Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Getting SMART

Wednesday, October 28

Wow, I'm really getting behind on the blog these days. With both girls in school all day ('til 2:15) I was supposed to have all this free time to get caught up, work out, blog and keep up with all the normal household chores. If I haven't been doing any of that, what have I been doing?

Well let's see. There was soccer. A lot of soccer. I think our last practice is today and we have about 3 games for each girl left. Sometimes I feel like I never get anything done. I just get started and then it's time to stop and get ready for something else. I have totally lost my ability to be efficient at getting things done at home. . . or maybe I never had it!

The other big thing I have been doing is volunteering at the girls' school. I try to help out in kindergarten every week, especially when they have their writing workshop time. But my new job (no I'm not getting paid) is coordinating the SMART (Start Making a Reader Today) program at the school. Thank goodness I'm not doing it alone, because it really feels like a part time job. I'm a co-coordinator with my friend and fellow parent Ann. We go way back (about 5 years ago) to when we were both on the board at the co-op preschool. It the first time for both of us and I don't think we realized what we were getting into. Don't read this next part Ann, but between the two of us we have worked 80 hours in the last two months. We had to go to weekly training in September and scheduling with teachers and volunteers just takes time. We've been up and running for two weeks now and things are going well. I'm looking forward to when it will only take about 4-5 hours a week.

If you don't know about SMART, let me try to sum it up. It's a non-profit volunteer organization in Oregon, that provides selected K-3 students one hour/week of reading time with a volunteer from the community. The kids also get to take home and keep 2 new books per month. This is their 19th year and this year they are trying to serve 9,078 students! It's a really great program and already I can see how much the volunteers and kids enjoy it. It's great to see kids get excited about books and reading.

During the month of November, SMART will receive donations from Safeway checkout stands. So if you are asked to round up or donate to support children's literacy, you could help support SMART!
Thanks for reading this almost no photo post. I leave you with a random picture I took at the University of Portland a few weeks ago. The weather is getting colder, but flowers are still blooming.

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