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The one about public schools...

I can't remember what grade I was in. I was still little enough that I didn't really understand the term foster care, but old enough to know that something was very wrong with the stories I was hearing. The story belonged to a girl in my grade. A nice girl, though she wasn't in my immediate circle so I didn't know her all that well. We talked on occasion. English was not her first language and I remember communication being a bit difficult.  We talked enough that I knew she slept on the floor of the garage in her foster home.  I'll let that sink in a little.

Her foster sister (the biological child of the foster parents) also attend our school. She did not sleep on the floor. She liked to share this story herself.

I wish so much that I could remember their names. I wish so much that I could look her up and tell her I am sorry for not telling an adult what we were hearing. But I don't remember, and I didn't tell anyone. I think about her a lot. Those stories, the moments, her face. I knew something was terribly wrong but I didn't understand enough.

I share this story with you because it is one of the many reasons I believe in public schools. If only for a few hours a day, this child had a place. Her place in the classroom, her place to learn, to feel safe.

Public schools are this for so many children. Yes they are education centers, but they are so much more. They are meals. They are community. They are safe zones.

They are not perfect. I won't debate that. There are shortfalls and budget issues and tired teachers and a lack of supplies. There is much wrong.

But there is still so much right. And so many more reasons to love our public schools. There are teachers who work tirelessly for their students. There are workers in the cafeteria feeding children who are hungry. There are warm rooms when it's cold outside. So much right.

I can't list all of the teachers who impacted my life. There are just too many. All of my teachers were public school teachers except my kindergarten teacher. Some teachers taught me to love learning. Some taught me how to preserver. Some taught me how to be kind and thoughtful. They taught me so many lessons. Priceless lessons that I will cherish all of my life.

As this political season (nightmare?) has evolved I've known that I needed to plant my feet in somewhere. I also know that I can't be spread to thin, so I've been waiting for the right spot. The motivation or sign that I'd found my spot. Well today it was easy. I felt things today as our senate and VP voted to allow a women with no experience and no desire to serve our children become the next Secretary of Education. I did not feel the despair that I thought I would. Instead I felt a call to action. I've had moments like this before in life. I call them God Moments. Moments when I feel He is talking to me. I get a little flushed, sometimes a little shaky. I feel uncomfortable. And then I feel calm suddenly. Sometimes I get goosebumps. This can happen suddenly or take a bit, like a few hours. Today this happened. And I didn't realize what it was until I'd sat quietly, by myself for a bit. I don't talk about my faith all that often. I consider it a very private matter between me and Him. But I do listen for Him.

I was already committed to our neighborhood schools. I had always planned for Sugar Snap to attend the brick grade school with the big blue doors. But today I felt my call. I changed my AmazonSmile account to support that school and I took it one step further and emailed the auction chair and asked her if I could donate some of my wine collection to them for the auction. I'm going to keep looking for ways to support this school and others. I don't know what my plans are yet. I am new to this whole activist thing, but I'm not new to volunteering so I think I can figure some things out to help. I don't know what the next few years will look like. I don't know what the master plans of this administration are. But I want to be ready.

If you know of ways I can help, let's have a discussion. I am not a wealthy person but I am resourceful. And I'm mouthy. And I'm stubborn. Hopefully these are things are are helpful.  If you know educators please let them know that people like me are here. We're going to step in and fight like hell so that kids can go to school. Every kid deserves the chance to learn and feel safe in doing so.

This will be my spot. My action. I don't know how often I'll write about this. Though I've been having a harder time not being mouthy online and this seems like a better place than Facebook to do that. So maybe you'll see more from me here. Or maybe I'll talk to myself here. Either way it feels good to say these things. It's important to me that I not fail any more children. So this is my spot.

P.S. I do feel the need to say that I know the foster care system is full of loving, kind, generous people. I know some of these people. They are living, breathing angels.

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