Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Volunteers Needed for Reading Program!

Dr. Neal is looking for volunteers to listen to students read. If you'd like to help out and are available during school hours (specific days/times not yet available), please let me (mhenry4@uh.edu) know.

FYI: This is also a great opportunity to interest new recruits in Movers & Shapers. However, because this activity involves direct contact with students, new folks will need to go through the initial orientation before participating. If you find someone who would like to get involved, just send his/her contact info to Justin, and he will start the initiation process.

For projects not involving direct student contact, non-M&S people are welcome to take part before getting oriented. (All this policy stuff comes from John Barone; I'm not just making it up as I go along!)

By the way, thanks for making such great use of the blog! (I knew I'd hook you sooner or later....)


Developers Meeting Minutes - October 30, 2006

Present: Julie Meaux, Justin Fox, Stephanie Wheatley, Carolyn Trozzo, Susan Meek, Shannon Woodruff, Jessica Stoner

  • Stephanie Wheatly updated everyone on the progress of a parent newsletter. It was decided that creating a parent Blog would be a good place to start for Monarch parents to interact and share information.
  • Discussed the possibility of having a book drive to collect books to be donated to doctor's offices (especially pediatricians) with details of the school inside the front cover. This could possibly be a service project for the kids.
  • Suggested that some type of thank-you event would be nice for all of those that make pledges at the breakfast on November 14th. Possibly a dinner or party.
  • It was suggested that Monarch might benefit from offering an annual open house in the evening.
  • Discussed reaching out to preschools, especially through the different churches, to help educate the community about Monarch.

Thanks to Our Awesome Volunteers

A huge thanks to all who helped yesterday at the Learning Center by sticking labels on about 7,000 news letters that will be going out this week. We had several parent volunteers, Monarch staff and Movers and Shapers members who showed up to tackle this task. The work that we thought would take 1 1/2 days was completed in only 4 1/2 hours. Way to go volunteers!!!!

Monday, October 30, 2006

Builders Committee Project

Members of the Builders Committee recently rolled up their sleeves and with hammers in hand, responded to a need in the Monarch Life Academy for more shelf space. Penny Weiss and I spent two afternoons hanging shelves along two of the walls in the Life Academy. As you can see from the picture, the shelves look great, and are being put to good use! The Building Committee is incredibly appreciative to Penny for driving this project. Life Academy- how are the new shelves working out for you?

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Volunteer Opportunity October 30th and 31st

If anyone has some free time on Monday, October 30th between 8:30am and 3:00pm and/or on Tuesday, October 31st between 8:30am and 11:30am we will be stuffing and labeling approximately 10,000 envelopes in the Learning Center for a mass mailing and could use your help. If you are interested in helping with this task please contact me. If you find you have some time to spare at the last minute feel free to just show up - I'm sure there will be plenty of work to go around.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Computers and Laptops

If you have not already heard, I wanted to share the great news with all of you. The Monarch School is a member of a program called Gifts In Kind. This program allows non-profits like us to "Shop" (we don't actually pay anything) for items that we need. These items are typically donated by large corporations. These items can be anything from furniture or computers, or even office supplies. Upon hearing that ExxonMobil had donated over 400 desktops and laptops to the program, I immediately asked for 32 desktops and 10 laptops. And guess what?!?! We got ALL of them. This is great news because these computers can replace all the student computers on both campuses.

Also, we recently received a generation donation from the Viereck's (Monarch parents) to pay for a defibrillator and cabinet for each campus, and for pediatric pads for the Apprentice campus. We are thrilled that they did this for us, especially with all the news going around about schools that do/do not have them. All staff will be trained at the beginning of November on how to use them.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Studio Saturday: cARTography

The Blaffer Gallery at the University of Houston is offering a free program this Saturday, October 21, which may be of interest to some Monarch students and teachers. The schedule includes guided tours of the exhibit "A Fiction of Authenticity: Contemporary Africa Abroad" at 1:00; an art-making activity, in which participants will create maps of their personal histories, at 2:00; and an opportunity to share these maps and discuss the exhibit and project with Leamon Green, a fine arts professor from Texas Southern University, at 3:30. According to the flyer advertising the program, "All art-making materials provided and refreshments are served--just bring your imagination."

Interested? Please RSVP to Katherine Veneman, curator of education (what a cool title!), at 713-743-9526 or kveneman@uh.edu.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Our Resident Artist

Hello all you Movers & Shapers,

If you missed it, check out this terrific Channel 2 News Report on the success of Kate, one our Monarch students!




Monday, October 09, 2006

Blaffer Gallery programs for students

Ranger has been talking to a friend of hers at UH's Blaffer Gallery, exploring possibilities for Monarch students to visit and enjoy some of the gallery's educational programming. Please take a look at the Education section of their website and let Ranger or me know if you'd like more details. (In addition to being an interesting place to visit, the Blaffer has the advantage of being on the UH campus, and a session there could be combined with a stop at another site, such as the KUHF studio, mentioned in an earlier blog post.)

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Don't Miss This Great Show!

Greetings all Movers & Shapers,

Susie and I went to the Hobby Center last night to see our very own Kay Kahl in Masquerade Theatre's performance of "Sweeney Todd." Kay was awesome, as was the entire cast.

The delightful show, although three hours long, captivated us the entire time, and the singing and acting were brilliant! The Houston Press had this to say in their review: "The entire cast is definitive, as is director Phillip Duggins's minimal production, which moves this classic with a relentless, chilling drive."

It's not too late to catch this masterpiece performance! There are two shows left before the show closes on Sunday.



Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Spreading the Word

The Learning Center is looking to expand its list of contacts for this year's workshops. Because it is our first year to offer continuing education units to professionals, we're hoping to increase our contacts with special education professionals in the schools. If any movers and shapers have contacts in public or private special education or any mailing lists of professionals that they would be willing to share, please either email Emily Reiter at ereiter@monarchschool.org or call 713.933.0568, thanks!

Coaching from Cathy

I just wanted to thank Cathy Graham for agreeing to lend her time and skills in public relations to mentor me in the promotion of the Learning Center. We recently met to discuss the best possible route for promoting the Learning Center's upcoming symposium. Cathy gave great suggestions for focusing on building relationships with other organizations in the community. She also suggested different ideas of how to effectively reach the Learning Center's target audience. I had a great time brainstorming with Cathy, and look forward to more meetings in the future!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Calling All Heralds!

Monarch is hosting a free workshop on hair pulling and skin picking on Oct. 19. Any help in getting the word out would be greatly appreciated!



Possible field trip idea?

I was just looking at the KUHF website and came across an article about tours of the studio. This sounds like a great opportunity for Monarch students to learn more about radio (and TV--the PBS station operates out of the same building and is included in the tour) broadcasting. According to the article, the free tours can be scheduled on Tuesday or Thursday at 9 am (weekend and evening times are also available, but I assume these wouldn't work). If this seems like a good idea, I'd be happy to find out more.

Field trips (I know that's not the term Monarch prefers, but I can't remember the right one) fall within the scope of the Educators' work, and we'd be delighted to get additional suggestions!


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