Last night we celebrated 25 awesome students at my school who had perfect attendance. We had over 110 students in our school (of about 450) who had 98% or better attendance! That is amazing!
We had a dinner for the kids put on by a local business partner of ours. It was amazing what they did to celebrate these kids and make them realize how very, very important the path they are on is. Two of my students were there with perfect attendance. One is a twin. I had his brother in 2nd grade :) Their entire family is absolutely awesome. No joke...those kids will all be amazing leaders and citizens because of their parents. They are Vietnamese and the dad is one of my favorite people ever. They are so, so nice and just truly amazing people. They have 3 students at our school this year and every single one of them had perfect attendance this year! That is absolutely amazing!
I had another friend who earned the award but wasn't going to come to the dinner. Mr. S who is definitely a servant of God (he is our community-school coordinator...basically he helps coordinate parents, teachers and businesses to work together on a variety of things to benefit our school) told me that he had tried to call his family multiple times but go no answer. Well....that is not how Raye rolls. I WAS going to get an answer. This was too big of a deal for them to miss.
So yesterday after school I made the kiddo wait with me and we walked out together to find his family. His oldest sister and cousin picked him up. I told them the situation. They said mom and dad both had to work so they didn't have anyone to get this friend and his 2nd grade sister there and home. I said, "If it's okay with you all and with their parents, I would like to come pick them up and take them to this dinner and then bring them home." They were so startled that I would do that...but they said yes. So at 5:15 I picked them up and off we went.
I'm SO glad I talked them into coming...it was so much fun and they really celebrated those kiddos. A fancy catered dinner, pictures, celebrations in front of the crowd. It was truly amazing and nothing short of awesome for these kids. They deserve it. It is SO hard to overcome illnesses and things and they never missed a single day for any reason.
Everyone was so amazed that I would pick those kids up and bring them. Are you kidding me? This is EPIC. They deserve to be there just like everyone else. The little girl, who has the cutest dimples ever, was so sweet. When I introduced the two of them to our superintendent, I called the girl "Sissy" as is, she's his little sister. During dinner, she leaned over and said, "Mrs. Wood, you can call me sissy any time you want." So cute!
I made some great connections at that dinner too...and it just makes me realize that I need to veer off my path a little. Yes I absolutely AM still going to reach my goals...but I have to spread my wings a little to make the sorts of connections I made last night...because those connections are going to be what helps me get to where I want to go professionally. It can be done...it just will take hard work...and last night just solidified for me that it's all about the kids. The kids and nothing more.