Education in the time of COVID
On Wednesday, like many of us, I took a minute to watch the Blue Angels fly over Fort Worth. I loved the inspiration of their flight formation against the deep blue sky in the midst of all this muddled difficulty. The beauty and precision of their choreographed flight always leaves me with a fundamental sense of awe at what human beings are capable of accomplishing when they have the mind, the will and the opportunity.
The best thing about it was watching the faces of our preschoolers at the Center as they anticipated seeing the planes. So much excitement and so many questions! Why are they so loud? Where did they come from? How did they do that? It was a wonderful opportunity to talk to them about the miracle of flight, the amazing ability of pilots and to encourage them to dream about what they might become when they grow up.
The education of children is one of those things that we take for granted – it might not be exactly what we want, but in normal times it is happening. As much as parents might individually obsess about the education of our own children and what that means for their future, we don’t necessarily maintain awareness of the education of all the children in our community. Today, public education teachers are facing greater challenges than ever in reaching their children, and the most vulnerable children have disappeared entirely. Despite phone calls and even visits to homes, assignments are not completed, calls are not answered and knocks on the door ignored.
I am deeply concerned about these children.
Lack of kindergarten readiness and summer learning loss have been a huge challenge – but now many children living in poverty, trapped in single rooms of motels will have lost more than six months of education, isolated in stress-filled homes, while peers from middle income families move forward, having been with parents who have been able to devote even more time than normal to their children’s education. The impact of this time on educational levels will be life-long.
Because of these concerns, CTL is hiring for summer programming so that all of the hundreds of children in our care will have learning support. In normal times, CTL does this for children in our early childhood programs only, but children we support in our homeless services can’t wait until the fall. Summer programs are operating at much lower capacity and opening later. Children need us to act NOW so that they are ready for school when they return.
You should have seen those sweet eager faces watching the flight of the Blue Angels. Children need education, inspiration, love and care in order to flourish. For every child in our care, we will do all we can to make sure they flourish. Thank you for all your support that makes this possible.