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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Easy New Way to Earn Boxtops!



Want an easy way to earn boxtops for your school without having to even leave your house???
Of course you do, since it is getting colder outside and it's sooo much nicer to stay inside where it is nice and toasty!

First go to Box Tops 4 Education and sign up. (if you haven't already!)  Then after you log in/sign up, click here to go to the Click & Earn page. Watch videos, answer questions.  The four choices they have offered so far all were quick and easy. Plus the one actually gave me some good ideas for my Christmas cookies. I did all for promotions in under an hour and earned Box Tops for my school!

Simple and easy and I didn't even have to leave the house! So what are you waiting for? Go check it out!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Why I Teach a Guest Post from Robert C. Roman


I saw this post the other day, and I wanted to share it with the rest of you. The author of the post, Robert C. Roman, was kind enough to let me steal it and re-post it here.



Why I Teach

For those of you who don’t know, I’m a teacher.
More specifically, I teach life science at an inner city high school.  Over the past few months, I’ve spoken with a number of people about the job.  Quite a few of them have suggested, either subtly or directly, that I should be doing something else.  Teaching at a more affluent school.  Teaching at a safer school.  Going back to work in the computer industry.  Going even further back, to the medical industry.  Going back to school and getting my masters in education, so I can move into administration.  Working more closely with administrators, for the same reason.
In every case, I appreciate that the person took the time to offer me advice.  In some cases, I haveto force myself to that appreciation, but it’s the right thing to do.  I’ve come to realize that Jim Butcher is right; you don’t realize the fine details of something until you try to teach it to someone else, and lately I’ve been trying to teach students about character.  At any rate, since I’m not going to be taking all that advice, I thought it might be good to explain the reason why.  Maybe they will see it, maybe they won’t, but again, that’s not the important thing.  Character is who you are when no one is watching.
Let me start by stating quite firmly that the most important people in the school are the students.  It’s not the teachers, although by number of contact hours we might come in second.  It’s not the administration, although the Dean of Students might come close for the same reason as the teachers.  In some schools the guidance counselors might come close; I’m not sure, because I saw mine about four times in my high school career.  Without the students, a school is not a school.
According to Dr. Clarke, one of my Alternate Route teaching certificate professor, the task of a teacher, especially a High School teacher, is to prepare young men and women to become contributing members of society.  Whether this is by teaching them to communicate (Language Arts), to apply basic logic to life (Mathematics and Science), to understand the world around them and the people in it (Social Studies and History), or to perform the basic functions needed at a job (Career and Technical Education, which is the current name for what used to be Industrial Arts), the end goal is still the same.  Take a young adult and teach them what they need to know to contribute to society and find their place in it.
Now, some of you know I don’t watch the news.  It’s depressing, and rarely has an impact  0n my daily decisions.  This isn’t to say it doesn’t impact my life, but after four layoffs and extended periods of unemployment, I don’t have the luxury of as many choices as some folks do.  I don’t have the option of going away for vacation, or choosing what car to buy, or taking time off to go sit on the sidewalk in New York, or dig a survival shelter and fill it with supplies.  I admire the folks who have the options and do the right thing with them, but that admiration doesn’t change my options.  Watching civilization crumble on the news doesn’t expand my options, either.  But that doesn’t mean I don’t see it crumbling.
Two and a half years ago, I walked into a classroom in Camden New Jersey and saw a girl trying to take notes with her left hand.  This was a girl who rarely interacted with me, and was close to being dropped from the roster for non attendance at the time.  She was writing with her left hand because she’d broken the right one on a wall, because someone had been mocking her.  I sent her to the nurse, and when she got back with a cast, set her down next to another student who I knew kept good notes, and had him take notes for her.
Three months later, the pair were at the top of my class.  Three months after that, they’d banded together with a small group of students determined not just to graduate, but to do so with honors, at the top of their class.
This June they’re going to.
They’ve overcome personal tragedies, parental apathy, and a system which pours resources into supporting the students least interested in education at the expense of those most interested.  They’re not perfect, nor are they saints; they’ve colluded on almost every piece of work any of them have handed in.  They’ve got a reputation for ignoring rules if they feel they need to in order to reach their goals.  They’re snarky and full of themselves and don’t take constructive criticism well.
But in a city which earns its nickname of Murder City, They’re going to graduate at the top of their high school class, go on to college or trade school, and at least some of them intend to come back to Camden with the intent of Making Things Right.
And maybe they will make things a little less crumbled.
And in some tiny way, telling a young woman that she was more important than the paint she’d knocked off the cinder block helped that.
That’s a nice story, in and of itself, but it’s not the whole story.  It’s not even the most important bit.  Anyone can look at success and tell himself that it’s why he does things.  But when you do that, you begin to focus on the ‘good kids’.
There are no good kids.
Let me say that again.
There are no good kids.
At the same time, there are no bad kids, either.  There are just kids, who make good decisions or bad ones.  None of them make all good decisions, and none of them make all bad decisions.  Some of them tend towards wisdom, others tend toward self destruction, but it’s about the decisions they make, not some kind of inborn quality.  Worst of all, there is absolutely no way to tell which kid will make which decision.
That’s why, as an educator, no matter how much I want to, I can’t just come to school for the good kids.  I can’t just come to school for the borderline cases, the ones who might succeed with just a nudge in the right direction.  I have to come to school for all the kids, including the ones that hate my guts because I demand that they learn to read and write, not just sound out words and shape letters on a page.
So every day I go in, I show the students by word and by deed what it means to be a civilized adult.  I talk to them as adults.  I show them how to teach themselves what they want to know by teaching them what they have to know.  No matter whether the kids are polite or rude, whether they are the best and the brightest or have a list of learning disabilities longer than my arm.  No matter whether they show up every day or once a quarter.
Changing the world isn’t about making plans to save ten million children.
Changing the world is about making a plan to save one child.
Then doing it ten million times.
I’ve been told that it might not be the healthiest thing for me.  I already knew that.  Leonidas knew that at Thermopylae too.  This isn’t about healthy for me.  This is about the fact that here, in this spot, I have a chance to make a difference.  If I walked away from this, I couldn’t let myself forget about that fact.
I can’t walk away and stay the person I am.  Everyone comes to that point, sooner or later, where they say ‘this is where I make my stand’.  I never thought my stand would be in a drafty room with peeling paint and questionable electric.  I never thought my stand would be made on mismatched, broken tiles, in a room where no two desks are quite the same height, and at least one leg of every table is loose.  But this is my windmill, and in the end, all I can do is couch my lance and charge, or become something else, something less than I am now.
I’m a teacher.

A few thoughts in closing:
Teaching is the fine art of lying to students in order to show them the truth.
In the real world, bloodymindium replaces narrativium.
- Paraphrases of Terry Pratchett in The Magic of Discworld
There is only one thing all great teachers have in common – they care about their kids.
- Robert C Roman Sr, teacher.  retired after 48 years.  returned to the classroom the following year.
And finally…
Robert C. Roman is a high school teacher in Camden, NJ.  He is also the author of The Artifice Series and Iron Angel Series.  Click here to go to his blog and find out more.  (or if you just want cheer him on in his effort to change the world!)  

Re-Post of NaNoWriMo's Young Writers Program

I posted this last year, and I wanted re-post it since I still think it is a great way to get kids interested in writing.


O.k. November 1st marks the beginning of NaNoWriMo.  National Novel Writing Month. The whole goal behind NaNoWriMo is for the people participating in it to write a 50,000 word novel by midnight of November 30th.  They catch is they can't start writing it until November 1st. This is a program I only first heard about last year and only this year realized how it helps our schools.  How? Easy.
NaNoWriMo has a program called NaNoWriMo's Young Writers Program. This program is specifically set up and designed for children 17 and under to participate.  Unlike its more adult oriented program kids can set their own word-count goals. Also it is able to be incorporated into a classroom curriculum. Best part, it's free to participate.   Their website provides educators with a virtual classroom to help them better work NaNoWriMo into the classroom. They also have a NEO lending program for classes that are unable to access the internet for the duration of NaNoWriMo. The NEO they lend out is basically a kid friendly laptop/word proccessor that the kids in the class can use to type up their stories on.  They also offer ways for kids to participate without using computers. 
They also provide forums for teachers to communicate with one another about NaNoWriMo and workbooks for students to use to help them write their novels. 
How does this relate to any of us??? Well it's free! It's a free curriculum for teachers who are strapted for cash and can't always afford some of the newer writing courses out there. It's also a great way to encourage kids to write and learn helpful organizational skills.  No time in the classroom? Why not start it as an after school program? They also offer free novel proof copies to kids that reach their word count goals. 
As for the rest of us who aren't teachers? Why not offer to help organize getting together pens and paper for the children to write on? Volunteering to help encourage the kids to keep writing, or coming in and helping add up word counts for the kids after they are done writing.  Maybe if you have an old typewriter or word proccesor lending it out to the class so the teacher can help them type up their work?  How 'bout even just bringing this to the attention of the teachers at your local schools? 
There are so many ways this can be applied to benefit schools and kids it's unbelievable. 
Now, unfortunetly, I know the deadline for signing up to participate is a little more than 7 days away.** And the deadline for applying for the NEO's is well past. However, NaNoWriMo is a yearly event that takes place every November. Go sign up, check it out. See if it's something that you, the teacher, could see working in your classroom. Parents your kids can sign up independantly of a classroom. Why not both you and your child sign up for it this year and see how it goes. Give it a test run. Then next year already be ahead of the game and be ready in September to see about talking to the teachers at the school and seeing if it would be something they are interested in. 
In today's economy where classrooms sometimes are working with books and tools that are in desperate need of updating, and when funds are not there to do it with, this provides a new and innovative way to help encourage young writers. And helps give kids a fresh new way to learn. 
So I encourage all of you  reading this to go check it out!
Again here are the links for NaNoWriMo's young Writers Program  andNaNoWriMo itself.


** at the time of the original post it was.**

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Boise and Box Tops for Education





Boise has teamed up with Box Tops for Education, and is giving away a TON, literally a ton, of paper to two lucky schools!
If you are a fan of Box Tops for Education on Facebook, just go to their wall and click on the link they have posted for the contest to place your vote.  The school with the most votes will win, as well as a lucky second school, that will be chosen at random.  Just make sure you get your vote in before October 31st. Since that is when the contest ends!


Click here to check out the Terms and Conditions of the contest.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Car Wash Update!



I just wanted to thank everyone who came out to support The Beaumont High School Band and Color Guard at the car wash today!

Thank you for taking time out of you schedules to come and show your support. Whether as a parent, or as just a local citizen who was willing to take the time to have the group wash your car. Also thank you to the customers who made extra donations, know that your money is going to a very special group of kids.  I know the kids really appreciated all the support and encouragement that they received today.  The kids were very tired by the end of the afternoon, but they had lots of fun, If you were unable to join us this time there are more car washes planned to take place sometime in the spring.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Car Wash!!





Anyone who is in the Banning/Beaumont, Ca area:  The Beaumont High School Marching Band and Color Guard will be holding a Car Wash this Saturday(tomorrow) to help raise fund for their group.  If you haven't purchased a ticket for the car wash yet that's okay. You can still come get your car washed without one. (you will however need to pay for it, of course)
It will be held at the corner of 6th St. and Pennsylvania in Beaumont.  Prices are as follows: $5 donation for a car and $8 donation for a truck.  They will be there washing from 9am-3pm.  So come out and support a good cause  and help encourage some amazing kids!

I personally will be there from 12-3, so if anything, come out to meet me! (And get your car washed while you are at it!)

Thanks in advance, email me with any questions!

AimeeKay

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

DonorsChoose.org Blog: Starbucks and MSNBC Team Up and You Can Too!


Hi everyone, here's a good one I found in last Sunday's paper. This one is good for anybody, even those of you who don't have kids in school.  Starbucks is teaming up with MSNBC.  From now until 12/31/11* when ever you buy specially marked packages of Starbucks Gold Coast Blend-Morning Joe Edition they will donate $5 to a DonorsChoose.org project of your choice.  All you have to do (besides buy the coffee, of course) is enter the code from the back of the package at donorschoose.org/starbucks.
So if you're a Starbucks fan, or just feel like helping out a good cause, go buy a specially marked bag of Starbucks Gold Coast Blend-Morning Joe Edition! Go, go now!




If you're interested in finding out more about it go to:
DonorsChoose.org Blog: Starbucks and MSNBC Team Up and You Can Too!





*or until $600,000 has been donated)

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Fund-Raiser!!







O.k. Once again the San Gorgonio Middle School Theater Group is having a candle fund-raiser. Unfortunately this still does not allow you to purchase online. So if you are interested in purchasing any of the candles and are in the Banning or Beaumont, California area please email me. That way I can put you in touch with one of the group who is selling these candles.  This fundraiser is for them to raise money for this years performance of Charlie and The Chocolate Factory.  Which is scheduled for the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd of December. (I will have more on times and place later)

There are 15 different scents and each one is $10. The only thing over $10 is the Jar Candle Topper and Base which is $18.  It also says the burn time on the candles is 50hrs.





Iced Gingerbread


Cucumber Melon


Christmas Holly


Crisp Cotton Breeze


Lavender Spice


Mandarin Mulberry


Baked Apple Pie


Holiday Home


Angel Wings


Cinnamon Sticks


Mango Cooler


Warm Cinnamon Pumpkin


Hot Cinnamon Rolls


Vanilla Cream


Candy Mint Twist





Monday, September 12, 2011

20% off Teacher Appreciation at KMart.

Ok, the title pretty much says it all. If you got the circular for Kmart this week be sure to check it out. On the back page they have a coupon for teachers. It's good from 9/11/11-9/17/11 and is gott for 20% off all back-to-school stationary items. It's eligible to all teachers with appropriate ID.
So if you're back in your classroom and looking to save some money on supplies be sure to check it out.
Not a teacher? That's fine, if you have the circular, why not clip the coupon and send it in with your kid to your local school or just drop it off yourself. I'm sure it will make some teacher's day.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Zout Helps Teachers






Looking for a fun way to acknowledge that extra special teacher in your life?  Don't feel like leaving the house in this horrible weather we've been having lately?
Zout (from Purex) is giving away $2500 to help a teacher stock their classroom. All you have to do to nominate you teacher is go to the Purex Facebook page and click on the Zout Helps Teachers tab on the left hand side.  Then just fill out the form and there ya go.  (You do have to "like" the Purex Facebook page before you can enter) The contest ends Friday September 16th.They will then select a random teacher to win the $2500  sometime around September 19th. (Click here for more official rules) So be sure to go and nominate your favorite teacher before then!
Wouldn't $2500 for their classroom be a nice way to start of the school year?

Monday, August 15, 2011

Back to School Savings

****** ****Just a little shopping update...If you live in the Banning/Beaumont, California area:
1-the walmart is out of its .75 cent filler paper. (not sure when they will be getting more in, and if it will be in time for this sale or not.)
2-if you are looking for compasses the new walgreens on Oak Valley Parkway has compasses for .50 cents back in its clearance section.  just go in past the make-up department to the end of the aisle and there are a whole bunch left.************************


So are you ready for school yet? School here starts tomorrow. So I hope I am. I never really know how ready I am until after they get home from the first day and tell me everything that they still need to get. lol.
Well here's a list of the sales going on this week. Hope you find them helpful!



K, Walgreens  (click here for your local circular) :

They have a few buy one get one free items (folders and notebooks and stuff)

Penway wooden ruler .29 cents. (again these you will probably need to go through as a large percentage of them aren't even)

Penway 24 pack crayons .29 cents

Splash color binder .99 cents

Liquid paper correction fluid or tape .99 cents

Index divider with pockets .99 cents

 With coupon from Circular:

Elmers school gule or 2 pack glue sticks (limit 3) .79 cents

It's Academic 5 inch scissors .49 cents

Penway or wexford index card case holder or poly slider pencil case .49 cents

Bic Ultra round stic grip pens-8 pack- .99 cents

Penway or wexford 1 subject notebook-70 sheets- .49 cents




Here's for Walmart (click here for local circular):
Cra-Z-Art Crayons-24 ct-.25 cents

Cra-Z-Art Watercolors-8 ct- .97 cents

Crayola Markers-10 ct- .97 cents

Crayola Colored Pencils-12 ct- .97 cents

Paper Folder 2 pockets with or without prongs- .15 cents

1 subject notebook-70 sheets- .20 cents

100 scheet Composition book- .40 cents

1 inch economy binder- 2 inside pockets - .92 cents

Paper mate ballpoint pens-12 pack- .97 cents

They also have a lot of other sales, plus they really don't have limits on items. (at least from what I've seen)

Here's for Big Lots (click here for the weekly circular):lue

2 pocket laminated porfolios .50 cents

2 pk. dry erase markers .50 cents

4.oz school glue .50 cents

3 ct. glue sticks - .50 cents

Rite Aid (click here for the weekly circular)

The only think with  Rite Aid is you need to have their Wellness+ card to get the deals. So if you are planning to go make sure you get one.  So all these sales are WITH the Wellness+ card.

Playskool crayons-24 ct.-  .29 cents

Mead notebooks-70 sheets- .29 cents

Plastic or Wooden rulers- .29 cents

Pick erasers-2 ct- or eraser tops-15 ct-  .29 cents

paper or poly portfolios- .29 cents

Sheet protectors- .29 cents

Glue sticks or glue- .29 cents
Pencil case or pencils-10ct- .29 cents

They also have a lot of buy one get one frees


Hopefully these were helpful, if you know of any better deals etc, just let me know and I will put them up too!




Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Venus Goddess Fund for Education

Gillette Venus Razors is pairing up with Jennifer Lopez to help raise money for it's Venus Goddess Fund for Education.  They want us all to share our "Inner-Goddess" stories. (Basically anything that makes you feel your best or helps bring out the best in you)  For every story they receive they will donate $1 to their Venus Goddess Fund for Education.

Here's a quick summery of the Fund from their page:
"Venus has partnered with global charities to empower women through education.
The Venus Goddess Fund for Education helps women across the world reach their full potential. Whether providing books for children in third world countries, mentorship for teens, or scholarships to women in need, the opportunity to improve lives is endless. "

 No, this is not a charity or group that directly helps out teachers or class rooms. But it does help women and children across the country and around the world get a better education, by giving books, scholarships, etc..  This is a highly positive, extremely low effort way to help out. All you need to do is click and type and enter your story. Don't even need to leave the house.
Click here to share your Inner-Goddess and help donate.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Back to School Savings

So is everyone ready for School?
Depending on where you are school might not start for almost a whole month, but in my daughters' school district, school starts on August 16th.
For my younger daughter shopping is easy, since my other daughter is only a year older we already have a heads up on what she will need. My older daughter however. Not only is she entering a new grade, but also a whole new school level.(high school!!!!!!) So we aren't quite sure exactly what she will need. We have picked up the basics, notebooks, filler paper etc., but we aren't sure on the exact amounts we will need. Will she need one per subject? Will she even need one for certain classes? And are there going to be certain items that we will need that we didn't even think about? Last year that item was compasses. We got lucky and found some at Walmart that weren't too expensive. Of course then we promptly found a bunch on clearance at Walgreens almost a month later. I bought some then just because they were only .50 cents. I stashed a few at home for emergencies, and then sent some to the math teacher at the school, at least then they could have some extras for class use.
So are you ready for school yet? Do you buy everything the moment it first goes on sale? or do you wait to see if you can get an even better deal?  Do you buy the basics and wait to see what additional stuff the teacher might want? or do you buy one of everything, just in case? The biggest thing that annoys me is when I buy something and come home to find I could have gotten it somewhere else for not only less, but A LOT less. So in the effort to help other parents out there school shopping, or teachers who are stocking up for their classrooms I am going to post the best sales I see around for awhile, at least until September which is usually when the sales here die off. If I see anything really good that maybe isn't advertised, like those compasses on clearance, I will post up a note on that too. I'm only putting up stuff I see in the  circulars, I'm not going online, although I will try to give a link to the stores website, and I am only doing it for circulars I get.  That being said, if you know of a sale that I haven't mentioned, doesn't matter if it is at a store I've mentioned or not, please let me know. I will put that info up too. I am in Southern California, so I also don't know if the Walmart or Walgreens or whatever is having the same sales in your area, just a little note in case they are.  I am also going to try to post this stuff on Sunday, (not Tuesday night/Wednesday morning like I am with this one, sorry) so you can get a head start on any sales. Also I'm only putting up the best prices I see. So if it's buy one get one free I'm probably not putting it up only because I don't know the price. Or if it is cheaper at walgreens Im putting up walgreens price not a different stores. Sorry, I can only type so much...

So anyway on with the savings:

K, Walgreens first, only because I just got back from there.

Penway or Wexford Filler Paper-130 sheets-.59cents or 2/$1; 280 sheets-.99 cents
(for those of you who don't know what filler paper is, it's that lined paper you put in binders)

Penway or Wexford 60 or 70 sheet notebooks are .29 cents; the 120 sheet notebooks are .99 cents
If you have the coupon from the circular you can also get the Penway composition 80 sheet notebooks for only .49 cents. (the difference between the composition and the regular notebook is the notebook has the spiral on the edge)

If you have the coupon you can also get It's Academic 5 inch scissors, 2 pack of Elmers glue sticks or Elmers school glue for only .29 cents.

Crayola 24 pack of crayons is on sale for $1. But you get $1 in Register rewards so it's basically like getting it for free. but there is a limit of 1 (so if you need more than one you gotta go and come  back)

Crayola Markers-10 pack- are .99 cents

Crayola White Poster Board is .29 cents

Penway Highlighters and Designers pencils are only .09 cents each

Penway wooden 12 inch rulers are only .19 cents. (the only comment I have on these is that a lot of them are not straight or have other issues, so maybe spend the extra cash on a different one, or be prepared to spend extra time searching through the box for one with no faults)

Penway or Wexford School box or carry alls (pencil pouches for the binders) are only .59 cents (which is funny cause if you look inside the circular there is a coupon saying you can get them for .69 cents)



2 pocket Wexford folders aer .09 cents

Penway or Wexford No. 2 pencils are .19 cents

Paper Mate Mechanical  Pencils-10 pack-are .39 cents

Paper Mate 1.2 stick pens(regular pens)-10 pack- are .29 cents

Expo markers-2 pack-are .99 cents; 4 pack is 1.99 (but the 4 pack is 4 different colors the 2 pack they are both the same color)

Paper Mate EraserMate pens-4 pack-.99 cents

Corner Office or Wexford Index Cards (100 count) are .39 cents

Penway or Wexford Erasers (both the 2 pack of the pink ones and the 24 count pencil toppers) are .39 cents

Wexford Binder or Splash Color Portfolio (1 inch) are .39 cents.

Wexford or Corner Office 5 tab divider's are .39 cents

Penway or Wexford Index card holders and slider pencil cases are .39 cents

With coupons you can also get :
-Penway  or Wexford Pencil Sharpeners for only .39 cents
-It's Academic stretch book covers for .69 cents (this is the same coupon that I mentioned above that has the pencil pouches for .69 cents that are listed for .59 cents on the outside of the flier, and honestly they are *meh* in the actual works well department. I bought them last year, and I should have just gotten paper bags at the grocery store and made the book covers out of those, then the kids could have designed them any way they wanted and they probably would have lasted A LOT longer)
-Corner office or Wexford 2 pack corrction fluid (generic white out) .99 cents
-Penway or Wexford 2 pocket folders with prongs, 6/$1


Tech Gear Zipper Binders are $6.99 (this is a good price since the mead binders are 9.99)

On the more expensive end, certain backpacks are buy one at 9.99 get one free.  I found last year that if you go to Big Lots you can get them for less, but go early because there is a good chance they will be sold out.

There are also LOTS of other school items for sale, I just listed the ones that were incredibly low click here to check out the online  weekly circular.



Here's for Kmart (click here for the weekly circular, on this one be sure to change it to your local area):

Crayola colored pencils-12 count-$1; You can also get Crayola crayons-24 pack-for only .25 cents. but there is a limit of 4

Elmer's school glue-.25 cents. but again limit of 4

also they have Lunch kits (lunch boxes basically) for only 9.99



Here's for OfficeMax (click here for the weekly circular, again just make sure you change your location):

OfficeMax filler paper-100 sheets- .01 cents. thats right 1 penny but there is a limit of 3.

Paper Mate Write Bros. Black or Blue Ballepoint pens-10pack- .10 cents limit 3
with the coupon from the circular you can get  composition books-100 sheets-for .50 cents

There are also a lot of buy one get one free items and buy two get two free items so be sure to check out the circular.



Hopefully these were helpful, if you know of any better deals etc, just let me know and I will put them up too!




update

Ok, I have put up a new post, and it doesn't look all squished. *fingers crossed* that the problem, Whatever is was is solved.  I have some posts scheduled to go up over the next few days, weeks, etc. So if you happen to see them and they start to look all jumbled up and squished again, please be kind enough to let me know. (hopefully it wont)

Box Tops for Education






Just wanted to give a friendly reminder about different Box Tops for Education programs. Right now, not only do they have a lot of double box top rewards on certain products, they also have a lot of online specials as well. Haven't signed up for any online program yet? What are you waiting for?

Click here to sign up for Box Tops 4 Education.  They have a complete list of which products have Box Tops on them (and it's printable).  You can also shop online and receive eboxtops for your school. (no clipping required)  There are over 100 different online stores you can earn box tops in, and not just stores that are strictly online, you can also shop Kmart, Best Buy, Kohls, just to name a few. Plus they have printable coupons that you can use to save money on items with box tops. They also have recipes, tips, and contests to win more box tops.  You can also check out what your schools goal is and how far they have to go to meet it.
 Click here to sign up  for Reward Your School with Bonus Box Tops and you'll receive an extra 5 bonus tops. (I know, I know that's only .50 cents, but that's more then nothing right?) This program lets you choose from 15 different stores, and then enter your corresponding store card number. Then it will load your card with bonus box top offers. Such as when you buy 3 of a certain item you can receive 10 bonus box tops. You can also create your own personalized shopping list that you can take to the store so you remember what you can buy that will help you get those extra box tops.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

update

Hi im currantly have issus putting up posts in my blog. when i try to put up anything new everything gets scrunched together. i am working on trying to fix this. please feel free to leave me suggestions or email them to me. (aimeelavalle@gmail.com) thank you.

AimeeKay

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Support Judy Mays

So yesterday on Facebook, I came across this item:

Parents: English Teacher Writes Racy Novels





Now you can click on the link and read what WNEP has written. Although I also suggest watching the video as well since there are some things that were stated in the video that somehow managed not to make it to the written portion.
Here's the deal. This blog is dedicated to helping people find ways they can help their local schools.  Yes sometimes I get on my soapbox when I see something that is truly upsetting. For example one of my more recent posts involving teachers being terminated to save money and field trips going virtual. I don't do book reviews on my blog, or participate in blog hops, or other blog related items, because I don't feel it relates to the topic of the blog itself. Well this is one of those items that has got me dusting off my soap box again!

Judy Mays writes romance novels. Judy Buranich has been a teacher for 25 years.  Ms. Mays is adored by her fans. Mrs. Buranich is adored by her students.  They are the same person. Mrs. Buranich does not bring her work in to the classroom. In fact she doesn't advertise in class at all that she writes under the pen name Judy Mays. Yet some high minded, busy-bodies who obviously have nothing better to do have decided that because Mrs. Buranich writes romance novels that she should no longer be qualified to be a teacher. Much less a High School English Teacher. Really?!?!? In fact said busy-bodies even felt the need to bring Mrs. Buranich's private life, into the public spot light. Unfortunately they were able to find someone at WNEP with a taste for trash news who was willing to humor them and put their story on the air!
Seriously this really got to me on multiple levels.First there is the whole privacy issue. I know in today's society, where one can find out pretty much anything about anyone with the press of a few buttons, privacy has pretty much gone the way of the dinosaur. But anyone can see that Mrs. Buranich took extra effort to keep her writing life and her teaching life separate. Even on her website I was unable to find an actual picture of Judy Mays. The only referral to what she does besides writing is where she states she is "disguised as a mild-mannered tenth grade English teacher in a small public high school"**  The t.v. station showed a video interview of Judy Mays discussing her novels and compared it to a picture of Mrs Buranich to confirm they were the same person. 
I'm sure she kept her personal life as private as possible to avoid people using it against her. Which brings me to the second thing that really gets to me about this. Teachers are people too! They deserve One of the busybodies actually said Mrs. Buranich should choose which she wants to do, teach or write. Really? I know tons of teachers who have second jobs for various reasons, who would never be told to make that choice.  Mrs. Buranich's second job didn't interfere with her teaching. Obviously now it is but that was through no fault of her own.  If a teacher has a second job and must choose between the two what next? I know, I know she writes erotic romance. OOOOOOO. Big whoop. It doesn't come into her classroom it wasn't involved in her teaching at all. If we force someone to choose over something as minuscule as this what next? Will a teacher be terminated over their religion?? Or because they are gay? Or because they choose to marry someone outside of their race or culture? Or maybe even because they are married at all. After all that would possibly interfere with their job. She isn't breaking the law with what she writes. So really it's no ones business but her own. Especially since she doesn't bring her work to school with her. People teachers have lives. They don't live at school. See I knew this my whole life. I grew up with a parent who was a teacher. So it didn't shock me when I saw my teacher at the grocery store. I did have to explain to my own kids that their teacher didn't live at school. I'm sure everyone with children has had a similar moment. They are cute and sweet. Apparently none of these busy-bodies parents ever explained this to them. Because of people like them teachers everywhere feel the need to not have any type of life, since somebody might use it against them.
Then there is the third thing that is bugging me. The one that most relates to this blog. School funding is a nation wide crises. Teachers are basically required to fund their own classrooms and projects if they decide they want something better for the kids.  Mrs. Buranich has been teaching for 25 years. I'm sure some of her money from her extracurricular activity has even found it's way into her wallet to help supply her own classroom at some point. What aggravates me is that not only do these women have nothing better to do, but the news has nothing better to report than this. How about they report about schools having to cut perfectly qualified staff because of a cut budget? How about they report about the art classes that get canceled because the school can't afford them? How about if the parents want to make a positive influence in their children's lives they start by showing them how to help others and volunteer to help in some after school programs, instead of showing them how to hound and harass people.
Maybe Mrs. Buranich has never had an under funded classroom. Maybe the schools in the area are some of the lucky few that aren't underfunded and have never had programs cut and those "concerned " parents have never had to see their kids cry because they no longer have their favorite classes available. Maybe the local news area that WNEP covers hasn't been hit by the nationwide economic down turn.
That's a lot of maybes that maybe I just don't believe. That being said, if you all out there in computer land feel as I do that this is a bunch of bull-pucky and that this is a pointless witch hunt. Please feel free to show your support for Judy Mays aka: Judy Buranich. Visit and like the facebook page Support Judy Mays (Mrs. Buranich  and/or visit her Amazon page. ( I am not putting a direct link up to her website only because it is age restricted and I know there are some minors that every so often read this blog.) Also feel free to go to WNEP and let them know how you feel about tabloid trash reporting, especially when there are more important things going on in the nation.

**here is the link to her amazon page where the quote is also . I am not putting up the direct link to her website since it is restricted to only over 18 and I know I have readers who are under 18 here.
  Judy Mays Amazon Page

First We March on Austin by V. Furnas

Ok in March I posted And Now, a Visit by What???? .  In it I referred to V. Furnas and a post she had written for her blog Life 4 Me By Me entitled First We March on Austin back on March 12th.  Well I spoke with her and she was kind enough to let me re-post the original post of First We March on Austin here in its entirety. So here you go:

Waking up at 5:30 am  after a week of double shifts is not how I planned to spend my first Spring break Saturday.  My father taught me that there are times you have to do what you have to do, regardless of how you feel.  Today, I had to be in Austin.

The school district I teach in has been slow to release information regarding any reactions to budget "adjustments" that will need to be made to meet budget short falls for next year.  One of the things that has been on the list of schools all over the nation are layoffs. The target is for the new teachers fist. The one to three year teachers that have just started their journey, have started living the life they have dreamed of since childhood when they fist clutched chalk and taught their dolls and stuffed animals.  My best friend is 40 days from being out of this range.  She received the notice that her contract is up in the air last week.  This has sent us both on a mission to save not just her, but the children and the teachers that will remain.  It is the reason I wake up when I would really love to sleep late.

An organization, Save Texas Schools, organized a rally to march onto the capitol building.  When I got there, they had the building surrounded and were marching to the main stage set up in the back side.  "Save our schools," was chanted by more then 10,000 Texas teachers and education supporters.  
Texas has long had a love hate relationship with education.  We love to make education mandatory, make testing and rules on how paper work is maintained but we hate to provide proper finance.  Texas is 37th in funding per pupil in the United States.  That means as a state we spend $9,227/student in Texas that is $1,359 below the national average.

Texas is however, number one in teen pregnancies, and death penalty sentences.  
Marching shoulder to shoulder, stroller to stroller the chants grew louder.  Several brought drums, beating in time to their walking they rounded the building.  


One second there was a strong crowd next to the stage, then I turned around and there were masses and masses.  Women and men wearing green shirts wondered around passing out dots.  Red dots to count the number of people.  By their counts the numbers were over 11,000.



I am wearing mine!   (Don't judge the hair it was windy and humid.  And the pink face is from 15 minutes of being in the sun.  Don't even want to talk about what the face looks like now. Whooo. Should have worn giant sunglasses like my friend, then you wouldn't see the bags under the eyes.)

Back to the rally...

The most amazing of the speakers was the Superintendent from Perrin-Whit ISD (outside of Ft. Worth), John Kuhn.  In his inspired speech he requested equitable treatment for school districts.  Likening the present system that lawmakers are continuing to create as "the new American caste system," where the rich send their  children with vetted resumes to get a private education while funding is continually cut for the poor, and the immigrant. Mr. Kuhn stated that he will not be apart of such a system, he will educate every child especially the "broken."   The crowd erupted into cheers. Goose bumps crawled up my skin. 

That was the moment I drove three hours to feel.  Being a part of the community of Texas educators standing together and yelling out that we would stand together as one.    




I beg fellow Texans to become educated on the issue and vote accordingly.  This is not the time to stand passively by, shrugging and saying "it will be what it will be, no one will listen to me." You have to talk to be heard.  Exercise your first amendment right, and protest!  Shout and be heard.

If you missed the rally and live in Texas there will be a second one, Monday*



Be there.  Your children's future depends on it. 


******************Ok. Just so there is no confusion this was part of her original post, however obviously that was March 12, so this second rally/march has already occurred. *****************

I just wanted to say thank you again to V. Furnas for letting me re-post her original post. And I encourage all my readers to go check out her blog Life 4 Me By Me.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Just a Reminder...

Just wanted to remind anybody who is interested in See's Candy that the sale for San Gorgonio Middle School ends Sunday. Just click here for more information.









Also if you live in or plan to be in the Beaumont/Banning, California  area be sure to come out to DelTaco's Give Boldly to School's Night on April 6th from 4pm-8pm,  to help raise money and show your support  for Three Rings Ranch Elementary. Remember it's at the DelTaco off of Beaumont Ave, in Beaumont. Click here for more details.




Plus to all those gardeners out there hoping for April showers to help water your May flowers. If you haven't gotten enough pretty or colorful flowers to add to your garden, be sure to check out the Flower Power Fundraiser!  The last date to purchase from it is April 29th, and the proceeds benefit the Art Club at San Gorgonio Middle School.   Click here for more information.





Also a big Thank you for the Buzz from Meghan over at mmriley.com, when she mentioned my post Script Frenzy Young Writer's Program. This starts tomorrow! For more information click here!
 Please don't forget to vote for my blog at We're on the Fence, picketfenceblogs.com.  Just click on the little rectangular button to the right! Thank you!