Tag Archives: Fletcher School

Amazon Smiles On Your Charity

Amazon.com rocks, dudes.

It really does. I’m not big on pushing a lot of corporations with endorsements, but I find myself making an exception in this case. Yes, I understand that Amazon.com is making things harder for brick-and-mortar stores (especially book stores) and other local places of commerce, but. . . well. . . It’s just so darn convenient for me.

I’m a member of Amazon Prime, which means I pay a piddling fee and I get free two-day delivery, lots of free streaming movies and other great bennies. It’s totally worth the money to me.

And here’s the thing: Amazon is making an actual effort to give back to the community, to my community. It’s giving %0.5 percent of my purchases (and I make a lot of them) to a charity I choose.

In my case, the charitable giving is going to The Fletcher School, a school in Charlotte that is for kids with learning disabilities. Zippy the College Boy graduated from there and Hyper Lad is a ninth-grader in the school right now. It’s a great place and I’m thrilled we’re able to give to its mission every time I purchase something on Amazon.com.

The thing is, Amazon.com isn’t doing this only for me. The company will donate to your favorite charitable organization also. All you have to do is start all your shopping at smile.amazon.com instead of amazon.com. You go there, designate the recipient of your giving and then you’re done.

Simply make sure you put smile. at the beginning of every Amazon.com web address (URL) and you’re good to go.

Here’s the skinny, direct from Amazon.

If you want Amazon to donate to the charity you’ve selected, you need to start each shopping session at the URL http://smile.amazon.com. You can type smile.amazon.com into your browser’s address bar or bookmark it to make it easy to return to AmazonSmile. When you start at smile.amazon.com Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible purchases to the charity of your choice.

Sounds easy enough. And it is.

Go on, dudes. Give it a shot. Designate a charity and get shopping.

I like it, mostly because it makes me feel slightly less guilty for buying all the stuff there and having all those cardboard boxes to recycle later.

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Another One Bites The Diploma

by Richard

Another year later, another big group of family coming to town as we watch another Jones boy walk across that stage, grab a diploma and hope nobody realizes they made a mistake and keeps him in high school.

Well, no, it’s really not that bad. In this case, it’s actually pretty great.

Zippy the Monkey Boy is graduating high school today and he’s doing it as his class salutatorian, which means he had the second-best grade-point average in his class. As such, he has to make a short speech during graduation.

He tried to dump the responsibility off on me, but I just let it bounce right back. As of Thursday night, he still hadn’t written a word. Graduation occurs today at 11 am. He says he works best under pressure. I can’t wait to tape this and then play it back for him the next time he says that stupid saying.

His mom and I are really proud of Zippy the Monkey Boy. In eighth grade, he was struggling, both academically and socially, and turning into a real sea urchin of a person, all spiky and prickly and somebody no one wanted to be around. Going to The Fletcher School, a private school for dudes and dudettes with learning disabilities, changed all that.

Thanks to fantastic teachers and administrators, Zippy the Monkey Boy became reenergized academically and not only enjoyed most of the work he was doing, but he actually looked forward to it. Socially, he started growing again, making friends and finding out that people actually could be good and were fun to be around.

That’s a lot of growth to pack into just four years. And he did it all while also discovering the joys of competitive basketball, flag football, cross country and, of course, girls.

The most important skill Zippy the Monkey Boy learned was how to climb trees on his own. I hardly ever had to get on his case to get him to do a project or remind him of an upcoming test. Sure, a lot of that was due to how The Fletcher School was run, but I’m hoping enough of that was innate that some will come through when he starts college at University of North Carolina Wilmington in the fall.

He’s already looking forward to that. I think, in his mind, he’s skipped the whole tedious graduation thing and is, even now, checking into his new dorm room and saying good-bye to the anchors (which would be his parents).

His mom and I, though, still are firmly rooted in the now. We’re going to smile and, maybe, cry just a little as our second young dude walks through another milestone on his way to his own life. This is the big one. Zippy the Monkey Boy is moving out of Casa de Dude, heading off to make his own nest and, we’re sure, make a whole lot of mistakes. We’re just hoping he’ll be able to straighten them out on his own.

It’s like Thomas Wayne, father to Bruce, said: “Why do we fall? So we can learn to pick ourselves up.”

Here’s to you, Zippy the Monkey Boy. You’ve made it through the hardest part of your life. What you didn’t know was that now we get to add two little words to that. Those words? So far. The hardest part of your life. . . so far. Now you get to do it all over again and this time you get to do it on your own.

The good news is that I know he can do it. He’s one of the most stubborn people on the face of the planet and, hopefully, his mother and I have taught him to use his powers for good, not evil

He’s moving from the Falcons to the Seahawks, but he’s still going to soar.

Congratulations, dude. We love you.

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It’s Not Bragging If You Can Back It Up

by Richard

It’s not like I’m known to brag too much or anything. I’m really a very private person (he said snidely as he continued to type words into his blog that he tries to have read by as many people as possible. . . ). Still, there’s some times when I just can’t help myself.

See, we just got some really nice news the other day.

Seems that my middle young dude, Zippy the Monkey Boy, is a pretty smart young dude.

Zippy the Monkey Boy goes to a private school here in Charlotte that specializes in teaching young dudes and dudettes who have learning disabilities. And, being a smaller school, they’re more apt to have different ceremonies all the time. When your entier junior class can fit into a (very small) classroom at most public high schools, it’s easy to get everyone together.

Anyway. Near the end of every school year, The Fletcher School holds a special awards ceremony to commemorate the work done by its students during the academic year. As you’d expect from a smaller school that’s filled with kids who come to it with severe self-esteem issues, a lot of the awards are basically feel-good awards designed to encourage the winners and all the rest of the students to keep working hard and giving it their best effort.

There’s also a number of awards to recognize extraordinary academic efforts. Basically, the teachers will come to the stage and present awards for the student they feel worked the hardest/contributed the most/improved the most/helped the most in their specific subject over the year.

For the past two years, Zippy the Monkey Boy has been drooling to be named the top science student in his year. Having wanted to be a marine scientist since he was able to articulate any desire more complex than “I pooped,” this particular academic lust is not unexpected. However, for the previous two years, Zippy the Monkey Boy has been shut out.

This year, however, was Zippy the Monkey Boy’s year. Not only did he get the award for Excellence in Science in Biology II (a class of juniors and seniors), but he also was awarded for Excellence in a Foreign Language (for Spanish III).

I don’t know who was happier, him or me. Of course, you couldn’t really tell that he was happy at all. Being a teenage dude, he had to pretend it was all cool and nothing really mattered. But you could see the smile peeking out on several occasions.

It was, as you might imagine, a great day to be a dad.

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