Hey! I know you!

My kid goes to the public school.  I certainly have no problem with the private schools or Christians schools.  In fact, I think they are a fine choice for a family.  But for our family, the right choice is the public school system.  You will never hear me complain about it, even though I know there are specific troubles that arise in the system.  But there are some great benefits to it, too.

Here’s one: my kid is surrounded by all different kinds of kids.  Poor kids and not poor kids, Hispanic kids and African American kids, homeless kids and kids with a summer cabin, kids from downtown and kids from farms, smart kids and kids that need a little more help, Christian kids and kids who haven’t met Jesus.  And I value that.  I value my son (and soon my daughter) being surrounded by all kinds of people.

We will definitely run into struggles, and when we do we’ll talk it out.  We’ll walk through it thoughtfully with our kids.  And when they have troubles with some kid at school I want to be able to know who they’re talking about.  So, I volunteer.  I am working every other Thursday in the reading room.  Each kid in Alex’s class reads to me and picks out a book for home.  I’m learning their names, and they’re learning to trust me.

One day it’s going to pay off…maybe for Alex as I can relate a little bit.  Maybe for myself understanding a younger generation.  Maybe for some child who doesn’t have a dad at home, but has been valued by an adult male.  Maybe some parent will ask a question because they know I care.  I don’t know.  I just know this: my sphere of influence includes my son and all his friends.  I must be a good steward of that resource, too.  I’m reminded that it’s the right choice for us whenever I come across one of those kids in public and they say, “Hey! I know you!”

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