Update: Barb’s Buddies

Update on Barb’s Buddies:

Wisconsin: On Monday, 50 kits were delivered to Dane County Foster Care. Children in Wisconsin received their $25 gift card, a We Are Creed mug, and candy in their bag. Big thanks to Kristen for running this program!!!

Illinois: This coming Monday, 130 gift cards and notes will be delivered to Our Children’s Homestead for children throughout Northern Illinois. (For safety reasons, other trinkets or candy will not be included this year.)

Arizona: Eventually, our AZ group will help take 50 kids to the bookstore when they feel it’s safe. Since the children live in group homes and COVID rates are high, this adventure has been postponed. Luckily, several boxes of gently used books from IL made their way to Sunshine Residential Homes in February.

This means in 2020, a total of 230 children in foster care will be/have been offered the opportunity to experience a bookstore where they can choose their own books and enjoy some summer reading. For some, this starts the journey to be lifelong readers.On behalf of We Are Creed, thank you to our organizers, donors, note writers, and everyone making this possible!!

We think Barb Dabrowski is smiling down on us as we continue to be Creating Remarkable Effects Every Day.

Volunteer Spotlight: Jennifer

When we expand our programs to other states, we need a volunteer to see the program from beginning to end. In South Carolina, this person is Jennifer, who is in her second year of coordinating the South Carolina Book Flood program.

When the idea for this organization came around, Jennifer was supportive and offered her assistance immediately. Last year she arranged for books to go to 2 different schools in South Carolina. When we revamped the program this year, she has been working with the SC Book Flood teachers to create and make their Wish Lists and will coordinate their delivery.

We are truly grateful to work with another teacher who is Creating Remarkable Effects Every Day.

Sharing Juneteenth with Children

One hundred and fifty-five years ago today, on June 19, 1865, federal orders were finally read in Galveston, Texas, which stated all enslaved people in Texas were free. This is despite the fact the war ended two months earlier (April 9, 1865) and the Emancipation Proclamation was put into effect on January 1, 1863 (two years earlier), which freed all those enslaved in Confederate states.

To help children understand the importance of this date, we are sharing a few resources today:

Colours of Us created a children’s book list back in 2016: https://coloursofus.com/10-childrens-books-celebrating-juneteenth/

Teaching Tolerance offers some explanation and resources to help teachers discuss with students not only the importance of this event, but how this event could/should be taught: https://www.tolerance.org/magazine/teaching-juneteenth

Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, New York Public Library provides a book list for children, teens, and adults, which “celebrate the Black experience, foster understanding and empathy, and teach history and current events”: https://www.nypl.org/125/juneteenth2020?utm_campaign=NYPLSocialMedia&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_medium=social

WeAreTeachers also created a list of 17 resources that can be used as classroom tools to honor this date: https://www.weareteachers.com/teaching-juneteenth/

Please list additional resources in the comments as we encourage sharing information.

More donations! Woohoo!

Thank you for the book donations for GirlForward! While we are in talks to see if the April event is still on or will be postponed until the June event, we truly appreciate the book donations!

If you have time to read, we highly suggest you check out the books we’ve chosen for this program. Most are listed on this image.

A way to give back

More happy teachers received the books shown in the picture and another box of culturally diverse moves from the SC Book Flood!

A special note from We Are Creed’s President, Stephanie Creed:
“I will forever be indebted to the town of Pelion, South Carolina and Dr. Jowers for taking a chance and hiring a new teacher. Pelion Middle School taught me the joys of teaching, the importance of a community, and a ridiculous amount of life lessons.

Coming from the suburbs of Illinois, this rural location was nothing like my educational experiences. Even more, the poverty and hardships the students and families endured was unexpected, and I was ill-prepared for how to support them. Thanks to a workshop at a conference, a district administrator that I annoyed with my requests for a cohort, and a great professor from Center of Excellence to Prepare Teachers of Children of Poverty at Francis Marion University, I began to understand some of ‘my kids.’ The teachers and students at Pelion Middle School are the reason this organization was started — to support those Creating Remarkable Effects Every Day.

I am overjoyed that Pelion Middle School, my home away from home for many years, was a recipient of the SC Book Flood. I guarantee these books are appreciated and readers will enjoy these donations.”

“Here’s Hank!” Book Series

Did you know Henry Winkler writes children’s books — in the Dyslexie font, which helps those with dyslexia read? There are 12 books in the series and after reading his latest, “Everybody is Somebody,” I adore him even more! 
This cute book features Hank and his two best friends meeting an author as a welcoming committee when she comes to speak. The bad part? Hank’s struggles with reading means he didn’t finish the book. A very cute and humorous story that second-third graders will enjoy especially if they struggle with reading.

Our Next Project

Today we announce our latest project!

In May, we will help the young adults at Our Children’s Homestead celebrate Foster Care Month by providing them gift cards to a bookstore!

Our Children’s Homestead is a specialized foster care agency focused on supporting children with high trauma or special needs in Naperville, IL and Rockford, IL. As a result, most of these young adults don’t have a lot of opportunities to make their own choices.

After talking with the agency, We Are Creed has offered to donate gift cards from a bookstore for all 130 youth. Gift cards will allow these children to make their own choice in what they read. Books that are of high interest to them that they were able to choose means they’re more apt to read them, which is what we all want!

Past donations will be used to support this endeavor, but we are also looking for more support from family, friends, and the community. If you are interested in helping us achieve this goal, please email info@wearecreed.org. To make a donation, please go to: https://www.wearecreed.org/donate/.

If you are interested in learning more about Our Children’s Homestead, go to: https://www.ourchildrenshomestead.org/.

As always, we greatly appreciate your generosity as We Are Creed looks to expand in creating remarkable effects every day!

Why Create We Are Creed?

It’s been three and a half years since I left the education world, but it hasn’t stopped me from remembering what support my students needed.

You see, I taught English/Language Arts and Social Studies in a high poverty, rural community in South Carolina. While there are plenty of research statistics that explain how students of poverty face more obstacles than what they’re studying in school, this research didn’t touch my heart as much as seeing my students facing these challenges.

I can tell you about the student that didn’t know how to get home after school, because he didn’t really know where his family was staying for the night.

I can tell you about the students that came in my classroom thrilled that they could have my apple or my crackers. I can tell you about the grumbles from the athletes I coached, who didn’t like bringing team snacks, but it was necessary to know that every one of them had something in their belly before a game, which wasn’t a definite otherwise.

I can tell you about asking the students to count how many books they had in their home only to have them ask if magazines and cookbooks counted then seeing that the number they wrote down the next day could be counted on two hands.

I can tell you about my homeroom one year where most of students had little money at home, but they collected their coins from couch cushions and tabletops to bring canned goods in for the food drive to help the community’s less fortunate.

I can tell you about this great classroom activity called the Butterfly Project where students connected to literature and history for the first time in my class as they experienced empathy in the truest form as we learned about hate, something I hope will always stay with them.

I can also tell you about each kid that I wanted to adopt so they could escape from their world.

After growing up in a very different house in a very different community, I wanted every student I worked with to become lifelong readers. It wasn’t because these children and their families were “my problem”, but because reading is an outlet when you want or need to block out your world. It’s a skill that can change your future, regardless of the type of challenges you may face. Plus it’s lot of fun to exercise your imagination and creativity! I created this organization to give the gift of imagination and the love of reading to all kids, regardless of background, life experience, or situation. Everyone should have the experience of these feelings before becoming an adult, because this skill, this outlet, this world will impact their lives and create remarkable effects every day.

This is why We Are Creed was formed.