morning I was able to drink a glass of clean water, because this morning I was able to turn on the lights, because this morning I was able to take a shower, because this morning I was not planning a funeral, but most of all I thank you this morning because I still have life and a voice to cry out for the people of Haiti. Lord I cry out to you, the one that makes the impossible, possible, the one that turns darkness in to light, I cry out that you give the people strength, that you give them peace that surpasses all understanding, that you may open the streets so that help can come, that you may
provide doctors, nurses, food, water, and all that they need in a blink of an eye. For all those that have lost family members, give them peace,give them hope, give them courage to continue to go on! Protect the children and shield them with your power. I pray all this in the name of Jesus!!!

To all my friends please continue to forward this so that we can pray together for the people in Haiti. We here in the USA are truly blessed! I for one wake up everyday and thank God for giving me another healthy day on this planet...another day with my loved ones...another day with food, water, clothing, heat, and friends. Let us all focus on being grateful for what we have and in whatever way possible let us all help those who need...those in Haiti and other sites of disasters.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Golden Apple Awards--Airs Feb. 25th on KCTS

Well, last night we taped the Golden Apple Awards at the Intiman Theatre in Seattle. This was the 18th year that Pemco Insurance and KCTS-TV have jointly honored exceptional educators and educational programs throughout Washington State. I was asked to be the Associate Producer by my friend Josephine who is the main show producer. The winners are chosen by a panel of people who know excellence when it comes to teaching. I was also lucky enough to be chosen to produce profiles of two of the recipients. I was so awestruck by these two women and what they are able to do in a single school day. Ann Smith teaches gifted fifth graders in Vancouver Washington. She has a great principal and apparently a great school district that supports her efforts. You might think that gifted kids are easy students and in some ways that is probably true but in other ways they are not always the most socially adept kids for whatever reasons. Ann Smith's kids were presenting a Renaissance Faire when I was there. They made their costumes. Ann had assigned them identities and they had to research their occupations and come up with ideas of things they could make and sell in their marketplace. She had them prepare a feast that consisted of at least five different dishes. We got there and they set up, started their preparations and with the help of some great moms they put together quite a lot of food. Then, they had younger students come through while each explained his or her occupation and what that meant. They sang, they danced and they gave speeches...all in character. Now, mind you, this was all before lunch! Lunch by the way was YUMMO! Then, they read, wrote, answered questions, played an ancient game of checkers. I wish I could have done a half hour documentary on this class of kids... who also by the way, go to the nearby creek once a month to monitor the water quality, temperature, flow, etc. They present their findings to adult professionals and college level educators later in the year. My second teacher profile was of a beautiful petite Vietnamese woman who teaches in South Seattle. She teaches kindergarten students many of whom are ESL kids. We visited them on the 59th day of classes. Most of these children did not know their alphabet when they started this school year. She has them reading, journaling, doing math problems and so many other high-level tasks. I was blown away by these little five year olds. I asked if it was a gifted class and she said "no, just regular kids." Well, they are not regular kids and Huyen Lam is not a regular teacher. She has a business degree and had opened her own retail establishment. She figured out fairly quickly that she wasn't cut out for some of the behind the scenes dealings involved with her trade. In the meantime, several neighborhood kids had come in to visit with her and ended up asking for help with schoolwork. The light dawned and she knew that she wanted to make a difference and to try to fix flaws in the education system...her first thought was that giving the students a strong foundation as young as possible was the way to go. That is what she does. She does not coddle the kids and just expect them to play and get used to learning. She pushes them to want to learn. I loved it when she chose a boy to lead the class during math time. (each week a different child is chosen to lead this part of their day)...In addition to math they figured out what day it was, how many days they had been in school, what month, day of the week, etc. This little boy was so confident and sure of himself---it was so empowering for him. All of the students participated and got so enthusiastic about learning. The whole day was one jaw dropping task after another. I was humbled by the amazing way both of these beautiful bright strong women molded their students right before my eyes. Teachers deserve so much more recognition than they receive. That old cliche about kids being our future is true and we should all be thankful for people who chose to dedicate their lives to making sure that all kids not just their own are given the tools to create the future. Thank you Huyen, Ann and all the rest of the teachers who work so hard for so little thanks and compensation.

The program will air on PBS stations throughout the state. FEB. 25 @ 7pm on KCTS 9 Seattle and KYVE 47 in Yakima. FEB. 27th on KWSU in Pullman @ 10pm and on Marcy 5th @ 9pm. FEB. 28th at 1:00pm KSPS in Spokane. March 4th @ 10:00pm on KTNW in the Tri-Cities.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Gratefulness Goes A LONG Way!

Well, I haven't taken the time to blog lately. Went to Hawaii and spent some good time just soaking up the sun's six books and spent time with family. I am so grateful to have my family. Good, bad or indifferent - they are all mine. But, that is not the real reason I decided to blog about gratefulness today. I just read five very sweet thank you notes that I am forwarding to one of our lovely sponsors for the Candlelighters' Holiday Adopt a Family program. This particular sponsor adopted 11 families again this year. So, five thank you notes is almost half! That is the biggest return we have had in years and years. Okay, so we provided self addressed stamped envelopes with the note cards but I am just ecstatic that we got this many back. In recent years we were lucky to get one or two out of 55. This year we actually processed at least 70 families through our program. I am so thankful to all of our generous sponsors...our volunteer drivers who really helped since I normally do most of that part and since I was smart and went to Hawaii these folks were sent from God above to take care of the pick ups and deliveries. And, now I am so grateful that at least some of those we served had the energy and the wherewithall to write a note of gratitude and send it in. I am just plain happy with everyone! God is good.