It is spring break for my own kids, so breakfast consisted of me cooking pancakes to order for two kids and eggs to order for two more. I ate the leftovers…again!
Today I want to use this forum to say thank you to all of you Site Coordinators and Program Leaders. We all know the big things you do. Regardless of what organization you are in, what age young people you serve, or where in the country or world you live, we know you keep kids safe during critical after school hours, ensure grant compliance, and do all this on a tiny budget.
It is those little things, the things that go unnoticed and not taught in orientation trainings, that I want to thank you for.
- Thanks for the band-aids on skinned knees and hugs that help them stick. Trainings are always about how to do the incident reports but no one teaches you how to dry tears. You just do it.
- Thanks for sitting with the middle schooler who sits alone at snack each day. We teach line of sight and inclusion but it comes naturally to you to see a lonely kid and lift their spirit by asking them about their day.
- Thanks for that phone call you made to a mom before clocking out to be with your own family, not because of a behavioral problem, but to share that their child did something kind for another kid today.
- I appreciate you for arriving a bit early to ask the math teacher how you can help a student you both care deeply about pass tomorrow’s math test. That is what truly creates “school day alignment.”
- I applaud your after-hours google search for the perfect art lesson so you can inspire young minds the next day.
- Thanks for checking in with your colleague to see if they need help, not because they asked, but because you sense they are having a tough day.
- Thanks for the extra apple you get to a hungry kid, and the creative way you make that compliant with the cafeteria regulations.
- I love the way you took a group of kids folding paper airplanes and built that into a lesson on aerodynamics. That is “student voice” and “expanding horizons.”
- Thanks for the call you made to your cousin who is a firefighter asking them to swing by someday to meet your students. That is “community partnership development.” And, we all know that wasn’t in the job description HR first handed you.
- Whether you work with a school, a youth development organization, a district, or an intermediary, it is hard work. When we work with children we have to follow a lot of rules to ensure safety. You do that brilliantly.
But, what I deeply appreciate about you is that you have made all the catch phrases, academic language, and compliance requirements fit into your daily role. You have reimagined the box that we are at times forced to work within.
So, I hope you know that you are deeply appreciated by teachers, administrators, policymakers, executives, parents, kids…and me.
For breakfast I had… well, read the top of the blog!