My students love to come to school and they love to learn. However, teaching in an urban district which is a low-income area where over 95% of our students receive free or reduced price breakfast/lunch can be challenging. Most of my students come from a background of trauma and require not only academic support, but social and emotional support throughout the day. My goal is to make their school experience meaningful and fun while also setting high expectations and providing a safe, loving environment for all of my students no matter their circumstances. Each day our students come to school after getting themselves dressed, to the bus on time with little adult support and many times empty tummies. They still manage to walk through our doors with a SMILE and ready to learn. I want them to experience the same opportunities and advantages that other children experience.
It's pretty hard to focus on multiplication and learning how to read over the sounds of a grumbling tummy.
My hope is to have ready made snacks and breakfast foods to give them when they arrive and something to take home at night.
Just this morning, during our circle time, one of my students raised his hand to comment about the question that was asked, "If you were President what is one thing you would do to help others?" His response broke my heart. He stated that he would help Moms pay their bills and feed their children. Having known this student's family for a while, I asked him to tell me more. He proceeded to tell me that the electricity was shut off and they had no food. In fact he stated that they had Pringles for dinner. This is not exclusive to this one student. On any given week my colleagues and I hear that their homes have no food, they have no money or electricity etc. It is my hope, that by sending home nightly and weekend bags, my kids won't be hungry. Today I ran down to the grocery store and purchased boxes of cereal, milk, pasta, pretzels, bread and peanut butter to help this special family make it until Mom was able to get more. I wish I could do this for all of them but I can't. I do the best I can when I can. However, I know with the generosity of others, my kids will have full bellies and know that they are cared for and not alone.
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