Given the recent natural and manmade tragedies that we have experienced, I think about the impact on our children and how frightened and scared they must feel. Depending on their age, they will have a different understanding of the significance this may have to their own lives.
Looking at Square One's first graders over the past few weeks, I wondered how they were interpreting all the events happening in the world over the past few months. I tried to put myself in their shoes and thought back to my own childhood experiences of air-raid drills and bomb shelters. I can easily recall how frightened I was by those situations.
I was lucky. I came from a stable, caring family who provided me the safety to learn how to handle disappointment and fear. But as I looked at those first graders in our after-school program, I realized that for many of them this was yet another trauma in their unpredictable, chaotic lives; that many of them did not have stable, caring families that were keeping them safe and that they would be less resilient, leaving them feeling more frightened, unprotected and alone in the world than I had felt at their age.
The staff at Square One not only need to be great teachers, social workers, managers and directors. They need to be compassionate, caring and sensitive to the trauma of the children and families we serve. Never underestimate the power of a relationship for providing healing and comfort.
Carl Jung the Swiss-born psychologist said, "One looks back with appreciation to the brilliant teachers, but with gratitude to those who touched our human feelings. The curriculum is so much necessary raw material, but warmth is the vital element for the growing plant and for the soul of the child."
Thank you to our staff, volunteers and donors for providing the resources and the warmth that our children need.
President & CEO