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Friday, September 6, 2019

CCSU Literacy There is a crack in everything, that's how the light get in.

Another CCSU Literacy Center Thursday...searching...

Searching for cracks

In between getting ready for class and making the final placements for our Fall Literacy Program, and teaching...I found some time to start getting our Literacy Center ready for our children on Monday and to work on our Hispanic Heritage Month invitations. The truth is Hispanic, history is American history, the Spanish arrived long before the English and the French. They were in the Americas, and yes Texas, California, New Mexico before there was the United States of America. 
We will also on Monday, October 14, 2019, celebrate Indigenous Peoples' Day to honor our Native American sisters and brothers's history and culture. Their history is American history. It's the same for Black History, and Women's history...they are American History. All we non-native peoples live on stolen land and all our histories are entangled together. Lands built by African slaves, immigrants backs, and Native souls. We shall honor all people here. It's our stories that bring us together not presidents. We love all our stories here. 
How and what we celebrate matters to children. What is taught is not always learned, and what is learned is not always not taught. Our monthly Read-A-Thons, our Gold Medal Challenges, and our Wax Museum Project becomes one of those not explicitly taught things that help us all grow new friendships, a new respect for each other, and come to understand an America not melting, but growing into this beautiful tapestry of many voices, many people. Imagine one day a moth to just read anything you choose. 
These are particularly hard days on our Hispanic families between ICE threats and detention center stories of children in cages. Even if you are a citizen these policies hurt your families. It's not much, but it is our way to say you are welcomed here. All are welcomed here. 
I'll be here Friday night and Saturday making sure all is ready for Monday. Can't wait to open the doors and say welcome to the children, their parents, and of course our very very special Literacy Center teachers. Have to run to Costco's for some healthy snacks and cups. 
Dear policymakers, legislators, and data crunchers, we shall measure our data, not in test scores, but in how many Gold Medals are awarded, how many smiles we grow, and how many new friendships are grown. How many stories, chapters, and books are read. We shall celebrate our discoveries and learning journeys. 
It is not about the numbers, it's about building an inclusive community that respects our children, parents, and teachers. It is not nearly enough, but it is as Lenard Cohen wrote: "There is a crack in everything that's how the light gets in"
"You can add up the parts
You won't have the sum
You can strike up the march
There is no drum
Every heart, every heart to love will come
But like a refugee
Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything (there is a crack in everything)
That's how the light gets in." 
It is about helping young people here come to see literacy as an amazing gift, that never ever stops giving. Trust me this literacy is a gift thing, that is far far more important than any test scores. And if somehow along the way we come to value and respect others, well my friends that just might be the most important data out there. 
Time to let the light in,
Dr. Jesse P. Turner

If you like to listen to the tune that inspired my walk this morning? Its Lenard Cohen's Anthem

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