"Search and Rescue training starts a little earlier every year..."
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Today was the fourth session of Greg Carroll Learn 2 Skate with our new partner school Andersen Elementary. We had kicked around the idea of doing Learn 2 Skate with two schools for a while about a year and a half ago. We were applying for a very large grant. It would have been the largest grant DinoMights had ever received. It was decided that if we had been able to get that grant we would have enough money to support two Learn 2 Skate partnerships. We didn't get the grant, so it didn't seem like we would be able to do it.
Every year my old friends from high school get together to play a game of football on the day after Thanksgiving. We have carried on the tradition since 1995! Actually there are only two of us that have made it to every game since High School: Ryan Gibbs and Me.
Ryan has been teaching in the Minneapolis School district for a few years. It came up during one of our post-Thanksgiving games that he was now working in the administration at Andersen. We decided that we had to get together and see if there were any ways that DinoMights could work together with Andersen. At the time I thought we would get that big grant, which is what prompted me to suggest Learn 2 Skate as a possibility with Andersen. We didn't get the grant, but we decided to go ahead and explore the possibility anyway.
Ryan and one of the First Grade teacher came out to observe a Learn 2 Skate session with Green Central one year ago, and they thought is was just great. Ryan really got behind this project in a major way. It would be really easy for a new partner to have a lot of hesitation, but Ryan saw that this would be good for his school and his kids and did a lot of work to make it happen. I got to meet with all the first grade teachers and they agreed this would be a good thing to do with their kids. And so our new partnership was born.
I have to say that I never dreamed as a seventh grader, when I met Ryan at Sandburg Middle School, that one day we'd be collaborating to serve inner city Minneapolis kids together. What a joy it is to be serving together with a friend. Even more it is very special to get to see an old friend in his element all grown up. To the kids he is "Mr. Gibbs." To me he has been Gibbs, Gibberz, or whatever other nicknames we've had. But, I'm adding Mr. Gibbs to my list of names for this friend and partner in service to the city.