Everyone’s first question when we tell them about our trip is “Where’s the first stop?” Much to their surprise, the answer is Richmond Virginia. Just two hours away from our current home, Richmond is not exactly an exotic locale or National Park with majestic vistas. But Richmond has something better: my childhood best friend, Zoe Parrish. Zoe and I were inseparable from when I was 4 years old until I was 10 years old when her family moved to Richmond.
Now Zoe is married to a wonderful guy named Stan and they live with their dog Poppers in a home just outside Richmond. Zoe works as a Special Needs Elementary School teacher at the school that Stan attended as a kid, Byrd Elementary School in Goochland County. Zoe is a fantastic teacher, she earned Teacher of the Year in 2009 for her school and is now working on a Masters Degree in Instructional Technology. We will be staying with them for a few days next week to kick off our trip.
The Byrd Elementary School students have already proven to be successful do-gooders. This year through meeting reading goals and getting sponsorship from community members, they have raised over $17,000 through the Read to Feed program. The money will be split three ways, for the local food bank, for Heifer International, and for the school’s Media Center (library). Check out this nice post on the school’s website that explains the program and includes quotes from both Zoe and her mom, Kathy Albert, who is the guidance counselor at Byrd.
During our stay, Jay and I will work at the school on a few projects that the teachers have suggested. Jay will be using his building skills to create some stands for the Outdoor Learning Lab. I will be working with the school’s Librarian to help with organizing and research. Since the library / media center is going to be a beneficiary of the fund raising the librarian has the enormous task of figuring out the best way to utilize the money.
So… question time…