June 10, 2015

Today, I did something that many parents might find heartless a few days into summer vacation – I dragged our son Theo back into school and into the principal’s office. And he hadn’t even done anything wrong. The reason for this act of cruelty was that I wanted to give his principal, Ms. Rescia, a gift to thank her for several things this last year, including helping us work with Theo during a particularly difficult year. He had begun the year feeling insecure socially and academically, and although he soon formed some solid friendships, his struggle with the dreaded math continued for the whole school year. I visited Ms. Rescia on a couple of occasions to discuss my concerns with her. She listened patiently and offered advice based on years working with young children and observing the many different ways in which they learn. Just spending time with her gave me perspective and some tools for David and me to work with.

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I am also grateful to Ms. Rescia for going beyond being a regular principal and being so positive about the Green Dragons Recycling Program at school. Thanks to her, recycling has really become an integral part of the kids’ school experience. Although they don’t always recycle their lunch trash, they know they should, which is a step in the right direction. At lunchtimes, Ms. Rescia not only helps sort trash and teaches the kids how to do it and why it’s important, but she incorporates the program into the school’s “community service.” Kids who need a bit of disciplining during lunchtime have to come and help at the Green Dragons station instead of playing in the yard. It teaches them about work and responsibility and helping their community, and some of them discover they actually enjoy it. So, today, my gift to Ms. Rescia had a greenish theme – some flowers in a rustic-looking ceramic vase I had actually hand built a couple of years ago (which could pass for one of Theo’s creations, actually!). She was very gracious about the gift and we all wished each other a good summer vacation and a strong start to the next year, which we all know will come too soon…

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