This past week the halls of the school where I do my practicum work were filled with paper pilgrims and pumpkins, turkeys and thank you’s. I find Thanksgiving to be a wonderful time for reflection, for children and adults.
This year, I spent time reflecting on the importance of school for kids. My mom has a friend who recently adopted two teenaged boys from Libya, refugees of the war. These young men have been separated from their father, yanked from their country and culture, and distanced from their friends. They have witnessed violence and destruction. They do not know if they will ever return to the country where they lived for 15 and 18 years, and if they do return, what it will be like. While they struggled to come to terms with these sudden changes set in motion by the violence of revolution, they have also found stability, community, and friendship through school. The boys received counseling at school, and are making academic gains. At a small charter school in Boston, they have found a place where they belong in their new surroundings.
I am thankful for the opportunities schools provide to children and adolescents and for my chance to be a part of such transformation. Happy Thanksgiving!