much to learn
Things in D.C. are going surprisingly well. I’m working at an organization with a small team of people, which is a nice change of pace compared to past summer internships at big companies. I’m also learning a lot about the way the world works. Just very basic things about poverty, race, class… all those things that sociology classes address, but sometimes those lectures don’t sink in as well as talking to real people and working on real problems. I still have so, so much to learn, but at least I know that now. I guess that’s something. (Pigeons are flying by my window right now…) It’s amazing to me that at some public elementary schools, 80% of the kids live below the poverty line. And living without the basics of a stable life makes learning difficult… School’s hard enough without that added stress.
It’s also amazing how much parents want to help their children to succeed. I don’t know why I’m amazed. I guess I always thought that the parents must not really want their kids to do well… otherwise they’d make school more of a priority. But parents are signing up by the dozen for our Community Nights at different elementary schools, which feature (here comes the memorized spiel): A family dinner from 6-6:30, then children are paired with volunteer mentors who read with them and do arts and crafts while their parents go into workshops to learn how to make reading more fun at home. At the end of the night, everyone takes home a free book.
Honestly, I don’t think my own parents would’ve signed up for this event. It’s two extra hours out of a busy day. But parents at these schools are excited to sign up. They expect it to cost something (it’s free). And the fact that they get to take home a free book makes kids’ eyes light up. I think that’s pretty cool.