Help Speak for Young Children!

In our state, North Carolina, there have been great leaps made to help improve the early childhood programs and centers.  The state has helped low-income families with More at Four and Smart Start programs.  These programs help children birth through five years old recevie a higher quality care and a wonderful start to thier education career.  More at Four helps children reach the level of kindergarten so the children can be successful in the public school system.  However, in this state, congress feels that it is time to put a end to to these programs.  They are stated that there is not enough money to keep these programs up and running.  I ask, How much are we risking by cutting these programs or getting rid of them all together?  Congress is not thinking of the BIG picture we they are talking about cutting funding to these programs.  Please help our children, your children keep these programs because they are needed.   Let them know your story, has your child been through More at Four, do you have a child that will go through these programs, or do you work at a center.  Please write Congress and tell them your story:  

 You can either visit http://action.ececonsortium.org/site/R?i=kmfJibU9JC_2OrVQIkpKOA.. ,

or send an email to info@ececonsortium.org

Watch this video about this issue:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bk-z_Sy7tvU&feature=player_profilepage

No Child Left Behind Replaced

No Child Left Behind Replaced

President Obama listed a couple of interesting points in his State of The Union Address.  President Obama has realized that the No Child Left Behind Act is just that an ACT.  This act was first introduced by President Bush in 2002, the government had high hopes that this program would be the one that would bring Americans schools and education to where it needs to be.  However, eight years later and only a little proof that this act was working, President Obama has decided to replace the act with Race To The Top program.  President Obama states “Maintaining our leadership in research and technology is crucial to America’s success. But if we want to win the future — if we want innovation to produce jobs in America and not overseas — then we also have to win the race to educate our kids.”  Yes, sir I totally agree with this statement.  We really need to sit down and think about the future of not just the nation but our own children.  Our children are in a whole new world, one that is totally different then what we grew up in. 

The Race to the Top is hitting four specific areas:
1. Adopting standards and assessments that prepare students to succeed in college and the workplace and to compete in the global economy

 2. Building data systems that measure student growth and success, and inform teachers and principals about how they can improve instruction

 3. Recruiting, developing, rewarding, and retaining effective teachers and principals, especially where they are needed most; and 4. Turning around our lowest-achieving schools.

Awards in Race to the Top will go to States that are leading the way with ambitious yet achievable plans for implementing coherent, compelling, and comprehensive education reform. Race to the Top winners will help trail-blaze effective reforms and provide examples for States and local school districts throughout the country to follow as they too are hard at work on reforms that can transform our schools for decades to come.The president advises the teachers, parents, and communities to help with the Race to the Top program.  He states that “Race to the Top is the most meaningful reform of our public schools in a generation. For less than 1 percent of what we spend on education each year, it has led over 40 states to raise their standards for teaching and learning. And these standards were developed, by the way, not by Washington, but by Republican and Democratic governors throughout the country. And Race to the Top should be the approach we follow this year as we replace No Child Left Behind with a law that’s more flexible and focused on what’s best for our children.”

Happy New Years, Baby!

So, here it is, another year come and gone, and now we are freshly at the beginning of 2011. Wow, can hardly believe it is 2011! Last year really did go by, in many ways, like a whirlwind. Well, this year, we have a lot to look forward to. No, I am not talking about the short lived resolutions we always make, rather, the arrival of our little baby girl Graycen. Yes, she is a girl, and yes, her name is Graycen. Deal with it. ; ) Her actual due date was December 30, 2010, however, she has apparently decided to take up permanent residence inside the womb. With a doctor appt on January 3rd, I fully anticipate her arrival next week sometime. This is our first baby, and both Matt and I are excited and I think it’s fair to say somewhat nervous. I have only had a couple moments of “OMG, I have no idea of how to raise a baby,” so for that I am greatful. I keep reminding myself that people have figured it out for many years past, and we will be just fine.

I write this as my first post this year, if I am being honest, because it is all any of us are really focused on right now. Where is she! However, a lot will change with her arrival and the arrival of the New Year, and I am looking forward to some of those changes.

One of which is Extreme Couponing! I believe it is going to become my new obsession for the New Year. With the arrival of our little one, it is going to become ever more pressing to become more frugal and budget. Like many diets past, we have blown through many, many a budget also. Perspective changes though, when you know you have a little one depending on you. I went to a couponing class recently where they discussed www.southernsavers.com. I was fully intrigued. The short story is, basically a stay at home mom named Jenny created the site to help people really, and I mean really use coupons. For instance, we always assumed Harris Teeter and the drug stores were the most expensive places to shop. As it turns out, Jenny posts the sale papers each week, matches them up with the current coupons you have accumulated and you can end up getting merchandise for free!!! Yep, Free! What really hooked me though was the diapers deals at the drug stores. When you pair a sale, with a store coupon and a manufacturer’s coupon, you can get diapers unbelievably cheap. (Think 90 for around $4!)

I am hoping to use this new hobby in conjunction with our effort to pay down our debt and become debt free. I am a Dave Ramsey fan, but have yet been able to fully maintain all of his teachings. With new motivation, I am pumped as ever and will continue to post progress as this year moves along. Is this my New Year’s Resolution? No, it is my promise to my soon to be born baby girl. We will tackle our financial house and teach her the sound principles of financial freedom! Ok, yes, maybe she is a bit young, but by the time she can understand, we should be out of debt and prepared for what the future holds.

Here’s to a Wishing everyone a Happy New Year, and wishing that my water would break!

C.Trostle