January 02, 2018

Cold days cold kids

When I was a kid, I used to pray for snow days. And be jealous of the eastern counties in the  neighboring state of Kentucky, which seemed to shut down from January to April. Back then, schools were mostly closed for reasons of road safety. Lately, they've begun closing them due to cold temperatures and wind chill.

I get the point. Nobody wants to see kids miserable waiting for buses. But there's another side to the story. For many kids in West Virginia and no doubt elsewhere, school may be the only warm and safe shelter they get to spend time in--and it may be the only chance some get for a nutritious breakfast and lunch.

I keep going back to a discussion my wife had with students from one of West Virginia's poorest counties, which is also one of the poorest in the US. On the bright side, it was one of a growing number of counties that provided free breakfast and lunch for all students.

A Spanish teacher, she was teaching them about the custom of siesta. She asked if they'd prefer to have a big break and nap in the middle of the day or do things like they do here. They overwhelmingly wanted to keep things the way they were here-- "because everybody gets to eat."

1 comment:

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