I love that when my daughter goes to school in the morning, she has breakfast with her little community of homies and homettes. I don’t know what they talk about, but I do know that they love and care for one another in such simple, yet tangible ways. They help carry trays, take off backpacks and coats and laugh and engage one another in such warm and welcoming ways.
This is a group of little (primarily) Black and (a few) brown children, all from the same community, all of varying socio-economic statuses, family makeup and more. But it is clear that they are a little family.
When I pick her up in the afternoon, it’s hugs and goodbyes and still that level of sweetness. They greet me and wave when we leave. Her teachers are just as warm, giving and friendly.
This is what they don’t ever show you. All we ever hear about is how NYC public school are this or that, but our little home school is not that place. Yes, there is the stuff you have to muddle through like in all institutions, but it’s nothing compared to the feeling my daughter gets when it’s time to go to school. She loves it.
There is something to be said about a school with veteran Black teachers teaching our children. They know. And while they have to deal with ever-changing standards and the foolishness of the Dept. of Ed, they really take care of and nurture our babies.
The culture of her school is such that everyone knows everyone else. From the principal to the cafeteria and maintenance staff. They all look out for the babies.
My gratitude for that space, for her to be able to occupy that space, is unending.