Is “Tolerance” a Good Thing?

I have a confession to make: I cringe each time I hear someone say they practice tolerance. Being a full supporter of equal rights for LGBTQ+ people, wouldn’t I be happy to hear people “practice tolerance”? Why would I have that inner reaction?

I might “tolerate” bad weather, someone cursing, loud music in a peaceful park, or rude drivers. Each of these has negative impact which might require tolerance. Someone being a part of the LGBTQ+ community does not have a negative impact on me, and thus there is nothing for me to “tolerate”.

Am I merely not understanding the meaning of the word? I checked with Merriam-Webster (https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tolerance).

  • First definition: “capacity to endure pain or hardship: ENDURANCE, FORTITUDE, STAMINA” (capitalization theirs). When I work with someone who identifies as LGBTQ+, I’m certainly not thinking about how I have to “endure” them! Having people who are different is a benefit, not a hardship.

  • Second definition, part a: “sympathy or indulgence for beliefs or practices differing from or conflicting with one’s own”. In no way do I feel like I am “indulging” LGBTQ+ people because their “practices differ from or conflict with” mine. We are all different; I no more have to “indulge” someone for being in that group than someone who has different colored eyes or hair than I do, or whom prefers a different flavor of ice cream. There is no need for sympathy or to “indulge” them for being different than me. To the contrary I am happy to embrace diversity.

  • Second definition, part b: “the act of allowing something: TOLERATION”. I most certainly don’t “allow” someone to be lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender, queer, etc. any more than they “allow” me to be straight. They simply are who they are and I am who I am. Nothing to tolerate either way.

  • Third definition, “the allowable deviation from a standard”. “Standard” according to whom? It is not “standard” to fit all common “categories” — and if someone was normal in all ways that in itself would be non-standard.

None of the definitions of “tolerance” seem to fit the idea of acceptance, and yet it is often used.The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) talks about tolerance in multiple mission statement examples. https://www.aclu.org/other/gsa-mission-statement-examples

November 16th is the International Day For Tolerance. https://www.un.org/en/events/toleranceday/index.shtml

There’s a website on Teaching Tolerance. https://www.tolerance.org

The U.N. has “Declaration of Principles on Tolerance”, which is interesting to read and may be key as to why tolerance has been used with LGBTQ+ people. There they have their own definition of tolerance!
http://portal.unesco.org/en/ev.php-URL_ID=13175&URL_DO=DO_TOPIC&URL_SECTION=201.html

Regardless of how the U.N. defines tolerance, most dictionaries seem to agree with Merriam-Webster and the word certainly carries the connotation of tolerating something that is bad or annoying.

Wouldn’t it be better to use the word inclusive? Again back to Merriam-Webster: “including everyone especially: allowing and accommodating people who have historically been excluded (as because of their race, gender, sexuality, or ability)”. (Italics theirs) https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/inclusive

Tolerance or inclusive, what do you think?

Anne & Michael Glasser make a great writing team. Anne likes to write and Michael is a fantastic editor! Bilby, Michael’s pocket bear, is the Editor in Chief! They have two magnificent teens who are constantly teaching them how to make this world a better place, and they are listening.

2020-21 School Year Starting in Days… What Options Do I Have?

With COVID-19 still on the rampage and school starting soon (for AZ, August 6th!), many of us are wondering what our schooling options are. Do we send our kids to a brick-and-mortar? Buy or create a curriculum to homeschool? Enroll in an online school?

What is safe for my children and family? How do I know what is the right decision for my family? If I do decide to go with an online school, which one? In this article we will explore those options and hopefully help you decide what is best for your family.

Brick-and-Mortar

First, a quick definition: A brick-and-mortar school is any physical school your child might attend. 

PUSD is currently planning on starting school on August 6th with two weeks of online school and then potentially moving to face-to-face classes, depending on what the recommendations from the Arizona Department of Education Roadmap. They discuss more of this here: https://www.prescottschools.com/blog/22387/

For some, students and parents, the uncertainty of how school is going to happen this year may be stressful and your family may desire a more predictable school year.

Also, there is the concern of contracting or spreading COVID-19. Schools, unfortunately, with their inevitable close contact, are one of the biggest ways to spread this pandemic, no matter the precautions taken!

If not a brick-and-mortar, then what?

Homeschooling

It is important to make decisions based on your children and family unit. There is no one-size fits all when it comes to schooling options. Know your limitations and capabilities because it can make or break how things go. 

To start with, ask yourself these three questions:

Is your child self-motivated or do they need someone to hold their hand along the way?

A lot will depend on your children’s ages and personalities. 

Ask yourself:

  • How available are you for them, especially if you have younglings? 
  • Do you have the ability to multi-task well? If not, is this something you can and are willing to learn?

For homeschooling, our experience is that in grades K-4 they needed a lot more hands on assistance from us and less as they’ve gotten older

What style of learning does my child learn best with?

Because we live in a state that doesn’t have specific requirements for homeschooling, you can do whatever you feel is best. You can teach in whatever way you want, leave out or add any subject, and set your own schedule for schooling. You don’t need to check in with anyone to make sure you are “in school”, testing is up to you, and you have many other benefits, though this also means you are largely left unchecked if you are unintentionally leaving out important parts of a curriculum.

If you do use your own curriculum you need to let the county know that you are planning on schooling at home. This is a very simple process and only takes minutes.

You will need to print an Affidavit of Intent to Homeschool (https://www.afhe.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/affidavit_of_intent_to_homeschool_rev2019.pdf). Along with this document you will need a copy of your child’s birth certificate, have the affidavit notarized, and send it into the county. Here is the mailing address and phone number for Yavapai County:
Tim Carter
2970 Centerpointe East Drive,
Prescott, AZ 86301
928-771-3326

If this is the road you want to explore, I recommend connecting with a local homeschooling group and ask questions; they are an awesome resource! 

How much does homeschooling cost?

Homeschooling can be as expensive or inexpensive as you’d like! There are pre-made curriculum available; some by subject, some by grade, religious preferences, teaching method, field trips, and the list goes on. With that said, you will likely find you want materials to best serve the needs of your children. This can include the basics like pencils and paper and other common office supplies, to materials needed for science experiments or other materials you might not have at home. There are many resources to find lessons that use fairly inexpensive materials. 

Another Option: Online Schools

There are variety of free online public schools. There are also virtual private and / or religious schools that vary abundantly in prices.

If you decide to enroll in a public online school, you do not need to file an Affidavit of Intent to Homeschool.

To learn more about a school, you can check out the website and / or call them and ask questions such as these:

  1. What kind of computer and / or browser works with the school’s system?
  2. Does the school supply textbooks and other items needed for class (such as science experiments)?
  3. Is the school accredited, and if so by what organization(s)?
  4. What is the ratio of students to teachers?
  5. Are there any hidden fees?
  6. Lastly, what is the expected role as a parent?

Of course, not all kids are the same. With our kids, now grades 8 and 9, we certainly are supportive and help them when needed, but for the most part they are successful with an online school without much assistance or prodding from us. At the same time, we make ourselves available should they need us.

Below are some free public online school options.

Grades: K-12

 

Grades: K-12

 

Grades: K-12

 

Grades: 9-12

 

Grades: K-12

 

Grades: 7-12

The links below will give you an idea of what will be taught using an accredited online school. These links will also help familiarize you with the terms used in online schooling and supply answers to more questions and / or concerns you may have:

 

 

Arizona is a state that offers a wide variety of options for schooling; brick-and-mortar, homeschooling, and online schools. Remember, this is doesn’t have to be a rest-of-school-life decision. Just take one year at a time and adjust as needed.

If you have more questions or concerns, I recommend joining Arizona Homeschool Chapter (https://www.facebook.com/groups/311460192366429/), a local homeschooling group. I found the families to be incredibly helpful and supportive with both creating a curriculum and doing online schooling.

 

Anne & Michael Glasser make a great writing team. Anne likes to write and Michael is a fantastic editor! Bilby, Michael’s pocket bear, is the Editor in Chief! They have two magnificent teens who are constantly teaching them how to make this world a better place, and they are listening.

GYCC Addresses Hate Filled Student Video

As many of you are already aware, there was recently a video captured of a local Prescott High School student making hateful and threatening remarks toward the LGBTQ+ community. GYCC has been in communication with Prescott Unified School District, Launchpad Teen Center and others involved with our community to assure action is being taken to keep our community safe.

GYCC Board Members met with PHS Faculty and PUSD representatives this morning over Google Meet. Everyone in attendance was on the same page that more action needs to be taken to support the LGBTQ+ youth in our area, and staff of the school and school district are listening to our community.

Know that there are long-term plans to implement inclusive education and support for our LGBTQ+ students.

You can get more info about the incident that began the discussion, and our response, on our blog. Link is below.

Content warning: This post describes explicit threats of violence and hate speech against the LGBTQ+ community.

MORE INFO + GYCC’S RESPONSE

If you are having a hard time and need support or resources,
please reach out to us. gyccinfo@gmail.com

GYCC’s Statement Regarding Hate Message Against LGBTQ+ Community

Content warning: This post describes explicit threats of violence and hate speech against the LGBTQ+ community.

Earlier this week, a video surfaced in local social media circles of a Prescott High School student’s Snapchat video. In this video, the student addresses the audience, saying that he thinks “all gays deserve to f***ing die” and goes on to describe his intentions to harm any transgender person he sees enter a restroom he feels they don’t belong in at the school. He specified “we are going to” beat them up, which many community members think implies he assumes support in his stance. He continued, saying, “They are going to get the s*** beat out of them, and they can’t do anything.”

Soon after, an apology video from the student also circulated local social media. Many speculate the apology was not genuine, and was simply damage control, as he clarifies that his comments do not represent him, his brothers, his parents or family, nor do they represent PHS, or any athletic teams he is on at the school. Prescott’s The Daily Courier responded with an article denouncing the hate speech of the student: Prescott High School student posts threatening video on social media.

Prescott High School also responded, on behalf of the school district:

The Prescott Unified School District (PUSD) respects and champions the diversity and life experiences of all community members. We promote a mission to provide a safe and supportive environment that fosters a comprehensive education for all students so that they may reach their full potential. Our Motto is “Every Child, Every Day.”

Over the weekend, a video shared on social media of a student making offensive remarks was brought to the attention of Prescott High School (PHS) and PUSD Administration. The post does not reflect the values of PHS or the PUSD community. This video was strongly concerning and saddening to us. It spurred response from across the community and even the country. We have spent our weekend responding to these concerns and working closely with students and families involved. When we say Every Child, Every Day, we mean it.

PUSD is committed to supporting the many different races, genders, religions, and sexual orientations throughout our schools and community. Every Child, Every Day means that when students show intolerance, we must work with them to not only hold them accountable, but also to provide opportunities for them to learn from mistakes and re-examine the importance of tolerance. This is a societal challenge, and our country is grappling with this. As teachers, neighbors and community members, we are committed to guide, educate, and promote love and acceptance.

Though we are not able to share details regarding disciplinary actions, we can assure you that we have responded swiftly and appropriately. We will not tolerate any threats to the welfare of anyone in our community. PUSD continues to be known for handling disciplinary situations seriously while keeping values of compassion and redirection in the forefront. We continue our commitment to protecting all students and staff in PUSD.

Greater Yavapai County Coalition (GYCC) is dedicated to protect and serve the LGBTQ+ Community and support under represented populations.  We are deeply concerned about the recent video posted by Prescott High School Student.  This was a direct and deliberate threat to the physical health and safety of LGBTQ+ students and faculty at PHS.  We will be filing a complaint with the Prescott Police Department and letting them know of our concerns.

We appreciate your prompt response and commitment to supporting the many different races, genders, religions and sexual orientations represented in our schools and community.  However, as a community that deals with violence and oppression on a daily basis, we do not agree that this can be passed off as a “Societal Challenge”.

This is a direct and specific problem with Prescott High School, The City of Prescott and the Prescott Community. We repeat that this was a clear threat and a very direct promise of violence against trans and LGBTQ+ students.

In the past, GYCC has worked with PCH to help start the Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) and offered training and support to staff and administration.  We acknowledge the hard work and progress made in the areas of social justice and inclusivity.

We would like to continue to be a part of the solution and are here to offer support, education, training and resources.  We understand that during this time of crisis there are tremendous demands on the administration and staff. We would like to come along side and help in any way we can.

We would like to offer mentorship and training to support the existing GSA and partner with organizations such as The Launch Pad and One in Ten to help guide, educate and promote love and acceptance and tolerance.

We will make the following resources and trainings available free and in a format that allows Social Distancing and Safety.

  • Mentorship and Training for GSA Students, Leaders and Staff Support
  • Inclusivity and Sensitivity training for Staff and Administration by Zoom.
  • Suicide Prevention and Intervention Training for Staff & Administration
  • Social Justice and Restorative Justice Training for Staff/Administration

We understand that we are currently in a crisis situation and will provide information and support that is easily accessible, timely and free of charge.  These include:

  • Crisis Lines, Support Lines and Suicide Prevention Hot Lines
  • Local Resource Lists for Teachers, Staff and Administration
  • On-call help/response for crisis situations from GYCC & local Agencies trained in Inclusivity and LGBTQ+ issues.

Our staff at GYCC is available for questions, counseling and support at gyccinfo@gmail.com.  We will respond promptly by phone or email as needed. We hope we can work together with other resources in the community to help alleviate this issue and build a better future.

Sincerely,

Molly Freibott, Director of Operations
John Duncan, Events Director
Sylvia Wauters, Social & Website Director
Pat Beidel, Community Resource Director
Teresa Landreth, Director of Trans Programming

Greater Yavapai County Coalition
AZ-GYCC.org
gyccinfo@gmail.com

America in Crisis

On Memorial Day May 25 th , 2020; during the CoVid-19 Pandemic, raging in our world an event happened that changed everything. George Floyd was murdered at the hands (knee) of an 18-year veteran of the Minneapolis Police Force. The officer had over 15 prior citizens’ complaints of the use of excessive force. The officer planted his knee into Mr. Floyd’s neck-for 8 minutes and 46 seconds; he cried I can’t breathe. This horrendous event should never have happened. Mr. Floyd received the death penalty without being charged, without a judge and without a jury of his peers…he died at the hands of those that are responsible for our public safety. Since 5/25/2020 Demonstrations have taken place in cities and countries around the world demanding Police Reform/Defunding.

We need to stop the “double standard”. Justice for all is not an expression it is a requirement. We cannot be complacent, color-blind or out of touch, can’t stick your head in the sand and think it is going to go away. Systemic racism in the United States has devalued the lives of Black Americans. (Dewey Clayton, University of Louisville)

Most Americans 7 out of 10 say race relations in the U.S. are bad and getting worse. Over 60% feel it has become more common for individuals to express racist or racially insensitive remarks since Donald Trump became President. Race relations are tenuous and as a society we need to make it a priority to change the current “social norms”. Black men and women should not be in fear for their lives every time they have an encounter with a police officer. The police’s role in communities has become militaristic; instead of “protect and serve” as their goal they have been obtaining Military Style weapons and have lost the “Community Police Prevention Actions”. A traffic stop should not become the death penalty!

Trump’s handling of this issue has been “law and order” and encouraging violence. He tweeted “when the looting starts the shooting starts”. People not seeing discrimination where it exists is a bigger problem in the U.S. than people want to acknowledge. Systemic racism in the United States has devalued and dehumanized the lives of Black Americans. We must take action now. The legacy of slavery and Jim Crow laws have left a large hole in our society. Racism and systemic oppression need to be discussed at the highest level and laws need to be drafted that gives equal opportunity for all Americans’. Racial inequity is a public health problem. “All men are created equally”, police brutality is one of many discriminatory issues that negatively impact Black Americans, housing, education, healthcare, employment, over represented in prison population, poverty and various other negative health indicators. (Race in America 2019)

Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated holiday in the United States, and represents the ending of slavery!

Juneteenth celebrates the freedom of enslaved people in the United States and the end of the Civil War. On January 1, 1863, the Emancipation Proclamation, declared enslaved people in the Confederacy free-if Union won the War. The Proclamation turned the war into a fight for FREEDOM. At the end of the war 200,000 black soldiers had joined the fight, spreading news of freedom as they fought their way through the South. (National Geographic, Sidney Combs 2019).

Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863. Since Texas was one of the last strongholds of the South, the 250,000 enslaved people in Texas did not learn of their freedom until Union General Gordon Granger rode into Galveston, Texas, and announced enslaved people are now free. This announcement came over 2 years after the Emancipation Proclamation. (12 things you might not know about Juneteenth, Stacy Conradt 6/19/2018.)

According to historian James Smallwood, many slave owners deliberately did not give the information until after the harvest, and some beyond that. Despite the announcement, Texas slave owners were not eager to part with what they felt was their property. When freed people tried to leave, many were beaten, lynched, or murdered. “They would catch freed slaves swimming across the Sabine River and shoot them”.

With the announcement by General Granger, on June 19th, 1865 that the President had issued a proclamation, all slaves are free. This involves equality of personal rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and new ties between employer and hired labor.” Initial Juneteenth celebrations commemorating the end of slavery spread across the South. In 1980, Texas became the first state to recognize June 19th as a state holiday, which it did with legislation. Juneteenth is recognized in nearly every state, and there is an effort underway for federal recognition. This Juneteenth, the Movement for Black Lives and many partner organizations are leading actions across the country to defund the police, invest in Black communities, and call for Trump to resign.

“Juneteenth is a day that honors Black freedom and Black resistance, and centers Black people’s unique contribution to the struggle for justice in the U.S. This Juneteenth is a rare moment for our communities to proclaim in one voice that Black Lives Matter, and that we won’t tolerate anything less than justice for all our people.” https://sixnineteen.com/about/

Tulsa Race Massacre

The Tulsa race massacre of 1921 took place on May 31 and June 1, 1921. Tulsa’s Greenwood District, known as the nation’s “Black Wall Street,” was one of the most prosperous Black American communities in the United States. On May 31st a mob inflamed by rumors that a young black man had raped a white girl. The blood bath lasted for 18 hours. More than 800 people were admitted to hospitals and as many as 6,000 black residents were interned at large facilities. This massacre has been called “the single worst incident of racial violence in American history”. The attack, carried out on the ground and from private aircraft, destroyed more than 35 square blocks of the district-at that time the wealthiest black community in the United States, known as “Black Wall Street”.

Systemic racism must be addressed and eradicated. Police must be open to making major changes to the systems in place that continue to allow and reinforce the “them” vs “us” approach to community policing. Demonstrations around the world are calling for changes in policies and protocols that “allow” choke holes, no-knock subpoenas, excessive force, profiling and accountability. There are also calls to defund the police and invest in Black communities through education, housing, jobs and more.

“White privilege” refers to societal privilege that benefits white people over non-white, particularly if they are otherwise under the same social, political or economic circumstances (Wikipedia) “Birthright” a particular right of possession or privilege one has from birth. White Nationalist – a type of nationalism or pan-nationalism which espouses the belief that white people are a race and seeks to develop and maintain a white racial and national identity. They with and are attached to the concept of a white nation” make America white again” is their war cry.

Since the passage of the 13th Amendment by Congress on January 31, 1865, the 13th amendment abolished slavery in the United States, passed the Senate on April 8, 1864, and the House on January 31,1865. Since then every time Black Americans make clear advances toward full participation in the greater society they have been greeted with roadblocks. The end of slavery was met by Black Codes and Jim Crow laws, the 1954 Brown vs the Board of Education ruling was met with shutting down public schools throughout the South and using tax dollars paid for segregated white private schools. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 a landmark civil rights and labor law in the United States that outlaw’s discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. It prohibits unequal application of voter registration requirements, and racial segregation in schools, employment, and public accommodations.

As a society we must end the systemic racism present in the United States. The legacy of slavery, devaluing of human life, lynching’s and Jim Crow laws. There is a continuous struggle between the “haves” and the “have nots”. Those that have the means and resources are served a different set of rules and justice than persons of color. Americans that are Black are portrayed as criminals by media, less than human, “3/5ths Compromise” (United States Constitution race, class and gender,2007)

While people of color were suffering from white supremacy, all women were suffering from male supremacy. Neither white women or enslaved people could hold office, serve on juries, vote, obtain ownership of property in their own name and married women were denied the legal capacity to ho their own children. Discrimination, social injustice, gender, race, sexual orientation, disenfranchised, poverty, hatred and economic instability and the list goes on. We have an opportunity to embrace “real change; not lip service. We need to have open dialog. All players must be invited to the table. Police reform is at its highest level of “emergency” and since Mr. Floyd was heard saying “I can’t breathe”, other police encounters in other states have had police using excessive force! This violence did not start with George Floyd’s death, but we can say: it must end NOW.

We stand in solidarity with all Black Americans in mourning for their loss of a loved one. No mother should have to identify their 14-year-old son in a Morgue secondarily to being misidentified and shot by police. We are one community and as an organization that values diversity, equality and inclusion we stand with Black Lives Matter. We are passionate about serving members of our community and invite you to Stand up, speak up and Speak out against oppression and systemic racism. We are defined by how we treat people, as human beings. Our moral compass says if everyone isn’t free then no one is free. Freedom requires responsibility for one’s own actions. We abhor hate based organizations! Hate destroys the soul and dehumanizes. Demonstrations and protest continue; the streets are filled with people of all colors, race, sexual orientation, SES, education and age groups. They are gathering in the streets, parks and office buildings. Old, young and in between are risking their own health during this COVID-19 pandemic to gather in the streets and demand change. We cannot ignore the cries of mothers and fathers as they try to understand; “how my boy was shot in the back” by a police officer. We must remain steadfast and demand equality for all, concrete, obtainable change is going to take mass public outcry for our leaders to get off their collective asses and finally take action and dismantle the systems that led to the deaths of countless Black Americans.

We are all in this together and if we are truly invested in change, it will occur as long as we are alive, we must fight for equality and justice for all. I believe in humans. Humanity is depending on its leaders to do the right thing. Let’s move forward with our mission: GYCC is a 501-(c)(3) organization that provides an umbrella of resources, support, and connection to the LGBTQ+ community, friends, family, and allies across Yavapai County and Northern Arizona. GYCC provides a bridge between people in need and the organizations who serve them.

Respectfully submitted
Patricia K Beitel RN,MSN (retired)
Outreach Coordinator

Pat Beitel Joins “Grow Our Own”!

When Times get tough…the tough get gardening!

GYCC is reaching out to the Community to provide a sense of hope and a bit of control in these chaotic times. Together we can be prepared to thrive, no matter what comes next.

With the “Grow Our Own” Program we are working to increase the integrity of the local food chain, support Emergency Preparedness and provide a great way to meet new friends and make connections during quarantine!

This is Pat! Pat Beitel is a retired RN, MSN, WHNP with an absolute passion for community advocacy and public health. She believes that education is an equalizer and she jumped in at the chance to educate the public on emergency preparedness and food sustainability.

 

And this is Pat’s Straw Bale Garden!

Pat lives in the Mountains of Prescott and shares her lovely property with lots of wild life, including a family of deer. Normal in-ground gardening was not an option for Pat and her husband Gary, but she was excited to try out something new!

Straw Bale Gardening is a great opportunity for individuals, families and organizations to grow their own food and some to share with the Community.

  • Participants can choose to grow from one….to ten Straw Bales at their home or Organization.
  • GYCC will provide Education, Support and Networking with other Gardeners

After the Bales were delivered- Pat started the 10 day Conditioning Program where she added Nitrogen Fertilizer on specific days and soaked the bales daily. Here’s what that looks like:

After 10 days or so the Bales were ready to Plant!

But Pat wasn’t the only on excited about the Plants! A family of deer hungrily watched as she planted the beds. So here is Pat’s stylish solution to the local furry raiders.

 

Join GYCC and “Grow Our Own”!

Grow our Own” is a new approach to Gardening for the Community – It’s a Satellite, Grow your own Hay Bale Garden program Supporting Preparedness & Community Networking

  • Participants can choose to grow one…or ten Straw Bales at their home or Organization
  • GYCC will provide Education, Support & Networking to other gardens
  • Produce can be used for individuals or shared with the Community Network.

Hay Bales will provide gardening opportunity those who not capable of having a garden in their current living circumstances. This will be a pilot program to teach those who wish to learn about home gardening, and hopefully, with your help, provide starter kits to help them kick off their own personal gardens.

For more information or to start your own Straw Bale Garden Visit Us Here.

GYCC Gets Plants

WE HAVE PLANTS!

So after spending about 12 days Conditioning our Straw Bales, we eagerly awaited the chance to put in our “Plant Babies”.

The “Conditioning Phase” went pretty smoothly. Here’s the schedule we followed:

We just used regular, non-organic lawn fertilizer for the nitrogen this time and applied it as directed. Then we soaked them really well daily.

We eagerly watched the Bale Temperature on Days 13-15. We used our regular kitchen meat thermometer and just stuck it in the top of the bale

Because we got a bit of a late start, we decided to purchase plant starters, which are plants that have been commercially grown as opposed to starting our own from seeds. We were so excited that we purchased our Plant Babies a little too soon and had to keep them watered and shaded for a few days.

Here they are!

Now….we wait!

On Day 16 our Bales were still 125 degrees! It was so hard to wait!!

Finally, on Day 17 the Temperature dropped below 100 Degrees and we were able to give our Plant Babies a new home!

Here it is in all it’s Straw Bale Glory!

Join us next time as we check out our Satellite Garden at Pat Beidel’s House!

 

Molly Freibott is the Co Founder of GYCC. She has a passion for organizing, managing programs supporting the Community and Faith Based Programs, especially those for under supported populations.

Grow Your Own – Our First Garden!

GYCC’S “GROW OUR OWN” PROJECT – Preparing to Thrive!

So we wanted to start a Garden….in a hurry?

8 Weeks of Quarantine… Grocery Stores Empty… Schools Closed… Businesses Shuttered…
How do we start re-opening and prepare for a future that is unsure?  We do what Humans have always done in both hard times and good ones… Garden!

“To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow”
Audrey Hepburn

“But,” you might be thinking, “I don’t have room, time, good soil, lots of money. . .”

Well neither did we!  So we decided to try Straw Bale Gardening.

Follow along as we here at GYCC give Straw Bale Gardening (SBG) a try!!!

Like a lot of residents in Yavapai County, our property is basically giant rocks surrounded by clay.  I spent literally weeks digging out regular “in ground” beds and hauling in soil.  It was a LOT of work!

Enter Joel Karston’s Book “Straw Bale Gardens” and the glowing reviews from a co worker who shared these gorgeous pics of her SBG.

The idea of a No-Dig, Weed-Free, Self-Watering Garden was sounding pretty good!

We had an area in our back “Yard” whose only qualifications for garden readiness were:

  • Relative levelness
  • Access to a hose
  • Well….that’s it…

Here it is Before- we did clear out the weeds:

The only prep we did was to lay down card board donated from Prescott Maytag Show Room.  Thanks Maytag!

We ordered our Straw Bales from Olsens Grain in Dewey They helped us make sure we got straw: the yellow stuff, not hay or alfalfa.  They will deliver your bales straight to your home and even unload them for about $20.  (Be sure you tip well!)

During the early days of the Pandemic & lock down Straw and Alfalfa flew off the shelves as ranchers and farmers stocked up. Just another reason to start now while supplies are more secure.

We had a wonderful Volunteer make 2 trips in a pick-up truck to deliver our bales. Then Nick, my son and GYCC Volunteer, wheel barrow-ed them back to the area.

Here are the Supplies we purchased:

  • 6 T Poles to put at the end of each row of Bales
  • 2 Soaker Hoses
  • Wire and Wire Cutters
  • The Fertilizer – just regular High Nitrogen Fertilizer without any pesticide.

We may only need one soaker hose- so we’ll see.  Keep your receipts!

Now the bales are ready to be “conditioned”. For the next 10 days Science will turn these bales into mini-growing-powerhouses!

Learn more about the “Grow Our Own” Program Here!

 

Molly Freibott is the Co Founder of GYCC. She has a passion for organizing, managing programs supporting the Community and Faith Based Programs, especially those for under supported populations.

Grow Your Own – A Local Gardening Program

In these uncertain times, we are seeing a need for hope. People are needing a sense of control in their lives, no matter how small. We as a Community need to be prepared to thrive, whatever comes next.

GYCC is excited to announce our “Grow Our Own” Program!

“Grow our Own” is a new approach to Gardening for the Community – It’s a Satellite, Grow your own Hay Bale Garden program Supporting Preparedness & Community Networking

  • Participants can choose to grow one…or ten Straw Bales at their home or Organization
  • GYCC will provide Education, Support & Networking to other gardens
  • Produce can be used for individuals or shared with the Community Network.

Hay Bales will provide gardening opportunity those who not capable of having a garden in their current living circumstances. This will be a pilot program to teach those who wish to learn about home gardening, and hopefully, with your help, provide starter kits to help them kick off their own personal gardens.

We hope to have Co-op type gatherings where members of the community can trade some of their produce for produce raised by others, so one person only need worry about one type of produce, not multiple.

Here’s how you can help!

  • We are looking for donations of garden items: Fertilizer, potting soil, starter plants
  • Cash donations will be used for acquiring hay bales, plants and garden supplies
  • Gift Cards will help participants buy the needed plants and supplies

We are hoping that our new program will be that ray of hope in our Community and we are looking for partners who can help make that hope a reality.

Anyone who Donates or Partners with us will get full credit, a link on our website as well as education brochures/materials we produce for this program.

Thank you for your time and attention and we hope to hear from you soon!

Contact us at GYCCinfo@gmail.com.

 

Molly Freibott is the Co Founder of GYCC. She has a passion for organizing, managing programs supporting the Community and Faith Based Programs, especially those for under supported populations.

Homeschooling During Covid-19 Pandemic

In December, 2019 anew infectious disease was identified. This virus is a new member of the Corona Viruses. This new microorganism was unknown until the outbreak began in Wuhan, China. We have learned a lot about this “invisible enemy” since December, but we still have much to learn.

December, 2019 the world changed.

Suddenly our entire world was turned upside down. We were very much taken “by surprise”, not prepared for a World Health Crisis.

Since the onset of this pandemic, we have learned a lot, especially not to take things for granted. We have seen the worst and the best of the human psyche.

We will continue to “make it up as we go” because no one in our lifetime has experienced such a devastating illness; we have no idea yet how this virus is going to behave.

As of Mother’s Day, 2020, the Unites States had 1,309,541 cases and 78,795 deaths.

Suddenly Homeschooling

Abruptly, children all over the country were sent home from school. Preschools closed, colleges and universities were closed and/or went to remote online learning.

With school closures, schools have varied widely in what they have had to offer students. Schools have a legal, and, in my opinion, moral obligation to provide equitable learning opportunities. Often, Income – what zip code you are in – plays a major role in what is available depending on where you live. Prior to the pandemic, many public and some private schools did not have the necessary tools to teach students.

An image of a woman helping a boy with school work at the family dinner table.

Students from impoverished, disenfranchised, low income homes and communities are unable to provide their students with Laptops, Wi-fi, notebooks and basic school supplies.

Poverty is always a risk factor when it concerns individual health and safety.

When the pandemic “shut down” our schools, parents teachers and school administrators, the entire country, was ill prepared for the immediate impact of this global phenomenon. We had to make quick arrangements for “home schooling”, child care before and after school, and many other basic services. Many decisions had to be made rapidly.

To date, schools have been closed since March or April, depending on where you live. Each state has “their own” ideas of what to do when a pandemic occurs. With no National Pandemic Infrastructure in place the school systems have struggled to provide an education while keeping everyone safe. Only time will tell how effective we have been.

This week, the CDC laid out it’s retailed, delayed road map for opening schools, child care centers, restaurants and various other institutions. (Washington Post, 5/19/2020).

Will schools reopen? Will Children return to classrooms?

The range of changes in the classroom will be multifaceted and perhaps difficult to maintain. Schools must have the following systems in place:

  • Adequate supplies for proper hygiene: Soap, Hand Sanitizer, No-Touch Trash cans
  •  Social Distancing on buses, in classrooms and on the playground
  • Staggered pick up and drop off times
  • Daily Health Checks: Temperature Screenings
  • Limited gatherings & extracurricular activities
  • Closed Communal Spaces

This is a Strange New World. Maybe, when it is all said and done, we will be able to implement long term solutions. Solutions that will keep class size small, adequate educational material and opportunities for all students regardless of their social economic status. Remote learning, computers, digital notepads, Wi-fi and other types of learning enhancements may be the “new normal”.

Every child counts. Let’s make sure to take some lessons and learn from this “Silent Enemy”. We can do better.

Everyone deserves an opportunity to experience a quality education regardless of their Social Economic Status, race, creed, sexual orientation or Zip Code. Investing in education….it may save your life!

Here are some great resources to check out as we begin to think about reopening schools:

Washington Post Article on CDC Guidelines

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/cdc-guidelines-released-at-last-offer-low-key-guide-to-reopening/2020/05/19/c99eb63a-99f8-11ea-a282-386f56d579e6_story.html

Prescott Unified School District Responds to Corona Virus
https://www.prescottschools.com/blog/pusd-response-to-covid-19-coronavirus/

CDC School Decision Tool
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/schools-childcare/schools-decision-tool.html

Covid-19 plays Havoc on High School Graduations
https://www.newsbreakapp.com/n/0P4xlAtp?s=a3&pd=04jFDAkD

 

Patricia Beitel RN, MSN, WHNP (retired)
I am a product of my education; without it; I would have been a welfare statistic. As a young single, naïve teenager I “got pregnant” and became a mother at the grand old age of 19. I believe my “rough” start gave me a skill set that has allowed me to engage and advocate for the marginalized, disenfranchised, underserved individuals. My focus has been on community advocacy and public health. Education is an equalizer, a valuable commodity that no one can take away from you; use your resources and support public education.