Alabama Bicentennial Schools – An Invitation to Homeschool Families

Alabama Bicentennial Schools

Alabama Bicentennial: Educate & Celebrate

The Alabama Bicentennial takes place on December 14, 2019! Commemoration of this special event began in 2017 and continues through the end of next year. ALABAMA 200 is a helpful resource for facts pertaining to statehood, educator materials, and community involvement.

Turning 200 years old is cause for celebration. However, Alabama did not achieve its many accomplishments by looking only to the past. Profound events in history were made possible by Alabamians actively working toward a better future for themselves and their state.

The Civil Rights movement had its roots in Montgomery. Our state also made possible the first rocket to put humans on the moon and the first open heart surgery in the Western Hemisphere. We are also proud to claim the first Miss America with a disability. Dedicated citizens who believed in a better tomorrow achieved these milestones.

Connect

The Alabama Bicentennial Schools program encourages the youth of Alabama to continue looking toward the future by making connections with local communities. The program is open to all students — public, private, and homeschool. More information can be found here.

We are all encouraged to improve the locales we call home. Achieving these goals requires that we go beyond our classrooms, fellowship halls, and kitchen tables. The key is to engage with the people and places around us.

Engage

Engagement with our local communities is a core belief at NGCHE. One of the state’s greatest untapped resources is its homeschool families. This labor force is available at a time when most other students must remain on school campuses. In many cases, homeschool parents or adult club volunteers can work alongside their youth. Modeling sacrificial behavior and instilling core values in our young people will serve our state well for lifetimes to come.

If your homeschool covering or co-op would like to become involved in the Alabama Bicentennial School program, we urge you to do so. Contact information can be found here on the Be a Bicentennial School flyer. Staff at the Alabama Bicentennial Office who oversee the program have issued a warm welcome to homeschoolers to take part. Project suggestions are available at the Alabama Bicentennial Schools website. Participants may also come up with their own ideas.

Whether you take part in a community-wide initiative, become involved through a covering or civic group, or just decide to volunteer on your own, set aside some time this spring to get to know your communities and the needs within them. Homeschool families have amazing potential to impact the world for good. Let us heed the call to service and be counted among those leading Alabama forward into a very bright future.


To find out how home educating families from Mobile and Baldwin Counties can serve their communities, stay tuned for the launch of the Northern Gulf Coast Homeschool Service Initiative coming in March.


Alabama Bicentennial Schools

Alabama Bicentennial Schools

© 2018 – Northern Gulf Coast Home Educators

2018 – Off and Running

Happy New Year, home-educating families and friends!

End of Year Collage 2017

NGCHE got off to a fantastic start in the fall of 2017. We attended shows put on by two student theater groups, volunteered in the garden at an urban teaching farm, learned a ton at the Mobile Medical Museum, said “Thank You” to the veterans at a Baldwin County nursing home, and were the first homeschool group to tour the Airbus Final Assembly Line in Mobile, Alabama. Not bad for our first four months! We made many new friends in our community and are excited for what’s to come.

Our volunteers took a much-needed break over the last half of December and have hit the ground running. We are expecting a fabulous year in 2018. We don’t want to spill the beans until all the details are worked out, but here are a few things you can expect this year.

Field Trips: Several field trips are currently in the works for sites in and around Mobile, Gulf Shores, and Pensacola. As always, our field trips are open to any homeschool family regardless of where you live. We sometimes have donors who make scholarships available to certain of our field trips. If your student needs one, please ask.

Community Service: NGCHE will be working with select agencies and volunteers from the Mobile – Baldwin area to beta test a community service program that matches homeschool students and their families with projects and special needs that arise in our community.

Classes: Nature Connect Alabama is partnering with us to offer a nature skills class for elementary students in February. Details will be posted very soon. We are also entering into negotiations with several parties which we hope will result in quality high school science instruction with scholarships for low income families. Send your prayers and good thoughts for this one. We will post updates as they become available.

Information: NGCHE was asked late last year by staff from the Mobile County District Attorney’s office to assist with information regarding local coverings. We love to share information about homeschooling with the general public. We are happy to make additions to our website that will help Gulf Coast officials and those doing research on homeschooling in our area. We look forward to input from our friends and followers on this project.

Graduation: Our first community homeschool graduation ceremony will take place in May at Robertsdale Church of the Nazarene in Baldwin County, Alabama. Pastor Melissa Aaron has indicated a willingness to offer this ceremony next year as well for homeschool families who do not use a covering or whose covering is out of town. We love and appreciate our friends at Robertsdale Naz!

Meetings and Special Events: We are working towards regular quarterly meetings for all homeschoolers; support groups for homeschool parents who are disabled or widowed; quarterly activities just for parents and grandparents. We are very excited about a new event coming in August, but we’re sworn to secrecy and would have to enter the witness protection program if we spilled the beans on this one!

Articles: One of our volunteers is working on a blog series entitled “Homeschooling: The Dark Side.” This won’t be your typical feel-good, warm-and-fuzzy series, but we hope we can all learn some valuable lessons from it. Homeschool parents will share real-life experiences and honest opinions about the times things didn’t turn out as planned. The series will tackle topics such as field trips, co-ops, curricula, printables, and more.

These are just some of the offerings and projects we’re working on at NGCHE this year. Drop us an email if you have any questions. Keep your eye on our website and facebook page for details. And don’t forget to share us with your friends. We look forward to this new year together.

© 2017-2018 Northern Gulf Coast Home Educators

 

Honoring our Veterans

Veterans Day Celebration 2017 collage with logo

William F. Green State Veterans Home celebration; Bayside Belles of Daphne

NGCHE paid a visit to the William F. Green State Veterans Home in Bay Minette, Alabama, today for their public Veterans Day ceremony. What an honor to celebrate those brave men and women! We arrived with approximately 160 handmade cards to pass out to the residents. The Bayside Belles of Daphne helped us out.

We enjoyed the ceremonies and were impressed with the program and the many guests. But today’s highlight did not come out of the pomp and circumstance. It was one of those personal experiences gained from spending time with another person, from engaging in his world for a few moments.

After the program ended, we made the rounds through the facility. We stopped in the dining hall to shake the hand of a WWII veteran who had flown on the third Honor Flight out of Mobile, Alabama, to Washington, DC. As we thanked him for his service, he began to cry and squeeze my hand tighter.

A couple of us had been on a trip to DC just a few years ago. We told of visiting some of the same memorials and landmarks as he had done and what that meant to us. I thought of how much we owed him for his service, and all those who came before and after. “Thank You” just doesn’t seem to be enough, but it’s a start.

We met and thanked many veterans today from all branches of service. But the appreciation in the eyes of the Honor Flight vet stuck with us. A man who deserved all the thanks in the world, who had seen more horrors than most, had the most thankful heart of all.

© 2017 – Northern Gulf Coast Home Educators

Veterans Day Thank You Project

Thank You Veterans

Homeschoolers, Friends, and Family

Monday, November 6 from 9 AM – 11 AM: Join us at Municipal (Langan) Park (4901 Zeigler Blvd) in Mobile as we work on a project to say “Thank You” to our local veterans. We will meet at covered tables 9 and 10 near the water to work on cards and goodie bags for the residents of the William F. Green Veterans Home in Bay Minette. The goodies will be delivered in time for Veterans Day, Nov. 11th.

Come and go as your schedule permits. All ages are welcome. Family and friends, too! We’ll have something for everyone to do. Painting, hand lettering, coloring, cutting, pasting, folding, assembling bags, etc. Wear old clothing to guard against stains from markers, Sharpies, or paint.

What to bring?

1. Writing utensils. Adults & older kids – Black sharpies or ball point pens. Younger kids – Crayons.

2. If you have school or crafting supplies such as glue, scissors, construction paper or stamps, and you can bring them, please do. The more of these we have to share, the more cards we can make.

3. Bags of candy or other small treats like raisins, crackers, or cookies. This is a GREAT opportunity to take advantage of post holiday sales. Please no peanuts, items that tend to melt (like chocolate), or treats with Halloween themed wrappers.

4. Picnic lunch to eat when we are done.

For a sneak peek at some of the card concepts we’ll be working on, see NGCHE’s Art Project Pinterest Board.

If you can’t join us but would like to donate to the project, email us at NorthernGulfCoastHomeEducators@outlook.com.

EDITED TO ADD:

NGCHE has been invited to attend the Veterans Day public celebration at the William F. Green Veterans Home in Bay Minette to pass out cards & goodies, and meet the veterans. See details in invitation below. Please email us if you plan to join the group!

Veterans Day Invite

© 2017 – Northern Gulf Coast Home Educators

Original photo courtesy of Kai Kalhh, Pixabay.

Week in Review

Week of Oct 16 in Review

This was a SUPER busy week for the folks at NGCHE! It began with visits to Victory Teaching Farm in Midtown on both Monday and Wednesday. Work has just begun to make the garden handicapped-accessible, and word has it that the farm is looking to add chickens as well.

Volunteers attended Victory’s Third Annual Farmraiser and were absolutely amazed at the delicious dishes prepared by talented chefs using locally grown and raised food. Some of the vegetables came straight out of the garden on site. Cammie’s Old Dutch Ice Cream Shoppe prepared satsuma ice cream that would knock your socks off!

Victory Teaching Farm is a wonderful community service opportunity for homeschool students. Volunteers are needed in the morning hours. Staff typically complete outdoor work by midday, though helpers are free to come and go as their schedule permits. All ages are welcome.

Our October graduation meeting was held at Skyline Bowling Lanes in Mobile. Moms talked details about ordering caps and gowns, diplomas, invitations, etc. The next graduation meeting will be held on Nov. 14 at Newk’s on Satchel Paige Drive in Mobile. Pastor Melissa Aaron of Robertsdale Church of the Nazarene, our host for graduation, will join us. If you are interested in taking part in the Mobile/Baldwin Community Graduation Ceremony for Class of 2018, make plans to attend a monthly meeting. Enrollment will close several months in advance of graduation.

We wrapped up the week with The Conclusion of Edgar Allan Poe at Playhouse in the Park. The show featured excerpts from The Telltale Heart, The System of Dr. Tarr and Prof. Fether, King Pest, and The Cask of Amontillado. The performance was excellent all the way around — acting, costumes, and props. We were amazed by the special effects as Fortunato was entombed brick by brick in The Cask.

In King Pest, we encountered Legs and Hugh Tarpaulin patronizing a London ale house.

“They were eyeing, from behind a huge flagon of unpaid-for ‘humming-stuff,’ the portentous words, ‘No Chalk,’ which to their indignation and astonishment were scored over the doorway by means of that very mineral whose presence they purported to deny.”

Some of our audience members, parents and students alike, were a bit puzzled as to the meaning of the phrase ‘No Chalk.’ Poe, being a master of the absurd, turned the figure of speech into a literal event that drove the story to its conclusion, and he gave his audience a bit of irony to boot. ‘No Chalk‘ which literally means ‘No Credit‘ was scrawled on a sign in… you guessed it… chalk.

Coming up next week on the blog:

Learn more about Nature Connect, a new program for area children and families.

Find useful tips for sharing information effectively on social media.

Get a sneak peak on more field trips and fun events we’re working on for fall and early winter, including announcements for upcoming Victory Teaching Farm workdays.

© 2017 Northern Gulf Coast Home Educators

Victory Teaching Farm

Victory Teaching FarmsVictory Teaching Farm is located at 261 Rickarby Street in Midtown Mobile near the Loop. Increasing health and wellness, reducing hunger, promoting community and economic development are just a few of their objectives.

Victory held its 3rd Annual Down-to-Earth Farmraiser on Thursday, October 19th. NGCHE volunteers first assisted farm staff on October the 16th and 18th to get ready for that event. Victory welcomes NGCHE families and students who would like to volunteer at the farm.

One Seed to Change a City - Victory Teaching Farm

What jobs do volunteers do at Victory Teaching Farms?

  • Pull weeds
  • Sort seeds
  • Fill beds
  • Prepare transplant trays
  • Water
  • Harvest
  • And much more

The facility has lots of raised beds, a large greenhouse, and plenty of hanging pots that need tending. There is a job for everyone. And the best part is that all ages are welcome! Bring your families and friends, and come ready to pitch in!

Upcoming workdaysVictory Teaching Farm workdays

Thursday, November 16 & Friday, November 17, 2017

Those who can are asked to arrive by 8:30 AM and RSVP with NGCHE at least 24 hours in advance. This will allow Victory staff to make the best use of volunteer manpower by organizing activities before our arrival.

To RSVP, email homeschoolfieldtrips@outlook.com with the number in your party and their ages. All are welcome — parents, youth, and children of all ages, grandparents, friends, neighbors. Victory won’t turn down any helpers who come ready to work! Wear shoes that can get wet, clothes that can get dirty, and a smile!

© 2017 – Northern Gulf Coast Home Educators

Hurricane Harvey Homeschool Supply Drive – Closed

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Supply Drive Closed. Thank you to all who participated!

Free2Homeschool of Southwest Alabama has partnered with Texas Home Educators to assist with relief efforts for homeschool families affected by the flooding from Hurricane Harvey. We are collecting NEW school supply items to be donated to our neighbors in the Houston, Galveston, and Beaumont areas.

Acceptable items include NEW school supplies that are easily transported such as:


Paper, Notebooks, Pens, Pencils, Hand-held Sharpeners, Erasers, Crayons, Glue, Scissors, Markers, Highlighters, Paper Clips, Rubber Bands, Rulers, Protractors, Compasses, etc.


Books, textbooks, or anything bulky or heavy cannot be accepted. To assist with textbook recovery, see the facebook group THE Homeschoolers Helping Homeschoolers.

Our Mobile/Baldwin County collection drive is now over. The following groups and businesses participated in our drive as collection sites. We give our heartfelt thanks for their willingness to help and their participation.

Mobile County, Alabama Drop-off Sites:
Breakout Games – Mobile, 3090 Dauphin Square Conn, Mobile

Kallie’s Cheer and Gymnastics, 7361 Zeigler Blvd B, Mobile

Lazer Zone, 790 Schillinger Rd North, Mobile

Pronto Pawn, 5790 Hwy 90, Theodore

Redemption Church, North Mobile Campus, Rev. Ed. Litton, Senior Pastor, 1251 Industrial Pkwy, Saraland.

Baldwin County, Alabama Drop-off Sites:
Eastern Shore Baptist Church, Rev. Stuart Davidson, Senior Pastor, 6847 Park Dr, Daphne.

Eastern Shore Lanes, 10460 Eastern Shore Blvd, Spanish Fort

 

© 2015-2017 HeartofaHomeschooler