This week, 52 Lives wants to help a kindergarten class in Albuquerque, USA.
I recently came across a story about a kindergarten teacher, Sonya. The story told how the first thing she does when her children walk into her classroom in the morning is an inventory of immediate needs – if they have eaten, if they are clean, if they are ok. The reason? Some come to school having slept in homeless shelters and motels where it can be difficult to access a bathroom. Some are surviving on food stamps, which don’t stretch as far as they need to. She even has a drawer full of clean, dry socks, in case the children arrive with wet feet.
Sonya also told of her toughest day as a teacher. Authorities came to remove a malnourished child from her classroom after it was discovered that one of his parents had overdosed on drugs. The boy was begging not to be taken away, and Sonya was at a loss as to what to do. The only thing she could think to do was to give him a stuffed toy to ‘take care’ of. Several weeks later, when his foster parents brought him back to school, he still had the toy. He told her he never let it ‘be lonely’.
This teacher is an amazing woman, who is making such a difference to these 18 little lives.
I contacted the journalist who wrote the article, Alice Gomstyn, and she put me in touch with Sonya. When I asked Sonya if there was anything we could do to help her students, she said she would love to be able to take them on a small field trip.
“So many of my kids have never been on a school bus or even been to a museum. We have little to no money for such "extravagances”…. But experiences build memories and access to a bigger world.”