Across the United States, millions of kids will be going back to school. Excitement and eager anticipation help youngsters prepare for the school year with new backpacks, cool pens and plenty of notepads. My sixth grade year was my most impactful. I remember the sheer joy in taking a bus, clear across town, to what was my most memorable teacher and learning experience (thank you Ms. Johnson – look, I’m all growed up). Finally a break in the summer routine to be reunited with my friends and exploring new learning activities.
In Haiti, kids have the same anticipatory excitement. They finally get to reunite with favorite teachers, see friends not seen since the beginning of summer, and enjoy structure to a boring day. BUT, in Haiti, it is not clear when school will start. Government resources and funding is in question, and an official start date is “maybe September or October, or…..” I would imagine it is hard to keep your hopes up without a consistent promise of learning.
Having traveled to our learning centers during the summer months, has shown me the tremendous gift we are providing youth, especially when school is not in session. They pack the center, lining the cool tile floors. Some are reading books, practicing their drawing, learning English or just sitting with a friend. We provide structure to a monotonous and stifling hot day. We provide positive alternatives to those wanting to learn. We provide an outlet to hundreds of kids looking to escape and transport their minds through words on a page.
Although at times growing up, we thought we wanted the summer to go on forever. Imagine a summer with nothing to do, but sit, sweat and stare at life going past your window. Your donations support the centers ability to provide mental stimulation and healthy alternatives promoting learning and citizenship. We appreciate your support as we try to break the crippling cycle of illiteracy.