By: Linda Kozacek
As we start the month of November, we have much to be thankful for! I know I am thankful for our principals and how they allow us to support the schools. I am thankful for the staff who are beginning to forge a trust relationship with our church. I am thankful for the students who are reading more than ever. I am thankful for the volunteers who support all of our programming. And I am so thankful for our liaisons who work non-stop to partner, plan and implement all of the wonderful events going on in our schools. The relationships with our partner schools continue to grow, and that is evident in the amount of activities that we are able to help support!
Even though the days are shorter, the work being done does not lighten up. In fact, October was busier than ever. Each school hosted a Scholastic Book Fair where, thanks to the generosity of the Church of the Resurrection, each student got to choose 2 new books to take home "for keeps." I know the children were thankful because I got handfuls of notes telling me so. In the words of 1st grader Dominique, “Thank you for the books. You are nice. I will read the books.”
November and December will continue to be busy, so look for ways that you can serve. In addition to regular activities, we will be hosting Thanksgiving Luncheons and Joy Parties. Click on the link below to see how you can help in these fun events.
Of course, we are always looking for volunteers to help, so if you want to find other ways to get involved, please click on the link to get plugged in:
And as always, if you can't serve with your hands, can you serve with your heart and pray--for our schools, principals, staff and liaisons?? We need your prayers!!
Liaison Doug Harris firstname.lastname@example.org
The first quarter of the school year was a busy time at Troost Elementary! We helped kick off the year by providing ice cream treats for Back-to-School Night, classroom supplies for all the students, and backpacks and uniforms where needed. Our classroom volunteer group is well underway as we provide direct assistance to teachers and children in K-6 classrooms, and our volunteer numbers continue to grow! A HUGE improvement in more than one way was the rebuilding of a new playground structure. This wonderful multi-colored, multi-use piece is a HUGE hit with all the students! We are supporting the school's efforts to improve students' behavior, attendance, and academic achievement.
For example, a special bulletin board recognizes students' birthdays each month, and we help provide the counselors and behavior interventionist with rewards for their positive behavior incentive system. Our efforts to help improve academic performance included a very successful author visit in September and Book Fair in October as we work on developing students' interest and engagement in reading. The principal and staff members at Troost continue to work very hard on school improvement issues, and we are proud to be their partner and support their efforts!
Liaison Ann Hays email@example.com
Halloween was a great holiday at Wheatley school this year. Last year we found out that most of the students do not to go door to door trick or treating because their neighborhoods are too dangerous. So this year we brought it to them. We were planning a Trunk or Treat event until the rain drove us inside. There were 20 groups or individuals who decorated tables and walls in the hallway while the students through the 4th grade went “trick or treating”. Staff and church members , several residents from a senior living facility, and other Wheatley volunteers partnered to run the party. The volunteers made it such a fun event for the students that we plan to do it again next year. The 5th and 6th grade students had a party in the gym organized by students from a Christian school in Independence. It was a perfect opportunity for all of those students to get to know each other and have a lively Halloween party. The students with special needs all had parties in their rooms planned by Donna Ibenthal and several volunteers.
We have several tutors who have started working with Kindergarteners and first graders. They are making progress in the students’ reading abilities. One tutor who comes each week at Wheatley said a boy he works with never spoke in class and didn’t know his alphabet until he started working with him. In just a few weeks, he knows his letters and is now sounding out words. And he is more talkative. It is amazing what a difference a little special attention can do for a child’s confidence!
The church provided funds for a new audio visual system in the gym/auditorium (gymatorium?) and suddenly the school was transformed from the 1950s to the present age. They have already started using it for their literacy program. Each the mornings before school, the younger students (K-2) gather in the gym and see books such as “Arthur” and other children’s books read to them or acted out via cartoons on a big screen. They will also use the system for school programs, teacher meetings, and movies each month for the students with good attendance.
contact Ann Hays at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Liaison Claire Jepson email@example.com
It's been a busy month at Wendall Phillips, and there will be much more to come! Contact Claire if you want to get involved in all of the activity going on at this wonderful school!
On the Kansas side...
Liaison Linda Kozacek firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for all of you who served at Quindaro this past month. It was full of fun! We started the month by bringing in a magician as part of a good behavior celebration that was attended by most of the school. After that, many of you brought cakes and baked goodies for the cake walk at the annual Quindaro Fall Festival. We surprised the students by hosting a Trunk or Treat on Halloween. As the students paraded the school in costume, they became wide eyed as Principal Poke flung open the front doors for the kids to march through a line of decorated cars and Church of the Resurrection members who handed out candy. They weren’t affected by the sugar, as the next day each student came through our Scholastic Book Fair and eagerly picked out 2 new books to take home and keep. Whew! I’m tired just writing about all of this fun—but I could never have done it without you!
Lori Matusek has assembled a team of bakers who deliver yummy treats each month to the staff. While her bakers bake up the delicious goodies, Lori goes to work creating a beautiful themed table to welcome the staff to partake. The only complaint I have heard: the staff wants the recipes!!! They are feeling so blessed by her ministry. She also had created birthday bags for each teacher—just another way that Lori makes the staff feel valued and special. I am so thankful for Lori and her team!
We will be hosting the Thanksgiving luncheon and Joy Parties, so be sure to go to the link above and sign up to help. Quindaro would warmly welcome you!! Lori and I would also like to do cookie trays for each of the staff members to take home. So, I am looking for BAKERS to help make some holiday treats and assemblers to help package them with a creative flair. Details will follow, but please contact me if you are interested!
I have been blessed to partner with Ms. Poke over the past 4 years. One of our favorite shared quotes comes from the book Love Does by Bob Goff:
"God made each of us then whispered "Think symphony, not solo." Individually capable; collectively unbelievable. "
What is happening at Quindaro is often times unbelievable to Ms. Poke and me. But as the programming increases, so does my need for someone to assist me. I am looking for someone to help me for activities that conflict with my work schedule. If you are feeling called to get more involved and want to be a part of something incredibly special, please contact me asap. Come be part of something unbelievable.
You will be blessed...
Contact me with any questions-
Linda 913-400-3595 email@example.com
Liaison Ann Carter firstname.lastname@example.org
On November 21, Thursday, Welborn will have another of our Family Fun nights. we generally have over 100 parents and students attend. Last month's night was "Music in the Lot" with the students performing. Attendance was almost 200. This month our theme will be Linking Literacy to Classic Games.
We will be taking a look at how board games, chants, and other fun activities link directly to literacy. I have a list of games that I am hoping to have donated to Welborn for that night so that each family might receive one of the games. They are needed by November 11, 2013. You can contact me, Ann Carter at 913.707.7209 or at email@example.com. Thank you so much!
M is for Mouse
To help with any of these activities, please contact Ann Carter. 913.707.7209 firstname.lastname@example.org
Liaison Jennifer Cutler email@example.com
Ridgeview Elementary ~ Olathe, KS
Ridgeview is always buzzing with activity. Here are some of the ways you can get involved!
A family event will take place on the second Tuesday of each month and volunteers are always needed:
Help provide child care for siblings 5-and-up, as well as 3-and-under, from 7:00 to 8:00 PM each month.
Adults and older teen-agers (17 years or older) may serve.
Help setup, serve, and clean up dinner, from 6:00 to 7:00 PM.
All meals will be provided by Kids Bistro of KC and Youth Development Services (YDS) of the YMCA.
Are you available once a week during your lunch hour to read with a child at Ridgeview?
A unique opportunity for service called
Lead to Read is a possibility for adults who live or work near Olathe and can devote one lunch hour each week to change the life of a child. All volunteers arrive at the same time, each volunteer reads with one child for 30 minutes, and return to work or home in under an hour! Volunteers build a special relationship by reading with the same child every week. A group of 25 volunteers are needed to begin this new ministry.
Could this be the opportunity to serve that you've been looking for?
Other service opportunities at Ridgeview:
Tutoring, Lunch Buddies, or Pen Pals - Weekdays, Choose your own schedule between 8:30 and 3:30
Do you have 30 -60 minutes a week to give to a child who needs YOU?
Thanksgiving Meals - November
Help distribute meal bags as part of JOY in Serving.
Ridgeview Christmas Shop - December
Wrap donated gifts, decorate the store, or work a shift on "shopping day, December 17"
Volunteer ~ We are transforming a community ~ God's plan is working at Ridgeview
Ridgeview Elementary, in Johnson County, is located less than 10 miles from the Leawood campus - but over 80% of Ridgeview students qualify for a subsidized lunch program, a commonly used federal proxy for poverty in the elementary grades. More than half the students are Hispanic, many receiving ELL (English Language Learner) and Title I Reading and Math services. Ridgeview children MUST succeed in school to break out of the poverty cycle. You will be richly blessed by sharing your gifts, talents and TIME with students at Ridgeview.
Heed God's calling ~ Ridgeview needs YOU.
Contact Jennifer at firstname.lastname@example.org to get plugged in!