Tonight I have my second info meeting as a CC director. I've got a bit of stage fright, plus I'm slightly concerned that no one will show up. Eek!
I don't think I ever wrote about why I decided to direct my own community. I was part of a fabulous community this past year, but it was about 20 minutes away from me, and many of the families (particularly those with kids the same age as mine) lived even farther away. As much as I love CC, my dream is to develop a community that is actually in my area, so my kids can have the chance to develop meaningful friendships with people we can see more than once a week even if the cost of gas keeps rising.
My old community was at capacity - CC corporate dictates (rightly so) that communities cannot exceed eight classes of eight children, for a max of 64 students total in the Foundations program. One February afternoon, I was talking to the director while the kids ate lunch and played with their friends, and she mentioned that she'd had a lot of inquiries from people who lived in my area, and that there would probably be a lot of interest if a new group were to start up near me. I brushed it off initially, thinking I could never direct my own community, but the thought wouldn't leave me - and as I was driving home that afternoon, I passed a church near my house that had built a new facility right across the street from the old facility. I thought that might be a good location for a CC community to meet, and so I sent them an email when I got home, and received a fairly quick response indicating they were open to the possibility.
I got in touch with my director, who shared my excitement over the possibility, and she put me in touch with the Support Manager for our area. I began the application/hiring process, and proceeded through that smoothly while I was waiting to hear back from the church I'd initially contacted. They seemed to be taking their time, so I also put out feelers seeking another church in my area, and went to visit another, smaller church that seemed truly idea. The first church eventually got back to me requesting a pretty steep (and, by CC standards, completely unaffordable) facility fee, but by then I was in love with the second facility so I didn't mind too much. I met with the other church three times, and they agreed to give me a sliding scale on the facility fee based on how many students I have enrolled in my program; that agreement just became official two weeks ago.
Meanwhile, someone in my old CC group was talking to a mom in another CC group who attended her church, and found out this mom wanted to start a Challenge A program (basically the CC equivalent of 7th grade) this coming fall - but her current facility didn't have space to grow a Challenge program. My friend put her in touch with me, and we hit it off - we're both Catholic, and we're both passionate about CC, and the location I'd begun negotiating with was perfect for both of us as well. So in the course of a few weeks I went from having no idea I'd be directing a new community to finding the perfect location and a new friend who wanted to help grow a Challenge program at my location as well! As my old director would say, this was totally a God thing - not only the perfect location for my CC group to meet, but also, and someone to hold me accountable and work with me to build the new community!
I don't want to give the impression that everything has come easily in this endeavor - for instance, I don't have any families actually signed up for the fall, though I do have three I think are very interested. I'm not exactly getting a plethora of inquiries off the website, though I do get a few now and again - just enough to keep me encouraged! I know that many communities start small - my old community began with just 19 students their first year, and I will have 13 (counting my own children and my Challenge director's Foundations-age kids) if we don't get any more interest, so I'm not in despair - but I would like to have a few families be enthusiastic enough to pay a registration fee now to hold a place for their kids!
As a new director, I'm supposed to hold at least one information meeting a month for interested families. I held my first meeting a few weeks ago, and had five families attend - and I was thrilled, as I hadn't expected to have nearly that many! I'm advertising every way I know how - I've posted notices on every homeschooling board I can find online, and handed out flyers at Homeschool Soccer - but I never know for sure how many people are actually going to show up at an info meeting. I'm also a little nervous about public speaking, though I'm passionate about the material so that eases a bit of the nervousness.
If you're reading this, offer up a prayer for me around 6pm tonight :) I hope to have good news to report tomorrow!