The Reveal!

The Vision

In 12 hours the announcement will be made! In the process of dreaming about the win (oh, let us get the good word tomorrow!!! PLEASE!), I have formulated the first phase of the Da Vincineers in my mind. There were many questions to consider about how to operate this since I am a full-time working mom with 5 kids…

How can I fit this into my life from a time standpoint?

How can I make it a self-sustaining program financially?

Where will I host it?

What is my target for students I hope to serve?

Can I get funding from other sources?

And many, many others! I’m not going to attempt to answer it all here in one post, but I do want to give a general idea of what I am planning on doing and most of it IS covered.

We hope to buy a home with a space to run the program out of our home. This way we save on costs and can simply walk away at the end of the day in the middle of a project and jump right back in the next day. We also can involve our own kids in as many ways as possible. We could build or find a place with a triple garage or shop to use. Perhaps a basement we can convert into a workshop studio? We are also open to using another space if the price is right (meaning donated or super cheap!).

I plan to include my school community in the implementation of this program. I hope to work with all 7 elementary schools in my district and hire 2 Da Vincineer instructors per school, including Chester and me. Chester and I will design the general curriculum for a variety of classes to be offered (inventions, cartography, measurements of human anatomy using the Vitruvian Man as a model, oil painting using linear perspective, drama, musical instrument building, etc), provide the materials and transportation in the Vinci Van, which we plan to buy and use to transport kids from school to the program to their homes. Transportation is KEY when working with at-risk kids as many won’t be able to participate without it.

The instructors will teach the kids from their schools in small groups of 6-8 kids per group (so a total of 12-16 kids served per week between the 2 teachers) for 4 days per week, 2 hours per day. They will take the general curriculum idea, teach background knowledge and then allow the students to determine the lead of the class. The learning targets will be moving ones, determined by student passion! My heart soars as I type this! YES!

We will work on a rotating basis, with each school getting a week and teaching students recommended by teachers (and other sources). That means every school will be doing a program every 7 weeks. Chester and I will teach that often ourselves, plus be involved in supporting the other teachers and running transportation, in addition to providing curriculum and materials. In the summer, Chester and I will run summer camps where paying students will fund the program and we’ll offer scholarships to students in need (any extra funds generated can carry the program forward during the school year). We hope to raise funding during the school year from PTSA for schools with funds and from the community for those without strong PTSA support. We may also have some students that pay during the school year program as well, if needed and there is enough interest.

We’re not in this to make dough, we’re in this to inspire! After we get the space, the van and the major materials covered, we have to make it so it sustains itself and we need to pay highly motivating, skilled teachers well for their time. I am SO excited about this and I pray we get the good word tomorrow so we can move forward!!!

Da Vincineers- will the Renaissance begin?

Tuesday morning at about 9:00am Pacific time we will find out if the Da Vincineer program will have a fast-track Renaissance! If Amy Ferrell, creator of the Da Vincineers, wins the Macy’s Million Dollar Makeover, this amazing after school program will start taking its first steps forward! Be sure to visit Macy’s Facebook page to find out!

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