I had such good stories for the next three weeks leading up to Easter break. There would be puppets for the next week and even candy on the last week. I never give the kids anything to eat except the week before Easter break when I read the book, It Wasn’t My Fault, in which the small narrator has an egg dropped on his head and blames everyone for the disaster. It, of course, turns out to be his fault. Each first grader gets a plastic Easter egg with a chocolate egg inside. I’ve bought all the plastic and chocolate eggs. They are sitting here, right behind me, in my office. But I have no idea when I will read the story and hand out the eggs.
You see, on Friday, just as the school day ended, the superintendent cancelled school for the next four weeks. Devastating news. Especially for the poor children who live south of a main street that runs the width of the city. Columbia is in that area. Children who do not have large, well furnished homes with lots of technology and good food. With a room of their own. Books, art supplies, a backyard to play in.
Nope, none of that. They live in small places, maybe 10 or 12 people living there. Some of the residents who have to sleep during the day so as to make it to their minimum wage job in the evening. Neighborhoods too dangerous for small children to be out by themselves. Libraries too far away to walk. No big grocery stores. No decent parks. What will these four weeks be like for those children?