[“Sabbath” is Career Calling’s Sunday feature that explores work and life outside of career.]
Working for Children
Over the past two days I’ve taken part in three events that help students and schools. As governments cut more and more of their funding to education, neighborhood groups and parents have taken on the responsibility to raise money to support schools and programs.
On Friday, Kiwanis Club of the North Shore joined with Circle K from Loyola University and Key Club from Senn High School to raise money with their annual Peanut Day Fundraiser. The money raised on this day will be used for programs to support reading programs in local public schools. It will also fund an essay contest for eight graders. Beyond its contribution to schools, Kiwanis helps children by supporting our great local food pantry, Care for Real.
On Saturday, I went to Kegs for Kids, an event to raise money to fund new programs and purchase equipment for Peirce Elementary School. Local business donated time, products, and gifts for a silent auction. Two businesses Hopleaf Bar and Metropolis Coffee stand out for their efforts along with Friends of a Peirce, a parent and community group that supports the school.
Later in the day, I traveled a little north to attend the Gralley, an event to support Northside Catholic Academy. Many of the people I saw at this event were long time volunteer supporters of the school and the church to which it is attached, Saint Gertrude’s. Most of the volunteers were parents of school children who are already paying tuition to support the school. Their effort shows a commitment to religious education.
Whether the cause is public or private schools, it is interesting to note how many people are willing to give time and spend money to support young people and education. There is, however, another group that works every day to support young people: teachers.
Over the past few months, I have frequently written about teachers and how school systems (especially Chicago Public Schools) seem more interested in cutting salary and breaking unions than educating children. Putting this conflict aside for a moment, it’s important to remember that teachers work every day to help young people learn and mature. They take on the challenge of communicating with a generation that is distracted by electronic gadgets and a media that often celebrates stupidity and denigrates learning.
When we say we support education (which almost everyone does), let’s start with the people who are on the front line every day – teachers. It’s great to raise money for schools. I happily participate in such efforts. However, teachers are the engine that drives learning. They makes sacrifices and often spend their own money to purchase supplies. We need to celebrate this dedication and the good work that teachers do every day.