TGIF! Jan 19 2018

TGIF!

Super-short TGIF this week – our family is taking a little up-north vacation weekend with friends, doing some skiing at Caberfae.

Here at Imagine! we are still waiting for final word on the building and brainstorming backup plans.  Thanks to those I’ve had conversations with this week for bouncing around ideas with me!  Thoughts?  Feedback? Concerns? Questions?  Shoot them my way!!

Have a great weekend everyone.  I promise you a ‘real’ TGIF next Friday.

 

Kim

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TGIF! Dec 1 2017

TGIF!

#GivingTuesday

Thank you for your donations, Facebook shares, and support of our Giving Tuesday fundraisers.  In total, you donated $1,055 in just over twelve hours!  All processing fees were waived so 100% of those donations will flow through to us.  And, we will receive an as-yet-unknown financial match – bringing our total to hopefully right around $1,500.  (There is a lot of speculation right now as to what time the $2 million in matching funds was exhausted. Best guess right now is that it was around 9am, unfortunately.)  We are so grateful for your support!

#GivingEveryday

I heard from a few of you that you missed Tuesday’s opportunity, and wanted to know how you could still help.  Our tax-exempt information and mailing address for donations by check is on our website’s contact page.  For donations by credit card, debit card, or PayPal (no fees for the last one!) we also have a link to our PayPal donations site.  Or click right here to make your one-time or recurring donation today!

Learning Links

Sometimes I’ll read an editorial and think, “wow, that’s harsh”.  This was an example over this past week.  Here was the quote that struck me:

Today’s school system results in three general patterns of high school graduates: 1) students who peak in high school and live off the social capital they created as students, often not attending college, failing out, or coasting; 2) students who finish high school, go to college, and then establish a career that’s either unfulfilling or doesn’t have longevity in today’s shifting workforce; and 3) students who are far more ready to contribute to society in meaningful ways with or without college, whose motivation and ideas come from somewhere else, and while the system may nurture them, it is not always the reason for their success.

At first I thought – it can’t be that bad!  So I thought back to my last high school reunion (if that’s a fair sampling) and most of the attendees really did fall squarely into one of these three patterns.  There were plenty of folks from Bucket #1, busting their butts to make ends meet in relatively dead-end jobs.  There was a whole collection of college-educated people with financially successful but unfulfilling careers who were making mid-life career changes – Bucket #2.  There were a fair number of people who had experienced job loss and were back in school to retool for another career – again, Bucket #2.  Then there were the ones who “didn’t amount to much” by the yardstick of high school, who were now running their own businesses or succeeding in other less straightforward paths – Bucket #3.  There were 50 people in that room at least… I can picture one who was doing what he went to college to do, and was happy and successful at it.

I still think the quote is harsh.  But I also think the author may be more right than we want to admit. And even if not – we can do better.  There is too much passion, too many hopes and dreams in those teenage years to squander them in the artificial bubble of high school.

 

In closing….

Thanks again for your phenomenal support this week.  You are appreciated!

 

Kim

TGIF Oct 20 2017

Dear friends,

I began writing our usual Friday newsletter this morning only to learn a friend passed away last night after a 10 month battle with an extremely rare form of cancer.  While I never met Rebecca in person, she has been a part of my life for fourteen years, along with an amazing group of women whom I met on a silly online bulletin board for first-time pregnant moms. From that pure-chance beginning we’ve all shared and supported each other on a near daily basis, through good times and difficult times.  Needless to say, I’m struggling to say much about education or schools today.

Rebecca was devoted to her family, passionate in her faith (she and her husband lived in Poland as missionaries for a number of years), and always had a word or a gesture to comfort a friend.  She leaves behind her adoring husband Daniel and three beautiful sons: Benjamin, Aaron, and Samuel. (Her son Andrew – Aaron’s twin brother – died in infancy in 2006, so this sweet family has already experienced much loss.)

Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers today.

Kim

TGIF! Aug 11 2017

TGIF!

Last week was quite a long post. We’ll keep it shorter today by just sharing a few links from our Facebook feed over the past couple of weeks.

If you prefer not to use social networking, but are curious about the articles we share and post on our page, you can view all our posts publicly without having a Facebook account.  Just browse on over to www.facebook.com/imaginewestmichigan/.

College application insanity

“High schools need to realize that, while students amassing millions of dollars in scholarships and hundreds of college acceptance letters seems like an accomplishment, the outcome for many students is the total opposite. Too many students end up not going to a school that is the best fit for them, taking on piles of debt, and dropping out with no workforce experience. The goal should be that each high school student will graduate having a grasp on their career path (and experience in that field), scholarships to the school of their choice (full rides or little to no debt), and be confident in where they will be spending the next four to six years of their life.” https://www.chalkbeat.org/posts/tn/2017/07/18/my-high-school-told-me-to-apply-to-100-colleges-and-i-almost-lost-myself-in-the-process/

Work-based learning for credit in Vermont

“I just thought it was really awesome to have the chance to explore your interests in ways outside the classroom setting and gain skills that may actually be useful in the workplace,” Eurich said. “Because it’s really hard to gauge that just by taking classes similar to a career.” http://hechingerreport.org/one-state-students-ditching-classrooms-jobs/

A lesson from preschools – how to prepare kids for an AI economy

“A big challenge — and one he said is essential to preparing children for a labor market in which routine and individualized tasks are being automated — is making sure this style of education is not lost in higher grades, when teachers turn to lecturing and standardized curriculums… learning to work in groups and be creative – and that this problem you’re facing today looks like a problem you faced in a different context a year ago – is a process that is very hard for artificial intelligence to replicate.” https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/31/upshot/how-to-prepare-preschoolers-for-an-automated-economy.html

In closing….

Thanks for reading, and have a great week!

Kim