Yes, it's been a while...but at this time of year there is no time like the present than to pick back up with a story like this, and this my friends is exactly what I have been doing in my blogging absence - Happy Holidays!
This past October my long-awaited wish had become a reality. After years of searching due to the turn in the economy I had been given a wonderful opportunity to teach in a first-grade classroom at Hopkins Elementary School.
Hopkins is a Title I school and the largest elementary school in its county with approximately 1800 students. I would become one of 16 first-grade teachers. I was up for the task, though beginning in the middle of the school year was a bit daunting. I gave it my all. I spent between $500-$1000 of my own money before I ever saw a paycheck, and not to mention the other teachers donating supplies from their own classrooms to help mine. They could not have been more helpful. If I needed a superman then I had indeed just found 15 of them. However, to no fault of theirs, or mine, it still was not enough.
As luck would have it just two weeks ago I was getting a haircut from a friend of mine, K (for my own good deed, to donate it to Locks of Love) when she asked me how school was going. Naturally, I said it was going really well. Though as I watched her daughters, who happen to love art I did mention that at times I alter the homework I send home because not all of my students have crayons at home, or they cannot do cut and paste because there is not scissors or glue.
The next morning I received a text message from K asking how many students were in my class because her daughters were going to pool their money together to buy each student their own pack of crayons for Christmas. Before I knew it, K had sent out an email to several families asking if they wanted to get their children involved. By that afternoon there were over 13 families willing to participate. The kids went shopping with their parents for the supplies, or donated their own money, and then had a get together to put it all together for my students.
As we dismissed for the holiday break each of my students went home with their very own pencil box complete with their own pack of crayons, markers, scissors, glue, a ruler, and colored pencils. Plus, many other supplies such as paint sets, construction paper, ice cube trays (for sorting and pouring paint into), notebooks, and hundreds of dollars in gift cards have been donated to my classroom.
A result like this is beyond anything I ever could have imagined. Our story does not end here. It is just the beginning. It began as just a conversation between friends and has grown into so much more – it has grown into people helping people, and children helping children, if for no other reason than it is the right thing to do.
I’ll never forget the faces on my students as K entered my room with her hands full of gift bags, let alone when they were each handed their own. Never shall I forget the voices of excitement over items we so often take for granted. Yes it’s true, in some places and in some schools we may be waiting on a Superman. Yet, I’d like to think that one lives in each of us, and I am pretty certain there are many circling over my classroom.