Part of the Village

This week I went to my grandnephew’s kindergarten graduation. There’s just all kinds of weird in that sentence alone. Children. Family. Social Event. Inclusion.

The school is K-12, laid out in a campus of what reminded me of Morton buildings—low-slung, metal barns. Here’s the south side of my sister as we make our way to the auditorium building

While I’m not one to follow the endless flow of depressing national news, I am invested in Oklahoma’s educational woes.  A January report in Education Weekly ranked Oklahoma schools 47th in the nation with teachers’ salaries ranked 49th.  Teachers went on strike in April, and while the state passed a bill to raise salaries slightly, it neglected to fund the bill.  It never addressed other issues like the lack of program funding and huge class sizes

Teachers are leaving the state like psychiatrists left Iowa, fed up with a system that cares very little about the end-user or those who provide for them.

Oktah, my grandnephews’ school, is considered better than average and receives a federal grant due to its number of low-income students. The superintendent, who spoke at Zane’s graduation ceremony, asked parents and friends to stay involved. More than ever, it seems, it takes a village.

So, I was verklempt, watching my one out of forty-eight kindergarteners dance, sing and use sign language to proclaim his new status.  So was my sister, the retired teacher.

I don’t know if I can help him or his older brother.  Volunteering has always ended up a bipolar casualty.  But I’m staying open to ways I might be part of that Village, even if it’s just being another grown-up (in closer proximity now) who will listen and answer their questions.

You never know the effect of just showing up. That’s something I can do.

7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Lyn
    May 13, 2018 @ 15:10:55

    Being there is important. My kids will never be able to complain that we missed their games , concerts, Tae Kwon Do graduations, etc. We won’t be the “no shows” in their lives. They may say they hate us sometimes, but if we are ever late to a game, one of them calls to make sure we are coming. That invisible cord is tied tighter than we realize.

    Reply

  2. David Kanigan
    May 13, 2018 @ 16:24:44

    And do well!

    Reply

  3. Littlesundog
    May 19, 2018 @ 08:45:46

    I have found a special niche in just being present to listen to nieces and nephews even though all of them are in other states, and most are adults now. I write or call, and if need be I travel to support them. My generation and my parent’s generation, seems to have not been present in the past, while these young people were in their formative years. I see that we dropped the ball then, and I’m determined to be there for them now. It matters now how or when, but that we are there NOW for them.

    The recent past and current governing folks have been some of the worst here in Oklahoma. The problems are vast – and you’re right, it does take a Village to change things!

    Reply

    • Sandy Sue
      May 19, 2018 @ 11:29:03

      I SO appreciate your perspective, Lori. I’m a little afraid to put myself out there for these two boys as I don’t have a great track record of being available or consistent. But I’m determined to TRY.

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog Stats

  • 152,199 hits
%d bloggers like this: