Today I was told I needed to write a post about how to help schools in our community. I haven’t felt much like writing lately so I was not looking forward to sitting at my laptop.But reluctantly, I opened it up and logged onto WordPress. The first thing on my feed was a writing prompt from The Daily Post. Craving.
For the past month, I have craved nothing but changed in our community and country. The city of Baton Rouge grew popular because of tragedies that left children without fathers. These tragedies highlighted an issue of a city that is divided. As a former teacher and school counselor, I have seen this issue play out in our schools for almost ten years.
Many people could argue there has not been a problem in our city or that every child has access to the same education. To make that statement means you do not understand that children learn more in a school than what is taught to them from a textbook. For some black children, the only white people they will ever come across in their lifetime are people of authority. For some white children, the only black people they will encounter are people who are provide service to their family. This really still happens in our country.
After the killing of Alton Sterling, my cousin went to a panel discussion and she could not believe how many black men there were wearing a suit. She has a college degree and has been many places, but that has not been something she experienced in her lifetime. My point is simply that children take in everything happening around them. And children are excellent teachers. Anyone can teach a child and any child has something to give in return.
If you are craving change and you do not know what you can do I have compiled a list of things anyone can do below.
- Help walk children to their classroom on the first day of school
- Make copies for a teacher
- Pick a classroom and bring cupcakes for birthdays every month
- Eat lunch with a class
- Help monitor children at recess
- Volunteer at a school fair
- Ask an administrator how you can be helpful
Here is how you can talk to a school principal: Hi I am _________. I want to give my time to your school. What is something that your school can use me for?
I would like to add that in an effort to help, people have great ideas. However, sometimes the idea you may have may not be the thing that school or community needs the most. For example, when children are going back to school there are tons of back to school drives happening all over the city. These things are awesome because these children need the supplies. But the issue that is happening in our city is not just because children have a lack of resources. So, when you are “giving back” remember there is something you should also take away from the experience. A baggie of goodies does not solve the world’s problems.