I became aware of something over the past couple of days that warranted some attention.
School starts here in Guatemala in January (this Monday) and goes until October. So all of the “back to school” shopping is in full swing. Each student that is attending public school is given a “list” of school supplies that they are required to purchase in order to attend classes. Now this “list” is FAR more extensive than anything I have ever heard of. It is very specific, and includes among other things several notebooks of varying page count, graphs, blank pages, there is also glue, T-squares, compass, colored pencils, all types of construction paper, scissors, rulers, erasers, different colored pens, crayons and the list goes on and on! They even are required to provide TOILET TISSUE AND CLEANING SUPPLIES for the school!
All of these items are not a big deal by themselves. However, when a family has several children and all of the children have the same type of requirements in addition to the purchase of school uniforms, school clothing and money for registration and lunch each day (if there is any money left over…). The financial burden on the family is overwhelming. As a result…much to my surprise…parents elect not to send their children to school! They just can’t afford it!
Well, this is not acceptable. Especially, when the children LOVE SCHOOL and are excelling. I became aware of 8 children that were not going to be able to attend school because they couldn’t afford the school supplies. Each of the children love school and last year’s report cards reflected their love of learning as well. Each of the children had scores of 90 and above (on a 100 point scale).
So today…Amy and I went to WalMart. We had each child’s required list and we fulfilled each item. We had a basket full of school supplies and tomorrow, we will surprise each of the 8 children with a bag full of supplies just in time for the first day of school.
I’ve spent money on many things…but today…the smile on my face as I checked out was just a little brighter than usual.
It was a good day…