Sunday, December 29, 2013

My Shout Out to Vivint and Beyblade

I've probably mentioned this before but the school I teach at in is a very low income area of the valley.  The security company Vivint does sub for Santa for every student in our school.  They spend between $50-75 per student- on EVERY student.  And they do this for about 5 schools across the valley.  From what i hear they encourage their employees to donate and then they match all the donations.  It is quite amazing what this company does.  When I experienced this last year- my first year teaching at this school- I bawled like a baby watching my little kindergarteners sit there wide-eyed as presents were given to them.  Unfortunately some of the kids get a little calloused as they get older and get this every year.  They can start getting picky and entitled saying things like,"This isn't the xbox game I wanted."  But we have some awesome older grade teachers who will just pluck it out of their hands and say, "Well then you don't have to have it."  But luckily I work with the kids who have no idea what is coming so their reaction is pretty genuine. All their presents come in a big red or green garbage-like bags that are decorated with things like snowflakes or Santa.  Then inside the bag all the presents are wrapped.  The employee who buys all the stuff for the student gets to sit in front of the child they buy for and watch them open their presents and make sure it is what they wanted or that it fits.  They work really hard to make sure it all works- I even had some of the volunteers take back clothing that didn't fit and then bring it back a few days later in the right size.  Then after all the presents are put back in the big bag and the kids get to take it back to class.  It is so fun to watch my kinders try to carry their present-laden bags that are as big as them back to class.  They look like little Santa Clauses struggling with their sacks.
How it works is in November we are given half sheets of paper that we have to fill out for each of the students that give info to Vivint- things like their name, gender, favorite color, shoe size, pant size, etc and a space for one need- like gloves or a coat or snowpants and a space for one want- like a toy.  Last year I was filling these out for my students and when I asked one kid what he wanted for Christmas, he told me "cheesesticks." I don't think this was because he had a lack of food in his house.  I think it was because of a language and cognitive barrier and I don't think he completely understood what I was asking him- which was a running theme for him the whole year!  Anyway when I then changed my question to "What kind of toy would you like?" he was able to tell me a more appropriate answer.  But then on the day of Vivint's visit I told one of the volunteers this story because I thought it was so funny and cute.  After we went back to our class, she went to the store and bought this student a bunch of cheesesticks and cookies for the rest of the class.  It really is amazing to see their giving spirit and desire to fulfill their kids wishes.
This year I had another "lost in translation" experience when I was asking another student what he wanted for Christmas.  This student is also still learning English and has a heavy Spanish accent.  When I asked him what kind of toy he wanted for Christmas he said, "Bayblay".  I had him repeat what he said like 5 times and I honestly had no idea what he was saying and it sounded like nonsense to me.  I then had my aide come over and had him tell her what he wanted.  She had no clue either.  So then I thought maybe another student who speaks Spanish could understand him better.  But after he told another Spanish speaking student "Bayblay", that boy just shrugged his shoulders when I asked what he said.  So I then asked the boy what kind of toy it was so I could maybe just describe it on the paper with the hopes that whoever got his paper would somehow divine what it was.  So this is what I wrote on the paper- "Bayblay? He says it is a toy the spins with a cord."  Now if I had a 5 or 6 year old boy I probably would have known right away what he was asking for but I didn't.  But luckily whoever got his paper must have because when I was having the kids each show their favorite toy this kid proudly held up his "Beyblade."  In my mind I thought, "Oh!  That is what a 'Bayblay' is.  That kid knew exactly what he was talking about.  I was the clueless one in this situation!"
One more shout-out to Vivint.  This year along with doing sub for Santa for all the students, Vivint wanted to give each classroom teacher a $300-400 gift for their classroom.  Our principal recommend that if we wanted an IPAD for our classrooms, this would be a good time to get one.  So I got an IPAD for our classroom c/o Vivint.  So long story short- if you are looking for a good home or business security company my recommendation without a doubt is Vivint!


Sarah said...

Kari - i'm making my blog private but I need your email address so I can invite you. Comment back to me with your address or email me directly and I'll add you.

Hope your new year is going well.

P4 said...

That is the best thing I have ever heard! I cried just reading your post. Amazing!

Kelly said...

Time to start blogging again, Kari! I enjoy your writing so much and no one blogs anymore (except me :)