Tips for being a politically-engaged charter school parent

Tips for being a politically-engaged charter school parent  | San Antonio Charter Moms

Please take a moment to read this important article: “More Middle-Class Families Choose Charters: A political game changer for public school choice?”, Richard Whitmire, Education Next (Summer 2015).

The conventional wisdom has been that charter school parents are too busy with jobs and life, and not politically engaged. While researching this article, author Richard Whitmire​ came to visit Great Hearts Monte Vista, BASIS San Antonio, and BASIS San Antonio North; he saw that we are politically engaged and ready to advocate for our schools.

My tips for being a politically-engaged charter school parent:

Charter school parents: We have found outstanding schools for our children. We need to protect them, and to help them grow so that more families can share our experiences and see a brighter future.

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Celebrate the Grand Opening of the DoSeum, San Antonio’s new museum for kids

Celebrate the Grand Opening of the DoSeum, San Antonio's New Museum for Kids | San Antonio Charter Moms

The DoSeum will open on June 6, 2015 as San Antonio’s new children’s museum, and will celebrate its Grand Opening over the June 6-7 weekend. I’ve been inside the building for a hard-hat tour and, more recently, for a sneak peek with my blogger friends. My family and I have a charter membership and look forward to many visits this summer to get acquainted with the new exhibits. In the short run, I want to help you get ready for your first visit to The DoSeum.

If you live in or around San Antonio, or are visiting the city this summer, you’ll want to bring your kids to the DoSeum. It’s an ambitious learning experience, but everything is built around play and discovery. Compared to the downtown facility, the DoSeum is much larger, brighter, and more inviting. It has free parking, a cafe, and outdoor play areas. Continue reading

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CLOSED [Giveaway] Family pack of tickets to DISCOVER Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto with the San Antonio Symphony at the Tobin Center

UPDATE: This giveaway is now closed.  

San Antonio Symphony DISCOVER Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto, May 31, 2015 at 3 p.m. at the Tobin Center | San Antonio Charter Moms

Classical music helps me set aside my day-to-day concerns and to think big thoughts. I want my kids to experience that feeling, too, and that’s why we are looking forward to DISCOVER Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto with the San Antonio Symphony at 3 p.m. on Sunday, May 31, 2015 at the Tobin Center.

Tchaikovsky‘s Piano Concerto No. 1 is the final program in the 2014-15 DISCOVER series. The Symphony gave me four tickets for my family and another four tickets for me to give away to my readers. To enter the giveaway, leave a comment on this blog post no later than Thursday, May 28. I will randomly choose one winner and send an email notice on Friday, May 29. Continue reading

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IDEA Public Schools luncheon honoring David Robinson, board member and Carver Academy founder

IDEA Public Schools 2015 San Antonio luncheon honoring David Robinson | San Antonio Charter Moms

I want to give you a sense of how it felt to be at the IDEA Public Schools 2015 luncheon honoring David Robinson, IDEA board member and Carver Academy founder, on May 11, 2015 at the Pearl Stable.

Why did Robinson, a legendary player for the San Antonio Spurs, choose to commit to education? “I’m a teacher at heart,” he said. Years ago, Robinson set out to found Carver Academy, a private school on the east side. “I wanted to start young, and get kids excited about college.” Red McCombs discouraged Robinson, saying, “I’ve seen more money wasted on education than anything else.” Robinson was steadfast: “It’s what God’s placed on my heart.” He went back to McCombs, who wrote the first check for Carver Academy.

Robinson took a risk to form an alliance with IDEA, but he admitted, “I am not an educator”—he needed to find people who could help him execute. Carver Academy was already a successful private elementary school, but he wanted it to grow. “How do we increase our footprint? In order to keep raising money, you must have a vision for the future.”

Robinson recalled meeting with IDEA Public Schools co-founders Tom Torkelson and JoAnn Gama. He toured IDEA schools in the Rio Grande valley—an experience he described as “mind-boggling.” Forming a partnership with IDEA “made perfect sense for us.” Continue reading

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Groundbreaking ceremony at Carpe Diem Westwood in San Antonio

Groundbreaking ceremony at Carpe Diem Westwood | San Antonio Charter Moms

On Saturday, May 2, 2015, Carpe Diem Innovative Schools—San Antonio hosted a groundbreaking ceremony at its Carpe Diem Westwood campus, its first in Texas.

Future students and families gathered with school leaders and philanthropists under a white tent pitched on a flat, 6-acre rectangle of land located on the west side of San Antonio, near the intersection of Highways 90 and 151. A warm breeze blew the organic smell of fill dirt,  and heavy equipment, including graders and steamrollers, continued working on the site throughout the ceremony. Continue reading

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Coming to San Antonio Book Festival: Chris Barton (author) and Don Tate (illustrator) of “The Amazing Age of John Roy Lynch”

In the back matter of The Amazing Age of John Roy Lynch, illustrator Don Tate charmingly confesses:

I’m ashamed to admit that before illustrating The Amazing Age of John Roy Lynch, I wasn’t very knowledgeable about Reconstruction.

Reconstruction is the era of United States history just after the Civil War, when former slaves made their way as free men and women, and the South tried to resist the changes imposed by the victorious North. I am thankful for Dr. Allan Kownslar‘s American history classes at Trinity University, which took an unflinching look at Reconstruction and examined the motives of Klansmen and Radical Republicans alike.

"The Amazing Age of John Roy Lynch" by Chris Barton (author) and Don Tate (illustrator) | San Antonio Charter Moms

But now that I am a parent, I am facing a new challenge: How do I talk to my kids about that era of history? By focusing on the amazing story of John Roy Lynch—in ten years, transformed from teenage slave to U.S. Congressman—illustrator Tate and author Chris Barton have created a wonderful resource for families to have that conversation. Great news for San Antonio families: At the third annual San Antonio Book Festival on April 11, 2015, Tate and Barton will talk about their book from 1:45 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. in the Children’s Reading Tent. Continue reading

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San Antonio Symphony will accompany Bugs Bunny at the Majestic Theatre

UPDATE: This giveaway is now closed.

In October, my husband and I went on a date night to the Majestic Theatre to hear the San Antonio Symphony play the score of Star Trek: Into Darkness while we got to watch the movie on a big screen; read more in this earlier post. Hearing the score performed live added richness and excitement to the movie experience.

The Symphony is getting ready for another film-and-music collaboration, “Bugs Bunny at the Symphony II”, on Friday, April 3 and Saturday, April 4 at 8 p.m. at the Majestic Theatre. The Symphony has offered me two tickets to use myself and four tickets to give away to my readers. To enter the giveaway for four tickets to the Friday performance, leave a comment, no later than Wednesday, April 1, sharing something about Bugs Bunny or your favorite Looney Tunes character. I will randomly choose a winner and send notice by email. Continue reading

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