Three years ago my family and I moved to Colorado from Minnesota to give our two young boys the opportunity to grow up in such a beautiful state, but also for new career opportunities. During my 13 years in education in Minnesota, I always worked in schools that had a high percentage of free and reduced lunch rates and students that truly needed all of the additional supports they could get. Our first year in Colorado, I worked at a school in Northeast Denver, that was similar, very diverse, and families in need. However, there was always one piece missing…a community that could support the families in need. It wasn’t that they didn’t want to, but in most cases they couldn’t.
During our first year here, I quickly started to hear and learn about Boulder Valley Schools. How amazing they were, the opportunities that they had for students, and the strong community support behind the schools. Every day I was driving 60 minutes or more to work, and that was taking the tollway, so add $2,500 on to my commute. Although the students I worked with in Northeast Denver were amazing, and every day was rewarding, my own children were being raised at daycare. Thus, I knew I needed to make a change, I focused in specifically on Boulder Valley School District, the St. Vrain District, both districts that are supported by Crayons to Calculators. But, to be honest, I was a little worried because I have always had a passion for working with a diverse population. I now have the best of both worlds, I work in BVSD, and in a diverse school.
I am beyond honored to be one of the Assistant Principals at Angevine Middle school. For those of you that aren’t familiar with Angevine, it is a true gem of a middle school in Boulder Valley. It is the largest and most diverse middle school in the district, with over 700 students, over 43% of them are students who receive free or reduced lunch. Angevine also has a pre-engineering program, and 160 TAG students. Angevine is a true representation of the world that our children are growing up in, which is what makes it so amazing! I love watching the students interact, learn and show compassion, and tolerance every day regardless of their background, their race, or their socioeconomic status.
However, the success of Angevine, wouldn’t be possible without the support of the community, Impact on Education, and the Crayons to Calculators Drive. Many of our students go without in their lives outside of school, and are fighting battles many of us will never understand, or supporting their families rather than just being a kid. This is not the case while they are at school, our students have everything they need to be successful and have equity in their education. Thanks to Crayons to Calculators, if a student needs a backpack full of supplies, the parents and the students don’t have to worry about not having it, they get what they need, and they are proud of their materials. These materials allow for our students to focus on what is important, being a kid, and doing well in school, and not about where are they going to get the extra money so they can have a backpack, a calculator, or the notebooks they need to be successful at school, and begin to live their dreams. Crayons to Calculators also helps us with keeping a stock of materials for our students to use throughout the year, because we all know how well a twelve year old can keep track of a highlighter!
Angevine teachers have also received various Impact on Education Grants that have allowed for a more innovative, engaging, and equitable education for all of our students. iPads for individualized learning, headphones for assessment and intervention work, and money to supplement and support more innovative and hands on tools and experiences to make learning fun for our students. Items and experiences that wouldn’t be possible without the support of the Boulder Valley community, Impact on Education, and Crayons to Calculators.
We are especially thankful to the wonderful MOD Moms community who specifically collects for the secondary schools. Often times secondary students are forgotten about when it comes to kids and to schools, so thank you for supporting ALL students within Boulder Valley School Districts. I feel so fortunate to not only work with such amazing students, top notch staff, in an amazing school district, but having such strong support from the community makes all the difference in our schools and our students! While you’re out getting your kids’ supplies, if you can, pick up a few extra items to support students in Boulder Valley, http://www.signupgenius.com/go/5080545a9ac2e5-modmoms