Monday, March 22, 2010
On March 18,2010, we took a field trip to Janimation Studios. Where we uncovered the process of making videos and much more. We were able to get a first hand look at were the process takes place and how. We also got to meet very inflentiual people in the animation world. One peron in pactiular was Claude Locke the Executive Producer of Janimation. Mr.Locke has been working in the animation world for the past 40 years. He is the driving force behind all the production at the Janimation Studios. Their work space was very cool and they seem to be a family. Their work is tedious and very detail orientated. JANIMATION STUDIOS ROCKS!!!!
Posted by Vanessa at Monday, March 22, 2010
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Saturday, March 13, 2010
I was speechless! $200,000...to SMU! Oh my goodness!
I first met Michael a few years ago when the great people at Education is Freedom provided us with a summer intern. Michael helped us get things organized that summer. Michael attends North Dallas High School. This year, when we started our Digital Connectors program out of Roseland, we recruited from North Dallas. Though we hadn't seen Michael in a couple of years, he remembered us and was one of the first people to sign up.
Though we can't take credit for all of Michael's hard work and persistence in being involved in many different programs and writing and following through on college applications and such, we can say that Michael will be more prepared technologically when he finishes Digital Connectors in May.
By May, Michael will be equipped with a Cisco IT Essentials certification that will provide him with the skills and knowledge of rebuilding computers from scratch. He will know how to create a mobile app. He will have completed a leadership skills module as well as a financial literacy module...all of which will be extremely important in college--especially at such a competitive school like SMU...and especially as an engineering major!
When Tameshia told me, I immediately went downstairs to congratulate him and do a quick interview. He reads this blog so help me in congratulating him on his amazing achievement of receiving one of only four Dedman Scholarships offered each year at SMU!
CONGRATS & WAY TO GO, MICHAEL!!!
Friday, March 12, 2010
Our VP, Gerald Britt, came to my office for our meeting today. Not five minutes into our meeting, Danielle (who runs our After-School Academy) quickly came into the office apologizing for breaking in. Joshua stood around the corner as Danielle explained. Joshua had interviewed Rev. Britt during the Jr. Reporters interviews they did about two weeks ago.
Joshua saw Gerald walk in the door and immediately got excited and wanted to say hi. So, while Danielle asked permission to interrupt our meeting for a few minutes, Joshua stood around the corner. As soon as Gerald stood up to greet Joshua, I saw Joshua come around the corner with a big, somewhat shy, grin on his face. I loved the connection I saw.
The original intent of Jr. Reporters was to teach kids professional skills and interviewing techniques in hopes of encouraging a possible career in journalism and/or just developing skills that could help them in ways that could prepare them for their future. We are definitely achieving that, but an added benefit is seeing the kids excited about seeing the instant connection with the adults they interviewed.
I didn't think to capture the interaction until it was almost over so this is really short...
Thursday, March 11, 2010
There's nothing like having great parents. Though I believe all parents want the best for their children, I also realize that some parents take advantage of opportunities more than others.
Brigett and Phillip Casey are two parents who are soaking up every opportunity that comes their way. They enrolled their oldest boy, LaMarcus, in our After-School Academy at the beginning of last year. It was our first year so we had an orientation to sign people up. Bridgett and Phillip were one of the first couples there.
Throughout the first year of our program, they were very supportive. They loved that we had a checkbook system where kids earned and lost "dollars" according to behavior. They had to write their gains and losses in their checkbook to keep track. Bridgett and Phillip wanted to implement the system at home so we gave them extra check registers.
This year, they signed LaMarcus up for the program and added his younger brother, Joshua. The two boys are quickly becoming experts at greeting every person who walks in the door...just like we teach--firm handshake, good eye contact, and a strong voice.
Bridgett (and sometimes Phillip) participate in our parenting LOL (Ladies Oxygen Luncheon), faithfully attends the monthly Parent Academy, and started the 10-week Play Connection I blogged about here.
Yesterday, when I talked to Miss Katrina to find out who is buying books at the Library/Bookstore, she said Bridgett and Phillip went in to buy adult books for themselves and also bought a book a piece for their two boys and their older daughter.
Though we recognize that families have other things to do and can't attend every single workshop, meeting, and event we set up, I think Bridgett and Phillip have figured out they can attend everything, gather good information, and, in the process, be a participant in their child's education and experiences.
Thanks, Bridgett and Phillip! You guys are awesome!
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
What do you do when the rain has gone away and the weather is beautiful? Go outside, of course! ...which is exactly what Ms. Katrina decided to do with her kids who came to the Library/Bookstore today. What a way to combine the greatest things ever...great weather and a good book!
I look at these eager readers and smile. Less than six months ago, children accessed books through their school library...maybe on a weekly basis. Today, the kids can visit the library/bookstore on a daily basis...and they do!
I was asking Katrina how the library was coming along. She handed me $11.50 in sales just from last week! I asked her who was buying the books. She explained to me that two new boys, Jerry and Rome, have started coming to the library. Both are about 10 years old. They're best buddies and they can't get enough of the library. They come right after school, grab a book, sit off to themselves and read silently. When they're finished reading their book, they scrounge up money and buy it. Since they've been coming, they buy about a book a day.
I had to chuckle. Katrina said she has to warn them to swallow their food. Not sure what she was talking about, she explained that since they library is open until 7:30, their parents come to get them for dinner. The boys say that they will be right back as they sprint to the house and get back as fast as they can...just so they can read some more.
The great thing is...they're not the only ones enjoying the library/bookstore services. I'll post about that later...
My to-do list never seems to end. Sometimes I have to realize my workload will never go away no matter how hard I try and recognize visiting the programs are sometimes the best thing I can do.
At lunchtime, I decided to check out our LOL (Ladies Oxygen Luncheon) led by Dr. Rhonda, a pediatrician in our clinic. LOL is an opportunity for current, future, and seasoned parents to come together and talk about different parenting and relationship issues. The number and variety of women at the luncheon were impressive--a young mother, pregnant with her 3rd...a couple of mother/daughter pairs...grandparents. Some parents came on their lunch breaks. I was encouraged by the attendance. Our CEO once told me, "people vote with their feet." It seems to me the parents in our community are voting.
Play Connection, a
Tuesday, March 09, 2010
Off to work we go!!! Jaden, Hakim, and Aviant went to Home Depot for Kids’ Workshop. They brought along their friend Kanye, Jaden’s little brother, Jayvion, and Hakim’s little brother, Izayha. What a day!!!
Wednesday, March 03, 2010
In case you just couldn't roll out of bed...or forgot to...this morning, here is our WFAA Channel 8 segment on the Roseland After School Academy and Dallas South News Jr. Reporters.
Watch out Chris Flanagan! :)
Tuesday, March 02, 2010
Last Thursday, WFAA (Channel 8) came out to visit the After School Academy and video a piece that will air on their After the Bell segment. As was expected, we prepared for their visit and chose two of the kids in the Jr. Reporters program and Shawn Williams, President and founder of Dallas South News (also the founder of our Jr. Reporters program) to speak to Chris Flanagan, the reporter for the event.
However, before they left, our Jr. Reporters turned the tables on them. Ishmael asked to sit down with Chris in order to conduct his own interview. You can see the preview of the segment in the video above.
Watch the entire segment tomorrow morning at 6:20 a.m. on WFAA Channel 8.
We found out yesterday that Channel 8 liked the segment so much, they put it at the end of their "sweeps" period (for those of you who are journalists, I'm assuming you know what that means. For those of us who aren't, I've been told it's a really good thing! :) )
Tune in tomorrow!!