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BLOG: The Frugal Writer: Patch Power

Maribel Ibrahim, The Frugal Writer, shares about how Patch Power has the power to inform and inspire just about anybody.

I have enjoyed being a Patch contributor for over a year.  Now, Patch has graciously allowed me the space to air information and start conversation about topics that are near and dear to my heart.

I have seen first hand how a reader post from Severna Park Patch has blossomed into a widespread national campaign.  From to , communities large and small have the ability to inspire, connect and engage a readership. These communities have been able to connect because of Patch Power.

I was so inspired by Terra Snider's original post and quest to petition the White House about starting school times later that I created the website for our local advocacy group, www.StartSchoolLater.net

Terra and I meet for coffee every other week and we plan and dream about a vision that is daunting.  For the first time in years, though, with the ability to unite across the country, effective change may be within our grasp.  This kind of change would never be possible if small, disparate communities are left to fend for themselves.  That's Patch Power!

Severna Park Patch was the first site to scoop this story.  As a result, the issue of school start times will not be easily dismissed any longer without at least considering the health, safety and equality of school age children.

With a blog comes certain freedoms.  I get to post opinions and musings.  I will continue to contribute objective local reporting for Patch, but this little space is a little more personal.  And, trust me, it won't be too serious all the time.  I'll be posting other things, like parenting insights, frugal tips, fitness strategies and things that I hope inspire you the way they inspire me.  You get a chance to share the journey with me and suggest future blog topics or your ideas as well.  Come along for the ride!

Frugally Yours,

Maribel Ibrahim

www.TheFrugalWriter.com

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Terra Ziporyn Snider, Ph.D. January 06, 2012 at 05:48 PM
The petition had 1,828 names at last count - with an amazing 400 or so new signatures in the past few days. It's truly inspiring to see how the Patch can make this possible. Thank you, Maribel (and Leslie Hunt), for helping to make this happen, and thanks to everyone in Severna Park who have signed and supported this effort so far - something so many of us have cared about for so many years!
Catherine thomas January 06, 2012 at 06:40 PM
How exciting to see you on the Patch as a regular contributor. It has been amazing to watch the growth of the later high school start times campaign. I wonder how we can appeal to all juniors and seniors who could be significant leaders in this campaign in the schools across the country and raise our petition signers to 100,000. Thank you for your hard work Maribel and Terra. It is awe-inspiring to watch your leadership.
Terra Ziporyn Snider, Ph.D. January 06, 2012 at 06:47 PM
We have met and are working with several student bloggers and advocates from around the country, but so far no SPHS student has stepped forward. Sadly, about half of all AACPS students say they oppose later start times, partly because they (mistakenly) think later start times would shut down sports, after-school jobs, and homework time, and partly because they like getting out at 2 p.m. and having all that unsupervised after-school time (and are willing to sacrifice their learning, health, and safety for that freedom). If anyone knows a student journalist or leader who wants to step up to lead the charge in Severna Park or this county, please let us know!
Maribel Ibrahim January 07, 2012 at 03:05 PM
Thank you for your encouragement, Catherine. This issue will require lots of grassroots involvement to become a reality. If there is anyone that is interested in helping us spread the word, get involved on an insider level and join our advocacy group, they can join our group here: https://www.bigtent.com/groups/startschll8r Breakthrough change requires a community effort. www.bigtent
Maribel Ibrahim January 08, 2012 at 10:59 PM
Parents in Short Hills, NJ have elected to PAY for their kids to ride the bus and the bus situation has been plagued with problems. They are not afraid to put their $$ where their mouth is. Maybe that is why over 100 Short Hills residents signed our petition in one day!!! http://thealternativepress.com/articles/busing-problems-upset-millburn-short-hills-parent
Terra Ziporyn Snider, Ph.D. January 09, 2012 at 06:37 PM
Here's a Patch post about what's going on in Short Hills that's running now & features our petition http://millburn.patch.com/articles/mhs-students-among-those-callingl-for-later-start-to-day . Meanwhile, the Patch in nearby Montclaire is running yet another article on our efforts: http://montclair.patch.com/articles/poll-are-students-getting-enough-sleep-87ba522c "Patch Power" is right!
Maribel Ibrahim January 09, 2012 at 11:34 PM
Our petition has now reached Alaska and Australia. Patch also has a blog in Greenfield, WI: http://greenfield.patch.com/blog_posts/changing-times-for-better-schools Looks like this issue is a local one and a global one.
Terra Ziporyn Snider, Ph.D. January 15, 2012 at 01:03 AM
I'm talking about our SP-based petition (and Patch Power, of course!) on national radio tomorrow morning at 10 a.m.: The SLEEP DOCTORS radio show! You can tune in via the Internet at www.997wtn.com or get the podcast version later in the week at http://bit.ly/yUtbl2.
Maribel Ibrahim February 05, 2012 at 01:47 AM
Our petition has 2992 signatures on it now. Check out Terra's latest Patch interview here: http://westhartford.patch.com/articles/an-expert-s-opinion-on-teen-sleep-deprivation Thanks Patch Power!

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