Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Hey Heralds!

I have a project idea/request for you. I'm working on recruiting new volunteers from local universities, and it would be really helpful to have a simple, one-page brochure or flyer about Movers & Shapers (who we are, what we do, etc.). We have the Monarch packets, of course, which are great, but I think a piece of introductory literature about our group would be very handy for situations like this. Any chance one or more of you could work on this soon? It certainly doesn't have to be anything fancy, just short and sweet.


Monday, January 29, 2007

Minutes from the Herald's Committee Meeting on 1/25/07

Present: Cathy Graham, Kyle Nguyen, Dennis Woods, and Emily Reiter

- The marketing of the Monarch Learning Center’s upcoming symposium entitled “The Explosive Child” was discussed at great length. Cathy Graham was able to give Monarch Learning Canter Assistant Emily Reiter some names of media contacts and suggestions of how to best promote this event. Some ideas discussed were: the importance of promoting the event before it occurs, promoting the event while it’s occurring (a television station interviewing Dr. Greene during the day of the event) and promoting the event after it is over, Ms. Graham also suggested emailing an article submission to all editors in Houston as well as a media alert.
- The Monarch Web site was also discussed. Monarch Director of Technology spoke about his recent project of posting previous news clippings about Monarch on the Web site for visitors to access. The group spoke about the electronic newsletter and the importance of making sure it’s not sent out before it’s completely ready.
- John Barone visited the group and brought up the idea of sending out monographs as a way of promoting Monarch.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Developer's Minutes

Attendees: Marion Defalco, Justin Fox, Sharlene Fox, Judith Garnil, John Hardesty, Susan Meek, Julie Meaux, Jessica Stoner, Carolyn Trozzo, Stephanie Wheatley, Shannon Woodruff

  • New members: Judith Garnil, John Hardesty

  • Realtor involvement: Marion Defalco reported that she had contacted Myra Jolvit, Managing Editor of the Houston Realtor and Communications Chief. She is extremely interested and receptive to the idea of distributing information about Monarch to her clients.

  • Success of follow-up phone calls to breakfast attendees: Jessica Stoner stated that she had received mainly positive responses. Julie Meaux remarked that she had to leave voicemails and nobody returned her calls. Effective ways to thank breakfast attendees were discussed. Follow-up thank you notes/letters could be one method.

  • 'The Gifts' movie Feb. 13: Group reiterated that the movie would be an excellent opportunity to educate others about Monarch. The '12 gifts' are closely alligned with Monarch's philosophy. When inviting others we need to make sure that people are aware that the venue is St. Thomas University.

  • Contact with PBS: Marion Defalco contacted PBS due to Dr. Eric Braverman's upcoming appearance on March 29. He is a neuro surgeon and heads up a research foundation specializing in learning disorders in children. She suggested that it would be a good idea to have Monarch staff or parents be in the audience when he gives his presentation. Marion left Monarch packets at PBS.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Educators Minutes

Like Ranger, I was a committee of one yesterday, but here are a few items I discussed with others at the meeting:
  • We've been having trouble recruiting "mentors" to come to Monarch and speak to students about topics of shared interest. Since I suspect part of the problem is that "mentor" implies a greater time commitment than many people are able to make, we are going to continue this recruitment effort but look for "guest speakers," instead. Neal provided the list of course offerings for 2006-07, which I will try to turn into a "wish list" for guest speakers. This will be a wonderful opportunity to use your connections in the community for Monarch's benefit!
  • Ranger had very good idea about working with local college student volunteer programs to recruit new M&S members. I'll follow up with this at UH and possibly at Rice, St. Thomas, and/or other Houston-area schools.
  • Neal told us about plans for a student talent show in May. The Educators' co-facilitator, Kay Kahl, is already involved with this project, and it may present us with new volunteer opportunities. If nothing else, maybe we can all get invitations to attend!
  • Neal and I discussed another volunteer organization, Houston Heifers, a local group supporting the work of Heifer Project International. Monarch students use Heifer-related materials in some of their classes, and I look forward to learning more about this program.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Builders Minutes 1/25/07

Just back from another Movers and Shapers meeting. I was the only Builder present so the discussions I had were with various Monarch administrators and other Movers and Shapers members.

*I asked John and Marty for a conduit. Monarch staff have begun discussing projects for the new buildings and grounds but they aren't reaching our group.

*John, Miranda and I discussed having the Heralds recruit members for both the Builders and Educators groups.

*Miranda and I met with new Movers and Shapers members John and Judith to fill them in on what the Educators and Builders are all about.

*Neil told us about some fabulous developments. Landscaping for the new campus will be donated, we will have fruit trees, and two private residences near the new campus have been donated for residence and life skills development.

Monday, January 22, 2007

"Today's Man" on April 8

As part of its "Margaret Mead Festival," the Rice Media Center will show the documentary "Today's Man" on Sunday, April 8 (yes, Easter Sunday) at 9:00 pm.

Description from the Rice Media Center website:

"Filmmaker Lizzie Gottlieb looks at her brother Nicky, a young man struggling to leave the comfort and safety of his parents' home and find his place in the world. While he can calculate the square root of any number in the blink of an eye, he has trouble reading the simplest of facial expressions, making social interaction difficult. At the age of 21, he is diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome, a high-functioning form of autism."

The film is the second half of a double feature, but the first movie, "A Map With Gaps," is only 26 minutes long, and "Today's Man" is 55 minutes, so even the 9:00 start time won't make for too late a night.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007


Calling all Movers & Shapers!
On March 3, 2007, Monarch will welcome Dr. Ross Greene, author of The Explosive Child, as presenter for our symposium. This topic is relevant for all parents, teachers, and anyone who works with children. To save a bundle, sign up for EARLY BIRD REGISTRATION!

We also need your help in spreading the word about Monarch's Symposium. At our next meeting we will have cards that you can present as gifts to friends, family, colleagues, etc. They can also be left for people to pick up at pediatrician's offices, schools, and any other place frequented by parents, teachers, or others who work with young people.

Thanks for helping make our first annual symposium a SOLD OUT SUCCESS!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

College Living Experience

I came across an interesting article in the "Chronicle of Higher Education" about College Living Experience, a support program for special needs students pursuing college education. It looks like something that might interest Monarch students, so I thought I'd pass along the link to the CLE website, which provides access to the article.

Monday, January 08, 2007

"The Ultimate Gift" on February 13

News from Linda Caruso:

The Monarch School will host the Houston premiere of the film "The Ultimate Gift" on Tuesday, February 13, with proceeds to benefit the school. For more information or to purchase tickets, check out the event announcement on the Monarch website. Spread the word and treat yourself and your family and friends to an early Valentine's Day present!

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