“If you are planning for a year, sow rice; if you are planning for a decade, plant trees; if you are planning for a lifetime, educate people” ― Chinese proverb
This quote reminded me that regardless of what is happening in the world, access to education for everyone is fundamental to a thriving community. A pandemic doesn’t make it any more pressing. What matters is ensuring that, regardless of external circumstances, our students have what they need to succeed.
I thought about this as I walked to the beehives with a student from LPO Alternative School who enthusiastically explained to me how beehives work. PAFE funded the bee suits which allow them to work together to observe and care for the hives.
I thought about this when Nayla Morton told us about the aspiring fashion design student who had come to her wanting to produce some designs using the equipment PAFE had funded for her class’s CTE business. The student was then contracted to design the onesies for our Books for Babies program.
Jacque Johnson, Principal at Southside Elementary showed us how students came alive during a fiddle recital PAFE had funded, and how it transformed the school culture.
We aren’t funding programs that teach students how to become beekeepers or how to play the fiddle. We are giving them tools to build self-confidence, exposing them to ideas and experiences outside of the classroom.
So I’ll say it again, a pandemic doesn't change the fact that we always need to support education. What does change, is how we support it, and the ability to be agile is more important than ever.
I hope you’ll take the time to read the stories below about our investment in Professional Learning Communities - a program that helps teachers learn new teaching methods, test them, and reflect on them collaboratively with their colleagues. We are blown away by the stories coming from the teachers on how it has changed their classroom and we’ll be sharing them over the coming weeks.
I am so impressed with our school leadership and their ability to adapt and I am beyond impressed with our community and their willingness to step up.
We can’t raise money the way we have been. We can’t celebrate and thank you the way we typically do. Yet, you continue to give.
And for that, I say thank you. Our future generation says thank you.