Wednesday, April 29, 2015

A surprise visit thanks to a little postcard and the good the Internet can bring

A few weeks ago, I kept getting sent a photo of this postcard. Twitter, Facebook, email...people kept sending it to me. In a kid's handwriting it read, "I wish my teacher knew I want to read more Lunch Lady books because I only read one..." It was a part of a growing viral hashtag, ‪#‎IWishMyTeacherKnew‬, supporting the needs of students. My wife, Gina, looked at me and said, "You need to send them some books!"
Reading up on the endeavor, I couldn't shake that its founder, Kyle Schwartz, looked familiar. Somebody sent me a Denver Post article, which linked to her Twitter. That's how I knew her—her classroom and I had exchanged tweets. And when we learned that Ms. Schwartz taught in Denver and that I'd be in Denver in a few weeks, Gina said, "You need to get to her school!"
This morning I jumped on an earlier flight and visited this wonderful school. I met with Principal Jodie Carrigan and her fantastic staff and of course, her incredible students. Ms. Schwartz started a national movement with this simple gesture—asking students to anonymously write their stories and hopes on postcards. Many of them were just gut-wrenching, but sadly not unfamiliar. And what impressed me most about Ms. Schwartz is that as her idea went viral, many tweeted at her saying, "I wish there were more teachers like you," and she would immediately reply that there were countless teachers like her—in every classroom across America. 
I had the honor of meeting that young man who wrote his hopes on that postcard. He was a little stunned that his voice had the power to be heard so loudly. He asked me to never forget him. And I never will. 
Thank you to all of the teachers out there for listening and advocating for the students they serve!

1 comment:

Carol said...

Thank you for being an author who cares this much about kids!