A million concerns, big and small, have bubbled to the surface over the past several months. Teachers, especially, have felt pulled in a dozen different directions, with enough worries to last them weeks.
One of the things my teacher friends bring up when we talk about keeping schools closed or not is all of the kids who depend on free breakfasts and lunches to eat regular, nutritious meals.
Districts all over the country have remained open to the idea of handing out food, even if schools are closed, and bless their hearts for doing it. But Zane Powles, an assistant headteacher at an English school, went one step further – he’s personally delivered 7500 lunches himself.
Not only that, but he’s done a lot of it on foot, to the tune of 7 miles every day.
For the past 17 weeks, Zane goes to school early in the morning to prepare lunches for 100 of his students, then he gets moving to deliver them.
“When I started these walks I was concerned about the kids and their well-being and I wanted to make sure I could see them all.
I needed to know if they were safe, if they were healthy, and if they had access to food.”
In England, kids who were on free or reduced meals received vouchers they could exchange for meals, but Zane is worried it won’t be enough, and began raising money for two other charities that provide meals to at-home students.
Like most educators, Zane is passionate about his job and his kids – in 2019, he won the “Inspirational Primary School Teacher Award,” for which he was nominated by a parent.
In his acceptance speech, he said “We should never give up on children. Having a tough upbringing is never their fault.”
Something we would all do well to remember, and to follow in his footsteps as well.
You don’t have to be an educator to check on the kids in your life, in your kids’ lives, in the neighborhood.
Take care of each other out there, y’all. We’ll get through this together.