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Read Across to Reach Across


Lily sharing "Where the Wild Things Are" as part of NEA's Read Across America

James was not confused.  He was mad.  At me.

“We’re not lucky!” he pouted.  “We live in a homeless shelter don’tcha know!”

Second graders are old enough to know where they live.  They know they don’t have a house or an apartment like they used to.  In my shelter school class there were anywhere from five to fifteen kids on any given day.  These were the kids whose parents wouldn’t allow them to attend the “regular” school down the street, usually because someone was looking for them.  An abusive spouse or a loan shark or a drug dealer.

And I had just called them lucky.

I had just said, “A lot of very nice people do some very nice things for our school.  And now it’s time for us to do something for kids who aren’t as lucky as you are.”