Sunday, November 25, 2018

What About...

Has anyone else out in the cyber universe noticed how increasingly violent and combative 'Black Friday' has become? I generally enjoy visiting various stores following the Thanksgiving holiday in search of various bargains, but each and ever year we are hearing reports of violence in stores as shoppers attempt to race against time to get an item before another. In some cases, the violence has nothing to do with sales or shopping at all. It isn't exactly the perfect picture of the unofficial start of the holiday season. The holiday season is supposed to be about kindness, sharing, giving, family, friends, etc. Certainly shopping for others is a part of giving, but the concept of kindness is lost on Black Friday as people are literally willing to push and shove their way through crowds to get what they want. What at one point in time was a very enjoyable, seasonable thing to do (shop for others for the holidays), is turning into something dangerous and selfish. The commercialization of all of our holidays has caused many in society to be blind to our fellow citizens that are truly in need. Each and every year, we hear more and more stories of our charitable organizations experiencing a shortfall in products/funds to support those that are in need. People all throughout our country need our help in some way, shape, or form. It can be minimal in nature. It can be as simple as carrying some bags for someone or cleaning off a car for someone else in a snow storm. What would happen if everyone that was shopping on Black Friday donated just 10% of their savings from the sales that they found to a local charity that supports families in need? What if instead of Black Friday or a week of shopping, our society had a week of supporting others as a tradition? What if our children attended field trips to food pantries and community service organizations rather than amusement parks, movies, and arts events? The problem is that so many of us are not exposed to the concept of giving and supporting others, that we don't even realize that there is a problem. The American way is to believe that someone else is always the problem and someone else will fix it. It's time that we as a community turn back the clock to a time where people cared about each other more than they cared about stuff. What about a national day of kindness and giving? I wonder what that would look like? Someday, we will get there, because if not, our entire way of life and society is in jeopardy.

LGBTQ Youth Opportunities 

One of our local organizations, OOAK Showcase, has recently opened up a new art exhibit entitled AWAKEN to benefit a local advocacy center, the Q Center. In light of the recent tragedy in Waterville, it's more important than ever that our children, all of our children, have an outlet and the ability to be heard. Combined with the art exhibit, OOAK will also be hosting an event on Thursday, November 29 entitled Book Talk, and another one entitled Spoken Word on Friday, November 30. For more information about these events, please visit the following links:
Thank you to the OOAK Showcase for the constant and continued support of our students and families. 

RFA Class Holiday Window Competition

In conjunction with our local JCP, who is a tremendous supporter of our local education, families, and students; each of the individual RFA cohorts has decorated a holiday window display at the local JCP as a fundraising event. The window paintings will be on display throughout the holiday season and you can vote for your favorite window in the store. The winning class will receive a $200 donation from JCP. Thank you to JCP for sponsoring such a fun event which brings the school and community together during the holiday season.  Students from each class volunteered their time and creative ability to design the best windows for Rome, so make sure to get out and vote for your favorite!

Concert Season

The winter concert season is upon us! Over the next 3 weeks, you can catch a wonderful musical performance by one of our musical groups on almost any given day. With each school having at least one performance and the secondary schools having multiple performances, it truly is a great 3 week stretch of enjoying some music. For a complete list of our concert schedule, please visit our WEBSITE