Saturday, September 24, 2011

Raffling off and counting down

On Thursday night, East End Martini Bar was packed with UNC grad students out to enjoy a mile-long list of drink specials and DJs mixing pop hits and house music at full volume. It was a fun night, and I was so happy to be part of it for BIKE NC. The bar is generously donating 5% of Thursday night's proceeds to BIKE NC. And I sold $5 raffle tickets at the bar's entrance to raise additional funds. Friends from law school and even total strangers that I approached bought tickets and offered words of support for the bike ride. And on Tuesday night, I'll be drawing the winning tickets (blindfolded for perfect fairness!). Someone is going to be very happy with their massage from Kara's Pro Massage. Look for a blog post announcing the winners. Thanks again, East End!

I've met with a couple reporters and photographers from local papers this week, and am excited that articles will help spread the word about BIKE NC. I'll post stories and links when they come out. For one photo shoot, we used a local bike path. I would pedal toward the photographer going one direction, turn around, then pedal back for an "action shot." But I'm not always very smooth/skilled with my bicycle cleats, that clip onto the pedals. At one point, turning around,  I didn't unhook my feet from the pedals ... which means you can't get your foot down on the ground for balance. The bike was going too slow ... my feet were stuck to the pedals ... and the bike tipped over, sending me sprawling into a graceless heap. I was flailing around on my back on the pavement with one foot still stuck to the pedal. And it hurt! I jumped up laughing at myself to take the sting out of the whole situation, but sheesh. Cyclists say that the "feet stuck" wipeout happens to everyone at some point or another. And mine happened in front of a photographer on a shoot for a story about how I am a cross-state cycling phenom. Oh well. Good to get all the bad karma out BEFORE I start pedaling on Wednesday!

This weekend is all about getting school work out of the way, packing up, and staying healthy so that I'm at my best next week.

Here are a few interesting bits of education news:

North Carolina will seek the waiver of No Child Left Behind regulations that Obama extended. The 2002 law has not yet been rewritten by Congress, and states are frustrated with the faulty accountability system that NCLB has imposed. States will now be able to write their own accountability rules for ensuring that schools are making progress closing the achievement gap and educating students. This will give states needed flexibility. I'm all for accountability, and will be curious to see what North Carolina does. But I'm thinking about that almost 500 million dollar budget cut to schools this summer. Are we going to take away from our schools with one hand while asking more of them with the other?

Here are a video and economic report from Smart Start on the impact of early childhood education on the state's overall economic health. Child care brings $1.7 billion to the state and is linked to 49,000 jobs. And beyond the childcare industry - as low-income parents find jobs or go back to school, they need to know that their children are being well cared for. Paving the way for three and four year olds to come to kindergarten as prepared five year olds, as their parents pursue their own opportunities with peace of mind. Both economic health now and an investment in the future. That's what Smart Start does and that's why BIKE NC supports their work.

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