A Teacher Breaks Her Silence
March 6, 2012
Normally, due to their professions, it is difficult for a community activist to gain access to a statement from an educator. They site conflict of interest or the desire to not rock the boat. Thus, in this blog post, Lynn Denney expresses a certain kind of bravery. We at the By2015:AMERICA Movement applaud her.
Dear Representative Fairclough,
I am writing to appeal to you to consider and pass the house version of Senate Bill 3 for funding of school lunches.
I have been a teacher for 20 years, nine of those years in the Anchorage school district, including Eagle River Elementary, in your district. In all of the school settings I have worked, it is basic common knowledge that hungry children cannot learn. When any of the basic human needs are not met, the brain will not learn, but only focus on survival. Additionally, not only is getting food into children crucial, feeding them with healthy food is even better!
The sad truth about poverty is that only way some children get fed is at school. Having taught in both urban and rural districts with at-risk children, kids arrive at school hungry. Some children do not get fed at all outside of their school meals. Several of my students at Eagle River Elementary qualified for free and reduced lunches, and sadly, some families were homeless and living in the Eagle River Motel, certainly not in a situation where feeding their children well was possible.
Funding school breakfasts and lunches is something that passed unanimously in the Alaska Senate, and should likewise be an open and shut case in the House. Our state is sitting on billions of dollars waiting for a “rainy day.” Isn’t any day that a child is hungry exactly that, a “rainy day?” Alaskan children live in the wealthiest state in the union. Don’t they at least deserve to be fed healthy meals? If not by their family, at least by the people in power who CAN help them?
PLEASE do the right thing for children and act now to move this bill forward!
“You must be the change you want to see in the world.” – The Mahatma Gandhi