We returned to the classrooms this week, and the heart of the project- the children and the hope they inspire. We asked each group- from 2nd graders to 8th graders- “When you think of Ghana/Africa, what is the first thing that comes to mind?” While many of the responses included the great challenges of Africa, and humanity, they also included all the things we know that connecting these children creates- peace, friendship, hope, unity, working hard, helping each other, smiling faces, happy kids, dancing, joy, wonder, rhythm, songs, and there was even hope.
Our first day of school was in Augusta, Georgia. Riverside Middle School has been involved since the first trip for Children Inspiring Hope. This year, they are including the entire 6th grade to connect with RC Mixed Primary in Ho, Ghana. A child that was part of the seed for this project, whom has not been connected since she was in kindergarten at CT Walker Magnet School, is now in the 4th grade and will be participating this year. Her innocence was expressed all those years ago in asking whether there were any brown people in Ghana. She then drew a picture for Prince of Peace students of children- white and brown- holding hands across the bottom of the paper, with a bright sun and message in the sky, “I lvoe you.” She is truly one of the children that inspired this project. She is as full of that light today as she was all those years ago. I knew we were in just the right new class when I saw the door for Mrs. Lockamy at Stevens Creek Elementary covered with children holding hands across the globe with the message- “Teaching The World, One Child At A Time.”
We completed the week in Savannah, Georgia at St. Andrew’s School, the Alma Mater for the Founder of Children Inspiring Hope, and Oglethorpe Charter School where her mother teaches. At St. Andrew’s School, many of the students shared they were eager to reconnect with their friend- EP students Lucy, Besie, Francis and Patience. As we discussed the upcoming International Day of Peace on Monday, an Oglethorpe Middle School student asked, “Why is it not Peace Day Everyday?” We couldn’t agree more full heartedly.
Thank you to the over 450 students, 33 educators and 3 volunteers who made this back to school week the most memorable yet!