Friday, December 13, 2013

Opening Our Treasures

On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.  Matthew 2:11

Merry Christmas PCC!
Last night, PCC was commended before the school board of Redwood City for opening our treasures and living generously. There are so many back-stories to this commendation, and so many people involved.  By way of a Christmas gift, please take the time to read this slowly and thank God for a glimpse of what happens when a church endeavors to be good news and live generously. Thank you to the many people who serve at Roosevelt in such wonderful ways. What follows is the commendation in its entirety:
It is the Administration’s recommendation that the School Board recognize the following community members for their dedication to and support of the students at Roosevelt School. Principal Patricia Girardi and the entire Roosevelt School staff would like to recognize these outstanding community members for their dedication to the students at Roosevelt School.
Peninsula Covenant Church has partnered with Roosevelt School on so many occasions.
Three years ago, in a PTA meeting, teachers asked about money to purchase bigger items such as electric pencil sharpeners, paper cutters and items for special projects.  Out of that request a giving tree idea was born. A parent took her idea and presented it to one group from PCC who thought they might be able to help out and get some of the “wish items.”  Almost overnight, the giving tree transformed into our “PCC Angels.” Every classroom teacher has a PCC angel or angels who fulfill teacher wish lists and also provide teachers with goodies such as chocolate to boost teacher morale.  As one teacher said, “I felt so valued as a teacher when I was adopted by my PCC angel.”  Principal Girardi has her own PCC angel, a former principal, who comes twice a month to do walk throughs and provides her with support. Some PCC angels also lend ongoing support throughout the year and tutor students, others come on special occasions such as for the inaugural party each year in Mr. William’s classroom.  The PCC angels are truly a gift to Roosevelt and words cannot express our gratitude for this gift.
Field Trips add so much to enhance the curriculum.  With Project Based Learning, teachers try to bring experts into the classroom and also go to the experts.  How do we fund the PBL field trips each year with bussing costs so high and with limited PTA and grant funding?  PCC generously provides their vans with volunteer drivers for local trips.  Field trips to the Lawrence Hall of Science, to the Nutcracker and Hiller Aviation Museum have all been made possible through their generosity.  Marilyn Lynch coordinates all the trips and drivers.  We want to recognize her and her drivers for their continued support of the Roosevelt PBL program. Many fewer trips would be available to our students without their help. 
Winter Fest has been a Roosevelt tradition for many, many years. Students perform for their families each year singing, playing instruments, and doing skits. When Winter Fest first started, the Roosevelt students performed in the Roosevelt cafeteria.  Five years ago, Principal Girardi moved Winter Fest to MIT with two performances in order to accommodate the families and relatives attending.  As school enrollment increased, the audience size also increased and Roosevelt outgrew the MIT auditorium.  PCC offered their facility and for three years now, the Roosevelt students have performed there for their families. PCC hosts Roosevelt for two nights with three separate shows, providing a sound person, and full technical support.  Their volunteers even serve hot chocolate to our families after the performances.  We are so grateful to be able to use the facility and have ample seating for parents, grandparents and other relatives. PCC’s generous gift of the use of their facility makes it possible for us to continue the tradition of Winter Fest for all students. 
A Beautiful Day and the PCC volunteers have come to Roosevelt to beautify the school on several occasions. Last year, PCC and Second Mile installed new counters and cabinetry in the office and staff room and did many other projects on campus.  A new citrus grove was created so students could watch fruit grow and harvest it during the school year. New benches were built, a mural depicting the life of Theodore Roosevelt painted with the help of the Redwood City Art Council and truckloads of bark installed campus wide to keep the weeds down. Roosevelt families worked side by side in this PCC coordinated weekend effort with over 1000 volunteers in all. PCC volunteers continue to support keeping the school beautiful through out the year. Just two weeks ago, some PCC volunteers came and scrubbed the rainbow stairs, as they looked dirty. We thank the many volunteers for their dedication to Roosevelt School.
 PCC in conjunction with the Sequoia Health Care District provides PE to students in grades K-5 twice a week.   Under the guidance of Director Victor Hernández and Coordinator Nick Justice, the coaching team teaches our students good sportsmanship and the fundamentals of soccer, basketball and other physical activitie. The coaches are there during morning recess and lunch recess and organize games, referee and are additional eyes supervising students at play.  Our PE+ Coordinator works closely with our 6-8 PE teacher and together they organize and run our Field Day in June. The PCC PE+ coaches help to support the school and are role models for our students. 
Peninsula Covenant Church is a wonderful giving partner to Roosevelt School.  When they see a need, they try to find resources from within their community and from the outside to support the school.  Over the years our partnership has continued to grow. Roosevelt reciprocates as a partner by providing gym space for basketball practice and parking for the shuttle service and making sandwiches for their Street Life program. 
The partnership with PCC began many years ago, but during the past five years has increased due to two special people.  Emily and Carlos DeVitis have been so instrumental in conveying the school’s needs to the community.  Through their advocacy for Roosevelt, in conjunction with the PCC Leadership team, we have the PCC angels, the vans for field trips, the space for Winter Fest, a drama coach for our plays and so much more.  Roosevelt School thanks you for everything you do to help make Roosevelt such a great school! 
The Roosevelt Staff wants to recognize and thank the Peninsula Covenant Church Community for their on-going support, time and generosity. 
This weekend is a big one for PCC! We will gather at Kennedy Middle School on Saturday for our Kennedy Christmas Store, then we continue in our Advent Conspiracy series in all three Sunday Gatherings looking more closely at the Magi in Matthew 2.  We will also gather at noon for our annual business meeting to give critical updates and pray as a body. Details for all of this are in the musings. Thank you for living generously!