Monday, October 11, 2010

92nd Week Update - Miles Neighborhood Food Collection Project

Hi Folks,

WATCH: Bill Cosby Interviews Deborah Kenny On Revolutionary Schools

Dr. Deborah Kenny encircled by some of her admiring students.

The headline got my attention. I know Bill Cosby but I have no idea who Deborah Kenny is. Of course, the headline was written as if I should though. Every time my brain draws an absolute blank on a person’s name I try to resist the urge to learn about another “flash in the pop culture pan.” But like CODIS, the law enforcement DNA search program, my brain keeps at it until I gave in and click on the link.

No matter how small the world is getting, it’s still amazing how someone’s feats can be prominently displayed in O, The Oprah Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Esquire and on Nightly News with Brian Williams and still you never heard anything about her. Guess that’s why my brain knows better and forces me to look.

Dr. Deborah Kenny has had some life so far. According to Thomas Kelly’s Esquire article Deborah Kenny: Radical Education Reformer “She had earned a Ph.D. in comparative international education from Columbia and taught public school in three states. Disillusioned by the systemic failures she encountered, she left for the corporate world, where she became vice-president of marketing for the parenting group at Time Warner and then head of Sesame Street Publishing. When she decided to start Village Academies, she knew she would utilize the business side of her background as much as the teaching side. She developed a business plan devoid of bureaucracy and heavily influenced by Jack Welch's notions of leadership analysis and accountability.”

I watched the video and was moved by one statement she made. Bill asked Deborah to talk about her frustration with motivating others to take up and follow her highly successful educational program. Her three Village Academies in Harlem educate thousands of kids to think and participate in American’s Dream.

In answer to Bill’s question, Deborah said she was highly perplexed and she thought about it every day. I think about our One Can A Week program the same way. I know, a lot of you have heard me consternate on why we can’t find others to follow our lead in their neighborhoods. Deborah has no answer in sight for her concerns, but I take solace in the fact that there is another deeply caring person who faces the same issue of change we do. Like Deborah, we’re ahead of our time when it comes to helping others on a consistent and disciplined basis. We just have to keep going and others, in time, will see that we have an effective program and will follow the path we have laid out before them. Right now Deborah’s is doing the same thing.

Special Note: If you are a teacher or a school administrator, I think you will enjoy meeting Deborah as much as I did. (Just click on the links.) You may also get an idea or two. I did.

Hesitant Friend
The first thing Michael asked as he jumped into the Cabriolet was “Do we get to see the dogs today?” He was not along on that part of the trip last week where Rayah (center) and Petra met Adam and Molly.

Michael, Rayah, Petra and Molly getting
to know each other.
As promised, right after unloaded our morning collection at my home we entered the lair of the barking Westies. They mostly meet people on their walks and are very friendly…if they are not too busy sniffing the turf. But in their home they are a little protective and wary. Molly calmed down somewhat (notice the flopped ears) but Adam (barking a safe distance away) kept sounding the alarm all the while we were there.

Not helping the situation is the fact that the kids are a little hesitant themselves, pulling their hands away at the slightest move. It’s going to take many more Sundays for everyone to become the best of friends.

Busy Morning at CFB
Generally Howard and I handle weighing the food and counting the money together. But this morning there were three semi trucks to unload and forklifts were beeping and zooming everywhere.

Howard counting all of the cash donations.
So Howard took care of counting the donations and I got the food ready to photograph and weigh. This gave me an opportunity to shoot both the cart and Howard working at the same time. Now he can show a photo to his co-workers and say, “See, I do work when you are not around.” They kid him a lot because he is such a kidder himself.

We collected a total of 218 lbs. of food, including 50 pounds of produce. The money we donated amounted to $47.50 … one $25.00 check, $9.50 in cash plus 2 lbs. of food and $13.00 from The Axis Food Mart.

See you Sunday,


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