By Deacon Tina Campbell
Prayer for Schools and Colleges: O Eternal God, bless all schools, colleges, and universities, that they may be lively centers for sound learning, new discovery, and the pursuit of wisdom; and grant that those who teach and those who learn may find you to be the source of all truth; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (BCP p. 824)
This morning I walked into the Cathedral office’s work room and there were four volunteers sitting around the table collating, folding and stapling stacks of the “decodables” for our adopted school, Jed Smith. As a recently retired teacher, I am very familiar with these 4+ page booklets given to primary age students to practice the various phonetic patterns that are taught as a child learns to read.
Like the newspapers’ “Back to School” sales, these volunteer efforts are a harbinger of the approaching school year. Soon other Trinity volunteers will be organizing for our Backsnack efforts, our tutoring, and our school staff support luncheons.
It’s been a rough summer for schools with layoffs, cutbacks, cancelled summer school programs and larger classes. Education is one of the political footballs in California’s budget debacle. And yet, teachers and support staff will continue to carry out the important work of educating our children in a rapidly changing, diverse, urban culture.
Public schools are the vehicle through which our nation passes on its skills and language, its history and principles. Schools are the place where children learn of a nation’s heroes and heroines and, following in their footsteps, grow into caring and conscientious citizens.
So this year when your local school asks for volunteers I hope you will consider helping; when it holds a pancake breakfast or a carnival, consider donating or attending; when it asks for your vigilance to prevent after-hours vandalism I hope you will be one of those neighbors keeping a watchful eye. As Teddy Roosevelt put it,” Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”