I have learned not to ask children what they got for Christmas but rather what they did during Christmas break. Many do not get gifts. I will give you holiday assistance.
I have learned that even if you have a job, you might not have money for a place to live. I hope to give you skills so you don’t have to repeat this cycle when you are grown up.
I have learned that if your parents are drunk and fight a lot, and your dad tries to run over you and mom with his motorcycle, you will come to school angry and unable to focus on academics. I will put you in my A.T.O.D. group.
I have learned that some girls believe that domestic violence is just a way of life. I hope to teach you differently by participating in Girl Power group.
I’ve learned that if your parents and big brothers are low functioning and you are the smartest in your family, you still don’t have any goals in life. You see no way out. I hope to show you that you are wrong and there is a way out.
I have learned that if you are in second grade and you watch your father get shot and killed, coming to school in a new country and leaving your mother will be just as scary and the second hardest thing you have ever done in your young life. I will put you in Grief group because you never cried when your dad was killed.
I have learned that if your mother dies and your father can’t or won’t care for you, you get shifted around to lots of relatives who just see you as another mouth to feed when there already isn’t enough food to go around. I will feed you.
I have learned that if your father gets deported, your world falls apart no matter how good of student you are. Your mom, who is also illegal, works hard to care for 3 children and tries not to give up and go back home because she wants them to have a better education, a better way of life. I will put you in a counseling group to help you cope with your feelings.
These are true stories. These are my kids. They are why I am here. They are why I love my job and why I believe in what Communities In Schools can do for them.