Tent Upkeep Team

Outdoor Meals: Thank You and Volunteer Need

Dear MES Families,

Eating school meals outdoors is an important way we can help to keep students and teachers healthy and in school. Thank you to all the members of the Dolphin community who have already contributed to make the outdoor meals initiative a success! The Dolphin community has raised over $1,600 towards this project, not including tents, mats and teacher chairs donated or loaned to ensure students can eat outside.

This initiative started with a group of parents, who asked every teacher before school started what they needed to ensure their class could eat outside. In response, with PTA support, they organized a fund drive for comfortable chairs for teachers, shade cover and mats for students to sit on, as well as picnic tables. This core group of volunteers has contacted every teacher to follow up, and only two teachers have responded with needs that have not been met. Those will be filled the week of August 30th with two new tents.

Parents, including McDougle volunteers, met this week from every elementary school in the district to talk about strategies to lobby the district to find a more permanent and equitable solution. Some schools have spent thousands and built permanent outdoor cafeterias where students eat outside even in the rain. Other schools have done nothing because they don't have the money and/or organization. The parents and PTAs across the district are asking for expedited, permanent rain/shade cover, picnic tables so students don't have to sit on the ground, and further clarification on district policies as to when students cannot eat outside for safety (lighting and such) and guidelines for principals to work with PTAs to work out best practices that fit for their community. Please email CHCCS board members in support of these endeavors, in particular emphasizing approving and expediting outdoor tent structures and picnic tables.

If you are able, we encourage you to consider joining the tent upkeep team, who will once again be volunteering their time this week to install and check the tent structures. If you are interested in helping maintain the tents at McDougle Elementary School (helping to secure before and after storms, relocating tents to adjust for teacher's needs, etc.), please either text Andrew Nenque at 281-628-6001 or email him at andrew@nenque.com.

As the coronavirus situation is still evolving, and as seasons transition in the upcoming weeks, these needs will be updated regularly. Thank you in advance for your support and generosity!

Outdoor Meals - Thank You!

This year our students will be eating outdoors as much as possible. MES families are the best around and came through big time to make sure our students have outdoor spaces where they can safely eat. It started with an email from Andrea and Andrew Nenque and the rest is history. They led the entire project start to finish. Also, thank you to the entire dolphin community. You all are so amazing and make great things happen for our school all the time.

Special thanks to Andrea Nenque, Andrew Nenque, Olivia Raufman and Cathy Walsh, for being at the forefront of coordinating and facilitating this immense project. Deborah Baron, Kara LaFleur, Caroline Petrow, and Amber Dutton Smith were integral in helping coordinate items before the parent work day. Thank you to the parent volunteers who set up the amazing outdoor eating spaces: the Baron Family, Danell Beede, Scott Benson, Betty Brown, Catherine Campos, Jesse Cleary, Karin & Joe Crozier, Jose Cruz, Brandon Foster, Cynthia Gay, Paul Glass-Steel, Debra Gomes, Samoya Holman, Allie Lee, Juliane Dasovic Lewis, Natalie Long, Doug McKay, Debi Menon, Leah Milks, Alexandra Morris, David Murdoch, Andrea and Andrew Nenque, Katie Nolan, Matt and Olivia Raufman, Mirty Nelia Soto Rosario and Jean Carlos Rosario-Montalvo, Stephanie Wade, Cathy and Brian Walsh, Molly Whittington, Dana and Mark Yobst, and many others! There were so many people who donated or lent tents and supplies - this project was a success because of the generosity of our wonderful Dolphin Community!