Tuesday, July 13, 2010

EOY Artshow Competition

Hi everyone, hope all of you are enjoying summer so far! At the end of May, Dallas HIPPY held three different End of Year Celebrations for our families. We had around 600 attendees at each of the EOY's, which was very exciting! During the EOY Celebrations, every HIPPY parent and child were honored for finishing their current program year by walking the stage to receive a certificate and other goodies provided by National Council for Jewish Women (NCJW) and HIPPY. Afterwards, the families celebrated their achievement over cake and lemonade. Something new this year that we tried out at Dallas HIPPY was hosting an Artshow Competition. We awarded prizes for the winners at the End of Year Celebrations and featured their artwork on HIPPY merchandise that was available for sale to HIPPY families and staffmembers. We asked all of the families to have their children draw a picture of their "HIPPY school at home" and we ended up with some really great artwork from the kids. We selected three winning drawings, they belonged to Benny Cornejo, Daanae Subias, and Estephanie Carillo. To see the winning drawings and our new HIPPY merchandise, visit http://www.cafepress.com/texashippy. Hope everyone has a good summer!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Springtime is Here!

Springtime is in full swing here at Dallas - flowers are blooming, birds are chirping, and it's time for field trips! This past Friday I accompanied a group of HIPPY families and home instructors on a field trip to the Dallas Public Library for a preschool bilingual storytime. The library staff read to the kids about the sounds that different animals make and how flowers grow in springtime. The staff then led everyone in the Hokey Pokey and another song in dance in Spanish. Afterwards the library staff brought out an empty plastic pot for each child, two big tubs of dirt, and a bunch of carnation stems. The children, with the help of their parents, filled their pots with dirt and "planted" a couple of carnations in each of their pots to create their own flower pots. The kids seemed to really enjoy hearing the story about planting flowers and then getting to take home their very own flower pots - it was very cute!

Some of the other field trips that we have coming up is one to the Flight Museum, one to the Trinity River Audobon Center, one to the Dallas Zoo, and one to the Dallas Arboretum. Should be a great experience for our HIPPY Families!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Recruiting Burmese Refugee Families

Hey everyone, I hope everyone's winter breaks went well and that you all got some good R&R. Currently, I'm working with a coordinator and home instructor here at Dallas to try to reach out to some of the Burmese refugee families that have settled in the Vickery Meadows area- a super culturally diverse area. Because of the oppresive military regime now in power in Burma and the lack of human rights, thousands of Burmese people have fled to America. In meetings with the International Rescue Committee and Heart House in Dallas, I've learned that the Burmese are very open to learning and that they would really benefit from a program like HIPPY. The problem with this is that there are 3 different languages spoken in Burma and trying to find interpretors is proving a difficult task. Thankfully we believe the IRC will be able to provide us with a translator for the first month or so but after that we will have to enlist the help of volunteers in the community that are able to translate. We've been told that the Burmese are a very community- oriented culture so maybe we'll be able to find someone that would be willing to help us out on this. So, we're trying to move forward with this so that we can hopefully start these families doing the HIPPY program pretty soon! If anyone has any suggestions please let me know.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Barnes & Noble Fundraiser

Last Thursday was Dallas HIPPY's Barnes and Noble Fundraiser. We disseminated a lot of our flyers and vouchers around to our different networks so that when people used the vouchers to buy anything at Barnes and Noble stores, we got a percentage of that sale. We got a special rate for an ad in the Dallas Observer, put up flyers around town, and posted the event on the Dallas Kids webpage of the Dallas City Hall site. Activities during the event included arts & crafts (the kids made winter crowns, paper plate reindeers, and paper plate snowmen), a raffle, a storytime with children's author Janie Bynum, and a music teacher who sang and danced with the kids. We also got a big cookie tray donated from Panera which helped bring people up to the tables so we could explain the fundraiser and the HIPPY program. The turnout of kids from our HIPPY schools was unfortunately a lot less than I hoped it would be but I think we accomplished our goal of spreading the word about the program- we talked to multiple people throughout the day about the HIPPY program and were also able to hand out some of Luis' brochures. I haven't heard the final tallies on how much money we raised during the fundraiser but hopefully we made at least enough to buy some new books/materials for the program here in Dallas. Thanks again to Luis and Cherri for helping me out!! Above is a picture of the music teacher and kids doing some crafts during the event. Merry Christmas everyone!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Lights On Afterschool

As part of their Lights on Afterschool Program, Big Thought Thriving Minds recently invited me to speak to their community of parents on the value of community service. I was the first act up in a night that included others such as clown complete with balloon animals, one act play and gallery walk.

As the first act up I did my best to set the tone for the evenings events. I did not have the balloon animals, amazing artwork, free pizza, or books and toys that the other had acts to give away that evening. Still, I remain hopeful that parents and children in attendance that night walked away with something more important, a renewed enthusiasm for community service and understanding of the important role it plays in their neighborhoods and lives. Stayed tuned to our blog for dates on future community info sessions in the works at Burnet Elementary. Thanks again to Big Thought and Burnet for having me.