Am I Too Late for Easter?


eggs

I really meant to get this post published last week.  But Life said I was needed elsewhere.

Little J is about too old to be excited about Easter egg hunts and baskets with plastic grass.  I still like to put together goodies for holidays, and thank goodness, I have an elementary class in St. Louis to which I can send surprises.  My bud Joe is the teacher and he calls his class the SuperStars!

I am not the artsy/craftsy kind of person that can draw and design and cut and come up with original ideas.  But there are many bloggers who can do all that, and they are generous enough to share their talents with us.  One of my favorites is Amy of Living Locurto fame.  With her help, I put together these cute Valentine bags for the SuperStars!

For you, Amy :>)

I went to Amy’s site for Easter help and found a link to Skip to My Lou.  I discovered cute bunny cards that you print, cut out and staple to a goodie bag.  I added the SuperStars! label with a program that can write in a .pdf file, like Adobe.   I bought pastel cardstock at Michaels, then raided Dollar Tree for goodie bags and candy.  I printed the cards, cut out the bunnies and stapled them to the top of a carrot goodie bag filled with Easter grass and candy.  It (kinda) looks like the bunny is holding the carrot!

So here is what I shipped to Joe last week.

easter1 He emailed me today to let me know the bunnies arrived, so the SuperStars! will be noshing on sugar, sugar, sugar Easter Sunday.
easter2 easter4

I hope to gather a listing of artsy/craftsy blogs that I like.  There are quite a few young mothers at my church who are energetic, fun, and involved with their kiddos, and I think they could be inspired by and have fun with some of these blogs.

Here is another project I HOPE to get done before Easter.  These will be for my grown-up friends.  I think they are SO CUTE.  Hint: there are Peeps involved.

SuperStars!  Enjoy your bunnies!

All writing and photos property of LoneStarLifer. 2010.

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The 30-Day Giving Challenge. Day 10. Classroom Library.


I wrote about getting together a classroom library for Mr. Hays and his SuperStars here.

Well, this morning, a picture showed up in my inbox.

photo

What a way to start my morning.¬† I truly almost started crying, realizing that sending out the call for help resulted in such bounty and encouragement for Joe and the SuperStars.¬† I do small things for the people around me but not things that I think make a huget impact.¬† To see the results was such an encouragement to me, also.¬† I CAN make a difference in someone’s life.¬† YOU can make a difference in someone’s life.

Thank you to everyone who contributed money, giftcards and money.

The 30-Day Giving Challenge. Day 9. Official Announcement.


Well, finally, I can announce something that happened several weeks ago but I didn’t want to talk about it until I had it in my hands.¬† Now I have it:

IMG_0866

Remember that I entered my friend Joe¬†in a contest to win a $100 OfficeMax giftcard?¬†He, and his SuperStars, WON!¬† In fact, he won four times, picked by four different bloggers.¬† Unfortunately, I was only able to accept one card.¬† When contacted, Mr. Hays commented, “AWESOME”.¬† He will be using the card for copy paper, laminating, transparencies….and that’s probably the $100 right there.¬†¬† I put it in the mail today.¬† I am SO HAPPY to be able to give this card to him.¬† Thanks to Extraordinary Mommy for awarding the OfficeMax card to Joe.¬†

When I first put out the word asking for support and help for Joe, I got several nice offers.  Several weeks ago, a schoolteacher friend of mine shipped 118 pounds of books for his classroom library.  She used to teach older elementary grades but now teaches kindergarten and the books had been sitting in her closet for quite a while.  I had some financial contributions and was able to send Joe $140 in OfficeMax cards.  When I sent the $100 card today, I also included a $40 card from another generous family.  Late this afternoon I got a commitment of another contribution that will put the total financial support at over $300.  Not bad for a gal who just started her little blog in June.  Thank you so much to all who are helping Joe and the SuperStars have a successful school year.

DSCF0243

I also picked up books at Half-Price Books, dollar stores, eBay, Borders bargain tables.   It was so fun to pick out the books since I absolutely LOVE books and love to read, and I was excited to know that the books are going to a classroom where they will be used and (hopefully) loved.  I ended up sending six small boxes of books, supplies, flashcards, dominoes and other math games.  DSCF0242

¬†I included some SuperStar goodies but I’ll wait until tomorrow to reveal more.¬†Giving.¬† It’s a good thing!!

You Know What Happens When You Assume…..


OfficeMax-School-Supplies-for-A-Day-Made-Better-Program-Education-300x207

Who hasn’t fussed at their child, or their spouse, or themselves¬†about not reading the directions or instructions?

 Well, today I am fussing at myself.

The OfficeMax giveaway of $1000 of schoolroom supplies does not end until this coming Sunday, October 11, midnight PDT.  That means you can still go to Mom It Forward and nominate Joe and his Superstars for the giveaway.

Be sure to READ ALL THE INSTRUCTIONS of how to nominate Joe. 

 

All writing property of LoneStarLifer. 2009.

$1000 OfficeMax Giveaway.


EDIT: Please read my post here https://lonestarlifer.wordpress.com/2009/10/08/you-know-what-happens-when-you-assume/.  Nominations for this giveaway go through midnight PDT, Sunday, October 11.

record

I know I sound like a broken record, but there is a $1000 giveaway of essential classroom supplies from OfficeMax that can be awarded to Joe.  He has been nominated for the $100 card many times, but not for the $1000 card.  Please go to http://bit.ly/1337uy to nominate him for a $1000.00 OfficeMax giveaway. BE SURE TO READ THE INSTRUCTIONS ABOUT HOW A TEACHER IS NOMINATED.

Nominations end at midnight ET Sunday, October 4th. 

Teacher-funded classrooms.


This Giveaway Has Ended!

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Please read my Saturday, October 3rd entry here: https://lonestarlifer.wordpress.com/2009/10/03/1000-officemax-giveaway/.
OfficeMax is sponsoring a giveaway of $1000 of essential classroom supplies. I’ve nominated Joe but it sure couldn’t hurt to have more nominations for him. Go here¬†http://momitforward.com/giveaway-1000-in-officemax-clasroom-supplies to read the instructions of how to nominate. Nominations end Sunday, October 4th at midnight ET.

superstars

Check out my blog about teacher Joe: http://wp.me/pyCBa-uB. Then go to http://bit.ly/1337uy to nominate him for a $1000.00 OfficeMax gift card. BE SURE TO READ THE INSTRUCTIONS ABOUT HOW A TEACHER IS NOMINATED.

And if you have time….all these blogs are running the same OfficeMax gift card contest.¬† Joe can be nominated on all of them, though he can only win once.¬† I’ve nominated him on all of the blogs.

This Week’s Max Moms’ Giveaways

A Cowboy’s Wife from Lori of @acowboyswife

Crafty Mama of 4 from Kim of @craftymamaof4

Detroit Mommies from Courtney of @TheAppleofMyEye

Elementary Spirits from Barb of @chaotic_barb

Extraordinary Mommy from Danielle of @extraordmommy

High Impact Mom from Amanda of @highimpactmom

Mom E Centric from Jerri Ann of @The_Jerri_Ann

Mom Spark from Amy of @momspark

Multi Minding Mom from Leighann of @leighannMMM

June Cleaver Nirvana from Holly of @texasholly

No Time for Flashcards from Allie of @noflashcards

Oh! Amanda! from Amanda of @oohamanda

Savor the Thyme from Jen of @savorthethyme

Skip to My Lou from Cindy of @cindyhopper

Tip Junkie from Laurie of @tipjunkie

Twofer Mom from Janine of @twincident

All writing property of LoneStarLifer. 2009.

Real Superstars.


Updated October 5

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The following blog entry was written for a contest. The contest is now closed, but if you are still interested in helping Joe and his Superstars, please contact me. I am gathering materials and donations that will be sent to him and would love to include your help.

Ladies and Gentlemen:

Iiiiiinnnnnntrooooooduuuuuuccccinnnnnnnnggggggg,

4th grade teacher, Joe Hays.

joe1

 And these are his lucky students.  He calls them his Superstars.

superstars

Joe teaches in a high poverty, inner-city St. Louis, MO elementary school.¬† This past summer he went through teacher training with Teach for America.¬† TFA “recruits hard-working, passionate people who want to make a difference in public education and then trains them how to be effective classroom teachers.”¬†¬†TFA¬†hit the jackpot when Joe signed on.¬† If I were asked to describe Joe in one word, that word would be passionate.¬†¬† Passionate about his family, his God, his friends, his life.¬† He¬†believes in people and¬†¬†their possibilities.¬† Hey, in a past life he was a minister¬†and that is the¬†ultimate in believing in folks and their possibilities.

Joe learned in his training that:

  • By the time they‚Äôre in fourth grade, children growing up in low-income communities are already three grade levels behind their peers in high-income communities.
  • About 50 percent of students in low-income communities will not graduate from high school by the time they‚Äôre 18 years old.
  • Those who do graduate will perform on average at an eighth-grade level.
  • Of the 13 million children growing up in poverty, only 1 in 10 will graduate from college.

Joe has set goals for his Superstars. 

biggoals2 & 80.

80% mastery on math tests,
and raising reading levels by 2 levels. goaltrackers

He has specific rules and class organization.     consequence classrules

He’s put together a cool little reading area.

classlibrary

¬†He’s gathering books for
his Superstars to enjoy.

He is in the process of¬†plastering his classroom walls with college and university t-shirts, sweatshirts, and pennants.¬† Joe wants his Superstars to dream big and envision themselves going to college.¬† Here are his words: “This is just one way my students are going to start imagining their post high school options. Everyday they‚Äôll look up on the walls of their classroom and be surrounded by university gear. At some point, they will be required to pick one of the colleges and write a report about it. They‚Äôll then share that report with the class.” He doesn’t want shirts that advertise a college sports program, he wants to encourage them to think college + education.¬† What a novel idea!!!

Now get this: Joe has to supply his room.¬† He even buys his own copy paper.¬†¬† Can you imagine walking into your office and your boss saying, “The office will no longer be supplying copy paper.¬† Please bring your own.”¬† Without going into Joe’s personal life too much, just let me tell you he has a precious wife and three children; two girls, one born this past summer, and¬†a boy who has special medical needs.¬† He should be able to spend his very-hard-earned money on his family, not on his classroom.

When I found out that Joe has to supply his room and his copy paper, I wrote OfficeMax, Office Depot and Staples to see if I could get some paper donated to his classroom.¬† The¬†SAME DAY¬†I mailed the letters, I got an email from a blog I regularly read (and have plans to write about one of these days),¬† A Cowboy’s Wife.¬† Lori is a MaxMom and was announcing a giveaway in conjunction with OfficeMax and their “A Day Made Better.”¬† Lori is giving away a $100 OfficeMax gift card to a deserving teacher, and I am hereby nominating Joe for the gift card.¬†¬†¬† I know there are teachers all over the country who would qualify for this gift, but I, personally, ¬†know of no one better than Joe to receive and use this card.¬† And think how his Superstars would feel, to know that there are folks in this world who DO care about their future and their lives.

superstars1

Are you interested in supporting Joe and his Superstars?  Me, too.  Here are some ways to help:

(1) Go to A Cowboy’s Wife blog and nominate Joe Hays in the comments. Nominations close midnight October 4.¬† There are other ways to nominate Joe; read Lori’s post to find out how.

(2) Wouldn’t it be fun for Joe to open an envelope full of gift cards?¬† A ream of paper runs around $5-$7 dollars.¬† A paperback book from Amazon, Borders or Barnes and Noble can be found for $5-$10.¬† Some school supplies from Target¬† costs $5-$10.¬† I have a Paypal account and would be happy to buy those gift cards in your name.¬† I would send you a receipt for the gift card I buy for the amount you want to donate. Or you could buy a gift card and mail it to me.¬†

(3) Joe submitted a proposal to Donorschoose.org and it was accepted.  He is asking for an LCD projector which projects the screen of his computer so that the entire class can see and learn.  You can donate to the Donorschoose.org website and when the money is collected, Joe receives his LCD projector.
EDIT: This is DONE! He has enough donations and will be getting his LCD projector!

(4) You can send a college/university shirt for Joe’s wall to encourage the Superstars to great things.

(5) Forward this request to your friends, and post an entry on your blog about Joe.¬† Would your company, or Sunday School class want to adopt Joe’s Superstars? Are you in touch with some sort of foundation that could donate to the cause?¬† If you sometimes think that you are only one person and can’t do much to change the lives of others, THIS is the opportunity to directly impact someone’s future.

Lori, thanks for the opportunity to talk about Joe.¬† I’m so proud of him and look forward to hearing how his SuperStars are doing.

Email me at lonestarlifer (at) gmail (dot) com if you can be a Superstar supporter.

 EDITED: Here are all the MaxMom sites that are carrying this giveaway.  Joe can be nominated on all the sites, but he can only win once (darn it!)

This Week’s Max Moms’ Giveaways

A Cowboy’s Wife from Lori of @acowboyswife

Crafty Mama of 4 from Kim of @craftymamaof4

Detroit Mommies from Courtney of @TheAppleofMyEye

Elementary Spirits from Barb of @chaotic_barb

Extraordinary Mommy from Danielle of @extraordmommy

High Impact Mom from Amanda of @highimpactmom

Mom E Centric from Jerri Ann of @The_Jerri_Ann

Mom Spark from Amy of @momspark

Multi Minding Mom from Leighann of @leighannMMM

June Cleaver Nirvana from Holly of @texasholly

No Time for Flashcards from Allie of @noflashcards

Oh! Amanda! from Amanda of @oohamanda

Savor the Thyme from Jen of @savorthethyme

Skip to My Lou from Cindy of @cindyhopper

Tip Junkie from Laurie of @tipjunkie

Twofer Mom from Janine of @twincident

All writing property of LoneStarLifer. 2009.