There is something magical about walking into Walmart or Target in July and seeing the shelves of brand new, sparkling school supplies. Don’t get me wrong—as a mom and teacher I probably appreciate those lazy summer months more than most, but nothing beats the sight and smell of a fresh box of crayons and the feel of a clean, unopened notebook. I know I sound a little crazy, but hear me out.
New school supplies symbolize a new beginning. When I see the bins of markers, scissors, and glue, I can’t help but think of the journey I’m going to take with my students in the upcoming school year. I’ll teach them, but they’ll teach me just as much. Within the four walls of our classroom, we’ll create, collaborate, celebrate, cry, encourage, and grow.
I know I make it sound a little too perfect, but here’s the thing. Those 27 faces I greet at the door each morning won’t always want to be there, and surely won’t realize what a privilege it is to be there. In most cases, families in the United States don’t think twice about elementary, junior high, and high school. We send our kids to school because, well, why wouldn’t we? They need to learn, and we need to go to work or do other grown up things during the day.
We rarely think about the families in Ghana (and countless other parts of the world) who can’t send their children to school because they need them to work to help support their families. In Akatim, most families farm for a living. It takes the help of each family member to get the farm work accomplished. The incredible headmasters and teachers at the Akatim Basic School, along with The Senase Project, put all of their efforts into ensuring that the students come to school so that they might create a future for themselves in which they don’t have to struggle with the decision to keep their children home to work, or send them to school to learn.
As our supporter, you are making that future a reality for students in Akatim.
So the next time you see your friendly neighborhood teacher sitting on the floor at Walmart counting out exactly 300 notebooks in just the right colors, (not that I would ever do something like that), take a quick second to be thankful for whatever education and opportunities you’ve received. Take a quick second to reflect on the endless opportunities that those notebooks and other school supplies represent. And take a quick second to send some positive vibes to our friends in Akatim as they start their new school year. Our circumstances may be a little different, but our hearts are the same.