On the backdrop of a deadly pandemic that exposed the underlying economic and health disparities that have long impacted the high poverty and minority communities we serve, we then witnessed tragedy after tragedy which continued to highlight the broken systems that harm our Black and Brown families. Wellness in the Schools pledges to fight this systemic injustice by doing what we do best – nourish (#feedkidsrealfood), strengthen (#letkidsplay) and sustain (#getkidsgreen) the communities we serve.
And we acknowledge that is not that simple. Our first step is to center the experiences and perspectives of our Black and Brown colleagues and communities. We are committed to actively listening with facilitator support to ensure that our work reflects the diverse resources and team talents of our Black and Brown colleagues. This will ultimately make us better and stronger.
The events during the last three months have impacted our entire team deeply. As the school year ends, we want to thank the amazingly talented, passionate, committed and wonderfully diverse Wellness in the Schools team. On March 13th, the work as they knew it came to an end. They could no longer engage face to face with children, with school cooks, or with recess aides. They could no longer find reward in the day-to-day challenges that made up their jobs. Instead, they pivoted and kept Wellness in the Schools thriving with reinvention of roles and teams. Some did this while sharing computers with their own school age children, while juggling other jobs, while mourning the loss of loved ones. They showed up in an extraordinary way, giving us a greater view into the very resourcefulness they have used everyday in our schools. For that, we are grateful.
Although upon tragedy, we are taking this opportunity to learn, be more responsive and ultimately, be more impactful.
Nancy, Bill, Marion