So I'm really not one into fund raising or soliciting money from other folks BUT this is for a good cause I feel in my soul that I needed to come to my fellow knitters for a bit of help. My daughter's Montessori school is holding a pledged based reading incentive program to help not only fund raise but to get the kids more excited about reading. Our goal is to have each kid in the school read over 300 minutes in the next two weeks (or in my case read to my child since she is a pre-reader.) This also encourages parents to spend more time reading to their children and spending one on one time away from the TV. I will be keeping a reading journal to make sure she stays on track and at the end of the two weeks, she gets a cute little certificate.
Where the money goes - The pledge program is being sponsored by Usborne Books -those of you who know them will know they have GREAT books and are a great asset to all types of educators. 50 percent of the pledge money will go directly to Amelia (well not to her directly but to the school and then to her) to pick out books for her own personal library from Usborne books. She is choosing to donate 50% of her cut to purchase books for her classroom and the school, which I'm just floored by her little 4 year old generosity. The other 50% will go directly to pay for books for our sister school in South Africa. Our sister school was actually co-founded by my friend Anne, who just recently moved here from South Africa . The story is heartbreaking and heartwarming all at once, but it's also entirely too long to tell all of it right now but I'll give you the basic details with more info to come over the next couple weeks. There was no formal preschool education in this extremely impoverished South African community in which Anne lived. So the women at Damion Chrysler pooled their own personal resources to start a school for some of the local children who would probably never have an opportunity to attend any sort of formal schooling. This community has literally THOUSANDS of CHILDREN in it, the majority of which are living in conditions with NO RUNNING WATER, NO PLUMBING, LITTLE ACCESSIBILITY TO MEDICINE, AND VIRTUALLY NO FOOD. And if this is not enough, the entire community has been devastated by the HIV virus as well as drought and famine. The preschool started in a shack, moved to a clinic and is now in a brick and mortar building, it is run entirely by VOLUNTEERS who pay for all expenses out of their own pockets. The school has room for 60 children, all of which are chosen by a random lottery. They are provided one meal everyday, which for most of them is their only meal, and are taught English and other skills that will help them survive in their economically devastated community.
So why am I here? To ask for pledges from all of you, not only will this teach a valuable lesson to my daughter and her school about the importance of generosity but it will help in the continuation of this grassroots preschool and could literally assure that most of these children will have the opportunity to grow up and teach their own children.
What am I doing? Well I'm going to do my own pledging but with yarn rather then money. If you pledge $20.00 I will send you a lovely skein of my hand dyed sock yarn. If you pledge $25.00 I will dye a special skein just for you.****** And if you pledge 50.00(which I'm not expecting in the least bit) I will dye an entire pound of yarn of your choice for whatever project you might want at 50% of cost for wool blends and cotton or cost for 100% silks , which will be crazy cheap! Think luxurious silk blends or nubby wool or naturally dyed cotton, lovely hand dyed sweaters or drapey shawls, think big and 1/10th of the price as in your local yarn botique! All those who donate will be entered in a lottery to win some other small prizes which I will list in the next couple days (if anyone wants to donate prizes drop me a line.)
This drive will continue until March 19th and with final donations being received no later then the 21st or the 22nd of March but the sooner the better. I will begin yarn dyeing now but please allow a couple weeks or a month :) to get your package.
Accountability - at the end of the drive I will make a copy of the pledge sheet with private information blocked out of course listing all the pledges that were made so you know your money will be going to where it needs to be. I will also attempt to keep a running total in my side bar (does anyone know how to do this? Drop me a line if you do.) Donations will be accepted through checks or paypal - if pledging by check drop me a line at zolzer @ olypen dot com for information, checks will be made directly to my daughters school. Funded paypal pledges can go to athyarns at yahoo dot com. This account will be set up to deposit directly into my daughters school.
I have not yet set a goal but hope to do so in the next day or so. I need to think in my heart what is a realistic number, I do not want to shoot to low nor do I want to over estimate and unintentionally disappoint Amelia i we don't make it. Thank you ahead of time for taking the time to read through this and at the very least considering pledging to this worthy cause. As a personal favor I would appreciate it if you could add a little blurb in your blogs about this, the more the merrier! Thanks so much!
P.S. Due to the overwhelming response already that will have me dyeing for the rest of my life, I'm asking a few of my close dyeing friends to help me out. So the yarn you get might be from any number of small yet FANTASTIC hand dyers but we'll work the details out later! :)