“What are you doing?” I asked three teachers one April morning in the early 1960s when I was principal of an elementary school in the capital city. They were making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for some of their students’ lunches. The district’s free lunch funds had been exhausted for that school year.
Students thrive and do best with home, school and community supporting them. When one of this three-legged stool is missing, not to worry – too much. When two of the three are missing, a student’s future is at risk. The lunch-packing teachers were doing then what teachers do now: Reaching into their own pockets to provide for needs of their students and classrooms not always funded sufficiently.
Gene Nichol’s Aug. 23 Point of View “One student at a time” reminded us that we depend more than ever on “teachers breaching the poverty barrier” for their students.
I challenge communities, and the state, to join more fully with parents in assuring stability in students’ lives.
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Barbara M. Parramore
Professor emerita, N.C. State University, Raleigh