Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Week 20!

January 31st, 2012

Lumber orders, reorganizing the bank and trading post

How is it possible for this program to feel more fulfilling every week?  Today was AMAZING!  The homesteaders are really stepping up to the plate regarding ownership.  By ownership I am referring to behavior as well as privilege.  While we are now using the art room for our space we are not allowed to leave any traces that we have been there (for now).  I explained this at the beginning of class and the homesteaders were perfect!  I am so proud of their behavior.  The amount of shanannagans is greatly reduced from where we were in September.  Two boys were rough housing today and I said, "Let's not act like we're in first grade."  To which they replied, "We are in first grade!"  I let them know that first graders are not actually allowed to participate in Village at Marlborough School, and that they would need to leave.  Those boys were perfectly on task for the rest of the hour.  It seems like a very small victory when I bother to write about it, but it is huge because this is evidence that these kids really value what they are participating in.  We didn't get to this point last year, trouble makers felt no investment or ownership in the program.

In other amazing news... We now have two marvelous young women from the Keene State program signed on to help us every week!  Two more adults in the room definitely make a difference.  I gave them a very brief intro to Village before the class began and showed them how to check lumber orders.  This immensely freed up my brain to help homesteaders with other tasks.  Next week they will try to be there a little earlier so I can give them materials for peeps.

More good news!  The blurb that was sent out in the school newsletter requesting materials for Village was responded to!  We have a received a donation including fabric, beads, flooring, tiles and probably a bit more!  Also, a parent from a lower grade approached me this morning asking about the program and how she could contribute.  The community is beginning to recognize us!

We reorganized the trading post a bit today with the hope of streamlining the lumber order process.  I haven't had the opportunity to meet with the manager uninterrupted until now.  He is working to find another employee so that he will have time to work on his own things without disrupting business.   A bit of revamp also happened to the bank.  I met with the banker, she conducted interviews and hired a replacement for her former assistant (banking is much harder than some applicants realize).  We then discussed the next step for the bank: transferring funds from one account to another to reflect checks that are being written.  This is going to be a lot of work, but I know she can handle it!

We did not bother talking about a meeting today.  The homesteaders are so focused on house building they have little attention for anything else.  Next week I plan to continue doing exactly what we are doing now.  I have a large stack of lumber orders to cut.  Homesteaders will begin painting their houses next week!

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