As an advocate for true quality education, I feel comforted to know that Village Leadership Academy students are not only learning about cultural differences, but also about bridging them to see the core of humanity. It is extremely important that we, as one people, embrace the fact that our skin color really doesn’t determine who you are and what you can do. Rather, what really matters is your heart and how we can use our knowledge to help others by showing them kindness and respect. These might seem like basic lessons, and we probably claim “we have heard this before;” yet these are the lessons that many people still have a hard time practicing and implementing in all parts of history and all parts of the world. These lessons are as valuable as any other subject. We need to plant seeds in young people and allow them to embrace and find patterns in culturally relevant material (such as traveling across the globe, studying different countries through books and field trips, and thinking about world topics). I believe this will in-turn, change the way our youth will think, feel and treat people...all people, regardless of so-called “differences.” We can influence how they view the world and empower their place within it.
Everyday, students pass my desk on their way to classes, ask me for bandaids, and talk with me just to say hello. Every day, I feel blessed to know them. I truly feel honored to be surrounded around our elementary students who are willing to share their hopes, talents, gifts and dreams freely to the world. I can already tell that they are already taking in the valuable lessons they learn.