With all the things that have been happening since the pandemic has come along, one serious issue has dropped from the table. Not every student comes from a wealthy family.
This article in the Windsor Star should bring it back into focus.
The official line is that school districts provide all the learning materials for students to succeed. We know that some things are provided but not everything. It’s even worse these days.
We know that school provided meals can be such a big event in a child’s day. With the closing of schools, that hasn’t been happening. Hopefully, everyone is taking advantages of donations and support for their local social services.
Things are indeed different in schools these days as you’ll realize and may make your eyes open just a bit wider after reading the article.
In a normal world, students might have access to a locker to put stuff in. In my old high school, the sharing of lockers was a thing and books and materials were stored close to where they were actually used. Lockers aren’t a thing in many schools now. So, students have to carry their materials all by themselves. Yesterday’s locker is today’s backpack. I see advantages there; I hated locker cleanout day.
Another thing that seems important to shut down but has consequences is lack of access to water fountains. Instead of getting a drink there, students are encouraged to bring their own water bottles and use the provided filling stations.
But what happens when your family can’t provide you with a backpack or a water bottle?
I never taught in an elementary school but I’ve certainly walked through and had things pointed out to me. At secondary school, often the issues are hidden by the students who need it most but you still see the student in the cafeteria who doesn’t have a lunch and steals a French fry from a friend.
In my school, our vice-principal and principal had this slush fund that was strategically used on the sly to help kids out. Staff all knew about it and chipped in periodically to help the cause.
There was a line in Pav Wander’s recent post that got me thinking. It was about schools who have professional development funds that haven’t been spent for the past 18 months. Likewise, there are companies who often fund giveaways at conference that might well be sitting on a similar fund or a supply of giveaways. In the past, it used to be coffee mugs but the trend has moved to giving water bottles and carrying bags to conference participants.
I know that, around here, our cupboards eventually overflow with conference swag so we gather it up and drop it off at a donation box with the hope that it finds a happy home. What kid wouldn’t want a technology branded water bottle? Never used.
Wouldn’t it be nice if those entities that are sitting on a large inventory of things that could be repurposed to help the cause stepped up?
If you have a success story in your school, please share it with others in the comments below.