Sometimes I walk up to the playground and I just sit and stare at the school from the bench next to the playground. It seems so long ago that my girls ran out of those double doors and into my arms after the bell rang.
Its amazing to me that with school closings in our area, making the student size bigger, that the feeling can be the same.
McKinley is one of the elementary schools in my town. The one that I went to for my Kindergarten year and then my girls attended when we moved to this area in 2005. It was a school that I was confident for my girls to go to after talking with the secretary (who now happens to be a good friend) on the phone for 15 minutes when calling & getting information about registering.
I remember how she stayed later than she would have normally stayed so I could get a chance to get up to the school to register them and how she wasn't upset when I didn't have all the paperwork. How each member of the staff that we encountered that day was so very friendly and asked the girls about themselves and welcomed them to their school.
How when I visit I can always count on a hug from Mrs. Sullivan and I am always able to pop my head into Mrs. Ward's classroom and say hello to all My First Grade Friends.
How teachers that didn't even have my girls in their class will ask about them by name and sigh when I tell them that Giggles will be a sophomore and that she is driving.
"She can't be big enough for that." they always say. And I always agree.
In some ways the school is very much the same, but in other ways it is different.
Last year it was rumored that grades K-3 were going to lose their PE, Music, and Art classes. The teachers could just do that stuff in the classroom and the kids always get out for recces.
Thankfully by some miracle we were able to hold onto PE, Music, and Art Classes for the little ones, but sadly something else had to go.
The Band & Orchestra Programs for kids in elementary school is no longer there. Sure, they can pick up band or orchestra when they get to one of the middle schools, but I just don't think its the same.
I remember when my girls were entering 5th grade and how they were excited to be able to play in Band for the first time. How each week they would tell me about the day that they got to be excused from class with their fellow band-mates so they could go practice.
I knew that if I had a question about something, Mrs. Brawley would happily answer it, even when she was in another school that day. The kids loved her and we loved that when she said that the concert would be 30 minutes long, it was 30 minutes long.
Each year in May they have a huge Band Concert at the end of the year and all of the 5th and 6th grade bands from the entire school district get together to play the same songs. The kids get all excited as they get to play in the High School Gym and its really something that so many of them look forward to.
I remember the difference in what just one year made in how they sounded. It was phenomenal.
Now many may ask why wouldn't I pick the middle school or even the high school to submit for this grant. The answer is simple. Elementary school is the foundation, the building blocks of a child's education. So many times they are at the bottom of the list because the needs of the older kids come first.
We could have lost football or track or some other thing associated with the middle or high schools, but we didn't.
I know that McKinley would benefit from a grant of $50,000. Couldn't a school in your area benefit too?
Now a little something from Clorox
· Music, art and sports offer some of childhood’s most memorable experiences, but recently, budget cuts in schools nationwide mean many of these programs are being cut. We know these programs can be critical to a child’s educational experience, and can be just plain fun.
· Each year parents hold fundraisers to keep enrichment programs in schools. Now there’s another way to raise money for your child’s school: Power A Bright Future, created by the Clorox Company, will help brighten kids’ futures with school grants to help fund critical programs. Parents and teachers can help kids continue to learn and play by nominating their school programs for a Power A Bright Future grant from the Clorox Company.
· Since 1980, Clorox has donated $80 million to non-profit organizations and community programs with a focus on schools. This year, the company is awarding four grants, totaling $110,000, to help fund school programs that will brighten and enrich the lives of kids.
· There are multiple ways to participate and win. In addition to nominating your school and voting, participants have the chance to win a variety of daily prizes including supplies for your school and coupons for Clorox® Disinfecting Wipes, Clorox® Regular-Bleach and Clorox2.
· As part of the Power A Bright Future grant program, Clorox is seeking nominations for school programs for a chance to win a $50,000 grand-prize grant or one of three $20,000 grants to help provide critically needed resources to school programs that enrich kids’ lives and create brighter futures. In November, four schools will be chosen to receive grants and the opportunity to impact the lives of children in their communities.
· For more than six generations, Clorox has been a trusted stain remover and disinfectant, ultimately helping to keep families healthier, cleaner and happier. Clorox wants to continue to celebrate these activities that help kids continue to learn, play and create. To nominate a new or existing school program, visit www.Clorox.com from August 12 to September 27, 2010 and choose the category that best represents your idea. The three categories include: Learn, Play or Create.
· Nominators will receive exclusive Clorox classroom tools and the chance to win coupons for Clorox® Disinfecting Wipes, Clorox® Regular-Bleach and other great prize packs daily.
· Once the nomination period has closed, we will leave the voting up to you. Between October 4 and November 1, be sure to vote for your favorite nominee. To encourage votes for their entries, nominators will receive a “Promote-it!” kit with tips on how to encourage votes, like sharing on Facebook and an e-mail for friends and family members.
· For official rules and to nominate a school program, visit www.Clorox.com .
And if you got through all of that I have a surprise for you!
I will be giving away one Clorox Back to School Goodie Bag if you comment and tell me what program you would most like to see your school get if they were awarded $50,000 from Clorox.
Included in this pack will be:
Clorox Disinfecting Wipes Dr. Harley Rotbart’s book Germ Proof Your Kids Clorox Hand Sanitizer Tissues Fun stickers Crazy cutting scissors Markets/pencils/crayons
Now for the rules (because there always has to be rules you know!)
This giveaway is open to US residents only. (I know, I know my Canadian friends it is upsetting but you should be used to this by now). This giveaway will end on September 7, 2010 and the winner will be randomly drawn the good old fashioned way of pen, paper and a big bowl. Make sure you have a valid email attached to your profile or you can leave it in the comments. If I don't hear from you by September 8, 2010 I will have to pick a new winner on September 9, 2010. If you would like an extra entry to the contest you can tweet about it using the hash tag #cloroxbrightfuture (make sure you leave the link to your tweet.
FTC disclosure-I was compensated for my time of writing this post and hosting this giveaway through Clorox and The Motherhood . All opinions are my own and I really do love my girls elementary school