04 Oct Prayers Needed – They Deserve a Chance
Who needs prayers? Students in the inner city! As I’ve re-entered classrooms this fall, I’ve faced againwhat Jon Meyer, one of the DADLY Wisdom dads and local school board member, said was “the main issue facing public education today— working to overcome the poverty and dysfunction in homes and the disparity that results with children who don’t grow up with the same educational advantages as those in more affluent homes.”
As an educator, I’ve worked withstudents coming from millionaire parents to those who live in impoverished areas filled with crime and gangs. Many students in the “halves”families bring their own lunches, wear fashionable clothes, and have their own iPads. They go on vacations, get proper medical care, and come to school with a full stomach. When I work at a school with the “have-nots,” many are on a free lunch and in a school uniform, often donated by philanthropic organizations.
The schools of the “haves’” families look like parks and are clean. Some in the inner city resemble prisons and have dirt or concrete instead of the beautiful grass and landscaping of the wealthier areas.
The discrepancy is tragic to see with any students, but especially with kindergarteners. Some have had no preschool and don’t know the alphabet. Others have had two years of full-time preschool and are already reading. Studentswithout at-home teaching or preschool are behind before they even start! One student whom I taught in this situation had already given up—in kindergarten! Other students said that “he couldn’t read,”so he acted out. He must have felt horrible being condemned by five-year-olds for something that wasn’t his fault!
I show up and give my best to students regardless of their circumstance. I come home with a sad heart, though, when I see students in such rough situations. It’s tragic to hear young children complain of being hungry because their parents didn’t give them breakfast or get them to school on time for their free meal. One second grader I taught complained that her back hurt. I said that she probably slept wrong in herbed. She then informed me that she had no bed and slept on the floor. I sighed again.
Unfortunately, I don’t have answers for these ills which plague society. I can help raise people’s awareness, though, of the great educational needs of our youth. Hence, I advocate legislation which brings more equal access to education and free preschool for all kids.
Prayer is also a powerful force. Thus, I ask for prayers for all students to get their educational needs met to help them reach their highest potential.
Change can occur with concrete action and prayer.
Remember, all kids deserve a chance!