Dear Aunt Jacqueline & Aunt Mary Jane,
I was reading the recent holiday card you sent and thinking how blessed I am to receive cards from you. Each of you carry on a rich family tradition of thoughtfulness. While I have always been grateful to receive cards and letters, I have not been nearly as considerate or intentional about giving them.
So I decided today to share with you about my school day, since you are each part of the family legacy of educating the next generation. Granted, today was an extraordinary day, but really any day in this profession has glimpses of the extraordinary – because you get a chance to peek into the soul of the future, when kids share their learning with you.
Education really is a gift. And this story begins when that gift was stolen. When children a half a world away were being abducted from schools because their oppressors know the power that education wields in the hands and hearts of young dreamers. While their futures were being pillaged, we were reading magical books of children using their talents and resources to help others.
What a stark contrast.
In the spirit of the book we were enjoying, I asked the kids to write about what good deeds they wanted to do to help others. How could they use their talents and resources to make the world a better place?
“Can this be more than a writing assignment? Can we actually DO what we write about?”
So they shared their plans. Their dreams. Large and small. Near and far.
A few of the kids wanted to raise money to provide educational opportunities for girls in impoverished nations. They researched a few organizations dedicated to that vision. They determined which of these organizations were most efficient with the funds raised, in order to make the greatest impact with whatever funds they could accumulate.
All because they read a magical book. Because they had the gift of education. A gift they wanted to share with others.
Their efforts paved the way for 6 girls to go to school. Six futures forever changed. Six stories that will sing on for infinity.
I was moved beyond measure, and wanted the author of the inspiring book (Natalie Lloyd – A Snicker of Magic) to know how much her story moved my students. So I wrote her a note of thanks.
Recently, Ms. Lloyd asked if she could send a little gift to my class. She wanted to thank them for their efforts to reach out and bless others. She took the time to personally thank 30 individual students, and their dorky teacher, by sharing more of her magical inspiration.
So today we opened the box she sent, and joy filled our classroom. Kids were excited to receive autographed copies of her upcoming release. They were excited to get their hands on another one of her magical stories.
But mostly they were excited to be noticed.
To know that they count. To know that their contributions matter. That they can touch the world.
Thank you both for enriching my life with the gift of education. With the power of words, and the magic of stories.
I love you.