I established Spes Magna Games roundabout December 2009. Between then and now, I’ve written and published almost 20 gaming PDFs, mostly for The Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. On average, I guesstimate I’ve made about $25 a month from the sale of my PDFs. That’s not a lot; I’m in no danger of retiring early, but that’s okay. I run Spes Magna Games because I love the hobby.
Those of you who follow this site know that I teach at a small, open-enrollment public charter school in Katy, Texas. I’ve been there three years. Aristoi Classical Academy strives mightily to offer tuition-free the sort of classical education normally available only in private schools charging several thousand dollars a year per student. As far as I know, we’re the only public school in Texas that offers a classical education.
A few years before I started teaching at Aristoi, the previous administration irresponsibly took out way too much debt in the form of bonds. The school’s debt situation the year before last was bad enough that the Texas Education Agency could’ve shut us down. This year we’re no longer in danger of being closed because of bad debt. Our current administration has worked heroically, and this year our debt has been reduced by about $1.4 million dollars (approximately half of the overall debt). We did this by cutting some salaries, freezing others, streamlining costs, eliminating overhead, consolidating jobs, et cetera. About a half a million dollars was saved through these efforts.
The state education commission has been so impressed by Aristoi’s financial and educational accomplishments that we have been approved to expand our enrollment from 325 to 440 students for the upcoming school. We’ve also been green-lighted to add a 9th grade class for the 2014-2015 school. To fully meet the needs of our incoming, larger student body, we need more space. Aristoi’s school board and administration have a plan to grow the school’s facilities.
Part of that plan includes raising $550,000 for construction and purchasing adjacent, undeveloped land.
At Aristoi, we don’t teach to a state test. We educate the whole child, mind, body, and spirit, and seek to fill the students’ hearts with great tales of heroes such as Jason and Argonauts, Don Quixote, George Washington, Stuart Little, Sherlock Holmes, and Frederick Douglass, to name just a few. I know classical education works better than traditional public education for many students because I’ve seen the difference it can make in the lives of children, including my own.
I’ve been a gamer longer than I’ve been a teacher, and I’ve also seen the hearts of gamers in action. We gamers know the value of education, the importance of friends, and about the wonders of imagination that can be inspired by great stories. So, here I am, asking for donations. But I’m not forgetting the lesson I learned from First Lieutenant Freehill while I was stationed at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii. I’m not asking anyone to do something I’m not willing to do.
Spes Magna Games has donated $50 to Aristoi’s indiegogo campaign. I’m asking you to donate one-tenth of that amount just one time. Help us at Aristoi inspire our students to aspire toward lives of heroic virtue.
Thanks for your time and attention.