I got to experience something really eye opening. I almost feel bad that it had to be for me. I got invited out to Holmes High School. Which is in a city, yes. But does that mean that EVERYONE there has to be bad? All you ever hear about is how rough of an inner city school it was. I am someone who goes into lots of school. Rich schools, poor schools, big schools, little schools. In the past two years, I have been to them all. I learned one thing about these Holmes kids, they’re just kids! Not only that, they were polite kids!
As you saw from a previous blog, they collected A LOT of bags for me and had an awesome event, if you didn’t see please take a look at that post. Needless to say, I had a lot of bags to take pick up.
I have learned it is necessary for me to sort the bags before I get them out. I just don’t have the room in my garage to be able to do that. Needless to say, that took a lot of helpers. Sadly, I didn’t get pics of them all.
It took weeks to accomplish this. Mainly because of MY limited schedule I could only do it two days a week. NEVER did any of the staff or students remotely complain, despite all of the bags being stored in their media room.
Finally the bag pile is getting smaller.
I was so thankful and appreciative of their patience that I made a seat for their library in their school colors.
I was really impressed with how well the staff and students I worked with were so helpful. I guess I didn’t know what to expect. When you hear only bad things about staff and students, even trying not to, it sticks. Well I can say this. I never had to ask ANYONE for help. Each person who saw me immediately asked how they could help me.
I saw a connection between the staff and students which was a joy to see. I happened to be there on a day where the students dressed like the staff and the staff like the students. That was a hoot! I also happened to be there during the time there was a school shooting in another part of the country. Not just a school shooting but one where the kids at the school where it happened were starting to become vocal about it. They led to a lot of conversations as we were bag sorting.
I saw a diversity and acceptance that I have not seen other places. Me being the open minded, free-spirited, proud liberal, hippie dippie kind of self that I am really enjoyed that. It made me smile each time I saw the diversity in their clubs alone. So much I asked who I worked with if I could take and post this pic. As a mom who has a daughter who has been told by some classmates that she loves the devil and demons because she wears the color black a lot…. I can really appreciate diversity. Not to mention I was a weird girl too. (WAS???)
I learn from each school I go to. This time I learned that sometimes good kids get bad raps. Sometimes it’s because of the bad kids there and the problems they cause. But let’s be honest, all schools have bad kids… we just don’t always hear about it. At times it is because of things out of their control. I was there after a chess tournament. One of the players was told “oh, you’re from Holmes, that’s a poor school”. His reply was “Not everyone who goes there is poor”. He then heard” Well, my school is rich enough to get us chess tutors.” His response…..”I don’t need a tutor to kick your butt”. And he did. Well played young man, well played.
After seeing a group of these sweet kids walk to a shelter after school. You start to understand that maybe people aren’t understanding any of their struggles at all and are just too busy to focus on the bad things that happen there. The students loved when I told them don’t worry about what other people think. As someone who is in a lot of schools, they are just like other kids.
I have had my share of eye rolling, “why in the world are we wasting our time with this” and all of that typical teenager stuff from lots of different places. I didn’t see it there and always had a lot of volunteers who worked HARD without complaint.
I put some of their bags to good use already. I went back to show them. These beauty’s were raising money at a silent auction for another school.
Thanks Holmes for inviting me out. I had a wonderful time and you are all some bag collecting peeps! I was amazed at the amount. I welcome looking forward to working with those “just kids” again!