Monday, January 26, 2009

Welcome to the First Place Blog!

When we talked about how we wanted to use a blog all we could think about were all the amazing things going on in our classrooms. This week, our 4th, 5th and 6th graders are off at Islandwood on Bainbridge Island.

To kick-off the blog the students at Islandwood will be posting each day describing what they learn. We can't wait to see the pictures.

And that is only the beginning. With this blog, we plan on sharing a few regular features:

From the Kids will bring you updates on classrooms, learning, assignments, assemblies and field studies -- sometimes written by staff, sometimes written by the kids. View our first post under 'From the Kids'

Unsung Heroes will feature and thank people and organizations who contribute to our vision or Hope, Home and Education. Read our first post under 'Unsung Hero'

Success Stories are going to be stories straight from parents, programs and the classrooms. No success is too small to celebrate. Read our first post under 'Success Story'

Executive Updates will come from First Place Leadership and provide a wider look at the agency's programs and goals.

Leave a comment and let us know what you would like to read and see from First Place.

Unsung Hero: Shoes that Fit

Heroes are often thought of as having super-human powers. At First Place our heroes have super-human hearts. Some of them we have never met and some of them walk through our front doors every day. We want to share with you who our heroes are and the impact they have in the lives our children and families.

Our hero today is Shoes That Fit. For years this organization has been donating one brand new pair of shoes to every child who attends First Place.

Once the shoes are delivered, it's time for First Place Clothing Bank volunteers Lori and Lisa to start working with the students to find the right fit for them.

One student from the Kindergarten class thought his shoes were too big when he tried them on. Lisa asked "Where are they too big?" And the student replied, "Right here in this room."

Here are some pictures of students getting their new shoes.

Monday, January 19, 2009

From the Kids: A Rap about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

A 4th/5th Grade Student wrote and performed this rap recently at a school assembly honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Martin Luther King had a dream

That all of us could be a team

And accomplish all our dreams

So we can make the earth clean

Martin Luther King was not mean

He’s the greatest man we’ve ever seen

King did not wear any bling

Because he’s not a gangster king.

King believed in civil rights

So he would go out there and fight

King will fight and us to the light.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Success Story: Proud Parent Says Thank You

Within the walls of First Place, and in the lives of the families we touch, successes happen every day. As often as we can, First Place will share these successes with you. This is what we would like to share today.

First Place recently received the following note from Dara, a mother whose daughter graduated out of our program this past year.
"As a mother of a former student of First Place I am proud to let you know that my daughter became a Rainier Scholar Nominee. Her teacher told me in the parent teacher conference that out of 31 students in her class my daughter is top 2. The teacher also told me that my daughter shows intellectual curiosity and scores above average on all her work in class.

I believe that my daughter got the nurturing and the life skills that she needed to survive in the public school from First Place staff.
I want to thank you all personally on how much of an impact you guys have in all our lives. You gave my daughter something that any other school would never think of doing."

Dara, pictured with her daughter, is currently employed full-time at First Place and continues to provide leadership and guidance to struggling families.

As Dara celebrates with her family First Place is celebrating their hard work in breaking the cycle of poverty and homelessness. Dara and her family were very involved with First Place while receiving services. Her and her husband chaired the Parent Advisory Council, Dara went down to Olympia with First Place every year to lobby for children rights and she truly became a mentor to her peers who were experiencing struggles with homelessness and poverty.

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