Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Incredible Woman #4 - Jyl Pattee. Wednesday's questions

Kara: "I read that you organized a bake sale to raise money to help Costa Rican families living in poverty. Can you tell us about that? How did you decide who to help?"

Jyl: "My mom and dad had friends that lived in Costa Rica. They had a daughter my age and asked if I could come for the summer. Before I went, my church class organized a bake sale and I took all the money we raised with me to Costa Rica. The mom of the family I stayed with had identified three families she knew in the community that were in dire straights. She took me to the store and helped me pick out and purchase food for these three families. She explained about the differences in what we ate and helped me know what would last the longest. We bought staples like beans, rice, flour, etc. Then, she took me all by myself to deliver the packages to each of the family. I will never forget their faces and the looks of surprise and overwhelming gratitude. It was the first time I had seen poverty up close. That experience opened my eyes."

Kara: "You’ve been busy in the community as well – you’ve served as a PTO president and on the board for a charter school. Tell us your ideas about the importance of education and why you chose a charter school over public school (love that choice, by the way!)."

Jyl: "In a past career, I was an instructional designer and I had strong opinions about the type of learning style I wanted my children to benefit from. My choice to put them in a charter school didn't have anything to do with thinking one was better or worse. I respect everyone's decisions where that is concerned. It was more that they got accepted into a school whose methodology I completely subscribed to. It was a brand new school, so there was definitely a risk, but it was a great choice. As far as education, the biggest things for me are agile and character-based learning. I really believe that kids learn in different ways and accepting and teaching to the various styles reaches more kids. I also believe in being actively involved. I participated heavily in the PTO the first couple of years my kids were in school and now I mainly participate weekly in the classroom given that stats show a high correlation to kids' success in the classroom and parental involvement."


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